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NFL Predictions for 2007
by John Canton (NFL)
Posted on September 3, 2007, 3:58 PM

Welcome to my NFL preview. This will be pretty basic and to the point. Also for those that are wondering I won't be doing an NFL picks column this year. I simply don't have the time for it. Sorry. Now onto the preview...

AFC (aka The Good Half of the League)

EAST
New England 12-4 (1)
NY Jets 9-7
Buffalo 7-9
Miami 4-12

Pats will roll. They're too good in every area. I don't know if they're as good as the awesome 2004 team that went on that incredible winning streak. They seem as deep and as scary as ever, though...Jets will be good like last year, but with a tougher schedule it'll be tough to get back in the playoffs...The Bills will start slow (something like 2-6) and their offense will be really good by year's end. The defense has too many holes, though...Miami's D is very good, but the offense is atrocious and that means a lot of losing.

NORTH
Baltimore 11-5 (4)
Pittsburgh 10-6 * (6)
Cincinnati 9-7
Cleveland 4-12

This division is too hard to predict. Any of the top three can win...I don't love the Ravens, but the defense is too good to not get in the playoffs while the offense plays mistake free ball mostly...Roethlisberger will carry Pittsburgh as he makes the Pro Bowl...Still not enough defense in Cincinnati (do they have any above average defenders?) to get them over the hump...Same story as usual for the Browns. They do have nice building blocks on offense, though.

SOUTH
Indianapolis 12-4 (2)
Jacksonville 8-8
Tennessee 7-9
Houston 5-11

As has been the case for much of the decade, the Colts will have this division won in early December...There's no reason why the Colts won't win it comfortably again because they'll still have that hunger...I really love the Jags D. However, how can you like a team with a guy like David Garrard starting knowing that there are backups better than that guy? I can't...Love Vince Young as much as any young QB in the game, but the rest of their offense is among the worst in the league. That's going to hurt...I like the moves the Texans have made in general. They're just not good enough yet.

WEST
San Diego 11-5 (3)
Denver 11-5 * (5)
Kansas City 5-11
Oakland 4-12

Norv Turner's poor coaching will cost the Chargers a couple of wins. Mark my words. On paper they should win it all, but would you bet on a Norv Turner team in the playoffs against a team coached by Bellichick, Shanahan, Dungy or Billick? I know I wouldn't...I nearly picked Denver to win the division. I think they have the best defense in all of football. They're fast all over the place and with Dre Bly as their second corner they will be tough to throw on. Plus the whole team will be inspired by the tragic passing of Darrent Williams. I like the Broncos a lot this year...Larry Johnson, meet 9 man fronts. Worst offense in football belongs to the Chiefs...I see very little reasons for the Raiders to be improved despite a good defensive group.

I really hate picking the same four division winners because it rarely happens in the NFL. I don't think the Pats or Colts will be beat. I think the Chargers or Ravens will, but I don't have enough confidence to come right out and pick it.

PLAYOFFS
Broncos over Ravens
Chargers over Steelers

Patriots over Broncos
Chargers over Colts

Patriots over Chargers

I know I knocked Norv Turner above. I stand by it. I think the Chargers are the perfect match against the Colts because of the way they pressure the QB. I don't think they can get by the Pats just like last year. The Pats have their number.

NFC (aka The Bad Half of the League)

EAST
Philadelphia 10-6 (4)
Dallas 10-6 * (6)
Washington 7-9
NY Giants 6-10

The Eagles win by default more than anything else. I don't really like them that much, but they have less flaws than the other teams in this crappy division...Not sure what to think of Dallas. They'll look elite every so often because they have that kind of talent on defense, but I'm not sold on the offense or Wade Phillips coaching...The only really safe prediction I feel like I can make with this division is that Joe Gibbs and Tom Coughlin won't be coaching next year. I don't know why either is coaching this year.

NORTH
Chicago 10-6 (3)
Minnesota 8-8
Detroit 6-10
Green Bay 6-10

This is the worst division in football again, just edging out the NFC East and South...The Bears will be worse this year because Grossman is clearly rattled, Benson isn't as good as Thomas Jones was especially when he's got to carry the load, but who else in this shit division is going to beat them? Their defense will win them enough games...The Vikes will win the division next year if Tavares Jackson progresses a bit. Their defense is underrated and I think Adrian Peterson is a star in the second half of this season...I would love the Lions offense if their QB wasn't Jon (INT) Kitna and they had better backs. Love the Williams/Johnson duo for the future. Need a better backfield, though. Defensively they have too many holes...I don't know what to think of the Packers although I do like some of their defensive players. Without a running game you're going to lose. Please stop putting them on primetime. Thanks.

SOUTH

New Orleans 12-4 (1)
Carolina 8-8
Tampa Bay 6-10
Atlanta 2-14

It's hard not to like the Saints with the way Drew Brees is playing. Love the RBs too. Defensively they're not very good, but since it's the NFC it's good enough...I remember last year I said the Panthers wouldn't make the playoffs and I got berated. Then they didn't make the playoffs. Just like last year they'll fail to get in for a below average OL, the worst running game in football and a QB that throws too many picks. To their credit, I like the defense a lot especially that DL...Jeff Garcia was bad in Detroit and bad in Cleveland. He was good in Philly because the personnel was good. In Tampa the personnel is bad just like with the other teams. They'll be a losing team...The Falcons are getting the first pick. At least top three. They're bad all over the place. Even if they had The Dog Whisperer on the team they'd be a bad team. I'll be betting heavily against them all year. They are this year's Raiders.

WEST
Seattle 11-5 (2)
St. Louis 10-6 * (3)
San Francisco 8-8
Arizona 7-9

Man, I wish my Rams were in the shitty NFC North...I think people are sleeping on the Seahawks just because Shaun Alexander was hurt last year. Even without him they won another division and they didn't lose anybody in the offseason. The OL isn't as good as it was, but the defense is pretty good (for an NFC team - yes I love bashing the NFC) and I think Alexander's in for one of his huge years. Throw in solid QB play and you've got a double digit win team...My Rams are a top three offense this year with the addition of Bennett and McMichael to the offense. Last year the team won 8, so I think an improvement of two wins is very likely. The question is always the defense, which I think will be a bit better thanks to some veteran additions, plus a good rookie in Adam Carriker. If we win 9 or 10 this year then next year we can be a Super Bowl contender...The Niners have a nice group that's still too young. They will use this year to grow a bit more before becoming a real playoff team...Should the Cards be better? I guess. It's the Cards, though, so they'll find a way to lose despite having good talent.

I honestly think zero teams in the NFC would make the playoffs in the AFC. The AFC has the six best teams in the league, maybe seven if you throw in the Bengals. The Saints are basically the equivalent of the Bengals.

PLAYOFFS

Rams over Eagles
Bears over Cowboys

Saints over Rams
Seahawks over Bears

Saints over Seahawks

The Saints and Seahawks are the two best teams in the conference. I don't really have a question about that. I think the difference lies in the fact that Brees is playing so incredibly well. You rarely win in this league with poor QB play.

SUPER BOWL

Patriots over Saints

I know it's a safe pick. I didn't try to make a safe pick. That's just what I think. The reality is that at best I'll get 8 of the 12 playoff teams right. I hope I get more, but I've been watching football too long to think that it's a realistic possibility.

I should add too that I'll be shocked if a team other than the Pats, Colts or Chargers wins it all. They're the best teams. Obviously anything can happen, but those are the three that I'd look at as the Super Bowl Champs in the end.

AWARDS

MVP
1. Tom Brady QB Patriots (Never had the regular season numbers to win it until this year.),
2. Brees
3. Manning (Do I have to put a P in there? It won't be Eli!)
4. Tomlinson
5. S. Jackson
Defensive Player - Champ Bailey CB Broncos (Should have won last year.)
Coach - Bill Bellichick (I doubt he wins it, but he should have a few of these by now.)
Offensive Rookie - Adrian Peterson RB Vikings
Defensive Rookie - Patrick Willis LB 49ers

OTHER PREDICTIONS

Passer Rating - Tom Brady (Just edging out Manning because he finally has great weapons.)
Rushing Yards - Shaun Alexander (Big bounce back year for him.)
Touchdowns - LaDainian Tomlinson (He will finish with 22 to 25 touchdowns. Last year's number was too sick. Teams will key on him so much in the red zone that he'll get less TDs. The offense won't suffer, though.)
Sacks - Julius Peppers (Contract year. Look out.)
INTs - Dre Bly (Because teams will be afraid to throw at Bailey, which is why Bailey deserves the Defensive Player award.)

Lastly, my prediction is my predictions will probably be wrong, but thanks for reading anyway!

I'll hopefully be back throughout the year with some thoughts on the season.

Thanks for reading,
John Canton
oratoryjohn@gmail.com




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