2009 NFL PRESEASON PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS
2009 Preseason NFL Week By Week Predictions - 2008 Chris Gossett Picks Accurate
After years past of accurate predictions, and after the spot on accuracy most recently in 2008, I feel I should post my in-depth analysis again.
Last year, in 2008, I predicted the Super Bowl winner, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in 2007 I said the Super Bowl would be the Giants and the Chargers; both years I got one of the Super Bowl teams, and last year I picked the winner, which I am so glad I documented. Additionally, in 2008 I accurately predicted five of the eight division winners, including the fact that I picked the Cardinals to win their division, I accurately predicted the Patriots would not win their division, nor would the Patriots enjoy a playoff berth. I accurately predicted three of the four division winners in the NFC. For Wildcard Weekend I accurately predicted two of the four NFC teams who would be playing, Arizona and Minnesota. In the AFC I accurately predicted two of the four division winners and that the Colts would be a Wildcard team and San Diego would also play in the Wildcard round and more - read my 2008 predictions and see for yourself... I believe this year I have a good chance of repeating some of those numbers; also I make specific predictions - an overview is below and beneath the predicted finishes I have a synopsis of each team.
Legend PENDING CORRECT INCORRECT
I look at every game, week by week, team by team... I consider when bye weeks take place, the momentum of each team, and I see trends that are always consistent. Traveling west to east is harder than traveling east to west. Some NFL teams lose games when traveling west, notably to the west coast and vice versa. There is an ebb and flow and streaks are prevalent. There are always teams that rise, seemingly, out of nowhere. Players change. It's beyond a three dimensional analysis that I undertake.
|Buffalo 10-6||*||Philadelphia 11-5||*|
|New England 7-9||N.Y. Giants 11-5||WC|
|N.Y. Jets 6-10||Dallas 9-7|
|Miami 6-9-1||Washington 5-11|
|Pittsburgh 14-2||*HFA||Chicago 10-6||*|
|Baltimore 12-4||WC||Minnesota 9-7||WC|
|Cincinnati 9-7||Green Bay 8-8|
|Cleveland 5-11||Detroit 2-14|
|Tennessee 12-4||*||Carolina 12-4||*HFA|
|Indianapolis 11-5||WC||New Orleans 9-7|
|Jacksonville 10-5-1||Tampa Bay 5-11|
|Houston 10-6||Atlanta 4-12|
|San Diego 11-5||*||Arizona 10-6||*|
|Oakland 5-11||San Francisco 8-8|
|Denver 5-11||St. Louis 6-10|
|Kansas City 2-14||Seattle 4-12|
1. Pittsburgh - 14-2 - The week by week reveals the Steelers as 15-1 but it's hard to put that down and stick to it so I say 14-2. The Steelers have an improved team, returning 20 of 22 starters, improving on replacements and the Steelers no longer have the number one toughest schedule but the 29th! Things are lining up for a repeat and seventh Lombardi trophy for Pittsburgh. One loss will probably come at Baltimore in the 11th game of the season. CORRECT With Stephan Logan improving the return game to a strength - look to see him in the Pro Bowl his first year, as a Special Teamer, with Daniel Sepulveda back to improve the punting game and a ground game threat in Isaac Redman and Frank Summers the Steelers look like the census to win the AFC. The Achilles heel is the Offensive Line and could extend to the Defensive Line in the event of a rash of injuries to an aging core. CORRECT With 139 sacks in 3 years Ben Roethlisberger assumes blame for some of it due to "holding on to the ball too long, in order to make a play". Any one who has watched the Steelers consistently over the past 3 years knows there are times the line is like a sieve, trying to make a play or not. With solid line play and a reduction of sacks the Steelers are this betting man's choice. A tough opener against the Titans could leave the champs 0-1 INCORRECT but a string of victories will ensue that will be at Chicago, at Cincinnati, INCORRECT home against the Nuevo Pick of '09, San Diego, CORRECT at the pathetic Lions, CORRECT home against the Cleveland Browns, CORRECT home against the declining Farve-Vikings CORRECT , which will see the Steelers end October 9-1 or 10-0, INCORRECT November starts with a bye, then a win at Denver CORRECT (Cutler-less, helpless Denver), home against the Bengals INCORRECT the Steelers lost , at hapless Kansas City INCORRECT the Steelers lost, then the game of the year; at Baltimore, November 29th. I predict a Raven victory. CORRECT Thankfully the Steelers will not have to make that terrible trek to Oakland. The Raiders visit Heinz field for the first time December 6th INCORRECT the Steelers lost . PENDING Then a trip to Cleveland INCORRECT to hone up for the coming playoffs will be followed by the Packers CORRECT and Ravens CORRECT at home, all victories, ending with an exhibition, essentially, against the skidding Dolphins CORRECT . I see 14-2 or 15-1 like Ben's rookie, 2004 season. INCORRECT INCORRECT
2. Baltimore - 12-4 - The Ravens are right with Pittsburgh. They will likely start the season undefeated, 5-0, INCORRECT until they go to Minnesota on October 18th. Cincinnati will possibly surprise them with an upset, at Cincinnati, on November 8th. CORRECT The Colts will come to town on November 22 and take home a W. CORRECT The Ravens will probably beat Pittsburgh November 29 CORRECT and then reel off three INCORRECT X 1 , CORRECT X 2 more wins before the rematch with Pittsburgh in the 15th game CORRECT. The schedule closes out with a tough trip all the way out to Oakland which the Ravens will probably need to win to stay ahead of the pack for the fifth seed and first wildcard bid. CORRECT - AMAZING ! !
3. Cincinnati - 9-7 - The Bengals are almost there. CORRECT I think the addition of Maualuga this year and Rivers from last year has Cincinnati's Defense looking scarier than any NFL Bengal defense has for decades. CORRECT The opening win against Denver INCORRECT will be followed with a streak of four losses, at Green Bay INCORRECT , home against the Steelers INCORRECT , at Cleveland INCORRECT and at Baltimore INCORRECT . The Bengals have the toughest schedule in the AFC North with the 22nd schedule. I think that's when Cincinnati will show some resilience in coming back with wins against an ever improving Houston CORRECT , the now tougher Bears CORRECT , and I think their game of the year #1, will be against the Ravens, November 8th, at home and I predict a Cincinnati win. CORRECT Losses at Pittsburgh INCORRECT and the dreaded trip to the west coast to play Oakland CORRECT will be followed by three more wins, against Cleveland, Detroit (finally - relief!) and then game of the year #2, at Minnesota, I predict an upset with Cincinnati doing it again, unexpectedly, shockingly, beating a declining Favre. A trip to San Diego will be a tough loss but two wins to close out the season against then hapless Kansas City and the New York football Jets will make Cincinnati 9-7, finally a winning season; first in four years; but it will leave them on the outside looking in at the playoffs.
4. Cleveland - 5-11 Cleveland will make the right choice with Brady Quinn as QB. They will open the season with three losses CORRECT before grace comes in the form of a growing Cincinnati team INCORRECT , to start October with the season's first win. Then trips to playoff bound Buffalo INCORRECT and Pittsburgh CORRECT will come off as Beat Down Bi Weekly Number 1. Green Bay at home and at Chicago will be teams surprised by a resurgent Browns team. INCORRECT The resurgence won't last. The bye week of November eighth will be followed by five straight losses, including the lowest of the low; the Browns will be one of the two teams this year to actually lose to the Detroit Lions. CORRECT It will happen on November 22nd. CORRECT PENDING Following that loss, another, at an improving Cincinnati team will be followed by San Diego and Pittsburgh coming into Cleveland for Beat Down Bi Weekly Number 2. Wins at KC and home (the Browns will be Thanking God for no trip to Oakland) against the Raiders will be followed by the season bookend loss, home against the Jaguars on January 3, 2009.
1. Tennessee - 11-5 - The Titans have the fourteenth toughest NFL Schedule. The opening loss against Pittsburgh CORRECT will be followed by six straight wins. INCORRECT Then come three straight losses, all the way out west in San Francisco, the Buffalo Bills at home (who are going to the playoffs) and at the most improved, Houston Texans. INCORRECT All three will be seen as shockers but it makes sense. A tough game at home against the Cardinals to end November will be a W CORRECT and put the Titans back on track. They will then take the task to Indy and win in dominating fashion I predict. INCORRECT St. Louis and Miami will be successive victories before a Christmas match up with the Chargers at home will be a crushing defeat to Tennessee. Closing up against hapless Seattle will help to rest some and tool up others for the playoffs.
2. Indianapolis - 11-5 - Indy will open with 4 wins against Jacksonville CORRECT, at Miami CORRECT, I think they win the tough road trip to Arizona CORRECT, and of course home they will win against Seattle CORRECT. October 11, at Tennessee will pose the first loss INCORRECT, followed by a bye in week six. Consecutive wins at St. Louis CORRECT and home against San Francisco CORRECT will follow with the Houston Texans coming to Indy and Houston winning a shocker. INCORRECT Then, home against New England CORRECT and at tough Baltimore CORRECT will both be tough wins. A rematch with Houston will be a third straight win CORRECT, followed by Tennessee at home who will again beat the Colts INCORRECT, to sweep them for the year. PENDING In December they will win their home games against Denver and the Jets but the road games at Jacksonville and playoff bound Buffalo will result in defeats. The Colts have the thirteenth toughest rated schedule in the NFL.
3. Jacksonville - 10-5-1 - For a great record like 10-5-1 you would think that team is bound for the playoffs because it would be out the 10-6 teams and in most years that is the case. An opening loss against the Colts CORRECT will be followed by a win against the Cardinals at home INCORRECT. Some will panic when the Jaguars lose three more straight, at a tough Houston INCORRECT team who is vastly improved, against the Titans INCORRECT at home, at Seattle CORRECT which is a tough trip across the country, Southeast to Northwest; possibly the toughest trip in the NFL without leaving the US. At 1-4 Jacksonville will be glad to get a win against the Rams on October 18th CORRECT. October 25th is the Jaguars bye week. They will lose to Tennessee CORRECT but then the winning begins. The Chiefs will be slaughtered in Jacksonville on November 8th. CORRECT Then wins will be had at N.Y. Jets CORRECT, against Buffalo CORRECT, a playoff bound team, at home, at San Francisco INCORRECT, home against Houston CORRECT, PENDING then the odd game of the year happens. The Jaguars will tie Miami on December 13th. I have to be more specific this year and this seems like a game that would have playoff implications throughout the conference and I believe it will happen. Getting back on track the Jaguars will be Indianapolis at home on Thursday, December 17th. I think they will catch a sliding New England team December 27th, in Foxboro, and the Jaguars will win as well as win the finale at Cleveland. The 11th schedule will put the Jaguars in a hole to begin with, they will pull themselves out of the hole and barely miss the playoffs.
4. Houston - 10-6 - The Texans will be the surprise of the year to many. Being fourth in your division at 10-6 sounds unlikely but it is very possible. The Texans have the best Defensive Lineman in Williams, Bryan Cushing as a developing star rounding out at Linebacker and a secondary with the talent and potential to be the best in the league. The year will start tough with two straight losses to the Jets CORRECT and tough Titans INCORRECT, who will be coming off the opening night loss to the Steelers. Jacksonville INCORRECT and Oakland CORRECT at home will be wins to make the Texans 2-2.CORRECT Going to the west to Arizona CORRECT and to the rising Bengals INCORRECT will be consecutive losses for Houston . Then the Texans will rip off three wins against a quality 49ers CORRECT team, at the playoff bound Bills CORRECT and shocking the world at Indianapolis INCORRECT. November 15 is the bye. The fifteenth toughest schedule in the NFL has the Texans interests at heart it seems. The toughest games are sandwiched around the bye what with Tennessee coming into town on November 23rd on Monday Night Football. Tennessee will have their hands full with a Texans team that has fifteen days to prepare for them INCORRECT. Consecutive losses afterward, in a let down fashion, to Indy at home CORRECT (not an easy game by any means, any time, post-euphoric win or not) and at a tough Jacksonville CORRECT team will have the Texans at 6-6. CORRECT PENDING Three consecutive wins against declining teams in the month of December and a fourth consecutive in the finale, January 3 will come against Seattle, at St. Louis, at Miami and home against a fading New England team puts the Texans at 10-6, amazingly in the fourth position of their division and out of the playoffs. Look out for Houston in 2009.
1. San Diego - 11-5 - San Diego has the 17th toughest schedule, so one of the easier schedules, in the NFL. They will need it after a 2-2 start. CORRECT They will win the opener at Oakland CORRECT and the Miami CORRECT home game, two weeks later but sandwiched around the Miami game CORRECTare home against Baltimore CORRECT and at Pittsburgh CORRECT and both AFC North teams will beat the Chargers. After a bye October 11th comes three straight wins against Denver INCORRECT on Monday Night Football with fifteen days to prepare for the Broncos (who will still not be right in sync without Cutler), at the Chiefs CORRECT (who are this year's worst team) and home against Oakland CORRECT (many years recently, the worst team). Going all the way to the east coast to meet the Giants will be an L for the Chargers on November 8th INCORRECT, the Chargers will then win a tough one against Philly on November 15th CORRECT. A trip to Denver for the rematch will meet with Kyle Orton rounding into form and the Chargers will suffer a tough defeat to the Broncos INCORRECT. Home against hapless KC CORRECT and at Cleveland CORRECT will put the Chargers at 8-4 (9-3 actually). PENDING Then comes a tough one against the Cowboys in Dallas on December 13th. It will be gut check time as the Chargers will probably lose worse than anyone believes possible that day. I am predicting a Dallas blowout. It will get them in the right frame of mind for tooling up against Cincinnati, against a tough Titans team on the road Christmas night and home against Washington. I predict the Chargers will win those final three and have a Merry Holiday season.
2. Oakland - 5-11 - The Raiders have the 19th toughest schedule, or rather the 13th easiest schedule if you will. Tom Cable should have good odds at making a turn around. Consecutive losses against division opponents are not the way to start off your year, literally two games in the hole in your division, two games in the hole against your conference. San Diego INCORRECT and KC CORRECT stand in the way to start the year. The Raiders will pass the Chiefs before the end of the season but not San Diego CORRECT. Denver at home looks like a Raider W on September 27th INCORRECT. Consecutive losses to rising Houston CORRECTand the NFC East hardened Giants CORRECT and Eagles INCORRECT are almost a guarantee. Then the sinking Jets come to town October 25th after a long journey to Oakland and are ripe with their Rookie QB for Raider picking INCORRECT. A loss to San Diego will see the Raiders 2-6 at midseason and the head of Tom Cable will be demanded by Raider Nation (all in California) but Cable will coach out the year before Davis fires him for Matt Millen to coach in 2009. A bye November 8th prepares the Raiders with rest for home games against weak KC INCORRECT and the travel hating Bengals CORRECT - both wins. Going to Dallas CORRECT and Pittsburgh INCORRECT close November and open December with consecutive losses. PENDING Their final win will again come against a travel hating team - the Redskins on December 13th. Three consecutive losses to close the year mean the end for Cable - the possibility of a 5-8 team finishing strong at 8-8 will be Davis' hope but when a 5-11 final record comes in that will seal the deal. This division is one of the weakest, second only to the NFC West. The Raiders are the team in the bottom tier to look out for in 2009.
3. Denver - 5-11 - The Broncos will win four of their last seven games this season. The problem is after starting 1-1 with a loss at Cincinnati INCORRECT and a win at home against the Browns, the Broncos will rip off seven straight losses at Oakland INCORRECT , against Dallas INCORRECT and New England INCORRECT, at San Diego INCORRECT, at Baltimore CORRECT, home against Pittsburgh CORRECT and at Washington CORRECT. The Broncos will shock the Chargers with a victory November 22 INCORRECT. That will start the win, loss, win, loss cycle to close out the season, beating KC CORRECT, Oakland and the rematch against KC. Losses will be to the Giants INCORRECT, PENDING Colts and Eagles. Orton will not win 60 percent for Denver as he did for Chicago, not in 2009 he won't.
4. Kansas City - 2-14 - Kansas City is tied with San Diego as having the 17th toughest, or 15th easiest NFL schedule in 2009. It should bode well for the Chiefs but this year every thing that can go wrong will go wrong for the Chiefs. An opening loss to the tough as nails Ravens CORRECT will be followed by a win against the Raiders INCORRECT at home. All will look promising in the Cassell Castle. Then two losses to tough Philly CORRECT and the Giants CORRECT will be followed by an unexpected upset win against Dallas at home October 11 INCORRECT . The schedule toes on to losses at all the following: at Washington where Portis should shred them INCORRECT , San Diego CORRECT who travels well as a team going cross country, a bye will not prepare them for Jacksonville CORRECT who will be surging at that time of the season CORRECT , at Oakland INCORRECT , home against Pittsburgh INCORRECT , at San Diego CORRECT , home against Denver CORRECT , PENDING home against playoff bound Buffalo, home against Cleveland (this game they could win but won't), at world beating Cincinnati, and at Denver. Maybe the Chiefs finish 3-13 or 4-12 but no better, I don't think.
1. Buffalo - 10-6 - The Terrell Owens experiment will work. INCORRECT Five wins to end the season will make the once 5-6 Bills the division winners. The opener with New England will be a great measure when reviewed at season's end of the opposite directions these teams will take in '09. A 4-4 midpoint will be followed by a bye, then the Bills will get a much needed win in the match up with the Titans INCORRECT , at Tennessee on November 15th. Jacksonville CORRECT and Miami INCORRECT will both beat the Bills the following weeks but PENDING then comes the five game win streak to end the season.
2. New England - 7-9 - The Patriots will not win their division and will miss the playoffs again. It will appear to be business as usual when they start 3-0 ( 2-1 actually)..until they run into Ray Lewis and the Ravens INCORRECT. The Tennessee game will be another in the L INCORRECT 59-0 Patriots - destruction of the decade! column as will a shocker, in the difficult trek to England to play the Bucs INCORRECT . A Sunday night game against Indy on November 15th is a hallmark game for the season. If they lose that game which I believe they will CORRECT then the final five games will be a losing streak. They play at Miami CORRECT on Sunday night, PENDING then the always tough Panthers, then finish up with resurgent teams from Jacksonville and Houston. The number three toughest schedule in the NFL is unkind to the Patriots as they take it lying down.
3. N.Y. Jets - 6-10 - Mark Sanchez is a rookie and the Jets have the seventh toughest schedule in the NFL; not fair. A 2-1 (3-0 actually) start will bring visions of Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Dan Marino CORRECT . Then October will bring three consecutive losses, at the Saints CORRECT, at Miami CORRECT on Monday Night Football, a loss to the Bills, CORRECT - AMAZING then a win at Oakland CORRECT, always a tough road trip, will end October. Three losses to ring out November 15-29 against Jacksonville CORRECT, the Pats CORRECT and the Panthers CORRECT will be followed by a road trip to Canada to play the Bills, another game I see the Jets losing INCORRECT. PENDING Splitting December the Jets will look toward improvement with their young QB in 2009.
4. Miami - 6-9-1 - CORRECTLY PICKING MIAMI'S SEASON - EXACTLY - UP TO WEEK 6 - 3 OPENING LOSSES FOLLOWED BY 2 WINS AND THEIR BYE - AMAZING It will be a strange season for the Dolphins. In the middle of the season the team will have a 6-3-1 run during ten games but three straight losses to open CORRECT and to end the season are almost likely. September will be followed by a perfect October, with three wins and a bye (almost - 1 loss to the Saints and 2 wins plus the bye). Follow that with a two game skid on the road at the Jets INCORRECT and at the Pats CORRECT. PENDING A December 13th date with Jacksonville, I am predicting a stalemate, the lone tie of the season. Like I said, close out the season with three straight losses.
1. Philadelphia - 11-5 - The NFL gave the Eagles the ninth most difficult schedule. The opening game at Carolina will leave the Eagles Bruised and 0-1 INCORRECT. The Eagles will then win six in a row; New Orleans INCORRECT and KC at homeCORRECT , a bye week comes October 4, they play at home again and will win against Tampa Bay CORRECT, then I believe the Eagles will travel well to Oakland and come back winners INCORRECT, then comes Monday night against Washington where I believe the Eagles will squeak one out CORRECT, then it's home to play the Giants on November first which I think Philadelphia will eek out a win then also CORRECT. When they play Dallas at home on Sunday Night Football November eighth CORRECT they are going to start a string of three consecutive losses INCORRECT . They have to go to San Diego CORRECT November 15 and at Chicago INCORRECT who will be coming into their own with Jay Cutler and will win a close one over Philly November 22. Then a five game winning streak CORRECT WITH 2 SO FAR PENDING is punctuated in the middle by a win over the Giants in East Rutherford NEXT GAME. The finale is against Dallas where I feel the Cowboys will exact some revenge, leaving Philadelphia 11-5 but with a better divisional record than the Giants.
2. N.Y. Giants - 11-5 - New York will be a Wildcard team. They have the tenth rated schedule. I believe the Giants will lead the division early in the year with opening wins against Washington at home CORRECT and at Dallas in week two on Sunday Night Football CORRECT. Week 3 is a trek down to Tampa and I think the Bucs will upset the Giants in the Big Sombrero INCORRECT. The Giants will feast on Kansas City CORRECT and at home against the Raiders CORRECT in Weeks four and five. They will lose a tough one to the Saints in N.O. CORRECT They will win a tough one in a high scoring shootout against the Cardinals in week seven INCORRECT. A tough game with the Eagles will leave the Giants with one in the L column CORRECT . November eighth they will beat San Diego at home INCORRECT and then their bye weekend is November 15. Then comes three straight wins, against Atlanta CORRECT , at Denver INCORRECT and home against the Cowboys CORRECT. PENDING December 13th is a tough home game against Philly on Sunday night which will be an Eagle night. The Giants will win a Monday night game against the Redskins before finishing up with a win at home against the Panthers but a loss in the last game, during Favre's last career regular season game (sure, last game, ever, of the regular season....of 2009....I think...) will end with a Giant loss and the Eagles will have the division as a result.
3. Dallas - 9-7 - Dallas was dealt the 11th ranked NFL schedule. They will win their opener at Tampa Bay CORRECT. Then they will lose to the Giants at home on Sunday Night Football CORRECT. Then it's two wins (a win against Carolina, and a loss against Denver), a tough, close one against Carolina CORRECT and a blow out at Denver INCORRECT. The low point of the season comes in week five at Kansas City. The Cowboys will suffer a let down and lose to the Chiefs before their October 18th bye INCORRECT. With time to prepare the Cowboys will hand Matt Ryan his toughest game of the season CORRECT. A home game against Seattle November 1 will leave Seattle a surprise W INCORRECT and Dallas will respond with an upset victory against Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football the next week CORRECT. A trip to the Pack CORRECT and home against the Redskins INCORRECT adds two losses to the Cowboys record before relief comes to Dallas in the form of the Raiders CORRECT on November 26. December starts off at the N.Y. Giants and a close game with a heartbreaking ending gives the Giants CORRECT another leg up in the division. PENDING Dallas will win a home one against San Diego on December 13 before bowing in a tough way to New Orleans on Saturday Dec. 19th. The Cowboys will finish strong with two wins, at Washington on Sunday Night Football and home against Philly; altering the playoffs. The Philadelphia game will be the Cowboy's effort to knock the Eagles from the top of the division (which doesn't happen as the Giants lose any way) or to ruin the Eagles' bid for home field advantage which they do; Dallas' spoiler role is also of interest to Carolina; an assist toward Carolina clinching home field advantage.
4. Washington - 5-11 - The Redskins season will be a tale of two stories; a 5-5 beginning and an 0-6 ending. The 16th toughest schedule makes it the average, the norm, which should prove to be anything but difficult for an elite team to negotiate. The Redskins trouble will be in the inconsistent Quarterback play and injuries. If Clinton Portis goes down it could be worse than 5-11 for the Redskins. An opening loss to the Giants CORRECT will be met with back to back wins against St. Louis CORRECT and at Detroit INCORRECT inciting optimism. Two consecutive loses to Tampa INCORRECT and at Carolina CORRECT will be followed by a welcomed match up against the Chiefs which the Redskins win INCORRECT to bring the record to 3-3. A loss to Philly on Monday night, October 26th CORRECT will be followed by a bye, which will not translate to a healthy, rested team win as the trip to Atlanta brings crushing defeat to the Skins CORRECT. The final wins of the season will come November 15th and 22nd against Denver CORRECTand at Dallas INCORRECT . Then starts the tough road of finishing up at Philly CORRECT, home against the Saints CORRECT and Brees, PENDING then an always tough trip out to Oakland will translate to a third straight loss. Meeting the Giants and Cowboys in weeks fifteen and sixteen when they are vying for playoff contention will not look pretty. Finally another cross country trip to San Diego slams the door on the Skins in '09.
1. Chicago - 10-6 - The Bears have the easiest schedule in the NFL, 32nd. They have their franchise QB now in Jay Cutler. Their greatest threat in the division appears to be Minnesota. CORRECT The key to the Bears season is what happens in the two games they match up with those Vikings. I feel the Bears will sweep the Vikings and Brett Favre. Opening losses to the Packers CORRECT and Steelers INCORRECT will cast a shadow on Chicago's hopes but have no fear - Cutler is here. Two straight wins, against Seattle CORRECT and helpless Detroit CORRECT will follow with a bye. Then the Bears will win at Atlanta INCORRECT before losing two heartbreakers at Cincinnati CORRECT and home against Cleveland INCORRECT. A home game against Arizona on November 8th will bring the Bears to 4-4 INCORRECT. A Thursday night game against the 49ers in San Francisco conjures up memories of the '85 Bears against the 49ers. This time Mike Singletary wins but for the 49ers CORRECT ! The Bears will win six of their last eight including the loss to the Niners. Philadelphia comes into town November 22 for Sunday Night Football and the Bears pull one off, late INCORRECT. The Bears then visit fading Minnesota and Favre on the 29th of NovemberINCORRECT. Things will starting to unravel for Brett. Home games against St. Louis CORRECT and PENDING Green Bay put the Bears at 8-5. December 20th a trip to Baltimore spells disaster with Cutler possibly getting shaken up, but definitely the whole offensive continuity and psyche will be tested as the Ravens sneak one out at the end. Closing up against Minnesota and Detroit show the end for Favre and another year for the Lions miraculously ends at the Bear's hands.
2. Minnesota - 9-7 - Favre will burn bright and so will the Vikings, through November but the final November game, against Chicago and the whole month of December will be unkind to say the least, toward Minnesota. The Vikings will win to edge New Orleans for the last wildcard spot but that will be on the strength of points, as they both will share the same conference record at 8-4 a piece. The Vikings will score a lot in September CORRECT, October CORRECT and for three games in November CORRECT, when they have their bye week also. Fading down the stretch to Chicago November 29th INCORRECT, Arizona CORRECT , PENDING Cincinnati at home in a shocker, without surprise at Carolina, without surprise at Chicago in the rematch but a Favre Miracle on January 3, 2009 will be his last for this season as the Cardinals will knock out the Vikings in the wildcard round. The season will start easy enough with the struggling Browns as the opener CORRECT. It gets easier the following week by going to Detroit CORRECT. The home opener against San Francisco comes in week 3. Mike Singletary will not have his team nearly as strong in September as they will be in December and in 2009 CORRECT. The Packers at home will be a Monday Night game with all the hoopla of a Super Bowl CORRECT. Favre will out-sling Aaron Rodgers CORRECT . The disappointing game of the year could be the next week with the St. Louis Rams ending the Vikings run INCORRECT in a heartbreaker on October 11. The Vikings will nip the Ravens CORRECT in an inappropriately hyped "preview of Super Bowl XLIV" at home October 18th. The following week the Steelers will reign havoc in blitzes, sacks and interceptions as the Steelers easily handle the Vikings in Pittsburgh CORRECT. The rematch with the Packers is a one sided affair the second time around with Favre inspiring accounts of his younger days and comparisons that will soon sound foolish CORRECT. The Vikings get a bye before Detroit meats another loss head on CORRECT, at Detroit in a typical Favre circus. The Vikings will beat Seattle on November 22nd CORRECT before the five consecutive losses. The Vikings have lost the first of their final five games, to the Cardinals, 30-17.
3. Green Bay - 8-8 - Aaron Rodgers has the misfortune of being compared to Brett Favre but can't do what he has to without a lot more help from his team. The NFL did its part - the NFL has only two teams with easier rated schedules than the Green Bay Packers. Home opening wins against Chicago CORRECT will be followed by an easy win against the Bengals INCORRECT, before going to St. Louis INCORRECT and Minnesota CORRECT and losing both to fall to 2-2. A return home after a bye feels good when the Detroit Lions CORRECT are coming to town. The next three, at Cleveland INCORRECT, vs. Minnesota CORRECT, and at Tampa Bay CORRECT will all be Green Bay losses and most will point at this first three loss streak as the one that the Packers more easily could have avoided. The Cowboys CORRECT, 49ers CORRECT and Lions CORRECT will all then lose to the Pack before the second three loss streak of the season, against much more violent competition in Baltimore INCORRECT, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Home against Seattle puts the Packers closer to .500 at 7-8, then in the finale against the Cardinals the Packers will beat an Arizona team that doesn't need the win.
4. Detroit - 2-14 - The Lions will beat St. Louis INCORRECT and Cleveland CORRECT at home, they will lose all the rest of their home games, every single road game of '09 and the Lions will get the number one pick again in 2009. 'Enough said. It's puke inducing to dissect any further.
1. Carolina - 12-4 - The Panthers have the second toughest schedule in the NFL in 2009. That being said it seems this might not be year of the Panthers but I believe it will be. Like the Steelers in '08 the Panthers have the talent and ability to win a lot of games. Julius Peppers could be the best player in the NFC and he's a Defensive Lineman. The Panthers defense could be the number one defense in the NFL this year. Opening wins against the Eagles INCORRECT and Falcons INCORRECT will leave these Panthers not hunting birds but being the hunted - next up; Cowboys CORRECT . Then a bye October 4th serves Carolina well as they have 14 days to prepare for the Redskins - the next Panther prey CORRECT. A road visit to Tampa gives the Panthers another division win CORRECT and a home match up against scrappy, never say die Buffalo is next with the Panthers squeaking one out INCORRECT . The Cardinals will play their game of the year on November first INCORRECT, before the Panthers reel off seven straight wins INCORRECT. Before the playoffs begin the Panthers will close out the season with losses to the Giants and Saints. This will cause suspicion that the Panthers will falter in the playoffs however they will not; they will represent the NFC at Dolphins Stadium in Super Bowl XLIV.
2. New Orleans - 9-7 - The Saints have the 8th toughest rated schedule in the league. An opening win against the reliably bad, now rookie led, Lions CORRECT will be followed by two consecutive losses at the Eagles INCORRECT and at the resurgent Buffalo Bills INCORRECT. New York comes to New Orleans twice in October; the 4th against the Jets CORRECT and the eighteenth against the Giants CORRECT ; the Saints will win both CORRECT. In between is their bye. A loss at Miami INCORRECT against the ghost of Marino Memories will be followed by a match up against the Sophomore slumping Falcons on November 2nd, a Monday; and the Saints will come marching in CORRECT. With only six days to prepare the Saints will fall to the Panthers at home INCORRECT. Then the Rams will surprise the Saints in St. Louis INCORRECT. November 22nd a trip to sunny Tampa brings smiles to the Big Easy CORRECT. The Patriots will be rude to the Saints on Monday Night INCORRECT, then the Redskins face the fallout on December 6th CORRECT. The final loss of the regular season comes at the hands of the Falcons December 13th. The Saints will finish up strong with wins over Dallas, again at home on Monday Night, home against the Bucs (sweeping them) and at Carolina to close out the season.
3. Tampa Bay - 5-11 - The Bucs have the fifth most difficult schedule in a team that is sporting a new coach in Raheem Morris. His best decision could be to put the team in Byron Leftwich's hands but it's possible Leftwich will be traded and not even be a Buc this year. Either way the Bucs lose their first two games CORRECT X.2. If Byron is the QB they have a chance to beat the Giants INCORRECT on September 27. I have the strong feeling they will go to Washington October 4th and bring home a win INCORRECT. Going to Philadelphia CORRECTand playing Carolina CORRECTcan't be easy and I think the Bucs will lose both CORRECT. I think the shocker of the season comes in London, October 25th, against the Patriots and I say the Bucs somehow win that day INCORRECT. A bye follows on November 1st. With time to prepare for the Packers the Bucs pull to 4-4 with a win CORRECT. The second half of the season is harder. A road trip to Miami CORRECT will catch the Bucs looking forward to the Saints and they will lose for it. The Saints will thrash the Bucs in Tampa CORRECT. A trip to Atlanta INCORRECT is the winning elixir but that's the last time in '09. The final games at Carolina CORRECT, vs. the N.Y. Jets, at Seattle, At New Orleans, and home against Atlanta will turn the Bucs from 5-6, in contention, to 5-11.
4. Atlanta - 4-12 - Matt Ryan will have a Sophomore Slump in '09 INCORRECT. The Falcons open with a win against the Dolphins at home CORRECT but that is followed by six straight losses INCORRECT. The Panthers are playing the 4th toughest schedule in '09 and Carolina starts it off badly, at Atlanta, in week two INCORRECT. New England continues the trend with a huge win September 27th CORRECT. The Falcons get a bye but that is followed by a tough loss to the 49ers INCORRECT, a big loss to Chicago INCORRECT on Sunday Night Football. Next come trips to Dallas CORRECT and New Orleans CORRECT before a reprieve comes in the form of the Redskins CORRECT, at home, November 9th. Then come, not five this time, but four consecutive losses (1-3 OVER THIS STRETCH ACTUALLY), this time at Carolina CORRECT in the rematch, at the N.Y. Giants CORRECT on November 22nd, and at home against Tampa Bay INCORRECT and Philadelphia CORRECT. Whew! A win against the Saints in the rematch is followed by two games against New York teams. At the Jets the Falcons will lose big and against the rising Bills the Falcons will hang tough but lose a heartbreaker. To close out the season the Falcons will take advantage of the sunken Buccanneers and win the season ending game.
1. Arizona - 10-6 - The Cardinals will win their opener against the 49ers INCORRECT, followed by two losses before their bye, at the Jaguars CORRECT and home against the Colts CORRECT in a high scoring affair. With two weeks to prepare Houston CORRECT falls easy to the firepower. Then a trip to Seattle equals a crushing win delivered via the Cardinals CORRECT. A road game against the Giants on Sunday night proves to be too much Defense for the Cards to handle INCORRECT. A shocking upset win over the Carolina Panthers INCORRECT at home leaves the Cardinals 4-3 but a let down the following week at Chicago INCORRECT and Jay Cutler leaves the Cardinals wounded at 4-4. The second half of the year gets easier. Seattle CORRECT at home and St. Louis CORRECT on the road are wins to put the Cardinals at 6-4. The Tennessee Titans CORRECT are going to put things into perspective for Arizona, leaving them 6-5 and pondering their fate. I think they will rip off four wins against Minnesota CORRECT, and on the road three weeks straight, against the tougher 49ers, the lying down Lions, the sinking Rams; all will be Cardinal wins. The season closes out at Green Bay and the Cardinals will be resting players for the playoffs and they'll take one lying down.
2. San Francisco - 8-8 - The 49ers are going to be a tougher team than they have been in years with the addition of Mike Singletary. He ended they year on a winning note in '08. They will lose a close one to the Cardinals INCORRECT in the opener, then they will beat Seattle CORRECT before losing at the Favre Vikings CORRECT. The 49ers will pull to 3-2 with home wins against the Rams CORRECT and Falcons INCORRECT - which reads like a sentence from the 80s and 90s - the Rams and Falcons! The 49ers bye comes October 18th. As tough as these 49ers are becoming after their bye comes two losses back to back but it's to the rising Houston Texans CORRECT and the always great Colts CORRECT , in Indy. The 49ers will really show their mettle against Tennessee INCORRECT, at home, with a win on November 8th. The Bears CORRECT will also get a shock on November 12th, Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network. A trip to Green Bay is a heartbreaking loss on November 22 CORRECT. So, too, is the trip to Jacksonville INCORRECT; a very tough trip from the West Coast; another heartbreaking loss has the 49ers at 6-8, staring at 6-10, before Singletary gets the mindset for 2009 solidified and the 49ers DECAPITATE the Lions, and beat down the Rams in the final to close out at 8-8. Look at everyone's sweetheart pick for 2009! It's going to be the 49ers!
3. St. Louis - 6-10 - The Rams were given an easy enough schedule at the 26th ranking schedule. An opening week win over Seattle INCORRECT will provide hopes of a good season but a week two loss to Washington CORRECT will be by more than two touchdowns. Week three against Green Bay INCORRECT the Rams will win but they will follow that with a loss at San Francisco CORRECT. The game of the year will be October 11 when the Vikings INCORRECT visit St. Louis. The Rams will upset them and shock the odds makers. the following week will bring a victory at Jacksonville INCORRECT . Then October 25 the Colts come to town and will win big CORRECT. The low point of the season comes November 1 at Detroit when the Lions earn one of their two wins for the season CORRECT. A bye November 8th is followed by a win over the Saints at home INCORRECT, a loss against Arizona CORRECT at home and a win against Seattle INCORRECT at home. The Seahawks will go from 6-5 to 6-10 with five consecutive losses, at Chicago CORRECT , at Tennessee, home against Houston, at Arizona and home against San Francisco to close out the year.
4. Seattle - 4-12 - I predict Seattle to be the second most disappointing team of 2009, after Miami. The 24th ranked schedule gave cause for pause and many assumed the Seahawks would have a winning season. Seattle will open with four CORRECT X3 INCORRECTX1 losses before Jacksonville CORRECT comes to town on October 11th for the first win of the year. A loss to Arizona CORRECT will be followed by a bye. The Seahawks game of the year will be against Dallas INCORRECT, on the road, November 1st. They will win and they will destroy the Lions CORRECT the following week. Then come five straight losses (2 CORRECT, 2 INCORRECT) to the Cardinals CORRECT and Vikings CORRECT and Rams INCORRECT, all on the road, then at home, a loss to the 49ers INCORRECT is followed by a road loss to the rising Texans. Tampa Bay lays down for the Seahawks to get their final win before Green Bay and Tennessee set the record straight on the Rams in '09, dealing their final losses of the year.
Week By Week
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