Denver Broncos (10-6)- I think Manning is good enough to make up for a mediocre defense and lead the Broncos to 10 wins.
Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)- Chiefs had a lot of injuries last year. They add Charles and Cassell back along with a defense that should be solid
San Diego Chargers (7-9)- Everyone talks about how much "talent" SD has. Maybe in years past, but I'm just not seeing it anymore. Their window has passed.
Oakland Raiders (5-11)- They will be more disciplined this year, but salary cap issues and lack of draft picks crippled their ability to add much needed talent. Also not sold on Palmer
Houston Texans (12-4)- If Schaub stays healthy they could easily be even better than 12-4. Deep and talented on both sides of the ball (with the exception of WR)
Indianapolis Colts (7-9)- Luckiest franchise in the NFL. How convenient is it that Manning gets injured in the year where the best QB in the draft since Manning himself is available?
Jacksonville Jaguars (7-9)- I think they will be better than people think they will be. It will all come down to whether Gabbert can show improvement with more weapons at receiver.
Tennessee Titans (6-10)- Meh team. Not much to say.
Baltimore Ravens (10-6)- Suggs injury severely weakens their D. But they are still the class of their division.
Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)- Their defense is aging and will struggle with injuries once again. But they still have enough to make the playoffs.
Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)- I'm not completely sold on the Bengals. I think they take a small step back this year.
Cleveland Browns (3-13)- I feel sorry for Browns fans. Maybe next year?
New England Patriots (12-4)- As long as Tom Brady is healthy and Belichick is coaching they should remain on top of the AFC East.
Buffalo Bills (9-7)- I like their offense, they'll put up yards and points. It all comes down to their defense.
New York Jets (8-8)- I want nothing more than to see this team have a complete meltdown. That being said I think they're too talented to fall apart but I don't see them as a playoff team.
Miami Dolphins (2-14)- Can someone tell me how the hell the Dolphins managed to win 6 games last year? Won't happen again this yea
San Francisco 49ers (12-4)- Statheads like to point out that on average teams who make such rapid improvement in record from one season to the next are bound to "regress to the mean." What these nerds don't take into account is that Jim Harbaugh is no ordinary coach.
Seattle Seahawks (8-8)- Seattle is improving but they are nowhere near our level yet. I can't lie, I would love to see Carroll fall flat on his face though.
St. Louis Rams (6-10)- I think they will surprise some people this year. Their defense and Steven Jackson should win them some games. Poor Sam Bradford, good QB in a terrible situation.
Arizona Cardinals (5-11)- I wouldn't be surprised to see them start 4 different QBs this year. Fitzgerald deserves better than this.
New Orleans Saints (11-5)- The Saints will stumble slightly this year without Sean Payton but not significantly. Drew Brees is good enough to keep them afloat.
Atlanta Falcons (10-6)- I don't believe Matt Ryan is an elite QB who can overcome some defensive shortcomings so I have trouble calling the Falcons an elite NFL team.
Carolina Panthers (6-10)- Haven't done enough to improve the D. If their defense steps up this year they could get over the hump and into the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)- Spent a lot of money in FA. Don't think they have a strong enough core yet to seriously compete.
Chicago Bears (13-3)- I'm buying into the hype about the Bears. The only thing that gives me pause is their offensive line. But the departure of Martz helps automatically as his offense kills QBs. And even if Cutler gets hurt again they have a starting caliber player at backup QB in Jason Campbell.
Green Bay Packers (11-5)- Aaron Rodgers can cover up a multitude of ills. But if the defense can't improve a repeat of last years record is almost out of the question.
Detroit Lion (8-8)- I may be sipping that Chicago Koolaide, but I'm definitely not drinking that Detroit motor oil. The Lions are undisciplined and incredibly one-dimensional. Not a recipe for sustained success.
Minnesota Vikings (4-12)- It will be another long, cold winter in Minneapolis. They still have A LOT of work to do.
New York Giants (10-6)- I'm not going to write off the defending champs after one underwhelming performance against the Cowboys. They're still the class of the division.
Washington Redskins (9-7)- Already solid defense, and now they have RGIII. I'm a huge RGIII fan-boy so I can't help but pick them to be the surprise of the year.
Dallas Cowboys (7-9)- Not ready to buy into the Cowboy hype after one win against a New York team playing without a lot of players on D, in their secondary especially. They will be seen as big disappointments by seasons end once again but only because their players are constantly overrated by the media.
Philadelphia Eagles (6-10)- I'm still highly skeptical of any defense led by Juan Castillo. Plus it's becoming increasingly clear that Vick is not going to be able to stay healthy for a 16 game season. Sure they managed to salvage 8 wins out of their season last year, but the competition in their division is better this year.
I'm not going to make playoff and superbowl picks as this post is supposed to be as unbiased as I can manage. I can be objective about every team in the NFL, but when it comes to the 49ers I can't help but be a homer. I won't let objectivity get in the way of my fandom!
[ Edited by AllTimeGreat on Sep 7, 2012 at 14:26:07 ]