Your esteemed writers at Battle Red Blog have peered into the almighty crystal ball and have made our picks for this NFL season. Bookmark this page so you can come back and giggle until your face turns blue from choking on your own laughter. If you escape death, you can point at us and call us names after Week 8. Below is a table with the division winners and wild card winners as predicted by your beloved BRB staff. That's all followed by our Super Bowl predictions and Texans analysis for the 2013 season.
Division/Wild Card Predictions
Division and the number of picks each team recieved
|AFCWC||BAL:7 CIN:3 KC:4 IND:4 MIA:3 CLE:2 PIT: 1 SD:1|
|NFCE||WSH:8 PHI:3 NYG:1 DAL:1|
|NFCS||NO:8 ATL:4 TB:1|
|NFCWC||SEA:8 SF:4 CHI:3 GB:2 WSH:2 ATL:2 CAR:1 TB:1 NO:1 DET:1|
Super Bowl & Texans Predictions
Texans Analysis: Barring the always frightening specter of injury, the Texans should win the AFC South for a third consecutive year. I've got 'em penciled in at 11-5. I'll also predict that this is the year the good guys advance past the divisional round of the AFC Playoffs. Although my heart says they can and should take down the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, my head says my heart is alarmingly stupid until we see evidence that the Texans can defend a spread attack.
Thus, I'll say that the Texans' 2013 season ends in the AFCCG at the hands of New England.
Texans Analysis: Joe Marciano. F' that guy.
MBW: Super Bowl Prediction- Patriots over 49ers.
Texans Analysis: Oh, another year of Sundays devoted to the gospel of Wade and Kubiak. I believe Houston will sleepwalk through the regular season, go 5-1 in the division, win a few of their tough non-divisional games, and finish the season 10-6. Then they'll beat Kansas City on Wild Card weekend (it's a shame Cincy is going to win the AFC North), win in Denver (I'm out on Denver until they beat a team over .500), and go back to New England, only to lose to Tom Brady for the fourth time in four years.
The problem is Houston's schedule is too difficult to expect a 13-3 season and the chance to gain home field advantage. There's no way I see them winning in New England. Houston has trouble with offenses who employ top tier quarterbacks that pick apart Wade's "bring 5 or 6 every down" defense. Schuab can win games against playoff teams if there's a total team effort, but he can't outduel Rodgers/Brees/Brady on his own. New England capitalizes on both of Houston's fatal flaws and wins the AFC Championship. There will be a perfect storm of dread in the East Coast this February when our faces turn a ghastly white as Bill Belichick's dastardly haunted hoodie rains wickedness upon thee.
Corzo: Super Bowl Prediction- 49ers over Texans.
Texans Analysis: Barring injuries of course, many stars are aligning for the Texans to make a deep run in the AFC. Ultimately, I don't think they'll be able to handle the talent-dripping teams of the NFC. However, I would love to be wrong.
Brett Kollmann-Super Bowl Prediction- Texans over Falcons.
Texans Analysis: If I'm a betting man, which I'm technically not allowed to be, then I'm (hypothetically) putting all my chips on Houston this year. Improved run blocking via Brandon Brooks and Greg Jones should help 'Shock and Awe' continue their dominance as the premier one-two running back punch in the league. With the success of the run games comes success from the play-action passing game. This year features more weapons than ever before with the addition of first round pick DeAndre Hopkins, the return of DeVier Posey, and the quiet emergence of Garrett Graham as a receiving weapon down field. Houston's offense has a plethora of ways to beat people both on the ground and through the air. That should help mitigate those frustrating offensive stalls that Texans fans had to endure late in the 2012 season.
On the defensive side of the ball, J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, and Johnathan Joseph are all finally fully healthy and ready to unleash hell on the league. Kareem Jackson, Antonio Smith, Whitney Mercilus, Danieal Manning, and both of the Reeds are nothing to sneeze at either. The Bulls on Parade have never been more dangerous than they are right now. By working in tandem with the always potent Gary Kubiak offense, they should be able to propel this franchise to never before seen heights.
Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen, this team is loaded. L-O-A-D-E-D.
bigfatdrunk: Super Bowl Prediction- Patriots over Seahawks.
Texans Analysis: Right now, I'm going with a 10-6 record for your JUGGERNAUT. While the team has better depth at some areas, and this is certainly a talented roster, the holes are too gaping for additional optimism. Derek Newton, Shiloh Keo, and Joe Mays are possibly the three worst players in the league at their respective positions. And Marciano is bound to cost the team at least one game this season with his eternal crappiness.
Once we get to the playoffs, I don't think we'll match up well against either the Patriots or Broncos, one of which will eventually bounce us out. Not unlike last season, we'll simply be out-coached.
I'm sorry if this sounds pessimistic, so let's end on a happy fuzzy note: Brandon Brooks, DeAndre Hopkins, Garrett Graham, Cierre Wood, Jared Crick, EMFM, Whitney Mercilus, Willie Jefferson, and D.J. Swearinger. And these are just the NEW(ish) guys. This is going to be a very fun team to watch.
UprootedTexan: Super Bowl Prediction- Seahawks over Broncos.
Texans Analysis: I want to be more bullish on the Texans than I am. I really do, but I keep seeing that massive glaring hole at right tackle we call Derek Newton, questionable depth at linebacker, and, lest we forget, Joe Marciano in any kind of position of authority. It gives me cause for concern.
That said, with the defense coming back intact (thank goodness Cushing's back), and some new weapons on offense, I think there is potential for the Texans to make a lot of noise this year...more so than even last year.
But I think the biggest determinate will be strength of schedule. Make no mistake, the Texans have a brutal schedule this year, facing one of the toughest divisions in the NFC, and the Ravens, Broncos, and Patriots are going to cause the coaching staff no end of headaches.
All in all, I'm going to say they finish 11-5 but get cut down in the AFC title game by the Broncos.
TexansDC: Super Bowl Prediction- 49ers over Broncos.
Texans Analysis: Watching the Texans over the preseason, I got the distinct impression that this is a 10-6 team. The defense was good, but their play left me with questions about the nickel and dime depth, particularly at safety. The offense was okay, but whither Arian Foster? Whither the red zone offense? I think this regular season won't be as smooth as last year, but that's okay. We've seen teams limp in and then get hot towards the end. I do think Houston will pick up steam towards the end, if for no other reason than that's what the focus is this year. Like Atlanta last season, this is a team whose business is in January. They care about getting there and getting past round two. I think Ben Tate'll make a huge difference in that so the running game doesn't sputter out on one man's legs. Unfortunately for Texans fans, Peyton Manning has been the bane of this franchise's existence, and he and his three-headed receiving monster will be the nail in the coffin come the AFC Championship Game.
riversmccown: Superb Owl- 49ers over Bengals.
Texans Analysis: I think 10-6 or 11-5 are reasonable guesses. I also think the Texans have a paper-thin schedule, and that the idea that Ed Reed will magically instill teh feer in Brady or Manning is stupid. I could see the Texans making the Super Bowl because this is a down year for the AFC, but I wouldn't bet on it.
TehGrindCrusher: Super Bowl Prediction- 49ers over Patriots.
Texans Analysis: Like that video with the dude in the oversized white suit that made fake karate-chopping motions on his arm, same as it ever was. Somewhere around ten wins, a victory or two in the playoffs, and then a completely unsurprising loss to the Patriots, a/k/a Steel Blue Kryptonite. Gary Kubiak will confuse his play sheet with an actual Denny's menu, and as a result Matt Schaub will run onto the field with a Banana Caramel French Toast Skillet. Duane Brown will eat the whole thing (including the skillet) in one massive gulp, causing him to miss a block and give up a sack which results in Schaub developing a sudden prolapse. Brian Cushing will mysteriously disappear after leaking sensitive national security secrets and Arian Foster will quit football and move to an ashram in Darjeeling.
You know, the usual stuff.
D_More55: Super Bowl Prediction- Packers over Patriots.
Texans Analysis: The Texans have played their hand well over the past few seasons and still have enough talent to have a tight grip on to the AFC South crown in 2013. We can only hope that the return of Brian Cushing will help cover up some the lack of depth at the position. Ed Reed won't fix everything in the secondary, but he is a game-changer when healthy.
As for the offense, I don't expect much to change, and that's kind the problem with the Texans. The league is moving more toward high-risk quarterbacks that expend the ability of the offense to score instead the sure-handed quarterbacks matriculating the ball down the field. This year will be much like 2012, except Houston exits the playoffs in the AFC Championship Game this time around.
Bayless Parsley: Super Bowl- Texans over 49ers.
Texans Analysis: #grindflu
Vega: Super Bowl- Packers over Broncos.
Texans Analysis: Well, here we are again. Last year I chose the Texans to win the whole enchilada because why the hell not? This year, I'm pulling back from that prediction a bit for two reasons: 1) I'm just not seeing enough appreciable improvement; and 2) That didn't work so well last year, so let's try something different.
On offense, I think the team will be about the same as last year. The right side of the line will be a little better, but still a weakness. That will again limit the running game and play-action effectiveness. Andre will be Andre, though Nuk will definitely help out. I think rest of the receiving corps will be a hair better than last year. OD and Graham will still be solid, but I think Martin will be a bit more of a factor this year. On the ground, I think Greg Jones will help, but I'm worried about Foster's durability. Dude's gotten a lot of work in the past few years. I think Ben Tate is the real key here, but he seems to struggle when he gets nicked up and that is going to happen as a running back.
Defensively, it's all about J.J. Watt. There's not much to say about him that hasn't been said. I think the D-line will be the strength, but I'm a bit concerned about the linebacker situation. Yeah, Cushing is back and he'll do his thing, but outside of him (and Reed), it's a bunch of question marks. I wish we could have seen more of Mercilus in the preseason so that I could feel better about him, but he's still a very young dude with very little experience. Jackson and J-Jo are going to be solid again, but when you play that much man, the better QBs will get their shots. I think we'll miss Glover Quin a lot and there's just not much depth in the secondary.
Overall, it should be another good season, but I just don't see this team being strong enough to beat the Pats or Broncos in the playoffs.
There you have it. Feel free to critique us in every way possible in the comments. The mic is now yours.