This year in North Carolina, we’re going to get a taste of football before we get a taste of Fall. The last three days have been scorchers, trust me, I have lunch duty in the courtyard… the shade helps a little, but can only go so far. Every year I invest a lot in fantasy football and the NFL. I just love it. I love supporting my team (the Steelers). I love taking in the entire league and the ups and downs of certain teams. I love the fact that it all happens once a week and we’re left with time to analyze the wildness and the predictability of certain events. And I love, love, love box scores.
Last year I predicted the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, so this year I’m going to try my hand at a repeat. Here are my predictions, by division, of playoff contenders and the eventual Super Bowl champion:
NFC East- Even though this division almost always comes down to the wire, I love what the Eagles did last year and I love that their biggest loss is a primadonna wide receiver that just runs go-routes. I’ll take the Eagles slipping into the playoffs in Week 17.
NFC North- You have to see a bounce back year for the Packers, don’t you? No. No you don’t. I have the Lions coming out of this division. They’ve always had the right stuff, they just don’t finish out. I think the pieces come together and the defense plays well enough to put them atop the division.
NFC South- You don’t need to analyze this one. Drew Brees. The Saints. End of story.
NFC West- I think this gets tossed up every year, and this time I actually think that San Francisco grabs the reins from the Super Bowl champions. Even if Seattle’s slump isn’t a big one, I think they give away a game or two and let the 49er’s take the division.
Wild Card Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears
AFC East- I badly want to pick anyone else, but how do you choose anyone but the New England Patriots. Revis Island is back and I think they clean up this division halfway through the season.
AFC North- Hate to say it, but the Steelers just haven’t played consistently enough to do what they need to do to win the division. My vote goes to the Cincinatti Bengals. A good team that’s only gotten better in the off-season.
AFC South- While it’s not a stunning prediction, I really do feel like this is the year Andrew Luck ascends. All around the league, people recognize his talent, but I think that the Colts really get to show off a top 5 QB this year. Colts by a mile.
AFC West- Is anyone not picking the Broncos? Manning in a last ditch effort to grab the same number of titles as the floundering Eli Manning.
Wild Cards: Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers
I’m going to call the Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. I think the Colts take it.
Let the fun begin tonight!