Welcome back for round three of my 2010/2011 NFL season predictions. Next week I will be doing the AFC and NFC Wet divisions, so that should be interesting. This week though, as promised, the AFC and NFC North divisions. Also, in two weeks I will be wrapping up my predictions with the playoff and Super Bowl picks, so let Vegas know in two weeks you’ll be putting down some major money. And finally, this Tuesday I am going to give my take on the actions of two certain athletes that will remain nameless until then. Now let’s get to the predictions.
I have the Baltimore Ravens winning this division, simply because I have little faith in the rest of the division. Also, the Ravens have made significant progress on the offensive side of the ball, and even though that defense has definitely lost a step, I believe they are good enough to win the close games, particularly within the division. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Ravens went 12-4 or 8-8, but I just have more faith in them as a team then I do for any others in this division.
Picking up Terrell Owens is a smart move. The Bengals picking up T.O., in my opinion, isn’t. Yes I have seen the interviews that he and Chad Ochocinco have had together, and I watched the Hall of Fame game, and I’ve been told by many people to wait until the season starts. But I honestly don’t believe they will be able to share the spotlight in Cincinnati long enough to win this division. A playoff run is definitely not out of the question, because whatever problems those two may cause, the rest of the team is pretty solid. There are two wildcard slots, I believe the Bengals will fight for one of them.
This one will be short, sorry Steelers fans. Ben Rottenburger is suspended at least four games, there is no question about that. Byron Leftwitch is presumably the starter, and they traded away the number one receiver to the Jets. I just see too many issues surrounding this team to be any sort of contender this year.
And that brings us to the Cleveland Browns. I’m also going to keep this one short. I see improvements being made, and progress towards the future, but this is not the year, sadly to say, since Cleveland has already been through so much…
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay, Wisconsin has got to be one the smallest of the NFL cities, but there is no denying the loyalty they show towards the beloved Packers. I believe they will have plenty to cheer for this upcoming season, as I have them winning this division. They are the most complete TEAM in this division, and were only two wins or so away from the division last year, despite Aaron Rodgers spending more time on his back then a dead fish. I only see improvements from Green Bay this year, so I am putting them back at the top of this division.
Which brings me quite nicely to the Minnesota Vikings. An offseason filled with will he or won’t he, oh yeah of course he will, he texted retirements, no he didn’t, etc. etc. And of course, just like the majestic groundhog, he saw his teammates beg, and so he must return for one? More season. The receiving corps is slightly depleted while Percy Harvin deals with medical issues, and Adrian Peterson isn’t looking like the best running back in the league. Couple this with all the other intended drama, and I barely see a wildcard team.
I feel like Chicago is going to turn some heads this year. With the additions on offense and defense, and the mad scientist himself, Mike Martz, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears were contending for a wildcard spot this year. And there is a real possibility that they may not be as good on the field as they are on paper, but as they say, only time will tell.
The Detroit Lions won a total of two games last season. I believe they will win at least five, and for that team, it is an improvement. They still have a long way to go to be relevant in the NFL, let alone this division.