Here we go:
OK, not quite yet. I have to point out that Michael Wilbon and I have significant agreement on our AFC picks...and are in 100% agreement on our NFC picks. That does not bode well for his continuing success as a sportscaster. (Notice that link is to a Dallas paper, even though I read the column in the Washington Post this morning. Their online search engine SUCKS.)
AFC East: Dolphins
I know the sexy pick is the Jets, not least of which because they've been so much fun on HBO's Hard Knocks, but I have a good feeling about the Dolphins.
AFC North: Ravens
Not only are the Ravens, as Wilbon noted, LOADED with talent this year, the rest of their division is in trouble. I predict the Bengals will implode no later than mid-season, when BFFs Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens realize that it's against the laws of physics for Carson Palmer to throw to both of them on EVERY SINGLE PLAY. Hijinks will ensue. The Steelers are in a tailspin, as they struggle to get control of their serial date rapist quarterback. And the Browns? The less said, the better.
AFC South: Texans
I know, I know - it's crazy to pick against the Colts. But I just can't help myself. I love me some Texans. Maybe it's because they're not the Cowboys. And hey, they're so good they can pick up Matt Leinart just to have him bring the other guys Gatorade.
AFC West: Chargers
Talk about winning by default. The rest of the AFC West is so bad I often have trouble remembering all 4 teams (for the record, Broncos, Raiders, and Chiefs).
AFC Wildcard: Colts and Jets
With the usual caveat that they could win their divisions and swap out with the Dolphins and...well, no I'm on the Texans bandwagon, baby! (ex) Team of Destiny!
Which reminds me, Chef Spouse thinks that I need to explain the Rules of the Team of Destiny. They're pretty simple - it's a team that's been TERRIBLE that is on the cusp of being MUCH better. This year's Team of Destiny? The Redskins, who went 4-12 last year, and definitely will do better than that this year.
Speaking of the Skins, on to the NFC.
NFC East: Cowboys
They ain't gonna get to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium - they'll be watching from their couches like the rest of us - but I just don't see how any of the rest of the NFC East teams take them out. FYI, I'm calling us to go 6-10 or *maybe* 7-9. Why? In the Andy Reid/Donovan McNabb rookie year, the Eagles went 5-11. I know, I know - Donovan didn't start the entire season. However, K2 has given me NO reason to think that he's he second coming of Donovan McNabb - at least not yet. But I give them 1-2 more wins just because Andy's not a rookie any more, and K2 has a much better team around him than DMac ever enjoyed.
NFC North: Packers
This is the year the Packers former "we have to start playing him or trade him" QB breaks out. I do think the Vikings will make the playoffs (see below), and I REALLY hope they play the Packers at some point and Aaron Rodgers has the privilege of smokin' Vicodin Boy.
NFC South: Saints
Yeah, it's not easy to repeat. But this is the Saints we're talking about, baby. Barring a major disaster (quick! knock wood!), they should take their division again. Wilbon thinks they're going to the Super Bowl. I'm not ready to go that far - yet - but I think they're still going to be damn good.
NFC West: 49ers
The Cardinals are about to fall apart, the Seahawks have already fallen apart, and I can't even talk about how bad the Rams are.
Wildcard: Falcons and Vikings
We could end up with two NFC South and two NFC North teams finishing out the season, because I'm pretty sure these two will be able to dispatch the 49ers and Cowboys pretty easily (assuming the playoff standings fall out that way).
What do other people think? Glad you asked!
- Bleacher Report - OOOOO! A SLIDEshow! SO fancy! (Also, really smart and entertaining, and he almost has me convinced on the Raiders thing. Almost.)
- ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski comes up with 45 predictions, one of which is Eric Berry (who I really wanted the Eagles to draft in the role of Next Brian Dawkins) as potential AFC rookie of the year. Oh, and he figures the Eagles could be anywhere from "suck" to "win the division." Thanks for the vote of confidence, Gene!
- Yahoo! Sports power rankings. Which is pretty funny considering no one has played an actual game yet. (Of course, ESPN did it too.)