2011 Predictions

Now that most of free agency is done and training camps are underway, I feel I can safely make predictions without any major players switching teams. Keep in mind the records I've given each team are estimations, I looked at each team's schedule, but I didn't go through every game of the season and pick winners. So here are my 2011 Predictions.

AFC East:

1. New England Patriots: 13-3

2. New York Jets: 8-8

3. Buffalo Bills: 7-9

4. Miami Dolphins: 4-12

Hard to not see the Pats running away with this division again, the only contender is the overrated Jets. Look at the Jets' schedule last year and you'll see a lot of extremely close games against bad teams. Karma principle states that they wont be as lucky in 2011. The Bills are better than their record last year and had a good draft, so they'll improve. Miami, say goodbye to Sparano and Henne, as their offense will be terrible and they'll have a top 5 pick in 2012.

AFC South:

1. Houston Texans: 11-5

2. Indianapolis Colts: 11-5

3. Tennessee Titans: 5-11

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-11

This is it. This is the year the Colts finally lose their hold on the AFCS. I think the Texans will sweep the Colts but will share an identical 11-5 record. The Jags and Titans will both suffer the growing pains that come with drafting a QB early in the first round, but ultimately the Jags have more pieces around them. Still, Del Rio and Garrard are gone, leaving Gabbert in limbo with a new regime in 2012.

AFC West:

1. San Diego Chargers: 12-4

2. Kansas City Chiefs: 8-8

3. Oakland Raiders: 6-10

4. Denver Broncos: 4-12

Last year was unfortunately a fluke for the Chiefs. Like Miami in 2008, they beat up on inferior competition and jumped to a division title before they were truly ready to play the elite teams. They'll take a small hit in the wins column, and lose the division to the Chargers, who are much stronger and get a few pieces back that were missing last year. I don't see any hope for the Raiders and Broncos, as neither team has a good enough defense to make up for bad QBs.

AFC North:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 12-4

2. Baltimore Ravens: 11-5

3. Cleveland Browns: 5-11

4. Cincinnati Bengals: 4-12

Really hard for me to balance homerism for the Steelers with being fair and tempering my expectations. The homer side of me says we should be 14-2, but I don't like making a prediction that bold for my team, it feels like bad karma. As far as the Ravens go, they'll always be nipping at our heels, and I think we'll split our 2 games with them. Sorry Ohio, at least you have some good college programs.

NFC East:

1. Philadelphia Eagles: 13-3

2. Dallas Cowboys: 11-5

3. New York Giants: 9-7

4. Washington Redskins: 2-14

Hard not to like the Eagles after their shopping spree. With a presumably elite defense to go with the explosive Mike Vick, wow. Dallas will be much improved with a better O-Line and Rob Ryan running the defense. The Giants are a good team that will again fall victim to the delusion that Eli Manning is a good quarterback. The Redskins have to be tanking the season in order to get Andrew Luck. John Beck, are you kidding me?

NFC South:

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 12-4

2. Atlanta Falcons: 12-4

3. New Orleans Saints: 11-5

4. Carolina Panthers: 3-13

This is by far the toughest division in football. I think they will send 3 teams to the playoffs and you will see one of these teams playing the Packers in the NFC title game. I picked the Bucs to win the division because I think the Falcons made a mistake mortgaging their draft for one player, and Brees is overrated. Yes, I said it. Drew Brees is overrated. The Panthers are kidding themselves if they think they can win anything this year with Cam Newton.

NFC West:

1. St. Louis Rams: 10-6

2. Arizona Cardinals: 8-8

3. San Francisco 49ers: 6-10

4. Seattle Seahawks: 5-11

Sam Bradford is the real deal, Kevin Kolb is not. The Rams are building a true contender and will walk through a bad division. Arizona is under the impression that their only problem last year was at QB, but they'll quickly see that losing Rogers-Cromartie and having no pass rush will keep them out of the playoffs. Jim Harbaugh is going to make the 49ers better, but he'll need a franchise QB and some more pieces on defense before he can get them to the playoffs. I think Seattle is in for a long year, especially with Tarvaris Jackson at QB.

NFC North:

1. Green Bay Packers: 14-2

2. Chicago Bears: 9-7

3. Detroit Lions: 8-8

4. Minnesota Vikings: 6-10

The Packers are head and shoulders above any team in the league in my opinion, especially after getting key pieces on offense back from injury. The Bears are going to take a step back, as their defense wont be quite as dominant and they're still missing an O-Line. I'm not quite ready to put the Lions in playoff contention, but they're definitely on the up and up. Like Chicago, all they need is a few pieces on defense and better protection for their QB. Minnesota is under the same false pretense as Arizona: that their only problem last year was at QB. Their defense relied heavily on its D-Line, which just lost Pat Williams and Ray Edwards. They also lost an elite receiver in Sidney Rice, which means Percy Harvin will garner all the attention from defenses.

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