Making predictions for the Super Bowl on February 2nd today on August 27th. Yes, you got to love it. That’s why I’m all about the Cincinnati Bengals as your Super Bowl champion. When you make NFL divisional and Wild Card picks before even the 4th preseason game…well that’s bold.
Look for these to be about as accurate as my NFL mock draft. So don’t take this with a grain of salt. How about a whole truckload of salt. Well, time is a wasting so let’s jump right to the predictions.
I’ve seen way too many power rankings that don’t have them in their top 5. Huh? Are you aware of…oh that defense in that playoff loss to S.F. last year. Uhm yeah, right? Still their nucleus is entering its prime not past it. Sleep on the Pack at your own peril.
Wild Card- Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler is going to have the best season of his career this fall/winter. I know this because he’s working with “the Quarterback Whisperer.” This division should get every Wild Card. You might have three teams win 9+ games here.
NFC NASCAR DIVISION (not a pejorative, I take Nascar seriously and enjoy it)
Champ- Atlanta Falcons
Saints will be better with their coach back, but the defense is just TERRIBLE. Bucs? please. Going nowhere with Freeman and Carolina has issues.
Champ- San Francisco 49ers
I’m going to go ahead and believe in Jim Harbaugh, and what he brings to the table. Even though everyone else is so high on Seattle right now. Instead of being high in Seattle; which we all know goes on a lot.
Champ- Philadelphia Eagles
Ballsy, inspiring pick, yes I know that. Don’t thank me. Thank Chip Kelly
Wild Card- New York Giants
AFC NASCAR DIVISION (not a pejorative, I take Nascar seriously and enjoy it)
Champ- Indianapolis Colts
Last year was no fluke, they’re for real. They’ll get a running game. They’ll have enough ground attack to complement Andrew Luck’s air attack. Most importantly, they’re getting the proper pieces now to run their defensive scheme. Less “hybrid” now. They’ll have a base attack the Colts feel comfortable in.
Champ- Cincinnati Bengals
Oh Sarah Jones! Don’t you wish you could still be captain of their cheer team now? The Ben-Gals get to accompany the Bengals to NYC for the first cold weather Super Bowl. I’m buying the hype on this team. And forget “The Curse of Hard Knocks,” it ends today. And don’t call Sarah Jones the female Jerry Sandusky, she hates that. As would you. Who would ever want to be called a name like that?
Anyways, I don’t think Pittsburgh is back yet, and the Browns are not ready for prime time.
Wild Card- Baltimore Ravens
a step back from last year.
AFC West- Denver Broncos
The Raiders are a contender…for the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. The Chargers will be down for awhile and the Chiefs? They might be better than you think. Still not good enough to unseat Peyton though.
AFC East- Patriots
But just barely, I think the Dolphins take them right down to the wire in a very weak division. We’re not even into week 4 of the preseason and half the teams in this division don’t even have a starting quarterback. Just wait till the other injuries start to pile up.
Wild Card- Houston Texans
If you picked them in the Super Bowl, I really wouldn’t argue against that.
NFC Title: G.B. over Atlanta
When are the Falcons going to put it all together? They’re starting to become a little bit like their baseball brethren the Braves, when it comes to great regular season, but falling short in the postseason. I would never call them the Braves of the NFL though. The ’90s Buffalo Bills have that moniker pretty much locked up.
AFC Title: Bengals over Broncos
I think Peyton has the more complete team, and this Denver team could be right up there with his best Colts teams. However, the Bengals are a team of destiny, and the ball will bounce their way. They’ll stay healthy while other contenders get banged up, and they’ll make a deep run.
Super Bowl: Bengals over Packers
Gotham will host an All-Midwest Super Bowl. I may have officially jumped the shark now with this pick. Then again, that’s how the NFL is these days. Impossible to handicap. Good luck making better picks! I’m sure Sarah Jones and her boyfriend who’s now of legal drinking age? Maybe? Not yet? Will party hard to celebrate this one.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan, he also writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)