As a football fan, I’ve learned that it’s never too early to speculate. With this speculation comes great debate, which is where you, the reader, enter the fray. After I’ve made my selections, I’ll leave it to you to challenge my opinions and make your own selections.
For each conference, I’ll pick a group of teams that I think can at least compete for a playoff spot. After that, I’ll select two from each conference that are my picks for the best chance of making it to the super bowl.
Teams not listed are still in deep rebuilding mode and likely not in playoff contention.
afc power index
1. indianapolis colts: history shows that it is very difficult to appear in two super bowls in a row.
2. san diego chargers: with a new leading running back in ryan matthews, how potent is this chargers offense?
3. Baltimore Ravens: With injuries already showing up on the defense, the offense may need to put up some pretty good numbers.
4. new york jets: is shonn greene up to the task of being a standout racer?
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Will it make a big difference for Carson Palmer and the Bengals offense?
6. Miami Dolphins: Can Chad Henne Perform Under Pressure?
7. New England Patriots: Young players must step up to save an aging team.
8. pittsburgh steeler: can the steelers last at least four and at most six games while roethlisberger is suspended?
9. Houston Texans: Eight years into an expansion franchise, the Texans are beginning to put the pieces together to compete in the AFC South.
10. Tennessee Titans: Vince Young needs to prove that he can be a solid quarterback while Chris Johnson remains the focal point of the Titans’ offense.
nfc power index
1. New Orleans Saints: Defending Super Bowl Champions.
2. dallas cowboys: can tony romo put together a solid series of starts in the playoffs?
3. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers is an excellent quarterback and this team should be able to carry his arm all the way to the playoffs.
4. Minnesota Vikings: With Brett Favre, this team has serious playoff prospects. Without him, the offense will have to rely on Adrian Peterson.
5. Atlanta Falcons: If Matt Ryan proves he’s an elite quarterback, this team will go from good to great.
6. San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith finally started playing as a former first-round pick last season; he can start playing like a former no. 1 selection?
7. Philadelphia Eagles: Kevin Kolb is asked to start for the first time in his career. that could be good or bad, we just don’t know yet.
8. chicago bears: the bears weren’t as efficient with aaron cutler’s erratic arm. however, he began to show poise towards the end of the season.
9. New York Giants: This has been a solid team for the last decade, but they just can’t seem to put together a full season.
10. washington redskins—could be a team of dark horses in the nfc. donovan mcnabb and mike shanahan could be the people to change this franchise.
11. Carolina Panthers: Quality team with questions at quarterback. this team is headed in the right direction.
12. arizona cardinals: losing anquan boldin, kurt warner, antrel rolle, and karlos dansby creates a hole too big to escape from.
image of the afc playoffs
as long as peyton manning is the indianapolis colts quarterback, they will have a chance to go to the super bowl. they will have a target behind their backs this season. however, this is not a team that should suffer from a super bowl hangover.
First place in the AFC goes to these colts, who always find a way to win.
the next place will be a fight between three teams.
the new york jets, baltimore ravens and san diego chargers will be great teams this season. That said, the Jets have an unproven second-year quarterback and the Ravens are already dealing with injuries to their tenacious but aging defense.
With the addition of ryan matthews to the chargers, this offensive giant has a chance to be even better, which is why I think they’ll go deep into the playoffs.
that is the final decision.
My two predictions to be in the AFC Championship Game are the Indianapolis Colts and the San Diego Chargers.
image of the nfc playoffs
although i love what the new orleans saints have done with their franchise, i don’t see them having the season they had last year. they’re still a great team, but the other nfc teams are too good for the saints to repeat.
my first choice is for the green bay packers.
After being groomed to replace the legendary (and still undecided) Favre, Rodgers stepped in and did what he was supposed to do. After a tough playoff loss last year, the Packers will be hungrier than ever to lift the Lombardi trophy.
favre will find it hard to produce the same stats he had last season; that is, if he comes back. Last season was arguably his best year as a pro quarterback, as Minnesota surprisingly let Favre air it frequently.
Even though I said in a previous article that Dallas Cowboys are overrated, on paper they are a powerhouse. this is the year that tony romo can change his image to that of a winner, instead of a player who only leads his team to a disappointing postseason.
let’s hope they go deep into the playoffs because dez bryant would be a terrible host at a super bowl party.
my decision in the nfc is also final: the two teams that will be in the nfc championship are the green bay packers and the dallas cowboys.
super bowl decision
from four teams to two. the postseason should be a wild spectacle with all the big teams entering the 2010 nfl season.
from the afc, i have to go with the san diego chargers.
Their offense is too powerful to compete, no matter what defense they face. if they don’t accumulate more than 450 points this year, it will be disappointing.
as far as nfc, the green bay packers are just too good.
With a solid defense and powerful attack, they are extremely well-rounded and disciplined.
This will also be an extremely exciting game between Chargers and Packers, as it will likely turn into an offensive display.
do you agree with me? let me know!
don’t you agree? I’d like to see your selections for each conference.