NFL Predictions

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The 2012 NFL season was the year of the of the rookie quarterback. Never before have we seen rookies have this much success in their first season as starting quarterbacks. Andrew Luck took a 1-15 Colts’ team from 2011 to the playoffs with an 11-5 record. Robert Griffin III guided the Washington Redskins to their first NFC East Title since 1999. Russell Wilson won the starting job in camp and proceeded to lead the Seattle Seahawks to a 12-4 record. While not a rookie, Colin Kaepernick took over in the second half of the season and guided the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl. Even Ryan Tannehill played pretty well in Miami given his limited weapons.

There were also a couple of the greatest comeback stories you will ever witness in 2012. Adrian Peterson, coming off major knee surgery, nearly broke Eric Dickerson’s single-season record for rushing yards. He finished with 2,097 yards and won the league’s Most Valuable Player award. Peyton Manning, who missed all of 2011 with a neck injury, had many naysayers believe that his career was over. He was hungry to prove his doubters wrong, and he did just that in leading the Denver Broncos to a 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Ray Lewis was sent out in style as the Baltimore Ravens put together a remarkable run in the playoffs to win their second Super Bowl. We can only hope that the 2013 season lives up to last year. There are plenty of story lines heading into the new season. Chip Kelly tries to implement his spread-option scheme from Oregon to the pros. The Patriots try to continue their dynasty in the midst of the Aaron Hernandez case. The 49ers look to get over the hump and win a Super Bowl. Here’s how I see the 2013 NFL season playing out.

NFC East Predictions

The NFC East has been a revolving door over the past decade. No team has repeated as NFC East champion in nine years. The Washington Redskins, picked to finish last in the division by almost every major publication, went on to win their final seven games of 2012 to capture the NFC East Title. With a tougher schedule in 2013, I have the Redskins slipping to second place. I have picked the Cowboys, who have the most talent on both sides of the ball, to finally break through and win the division. The Giants will finish third, while Chip Kelly’s Eagles bring up the rear.

1. Dallas Cowboys

2. Washington Redskins

3. New York Giants

4. Philadelphia Eagles

NFC North Predictions

The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV with a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2010-11 season. Since then, the NFC North has just one playoff victory, which came within the division as the Packers beat the Vikings in the Wild Card round last year. The division has given up a combined 151 points in four playoff losses over the past two years. I still believe the Packers are the kings of this division. I look for the Lions to be one of the most improved teams in the league and finish in second place. The Marc Trestman experiment won’t work that well as the Bears settle for third. Meanwhile, the Vikings come back down to reality after a surprising run to the playoffs in 2012, finishing last in the NFC North.

1. Green Bay Packers

2. Detroit Lions

3. Chicago Bears

4. Minnesota Vikings

NFC South Predictions

The Atlanta Falcons were the most dominant team within their division in 2012. They went 13-3 and finished a full six games ahead of the other three teams, which all ended up with identical 7-9 records. Over the year, a team has gone from worst to first in this division several times, so anything can happen. I believe the Saints are the team to beat in the NFC South in 2013 with an improved defense, and the return of Sean Payton. Carolina is ever-improving and will push for a playoff spot. Atlanta will have one of the worst defenses in the league and a tougher schedule, which is why I’m picking it third. Tampa Bay is still at least another year away from contending in the NFC South.

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Carolina Panthers

3. Atlanta Falcons

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC West Predictions

It was only three years ago that the NFC West sent a team to the playoffs with a 7-9 record. This division was the laughing stock of the league at that moment, but it has quickly transformed into arguably the best division in football. That’s because the 49ers have won a combined 27 games over the past two seasons, while the Seahawks are coming off a 12-4 campaign last year. These are two of the favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2013. The Rams are improving under Jeff Fisher, while the Cardinals appear to be in rebuilding mode. The 49ers and Seahawks are about dead even talent-wise, but a better schedule has me giving San Francisco the nod as division champ.

1. San Francisco 49ers

2. Seattle Seahawks

3. St. Louis Rams

4. Arizona Cardinals

AFC East Predictions

Since Bill Belichick took over in New England in 2000, the Patriots have been crowned division champs 10 of 13 times. The last team to actually give New England a run for its money was the New York Jets, who made it to the AFC Championship in 2009 and 2010. While the Patriots have a lot more question marks than normal heading into 2013, they are still the kings of this division. I look for the Dolphins to take second place behind the improved play of Ryan Tennehill. The Jets and Bills are both stuck in rebuilding mode and will not be a factor in 2013.

1. New England Patriots

2. Miami Dolphins

3. Buffalo Bills

4. New York Jets

AFC North Predictions

This has clearly been the strongest division in the NFL over the past half decade. The AFC North is the only division to produce two Super Bowl winners during that time. It is also the only division to get two teams to the playoffs in each of the past five years. The Baltimore Ravens had a remarkable run to the Super Bowl last season. Now, I believe they will be in somewhat of a rebuilding mode with all that they have lost this offseason. That leaves the door open for the Pittsburgh Steelers to get back to their old dominant selves in 2013. I also like what the Cincinnati Bengals are doing as they are one of the best young teams in the league. The lowly Browns will once again finish in the basement.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Cincinnati Bengals

3. Baltimore Ravens

4. Cleveland Browns

AFC South Predictions

With Peyton Manning gone, the AFC South now belongs to the Houston Texans. They have won back-to-back division titles, while also winning one playoff game each of the past two years. However, Andrew Luck filled the big shoes left by Manning and led the Colts to an 11-win season in 2012. These two will battle it out for first place in the South once again in 2013. I give a slight edge to the Texans because it will be tough for the Colts to repeat their success last year that stemmed from playing for head coach Chuck Pagano, who was battling leukemia. Both the Jaguars and Titans are still in the rebuilding process.

1. Houston Texans

2. Indianapolis Colts

3. Tennessee Titans

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

AFC West Predictions

This division is the only one in the league that hasn’t sent a team to the Super Bowl since 2003. Now, it has a Super Bowl contender in the Denver Broncos led by Peyton Manning. He guided the Broncos to a 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC. If not for a broken coverage late against Baltimore, Denver may have played in the Super Bowl last year. It is the clear favorite to win the AFC West in 2013. The Chiefs are improving and could push for a playoff spot this year under the guidance of Andy Reid. San Diego and Oakland are both teams that appear to be in a downward spiral.

1. Denver Broncos

2. Kansas City Chiefs

3. San Diego Chargers

4. Oakland Raiders

Playoff Predictions

NFC Championship – Packers defeat 49ers

AFC Championship – Broncos defeat Steelers

Super Bowl – Broncos defeat Packers

More Previews

More Predictions

Steelers Ravens Bengals Browns
Patriots Jets Bills Dolphins
Broncos Chargers Chiefs Raiders
Texans Titans Colts Jaguars
Packers Bears Lions Vikings
Eagles Giants Cowboys Redskins
49ers Cardinals Seahawks Rams
Falcons Panthers Saints Buccaneers
About the Author: Jack Jones has been one of the top experts on the site while competing against roughly 80 of the best handicappers in the world each year. He has made most of his money on the hardwood. In fact, he has finished in the Top-5 in college basketball each of the last three seasons (#5 2011-12, #5 2012-13, #3 2013-14). He was also the No. 1 NBA handicapper from 2012-13. As of early April, Jack has compiled an 802-631 basketball run that has seen his $1,000 game players profit $124,030. He was the No. 3 College Football handicapper in 2012-13. While he doesn't have any top finishes in the NFL, he has produced steady profits without killing his clients. Jack also was your No. 7 MLB handicapper in 2009 and backed it up with a No. 8 MLB finish in 2010. No matter the sport, the one thing you can count on with Jack Jones is that he won't leave any stone unturned. You'll know why he is on a game with his detailed analysis, and more times than not, you will come out well ahead against your book. Head on over to Jack's premium pick page to see what he has in store for tonight!
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