Around the League  

 

Final record predictions for all 32 NFL teams

Around the League predicted all the playoff teams and the MVP. We've predicted all the Week 1 games, and got the first game wrong.

Before moving on to the madness Sunday, I wanted to get my picks for each team's record on paper for posterity. I've been doing this for years and it just didn't feel right to group the 20 non-playoff teams in one pile.

Yes, it would have been better to post this before the Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants. But my records were already done (with the Giants ahead of Dallas.) I expect both teams to miss the playoffs anyhow. Let's do this.

2012 NFL predictions
NFL.com and NFL Network analysts share their picks for MVP, rookie of the year, playoff teams and a whole lot more. More ...

AFC East

New England Patriots: 12-4
New York Jets: 9-7
Buffalo Bills: 7-9
Miami Dolphins: 3-13

The schedule is very tasty for this division, bumping each team up a win or two. They face the AFC South and NFC West out of division. It doesn't get much better than that. I'm not buying the Bills hype because it's too hard for Chan Gailey to keep out-scheming other teams with lackluster overall talent.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers: 12-4
Baltimore Ravens: 11-5
Cincinnati Bengals: 8-8
Cleveland Browns: 3-13

The Steelers still have the best quarterback and passing game in this defense-dominated division. That should be enough. The Bengals might be a better team overall and take a step back in the standings with a tougher schedule.

AFC South

Houston Texans: 12-4
Indianapolis Colts: 8-8
Tennessee Titans: 7-9
Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-11

Houston may be the safest pick to win a division in the entire league. It would be a surprise if any one of the other teams challenged them. (I do like the Colts to overachieve, though.)

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs: 10-6
San Diego Chargers: 8-8
Denver Broncos: 8-8
Oakland Raiders: 6-10

Denver may have the toughest schedule in the league. They could improve a lot with Peyton Manning and it may not show up in the standings. Kansas City doesn't look great at quarterback, but they have enough depth and talent elsewhere to survive a marathon season.

Breer: Week 1 picks
Albert Breer provides his predictions for the opening week of the season, giving one rookie quarterback a road win. More ...

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles: 10-6
New York Giants: 8-8
Dallas Cowboys: 8-8
Washington Redskins: 6-10

I'm buying the Philadelphia pieces coming together. They are a rare group that should have a top-ten offense and defense. The Giants' defensive line actually lacks depth, especially if Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora start to show their age.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers: 12-4
Detroit Lions: 9-7
Chicago Bears: 9-7
Minnesota Vikings 4-12

The expectations are high in Detroit and Chicago. The schedules are pretty favorable. That would make a finish like this all the more disappointing. The Bears defense no longer is that fearsome. The Lions' secondary and running game issues will show up.

NFC South

New Orleans Saints: 10-6
Atlanta Falcons: 10-6
Carolina Panthers: 10-6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3-13

Can three teams make it to the playoffs out of the NFC South? It happened in the AFC North last year. The Bucs could wind up going 0-6 in the division.

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks: 10-6
San Francisco 49ers: 9-7
Arizona Cardinals: 5-11
St. Louis Rams: 4-12

My somewhat irrational love for the Seahawks is not that irrational. They have two solid quarterbacks; they used to have zero. They have a rising defense that is difficult to prepare for. Pete Carroll's three-year plan is ready to go. We see the 49ers struggling to pass and not getting the injury luck they did a year ago.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15