Implied Dissent

Thursday, September 04, 2003

It's time for my predictions for the NFL season. Keep in mind that there are 32 teams, and I would consider predicting 20 teams either exactly right or being off by one win to be very good. 16 would be acceptable.
AFC East:
Buffalo: If they stop being so predictable on offense, the improved defense will take them far. 10-6
New England: Still questions about the running game, and cutting Milloy hurts, but a very solid team. 9-7
Miami: It's the same thing every year, so they will fold in December, January if they're lucky. 9-7
New York Jets: I'm probably being too nice given that Pennington is out most of the season and Vinny is looking at old-age assistance homes, but they have some good players. 7-9
AFC North:
Cleveland: Some questions at QB, but a solid team. 9-7
Pittsburgh: The awful pass defense will keep them doing much. 9-7
Baltimore: Defense still good, offense still questionable, so it balances out. 8-8
Cincinnati: Marvin Lewis doubles last year's win total. Unfortunately it takes another double to break-even. 4-12
AFC South:
Tennessee: Steve McNair looks like he's making The Leap. If Eddie George isn't done like I think he is, a great team. 10-6
Indianapolis: It's time for Peyton to start winning big games, but he is great in the regular season. They need James close to full strength to go far. 10-6
Jacksonville: Honestly, I don't know much about this team. 7-9
Houston: Look for an improved o-line and QB play, but no more sneaking up on people. 5-11
AFC West:
Denver: Maybe Jake Plummer just needed a change of scenery. Or maybe he's awful. I don't feel comfortable with this pick. 10-6
San Diego: Look for some improvement from Brees and the pass defense, but losing Seau will hold them back, at least this year. 9-7
Oakland: While still good, they're getting older. Gannon comes back down to Earth this season. 9-7
Kansas City: An improved defense will give them hope, but I doubt Holmes will come close to last year's production. 8-8
NFC East:
Philadelphia: Still my pick as the best team. Though why they won't spend a little money to 'guarantee' going all the way is beyond me though. 10-6
New York Giants: Some good players, nothing exciting really. 9-7
Washington: No good reason to expect improvement, and Spurrier doesn't impress me. 6-10
Dallas: Parcells will help, but they still suck at QB, so for this year they only improve a bit. 6-10
NFC North
Green Bay: As long as Favre is looking good they have a shot, but I think their last two games last year showed something, and it wasn't good. 9-7
Minnesota: They run the ball extremely well, but Randy Moss' maturity and the defense could hold them back again. 7-9
Chicago: Expect some improvement now that they will have an actual home-field, but Kordell at QB? ouch. 6-10
Detroit: Mariucci helps, but you can only do so much in one year. 6-10
NFC South:
Tampa Bay: They will have a typical post Super Bowl season letdown, but should be good enough to make the playoffs. 9-7
New Orleans: As usual, they'll start strong and fade at the end. 9-7
Carolina: The defense stays strong, and the offense picks up enough to break even, no more. 8-8
Atlanta: Vick's out for the first 4 games, and will probably take a few games to get back to playing like he did last year, but otherwise they seem stronger than last year, and that will keep them respectable. 7-9
NFC West:
San Francisco: Great offense, poor defense. 9-7
Saint Louis: The offense will come back, but in spurts, as I think Faulk will miss a few games here and there. 9-7
Seattle: Holmgren seems to stay right around .500 or below without Favre. 7-9
Arizona: I think Emmitt's got about 1000 yards left in him, and the D should be somewhat better. 6-10
AFC: Buffalo, New England, Pittsburgh, Indiana, Tennessee, and Denver
NFC: Philadelphia, Green Bay, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Saint Louis
Superbowl: Philadelphia over Buffalo


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