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It's back!  The king of sports is back to kick off its regular season and The Stack is here with the king of all previews.  Yes we are talking about the NFL.  Regular season kicks off Wednesday night due to the Democratic National Convention.  Of course the Super Bowl champion New York Giants are playing and they are facing their rivals in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys.  More on that game tomorrow.  We've got plenty to get to including predicted standings, playoffs, MVP and the Super Bowl winner.  Are you ready for some football?!!  It's time for the highly anticipated NFL preview here on fannation.  Let's get right to it in "the stack" for today, Tuesday, September 4:


AFC Preview

**= division winner

*= playoff team

AFC East

**1. New England Patriots 13-3

*2. Buffalo Bills 10-6

3. New York Jets 7-9

4. Miami Dolphins 4-12


Really, does anyone think that the Patriots aren't going to win the division?  They have a very easy schedule and are in a fairly easy division.  Plus they play the NFC West this year.  Last year, the Patriots showed the NFL how dangerous they could be with their terrific tight end tandem of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron HernandezWes Welker, in what could be his last season with the Patriots leads a wide receiver corp that includes Brandon Llyod, reuniting him with Josh McDaniels.  Still, they don't have a ton of receivers meaning the golden boy Tom Brady is going to rely heavily on his tight ends (not that fantasy owners have any issue with that).  Will they have a running game to back them up? Stevan Ridley hopes to answer that question.  Expect a good year from from Ridley.  The realy question comes down to the defense.  A unit that has been hit by injuries and has some young guys, particularly in the secondary, needs to step up and deliver for the Patriots.  That's one reason why they lost the Super Bowl to the Giants.  Their defense failed them at critical juntures last year.   The Patriots need some veterans like linebacker Jerod Mayo to step up and instill confidence in the other members of their unit.  Having said all that, the defense should be better this year than last year and with how good their offense is, the defense doesn't have to be perfect.  I like the Patriots a lot this year.

The Buffalo Bills are a very intriguing team this year.  They got one of, if not thee most sought after free agent of the year in former Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams.  Williams will make an immediate impact on the Bills defense.  Remember, the Bills started off last year very good going 5-2, but injuries ultimately derailed this team. Running back Fred Jackson was so good last year until he went down with an injury.  He was the motor that made the Bills offense go.  Plus, after Ryan Fitzpatrick received his big contract, he really seemed to struggle.  The Bills don't have a great wide receiving corp, but Stevie Johnson is the undisputed leader of the group and the Bills need him to stay healthy and make big plays.  But back to the defense for a second.  Williams will help the unit all across the board.  The Bills brought in defensive end Mark Anderson as well to help out along the defensive line.  They drafted cornerback Stephon Gillmore in the first round of the NFL draft to help make the secondary stronger.  They know they need to stop Brady and company twice a year.  The Bills will be a much improved team this year and make a playoff push.  And I'll go out on that limb and say that they do make it to the playoffs for the first time this century.  

The New York Jets...well they're a mess.  One touchdown in the preseasosn.  And then head coach Rex Ryan has the audacity to say that this is the most talented Jets team he has been around.  Bull****.  One, Shonn Greene is not a terrific running back.  I havevery little confidence that he can be dependable for a full season.  And apart from Santonio Holmes, who is making an impact at wide receiver?  But the Jets did bring in that one guy, what's his name Tim Tebow?  Tebowmania has hit Broadway by storm and by week nine he will be the Jets starting quarterback in large part, because Mark Sanchez will not be getting the job done.  It may be a little unfair considering what Sanchez has to work with, but the Jets will be struggling and be down in the division, leading fans and the media to call on Tebow to save them.  It may be too little too late.  Then again, given how strong the Jets defense is, the Jets may be able to play those really low scoring games and pull one out in the end.  They're good, but not good enough avoid a bad year thanks to an inept offense.

Finally, the Dolphins.  Oh the Miami Dolphins.  They were on HBO's Hard Knocks sure, but this is a bad, bad team.  When Reggie Bush is your best offensive player, you know you have issues.  Starting a rookie quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, someone I believe shouldn't even see the field this year is only going to add to the misery.  They have no wide receivers and they traded perhaps their best defensive player, Vontae Davis, to the Indianapolis Colts for a scond round draft pick a couple of weeks ago.  No, I'm not buyin gwhat the Dolphins are selling this year and neither are the fans as evidenced by the thousands of empty orange seats.  Think there were a lot last year?  Wait until this year. It is going to be one bad year for Miami.


AFC North

**1. Baltimore Ravens 11-5

*2. Cincinnati Bengals 10-6

3. Pittsiburgh Steelers  9-7

4. Cleveland Browns 3-13


The AFC North is one of the best divisions in the NFL and this year will be no exception.  I like the Ravens in large part because of their offense.  Yes that's right the offense!  We all know what running back Ray Rice brings to the table.  His ability to run and catch makes him one of the top three running backs in the game if not thee best.  But the biggest difference, or so I'm hearing and reading, is going to be Joe Flacco.  Wait, Joe Flacco?  Yes, Flacco is going to be the reason why the Ravens do so well this year.  Full disclosure here, I'm not a Flacco fan.  Never have been, never will be.  Having said that, last year in the postseason, he played very well.  He was solid against Houston coming up with big throws when he needed to and it's not his fault Lee Evans dropped that touchdown pass agains the Patriots in the AFC Championship game that would have gotten the Patriots to the Super Bowl.  Now I'm not going to say that Flacco is a top ten quarterback in the league unlike Ron Jaworski, but ultimately, he will be the big reason why the Ravens are so good this year.  And he wants a new contract.  The Ravens defense is getting old and they are a bit of a concern.  Ray Lewis and Ed Reed aren't getting any younger and they  can't keep playing at the high level they have in recent years.  The more pressing concern is Terrell Suggs and his Achilles injury.  Suggs says he'll be back this year, with November being the earliest that he'd be back.  But he won't be one hundred percent.  The defense is a concern.  Also, what about going with a rookie kicker.  The Ravens released Billy Cundiff making rookie Justin Tucker their guy.  How will he handle the pressure situations?  That could signify just how good of a season the Ravens have.

In Cincinnati, fans and media are wondering if there will be a sophomore slump for quarterback Andy Dalton?  I don't think so.  He and wide receiver A.J. Green will continue to build the chemistry that they showed last year and the Bengals will make it back to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.  Fans have high expectations and the Bengals will meet them.  Dalton will have "The Lawfirm" in the backfield (BenJarvis Green-Ellis) for those who don't know and he will compliment the offense just fine.  The defense will be good too.  With questions in Pittsburgh (more on them in a moment), the Bengals know they have a window to make it back to the playoffs.

As for the Steelers, distractions may come and go, but the Steelers just go about their business.  Wide receiver Mike Wallace is back with the team having signed his one-year tender, but it doesn't look likely that he will be with the team after this season.  Injuries are hurting the Steelers on offense.  Running back Rashard Mendenhall suffered a torn ACL in the wild card matchup against Denver so he'll miss the first five or six games most likely and how good will he be coming back from that?  How will he handle contact and getting hit that first time?  Then there's rookie guard David DeCastro who tore his MCL and patella tendon and hurt his kneecap.  Will he be able to come back?  The Steelers offensive line was a revolving door last year.  They needed some stability there.  It could be a long year for the Steelers addressing that problem.  Hines Ward has retired.  Sure his stats declined in recent years, but his leadership and toughness were seen everywhere.  The defense is getting old as well.  Where's James Harrison's mind at these days?  The Steelers never make excuses and Mike Tomlin is a terrific young coach, but I don't think the Steelers have it this year.

Then there are the Browns, who while they might not win many games this year, could be a fun bunch to watch.  A trio of offensive playmakers (QB Brandon Weeden, RB Trent Richardson, and WR Josh Gordon) will give Browns fans a glimpse of what the future of Browns football is going to be. Weeden is 28-years old so he should show some maturity, more so than other rookie quarterbacks you would think.  With new ownership taking over, the Browns want to show everyone that they are headed down the right path.  They will take a step forward this year, but it won't result in many wins.


AFC South

**1. Houston Texans 12-4

 2. Tennessee Titans 7-9

 3. Indianapolis Colts 5-11

 4. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11


This will be one of the easier divisions this year.  The Texans are heads and shoulders above the rest of the teams in their division.  In fact, they would have gone to the Super Bowl last year in my opinion had Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson not missed significant time due to injury.  Schaub couldn't even play in the playoffs.  The defense, even without Mario Williams is fantastic thanks to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.  They will be just as good this year.  Arian Foster is the best running back in the game.  The major question and concern for the Texans this year is staying healthy.  Andre Johnson has had injury issues that have plagued his career.  If the Texans can stay healthy and avoid major injury to any of their best players, this team can make it to the Super Bowl.

The Titans are starting Jake Locker.  Got to say, I don't have a ton of faith in Locker, but he is very athletic.  The question is accuracy.  Not sure how consistent he will be.  Plus, the Titans schedule is very difficult the first four games.  How will that affect Locker's confidence?  An 0-4 start is very likely.  Will Chris Johnson rebound this year to prove that he is one of the top five running backs in football?  I don't know.  I'm not a huge Johnson fan.  His is unquestionably fast.  I wonder how defenses will try to play him.  Contain him and don't let him get to the outside.  Otherwise you won't have a chance.  Apart from Kenny Britt, who is coming off of ACL surgery and will miss the first game due to suspension.  Kendal Wright is a promising rookie wide receiver, but one has to wonder just how much he'll be able to contribute to the team.  Losing return man Marc Mariani for the year to a leg injury won't help.  I just don't see enought pieces around the Titans to think that they will compete for the division.

It's the dawning of a new era in Indianapolis.  Will it be lucky? Andrew Luck takes over at helm and he has looked very good this preseason.  New head coach Chuck Pagano has his work cut out for him, but with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, the defense will be just fine.  There will be plenty of growing pains though.  Still, some like ESPN's Merril Hoge, think the Colts will shock people this year.  They may, but they won't compete for the division.

Lastly, the Jacksonville Jaguars.  They've had some issues with their offensive players lately.  Sure Mauirce Jones-Drew ended his holdout, but is he in top shape?  And rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon needs to prove he is mature after his DUI.  The success of the Jaguars falls on the shoulder of quarterback Blaine Gabbert.  He was not good last year as a rookie and that is being nice about it.  He has played much better this preseason, but that doesn't take much.  I'm still skeptical of Gabbert and how well he'll play this year. He can prove me wrong and I'll admit it.  Still don't think it will mount to much improvement this year in Jacksonville.


AFC West

**1. Denver Broncos 10-6

2. San Diego Chargers 9-7

3. Kansas City Chiefs  7-9

4. Oakland Raiders 7-9


Did a big name quarterback come to the division this offseason?  One Peyton Manning?  Yes, Manning has invaded the Mile High city and has plenty of folks buzzing.  Now he is not the sole reason why I am picking the Broncos to win the west.  I'm doing it moreso because of the injuries that keep mounting for the San Diego Chargers.  More on that in a bit.  Actually, I think the AFC West teams are just going to beat up on each other making it very difficult to one team to gain much seperation.  Manning doesn't have quite the same zip and velocity that he had with the Colts, but he is an upgrade over Tebow and that is no offense to Tebow.  Manning is a field general and one of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game.  We've seen him take some big hits and get right back up, something that folks were questioning about whether or not Manning could do.  Now on a consistent basis, there might be more problems, but right now, Manning is looking good and so is his neck.  He'll be a tremendous boost to Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker and provide more balance to the Broncos offense.  The defense will continue to get better with a second year under head coach John FoxVon Miller will continue to improve from his rookie season at linebacker.  Manning's presence will help all units and help the Broncos win the west.

With regards to the Chargers, I really wanted to pick the Chargers to win the west.  Running back Ryan Mathews seemed to be a guy that was going to have a breakout year.  Then he got injured in the first preseason game.  Now he may be back for the regular season opener or for the second game, but his durability is a major question.  Then in the second preseason game, the Chargers best receiver Vincent Brown broke his ankle and is out for the season.  Tight end Antonio Gates is healthy for now, but who knows if he can last a full season?  Ultimately, like the Texans, and every team for that matter, the Chargers success this season is going to hinge on their health.  I just don't see a ton of weapons on offense that leads me to believe the Chargers can consistently put up points and win games.  Plus, they tend to get off to slow starts.

The Kansas City Chiefs have stability in head coach Romeo Crenel who had the interim tag removed in the offseason.  But they didn't look that good in the preseason.  Sure it is just the preseason, but sometimes the preseason can tell you things.  Like is Matt Cassel really the quarterback of the future for the Chiefs?  After seeing parts of him during preseason, I'm thinking not.  Then there's the few players coming off of ACL injuries last year.  How will running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry respond to a full game and full game speed?  The Chiefs can play inpsired.  We saw that last year when they gave the Green Bay Packers their only loss during the regular season.  But I don't think they have enough talent to win the west.

The Oakland Raiders are the wild card in the AFC West.  They have a decent defense (one that Richard Seymour thinks could be top five).  Ultimately, the Raiders have to play more disciplined.  They were one of the most penalized teams in the league last year.  And what about Carson Plamer?  He was traded in the middle of the year to the Raiders last year and didn't look like the Carson Palmer we were accustomed to seeing in Cincinnati.  A new year, a full offseason and we may see the Carson Palmer of old.  He's got some speedy wide receivers, but the success of the offense is in large part due to how well running back Darren McFadden plays.  His foot injury last year kept him from having one of the better years we've seen from him.  When healthy, McFadden is easily a top five back.  But he has a knack for getting injured.  With a healthy McFadden, the Raiders can compete for the AFC West crown.  Some of us, including Raiders fans, need to see that happen to believe.


AFC Playoff Picture

1. New England Patriots

2. Houston Texans

3. Baltimore Ravens

4. Denver Broncos

5. Cincinnati Bengals

6. Buffalo Bills

I feel a little scared in predicting that five of the same six playoff teams from a year ago will make it back, because that rarely happens.  If anything, my 4-6 seeds are most likely to be the ones that change.  But I'll put my name on this, though with zero vindication and certainty whatsoever.

So how is this thing going to play out?  Well, I like the Patriots and Texans to meet in the AFC Championship title game and I feel very scared in picking them since they seem to be the sexy pick to make it to the Super Bowl, but I'll go with a healthy Houston Texans squad to get to the Super Bowl.  Patriots are right up there as well as the Ravens.  I don't see any other team making it to the Super Bowl out of the AFC.  It is one of those three teams.

But who will they play?  On to the NFC...


NFC Preview

**= Divison winner

*= Playoff team

NFC East

**1. Philadelphia Eagles 11-5

2. New York Giants 9-7

3. Dallas Cowboys 9-7

4. Washington Redskins 5-11

The NFL's "dream team" from last year had a nightmare.  That won't be the case this season.  Sure the Super Bowl champion Giants are in the division, but the Eagles are lined up with a ton of talent.   They are the most talented team in the division.  The big question surrounding the Eagles is whether or not quarterback Michael Vick can stay healthy.  And it is a fair question.  Some say Vick is just injury prone.  Vick of course insists he is not.  He has been bumped and bruised so far this preseason.  He's getting a Kevlar jacket to try to keep him healthy.  When healthy, Vick is one of the most explosive players in the league.  But his style of play leads to injuries.  He has vowed to stay healthy this season.  If he does, with the offensive weapons around him including running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver DeSean Jackson, along with an improved defense, the Eagles should win the NFC East with room to spare.

It's hard to be Super Bowl champions.  Everyone is guning for you because of what you have.  That is exactly what the Giants have to deal with this year.  And they will handle it just fine.  For a Super Bowl champion, they certainly aren't getting the type of coverage most Super Bowl champions get, even within their own city thanks to Tebowmania and the Jets.  But that's fine.  They like it that way.  Gives them the ability to play the disrespect card.  Having said all that, I don't forsee the same sort of success this season that the Giants experienced last season.  Brandon Jacobs is gone, leaving the Giants with Ahmad Bradshaw and rookie D.J. Wilson as their backs.  Mario Manningham left giving Eli Manning one less target.  Their tight end got injured on the Super Bowl, was placed on waivers and then picked up by New England.  Their defense will be fine, but I just don't see how the Giants can repeat and have a year like last year, I just can't.

The Dallas Cowboys are tired of talking about their window closing, and it's true, it has been a tad overblown.  Still, the Cowboys head into this season knowing that they do have some aging veterans while also knowing that their division rivals won the Super Bowl.  Oh by the way, they play them Wednesday night (8:30 PM ET NBC).  There is a lot of pressure on quarterback Tony Romo, but the offseason hasn't exactly gone according to plan.  They've dealt with some injuries this offseason including wide receiver Miles Austin's hamstring, tight end Jason Witten's spleen and the on-going issues and distractions with wide receiver Dez Bryant.  The x-factor is Rob Ryan's defense.  If the Cowboys defense shows significant improvement this year over last year (and I think it can), the Cowboys do have a chance to really turn the tables in the NFC East and win the division.  Having said all of that, I don't think it's going to happen this year.  There will be a distraction or an injury that derails the Cowboys and makes their fans clamor for Jerry Jones to do something.

As for the Washington Redskins, the basement is reserved for them.  Yes there is a lot of excitement with Robert Griffin III, but who are his weapons on offense.  Running back is a revolving door and there are no big name wide receivers.  The defense will be decent, but the Redskins are a year or two away from being serious contenders.


NFC North

**1. Green Bay Packers 14-2

*2. Detroit Lions 10-6

3. Chicago Bears  9-7

4. Minnesota Vikings 6-10

Really?  What a shock!  The Packers win the NFC North.  Well duh.  Listen, when you have as prolific of an offense as Green Bay has, a quarterback who can sling it to whichever receiver he pleases in Aaron Rodgers and add a running back like Cedric Benson, you'll self-destruct more than defenses will stop you.  Plus, the Packers have made it a priority this offseason to upgrade the defensive side of the ball, an area last year they were bad in apart from turnovers.  If the Packers didn't have Benson I'd consider giving them 13 or 12 wins.  But with what they've done, fourteen seems like a legit number, more than enough to win the NFC North.

As for the difference between the Lions and Bears, I'm very skeptical in putting the Lions as the second best team in the north.  One injury to quarterback Mathew Stafford and jst like that, they become a six, maybe seven win team.  Probably less.  And Stafford has had one season where he's been fully health...last season.  Plus Calvin Johnson is on the cover of Madden '13.  Curse?  Not with Megatron.  He'll thrive.  Injuries to running backs are concerning to Detroit as well as how thin they are in the secondary.  Those are the two biggest areas of weakness for Detroit and if they can't shore those areas up, they may have less than ten wins and a wild card birth.  Oh that and Stafford gets hurt. That's pretty critical.

The Chicago Bears are a very intriguing team, perhaps the most intriguing in the NFC North.  The Bears got a weapon for Jay Cutler, re-uniting him with wid receiver Brandon Marshall.  Those two should have a pretty good year.  The Bears also went and got Michael Bush from the Raiders to back up Matt Forte, though Forte didn't much like that.  Mike Tice takes over as offensive coordinator so expect the Bears to be much balanced this season.  The concern lies with the defense.  Linebacker Brian Urlacher says he'll play in the season opener, but he has had multiple knee scopes this offseason.  How healthy can he be at the end of the season?  The Bears are getting older on defense, but they should still have enough to be a tough force to deal with.  There are just a few questions about the defense and whether or not Cutler can indeed take that next step that makes me hesitant in pikcing them for a playoff spot, let alone the division.

For the Minnesota Vikings, they keep trying to make progress, but in a division with the three teams above, progress is hard to come by.  At least they have a new stadium coming.  So many young guys on this team, the Vikings are bound to struggle.  Running back Adrian Peterson should be ready for week 1, remarkable considering he tore his ACL on Christmas Eve.  Toby Gerhart will have a bigger role on the team.  The offseason addition of Jerome Simpson will definitely help the offseason become more dynamic, but Simpson is suspended the first three games of the year.  The defense should be better, especially the secondary, which was riddled with injuries last year.  Still, this is a last place team.  Being the Vikings fan that I am, I have some hope so here goes my crazy prediction.  Vikings start out 6-2, lose their last eight games.  Wouldn't shock me if it happens.


NFC South

**1. Atlanta Falcons 11-5

*2. Carolina Panthers 10-6

3. New Orleans Saints 9-7

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-11

One of the most copetitivite divisions in football, this yea promises to be an entertaining one.   And I think this year is the year of the Falcon.  Quarterback Matt Ryan has had plenty of success during the regular season while strugggling in the playoffs.  Couple with the weapons on the offensive side of the ball and a committment to better defnese and I just really love the Falcons to win the NFC South.

I will take Ryan Kalil up on his deal.  The Carolina Panthers offensive lineman has guaranteed Carolina will win the Super Bowl this year. While that may be a little far-fetched, I like Carolina this year to at least make the playoffs this year.  Earlier I said Andy Dalton wouldn't have a sophomore slump with the Bengals.  I really think Cam Newton is going to soar in his second year.  He is a duel threat and one who will lead Carolina to a playoff birth this year.  With Steve Smith and the two backs behind him, Newton is set up for success.  The defense will be decent too and good enough to get them in the playoffs.

Listen, whenever you go through an offseason like the New Orleans Saints, it's almost impossible to play at the level you were at the previoius year.  No head coach.  No general manager.  No star linebacker.  It's just really tough.  And while we don't need to go back and relive what happened this offseason with the bounty scandal and everything, it will have its effects on the team.  It will give the Saints a bit more of an edge.  They'll use it as motivation.  Quarterback Drew Brees, fresh with a new deal, will be like a coach to this team.  But I just don't think it will be enough.  I don't think they have a playoff birth in them.  They'll be in it until the very end, but ultimately won't be able to get it.

For Tampa Bay, this is a rebuilding year, a new era under head coach Greg Schiano.  They've spent money on big free agents like wid receiver Vincent Jackson and guard Carl Nicks to help speed along the rebuilding efforts.  However, this hasn't exactly resulted in a jump at the ticket office which is not good news for the Bucs or their fans.  Schiano likes a run-heavy offense, meaning rookie running back Doug Martin will have a major impact on the team.  But this is still a team that needs help on defense and needs to see maturity in quarterback Josh Freeman.  They may take a step forward this year, but they need to more consistent.  Until that happens, they will remain in the NFC South basement.


NFC West

**1. San Francisco 49ers 12-4

2. Seattle Seahawks 8-8

3. St. Louis Rams 5-11

4. Arizona Cardinals  4-12

What 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh did last year was amazing.  Limited time to really install his program and get the players to buy in.  But he got the team to buy in and they wound up in the NFC Championship game.  They were good last year.  They may be even better this year.  They upgraded at wide receiver bringing in Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, drafting a wide receiver and really making this offense more dangerous for quarterback Alex Smith.  The defense is as good as advertised and the 49ers will have no issues in walking away with the NFC West crown.

Seattle took made an interesting move in naming rookie quarterback Russell Wilson their starting quarterback if only because they had paid Matt Flynn some serious money in the offseason to come be their starter.  Wilson has looked very sharp this preseason and together with Skittles (Marshawn Lynch), could really help spark the Seahawks offesnse.  The defense has some really good young players including safety Earl Thomas which should help the Seahawks play a more consistent game.  If the 49ers weren't in the division or weren't so gosh darn good, I'd like Seattle a little more.  Progress will be made under head coach Pete Carroll in year three, but not enough to reach the playofffs.  Still going to be an interesting team to watch this year.

New head coach Jeff Fisher has his work cut out fo him in St. Louis.  The Rams need to keep Sam Bradford healthy.  That is the only way they will succeed this year.  Running back Steven Jackson can only do so much.  He is a workhorse, but I fear he may get run down as the season progresses if the Rams can't be more balanced.  The defense should be better.  Fisher was able to bring in guys like cornerback Cortland Finnegan and that will help stableize that side of the ball.  It may take a year though to truly see the improvement, but two more wins over last year is something Rams fans will like to see.

Whenever you take as long as the Cardinals have in naming your starting quarterback, your season is in trouble.  John Skelton is the right choice, but the season looks bleak if he struggles.  No faith in Kevin Kolb, whatsoever.  The running backs (Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams) need to prove they can stay healthy.  Who's going to step up apart from Larry Fitzgerald?  The Cardinals have already seen some injuries on the offensive line that will hurt.  Defense should be ok though.  With no stability, I don't foresee a good year from the Cardinals.


NFC Playoff Picture

1. Green Bay Packers

2. San Francisco 49ers

3. Atlanta Falcons

4. Philadelphia Eagles

5. Detroit Lions

6. Carolina Panthers

I see more change in the NFC playoff picture than I do the AFC.  It is going to be a very good race to see who wins the NFC wild cards spots as well as theeast and the south divisions which I think could come down to the final week.  The playoffs should be good, but in the end only one team stands above the rest and that is Green Bay.  What should be a more balanced offense will lead to great things from Packers in the playoffs and get them back to the Super Bowl.



Aaron Rodgers, quarterback Green Bay Packers

This will mark back-to-back years that Rodgers will have won MVP honors.  Tom Brady will get his name mentioned too, maybe even Rob Gronkowski, but there is a reason Green Bay is so good and that is because of Rodgers.  He will deserve this award.

Comeback POY

Peyton Manning, quarterback Denver Broncos

It won't be the normal stastical year we're used to seeing from Manning, but enough that he will win this award fairly easily with Randy Moss coming in second place.

Super Bowl Matchup

Houston Texans vs. Green Bay Packers (Sunday, February 3, 2013, New Orleans, LA)

Green Bay won a Super Bowl when Brett Favre was quarterback against the New England Patriots back in 1996.  The Texans will be in their first Super Bowl.  Experience will win out and the Packers (pains me to say this as a Vikings fan fyi) will win their second Super Bowl in three years and hoist the Lmbardi Trophy.  Packers win 27-17


Well there is the preview.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Agree or disagree with my picks?  Let me know.  It is going to be a fun season.  Can't wait to kick it off Wednesday night.  






September 4, 2012  08:37 AM ET

Definately questioning the panthers over saints, lions over bears, chargers over chiefs, and bills going 10-6. Idk weezy, just dont kno

September 4, 2012  05:53 PM ET

I admit to being the only Pats fan who thinks we're going to smell up the joint this year.

September 4, 2012  11:33 PM ET

Well you know Sundmark, like my fantasy football and march madness picks, they'll probably be wrong. But I feel pretty good about these picks. If I can get ten of the twelve playoff teams right, that would be great.


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