2011 NFL Preview

The NFL gets back under way tomorrow which means another four months of me screaming at the TV watching the Browns and second guessing every move I made in fantasy football.  Needles to say, it’s a fun time of year when you’re a fan of a team that’s continuously on the losing end of the spectrum.  But this year will be different for the Browns.  Colt McCoy looks primed to have a great year under new head coach Pat Shurmur’s west coast offense, Peyton Hillis is good to go, and the rest of the team finally looks like it’s starting to fall into place.  Will the Browns win the division?  Probably not.  But this should be the first fun season we’ve seen in a long while.

But  how will this thing play out for everyone?  Well… I’m here to tell you.  And I apologize, the formatting for this post went haywire and I have no clue how to fix it.  Bear with me.

AFC East:

  1. New England Patriots 13-3*
  2. New York Jets 11-5*
  3. Miami Dolphins 7-9
  4. Buffalo Bills 5-11
I don’t think anyone is taking this division from the Patriots.  They’ve reloaded and it looks like the Belichick/Brady era is primed for one more run.  I like what they’ve done and It’s going to be very hard for anyone to displace them.  The Jets meanwhile will win games and cause issues but I don’t think they have what it takes to win the division.  Meanwhile, Miami and Buffalo… thanks for showing up to the party.  Miami is a mess.  Buffalo will look improved, but not enough to show recordwise.
AFC North:
  1. Baltimore Ravens 12-4*
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5*
  3. Cleveland Browns 7-9
  4. Cincinnati Bengals 2-14
Really this is a toss up.  It’s either going to be the Ravens or Steelers who win this division so take your pick.  I figured coming off a Super Bowl loss there will be a bit of a hangover so I’m taking the Ravens.  Like I said, the Browns will make a vast improvement from what we usually see, but it won’t be enough to steal a playoff spot.  The Bengals… they’re a mess.  I don’t expect more than 4 wins, but given the fact they’re starting a rookie QB and WR i’m slating them for 2 wins.
AFC South:
  1. Houston Texans 12-4*
  2. Indianapolis Colts 10-6
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars 8-8
  4. Tennessee Titans 5-11
This is the year.  This is the year Houston finally breaks through and topples the Colts.  I’m also assuming a lot here.  I’m assuming Arian Foster will be ok and I’m assuming Peyton Manning won’t.  There’s a very good possibility those two teams could get flip flopped come year’s end.  Jacksonville and Tennessee will be non-factors because both Maurice Jones Drew and Chris Johnson will struggle with nagging injuries and miss games.
AFC West:
  1. Kansas City Chiefs 9-7*
  2. San Diego Chargers 8-8
  3. Oakland Raiders 8-8
  4. Denver Broncos 4-12
I like Kansas City the best out of all these teams.  San Diego is a more tempting pick given their talent and WB Phillip Rivers, but until they show they can come out of the gate with guns a blazing, I can’t trust them.  The division will be tight because the Raiders will improve on last years success, but I’m taking the Chiefs.  The Broncos… that’s a mess and a half given the Tebow situation.  Stay tuned for the drama there.
NFC East:
  1. Philadelphia Eagles 12-4*
  2. Dallas Cowboys 10-6
  3. New York Giants 8-8
  4. Washington redskins 5-11
The Eagles are stacked.  As long as Michael Vick stays healthy there’s no reason why this team shouldn’t score a million points and dominate on the defensive side of the ball.  Dallas will do what Dallas does, show flashes of brilliance with a whole lot of WTF moments mixed in.  The Giants are already a walking mash unit so count them out and the Redskins have QB issues.  Rex Grossman… Really?  This division is the Eagles to lose.
NFC North:
  1. Green Bay Packers 13-3*
  2. Detroit Lions 11-5*
  3. Chicago Bears 7-9
  4. Minnesota Vikings 6-10
The Packers look ready to make another Super Bowl run.  They have all of their key pieces back healthy and more importantly, they have Aaron Rodgers.  What’s not to like about that team?  I also like the Lions… a lot.  They have so many weapons on offense and dominating forces on defense.  This could be the year they turn it all around as long as they stay healthy.  Meanwhile, the Bears overachieved last season so I expect a fall back to reality and the Vikings will suffer through a less than stellar McNabb season.
NFC South:
  1. New Orleans Saints 12-4*
  2. Atlanta Falcons 12-4*
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-8
  4. Carolina Panthers 4-12
Everyone is picking the Falcons, but me personally I’m taking the Saints.  From what I’ve been able to gather, they’re pissed about how last season ended and even more pissed that Atlanta is getting all the headlines.  Don’t count them out.  Atlanta will be good, but I think they lose a tie breaker to the Saints and make the playoffs as a wild card.  Tampa Bay had a great year last year, but I think they over achieved and will fall back to the pack.  Carolina is a mess.  Whether it’s Jimmy Clausen or Cam Newton, this team is going to struggle through another tough season.
NFC West:
  1. Arizona Cardinals 9-7*
  2. St. Louis rams 8-8
  3. San Francisco 49ers 5-11
  4. Seattle Seahawks 5-11
Do I really have to pick a winner in this division?  I guess I’ll go with Arizona for the sole reason that I like them better than any f the others.  St. Louis is a tempting pick but I feel like they have a few more question marks than the Cardinals.  In all honesty, either one could win this division.  Bringing up the rear will be the 49ers and Seahawks.  Both teams have terrible QB’s and will have major problems scoring.  To make a long story short… this division is going to suck… again.
So… here are my picks for division winners, wild cards, Super Bowl, and awards:
AFC: New England, Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City, New York, Pittsburgh
NFC: Philadelphia, Green Bay, New Orleans, Arizona, Atlanta, Detroit
Super Bowl (winner in bold): New England 28 vs. New Orleans 24
MVP: Tom Brady, New England
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Julio Jones, Atlanta
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Nick Fairley, Detroit
Coach of the Year: Jim Schwartz, Detroit
As always, all predictions made by me are guaranteed to be completely 100% wrong… because I’m awesome like that.
Are you ready for some football!?!?!
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