From the Bird’s Nest: More predictions…..
The NFL season kicked off last night with the Saints and Packers, and now comes the first really fun Sunday since, well....February.
Everyone has their own ideas as to how this will shake out in the NFL this year. I'm no exception.
1. Philly, 2. Dallas, 3. Washington, 4. NYGiants
Philly's offense is explosive and they got better defensively in the offseason. Dallas will have a healthy Tony Romo, but their offensive line and their defense has questions. Rex Grossman won the quarterback job in Washington. Yep, that Rex Grossman. The Giants have more good players on injured reserve than they do in their locker room...and they haven't played yet.
1. Green Bay, 2. Detroit, 3. Chicago, 4. Minnesota
The defending Super Bowl Champions are back for more. They were so good at the end last year we forget they were a wild card team. They'll win a division in transition this year. Detroit is going to be good on defense and they're a playoff team if Matthew Stafford stays vertical. The Bears will take a step back this year and Donovan McNabb isn't going to work in Minnesota.
1. New Orleans, 2. Atlanta, 3. Tampa Bay, 4. Carolina
The Saints look like their going to be able to run the football. That's not good for the opposition. And, it looks like they've plugged a hole or two on defense. Atlanta has a chance to be very good again. Julio Jones will make a good offense even better. Tampa has the misfortune of playing in the NFC South. They'd win the West easily and maybe even the East. Carolina will be better. But they still won't be good.
1. St. Louis, 2. Arizona, 3. Seattle, 4. San Francisco
The Rams take another step forward this year as Sam Bradford takes another step toward being an elite NFL quarterback. They showed great improvement last year and I think they'll be much better this year. Arizona has a new quarterback that will make them better, but their running game has to improve. Seattle has Tavares Jackson at quarterback, which should tell you how bad the 49ers are.
Wild Cards: Atlanta, Tampa Bay
1. New England, 2. NY Jets, 3. Buffalo, 4. Miami
The Jets have the best defense and the biggest mouths. New England has Tom Brady, weapons at receiver and solid on the other side. Buffalo will surprise some teams this year. The Dolphins will not.
1. Baltimore, 2. Pittsburgh, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Cleveland
The Ravens and Steelers slug it out again in the division of the haves/have nots. Baltimore gets the nod this time. I have no idea why I'm picking the dysfunctional Bengals to finish ahead of the Browns. And, I don't really care.
1. Houston, 2. Tennessee, 3. Indianapolis, 4. Jacksonville
Without Payton Manning, this division rivals the NFC West. Houston has a great offense and that will be enough to win this division. Tennessee will be better with Matt Hasselbeck. The Colts will finish third, even if Manning doesn't play at all, and I think it's likely he won't. Jack Del Rio will be the first coach fired this year.
1. San Diego, 2. Oakland, 3. Kansas City, 4. Denver
The Chargers bounce back this season as Philip Rivers shows he's one of the AFC's elite quarterbacks. Oakland was 6-0 in the division last year. They've got great personnel except at quarterback. KC was the surprise winner last year, but they won't be sneaking up on anyone. Denver fans want to see Tim Tebow as their quarterback. No, you really don't.
Wild Cards: New York, Pittsburgh
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: San Diego over New York
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Green Bay over New Orleans
SUPER BOWL: San Diego over Green Bay