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RJ’s 2011 NFL Picks: Final Regular Season Standings And Playoff Teams

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Here is something new I’m trying this season (picking where each NFL team will finish in their respective division). I’m sure this will look embarrassingly bad by, say, early November, but here are my predictions for the final 2011 regular season standings, including playoff teams and seedings. (If you’re interested in my reasoning, check out my Week One Picks for brief evaluations of each team.)

AFC EAST

New England Patriots (#1 Bye)
New York Jets (#5 Wild Card)
Buffalo Bills
Miami Dolphins

Not much change from last year, except the Dolphins got a bit worse and the Bills got a bit better. 

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens (#3 Seed)
Pittsburgh Steelers (#6 Wild Card)
Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals

The Ravens haven’t won the division since 2006, but I believe they will edge out the Steelers this year. The Bengals are going to be really bad. 

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans (#4 Seed)
Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars

Starting the season without Peyton Manning (which seems likely) means no division title for the Colts. The Texans should be fun to watch this season.

AFC WEST

San Diego Chargers (#2 Bye)
Kansas City Chiefs
Denver Broncos
Oakland Raiders

The Chargers should own this division in 2011. I expect the Raiders to be fairly awful.  

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys (#3 Seed)
Philadelphia Eagles (#5 Wild Card)
New York Giants
Washington Redskins

It seems that nearly everyone else believes that Michael Vick and the Eagles will win the division, but I like the Cowboys with a healthy Tony Romo. 

NFC NORTH

Green Bay Packers (#1 Bye)
Detroit Lions (#6 Wild Card)
Chicago Bears
Minnesota Vikings

The Packers will be extremely difficult to beat this year as the defending Super Bowl champs. The Lions should sneak into the postseason with 9 or 10 wins with its core of young talent on both sides of the ball. 

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta Falcons (#2 Bye)
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers

This division will have the same standings as last season, but with the Saints missing the playoffs this time around. The Panthers should be improved, but they are still the weakest team in the division. 

NFC WEST

St. Louis Rams (#4 Seed)
Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks were mediocre last season with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback. They will be terrible without him. The Rams are clearly the best team in the division, although the Cardinals could surprise the football world. 

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About RJ

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Well, we are now halfway through the NFL’s regular season, so let’s take a look at how my preseason predictions compare to the midseason reality:

    AFC EAST

    NE 5-3
    Jets 5-3
    Bills 5-3
    Miami 1-7

    I’m looking pretty solid here, except the Patriots are unlikely to be the #1 seed in the AFC this year.

    AFC NORTH

    Bengals 6-2
    Pittsburgh 6-2
    Ravens 5-2
    Browns 3-5

    I was completely wrong about Cincinnati, but otherwise I wasn’t too far off.

    AFC SOUTH

    Texans 6-3
    Titans 4-4
    Jaguars 2-6
    Colts 0-9

    I did not realize the Colts would be the worst team in the NFL without Peyton Manning, but otherwise I was pretty close.

    AFC WEST

    KC 4-4
    SD 4-4
    Oakland 4-4
    Denver 3-5

    In thought the Chargers would be better and the Raiders would be worse. Also, the Chargers are unlikely to be the #2 seed in the AFC even if they manage to win the division.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    NFC EAST

    Giants 6-2
    Dallas 4-4
    Eagles 3-4
    Redskins 3-5

    I overestimated the Cowboys (and Tony Romo) while underestimating the Giants.

    NFC NORTH

    GB 8-0
    Lions 6-2
    Bears 4-3
    Vikings 2-6

    I pretty much nailed it.

    NFC SOUTH

    NO 6-3
    Atlanta 5-3
    TB 4-4
    Carolina 2-6

    Pretty close, though I expected the Falcons to be a bit better and the Saints to be a little worse.

    NFC WEST

    SF 7-1
    Seattle 2-6
    Arizona 2-6
    Rams 1-7

    I was wrong about every team in this division except the Seahawks. The Rams are very bad, not pretty good; the 49ers are very good, not pretty bad; and the Cardinals just plain stink.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Final Regular Season Standings:

    AFC East

    Pats
    Jets
    Dolphins (tie)
    Bills (tie)

    I was very close in my prediction, except the Jets narrowly missed the playoffs.

    AFC North

    Ravens
    Steelers
    Bengals
    Browns

    I was very close, except picking the Ravens as a 3 seed instead of 2, and Steelers a 6 seed instead of 5. Also, I did not expect the Bengals to do better than the Browns, and certainly did not expect them to make the playoffs.

    AFC South

    Texans
    Titans
    Jags
    Colts

    I was right about the Texans (although I had them as a 4 seed instead of a 3). I did not think the Colts would be so horrible without Peyton Manning, nor did I expect him to miss the entire season when I made these predictions. Otherwise, I was pretty good with this division (I knew the Jaguars would be awful and the Titans would be mediocre).

    AFC West

    Broncos
    SD (tie)
    Oakland (tie)
    KC

    I was totally wrong about this division. I completely overestimated the Chargers and underestimated the Raiders. I did (in another column) predict that Tebow would end up as the starter in Denver, however.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Final Regular Season Standings:

    NFC East

    Giants
    Eagles (tie)
    Dallas (tie)
    Washington

    I got the Redskins right. I thought the Eagles would be a little bit better (most people thought they would be a lot better). I overestimated the Cowboys and underestimated the Giants.

    NFC North

    Packers
    Lions
    Bears
    Vikings

    I got this division perfect.

    NFC South

    Saints
    Falcons
    Panthers
    TB

    I was pretty far off here. I thought the Falcons would be a bit better, thought the Saints would be significantly worse, thought the Panthers would be a little worse, and thought the Buccaneers would be somewhat better.

    NFC West

    SF
    Arizona
    Seattle
    Rams

    I was right about Arizona…and nothing else. The Seahawks were better than I expected, the Rams were much worse than I expected, and the 49ers were much better than I expected.