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2008-2009 NFL Predictions: Division Winners & Wild Card Teams

Posted by in NFL Predictions on September 5th, 2008 | Comment »

Here are my predictions for the 2008-2009 NFL Season.

AFC:

AFC East Winner – New England Patriots (12-4) – I don’t think the Patriots will be anything close to going 16-0. Their defense will be hurting after losing Asante Samuel to the Eagles and Randall Gay to the Saints. The loss of Donte Stallworth will mean that Randy Moss is double teamed even more so than last year. I expect the Jets to manage 1 win off them and other losses could include @ Chargers, @ Colts, and Pittsburgh.

AFC North Winner – Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) – The Bengals and Ravens are clearly not competing for the division, so that should be 4 easy wins for the Steelers. I don’t see the Browns topping them yet. Plus, Anderson began to be exposed towards the end of the season. The Steelers offense will be just as good as Cleveland’s. Santonio Holmes should be even better this season and Fast Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall will be a great 1-2 punch.

AFC South Winner – Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6) – I expect the Jaguars to finally overtake the Colts this year. They’ve added Jerry Porter to boost the receiving corp, Reggie Williams will have a breakout season, they’ve added two top DEs in the draft (Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves). There are question marks surrounding Manning’s knee. I like the Jaguars.

AFC West Winner – San Diego Chargers (12-4) – This is a no-brainer. They’re in the weakest division in the NFL.

AFC Wild Card – Indianapolis Colts (10-6) – Despite me going with the Jags as the AFC South winner, the Colts aren’t missing the playoffs.

AFC Wild Card – New York Jets (9-7) – I think the last wild card will be between the Browns, Jets, and Broncos. Of the 3, I think the Jets are the most balanced team. They’ve improved their defense with Vernon Gholston, Kris Jenkins, and Calvin Pace. With Brett Favre throwing to Cotchery and Coles with a balanced backfield led by Thomas Jones along with that improved defense, they should be very good on both sides of the ball. Plus, the Browns play the tough NFC East, which should mean at least 2 losses from that division and probably more like 3 losses.

NFC:

NFC East – Dallas Cowboys (12-4) – It pains me to say it being an Eagles fan, but the Cowboys are the class of the NFC. They have too much talent to not win the division. I’m hoping for a playoff choke for the 3rd consecutive year.

NFC North – Green Bay Packers (10-6) – I was about to go with the Minnesota Vikings, but the Packers D is every bit as good as the Vikings D and the Packers have the better quarterback and receivers. The Packers did a great job containing Adrian Peterson last season, and I expect them to hold him to under 100 yards when they play again this season.

NFC South – New Orleans Saints (12-4) – The Saints offense will be nasty this year, no doubt about that. Expect their 2007 first-round pick Robert Meachem to have a big impact to go along with Marques Colston and Devery Henderson. Add Jeremy Shockey into the mix with Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister and I see a lot of points scored on this team. They also boosted their defense tremendously by picking up CB Randall Gay, LB Jonathan Vilma, and rookie DT Sedric Ellis.

NFC West – Arizona Cardinals (10-6) – This division should be up for grabs. Seattle has owned the division for the last several years, but I don’t like them winning it this year. They have several banged up receivers and their running game will be poor with the unimpressive Julius Jones as their starting RB. The Cardinals have the offensive power to outscore anyone in the division and they boosted their secondary with rookie Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and shifting Antrelle Rolle to FS.

NFC Wild Card – Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) – I’ve always hated Skip Bayless until he predicted that an NFC Wild Card team would go onto the Super Bowl to defeat the New England Patriots and that the team to do that would be the Philadelphia Eagles. I second that Skip.

NFC Wild Card – Minnestoa Vikings (9-7) – The Vikings have one of the best offensive lines in the league, they have two solid DTs to stuff the run, and they just added sack machine Jared Allen. Combine that with one of the best RBs in the league and Bernard Berrian to be a solid target for Tavaris Jackson and you have a young team that is ready to make the playoffs.



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