Almost football season. I rarely do good at these things: last year, I predicted a Dallas/Miami Super Bowl. Oops! At least the 'Boys made the playoffs. On the other hand, I did predict a monster season for Drew Brees and the Saints when every sports writer was picking Carolina to easily win the NFC South. So here goes nothing...
New England - Their additions of Moss, Stallworth and Welker are questionable given Brady's ability to make any receiver a star. That said, they're probably the most complete team in the league.
Miami - The Dolphins linebackers are among the league's best and should win some games for them. But they had a horrible draft and won't be able to depend on Trent Green and Ted Ginn Jr.
NY Jets - Pennington will likely get injured again, and they have nobody to back him up. They'll end up relying too much on Thomas Jones. Defence didn't get much better either.
Buffalo - I never know where to rank the Bills, but they lost a lot of talent this offseason. Looks like Peerless Price is a starter, and that's not a good thing.
San Diego - I think replacing Schottenheimer with Turner was a mistake, but maybe now they'll win a playoff game or three. The Chargers don't have much in the way of receivers. I guess that's not a problem when you have Tomlinson.
Kansas City - Chiefs look decent. The only question is with Damon Huard and whether or not he can be a full time starter.
Denver - I think Jay Cutler will improve, but their front 7 won't be able to stop Tomlinson or Johnson, so they finish 3rd. Having only 4 draft picks might come back to haunt them.
Oakland - None of the moves they made in the offseason really impressed me. At least it looks like their games might actually be close this season, and they won't finish dead last.
Indianapolis - The Colts look awful on defence, but managed to keep most of the offence together. They'll come out on top of some really high scoring games this season.
Jacksonville - Looks like Garrard's the starter so they can finally end the QB circus. Most of the other pieces are in place, except at safety.
Tennessee - Titans finished strong last season, but losing Pacman was huge. Unfortunately, they have too many other holes to fill as well.
Houston - The Texans needed more than just Matt Schaub, mainly an O-line that can pass protect.
Baltimore - Ravens look to have the best defence in the league. All they need is a QB. McNair won't be able to take them far into the playoffs.
Cincinnati - As long as Palmer's bionic knee holds together, they should be okay. Their D is going to have quite a few problems this season. Fortunately, the division isn't that strong offensively.
Pittsburgh - Who knows with Pittsburgh. The motorcycle crash screwed up Roethlisberger in the head, so if he comes back from that, they may win the division outright. Defence looks pretty solid, except at corner.
Cleveland - Brady Quinn has looked pretty good in the preseason, but for now it's still the Chaz Frye show. Quinn won't get the starting job until it's too late.
San Diego over Jacksonville
Baltimore over Cincinnati
New England over Baltimore
San Diego over Indianapolis
New England over San Diego
Chicago - Rex Grossman may never get his confidence back after his Super Bowl performance. I don't think he'll be bad enough to hold the whole team back though. They probably have the best defence and special teams in the league.
Detroit - On offence, things actually look pretty good. They need to rush more with Jones and Bell, and they should replace Jon Kitna pretty soon. Defence keeps them out of the playoffs (for now.)
Green Bay - The Packers will be good in a couple of years especially on defence. Part of me thinks Favre is going to have a monster season, but 3rd place is more likely.
Minnesota - Tarvaris who? It will be hard for the Vikings to get any offence going unless Adrian Peterson's as good as everyone thinks. They should still be good against the run.
New Orleans - Hopefully the commentators shut up about Katrina because I'm really tired of hearing about it. Anyway, they needed to upgrade their defence and they didn't, so I don't know what to say. I still pick them to win the NFC because of how crappy the competition is. P.S.: Reggie Bush and his 3.6 yards per carry can suck my balls.
Carolina - They're pretty good all around when they're healthy. Pencil them in for a wildcard spot.
Tampa Bay - I don't think Garcia will provide enough to get the offence going. They also got a lot worse on the D-line.
Atlanta - Mike Vick Mike Vick Mike Vick...even though he's gone, that's still the only thing we're going to hear about during Falcons broadcasts. Joey Joe Joe hasn't looked as horrible as I had feared, but I'm not getting my hopes up either. Offence wouldn't worry me so much if Warrick Dunn wasn't coming off of back surgery. Jerious Norwood is a capable replacement at RB though. And if the D-Line can keep off the injured list, the Falcons may not be as terrible as everyone thinks. But my realistic expectation is for them to be picking first in the draft.
Philadelphia - The Eagles had some big losses on defence. They might have problems against the run but look pretty good against the pass.
Dallas - I think Romo is very overrated. A healthy TO may be able to do some damage. They have a pretty good looking defence and Wade Phillips as head coach was a good move.
Washington - The Redskins don't look all that bad on paper. I don't know anything about Jason Campbell, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I don't think they did enough to improve the 2nd worst defence in the league though.
NY Giants - Eli Manning threw way too many interceptions and got sacked way too many times last season for me to take the Giants seriously. Until they fire Tom "Mr. Personality" Coughlin, they won't go anywhere.
Seattle - Losing Darrell Jackson is pretty big, and it'll be interesting to see if Shaun Alexander can come back from such a brutal season. The addition of my favourite player (Patrick Kerney) should help things out on D.
Arizona - Leinart has some great receivers to go to, and if the D can stop the pass, they might even make the playoffs.
St. Louis - I don't get the hype about St. Louis. While their pass and run game looks solid, I think they could have real problems on defence.
San Francisco - I don't think Alex Smith is going to keep improving.
Seattle over Arizona
Carolina over Philadelphia
New Orleans over Carolina
Seattle over Chicago
New Orleans over Seattle
New England over New Orleans