It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Nope, Christmas isn’t around the corner(though it will be before we know it). Nope I’m of course talking about the NFL! The regular season is just a month away, but games are even closer, as preseason games start on August 5th! Now as the preseason goes on, we will give you extensive breakdowns of each division, where we will discuss at length our thoughts on every team this year. However, today we want to simply give you guys an idea of how we think the Divisions will break down. So let’s take a closer look.

Bold= Division Winner

Italics= Wildcard

AFC East

1. New England Patriots
2. New York Jets
3. Buffalo Bills
4. Miami Dolphins

Yeah not much changing here this year I don’t think. The Pats are the class of the divison, and what’s scary is that their young weapons (Gronk, Hernandez, Edleman), are only getting better. The big question mark for them is if Welker can stay happy. As far as the Jets, I’m just wondering when, not if, but when this Tebow experiment is going to blow up in their faces. This season seems destined to be a wash, but I’d be happy to be wrong. I think the Bills could be a sleeper if they can maintain their offensive success, and add alittle defense into it.

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Cincinatti Bengals
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Cleveland Browns

I think that not only does Baltimore’s season rely on one player, but I think the whole division hinges on one player, and that guy is Terrell Suggs. With all do respect to the rest of the Ravens, and that former Trojan on Pittsburgh, Suggs is the best defensive player in this division. However, he tore his achilles in April, and his return to the team is unknown. With him, they could go 12-4. If he plays half the season, they can go 10-6. If he returns late or misses the season completely, they can be 8-8. THAT’s how important I think he is.  Looking elsewhere, no reason to believe the Bengals will be any worse then last year, except for that old sophomore slump. And while I think the Steelers will have a downish year, 11-5 is still good enough to win this division this year I believe.

AFC South

1. Houston Texans
2. Tennessee Titans
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Texans will dominate this division, and could very well go 13-3 and take the #1 overall seed. That’s about all you need to know about this division. The Titans are the type of team that could string together a 9-7 record and maybe sneak into the playoffs. And while I think Andrew Luck will be a successful QB in this league, this year will be a struggle.

AFC West

1. Denver Broncos
2. San Diego Chargers
3. Oakland Raiders
4. Kansas City Chiefs

I’m sure alot of people are going to go back to assuming that the Chargers will just run away with this division because they are “supposed to”. And let’s be frank: if they go 11-5 and win this division, it will shock no one. But I see them more at 10-6, with the Broncos winning this division. Let’s just make this easy. The Broncos won the division last year, and now, you have virtually the same team, with a HUGE upgrade at Quarterback, and the addition of their best defensive player, Elvis Dumerviel, who missed last year with an arm injury. Manning alone makes this team 2-3 wins better if he is even 75%, so I like them to it down this year, and snag that four seed again.

AFC Playoff Teams:

1. Houston Texans
2. New England Patriots
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Denver Broncos
5. Cincinatti Bengals
6. San Diego Chargers

 

NFC East:

1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. Dallas Cowboys
3. New York Giants
4. Washington Redskins

Ah yes: the always unpredictable yet always competitive NFC East.  Few things I want to point out here. Whenever people think of the Philadelphia Eagles, they think of the team that buckled under the pressure last year, getting out to a 4-8 start that doomed their playoff hopes. Few remember the team that went 4-0 to close out the year, including a win over Dallas and blowouts of the Jets and Redskins. Will this team live up to expectations this year? My short answer is yes. I will elaborate in a future article.

Other notes, I like the Cowboys to break through and make the playoffs this year. Dez Bryant will do anything to get back on the field right now, and Romo is looking to have a breakout year. Last note, yes, that’s the defending Super Bowl Champions I have missing the playoffs. Historically, it’s tough to have consistent success in this division, and I think the Giants have a hangover like 9-7 season.

NFC North:

1. Green Bay Packers
2. Detroit Lions
3. Chicago Bears
4. Minnesota Vikings

The Green Bay Packers will somehow be better this year then they were last year, and now they will have a different motivation. Last year, it was to defend their title. This year, it’s to get it back. I think they have a great shot at that. I love the Lions, and if Stafford and Johnson stay healthy, they can make it to the next step. Plus, much like the aforementioned Bryant, the Lions D just wants to play some football. One more note, I love the Matt Forte re-sign, and the trade for Brandon Marshall to reunite him with Jay Cutler, but it’s going to be tough for the Bears to break through again this year.

NFC South

1. Atlanta Falcons
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Carolina Panthers
4. Tampa Bay Buccanears

I will have alot more to say about the Saints when this division preview comes, but let me give you a few words. I’m not as concerned about the loss of Sean Payton as I am about the loss of Jonathan Vilma. Brees will still patrol the offense, but Vilma was the quarterback of that defense. Without him, someone either has to step into his role, or they have to change their defense completely. I think because of that, they will lose a handful of shootouts, and will just miss the playoffs. I think the Falcons once again have a great regular season followed by a disappointing post season, while Cam Newton and Josh Freeman both keep growing and getting scary good. Well, at least Newton will.

NFC West

1. San Francisco 49ers
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. Seattle Seahawks
4. St. Louis Rams

Expect deja vu in this division. The 49ers will dominate, and likely grab the #1 seed in the NFC. Arizona and Seattle will show flashes of brillance, but ultimately end up at a pedestrian 7-9. And the Rams will simply exist. That’s about all they are good for. 49ers crush this division again, and snag a 13-3 record.

NFC Playoff Teams

1. San Francisco 49ers
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Philadelphia Eagles
4. Atlanta Falcons
5. Detroit Lions
6. Dallas Cowboys

Well this is just your appetizer of the three course meal that is our NFL previews. Stay tuned throughout the month of August, as we will bring you breakdowns of every division, and every team.  What do you think of our predictions here? You can check out Colin Taylor’s pics here! Who are your sleepers, and who will have a big let down this year? Let us know in the comments!