As the leading NFL expert in my house and resident sick person on the couch, I have taken it upon myself to 100% correctly predict the outcome of the 2013 NFL season. As this is the last boring Sunday for the next 6 months or so, I have dedicated an hour or so to bring you, my loyal readers, entertainment to hold you over until next weekend. Some people say patience is a virtue; others say those who wait, get left behind.
So take what you will from that pearl of wisdom.
I’m not going to lie, my health is declining for the night, so before I start babbling non-sense, I’m just going to finish up with the introduction right here. Ladies and Gentlemen: The 2013 NFL Season.
AFC North: Offensively challenged or defensively superior? I’m inclined to believe the former.
1. Cincinnati Bengals- The continuous development of Andy Dalton coupled with the late season emergence of Giovani Bernard and the stout Bengals Defense will lead them to the division title.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers- Tomlin wants to balance out the running and passing game differential, but that will be hard to do unless he can keep his backs healthy. Expect the Steelers to limp into the playoffs in a fairly weak AFC this year.
3. Baltimore Ravens- The Ravens lost a lot of talent in the offseason due to roster moves and injuries, which will hurt their production on both sides of the ball. The Ravens were dumb to give Flacco all that money.
4. Cleveland Browns- Cleveland without Phil Dawson is like Cleveland without Lebron… oh, wait. With a constantly improving defense and stud running back, Weeden will be the reason the Browns hold down the cellar this year.
AFC East: The Dolphins are working their way up, but it’s still the Patriots division to lose.
1. New England Patriots- They are going to win the division, but the question of dominance hinges on Gronkowski’s health and the ability of Brady to bond with his new receivers. The running game and defense will take care of themselves.
2. Miami Dolphins- They are actually getting to a level where they can compete again. Tannehill is still too young and inexperienced to get them to the next level, but offseason moves and the beginning of Lamar Miller’s rise should make them a competitive team.
3. Buffalo Bills- Once Manuel gets back into action, the Bills could actually be a fun team to watch. CJ is a dynamic playmaker that Buffalo can lean on for a bit, but they will need a better solution than Jeff Tuel.
4. New York Jets- SELL! SELL! SELL! This is a dumpster fire of a team and organization. They should just gut the team and clean house. Silver linings do not exist for the Jets.
AFC South: Colts and Texans are the only teams to watch here. The Titans and Jaguars are only good for fantasy running backs.
1. Indianapolis Colts- If Bradshaw stays healthy, I think the Colts are a virtual lock for the division. The passing game is studly with a bunch of different options for Luck, and the defense isn’t half bad either.
2. Houston Texans- Welcome to the decline of the Texans. Foster is over-worked and Schaub and Johnson are getting older and less explosive. The defense should be able to hold this team afloat for a couple more seasons, but they definitely need to start looking into long-term solutions.
3. Tennessee Titans- Jake Locker is your QB? Pass. The Titans O-line has drastically improved, which will be nice for Locker and Chris Johnson, but that’s about the only bright spot on this team. The receiving group situation is as clear as a piece of painted over glass.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars- They just need to move to London already.
AFC West: The only interesting thing about this division is how the Chiefs will look with Smith under center. That says something.
1. Denver Broncos- Peyton and his steeds will run away with this division faster than sanity fleeing away from Gary Busey. It doesn’t matter who is running the ball with the receiving corps Peyton has. Their defense doesn’t hurt either.
2. Kansas City Chiefs- Before Smith came, I’m not sure the people of Kansas City even knew what a Quarterback was. The success of the Chiefs depends on their ability to get the ball into Charles’s hands and plug up the massive holes on defense. Remember this from last year? (Play the soundwave clip)
3. San Diego Chargers- Rivers is on the decline, and there is no real running threat to keep this offense moving. Their defense is randomly pretty solid, but it won’t help them when the offense can’t keep control of the ball.
4. Oakland Raiders- If Pryor starts, this could be a pretty fun team to watch. Don’t get any ideas though. They will still be awful. Run DMC’s durability is equal to that of an egg at an anvil-dropping factory and their defense leaves everything to be desired.
AFC Playoff teams:
1. Denver Broncos 2. New England Patriots 3. Cincinnati Bengals 4. Indianapolis Colts 5. Houston Texans 6. Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC North- Tough division with very little parity. I feel like almost anyone of these teams could make the playoffs in a wild card spot.
1. Green Bay Packers- A running game in Green Bay? Bring out the Ryan Grant jerseys. Aaron Rodgers will pretty much single-handedly carry this team to the playoffs, but he has a bevy of help on both sides of the ball to help him do so.
2. Detroit Lions- Do I really think the Lions will place second in this division? I’m not counting on it, but I have 20 bucks on them finishing with a better record than the Bears. Hey, it’s not that crazy. They have a stacked offense with the addition of Bush, and their defense isn’t anything to scoff at either.
3. Chicago Bears- The success of the Bears is depending on the success of Trestman’s offensive scheme. They certainly have the talent on both sides of the ball to make a case for taking the division.
4. Minnesota Vikings- Ponder needs to get on his game and quick. I know he led them to the playoffs last year, but it was with a lot of help from other teams. I don’t think Peterson will be as godly as he was last season.
NFC East: The picturesque division of mediocrity. All teams will have a record hovering around .500.
1. Washington Redskins– RGIII will be the key factor in the Redskins taking the NFC East.
2. Dallas Cowboys- Well, Tony Romo got paid. Do you think all the extra cash to a player with one playoff win in his career will help get the Cowboys back into the playoffs? Not likely. I feel like the Cowboys just signed their death warrant.
3. New York Giants- Eli isn’t elite, their defense is suspect and their running game is unproven and shallow with the injury to Andre Brown. Need I say more?
4. Philadelphia Eagles- How will Chip Kelly’s offensive scheme fit translate in the NFL? My guess is probably pretty well, but the Eagles don’t have enough talent in the supporting cast to make a serious run anywhere.
NFC South: I don’t think the NFC South believes in defenses. Each team has the ability to put up 40 or 50 any given day.
1. Atlanta Falcons- The addition of Jackson in the offseason will benefit the Falcon’s offense, but it’s the losses on defense that could cause concern.
2. New Orleans Saints- The return of Sean Payton will help get the Saints back to their winning ways. Expect Brees to crush it through the air, as usual.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Inconsistency continually plagues the Buccaneers, who have the talent to take the division, but never seem to hit their full potential. The addition of Revis on D could be an X-factor, as long as he stays healthy.
4. Carolina Panthers- Their running game, aside from Newton, is extremely suspect, and there still isn’t anyone to take away the pressure from a 5’9” Steve Smith. One of their teammates predicted a Super Bowl last year (before he was injured). This year, I think expectations are a little lower.
NFC West: The toughest division in Football.
1. San Francisco 49ers- A suffocating defense, highlighted by the best linebacking corps in all of football, is the reason they remain on top. Kaepernick is on his way to stardom and the running game never seems to fail. If the secondary plays consistently strong football and someone steps up in Crabtree’s absence, it’s hard to ignore the 49ers as Super Bowl favorites.
2. Seattle Seahawks- I truly believe Russell will struggle this year. I think teams will figure him out and an injured receiving corps does him no favors. That being said, they will still be a playoff caliber team. They have the toughest environment for opposing teams in all of professional sports and their defense is right up there with the best.
3. Arizona Cardinals- Don’t sleep on the Cardinals this year. A new head coach and a Quarterback not picked out of a vending machine, paired up with surprisingly strong defense could cause some teams real problems this year. The Cardinals downfall is their weak O-Line and the knees of their running backs.
4. St. Louis Rams- Their offense has definitely declined since losing Jackson and Amendola last year, but their defense might be able to keep them alive. Don’t forget, they managed to beat and tie the 49ers last year.
NFC Playoff Teams:
1. San Francisco 49ers 2. Green Bay Packers 3. Atlanta Falcons 4. Washington Redskins 5. Seattle Seahawks 6. New Orleans Saints
Wild Card Round:
24 Bengals – Steelers 13
38 Colts – Texans 28
45 Broncos – Colts 24 (ESPN will have a field day with Peyton Manning)
31 Patriots – Bengals 28
35 Broncos – Patriots 31 (The Pats should have kept Tebow)
Wild Card Round:
21 Redskins – Seahawks 31 (RGIII spontaneously combusts, ready for next opener)
28 Falcons – Saints 34
38 49ers – Saints 24
24 Packers – Seahawks 21 (Suck it Pete Carroll!)
27 49ers – Packers 24 (Rob wins money off of various Packers friends)
35 49ers – Broncos 28 (just like old times)
SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS: 49ers! DEFINITELY NOT A BIAS PICK!
There you have it folks. How the 2013-2014 season will unfold to the t. Now that you know how the season will end, you can spend the rest of the season playing fantasy football and reading my blogs! Go Football!