Thursday, September 4, 2008

2008 NFL Predictions

The NFL season kicks off tonight when the Defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants host the Washington Redskins at 7:00 ET. The game is starting early to respect the ongoing Republican National Convention, where you can hear politicians say overused catchphrases like "My fellow Americans" and bash each other, so at least the RNC is good for something.

Anyway, here are my picks for the 2008 campaign (* = Playoff team):

AFC East
New England Patriots*
New York Jets
Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins

The Bills showed improvement last year and should continue that trend but even an adamant Jet-hater like myself knows Brett Favre is a huge upgrade over Chad Pennington. Granted they were 4-12, but 8-8 might be good enough to land them in second place.

AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers*
Cleveland Browns*
Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens

The Steelers and Browns should be neck-and-neck all season long, with the Bengals and Ravens much farther behind. I would be surprised if Baltimore and Cincinnati won 8 games combined.

AFC South
Indianapolis Colts*
Jacksonville Jaguars*
Tennessee Titans
Houston Texans

The Colts are a little banged up, but should be strong enough to hold off the Jags. The Titans, a playoff team last year, don't make it in as a wildcard this time around.

AFC West
San Diego Chargers*
Oakland Raiders
Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs

This is just a bad, bad division. I don't see much out of the Broncos or Chiefs, and the Raiders could surprise some people. Still, the Bolts might be the only team with a winning record in the group.

AFC Champions
New England Patriots

They went 18-1 in total last year, so even if they have a considerable dropoff, they'll be the team to beat.

NFC East
Dallas Cowboys*
New York Giants*
Washington Redskins
Philadelphia Eagles

Not only do I not want to jinx the Giants, but I'm also using my head instead of my heart on this one. The 'Boys were 13-3 last year and have improved, so there's no reason to think they'll be any worse.

NFC North
Minnesota Vikings*
Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears

The Bears are just plain bad. They don't know what's going on at quarterback and Devin Hester is their #1 receiver, which says a lot. The Packers will probably regress, but should have a strong enough defense and a few weapons to help Aaron Rodgers out.

NFC South
New Orleans Saints*
Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
Carolina Panthers
Atlanta Falcons

The Saints should rebound after a disappointing '07 season, aided by the addition of Jeremy Shockey and Jonathan Vilma, among others. The Falcons will most likely compete with the Bears for "Worst Team in the NFC."

NFC West
Seattle Seahawks*
Arizona Cardinals
St. Louis Rams
San Francisco 49ers

The NFC West is a lot like the AFC West... Horrible. The 'Hawks take it by default.

NFC Champions
Dallas Cowboys

It hurts my heart to say that, but I'm a wise man and I know how hard it is for the Super Bowl Champs to repeat.

Super Bowl
Cowboys defeat Patriots

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