By Will Robinson

After all of my previews – outdated now or not – here is how I foresee the season breaking down, along with my Super Bowl pick. Let’s see if this will look good in five months, or it will look like utter crap. A team bolded team name in the first section designates the division winner, while the italicized teams are Wild Card teams. Click to see after the jump…

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers 11-5

2. Oakland Raiders 8-8

3. Kansas City Chiefs 7-9

4. Denver Broncos 6-10

AFC South

1. Houston Texans 9-7

2. Indianapolis Colts 7-9

3. Tennessee Titans 7-9

4. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11

 

AFC East

1. New England Patriots 12-4

2. New York Jets 11-5

3. Buffalo Bills 5-11

4. Miami Dolphins 5-11

 

AFC North

1. Baltimore Ravens 12-4

2. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5

3. Cleveland Browns 6-10

4. Cincinnati Bengals 5-11

 

NFC West

1. St. Louis Rams 9-7

2. Arizona Cardinals 6-10

3. San Francisco 49ers 6-10

4. Seattle Seahawks 4-12

 

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints 11-5

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-5

3. Atlanta Falcons 10-6

4. Carolina Panthers 4-12

 

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles 10-6

2. Dallas Cowboys 9-7

3. New York Giants 8-8

4. Washington Redskins 6-10

 

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers 12-4

2. Detroit Lions 10-6

3. Chicago Bears 7-9

4. Minnesota Vikings 6-10

 

There’s about a 50% turn over from year-to-year with playoff teams, so I decided to do about that. I picked five new teams (not six, at that 50%) in San Diego (seems to be a lock), Houston (FINALLY the year, plus Peyton is out), St. Louis (they seem so much better than everyone else in the NFC West does), Tampa Bay (last year was not a fluke) and Detroit (they are poised for a break out). I feel pretty good about most of the teams, but the ones I reached for seem a little too bold. Then again, the NFL touts its parity, so (almost) nothing is too bold!

 

Playoff Picture (* — First Round Bye)

AFC

1. New England Patriots (AFC East Winner)*

2. Baltimore Ravens (AFC North Winner)*

3. San Diego Chargers (AFC West Winner)

4. Houston Texans (AFC South Winner)

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (Wild Card)

6. New York Jets (Wild Card)

NFC

1. Green Bay Packers (NFC North Winner)*

2. New Orleans Saints (NFC South Winner)*

3. Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East Winner)

4. St. Louis Rams (NFC West Winner)

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Wild Card)

6. Detroit Lions (Wild Card)

Wild Card Round

AFC

3) San Diego over 6) New York

5) Pittsburgh over 4) Houston

I like San Diego to exact their revenge on a weakened Jets squad, and Pittsburgh should easily roll over Houston in the opening round.

 

NFC

3) Philadelphia over 6) Detroit

5) Tampa Bay over 4) St. Louis

The young Lions team can’t travel to Philadelphia and slow down Michael Vick and co., while Sam Bradford and the Rams can’t handle Josh Freeman’s Bucs.

 

Divisional Round

AFC

5) Pittsburgh over 1) New England

3) San Diego over 2) Baltimore

In a boldest of bold moves, I picked Pittsburgh to go into Foxborough to beat Tom Brady. The Pats still lack a pass rush, and while New England manhandled the Steelers last year, Pittsburgh has a passing attack that rivals New England’s. Plus, their offensive line looks to be much improved.

In the Baltimore game, Philip Rivers and his fellow Chargers exploit the aging Baltimore defense as they go in and make the AFC Championship for the first time since 2007-08. The poor, Ray Lewis-led Ravens will go out earlier than they hoped for again.

 

NFC

1) Green Bay over 5) Tampa Bay

2) New Orleans over 3) Philadelphia

The Pack defeating Tampa Bay at Lambeau was easy. While Tampa will be improved, it would be heard to pick Josh Freeman going on the road up north in the cold to beat Aaron Rodgers’ strong Packer squad.

The chance that the Eagles go in to the Superdome and beat New Orleans seems so small; I just picked the Saints to advance. I think they can put up points and stop people better than Philadelphia will be able to, thus crushing the dreams of the “ideal” team (because the media decided to misconstrue Vince Young’s words, that’s really what he meant. He didn’t say “THE dream team,” he said “a dream team,” as in NOT like the 1992 Olympic squad.)

Conference Championship

AFC

3) San Diego over 5) Pittsburgh

I would have given the W to Pittsburgh, but they are not playing at home. The long travel will affect the Steel Curtain, and Rivers will dial up some great passes against the great defense to finally lead his team to a Super Bowl berth.

 

NFC

1) Green Bay over 2) New Orleans

Green Bay looks to be the better team this season. Green Bay will host a worse team at home. Easily, I picked Green Bay to advance. This will be a hard fought game, though. NOLA will not go down easy.

 

Super Bowl

San Diego over Green Bay

…and this pick is hard for me to swallow, but this is what I think will happen. I don’t like to trust Norv Turner, but I think FINALLY, this is the year it FINALLY clicks for the Chargers. This game will be high scoring – set the over/under at 60.5. After correctly picking the champion last season, let’s hope for my prognostication reputation’s sake that Sandy Eggo wins the big game in 2012.

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Comments
  1. Packers over Patriots

    -Evan

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