Blog Entry

2009-2010 NFL Preview

Posted on: June 21, 2009 12:27 pm

Where There's a Will, There's a Will

Well well well, who expected for the Super Bowl to come down to Pittsburgh.........and ARIZONA?????

Certainly not me.

I don't think anyone did. And that's what makes the NFL so unpredictable- with the parity of the league today, any team in any year can make it to the Super Bowl. And yes, that means the Lions too. Okay, not really, but you get my point. The league is full of surprises.

Kansas City, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Seattle, and Green Bay are teams that struggled in the past year, but could bounce back in a big way. Kansas City completely bebuilt themselves, and look like New England Lite (complete with no clear starting running back). Cincinnati never fielded a bad team last year, they just didn't have all the pieces together to make a good run out of it, mainly missing Carson Palmer. Jacksonville's offensive line just broke down. If they can repair that and find a good option at receiver (no, Jimmy Smith won't come back), they can get back up into contention. Seattle had injuries galore, but they're still a really good team. Green Bay should have been a playoff team, they just couldn't seem to win the close ones.

If all these teams perform well, we could be in for an interesting year.

I always tell myself not to make a rambling introduction, yet I always do it........anyway, here's my predictions for each team and each conference. I hope you enjoy.


Divisional Winners

1. Indianapolis Colts (13-3)
- In case anyone forgot at the beginning of last season, the Colts are really, really good. Really good. Peyton Manning isn't going anywhere soon. He makes their offense potent by himself. Then, you add on Reggie Wayne, one of the most consistently great wideouts of the past four to five years. They released aging receiver Marvin Harrison, who will be replaced by Anthony Gonzalez. Gonzalez should pick up the slack immediately. Dallas Clark doesn't get half the publicity he should from the tight end position. The offensive problems- the offensive line wasn't quite as good as in past seasons last year, and that forced incumbent running back Joseph Addai, already not a prototypical feature back, to take a beating. They'll need a running back by committee this year to improve on the second worst running game in the league, and rookie back Donald Brown of UConn will help out.

Defensively, things are solid, as they tend to be. Defensive end Dwight Freeney still hates a quarterback, and a healthy Bob Sanders at safety makes this D almost imposing. The rest of the defenders are adequate, if unspectacular, with defensive end Robert Mathis, playing opposite of Freeney, being the best of the rest.

Tony Dungy will be missed. He is a truly great man and a great coach. However, Jim Caldwell shouldn't miss a beat if he just sticks with the system.

Summary: Super Bowl caliber once again. They just have to have a little luck.

2. New England Patriots (12-4)- He's baaaaack. Tom Brady has returned from a lost season of making love to his model girlfriends...okay, maybe not lost. But the Patriots are surely glad to have him back after missing the playoffs in an impressive 11-5 campaign led by fill-in signal caller Matt Cassel. Cassel's gone, but weapons are everywhere. At receiver, Randy Moss and Wes Welker form the AFC's greatest receiving tandem. It doesn't really matter who wins the receiver spot opposite Moss (Welker plays from the slot), so long as they block and catch 2-3 balls thrown to them a game. Running back is a variety of flavors. Sammy Morris, Fred Taylor, Lawrence Maroney, Kevin Faulk, and Benjarvis Green-Ellis will likely all see time. The offensive line is solid enough to provide a few holes per game.

The Patriots aren't in quite as good shape on the defensive side of the ball. The secondary is nothing special, and the Patriots will never be particularly great at getting to the quarterback from their 3-4, so that could prove problematic when facing great passing teams (the Colts). The Pats defensive line is excellent at stuffing the run, however, and the three studs up there- Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, and Richard Seymour- have been together for a long time. Jerrod Mayo is a rising star at linebacker and the rest of that unit is solid.

Bill Belichick is still moping around the sideline like a stick in the mud, staring at the field. What he lacks in personality he makes up for in coaching ability, and he's got an eye for talented players that fit the system.

Summary: They'll be very good, but not as great as in 2007. There's problems with the defense, and who knows what to expect from Brady?

3. San Diego Chargers (12-4)- Phillip Rivers finally lived up to the hype. He popped out 34 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions and carried the team on his back at times. He should only continue to improve. There are no problems in the receiving core with gigantic Vincent Jackson and veteran playmaker Chris Chambers. Antonio Gates is the tight end, so obviously nothing wrong there. The offensive line is solid, they do what they need to. Running back looks really good on paper, but if LaDainian Tomlinson has injury problems again, they could come up a little short. If he's healthy, then he and Darren Sproles can be one of the better tandems in the league.

The defense can be really good. It could also flop and just be average, putting pressure on the offense. A healthy Shawne Merriman at linebacker can help, of course. The rest of the defense could step up their collective games, as well. At best, this is a top 5 defense. At worst, it finishes at the middle of the pack.

Norv Turner seems to be a good fit for this team, but in both of his seasons as head coach, the team has gotten off to poor starts. He needs to rally them in week 1 right on through the year.

Summary: I pick them high every year, and only get disappointed. This year, MAYBE they'll put it all together. Maybe.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)- The Steelers would have their best chance at repeating this year if the offense improves. Quarterback Ben Roethisberger is great, but had a shaky regular season. As long as he doesn't completely screw up, the offense will be good enough to win the division. Fast Willie Parker hopes to bounce back from a forgettable season, and a healthy Rashard Mendenhall will take some pressure off of him. The receiving corps should be fine, with Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes forming an underrated tandem. The offensive line has to improve for the Steelers to put up big numbers. It's half the reason for Roethlisberger's average season.

There's not much to say about the defense, it simply performes game in and game out. The line is solid, the linebackers excellent, and the secondary great. If Lawrence Timmons steps up to be another great linebacker.......ohhhhh boy.

Mike Timlin can coach with the best of them. He's got a mean game face, but gets along with pretty much anyone. He's gonna be coaching the Steelers for years and years.

Summary: Offensive improvement + continued defensive dominance = at least another AFC Championship game.

Wild Cards

5. Tennessee Titans (10-6)-
I see no problems with the Titans making it to the playoffs again. Chris Johnson can score from anywhere, and you can't stop LenDale White at the goal line. Those two running behind a great offensive line makes for a great offense. Kerry Collins can manage the game at quarterback, and he has good targets in receivers Justin Gage and Nate Washington, as well as playmaking tight end Bo Scaife.

The defense will still be great despite the loss of Albert Haynesworth. The return of end Kyle Vanden Bosch will help to keep the defensive line potent. The linebackers are playmakers, and the secondary is one of the best in the league. This is one of the best defenses in the league any way you slice it.

Jeff Fisher's an experienced hand at coaching, and he won't make any mistakes running the team like he always has.

Summary: Don't be surprised to see this team make it to the Super Bowl. With a consitent passing attack, it could happen.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)- This may be the stupidest pick of my life, but I've done it. A healthy Carson Palmer will do wonders for this offense. He's capable of putting up crazy numbers. The receiving core should be solid despite losing TJ Hou'snameIcan'tspell (Houshmanzadeh). Chad Ochocinco (I can't believe I just typed that) should bounce back, and Leveranues Coles should perform like the experienced veteran he is from the other side. Cedric Benson's never lacked talent, he was just never used right. He could have a breakthrough year. If the offensive line improves just a little, this pick will be a little closer to the truth.

The defense is very underrated. The front four is anchored by Domata Peko, he of the epic hair. If Keith Rivers breaks out at linebacker, that corps will be very good. The secondary is blue collar and gets the job done. Overall, the defense is probably better than the offense. If they take the next step, watch out.

Marvin Lewis is a great coach, and he's gotten this Bengals team to a point where a year like last year can be turned around fairly quickly. He knows what he's doing.

Summary: I just have this feeling that this team is going to surprise you. There's no real problem on this team. If everyone plays up to their level (looking at you, Ochocinco), they can make the playoffs.

Other Playoff Contenders

Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars


Divisional Winners

1. New York Giants (11-5)- Despite their receiver woes, this team should still be tops in the NFC. Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, or Hakeem Nicks should step up and become a solid number one, and whoever doesn't win that job will be an excellent complement. Eli Manning sets up behind a great offensive line, and that makes the running committee of Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, and he who is yet to be named even better. Kevin Boss is an adequate tight end, capable of being a good, very big safety valve.

The Giants' defense is what makes them the best team in the NFC, though. The already unfairly athletic defensive line, featuring Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, got even better by adding tackle Chris Canty. Oh, and Mathias Kiwanuka, the most athetic of the bunch, won't even start. The linebackers all perform well in their roles, with Michael Boley still on the upswing of his career maybe to soon become the best of the bunch. You might not recognize the names in the secondary, but it's an excellent group of solid if not spectacular players. This defense rivals the Steelers as the best in the league.

Tom Coughlin knows how to coach. He's kind of a rough fellow, but he's getting more press friendly. He can handle players as good as anyone in the league.

Summary: Could struggle at times having no go to receiver, but should plug along through the season as the best the NFC has to offer.

2. New Orleans Saints (11-5)- Drew Brees has got to be the most fun player in the NFL to watch, in my opinion. He's about 5-10, can't weigh more than 200 pounds, yet he goes out there and slings it everywhere. He's a giant in a little man's body. He has an excellent receiving corps, with Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and Devery Henderson all providing different things for the passing game. Colston's the red zone target, Moore the third down specialist, and Henderson the speedster. Getting Jeremy Shockey officially at tight end only helps. The offensive line is as good as any in the conference. Running back's a small question mark. Will Reggie Bush be healthy and perform to his talent level? Can Pierre Thomas step up if Bush falters?

The defense should be much better. They were already solid along the defensive line and at linebacker, and the addition of Darren Sharper at free safety. He adds a playmaker to a defense that hasn't been known for its big play ability.

Sean Payton's still a mystery to me. I think he's a good coach, but injuries have torn down a bit what he built up. He should see success again this year.

Summary: If they stay healthy and the defense does just enough, this can easily be a Super Bowl Team.

3. Chicago Bears (10-6)- Cutler will make all the difference. They've got the offensive line, they've got the stud running back in Matt Forte, they just needed a quarterback. Now they have Cutler. While his targets are nothing that special- Devin Hester's really the only guy that looks like he might break out- there's enough talent for Cutler to make use of.

It's the Bears. You know the defense will be good. Brian Urlacher is still here, and he's gonna smell blood. He knows this is the Bears' time. Lance Briggs will, too. The front four needs to get a bit more pressure on the quarterback, and the secondary could be stronger at safety, but there are no holes that will be backbreaking. As long as the defense is ranked in the top 10, this team'll be a Super Bowl contender.

Lovie Smith's been to a Super Bowl with a lesser team. This time around, he could win it.

Summary: As long as injuries don't hit, this team could easily push to the NFC Championship game.

4. Arizona Cardinals (10-6)- Nothing's changed. This is still an excellent team. Kurt Warner can sling it everywhere. Larry Fitzgerald will catch it if it's within 20 yards of him. Anquan Boldin could be a number 1 target for two thirds of the teams in the league. Steve Breaston could start for half the teams. The line can pass block. Chris Wells was an excellent choice of a running back in the draft for this team. He could step in and instantly improve the running game single handedly. He and Tim Hightower form a running game that could be unstoppable in short yardage situations.

The defense will be good enough again, and maybe improve. Darnell Dockett showed off his abilities getting to the quarterback in the playoffs, and the rest of the line should do well enough. The linebacking core is solid, and the secondary is one of the better ones in the NFC. The defense is still young, and the team could start winning because of their defense instead despite it, which they did occasionally.
Ken Whisenhunt is smart and he knows how to challenge his players. He should be the Arizona coach for years and years.

Summary: Another Super Bowl run? Maybe. They'd have a great chance with a better running game.

Wild Cards

5. Carolina Panthers (11-5)- DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart form possibly the most powerful running back tandem in the league. They could both run for 1000 yards and have 12 touchdowns apiece this year. The offensive line opens gaping holes for them to run through. Together, they could carry the offense on their backs. But, the Panthers have a pretty good passing game, too. Jake Delhomme can still manage the offense occasionally carry them when the running game is stuck. Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad form an underrated receiving tandem, but it'd be great if Dwayne Jerret could bust out instead of just remain a bust.

The defense didn't perform quite as well as it should have last year, and it showed in the loss to Arizona in the playoffs. The secondary is average but can make plays if the defensive line can get pressure on the quarterback. Julius Peppers will be relied on once again for that. Jon Beason and Thomas Davis are stars at linebacker that can still improve on things. The defense has some holes, but the talent is there to make up for it.

You either love or hate John Fox, but there's no denying he can coach. Sometimes he seems a little nonchalant, but overall, he'll have the guys ready on Sunday.

Summary: They're still hungry. Whether that will help the defense improve or not remains to be seen, but this team can play with any other in the conference.

6. Dallas Cowboys (9-7)- Hello, Roy Williams. You've got some big shoes to fill. It's time for you to break out and become the receiver we all know you can be. Howdy, Tony Romo. It's not all about the blonde bombshells, man. It's about a Super Bowl. Hey, Marion Barber. You need to show you can shoulder the bulk of the running load. Felix Jones can help, but you'll need to provide the power. The only certain things on this offense are Jason Witten at tight end and the offensive line performing well.

The defense can make plays. DeMarcus Ware is DeMarcus Ware. He'll get to the quarterback and cover tight ends as good as anyone. The addition of Keith Brooking will allow Ware to roam more. That's not good for any offensive players. The line fits in with the 3-4 perfectly and can absorb blocking. The secondary is weak in the middle, but the corners can perform. This defense can rival the Giants' if it puts its mind to it.

Wade Phillips is a good schemes man, but overall, he's never seemed to be tough enough to handle all the personalities on the Dallas sideline.

Summary: If Romo, Williams, and Barber step up, this team is the best in the NFC despite the loss of Owens. If not, they may finish under .500.

Other Playoff Contenders

Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks

And now......

Super Bowl Pick

Indianapolis Colts over New Orleans Saints


Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: November 1, 2010 4:13 pm

2009-2010 NFL Preview

I happened to run across this today.....I had the Bengals and Saints figured, it seems. XD Super Bowl, too. I just picked the wrong team to win. I also could have double checked my grammar and not overblown Cutler, but oh well.

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: June 25, 2009 9:17 am

2009-2010 NFL Preview

I think the whole Favre thing is a little overblown....let's take a step back.

The Jets last year were considered to be a team that "just needed a QB" to make the next step. They were a team similarly built to the Vikings this year.......a good pair of running backs, decent talent at wideout, solid offensive line, great defense. Favre stepped into that situation last year, and performed the beginning of the season. He started showing his age as the season wore on, and the team struggled with him leading the way. He'll throw a high percentage of interceptions, which is something Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels likely won't do. Roselfels can throw as many touchdowns as Favre did last year when he starts all 16 games. Jackson adds another dimension with the running game. Favre is just a borderline solid QB at this rate. He won't help much. That's why, even with Favre, I don't see the team finishing over 9-7.

Since: Jan 16, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2009 2:51 pm

2009-2010 NFL Preview

My picks are
AFC west Chargers
ACF East Pats
ACF south Indy
ACF North Pits
Wild cards Buff and Miami
NFC west Ariz
NFC North Vikings if they have Favre
NFC South Atl
Wild cards Chi NWO

Super bowl

Vikings win over Chargers

Since: Jun 23, 2009
Posted on: June 23, 2009 10:16 am

2009-2010 NFL Preview

My take on this the AFC's sadly been predictable the last few years with the Colts, Chargers, Steelers, and Patriots.  With that said, I totally agree at least 2 if not all 4 will be there again, however due to the success last year of teams such as Miami, and Buffalo I see them possibly bumping up.  I still think the division for them is up for grabs its Miami or Buffalo's to win, and New England's to lose.  No doubt they are the team to beat, but the thing about them is they haven't really changed since Brady took over, Miami has become a monster with the Wildcat, and the addition of Pat White only makes it that much more dangerous.  Miami will overtake this division in the coming years, especially if the Pats refuse to play its younger defensive players that can actually play.  I know thats not what they like to do, but they need to.  They would have been lost without Mayo last year, period.  All of the Bills loses last year came within anywhere from 7 - 14 points.  Terrel Owens adds that extra touchdown or two, and while he may drop a few passes in the clutch is when he's at his best, its proven, don't give me that age b.s. as Jerry Rice went for 7 more years where TO is now, and I can see TO goin' for 7 more years.

The Saints are my home-team i'd love to see them go with an average defense, and the reason their weren't many additions is we do have talent on the defense, but injuries plagued that defense even before the season started if Malcom Jenkins can play at the level everyone says he can, Tracy Porter had the best season among the CB's last year, and if he continues to play at that level suddenly our defense looks pretty good.  Darren Sharper just adds to our secondary depth, which is something we've needed is depth not just one individual playmaker, which they've counted on Mike McKenzie all these years, but one man does not make a secondary, unless his name is Polamalu.

Cleveland is someone i'd say is still in the hunt for 3rd place, I don't see them winning a division, but I see improvement coming from them.  I guess only the year will tell, and people can come up with every reason why Buffalo will lose this year, just remember the point that anything can happen is because anything can happen.  Everyone predicted Ari to go 8-8 last year, and Miami to be about the same, no predicted the Falcons to even make the Wild Card.  The Jags, Cowboys, Saints were the top dogs of the NFC last off season, and all three faltered during the season.  Buffalo went 3-0, and the Jets went 9-3 when every said they'd barely break even, sure Favre farted along the end, but no one said they could go 9-3.  It's easy to make easy predictions like the Pats, but it takes a genius to give credit to teams like the Bills, Bears, Browns, Lions, or the Falcons last offseason going in with a rookie QB, and the Ravens with a rookie QB.

Good luck Mark Sanchez, good luck Matt Stafford, please give us another great year of pro football.

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: June 22, 2009 5:01 pm

2009-2010 NFL Preview

Win, I don't know. Pitt still looks dominant.

But a second place finish would not be hard at all, I don't think.

But, they could flop again, it all depends on a healthy Palmer and a rejuvinated Ochocinco.

Since: Jun 23, 2007
Posted on: June 22, 2009 4:37 pm

2009-2010 NFL Preview

I agree with the Bears copletely, and i think they have the tools, expecially if Forte stays healthy, to take it the stretch. And i really like how someone finally sees the potential the Bengals have this season, and if they can stay healthy, thye might actually have a chance to WIN the division

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: June 22, 2009 11:05 am

2009-2010 NFL Preview

Thank you both for the comment.

As for the NFC picks, I decided to be a little daring with the Saints pick. The offense is the best in the NFC, and the defense looks pretty good on paper, they just have to get it together.

I think the Cowboys will play with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Romo is a good quarterback, he just needs to wake up from his late season fog. That defense is really good, and the offense should perform if they stay healthy.

I think the Bears have everything they need for the playoffs. I can't see them not getting there unless something unfortunate happens to them.

Since: May 23, 2009
Posted on: June 22, 2009 10:51 am

2009-2010 NFL Preview

The AFC picks seem pretty good but I disagree with quite a few of the NFC picks, specifcally the Bears, Saints and Cowboys.  I think there are other teams in each of their divisions that will be more successful (Vikings, Falcons, and Eagles respectively). 
The Saints in the Super Bowl is a stretch in my opinion (though there definitely are surprises many years).  Talented offense but terrible defense.  Looking at their schedule I think a 9-7 record is more realistic.

Since: Jun 23, 2007
Posted on: June 21, 2009 9:53 pm

2009-2010 NFL Preview

Honestly this is one of the BEST blogs i have read in a WHILE. The only prediction i have thats a bit questionable is the Saints winning the division. Yes the saints have a great team, but they have barely vamped their horrioble D at all and again i dont see them going anywhere, here are my predictions for this year

AFC East
1. New England Patriots*
2. Miami Dolphins
3. Buffalo Bills
4. New York Jets

-Okay it’s obvious these standings are fueled by the return of Tom Brady to the explosive Patriots offense, but I think the Pat’s reign of complete dominance behind Brady has finally come to an end. The #1 spot in this division will no doubt be a battle between NE and Miami. Miami behind Tony Sparano is obviously a completely different team than that of 2 years ago. Powered by the Wildcat and with the addition of Multi-Talented Pat White to this formation Miami should definitely make a run this year. Buffalo should no doubt make #3 but I don’t see them competing with the powerhouse offense’s at the top of the division. Based on how Trent Edwards performs Buffalo should be looking forward to an 8-8 season at best, despite the addition of TO. I’m sorry to say but New York’s only chance is the defense behind Rex Ryan, the defensive Guru. With the loss of Favre that leaves an open battle between Sanchez and Clemens, but the loss of Laverneus Coles to the receiving core should take a bit of a hit on the offense. Rex Ryan should be looking forward to a rebuilding stage. All in all there should definitely be a battle at the top of this division.


AFC North
1. Pittsburgh Steelers*
2. Cincinnati Bengals/Baltimore Ravens*
3. Baltimore Ravens/Cincinnati Bengals
4. Cleveland Browns

-The Super Bowl champions should again be at the top of this division led by their dominating defense, despite the loss of Foote and McFadden. Although their Reign at the top is definitely in jeopardy due to their weak o-line and beat up backfield. Big Ben has proven he can take a beating in the past but how much can one person really take? Even with all of this it should still add up to a playoff berth for Pittsburgh. The #2 spot is questionable though, with Baltimore’s always dominating defense and the quickly maturing Joe Flacco running their ground and pound offense they could easily make a push for the wildcard spot. Though this push won’t be easy with the young and fresh Cincinnati team. Cincy no doubt had one of the best drafts, and have signed many key players this offseason. The additions of Tank Johnson, Row Williams, and Rey Maualuga, plus the return of Keith Rivers, should give the push this #13 ranked defense needed into the top 10 this season. On the offense’s side of the ball, a return of a healthy Carson Palmer, a happy and hungry Chad Ochocinco, a hopeful running game behind Cedric Benson, and the addition of Laverneus Coles to this great receiving core could quite possibly rejuvenate this once explosive offense. The Bengals could quite possible make a tough run for the wild card spot. Now there’s not really too much you can say about Cleveland this year especially with the undecided QB situation, an aging Jamal Lewis, an unhappy Braylon, the loss of Kellen Winslow, and a No-Name defense, Cleveleland should definitely be looking for a rebuilding stage behind Mangini.

AFC South
1. Indianapolis Colts*
2. Houston Texans*
3. Tennessee Titans
4. Jacksonville Jaguars

-Indy should definitely be making its push back to the top of this division, despite the loss of Dungy. Last season’s MVP Peyton Manning returns as the leader of this offense with a refreshed receiving core. Reggie Wayne takes his rightful spot as #1 receiver and the young Anthony Gonzales moves up to #2. Don’t forget Peyton’s favorite target Dallas Clark at TE. Whether or not Indy’s defense performs or not Indy will no doubt make a run with a top 5 offense this season. A young team in Houston is finally ready to make a playoff run. A great defense led my Mario Williams takes the pressure off of the young explosive offense. A quickly developing Schaub has an amazing target in Andre Johnson, and will likely be a top 10 offense this year. With this solid team Houston should make a push for that wild card spot this year. Coming off of an amazing season Tennessee will be looking to repeat that success. An aging Kerry Collins should be running the show again this year, and the tandem of Chris Johnson and Lendale White will fuel their explosive running game. But with the defense’s loss of Haynesworth can they really have that same defense? Tennessee has a shot but I don’t see it happening in such a tough division this year. Jacksonville will finally have MJD providing the running game and David Garrard leading the offense at QB. This young team is looking at the start of their rebuilding and won’t be going anywhere any time soon.


AFC West
1. San Diego Chargers*
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Denver Broncos
4. Oakland Raiders

- San Diego coming off a sub-par season will be looking towards a championship season. A healthy return of LT and Antonio Gates to the offense should provide that spark needed. Phillip Rivers coming off the best season of his career, leading the league in passer rating and tieing for touchdowns, should lead this offense in the right direction. The defense’s leader Shaun Merriman coming back health and the addition of the versatile Larry English to this dominate defense will fuel a no doubt top 10 defense this season. Kansas City’s addition of Matt Cassell could possibly help, but KC doesn’t really have the receiving core NE had for Cassell, who will definitely be looking to prove himself. Larry Johnson will be hungry and looking for a great season and this sub-par defense should look forward to an 8-8 season at best. Denver made a huge mistake in trading an unhappy Cutler, and getting practically nothing out of the deal, and with their star receiver Marshall wanting out now, not too much you can say about this team. An aging defense won’t perform too well this season, and this team doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Can Josh McDaniel’s turn this show around? Only time will tell. The Oakland Raiders…well let’s just leave it at that.


NFC East
1. Philadelphia Eagles*
2. New York Giants*
3. Washington Redskins
4. Dallas Cowboys

-Coming off a great season Philly will be looking towards a championship and this could be their year. With the addition of Jason Peters to the line, Jeremy Maclin to the already decent receiving core, and LeSean McCoy to tandem with a healthy Brian Westbrook Philly’s offense should be explosive this year. The loss of veteran Brian Dawkins may have dampened the defense a little bit but the strong secondary and D-Line of the Eagles should propel them to the top of their division. The New York Giants have a lot of potential, despite the weakened receiving core. Their dominating defense will keep them rolling this season. The return of Umenyiora opposite of Justin Tuck will provide a pass rush like no other to this stacked defense. Washington with the addition of Haynesworth and Orakpo, to compliment their great linebacker core and secondary should also have a great D. If Jason Campbell doesn’t get it done with the offense there’s always young star Brennen waiting to take the reins. Least of all there’s the Dallas Cowboys. No doubt in the toughest division in all the NFL the Cowboys has a pretty weak team. Besides DeMarcus Ware, there’s really no outstanding player on their defense, and the loss of Terrel Owens could really affect Romo’s performance this season.


NFC North
1. Minnesota Vikings/Chicago Bears*
2. Chicago Bears/ Minnesota Vikings
3. Green Bay Packers
4. Detroit Lions

-The Vikings are pretty much set at every position besides QB but that could soon change with the addition of Favre. With a solid passing game to fuel the explosive running of AP the Minnesota offense should be fine. Last year’s #1 rush defense could be at risk due to the Williams’ possible suspension, but all in all Minnesota should have a solid D. Chicago just added a young talented QB to fill their desperately needed position. A great RB in Forte should give the running game a big push, and the always solid D of Chicago will no doubt push the Bears back to the top. Green Bay’s performance this season is based on how well their transition to a 3-4 defense goes and if Aaron Rodgers can continue to play at the level he’s playing. A solid team in a tough division sums up this spot in the rankings. Finally there’s Detroit. Had a great draft and looks to be on the right path towards rebuilding this team.


NFC South
1. Atlanta Falcons*
2. Carolina Panthers*
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

-Atlanta has a great team that could quite possibly make a run for the big game this year. Young QB Ryan should be playing at the top of his game and RB Michael Turner will be looking to repeat his amazing 08 season. With the addition of veteran Tony Gonzales the passing game should be phenomenal going into the 09 season. Carolina has a solid team and a great tandem at RB with Deangelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart. An unhappy Julius Peppers doesn’t look to good for this sub-par defense but as long as the offense holds up they should be able to look forward to a tough fought wild card. The Saints have one of the best passing attacks in the game behind Drew Brees, and Reggie Bush will be looking to come back healthy and prove himself this season, but with the very weak defense that only made a few additions, New Orleans will remain in the bottom of the conference. Now as Tampa Bay starts its rebuilding stage with the acquisitions of Kellen Winslow and Derrick Ward to this possibly strong offense they will be looking towards first round pick Josh Freeman at QB to propel this offense.


NFC West
1. Arizona Cardinals*
2. Seattle Seahawks
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. St. Louis Rams

- Arizona will be looking for a repeat of last season’s success. QB Kurt Warner will return with his threats at WR including Larry Fitzgerald and possibly Anquan Bolden. A hopeful boost in the running game with the addition of Chris “Beanie” Wells will fuel this already explosive passing game. The Seattle Seahawks are looking forward to the healthy return of of QB Matt Hasselbeck to help their impaired offense. Also with the addition of WR TJ Houshmandzadeh this should aid in the offense. On the defensive side of the ball 1<sup>st</sup> round pick Aaron Curry will be teaming with veteran Lofa Tatupu to give the defense a much needed spark. The 49ers don’t have much to look forward to with an injury prone Gore at RB and an undecided QB but WR Michael Crabtree could have a great season still. Then there are the Rams. Finishing with one of the worst records in the league, and not making improvements in the offseason leads the Rams to another disappointing season in 09.

All in all these are my predictions for the 09 season, controversial as they may be.

Super Bowl
Philadelphia Eagles-W
San Diego Chargers-L

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or