The NFL season is almost here and we at SBR decided to give our readers the inside scoop on who wins how many this season. Who are we picking to win the most games, and how can this help you beat the NFL odds makers?
New England Patriots 12-4
Once again, New England finds themselves as one of the NFL odds favorites to win the Super Bowl this year. The Patriots once again have the
perennial luxury of residing in the AFC Least and can pretty much count on a
pair of wins against the hapless Dolphins, a pair against the roving carnival
that is the New York Jets and perhaps a split against the new and improving
Buffalo Bills. Those are five wins right
there and when you factor in games against the Titans, Cardinals, Seahawks,
Rams, Colts and Jaguars then it's not a stretch to say this team wins a
dozen. However, the offensive line needs
to get better in a hurry because if Brady gets battered, all bets are off.
Buffalo Bills 9-7
Mario Williams and a revamped defensive
line will be the difference. Don’t
underestimate this year’s edition of the Bills even if their offense won’t be
New York Jets 7-9
The New York media will have a field
day with this team when things start going south. The moment Sanchez throws a bad pass, the
coronation of Tim Tebow will commence and Gotham fans will be shaking the
rafters until Rex Ryan sends Touchdown Jesus onto the field. Within a game or two the same fans who called
for Sanchez's head will be begging for his return. It will be a hot mess in the Big Apple this
Miami Dolphins 3-13
Ryan Tannehill may eventually be the
savior the Dolphins have been waiting for but it won't be this year. This team is too broken to be fixed in one
season but there's always next year.
Baltimore Ravens 11-5
The vaunted Ravens defense is getting a
bit long in the tooth with Ed Reed and Ray Lewis nearing the end of their
storied careers. Factor in Terrell Suggs
being shelved with an Achilles injury until at least the middle of the season
and there are certainly concerns but Baltimore should win the North yet again.
Cincinnati Bengals 10-6
Dalton to Green wasn't a fluke last
year and you'll see more of the same only this season they'll have a year under
their belts. This team will attack
through the air and signed a solid runner in BenJarvus Green-Ellis to keep
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
The Steelers have a terrific pass
defense and should be able to, if not shutdown then certainly slow down, many
of the high octane air forces out there.
However, their rushing attack is highly suspect as Rashard Mendenall may
be out longer than expected as he struggles with a recovery process that has
taken its toll on the 5th year running back. I'm not sure Roethlisberger will make it
through another year with all his previous injuries and if he goes down, so do
the Steelers' chances.
Cleveland Browns 2-14
The Browns drafted a 28-year-old
quarterback in Brandon Weeden who has struggled at times in a rather porous
pocket for the Browns. Their top draft
choice, the highly coveted running back from Alabama Trent Richardson, has
already had his knee scoped. Oh joy, a
gimpy rookie rusher in a pass happy league.
What's next Cleveland, leather helmets and a return of the wishbone?
Houston Texans 12-4
The Texans have the most complete team
in football. Their defense is as good as
there is and they of course have arguably the best running back in the game in
Arian Foster. Their only hiccup is the
health of their starting quarterback Matt Schaub and tantalizingly talented
receiver Andre Johnson. If both passer
and catcher stay healthy, look out!
Tennessee Titans 6-10
Can the Tennessee Titans and the
Jacksonville Jaguars just merge so we don't have to repeatedly stop and figure
out how they're different? Oh right, the
Titans have Chris Johnson and if he's interested, content and frankly feels up
to it, he can be a lethal weapon.
Unfortunately Tennessee has no other weapons save for wide receiver Kenny
Britt who resides in either a hospital bed or a jail cell.
Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11
Jacksonville has a better defense than
Tennessee but they don't have a game breaker like Chris Johnson. Their 1st round draft pick Justin
Blackmon has looked sharp but he has a propensity to break the law which could
derail his season as well as his career.
Blaine Gabbert is the man in J-Ville this season and if he finds some
simpatico with Blackmon, they might be better than I've projected.
Indianapolis Colts 3-13
It takes more than Luck to win in the
NFL. Like the Browns, this team is in a
serious rebuilding phase but unlike the Browns they have a solid base to build
upon in the two-time Heisman Trophy winner.
San Diego Chargers 11-5
I had to take a deep breath before I
made the Chargers my pick to win the West.
Norv Turner should be the lead character in True Blood because he has
more lives than any of those vampires.
How he got his job back after two frustratingly disappointing seasons is
beyond me. But the fact is the Bolts are
just too talented to fail again. We
don't get fooled again, the Chargers are playoff bound this season.
Kansas City Chiefs 10-6
If Jamaal Charles comes back healthy
and returns to form, then the Chiefs are my dark horse to surprise this year in
the NFL. KC added depth to their
offensive line and Matt Cassel has Dwayne Bowe and last season's top pick Jon
Baldwin to target while Peyton Hillis will be the perfect complement to Jamaal
Denver Broncos 6-10
I know there are thousands of fans who
picked the Broncos to win the West the moment Manning was inked but I'm not
sure what Peyton Manning I am going to see. Just take a look at their first
eight games of the season. They open
against Pittsburgh and then they have Atlanta, Houston, Oakland, New England,
San Diego, New Orleans and Cincinnati.
If they are .500 after eight games then I will eat my words but this
team will not contend this year.
Oakland Raiders 5-11
The Raiders didn't pick until the 3rd
round this season and I don't believe this team got appreciably better than
last season's edition. They had a lousy
defense last year and their offense inspires only yawns. This will be another ho-hum season for a once
Philadelphia Eagles 9-7
Throw the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys in
a hat and pick your winner. I give the Eagles
the slight advantage because if Vick stays healthy and their defense turns it
on they can be fierce but the health of their field general is the big
question. Vick will go down; it’s just a
matter of how long.
New York Giants 8-8
You’ve got to give some love to the
Giants, after all they did win the Super Bowl but nobody is really counting on
a repeat of their late season heroics.
Eli is better than most people believe but he’s still not able to do it
Dallas Cowboys 7-9
I’m not sure how the chemistry will be
inside the Cowboys locker room with the specter of Dez Bryant and his off-field
issues looming but I do know they are a semi-talented team in a division with
other semi-talented teams. They are good
enough to be a spoiler but not a contender.
Washington Redskins 6-10
How many wins is RG3 good for is the
question? I’d say about one more than
Green Bay Packers 12-4
James Starks is not the answer in the
backfield though he’s not a liability either.
So now you have another year of Rodgers to Jordy Nelson or Greg Jennings
with Donald Driver no longer a factor.
Though the team committed to defense on draft day they are still highly
suspect on that side of the ball. The
Packers are still an elite team but expect a downtick this season.
Chicago Bears 11-5
Jay Cutler is reunited with his old
teammate Brandon Marshall and the ground and pound of last season will be
augmented this year with an aerial show.
Factor in a tough defense and Michael Bush complementing Matt Forte in
the backfield and now you’re talking Super Bowl potential.
Detroit Lions 10-6
Quarterback Matt Stafford is a stud and
so is his receiver the aptly named Megatron (Calvin Johnson). But they have no rushing attack to speak of
and their defense is not going to slow down the Aaron Rodgers’ of the
world. They’re dangerous but not title
Minnesota Vikings 4-12
The Vikings will most likely lose at least
5 of 6 divisional games and won’t have much of a chance against most NFL teams
except the weak sisters. It’s a shame
that talents like Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin will have to lose another
year of their careers in a no-win situation.
New Orleans Saints 12-4
This offense is a killer and Drew Brees
is the chief assassin in charge. Sure
the Bountygate scandal will take a toll with suspensions but the key elements
are still there to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. Their pass defense is still abysmal but I
suspect it will be a bit improved from their 30th ranked squad from
Carolina Panthers 8-8
I think the Panthers can make some
noise this season because they have one of the most talented and versatile QB’s
in the league in Cam Newton. While I’m
not crazy about a receiving corps that features an aging Steve Smith they have
a dual threat in the backfield and picked up an outstanding draft pick in
linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Atlanta Falcons 7-9
Matty Ice, the name sounds cool but I’m
not so sure this moniker fits the player.
This Falcons team reminds me of the bully in the playground with a
ferocious reputation until the tough kids come to play.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-13
Nothing inspiring here but the
cheerleaders. Josh Freeman to the newly
acquired Vincent Jackson will be the 3rd and long blueprint each and
every time their running game falters, which will be often. It won’t take a defensive genius to figure
this one out.
San Francisco 49’ers 12-4
I’m not sure if Alex Smith will have
the same chemistry with Randy Moss that Tom Brady did a few years ago in an
historic passing season…no check that, I know he won’t. However, if Moss is 80% of what he used to
be, he will be an asset to an offense that will need to limit mistakes and let
their defense put them in position to score points.
Seattle Seahawks 8-8
In one of the most significant
developments of the preseason, 3rd round 5’11” quarterback Russell
Wilson has beaten the odds and Matt Flynn to be named the team’s opening day
starter. He has looked like a seasoned
pro in the preseason and should give a big boost to a team on the rise.
St. Louis Rams 7-9
Sam Bradford is healthy and if he stays
that way, he’s a game changer. Though he
does not have an embarrassment of riches in terms of targets, he will get the
job done as running back Steven Jackson will keep defenses honest.
Arizona Cardinals 4-12
got Larry Fitzgerald. Now what?