Like many of you, after an offseason of bickering and ill-will, I'm both surprised and elated that we finally have a season to discuss. Between the fantasy football drafts I've attended and NFL financial numbers I've seen (the ads for the Super Bowl are already sold out for a reported $189 million), fans are more fervent than ever about the game. Even though early season play will be sloppier, confused, and probably more injury-riddled at times because of accelerated training camps, there will be more excitement than ever before for the start of the 92nd season of the National Football League.
OK, enough of the blah, blah, blah stuff. There are going to be newcomers to most of the major awards this season. If he hasn't already, Aaron Rodgers will continue to push memories of Brett Favre further away by taking home the league MVP trophy. Jim Schwartz will be Coach of the Year for continuing the revival of the Detroit Lions, one of the league's most storied and troubled franchises. The Offensive Player of the Year will go to Mike Vick and Ndamukong Suh will run away with the Defensive Player of the Year award. As for the rookies, Patrick Peterson will beat out Von Miller for the title of Defensive Rookie of the Year, and after integrating himself flawlessly into the Falcons' passing attack, Julio Jones' name will be engraved on the Offensive Rookie of the Year trophy.
In recent years, we've seen a lot of turnover in playoff teams. However, because of the lockout, I think we'll see many of the of the usual cast of characters in the postseason. With a couple of exceptions, teams that have "been there, done that" will do it again because of that experience.
Well, I won't give away anymore. Check out the predictions below and let me know what you think through Twitter (@DoctorFootball) or email (email@example.com).
|New England (y)||13||3||Philadelphia (y)||11||5|
|New York Jets (z)||11||5||Dallas (z)||9||7|
|Miami||6||10||New York Giants||9||7|
|Pittsburgh (x)||13||3||Green Bay (x)||13||3|
|Houston (y)||11||5||New Orleans (y)||12||4|
|San Diego (y)||12||4||Arizona (y)||9||7|
|Kansas City||8||8||St. Louis||8||8|
|x - home field advantage||y - division winner||z - wild card|
|Wild Card Round||Wild Card Round|
|New York Jets over Houston||Philadelphia over Dallas|
|San Diego over Baltimore||Atlanta over Arizona|
|Divisional Round||Divisional Round|
|Pittsburgh over New York Jets||Green Bay over Atlanta|
|New England over Pittsburgh||Philadelphia over New Orleans|
|AFC Championship||NFC Championship|
|New England over Pittsburgh||Green Bay over Philadelphia|
|Super Bowl: New England over Green Bay|