Thursday, September 8, 2011

Robalini's 2011 NFL Football Picks

NFC North

Even with Donovan McNabb, this is definitely a rebuilding year for the Vikings. Green Bay won the Super Bowl last year with much of their talent injured, but I expect them to return a little lazy and self-satisfied. Matthew Stafford looks so good and the Detroit defense looks so amazing I'd be ready to drink the Lions Kool-Aid if this team wasn't so cursed. (They'll make the playoffs though.) That leaves the Bears, who QB issues aside still have a great coach and great defense...

1. Chicago Bears
2. Detroit Lions
3. Green Bay Packers
4. Minnesota Vikings

NFC South

I expect Cam Newton to be a bust, but I think he'll actually exceed expectations this season. (It won't help much, though.) Tampa Bay played over their heads last season, and I expect reality to set in this year. Atlanta didn't look like a 13-3 team last season, and they proved it in the playoffs. That leaves the Saints, who are just too good of a team to win only one Super Bowl under Drew Brees...

1. New Orleans Saints
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Carolina Panthers

NFC West

Still the worst division in football. Even with Kevin Kalb, the Cards are a bad team (that they were in the Super Bowl in 2009 under Kurt Warner makes his Hall of Fame argument that much better. I expect Sam Bradford to have a rookie slump. I've been saying for a few years that the 49ers are a season (and a quarterback) away from the Super Bowl: even with new coach Jim Harbaugh I'm saying that no more. That leaves the Seahawks to repeat: despite their obvious flaws, they have a great coach in Pete Carroll and a competent QB in Tavaris Jackson...

1. Seattle Seahawks
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. St. Louis Rams
4. Arizona Cardinals

NFC East

The Redskins will suck again: no doubt Mike Shanahan will find a new scapegoat for his failures. The Giants will have a decidedly mediocre season as calls to replace Eli may begin to rumble. (2011 won't be a good year for the Manning brothers.) The Eagles look great on paper, but Michael Vick will get hurt at some point and they'll find a way to underperform. That leaves the Cowboys, an oddly underrated team with a quarterback in Tony Romo who is one of the five best in the NFL...

1. Dallas Cowboys
2. Philadelphia Eagles
3. New York Giants
4. Washington Redskins

Wild Cards: Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles

NFC Championship:
New Orleans Saints over chicago Bears



AFC North

The Bengals without Carson Palmer are probably the worst team in the NFL. The Browns may be improving but aren't far behind. The Steelers underperformed the last two times they followed a year in the Super Bowl, expect the same. That leaves the Ravens: despite their age, they have a great defense and a competent offense...

1. Baltimore Ravens
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Cleveland Browns
4. Cincinnati Bengals

AFC South

The Jaguars treatment of David Garrard will destroy team morale and expect them to collapse. The Titans had to choose between a great coach and a still potentially great QB: they lost both. Even with Peyton Manning it'd be a tough year for the Colts, but even if he misses the whole season, they still have good leadership in Kerry Collins at QB. Meanwhile, the long underachieving Texans will overachieve this year...

1. Houston Texans
2. Indianapolis Colts
3. Tennessee Titans
4. Jacksonville Jaguars

AFC West

Josh McDaniels really screwed up the Broncos. The Raiders have potential, but I just don't take them seriously this season. The Chargers will once again underperform despite all their talent. That leaves the Chiefs, a team with that great recipe of good coaching, good defense, and a competent offense to repeat...

1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. San Diego Chargers
3. Oakland Raiders
4. Denver Broncos

AFC East

The best division in the NFL. The Bills would be competitive in any other. The Dolphins are much better than they're given credit for. Do I really need to argue for the Patriots? But I'm sold on Rex Ryan...

1. New York Jets
2. New England Patriots
3. Miami Dolphins
4. Buffalo Bills

Wild Cards: New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins

AFC Championship:
New York Jets over Houston Texans


Super Bowl

It'll be a close game, but my pick:

New York Jets over New Orleans Saints

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