September 6, 2010

NFL North divisions preview

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

It may be Labour Day, but we’re not taking the day off here, with the NFL season so close to beginning. Speaking of labour, these two divisions, the NFC and AFC Norths, are going to take quite a bit of work to conquer.

In fact, I have the AFC North finishing in a three-way tie. Even Big Ben’s four-game absence won’t hold back Pittsburgh too much. Their early schedule won’t cause them too many problems and with a Week 5 being their bye, Roethlisberger will have time to readjust to the speed of the game.

The Ravens are Super Bowl picks by many and it’s hard to argue with that sentiment. Their defence is strong, they have a stud running back and their passing game is continually improving, including their addition of T.J. Houshmanzadeh on Monday. The only thing that can slow them down is their annual battle with the injury bug. It hurts to play that hard.

The Bengals jumped up and surprised everyone last year, before faltering near the end and in the playoffs. Cincy’s defence gets a few key guys back from injuries and can be as tough as this division’s other three contenders. If Carson Palmer is above average, this team could be a force.

Ohio’s other team won’t be so fortunate. The Browns are starting another rebuild, seemingly a year after starting the last one. I have no idea why they brought Jake Delhomme in, but he won’t be the answer to anything except: Who will throw the most interceptions this season?

Predictions:
Ravens 10-6
Steelers 10-6 *- wild card
Bengals 10-6
Browns 3-13

In the NFC, it’s a two horse race at the top and one of them is getting older and weaker by the day. The Vikings will need another stunner of a season from Brett Favre and it’s hard to see that occurring at 41 years old and without his favourite target Sidney Rice for at least half the season. This team will still win games, but won’t be the powerhouse of 2009.

The Packers, on the other hand, look like they’re ready to explode. You can never take pre-season too seriously, but Green Bay’s offence looked amazing. Their line should play better and give Aaron Rodgers more time than he’ll need to hook up with his multitude of great talents. And look for the Pack to get revenge on Favre when he comes to town this season.

The Bears spent money in the off-season and could turn it around this season. They’ll always be a tough out and should scrape out some wins. Jay Cutler will not throw 26 picks again this season.

Detroit is still building and have a sturdy foundation for the first time in a really long time. If they keep nailing their draft picks, this could seriously be a contender sooner than later. Not this season though, this defence still needs some work.

Predictions:
Packers 11-5
Vikings 9-7 *- wild card
Bears 6-10
Lions 4-12

2 Comments

  1. Really informative blog.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

  2. Cincinnatti will be the SuperBowl winner!

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