Saturday, July 21, 2012

2012-13 NFL Season Predictions

First of all, record predictions are more a result of best-case scenarios, not built around actual weekly prediction beakdowns. The win/loss ratio will not add up correctly, so don’t expect it to. This is just based on what teams SHOULD be able to do, while trying to stick to who finishes where in their divisions as well. On top of all this, I know it's not even training camp yet, and players can and will get injured all the way through now and the regular season kickoff... but assuming in best-case scenarios that they take teams in healthy and key players don't get hurt, here are my early predictions for the 2012-13 NFL Season.



AFC:


AFC East:

New England Patriots – The Patriots were in the Super Bowl. They lost. They're going to be pissed. Tom Brady had as tremendous a year as you can (nevermind that he threw more INT's than his previous 2 seasons combined) and would have broken Dan Marino's record had Drew Breesus not broken it the week before. Defensively, they've got a lot of players returning from injury, and should be able to make some plays that they couldn't make last year.
Finish: 13-3

Buffalo Bills – They started off as well as any team last year. They played stifling defense, ran the ball extremely well, got good play at QB, and then when their back went down, the team spiraled out of control. It seemed like misfortune of circumstance, so, if they can stay healthy, their best case scenario is much improved from last year.
Finish: 11-5

New York Jets – The Jets crumbled last year. Badly. This year, they're without a sure thing backing up Shonn Green at running back, and the future of their quarterbacks are lost. They've still got targets at WR, but they need a QB who can manage the passing game. I'm interested to see the trick plays with Sanchez & Tebow on the field together. Defensively, they may be better off than last year.
Finish: 9-7
Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins haven't done enough anywhere to convince me of anything. They'll have some targets to throw to, but I'm not sold on their QB's, especially the young guy. Defensively, they seem worse and worse every year. I'm not fond of this group at all.
Finish: 4-12


AFC North:

Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens were a Lee Evans dropped pass away from going to the Super Bowl, where they probably would have beat the New York Giants. But Lee Evans dropped the pass, and they didn't, and they aren't. This year, the Ravens are, again, a little better on both sides of the ball. They need a consistent Flacco for once, like he was in the playoffs. Otherwise, same old story.
Finish: 13-3

Cincinnati Bengals – I like this young group. They've got a lot of potential. I doubted them last year, a lot. This year, I see hope. I particularly like Andy Dalton, who showed he had some poise last year. With a year under his belt, and his primetime target a year under his? They will make strides.
Finish: 11-5

Pittsburgh Steelers – I feel like the Steelers are getting worse at their own game. This is a franchise that has always drafted well, no matter who was running the show. These past couple years, I've been underwhelmed by their drafts. They started to get it together midseason last year, but then fell right back into obscurity when the lights were brightest. I don't see them getting better.
Finish: 8-8

Cleveland Browns – Let Cleveland tell it any way they want to... but they're in trouble. Sure, they've got a young bull to run the ball, but they can't have much confidence at the most important position on the field. Cleveland better pray for a miracle in the form of my predicted Heisman winner Matt Barkley...
Finish: 2-14


AFC South:

Houston Texans – As far as anyone is concerned, this is Houston's division to lose for at least another year. With Schaub coming back, and knowing they've got a somewhat competent backup in T.J. Yates, the team should be able to shred people through the air again to really help keep Arian Foster healthy heading into the playoffs. Defensively, they should be strong, but I'm not ready to crown them scary.
Finish: 12-4

Indianapolis Colts – I think this Colts team will be better than they're going to get credit for until people see them. I like Luck, I like a lot of the talent they added around Luck (a couple familiar faces) and I like that Reggie Wayne stuck around to make the kid's transition a little easier.
Finish: 8-8

Tennessee Titans – I see hope here as well, but they NEED Chris Johnson to return to form if they're going to achieve anything mirroring success. They've got an opportunity in this division to surprise people, but they need to handle the fundamentals.
Finish: 7-9

Jacksonville Jaguars – Blaine Gabbert has a weapon or two, Maurice Jones-Drew should be healthy again... defensively, are they able to start making plays in critical moments? That's the huge uncertain that has hindered the Jaguars for years now.
Finish: 4-12


AFC West:

Denver Broncos – Man, you talk about making a statement. We saw in the playoffs that their defense might not be as feirce as they wanted to appear, but that kinda happens when your quarterback is putting you on the field more and more every game. They now have the smartest quarterback to have ever played the game, presuming he's 100%, with a better run game by miles than he's ever had. Denver is now a scary team just because of 18.
Finish: 11-5

Kansas City Chiefs – I think they can get better production this year solely because they've got a chance to start fresh and get their running game back. Defensively they need to shore up, a lot, but I like this offense and I like their chances to still threaten to take this division.
Finish: 9-7


San Diego Chargers – I've never been more underwhelmed by the post-2000 Chargers than I am right now. Philip Rivers played as horrible as he could have played last year (while still managing SOME respectable numbers) and this team is in need of a run game that they still haven't found. Defensively, I wouldn't feel safe with them vs. most college teams.
Finish: 6-10

Oakland Raiders – I can honestly see Oakland surprising us and doing well, but something tells me they're not cut out to make a big splash the first full season after Al Davis' death. I still like their defense, but offensively, they need to remain healthy. Plus with a coaching change and new direction, it might be a taxing year in Oakland.
Finish: 5-11





NFC:


NFC East:

Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys are better defensively, at least the front 9... but when you get back to those safeties, I still dislike the Cowboys. Offensively, they can put themselves in contention if Romo manages to cut down on costly turnovers. He played very secure last year when he was on the field, but the few mistakes he made were all critical (albeit not all his fault). The one thing outside of the safeties that Dallas should be worried about? Jason Garrett. He can't screw up anymore calls if he wants to see his team in the playoffs.
Finish: 10-6

Washington Redskins – The Redskins are better. People fuss about the safeties, but they had Doughty/Gomes most of the end of the season anyways, and Gomes now has a year under his belt. Offensively, they hope to cut down on the 20+ turnovers by Grossman and turn some of those into scores with Griffin, who opens the playbook back up. Still not the most frightening team at WR, but there's a run game that was pretty successful without consistency from the O-Line.
Finish: 9-7

New York Giants – This is the most up and down team in the league, imo. If they get into the playoffs, as I've said time and time again, they can beat anyone and are probably the most terrifying team to face. But they have to get to the playoffs, and that means some consistency and luck in the regular season. Eli is elite though.
Finish: 9-7

Philadelphia Eagles – Mike Vick is talking bigger than Vince Young did last year, and oddly enough, it was Vick himself who wanted Young silenced. They will be better with healthy, focused receivers, and a young back who deserves to be talked about amongst the best in the league. Defensively, if they can build on what they did the last few weeks last year, they could be a real threat.
Finish: 9-7


NFC North:

Green Bay Packers – I don't see how the Packers will be much worse, let alone not be better. If they can get a productive run game back, and get their receivers to start catching the football, they're infinitely better than they were offensively last year. Defensively, however, they really need to adjust and tighten up. Injuries plagued them, so if they're healthy, they should be near impossible to beat.
Finish: 14-2

Detroit Lions – Blown away, absolutely. Matt Stafford is everything as advertised and more. It helps when you've got Megatron catching touchdowns for you, but Stafford threw to way more than just Megatron, passing for over 5,000 yards. Production in the run-game is needed now, and defensively, the Lions have to learn to play disciplined and tame (that sounds familiar >_>).
Finish: 10-6

Chicago Bears – Before going down with injury last year, Jay Cutler ended up playing some of the best football in the league. Before Matt Forte got injured, the team was on a high and running the ball as well as anyone in the league. With healthy receivers and the addition of Brandon Marshall not just as a go-get-it threat, but a blocker downfield, the Bears offense could be as ferocious as their defense.
Finish: 10-6

Minnesota Vikings – I like Christian Ponder. He was far from above average last year, but he's got better than above average potential. Adrian Peterson returning to this team can really spike their production... they just need their targets on the outside to mature and become threats.
Finish: 5-11


NFC South:

New Orleans Saints – Even with all the troubles, suspensions, not having coach Payton, the Saints are still the team to beat in the South. Drew Brees and his colossal performance, will surely play better, imo. He had some of his best passing days the few games that Payton was off last year with his ACL injury, and the team will rely more on Brees to call plays and manage out of his comfortableness.
Finish: 11-5

Atlanta Falcons – I'm not sold on Atlanta, still. You manage to get a better weapon in Julio Jones, supposedly all you need. Michael Turner gets bodied in the box, and Matt Ryan becomes as insufficient a quarterback as the playoffs have ever seen, and Tim Tebow played a playoff game! The defense still isn't worth a chance, and until Matt Ryan can show me he can take over a game, I don't want to hear shit about him.
Finish: 9-7

Carolina Panthers – CAAAAAAAAAAAAM! WHOA CAAAAAAAAAAAM! Cam Newton is ridiculous! RI-DI-CU-LOUS! Superman incarnate, for sure. He broke Peyton Manning's rookie passing record... PEYTON MANNING'S! Set the QB rushing TD record, in his rookie year. Proved he could throw the ball... and he outthrew receivers which means he's got the arm to ease up a little. His short-passing game was off, but he buys so much time and space, and he's so young, you have to believe he'll get much better at it. Defensively, their cog returns to help them win some of those close games.
Finish: 9-7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I was of the belief that this team would get production last year... my how wrong I was. I like Blounte, as a player, but I question his desire, which isn't a good thing. At WR, I still don't fear or respect their corps. Defensively? They need to do something, and do it right. Otherwise, they're competing for the #1 overall pick.
Finish: 3-13


NFC West:

San Francisco 49ers – They dominated last year on defense. Nobody was intimidating defensive aside from Baltimore's reputation. Offensively, they ran hard and forced teams to stop their physicality, most failed. If they can improve on their offensive play this year, but taking a few more chances instead of focusing so hard on limiting mistakes, they can be a threat.
Finish: 12-4

St. Louis Rams – I'm skeptical about the Rams. I'm a huge Sam Bradford fan, I think the kid will be great. He had absolutely no help last year until acquiring Brandon Lloyd to help catch the ball. Steven Jackson being healthy and a little lighter should pay off. Defensively, they should mug people with Jeff Fisher's coaching influence. They could be the turnaround team of 2012, but for the sake of realistic best-case scenarios?
Finish: 7-9

Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks played well last year, but not great. They need consistency and a threat at QB. They signed Matt Flynn, but they have to hope his underwhelming offseason isn't a sign of things to come, and actually get production out of him. Marshawn Lynch got in trouble again, and he's on a short leash as it is. Defensively, they need more discipline vs. the run and screen.
Finish: 6-10

Arizona Cardinals – Underwhelming, by far. I had no expectations of Kolb, but I didn't have so poor of an expectation that I saw what happened last year coming to them. They've got a better option next to Larry Fitzgerald at WR now, and if they get their backs healthy again, they can improve. But they absolutely NEED to get solid play from QB.
Finish: 6-10










Most Yards Thrown: Drew Brees
Most Touchdown Passes: Aaron Rodgers
Fewest INT's with 400+ throws: Peyton Manning
Most Yards Rushed: Maurice Jones-Drew
Most Touchdown Rushes: Arian Foster
Most All-Purpose Yards: Darren Sproles
Most Receptions: Wes Welker
Most Yards Receiving: Andre Johnson
Most Touchdown Receptions: Calvin Johnson
Most Sacks: Jared Allen
Most Tackles: London Fletcher
Most Interceptions: Ed Reed
Most Fumble Recoveries: Jason Pierre-Paul
Most Defensive Touchdowns: Ed Reed

2 comments:

  1. finishing up your picks

    AFC
    1NE
    2BAL
    3HOU
    4DEN
    5CIN
    6BUF

    NFC
    1GB
    2SF
    3NO
    4DAL
    5DET
    6CHI

    Wild Card Playoffs
    Texans27,Bills13
    Broncos31,Bengals14
    Bears19,Saints13
    Lions23,Cowboys16

    Divisional Playoffs
    Broncos40,Patriots37 OT
    Texans31,Ravens28 OT
    Packers24,Bears20
    Niners37,Lions24

    AFC Championship
    Texans 28
    Broncos 14

    NFC Championship
    Niners 9
    Packers 3

    Super Bowl XLVII
    New Orleans,LA
    Niners 24
    Texans 17

    XLVII MVP: Patrick Willis

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