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Tag:NFC
Posted on: September 6, 2010 8:23 pm
 

Bold NFL Predictions for 2010

Here are my bold NFL predictions for the 2010 season.

 NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys- 10-6- An old offensive line with a bad offensive coordinator aren’t a good mix, but talent will prevail in the end. Talent can only take you so far, however.

New York Giants- 10-6- The young receivers step it up another notch and Eli has his best year yet. Could this be another wild card run?

Washington Redskins- 9-7- McNabb gets back at Philly twice, but it won’t be enough to get the Redskins a playoff berth. Redskins will look back at a few plays and wonder what could have been.

Philadelphia Eagles- 9-7- A winning record isn’t enough for Kolb’s first season as starter. Kolb starts to feel McNabb’s pain with the Philly fans as cries for Vick become a distraction.

 

NFC SOUTH

New Orleans Saints- 12-4- The Saints offense is again too much for the rest of the division. After being the first in the odd trend last year (first team to lose last three games and win a super bowl), they seem to want to make it a tradition.

Atlanta Falcons- 11-5- Young QB Ryan shows leadership skills as he leads the Falcons to the playoffs in a late run.  Ryan, Turner, and White give Falcons fans security that they will be a playoff team for years to come.

Carolina Panthers- 7-9- Matt Moore cools off during offseason and struggles throughout. The running game just isn’t enough to overcome a weak WR core.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 3-13- The record seem to be a justification of how well the young Bucs will play. The step back will seem like a step forward to many as the Bucs look to be on the verge of breaking through next year.

 

NFC NORTH

Green Bay Packers- 12-4- The Packers run away with the division and the talk of Aaron Rodgers being the best Packers QB ever is the big topic at the end of the year. Will the talk interfere with playoff aspirations?

Minnesota Vikings- 8-8- The Vikings realize that last year’s start may have been a fluke as this year’s schedule is much tougher. There won’t be any room for Favre to ease into his QB role this year. Coach Childress becomes another infamous stat of Favre’s; Third consecutive coach to get fired with Favre’s exit who finally retires.

Chicago Bears- 6-10- The Bears have glimpses of breaking through, but lack of leadership keeps the team buried below .500. Bad end of season gets Coach Lovie Smith the pink slip.

Detroit Lions- 2-14- Injuries and a tough schedule keep the Lions from progressing. Detroit loses leads in a lot games as they find out they don’t have a “closer” for a RB. The weak defense gives up big costly plays again.

 

NFC WEST

San Francisco 49ers- 11-5- The 49ers dominate the division, but many are skeptical as their losses are against the better teams on their schedule. Will they prove the skeptics wrong?

Arizona Cardinals- 6-10- Larry Fitzgerald doesn’t seem to be the same with all the changes. The running game seems to be the better part of the Cards of offense. The Cards get a spark from QB Max Hall at the end of the season.

Seattle Seahawks- 3-13- The record will enrage Seahawks faithful and they’ll lay blame on the wrong man, Coach Pete Carroll. The team has little talent since super bowl and this year, everyone will finally realize it.

St. Louis Rams- 1-15- It won’t be a dramatic 1-15 season, the win will come early, but there will be a lot of improvement for years to come for the young Rams. Steven Jackson may be moved before the end of the season.

 

AFC EAST

New England Patriots- 12-4- The Patriots’ offense looks like the old Patriots offense now that QB Tom Brady has one year under his new knee. Laurence Maroney has his best season.

Miami Dolphins- 10-6- The Dolphins error-free football will not pay off with a playoff spot. The lack of another player stepping up to take the heat off of new addition Brandon Marshall will cost them the playoffs.

New York Jets- 10-6- The Jets improve their record from last year, but feel the pain of a new season as they fail to make the playoffs. The love for QB Mark Sanchez will be questioned by many New Yorkers as his mistakes prove costly this year.

Buffalo Bills- 4-12- RB CJ Spiller will challenge for the Rookie of the Year recognition by the end of the year. That will be the only bright spot for the Bills.

 

AFC SOUTH

Indianapolis Colts- 13-3- QB Peyton Manning is the true professional and will not allow his team to take a step back. The Colts will not lose a beat from Super Bowl loss.

Houston Texans- 11-5- The Texans finally prove the experts right who have been predicting them to make the playoffs the last three years. WR Jacoby Jones and RB Arian Foster will have big years that get the Texans over the top.

Tennessee Titans- 8-8- The Titans lack of WRs prove to be costly as Chris Johnson is shut down in key games.  There will be many questions for the Titans going into next year.

Jacksonville Jaguars- 2-14- RB Maurice Jones-Drew’s ‘minor’ knee surgery turns into major as he can’t get the job done by himself. Coach Del Rio will be another coach looking for a job.

 

 

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens- 12-4- The Ravens run away with their division, but have to play the entire season to clinch a bye week in the playoffs. The defense’s health will be the big question going into the playoffs.

Cincinnati Bengals- 10-6- The Bengals have a solid year and a couple of big wins will break the tie-breaker to get them in the playoffs. Will they be the dark horse of the playoffs like the Jets last year?

Pittsburgh Steelers- 7-9- The bad start and a rusty Ben Roethlisberger topped with a sloppy offensive line and a locker room with tension is a recipe of disaster for the Steelers. Steelers’ nation will wonder what will be the future of the Steelers for years to come.

Cleveland Browns- 5-11- The Browns band aids will not stop the bleeding. They may be able to pull out a couple of tough wins, but the playoffs are not in their future.

 

AFC WEST

San Diego Chargers- 12-4- The Chargers have no problem overcoming the loss of WR Vincent Jackson as rookie sensation RB Ryan Mathews has big year. Will the rookie get them past the hump in the playoffs?

Oakland-8-8- The Raiders defense keeps them in games, but the lack of offense will cost them games. QB Jason Campbell will manage  Raiders- games well, but doesn’t have the weapons to get it done late in games.

Kansas City Chiefs- 8-8- Nobody has talked about the Chiefs potential all offseason and the Chiefs will be hitting themselves after they let a few games slip out of their grasp. The Chiefs will shock a few teams.

Denver Broncos- 3-13- The Broncos look hopeless by their bye week. They traded away all their weapons and Coach Josh McDaniels may lose the locker room by end of season which may cost him his job.

 

PLAYOFFS

WILD CARD ROUND

Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys defense proves too much for the Falcons and the Cowboys move on in a game that is secured late in the fourth quarter. Cowboys 23, Falcons 17.

New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers- The Giants show the green 49ers what the playoffs are all about and get revenge for a playoff loss in the 90’s. Giants 24, 49ers 10.

Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers- The tides turn for the Chargers as the Bengals miss a last minute field goal to tie the game, Chargers 27, Bengals 24.

Houston Texans at New England Patriots- The Patriots faithful begin questioning their faith as the Patriots get shocked at home again by the up and coming Texans. Texans, 30, Patriots 20.

 

DIVISIONAL ROUND

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints- Talk of the Cowboys becoming the first team to play at home in a Super Bowl is silenced in the Big Easy. The Cowboys defense does well, but it’s the offense, again, that is the disappointment. Saints 24, Cowboys 10.

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers- Unlike a few years ago, Aaron Rodgers leads the Packers against the Giants and doesn’t throw a game ending pick. Packers 31, Giants 20.

San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens- The Chargers may have personnel changes, but things remain the same as their team looks at each other with blank stares. Who will be the man to blame this year? Ravens 31, Chargers 14.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts- The game of the year goes down to a field goal and Peyton Manning can shake his errors away. Colts 34, Texans 31.

 

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints- The experts think the Saints are lucky to avoid Lambeau Field his time of year, but so are the explosive Packers who out duel the Saints in a offensive show case. Packers 38, Saints 34.

Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts- It’s a battle that is meant to be and Baltimore fans celebrate as they take down the evil Colts who left their city years ago. The Ravens stun the Colts in Indy with a solid run game led by Ray Rice. Ravens 31, Colts 24.

 

SUPER BOWL XLV

Baltimore Ravens versus Green Bay Packers at Cowboys Stadium

A great match up lives up to its expectations early, but the Packers pull away from the aging Ravens defense and prevail. Packers 31, Ravens 17. Aaron Rodgers is named MVP.

 

SEASON AWARDS

MVP- Aaron Rodgers- his running game will viewed as less and he’ll upset Peyton Manning in a close race.

Coach of the Year- John Harbaugh- The Ravens look to be a dominate team for a long time under Harbaugh’s leadership.

Rookie of the Year- Offense- CJ Spiller- Beats out Ryan Mathews who has slightly better numbers, but Spiller has no support.

Rookie of the Year- Defense- Nadomukong Suh- He won’t have many stats either, but teams will double team him all season. A DT hasn’t demanded this much respect since Warren Sapp.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 1, 2010 10:09 am
 

The X Factors in the NFC

I will discuss what the 'X' factors are for each team in the NFC to have a successful season. Obviously, success is different for each team as I think just being competitive in each game will be a success for some teams. Playoffs are not in the cards for every team even though they are all 0-0 right now. I will have in-depth predictions before the season starts.  

 NFC EAST 

Dallas Cowboys- Jason Garrett- Garrett is probably the most overrated offensive coordinator in the NFL. His offense is often predictable (Ray Lewis said the Cowboys were the easiest team he has ever game planned against) and with all the weapons the Cowboys have had the past three years, they have only won one playoff game. The Cowboys couldn't even muster a touchdown, or even move the ball after the first quarter, in the embarrassing loss to Vikings last year. If that horrible offensive output didn't put Garrett on the hot seat this year, I'm not sure what would. This year, the talk is about how good the wide receivers are on the Cowboys and it will be up to Garrett to utilize those weapons. 

Philadelphia Eagles- LeSean McCoy- The biggest mistake the Eagles could make this year is putting too much pressure on Kevin Kolb. He already inherited a lot of pressure after the Eagles traded their franchise QB Donovan McNabb to division rival Redskins. Taking away that pressure will mean McCoy running well. McCoy has high expectations for him as the Eagles do not have depth at RB. He never broke 100 yards in a game last year and he will have to break the 100 yard mark several times this season if the Eagles want to succeed. His 4.1 average per carry will have to improve as well. Just like Kolb, McCoy is replacing a fan favorite, Brian Westbrook, who was a major reason for the Eagles success the last seven years.

 New York Giants-Defensive line- The G-men had one of the strangest seasons last year in which they started off 5-0 and finished their 8-8 season losing their last two games by a combined 85-16 score.  Eli Manning had his best year in the NFL last year and Steve Smith emerged as a legit number one receiver.  The biggest problem was their bread and butter that won them a super bowl three years ago, defensive line, had a bad year.  Can’t put all the blame on the defensive line last year, but if the Giants want to go back to their winning ways, it will start with the defensive line.

Washington Redskins- Devin Thomas / Malcom Kelly- Last year, the Redskins bored everyone to death with their offense, but the Redskins have some excitement this year bringing in Mike Shanahan as the new coach and trading for Donovan McNabb. McNabb has solid TEs in Fred Davis and Chris Cooley, but they’re lacking a second receiver to compliment the aging Santana Moss. In 2008, the Redskins believed they drafted possibly two possession receivers to compliment the short Moss (6’2” Thomas and 6’4” Kelly), but both have been disappointments. Davis worked out as he was a second rounder as well. For the ‘Skins to be successful in 2010, one of the two, perhaps both will have to step up and start producing.



NFC NORTH

Chicago Bears- Mike Martz- Martz has a lot of work to do. His first priority is to instill confidence in his QB, Jay Cutler, who had his worst year after publicly demanding a trade out of Denver. Cutler has to improve his attitude and become a better leader because the Bears success depends on him. The Bears were 1-9 last year when Cutler’s TD-INT ratio was equal or in favor of the INTs. That means they were 6-0 when Cutler threw more TDs than INTs. Martz’s second priority is finding the rookie phenom, Matt Forte, who had a bad sophomore slump. If Forte can go back to his ways as a rookie, that can only help Cutler out. Finally, Martz has to get production from his WRs. The WRs didn’t help Cutler’s QB rating last year as they dropped a lot of balls and some of those drops resulted in INTs. They have the speed, but somebody has to step up and be a go to guy that Cutler can depend on.

Detroit Lions- Matthew Stafford- There are a lot of problems with the Lions, who infinitely improved with two wins last year (yeah, that was a cheap shot), but winning more games will start with Stafford. Stafford will have to manage the game better because turning the ball over won’t help a bad defense that already gives up a lot points. He has an elite receiver in Calvin Johnson to depend on and hopefully the newly acquired Nate Burleson will help as well. The Lions drafted Jahvid Best last year who will compete with Kevin Smith who a down year last year and may not be ready by the start of the season after tearing his ACL at the end of last year.  Stafford will have to make quick decisions as the offensive line will probably still be a problem.

Green Bay Packers- Dom Capers- the Packers have an explosive offense and improved throughout the season last year after Aaron Rodgers stopped holding on to the ball, but the Packers defense was inconsistent and at times, looked like a red carpet leading to the end zone. Capers installed his 3-4 defense last year so he needs to get the defense more consistent this season. Capers will have to find a replacement for Johnny Jolly who had a solid season last year, but was recently busted for an amazing amount of codeine.

Minnesota Vikings- Adrian Peterson- Yes, I’m going to beat a dead horse, but that dead horse will be beaten until it’s proven to be gone. That dead horse is Peterson’s fumbling issues. Peterson has to become the leader of the Vikings and a leader has to have the coach’s confidence. Right now, Coach Childress will cringe every time Peterson’s number is called in close games and nobody can blame him. I don’t consider Brett Favre a leader because Favre doesn’t attend OTAs and may not attend a full camp again. People claim his absence is okay with everybody, but that isn’t true with all his teammates. Everybody thought that was the case for the Packers and Jets and as soon as Favre and it wasn’t. Peterson has to be the leader on the field and the locker room as he is the Vikings future.


NFC SOUTH

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Defensive line- The Buccaneers continue to struggle on offense and this doesn’t look like it’s going to be any different. That means, once again, the defense will have to pick up the slack. The defense attempted to use something different from their famous Tampa-2 defense, but it didn’t work out at all. Coach Raheem Morris is bringing it back and that means he has to find the right players on the defensive line to put pressure on the QB. The Bucs drafted DT Gerald McCoy who will have a lot of pressure as a rookie as he will have to lead the line made up of unknowns. DE Stylez White led the team in sacks last year with only 6.5 sacks. That total will have to increase to make the Tampa-2 effective enough to win games.

Atlanta Falcons- Michael Turner- the Falcons had two consecutive winning seasons for the first time in franchise history after last season, but that didn’t mean much without a playoff berth. After having a monster season in 2008, RB Michael Turner couldn’t get himself out of the training room last season and the Falcons were ineffective and sophomore QB Matt Ryan struggled. The Falcons need Turner to keep the pressure off of Ryan and that will mean staying healthy. The Falcons will have to manage Turner's carries (over 370 carries two seasons ago) better so they do not over use him.

Carolina Panthers- Matt Moore- the Panthers finished the season strong last year, 4-1 in their last five, after benching QB Jake Delhomme in favor of Moore. In those five games, Moore finished with a 98.5 QB rating throwing 8 TDs to 2 INTs. The Panthers have two great RBs, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, who both finished with over 1,100 yards rushing, the first time a team has done that in the NFL. It will be up to Matt Moore to manage the game and hopefully he can build off of last season’s success. It will be a tougher job if WR Steve Smith isn’t ready by the start of the season. 

New Orleans Saints- Darren Sharper- the Super Bowl champs won’t have any worries on offense as long as Drew Brees is there, but there were some concerns with the defense last year. The defense made huge plays throughout the season and during Saints playoff run last year, including the pick six in the super bowl that put the game out of reach, and a huge part of those big plays was defensive leader, SS Darren Sharper. Sharper had micro-fracture knee surgery this past offseason and his health will be the key factor the Saints defense.


NFC WEST

San Francisco 49ers- Alex Smith- Alex Smith has to prove this year he was worth the first overall pick. This is a make or break season for Smith. He is in his sixth season and he has some very good talent around him with second year wide out Michael Crabtree, TE Vernon Davis who has the potential to be the best TE in the league and RB Frank Gore who can reel off 200 yards in any given game. The 49ers success will be in the hands of Smith. In past seasons, the 49ers have started multiple QBs, not because of injuries, but because of no production. If Smith can play consistently and manage the game, the 49ers can live up to their high expectations. They are the favorite to win the NFC West by many.

Arizona Cardinals- Matt Leinart- the Cardinals have lost their starting QB, Kurt Warner, to retirement, and now it’s time for Leinart to show what he is worth. Leinart will have higher expectations than other first time starters because he has been in the league for a while. He will probably be compared to Tony Romo’s first year as Romo didn’t start until mid-season of his fifth year. Leinart has had a few starts prior to this season with little to no success and that will have to change for the Cardinals to have success this year.

St. Louis Rams- Offensive line- Let’s be honest, the Rams don’t have much hope this year. They can, however, do some things that will be stepping stones to success in future seasons. One of those things is going to be protecting rookie first pick, Sam Bradford. Coach Spagnuolo will have to make sure he keeps Bradford out of obvious passing downs. Bradford had shoulder issues in college and missed most of last year’s college season. Bradford also has added pressure with a league record deal. Part of taking that pressure off will be feeding the beast in the backfield, RB Steven Jackson. Jackson had an outstanding year last year, considering his circumstances. The best thing for the Rams this year will be getting Bradford experience and building his confidence up. If Bradford shows progression this year, the season will be a success.

Seattle Seahawks- Matt Hasselbeck- in Hasselbeck’s best NFL season, the Seahawks went to the super bowl and lost. Since that 2005 season, Hasselbeck has completed only one full season and the Seahawks have not been competitive. The Seahawks are giving Coach Pete Carroll a second chance after he failed in New England years ago. Carroll had great success as USC head coach, but he left the school in probation for rules violations so his motive for joining the Seahawks is in question after Carroll repeatedly turned down NFL offers throughout the year. Carroll has shown no loyalty to his ex-USC players as he has cut a few of his former players. He will have to create an offense that will keep Hasselbeck healthy and that may be a tough task as there aren’t too many weapons on offense that will scare the defenses in the league. Hasselbeck will have to manage the game better than he has in the past and stay healthy for success in Seattle.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com