New England: 12-4
Difficult to duplicate 14 wins, but still a powerhouse team and division winner.
NY Jets: 11-5
Good team but still won’t top the Pats. Shonn Greene needs to put out or get out.
Ho-hum club with some potential, but won’t be too impressive in 2011.
Potential for disaster here. The QB situation: Chad Henne and Matt Moore? Henne didn’t deliver last year and probably won’t again this year. Relying on Reggie Bush and rookie Daniel Thomas for the running game could spell doom for the ‘fins.
Same ol’ thing still works for the Steelers: Stiff DEF, Big Ben, and solid rushing game will make another winner this year.
Similar to Pats/Jets dynamic, Ravens are good but have trouble topping their divisional rival.
Colt McCoy can’t shoulder the whole load.
May improve slightly over last year, but that’s not saying much.
As of this writing, injury concerns for Peyton as he is recovering from neck surgery. But once he’s back in the saddle the Colts will once again win the division and make a serious playoff run.
Defense performed awful last year, holding back the tremendous ability on offense (Schaub, Foster, A. Johnson).
Matt Hasselbeck is the QB and Chris Johnson is holding out? This does not spell victory.
I have a feeling this will be a bad season for the Jags. There’s likely to be a QB battle between David Garrard and rookie Blaine Gabbert. Maurice Jones-Drew is recovering from injury and while he says he is all better now, what if he gets hurt again? Also, Mike Sims-Walker departed for St. Louis.
San Diego: 10-6
Last season, the Chargers ranked 1st in most offensive yards gained, and 1st in least defensive yards allowed, but only went 8-8. Maybe this year their talent will actually equal victories.
Kansas City: 9-7
Solid team, especially with the explosive new star Jamaal Charles, but I don’t think they will repeat last season’s success. Dwayne Bowe will not get 15 TD catches again.
Retaining Kyle Orton keeps the Broncos from fully launching into uncharted waters with Tim Tebow. However, mediocrity will still rule.
Other than the talents (on again, off again) of Darren McFadden, not much to sing about in Oakland.
The “dream team” can’t help but win a lot of games, but I think they will fall short of the Super Bowl this season. I believe Vick is the real deal, but the injury concern is also very real.
A huge amount of talent. If Romo can stay healthy and deliver the goods to Austin, Bryant, and Witten then the Cowboys could be dangerous in 2011.
NY Giants: 10-6
I would have the Giants higher if not for the tough division (well, except for the Skins).
A total mess here. Let’s see, your QB’s are John Beck (who?) and Rex Grossman??? That’s just — gross.
Green Bay: 13-3
This team has everything — and more since the return of their injured players from last year. The Pack is poised to repeat their Super Bowl victory.
Da Bears need to (again) figure out how to protect Cutler. Otherwise, 2011 could be up in the air. I do think they are strong enough to make a decent run.
The big question here is whether McNabb will help or hurt. I guess I am playing it safe and staying the middle. Adrian Peterson, as great as he is, doesn’t single-handedly win games (see last season). Sidney Rice’s departure doesn’t help either.
A whole lotta talent on the Lions. QB Matthew Stafford simply MUST NOT GET INJURED. End of story. It’s a shame for a team to be so consistently mediocre for so long and yet have several talented players (Johnson, Best, Suh, etc.). If Stafford plays a full 16 games then Detroit might be able to muster a winning record.
Really tough call between the Falcons and the Saints as to who will win the division. I vote Falcons again because of their impressive 2010 and the addition of WR Julio Jones. With Matt Ryan throwing to Roddy White and Jones, as well as Michael Turner on the ground, this team shouldn’t be beat (but real life often tells a different story).
New Orleans: 11-5
Saints could very well win the NFC South this season. Rookie RB Mark Ingram should be an upgrade over Reggie Bush. With some work the Saints could make a real Super Bowl run again.
Tampa Bay: 9-7
Solid team performance last season. Up and coming QB Josh Freeman can help make the Bucs a contender again this year.
Nowhere to go but up. Re-signing DeAngelo Williams was a huge gain. The talent of Cam Newton should contribute to at least more wins than last season (2-14).
St. Louis: 10-6
The Rams have the pieces of the puzzle they need to be a serious contender: Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson, Mike Sims-Walker, as well as some upgrades in defense. The NFC West is theirs to lose in 2011. Prediction: Rookie TE Lance Kendricks will be a major stud sooner rather than later.
The “Kolb Question” should be resolved in 2011 – for good or ill. I can’t imagine the Cardinals not improving this season, though news of rookie RB Ryan Williams’ season-ending injury hurts. With the continued delay of Beanie Wells’ breakout, the Cards’ running game is still weak.
Some interesting additions to the Seahawks (Sidney Rice, Tarvaris Jackson) should make them — well, interesting, but not necessarily a winning team. It’s puzzling why they would make the unproven Jackson their starter. It’s quite possible Charlie Whitehurst could win the starting job during the season.
San Francisco: 4-12
New head coach Jim Harbaugh should bring a much needed fresh approach, but the regrettable QB situation lingers on. It’s kind of a cliche now, but true in this league: you can’t win without a great QB (or at least a stable situation). And Frank Gore can’t seem to stay healthy for an entire season.