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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