Bigger Than Ever: A 2011 NFL Preview

Posted: September 7, 2011 by Keith Stone in football, NFL, psychic abilities

It seems like more teams than ever could win the Super Bowl this year. And it’s not like there aren’t any good teams. It’s just that there’s so many good teams. Then there are the question marks. How long will Peyton Manning be out? Will Mark Sanchez or Sam Bradford make The Leap? Most importantly, will I ever hook up with a cheerleader? All of your questions and more will be answered in the official division-by-division Rainman Suite 2011 NFL Preview. Feel free to wager thousands of dollars on it. Teams with an asterisk are Wild Cards.

AFC

East
1. New England Patriots (12-4)
2. New York Jets (9-7)*
3. Miami Dolphins (6-10)
4. Buffalo Bills (5-11)

Stone’s take: The Pats won’t be as unstoppable as they were last year but the Jets will still struggle to score points. Expect them to lose one or two games they should win.

North
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
2. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)*
3. Cleveland Browns (8-8)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (3-13)

Stone’s take: The Steelers bring it every year and the fact that they’ve been together for a while will help them after the lockout. The Browns should also improve as Colt McCoy continues to improve.

South
1. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
2. Indianapolis Colts (8-8)
3. Houston Texans (8-8)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)

Stone’s take: UPSET ALERT! With so much flux in the division, why go against the team with an absolute beast at running back and a veteran quarterback that’s been to the Super Bowl before? If Matt Hasselbeck stays healthy, that is.

West
1. San Diego Chargers (12-4)
2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9)
3. Oakland Raiders (7-9)
4. Denver Broncos (6-10)

Stone’s take: The Chargers are the best team in the division and should win if they don’t get off to one of their patented slow starts.

NFC

East
1. New York Giants (11-5)
2. Dream Team (10-6)*
3. Dallas Cowboys (9-7)*
4. Washington Redskins (6-10)

Stone’s take: This is a total homer pick but the Giants aren’t going to be as bad as everyone thinks. The Cowboys will also be vastly improved. Let’s see Michael Vick stay healthy.

North
1. Green Bay Packers (12-4)
2. Minnesota Vikings (8-8)
3. Chicago Bears (7-9)
4. Detroit Lions (6-10)

Stone’s take: Aaron Rodgers and the Champs still have that swagger and won’t go down easily. The Vikings will be more stable with a competent coach. Don’t forget about that kid Adrian Peterson. He’s pretty good. The Lions have been supposed to be good for like three years now.

South
1. New Orleans Saints (12-4)
2. Atlanta Falcons (9-7)
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)
4. Carolina Panthers (5-11)

Stone’s take: The Falcons struggled at the end of last season and the playoffs, failing to prove they belong among the game’s elite. The Saints are always great and there’s no reason to believe that’s changed. The Bucs caught lightning in a bottle last year but teams will be better prepared for Josh Freeman this year.

West
1. San Francisco 49ers (9-7)
2. St. Louis Rams (7-9)
3. Seattle Seahawks (6-10)
4. Arizona Cardinals (5-11)

Stone’s take: The Rams are everybody’s favorites but they have an extremely difficult schedule to start the season. The Niners finally have a non-insane coach, which should help, and some weapons but obviously Alex Smith is still a liability. Why wouldn’t they go after David Gerrard? To Seahawks and Cardinals fans, I will hold you in my prayers.

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