Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti holds out the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the San Francisco 49ersin Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting The 2013 NFL Regular Season: Chiefs Grab Wild Card

A couple of weeks ago my fellow AA writer Nicholas Alan Clayton posted a terrific piece on why it’s foolish to make predictions this time of year. It was spot on, well reasoned, and a great read. Predictions this time of year are bound to be wrong. There is just too much we don’t know about how things are going to shake out. That having been said, I love predictions. I love taking a shot at how you think things might turn out. So this week I decided to sit down with the NFL schedule and pick every single game of the NFL regular season and see how the records for each team would end up.

I’ve tried just guessing the final records in the past and found that I usually had more wins than loses. By picking every game I at least have a hypothetical shot at being right.

Now, let me be clear, I will be dead wrong about a number of teams, but I thought I’d put it out there and see what everyone else thought. What teams do I have too high, too low, etc. I’ll take it one division at a time.

Here we go.

AFC East

New England: 11-5
Miami: 8-8
New York: 3-13
Buffalo: 2-14

I don’t think the New England and Miami records will shock anyone, but as you can see I am NOT high on either the Jets or the Bills. I didn’t set out to give either team so few wins, but each week I just had a hard time predicting wins for them.

AFC North

Cincinnati: 11-5
Baltimore: 10-6
Pittsburgh: 7-9
Cleveland: 7-9

Baltimore lost a lot this offseason, but I also think they did a pretty good job of reloading. However, I think Cincinnati may edge them out this year. If the Bengals had an elite QB I think they would be legit Super Bowl contenders. I’m down on the Steelers this year because I think their defense just got too old and is headed for a decline. I think Cleveland will actually be tougher than many people think.

AFC South

Indianapolis: 11-5
Houston: 10-6
Tennessee: 5-11
Jacksonville: 2-14

The Colts were really good last year with a rookie QB and a first time head coach that missed most of the season battling cancer. Now that they should be settled in and more comfortable they could be really dangerous. I still think Houston is good but limited by their QB and Tennessee and Jacksonville aren’t very good.

AFC West

Denver: 13-3
Kansas City: 10-6
San Diego: 6-10
Oakland: 3-13

Sadly, I think the Broncos have one more really great season next year before Manning starts to decline. I’m bullish on our beloved Chiefs (surprise, surprise) but I’m not sold on San Diego and where they’re headed. I actually think Oakland is headed in the right direction and will be better in the near future, but their roster is so talent strapped due to salary cap restrictions that I think they really struggle for one more season.

NFC East

Washington: 10-6
New York: 10-6
Dallas: 9-7
Philadelphia: 5-11

Washington edges out the Giants for the division because of a better division record. Dallas misses the playoffs causing Jerry Jones’ head to explode (Yeah!). Chip Kelly’s Eagles look promising, but will take a couple of years to adjust to his style.

NFC North

Green Bay: 12-4
Chicago: 9-7
Detroit: 9-7
Minnesota: 6-10

Green Bay is kind of a forgotten power house in my opinion. Everyone is so busy focusing on San Francisco and Seattle in the NFC that they are almost overlooking the Packers. I think Aaron Rodgers will remind everyone that he is the best player in the NFL. Chicago and Detroit will both be solid, but just miss out on the playoffs. Minnesota will take a step back and realize that they will have to look for a replacement for Christian Ponder at QB.

NFC South

Atlanta: 11-5
New Orleans: 10-6
Carolina: 7-9
Tampa Bay: 5-11

Atlanta will continue to be a great regular season team, but not quite elite enough to win it all. New Orleans will bounce back some with Sean Payton back at the helm again. Carolina will be dangerous, but I’m not sold on Cam Newton as a big time QB. Tampa Bay will make the mistake of benching Josh Freeman only to find that Mike Glennon is not an upgrade.

NFC West

San Francisco: 12-4
Seattle: 11-5
Saint Louis: 6-10
Arizona: 5-11

I think San Francisco will edge out Seattle in a battle of division powers, but it will be very close. As much as I like Jeff Fisher, I don’t like Sam Bradford even more. Some people think the Rams may surprise, but I see Bradford as just one step up from Christian Ponder. Arizona will learn that even though Carson Palmer is an upgrade over the QBs they had last year (not saying much) he’s still not good enough to make them a contender in a division with two emerging super powers.

So the AFC playoff teams are Denver, New England, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati with Baltimore and Kansas City as the wild cards (both teams beat Houston head to head so they miss out). The NFC teams are Green Bay, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Washington with Seattle and either New Orleans or the Giants as the wildcards (I could have looked up the tie breakers for NO and NYG, but for a June prediction post that seemed a little obsessive).

So what do you think? What teams am I too high on? What teams am I selling short? Am I drinking WAY too much Chiefs Kool Aid to have them 10-6? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. However, if you are a fan of another team that I predicted to do REALLY poorly, keep in mind it’s just an offseason prediction and don’t take it too personally.

As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Spencer

    I would have Arizona worse…good predictions but i always just feel whatever team Palmer is with they will be awful, dudes best year was his heisman performance and every single year of his career his passer rating has gone down, he was at his height when he was the youngest…never a good sign for a QB, he has not improved once in his career, only thing that changes is if he passes a ton or hands the ball off, still finds a way to get worse yearly either way….

    • Lyle Graversen

      I am certainly no Palmer fan, but is he worse than John Skelton and Kevin Kolb? The Cards won 5 games last year with them so I don’t think predicting 5 with Palmer is giving him too much credit.

      • Spencer

        sorry for late response but to be honest I doubt he is much better if at all, look at the line those cardinals had, look at the weapons…or lack of, other then Fitzgerald they had who??? I don’t even know and I feel like I know half the league at least by name, their offensive line??? awful, ranked 32nds for a reason by pro football focus, hell their “best” offensive linemen graded negatively…how the hell do you do that??? I will put money down (well i say i will, but i will put my word down??? IDK, never bet…things can only go wrong) that Palmer goes down as much as Skelton and Kolb went, he won’t somehow make the team an awful team to decent team, it will be awful and it will stay awful, its offensive line is pathetic…and unless Cooper turns into the next Will Shields its still going to allow Palmer to get killed, just as much as Skelton, or Kolb…If i were the Cardinals I would have asked for some backup linemen or something, maybe a large washer machine and forklift to at least get in the way of the opposing rushers…

    • berttheclock

      No, his passer rating increased from ’04 through ’05. He had a string of 9 straight 100 or better passer ratings from his last 3 games in ’04 through the beginning of ’05. Of course, Chris Henry was added to a very good receiving corps in ’05. After injuries to several of his wide outs and an injury to himself, his production level fell off. With Oakland, again injuries hurt his receiving corps.

  • micah stephenson

    Hell knaw the Chiefs aint making the playoffs. This team won 2 games last yr. TWO! If the Chiefs win more than 8 games id b totaly shocked

    • Lyle Graversen

      Look, last year was a complete train wreck. However, the year before that they won 7 games with almost the same roster and equally horrific QB play (they started Tyler Palko for 4 games). I like this roster more than that team and if Andy Reid can get the same production out of Alex Smith that Harbaugh got I don’t think 10 games is unrealistic.

      • micah stephenson

        Alex who? O that QB we got from the 49s. Lol. Adding Alex Smith and Avery and Fasano was not enough to get the worst offense ever up to whur it needs to b. I like the rookie TE and running back we drafted but we need waaaay more than that.

        • berttheclock

          Thank you, Micah, for taking your time away from your beloved NY Jets to give us your “invaluable” insight into the game of pro football.

          • micah stephenson

            I dont fuck with the jets.

        • Jarad

          If the Chiefs need “waaaay” more ,I’d like to know what you think they need. And that guy from the 49ers is a MAJOR IMPROVENENT to what the Chiefs have had the last few years. He’s at least worth 4 more wins alone

          • micah stephenson

            The guy from the 49s is a slight improvement not major. We needed major improvement but we got slight.

        • Stacy D. Smith


          Travis Kelce, Knile Davis, Eric Fisher, Geoff Schwartz, Andy Reid, Brad Childress, and Chris Ault.

          • micah stephenson

            I know who all they signed. Only person they signed that I wanted was Sean Smith. They still aint got no QB! Mayby next yr. Prolly never

          • Stacy D. Smith

            You may not be satisfied with who they acquired, but the QB position has been addressed. In a significant way.

        • Josh Busby

          Have you forgot about D Bowe, J Charles, and alomost certainly what wil lbe top 10 o line? If Alex Smith performs well the Chiefs will win at least 10.

        • Lyle Graversen

          Would you be saying the same thing about the Chiefs offensive weapons if they drafted Geno? I get being bummed that KC still hasn’t attempted to draft and develop their own QB, but it shouldn’t change how you feel about the other 52 guys on the roster.

          • micah stephenson

            Yes I would still b saying the same thing if they drafted a QB. Weapons???? After Charles and Bowe, what weapons? Lol. Mr I can’t run routs or out man lil 5’10 DBs Baldwin? Lil 5 foot 2 Dexter? Mr dropsies Avery? Mr im always hurt Moeaki and slow ass Fasano? Lol. Mr Alex weak arm Smith. Moeaki can play wen health and kelce got potential. Chiefs better run, run, and run some more on offense becuase JC is our best shot at winning. Drafting a QB is just a start in the right direction.

          • Lyle Graversen

            I think you’ll be surprised by how the supporting cast performs with a real playcaller like Reid running the offense and real QB that can distribute the ball behind center. I’m not saying that any of those guys you listed will be pro bowlers, but solid contributors to go along with JC and Bowe.

          • Suzi Conger

            wow micah, first , again…I can see that you know very little about QB’s. Secondly, with KCC ‘fans’ such as yourself, who needs enemies? lol Cheer up… lighten up, get positive, and start learning some substantiated facts about our QB AS11….for example; you couldn’t be more wrong about ‘weak arm’… prove it!… proof is available to refute that claim…
            Go Chiefs ’13/’14 !!

          • micah stephenson

            1st of all i go to all the games and cheer louder than anybody in here. But I keeps it real. I say what everyone else is scared to say but want to say. If Alex Smith so good why he dont eva hav alot of passing yards like the good QBs?

          • Suzi Conger

            That’s way cool that you get to go to all the games and cheer :-) lucky you…

            micah all the knowledgable quarterback analyzers know that it’s not the number of yards that count the most, but rather the WINS achieved, led by the QB
            (QB characteristics which would include accuracy, football intelligent IQ, leadership skills, to name a few)

            PS…I didn’t see any proof re/ AS’s weak ‘arm’…I have facts that refute your claim…interested in truth?

        • Suzi Conger

          I can see that you don’t know QB’s micah… time will tell. Just remember your words…

          • micah stephenson

            When Alex Smith sucks you just make sure you as vocal.

          • Suzi Conger

            michah, I have a friendly challenge for you; read “Breaking Down Alex Smith: from a Doubter to a Believer” http://www.arrowheadpride.com Apr 9, 13 MNchiefsfan

            MEGA GOOD analization of AS11 QB skills. The author, like yourself, was an AS skeptic, until he studied the ’12 SF game films.

            I get the impression that you prefer heresay over true facts. Go Chiefs!!

      • Kisersosay

        It is micah….what else would you expect….

        • micah stephenson

          Yea I keeps it real. Im not a lemming. Im not just gon say wat everybody want me to say. Ima speak the truth!

          • Suzi Conger

            Your ‘truth’ micah is not substantiated by facts. Your opinion is unsupportable and seems that you are merely repeating what you’ve heard from other unknowledgable people?

    • Stacy D. Smith

      That team suffered from some of the most inept coaching and quarterback play I’ve ever seen. I EXPECT them to win 8 because of Alex Smith’s efficiency and Reid’s leadership. Winning 9 or 10 will put us in the hunt.

      • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

        We’ll see how it comes together. I am cautiously optimistic.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Barring injury, of course.

          It’s not just pie in the sky for me. I think fewer giveaways, more takeaways, better coaching, and the ability to sustain drives will all create a six game swing (at the very least).

          • micah stephenson

            Sooo 8 & 8 then?

        • Calchiefsfan

          A lot of ifs with the Chiefs this year.

          Will the o line come together?
          Will Sutton get the D going? (I still think Romeo was a heckuva DC).
          Will the d backs gel?
          Our D line?
          Will Baldwin/McCluster/Avery step up?
          We have high hopes that these things will happen but we had high hopes last year.
          The things I’m certain of are Alex Smith is a much better QB than anyyhing we’ve seen since Trent Green, (just watch the tape his last two years), and Andy Reid is the best HC we’ve had in a long, long while. For those two reasons I’m also cautiously optimistic.

          • micah stephenson

            Having Reid is my slight glimmer of hope.

          • Suzi Conger

            You said it best Calchiefsfan! Go Chiefs!

        • micah stephenson

          Yup. Im at the I haft to see it to believe it point myself.

      • micah stephenson

        Romeo sucked! After the game he wudnt even know what happened out thur. No offensive clue wat so eva! The wins will come from Ried knowing offense.

    • Suzi Conger

      Get ready for SHOCK micah :-)

      • micah stephenson

        I know you alex smiths biggest fan so there will never be anything bad anybody can say about him.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Good work, Graversen. The Chiefs need to beat both Indy and Houston to put us in position to snag that wild card. Hard to know which of them will win the division, but I do think the AFC-S will be key to our road to the postseason though.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Also need to sweep the Raiders and go for splits with the Chargers and Donks. If they can slide four divisional wins in their back pockets they will be in good shape.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        That’ll definitely help in the event of a tiebreaker with an AFC team we don’t play (like Baltimore).

  • Kisersosay

    Nice Lyle…Only 2 teams I would have higher….Tampa and St Louis. I think both have the tools to be .500 or maybe a game better. Both depend on the QB using the new tools.

    • Lyle Graversen

      Yeah, you could be right, but it seems like Tampa is looking for an excuse to move on from Freeman and I don’t think that will go well and like I said in the post I don’t believe in Bradford in St Louis. Over the past two seasons Bradford and Ponder have basically been the same guy:

      Bradford: 57.2%, 6.5 YPA, 27 TDs, 19 Ints

      Ponder: 59.2%, 6.2 YPA, 31 TDs, 25 Ints

      Yet for some reason Ponder is seen as someone that is holding Min back and Bradford is the future in StLouis? Maybe with the WRs they added Bradford will take a step forward this year, I’m just not a believer.

      By the way, over those same 2 seasons, here are Alex Smith’s numbers:

      Smith: 64.3%, 7.4 YPA, 30 TDs, 10 Ints

  • Chris Tarrants

    I really do wonder what you are talking about with Minnesota being last? So what if Ponder sucks! They have Matt freaking Cassel to take them to the promise land. Bwahaha

  • Chief Hokie

    Don’t forget Pittsburgh just got Jarvis Jones. I think they’ll rebound and have a good year, maybe 10 wins. I think the best team in the nfl will be Seattle, though. They have the best D, one of the best rb’s, and they just added Percy Harvin? Count me in.

    Chiefs will probably win 7-9 games.

  • Danny W

    A bit early for predictions but hey why not? Nothing else really to write about at this point.