Well it's my annual predictions and like Pudge, I love doing this kind of things. Also I like to point out that I do go team by team for predictions. I did every game and made the picks based on that. It took some time, but it's the best way to do it. I won't go fully into the Falcons schedule but I will say who they lost to. Since I am a die hard fan, I will just tell you who they will lose to. I have them going 12-4 and sneaking into first place just ahead of the Saints. I see them losing on the road against Tampa Bay, Indy, and New Orleans. They will drop one home game which is understandable because the Super Bowl champions just seem to be too much for the Falcons. Now let's begin!!
1. Patriots 13-3 ( 1st Seed)- The Patriots still hold down the division for another year because they went out and really improved their team in the areas they needed to. You got the feeling they would after losing at home to their bitter rival the Jets. They needed that big play receiver they lacked when Randy Moss wanted out. They got their man in Chad Ocho Cinco who should be more motivated than anyone in the NFL to finally win a Super Bowl. They took another risk that can seriously pay off in adding Albert Haynesworth. He's not a fan of the 3-4 but when your playing for the Patriots, you suck it up. They look like their in prime position for another huge year.
2. Jets 11-5 (5th seed, over Ravens due to head to head win)- The Jets were shockingly quiet for the most of free agency other than taking a low risk high reward for Plaxico Burress. They didn't make any major splashes instead invested in re signing key players such as Holmes and Cromartie. This team will contend with their elite defense and steady play. They are still missing a few pieces to make that huge push, but despite saying that they have came a game away from the Super Bowl the past two years. A pass rusher is one glaring hole I see, but look for Ryan to cover that with heavy blitzing. They will make noise, lose games they shouldn't, win games they shouldn't, and be entertaining.
3 Dolphins 5-11: They seem a bit more talented than their record indicates. But this is a league of quarterbacks and the Dolphins are among the worst in that category. Chad Henne failed to make any impact last year including getting benched. I think the move for Reggie Bush may pay off, but he needs to stay healthy. The schedule is much tougher this year with the NFC East to play. Tony Saparano won't last as coach and this team is seriously lagging. It's time to pray that their is a basketball season, my people in Miami.
4. Bills 3-13: Another team that will be competitive but simply doesn't have enough talent. The run defense will likely still be porous despite the heavy drafting of improving that area. They still are using Fitzpatrick as their guy which won't get them far. The offensive line is among the worst in the league as well. It's going to be a long year in Buffalo with little potential around and buzz.
1. Steelers (12-4 2nd Seed)- They will be back coming off a tough Super Bowl loss. The off season was quiet for free agency, but their was some controversy. James Harrison, Ben Rothlisberger, and Hines Ward were making headlines for off the field issues. It's a bit odd to see the Steelers be in the news in a negative way but I look for them to be back to normal. They don't have much looming issues with Timmons & Woodley locked up. It should be another hard nosed year for them and they will continue to be atop the Ravens. The offensive line is still a bit of a flaw, but with young guys stepping up offensively it should negate that issue. I look for it to be another year of being in a war against the Steelers with them not letting up at all on another possible Super Bowl.
2. Ravens (11-5 6th Seed)- It just seemed not too long ago that the Ravens were getting so much buzz. The cracks have started to show in the team that all started last year in the playoffs and now in the pre season. The offensive line especially the right side is very weak. This team simply has too many young guys and that could seriously hurt their offense. The secondary still seems average at best, including still thinking Dominique Foxworth is still starting caliber. They had a bunch of guys coming off disappointing seasons so look for guys like Boldin & Oher to step it up a notch. It won't be much excuses this year so Flacco will looked to step up something he hasn't done in any playoff game so far.
3. Browns (5-11): It's going to be another tough year for the Browns. They did pull off some nice upsets last year, but they still lack much elite talent. The secret of Peyton Hills is out and I don't think he will come anywhere close to last year after over 300 carries last year. Teams will put eight men in the box against them and will bottle up Hills. The defense was very underrated last year, but safety play and linebacker core are things I worry about. This is another team that won't get blown out but the lack of receiving threats will really hurt this team. It's only so much you can do to run the football along with the fact Hills has major fumbling problems. I don't like this team's chances of much this year.
4. Bengals (2-14): My pick to be the worst AFC team due to so many glaring holes. Dalton has looked horrible in pre season, the offensive line is in shambles, Cedric Benson brings nothing to the table, and A.J Green seems to be the only thing buzzing around Cincy. I am not sure how Marvin Lewis still has a job here, which just explains the state of the franchise. This team needs new direction, new breed of talent, and just a fresh start. They made smart moves in not using Palmer or Ocho Cinco along with Owens but it's still going to be a long year. I could possibly see the Bengals pulling a Carolina this year and taking Andrew Luck if Dalton really struggles. What I mean is how Carolina took Newton after Clausen was absolutely horrible.
1. Colts (10-6 4th Seed): Before I start off this report, I will predict Peyton Manning misses five weeks. He will be back after the Colts are at 1-4. The Colts are like every year with their major passing attack, lack of running, complex defensive schemes, and great pass rush. It's just a concern on how much more can they keep this up. Peyton was falling off last year with those interceptions, can he bounce back? I still think they have too much fire power to not win that division but it's going to be a struggle if Peyton isn't on his A game to beat the elite teams.
2. Texans (9-7): The defense will turn some heads without a doubt, but their just seems to be too many questions? They still don't have a true number two receiver, how will they go with the 3-4 defense including using Mario Williams in a different way. Phillips has a lot of work to do with that defense but they have made some nice moves. I still can't fully trust them though along with how Foster does this year after a career year. They can make a run for the division but they seem to young and Kubiak isn't the right guy for the team. It's going to be another year wait for Houston fans.
3. Titans (8-8): This is a team that may sneak up on people. I may be over hyping them, but they are decent. Hasslebeck will finally have a running game to work with, something he hasn't had since Shaun Alexander fell off. You give him that and a receiver like Kenny Britt, then he can do things. People forget that Hasslebeck had little to nothing in Seattle after the glory years. With this new opportunity, he should get it. This team will work hard every down and I can see young talent like Derrick Morgan really have breakout years. They won't be a pushover like some expect.
4. Jaguars (5-11): They aren't going to be very good and it's going to be rough. The defense is among the worst in the league from the secondary to run defense. The quarterback situation took a major turn with Luke McCown starting that doesn't show me much which you can also say for the receivers. This team just can't go on effort anymore with the lack of talent they have. The offensive line isn't that great anymore either which will limit Jones Drew. Del Rio will probably be fired by mid season, it's going to be ugly. This team just doesn't bring anything to the table with talent and they are going to be dominated because of that. They simply just don't have enough to be competitive.
1. Chargers (11-5 3rd Seed)- No way this team is going to miss the playoffs again. They are too talented offensively and won't let the special teams screw up like they did last year. The addition of Bob Sanders could be the move of the year if he can stay healthy. It's a big if, but when healthy we know how great Sanders is. The defense has some question marks with some new young guys coming in, but with veteran leadership like Quentin Jammer and Shaun Phillips they will be fine. Phillip Rivers is a top five quarterback and I don't see any debate in it. This is the year that they win a playoff game without a doubt, but not sure about further. It was smart of them to keep Malcom Floyd because of his height and great chemistry with Rivers. This team will be dangerous once again, but they are missing a few pieces on defense especially on the defensive line.
2. Chiefs (9-7) : They won't be sneaking up on anyone this year, but this team should have a winning record. The easy teams will be taken care of because this team is very disciplined. But they really struggle against the elite teams and coming in first means they will be playing some elite teams. The list goes from New England to Pittsburgh to Green Bay and even trips to the Jets and Bears. The defense has promise with Hali and Berry looking like Pro Bowlers year in and year out. I am concerned about their linebacker depth with two guys coming in a 3-4 defense. Derrick Johnson will need to continue to playing at a high level to keep those guys in check. I can't see Matt Cassel coming close to those numbers but he should do well. Steve Breaston or just about anyone needs to step up for them. The Chiefs can't go the year relying just on Dwayne Bowe. They are playing teams that know to double Bowe and he has been shutdown in the past (playoffs anybody?). They have some serious questions but they still have a top running game and should have a winning record. Haley may get fired, but I think he should get another year after this.
3. Raiders 5-11 : Despite showing lots of promise last year, no way will this team catch the breaks they did last year. They won't repeat the 6-0 record they had in the division which led to an 8-8 record. The loss of Nnamdi will really kill this defense. They had that one leverage but now that is gone. They are likely going to have one of the worst pass defenses in the league. McClain should develop, but if the pass rushing doesn't step up this team will be in serious trouble. Tommy Kelly finally stepped after getting that well overpaid contract but really played well. I highly doubt he does it again, but he may have one good year left. The receiving situation is still poor, although the move for Kevin Boss will help. He isn't the most athletically gifted tight end but he is a steady guy that will help. For Oakland to be successful, they need McFadden to have another huge year running and Jacoby Ford's special teams success. It's what helped Oakland score last year, but I can't see them repeating that success. Teams will key on this and I see a brutal year in Oakland.
4- Denver 3-13: This team is going to be bad. I can see only four players on this roster that would start for almost any team. Bailey, Dumervil, D.J Williams, and Ryan Clady would be guys I choose for any team. I am not convinced about Brandon Lloyd if he can repeat last year's success. He was incredible with many games that made you say wow, but he's on the downside of his career and won't sneak up on anyone. It's smart they kept Kyle Orton because that will keep them somewhat competitive. My prediction though is that they will bench Orton or trade them eventually. That will lead to either Tebow or Quinn coming in and it will make this team bad. Other than the horrid run defense, nothing will hurt more than the quarterback situation. Moreno really needs to step up this year, it's that 3rd year where he's supposed to break out. He needs to stay healthy and prove he can be a number one back. He can win them a few games if he steps up otherwise it's going to be Andrew Luck mania by December.
1. Eagles 13-3 (2nd Seed) - The super squad is going to be as good as advertised. Andy Reid will keep these guys in check despite Michael Vick's play dropping off. The thing with Philly is that their schedule is n't as hard as you think. They play the NFC West, a dying Giants team, and a awful Redskins team. That's eight wins right there for me and they will some big games with that talent. The secondary will keep teams from doing much in the air. The way you attack the Eagles is those safeties that are very young with an athletic tight end. Eagles will have to watch out for that with guys like Witten, Finley, and Gonzalez on contending teams. The run defense is going to be their biggest weakness with a rookie middle linebacker and not fixing up their defensive tackle situation. The moves for Babin and Jenkins were big, but I don't see Jenkins as a 4-3 defensive tackle. Still Philly will get by with their incredible talent and secondary power with Douglas Cromartie and Asomaugh along with a receiving corps that are among the best in the league.
2. Cowboys 11-5 ( 6th Seed) - My pick to in July would be Chicago to make the last seed, but their talent compared to Dallas isn't much of a comparison. Dallas looks loaded and are under the right coach. Garrett has these guys motivated and it showed with a 5-3 victory with backups last year. The main key is if Rob Ryan can get the secondary back to 2009 form. Mike Jenkins was brutal last year after a Pro Bowl year in 2009. They need to mold him into a number one corner with Terence Newman being on his last legs. The front seven is still very strong, with Ratliff and the edge rushers creating the most damage. A better year from the secondary and Romo staying healthy will do this team wonders. The running game may struggle but can thrive if they do a three man rotation with Jones, Choice, and the rookie. This team will be dangerous and give teams serious problems.
3. Giants 9-7: It's going to be another year for the Giants where they start fast but fade. The early schedule is really easy for them. The Eagles are the only tough team they play before Week 9. I can really see them getting off to a really hot start, but then their schedule contains trips to New Orleans and New England with home games against Green Bay and Philly. The once feared offense looks seriously lacking with the loss of Steve Smith and offensive line getting reshuffled. Eli Manning didn't do himself any favors by saying he's in Brady's class. With 25 interceptions last year, he needs to get that down in anyway. Defensively, they seem weaker but still got that pass rush. The pass rush will win them games as long as Tuck & Co have their heads on right. The safety play needs to really improve after big expectations were placed on them. Antrell Rolle wasn't covering anyone late season and Kenny Phillips was equally bad. The secondary could be a huge strength if those two step up. The late schedule and Coughlin still coaching really hurts this team. He should have been fired and the Giants can start fresh. Instead it's another year of problems and no playoffs for them.
4. Redskins 4-12: This is another team that's going to be bad. They are in a division with loads of talent everywhere while they are being led by Rex Grossman and Tim Hightower. I don't know what Mike Shanahan was thinking with this method. Trent Williams really needs to bounce back after a rough year. Some people are praising him but to allow 11 sacks is bad. On a shaky offensive line and him being picked high in the draft, he needs to have a big year. It will be interesting to see if Santana Moss can keep it up. He always puts up numbers and is always a threat, but for how much longer? The defense will keep them in some games but eventually fade. The linebacker core is very underrated if you look at them. Fletcher and Orakpo are top players in this league with Kerrigan bound to make a huge impact. The safeties are another strong point to this team with the addition of Atgowe being the special cover guy he is and Landry with his physical play. The Redskins defense are close to being elite with just a few changes to the d-line and a corner to play alongside DeAngelo Hall. The defense can be special but the offense is so brutal it won't matter most of the time.
1. Packers 14-2 ( 1st Seed): This team is so special that if they stay healthy, they can seriously push for being undefeated. The talent they have at every position still is mind blowing. Jermichael Finley is going to make the offense even more lethal. He's the most athletically gifted tight end I have seen since Antonio Gates. When you put him in the middle with outside threats like Jennings and Jones this offense will light you up. It also helps that Aaron Rodgers is one of the best in the game. He played at an inhuman rate last year, the guy is going to be someone we talk about for years to come. Ryan Grant coming back is another thing to consider but the workload won't be heavy for him. James Starks wasn't that great in the playoffs but he showed enough to get some carries. The defense doesn't have much weaknesses at all. The secondary can compete with Philly for the best secondary in the league. Tramon Williams is slowly developing into one of the best corners in the league. The best hope is to try to run on this team, but that can be tough too. This team will be a threat for years to come, your going to have to play a perfect game to beat them.
2.Bears 10-6: A return for the playoffs won't be happening, but this team will still make things happen. Cutler will continue to grow with his receivers and the addition of Roy Williams could seriously help if Roy plays like did when Martz was with him in Detroit. The red zone issues seems to have been solved with another Dallas castoff coming in with Marion Barber. Barber should get a limited role and that is well suited for him. The major concern with them is the offensive line but Mike Martz moves fast so they should be able to negate that. Slants and screens will make things much easier for this team. That being said, they may struggle to run the ball this year and Cutler will still be taking a lot of hits because his security blanket in Greg Olsen is gone. The defense seems to be getting older with not much potential good young talent coming in. The loss of Danieal Manning is going to hurt and the potential loss of Lance Briggs can do some serious damage. Briggs demanded a trade and should get his wish eventually. The defense will rely on another big year from Peppers and Urlacher (had a very quiet strong year last year, he stepped up big time). The Bears just seem to be limited defensively with not a lot of strong players and bad depth. But this team will compete and are being too undervalued.
3. Lions 6-10: I am not with the Lions hype at all. This team still seems to have many holes for my liking. Stafford has yet to prove himself staying healthy and the running game looks to be shaky. Best can't carry the load alone and Maurice Morris as a backup isn't good. Calvin Johnson will make any quarterback look good, but another year of Stafford getting hurt won't cut it. Johnson & Suh will win them some games this year alone, they are just that good. I haven't seen a defensive lineman make an impact like Suh did last year. The defensive line is obviously very good, but Vanden Bosch seems to be fading. With only four sacks last year, the days of him being a threat seem to be over. If Eric Wright plays like he did before last year, that will seriously help the secondary. He's a good player but just needs to get his head on straight. The concerns for Detroit seem to be too much for me to consider them a major threat. The linebacker core is weak and they don't have much of a running game. The secondary seems to have improved with guys like Louis Delmas and Chris Houston (yes he shockingly did Falcon fans) stepping up last year. But the concerns and depth issues make me seriously wonder about this team. They could prove me wrong, but it's another year most likely.
4.Vikings 6-10: I am happy my Vikings (2nd favorite team) have some hope coming in the team. McNabb may not seem like the savior he once was, but it's anything better than Christian Ponder. The Vikings did botch on not replacing Sidney Rice. Percy Harvin isn't your typical number one despite the flashy style but with support from underachievers like Bernard Berrian or Michael Jenkins it's going to be tough. The offensive line has taken a hit with McKinnie shockingly released but he was fading away anyway. The young guys will need to step up because McNabb can't take much this year after last year's pain. The defense is shaky but they still can field an above average front seven. Brian Robson is finally starting and should have a breakout year with his non stop motor. Chad Greenway is one of the best in the league along with Kevin Williams despite the quiet year. The major issue with the Vikings is their secondary that was awful last year. Other than Winfield, they are below average in every area in the secondary. A healthy Cedric Griffin will really do wonders for them but that's a major if. They have potential to some things the Vikings as long as Peterson stays healthy and does his thing. They have some big tools but they seem to have lost too much talent. McNabb is no sure bet to be his old self and this team isn't getting any younger.
1. Falcons (12-4 3rd Seed) : Another Super Bowl contender in the NFC that has done the right things to improve in the off season. The lack of an explosive receiver next to Roddy White has been found in Julio Jones who they invested in. Julio is still a big time talent that brings a new physical quick force that Atlanta hasn't had next to Roddy White. The other major move was finally getting pass rush help after years of finally realizing that John Abraham can't do it alone. The Falcons cashed in on Ray Edwards for a good price and it should bring a new edge to the defense. Edwards hasn't had double digit sacks yet, but if he can get his usual eight sacks it will be a major boost. The Falcons still have lots of strengths with a strong running game with Turner, Matt Ryan had a huge 3rd year, and Tony Gonzalez still being solid. The offensive line seems to be a bit shaken up with the loss of Harvey Dahl, but it shouldn't be that much of a drop off for a usually solid line. The major question is if the young secondary can hold up. They did an excellent job under tough conditions where the Falcons couldn't get a consistent pass rush. If they can bounce back after that horrible blowout in the playoffs this team can be on the level of Green Bay and Philly.
2. Saints 11-5 (5th Seed Better Record In Conference Than Dallas)- It's really a coin toss on who will win the South between the Falcons and Saints. The thing that separates them is if the Saints running game can get going. They have the trio that can be successful but can Pierre Thomas stay healthy? Darren Sproles was a huge move for them and should make an impact along with Mark Ingram. But still some questions if they can be successful along with the tackles. The front seven needs to get tougher, but if Shaun Rogers can play like his old Pro Bowl self that defense is going to be even better. We know the Saints secondary is among the best in the league but it's the run defense that is their biggest problem. In a division with great running teams, they will need to improve on this. Either way, this team is going to be a huge threat with the aerial assault of Drew Brees. Both top teams in the division have great offenses, but what defense will step up more? Secondary you have to give it to the Saints, but the front seven I give it to the Falcons. You have to run the football and stop the run something the Saints haven't consistently shown in late games of the season.
3. Bucs 8-8: You will see a drop off with this team despite showing major problem. The defense is very average and they didn't improve at all. The young front four is going to need to step up if they want to be successful. With two rookie edge rushers and two 2nd year defensive tackles, it's a major question. Tampa Bay's run defense was bad last year and it could be the same story this year. It's a huge boost that Aqib Talib escaped suspension after a major incident off the field. Without him that secondary is one of the worst in the league. Josh Freeman keeps this team at 500, he's going to single handily win some games for them. With guys like Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow, he should continue to step up. The offensive line is a bit shaky, but it's very hard to bring a guy like Freeman down. They are a team with potential, but how they won ten games I don't know. They just don't have the talent all around to compete with Atlanta and New Orleans. The defense is very young with the front seven being weak (linebackers are also very young). They don't have many veterans left other than Ronde Barber, which isn't good. In the long run, watch out for them but they will be out of playoff contention by mid December.
4. Panthers 2-14: It's going to be another rough year in Carolina. Cam Newton is expected to start but looks nowhere ready. I expect some serious growing pains for him. It's nice to see Carolina pick up guys like Olsen and Shockey for him. We all know a young quarterback's best friend is a good tight end, but he has two. Still other than Steve Smith, he doesn't have much options to throw to. The running game will have to keep them in the game so expect a lot of DeAngelo Williams (how motivated will he be after a huge contract) and Johnathan Stewart. The defense isn't going to be very good either. Charles Johnson is a bright spot but will see how he performs after making twelve million a year. The secondary is the worst in the league with many young unproven guys except Chris Gamble, who was horrible last year. This is a bad team in a very tough division, I expect a long year.
1. Rams 8-8 (4th Seed)- The NFC West will get a team with a 500 record but not a true winning team for the division crown this year. The Rams have a lot of promise with Sam Bradford showing a lot last year. I don't understand how people say he doesn't have weapons on the team. It's true he doesn't have a number one guy, although if Mike Sims Walker plays like he did in 2009 he will. Bradford needs to look short, because they don't have many guys to stretch the field. With guys like Amendola, he just needs to make smart decisions to keep the chains moving. The Rams running back depth really impresses me as well. We all know Steven Jackson is one of the best in the league and does it all but for once they have depth. Caddlac Williams still has something to offer and when healthy, Jerious Norwood is a huge threat to have. The Rams offense is looking good and it also helps that the offensive line is very good. The issue is they don't have a star and this will hurt against elite teams. But it's the NFC West, so they can't get away with it for the most part. The defense is fun to watch as Spagnuolo has worked his magic with them. Chris Long is finally a force and James Hall had a huge year last year. Laurinaitis is the leader you want for a young team, he may be young himself but he never stops moving. The secondary is vastly underrated as well with Fletcher and Bartell making names for themselves. I really like this team for the future, but they need the young guys to continue improving. They don't have any guys I consider elite other than Steven Jackson. This needs to change in future and I expect it to happen.
2. Cardinals 7-9: They have an interesting team and may make some noise, but a lack of running game and receivers really hurt. Kolb to Fitzgerald should be a lethal duo, but what else do they bring to the table? Beanie Wells has a lot to prove because he has been very disappointing so far. The 2nd receiver slot is weak and I don't know how much Todd Heap as left. The offensive line is also a work in progress so their offense doesn't do much for me other than Kolb (who should put big numbers either way) and Fitzgerald of course. The defense is very hit or miss, but they do have guys I love to have. Dockett is coming off a quiet year, no way will that happen this year. He is a guy known to create havoc and make plays, so I look for him to have a huge year. Kerry Rhodes had a comeback year last year after a fallout with the Jets the year before. Rhodes and Wilson make quite the duo, but they have still some holes. The pass rush is below average with nobody having more than 5 sacks last year. The offense is very average and the defense you can consider average other than the safeties and Dockett. Linebacker core isn't much better and the corners are very young although Patrick Patterson should be a shutdown corner in no time. They will fall short this year but they are on the rise.
3. Niners 6-10: It's going to be another tough year for the Niners. They will compete like usual, but their shortcomings will show again. Alex Smith simply isn't the answer and it will kill them in the end. He does have weapons in Crabtree and now Braylon Edwards, so I can't see why he can't be successful. Those are two huge targets that can make serious noise, despite major character issues. Both guys can drop easy ones and can be headcases so they will need to be watched. It also helps that Smith has one of the best tight ends in the league in Vernon Davis. The Niners can easily win this division with the talent around them along with Frank Gore, but the quarterback and shaky offensive line kills that offense. The defense always works hard and should give teams problems. Justin Smith and Patrick Willis are great leaders to have because they never give up and always work hard. They are very young in the front seven and that is a concern for their run defense. It also doesn't help they are relying on two safety cast offs. Donte Whitner and Madieu Williams aren't very good and it doesn't look good for them. Like Arizona, they have holes but this team is one quarterback away and a few defensive core players from taking the division. They will compete but the holes are too wide.
4. Seahawks 5-11: They have similar problems to San Fran, but their core players aren't as good. Sidney Rice and Mike Williams is a nice duo, but their track records are all on one big year. Can Sidney have a big year without Brett Farve? Can Mike continue to improve after being a bust his entire career? Both guys are out to prove their not one hit wonders. The offensive line is their biggest strong point with good moves. They really focused on doing that and it has gone from weakness to a strength. The major issue is Tavaris Jackson because he isn't starter quality. He failed to show that with a Vikings team that made it to playoffs in 2008. He held back a division winning team, what can he do for a fading team? I know they made the playoffs but it was mainly a fluke just like their win over the Saints. The defense has some pieces but they also have major holes. The pass rush doesn't have a lot other than Chris Clemons. But they were ranked 27th and it's going to be tough.
MVP: Tom Brady- He finally has his explosive wide receiver add that to possession receivers and young talented tight ends, this guy is going to have a ball.
Off Player: Aaron Rodgers- He comes in 2nd because he falls three touchdowns short of Brady. Everything Brady has, Rodgers has it's just Rodgers plays in a tougher division (Lions & Vikings over Bills & Dolphins. Yes the Jets are tough, but after that it's weak).
Def Player: Clay Matthews- He played hurt last year, he's finally healthy now. I smell trouble for the rest of the NFL.
Off Rookie: AJ Green- A bright spot for an awful team. I don't think Ingram will have the numbers to show he's award caliber. Green will put up nice numbers to get it.
Def Rookie: Patrick Patterson- I see big things from this guy. I expect him to put up numbers similar to Joe Haden unless teams are smart enough to realize not to throw to him.
Coach Of The Year: Mike McCarthy- Packers dominating the award shelf, sorry they are just so good.
First Coach Fired: Tony Saparno- Only wins it over Del Rio because the Dolphins aren't as nice as the Jaguars with these kind of things.
Offensive Move Of The Year: Chad Ocho Cinco- I will be shocked if he doesn't get at least 1,000 yards. This is his time to shine.
Defensive Move Of The Year: Nnamdi Asamough- He will really help a porous Eagles pass defense and make that pass defense with Samuel and Rodgers Cromartie unstoppable.
WIld Card Round
Jets over Colts- New year, same result. The Colts are slowly fading even though Peyton will be hot. The Jets are simply too good to lose this early. A sound running game will keep them off the field like last year and they will win.
Chargers over Ravens- I can see this one being down to the wire or ugly. The Ravens won't be able to jump on teams like they have the last two years. They won't be playing a team that lost their top receiver (Welker Week 17 torn ACL left Brady lost) and won't be playing a team that had no experience in playoffs ( Chiefs). This San Diego team is going to be a sound team and Rivers will light that secondary up bad if he gets time. Flacco needs to step up if Ravens are going to win.
Saints over Rams- It's no NFC West miracle this year, the Saints will be sound and ready for a Super Bowl push. Steven Jackson may cause problems, but the Saints will put them down late in the game. The lack of playmakers in the receiving core come to haunt Bradford by the Saints top secondary.
Falcons over Cowboys- This will be the best game of the week and it could go either way. Ryan against Romo would be an absolute classic. It comes down to which secondary makes less mistakes since both teams have explosive receiving options. Brent Grimes makes a timely play in this one and it gives the Falcons their first playoff win since 2004.
Pats over Jets- New year, same matchup, and different result. The Pats improved this off season after their flaws were exposed. No way they lose this one after last year but the Jets will make it difficult. Eventually the tight ends come into play big time after Ocho Cinco gets shut down by Revis. The tight ends and run defense are the difference makers for the Pats. Sanchez will be forced into a few mistakes and the Pats move on.
Steelers over Chargers- I really want to pick the Chargers to make a run but that defense is more average than above average. I expect the Steelers to pound it with Medenhall and keep that offense off the field. Steelers will be too much for San Diego with their pass rush to frustrate Rivers. Look for Troy to make his usual timely big play and Steelers will take it.
Eagles over Falcons- It really burns me to pick Michael Vick beating the Falcons, but I just can't see Atlanta winning it yet. What scares me is their receivers against the young secondary. I really do like the Falcons secondary but the Eagles weapons are really too quick. They need to develop some more before I'm confident in thinking they can stop this team. Turner will need to have a huge game in this one for them to win. But Philly is at home and it just doesn't seem likely. Ryan will be forced into an INT or two by that tough defense and talented edge rushers. Sorry Atlanta, our nightmare will come true possibly with Vick beating Atlanta.
Packers over Saints- This game will be another classic in the making in the best divisional round in history. This will be an aerial show with the two best quarterbacks in the NFC going at it. It comes down to turnovers which both teams can cause and pass rush something only the Packers can do. Clay Matthews is the difference here along with home field. The pass rush will get to Brees into a few mistakes. Saints are loaded and will seriously give the Packers a run for it's money but in the end Green Bay prevails.
Pats over Steelers- The classic rivalry finally comes back in New England. The secondary of the Steelers simply can't handle the Patriots passing attack. The pass rush can give them problems, but those tight ends once again come in handy along with Welker. The Steelers will be forced to throw after the vicious front seven gives them no running space. Steelers average offensive line will be it's downfall despite Rothlisberger having a huge game. Pats return to Super Bowl.
Packers over Eagles- The battle of elite secondaries finally happen. The issue is Nick Collins is a solid safety and the Eagles have nothing. Jermichael Finley has a huge game and is the major difference in this one along with Michael Vick falling apart. Vick is very bad under pressure and this game will haunt him. B.J Raji will be another factor in this one, as he is very underrated. Packers will return to Super Bowl.
Pats over Packers- This is a coin toss but the difference here it's simply Brady time. The Packers will be forced to throw with virtually zero running attack. The Pats running game isn't great but the Packers can be run on sometimes. The Pats secondary will come up big here despite Rodgers having a huge game. Eventually the lack of running game will hurt GB and play into the Pats hand for the Super Bowl win.
Last year I picked Colts against Vikings because I was all into the magic of Brett Farve. That was an epic fail, this year I see this really happening. I hope you enjoyed this.
I'm a Devin Hester guy.