Official NFL 2011 Predictions

September 5, 2011 by

NFC EAST

1. Philadelphia Eagles

Dream Team? Maybe. It all hinges on the wideouts staying healthy and Vick improving his reads.

 

2. Dallas Cowboys*

Rob Ryan’s new system should help, but can the secondary hold up its end? Have the players had enough time to learn the system?

 

3. New York Giants

Reshuffled offensive line might tweak the identity of the offense. Enough talent here to win the division, but depth could be an issue in places.

 

4. Washington Redskins

John Beck or Rex Grossman? Ouch.

 

NFC NORTH

1. Green Bay Packers

The most talented team in football top to bottom. Their biggest obstacle might be complacency. That’s something you can’t predict, though.

 

2. Detroit Lions

If Stafford stays healthy…

 

3. Chicago Bears

Probability says a weak offensive line will catch up to them this season.

 

4. Minnesota Vikings

No passing game, bad O-line, downgraded defense.

 

NFC SOUTH

1. New Orleans Saints

The richest, most diverse offensive playbook in football will give them an advantage coming off shortened offseason. Improvements to defensive line are huge.

 

2. Atlanta Falcons*

Rock solid on all fronts.

 

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rising young team, but serious holes at linebacker and safety hurt the defense. The young receivers and running backs aren’t as dynamic as people think, either.

 

4. Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton will have his hands full – it’s way too tall an order.

 

NFC WEST

1. St. Louis Rams

If Bradford and the offense can quickly learn Josh McDaniels’s system, we’re looking at a club capable of winning at least nine games.

 

2. Arizona Cardinals

Kolb is no Kurt Warner, but he’s also no Derek Anderson.

 

3. San Francisco 49ers

Yet another coaching staff will learn the hard way that Alex Smith is not the guy.

 

4. Seattle Seahawks

Tarvaris Jackson has looked awful thus far. Not good given the mediocre running game.

 

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP

Saints over Eagles

 

AFC EAST

1. New England Patriots

Offense is golden as always. Defensively, the slight shift in philosophy should pay off.

 

2. New York Jets*

Defense is dynamic, but as was the case last year, it comes down to Mark Sanchez taking that next step.

 

3. Miami Dolphins

They don’t have great confidence in Henne, but a spread offense would make him a different quarterback. Problem is, Sparano wants to remain a black-and-blue running team.

 

4. Buffalo Bills

Slowly building the right way. 5-11 looks likely, but an 8-8 overachieving try-hard campaign is not out of the question.

 

AFC NORTH

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Will age catch up to the defense this season?

 

2. Baltimore Ravens*

Here we are again talking about this team needing an improved passing game in order to get over that final hump.

 

3. Cleveland Browns

Simply don’t have the personnel right now to propel their offensive and defensive system overhauls.

 

4. Cincinnati Bengals

A disaster site.

 

AFC SOUTH

1. Indianapolis Colts

Banking on Manning getting healthy before October.

 

2. Houston Texans

Not taking the “breakout year” bait again. It’s 50/50 that Wade Phillips’s new 3-4 defensive system will pay off.

 

3. Tennessee Titans

Quietly underwent a lot of changes this past offseason.

 

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

Lack of big-time receiving threat and adequate pass-rusher equates to limited playmaking potential.

 

AFC WEST

1. San Diego Chargers

If the special teams are so much as average, the data says this is at least an 11-win club.

 

2. Kansas City Chiefs

Young defense will be rock solid. Offensively, the loss of TE Tony Moeaki hurts BAD.

 

3. Denver Broncos

Kyle Orton is good enough to compensate for a subpar running game, but can the readjusted defense get on track?

 

4. Oakland Raiders

Jason Campbell is far too limited. Defensively, you can’t be a man-coverage based unit and expect to easily shake off the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha.

 

AFC Championship

Patriots over Ravens

 

Super Bowl

Saints over Patriots

 

 

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