Bust out your Michael Vick jersey, a case of Miller Lite and prepare to gain 20 pounds, IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON! How will it all pan out? So glad you asked. My sports knowledge and ability to guestimate gives you predictions for every division, team and eventual playoff outcomes. Let’s ride.
The NFC East was supposed to be the new “it” divisions last year, shortly before it lived up to expectations in 2008 the way Angelina Jolie tanked in Changeling. Now in 2009 the East is down to one good team, two teams that got rid of egomaniacal receivers, and the Redskins. Don’t be surprised when this team yields only one playoff bid this year.
The Call: Philadelphia Eagles 12-4
The Rest: New York Giants 9-7, Dallas Cowboys 8-8, Washington Redskins 5-11
Another pretender division that choked like a British nanny as the weather got colder. Yes, I predicted the Saints to go to the Super Bowl last year, but injuries and NO DEFENSE prevented that. This year you have an aging Carolina squad, New Orleans’ offense, a terrible Tampa team and an Atlanta franchise that will probably get a second year hangover from Matt Ryan, I mean he is still only a year out of college, hangovers happen my friend. The bottom line is you could make an argument for any of these teams, simply because the division is so bad. So pick the least heinous person to make out with at this party, because this one isn’t pretty.
The call: Atlanta Falcons 10-6,
The rest: New Orleans Saints 8-8, Carolina Panthers 7-9, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-10
Despite only one playoff team from a year ago, the NFC North has what many believe as the strongest division in football, even despite the Lions! Minnesota was going paces before Brett Favre, and Green Bay has turned the corner. If Chicago can keep Jay Cutler from pooping in his diaper and crying, the Bears could be a real threat not just in the NFC North, but the entire conference. Detroit will not be as terrible this year, the SeriouslyLions are having one hell of a pre-season (Julie, you’re the best receiver in NFL history through four meaningless games), but sadly our digital images can’t help the real life stink pile in Detroit.
The Call: Green Bay Packers 11-5
The Rest: Minnesota Vikings 10-6, Chicago Bears 10-6, Detroit Lions 7-9
Ah, the enigma. Everyone forgets how terrible the Arizona Cardinals were before they got hot for three weeks. Kind of like how everyone forgot how terrifying Heather Graham was pre and post-Austin Powers 2, but could ignore it for two hours when she wore fishnets. See, for one moment, they were good, but the rest, awful, awful, awful why can’t you just play that role a million times? So, what does that leave us with? A coach who refuses to keep his pants on, the Rams, and what was that? Did somebody hear a resurrection? Did somebody write off the wrong team? It’s …
The Call: Seattle Seahawks 10-6
The Rest: Arizona Cardinals 8-8, San Francisco 49ers 7-9, St. Louis Rams 3-13
Now we get to find out what Mr. Gisele can really do back on the football field. The entire division hinges on whether or not Tom Brady comes back and is Tom Brady. Signs point to yes, but if the Pats stumble into a harsh reality, the division is full of potential ready to takeover the throne.
The Call: New England Patriots 11-5
The Rest: Miami Dolphins 9-7, New York Jets 9-7, Buffalo Bills 8-8
Boy is this division headed for an overhaul at the top. Expect the Colts and Titans to have BIG hangovers this year from last year’s epic disappointments. If Houston can stay healthy (I’m looking at you, Matt Schaub) this could be the year the Texans rise to the top, if not, look out Houston, we have a Rex Grossman sighting! As for the Jaguars … ugh.
The Call: Houston Texans 10-6
The Rest: Tennessee Titans 8-8, Indinapolis Colts 7-9, Jacksonville Jaguars 4-12
Everyone knows that this one breaks down to two good teams, and two terrible teams. Unfortunately for Baltimore, they are only good every other year, and Joe Flacco and his unibrow are headed for a big sophomore slump. Everyone forgets he was supposed to be the Ravens’ third string running back before injuries put him in the starting lineup and he put up extremely pedestrian numbers that a great defense covered up. Pittsburgh is the class of this division without a question, and if Big Ben can stay healthy, the division may be wrapped up by Week 9.
The Call: Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4
The Rest: Baltimore Ravens 7-9, Cleveland Browns 6-10, Cincinatti Bengals 5-11
There has to be a best of the worst, right?
The Call: San Diego Chargers 9-7
The Rest: Oakland Raiders 7-9, Kansas City Chiefs 3-13, Denver Broncos 2-14
AFC Wild Cards: Miami Dolphins and New York Jets
NFC Championship: Green Bay Packers over Chicago Bears
AFC Championship: Pittsburgh Steelers over San Diego Chargers
Super Bowl XLIV: Pittsburgh Steelers over Green Bay Packers
Top five games you can bet on this week
5. Minnesota Vikings (-4) over Cleveland Browns
This isn’t going to even be close. Cleveland is literally that bad.
4. New York Jets (+4.5) over Houston Texans
Houston will win the game, but the Jets are going to be a lot better than people expect them to be.
3. Dallas Cowboys (-5.5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even in Tampa Bay the Bucs are terrible, it’s going to be a loooooong season in Florida.
2. Indianapolis Colts (-7) over Jacksonville Jaguars
Never be afraid to bet against the Jags this season. Closest thing to a sure thing out there.
1. Seattle Seahawks (-8.5) over St. Louis Rams
No line too big for the Rams to lose by.