One of the best parts of the NFL offseason is when I first see the upcoming season’s NFL preview magazines. That’s when you know that the countdown has begun, and we’re that much closer to the start of another football season.

As we know with the exception of April’s draft, along with minicamps and OTA’s, the months from February through July are long. So when these publications start hitting news stands I tend to grab them as soon as I see them. I love reading what the people who don’t follow the team as closely as we do have to say, as well as to brush up on other teams and get a closer look at the rest of the league.

For those of you who have yet to purchase yours, over the last month I’ve collected five of them, and thought I’d share information with all of you to let you know what’s being said by each of these national publications.

Athlon 2010 Edition:

Patriots Playoff Prediction: Patriots miss postseason
AFC East Prediction: 3rd Place
Patriots Preview Starts on Page: 66

Super Bowl Prediction (winner in Bold): Ravens + Vikings

Recommended Reading:

Interview with Rex Ryan – Page 20
2000 NFL Draft Revisited – Page 44

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Lindy’s 2010 Edition:

Patriots Playoff Prediction: Wild Card
AFC East Prediction: 2nd Place
Patriots Preview Starts On Page: 152

Super Bowl Prediction (Winner in Bold): Ravens + Cowboys

Recommended Reading:

Interview with Drew Brees – Page 12
2010 Hall of Fame – Page 114

*Note from this issue, one analyst says that, “Spikes doesn’t seem to fit this defense”, and they gave New England a “B” for the 2010 draft. Also worth noting that the Providence Journal’s Jim Donaldson wrote a solid preview in this year’s edition.

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Pro Football Weekly 2010 Edition:

Patriots Playoff Prediction: Wild Card
AFC East Prediction: 2nd Place
Patriots Preview Starts on Page: 56

Super Bowl Prediction (Winner in Bold): Colts + Packers

Recommended Reading:

’09 Rookie Receivers – Page 14
32 Questions- Page 28

*Note from this issue, Patriots guard Logan Mankins was ranked as the 5th best guard in the NFL (page 36).

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Sporting News 2010 Edition:

Patriots Playoff Prediction: Wild Card
AFC East Prediction: 2nd Place
Patriots Preview Starts on Page: 34

Super Bowl Prediction (Winner in Bold): Jets + Cowboys

Recommended Reading:

“The NFL’s Brewing Storm” (Discussing the potential lockout) – Page 18

*Note from this issue, mentions Wes Welker in “Rehab Report”, noting Tom Brady’s QB Rating without Welker on the field – Page 9. Local beat writer Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald also does a solid write-up on the Patriots portion of the preview.

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USA Today 2010 Edition:

Patriots Playoff Prediction: AFC East Champion
AFC East Prediction: 1st Place
Patriots Preview Starts on Page: 80

Super Bowl Prediction (Winner in Bold): Colts + Vikings

Recommended Reading:

NFL’s Top 50 Players -Page 2
“Demise of the Workhorse Back” – Page 28

*Note from this issue, in the NFL’s Top 50 players Tom Brady was ranked #8 behind some interesting names, while Welker was #22 and Moss was #37.

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Most of these magazines are picking the Jets as the favorite to win the AFC East, as they appear to be the “media darlings” this year. Needless to say the upcoming “Hard Knocks” on HBO should be interesting, as we’ll get a closer look at Rex Ryan’s misfits.

What do you think? Feel free to post your reactions to these predictions here.