2011 NFL Season Predictions

2011 NFL Season Predictions

As corny as it sounds, but as true as it is, the slogan crawling across the bottom of your screen when you tune into NFL Network, NBC’s Sunday Night Football, or another source of NFL goodies, reads…

“Back to football”


After a lockout that bled through the summer months and officially cost the league a grand total of one Hall of Fame game, the aforementioned is true. We are back to football, people.

There’s no doubt that the National Football League is the most popular sport in America. “America’s game,” if you will, is football. No question about it. There is no argument; the facts are aplenty to prove this is indeed the case. As a first-serving baseball fan, the time has passed to make the case that “America’s Past Time” is still “America’s game.” Instead of debating the fact at hand, I’ve embraced the wonderful (but exceedingly dangerous) game of football and all it has to offer. I won’t shy away from admitting that football is my third favorite sport behind both bball’s, but if you see me from 10 AM Sunday Morning ‘til the end of Sunday Night Football that evening, you wouldn’t believe that there are two other sports ahead of the NFL on my list.

So here we are, back to football again. The intensity, anticipation, and nerves of your hardcore football fan have once again resurfaced to a pre-cautionary level. And that’s the way we want it.

With what hopes to be another great season, come another round of what hope to be great predictions. As I knock on this piece of wood I’ve brought with me on the road, I’ll point out that all but one of my divisional winner predictions (Colorado Rockies) for the 2011 MLB season are still possible. Knock. Knock.

But this is football time. For football predictions. About the wonderful game of football. Football. Football!

NFC East

Why not start with the Boys’ division? Or why? Will anyone challenge the “Dream Team” that Andy Reid has assembled in Philadelphia?

No.

1. 13-3 Eagles

2. 9-7 Cowboys

3. 9-7 Giants

4. 5-11 Redskins

NFC North

I want to go on record saying as follows, the Detroit Lions are so close. One more year and you’ll see them playing past the new year. The Bears will again flirt with being elite, and offer minimal excitement to the standard observer. 3 Words, “GO PACK GO!”

1. 12-4 Packers

2. 10-6 Bears

3. 9-7 Lions

4. 8-8 Vikings

NFC South

The Saints and Falcons are sure to provide one of the most entertaining back and forth races in the National Football League, oh and then there’s the “it” pick of the 2011 season – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The surging youth movement from the Floridian’s fell one game short of the post season. But the highlight of the 2010 Bucs campaign was the emergence of second-year quarterback and former top pick Josh Freeman from Kansas State. Considered an afterthought to top 10 picks Matt Stafford (Det) and Mark Sanchez (NYJ), Freeman completely flew under the radar and nearly led Raheem Morris’ team to a playoff berth. Then there’s no.1 overall pick Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. That may be the first and last you hear from me about the former Auburn QB and that team this season.

1. 13-3 Falcons

2. 12-4 Saints WC

3. 11-5 Buccaneers WC

4. 2-14 Panthers

NFC West

An off-season highlighted by the Cardinals’ acquisition of former Eagles franchise QB Kevin Kolb (until yesterday’s Larry Fitzgerald extension stole the spotlight) and the Seahawks for some reason thinking Tarvaris Jackson can play quarterback in the NFL, as well as yet another chance for Alex Smith in San Francisco, the NFC West promises to provide us with a 9-7 champion…maybe.

1. 9-7 Cardinals

2. 8-8 49ers

3. 7-9 Rams

4. 6-10 Seahawks (pending a change at QB)

AFC East

I’ll take your NFC South race and raise you an AFC East showdown between New England and the Gangreen Jets. Meanwhile, Miami and Buffalo will have a football season.

1. 13-3 Patriots

2. 12-4 Jets WC

3. 5-11 Bills

4. 3-13 Dolphins

AFC North

If you feel like you still haven’t seen enough of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl, perhaps you’re in luck. The Ravens will be the only team to threaten the Steel City of a division title. Unless you have a seasonal TV package from DirecTV or the amazing NFL RED ZONE from Verizon Fios, don’t expect to see Cleveland or Cincinnati playing on your screen.

1. 11-5 Steelers

2. 10-6 Ravens

3. 4-12 Browns

4. 3-13 Bengals

AFC South

A second neck surgery to Peyton Manning has me on edge, and thus creating my toughest prediction for a division winner. *I’m assuming that #18 misses no more than a game, and again works his magic as one of the NFL’s best teammates/playmakers/quarterbacks. Personal feelings aside, it pains me to once again keep Houston out of the playoffs and Jacksonville out of playoff discussion.

1. 11-5 Colts* (No Peyton…No postseason)

2. 10-6 Texans* (No Peyton…postseason)

3. 6-10 Jaguars

4. 5-11 Titans

AFC West

The San Diego Chargers open their 51st straight season with Super Bowl expectations, and now a seasoned veteran at 29 years young, Philip Rivers has become one of the top playmakers in the league. However, after another disappointing campaign in 2010, (9-7, no Playoffs) speculation ran high for the Bolts. But heavily scrutinized Head Coach Norv Turner is back, last year’s no.12 overall pick Ryan Mathews (RB) is back for his sophomore year, and wide receiver Vincent Jackson worked out whatever issues he tried to generate with Chargers management. The Chargers drive their followers crazy with annual failure, but they are once again one of the most hyped teams coming into the 2011 NFL season. (See paragraph preceding last sentence) I would be quite rude to discard the defending division champion Kansas City Chiefs, who return a similar roster minus former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. On the other hand, it would be somewhat offensive to an avid football fan by even mentioning the other two teams in the division…but I will – below – cause I kind of have to.

1. 13-3 Chargers

2. 9-7 Chiefs

3. 6-10 Raiders (they can’t regress that much, can they?)

4. 4-12 Broncos (FREE TEBOW!)

Well, I have it, you have it, and that group of people you’re reading this with have it – its football fever – and we love it. We crave football, we can’t wait for the first kickoff on September 8th in Green Bay, and we may not get off the couch for the 50 hours following the season opener featuring the past two Super Bowl champions. We’ll wait eagerly for the first round of simultaneous kickoffs on that Sunday. Like I said about 1,000 words ago, we are indeed back to football. Go Cowboys!

Comments

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