It almost felt like the NFL season would never get here. But thankfully, last night was the season opener and this Sunday is the first of the 2010 NFL season. Personally, I am not in love with the Thursday night game to open the season, but I’m not really going to complain either.
I am going to attempt to make predictions on the upcoming season. 95% of them will probably be wrong, but if 5% are right, at least I’ll know that I’m smarter than most of these idiots that call themselves “experts”.
I listed everyone in their division in the order of finish.
|AFC East||AFC North||AFC South||AFC West|
|NFC East||NFC North||NFC South||NFC West|
NFC Seeds: 1. Packers 2. Saints 3. Cowboys 4. Cardinals 5. Vikings 6. Falcons
AFC Seeds: 1. Colts 2. Chargers 3. Pats 4. Ravens 5. Jets 6. Texans
NFC Wild-Card Round: Cowboys over Falcons, Vikings over Cardinals
AFC Wild-Card Round: Patriots over Texans, Jets over Ravens
NFC Divisional Round: Packers over Vikings, Cowboys over Saints
AFC Divisional Round: Colts over Jets, Chargers over Patriots
NFC Championship: Cowboys over Packers
AFC Championship: Colts over Chargers
Superbowl: Cowboys 27 over Colts 24
Call me a homer or whatever you want, but I truly believe that if the Cowboys O-line survives the first few weeks that they could be the Super Bowl Champion. They have a few things going for them this year.
1-Defense: Last year, Jerry Jones made coach Wade Phillips the only Coach/Defensive Coordinator in the NFL. What a big payoff that was. The ‘Boys were 2nd in the NFL in points per game allowed.
2-Playoff Win for Romo and Co.: The big knock against the Cowboys during the Romo/Phillips era has been that they can’t win in December/January. Well they erased that with a win at the previously undefeated and eventual Super Bowl Champion Saints. After that win, they had shutout wins over Washington and Philadelphia in the weeks 16 and 17, then followed it up with a Wild Card game victory over the Eagles.
3- Lightning then Thunder: This year, the Cowboys are going back to using the “speed” back first, then the “power” second. When Julius Jones was in Dallas, him and Marion Barber were a deadly 1/2 punch. Barber was at his best when he was brought in in the 2nd and 4th quarters to pound a tired defense into the ground. With home-run hitter Felix Jones, the running game could be in the top 5 of the league.
4- Oh yeah, they’ll have a home game in the SuperBowl. If that’s not enough pressure from Jerry Jones I don’t know what is.
Don’t believe the pre-season hype
Every year, some team lights it up in pre-season and everyone goes crazy. Well this year it’s Green Bay. Just like everyone else, I like them to win the NFC North, but in the playoffs, defense wins. I have no idea how they were ranked as the NFC’s top rated defense last year. But other than Charles Woodson, there’s no one who really stands out. I guess when you play the Bears and Lions twice per season, you can pad your stats.
As for the Saints, last year everything fell right for them. They had a cupcake schedule plus a great QB. It turned into a shooting gallery for Drew Brees. In the beginning of the season, Brees put up Dan Marino type numbers. I believe it was just one of those seasons of destiny. This season they play in weeks 12, 13, 15 and 16 road games at Dallas, Cincy, Baltimore, and Atlanta. That’s an absolutely brutal stretch.
I live in NY and root for the Jets when the Boys aren’t on, but I’m having a hard time believing in the hype. I have confidence that they will make the playoffs, but Mark Sanchez scares the crap out of me. In the pre-season, he showed me absolutely nothing. Zero. I love everything about Rex and I wish Hard Knocks was a weekly show, but I don’t see how Sanchez will be able to win a game for them if he’s needed to.
Under the radar
Even though I have the Chargers beating the Patriots in the Divisional Round, I really think New England is going to be a solid team. Tom Brady is all the way back from the knee injury and Randy Moss is pissed. I think that’s a great combo. This is one of the few times in the last 10 years that the Patriots are getting no pre-season hype at all. Maybe it’s because they’re defense is suspect, but they’ll find a way as always.
This is finally the year the Texans make it into the playoffs. Everyone’s perennial sleeper to make it to the playoffs is finally going to get there this year. Matt Schaub took the step last year to becoming a big time QB. Sure, he had a few hiccups in the 4th quarter in a few games, but you have to learn somewhere. Andre Johnson is one of the top 3 wide receivers in the league, and may actually be the best. On the defensive side of the ball, 2006 #1 overall draft pick Mario Williams, is coming off his 3rd straight Pro-Bowl season of quarterback harassment. Houston has the toughest schedule in the league this year, but they do have the luxury of playing their last 3 games against the Titans, Broncos and Jaguars. They have to break through eventually…..why not this year?