NFL Season – 1/4 Way Mark


It’s hard to believe, but the NFL regular season is already 25% complete. This is an opportune time to take a look at the standings, and see where the teams stand.

AFC East

T-1. Buffalo Bills (2-2)

T-1. Miami Dolphins (2-2)

T-1. New England Patriots (2-2)

4. New York Jets (1-3)

For now, this division is tight, but I honestly can’t expect it to stay that way for long. The Patriots are coming off of a beat-down they took Monday night against Kansas City, and I expect that they will perform much better this Sunday. That being said, the rest of the division looks awful. It’s painfully obvious that Jets QB Geno Smith is not fit to lead any NFL team, the Bills look confused on Sundays, and the Dolphins are dealing with injuries and an ever-inconsistent QB Ryan Tannehill. I’d say that my prediction of the Patriots coming out on top should stick.

AFC North

1. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0)

2. Baltimore Ravens (3-1)

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2)

4. Cleveland Browns (1-2)

The Bengals are one of the least talked about undefeated teams that I can remember in recent history, and coach Marvin

The Bengals (above) are undefeated so far this season

The Bengals (above) are undefeated so far this season

Lewis is showing that he’s one of the NFL’s longest tenured head coaches because he’s a model of consistency. Baltimore is also surprising me, and don’t seemed to be phased one bit by the Ray Rice saga. It’s also looking like WR Steve Smith might be the pickup of the off season, as he has totaled 429 yds. and 3 TDs thus far. On the other hand, things are looking bad in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are rattled by injuries, and are coming off a crushing defeat against the Bucs, one of the NFL’s worst teams. It will be interesting to see if they can rebound and compete in this tough division. As usual, the Browns are by themselves, at the bottom of the standings. It’s unfair to criticize them after just three games, but they will go up against much better competition the rest of the way.

AFC South

1. Houston Texans (3-1)

2. Indianapolis Colts (2-2)

3. Tennessee Titans (1-3)

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)

A surprise to me, and a possible bust to my predictions, the Houston Texans are the early frontrunner in this division. DE J.J. Watt should be an early-MVP candidate, after scoring multiple offensive TDs this season, on top of his outstanding defensive work. The Colts have had a couple of tough early games, but QB Andrew Luck is having an MVP-caliber season as well. I expect these teams to head in separate directions, with the Colts reeling off some wins, and the Texans slowing down their winning pace. As far as the lower half of the division, both the Titans and Jaguars are performing as expected, and both should earn Top 5 picks in the NFL Draft.

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers (3-1)

2. Denver Broncos (2-1)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)

4. Oakland Raiders (0-4)

To me, this is the most interesting division in the NFL right now. The Chargers are legitimate contenders, as they beat the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks earlier this season. QB Philip Rivers has shown that San Diego isn’t intimidated by competing with division rival Denver, and it should make for an interesting race down the stretch. The Broncos appear to be a better defensive team this season, and QB Peyton Manning should be able to lead this team back to the playoffs one way or another. The wild card of this division is the Kansas City Chiefs. Who, or what is this team? One week, they struggle, the next, they blow out QB Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on MNF. I can see the Chiefs contending for a Wild Card spot come playoff time. Finally, the Oakland Raiders are currently the frontrunner for the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. This brings up an interesting potential storyline; will the Raiders draft Florida State QB Jameis Winston in the upcoming draft, despite recently fired coach Dennis Allen selecting QB Derek Carr in this past draft? Yes, the Raiders can already look forward to next season, as wins should be hard to come by for this group.

NFC East

T-1. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1)

T-1. Dallas Cowboys (3-1)

3. New York Giants (2-2)

4. Washington Redskins (1-3)

It’s not a surprise to me, but the Philadelphia Eagles hold the division’s top spot with the Dallas Cowboys. While the two don’t face each other until later in the season, it will be interesting to see how they match up against similar foes that they shall play down the stretch. A team that could catch fire and make an interesting run would be the New York Giants, who looked like a different team against the Redskins on TNF. If QB Eli Manning can grasp the new offense, and take pressure off the defense, the Giants could make some noise in the NFC. On the other hand, the Redskins should start focusing on the off season, where it will be time to decide between QB Robert Griffin III or Kirk Cousins. That will be the biggest storyline in D.C. this season.

NFC North

1. Detroit Lions (3-1)

T-2. Green Bay Packers (2-2)

T-2. Chicago Bears (2-2)

T-2. Minnesota Vikings (2-2)

Despite this being one of the closer races thus far, I think it’s pretty clear cut and visible who the true competitors of the division are. Even though Detroit has started hot, they have shown that they can be inconsistent in the past, and this can still be evidenced in QB Matt Stafford‘s play. This should be cause for concern, especially after QB Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to victory this past weekend, and looked fantastic doing it. Green Bay is still the class of this division. The Bears have the potential to make a run at the playoffs, but injuries and a weak defense will have them struggling to keep up. Even though Minnesota has kept up thus far, I can’t expect it to keep up. QB Teddy Bridgewater was injured this past week, and is still a rookie in the NFL playing without his best weapon in RB Adrian Peterson. The Vikings should be in contention for a Top 10 pick in the NFL Draft when the year is through.

NFC South

T-1. Atlanta Falcons (2-2)

T-1. Carolina Panthers (2-2)

T-3. New Orleans Saints (1-3)

T-3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)

The biggest disappointment in the NFL this season has to be the New Orleans Saints. Many experts were predicting the Saints to win the Super Bowl, but the team currently has the NFL’s worst defense, and QB Drew Brees has looked unspectacular thus far. Meanwhile, Atlanta is showing that they aren’t a bad team when they are healthy, but still have holes on defense. Carolina still has a strong defense, but QB Cam Newton is going to struggle without targets at the wide receiver position, and that began to show against the Ravens this past week. The most predictable part of the NFC South is the Buccaneers, who despite a big comeback win against Pittsburgh on Sunday, are in last and should expect to stay there and compete for a Top 5 pick in the NFL Draft as well.

NFC West

1. Arizona Cardinals (3-0)

2. Seattle Seahawks (2-1)

3. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)

4. St. Louis Rams (1-2)

The Arizona Cardinals (above) have outperformed expectations thus far.

The Arizona Cardinals (above) have outperformed expectations thus far.

The surprise in the NFL season has to be the Arizona Cardinals, who are undefeated, and have been led to two wins by backup QB Drew Stanton. Boasting the NFL’s top defense thus far, the Cardinals have only allowed 45 points through 3 games. Seattle is a close second, and is coming off a big OT win versus Denver and a relaxing bye week. These two teams may be the class of the division, as the normally dominant 49ers have struggled thus far. San Francisco will need to hope that the return of LB NaVorro Bowman and a healthy TE Vernon Davis is the key to the team’s success. Another season will be spent in the cellar for the Rams, who lost QB Sam Bradford to a season-ending injury, and have suffered the effects of an under-performing defense.

Overall, my predictions look fairly accurate at the 25% mark of the season. We’ll check back in at the 50% mark to see what teams really show their true colors as the season progresses!



NFC Predictions


Can you smell it football fans? Football is back and is mere hours away….NFC

That’s the perfect time to release the NFC predictions for this coming season. It should be an entertaining season, as the league is arguably as talented as ever.

NFC East

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 10-6
  2. New York Giants 8-8
  3. Washington Redskins 6-10
  4. Dallas Cowboys 5-11

This is the most common order I’ve seen in predictions for the NFC East, but my records are slightly different. I give the Redskins and Cowboys more credit, and believe they will win more games than most cellar teams, but nonetheless, I believe they will bring up the rear. The Eagles high-powered offense is reportedly moving even faster this season, and off season additions plus a second season in the new 3-4 system should bring improvements as well. I also believe the Giants will be much improved this season, with QB Eli Manning looking to rebound off an awful season.

NFC North

  1. Green Bay Packers 11-5
  2. Chicago Bears 9-7
  3. Detroit Lions 8-8
  4. Minnesota Vikings 4-12

The Green Bay Packers have QB Aaron Rodgers. That’s an almost guaranteed ticket to the playoffs. I have them taking this division with relative ease, as Chicago and Detroit battle it out for a final wild card spot. All in all, I believe the Bears will take it, as I expect their offense to really take off this season. Detroit will be in an adjustment year under first year head coach, Jim Caldwell. The lowly Vikings will ease rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater along, and bring him partway into this lost season. It will be another wasted season for RB Adrian Peterson, whose window on winning a championship is closing rapidly.

NFC South

  1. New Orleans Saints 13-3
  2. Atlanta Falcons 7-9
  3. Carolina Panthers 5-11
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12

This could be the Saints’ year. After additions on defense, and reworking some pieces on offense, QB Drew Brees looks primed to take the Saints on another Super Bowl quest. Of course, it also helps that the NFC South is relatively weak as well. Atlanta is looking to rebound off a miserable season that was ravished by injuries, but they still have many holes on the defensive side of the ball. The team making the biggest fall will be the Panthers, who simply lost too many pieces via free agency. QB Cam Newton has one of the weakest receiving cores in the NFL, and is coming off an off season ankle surgery. The Buccaneers are another team that will be under a first year head coach, but they are also starting QB Josh McCown, who has been a career backup. It looks like a move with the potential to backfire.

NFC West

  1. Seattle Seahawks 14-2
  2. San Francisco 49ers 10-6
  3. Arizona Cardinals 7-9
  4. St. Louis Rams 6-10

The Seahawks will dominate the regular season, and look like experienced vets. Think the Miami Heat of football. Their division rivals, the 49ers, will struggle a little bit more this season, as they have to overcome an injury to LB NaVorro Bowman and a suspension of LB Aldon Smith. Yet, coach Jim Harbaugh will find a way to get his team to the playoffs. However, for the Cardinals and Rams, they will suffer the consequences of playing in the best division in football. The Cardinals are good enough to make the playoffs out of other divisions, but suspensions and injuries will ail them. The same could be said for the Rams, but I believe one drastic move (like acquiring a bonafide QB) and another year of development for young players could put the Rams over the hump in 2015.


Wild Card Round

Bears vs. Packers –> 35-24, Packers

49ers vs. Eagles –> 30-24, 49ers

I have the Packers taking down division rival Chicago with relative ease at home. Green Bay is just a superior team to Chicago. On the other hand, the 49ers will invade Philadelphia, and pull out a hard fought win. The Eagles defense is still a year away from helping it contend as one of the NFL’s elite teams.

Divisional Round

49ers vs. Seahawks –> 28-24, Seahawks

Packers vs. Saints –> 35-30, Packers

Another 49ers and Seahawks match up in the postseason will yield the same results in my opinion, as the Carroll-led ‘Hawks will continue their dominance of the Harbaugh-led 49ers. The other game of the divisional round should be an extremely entertaining match up, as Green Bay and New Orleans’ offenses will attempt to match each other all game. In the end, I believe QB Aaron Rodgers will come up with the big play or final drive that gets Green Bay over the hump and into the NFC Championship game.

NFC Championship Game

Packers vs. Seahawks –> 30-24, Packers

Say what!? Yes, I really believe that the Packers can go into Seattle and beat them in the NFC Championship game. If there is a quarterback that could do it, it’s Aaron Rodgers. Also, I just simply don’t believe Seattle can repeat. I feel as if too many breaks will have to go the ‘Hawks ways for them to bring home another Super Bowl ring, while I think the time is right for Rodgers to attempt to add another trophy to his collection.