The NFL season officially starts today, and like always, Dented Cans is on the ball with it’s article. But don’t be weary as this analysis of the upcoming season is the most accurate you’ll find on the net. I have looked at all the publication for references, SI, ESPN, NFL, FOX Sports, Maxim, and more. Well forget them all.

Let’s start with the NFC.

NFL North

This is wide open division, most of these teams will most likely all end up near the .500 mark. Anyone can win this division and anyone can end up last.

  1. Vikings – Look for the Vikings to run their way to the division title behind Adrien Peterson. The Vikings have been steadily improving since Brad Childress took over in 2006 and it seems that it will finally pay off. They have one of the best defense in the league and can control the clock behind Adrien Peterson and Chester Taylor. The signing of Bernard Berrian will hopefully prevent other teams to stack up against the run. They will however need better QB play if they want to go farther. Prediction 9-7.
  2. Lions – The Lions aren’t a bad team, they just don’t seem to be able to compete with their division foes, until this year. They have the best air attack in this division with all their WR and have improved their offensive line to zone block for Kevin Smith. With the departure of Mike Martz, the offense will also be more balanced. Their defense also looks different, they have acquire speed instead of bulky players. Prediction 8-8.
  3. Packers – Aarron Rodgers??? Look for Rodgers to be better than people think he will, but don’t look at him to be the next Brett Favre. But like most of the NFC North, look for the Packers to run the ball behind Ryan Grant. Their defense will also be able to take over some games while Rodgers struggles. Their only problem will be whether or not the defense shows their age. The Packers didn’t loose many players from last year. Prediction 8-8.
  4. Bears – Look for the bears to retain some of that defense from their Super Bowl run in 2006. But it will all depend on the health of their super stars, Tommy Harris, Brian Urlacher, and Mike Brown. Offensively, they will still struggle. Look for both Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton to start a few games. It will be interesting to see what Devin Hester does this season after a year under the offense, and keep an eye out for Matt Forte who should have a good year for the Bears. Prediction 6-10.

NFC South

Another one of those wide open division.

  1. Saints – The Saints has had one of the most explosive offense in the NFL for the past two years, which is probably why they spent all their offseason on the defensive side, where they have been one of the worst in the league. With their new upgrade, this team could potentialy be scary good. It is a bit early to tell how good this defense will be, but they could still win this division with the same defense as last year. Prediction 11-5.
  2. Buccaneers – The Bucs are starting to look old. Garcia to Galloway might look funny when it happens in with walkers. Defensively, the Bucs did a great job at getting younger, while still keeping staples, like Ronde Barber and Derrick Brooks. All Joking aside, Garcia is looking to prove that he can still play and that the Bucs really don’t need Favre. Prediction 9-7.
  3. Panthers – The return of Jake Delhomme should help this team get better, they have really struggle without him. The Panthers are good enough to content in this division, but it will all depend on the Saints and Bucs. Their defense should be a bit better than last year, as Julius Peppers tries to prove everyone that he is still a dominant pass rusher, it is also a contract year for him, it will depend on whether he stays healthy. The Panthers are looking to run the ball more, and with the addition of Johnathan Stewart that should help Delhomme. Prediction 8-8.
  4. Falcons – The Falcons will not be one of those teams that will contend in this division or any division for that matter. The Falcons are in a massive re-building movement. Poor Matt Ryan, lets just hope that Micheal Turner proves that he is as good as he has been behind that San Diego line, because if not, Matt Ryan will have a terrible year eating dirt. Prediction 3-13.

NFC East

This again will be the most competitive division. All these teams can play defense and have some good QB play. At least one wild card team will come out of the division, unless they beat themselves up.

  1. Cowboys – Ok as most of you should know, it really pains me to say this, but the Cowboys are stocked with talent and are one of the favorite teams to get to the Super Bowl. They struggled at the end of the year in 2007 but it seemed to have been just inexperience. The Cowboys are still a young team, but they are solid, and don’t seem to have any weakness. If anything goes down hill, it will all be because of attitude. Prediction 11-5.
  2. Giants – A lot of people are counting them out even though they won the Super Bowl just a year ago. Let me be the hundredth person to say that they will not repeat. They have lost a lot in Micheal Straham and Osi Umenyiora, that will leave Justin Tuck vulnerable to double team. They won’t get that pass rush that they’ve had all last season and that will hurt their defense. Eli is still learning despite being the Super Bowl hero and Brandon Jacob and Derrick Ward will carry most of the bulk. Their out come will all depend on their defense. Prediction 9-7.
  3. Eagles – Look for the Eagles to rebound from a horrible year. The addition of Asante Samuel will hopefully help their defense which had good numbers, but little big plays. I still don’t believe that Donovan McNabb will be affective, but having Michael Westbrook does help his cause, but the offensive line is getting old. Prediction 8-8.
  4. Redskins – Oh my poor Skins. A complete overhaul of the coaching staff has left the Skins in disaray. The west coast offense should be good with the personnel of the Skins but it is still uncertain whether or not Jim Zorn coaching can be affective. The Skins did look good at the beginning of the preseason, but has gotten worse ever since. Defensively, they are still good, but like the Eagles, they lacked the big play defense for turnovers. Prediction 6-10.

NFC West

Still one of the weakest division in the league, but it has got some young and up and coming teams.

  1. Seahawks – The Hawks have won this division for four straight years. But that really isn’t a great feat, as this has been the weakess division for quite some time. The Hawks are looking strong to win this division again. They have a quick but undersided defense that plays extremely well at home. Matt Hasselbeck is still a pro bowl QB, but he has been injured with a sore back and his best recievers are all injured. Prediction 9-7.
  2. Cardinals – Matt Leinert or Kurt Warner??? It actually doesn’t matter that much. Kurt Warner is the better and most experience QB but he has some flaws also. They have some great receivers, but their running games will need some help from the O-line. Defensively, who knows how good they really are. Prediction 7-9.
  3. 49ers – The Niners are still trying to figure out who their starting QB will be, as of now, it’s J.T. O’Sullivan over Alex Smith. The best thing the Niners have right now is RB Frank Gore and LB Patrick Willis, and TE Vernan Davis, and that’s pretty much it. They are still trying to re-build. Prediction 5-11.
  4. Rams – Marc Bulger is coming back from injury, which should help them out, but he has had to learn a new offensive system which should take some time. They are trying to bring back the greatest show on turf with Al Saunders, but they are another year away from that. Prediction 5-11.

NFC Wild Card

Giants & Buccaneers.

NFC Winner

Saints

and now for the AFC

AFC North

This is one of the most improve and toughest division. Every team here can pretty much play.

  1. Steelers – The Steelers are the most stable and consistent team in this division, and that makes them a contender to get to the Super Bowl. The problem is that the Steelers might have the hardest schedule and they also lost a few players from their offensive line. Good news is that Troy Polamalu comes back after an injury prone season. Prediction 10-6.
  2. Browns – Arguably the most surprising team last season, the Browns will not sneak up on anyone this year. They struggle on defense last year and still manage to win 10 games, so this off season, they went out and got Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams to shore up that front line. For as long as Derek Anderson continue to play like last year, look for them to contend for the AFC North. Prediction 10-6.
  3. Bengals. – The Bengals really shouldn’t have any problem with socring points, for as long as Carson Palmer is their QB. But, their running game has got to be better than last year as well as their abismal defense. We still don’t know who will start at RB after Rudi Johnson was released, but they need to alleviate pressure from Palmer. What keeps this team down is their defense, they need to overhaul that whole defense. Prediction 7-9.
  4. Ravens – As old as they are, the Ravens defense is still the best defense to watch. Unfortunately for them, their offense is one of the worst offense to watch. Due to injury, rookie QB Joe Flaco will be the opening day starter and it is still unsure who will start at RB. The key for the Ravens will depend on the health of their defense, the secondary especially. Prediction 4-12.

AFC South

This is the most competive conference, even more so than the NFC East. Everyone is catching up to the Colts, and have even surpased them.

  1. Jaguars – That is right, I have the Jags winning the AFC South over long time title holder, Colts. The Jags have one of the most powerful running games in the league with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, they have a QB that will not turn the ball over in David Garrard, and have one of the best defense in the league. What they lack are big play receivers. For the Jags to go far, Garrard is going to have to stretch the field a lot more than he did last season. Prediction 12-4.
  2. Colts – Just because the Colts aren’t winning this division, doesn’t mean that they aren’t good. They are still a very dangerous team and along with the Jags, are contenders to move on to the Super Bowl. They return all their stars and are still a quick hitting team. Plus they have a pretty good defense, ranked 5th last year. The problem will be stopping the run, and dealing with the tougher schedule. For as long as Peyton Manning is still their QB, they’ll go a long way. Prediction 11-5.
  3. Texans – The Tex are on the rise. The Matt Schaub Andre Johnson connection is one of the most lethal combination in the league. As long as both stay healthy, look for them to have the best years of both of their careers. They will even do better if they manage to get some kind of a running games. The Tex have also bolster their defense with young hungry players, which should help their defense against the Colts air and Jags ground attack. Prediction 9-7.
  4. Titans – I’m not a big fan of Vince Young, the guy has twice as many interception as touchdown, but because he plays for a good coach, he has a winning record, so everyone thinks he that good. Truth be told, the Titans wins despite Young. They’ll run the ball more than any team as they did last year and will continue to have a decent defense. But don’t expect them to get to the playoff this season. Prediction 6-10.

AFC East

The question here is who will get second.

  1. Patriots – So glad they lost in the playoff last season, there is nothing more satisfying like watching a cocky team and bully lose in a dramatic fashion, and lets not forget a cheating team. But again, the Pats manage to re-tool and add more pro bowl players to their rosters. They did lose Asante Samuel, as well as five other DB which is huge. Don’t believe any injury news you hear out of the Pats, because that’s just them playing with the media. I don’t see them going undefeated this year, despite having one of the easiest schedule. Prediction 14-3.
  2. Jets – Yes Brett Favre is a Jets, but this team will go as far as the running game. Lucky for them, Favre acquisition will help out Thomas Jones from defense stacking up against the run, as well as Alan Faneca. The Jets are looking to win now, which is why they spent most of their offseason signing veteran players. Prediction 9-7.
  3. Bills – The Bills managed a 7-9 record last year despite the fact that they had ranked near last in offense and defense. They need more consistency from their QB. The fact that Trent Edward was name the starter early really helped him improve during the pre-season. Marshawn Lynch should see more carries to help out his QB. Prediction 6-10.
  4. Dolphins – Can we say rebuilding decade. Despite having some talent last year, the Phins still went 1-15. Well forget all that talent as Bill Parcell have decided to start from scratch. There are 44 new players this year, 22 of which are rookies. Prediction 2-14.

AFC West

Another uncontested division. By far the worst division in the NFL.

  1. Chargers – No question who wins this division, but the Chargers have already been hit by injuries, so that might not hold up. Philip Rivers and LaDaimian Tomlimson are both coming back from serious knee injury, and Shawne Merriman has elected to play hurt instead of getting surgery. The Chargers are another one of those teams which are stocked on both defense and offense, but they do lack a good bench which will hurt them if hit by injuries. Prediction 12-4.
  2. Broncos – Maybe this is the year everyone realize how full of shit Mike Shanahan is. The team is falling apart. They have a brand new left side on the O-line that will try to protect the blind side of Jay Cutler who struggle last year with undignose diabetes. Their O-line is also getting old, even Tom Nalen a perrenial pro bowler needs to get replaced. Defensively they were near the bottom of the league in rush defense, hopefully newly acquired DT Dwayne Robertson will help plug the hole, but he is injury prone. Prediction 6-10.
  3. Raiders – The Raiders can only go up. The addition of Darren McFadden should help them put points on the scoreboard as well as help JaMarcus Russell. They are an unknown, the only good thing they have is a good starting corners, but their rush defense is atrocious. Prediction 4-12.
  4. Chief – Another one of those “rebuilding” team. The Chief are extremely young, and by far one of the worse offense in the league last year. This year will be a bit different. There is a new system installed that would run the ball more instead of depend on Brodie Croyle. They were also terrible defensively and really didn’t help themselves out by getting rid of pro bowler Jared Allen. The Chief are in contention with being the worst team in the NFL. Prediction 3-13.

AFC Wild Card

Colts & Browns.

AFC Winner

Colts

Super Bowl Winner

Colts over Saints.

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