Finally, we have reached the final chapter of our NFL season preview. Which may actually mark the 1st time since high school that I have stayed with something this long. Yeah, that is both impressive and depressing. Anyway, we gave you the preview so far in terms of draft order. But I think the playoff teams deserve a little more attention, well that or I figure I can kill two birds with one stone and give you who will the Super Bowl at the same time.
Wild Card Round:
Indianapolis Colts (projected record 12-4, Wild Card)
This prediction for the Colts is completely dependant on Manning being able to play from week 2 on. Though that is in greater doubt due to Jeff Saturday’s injury. This team could go either way this season, Super Bowl or top 10 pick, which is completely nuts, but shows just how important Manning is to this team.
Pittsburgh Steelers (projected record 9-7, Division Winner)
The Steelers are a good team, not a great team, but their schedule is absolutely brutal, and I have serious questions about their offensive line. I have them winning the division, but that isn’t saying much with a 9-7 record. Now I must fear for my life walking the streets of Pittsburgh.
Winner – Colts
AFC Wild Card Game 2
Baltimore (projected record 8-8, Wild Card)
I know most people are down on Baltimore this season, but I see a mini resurgence. The schedule, much like the Steelers, is brutal, but here is the thing, the Defense will be back on top this season. The injury problems from last season should be mitigated by a few key off season pickups. And the combination of McGahee and Rice at RB will be more than enough to give the Defense some time to rest. I know they have a shitty QB, but how many times in the last 10 years have the Ravens made the playoffs despite a shitty QB?
San Diego Chargers (projected record 10-6, Division Winner)
I may not like San Diego, but they will be on top in the AFC West once again this season due to an incredible collection of talent. But I don’t have them going much further, as I believe that this is the year that LT breaks down, and Philip Rivers just doesn’t seem like he can handle the pressure of the offense running through him. They may win the west but injuries and age of key players will lead to an early playoff exit.
Winner – Baltimore Ravens
NFC Wild Card Game 1
Tampa Bay (projected record 12-4, Wild Card)
Lost in all the hype of New Orleans now having the greatest show on turf, is that Tampa Bay has quietly reloaded their defense, the offense is looking better than it has in years, and Jeff Garcia is definitely not gay…OK chances are his playmate wife is a beard, but whatever. This team is poised to make a Super Bowl run this year, unfortunately they play:
Minnesota Vikings (projected record 12-4, Division Winner)
Yeah, I know Tavaris Jackson is the starting QB, that isn’t a good thing, and there are questions as to whether or not Allen will play in the scheme, or if he will continue to just go for sacks. But I think the WR’s are better than last season, and Tavaris will be able to do just enough to keep Defenses honest and allow Peterson and Taylor to run wild. Against Tampa the run game for Minnesota is the difference allowing them to advance.
Winner – Minnesota Vikings
NFC Wild Card Game 2
Philadelphia Eagles (projected record 10-6, Wild Card)
It is amazing to me how much of an afterthough the Eagles seem to have become in the NFC East, but I believe they will be a playoff team this season. They have reloaded both the offensive and defensive lines the last couple drafts, and that is where the game is won or lost. I am not a fan of Samuals, I don’t think he will perform up to that contract in Philly’s system. And that is why I don’t think they will make any noise in the playoffs, the D isn’t as good as it once was, and there is still a lack of a consistent threat at WR.
New Orleans Saints (projected record 12-4, Division Winner)
This is a team that should be fun to watch this season. They have all the tools on offense to score at will, and they have all the holes on defense to allow the other team to pass at will. This team will fair well against teams with lesser offensive lines, as the pass rush should be good, but they will loose to the better lines in the league. Philly’s lack of playmakers at WR leaves them unable to take advantage of New Orleans’ holes.
Winner – New Orleans Saints
Holly Shit, we are at 3 pages, and we have only done the Wild Card round. This is regoddamndicules. Fuck it, I’ll finish this later today, I do have to work some.