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NFL Predictions

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

I predict the division winners and the postseason results before the season kicks off tonight.

NFL Predictions

The NFL season is hours away from beginning, and just under the gun, we're here to give you our predictions for how the season is going to shape up.  Quickly, we'll run through each division to predict the outcome (while selecting each team's over/under), then run through the playoffs until we end up with our eventual Super Bowl champion.  Let's get started.

AFC East

1. New England Patriots (o/u: 12) - I'm taking the over on the Patriots this season.  New England will be one of the top teams in the league with their dynamic offense and their revamped defense.  I see a first round bye in their future.

2. Buffalo Bills (o/u: 7) - I'm high on the Bills this season.  Mario Williams is going to completely change that defense, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, Fred Jackson, and Stevie Johnson will form a solid trio to help Buffalo contend for the playoffs.  That's a welcome change for the Bills.

3. New York Jets (o/u: 8.5) - I know the preseason doesn't truly translate over to the regular season, but New York's offensive production in those early contests can't bode well for the regular season hopes.  They need to figure it out quickly to get over 8.5 wins this year, but I am taking the under.

4. Miami Dolphins (o/u: 7.5) - There are going to be a lot of hard knocks in Miami this year, not just the ones they took this preseason.  Under.

AFC North

1. Baltimore Ravens (o/u: 10) - Baltimore won the division last year even with the year that Joe Flacco had.  He improved a lot to start the season, and with an improved Flacco, the Ravens will only be better.  They need to replace the injured Terrell Suggs, but the rest of the defense will figure something out.

2. Cincinnati Bengals (o/u: 7.5) - Last year was just the beginning for Cincinnati.  Andy Dalton and AJ Green have a year under their belt and that stingy defense coming back, the Bengals should be able to repeat what they did last season. 

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (o/u: 10) - I still think Pittsburgh is one of the better teams in the conference, but there are still a lot of question marks for the Steelers.  They need to get healthy in the backfield, they need to keep Ben Roethlisberger healthy, and they have to do all that with Baltimore and Cincinnati breathing down their necks.  Under.

4. Cleveland Browns (o/u: 5.5) - Rookie quarterback, rookie running back, star corner suspended.  All signs point to another rough year in Cleveland.  Under.

AFC South

1. Houston Texans (o/u: 10) - There are plenty of health concerns in Houston, but when they are healthy, the Texans are one of the most dangerous teams in the league.  I'm expecting big things out of Houston this season, including a deep playoff run.  Over.

2. Tennessee Titans (o/u: 7) - Tennessee is a tricky team to gauge, but I think they will be at least a .500 team this season.  If Chris Johnson comes back this season motivated, they can cause some problems.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (o/u: 5.5) - The Maurice Jones-Drew holdout is over, and the real football can begin for the Jaguars.  I think MJD will be hurt by the time he missed, but Rashad Jennings and an improved passing attack with Laurent Robinson and Justin Blackmon should make Jacksonville competitive.

4. Indianapolis Colts (o/u: 5.5) - With all of the turnover in Indianapolis, I find it hard to believe they will be able to reach six wins.  I like Andrew Luck's prospects going forward, but his Colts will fare about as well as Peyton Manning's Colts during his rookie season.

AFC West

1. Denver Broncos (o/u: 9.5) - The Broncos won the division with Tim Tebow at QB last year, so logic tells us they should be able to do the same with Peyton Manning.  He will really help all of their offensive players and turn this into an exciting year in Denver.

2. San Diego Chargers (o/u: 9) - Sooner or later their potent offense is going to break through and lift San Diego to the next level, and I think this is the year they can do it.  Philip Rivers might have a great year to finally try and get that chip off his shoulder.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (o/u: 8) - Kansas City remained competitive even after suffering a myriad of injuries.  If they can stay healthy, they could challenge for a postseason spot again.  

4. Oakland Raiders (o/u: 7) - Oakland has a lot riding on Darren McFadden's fragile body as well as Carson Palmer's aging arm.  I don't know if the two will be able to get the job done for the Raiders this year.

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles (o/u: 10) - Philadelphia should be able to put last year's wasted season behind them and really cause a lot of problems this year.  Adding DeMeco Ryans will help a lot in the linebacking corps, and if Michael Vick stays healthy, the Eagles should get back to the postseason.

2. New York Giants (o/u: 9.5) - All the problems in the secondary aside, Eli Manning and that pass rush will be able to get the Giants back to the playoffs.  As long as Plaxico Burress stays away, the Giants should be able to return to the playoffs.

3. Dallas Cowboys (o/u: 8.5) - Dallas will be better this year, but I still think they aren't as talented as Philadelphia and New York.  They are heading in the right direction, though, and they will still be a very tough team.

4. Washington Redskins (o/u: 6.5) - Unless Robert Griffin III has a Cam Newton-like year (which he won't), the Redskins aren't going anywhere. 

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers (o/u: 12) - Over.  Aaron Rodgers is going to be doing a lot of discount double-checks to get the taste of last season out of his mouth.

2. Detroit Lions (o/u: 9.5) - Matt Stafford showed what he can do when he stays healthy for a season (relatively, anyway).  No he just has to do it again, which I think he can do.

3. Chicago Bears (o/u: 8.5) - Similar to the Cowboys, the Bears aren't a bad team at all.  They just happen to share a division with two teams that might be better.  But Jay Cutler could very well prove me wrong, especially with a receiver like Brandon Marshall now at his disposal.

4. Minnesota Vikings (o/u: 6) - I just want Minnesota to get through this season without another injury to Adrian Peterson.  I'm really rooting for him to come back strong.

NFC South

1. Atlanta Falcons (o/u: 9) - Matt Ryan had a sneaky good year last year, and I think he will be even better this year.  With all of that offense, things should really click in Atlanta this season, especially if Asante Samuel helps out that secondary.

2. New Orleans Saints (o/u: 10) - I might be overstating how I think their offseason issues will impact the team, but I don't think they will go into "eff you" mode and that offense has to slow down sometime, right?  Probably not, but I still think Atlanta can overtake them this year.

3. Carolina Panthers (o/u: 7.5) - Now that we know just how good Cam Newton is, he just has to translate that into winning football.  Easier said than done, especially in this division.  Carolina will be better defensively this year, but I'm not sure if it will be enough to get back to the postseason.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (o/u: 6) - I actually like Tampa Bay's chances this season, but again, this is a very tough division.  They added a lot of high profile pieces, so it will be interesting to see if first-year coach Greg Schiano can put it all together.

NFC West

1. San Francisco 49ers (o/u: 10) - They return almost all of their starters from a team that nearly made it to the Super Bowl.  I think they are in good shape for this season as long as Alex Smith doesn't regress.

2. Seattle Seahawks (o/u: 7) - I'm excited to see what Russell Wilson can do as a starting quarterback in this league, but I'm not sure how this bodes for Seattle's playoff chances.  Plus, how long can Marshawn Lynch keep this up?

3. Arizona Cardinals (o/u: 7) - As uncertain as Russell Wilson's impact will be, Arizona's QB situation is even more uncertain.  John Skelton had success last year winning ballgames, but he will have to prove himself as a starter this year.  Pro tip: throw it up to Larry Fitzgerald.  A lot.

4. St. Louis Rams (o/u: 6) - I don't think the Rams will be as bad as they were last season, but it will take a year or two for them to get back to contention.  I'm looking forward to seeing how Sam Bradford will bounce back and what kind of year Steven Jackson has.

Playoff Picture

NFC: 1. Green Bay (BYE) - 2. Philadelphia (BYE) - 3. San Francisco - 4. Atlanta - 5. Detroit - 6. New York

AFC: 1. New England (BYE) - 2. Baltimore (BYE) - 3. Houston - 4. Denver - 5. Cincinnati - 6. San Diego

Wild Card Round: New York over San Francisco, Atlanta over Detroit, Houston over San Diego, Denver over Cincinnati.

Divisional Round: Green Bay over New York, Philadelphia over Atlanta, New England over Denver, Baltimore over Houston.

Conference Championship: Green Bay over Philadelphia, Baltimore over New England.

Super Bowl: Green Bay over Baltimore.

What do you think will happen this season?  Let us know in the comments section below.

Let CHARGED.fm get you tickets to see your favorite NFL teams this year.

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