Saturday, September 5, 2009

A homer's NFL preview

Predicting an NFL season is not one of the easiest tasks in sports. With a salary structure that almost guarantees parity, there are always a few surprises. If you had the Arizona Cardinals going to the Super Bowl at this time last year, please e-mail me your predictions for this year, because I’ve got a hole in the bathroom wall that I’d really like to fix.

Nevertheless, I will make a few predictions;

*A receiver will make headlines by being a jerk.
*At least one NFL player will be arrested at some point in the season.
*Tom Brady’s name will be mentioned by the media more often than all Jacksonville Jaguars put together.
*My wife and I will go crazy once a week between now and, we hope, February.

* - Wild Card
AFC East
Miami 11-5
Pioneers of the Wildcat offense and a team headed in the right direction.
New England 8-8
Misses the playoffs again with no controversy this time.
NY Jets 7-9
Mark Sanchez could be one of the greats, but it will take a while.
Buffalo 4-12
Lots of drama from T.O. and not much else.

AFC North
Pittsburgh 14-2
New players fill in the remaining gaps—have they gotten even better?
Baltimore 8-8
Flacco figures to improve, but age catching up on defense?
Cincinnati 7-9
The most interesting floor show in the league. Enjoy.
Cleveland 5-11
QB controversy continues, Stallworth suspended, not much progress.

AFC West
San Diego 13-3
Truly dominant in a weak division. LT will have another awesome year.
Kansas City 8-8
Someone has to be second here.
Oakland 6-10
Fistfights between coaches are not a good omen.
Denver 4-12
These are the Broncos that Hank Scorpio gave to Homer Simpson.

AFC South
Houston 11-5
This is the year that they put it together.
*Tennessee 8-8
Winning one for the Gipper takes them to a wild card.
*Indianapolis 8-8
Age starting to catch up with this group, too.
Jacksonville 5-11
Home game blackouts? Bet they’ll be in L.A. by 2013.

NFC East
Philadelphia 10-6
The battle royal: Eagles fans vs. PETA in the parking lot before the game.
NY Giants 9-7
WR is the big question. Who doesn’t love to hear Chris Berman say, “GEEE-men!”?
Dallas 9-7
The billion dollar stadium! The scoreboard! The egos! Only in Dallas.
Washington 5-11
Has any other sports franchise spent so much to get so little?

NFC North
Minnesota 11-5
Favre gets the headlines, but the real star is Adrian Peterson.
*Green Bay 10-6
Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers comes into his own and Pack fans forget Brent.
Chicago 8-8
Not sure getting Cutler was a great bargain.
Detroit 5-11
Matthew Stafford is Bill Clinton’s love child.

NFC West
Arizona 11-5
No fluke. Solid at nearly every position.
*San Francisco 10-6
Singletary has this team ready to surprise. Anything to keep him from dropping trou.
Seattle 7-9
Which Seahawks will we see this year? One of the league’s question marks.
St. Louis 4-10
This is the year they start going up.

NFC South
Atlanta 10-6
Now that Matt Ryan knows not to give away his counts, look out.
New Orleans 9-7
Highest-octane offense around. Who says Arena Football is dead?
Carolina 7-9
Trouble in the front office, looked bad in preseason. This division’s Seahawks.
Tampa Bay 5-11
Rebuilding in first year with coach Raheem Morris. This division’s Rams.

AFC Wild Card:
Miami over Indianapolis
Houston over Tennessee

NFC Wild Card:
Atlanta over San Francisco
Green Bay over Philadelphia

AFC Second Round:
Pittsburgh over Houston
San Diego over Miami

NFC Second Round:
Green Bay over Minnesota
Atlanta over Arizona

AFC Championship
Pittsburgh over San Diego
Atlanta over Green Bay

Super Bowl XLIV:
Pittsburgh 27, Atlanta 13

Well, what did you expect me to say? GO STEELERS!

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