Each year, people who make their living talking sports do their predictions for how the NFL season will play out. Without fail, they almost all look at a team, look at the additions and subtractions on the team, any coaching changes, and then they decide how many additional wins or losses that will equate to on top of last year’s record. Problem is, that doesn’t factor in the games a team actually has to play.

Some teams end up with a harder schedule at home than on the road. Some teams have unfortunately-placed bye weeks. So I look at as many factors as possible for each team… and I predict the entire NFL schedule. I let those 256 game predictions determine how I think a team is going to finish. Sometimes the results surprise me, and I go back and look at what I predicted, but most of the times I’m satisfied with how I picked things to play out.

Based on my 256 predictions, here’s how I see the divisions shaping up.

NFC East

Rank Team W L
1 Washington Redskins 11 5
2 New York Giants 10 6
3 Dallas Cowboys 6 10
4 Philadelphia Eagles 5 11

It’s not hard to see that the Eagles are going to have some growing pains with a new head coach, or the Dallas Cowboys taking a small step back given their change in defensive schemes. The Washington Redskins should take a step forward as Pierre Garcon likely won’t be injured the majority of this season, and they had a great record when he was on the field last year.

AFC East

Rank Team W L
1 New England Patriots 10 6
2 Miami Dolphins 6 10
3 Buffalo Bills 3 13
4 New York Jets 2 14

Wes Welker left, and two of their Pro Bowl Tight Ends aren’t going to be key contributors to the upcoming season for the Patriots, but they should still be the class of the division. The Dolphins got a star Wide Receiver, but they didn’t figure out their running attack. The Bills and Jets both have serious issues at the QB position… and not a lot of answers anywhere else.

NFC North

Rank Team W L
1 Green Bay Packers 13 3
2 Minnesota Vikings 9 7
3 Chicago Bears 9 7
4 Detroit Lions 8 8

The Green Bay Packers may have lost one of their top Wide Receivers, but they’ve got plenty of weapons, so they shouldn’t have trouble recovering from that loss. The Vikings got to the post-season last year on the back of Adrian Peterson, and it’s hard to see him put together that same type of season this year. The Lions adding Reggie Bush should be a step in the right direction, but it’s still not enough to make them a playoff-bound team.

AFC North

Rank Team W L
1 Baltimore Ravens 12 4
2 Pittsburgh Steelers 8 8
3 Cincinnati Bengals 7 9
4 Cleveland Browns 5 11

The Ravens have all the tools to be back in the post-season again this year. The Steelers might not have loved Mike Wallace, but losing him is a big deal. The Bengals and Browns just haven’t done enough to take a step forward.

NFC South

Rank Team W L
1 New Orleans Saints 14 2
2 Atlanta Falcons 12 4
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 10
4 Carolina Panthers 5 11

Getting their head coach back and having a serious approach to coaching the defensive side of the ball this year should easily make them one of the top teams in the NFC. The Falcons may have kept Tony Gonzalez around, but his age is going to eventually catch up with him, and Steven Jackson, and Roddy White. After this pre-season, the Buccaneers don’t look as “set” at QB as many thought they were.

AFC South

Rank Team W L
1 Houston Texans 14 2
2 Indianapolis Colts 13 3
3 Tennessee Titans 4 12
4 Jacksonville Jaguars 2 14

The continuing maturity of the Houston Texans is likely to mean a big step forward yet again. The Colts should maintain their high level of competitiveness this year as their coaching stability is improved upon after last year. The Titans have issues at QB, but not nearly as terribly as the Jaguars.

NFC West

Rank Team W L
1 Seattle Seahawks 11 5
2 San Francisco 49ers 10 6
3 Arizona Cardinals 6 10
4 St Louis Rams 5 11

The Seahawks getting deep into the playoffs last year is going to help galvanize them and take them into a division-winning season. The 49ers won’t suffer the same fate as many teams who lose the Super Bowl the prior year, as they have all the weapons of a post-season team. The Cardinals might have significantly upgraded at QB in the off-season, but they didn’t do enough elsewhere. The Rams are going to be an exciting young team, but they’ll need one more year to put it together.

AFC West

Rank Team W L
1 Denver Broncos 14 2
2 Kansas City Chiefs 9 7
3 Oakland Raiders 4 12
4 San Diego Chargers 3 13

The only question facing the Broncos is whether or not anyone can slow them down. The Kansas City Chiefs are going to be a huge surprise, but if you really look at their weapons, their record shouldn’t surprise you, especially given the issues facing the Raiders and Chargers, neither of whom have any weapons who can consistently be counted upon.


That’s right, I even predicted the playoffs… and I love the drama that plays out here. I gave the top two teams a bye in the first round, just like they’ll actually get. I took the rest of the seeding based on how the NFL does it as well, and here are the match ups and my predictions for them.

Wild Card Weekend

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks

Home field advantage is going to help give the Seahawks the slightest of margins by which they’ll advance beyond the opening weekend in this divisional match-up.


Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots

The Chiefs were surprising enough as an entrant into the playoffs, but don’t expect Andy Reid and company to defeat the Patriots, who should make it look easy.


Atlanta Falcons @ Washington Redskins

This one is absolutely a homer pick, but I can’t pick against the Redskins here. If RGIII hadn’t been injured last year, they would’ve advanced beyond this spot against Seattle.

Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens

In a rematch from last year, this time it will be the Colts who get the better of the defending Super Bowl Champs.

Divisional Round

Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints

The Saints will be well-rested and well-prepared and they’ll eliminate the out-matched Seahawks.


New England Patriots @ Houston Texans

In the past, the Patriots have had far too many weapons for the Texans, and it will be the opposite this time around.

Washington Redskins @ Green Bay Packers

I honestly nearly had to flip a coin on this one, because the Packers run game doesn’t do much to scare me, but because it’ll be played in Green Bay after the Packers get a week off to prepare, Aaron Rodgers will advance his squad.


Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos

The Colts will be over-matched by their former signal-caller and all the weapons at Peyton’s disposal.

Conference Championships

Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees and Sean Payton will be far too much for a Packers team who don’t have a definitive star at the running back position. The Saints have plenty of receiving threats, and can dominate the run with their three-prong attack.


Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning will once again be way too much for his former divisional foe, who take a nice step forward in looking legit this year.

The Super Bowl

New Orleans Saints vs Denver Broncos

With all the receiving threats in his favor and a failed Super Bowl in his rear-view, Peyton Manning is going to use that motivation to do everything he can to avenge the loss from years ago.