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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Boldly Going Nowhere

Thursday, September 2, 2004

2004 NFL Season

My predictions for the 2002 NFL season were remarkably accurate, including picking seven out of eight division winners and half of the divisions in the exact order. Last year I didn't do quite as well. This year, I predict the Minnesota Vikings will beat the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl. My divisional forecast is as follows:

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles (12-4) -- Strong team. Great offensive line. QB McNabb in prime. Tough defense.

Dallas Cowboys (9-7) -- Coach Parcells works wonders with average team. RB George a plus. QB a problem.

Washington Redskins (6-10) -- Coach Joe Gibbs back in NFL. New philosophy. Too much player turnover.

New York Giants (5-11) -- New coach Coughlin lacks respect. Rookie QB and bad offensive line. No chance.

NFC North

Minnesota (12-4) -- Powerful offense with no weakness, improved defense, good depth. Super Bowl bound.

Green Bay (8-8) -- QB Farve carries the load but is past prime. Balanced offense. Fair defense.

Detroit (8-8) -- Lots of young talent on offense, need time to mature. Average defense. Good kicking game.

Chicago (4-12) -- New coach, new offensive line, second-year QB. Won't score much. Decent defense.

NFC South

New Orleans Saints (10-6) -- Good balanced offense with RB McAllister. Strong defense with great pass rush.

Carolina Panthers (9-7) -- Average offense with superb defense. Best defensive line in NFL. Tough schedule.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8) -- Loss of DT Sapp and DB Lynch hurts. Weak offense. Defense on the decline.

Atlanta Falcons (5-11) -- New coach and new offensive system. QB Vick can't do it all. Switch to 3-4 defense.

NFC West

St Louis Rams (11-5) -- No QB controversy. Great OL and WRs. Rookie RB Jackson will shine. Good defense.

Seattle Seahawks (10-6) -- Good OL and RB Alexander. Average at QB. Balanced defense with great DBs.

Arizona Cardinals (7-9) -- New coach Green will motivate. Offense will be wide open. Defense needs work.

San Francisco 49ers (4-12) -- QB woes. Young offense needs time to grow. Bad defense weak at DL and DB.

AFC East

New England Patriots (11-5) -- Super Bowl champions with depth. OL needs improvement. Super defense.

Buffalo Bills (9-7) -- New coach Mularkey inherits good offense and excellent defense. Team on the rise.

New York Jets (7-9) -- New offensive scheme. Decent offense. Steady at DE but weak defense elsewhere.

Miami Dolphins (5-11) -- Loss of RB Williams and WR Boston hurts. Poor offense. Good defense not enough.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens (10-6) -- Fine offense with RB Lewis and good OL and WRs. Strong defense, great LBs and DBs.

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) -- Questionable at QB and OL. Good WRs. Average 3-4 defense with good LBs.

Cincinnati Bengals (8-8) -- QB Palmer needs to step up. Solid offense and average defense. Team on the rise.

Cleveland Browns (6-10) -- Aging QB Garcia not the answer. Poor OL and WR. Below average defense.

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts (11-5) -- QB Manning, RB James, WR Harrison and OL shine. Solid defense with depth.

Tennessee Titans (9-7) -- Great QB McNair, good OL, but poor at RB. Good defense with average DL.

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8) -- Offensive success depends on young QB Lethwich. Good, balanced defense.

Houston Texans (4-12) -- Recent expansion team. Poor offense. Young defense improving.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (10-6) -- Strong offense. Superb OL, RB and TE. Average QB and WR. Average defense.

Denver Broncos (10-6) -- Good offense and defense. QB Plummer is erratic. Weak at WR. Outstanding DBs.

Oakland Raiders (8-8) -- New coach and lots of player turnover. Offense will struggle. Aging defense.

San Diego Chargers (4-12) -- Great RB Tomlinson. Rookie QB, poor OL, WRs and defense. Bad team.