With the start of football season still months away and the owners and players engaged in a dispute about money, will there even be a season this year? My guess is that the players and owners will come to some sort of agreement and be ready to play. Neither the players or the owners want to risk losing the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue by canceling the season. Assuming the season takes place as normal, here are my NFL pro picks.
In the AFC, my division winners are the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders. The Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals will battle it out for wild card positions. In the NFC, my NFL pro picks include the NY Giants, Green Bay Packers,Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the San Francisco 49ers. The two wild card teams look to be the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions.
At the start of each season, every team has hopes of making the playoffs. The pundits always have a lot to say, but they are usually wrong. Last year, it took them a half season before they would admit that the Cowboys were just not that good. I suppose they were hoping to be vindicated by a late season surge as many had picked them to go to the Superbowl which was played in their brand new stadium. My NFL pro picks do not mirror the thoughts of the so called pros. I have found from years of following the NFL that the majority of teams make the playoffs every year. A few really bad teams with poor management never make the playoffs and a few really well managed teams almost always make the playoffs.
This year, the really well managed teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots are not picked to win their divisions or even make the playoffs. I believe it is time for some new blood to dominate the season. One of the easiest ways to make NFL pro picks is to look at the results from the previous year. Take note of any major changes in the roster and calculate the possibility of improvement and you can see which teams are on the upswing and which are not. My personal picks for biggest surprise teams are the Tampa Bay and Jacksonville franchises. Look out!
Last years results form the basis for this years schedule. The weakest teams from last year are usually awarded the easiest schedule. Teams that finished under .500 are usually paired with other weak teams. Everyone must play their common division rivals, but, the remaining games are not pre-determined. A team that showed some life while playing the better teams, but still lost most of their games might be a ripe candidate for a big improvement in wins and losses. Not only do they get the benefit of an easy schedule, they also get the highest picks in the annual draft. Finally, look for teams that have good quarterbacks. Without a good quarterback, a team has little chance of succeeding.