Predicting The 2013 NFL Season

I’ve got a lot to live up to this year, based on my DOMINANCE last year.  I mean, who else can say they got 7 of 8 division winners and 8 of 12 playoff teams?  Nate Silver, this time you can suck MY dick!  Oh, by the way, I had three of four teams in their respective championship games, and I had the Super Bowl matchup exactly right.

Thank you, I WILL take a bow!

OK, so let’s see if I can avoid being biased by various off-season power rankings and such.  Who the shit knows, right?

NFC East

Washington Redskins
Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles

One of the keys to any successful prediction column is to not pick the same exact teams every fucking year.  How many times do you see the Patriots and the Giants make the Super Bowl, followed by lumbering idiots predicting that those very same teams will make it BACK to the Super Bowl.  Do you know how HARD it is to repeat as divisional champs, let alone conference champs?  It’s safe and it’s stupid and you need to grow some balls if you’re going to get your answers right at the clip I plan on getting mine right.

That having been said, I feel that choosing the Redskins here is anything BUT safe.  Let’s face it, you’re going to run into more pundits hedging their bets on RGIII staying healthy than you will on them totally believing he will stay upright for a full 16.  Well, I’m going out on that limb.  When RGIII is healthy, the Redskins are far and away the best team in this division.  And that’s coming from a guy who irrationally likes the Cowboys and thinks they have real potential to win 10 games this year.  Then again, I think I like the Cowboys to win 10 games every year, so I dunno.  One of these times I gotta get it right, right?

NFC North

Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
Chicago Bears

Look, I may not get a lot of things right, but I’m banking my reputation on the Bears finishing in last place in 2013.  Because as soon as Jay Cutler goes down with a season-ending injury, they will have NO ONE to fill his void!  And, that defense is going to take a serious step back.  They scored HOW many touchdowns on defense last year?  Yeah, you know that’s not sustainable.  Bank on the Bears taking a huge bear-sized dump.

If anyone was strong enough to listen to our 2013 NFL Predictions Podcast, I’m sorry, and if you send in your receipt, I’ll gladly give you your money back.  Anyway, if you did listen, you may remember that I chose the Detroit Lions as my surprise divisional champs.  Just know that I had been drinking for something like 12 hours straight that day, so my head was a little cloudy to say the least.  However, I do somewhat stand behind my bold choice in making the Lions a team to be reckoned with.  I see them also winning somewhere around 9-10 games, though I’m not ready to give them a Wild Card just yet.

AFC South

Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints

This division is ridiculously difficult to predict.  Honestly, I think they’re all going to kill themselves.  The winner will have 10 wins, the last place team will have 8 wins.  That’s what we’re talking about here.  I like the Falcons because I kinda HAVE to like the Falcons.  I’ve said on more than one occasion that Matt Ryan is a stud and not just because I lucked into him in my fantasy league (10 team league, each team gets 2 keepers in a 2-quarterback set-up that heavily favors passing yards & TDs; he fell to 6th in the opening round and I snapped him up like a boss).  I don’t think the Falcons are a 13-win team anymore, because I think their defense is iffy.  That having been said, I also think the Bucs are a 10-win team and I think they take a Wild Card spot on tie-breakers over both Dallas and Detroit.  The NFC is stacked.  There aren’t that many terrible teams in the bunch.

NFC West

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

The more I think about it, the more I keep talking myself into a 13-3 or 14-2 season for the Seahawks.  I’ll have this shit figured out tomorrow in my Seahawks Prediction Post, but for now just know that I have the Seahawks as my #1 seed overall, with a cakewalk into the Super Bowl.

I still got love for the 49ers (and again, not just because I was forced into keeping Colin Kaepernick on my fantasy team because I was a last place finisher and had no other good players to choose from; also, fuck you Eli Manning).  I have them anywhere from 10-12 wins, and at least three of those losses are coming within the division.  The Rams are solid and I have a sneaking feeling that they take a bigger step forward again this year.  I think Sam Bradford finally proves his worth, and I think this team wins 9 games.  I think the Cardinals stink and are one of the bottom 5 or 6 teams in the NFL.  Carson Palmer is a joke and there’s no way his interception-throwing ass is going to turn that team around.

Also, I should point out that just because I said up there, “I still got love for the 49ers” doesn’t mean that I literally LOVE them.  I do, in fact, hate them with a passion.  But, I don’t hate them enough to predict that they will be terrible record-wise, or enough to not keep their quarterback when I’m desperate for fantasy talent.  But, I digress.

AFC East

New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins
New York Jets
Buffalo Bills

Here’s where we start finding a bunch of terrible teams.  New England is bound to win this division like the Seahawks won the 2010 NFC West.  This year, it’s the AFC Least, as the bottom three teams should all have losing records.  I don’t like the way Miami is building that team at all and I think Tannehill continues to disappoint.  Maybe not in a Blaine Gabbert way, but close.  I think the Jets and Bills both win somewhere around 3-4 games and dogfight to the bitter end for one of the top five draft picks.  Personally, I have less faith in the Bills’ organization, which says a lot because I hate the Jets like I hate slow drivers in the fast lane.

AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers
Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again:  the Ravens will not go back to the playoffs.  Joe Flacco will have a hangover year (and probably throw a lot of picks in the process), their defense will be a work in progress, and they’ll win around 7 games.  I almost like the Browns more than the Ravens and think they’ll take 6 or 7 games, but I’m not a psychotic, so the Browns remain last.

Pittsburgh is one of my Wild Card choices, and for the life of me I can’t explain why in a way that sounds rational.  They tend to follow up bad seasons with reasonably good ones.  I think everyone in the NFL is sleeping on this team and it baffles me.  They still have a solid quarterback who can pull games out of his ass by himself.  They still have a solid foundation that will develop the talent required on defense to keep this team in ballgames.  I think they win 9 games and steal that final playoff spot (in a conference that isn’t very good anyway; I only have six teams in the AFC with winning records, so there you go).  Cincinnati is finally ready to explode and I’ve got them with a 2-seed and 11 wins.

AFC South

Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars

I don’t like Indy.  I didn’t like them last year, as they were easily one of the luckiest teams in the league.  With their schedule and their proclivity to win close games, I think they come crashing down to Earth in a big way (regression alert).  Now, be that as it may, I still think Andrew Luck continues to improve.  But, he won’t be enough, as they finish 8-8.  Houston does just enough and probably wins something like 9 games.  I picked Tennessee over Jacksonville because of my love for Jake Locker, but I could also see this team being the very worst in the NFL.  I hope I’m wrong!

AFC West

Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs
San Diego Chargers
Oakland Raiders

Have you seen Denver’s schedule?  It’s incredible.  They play the AFC South (with two very bad teams and two so-so teams) and the NFC East (four so-so teams).  Granted, they have to go to Houston and Indy, but I think they go in there and have a very good chance of winning both.  They play the Giants and Cowboys on the road, but again, Denver is just better.  With their first place schedule, they play the Ravens and Patriots.  They get the Ravens at home later tonight in the first game of the season, and they go on the road to play the Pats, which will be very tough, as it’s in late November.  That’s probably a loss.  Still, they play in the AFC West, where San Diego and Oakland are as big of pushovers as you’ll find in the NFL.  That’s four wins right there.  Figure they go 3-1 against the AFC South (with an outside chance at 4-0) and 3-1 against the NFC East (again, with an outside chance at 4-0) and they go 1-1 against the Ravens and Pats.  That’s 11-3 with two games against Kansas City.  This is easily a 12-4 team that could win as many as 14 or 15 games.  I’m not even joking.  They’ll have the division wrapped up well before their final regular season game in Oakland, and even by playing all backups, they should still win that game!

This is why I made Denver my first pick in the Total Wins Pool me and my friends are doing.  Their chances to be great are off the charts.  Manning has a full year under his belt, he’s got the bad taste in his mouth from last season’s playoff defeat; I think he’s ready to go out and murder people.

That having been said, I like Kansas City.  As opposed to Miami – which I thought should have continued to build through the draft instead of going for a bunch of quick fixes – I think Kansas City was a lot better than their 2-win team in 2012.  Look at how many Pro Bowlers they have on that team!  Look at how many good offensive weapons they have!  With an average quarterback and a decent head coach, they could’ve won 8 or 9 games.  Well, they’ve got that average quarterback and they’ve got that decent head coach.  Andy Reid will fuck up Jamaal Charles, because he doesn’t know enough to run the football when he has one of the league’s best running backs, but he’ll be great for Alex Smith, and I think that’ll be enough to get them to 10 wins and the 5th seed.  Oakland is hopeless and will fight Tennessee, Buffalo, Jacksonville, and the Jets for the #1 overall draft pick.

NFC Playoffs

  1. Seattle Seahawks
  2. Green Bay Packers
  3. Washington Redskins
  4. Atlanta Falcons
  5. San Francisco 49ers
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AFC Playoffs

  1. Denver Broncos
  2. Cincinnati Bengals
  3. New England Patriots
  4. Houston Texans
  5. Kansas City Chiefs
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers

Wild Card Round

Tampa Bay over Washington
Atlanta over San Francisco
New England over Pittsburgh
Kansas City over Houston

Divisional Round

Seattle over Tampa Bay
Green Bay over Atlanta
Denver over Kansas City
New England over Cincinnati

Championship Round

Seattle over Green Bay
Denver over New England

Super Bowl

Seattle over Denver

Think I’m excited for football season to start?  It’s not just because the Mariners are the worst thing ever created.  Think I’ll be freaking out if Seattle loses in week 1 to Carolina?  I might just jump off of a building …

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