Final Standings...a sneak preview
In the name of boredom, I've broken down every team's schedule, and figured out their records for the upcoming seasons. Figuring in things like HFA, cross-country travel, weather, system vs. system matchups, rookies playing better, perennially injured players getting injured, teams laying down with nothing left to play for, etc is tough work, but in a couple of hours, I've got it down. And I present to you the final regular season standings. I like the Pats' chances. Probably more optimistic this year than the last five. With the most favorable schedule, the playoffs could well go through Foxboro, where it's hard to see them losing:
New England 13-3 (5-1)
Miami 9-7 (4-2)
Buffalo 5-11 (2-4)
New York 4-12 (1-5)
Cincinnati 11-5 (5-1)
Pittsburgh 10-6 (3-3)
Baltimore 9-7 (2-4)
Cleveland 6-10 (2-4)
Indianapolis 11-5 (5-1)
Jacksonville 10-6 (3-3)
Houston 5-11 (2-4)
Tennessee 4-12 (2-4)
Denver 11-5 (5-1)
San Diego 11-5 (3-3)
Kansas City 10-6 (3-3)
Oakland 6-10 (1-5)
Philadelphia 11-5 (3-3)
Dallas 10-6 (3-3)
Washington 10-6 (3-3)
New York 8-8 (3-3)
Chicago 11-5 (5-1)
Detroit 7-9 (5-1)
Green Bay 5-11 (1-5)
Minnesota 4-12 (1-5)
Carolina 13-3 (4-2)
Tampa Bay 7-9 (4-2)
Atlanta 5-11 (2-4)
New Orleans 4-12 (2-4)
Arizona 10-6 (4-2)
Seattle 9-7 (5-1)
St. Louis 5-11 (2-4)
San Francisco 3-13 (1-5)
That makes the Wild Cards San Diego and Jacksonville in the AFC and Dallas and Washington in the NFC.
Breakout players: Philip Rivers and Cedric Benson.
You'll note the AFC is the stronger conference still, and once again there aren't too many teams in the 7-9 to 9-7 range, as the rift between good teams and bad teams remains fairly pronounced.
And here I thought I had too much time on my hands.....
I think Miami goes 10-6 or 11-5, but the important thing is we expose them in the second match-up of the year, and Culpepper's resurgency is derailed before the playoffs. He still beats Brady in ProBowl ballots, however....
I have trouble predicting a big year for the Steelers, I think they swap records with the Ravens.
San Diego will stink in that tough division, 8-8 at best.
Kansas City also looks like a 8-8 team, or worse. Herman Edwards takes over a crap defense and aging offense? Hello? HELLO?
The Redskins were one of the most overrated teams last year, and will regress. The Giants are at least tied with Cowboys for #2 in division, if the Cowboys don't collapse under a huge TO versus QB episode 3.
NOBODY in NFC North cracks 9-7.
No respect for the SeaHens? They'll look good again next year, methinks.
What? Huh? How in the world can the Dolphins NOT do better than last season? They got Culpepper! That means at least one more win!!! Meanwhile, the Pats lost Duane Starks and Tyrone Poole! They have NO defense left!
Also, the AFC East schedule is infinately easier this year then last, so I agree with the Pats having a much better record...Miami's record should also reflect that.
And the 'Big Three' was shattered, like a supernova, and sent careening into an alternate universe.
And as an added treat, I've attached my worksheet to the original post.
Nice job, dryheat. Not sure about your San Diego prediction, though. 11 wins with a first-time QB? I think San Diego is in for a fall this year. Too tough a division, and Rivers needs some time to grow. Also, you must think that Carson Palmer will be ready to start the season. That was a devastating injury. He's a great kid and a tremendous QB, so I hope you're right about him. I'm not so optimistic, and without Kitna to back him up, I think Cinci comes back to the pack a bit.
On the way up: Miami has to improve, with the cake schedule. I like your Arizona pick, it's finally their time. I like Detroit to break .500, with Harrington gone, a new coach, and a good free agent group.
Please save this and re-post just after Week 17. It will be good for a laugh. No offense - anybody's predictions from the summer would be. But ARIZONA??? Okay I see the talent at the skill positions. But still... ARIZONA?
PS, if Arizona does do okay, feel free to post this as well.
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