My Attempt to Predict the 2010 NFL Season

Every Labor Day Weekend I torture myself by sitting down w/ the NFL Master Schedule and predict an outcome for every game so that I can come up w/ educated win/loss records for all 32 teams and the playoff seedings that would go with those marks.  Since  a quick glance at the calendar reveals this to be Labor Day Weekend, I did that this evening.  Below is the results with remarks fo various lengths and levels of lucidity.  If a team has a number in parentheses, that is their playoff seeding.

AFC EAST (teams play AFC & NFC North)

1. New England (3) at 12-4.  Tom Brady is a full season further removed from the knee injury and surgery.  And I’m sure all this summer of Jets is burning them up inside.  The defense is a bit of a worry, but I think they’ll continue to score points copiously.

2. New York Jets at 10-6.  I have them missing the playoffs on tiebreaking at one game better than what got them into the playoffs on tiebreaking last season.  I probably would have them at a game or two better but the Revis Island holdout could hurt their defense slightly.  Mostly, though, I think all this attention has them a bit over-inflated and they get off to a rocky start to the season that they don’t quite fully recover from.  In the end they were a bit lucky to make the playoffs last season, then got hot.  This season they’ll be a bit unlucky to miss the playoffs.

3. Miami Dolphins at 9-7.  Basically, like the last couple seasons, I see them being solid but not sensational.  They could easily win another game or two and be in the playoffs, especially if Chad Henne continues to progress as a pro quarterback.

4. Buffalo Bills at 2-14. No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.  While that is certainly true, they have precious little talent to circle the wagons with.  They are on the clock at the 2011 Annual Selection Meeting.

AFC NORTH (teams play AFC East & NFC South)

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (4) at 11-5.  They go 2-2 without Ben (beating Atlanta and Tampa, losing to Tennessee and Baltimore then rally, going 9-3 once he comes back.  Call me a homer if you like, but I think the defense will return to 2008 form, that Ben won’t miss a beat once he comes back, and the offensive line will improve with a rookie at center.  Your guess is as good as mine as to whether Batch or Dixon starts the games the first month, but I think they can hold their head above water either way.  Even a 1-3 start (I am assuming they at least beat Tampa) leaves them alive.

2. Cincinnati Bengals (6) at 10-6.  They win a grudge rematch with the Jets midseason which lets them make the playoffs.  After sweeping the division last season they lose a couple games in it this season which keeps them from winning it.  Its the same record as 2009 but I actually do think they are better this season; certainly better than the team was after Henry’s death.  And they certainly won’t be boring!

3. Baltimore Ravens at 9-7.  The Ravens are a sexy pick to do things this season, with Flacco a year more experienced and the wide receiving core upgraded.  I certainly think its more likely they are 3 games better than this pick than 3 games worse.  I think they could have identity issues at times on offense and the defense slides towards being more ordinary.

4. Cleveland Browns at 8-8.  Yes I have them at .500.  I have them firmly in the division race in November and the playoff race into December.  If the Ben suspension had remained 6 games they could have been even better off.  Basically, I look for Delhomme to have a bit of a rebirth.  I could be a couple games high on them (I was thinking 6-10 before I sat with the schedule) but playing Buffalo, a bad AFC West team, and a couple bad NFC South teams do help.

AFC SOUTH (teams play AFC West and NFC East)

1. Indianapolis Colts (1) at 12-4.  Its Peyton Manning.  Its the Colts.

2. Houston Texans (5) at 11-5.  I think the Texans are a team on the rise with Matt Schaub and that offense.  I have them splitting with the Colts in the regular season matchups.  Remember, they were the team in the dreaded 7th seed in the AFC last season.  Yet I’m not sure they’re getting a lot of national love, which could be a motivating chip on their shoulder.

3. Tennessee Titans at 9-7.  They could be better than this with Chris Johnson and that running game.  But its a tough AFC this year.  But they’ll certainly be competitive.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars at 4-12.  Is this the season that kills attendance enough to get the team moved to Los Angeles?

AFC WEST (teams play AFC South and NFC West)

1. San Diego (2) at 12-4.  The Vincent Jackson thing is a worry.  The mediocre-ing effect of Norv Turner is a worry.  But I look for them to overcome that.  Being in a weak division and playing the sad sack NFC West doesn’t hurt.

2. Oakland Raiders at 6-10.  Someone has to come in 2nd in this division and I think the Raiders are slowly moving in the right direction.

3. Denver Broncos at 6-10.  I just don’t have a great vibe about this team.  The Belichik Tree doesn’t have a great head coaching record and there’s a limit to what you can do with Kyle Orton at quarterback I think.  Might see an increased presence of St. Tebow by late season.

4. Kansas City Chiefs at 5-11.  Record inflated by having a couple division wins.  Great coaching staff but coaches don’t play.

NFC EAST (teams play NFC North & AFC South)

1. Dallas Cowboys (3) at 10-6.  I have the ‘Boys getting off to a bit of a sluggish start before picking up the pace late in the season and pulling out a competitive but not without flaw division.  Said late season rally bouyed by a Thanksgiving Day win over the Saints.

2. New York Giants (5) at 10-6.  They have Eli Manning and Brandon Jacobs and some good defensive players.  They’ll win a solid number of games.  I frankly expect their record to fall right in this line; more than 1 or 2 games in either direction would surprise me.

3. Washington Redskins at 9-7.  Donovan McNabb helps.  Mike Shanahan helps.  A strong running game helps.  Haynesworth doesn’t hurt much.  The Redskins will compete for a playoff spot down to the end of the season.

4. Philadelphia Eagles at 6-10.  I don’t understand shoving McNabb out the door for Kevin Kolb.  The Eagles won’t hit rock bottom but its a rebuilding phase that I don’t know Andy Reid gets to see to completion.

NFC NORTH (teams play NFC & AFC East)

1. Green Bay Packers (2) at 11-5.  I look for them to not struggle much to score points.  But I have them fading a bit towards the end with the division secured.

2. Minnesota Vikings (6) at 10-6.  They flirt more strongly with missing the playoffs than with winning the division.  I’m not sure Favre plays a complete season, and, even if he does, if he’ll still be effective.  You know he wants to play but he had to be talked into it, so I’m not sure about the commitment level.  This is the season his career jumps the shark.  But they still have Adrian Peterson and that defense, so they are still a playoff team.

3. Detroit Lions at 7-9.  In the playoff race as late as Veterans Day before a few teams better than them wake up and play like it.  However, the Lions are another team that I definitely see improving (at long long long last in their case).  They have some good pieces to the puzzle in place.  I have them winning a couple games they shouldn’t, then also losing a couple games they shouldn’t.  Basically, a young mediocre team.

4. Chicago Bears at 3-13.  This is probably low-balled a bit but I see the Bears last in this division.  Not sold on Jay Cutler and not sold on much else with this team.  If they are competitive it’ll likely be because of their defense.

NFC SOUTH (teams play NFC West and AFC North)

1. New Orleans Saints (1) at 11-5.  For the defending champs they are getting I think a remarkably small amount of love.  Hardly anyone seems to think they’ll repeat as conference champs.  I’m really not sure why.  I do think the defense turns fewer big plays, fewer scoring plays, so I have their regular season record down slightly.  But to me this is still the team to beat in the NFC.

2. Atlanta Falcons at 8-8.  I’m not sure what to think about this team; I do think its more likely they win a couple more games then this than a couple games less.  But I just see them as being totally unremarkable.

3. Carolina Panthers at 5-11.  Again they might win a game or two more than this, but I could see Matt Moore hitting a bit of a reality wall now that he’s the starter.  Clausen could be playing in December.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 4-12.  This team is being completely rebuilt from scratch on both sides of the ball.  This takes time.

NFC WEST (teams play NFC South & AFC West)

1. San Francisco (4) at 9-7.  A strong running game, solid defense, and tough as nails head coach leads this team to the title of a weak division.

2. Arizona Cardinals at 7-9.  I could see them winning a couple more games and challenging for the division; I think 7 wins is near the low end of the spectrum.  I look for Derek Anderson to play reasonably well; the question is if Ken Whisenhunt can make the transition to calling as many running plays as pass plays.  If he does this team could make the playoffs as Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells are a strength of the team.  The defense will need to step up to.

3. Seattle Seahawks at 7-9.  I think 7 wins is near the upper end of the spectrum for them.  Getting a healthy Hasselbeck is necessary to be able to compete.

4. St. Louis Rams at 3-13.  Let the Sam Bradford Era begin!  And get him some help!

WILCARD GAMES

3. New England beats 6. Cincinnati, 4. Pittsburgh beats 5. Houston, 3. Dallas beats 6. Minnesota, 4. San Francisco beats 5. New York Giants

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

4. Pittsburgh beats 1. Indianapolis, 2. San Diego beats 3. New England, 1. New Orleans beats 4. San Francisco, 3. Dallas beats 2. Green Bay

CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES

4. Pittsburgh beats 2. San Diego, 1. New Orleans beats 3. Dallas

SUPER BOWL XLV

Pittsburgh beats New Orleans (yeah, yeah call me a homer!).  Ben Roethlisberger wins MVP.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “My Attempt to Predict the 2010 NFL Season”

  1. Douglas Says:

    Other than the fact that I think you are delusional when it comes to the Steelers I tend to agree with your division winners. I think that the Bengals are seriously being slept on when it comes to the AFC North, and I really don’t get the love the experts have for the Ravens.

    So I would swap the Bengals and the Steelers in the division and I think you are overestimating the Browns and 4-6 wins is more likely. I am pretty sure that Delhomme sucks out loud and the Browns would be best served to begin the Colt McCoy era ASAP.

  2. max Says:

    he isnt delusional budddyyyyyyy..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: