Last year I had Denver beating New Orleans in my NFL predictions. Better than the Houston-Chicago Super Bowl prediction in 2014, but not by much.
I don’t even know why I bother, but here are my NFL picks for this year. Feel free to laugh come the end of the season.
- Dallas: The Cowboys and Eagles are going to be in a dogfight for the division all season. Experience wins out, though, and the Cowboys will enjoy a first-round bye.
- Philadelphia (WC): The Eagles are going to score a lot of points. Can they muster up enough defense to win the close games, though?
- NY Giants: This will be one of those teams that is a pain in the butt to play, but ultimately not a factor in the playoff hunt.
- Washington: Expect a house cleaning after the disaster that should occur this season.
- Green Bay: The Packers aren’t as good as last year, but then again, neither is this division.
- Minnesota: The Vikings will be battling St. Louis for the last playoff spot, but will come up just short.
- Detroit: One of the biggest disappointments of the year, the Lions finish the year with just six wins.
- Chicago: Look, I’m a homer, but even I have my limits. The Bears defense should be improved, but they also have a bunch of 4-3 players for a new 3-4 scheme. That isn’t a good fit. Time to scout out the top quarterback prospects for the 2016 draft.
- Atlanta: When you look at the roster, there is no reason the Falcons shouldn’t be in the thick of the playoff race. Health is the biggest key to their chances, though.
- Carolina: Cam Newton always seems to have the Panthers in the hunt despite the lack of weapons around him. He can’t do it all this year, though.
- Tampa Bay: The Bucs are going to be greatly improved, but I don’t see a playoff berth for such a young team this year.
- New Orleans: The Saints got rid of a lot of weapons, and Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger. If the defense can’t get its act together, it could be a long season in the Big Easy.
- Seattle: This may be the Seahawks’ last run, and they make it a good one, clinching home field advantage again.
- St. Louis (WC): Finally getting production from their offense, the Rams go on a late-season winning streak and make it back to the playoffs.
- Arizona: The loss of Bowles turns out to be key, as the defense falls off a bit, keeping the Cardinals from returning to the postseason.
- San Francisco: The stunning two-year collapse of the 49ers finds them with a top three pick in the draft.
- New England: Remember last time the Patriots were involved in a big scandal? They went into full “fuck you mode” and went undefeated in the regular season. They won’t go unbeaten this time, but will cruise to the division title.
- Buffalo: Everyone knows I am a huge Rex Ryan fan. The defense is also stellar. However, Tyrod Taylor doesn’t exactly have me thinking playoffs for the Bills.
- Miami: I’ve never felt like the Dolphins coaching staff is good enough to get them into the playoffs.
- NY Jets: I really like Todd Bowles as a head coach, but the quarterback issue still hasn’t been solved for the Jets.
- Cincinnati: The Bengals have shown they have what it takes to make it to the playoffs. Now can they actually win a postseason game for once?
- Pittsburgh (WC): The Steelers will be in a fight with the Bengals for the division title. A balanced offense will get them in the playoffs regardless.
- Baltimore: I don’t understand all the media hype surrounding the Ravens. To me, this team isn’t as good as it was last year.
- Cleveland: The Browns are still a mess. Who knows – maybe sober Johnny Football can find his way on the field and make them relevant.
- Indianapolis: The Colts’ offense will be a juggernaut. However, has anyone noticed how horrible their defense is? That will kill the Colts in the playoffs.
- Houston: The defense is Super Bowl worthy, as is the offensive line. However, the ultimate bugaboo for the Texans is and always has been quarterback. Can’t without a good one.
- Jacksonville: At some point, the Jags have to start getting better, right? Eh…maybe not.
- Tennessee: I actually believe in Marcus Mariotta. It’s the garbage around him that sends the Titans to the basement.
- Kansas City: The Chiefs have a surprisingly balanced roster. Jeremy Maclin was a huge signing for the offense, and the defense has a ton of talent. Expect KC to claim a first round bye.
- Denver (WC): Manning and company probably have one last run in them. Don’t count on new head coach Gary Kubiak leading them to a title though.
- San Diego: The Chargers are going to be one of those teams in the hunt for the final playoff spot. A tough division will be the cause for them coming up just short.
- Oakland: The Raiders won’t be a complete pushover like they have recently, but they have no chance at the postseason in this division.
MVP: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City
Offensive POY: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
Defensive POY: J.J. Watt, Houston
Offensive ROY: Melvin Gordon, San Diego
Defensive ROY: Leonard Williams, New York Jets
Wild Card: Green Bay over Minnesota, Philadelphia over Atlanta
Divisional: Seattle over Philadelphia, Dallas over Green Bay
NFC Championship: Seattle over Dallas
The Seahawks pull away from the Cowboys in the second half, thanks in large part to two fourth-quarter interceptions from Romo.
Wild Card: Pittsburgh over Cincinnati, New England over Denver
Divisional: Kansas City over Pittsburgh, New England over Indianapolis
AFC Championship: Kansas City over New England
The NFL’s biggest surprise of the year pulls off the upset, knocking out New England and punching their ticket to the Super Bowl.
Seattle over Kansas City
In another close Super Bowl, the Seahawks don’t screw up the play calling this time and Marshawn Lynch carries them to their second title in three years.
Bear Down and #CommitForLife