by Stop Mike Lupica on September 6 at 1:43PM
Pretty much just for The Vault.  Here are Jack Cobra's predictions, Depressed Fan's picks, and Tremendous Upside Potential's predictions.   And here is SML's:

NFC East:
1. Philadelphia 12-4        Team to beat in NFC.
2. Dallas 9-7                  By default they'll get 9 wins.  PS: Romo is good.  Not great, but very good.
3. Washington 7-9          Sounds right.
4. NYG 7-9                     Bounce-down year. 

NFC North:
1. Chicago 11-5       The second best team in the NFC.  Benson is key.  If he doesn't produce, Rex is in trouble.
2. Detroit 9-7           Calvin Johnson = Kitna looks good.  But really a last place schedule + weak division = 9.
3. Minnesota 7-9      Two easy victories over the Packers + 5-9 against rest of league = 7-9 season.
4. Green Bay 5-11    Sorry ass team.

NFC South:
1.  New Orleans 9-7    Feel good story gets old quickly.  Reggie Bush's TDs do not equal "rebuilt community".
2.  Carolina 8-8           By default.  Will exceed my expectations - would not be surprised if they won 12.
3.  Tampa Bay 6-10     Suck.
4.  Atlanta 5-11           Really suck.

NFC West:
1.  St. Louis 11-5       Bulger + Steven Jackson + decent defense = 11 wins.  Will compete with Bears for bye.
2.  Seattle 9-7           Will do okay, but health is key.  If Shaun Alexander is healthy... 12 wins is possible.
3.  Arizona 7-9          Okay.
4.  San Fran 6-10      Slightly worse than okay.

AFC East:
1.  New England 10-6   Good team, but will suffer at beginning due to suspension
2.  NY Jets 9-7           Good team, but tougher schedule this year.  Mangini will have to earn "genius" this year.
3.  Buffalo 7-9              Improving team - better O-line makes me think they might be tough - but need more skill.
4.  Miami 6-10             Still the suck.

AFC North:
1. Baltimore 12-4         The team to beat in the AFC.
2. Cincinnati 8-8           Fallen on hard times.
3. Pittsburgh 7-9          Rookie coach make big difference.
4. Cleveland 6-10         Rookie quarterback goes through growing pains. 

AFC South:
1.  Indianapolis 11-5     The competition - Ravens, Pats - is catching up.  Window of dominance is closing.
2.  Tennessee 8-8        Vince Young wins games!
3.  Jacksonville 8-8       Could do better, but I'm not betting on it.
4.  Houston 6-10          Matt Schaub will be good, but they need an O-line first.

AFC West:
1.  San Diego 10-6     Great team, bad coach.
2.  Denver 9-7           Same old Broncos.  Actually, I think 6-10 is likely, but the Broncos alway win 9-10 games.
3.  Kansas City 6-10   I've got nothing - Bill Simmons says they'll suck.  I agree, I guess.
4.  Oakland 5-11       They still suck + Rookie QB - really bad coach + semi-okay coach = 5 wins.

Other predictions, for Week #1:
Best Bets:
1.  St.Louis [-1] vs. Carolina.
2.  Philly [-3] at Green Bay.
3.  Minnesota [-3] vs. Atlanta.
4.  Detroit [+2] at Oakland.

Solid Bets:
1.  Tennessee [+6.5] at Jacksonville
2.  Buffalo [+3] vs. Denver.
3.  NYJ [+6.5] vs. New England.
4.  Baltimore [+2.5] at Cincy.



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5 Comments

Comments

[September 6, 2007 3:39 PM]  |  link  |  reply
stopmikelupica said

The rest of my picks (not worth betting on unless you have no choice):

Indy -6 over NO tonight.

Hou -3 vs. KC.
Pitt -4.5 at Cleveland.
Washington -3 vs. Miami.

Sea -6 vs TB.
SD -6 vs. Chicago.
Dal -6 vs. NYG.
SF -3 vs. Ariz.

[September 6, 2007 3:45 PM]  |  link  |  reply
stopmikelupica said

Oops. Not that anyone cares that much, but flip the last one to: Arizona +3 versus SF.
Leinart > Alex Smith.

[September 6, 2007 3:58 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Canadian DJM said

"Window of dominance"? That window was open for my (yes MY (I own them)) Colts for exactly four weeks last December/January. I'm happy that they won the Super Bowl after years of just missing it, but that was seriously one small window. That was one of those skinny frosted windows in the bathroom. Hell, that was a damn arrow loop.

If anything, they snuck in through an unguarded crack in the Patriots' big-ass window.

[September 6, 2007 4:25 PM]  |  link  |  reply
JJ said

I dunno, SML... Alex Smith is much improved. Matt Leinhart vs. Alex Smith seems about equal to me and it will come down to who avoids the turnovers.

As an Eagle fan, it scares me when people expect them to dominate. The NFC East is weak, but is McNabb physically and mentally healthy enough to last the season? Hate to be pessimistic about my own team, but I see them as 10-6, 11 -5 at best. Of the NFC QB's, a healthy McNabb is head and shoulders above the rest (keyword HEALTHY, which is a big IF). Romo's not as bad nor is he as good as his haters/lovers make him out to be but he's a HUGE improvement over Mr. WAHHH!!!! I'm a starting QB Bledsoe. And Jason Campbell could be good, but it won't be under Joe Gibbs. By year's end, I expect Joe Gibbs to be fired along with Tom Coughlin and Wade Phillips will have quickly worn out his welcome in Dallas.

I see the Pats as kicking ass if Randy Moss doesn't decide to become an asshole and cause dissension. Tom Brady has a lot of new toys to try out. I really like San Diego but HATE Norv Turner. Agreed... great team, horrible coach.

As for Buffalo, JP Losman doesn't impress me and it pains me to say I still follow the Bills. They might improve and spoil a good team now and then like the Pats, but they're still going to suck.

As for the Colts, they must be looking over their shoulder.... it's hard to be the top dog, as there's no place to go but down.

[September 6, 2007 5:37 PM]  |  link  |  reply
stopmikelupica said

Good observations, JJ. I think Alex Smith (and the 49ers) are much improved, but Leinart seems a little more polished. That being said, we'll get a good idea of what direction both teams are going during Sunday's game.

I think the Eagles will be just fine. They're only competition is the Cowboys, and they are shaky - the downgrade in coaching from Parcells to Wade is gonna cost them a few games.

As for the rest of the NFC: there's the Rams, if they pan out. There's the Seahawks, who I could see having a big bounce back year, depending on Shaun Alexander (how quickly everyone forgets about the Hawks!). And finally the Bears, who are now trying to win with a handicap at QB and an untested RB. They could rapidly turn into the Ravens of the last few years - strong defense, shaky offense.

Therefore the Eagles should be one of the best teams in the NFC. Unless McNabb finally falls apart, of course....


Spring Training 08






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