Here are my predictions for the upcoming season.
AFC EASTrnPatriots (14-2)*rnJets (8-8)*rnDolphins (8-8)rnBills (4-12) NFC EASTrnCowboys (10-6)*rnEagles (9-7)rnGiants (9-7)rnRedskins (6-10)rn
AFC NORTHrnSteelers (12-4)*rnRavens (11-5)*rnBengals (6-10)rnBrowns (5-11) NFC NORTHrnBears (13-3)*rnVikings (10-6)*rnPackers (10-6)*rnLions (4-12)
AFC SOUTHrnColts (10-6)*rnTitans (8-8)rnTexans (7-9)rnJaguars (7-9) NFC SOUTHrnPanthers (10-6)*rnFalcons (9-7)rnSaints (9-7)rnBuccaneers (5-11)
AFC WESTrnChargers (11-5)*rnChiefs (6-10)rnBroncos (5-11)rnRaiders (3-13) NFC WESTrnCardinals (10-6)*rnSeahawks (8-8)rn49ers (5-11)rnRams (4-12)
Wildcard RoundrnrnChargers beat JetsrnRavens beat Colts Wildcard RoundrnrnPanthers beat PackersrnVikings beat Cowboys
Divisional RoundrnrnPatriots beat RavensrnSteelers beat Chargers Divisional RoundrnrnBears beat VikingsrnPanthers beat Cardinals
Conference ChampionshiprnrnSteelers beat Patriots Conference ChampionshiprnrnBears beat Panthers
Super Bowl XLIV
Steelers beat Bears
Everybody and their momma is picking the Patriots to win the Super Bowl, and they are the safe bet. But I figured I’d throw caution to the win and pick the Steelers to repeat, which will shock the world. Not really, but you have to admit if any team is going to repeat in the near future, the Steelers are as good a bet as anyone. The Bears I think will be the team to beat in the NFC not because of Jay Cutler like most people think, but because I think Matt Forte is going to have a monster year.
League MVP: Tom Brady, Patriots. Because of their success and him coming off injury, Brady will bring home another MVP award. Matt Forte, Jay Cutler, and Philip Rivers will be the next runner’s up.
Defensive MVP: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys. He probably won’t top 20 sacks, but he’ll get close and will win this award.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mark Sanchez, Jets. Taking the Jets to an 8-8 record and a playoff appearance, a no-brainer.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: B.J. Raji, Packers. I almost went with the USC sweep and picked Cushing here, but I figured Raji will win this since he may wind up being the best player on the Packers defense this year, while Cushing will always be second fiddle to Mario Williams.
Coach of the Year: Mike Tomlin, Steelers. While Lovie Smith and Belichick might also deserve this honor, they’ll give it to Tomlin because both of those other guys have already won one.
Coaching Carousel: Tom Cable, Jim Zorn, Gary Kubiak, Wade Phillips, and Dick Jauron will all be fired at the end of the year. The Cowboys will put on the full court press and hire Mike Shanahan. Washington will settle on Jon Gruden. Houston will replace Kubiak with Ron Rivera, while Jason Garrett will head north to Buffalo. And Oakland will eventually settle on Jim Fassel.
Last Undefeated Teams: The Patriots will start the season 11-0 until they lose to the Dolphins in Week 13. In the NFC, both the Vikings and Bears will get off to fast starts with both teams losing their first games in Week 6 to the Ravens and Falcons, respectively.
Last Winless Teams: The Raiders and Rams will go the longest without a victory this year. The Raiders first win will come against the Jets in Week 7, while the Rams won’t win until they face off with the Lions the following week.