I sit down this morning to discuss what really matters in life: football. Good, hard core, football. And I am writing this with the utmost distaste for football at this very moment. Let's set things straight, I hate football, I can't stand it, but I love it. Last night I traveled to the other end of the state where our team would play in St. Albans. Three hours. A game we dominated. Up 8-0 in the fourth quarter (courtesy bad snap for a safety, and a touchdown with a bad kick). They're kicker proceeded to make a 30 yard field goal that would have been good from the 45 yard line (could we protest he was on juice, HGH maybe? After all, we were practically in Canada...)and then returned a punt to the 11 yard line, and then scored with ten, yes ten seconds left to win 10-8. I really thought there were thoughts of suicide on the bus on the ride home. I got home at 2 in the morning, and I am now sick and hating almost-Canadians. Anyway back to what matters, my NFL 2009 predictions, which I hope hole up better than my baseball ones...
Let's do this division by division, a quick summary, and a prediction for the winner, followed up by playoff picks.
AFC East: Well, this division threw a curve ball last year. The awful Dolphins suddenly became good, and the Patriots missed out on the playoffs at 11-5...still not over that...Expect the Jets to drop off, and the Bills to still be bad. I pick the Patriots, too much offensive fire power.
AFC North: A very strong division, and probably the premier of the NFL. Expect low scoring in division games because of the great defense. How can you go against Pittsburgh though?
AFC South: The Titans ended up being the best regular season team in the NFL last year, but don't expect as much this year with the loss of Pro Bowl Defensive Tackle Albert Haynseworth, among other things. The Colts will win the division under Jim Caldwell in his first year of coaching the team.
AFC West: Weak division, period. If you can't predict who wins this division you have a problem. It's the Chargers, in case you didn't know.
Seeding for Playoffs in AFC:
1)New England. You just can't pick against them with a decent D, and the best offense arguably ever.
2)Pittsburgh. A strong team in title defense with solid players on both sides, and it earns them a bye week.
3)San Diego. The six easy in division games give them a record that puts them ahead of the Colts
4)Indianapolis. Barely scrape through the division, but still, they're in.
5)Miami. A year for defensive coordinators to figure out the Wildcat offense loses the division for them, but still earn a Wild Card Berth.
6)Houston. The Texans are a team that have steadily improved since their inception, and have enough this year to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
Now to the NFC:
NFC East: This division is always strong, and there never seems to be an awful team...generally **cough cough, Redskins**. The main things to watch are Michael Vick and what is his role with the Eagles, and what can Tony Romo do with the loss of Terrell Owens. If I had to choose, I like the Eagles, but that isn't a confident pick.
NFC North: Ahhh, He's baaaaack. That's right, it's BRETT FAVRE!!! YAYYYY who hasn't gotten sick of him playing, honestly. Boring division, possibly a race between Chicago and Minnesota. Unfortunately, Favre leads a team to a division title, the Vikings will win this division.
NFC South: Well, generally it's the team that finishes last leapfrogs to first, but not this year. Matty Ice leads the Falcons to his first division title.
NFC West: The shocker Cardinals made it to the Super Bowl last year, but in recent history the loser of the Super Bowl normally doesn't make it back to the playoffs, but it's the NFC West, and anything can happen. I like the Seahawks, but it could be the Cardinals.
Playoffs Seedings for NFC:
1)Atlanta, the only reason is because the other three divisions are competitive, or suck.
2)Minnesota, Brett Favre, Adrien Peterson, and a good D earns the bye week
3)Seattle, if they win the division, this is where they stand.
4)Philadelphia, too tough a division to finish anywhere else except the last divisional slot.
5)New Orleans, Drew Brees is a passing god, and leads the team to a record better than even Seattle.
6)New York Giants, come on, its a good team, how can you pick against them, but it will be close with Chicago.
Now to my playoff picks:
AFC Wild Card Round:
6)Houston at 3)San Diego: San Diego chokes in the playoffs, period. Houston wins in postseason debut.
5)Miami at 4)Indianapolis: You just can't pick against Peyton Manning early in the playoffs.
NFC Wild Card Round:
6)New York Giants at 3)Seattle: The Seahawks just aren't a playoff team. New York wins.
5)New Orleans at 4)Philadelphia: Tough call, but I don't think the Eagles have what it takes here.
AFC Divisional Round:
6)Houston at 1)New England: Let's be hones, Cinderella, it's midnight, New England is just too good, and Houston plays in a dome, January weather is sucky. New England wins big.
4)Indianapolis at 2)Pittsburgh: Indy has nothing left in the tank after a long season. They really aren't that good anyway, making it this far was a lie. Steelers advance.
NFC Divisional Round:
6)New York Giants at 1)Atlanta: A great quarterback showdown. It comes down to overtime, and Matt Ryan leads his team down the field for the win.
5)New Orleans at 2)Minnesota: This could be a game for the ages. Honestly, I don't know who would win, but I don't think Favre will be healthy, or have enough energy to pull it out.
AFC Championship Game:
2)Pittsburgh at 1)New England: These teams meet in this game for the third time in less than ten years. Pittsburgh has a great defense, but the Patriots line is extraordinary, and in the end that combined with a great receiving core, leads the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl in less than ten years. Patriots win by 3.
NFC Championship Game:
5)New Orleans at 1)Atlanta: Another great game featuring amazing quarterbacks. The postseason is full of them. Since I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one, I have to go with Atlanta because Matt Ryan is from BC. Atlanta by 4.
Super Bowl XLIV:
In a rare event, it is a battle of the top seeded teams. The Atlanta Falcons going up against The New England Patriots at Dolphins Stadium on February 7, 2010 with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms calling the game on CBS. (Yes all of this was just looked up on Wikipedia.) Let's be totally honest here, if it does get to this point, experience gets it done. The Patriots win Number 4, 31-17.
So what have we learned?
Well, I am a little biased when it comes to sports.
Also, I have way to much spare time on my hands.
This Postseason is sure to be full of great games with amazing signal callers.
And finally, I, as well as everyone else, do not care about the Pro Bowl, even though it's not in Hawai'i this year, which honestly, makes it less interesting.
Those are my picks, hold me to them