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It is that time of the year again! Football season is here! After months of mini camps, off season activities, training camp, and pointless preseason games, the 2013 NFL season kicks off Thursday night when the Super Bowl Champion Ravens have to travel on the road in a bizarre opening week for the champion when they head to mile high to take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos
The eventual Super Bowl Champion is 39-7-1 in Week 1. So only seven prior teams have hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season after starting 0-1. That is how important it is to get off to a hot start. But the question is who will be having that victory parade? So it got me thinking who will be in New Jersey when it’s all said and done. Though I might not be right at the end of season here is how I think the 2013 NFL season will shape out. Hey last season I had 10 of 12 playoff teams and half of the Super Bowl with the eventual champion being correct! So time to take your money to the bank after seeing my predictions….
*means Wildcard team….
1.Giants- 10-6, 2. Cowboys 8-8, 3.Redskins:7-9, 4.Eagles: 6-10
Comments: This could easily change depending on the health of RGIII over the course of the season. The Cowboys can be a scary football team this season. They have an offense that can do something and finally a defensive mastermind like Monte Kiffin guiding the ship, but they still have Tony Romo as their quarterback. Ill take a 2-time Super Bowl winning proven quarterback with Eli Manning over Romo anyday. Don’t have too much expectations on the Birds but feel it’s turning in the right direction.
1.Packers: 11-5, 2.Vikings: 8-8, 3.Lions: 8-8, 4. Bears: 6-10
Comments: This is going to be an interesting division to watch throughout the season. I feel the best division in the NFC. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson looks to be back to full strength and another year under Christian Ponder, can never count out the Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson connection, and Aaron Rodgers is well Aaron Rodgers, a elite quarterback in this league. It just depends on how things fall into place but until someone can take down the Packers they will always be the early favorite for this division.
The Bears are the Bears, always have high expecatation but never pan out. A team that has players with history of injuries. Also let go their defensive leader in Brian Urlacher which I feel will make a huge impact despite his lack of production over the past few seasons.
1.Falcons: 11-5, *2.Saints: 10-6, 3.Buccaneers: 7-9-8; 4.Panthers: 5-11
Comments: This is really one of the more exciting races we will see. This division just has so much fire power on offense. Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and the WR Tandem of Julio Jones/Roddy White, the fierce running game of Doug Martin and the playmaking ability from Cam Newton. It will come down to the Saints and Falcons but in the end I think the Falcons edge it out with the Saints being one of the wild card teams. It reallly just comes down to the way the schedule works out… Looking at it the Saints have some tough road matchups with the Bears and Patriots back to back weeks which is one deciding factor. And I just love all the weapons that the Falcon’s offense posess to cause havoc for their opponents.
As for the rest of the division. The Buccs made some upgrades but broke the bank to get Dashon Goldson and Darelle Revis to add to an already stout secondary of Mark Barron and Eric Wright to compliment a solid offense with the likes of Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin. But it all comes down to the Quarterback and i’m just not a huge fan of Josh Freeman. He really hasn’t come out of his shell. He has shown some glimpse that he may have it but overall he will never be an elite quarterback in this league and take this team to the next level which what is holding them back. The Panthers had one of the worst defenses last season, got Cam Newton no help on the offensive side of the ball and just too many glaring holes to really be a threat especially how deep this division is.
1.Seahawks: 10-6, *2.49ers: 9-7, 3.Rams:6-10, 4.Cardinals: 4-12
Comments: Last year’s NFC Champions are going to have a case of the post Super Bowl losing curse and take a back seat but not too much. This team can still make a run with 2nd year starter Collin Caepernick running this offense with the addition of adding Super Bowl winning WR Anquan Boldin to the roster to give him another option. They will also have one of the top defenses in the league but I just feel the Seahawks are ready to make a run.
1.Patriots: 12-4, 2.Bills: 7-9; 3.Jets: 6-10, 4.Dolphins: 5-11
Comments: The Patriots are still the king of the AFC East. Jets and Bills moving in a different direction with rookie quarterbacks and the Dolphins have a young QB their own with Ryan Tanehill so will take time for them to really make a push or until Tom Brady retires….
1.Bengals: 11-5, *2.Steelers: 10-6; 3.Ravens: 8-8, 4.Browns: 3-13
Comments: I feel the Bengals really make a leap and become the class of this division. They have a solid defense. And AJ Green is emerging as one of the elite WR in the game today to really give Andy Dalton some firepower to have monsterous numbers this season. Ravens have too much to overcome with the losses on defense in the offseason as well as losing his go to guy TE Dennis Pitta. Anquan Boldin is on a different team so who is he going to throw the ball to? Pittsburgh will be a factor and it comes down to rookie RB Levon Bell staying healthy. He has the chance to be something special but is already banged up and Issac Redman isn’t a legitimate threat out of the backfield. Also made some upgrades on D by drafting Jarvis Jones. But all comes down to the performance of Big Ben!
1.Texans: 10-6, *2.Colts: 9-7, 3.Titans: 6-10, 4.Jaguars: 4-12
Comments: Andrew Luck won’t have a sophmore slump this season and will guide the Colts into the playoffs. Texans QB Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are going to be monsters again and then having Arian Foster in the backfield just makes this offense even more of a threat. If their defense can stay healthy behind DC Wade Phillips they will be a legitimate threat in the AFC.
1.Broncos: 13-3, 2.Chargers: 8-8, 3.Chiefs: 7-9, 4.Raiders: 6-10
Comments: Sorry Andy you still have to do a better job to think you can overcome QB Peyton Manning.
MVP: Broncos QB Peyton Manning
Off. POY: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
Def. POY: 49ers LB Patrick Willis
Rookie of the Year: Broncos RB Montee Ball
Comeback Player of the Year: Redskins QB Robert Griffin III
NFC: Falcons over Seahawks
AFC: Broncos over Bengals
Super Bowl 47 Winner: Falcons over Broncos
I like the firepower that the Falcons have on offense. The WR Tandem is going to be difficult to stop with Roddy White and Julio Jones. The return of TE Tony Gonzalez out of retirement… And all the pressure is on Matty Ice to finally succeed especially with the amount of weapons they have on this offense. I feel he overcomes the adversity to finally punch it for the Falcons! They won a playoff game last year so that is a step into the right direction, this year Super Bowl!
Where Does That Leave the Eagles?
Look, I know fans are excited about the change up top with bringing in Chip Kelly as the new head coach but you really have to be realistic about what this team is really going to do…They have a new man running the ship, new schemes on offense and defense, new players to try and run these schemes. It’s going to take some time. Rome wasn’t built overnight. Plus there are still many question’s regarding this team before you can even consider them a threat in the NFC…
-Can QB Michael Vick stay healthy and run this up tempo offense? We saw what he could do in the preseason and overall ran it well but just takes one bad game to kill his confidence and just one big hit before we have QB Nick Foles under center.
-Can this defense stop anyone? This defense has issues stopping the run and through the air. I feel overtime once players adjust and get use to their position in this scheme it will improve but this defense is still too far away from really keeping this team in ball games….
-How effective will Chip Kelly’s offense be? All we hear is about Chip Kelly and his up tempo, fast pace offense and how he is bringing it to the NFL. This isn’t something new that team’s haven’t seen before. It’s a different variation but once he puts this offense on game tape I feel team’s are going to find a way to stop this offense so It’s going to come down to Chip adapting and making the adjustments so that his offense can still be effective because without it, this team is doom for disaster.