Before the NFL season begins, many experts give out their predictions on how they believe the season will end. Well we did the same thing right here last May. Here’s how we did.
The Ravens lost a lot of players on that great defense that led them to the Super Bowl last season, although the offense did step up, they lost a key contributor in Anquan Boldin. The Bengals added Tyler Eifert which is going to help Andy Dalton tremendously. Having Eifert, Gresham and Green on the same field are going to create mismatches. I could see the Steelers doing slightly worse finishing at 9-7 or the Cleveland Browns finishing at around 8-8. Overall this is where I expect things to finish out.
The Bengals had their elite moments throughout the season, but at times were inconsistent and that’s ultimately what came back to haunt them. The Steelers started out slow and that hurt them when all was said and done. The Ravens really missed some of the players that they lost in the offseason and missed the playoffs for the first time in quarterback Joe Flacco’s career. The Browns=disaster.
The Patriots are going to come in as the favorites to win the division, and more than likely do just that. I could see them losing an extra game or two, but for the most part I think they finish at the top of the AFC East. The Dolphins have a brutal first part of the schedule, if they can survive that, they will do alright. If not, they could dig themselves a hole and finish around 8-8. I think 10-6 is a possibility for them. With the Bills and Jets, who is playing quarterback? The Jets and Bills seasons do not look promising. I could see them winning an extra game maybe two, but definitely would not expect playoffs.
When I’m wrong, I’m not afraid to admit it, I was wrong about the Jets and the Bills. The Jets were inconsistent, but showed signs that they can possibly make a jump next season. As for the Bills, had quarterback E.J. Manuel not gotten hurt, they may have made the playoffs. The Dolphins collapsed after controlling their own destiny in the final weeks and the Patriots proved once again they are miles ahead of everybody else in the AFC East.
The Texans should pull out the division for the third consecutive year and possibly make a deep run in the playoffs. Andrew Luck and the Colts are making progress, but as of now I only see them as being an average team. I don’t trust Jake Locker at quarterback and I think that team has a lot of issues to solve. The same thing goes for the Jaguars. I could see them maybe winning an extra game or two, but not many more.
Once again, I was completely wrong about this division. Had the Colts not suffered so many injuries, they may have gone to the Super Bowl. Either way this team will be a contender every year Andrew Luck is under center. The Texans failed expectations to say the least and they have a lot of work to do this offseason.
Peyton Manning and the Broncos will win the division once again. If it’s one thing I learned last season, it’s don’t bet against Peyton Manning. The Chargers will hang in for a while, but the fact of the matter is, they aren’t as much of an elite team as they used to be. If Phillip Rivers can play like Phillip Rivers and not whoever he played like last season, the Chargers can succeed. The Raiders could win an extra game or two, but this team has definitely taken a turn for the worst from where they were a few years ago. If Matt Flynn plays like the Raiders think he can, the Raiders can begin to build around him. Alex Smith will do wonders for the chiefs. This team has one of the best offensive lines and a decent defense. If Alex Smith can play like the Alex Smith of the last two years, the Chiefs could make some noise.
No surprise the Broncos came out on top, but what may have been surprising is that the Chiefs did so well and almost won the division. Not many people respect the AFC West, but three of the four teams did finish above .500 and are only going to get better.
The Packers should be the overwhelming favorite in this division. As Stephen A. Smith would say, “Aaron Rogers is a baaaaad man!” Unless Adrian Peterson has another year like he had last year, I don’t see the Vikings doing a whole lot. They traded away their best receiver and their quarterback is sub-par. Patterson needs a few years to develop, but until then the Vikings are going to rely on defense and Adrian Peterson. When the Bears fired Lovie Smith I was shocked. I thought that team was a year or two away from making a big run. The Bears have a tough scheduled and I don’t see them doing much. Much the same with the Lions.
The Bears were so close to stealing this division away from the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rogers returned from injury in the final week to spoil the party however. I do believe with a new coach, the Lions can get back to the playoffs and reach their potential and the Vikings need a quarterback and a lot of other things.
The Redskins are obviously the best team in the division if RGIII can stay healthy. Even if he’s not, Kirk Cousins is a good replacement that wont lose games for you. The Giants just miss out on the playoffs for the second straight year, if they can get Cruz signed, maybe that changes, but for the most part, I see them as an average team. The Cowboys miss out on the playoffs once again and prove that they are only an average team. If the Cowboys go 7-9 that may be a good record. Cowboys have a tough scheduled and really could end up only winning five. The Eagles have questions all around, and until they get the quarterback situation figured out they are not going to do much. Chip Kelly needs to prove he belongs in NFL, I really think the Eagles could have hired other, better candidates, but we will see how it works out.
Of all the divisions this is the one I was wrong about the most, and I couldn’t have been more wrong about the Eagles. Did they come out of nowhere or what? The Cowboys stayed about average and Robert Griffin III and the Redskins never really got going and turned into a circus show. The Giants started slow and ultimately that came back to hurt them. To be honest they should be lucky they finished where they did.
This is going to be a dogfight until the end when Atlanta finally pulls ahead. The Saints need to add a few more pieces to the defensive side of things before they can make any run at the playoffs. Sean Payton returning should help this team. I could definitely see the Saints winning a few more games. Just don’t rule them out. The Panthers have a decent defense to say the least, if Cam Newton and co. can get things figured out on offense, this team could make the playoffs. The Buccaneers are another team that has questions at the quarterback position. Can Josh Freeman get this team over the hump and help them reach the playoffs. Freeman started last season well, but faded away as the season went on.
The Panthers really grew up this season and showed they can be dominant for the years to come. The Falcons dealt with injuries all season and you have to feel sorry for Tony Gonzalez. The Buccaneers had a disastrous year and need to figure out a lot of things, and the Saints showed why Sean Payton and Brees may be one of the best coach-quarterback duos in the NFL.
This division is going to be a dogfight until the end. The 49ers will more than likely pull it out at the end, but then the other three will be fighting for a wildcard spot. The Seahawks have a tough schedule, if they can win on the road, this team could win another game or two. The Rams are ready to make that jump into the playoffs, it’s just a matter of executing. If Sam Bradford plays well this team could make a run. Carson Palmer was a good signing for the time being for the Cardinals. He will be able to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald down the field like the Cardinals were able to a few years ago.
Had Sam Bradford not gotten hurt, the Rams may have had a chance to go 11-5, but I may have been a little optimistic on that one. This division is by far atop the NFL as the best division in football, and if you can make it out, you have a good chance of going to the Super Bowl.
Offensive Rookie of the year: Tavon Austin
Defensive rookie of the year: Star Loutelei
MVP: Peyton Manning
Offensive Player of the year: Peyton Manning
Defensive player of the year: JJ Watt
Coach of the year: Jeff Fisher
Comeback Player of the year: Alex Smith
Coaches fired: Ron Rivera, Jim Schwartz, Leslie Frasier, Rex Ryan, Jason Garrett, Mike Munchak
Tom Brady will break Drew Brees’s most consecutive game with TD pass.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Eddie Lacy
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sheldon Richardson
Defensive Player of the Year:
Robert Quinn Luke Kuechly
Coach of the Year: Ron Rivera
Comeback Player of the Year: Phillip Rivers
Coaches fired: Rob Chudzinski, Mike Shanahan, Leslie Frazier, Jim Schwartz, Mike Munchak, Gary Kubiak, Greg Schiano
Tom Brady came up short and his streak broke early in the season against the Bengals, coming two short of Drew Brees’ record of 54.
Peyton Manning broke the record for most touchdown passes in a season and most passing yards in a season.
AFC Playoffs Predictions
Texans will play the Chargers and Bengals will play the Steelers wild card weekend. I would expect the Texans to beat the Chargers, but I wouldn’t rule the Chargers out. In the end the Texans win 24-20 and move on to the divisional round for the third straight year. Bengals are becoming a serious threat in the AFC and the Steelers are replacing a lot of their aging players. I think the Bengals pull it out 20-17.
In the divisional round the Patriots will play the Bengals and the Broncos will play the Texans. The Bengals and Patriots will be an interesting upset and Im going to take the upset. Dalton steps up like Flacco did a year ago and pulls out the victory 27-23. I think the Broncos will also beat the Texans 35-24.
Broncos play the Bengals in the Championship round and I think this is the year where Manning just doesn’t take no for an answer. Broncos pull out the victory 28-23
AFC Playoffs Reality
The Bengals disappointed for the third straight year in the playoffs and went one and done against the Chargers while the Chiefs and the Colts put on quite a show in Indianapolis.
In the divisional round, Peyton Manning won his first playoff game as a Bronco and the Patriots dominated the Colts after their big comeback win.
The Championship round featured an old rivalry between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, but this time Manning came out on top and made it to his third Super Bowl.
NFC Playoffs Predictions
Falcons play the Seahawks and Redskins play the Rams wild card weekend in the NFC. Falcons got the best of the Seahawks last year after a failed comeback attempt by the hawks. I think the Falcons pull it out again this year 31-23. Rams also prove to the world that they made the right decision choosing Bradfor over RGIII winning 27-23
In the NFC divisional round Falcons play the Packers and unfortunately for Tony Gonzalez, the Packers pull out the win 34-24. The 49ers and Rams will play each other for a third time and the Rams shock everybody once again beating the 49ers in overtime 23-20.
In the NFC Championship game the Rams story book ending comes to a close and Aaron Rogers will play in his second Super Bowl. Packers prove to be too much and pull out the win 27-16.
NFC Playoffs Reality
In the wild card round the Packers and 49ers continued their playoff rivalry in which the 49ers continued to dominate. The Saints beat the Eagles in the other game on a last second field goal.
In the divisional round the Seahawks and the 12th man proved to be too much for the Saints despite a late effort of a comeback. The 49ers continued to be hot against the Panthers and dominated the second half.
The Championship game had more of a Super Bowl feel to it between the Seahawks and 49ers. The 49ers got ahead early, but the ‘Hawks stood behind their 12th man and came back to win with the help of a late tipped pass by Richard Sherman that saved the game winning touchdown.
SUPER BOWL Prediction
BRONCOS VS PACKERS
This will be a great matchup between the games two best quarterbacks, but I think Peyton get the best of Aaron Rogers. The Broncos win the Super Bowl for Peyton Manning instead of John Elway and beat the Packers 38-34
Super Bowl Reality
Broncos VS Seahawks
The Seahakws completely dominated this one, and for the first time in a while we got a Super Bowl that didn’t come down to the final drive. The Seahawks won their first Super Bowl defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8.
The 2013 NFL season had its ups and downs, but overall it was a pretty good year. 2014 will definitely have a lot to live up to. Here’s to a good offseason. Go Rams!
Topics: St. Louis Rams