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.
The 2013 NFL Season is almost here! Time for my Season Preview. This will be an exciting season to say the least, but which team will step up and win it all? Last year, the Ravens surprised everyone by winning Super Bowl XLVII, will this year's team be a surprise? Or will a team like the Seahawks, 49ers, Broncos or Packers win it? Tough to tell. Here is my Super Bowl XLVIII Prediction: Broncos over the Packers. Sound familiar? Yep, that was my pick last year. Okay, let's get things started with the AFC East:
1. New England Patriots (11-5)
The Patriots have had issues this offseason, to say the least. This is actually a good season for another team to seize the title from them, but the Bills, Jets and Dolphins are not really showing they can at the moment. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady and I expect him to lead the team to another division title. Winning in the playoffs might be tough for the Patriots though. I don't trust their defense or offensive weapons.
2. Miami Dolphins (8-8)
I like some of the moves the Dolphins made in the offseason, but I am not sure Ryan Tannehill is ready to lead the Dolphins to the playoffs just yet. Mike Wallace is a nice WR, but who else do they have on offense? The defense is solid, but not great. I think the Dolphins are a year away.
3. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
I don't think Buffalo is a very good team either, but they have nice weapons including Stevie Johnson, Fred Jackson and their #1 threat: CJ Spiller. The defense should be improved too, as they hired former Jets Defensive Coordinater, Mike Pettine. EJ Manuel will eventually start for them. The Bills have some upside.
4. New York Jets (6-10)
The Jets have too much going on right now to get a proper read on them. We don't know who their starting quarterback is (Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith), we don't know when Santonio Holmes will return from injury, we don't know who their starting running back is (Chris Ivory or Bilal Powell), we don't know if Dee Milliner will be able to step up as the Jets try to replace Darrelle Revis, etc. Pretty much all we do know is the Jets will not be very good.........Rex Ryan's seat is on FIRE.
The AFC North might be the toughest division in the NFL to judge right now. The defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens don't look like they have in the past, neither do the Steelers. I am liking what I am seeing from the Bengals and Browns though. This should be a fun division to watch!
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)
I know they have offensive line issues, but I still think Big Ben can lead this team to a division title. I have them even with the Bengals and right ahead of the Ravens and Browns. The Steelers defense needs to return to form for the Steelers to make a run, but I think they have what it takes. Time will tell.
2. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
I like this Bengals team more than I ever have. They have been exciting to watch on Hard Knocks and I think they have a chance to do some damage in 2013. They have great offensive weapons, a top defense and many young stars. The key will be Andy Dalton stepping up and moving the team forward. They have been to the playoffs two years in a row, but have come up empty. That needs to change this season.
3. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
You can pay Joe Flacco Top QB money, but that does not make him a Top QB. Give him and the team credit for winning it all last season, but this is a new team. Flacco needs to step up and carry the team now. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are gone, as is Anquan Boldin. I think they will be okay this season, but making the playoffs might be tough.
4. Cleveland Browns (8-8)
I like the Browns. I liked them last season. I think part of the reason I gave the rest of the division lower win totals is because I think the Browns will steal a few of those games this season. If everything clicks, they might even challenge for a playoff spot. Brandon Weeden has looked good this preseason. Hopefully he continues that path.
Last year, the Texans looked like the clear #1 seed in the AFC for most of the season, then blew it. The Colts surprised everyone with a playoff birth, and the Jaguars and Titans were not so great. 2013 could bring much of the same........
1. Houston Texans (10-6)
Adding Ed Reed will help the Texans' already strong defense and having Foster and Johnson as offensive weapons should be enough to give them another division crown. That might not be good enough though anymore. Matt Schaub needs to take the Texans to the next level or he might be losing his job soon.
2. Colts (10-6)
The Colts might not win as many games as last year, but I expect Andrew Luck to continue to improve. They made some nice additions to their defense, including Jets Pro Bowl Safety LaRon Landry, so I expect that unit to improve too. I gave a slight edge to the Texans, but the Colts could easily win the division.
3. Tennessee Titans (5-11)
I am not so sure about the Titans. This is Jake Locker's make or break season. He needs to show he can lead the team to victories. Hopefully Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene can help take some pressure off of him, but I don't know how good they can be.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13)
Like that new Jaguars logo huh? Yeah, looks pretty cool. Definitely a nice upgrade over the old one. Not too sure about the helmets, but not too shabby. Oh yeah, as a football team, not so good.
Peyton Manning. Enough said. I don't know about the AFC West. Part of me thinks it is the worst division in the NFL, but part of thinks maybe the Chiefs and Chargers can get back on track in 2013. We will have to wait and see.
1. Denver Broncos (14-2)
I think the Broncos are the best team in the AFC. I thought that last year too. This year, they might have even less competition though. They added Wes Welker to Peyton Manning's weapons, which should only help the team. I think their defense is good enough to allow the Broncos to get big leads. They started slow too much in 2012. I think that will change this year.
2. San Diego Chargers (8-8)
Not sure how much better Mike McCoy will make the Chargers in 2013, but they should improve. Philip Rivers needs to make less mistakes than he has the past few seasons. They still have a top defense and if they get the offense on track, they can compete for a playoff spot. Not sure if that will happen this year or not though.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-8)
The Chiefs are getting all kinds of hype this season. Andy Reid is their new head coach, Alex Smith is their new quarterback, still I am not sure it warrants all this buzz. They will improve for sure, and I still think they have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but I don't think it will be enough to make the playoffs in 2013.
4. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
It might be a tough season in Oakland. Still, they are getting piled on non-stop, so low expectations could become a good thing for them. They may surprise some people.
RGIII! Am I right? Today it was announced that he will start Week 1 vs. the Eagles, so that is big news for this division. Robert Griffin III led the Redskins to an NFC East division crown in 2012 and I think he will do it again. Still, just like last year, this is a very tough division to call. I expect all four teams to be close.
1. Washington Redskins (11-5)
The Redskins surprised a lot of people in 2012, including myself. Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and Pierre Garcin turned the Redskins offense into a power house. Their defense was already good and it will continue to be in 2013. Also, they have the best back-up QB in the NFL in Kurt Cousins. Things are finally starting to look good in DC.
2. Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
This is the year Tony Romo and the Cowboys have to make a move. I still don't think they are a great team, but they are good enough to make it into the playoffs and make some noise. After Romo's big contract extension in the offseason, he needs to show Cowboys fans that the team can take that next step with him under center.
3. New York Giants (8-8)
I'll say this about the Giants: They look the same as they always do. Not that great to me, but capable of going on a mini-playoff run to their third Super Bowl trophy in six years. You never know what you will get from Eli Manning, but when he is good, he is really good. I am not sure about their defense this season though. It does not look as good as it has in years past.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9)
I think Michael Vick will get back on track in 2013. Losing Jeremy Maclin is a big loss though, so the offense might not be the same as the past. Actually, we know it won't be, with Chip Kelly taking over as head coach in Philadelphia. I think they need a season to learn, but the Eagles should be fighting for a playoff spot in 2014.
Last year, the NFC North lost a little steam with the Bears and Lions struggling, the Packers not looking the same, but the Vikings were a nice surprise due to Adrian Peterson rushing for over 2,000 yards and giving them a playoff birth. This year I think the division will get back on the right track.
1. Green Bay Packers (11-5)
I still love Aaron Rodgers. No doubt, currently the best QB in the NFL. Still, the rest of the Packers team needs work. The defense is not what it used to be, Greg Jennings jetted off to Minnesota, so it might not be as easy for Green Bay this year. Their running game will improve, which helps out Rodgers and the defense.
2. Chicago Bears (10-6)
The Bears will be a playoff team in 2013. You heard it here first. They should have went last year, but things fell apart quick. I love their tough, turnover creating defense, and I feel Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall is one of the best connections in the NFL. If the Bears play their cards right, they might even win the NFC North.
3. Detroit Lions (8-8)
I think the Lions have a nice bounce-back year in 2013. Reggie Bush is a nice additon to go with Matthew Stafford and Megatron himself, Calvin Johnson. The defense still makes you worry, I mean really worry, but the Lions should be able to stay in every game due to that great offense.
4. Minnesota Vikings (6-10)
Okay, I feel like a jerk with this pick. Last year I picked the Vikings to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. Then they proved me wrong and made the playoffs. How do I repay them? Saying they will go (6-10) the following season? Not cool man, not cool. I don't have much faith in Christian Ponder, but I also am not sure about their defense either. Adrian Peterson though, I have no doubts in that guy. If he turns it on again, I won't be shocked to see them in the playoffs.
Last year's #1 seed Atlanta Falcons came from this division. With Sean Peyton returning, I think the Saints have a great chance to steal it from Atlanta. Darrelle Revis now resides in this division though, as does a talented Panthers team led by Cam Newton.
1. New Orleans Saints (11-5)
There is no doubt that losing your head coach can cause a team problems. The Saints were without theirs in 2012 and it showed. Sean Peyton is back now though and I think he and Drew Brees will lead this team back to the top. I also like the addition of Rob Ryan as Defensive Coordinator. The Saints defense has been bad for years. If they become decent again, they can compete for another Super Bowl title.
2. Atlanta Falcons (9-7)
Am I short-changing the Falcons? Last year's top NFC team is bringing everyone back. Even Tony Gonzalez decided to give it one more go, I am just not sure how much I believe in them. Matt Ryan is a great quarterback, but he is still not elite in my eyes. Don't get me wrong, the Falcons will battle and likely get a playoff spot, but they will have to work for it.
3. Carolina Panthers (8-8)
The Panthers ended the 2012 season on a roll and I think it will continue this season. Cam Newton needs to minimize his mistakes and the Panthers can make a playoff run. I like their defense, I like their offensive weapons, the Panthers are better than you think.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
Everyone knows I am a big Darrelle Revis fan. I think his addition to the Buccaneers is a great one and will solidify their defense. I am just no so sure about the offense though. Vincent Jackson is great, they have a strong running attack, but I am not sold on Josh Freeman. This will likely be his last year in Tampa Bay, unless he proves people wrong.
Wow, times have changed in the NFL. This division was once considered the worst in the NFL, now it might be the best. The Seahawks, 49ers, Rams and Cardinals all have talent. The 49ers were in the Super Bowl last year, the Seahawks caught fire and made a playoff run, and the Rams have slowly improved.
1. Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
I think the Seahawks are the best team in the NFC West. I love their defense, I am really starting to like their offense, and Pete Carroll is actually showing he is a great NFL coach. Russell Wilson being in Year 2 should also help Seattle. They have a great running game and a great defense. They have a really good shot of going all the way this year.
2. San Francisco 49ers (11-5)
The 49ers could be the second best team in the NFL, but not even win their own division. They are very similar to the Seahawks, which makes a great new NFL rivalry, but I like Russell Wilson just a little bit more than Colin Kaepernick. The addition of Anquan Boldin will be great for the 49ers too. There is no reason to think they can't get back to the Super Bowl, but this time...........win it.
3. St. Louis Rams (8-8)
I think the Rams are better than people give them credit for. Their defense is one of the best in the NFL and even though Brian Schottenheimer's offense is not great, it fits well with how they run their defense. They will challenge for a playoff spot, but I worry for them having to play the Seahawks and 49ers twice. WVU star Tavon Austin will be an impact player to look out for this year too. I think the Rams have a shot.
4. Cardinals (7-9)
I think the Cardinals are better than people think too. They had one of the best defenses last year, but their offense was just terrible. Now they have added Carson Palmer at quarterback, so Larry Fitzgerald actually has someone to throw him the ball now. They could surprise some people and be even better than I think they are.