Those were dark days indeed, the sports gap between the World Cup and the NFL. Don't even bring up MLB and college football - the two most corrupt sports we have. NFL? Easily the reigning champion of sport. Regular season isn't tedious and boring (nba, and especially mlb), there's a playoff (cfb), there's enough playoff spots to reward the deserving (4 division winners plus 2 wild cards - hear that mlb?), but not too many that under .500 teams could qualify (nba). It is a true team sport in just about every way and the most American of all sports (- get that baseball is america's pasttime crap out of here.)
With New Orleans beating Minnesota to kick off the season last night, I figured I might as well try my hand at postseason predictions, even though the NFL is as unpredictable as any sport out there.
NFC West Champ: 49ers. Rams are league's worst team, Cardinals are replacing Warner with Anderson (and not Leinart, hahahaha), Carroll is imploding Seattle in an effort to rebuild. Its time for Singletary's defense and run offense to finally get us back.
NFC North Champ: Packers. Lions and Bears should improve from last year but won't have enough to challenge the Pack or Vikings. I'm taking the Pack over the Vikes this time only because Rodgers is a year better and Favre can't possibly be better than his astounding '09 season.
NFC South Champ: Saints. I know the Saints have a tough sched but Drew Brees is in his prime. Panthers and Bucs are the pushovers while the Falcons should be contending for a playoff spot at the end.
NFC East Champ: Giants. In an upset, I'm taking the improved NY Def to barely snag the division title from Dallas. Eagles and Redskins should be decent but won't have enough to make the playoffs.
NFC Wildcards: Cowboys and Vikings. Matt Ryan's Falcons just miss out.
AFC West Champ: Chargers. Raiders and Chiefs should be much better this year. Broncos? Losing Marshall can't help, but even if they play well, they won't challenge SD. Rivers is the best QB in division.
AFC North Champ: Ravens. Because Big Ben is out for 4 games, I'm taking the Flacco/Rice/Boldin combo to edge out the Steelers and Bengals, who won't be as dysfunctional as most think. Browns are, well, the Browns.
AFC South Champ: Colts. Peyton Manning has won 12 games each of the last 5 years, I think. I'm betting the Texans will be pretty respectable this year, while Titans and Jags will fall short again though they have the division's best 2 RBs in Mojo and Chris Johnson. Its a quarterback league now and they're still living in Peyton's world.
AFC East Champ: Patriots. Everyone loves the Jets including the Jets themselves, a little too much for my taste. Brady, now the league's highest paid player and a year removed from knee surgery will be back with a vengeance and swoop to the divison crown under the radar. Dolphins and Bills are sidenotes here.
AFC Wildcards: Steelers and Texans. Jets shock the world with their poor offense and miss the postseason.
NFC Championship Game: Packers over Saints.
AFC Championship Game: Colts over Ravens.
Superbowl: Colts over the Pack.