The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

NFL predictions for 2012-2013 season

National Football League insignia.

“Football is back, you bet.” – Al Michaels.

As many know, the NFL has returned for its 2012 season. Let’s look ahead to the upcoming season. I’ll start with the division represented by the Lombardi Trophy winners from last season.

The NFC East consists of defending champions New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. My favorite to win this division, even after an ugly loss to rival Cowboys, is the Giants. I like their defense and think Eli Manning has proven to be a top five quarterback. I see this division being very close, and although Dallas added a couple top-notch cornerbacks, they aren’t the headline here.

What to Watch:  Redskins starting quarterback and former Heisman trophy winner from Baylor, Robert Griffin III.

Now I’ll move to the AFC East. This division contains the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. I, as well as many others have a clear-cut favorite: the Patriots. The opposition pretty much consists of Jets fans, Jets players and Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan. With Tom Brady still playing and Bill Belichick still coaching, it sounds like the ninth AFC East title in 10 years to me.

What to Watch: Tim Tebow’s effect on the Jets. Since Chad Johnson isn’t on the Dolphins’ roster and his TV show with Evelyn Lozada was canceled after Johnson was arrested on Aug. 11 on domestic violence charges, I had to drop that from the running.

Now we’ll look at the NFC West, which has the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and St Louis Rams. Again, my obvious favorite: the 49ers. One of the best defenses along with a new group of wide receivers should have no problem winning this division. I do see the Seahawks having an improved season, though, led by rookie Russell Wilson.

What to Watch: How many times the Arizona Cardinals flip-flop their quarterbacks, John Skelton and Kevin Kolb.

AFC West is next. Teams in this division are the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. I can admit, there will be some bias in this section because I am a Raiders fan. I see a very tight race from the teams in this division, but ultimately I’ll be flipping a coin with the Raiders being tails and Broncos being heads. Then again, it might be a two-headed coin.

What to Watch: The Chargers head coach Norv Turner and his job, as well as Peyton Manning coming back from neck surgery.
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Moving along to the NFC North, we see the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions. Another tough division race results in a Packers NFC North title. A tough loss to San Francisco will not knock the cheese heads off track.

What to Watch: Adrian Peterson coming back from a knee injury and Calvin Johnson aka Megatron.

Now the AFC North, which consists of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. Another close race, but I see the Ravens winning the division. This could be their last hurrah, and I think the Ravens know that.

What to Watch:  Ray Lewis’ pre-game dance, Big Ben Roethlisberger scrambling around, like always, and the Andy Dalton-AJ Green connection.

Now we come to the NFC South represented by the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers. Drew Brees is leading the attack after a record-breaking season last year for the Saints, but I see the Bounty Gate Scandal and the loss of head coach, Sean Payton, holding them back from the NFC South title this year. Atlanta takes it, but not without a tough challenge from the Saints.

What to Watch: The Cam Newton show in Carolina, Tampa Bay and a possible turnaround.  Also keep an eye on the effects of the Bounty Gate in New Orleans.

I’ll  end in the AFC South where the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts reside. I see the Texans winning this division easily. The turmoil in Jacksonville with Maurice Jones-Drew and Shahid Khan has quieted but don’t be surprised if it heats up again, as I see a lot of losses coming their way.

What to Watch: Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts.

These are my predictions for the season. Even with the officials currently on strike, let the games continue!

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