Wednesday, October 2, 2013

2013 NFL Predictions: October

We are now a month into the regular season and being that it is October now, it is time to get an updated look at my NFL Predictions. Looking blindly into the season is always a hard thing to do. Some teams, like the Giants and Bucs in my case, that you thought were going to do well end up falling on their face. Then there is always several surprise teams that no one saw coming. Now it is still really early and anything can happen, but after seeing a month's worth of football, there is a better outlook at what is going to happen. So it is time for another go at this! As always, I do my predictions game by game in order to come up with a predicted set of standings as to implement strength of schedule into things.

Regular Season Predictions


AFC East
z- New England Patriots - 12-4
y- Miami Dolphins - 11-5
Buffalo Bills - 7-9
New York Jets - 5-11

The Patriots haven't been super impressive, but they have found ways to win and once they get Gronk and Amendola back, Brady will have an offense to work with. I think they will steamroll through their schedule. The Dolphins aren't great, but they are good and they have a cakewalk schedule and will thus challenge the Pats because of that. The Bills are almost there, but yet we say that every season about them. They can never get over the hump. The Jets got off to a surprising 2-1 start, but that was more of a fluke than anything.

AFC North
z- Cincinnati Bengals - 9-7
Cleveland Browns - 8-8
Baltimore Ravens - 7-9
Pittsburgh Steelers - 2-14

I don't even know what to make of this division right now. The Steelers are awful. The Ravens are making last year's Super Bowl seem like a long time ago. The Bengals might win the division by default because of the lack of competition, but even they have looked really weak so far. The Browns in the last two weeks have looked like the best team in the division, but I am not ready to put them at the top as of yet.

AFC South
z- Houston Texans - 10-6
Indianapolis Colts - 9-7
Tennessee Titans - 8-8
Jacksonville Jaguars - 0-16

Right now I am very high on the Colts and they could end up winning the division, but the Texans aren't just going to lay down and die. I think it will be a tough fight the whole season between the two teams. Both teams have to make it through the NFC West and the AFC West, so their schedules aren't a walk in the park. Right now I am still giving the edge to the Texans for now, but it'll be fun to watch. The Titans have been a surprise team, but they just got a shot of bad luck with the injury of Jake Locker. That'll put them back a bit and I don't know if they will be able to catch back up. Meanwhile the Jaguars look so awful, I don't see a single team on their schedule that they can beat.

AFC West
*- Denver Broncos - 16-0
y- Kansas City Chiefs 13-3
San Diego Chargers - 7-9
Oakland Raiders - 4-12

This might give people the most shock as they read this. Yes, I am currently predicting a perfect season for the Denver Broncos. I normally hate doing that, but in addition to looking like one of the best teams in NFL history, the Broncos somehow wound up with a super easy schedule. They have three road games against the Colts, Patriots, and Chiefs. Those games are their only chances of losing a game. The Chiefs also have a super easy schedule. Their only hard games are two against the Broncos, The Colts, and maybe the Chargers if Phillip Rivers has a good game. Speaking of Chargers, they have potential to be a dangerous team, but they also have the potential to be a cake walk for their opponents. Depends on how they feel when they wake up Sunday mornings I guess. Meanwhile, the Raiders have shown promise with a few of their players, but they will be stuck in the basement this season.


NFC East
z- Philadelphia Eagles - 8-8
Dallas Cowboys - 7-9
Washington Redskins - 4-12
New York Giants - 4-12

This is another division that I have no idea what to do with. Currently the Giants are winless and yet not even out of the race. That's how bad it is. The Redskins are so bad that they almost lost to a Raiders team led by Matt Flynn. The Eagles have no defense. And the Cowboys are super talented at choking. Someone's got to win this division and the team that does I think will have only seven or eight wins. Which will be a shame because that team will steal a spot from another team like say the Falcons or the Bears in this situation that will deserve a playoff a lot more.

NFC North
z- Green Bay Packers - 13-3
y- Detroit Lions - 12-4
Chicago Bears - 10-6
Minnesota Vikings - 3-13

The NFC North is going to be super fun to watch. Right now the Lions are leading the division and if Reggie Bush stays healthy, they may not even slow down very much. The Packers got off to a slow start, but I think they will pick it up and go on a huge run. Perhaps 13 games might be a bit too high from what we have seen so far, but with Aaron Rodgers anything can happen. The Bears are also good enough that they could also end up winning the division. The Vikings I could see playing spoiler a time or two, but it looks like Adrian Peterson is the only player on their team that came to play this season and in this tough of a division, that's a problem.

NFC South
z- New Orleans Saints - 12-4
Atlanta Falcons - 9-7
Carolina Panthers - 7-9
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 2-14

I called the Falcons overrated from day one. Four weeks into the season, people are starting to realize why I did so. Last year they got 13 wins off a super easy schedule and struggled doing winning most of them. Now that they actually have a harder schedule, people are seeing how much of a fluke last season was. But they still could compete for a wild card spot. Problem is with how good the NFC North and the NFC West are, if they want to get into the playoffs, they are going to have to win that division and that's not happening. The Saints are looking like the Saints team that won the Super Bowl a few years back and we can give all the credit to Sean Payton returning. Also the Saints' defense has been super good and that's what's made the difference so far. The Panthers are the anomaly here. If you look at their schedule, they will probably be 5-2 heading into their match-up against the Falcons and although I don't see them making the playoffs, they could play spoiler several times. The Bucs, meanwhile, have a ton of talent, but can't do anything it. We're four weeks in and their season is already over.

NFC West
*- Seattle Seahawks - 14-2
y- San Francisco 49ers - 13-3
St. Louis Rams - 6-10
Arizona Cardinals - 4-12

Not too long ago the NFC was the garbage division and now it is one of the best divisions in football. The Niners got off to a bad start, but they will be fine and the Seahawks look super dominate. The Rams would be competitive but for some reason they thought it was a good idea to go into the season with no running back who actually knows how to play the position. Now they probably wish they could go back and at least draft one with one of their several early draft picks they had. The Cardinals on the other hand got blessed with one of the league's hardest schedules and because of that they will have a hard time finding ways to win.

*- clinched homefield advantage
z- clinched division title
y- clinched wild card

Playoff Predictions 

Wild Card Round
3- Houston Texans - W
6- Miami Dolphins - L

4- Cincinnati Bengals - L
5- Kansas City Chiefs - W

3- New Orleans Saints - W
6- Detroit Lions - L

4- Philadelphia Eagles - L
5- San Francisco 49ers - W

In this scenario, the Bengals and Eagles don't really belong and will exit quickly to whoever they play, especially if  it's the Chiefs and the 49ers. The most intriguing match-up would definitely be the Lions and the Saints, which would be a rematch of when the Lions last made the playoffs. Outside the winner of the NFC East, the NFC playoffs are going to be super competitive, while the AFC will be the Broncos, Patriots, then everyone else. Texans vs Dolphins would be a toss up, but whoever wins would just be setting themselves up for a loss in the following round.

Divisional Round
1- Denver Broncos - W
5- Kansas City Chiefs - L

2- New England Patriots - W
3- Houston Texans - L

1- Seattle Seahawks - W
5- San Francisco 49ers - L

2- Green Bay Packers - L
3- New Orleans Saints - W

And here we have some insane match-ups. Chiefs fans will be super happy that their team is finally in the playoffs, but a wild card win will most likely put them up against the Broncos for the third straight time this year and thus send them home packing. The Seahawks and the 49ers may be the best two teams in the NFC, but due to being in the same division, they seem almost destined to meet here in the second round. With the Seahawks at home, I give them the edge. Patriots at this time I am expecting to be playing really good and thus not have much of a problem with the Texans. Saints over Packers is my upset of the round, if you can really call it that. Playing at Lambeau in January is going to be tough if it comes down to that.

Championship Round
1- Denver Broncos - W
2- New England Patriots - L

1- Seattle Seahawks - W
3- New Orleans Saints - L

I always preach that the top two teams in the playoffs rarely meet in the championship game and so I hate to pick the Broncos and Seahawks to both win, but at this point I can't do anything else. The Patriots could be the one team that gives the Broncos problems as Peyton has a hard time winning in the playoffs, but I think it's the Broncos' year. And if the NFC has to go through Seattle, I also have a hard time seeing them lose because of how great their homefield advantage is.

Super Bowl XLVIII
1- Denver Broncos - W
1- Seattle Seahawks - L

This was my preseason pick for the Super Bowl and it is looking like a great pick so far. I really find no reason to change it at this point, even though I do hate picking both top seeds to make the Super Bowl. This is a game that I would be super excited to see happen.


And there you go. I think it is The Broncos' year. And yes, you just saw me predict a perfect 19-0 season for the Broncos. Right now it is super easy to pick the Broncos to win the Super Bowl. But it is super bold to predict this. Yell at me if you want. I don't even know if it's going to happen. But I am going for it right now. If any team can pull it off, it's this year's Broncos.

Predicted Draft Order

1- Jacksonville Jaguars
2- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3- Pittsburgh Steelers
4- Minnesota Vikings
5- Oakland Raiders
6- New York Giants
7- Washington Redskins
8- Arizona Cardinals
9- New York Jets
10- St. Louis Rams
11- Buffalo Bills
12- Carolina Panthers
13- Dallas Cowboys
14- San Diego Chargers
15- Baltimore Ravens
16- Tennessee Titans
17- Cleveland Browns
18- Atlanta Falcons
19- Indianapolis Colts
20- Chicago Bears
21- Philadelphia Eagles
22- Cincinnati Bengals
23- Miami Dolphins
24- Detroit Lions
25- Houston Texans
26- Kansas City Chiefs
27- San Francisco 49ers
28- Green Bay Packers
29- New Orleans Saints
30- New England Patriots
31- Seattle Seahawks
32- Denver Broncos

If you are unaware with how the NFL Draft rankings go, allow me to explain. Picks 21 through 32 belong to the 12 playoff teams. Those spots are first ranked by how far a team got in the playoffs; second by how good their record is; and third by strength of schedule. The team that ranks highest in those gets the worst pick. Thus the Super Bowl champion gets pick number 32 and the Wild Card team with the worst record (or lowest strength of schedule) gets pick 21. Picks 1 through 20 belong to the non-playoff teams and they are ranked solely based off of record first then strength of schedule, the worst team getting the first pick. If two or more teams have the same record and strength of schedule, positioning is determined by a coin flip. Head-to-head match-ups, divisional records, and other things mean nothing. This predicted draft order is determined by following these rules based on the predictions I've made, except that I didn't do the coin flips. I just put them in the spot.

In this scenario with the Jaguars and Bucs getting the top two picks, you gotta think that both would take quarterbacks, being that this is a quarterback rich draft. The Steelers would thus have this year's prize of the draft, defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney, fall right to them. And after the Steelers, you'd have to imagine that the Vikings, Raiders, Cardinals, and Jets would all at least consider taking a quarterback. But I'm not creating a mock draft here. Just presenting the information.

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