NFL Predictions

Can Russell Wilson build on his Super Bowl winning season?

Can Russell Wilson build on his Super Bowl winning season?

The NFL is back! Who’s excited!? After a preseason of what seemed like millions of flags against helpless defensive players, we can finally get a real game and see if they throw those same flags. If they do, my enjoyment of watching football will dramatically decrease.

But that’s neither here nor there. I’m no expert on football or anything, but making predictions is fun. I had an all-Manning Super Bowl last year and it is safe to say that I was way off base. Heading into 2014, I will not make the same mistake. Scroll to the bottom to see who I have playing the Broncos in the Super Bowl this year.

Drum roll, please.

NFC East

1) Giants 10-6

2) Eagles 9-7

3) Cowboys 7-9

4) Redskins 5-11

Thoughts: People are acting like the Giants will be one of the worst football teams in the league. They had an historically bad/unfortunate 2013 season and still managed to go 7-9, not 4-12. They improved their secondary and offensive line and have implemented a new West Coast offense, which should see a resurgence from Eli. The Giants will have the best defense in the division and people the vastly overrated Eagles. Remember, their quarterback is Nick Foles, who will play like he should. The Cowboys have no defense. Literally none, but Romo is good enough to rally this team to a respectable record. RG3 is bad, but many say he’s good. He’s bad.

NFC North

1) Packers 11-5

2) Bears 10-6

3) Lions 10-6

4) Vikings 5-11

Thoughts: This will be fun. Hopefully Rodgers and Cutler stay healthy, because they have two high-powered offenses. Throw in the Lions and this division will resemble a shootout at the O.K. Corral. And sorry Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder is still your quarterback. Better luck next year.

NFC South

1) Saints 11-5

2) Falcons 9-7

3) Panthers 9-7

4) Bucs 7-9

Thoughts: Drew Brees is solid, to say the least. I feel like they will coast to a division title as the Panthers fall back to earth, since their offense may be one of the worst in the league. The Falcons will rebound, but their defense still has question marks everywhere. And the Bucs were a mess last year, so they will be better, but I don’t trust them to score against the Falcons and Saints.

NFC West

1) Seahawks 12-4

2) 49ers 10-6

3) Cardinals 7-9

4) Rams 6-10

Thoughts: I’ll take the reigning Super Bowl champs to take the division with the Niners losing a step. I want to say they’d be more around 8-8, but Harbaugh is a great coach and he’ll muster out 10 wins. Carson Palmer may not survive the season against these three pass rushes he’ll face 6 times. That, or he’ll throw 35+ picks if he can actually pick himself up off the ground. If Bradford was healthy, I’d pick the Rams to finish ahead of the Cards, but I will not trust Shaun Hill. Sue me.

AFC East

1) Patriots 12-4

2) Jets 9-7

3) Dolphins 9-7

4) Bills 4-12

Thoughts: I’ll skip over the Pats, because they are the Pats, but the Jets will be better than people think. Rex Ryan always has a defense and Geno will improve in his second season. They did go 8-8 with Smith being awful every other game. He will be less awful. Trust me. For the Fins, well, I don’t know anymore. Will-he/won’t-he break out Ryan Tannehill. I’m just gonna say no. And E.J. Manuel is bad, so the Bills won’t be able to score.

AFC North

1) Ravens 10-6

2) Bengals 8-8

3) Steelers 7-9

4) Browns 4-12

Thoughts: The Ravens, who won the Super Bowl two seasons ago, will rekindle some of that glory and Flacco will be much better. Andy Dalton just received an undeservedly huge contract and will succumb to that pressure. The Steelers are in the middle of being good and being bad, but the Browns are just bad. No Josh Gordon is a giant blow and Ben Tate is their starting running back. Oh, and Brian Hoyer is their quarterback. I don’t care how solid their defense is, they need to score SOME points, am I right?

AFC South

1) Colts 11-5

2) Texans 9-7

3) Titans 7-9

4) Jags 6-10

Thoughts: This will be the season we view Andrew Luck as an elite QB. He’s just really really good and they will run through this division. Who finishes second? The Texans were a Super Bowl pick last year, but went 2-14. They won’t be going to the Super Bowl this year, but will be competitive since they have a gnarly defense, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is their quarterback. Pros and cons there. The Titans could see a resurged offense and a decent D and the same could go with the Jags. Both could be okay, but both could be terrible.

AFC West

1) Broncos 13-3

2) Chargers 11-5

3) Chiefs 8-8

4) Raiders 6-10

Thoughts: Peyton Manning is going to win consecutive MVPs and Phillip Rivers, who came to life last season, will build on that improvement. The Chiefs will regress, since their schedule will be markedly harder and Alex Smith, who received a big new deal, will show the world who Alex Smith really is. And the only reason I have the Raiders at 6 wins is because I have a bet on it. Raider nation!

Playoffs

Wild Card Round

NFC

Byes: 1) Seahawks, 2) Saints

6) Bears at 3) Packers

5) 49ers at 4) Giants

AFC

Byes: 1) Broncos, 2) Patriots

6) Jets at 3) Colts

5) Chargers at 4) Ravens

Divisional Round

NFC

4) Giants at 1) Seahawks

3) Packers at 2) Saints

AFC

5) Chargers at 1) Broncos

3) Colts at 2) Patriots

Championship Games

NFC

4) Giants at 3) Packers

AFC

2) Patriots at 1) Broncos

Super Bowl

Packers vs Patriots

Winner

Patriots

Thoughts on the entire playoffs: It is hard to make the Super Bowl two years in a row. The Seahawks are still good, but how good is Russell Wilson? Can he bring them to the big game in consecutive seasons? I don’t see that happening, however dominant their defense can be. As for the runner ups, the Broncos have seemingly only improved since last season, but so have the Pats and Revis should prove to be the game changer in this match-up.

Aaron Rodgers has not been great in the postseason, aside from the one year they won. He will put the past behind him and step up his clutch game, which has been seriously lacking these past few seasons. However, Tom Brady will solidify his legacy as one of the game’s greats with his 4th Super Bowl victory.

I’m probably going to be very wrong, but hey, that’s the point. If you have anything to say, tweet me: @mgolda1216

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