Before the first game of the new NFL season kicks off I’d like to take the opportunity to play fortune teller and predict the records of all 32 NFL teams. I did this last year and correctly predicted Green Bay vs. Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl so I thought I’d give it another shot. So I printed out all 17 weeks, made my picks and tallied up the records. I was surprised at the outcome of some of the records and at several times I had thoughts of going back to the drawing board but I did it just once through last year and I’m a stickler for tradition, even if it is a new tradition. So here goes…
NFC West: This division was far and away the worst division in the league last year with Seattle at 7-9 winning the division and a home playoff game. They can’t all possibly be that bad again this year. Can they?
Arizona Cardinals: 10-6 Division Winner With a brand spanking new quarterback and all the former Steelers they can grab off of waivers, the Cardinals should be able to muster up a winning record this year.
St. Louis Rams: 7-9 I’m going with the same record they had last year, I’m still not sold that Sam Bradford can turn this ship around and bring the Rams into the playoffs. He’s close, he’s just not there yet.
San Francisco 49ers: 3-13 I was not kind to teams with brand new head coaches this year. Mostly for the fact that they are the teams that are decidedly behind the eight-ball on preparation. The 49ers decided to go with Alex Smith at quarterback again, which has got people thinking that Jim Harbaugh is looking to reunite with his Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck once this season is over.
Seattle Seahawks: 5-11 I’m not convinced that Pete Carroll, who shipped Matt Hasselbeck off in favor of Charlie Whitehurst but then named Tavaris Jackson the starter, can rally this team to the same season they had last year.
NFC South: This division is said to be one of the toughest in the NFL. Yeah, as tough as a division with the Carolina Panthers in it can be.
Atlanta Falcons: 13-3 Division Winner I don’t see any reason the Falcons can’t repeat as winners of the NFC South this year. Julio Jones is a great addition to the offense, and should be a very good target for Matt Ryan when Roddy White is double covered.
Carolina Panthers: 2-14 Cam Newton had one of the best years anyone has seen in the NCAA last year, but this isn’t Auburn, and it isn’t even the SEC. Carolina is just plain bad, and one college football star doesn’t make them a whole lot better.
New Orleans Saints: 12-4 Wild Card The Saints can right the ship of last year by earning a playoff spot but winning their first game. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the other way around and Atlanta took the Wild Card spot and the Saints took the division.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 10-6 The youngest team in the NFL suffers the same fate as last year with a 10 win record, but misses the playoffs.
NFC East: This is always an interesting division to watch during the season. It most likely won’t be till the very end of the season till it’s clear who will take the title.
Dallas Cowboys: 12-4 Wild Card I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw how many wins I had given the Cowboys. Once I got over that and looked over the schedule again, I just couldn’t see any other way around it. They have a healthy Tony Romo back, and they could make a legitimate run at the division crown.
NY Giants: 8-8 I don’t see a whole lot out of a team that has suffered so many injuries so far in just the preseason. Eli will be underwhelming, and Coughlin might be dusting off his resume by the end of this season.
Philadelphia Eagles: 12-4 Division Winner (won by tiebreaker) The so-called “Dream Team” set themselves some high expectations so I did too. No doubt this squad will end up on many a highlight reel during the season but it remains to be seen if that will turn into playoff victories.
Washington Redskins: 3-13 When you have Rex Grossman and John Beck battling for the starting quarterback job, you can’t possibly have realistic expectations for where your season is going to go.
NFC North: Not an easy division for any team. I’m not about to go out on a limb and predict the Packers suffer some kind of Super Bowl hangover and miss the post-season. I sure would like to see that happen, not that I hold some kind of grudge against them for anything…
Chicago Bears: 10-6 I think the Bears will suffer the greatest by the new kickoff rule. Devin Hester gave them easy scores and field position that Jay Cutler can’t always deliver.
Detroit Lions: 6-10 Some of the “experts” are actually picking the Lions to make the playoffs this year. I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid. Until Matthew Stafford can at the very least put together a complete healthy season, it’s below .500 for the Lions.
Green Bay Packers: 13-3 Division Winner Green Bay returns this season with many players that were injured last year when they made their Super Bowl run. The Packers decision to force out Favre was finally justified.
Minnesota Vikings: 7-9 While many have hopes for McNabb in Minnesota, I’m not sure he has enough weapons at his disposal to get past the teams in the NFC. Adrian Peterson, however, will be running towards dollar signs now that Titan’s RB Chris Johnson inked his big contract.