NFL – 2014 PREDICTIONS
Now that the 2014 NFL season has happily arrived, my predictions as to each conference outcome and the Super Bowl are as follows:
NFC West Winner – Seahawks
NFC South Winner – Saints
NFC North Winner – Packers
NFC East Winner – Eagles
NFC Wild Card 1 – Cardinals
NFC Wild Card 2 – Cowboys
NFC Champion – Seahawks
Unlike the other divisions in this conference, the NFC East will be up for grabs and dependent mostly on the performances of each team’s quarterbacks this year (Foles, Romo, Griffin III, Manning). It’ll come down to which of them plays the best & carries their team. And, frankly, even though I think that every smart NFL team (aren’t they all?) have well scouted the 2013 Chip Kelly Offense/Nick Foles relationship in the offseason & will have some idea as to how to stop them, they still seem the most dynamic offense of the bunch.
Also, I’m not going to underestimate Chip Kelly who coached the University of Oregon to BCS games in each of his four seasons [ever] as [a] college football head coach. A large part of his consistent success there was his ability to adapt & the close relationships he formed with his players. This reputation for adaptability & closeness with the players will likely help him (and Foles) moving forward with the Eagles in 2014.
On the flip side, will it finally be Tony Romo’s year? Can he be the leader he needs to be and vault this team out of mediocrity? If he does, they’ll certainly challenge the Eagles if the birds falter down the stretch.
As for the Seahawks, they should ride their year of prosperity over to 2014, as the same elite defense that clobbered the Broncos in last year’s Super Bowl has largely stayed the same. On the offense side, they did let wide receiver Golden Tate go to the Detroit Lions in free agency, but that shouldn’t hurt them too much, with all the depth they have including Percy Harvin & Marshawn Lynch. Also, Coach Carroll and his staff will likely have worked during the offseason to improve the offense, dare I say – have it close to elite? If that’s the case, then this could be the first team in 9 years to repeat Super Bowl wins (Patriots, 2004-05).
AFC West Winner – Broncos
AFC South Winner – Colts
AFC East Winner – Patriots
AFC North Winner – Bengals
AFC Wild Card 1 – Chiefs
AFC Wild Card 2 – Steelers
AFC Champion – Patriots
As with the NFC, there is only one conference that will be up for grabs and that is the AFC North. I chose to believe in the Bengals over the others, because of their talented staff and the way they’ve improved steadily since 2011 since QB Dalton first started. But, the Steelers can’t be counted out either, due to their strength of schedule, enriched staff during the offseason, and the quality of the coaching.
It’s hard to forget about the Ravens too with all the talent they have and how well coached they are, but the inconsistency will likely continue for the team since they still haven’t recouped after all the offseason starter losses they felt in 2013 (Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, etc.)
As for the AFC Champion, I really like the Patriots this year. They’ve improved their defense and Brady knows he only has a couple of years left to play at best. The rest of their division may be improved (Jets, Dolphins), but I don’t think they will compete with New England. I’m still slightly on the fence as to if the Pats can beat the Seahawks at the Super Bowl, but overall, I think with a little luck, this is their year again.
Super Bowl XLIX Champion – Patriots
Source : NFL.com
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