I have been working at Prettyman Broadcasting since 2010, doing a little bit of everything, but my passion is Sports! I graduated from Shepherd University in 2010, with a degree in Mass Communications and New Media. I hosted a sports radio show there for 3 years. I love sports writing too, so expect some fun articles on this blog. I love talking NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA. Make sure you comment on the blogs too, because I love discussing sports. Please Note: The opinions, analysis, and/or speculation expressed on wepm.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or labled as such do not represent the opinons or policies of Prettyman Broadcasting.
Week 4 is here! It kicked off last night with a 23-16 Ravens win over the now
(0-4) Browns. The game showed you how close the NFL is these days, as the winless Browns played the (3-1) Ravens down to the wire. Big game for Browns kicker, Phil Dawson, as he hit 3 50+ yard field goals. Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, and Anquan Boldin also had a great night for the Ravens offense. The real referees are back, which is great news too. I had the Ravens this week. Now to the rest of my picks!
Sunday: San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Gut feeling here that the Chiefs get a win at home to jump to (2-2) and drop the Chargers to (2-2).
San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets This game is tough to call. The Jets play better at home than the road, by far, but losing Darrelle Revis is a tough thing to overcome. This game will show you the rest of the Jets season's future: a win and they have playoff hopes, a blowout loss and it could be game over for Gang Green.
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams Seattle is still celebrating from last Monday Night. They probably forgot they even have a game this week. Rams win.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons The Falcons look great, the Panthers look bad, so the Panthers will probably win. Thats how this season has gone, but I am taking Atlanta at home, BIG.
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions The Lions look like they have taken a step back, the Vikings look like they have taken a step forward, so expect this game to be close, but I will take the Lions at home.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Many people are calling for a Bills upset this week, but I just do not see it. Despite being (1-2), the Patriots are still a great team. If they do lose though, the Bills will be (3-1) while the Pats would drop to (1-3).
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans Texans should handle Tennessee easy. Houston might be the best team in the NFL right now.
Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Bengals are looking pretty good right now. I could see a Jags upset though.
Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals The Cardinals are going (4-0), just like I predicted. Okay, I did not predict that. Haha.
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos This game is a lock for me. I don't see how the Raiders can go into Denver and beat the Broncos. Denver has lost 2 in a row. They won't let it go to 3.
Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RGIII was drafted in 2012, yet looks much better than 2009 draft pick Josh Freeman.
GAME OF THE WEEK:
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers If you have either team's quarterback in fantasy, you win this week! Packers get the win though. My NFC South Champ pick is done after 4 weeks. Crazy.
Sunday Night Football:
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles can win this game, but I am going with the World Champs. Should be a good game though.
Monday Night Football:
Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Toss up game of the week. I could see this go either way. I just went with the home team. If it was in Chicago, I would take the Bears. Still kind of want to pick the Bears, but I will go with Big D.
Okay, well..... This is tough. The NFL is obviously going out of control this season. After 3 weeks it is hard to tell who is good and who isn't. The Saints are (0-3), the Cardinals are (3-0), The Packers are (1-2), the Patriots are (1-2), it is insane. Then last week's #1 team (The 49ers) lost to the Vikings. Wow.
1. Houston Texans (3-0)
The Texans are looking great on offense and defense. Very balanced. They went into Denver and got a win. That was impressive to me.
2. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
The Ravens came out and looked bad early against New England. They overcame being down in the first and second half to pull off the 31-30 win. Big victory..
3. Atlanta Falcons (3-0)
The Falcons flat out destroyed San Diego this week. They are officially for real.
4. New York Giants (2-1)
The Giants were filled with injuries and had 3 days to prepare for Cam Newton and the Panthers. No problem.
5. San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Bad loss against the Vikings, but the 49ers will still be tough to beat in the NFC.
6. Arizona Cardinals (3-0)
Hey, I am still in shock this team is undefeated. They destroyed the Eagles Sunday and replaced them on this Top 10. Hopefully the winning continues in Arizona.
7. Green Bay Packers (1-2)
They might be (1-2), but we all know they shouldn't be.
8. Chicago Bears (2-1)
They looked bad in Green Bay, but bounced back this week at home. I am still a believer in Cutler and the Bears.
9. New England Patriots (1-2)
They might be under .500 right now, but I think they win the AFC East still. The Bills may have something to say about that on Sunday, though.
10. New York Jets (2-1)
The Jets won ugly in Miami and lost Darrelle Revis in the process. This Sunday will tell a lot about how the Jets will be without Revis. A win vs. the 49ers and they are still contenders, a close loss and they still have a fighting chance, a blow out: Goodbye Power Rankings for good.
Teams that dropped out of the Top 10:
-Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week #8)
-Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week #9)
Okay. Just when you thought the NFL couldn't get any more nutty, we had Week 3. Plenty of crazy finishes, none crazier than last night's Monday Night Football Game, where the Seahawks won on a Hail Mary, that was clearly an interception. The replacement referees have had a hard time this season and last night's call on the Golden Tate touchdown was by far their lowest point. Tate clearly pushed off, which is offensive pass interference, but I am not upset that was not called. What is driving me nuts is these refs review all these plays, look at instant replays, come out and still get the call wrong. I don't get that. The touchdown gave the Seahawks a 14-12 win over Green Bay, but as Chad Pennington once said: "You can't let a game come down to one play."
There was a Jets-Browns game in 2006 where the Jets lost to the Browns 20-13 on a terrible call where Chris Baker caught a touchdown, but was ruled out of bounds and it was not reviewable. Since then, the NFL changed it's rules about force outs, mostly due to that Browns game. Pennington, during his post game press conference, said that the Jets should not have been in that position in the first place. Ever since then, I have felt that way when games come down to one call. The Packers are too good of a team to only have 12 points at that moment in the game. Still, it happened and now we will see what happens this week with referee negotiations.
The Monday Night Game was not the only crazy game this week, we had 3 overtime games, the Vikings beat the 49ers, the Ravens beat the Patriots on one of the closest field goals i've ever seen, the Saints dropped to (0-3) with an OT loss to the Chiefs, the Cardinals blew out the Eagles to jump to a (3-0) start, the Raiders upset the Steelers, and despite a win in Miami, the Jets lost Darrelle Revis for the season with a torn ACL injury. I don't know what is going to happen in Week 4, but expect more craziness.
Week 3 starts tonight in Carolina with the Panthers hosting the Giants.The Giants are without Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw and on the road. It will not be an easy match-up against Cam Newton and the high powered Panthers offense, but I say the Giants find a way to pull it out: 28-24. EDIT: Giants ended up blowing out the Panthers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys got blown out in Seattle last week. I expect them to bounce back with a win over the Bucs, but they are a hot and cold team as we have already seen. 31-21 Cowboys.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Upset Special! Can you call this an upset? Well, I feel the Jags get win #1 in Indy. It will be a close one, Jags 27-24.
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns Upset special Part 2! Can you even call this an upset again? Well, I think the Browns take this game at home 30-23.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
Rex Ryan is (2-4) against the Dolphins as the Jets Head Coach. Not good numbers. Still, I think the Jets (who welcome a healthy Darrelle Revis back this week) will win this one. Possibly in blow-out fashion. 41-13 Jets.
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints Win #1 for the Saints. 40-38.
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins This is a game I am having some trouble with. RGIII making his DC debut gives the Skins an edge, but losing Orakpo for the year and Garcon for this week gives the edge back to Cincinnati. I'll go with the home team: 31-24.
St. Louis Rams at Chicago Bears Jay Cutler can't play any worse than last week right? Bears win 28-10.
San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Bad match-up. 41-3 49ers.
Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans
Toss up game, look for the Titans to keep it close and possibly even win it. I will say the Lions hang on 38-31.
Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers Battle of (2-0) teams. Exciting stuff. I have not picked the Falcons to win a game yet, so why start this week? 34-31 Chargers.
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals
Another battle of (2-0) teams. Still not sold on the Cardinals though. A win this week and I might be though. Vick and Eagles win 24-13.
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos The (2-0) Texans can show the world how good they are with a win in Denver, but I am still sticking with Peyton Manning. The Broncos played so bad Monday Night and still almost won. 20-17 Broncos.
Sunday Night Football:
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens This gets Game of the Week Part 2 honors. The AFC Championship re-match we have all been waiting for. 99% of the time I pick the Patriots. Maybe more than that. It's a good bet. This week I am taking Baltimore at home though: 34-31.
Monday Night Football:
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Aaron Rodgers showed the Packers still had life last Thursday Night. This week they will show they can win on the road. 34-24 Packers.
You thought last week was tough. This week is even harder to create a Top 10 Power Rankings. The league is very close so far this season. Love it.
1. San Francisco 49ers (2-0)
I am finally sold on San Francisco. Great defense, solid offense, nice wins over the Packers and Lions. The 49ers are for real.
2. Houston Texans (2-0)
I am also sold on Houston. Many people predicted a Texans-49ers Super Bowl. It actually could happen.
3. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
Aaron Rodgers pulled out a big win against the Bears, even without Greg Jennings. The Packers are back on track to win the NFC North.
4. New England Patriots (1-1)
They drop from #1 to #4 after a crazy loss to the Cardinals. New England just had a bad week. They are still a top team.
5. Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
The 1 point loss to the Eagles hurt, but now they have to play a Patriots team coming off a loss. Never a fun thing to do. One of those teams will be (1-2) after Sunday Night. Interesting.
6. Denver Broncos (1-1)
The Broncos played terrible last night. I mean terrible, and still only lost by 6. If Denver's defense got Manning the ball back one more time, no doubt they win it 28-27. So I am saying that even in defeat, Denver impressed me. Haha once they click it could get scary.
7. Atlanta Falcons (2-0)
Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White and Michael Turner have impressed as usual, but it is the Falcons defense that makes them Super Bowl caliber.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)
Big Ben carried his boys to a big 27-10 win over the Jets. The Steelers defense looked great and will be even better once they are healthy. Pittsburgh is still a top team.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)
The Eagles have won each game by 1 point, but a win is a win. If they can eliminate mistakes, they can begin to dominate teams.
10. New York Giants (1-1)
The Giants looked like they were going to drop to (0-2) at halftime against Tampa Bay, but Eli Manning showed he is still a winner and brought them back. The Giants will always have a chance to win this season.
Teams that dropped out of the Top 10:
-Chicago Bears (Last week #6) -New York Jets (Last week #8)
Well, that week was intense! If you want a good laugh, read my Week 2 Picks. No one could have predicted what happened this week. Tonight finished it off with a great win by the Atlanta Falcons over the Denver Broncos 27-21. Peyton Manning fought back to make it close at the end, but you have to give Atlanta a lot of credit. Matty Ice was on fire tonight and that Falcons defense really impressed me.
Sunday had some big upsets with the Cardinals defeating the
Patriots 20-18 in New England and the Seahawks dominating the Cowboys 27-7. Eli Manning threw for 510 yards in a 41-34 win over the Buccaneers. The Giants came back strong after a bad first half. Andrew Luck got his first career win with a 23-20 victory over the Vikings, bringing both the Colts and Vikings to a (1-1) record.
The Steelers got back on track against the Jets with an impressive
27-10 victory. The NFL now has 20 teams at (1-1), including the Jets and Steelers, 6 teams at (2-0) (Cardinals, Texans, Chargers, 49ers, Eagles, Falcons) and 6 teams at (0-2) (Browns, Jaguars, Titans, Chiefs, Raiders and the shocking Saints). The Saints are the only team in the NFC without a win after Sunday's loss to the Panthers.
So what have we learned after 2 weeks? Not that much really. The Texans, 49ers and Falcons are for real, but the rest of the league is still pretty foggy. Week 3 will be another exciting week and it starts this Thursday Night with Eli Manning and Giants heading to Carolina to take on Cam Newton and the Panthers. As Bart Scott would say: "Can't Wait!"
Last week was great, but it is already time to move on to Week 2 with tonight's
Bears-Packers game. You can take my advice on picks, as I did pretty well Week 1 going (11-5). One pick I did get wrong was the Redskins beating the Saints, so I thought I would give RGIII and the boys some credit by using his picture this week. Lots of great match-ups Week 2, so lets get started!
Thursday Night Football:
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
This game is driving me nuts. Such a tough pick. My gut is telling me that the Bears will win, but then that would mean my Super Bowl pick would start the year (0-2) including 2 losses at Lambeau Field. That can't happen right? When I pick toss-ups I always go with my gut, but this time I am going with Aaron Rodgers. I don't think he will let his team start (0-2). I originally picked the Bears, but switched. Should be a good one. 41-38 Packers in Overtime.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants
Big win for the Buccaneers last week, but I don't see how the Giants lose their first two home games. Eli will get Big Blue back on track. 31-20 Giants.
Oakland Raidersat Miami Dolphins
This should be a good game. Just kidding. I'll take the Raiders 20-13.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Potential blow out in the making. One of the NFL's best teams, against one of the NFL's worst teams. Houston wins big: 42-10.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
I knew the Bengals would get blown out against the Ravens, but that does not mean they are a bad team. They will win their home opener against Weeden and the Browns. Also, is it time to give Colt McCoy another shot Cleveland? 31-9 Bengals
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills
I watched all of the Bills game last week, so picking them this week seems like a bad decision. Both the Chiefs and Bills lost last week, so could go either way. 24-21 Bills.
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles
Potential Super Bowl Match-Up? Maybe. Depends if the Eagles can stay healthy and Vick can play better. Barely beating the Browns Week 1 is not a good sign that you can keep up with the Ravens though. 28-17 Ravens.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
Another tough game to pick. One of these teams will be (0-2). I don't think the Panthers are a good overall team, but neither are the Saints. It will be a battle of quarterbacks between Drew Brees and Cam Newton. Saints win 34-27.
Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots
Good news Kevin Kolb! You got your job back! Bad news: you are playing the Patriots. Could get ugly. Patriots-49 Cardinals-20.
Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts
Time for Andrew Luck to get his first career victory. 27-23 Colts.
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams
The Redskins started their season with a great win in New Orleans. Now they go to St. Louis against a Rams team who played well, but lost to the Lions Week 1. I think RGIII will continue to succeed early in the season and the Redskins win 34-20.
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks
Rookie QB Russell Wilson showed he had some talent Week 1, but I am not sure there is much talent around him. Dallas beat the World Champs, so they can take care of Seattle. Cowboys get the win: 31-10.
New York Jetsat Pittsburgh Steelers
I have to make my picks on Thursday (due to tonight's game) but this is a toss-up game with even more of a curve ball: The health of Darrelle Revis. If he is cleared to play, I think he will shut down Mike Wallace and the Jets will pull out a close 17-16 win in Pittsburgh. Revis has still not been cleared for contact though and if he does not play, expect the Steelers to get the win. They really don't want to start the season (0-2).
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers looked okay Monday Night, the Titans did not look so good against the Patriots and have to travel out West. Philip Rivers gets the job done: 27-10.
Sunday Night Football:
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
I think the 49ers are the best team in the NFC right now. The Lions are good, but have clear holes. I don't see many with the 49ers. Detroit can keep it close though. Expect a fun game to end a great day of football. 49ers win: 28-24.
Monday Night Football: Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons Another tough game to pick and great game to watch. I went against the Falcons last week and I have to again this week. Peyton Manning looked good on Sunday Night Football and guess what? He gets to play in a dome again this week. You know he will like that. Expect a shootout between Manning and Ryan. 44-41 Broncos.
Week 1 is officially in the books now after last night's wins by the Ravens and Chargers. Baltimore looked very impressive with their 44-13 thumping of the Bengals and the Chargers went into the black hole of Oakland and came out with a 22-14 win. The week was filled with some great games. Here is my re-cap:
Big win for the Cowboys to open the NFL Season Wednesday Night. I expected a Giants win, but Dallas was able to make some big plays when it mattered. Neither team played great, but Dallas was better.
Okay, the game proved what I had felt all Summer: The Jets are better than people give them credit for and the Bills are worse than people were saying. Mark Sanchez lit up the Bills defense, Tim Tebow made an impact, and the Jets defense dominated. The final score is not really how the game was, as it was 41-7 at one point. Great win for Gang Green.
Welcome to the NFL RGIII! The Redskins played great in New Orleans. I really did not expect them to get the win, but Griffin proved that he is not a normal rookie Quarterback. The other 4 rookies all lost their NFL debuts yesterday (Luck to the Bears, Tannehill to the Texans, Weeden to the Eagles and Wilson to the Cardinals), but RGIII not only won, but did it on the road in New Orleans. The Redskins defense also stepped up making a great Saints offense look average. Like I said in my NFL preview, the NFC East is a toss up.
Had to throw this game in here as Fred told me I was wrong picking the Chiefs and I was. Although I will say I did not realize all the injuries the Chiefs had on defense. The Falcons are now the front runner in the NFC South with the way the Saints played yesterday. The Buccaneers defeated the Panthers too, so who knows what will happen in that division.
This is another game where the score does not show exactly how the game went. The 49ers dominated the Packers in what I would call the most shocking game of the day. Reason being, I expected the Packers to be the best team in the NFL and they did not play like it. You know who did though? The 49ers. And yes Randy Moss had a touchdown, so it was nice seeing him back, although it probably brought bad memories back for Packers fans. It is possible that San Francisco is the best team in the NFL right now.
Peyton Manning is still Peyton Manning. People were worried how he would return, well he showed he still has it last night. Pittsburgh played well most of the game, but wore down in the second half. Each team has tough match-ups next week with the Broncos going to Atlanta on Monday Night and the Steelers hosting the Jets in a must-win game. Despite the loss, I still see the Steelers as a top team in the AFC, as I do with the Broncos.
Other games: The Patriots won in Tennessee 34-13, Bears-41 Colts-21, The Vikings beat the Jaguars in OT 26-23, Lions-27 Rams-23, The Texans took down Miami 30-10, Kevin Kolb came in for the game winning TD as the Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 20-16, Eagles-17 Browns-16 and the Buccaneers impressed with a 16-10 win at home over the Panthers.
Great week of NFL action!
Now to my Pete's Power Rankings. I will give the Top 10 teams each week on how I feel they are playing and how their Super Bowl chances look.
1. New England Patriots
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Green Bay Packers
5. Denver Broncos
6. Chicago Bears
7. Houston Texans
8. New York Jets
9. Atlanta Falcons
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
The time has come! The Regular Season is upon us! Time for my weekly picks. Week 1 has some great match-ups too. It is great to see Peyton Manning back, as the Broncos takes on the Steelers in a great Sunday Night Match-up, RGIII Era begins vs. Drew Brees, two top NFC teams square off with the Packers hosting the 49ers. As Tim Tebow would say: "I'm excited!"
Wednesday Night Football:
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants The Super Bowl Champs seem to always win these season openers and I expect it to continue this Wednesday. No doubt Dallas is talented and could easily win, but i'll take the Giants 38-31. Sunday:
Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs
Philadelphia Eaglesat Cleveland Browns
Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints
St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions
New England Patriotsat Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday Night Football:
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos This is a really tough pick. I think Peyton Manning and the Broncos will pull out a close win though. Might not be too high scoring: Broncos 24-20.
Monday Night Football:
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens The Bengals are good, but it is too hard to win at M&T Bank Stadium. Especially during the opening week of the season. The Ravens also want to wash that AFC Championship Game out of their mouth. Ravens 34-13.
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
This is a toss-up. Never easy to win in the Black Hole, but the Raiders don't impress me too much this season. I give the Chargers the edge: 31-21.
Now to my Playoff Predictions. I did my season preview, but it did not include the playoffs. Fun thing about these is that they are almost always wrong. Have to try though. So here they are:
The AFC East has belonged to the New England Patriots for the last decade+. Only 2 years (2002 Jets, 2008 Dolphins) did the Patriots not win the division. Expect more of the same this season as the Patriots look great again. Many people are high on the Buffalo Bills this season as a dark horse, the New York Jets get talked about 24 hours a day and the Miami Dolphins have been given some spotlight, starring in the HBO Series: Hard Knocks.
2012 Prediction: (14-2) The Patriots look like they could be the best team in the NFL and guess what? They have one of the easiest schedules too! Not that it would matter as Tom Brady and that offense starring Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Rob Gronkowski will likely tear up any defense they meet this season. The problem New England had last year is how bad their defense was. It should be at least slightly improved in 2012 with all of the draft picks they spent on defense. Even if the defense is bad, they are the team to beat in the AFC. No doubt about it.
2012 Prediction: (11-5) I think many people are sleeping on the New York Jets. Obviously they have been all over the media with Tebowmania and the whole Sanchez-Tebow debates that have wasted everyone's time. Mark Sanchez is the starting quarterback. Period. I expect him to take the next step this year too. The problem for Sanchez is the Jets offense has an average running back in Shonn Greene, an average offensive line with questions at right tackle (currently filled by Austin Howard) and average wide receivers with Santonio Holmes, rookie Stephen Hill and second year player Jeremy Kerley. The reason the Jets will succeed though is their defense. They have a top defensive line, good linebackers led by David Harris and the best secondary in the NFL with Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell. And lets not forget that X-Factor named Tim Tebow. Despite his lack of quarterback ability, the kid is a winner. He will play a part on this team.
2012 Prediction: (8-8) The Buffalo Bills are not a bad team, but they are also not as good as some people are saying. No doubt adding former #1 overall pick Mario Williams helps the Bills defense, but it was filled with holes before he arrived. I like the Bills playmakers on offense with Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson. I also think Ryan Fitzpatrick is a pretty good quarterback, despite the fact that he is inconsistant. I am not sure the Bills can compete with the Patriots and Jets, thats why it will be hard for them to make a playoff push. If they do beat them though, the sky is the limit in Buffalo.
2012 Prediction: (4-12) It's a Hard Knock Life for the Dolphins. Rookie Quarterback Ryan Tannehill doesn't even know which division is which in the NFL. Still, the Dolphins do have some talent. Their defense should be pretty strong and Reggie Bush is a playmaker. Starting Tannehill is an interesting choice by Head Coach Joe Philbin, but when you take a player that early, you almost have to start them these days. I think the Dolphins will have the hardest time scoring in the NFL due to a rookie QB and a lack of weapons for him to use. This is a learning year for Miami. Maybe next year they can take the next step.
Nothing feels like old school football than a good old AFC North Game. Especially a Ravens-Steelers game. Those two teams will battle it out for the division again this season. The Bengals had a strong 2011, but I see them falling back to Earth in 2012. The Browns had a solid draft and could be getting back on track, but this looks like a two team race.
2012 Prediction: (12-4) The Pittsburgh Steelers ended their season on a very sour note in Denver, losing to an (8-8) Broncos team. Why an (8-8) team got to host a (12-4) team is a different story for another day, but it was tough. The Steelers are a tough team though, who realize that their window might be closing. Big Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and by far, the toughest. You have to be tough to wear the black and gold. Isaac Redman is going to have to carry the load at running back early in the year, as Rashard Mendenhall continues to heal. The Steelers wide receivers are strong with Mike Wallace back, along with Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. Pittsburgh still has a Top 5 defense too, despite it's age. I give them the edge in the North.
2012 Prediction: (11-5) The Baltimore Ravens were a few mistakes away from going to the Super Bowl last season. Those kind of events can either crush a franchise or inspire them to do better. I expect the Ravens to be able to bounce back from it stronger than most, but a key loss to the Steelers during the year will shift the division to Pittsburgh. Baltimore is still one of the best teams in the AFC and I think Joe Flacco has a chance to enter that next tier of quarterbacks this season. Ray Rice and the defense are the most important part of the Ravens, but Flacco and the passing offense will continue to improve. The Ravens can win on the road too. I could see them in the Super Bowl.
2012 Prediction: (7-9) I am not going to say the Bengals were overrated last year, because they did play well, but I would not say they were a playoff caliber team. Six teams make the playoffs, so someone had to go from the AFC when only four really belonged there. Andy Dalton is a talented player and he will continue to hook up with AJ Green for years to come. Head Coach Marvin Lewis always finds a way to keep his job, but I am not sure the Bengals have enough this year to take that next step. I would not be surprised to see them back in the playoffs in 2013 though.
2012 Prediction: (5-11) The Cleveland Browns are in a year of transition. They drafted new quarterback Brandon Weeden and new running back Trent Richardson. There is no reason that they can't succeed this year, but it is tough in a division like the AFC North. I think the Browns also have an underrated defense and new Head Coach Pat Shurmur looks like a guy who can get the Browns in the right direction. It just takes time.
The AFC South is a rebuilding division. It has the very strong Houston Texans, but the other three teams could be a few years away from competing. I am not going to say that it is the worst division in the NFL this season, but it could be. The most exciting part of the division has to be the arrival of the #1 overall Pick, Andrew Luck, to the Indianapolis Colts. He will be an exciting player to watch for many years to come.
2012 Prediction: (11-5) The Houston Texans should win this division with ease, but they have a very difficult schedule. Having a healthy Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson will go a long way in winning the division, but nothing will be more important that running back Arian Foster. As long as he stays healthy, the Texans will be fine. Their defense is one of the best in the NFL. It will be hard to score on Houston this year. They could actually finish around the 13 or 14 win total if they win some toss up games, but 10 should get them the division win.
2012 Prediction: (8-8) This is supposed to be the year that Jake Locker takes over as the Tennessee Titans Starting QB. I am not saying that it is a mistake to start the second year player, but I feel Matt Hasselbeck gives them the best chance to win and could eventually take back that spot if Locker struggles. Chris Johnson will be the X-Factor for the Titans. If he gets back to his old ways, the Titans could have a realistic chance of winning the South, especially with their up and coming defense.
2012 Prediction: (6-10) Andrew Luck, Andrew Luck, Andrew Luck and did I mention Andrew Luck? The Colts are happy to have a franchise quarterback, especially after just losing one of the best of all time, in Peyton Manning. The Colts will struggle this year due to lack of depth at key areas, but they still have some bright spots like Reggie Wayne for Luck to throw to, and two of the best pass rushers in the game in Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. They also have a little bit of a soft schedule early, so Luck might be able to gain some confidence with some early wins. 2012 might not be their year, but the future is bright.
2012 Prediction: (2-14) The Jaguars might be the worst team in the NFL. No way to sugar coat it really. Maurice Jones-Drew has held out all offseason too, which hurts the team. I actually feel like I was kind giving them 2 wins. It might not happen, especially if Drew never shows up. No need to point out all of their holes, but believe me, they have many. I am thinking a move to Los Angeles could be in Jacksonville's future.
Ladies and Gentleman, Peyton Manning has returned to the starting line-up in 2012! This time as a Denver Bronco, which I will admit, looks odd, but I am glad he is back. The AFC West could be a four team race this year with the Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders all being pretty average teams. None blow you away, none look too bad though either. I think it will come down to the Broncos and Chargers, but only time will tell.
2012 Prediction: (11-5) You might remember last year, the Broncos finished (8-8), yet won the AFC West and even a playoff game. That was with a quarterback who does not have half the talent that Peyton Manning has. No doubt Manning is 36, coming off an injury, and faced with a tough schedule, but the Broncos will have a good season. The defense had to keep them in games last year, now the defense will have it a bit easier with Manning and the offense scoring more. DeMaryius Thomas and Eric Decker will no doubt benefit from Manning, but no one will benefit more than Willis McGahee. Defenses could put 8 in the box last year, can't do that against Peyton. Unless of course you want to be burned down after down. The Broncos schedule could be the toughest in the league, so it will not be an easy season. Giving them 11 wins might be too much, but I think they can pull it off.
2012 Prediction: (9-7) The San Diego Chargers are kind of like the AFC's version of the Dallas Cowboys. They should do much better than they actually do. Philip Rivers is still a really talented quarterback, Antonio Gates is still a top tight end, but it is hard for me to see them being too good this year. Their running game is too inconsistant with Ryan Matthews, although he showed signs of improvement last year. They have a strong defense, which will keep them in games, but losing Vincent Jackson has to hurt. Norv Turner and AJ Smith's jobs are on the line here, so San Diego will be giving it their all. I am just not sure it will be enough.
2012 Prediction: (9-7) When Head Coach Romeo Crennel took over the Chiefs last year, he made them a tough team, who finished strong. I think that can translate to the 2012 season. My main problem with the Chiefs is Quarterback Matt Cassel. I am just not sold on him. Jamaal Charles is back from injury, which will help, and Dwayne Bowe signed his franchise tender, so they have some weapons. I am just not sure Cassel will be able to use them. The Chiefs' strength is their defense. It will allow the offense to struggle and still stay in the game. If Kansas City can get a balanced attack, I could see them in the playoffs.
2012 Prediction: (6-10) The Raiders looked like they were going in the right direction last year, then things just sort of fell a part. Looks like Quarterback Carson Palmer could be at the end of his road. The trade Cincinnati made last year looks great now, especially with how Andy Dalton is playing. The Raiders still have quality players like Darren McFadden and Richard Seymour, but I don't think it is enough to compete this season.
If there is a toss up division in the NFL, it is the NFC East. I could see any of the four teams winning the division. Yes, even RGIII and the Redskins. Of course the division has the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, a talented Dallas Cowboys squad and the so called "Dream Team" Philadelphia Eagles, all of which are good. However, all are also unpredictable. I have to try though, right?
2012 Prediction: (10-6) The Giants came off winning Super Bowl XLII by having one of Eli Manning's best seasons. I expect something similar this year, but the Giants have a tough schedule and like I have already mentioned, a tough division. They also lost Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs and Aaron Ross. Still, the Giants find a way to win and the way Head Coach Tom Coughlin runs things seems to work. Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are still great offensive weapons and a defense with Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck will still get the job done. Thats why I give the Giants a slight edge in the East.
2012 Season Prediction: (9-7) The Philadelphia Eagles are the most talented team in the NFC East. They should be the pick to win it, but they have too many question marks. Most importantly: The health of Michael Vick. He can't seem to stay on the field. They have great offensive weapons with LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin, plus a defense filled with Pro Bowlers, but it hasn't quite clicked for them yet. Maybe it all will in 2012, but it is hard to tell. The Eagles will be tough to beat no doubt, just have to stay healthy.
2012 Prediction: (9-7) The Dallas Cowboys are another up and down team in the NFC East. It would not shock me if they won the division by three games or lost it by three games. We all know Tony Romo is a great quarterback, DeMarco Murray has a chance to be a top running back and Dez Bryant/Miles Austin are great wide receivers, so Dallas' offense will be great even if tight end Jason Witten is not 100%. Also, their Rob Ryan led defense is really good, featuring the NFL's best pass rusher: DeMarcus Ware. This should all add up to a (12-4) team, not a (9-7) team as I predicted, but something goes wrong for Dallas each year. Hard to figure out why. I guess if it was easy, Jerry Jones would already have done it.
2012 Prediction: (5-11) Robert Griffin III is the future of the Washington Redskins Organization and I expect him to do well in 2012, but they have a really tough schedule. Even tougher, when you consider they are starting a rookie quarterback. I like the weapons that RGIII has to work with on offense, including: Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss and Fred Davis and I like the Redskins' defense. It is really the team's strength. The problem is the NFL is a tough league. Head Coach Mike Shanahan wouldn't shock me if his team finished (10-6), but also wouldn't shock me if it finished (3-13). Again, this division is very unpredictable.
Best Division in the NFL? I say it is the NFC North. It returns two playoff teams, including the NFC #1 seed (15-1) Green Bay Packers and the surprise Detroit Lions, plus a Chicago Bears team that would have been in the playoffs, if it were not for key injuries. The Minnesota Vikings dropped pretty far with the loss of Brett Favre last year, but they still have Adrian Peterson. This division is going to be tough.
2012 Prediction: (14-2) My Super Bowl favorite, the Green Bay Packers should be pretty tough to beat this season. It is hard to explain what happened in their playoff loss to the Giants last year, but the Packers are still the best there is in the NFC. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers should continue to be one of the NFL's best quarterbacks, but I do have a worry about their running backs. Alex Green could be their starter, but they recently signed Cedric Benson, so expect him to eventually start. The Packers defense is getting older, but is still good enough to get the ball back in Aaron Rodger's hands. And once that happens, look out.
2012 Prediction: (11-5) The Chicago Bears are going to be good folks. Heck, they might be great. The addition of Brandon Marshall should do wonders for their offense. We all remember Jay Cutler throwing it to Marshall in Denver, if that connection is anything like it used to be, the Bears will be lethal. Defenses have to worry about Matt Forte and Michael Bush too, which makes the passing game even easier. The Bears defense is always good, so that is no worry. They could be a dark horse team to win the Super Bowl, yet I don't think they can win their own division. You have to love the NFL.
2012 Prediction: (10-6) The Detroit Lions jumped from bottom to the top in 2011 and I expect them to stay strong this year. Matthew Stafford is a great quarterback and when you have Calvin Johnson to throw to, things get even easier for a QB. The Lions still do not have a great running game and on defense their secondary is suspect, but they have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. They will battle with some NFC East teams for a Wild Card spot, but I think the Lions can get it.
2012 Prediction: (2-14) The Minnesota Vikings are in trouble this year. Adrian Peterson is still not 100%, no one is quite sure if Christian Ponder is the answer or not at quarterback, just looks like things add up poorly for Minnesota. They still have bright spots, like Jared Allen on defense, but I expect the Vikings to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season.
The NFC South has made a lot of noise this offseason. Mostly in a negative way, with all of the Saints Bounty stuff, and suspensions of Coach Sean Payton and key players including Jonathan Vilma. Besides that big problem, this division looks like it could shape up to be competitive. The Saints have taken a big hit, but are still a talented team, the Falcons are coming off another playoff season, Cam Newton and the Panthers look to progress, and more change is in store down in Tampa Bay.
2012 Prediction: (10-6) The Saints won't have their coach for the 2012 season, or their Interim Coach for the first six games, but the Saints will have Drew Brees and he should be enough to get them another NFC South Crown. New Orleans' offense is still one of the best in the NFL, but it's defense could become one of the worst this year. I expect the Saints to be in a lot of shoot outs, with Brees and company pulling out wins late in the 4th Quarter. This season won't be easy, but the Saints will hang around.
2012 Prediction: (9-7) The Falcons need to take that next step this year. Quarterback Matt Ryan has always been good, but he needs to become great. Much like the Saints, the Falcons have an amazing offense with Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Top WR Duo: Roddy White and Julio Jones, but I wonder how their defense will be this season? If it performs well, they have a serious chance to steal the division away from the Saints. Coach Mike Smith does not just want to make the playoffs though, he wants to win once he gets there.
2012 Prediction: (8-8) Last year, QB Cam Newton shocked the NFL, by throwing for over 4,000 yards and looking like a veteran despite being a rookie. Even with Cam's great play, the Panthers still finished (6-10). I like the Panthers offense and I think if Jon Beason stays healthy, they could have the best defense in the South, but it might not be enough to make the playoffs in 2012. Some quarterbacks get the so called "Sophomore Slump", but I don't expect that to be an issue for Cam Newton. The Panthers will compete in most games.
2012 Prediction: (4-12) Uh Oh. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They have talent, but it did not show last year. New Head Coach Greg Schiano seemed like an odd hiring at the time, but hopefully he can turn things around for them. Josh Freeman is in Year 4, so this season should show if he can be a top quarterback or not. They spent money this offseason, signing WR Vincent Jackson, but it takes time to install a new system and a new philosophy. It could be a tough year for Tampa Bay fans.
It's time for NFL Football! I was trying to decide how to write up my 2012 NFL Preview, and I decided division by division was the best way to go. We will start in the NFC West.: Not a great division. You do have one of last year's top teams though, with the 49ers, but the Rams, Cardinals and Seahawks could have a rough season.
2012 Prediction: (11-5) I expect the 49ers to run away with this division. No real competition, and they are a very talented team. Coming off a season where they were an overtime away from the Super Bowl, Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers have Super Bowl on their minds. They added some nice depth to their team with Wide Recievers Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, plus Brandon Jacobs in the run game. The defense was already great, so now with an improved group of weapons for Alex Smith, we will see how good these 49ers can be. I think they can be Super Bowl Good.
2012 Prediction: (7-9) The second spot in the West is a toss up, but in a negative way as it is hard to figure out which team will succeed, if any. The big surprise for Seattle has been Rookie QB Russell Wilson. He beat out Free Agent Signing, Matt Flynn, for the starting job, which is a pretty big deal. We know Marshawn Lynch is a good running back, Leon Washington, Sydney Rice and Braylon Edwards are playmakers, but their defense is a question mark. Coach Pete Carroll has his work cut out for him, but the Seahawks could be a pleasant surprise in 2012.
2012 Prediction: (6-10) I have the Cardinals in 3rd place in the West because they are a team filled with question marks. Including the most important one in the NFL: Who is their QB? John Skelton has won the job over Kevin Kolb, but how long will it last? Larry Fitzgerald will make any quarterback look good, but he can't carry the team. Beanie Wells has talent, but hasn't shown he can be an elite running back. Their defense has some talent, but too many holes to fill. Just like Pete Carroll, Coach Ken Whisenhunt has his work cut out for him.
2012 Prediction: (5-11) The St. Louis Rams finished 2011 at (2-14). There is no way they are that bad this year since they hired Head Coach Jeff Fisher, who I feel has always been a solid coach. The problem for the Rams is they also hired former Jets Offensive Coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, so expect the offense to take a step back. Schotty had a hard time developing Mark Sanchez, so Rams fans might worry what he will do for Sam Bradford. Steven Jackson should still be a top RB this year and their defense is pretty strong with Chris Long, James Laurinaitis, and new addition, Cortland Finnegan, but not enough offensive weapons will hold this team back.