Monday, September 03, 2012

2012 NFL Season Preview

Last year broke my four year streak of predicting at least one of the two Super Bowl team as both Green Bay and Baltimore missed the big game. In my defense, I should get partial credit for Baltimore seen as they were a Lee Evans dropped touchdown in the end zone from going. But, I digress and look to get back on the right track here in 2012.

New England 13-3
Buffalo 9-7
NY Jets 6-10
Miami 3-13

Analysis: As long as Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are in Foxboro, why predict anything else. I like the addition of Brandon Lloyd and expect him to have a huge year. The tight end combo in New England makes Brady as dangerous as ever. The Bills defense is much improved and believe it or not, they may have the best defensive line in football. The offense should rely on Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller with some big plays from Stevie Johnson. The Jets are a bit confusing. They have a solid defense, maybe a top five defense, but the offense is awful. Mark Sanchez will continue his regression as the fans and media call for Tim Tebow. Sadly, the best QB on the roster, Greg McElroy will probably never see the field. Miami looks like a franchise lost and will be tough to watch. If they win any games this year, it will because Reggie Bush has put them on his back.

Baltimore 11-5
Cincinnati 10-6
Pittsburgh 9-7
Cleveland 4-12

Analysis: This will once again be one of the top two divisions in football. The Ravens are a bit older on defense and losing Terrell Suggs will hurt. But, Ray Lewis should never be counted out. He got leaner this year so he can be faster. Joe Flacco and Ray Rice have some good young compliments at WR. The Bengals were a surprise team last year and will continue to grow. They have a nice young nucleus on offense behind Andy Dalton. The defense is underrated. The Steelers are getting long in the tooth on defense like Baltimore, but they don’t seem to have developed any young talent on that side of the ball. Ben Roethlisberger has a new offensive coordinator who already seems to be making too many changes which will lead to some struggles. The Browns have 15 rookies on the team, but they do have talent. How well they take their lumps this year will determine who good they can be in the future.

Houston 11-5
Indianapolis 6-10
Tennessee 6-10
Jacksonville 3-13

Analysis: The Texans should have the division wrapped up by Thanksgiving. Andrew Luck and the Colts will be better than expected. The Jake Locker era is underway and it will help if Chris Johnson decides he wants to be an elite back again. The Jags got Maurice Jones-Drew back and that is already the best highlight of the season.

Denver 11-5
Kansas City 9-7
San Diego 9-7
Oakland 6-10

Analysis: Yes, my love for Peyton Manning has clouded my judgment on the Broncos. But, since 1999, when Peyton Manning plays a whole season, his team wins 10 games every year. I’m not sold on Matt Cassel in KC, but the defense and skill offensive players make them a team to look out for. Maybe this year will finally be the year Norv Turner gets axed from the underachieving Chargers. No Al Davis for the Raiders this year. A second season with Carson Palmer may show Raider Nation some signs of life.
NY Giants 10-6
Dallas 9-7
Philadelphia 9-7
Washington 7-9

Analysis: Its time to start showing Eli Manning some respect. Questions at WR are the only thing holding back the G-Men from a repeat. The Cowboys once again show promise but can all the individual personalities finally come together? The Eagles will probably not get a whole season from Michael Vick and will struggle down the stretch. RGIII will be the most exciting player in football this year. If only he had more talent around him.

Green Bay 12-4
Chicago 10-6
Detroit 8-8
Minnesota 5-11

Analysis: The Packers defense is much improved an Aaron Rodgers will have another MVP-type season. How well James Starks and Cedric Benson do in the backfield will determine how far they can go. Chicago improved their WR corps with Brandon Marshall, but the mental part of the game of Jay Cutler is always a question. The Lions will not be as strong as last season without a running game and the missing defensive players lost due to off the field issues. A healthy Adrian Peterson will help Christian Ponder, but other than Percy Harvin, they are thin at WR.

New Orleans 11-5
Atlanta 9-7
Tampa Bay 8-8
Carolina 7-9

Analysis: This will be the most competitive division in the league. All four teams have a legitimate chance at the playoffs. The Saints will be strong and it will be interesting to see how they do without Sean Peyton. The Falcons will be good again and the offense will put up a lot of points. The Bucs underachieved with Greg Schiano when their were much better coaching options. The big question is can Cam Newton repeat his stellar rookie year.

San Francisco 12-4
Seattle 9-7
St. Louis 5-11
Arizona 4-12

Analysis: San Francisco got better in the off-season and should be as good as last season. Hopefully, Randy Moss will not ruin a great team. The Seahawks will be surprisingly good under Russell Wilson who may be the best all-around QB of this past draft. The Rams will be better under Jeff Fisher, but still need more talent. The Cardinals will fight the Dolphins for worst team in the NFL. Don’t be shocked if Neil Lomax comes out of retirement to be QB.

1- New England
2- Houston
3- Baltimore
4- Denver
5- Cincinnati
 6- Buffalo

1- Green Bay
2- San Francisco
3- New Orleans
4- NY Giants
5- Chicago
6- Seattle

Denver 24, Houston 20

San Francisco 20, Green Bay 17

Denver 31, San Francisco 23

Analysis: Manning has more offensive talent in Denver this year than most of his year’s in Indianapolis. The compliment in a strong running game with Willis McGahee will make Manning even more dangerous. The Broncos defense was the real reason they made the playoffs last season. Elite QB, solid running game, good young WRs, top five defense equals a Lombardi Trophy for the Mile High city.