2013 NFL Preview and Predictions

I love my current 60 hour work weeks, but it has caused me to really neglect my blog that 7 people read. No NFL Preview this year, but I have done predictions every year for as long as I can remember, so I have to at least post those so I can come back in five months and see how wrong I was. As always, I predict every game in the NFL (with little thought going into them) and end up with end of the season standings.


AFC East

1. New England Patriots, 12-4. No Aaron Hernandez, but no demise for the Patriots yet. With Tom Brady and the head coach, and a very easy division, the Patriots should be just fine.

2. Miami Dolphins, 6-10. The Dolphins spent big money, but it is hard to see how they got any better. Major holes on the offensive line and secondary, two key positions, could spell trouble.

3. Buffalo Bills, 5-11. The Bills have talent, including CJ Spiller, Mario Williams and Jairus Byrd, but as usual, there are just too many holes for the Bills to compete for a playoff spot.

4. New York Jets, 3-13. Things are a mess in New York, and Rex Ryan could be the first head coach to go. The new GM has quite a job cut out for him, but he is already on his way to clearing out the mess in New York.

AFC North

1. Cincinnati Bengals, 12-4. I do not think Andy Dalton has what it takes to win in the playoffs, but the Bengals have a very strong roster from top to bottom and could really surprise record wise.

2.  Baltimore Ravens, 11-5. Ozzie Newsome was at it again, replacing aging and retiring Raven greats with shrewd free agent signings and draft picks. Joe Flacco will have to step up and become one of the better QB's in the league, now that he will be paid like one.

3. Cleveland Browns, 9-7. Yes, Brandon Weeden is not good, but the Browns brought in great offensive coaches, and Trent Richardson is set for a huge year running behind a very good offensive line. There is talent all along the defense. With an easy schedule, the Browns could really surprise.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-10. The Steelers team got old, and unlike past years, young replacements were not ready to step up. Few teams draft as well as Pittsburgh, the Steelers should be back soon.

AFC South

1. Houston Texans, 11-5. The Texans offense could start to show it's age soon, but no other team in this division is nearly as talented. An easy schedule should propel them back into the playoffs.

2. Tennessee Titans, 9-7. The Titans shelled out big money to improve the run blocking for Chris Johnson, who is out of excuses. The Titans use an easy schedule to work their way into the playoffs here.

3. Indianapolis Colts, 6-10. I have already seen enough to say that Andrew Luck has All Pro written all over him, but I think the defense could really struggle. The Colts could take a step back record wise as they continue to remake their roster.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-13. The Jaguars will most likely run free agent to be Maurice Jones-Drew into the ground. There is little talent on the defensive side of the ball, and not enough play makers on offense to make up for it.

AFC West

1. Denver Broncos, 13-3. The Broncos are the class of the AFC talent wise. The question is can Peyton Manning deliver come playoff time? His diminished skills were on display when the Broncos fell in the 2012 playoffs.

2. Kansas City Chiefs, 9-7. The Chiefs are the not so sleeper sleeper team. There is talent on both sides of the ball, and Andy Reid is a huge upgrade over the previous head coaches.

3. San Diego Chargers, 3-13. Philip Rivers looks cooked, and injuries and terrible draft choices have left this roster in shambles. It might be time to pull the plug and completely rebuild in San Diego.

4. Oakland Raiders, 1-15. I could never pick a team to go 0-16, but I was awfully close here. Thanks to major salary cap issues, the Raiders will be forced to trot out a backup caliber lineup, and should struggle to win every Sunday. It will take several drafts to fix this mess.


NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys, 9-7. Same story as usual for the Cowboys. Talent on both sides of the ball, but probably not consistent enough to make a strong playoff run.

2. New York Giants, 9-7. If David Wilson can seize this opportunity, the Giants offense should be just fine. The defense has holes all over the place, however, and it could be a struggle for Tom Coughlin to get his team into the playoffs again. We all know if they squeak in there, though, they could make a big time run.

3. Washington Redskins, 7-9. I might be underestimating the Redskins. They definitely can repeat in a very winnable NFC East. Robert Griffin III will need to learn how to better avoid injury, because the Skins can't consistently win without him.

4. Philadelphia Eagles, 6-10. The Eagles have talent, especially at the offensive skill positions, but the defense is in transition and might not be able to keep up most weeks

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers, 11-5. The Packers are still the class of the NFC North with great skill talent and good pass rushers on defense, but I really worry about the offensive line's ability to protect Aaron Rodgers. Without Rodgers, the Packers have no chance.

2. Chicago Bears, 8-8. The Bears have seemed to be on a breakthrough for years but never can quite get over that hump. They are talented on both sides of the ball and could make a playoff push if they can get more consistent, and Jay Cutler can avoid injury.

3. Detroit Lions, 7-9. I think Matthew Stafford will cut down on the turnovers and become an elite quarterback this year, but the Lions still lack the defensive personnel to become a playoff contender.

4. Minnesota Vikings, 7-9. Adrian Peterson had a god like season and carried the Vikings into the playoffs, but Minnesota is still a rebuilding team with several holes. It will be difficult to duplicate that success again, as Christian Ponder and several rookies work their way into the lineup.

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints, 11-5. The Saints defense could be historically bad, but with Sean Peyton back the offense will be clicking and should be good enough to carry the Saints into the playoffs.

2. Atlanta Falcons, 11-5. The Falcons offense was top notch last year, but they are relying on two players who could fall apart at any time (Tony Gonzalez and Steven Jackson). The defense is very young in the secondary and lacks a consistent pass rush. Like the Saints, Atlanta will have to win shootouts to win games.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7-9. Tampa Bay has solid talent all across the board, and could really surprise if Josh Freeman can get his head on straight.

4. Carolina Panthers, 5-11. Cam Newton had a nice sophomore campaign and the Panthers have some talent on defense, most notably Greg Hardy, Luke Kuechly and Charles Johnson. But the Panthers still need to fix the ex GM's mistakes, and fill numerous glaring holes everywhere.

NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks, 13-3. All eyes will be on Seattle, as they are probably the deepest and toughest team in the NFL. Like Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III, defenses will key in on containing sophomore duel threat Russell Wilson.

2. San Francisco 49ers, 12-4. The Niners are built a lot like the Seahawks. A talented, deep defense and devastating running game. If Colin Kaepernick can continue to progress, the Niners could go from NFC Title Game to Super Bowl to Champions.

3. St. Louis Rams, 8-8. It has been a slow process, but Jeff Fisher and company are building a very solid roster in St. Louis. The Rams might have the best defensive line in football and the offense is full of young, potentially game changing play makers. I still think they are a year or two away, though.

4. Arizona Cardinals, 6-10. Carson Palmer will be an upgrade over the bums Arizona trotted out last year, but the Cardinals lack talent at too many key positions all over the football field to compete in one of the NFL's best divisions.


Playoff Predictions


1. Denver Broncos
2. New England Patriots
3. Cincinnati Bengals
4. Houston Texans
5. Baltimore Ravens
6. Tennessee Titans

Cincinnati Bengals over Tennessee Titans
Baltimore Ravens over Houston Texans

Denver Broncos over Baltimore Ravens
New England Patriots over Cincinnati Bengals

New England Patriots over Denver Broncos


1. Seattle Seahawks
2. Green Bay Packers
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Dallas Cowboys
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. Atlanta Falcons

New Orleans Saints over Atlanta Falcons
San Francisco 49ers over Dallas Cowboys

New Orleans Saints over Green Bay Packers
San Francisco 49ers over Seattle Seahawks

San Francisco 49ers over New Orleans Saints

Super Bowl XLVIII

New England Patriots - 24
San Francisco 49ers - 21

Tom Brady and the Patriots have not won a Super Bowl since the 2004 season, but I think they will get through a down AFC and win a closely contested battle against the upstart 49ers.

Jonathan Carrano

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