NFL Predictions: Take your best shot

Making sports predictions puts you on the same level as anyone who reads them. It is one person’s opinion. And when it comes to professional sports, especially the NFL, everyone seems to think their opinion is the best one.
So here is a look at one person’s predictions on how the 2012 NFL season will play out.

NFC North.
1. Green Bay (12-4). 2. Chicago (10-6). 3. Detroit (9-7). 4. Minnesota (6-10).
There are clear top and bottom teams in the NFL Icebox, but the two teams in the middle are where it gets murky. The Packers have the best offense in the division and in the NFC. Chicago’s addition of Brandon Marshall and Michael Bush makes this an offense that has to be respected. The Lions have too many holes (running back, defense) and far too many juvenile delinquents. The Vikings will be significantly improved, but they remain at least one good draft class and a couple free agents away from being a serious contender.

NFC East.
1. Philadelphia. 2. New York Giants. 3. Dallas. 4. Washington.
Any of the top three teams in this division could take the title, but the Eagles have the sting of last year’s disappointment that could motivate them to better things. The Giants will always be a threat because of their vicious defensive line and diverse offense, but the secondary remains a weak spot. Dallas has shored up its secondary, but it has too many brittle players on offense to maintain a season-long sustained attack.

NFC South
1. Atlanta. 2. Carolina. 3. New Orleans. 4. Tampa Bay.
If Atlanta truly commits to passing the ball to Julio Jones and Roddy White, the Falcons could be a Super Bowl threat. Carolina will be one of the big climbers in the NFC this season. New Orleans will try to make it through the “Bounty Gate” aftermath, but the chaos will keep the Saints out of the promised land.

NFC West
1. San Francisco. 2. Seattle. 3. St. Louis. 4. Arizona.
The 49ers are a vast favorite in this division. Seattle will be interesting, just to follow Russell Wilson’s progress at quarterback.

AFC North
1. Baltimore. 2. Pittsburgh. 3. Cincinnati. 4. Cleveland.
This better be the year Baltimore rises to the top, because Ray Lewis and Ed Reed don’t have much tread left on their tires. Pittsburgh seems to tail off a bit more every year. If Ben Roethlisberger ever gets hurt, Pittsburgh is history.

AFC East
1. New England. 2. Buffalo. 3. New York Jets. 4 Miami.
New England is the class of the division, as always. Buffalo could sneak into a wild card spot. The Jets are the most overrated team in the NFL.

AFC Central
1. Houston. 2.Tennessee. 3. Indianapolis. 4. Jacksonville.
Houston will win the division, but don’t sleep on Tennessee. The Titans could be better than many people think.

AFC West
1. Denver. 2. Kansas City. 3. Oakland. 4. San Diego.
The return of Peyton Manning will be enough to raise Denver to the top of this very average collection. Kansas City has some talent, but not enough to be a serious contender. The hope for San Diego’s owner to finally get up the nerve to clean house in his front office and coaching staff.

AFC Championship Game
Baltimore over New England

NFC Championship Game
Green Bay over San Francisco

Super Bowl XLVII
Baltimore over Green Bay