The NFL season is one day away. Time for 2013 season predictions. I keep picking Houston to make the Super Bowl. No reason to stop now. But who will join the Texans at the Meadowlands Super Bowl?
NFC East: 1. Giants 11-5; 2. Redskins 10-6; 3. Cowboys 9-7; 4. Eagles 6-10.
The Eagles will be better than anyone thinks. But it won’t be enough to get out of last place. I’m still not a buyer in Washington. Robert Griffin III is a great talent, but assure me he’ll last 16 games and I’ll get more excited.
NFC South: 1. Falcons 12-4; 2. Saints 11-5; 3. Buccaneers 7-9; 4. Panthers 6-10.
I think Carolina will be better than anyone thinks. But it won’t be enough to get out of last place. Atlanta is an elite team. New Orleans will be glad Sean Payton is back.
NFC North: 1. Packers 10-6; 2. Vikings 9-7; 3. Lions 7-9; 4. Bears 6-10.
Tough, tough division. Tough, tough conference. Are there any bad teams in the NFC? Chicago is going to miss Lovie Smith. Green Bay will keep battling defensive problems, but Aaron Rodgers makes up for a lot of deficiencies.
NFC West: 1. 49ers 13-3; 2. Seahawks 10-6; 3. Rams 7-9; 4. Cardinals 6-10.
St. Louis can’t repeat its 4-1-1 intradivision record from 2012 – 1-4-1 is much more like it. San Francisco is loaded, and Seattle is close.
AFC East: Patriots 11-5; Dolphins 7-9; Bills 5-11; Jetropolitans 3-13.
The NFL’s worst division. An 11-5 record in this division is not a sign of strength. Rex Ryan will be gone before December. Miami isn’t making progress. Buffalo is Buffalo.
AFC South: 1. Texans 12-4; 2. Colts 10-6; 3. Titans 5-11; 4. Jaguars 3-13.
Houston is a Super Bowl contender. Indianapolis will be. Tennessee should regret the Jeff Fisher firing. Jacksonville is Jacksonville.
AFC North: 1. Bengals 10-6; 2. Ravens 10-6; 3. Steelers 9-7; 4. Browns 6-10.
Unlucky Cleveland is in the AFC’s only strong division. Cincinnati is building under Marvin Lewis and takes advantage of the slight sputtering of Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
AFC West: 1. Broncos 11-5; 2. Chiefs 6-10; 3. Chargers 5-9; 4. Raiders 3-13.
Denver will miss Von Miller for awhile but still will have the division clinched by Thanksgiving. Kansas City will get better quickly.
Wild-card round: Saints over Giants; Packers over Seahawks; Patriots over Colts; Bengals over Ravens.
Conference semifinals: 49ers over Saints; Falcons over Packers; Broncos over Patriots; Texans over Bengals.
Conference championship games: Falcons over 49ers; Texans over Broncos.
Super Bowl: Falcons over Texans.