My NFL Pre-Draft Playoff Standing Predictions.
6. The Houston Texans.
The Texans will suffer this year. Not because they're going to get any worse or anything like that, but because the Colts will get better. The Texans secondary struggled mightily late last season and can't seem to come up big in important games on offense. They need to add pieces on both sides to really take a step. They'll still make the playoffs but I don't see them getting past the number three team on this list.
5. The Cincinnati Bengals.
Always the bridesmaid... Never the division champ. Yet again, the Bengals will ride shotgun to the Baltimore Ravens. They've got pieces. They've got talent. But not as much as Baltimore. A.J. Green and Geno Atkins aren't enough to win a tough division. I could however see them getting a win in the first round of the playoffs... For once.
4. The Indianapolis Colts.
The only change to the AFC's division winners from 2012, I believe that the Colts have enough... something to win the NFL's strangest division. You've got Luck, who for my money is already the best QB in the division, you've got a decent offensive line and a couple of power backs, and a solid defense. But what I like the most about this Colts team are the weapons that Luck has. Aside from potential hall of famer Reggie Wayne, the Colts also acquired the speedy, if inconsistent Darrius Heyward-Bey, and the quick T.Y. Hilton. Plus, they still have young tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. I think they can really make some moves in the regular season. How well they do beyond that... Remains to be seen.
3. The Baltimore Ravens.
A lot of fans panicked this off-season with all of the changes that occurred on the Ravens line-up. Ray Lewis, Anquan Boldin, Matt Birk, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard, as well as a few other Ravens stars retired, were traded, or became free agents. While I admit that it's painful to lose fan favorites, the Ravens might have actually gotten better. Birk, Lewis, Boldin, and Reed were no strangers to father time, and had seen their performance drop significantly over the last couple of years. And the other three have huge gaps in their performance. Kruger is a role player at best, Ellerbe was the 53rd player on the Ravens roster last off-season, and Pollard was just a thin linebacker, and struggles in coverage. But! This isn't a Ravens off-season Blog. Just believe me when I say that they will be a better team than they were last year. Don't get me wrong, I don't see them repeating again, but they should still be a force.
2. The New England Patriots.
This is simple. A great team with an easy schedule, the AFC east is empty, perhaps the weakest division in the NFL. The Jets? The Bills? The Dolphins? Ha! They'll get yet another first round bye.
1. The Denver Broncos.
(Insert Same Explanation for Patriots). Except they actually go better from last year, and they play the confusion AFC West. They'll probably choke in the playoffs, but they have the easiest schedule in their division despite playing teams with 2 of the top 3 worst records.
6. The Tampa Bay Buccanneers.
Offensively, this team didn't have issues last year, it was just their hideous secondary that held them back. Freeman is a lucky man. He's a gunslinger who gets Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams running down the field while Doug Martin darts and dives around the middle. It's fun to watch and Fantasy Football heaven. Defensively, the line was good and they could rush the passer a little but any and every QB was getting away with murder vs them. Not so true anymore. The additions of Safety Dashon Goldson and Corner Darrelle Revis will help this young team leapfrog both the Panthers and Falcons for a playoff spot.
5. The San Francisco 49ers.
They won't win the division again, but the 9ers are still good enough to make the playoffs. They'll win enough games, but not more than their division rival the... (suspenseful space). Don't be surprised if Colt McCoy is the QB who is leading this team by Week 9. Just saying.
4. The New York Giants.
The NFC East is unpredictable and wild as always but the most consistent team is the New York Giants. The Redskins are hurting, the Cowboys are cap-strapped, and the Eagles are... Haha. Don't get me started. Eli brings em back.
3. The Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks are my hot pick to make noise in the NFC but... They've got a tough schedule. Raiders fans can tell you that traveling all over the country and dealing with time zones isn't easy. I like the Hawks to do big things, but I just can't on them winning enough road 10 A.M. games to beat the two teams ahead of them.
2. The Green Bay Packers.
The Pack are incredibly talented on offense and look to improve this off-season on defense. If they can be half of the team that they were in 2011, this team will make serious headlines in 2013, especially in a NFC North that is undergoing some confusing changes. You can never bet against the best QB in the NFL.
1. The New Orleans Saints.
As I listed in another blog (http://ryandanielsmith.hubpages.com/hub/Who-will-be-the-most-improved-NFL-teams-in-2013), the Saints are in for a good season. They've gotten their coach, as well as all of the suspended players back. They'll have their elite team back and be facing against a pathetic schedule. Their division will be tough, but outside of that they should win plenty of games.