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.
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 ...**
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.
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.)
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 ...**
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.
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.