Monday, September 7, 2009
Luke Graham's column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4229 or lgraham@SteamboatToday.com.
Find more columns by Luke here.
The NFL season begins Thursday, which can mean only one thing: It's time for my incredibly popular NFL picks column.
Truth is, people don't read my picks column for forecast accuracy. In fact, I'm usually just pitifully wrong. Two years ago, I picked the St. Louis Rams to make the Super Bowl. They went on to win three games.
Last season - and this was a new low in the history of picking games - I had the Detroit Lions making the playoffs.
But a new season brings new hope, and here's how I see the NFL season shaking out. The only guarantee is that my beloved Buffalo Bills will miss the playoffs - again. Of course, I'm not sure I want them to make it. The last time they did, I was a freshman in high school, and the Music City (Forward Lateral) Miracle happened.
Nothing says consistency like another 7-9 season.
I hate football.
New England 11-5
New York 6-10
Overview: We won't talk about the Bills, but the Patriots are again the class of the division. Miami has one of the best front offices in football. The Jets will struggle with a rookie quarterback. Tom Brady is back and ready to prove something. And Buffalo could be this year's Detroit. Aren't you glad you're not a Bills fan?
Overview: Pittsburgh is just too deep to not win the division. I think Cincinnati will rebound from last season and put up some big offensive numbers. Joe Flacco will have a sophomore slump for Baltimore, and Cleveland has two quarterbacks, neither of whom are any good.
Overview: Jeff Fisher is one of the best coaches in the league, and the Titans running game is too good not to win games. I think the Colts are due for a little fall off given their coaching overhaul. Jacksonville doesn't excite me, and Houston is everyone's surprise playoff team. Everyone's but mine.
San Diego 13-3
Kansas City 7-9
Overview:If the Chargers don't do it this year, they never will. Broncos fans need to give Josh McDaniels a chance, unless you were happy with annual 8-8 Mike Shanahan teams. Love what the Chiefs are putting together, and the Raiders continue to be a mess.
New York 11-5
Overview:Love the Eagles and what they've done for their offense. New York is still good, and Dallas is just holding on for a year until it can get Shanahan on the sidelines. Washington is the most overpriced team in the league.
Green Bay 13-3
Overview: I love Green Bay and everything about them this year. Cutler will kill it in Chicago. And while I like Minnesota as a state, I hate Brett Favre. Detroit, congrats on your first wins since 2007.
New Orleans 11-5
Tampa Bay 6-10
Overview: Gregg Williams makes the Saints defense legitimate. Carolina and Atlanta will battle for Wild Card spots, and Tampa is just too young to make a serious run at the playoffs.
San Francisco 9-7
St. Louis 5-11
Overview:San Francisco is my sleeper pick, if nothing else because I like what Mike Singletary is doing there. Arizona's surprise run comes to an end when Kurt Warner gets hurt in the first couple of weeks. Seattle could surprise if Matt Hasselbeck comes back strong. St. Louis has too many holes.
AFC Championship game
San Diego 34, New England 31
NFC Championship game
Green Bay 24, New Orleans 17
Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa Bay
Green Bay 27, San Diego 13
Call it the anti-curse of the Favre, but I love me some Green Bay this year.