2012 NFL Preview and Predictions

Better late then never as far as my NFL Preview and Predictions go. It has been a very busy summer for me so I haven't been able to put the time and attention into my blog as I would like. But here they are, just in the nick of time.

For the past 16 years, at least five teams have missed the playoffs after making it the year before. I used that guideline for my predictions. There are several new division winners and playoff teams this year. To get the records, I predicted the winner of every game for the 2012 season. No, I am not going to post those predictions. This is not neccessarily how good I think the teams are this year. I do not think the Bills are better then the Cowboys, for example. But we know that schedules play a huge part in who makes the playoffs every year.

My Super Bowl prediction is the Green Bay Packers over the Pittsburgh Steelers. I do not feel confident about that at all. I think the NFC is extremely wide open. Same with the AFC for that matter. I had the Steelers one loss away from missing the playoffs all together. I just think they could be that team that makes a deep run in the playoffs. People are already counting them out due to all the injuries, but they are so well coached and so battle tested it would not surprise me at all to see them come out of the AFC.

Enjoy, even though this preview will not be nearly as entertaining as in the past. I just wanted to get something out there. Mock draft based on these predictions coming tonight and power rankings tomorrow. The season starts on a Wednesday!

I hope to have a set schedule of NFL updates throughout the year. Every Tuesday or Wednesday I will post my power rankings then on Thursday or Friday I will post my NFL Mock Draft based on those power rankings, until week 9 where they will be based on "if the season ended today" draft order. That will probably be the extent of my NFL updates, unless I get some more free time and some good ideas.

Anyway, let's enjoy the 2012 NFL season!

AFC East

1. New England Patriots, 14-2. The offense is as good as deep as ever. You worry about the defense like always, but they should march through the regular season once again. The playoffs, however, are a different story.

2. Buffalo Bills, 9-7. The Bills are really no better then they were last year. Ryan Fitzpatrick is as mediocre as you can get. But every year one team uses their easy schedule to make a playoff push, and that could be Buffalo this year.

3. New York Jets, 5-11. The Jets offense is completely pathetic. Adding Tim Tebow will do nothing but cause further divide amongst the locker room and cause more chaos in the media. This could be a long year in New York.

4. Miami Dolphins, 4-12. Somehow Jeff Ireland is still around even though he has destroyed all the building Bill Parcells did in South Florida. This team is just strapped for talent pretty much everywhere and will struggle to compete on a weekly basis.

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers, 10-6. The Steelers have already been hit hard by injuries but they are very well coached and still have Ben Roethlisberger, who is perhaps the most underrated quarterback in the league. Not to mention the defense is still top notch, even though they are old.

2. Baltimore Ravens, 10-6. Like the Steelers, the Ravens are getting old on defense. But the offense has some playmakers and if Joe Flacco can take that next step they could be a pretty high scoring team.

3. Cincinnati Bengals, 6-10. The Bengals were pretty good last year, thanks in part to a solid defense and even more due to a very easy schedule. That schedule is gone this year and I think this team will take quite a step back. There are several holes on offense.

4. Cleveland Browns, 3-13. Mike Holmgren has been a total and utter failure as the GM and president, as Cleveland has whiffed on pretty much every draft pick they have made. There is next to no talent on the roster and a rookie quarterback nearing 30 years old is not going to change anything.

AFC South

1. Houston Texans, 13-3. There is perhaps no better roster up and down in the NFL. Houston has a dynamic running game and a strong, attacking 3-4 defense. Not to mention Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels anchor a good passing attack. Unless injuries hit, the Texans should have one of the best records in the NFL.

2. Tennessee Titans, 11-5. I like the Titans as my sleeper team in the AFC this year. They overachieved in 2011, winning 9 games, and I think they could have made the playoffs if they turned to Jake Locker. He is still raw, but has a cannon and can run, and the Texans have quite a bit of firepower on offense with Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Jared Cook, Kendall Wright and Chris Johnson. Add a good defense and they could make a strong playoff run.

3. Indianapolis Colts, 4-12. Some might think the Colts are a mess all of a sudden after being run so soundly these past 15 years for bringing back Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. I think it was a good move, you don't want to completely strip your team of veteran influences. Freeney and Mathis will have to learn a completely new scheme late into their careers. The offense is brand new with stud rookie Andrew Luck.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-13. The Jaguars are going to be pretty bad. I am just not a believer in Blaine Gabbert at all. Even though most rookie quarterbacks struggle, they usually show glimpses. Gabbert looked like another Ryan Leaf/Jimmy Clausen to me.

AFC West

1. Kansas City Chiefs, 11-5. I think the Chiefs could be Super Bowl contenders if they had a real quarterback. I like the offensive play makers, and the offensive line is very good. The additions of Eric Winston, Kevin Boss and Peyton Hillis make the offense that much deeper and more potent. However, Matt Cassel is painfully mediocre. I just can't see him willing his team to a win once the playoffs roll around.

2. Denver Broncos, 8-8.  I want to reserve judgment on how Peyton Manning will fare in the regular season before I give the Broncos the division title. Manning might simply be another Kyle Orton at this stage of his career. I am also not a huge fan of the Broncos offense. Jacob Tamme and Deymarius Thomas are inconsistent. The defense is very good though, and the reason they made the playoffs last year. Not ESPN's wet dream Tim Tebow.

3. San Diego Chargers, 7-9.  I am not buying the Chargers anymore. It is a joke that Norv Turner is still employed by the team. Expect what we see every year, a very rough start finished by a mad dash to make the playoffs. I don't think they have enough talent to overcome that annual slow start. The early season schedule is a killer.

4. Oakland Raiders, 6-10. The Raiders have talent, but there are just too many holes due to a lack of draft picks and bad salary cap management to make a push towards the playoffs.

1. New England Patriots
2. Houston Texans
3. Kansas City Chiefs
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
5. Tennessee Titans
6. Baltimore Ravens

Wild Card

Baltimore Ravens over Kansas City Chiefs
Pittsburgh Steelers over Tennessee Titans


New England Patriots over Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers over Houston Texans

AFC Championship

Pittsburgh Steelers over New England Patriots


NFC East
1. New York Giants, 11-5. The offense remains as deep and talented as ever with the additions of Rueben Randle and David Wilson. They stole Keith Rivers from the Bengals and the defense is full of attacking playmakers. I am still not a fan of their secondary, but they have to be considered the favorites in this division.

2. Philadelphia Eagles, 10-6. If I believed Michael Vick had any chance to play in 16 games, I think Philadelphia would go 12-4. Their offense is full of young, fast, talented playmakers and the defense is very deep. DeMeco Ryans was another fantastic addition by an NFC East team. But Vick will probably miss 4 to 6 games and the backup is mid round draft pick Nick Foles.

3. Dallas Cowboys, 8-8. As always, the Cowboys have plenty of talent, with youngsters DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant to go along with Romo. On defense, DeMarcus Ware is a beast and Brandon Carr was an excellent addition. But I still think Dallas has too many holes to finish much over .500.

4. Washington Redskins, 7-9. The always rebuilding Redskins have the dynamic Robert Griffin III behind center. The offense has some intriguing young players, and if the offensive line holds up, the offense could be much better then expected. The defense remains solid.

NFC North
1. Green Bay Packers, 13-3. I have the Packers winning the Super Bowl, but I am not 100% confident in that pick. The defense has talent but was very disappointing last year. The passing attack remains as lethal as ever. Aaron Rodgers throwing to Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Randall Cobb, Donald Driver and JerMichael Finley. That is just unfair.

2. Chicago Bears, 12-4. I'm a Jay Cutler fan, and I think the Brandon Marshall addition will work out for them in the short term. They have stars all over the field and were well on their way to 10 to 11 wins before Cutler was hurt last year. I don't think they hang around long in the playoffs, but I like them to march through the regular season.

3. Detroit Lions, 9-7. I love the Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson connection. There is perhaps no better duo in the NFL. But they have no running game, an average offensive line and a bad secondary. I could see the Lions regressing record wise. It will be tough to make the playoffs again in a brutal NFC.

4. Minnesota Vikings, 6-10. I actually think the Vikings have talent and could surprise. Hopefully Minnesota doesn't rush Adrian Peterson back too quickly, but they probably will. The Vikings were bad, so few people realized that Jared Allen had one of the best defensive seasons of all time.

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints, 11-5. I do not think Bountygate is going to tear this team apart like some believe. There is structure and continuity on offense, with Drew Brees in the fold. The interim head coach knows how the team should be run. Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham just made this offense younger and more explosive. Even though the scandal will hurt the defense, the Saints never have relied on that side of the ball anyway.

2. Atlanta Falcons, 9-7. Though many people knocked the Falcons for giving up a lot to move up and get Julio Jones, I loved the move then and loved it even more now. Jones looks like he is destined for multiple Pro Bowls. I love this passing attack, but the rest of the team worries me. The running game will struggle with old, slow Michael Turner running behind a weak offensive line. The defense also worries me, other then a very nice trio of cornerbacks. The Falcons could be amongst the league leaders in scoring but I think they will struggle to make the playoffs.

3. Carolina Panthers, 7-9. Unlike most, I like the Jonathan Stewart signing. Sure, they have way too much money tied up in that position, but Stewart is one of the ten best backs in football. This will be the most lethal running team in the league. There are too many holes on defense for them to make a playoff push, and Cam Newton will most likely regress this year as teams key in on him.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 5-11. The Raheem Morris experiment was a disaster. The Bucs hit reboot and will go with a more conservative ground game on offense. I don't think there is enough talent here to field a winning team, but they are on their way. I think they really wasted a lot of free agent money this off season.

NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks, 9-7. As mediocre as Matt Flynn is, I think he is still the best quarterback in this division (wow, think about that for a minute). Russell Wilson is the starter right now, but he will probably be on a short leash. We have seen guys come out of nowhere to become very good quarterbacks, though. Maybe he will be the most recent success story. The only reason he wasn't picked higher was his height. I think the Seahawks defense is very underrated and they have several slept on playmakers on offense. They finished around .500 last year with the Tarvaris Jackson mess behind center.

2. San Francisco 49ers, 9-7. I do think the 49ers have the best talent in the division, but I just like what the Seahawks bring to the table. I think the Niners will regress, but 9 to 11 wins is still likely. I am just not a fan of Alex Smith at all. I think teams are going to dare him to beat them, and I just don't think he has it in him. The Seahawks win this division due to tie breaker.

3. St. Louis Rams, 4-12. Sam Bradford is very close to becoming the next David Carr. The team still has failed to give him a decent offensive line and receiver group. You can't ask for the guy to be successful when he is running for his life on every play. I liked the Jeff Fisher hiring but the rebuilding project is still a very long way away from being complete in St. Louis.

4. Arizona Cardinals, 2-14. Speaking of pathetic offensive lines, Arizona's is in shambles. That is bad news for mediocre quarterbacks John Skelton and Kevin Kolb. Throw in an injury prone running back and things could get very ugly in the desert. The Cardinals have some talent, most notably Larry Fitzgerald and a great defensive line led by Calias Campbell, but there are just too many holes on this roster to be competitive.

1. Green Bay Packers
2. New York Giants
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Seattle Seahawks
5. Chicago Bears
6. Philadelphia Eagles

Wild Card

New Orleans Saints over Philadelphia Eagles
Seattle Seahawks over Chicago Bears


Green Bay Packers over Seattle Seahawks
New York Giants over New Orleans Saints

NFC Championship

Green Bay Packers over New York Giants

Super Bowl

Green Bay Packers - 31
Pittsburgh Steelers - 24

Jonathan Carrano

Phasellus facilisis convallis metus, ut imperdiet augue auctor nec. Duis at velit id augue lobortis porta. Sed varius, enim accumsan aliquam tincidunt, tortor urna vulputate quam, eget finibus urna est in augue.

No comments: