Full 2013 NFL Preview: All 32 Teams And Playoff Picks
2013 NFL Preview
It's about that time of the year again. Are we all ready for some NFL football? I was hoping you'd say that.
Every team has now played through their third preseason game, which means its time for my annual season preview. I'll be predicting the records of all 32 teams, playoffs and all that good stuff. This will be the fourth year of my full season preview (first with Rant Sports).
Making predictions before a single game is played is not easy. Super Bowl predictions are even harder as I've only gotten one team right over the past three years (Green Bay in 2010). All three years of picking, I've correctly picked seven out of the twelve playoff teams. Nine correct playoff teams is what I aim for every year, so hopefully 2013 will be my lucky season.
I can also guarantee that I went through every game Week 1 through Week 17 and picked winners for all of them. I did this because last year one of my readers called me out on the wrong math of the records I predicted (yes the person was an accountant). So to avoid that same embarrassment with a now increased audience, I did my due diligence.
Like I said before, it’s never easy predicting records. Even as I write this, I’m still not sure of who my champion will be. How about we all figure it out together? Come along for the journey which will be the 2013 NFL season. Enjoy the show.
New York Giants: 9-7 (1st NFC East)
It was hard picking a winner for the NFC East. I went with the Giants because it's rare they miss the playoffs two years in a row. Eli Manning will continue to be up and down like always, but the real question will be how the run game will work with guys like David Wilson and Andre Brown. Defensively, the Giants will have a sick pass rush as always. Nine wins will probably win the division.
Washington Redskins: 8-8 (2nd NFC East)
I was actually going to pick the Redskins to win the division at first, but I was talked out of it by a Redskins fan. If you're reading this, you know who you are. This individual doubted that RG3 can stay healthy all season and predicted the Skins to finish 6-10. I'm a little more optimistic as the defense will get back Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker. I think the Redskins will be in contention the whole year before losing a heartbreaker to the Giants in Week 17.
Dallas Cowboys: 8-8 (3rd NFC East)
I'm going to say what I said last year. As long as the Jason Garrett/Tony Romo combo continues to coexist, I can't trust this team. Simple as that.
Philadelphia Eagles: 4-12 (4th NFC East)
Sorry, I'm buying into the Chip Kelly offense, or that Michael Vick isn't finished or that this team won't miss Jeremy Maclin. This will be a season that could possibly cause the Eagles organization to expand the jail that they have in their own stadium.
Chicago Bears: 10-6 (1st NFC North)
The Bears have burned me before (i.e. last season), but I'm willing to give them one last shot. The defense is still one of the best units in the league even without an over the hill Brian Urlacher. Alshon Jeffrey has had a strong preseason and can hopefully be a reliable target the Bears need outside of Brandon Marshall. The offensive line still has some issues, but call me crazy, I believe in Jay Cutler this year. Wow, I really am crazy. Right or wrong, I'll stick with it though.
Green Bay Packers: 10-6 (2nd NFC North)
The Packers will be just barely edged out by the Bears for the division title, but they'll get one of the wild card spots no problem. The Packers finally addressed their need for running back help in the draft with Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin. The running game will take pressure off of Aaron Rodgers and make him even more dangerous then he already is. In addition, the new and improved running game will help keep a sub-par defense off the field. The Packers will once again be a contender.
Detroit Lions: 8-8 (3rd NFC North)
In 2011, the Lions overachieved with a 10-6 record. In 2011, they crapped the bed at 4-12. In 2013, they'll be just right at 8-8. I love the addition of Reggie Bush, but still I feel the Lions are more suited to win fantasy football more than the real games. I guess it's better to be mediocre then 0-16 though.
Minnesota Vikings: 6-10 (4th NFC North)
A classic overachiever one year and regression team the year after. I always thought Greg Jennings was a little overrated and I'm not sure what to make of Cordarelle Patterson. We all know Adrian Peterson will still be a beast even when facing mostly eight-man fronts. But QB Christian Ponder remains a mystery. He's in a group of QBs I've created called, "Is this dude good or what?" I can see it now, Ponder being lost for the season after keeping the team afloat at 4-3 and enter Matt Cassel to ruin everything. At least you'll get a new stadium soon, Minnesota.
New Orleans Saints: 11-5 (1st NFC South)
You want a bold prediction? How about the New Orleans Saints at 11-5 and NFC South Champions? The return of head coach Sean Payton, along with a greater emphasis on the run game and a defense that new DC Rob Ryan could make the defense at least average. That my friends is how you dig yourself out of the gutter, not that 7-9 is the gutter... All right, moving on now.
Atlanta Falcons: 10-6 (2nd NFC South)
That 13-3 record was a little fluky last year; 10-6 is going to be more like it in 2013 for the Falcons. The Falcons will grab the second wild card spot behind the Packers. The gambling gods can't resist putting the Falcons and Matt Ryan in a playoff road game this year. Too bad Ryan doesn't have an epic sad face after turnover like Joe Flacco and the Manning boys.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 9-7 (3rd NFC South)
I'm still mad at this team from last year. I got my Seattle and Indianapolis sleeper picks right last season and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could have completed the trifecta for me. But the Bucs were just a tease, they lured me with their cheap perfume of a winning streak half way through the season. They couldn't resist stinking it up at the end, though, including a home loss to the Eagles. Really? A loss at home to the craptastic Eagles? Remember what I said about Christian Ponder? Josh Freeman is in that same group, although I might be leaning more towards the negative for him. I do like Darelle Revis though.
Carolina Panthers: 8-8 (4th NFC South)
The defense led by pretty-boy killer Luke Kuechly will keep this team in some games. Only problem is that besides Steve Smith, all the receivers stink worse then something that smells bad (it's better not to even try at humor sometimes). Cam Newton, I feel, needs a celebrity comparison. Newton is blessed with god-given talent and an incredible physique, but he's a diva who folds at the first sign of problems. Early career Ben Affleck? Or maybe Lindsay Lohan as the female equivalent. I'm open to suggestions people.
San Francisco 49ers: 12-4 (1st NFC West)
I'm with the consensus that the 49ers will be the top seed in the NFC. The injury of Michael Crabtree hurts, but Anquan Boldin will help ease his loss for whatever amount of time he's out. These guys are still one of the best, if not the best defensive units in the league with Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith, Navarro Bowman and etc.
Seattle Seahawks: 9-7 (2nd NFC West)
Seattle is a shoo-in for the playoffs right? I'm not so sure. This could be a case of the classic over-hyped team that doesn't live up to expectations. Defense and home-field advantage are very strong for this team, but when you have to count on Percy Harvin for anything, that's not a good sign.
Arizona Cardinals: 8-8 (3rd NFC West)
Definitely some sleeper potential here. It's a shame that first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper is probably lost for the season. It's hard to imagine more then eight wins with Carson Palmer behind a bad line.
St. Louis Rams: 7-9 (4th NFC West)
This is another team with some sleeper potential. Only problem is somebody has to finish last in this division. Did I mention that Sam Bradford is the third QB in the, "Is this dude good or what?" group. I do think Tavon Austin will be awesome, though, I'm calling at least three kick return touchdowns for him.
New England Patriots: 11-5 (1st AFC East)
The window is closed for Tom Brady and crew, right? It would certainly seem that way with no Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. Let us not forget that the two top tight ends will be missing. One can't stay healthy and the other turned out to be Scarface. There's still hope for Rob Gronkowski to come back at some point, so that's a good thing. Personally, I think the Patriots will be better off this way, as that's how they thrived in the early 2000s. Road playoff games will be a good thing for this team.
Miami Dolphins: 6-10 (2nd AFC East)
Sorry, not buying into them. I figured teams would know not to emulate the Dan Snyder method of building a team. Buying every big name without a concept of how they'll all come together is never the way to go. Can't wait to see all the sideline shots of a disinterested Mike Wallace.
Buffalo Bills: 6-10 (3rd AFC East)
Why Buffalo? Why? I want to pick you, but your schedule is really difficult. It's hard for me to imagine how well you can do against the AFC North and NFC South in addition to two games against New England. I do like E.J. Manuel, though, and the new emphasis on speedy skill position players. Maybe next year, Buffalo.
New York Jets: 3-13 (4th AFC East)
Ladies and Gentleman! With the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the New York Jets select... Yeah, I only found three wins for the Jets. They will be a total disaster and a joke, which is a shame because the defense could be good. Time to move on to a better opportunity, Rex Ryan.
Baltimore Ravens: 10-6 (1st AFC North)
I've said it a million times, the defense will be back to the standard Baltimore Ravens' defense. The pass rush with Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil will be absolutely sick. The offense will be hit or miss every game, even with Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and Torrey Smith. It will be a tough road, but the Ravens are still kings of the AFC North.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 9-7 (2nd AFC North)
When are the Pittsburgh Steelers usually good? Years like this where there's no expectations and they can just fly under the radar. I'm not fooled, though, they were 8-8 last year and had a few fluky losses. The defense will be just fine, Jarvis Jones is going to be a beast. More importantly, if Big Ben Roethlisberger can stay healthy, then this team could do some damage.
Cincinnati Bengals: 9-7 (3rd AFC North)
What? You mean someone actually picked the Cincinnati Bengals to finish third in the division. I also have the Steelers and another surprise 9-7 team barely edging out the Bengals for the wild card spots. I admit on paper the Bengals are looking pretty good. they have an insane pass rush with Gino Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and now former Steeler James Harrison. Giovanni Bernard and Tyler Eifert should be really nice additions to the offense to go along with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. If the Bengals can survive their opening five games (@CHI,PITT,GB,@CLEV,NE) then I'll be a believer.
Cleveland Browns: 7-9 (4th AFC North)
The Cleveland Browns are not that bad. I wouldn't be totally surprised if they were a little better then the 7-9 record I have them at. I've been saying for years that the defense is highly underrated, especially with players like Joe Haden, D'Qwell Jackson and now former Ravens pass-rush specialist Paul Kruger. The Browns won't be an easy out.
Houston Texans: 12-4 (1st AFC South)
The return of Brian Cushing will be huge for the Houston Texans this year. J.J. Watt (Biff Tannen) will continue to destroy everything in his path. The real question, though, is if Ed Reed has anything left in the tank. If he does that will be an enormous boost to an already potent unit. On the offensive side, rookie DeAndre Hopkins might finally be the No. 2 receiver that the Texans have been looking for to compliment Andre Johnson. The Texans will once again be a contender in the AFC.
Indianapolis Colts: 8-8 (2nd AFC South)
Believe it or not, I think the Indianapolis Colts could be better this year then in 2012. Why do I have them at 8-8 then? Let's be honest, the Colts had a few lucky wins last year combined with a big shot of emotional steroids (Chuckstrong). Don't get me wrong, I love me some Andrew Luck, but it's impossible to have that type of luck (no pun intended) two years in a row. Still, the Colts will be in the wild card race for most of the season.
Tennessee Titans: 5-11 (3rd AFC South)
I thought about the Tennessee Titans as a sleeper, but as I went through their schedule, I only came up with five wins. I don't have much else to say about the Titans. Jake Locker is kind of fun to watch, but the rest of the team is kind of boring.
Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-12 (4th AFC South)
Need I say anything about these bums? I'm surprised I even had them at four wins. Los Angeles is waiting for you, Jaguars .
Denver Broncos: 12-4 (1st AFC West)
Just like the 49ers, I'm with the consensus that says the Denver Broncos will be the top dog in the AFC. The loss of Von Miller for six games hurts, along with injuries to Champ Bailey and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie. All will be well, though, because the Broncos still have Peyton Manning, the greatest regular season QB of all time. The addition of Wes Welker to go along with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker will make up for the lack of a run game.
Kansas City Chiefs: 9-7 (2nd AFC West)
Here's the surprise 9-7 wild card team I was talking about earlier. The Kansas City Chiefs were probably the best 2-14 team I've ever seen. The defense and run game were good, but this team was plagued by bad QB play and gutless play calling. Enter Alex Smith, who isn't the greatest QB, but he's the QB this team needs right now.
San Diego Chargers: 5-11 (3rd AFC West)
At least Norv Turner is out as head coach. Besides that, I'm failing to see too many positives for this team. Phillip Rivers behind a bad line, no running game and no receivers. It's going to be a long year. Stay classy, San Diego.
Oakland Raiders: 4-12 (4th AFC West)
Last and almost least is the soap scum of the league. Take a bow, Oakland Raiders, that's you. I don't know what I could say that hasn't been said already about these bums. They'll stink, it will be embarrassing and everyone will laugh at them. That's with Matt Flynn or Terrelle Pryor.
AFC/NFC Wild Card
Chicago over Atlanta
Green Bay over New York
New England over Pittsburgh
Baltimore over Kansas City
AFC/NFC Divisional Round
Green Bay over San Francisco
New Orleans over Chicago
Denver over Baltimore
New England over Houston
Green Bay over New Orleans
New England over Denver
Super Bowl 48
Green Bay over New England
So there it is, after three years in a row of picking the Packers to lose in the Super Bowl, I have them winning this one against a Patriots team that will get back to their early-2000 roots. My apologies to all Packers fans. This is the Super Bowl that everyone has wanted for a while, too bad instead of a 41-38 shootout in a nice climate, it will probably be an ugly 13-10 game in a blizzard. Awesome idea to have the Super Bowl in New Jersey. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed the show. Make sure to give me your feedback on any or all of my social media sites listed below. Thanks and enjoy the 2013 NFL Season.