Thursday, September 10, 2009

Are you ready for some NFL predictions?

Our long (inter)national nightmare is over; it's time for the NFL season to start! I'm excited as anything for tonight's opener between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans; Pittsburgh should be eager to defend their Super Bowl title, and Tennessee will pose a good challenge for them. The "Terrible Towel" story from last year only ups the ante and adds fuel to the fire. For coverage of tonight's game, check out the Shutdown Corner live blog or Behind The Steel Curtain, where they should have a game thread. Anyway, before the season kicks off, here are my preseason playoff predictions; let's see how they stack up. Week One predictions will follow in a separate post.


Division winners:

North: Pittsburgh*
South: Tennessee
East: New England*
West: San Diego
* = first-round bye

Wild cards:


Wild card:
Baltimore over Tennessee
San Diego over Miami

Pittsburgh over Baltimore
San Diego over New England

Pittsburgh over San Diego

It's going to be a tight race in the AFC this year. I could see any of Pittsburgh, New England or San Diego claiming the conference championship, and I'm reasonably confident that all three will win their divisions. The AFC South is rather up in the air, but I don't trust Houston's line or the health of Matt Schaub, and the Colts might miss the playoffs thanks to coaching turnover and the lack of a dominant run game. Baltimore will be good and should be a playoff team; Miami is more of a risky pick, but I love their pass rush and their offence can get it done unconventionally. Plus, betting against Bill Parcells is usually a bad move. In the playoffs, I think it will be tough to beat Pittsburgh's defence or San Diego's offence; New England isn't far back, but their defence is aging a bit and their running game is questionable.


Division winners:
North: Chicago
South: New Orleans*
East: Philadelphia*
West: Seattle
* = first-round bye

Wild cards:
New York Giants


Wild card:
Chicago over Atlanta
Giants over Seattle

Giants over Philadelphia
New Orleans over Chicago

Giants over New Orleans

The NFC's not as stratified as the AFC, as there are a lot of teams that could wind up making it all the way to the Super Bowl. The NFC North in particular is going to be a three-horse race between the Bears, Vikings and Packers. However, I think the Brett Favre experiment will blow up in Minnesota's face, and I'm not sure the Packers' defence will do all that well in their transition to a 3-4. Chicago has had a great team for years, despite mediocre quarterbacks like Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton; with a legitmate QB like Jay Cutler, they should be pretty good. I like New Orleans to pull enough of a defence together to win a lot of games with their incredible offence, and I think Atlanta will be good again with the addition of Tony Gonzalez. The Giants will probably take a little while to get going, but I like them in the playoffs; they're one of the most well-rounded teams in the conference.

Super Bowl: Steelers over Giants

If the season plays out as I predicts, this could be a great smashmouth football matchup. Both teams boast excellent defences and solid running games. I give the Steelers the edge here based on their defence, but it could be a close one.

Comments? Thoughts? Let me know below!

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm ... needed more Vikings-in-the-Super-Bowl.