Monday, September 1, 2008

NFL Forecast - 2008

It seems like yesterday that the Giants were putting the finishing touches on the Upset of the Century in Super Bowl XLII.

Summer has come and gone and it is time to strap on the shoulder pads and buckle up the chinstraps.

As I kick up the feet on this Labor Day, here is how the season should play out:

AFC East
The Patriots were less than three minutes from perfection but didn't get it done when it mattered most. Although they will drop a few notches, the Pats are the class of the division, which isn't saying much. Buffalo has improved, the Jets should be slightly better and Miami is still Miami.

1. New England Patriots
2. Buffalo Bills
3. New York Jets
4. Miami Dolphins
AFC Central

Cleveland is the trendy pick this year as the Browns seem capable of averaging close to 30 points a game on offense. The problem is, the loyal fans of the Dawg Pound support a defense that is more than capable of giving it all right back. Cincinnati is a mess with GM Mike Brown overriding coach Marvin Lewis and the Ravens are deep in rebuilding mode. With Ben Roethlisberger emerging as the best QB in the league not named Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, the Steelers will coast to the division crown.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Cincinnati Bengals
3. Cleveland Browns
4. Baltimore Ravens
AFC South

Jacksonville is another trendy pick. Sooner or later, the Colts stranglehold on the division has to end, right? Wrong. The Colts win the division and will have the best record in the conference. Houston continues to make strides and, after making the playoffs in '07, Tennessee nosedives down the standings as Vince Young gets exposed as a bust.

1. Indianapolis Colts
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Houston Texans
4. Tennessee Titans
AFC West

The window of opportunity is closing fast on San Diego. LT will get his yards but the Chargers need Philip Rivers to mature and blossom into a leader. Shawne Merriman's health is a serious question mark but the 'Bolts have the luxury of playing in the West. Oakland will get better and with a favorable schedule, the Raiders should be a .500 team or better. The Broncos have been getting worse over the last few years and it is clear that Mike Shanahan has lost his fastball. Herm Edwards has guided the Chiefs to the depths of the league.

1. San Diego Chargers
2. Oakland Raiders
3. Denver Broncos
4. Kansas City Chiefs
NFC East

Things will be tougher for the defending champion Giants this year. Michael Strahan has retired and Osi Umenyiora is out for the year with a knee injury. Hope they enjoyed last year, 'cuz every year is different. Dallas is the class of the division but hasn't won a playoff game since the Clinton administration. Washington will improve and the Eagles continue to avoid picking up skill positions players in the offseason.

1. Dallas Cowboys
2. Washington Redskins
3. Philadelphia Eagles
4. New York Giants
NFC Central
Ugly, uglier, ugliest and Matt Millen's Lions. Why are people so hot on Minnesota? Tavaris Jackson scares nobody. Until he develops, opposing defenses will put eight men in the box to stop Adrian Peterson, who should suffer another injury sometime around early November. Green Bay blew it when it ran Brett Favre out of town and the Lions will muddle through another six win season. That leaves the Bears who should be recovered from the Super Bowl-hangover that plagued them last year.
1. Chicago Bears
2. Minnesota Vikings
3. Green Bay Packers
4. Detroit Lions
NFC South

Has anyone noticed that the four-division format in each conference has led to some bad divisions? New Orleans is the class of the South this year, look for Drew Brees to be the best QB in the NFC. Carolina could win 10 games, or lose 10 games. Tampa Bay is average at best while the Falcons will battle Kansas City for the top pick of the 2009 draft.

1. New Orleans Saints
2. Carolina Panthers
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Atlanta Falcons
NFC West
Yes, I saved the worst for last. The only thing stopping Seattle from winning the division again would be a massive injury outbreak. Arizona seems to never fulfill its promise and San Francisco isn't close to becoming a threat. I'm not sure St. Louis is still in the league.

1. Seattle Seahawks
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Arizona Cardinals
4. St. Louis Rams
Postseason Awards
NFL MVP - Peyton Manning, Indianapolis
Offensive Player of the Year - Peyton Manning, Indianapolis
Defensive Player of the Year - Mario Williams, Houston
Offensive Rookie of the Year - Darren McFadden, Oakland
Defensive Rookie of the Year - Jerod Mayo, New England

Playoff Predictions
AFC Wild Card Playoff
San Diego over Oakland
Jacksonville over New England
NFC Wild Card Playoff
Seattle over Philadelphia
Washington over Chicago
AFC Divisional Playoff
Indianapolis over Jacksonville
Pittsburgh over San Diego
NFC Divisional Playoff
Dallas over Washington
New Orleans over Seattle
AFC Championship
Indianapolis over Pittsburgh
NFC Championship
Dallas over New Orleans
Super Bowl XLIII

Indianapolis 33, Dallas 28

-Three in a row for Archie Manning's boys

1 comment:

Mike Nelson said...

You need to stick to college football. Your Bears pick is the worst selection of many bad choices and your basis needs a rethinking. Did you forget the Jets traded for Farve or that Cincy is Cincy?