Wednesday, May 22, 2013

2013-14 NFL Predictions

Okay, I was going to wait and do this after the NBA finals, but I just do not care to hold off as I'm positive the Miami Heat are gonna walk about 4 games to 2 over the San Antonio Spurs. But enough about that.




These are simply best-case scenarios (+/- 2 games) for each team. I'm not going through each and every schedule and predicting winners of each game and coming away with a results pool. Injuries and bad calls will dictate several games this season as they do each season. Some injuries may even make a team or two better as they find their diamond in the rough (see the 49ers with Smith/Kaepernick). This is just my, "this is how good I imagine this team COULD be"... records won't add up within division/conference.




AFC

AFC East:

New England Patriots - This is their division. They run this. Without or without Rob Gronkowski. Tom Brady is confident in his arm. They have improved their defense and will be in their second year in the 4-3, so more comfortable with their responsibilities on that side of the ball. Record: 13-3.

Miami Dolphins - I like this young team. I like adding Mike Wallace to the mix for Tannehill's strong arm. The second-year QB is a really good player too. Defensively, I think they have some questions, but they're definitely able to keep pace with other teams in the NFL. Record: 10-6.

New York Jets - Geno Smith is a good athlete. I don't see him being much more than a good quarterback. They also don't have many weapons on offense around him to make things easy on the team. Needless to say, this isn't Mark Sanchez's team anymore. And on defense, I think they're going to really struggle to shut down the high-powered offenses in New England and Miami. Record: 7-9.

Buffalo Bills - What is there to like about this team? Not the QB. Not the RB situation with the injuries that have been occurring. Not WR. Not O-Line. Not the defense. I think we have a team who will be competing for the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Record: 3-13.

AFC North:

Cincinnati Bengals - I like the Bengals. Young team with a lot of upside. Still not in the best position overall, but Dalton/Green are growing together, and are doing a very good job of performing so far. I'm most interested in how the run game advances this season to help control the tempo of the game. With their growth and the decline of other teams in the division, they can take the division. Record: 12-4.

Baltimore Ravens - Yeah, they lost a LOT. And Flacco may be the anti-Peyton Manning (bad in the regular season, great in the playoffs). And they don't have Ed Reed or Ray Lewis for the first time in years. But they still have some hungry beasts on that defense and offensively, Ray Rice and Torrey Smith are still there to change the entire game. They will give Cincinnati a run for their money. Record: 11-5.

Pittsburgh Steelers - Losing Mike Wallace is going to hurt. Pittsburgh doesn't have an awesome WR to help Ben out. The run game is no longer a threat. Defensively, they haven't been Blitzburgh in quite a few years. Maybe James Harrison really did retire when he said that was an option after all of the fines. Polamalu can't stay healthy. This is a team on the decline and may cost Mike Tomlin his job. Record: 6-10.

Cleveland Browns - I said last year if they had some reliable receivers, they could have made Weeden look like a good QB. There were three games I can recall off the top of my head where receivers dropped wide-open, game winning TD's in the closing moments of the game. THREE. That could have etched Weeden into a better class. But I don't expect so much without any threatening WR's. Record: 6-10.

AFC South:

Houston Texans - This is still their division, for at least one more year. Foster is still a machine. The WR's should be healthy (and younger with more size). They still have a very good defense who should return to full health. Texans fans have a lot to be excited about. Record: 11-5.

Indianapolis Colts - One of the things the Texans can't be excited about, is the threat the Colts pose. This is a very underrated team, in my opinion. Luck will be much improved this year. They have a pretty good defense and adding a hitter in LaRon Landry can help a lot. I think they can make a run. Record: 10-6.

Tennessee Titans - If they can't run behind this revamped line, CJ2K might need to pack his bags and hope he can find the fire to prove himself again. I don't like much about their passing offense. Defensively, they can do a lot better than they did in 2012. It's all about MAKING the play this year. Record: 8-8.

Jacksonville Jaguars - I don't know what it is, but I actually liked Chad Henne running this offense. But they're still hoping Blaine Gabbert can be Tom Brady. I don't see that happening. Doesn't help at all to have the problems of Justin Blackmon. They don't have a bad team of athletes, but they've got questionable character and unsure performance. Maybe they'll compete for a top 3 pick. Record: 4-12.

AFC West:

Denver Broncos - This is their division, because they're the only great team in this division, right now. Peyton Manning proved to everyone last year that he still has it. He said he didn't feel anywhere near 100% to start the season, or finish it, but was still one of the most efficient and successful QB's of 2012. Now? He says he feels much better. Critics were proved wrong when he threw deep on both sides of the field. Defensively, they really need to play the pass better. But the offense can outscore anyone. Record: 14-2.

Oakland Raiders - What? Did I really just do this? Yes. Yes I did. Matt Flynn may even lose his starting job to a rookie... something that ended up being a blessing for the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. But he may start. But I can see Tyler Wilson being successful. Or Terrell Pryor. Still like Oakland's defense, especially with Charles Woodson back in the silver and black (great nod to make it feel like it is a special place). Health and QB can prove to be the difference for this team. Record: 10-6.

Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs have a new QB who can distribute the football when he is protected. They have a run game. They have a WR. They have an O-Line. They have a decent enough defense. They have Andy Reid, who (take out the last two seasons) is one of the most successful coaches in the league. I expect them to push some teams to the limit. Record: 9-7.

San Diego Chargers - A lot of new faces out there. Philip Rivers (as I've maintained since he was drafted) is overrated and is every bit of what the media loves to accuse Tony Romo of being. They don't have a run game. There isn't a frightening WR in San Diego anymore. I don't like their defense one bit. Record: 5-11.




NFC

NFC East:

Washington Redskins - No, this division has not had a repeat champion in a while. This team DID get on a hot streak to end 2012. QB Robert Griffin III is questionable to start the season. But the Redskins can win a few of their first 4 games with backup QB Kirk Cousins. Alfred Morris is consistent and had one of his best games without RGIII. There are more weapons and more speed on this offense. Defensively, Orakpo is returning to help take pressure off Kerrigan, who will also keep some pressure off of Orakpo, opening the pass rush up. DB is improved (and played pretty well during the winning stretch last year). Record: 11-5.

Dallas Cowboys - Tony Romo is underrated. Dez Bryant is really good. The health of the running backs will be key to their success on offense. Defensively, a lot of players are returning from injury. A move to the 4-3 suits their players' strengths in Monte Kiffin's scheme. They have really good depth at LB and DE. Dallas will be in it come week 17, where the division will probably be decided again. Record: 11-5.

New York Giants - Eli Manning has to prove he can play without two star WR's and make some plays with just one. He has to not force passes to Victor Cruz when he loses confidence in his other WR's. The run game needs to succeed, which means these young backs have to prove they can play with minimal mistakes. Defensively, JPP needs to be everything he was two years ago, and nothing like he was in 2012. Justin Tuck can't have another bad year, or else Mara will never hear the end of "we should have kept Osi." DB is a huge question mark. Record: 8-8.

Philadelphia Eagles - New coach, new scheme, new focus on fast-pace, question marks at QB. Offensively, we don't know what the Eagles will look like. Running the football a lot may not be a huge option as Jackson/Maclin aren't the best blockers on the outside. Defensively... well, first year in a 3-4 following a few seasons of the wide-non...err...9. I think this season is a feeling-out process for coach Kelly. Record: 5-11.

NFC North:

Green Bay Packers - Aaron Rodgers is going to have a chip on his shoulder this year. They have a younger, faster group at WR. They want to run the football more than they have in the past few seasons. Defensively they have some reason to believe they will improve. This is still the team to beat in the NFC in my eyes. Record: 13-3.

Chicago Bears - They could be really bad this year... but I'm of the belief they will be really good this year. I still really like Cutler/Marshall, and if the other WR's can stay healthy, Cutler can achieve some great things. Run game needs to be a focus this season though, which means the RB's need to stay healthy. Forte in 16 games could be one of the best backs in the entire league. Defensively, they could grow without Urlacher's physical deficiencies. Record: 10-6.

Minnesota Vikings - I'm not ready to give up on Ponder yet. Having a veteran WR who has won something can help him a lot. Peterson is an X-Men and if his goal is 2,500 yards rushing, I don't imagine a single defense wants to try and stop him from doing it. Defensively, Minnesota has always been pretty solid. Young DB's have a little experience now. Record: 10-6.

Detroit Lions - Are they better than their record last year? I don't know. Calvin Johnson is the best WR in the NFL right now, like it or not. Stafford distributes the ball pretty well, and Megatron managed to do the unthinkable. Don't like their run game... even if they're healthy. Defensively, Fairley's suggestion that he and Suh are the best DT tandem may be fair, but the rest of that defense doesn't play like they're anchored by the best DT tandem. They really have to step up this year. Record: 7-9.

NFC South:

New Orleans Saints - They're making a return to the top of the division this season with the return of head coach Sean Payton. Drew Brees is just far more comfortable with his head coach on the sideline and not at home watching on TV. I don't expect this offense to stall at all. Defensively, they can be as good as they want to be if they play up to their talents. That's easier said than done though. But they can outscore almost everyone in the NFL. Record: 12-4.

Atlanta Falcons - I still think Matt Ryan is overrated. I don't think Stephen Jackson is any better than Mike Turner was last season at this point. Maybe he is, and maybe that helps mask Ryan's weaknesses. WR is possibly the best group in the entire league. Defensively, they're worse than they were last year, and that was a pretty bad group. I don't have high expectations there. Record: 9-7.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They made some nice additions on defense. Getting Revis, even if he isn't exactly like he was before the injury, is still a major pickup that will greatly help their horrible pass defense from last year. Doug Martin and the WR's are pretty damn good weapons at the disposal of Freeman, who needs to show out this season and not fall apart like 2012. Record: 8-8.

Carolina Panthers - This isn't a team I'm really seeing improving. I don't like their situation at RB. Their WR's still aren't frighting. Cam Newton is literally the only weapon I see on this offense. Defensively, they're just as frightening as they were last year......... not very. Record: 7-9.

NFC West:

San Francisco 49ers - Even if they don't have Michael Crabtree, I still think this team is terrifying to any opponents. The defense is solid all around and regardless of the first half of the Super Bowl, they can bully any offense in the NFL. Offensively, they've got the tools to run more if Crabtree cannot return at all, and they still have some options at WR with the zone-read option to keep defenses honest. Record: 11-5.

Arizona Cardinals - I don't care what you think of Palmer following his days in Oakland. They just need a QB who can get Fitzgerald involved, and Palmer's one of those guys who can do that. It helps a whole lot that they have another big target across from Fitz... a guy I believe can be one of the best in the NFL in a few years, and Palmer may just jumpstart his push to get there. Defense needs to step up and bully people like they started to do last year. Record: 9-7.

Seattle Seahawks - They're a good team, no matter how you look at it. But they're also a troublesome team off-the-field, and sometimes that really hurts talent when the league starts observing a little more closely. I don't really like their group at WR, but Lynch is one of the best backs in the league and will go off again this year. Defense is big, fast, and strong, and they will push people around all year. Record: 9-7.

St. Louis Rams - Bradford has some weapons at his disposal, but still no proven name that strikes fear in the heart of opposing defenses. Austin could become that guy, but that's a big if in my book. The group at RB isn't as intimidating as many, but they've got a good blend and backs usually succeed with coach Fisher regardless. Defensively, I like the talent they have, but they still have to learn to play as an entire unit. Record: 7-9.

8 comments:

  1. Sean Bishop, Your a funny fellow, you really seem to be clueless about Football. I almost feel bad for you. your quote: "Buffalo Bills - What is there to like about this team? Not the QB. Not the RB situation with the injuries that have been occurring. Not WR. Not O-Line." Seriously? In 2011 The Bills led the NFL in fewest sacks allowed, and after the 2012 campaign, Pro football focus have them ranked at 13 (which is in the upper half of the league). Look it up, here is the site https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/01/28/ranking-the-2012-offensive-lines/3/
    And running back ? really? C.J. Spiller was 8th in the NFL in rushing, and tied for the league lead in Yards per carry with Adrian Peterson with 6.0 YPC. I will agree their Defense was horrible, you can thank Coach Dave Wannstedt for that mess. That will all change now. If you were trying to be humorous, you did good kid, if not, go back and try to learn the game.

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  2. Forgot to mention the First round selection of Quarterback E.J. Manuel, obviously, they sure liked him.

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    1. You're entitled to that opinion. However, fewest sacks allowed doesn't always mean a great line. There are many QB's who quickly throw the ball away to avoid sacks. Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of those guys, and that is one of the reasons he was released from his megadeal. E.J. Manuel isn't an exciting prospect as a first-round pick, but they grabbed a guy they liked, sure. There are many first-round QB's that teams like who do not succeed. CJ Spiller DID have a good year, but he DOES also have a history of injury. And all of the things you mentioned still don't change the fact that there is nobody for Manuel to throw the football to.

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    2. Well, they drafted Robert woods, Marquis goodwin, and signed undrafted wideout, Da'rick rodgers. Not to mention stevie Johnson, who is know as on of the best route runners in the entire NFL. Woods was rated as a first round player by many of the analysts, And Da'rick Rodgers would have certainly been a first round selection had he not ran into his personal problems. So, I guess all I can say is wait for this year to be over, and I bet next years predictions will be totally different. And by the way, C.J. has missed only two games in his 3 year career to date, not what I would call injury prone. And furthermore, Spiller reached the 1,000 yards rushing mark for the first time in his NFL career. He also only needed 154 carries to reach the mark - the fewest carries to 1,000 yards since Chicago Bears running back Beattie Feathers in 1934, I think all the above speaks volumes.But Your are entitled to your opinion, as far fetched as it is.

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  3. Nuthin.........

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  4. Seahawks 9-7? Don't like harvin, rice, Tate and Baldwin at WR? Check your office for a gas leak

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    1. Harvin is a headache, no pun intendend. Rice can't stay healthy. Tate is okay but he's not a consistent threat. Baldwin hasn't shown me anything.

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