I’m not wasting any time here. My predictions for the 2014 NFL Season.
New England 12-4, Miami 9-7, NY Jets 8-8, Buffalo 5-11
Breakdown: I’m not convinced Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins are ready for the next step yet. Buffalo has weapons but I have little faith in E.J. Manuel. The Jets secondary will be their downfall. I like the Pats to run away with it.
Cincinnati 10-6, Pittsburgh 9-7, Baltimore 9-7, Cleveland 6-10
Breakdown: The Bengals have the most talent in what will be the most competitive division. The Browns will be feisty but the lack of weapons will haunt them. The Steelers and Ravens will rely on their offenses to cover for questionable defenses.
Indianapolis 11-5, Houston 8-8, Tennessee 7-9, Jacksonville 5-11
Breakdown: The Colts win by default. The other three teams will be better but still lack experience and good QB play. Although it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Texans make a run, I think the lack of a solid QB hurts them.
Denver 12-4, Kansas City 9-7, San Diego 8-8, Oakland 4-12
Breakdown: As long as Peyton Manning stays healthy, the Broncos should whip the rest of the division. The Chefs will be OK, but need to get better on defense. I think Philip Rivers suffers from the loss of Ken Whisenhunt too.
Wild Card Round: Pittsburgh over Indianapolis, Cincinnati over Baltimore
Divisional Round: New England over Pittsburgh, Denver over Cincinnati
AFC Championship game: New England over Denver
AFC Analysis: Both New England and Denver are several levels above the rest of the AFC in my opinion. I can see teams like Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Kansas City ruffling the feathers of the Broncos and Patriots but they have too many question marks.
Philadelphia 10-6, Washington 8-8, Dallas 7-9, NY Giants 7-9
Breakdown: I love the way the Eagles are set up offensively and that’ll be too much for the rest of the division. I’m guessing Tony Romo doesn’t play the whole season and I’m also thinking the Redskins are going to be up and down. The Giants just don’t look good period.
Green Bay 11-5, Chicago 10-6, Detroit 8-8, Minnesota 6-10
Breakdown: The Lions have a lot to like but their lack of discipline worries me. The Packers and Bears will duke it out and in this case I’ll always take Aaron Rodgers over Jay Cutler.
New Orleans 11-5, Carolina 9-7, Tampa Bay 9-7, Atlanta 7-9
Breakdown: Don’t be surprised is the Saints put up record offensive numbers this year while their defense continues to get better. I’m not sold on the Falcons at all and I think the Panthers slip a bit without Steve Smith. The Bucs are the team to watch but they have a very tough schedule.
Seattle 13-3, Arizona 10-6, San Francisco 9-7, St. Louis 5-11
Breakdown: I get the feeling all is not well in San Francisco and that aging defense worries me. The Cards will finally make the playoffs and the Rams fall back because of the injury to Sam Bradford. This is the Seahawks division plain and simple.
Wild Card Round Philadelphia over Chicago, Green Bay over Arizona
Divisional Round Seattle over Philadelphia, Green Bay over New Orleans
NFC championship game Seattle over Green Bay
NFC Analysis: I see the NFC as quite loaded and can view as many as four or five teams making serious runs to the Super Bowl. The problem is that I just don’t see anyone knocking off the Seahawks. If they get home-field advantage which I believe they will, it will be a return trip to the Super Bowl for Seattle.
SUPER BOWL XLIX
Seattle over New England
NFL MVP: Drew Brees
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Brees
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Vontaze Burfict
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Brandin Cooks
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: Ryan Shazier
NFL Coach of the Year: Bill Belichick