Wednesday, September 03, 2008

2008 NFL Season Predictions

Wow. It’s football season already, and time for me to make some hilarious predictions about how it’s going to go. As some of you may remember, I predicted a Dallas/Miami Super Bowl in 2006 and a New England/New Orleans Super Bowl in 2007. This year, I believe the big game will feature the San Diego Chargers taking on the Minnesota Vikings, with the Chargers winning. Mark it down.

As well, I like to say a little bit about each team, just because it’s funny at the end of the season. Occasionally, I get one right, such as my prediction that Favre would have a monster season last year and that the Chargers would finally win a playoff game. However, I also called the Randy Moss trade “questionable,” and that the Giants would finish last in the NFC East and that Tom Coughlin would be fired…

AFC East
New England – You think the Patriots played angry after being caught cheating? You just wait and see how angry they are about their 18-1 season! Can they repeat as division champs for another year? Hell yes.
Buffalo – The Bills showed flashes of brilliance last season but need consistency to make the playoffs. I like Marshawn Lynch (assuming he can stop running people over with his car) and as long as JP Losman is prevented from seeing the field, the Bills will be fine.
NY Jets – Yeah, a lot of hype surrounding the Jets these days. Favre’s not going to do that well because the Jets don’t have a running back and their defence is pretty shabby looking. Both of these items were more important to Green Bay’s winning season last year than Favre was.
Miami – I predict the Dolphins will be picking Tim Tebow at next year’s draft, and then they might be able to do some damage. I think the Dolphins will qunituple their win total from last year, but there a lot of holes on this team on all sides.

AFC West
San Diego – The Chargers had a quiet offseason, the sort of thing you’d expect from a team that lost the AFC Championship. I say they can make it there again, and win this time. No Lorenzo Neal, so I would caution against taking Tomlinson at the top of your fantasy draft. I also wouldn’t put too much stock in Shawne Merriman…his knee is going to explode at some point this season.
Denver – Who knows. Jay Cutler might be good some day. I think he still sucks, and the Broncos will struggle to make the playoffs. They have two good DB’s, but no one else who can play defence.
Oakland – There’s still a lack of receiver talent here so JaMarcus isn’t going to put up good numbers. All he has to do is hand the ball off and things will be fine for the most part.
Kansas City – Name a player on the Kansas City Chiefs other than Larry Johnson. I can’t.

AFC South
Jacksonville – Taking a bit of a risk here, but I think they’ll win the season series with the Colts this year which will be enough. Garrard doesn’t make many mistakes and is supported by a great running game.
Indianapolis – The MVP of this team is out for 6 weeks. I’m talking of course about Jeff Saturday. I assure you that Manning and Addai’s numbers are going to fall because of this. They have a bitch of a schedule to get through.
Tennessee – Not sure what the Titans are going to do this season. I know they had a horrible draft, but they kept a good chunk of their defence together and added Alge Crumpler. I think they’re a .500 team for now. It’s a shame because their D-line is probably the best in the league.
Houston – If they can get better pass protection, they might get their first winning season, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this time. Mario Williams will lead the league in sacks this year.

AFC North
Pittsburgh – Managed to keep the best defence in the league together. They also happen to have a quarterback with a 104.1 rating and the third best running game in the league.
Cleveland – At first, I picked the Browns to win the division, and then I remembered last season how terrible their defence was. I’ll give them a wildcard spot anyway.
Baltimore – Once again, the Ravens failed to assemble a passing game. They still look pretty good at DB and LB, even if they are getting older and slower.
Cincinnati – The Benglas can’t seem to keep their players out of jail. Palmer can be good, but needs the running game to open things up. Looks like a rebuilding year for them.

AFC Playoffs
(6) Cleveland vs. (3) Pittsburgh: Steelers
(5) Indianapolis vs. (4) Jacksonville: Colts

(5) Indianapolis vs. (1) New England: Patriots
(3) Pittsburgh vs. (2) San Diego: Chargers

(2) San Diego vs. (1) New England: Chargers

NFC North
Minnesota – Once again, all the pieces are there, except at QB. Good thing the QB talent is equally poor among the other three teams in this division, and that the Vikings have super back-up Gus Frerotte in case things go sour. Number one running game and number one run defence should be enough to win this division.
Green Bay – What’s lost in this QB soap opera in Green Bay is just how good the receivers and running backs are. I’ll wager that the Packers finish with a better record than the Jets.
Detroit – I enjoyed the Lions awesome roll to the playoffs last year (starting 6-2, ending 8-8, losing the second wildcard to the Skins.) Kitna is like the McCown sisters: should not start full time. Offence is full of rookies, but the defence which was dead last in the league last year looks like it got better.
Chicago – The Bears are cover-your-eyes bad this season. It won’t surprise me if they win the Tebow sweepstakes. They need him bad.

NFC South
New Orleans – This pick is kind of contingent on the Superdome not getting destroyed by another hurricane. Brees and Colston will continue to be productive, while Reggie Bush will continue to suck.
Carolina – Bit of a dark horse pick this year, but the Panthers really struggled with injuries last season. As far as I’m concerned, they still have the right people. Steve Smith just needs to stop injuring his own teammates. Muhsin Muhammed is back and put up very good numbers the last time he was here.
Tampa Bay – Their defence is older and slower, and so is their quarterback. Looks like a pretty average team.
Atlanta – Rookie quarterback + rookie head coach = last place. They cast the veterans away and got some fairly decent replacements in the draft.

NFC East
Dallas – They look good on both sides of the ball and will have good season. I think they’ll be able to match their 13-3 record from last season.
NY Giants – Super Bowl MVP or not, Eli Manning still sucks. He is a streaky player who just happened to get hot at the right time. They will get off to a fast start and then lose out in December and miss the playoffs.
Philadelphia – SI picked them to win the NFC, so they’re out. Really, there’s nothing that impressive about them, and their crappy O-line pretty much assures that McNabb’s going to get hurt again.
Washington – Rookie head coach here, so maybe next year.

NFC West
Seattle – Still have a great front seven and a good O-line which will be enough to win the division yet again.
Arizona – Warner’s starting at QB which isn’t good news. There’s not much of a running game here so they’re not going to be able to get much going.
St. Louis – Had a ton of injuries this season and should get better with the return of Marc Bulger. They do have a problem with depth though.
San Francisco – Their starting quarterback, J.T. O’Sullivan, had a rating of 48.2 last season which speaks volumes about how badly Alex Smith sucks. To make matters worse, Mike Martz doesn’t run the ball, so the 49ers aren’t going to get anything going on offence. I like Patrick Willis on defence, but he can’t do it all on his own.

NFC Playoffs
(6) Carolina vs. (3) New Orleans: Panthers
(5) Green Bay vs. (4) Seattle: Seahawks

(6) Carolina vs. (1) Dallas: Panthers
(4) Seattle vs. (2) Minnesota: Vikings

(6) Carolina vs. (2) Minnesota: Vikings