Last Friday we did our AFC predictions for the over/under on wins/losses for the upcoming season. This Friday, we took a stab at the NFC season.
Cardinals (6.5 wins)
Chappy – Over, a so-called future star in Kolb could put them atop this division, but that’s not saying a lot. From what I’ve heard, Seahawks and 49ers fans are hoping to get the #1 pick in next years draft to get Luck, so someone has to win this division, and I’m crossing my fingers it takes 7 wins.
Dre – Under. Until I see Kevin Kolb stay healthy and produce at a high level for just one full season, I won’t see how the trade is defensible. It could happen, but I’m going to say not likely, and the running game will suffer because of it. We’ll see AZ near the bottom at season’s end, which is hard to do in the NFC West.
MCeezy – Under. I’m also predicting this year’s NFC West becomes the first division to have all of its teams lose all of its non-division games. The worst division in football just got worse. I think it’s safe to say though, that this Arizona team’s success will hinge on the performance of Kevin Kolb at QB.
Falcons (10.5 wins)
Chappy – Over, after watching that total QB formula thing that ESPN made up, they showed me just how clutch Matty Ice is. He has the Big Ben gene in getting his team W’s in the 4th quarter. Adding Julio Jones might be just what the doctor ordered forthe passing game.
Dre – Under. With the rise of TB and the Saints still looking strong, I have a hard time picking the Falcons as the outright best team in the South. Their schedule to start the year is a doozy: 4 out of the 5 are playoff teams, including the SB Champs, and the fifth is TB who finished 10-6 last year. Ouch!
Chappy – Under, for some reason I’m rooting for Steve Smith to punch Cam Newton at some point in this season.
Dre – Under. Things didn’t get a whole lot better in Carolina. Their #1 overall pick is a project at best, and still has a chance to start because of how poor Jimmy Clausen played last year. They re-signed their stud RB, De Williams, but without a any sort of passing game he seems useless. Worst team in the league 2 years in a row?
MCeezy – Under. This team is gonna be bad. Why is Steve Smith still there? I thought he was supposed to get traded to a California team. Why hasn’t Al Davis thrown the kitchen sink at Carolina to get him? The story for this Panther team will be the development of Cam Newton.
Bears (8.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, nobody believed in the Bears last year, I guess Vegas doesn’t see them winning more than last year either. If Cutler ever looked like he cared, then I might say over…
Dre – Over. A 11 win playoff team a year ago, let’s not forget, they upgraded their soft WR corp with Roy Williams, and added another bruiser in the backfield with Barber. Defensively the Bears are still strong, so I can see at least another 9-10 win season on the horizon.
Cowboys (9 wins)
Chappy – Over, ugh, I’m buying into the hype machine that gets started in Dallas every year. Looking at their schedule they will be a huge disappointment if they don’t win more than 9. Only five of their opponents even had a winning records last year.
Dre – Under. See the past I don’t know how many years. This will be a .500 season at best. Lots of talent, yes… underachieving, yes! Tony Romo might be healthy, for now, but offense wasn’t even the problem last year as they ended the year 26th in passing defense. So how did they draft? Six out of eight play offense.
MCeezy – Under. I really can’t predict this though. Dez Bryant should be rounding into top form this year, and Miles Austin is always solid. But, does Tony Romo still care about winning? In the backfield, they let Marion Barber go, so can Felix Jones and Tashard Choice be an elite RB corps? It’ll be interesting to see.
Lions (7.5 wins)
Chappy – Over, Even though this team seems to be injured at all times, I’m pulling for them to succeed. Detroit needs something good to happen one of these years right?!? 8-8 sounds plausible.
Dre – Under. I think the Lions have built a great core to succeed… just not this year. Maybe next? They have a great DL with two future Pro Bowl regulars in Suh and Fairley. But the secondary is still questionable . Offense looks like a younger version of the Texans, with Best, Johnson, and Pettigrew as a solid big three, and love the Titus Young pickup in round 2.
Packers (11.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, Is it me or does it seem like everyone already crowned the Eagles the NFC champs this year? As teams gun for the defending champs, I see them only winning 10-11 games kinda like the Saints did last year, so they’ll still be in the playoffs to defend their title, but not with more than 11 wins.
Dre – Over. Can you imagine what the Packers can do with a full plate of confidence and a healthy roster? They made the playoffs as a Wild Card, and won three games in a row on the road with injuries at just about all their key position. Now they have Ryan Grant and J Finley back and Aaron Rodgers will know exactly how to use them.
MCeezy – Over. They just won the Super Bowl and they’re pretty much bringing back their entire roster. Why wouldn’t they go 12-4 at worst? The only significant loss in my eyes is that of Nick Barnett, but you know what, I think they’ll be just fine at the linebacker position.
Vikings (7 wins)
Chappy – Push, I can’t get a read on this team. They’re not bad, but I don’t see them as good. I’ve always liked McNabb, but his days dominating the league are unfortunately over. This is the first time he’s had a super stud RB though.
Dre – Under. I just don’t see how the Vikings will succeed with an unsettled QB situation and a depleted WR corp to boot. AP will have a tough time running against 8 man fronts all day long.
Chappy – Push, looks like they will once again be underrated. It’s always a good thing to fly under the radar, and now that they aren’t the defending champs and the Falcons have the target on their back, I see them making a solid run this year.
Dre – Push. As mentioned, the NFC South might be the best division in football, and the Saints have a lot to prove after losing to Seattle in the first round last year. They still have a an elite QB in Brees, and they took the best RB in the draft, Mark Ingram, to replace the departed Reggie Bush.
MCeezy – Over. I want to say push, but you can’t have two guys in a row call a push. What’s the fun in that? I think they’ll have success though, because the pass-catch ensemble remains intact, save for Shockey. But the backfield is what gets me really excited though. How nasty can the trio of Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, and Darrin Sproles be?
Giants (9.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, the Cowboys and Eagles got better, and the Giants seemed to stand pat. Osi not playing would put a huge dent in the defenses abilities. Seems like a downer year for them.
Dre – Under. Losing Steve Smith at WR will turn out to be a bigger issue than people think. Manningham is not capable of playing on the opposite side of Hicks, so it will be interesting to see how that pans out. Bradshaw and Jacobs will continue to be a strong running tandem, however, so I can see them getting to 9 but not 10.
Eagles (10.5 wins)
Chappy – Over, the Super Bowl champs better win at least 11 regular season games. Feels like I’m already rooting against them even though I love a lot of their players. All I really want to see this season from them is an offensive package on the field with Vince, Vick, Desean, McCoy, and Brown all in the backfield at the same time.
Dre – Under. I get the feeling the “new and improved” Eagles look a lot more like the Cowboys of the last few years: all kinds of talent and all kinds of underachieving. I don’t see Vick lasting more than 12 games, and they need him for all 16. Is Vince Young ready to take over? The Titans think not.
MCeezy – Over. Though I still think all this dream team stuff is a bit forced. I could name 10 other teams from the past 5 years that were more stacked. (wait, right now?) Still, 11-5 isn’t too high an expectation by any stretch of the imagination. I’m willing to bet they’ll lead the league in Nielsen Ratings that’s for sure.
49ers (7.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, I like Jim Harbaugh and the attitude he’s brought to this team, but hate that Alex Smith is still their QB. At least the Raiders know when to cut their losses. Their schedule looks manageable, but it’s hard to be confident in this squad.
Dre – Over. Yeah, I said it. The 9ers will win 9 games this year in spite of Alex Smith, not because of him. The defense was strong last year, and the addition of Edwards (while not spectacular) will help loosen up the running game. The NFC West is a crap shoot, so why not the 9ers??
MCeezy – Over. Everyone out this way is down on the 49ers right now. As much as I’d like to be, I don’t think they’ll be as bad as everyone thinks. They stumbled out the gates, losing so many players I had to write about it, but I feel like they’ve made up for it since then. No matter what, they still have Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Patrick Willis. They can be good. Something has to happen at QB though. Either Alex Smith plays less shitty than ever before, or Colin Kaepernick emerges as a legitimate QB. Something has to happen.
Seahawks (6.5 wins)
Chappy – Over, eventhough I wrote that the Niners and Seahawks were already playing for the #1 pick, I guess I feel like Tavaris hasn’t really been given a fair shake. This is easily my least confident NFC pick though.
Dre – Under. Last year they made the playoffs with 7 wins, both feats marking major overachievements. I think they fall just one game short, 6 wins seems like a max with neither of their QBs a proven starter. I mean, Tarvaris lost his job to an AARP member, and Whitehurst may have been a stretch to think he could go from 3rd string at SD to franchise savior.
MCeezy – Over. This team is tough to predict. They’re starting to stack the team with guys I like, so I may find myself rooting for them. But, they’re now rockin Tarvaris Jackson at QB. At least he brought Sidney Rice along with him – it might give him a nice safety net early until he gets acquainted with Mike Williams and Zach Miller. And who knows, what if Marshawn goes Beast Mode all season. I think he may be rejuvenated this year starting the season on his new team full of Pac-10 guys.
Rams (7.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, unfortunately this team has a really tough schedule. The end of their season looks a lot easier, but when it looks like you should lose 6 of your first 9 games, it’s tough to pick the over.
Dre – Over. After 7 wins last season, anything short of 8 wins seems like an under achievement, considering they have next Big QB. The Rams drafted receiving help with 2 WR and a TE (in the 2nd rd no less), and continue to add strength in their D. With a wide open NFC West, the Rams should challenge for the 9ers for the lone shot at the playoffs.
MCeezy – Under. Chappy’s right. Their schedule is brutal. Do I think they can be an 8 win team? Any other year, yeah. With the schedule they open with, they’d be lucky to start any better than 1-6.
Buccaneers (8 wins)
Chappy – Under, I think we all kept waiting to see how they’d spend their big cap surplus, but nothing much happened. Last season was a little too magical, and I think they come back to earth a little.
Dre – Over. Eight wins seems quite low for new cream atop the South. Josh Freeman is the next It Kid, and after last season’s 10 win season is a sign of better days in TB. The Bucs made two huge picks on the Dline, Clayborn who was a stud at Iowa and perhaps the biggest bargain in the draft, Da’Quan Bowers. His slip from top 3 to 51 over a knee injury was well documented.
Redskins (6.5 wins)
Chappy – Under, they’ll be lucky to win any of their division games. Starting Rex Grossman should tell you everything you need to know about their chances this year…
Dre – Under. The Skins seem like they are in a serious state of transition. Judging from last year’s six win season, the decline is far from over. Will it be Beck or Rex? Torain or Hightower? Moss or Stallworth? Notice how none of that sounded appetizing? I see a top 5 pick in the very near future…
MCeezy – Under. Ugh, I think they may very well win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. There are worse teams in football, but the Redskins are a lock for an 0-6 division record, unless they manage to steal one from Dallas.