Editor’s note: K-Daddy is a bit tardy on his predictions. He’s new here. And he likes writing about sports. We like people who can write about sports. So he gets a pass. Enjoy.
I know, I know. I’m a little late on posting my 2012-13 NFL Predictions.
I’ll blame a couple of things.
First, like I mentioned on my personal blog when I posted my baseball predictions late, I never want to show my hand to my fantasy opponents. Just that oft-chance that they may stumble across my writing and get insight on who I’m courting.
Second, the ol’ wife, three kids, work and other things I volunteer myself for usually slows down my writing.
Third, this is my first post for Popblerd! so I was a bit nervous in submitting it.
So there! I’m a week late (Editor’s note: Two weeks late, but technically he finished writing it mid-week, so who’s counting?!?), though it’s not going to matter. Not only did I make my predictions weeks ago but I’m also not basing my predictions on Week 1 (and 2) results. There will be no jumping on the Washington Redskins bandwagon and no Lambeau Leaping off the Green Bay Packers bandwagon. I will be honest though and tell you that the two teams I think will be playing in Super Bowl XLVII looked mighty impressive during the opening weekend.
OK, before you open another browser and start guessing which two teams they are let’s get into the predictions.
First a disclaimer. Why do my predictions matter? They don’t. I’m not an expert (though I did correctly predict the Packers to win the Super Bowl two years back). I’m just a dude who loves sports, likes to write and likes to make predictions. Like everyone else that does them, what’s there to lose? If I predict them correctly I look like I know what I’m talking about. If they aren’t even close I can play the “Any Given Sunday” card.
Without further ado, let us begin in the American Football Conference (playoff seedings are in parentheses):
New England Patriots (2)
New York Jets
As an Indianapolis Colts fan it hurts me to pick the New England Patriots. In character, Tom Brady is the anti-Peyton Manning. He’s a meterosexual, he’s always portrayed as too-cool-for-school in his commercials. He has nice hair … ’nuff said. Still, the Patriots are loaded on offense, especially with the addition of Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd, coupled with tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and reliable receiver Wes Welker, give Brady enough weapons to win the East with ease.
AFC East MVP: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
AFC East Rising Star: Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots
AFC East Not-That-Bold Prediction: Hernandez will have a better year than Gronkowski.
Did I just go all Patriots and not even mention the combustible NY Jets? I did. I still think they’re OK enough to outlast the Bills. I’d like to see Buffalo move up but … one more year? Miami … I’m thinking like Arian Foster’s talking, “I don’t know you, Bro“. I really don’t know who’s on the Dolphins these days.
Baltimore Ravens (4)
Pittsburgh Steelers (5)
Cincinnati Bengals (6)
I love me some Baltimore Ravens. I love their offense, especially with Torrey Smith playing a bigger role at receiver. I heart Ray Rice’s rushing and pass-catching abilities. I think Joe Flacco is going to have a breakout season, what with playing for a long-term, ton of money deal. Plus, I just think it’s cool he came out of Delaware.
AFC North MVP: Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens
AFC North Rising Star: Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens
AFC North Not-That-Bold Prediction: A tail of two teams, the dropping Steelers and the rising Bengals tie for final two Wild Card spots.
Houston Texans (1)
In a division that is littered with first and second-year quarterbacks, this is all Houston. Talented on offense and still tough on defense, despite losing Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans. Meanwhile, first-year QB Andrew Luck (Colts) outlasts second-year QBs Jake Locker (Titans) and Blaine Gabbert (Jaguars).
AFC South MVP: Arian Foster, RB, Texans
AFC South Rising Star: Brooks Reed, LB, Texans
AFC South Not-That-Bold Predictions: I know, I know, the Colts lost a ton of games and have a rookie quarterback. With that said, they still have Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney and Antoine Bethea on defense. They still have a re-energized Reggie Wayne on offense and Luck looks like a stud. After Week 1 we were all talking about RGIII. At the end of the season we’ll all be talking about Luck.
Denver Broncos (3)
Kansas City Chiefs
San Diego Chargers
Oh I forgot to tell you … I have a Man Crush and he plays quarterback for the Denver Broncos. This team was already one of the better defensive teams in the league. They had pieces in place on offense. Now they have a QB that can throw the ball and throw it well. I do think this will be a tough division. The Chiefs are much improved, the Chargers are better than we think they are, as are the Raiders but … the Broncos look set to make a run.
AFC West MVP: Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos
AFC West Rising Star: Jon Baldwin, WR, Chiefs
AFC West Not-That-Bold Prediction: Chief running backs Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis become first teammates since Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams did it for the 2009 Panthers, to rush for 1,000 yards each.
AFC Wild-Card Round:
Writer’s Note: Noticed I just picked the exact same playoff teams as the ones that went in 2012. Lame.
Ravens over Steelers
Broncos over Bengals – Andy Dalton take notes.
AFC Divisional Round:
Manning over Brady … I mean, Broncos over Patriots.
Ravens over Texans
AFC Championship Game:
Ravens over Broncos – this one hurts!
Philadelphia Eagles (4)
New York Giants
I was all up on the Philadelphia Eagles bandwagon last year. They were loaded, Vick was coming off an incredible 2010 season and then Vince Young threw out the “Dream Team” phrase. With less pressure, I think the Eagles will take the East, despite the Cowboys and Redskins being improved and the Giants playing just as they did last year – during the regular season.
NFC East MVP: LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
NFC East Rising Star: DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys. I know, he was awesome last year until he got injured. He’ll be a top 5 rusher for the next 3-4 years.
NFC East Not-That-Bold Prediction: Tony Romo’s last dance for the Dallas Cowboys. After failing to make the playoffs, Jerry Jones decides to make some serious changes.
Green Bay Packers (3)
Detroit Lions (5)
Chicago Bears (6)
Though they went 15-1 in 2011-12, the Packers will have company in the North as it’ll be a three-team race with the Lions and Bears. One of these teams may knock the other out of the Wild Card, opening up an opportunity for Seattle or Dallas to squeeze in.
NFC North MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
NFC North Rising Star: Titus Young, WR, Lions
NFC North Not-That-Bold Prediction: Matthew Stafford, not Aaron Rodgers, will threaten Ton Brady’s TD mark, thanks to the emergence of Young and the continued dominance of Calvin Johnson.
Atlanta Falcons (2)
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The loss of Sean Payton for the entire season proves that coaches actually mean something. Bountygate took a toll on the Saints and the Falcons are well-rounded and improved. Carolina’s not ready yet, as Cam Newton has a “normal” sophomore year, meaning his numbers aren’t as good as last year’s but are still pretty darn good. The Bucs are closer -young and ready to make a run in a year or two.
NFC South MVP: Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
NFC South Rising Star: Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
NFC South Not-That-Bold Prediction: Matt Ryan wins NFL MVP.
San Francisco 49ers (1)
St. Louis Rams
My friends will be upset that I don’t have the Seahawks making the playoffs. I’m sorry, I think they are one year away, though (SEE: NFC North Preview), the Bears, Lions and Packers could take turns hurting each other’s playoff chances, opening up an opportunity for the ‘Hawks. Still, it’s all 49ers, with all 11 starters from defense returning, a revamped receiving core and protection for Frank Gore in Kendall Hunter and Brandon Jacobs. Sorry Uncle Steve, Arizona has quarterback issues that I’m not OK with.
NFC West MVP: Justin Smith, DE, 49ers
NFC West Rising Star: Kendall Hunter, RB, 49ers
NFC West Not-That-Bold Prediction: 49ers are best in the West but Seahawks are much improved and should be back on top of the West by 2013.
NFC Wild-Card Round:
Packers over Bears
Lions over Eagles
NFC Divisional Round:
Falcons over Lions – Lights out in this high-scoring affair!
Packers over 49ers – Week 1 Revenge
Falcons over Packers
Super Bowl XLVII
Falcons over Ravens
Let’s put this in the vault and check back with me in February!