13 Sep 2015
Heres a quickie menh NFL preview for the 2015 season. Teams are listed in their predicted finish in their division.
New England Patriots On top until proven otherwise. I barely have to edit this column from year to year thanks to good quarterbacks. Unfortunately, at some point this column does have to rate the teams in the NFC South. Anyway, Tom Brady is all it'll take in this division. And Gronk.
Buffalo Bills Out of the sun! The fighting Buffalo Bills! The Bills finally finished with at least 7 wins for the first time since 2008, outside of the cellar for the first time since 2007, and with a winning record for the first time since 2004. However, I'm still rooting for them to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2nd millennium. But they won't make it this year, either, even with a blustery coach.
Miami Dolphins Steady as she goes for the Dolphins. Every year. No quarterback change, but I anticipate that Miami will set the record with a 94th consecutive week in which the media wonders whether a quarterback change is warranted. Another 8-8 campaign seems about right.
New York Jets Last place!
Baltimore Ravens They get back to the top of the division this year. Mostly 'cause I can't put Cincinnati up top.
Cincinnati Bengals They keep on making the playoffs and losing in the first round. Let's keep the theme going.
Pittsburgh Steelers My continuing logic on Pittsburgh is that its an every-other-year kind of team. They got back on track last year by winning the division, which means this year they'll miss the playoffs. It's as simple as that.
Cleveland Browns Surprised people last year by only having a 4-game losing streak. Of course, the streak was stopped because the season ended. They'll pick up where they left off.
Indianapolis Colts How does Indianapolis keep on winning 11 games per year? Let's double down on them and go for 12 wins this year. Who needs a running game?
Houston Texans Watt willed this team to 9 wins by himself last year. He will will them to the playoffs this year. Mark it down, will ya?
Tennessee Titans It's a race for last between these guys and Jacksonville again. Who'll finish third in this division??? Oh, the excitement. Jacksonville feels like they'll take third again, but because the Titans are already in this spot in my text and I don't want to copy paste, I'll leave these two where they are.
Jacksonville Jaguars 4th place finish due entirely to it being late and me being too lazy to switch the text around. They haven't finished last in this division the past two years, so that's something. They last had a winning record in 2007, and last won this division in 1999. Is Blaine Gabbert still at the helm?
Denver Broncos It sure feels like they won't be as good as the first 2/3rds of last season, but still should finish first in this division. 12 wins again.
Kansas City Chiefs 10-6, and it's enough for the playoffs.
San Diego Chargers Just feels like rumors of moving will create a whirlwind of useless media interest and distract the team enough for Kansas City to sneak by them and into the playoffs.
Oakland Raiders Bad again.
Dallas Cowboys I don't think they'll repeat a 12-4 record, but even so I think the order of last year's finishes in the division should repeat itself. Playoffs!
Philadelphia Eagles Seems like they had a weird off-season for some reason. Finished 10-6, and it feels like they should get better but won't. So another finish at 10-6.
New York Giants Two losing seasons in a row. 8-8 won't get the job done this year. Bye bye coach Coughlin! Retirement.
Washington Redskins Stilling rooting for RGIII. But he won't be able to help this team from the bench. 6-10.
Green Bay Packers Rodgers all by himself can get it done. 13-3.
Minnesota Vikings Somehow won 7 games last year. So they might be a surprise playoff team. Hmmmm...I mean, they should be better with Peterson back. Could they catch the Lions? Why not. 10-6
Detroit Lions A step back from 11-5 from last year. But gonna say the Vikings somehow catch them and keep them from the playoffs. 9-7.
Chicago Bears Sliding them to last place to match last season's finish.
New Orleans Saints Juuuust missed the playoffs last year with a 7-9 record. I see them bouncing back this year to lead this division.
Carolina Panthers I love me some Cam Newton. They won the division last year, but I fear their defense will not regain its dominance from 2 years ago. No playoffs, sadly.
Atlanta Falcons They could sneak by Carolina for second in the division but can't hope for much else.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Comfortably settled in at the bottom of this division. They've earned it again this year, too. [repeat text from last year]
Seattle Seahawks I'm still upset about their playoff win from 5 seasons ago. Remember? When they won 7 games and hosted a playoff game?!? I think they'll finish first in this division. My spite is almost gone at this point, cause Russell Wilson. 13-3.
Arizona Cardinals Actually im-PROVED from their 10-win season two seasons ago to win 11 last year, and probably could have won more if Carson Palmer (sic) didn't get injured. At some point regression has to happen. I see them just outside the playoffs.
St. Louis Rams Their defense improved throughout the season last year. And at least they've got consistency at QB. Like Atlanta, they could sneak by Arizona for second in the division, but it still won't mean playoffs.
San Francisco 49ers Had such a terrible offseason. So I think they'll sink to the bottom of this division.
AFC 1st Round: New England, Indianapolis, Denver, Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City.
2nd Round: New England, Indianapolis, Denver, Baltimore.
3rd Round: New England, Denver (looks familiar, doesn't it?).
NFC 1st Round: Green Bay, Seattle, New Orleans, Dallas, Philadelphia, Minnesota.
2nd Round: Green Bay, Seattle, New Orleans, Dallas.
3rd Round: Green Bay, Seattle.
Super Bowl: Denver over Green Bay.
This year looks very similar to last year. Typically there's more churn in the playoff teams, but I think this is a unique year and that the playoff teams will be more stable than usual. I'm still rooting for Denver unrealistically and hope that doing so will make a Super Bowl victory a reality. I'm one-for-five so far with predicting Super Bowl winners, having predicted Green Bay (Green Bay won), then New Orleans (the Giants of New York), then Green Bay (Baltimore), then Denver (Seattle won), then Denver (New England won). Good thing I've got a day job.