07 September 2009

2009 Divisional Picks

Hold on to your hats, kids, it's time for my annual Post That Will Cause a Walk of Shame in January, aka my divisional picks. As I gaze into my crystal ball, which is evidently made of cubic zircona given my history with these picks, here's what I see:

AFC East: Dolphins
Just when I give up on the Dolphins, after YEARS of predicting they'd beat the Pats for the division, they go and win the division. Not making that mistake again. Plus, Patriots, I have much hate for you.

AFC North: Steelers
The juggernaut continues. It always looks on paper like they shouldn't be able to take the division, and yet...maybe it's something in the water up there in Blitzburgh.

AFC South: Texans
Hear me out. The Colts have lost some key players - and Tony Dungy. That's gotta hurt. The Jags and Titans are both pretty deeply flawed teams. And the Texans finished last season really strong, winning 4 of their last 5 games. I have a good feeling about them. Stop laughing!

AFC West: Chargers
Well, I was going to pick the Raiders based on the Jeff Garcia factor - aka, he seems to be able to pull any team to at least a winning record, and the AFC West was won at .500 last year. But they cut him in favor of Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye. They're dead to me now. The Broncos grand plan was to pick up Dawk (still a locker room leader, but he's lost more than a step), Buckhalter, and Kyle Freakin' Orton? Did Josh McDaniels have a big bowl of crazy for breakfast every morning for the last 6 months? So who else am I going to pick? The Chiefs? I'm not THAT nuts.

AFC Wildcard: Colts and Ravens
Assuming they don't win their divisions. Hey, the Colts may have lost Tony Dungy AND Marvin Harrison, but they still have Peyton Manning. And I have a good feeling about the Ravens' prospects in the next several years. The Flaco/Harbaugh combo is looking promising.

NFC East: Eagles
Well duh! I always pick us to win NFC East. But the Giants are out of receivers, the Redskins are still hamstrung by The Third Worst Owner in Football, and the Cowboys are still hamstrung by the Second Worst Owner in Football (and besides, I so look forward to Tonyboy's annual meltdown). Particularly given our wideout and running back upgrades, who can really challenge us?

NFC North: Lions
Remember how I said last year that the Dolphins taking the AFC East would be the greatest turn around in the history of the NFL? I was wrong. THIS would be the greatest turn around in the history of football. But I don't think it's impossible. The Bears are saddled with Mr. Bad Attitude #1 Jay Cutler. He's not all that, and he's locker room poison, not a good thing in any player, but a particular problem in a QB. The Vikings are saddled with Mr. Bad Attitude #2 Brett Favre. He's not all that any more, and playing for revenge is not a particularly smart motivation. And the Packers seem to have lost their mojo. I don't think they ever really recovered from Mike Holmgren's departure in 1998. Plus, the Lions are pretty much an entirely new team - new players, new coaches, #1 draft pick. I admit, it's a bold prediction. But if I'm right, I'm going to look like a freakin' genius in January. If I'm wrong, well, I'm usually wrong about my pre-season divisional picks, so no harm, no foul.

NFC South: Falcons
Speaking of another combination that looks pretty winning: Ryan/Smith. Plus Jake Delhomme seems mentally unstable, the Bucs are in turmoil from what I can tell, and the Saints haven't been able to climb back to the top of the NFC South since their run to the NFC Championship game after the 2006 season.

NFC West: Cardinals
The Cardinals still have Kurt Warner, Fitz, Tim Hightower, and Anquan Boldin. Matt Leinart? Whatever - who even cares? Also, have you seen their competition? Nobody else even finished above .500 last year. Oy.

NFC Wildcard: Cowboys and Saints
Although I could probably make the argument for pretty much any two teams in the NFC. Except the Rams.

Tired of my dumb predictions? Check out...
  • BleacherReport - the snark in strong in this one, Yoda.
  • Don Banks of SI's Inside the NFL and I agree on almost nothing, for what it's worth.
  • ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski predicts a Pats/Vikings Super Bowl. Doubtful.
  • ESPN's also letting you vote. Look at my Eagles killing as predicted NFC East winners! Uh oh - that may be bad luck.


Unknown said...

About a week after the Super Bowl, check out Tuesday Morning Quarterback. He documents the predictions made by the so-called pundits and the final results, which are almost always a far cry from what was predicted.

Anonymous said...

I usually bust myself between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs, too:

2008 results

2007 results

So at least I'm willing to own my stupid predictions :)