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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Boldly Going Nowhere

Thursday, September 1, 2005

2005 NFL Season

2005 NFL Season

My predictions for the 2002 NFL season included seven out of eight division winners and half of the divisions in the exact order. I've been going downhill ever since. Last year, I only pegged three out of eight division winners with only one division in the exact order. For 2005, my NFL divisional forecast is as follows:

NFC EAST

* Philadelphia Eagles (12-4) -- Great QB and OL, average at RB and TE, no depth at WR. Rugged defense.

* Dallas Cowboys (10-6) -- QB Bledsoe great addition, outstanding draft picks, gradually improving team.

* New York Giants (5-11) -- Young QB Eli Manning needs help on offense, poor defense with good DBs.

* Washington Redskins (5-11) -- Team in personnel flux, QBs Ramsey and Brunell sub-par, bad defense.

NFC NORTH

* Minnesota (11-5) -- Solid offense will run more without distraction WR Moss, vastly improved defense.

* Detroit (9-7) -- Excellent young WRs, QB Harrington will improve, weaknesses on defense plugged.

* Green Bay (9-7) -- QB Favre carries the load, lost both starting guards, team lacks speed and getting older.

* Chicago (3-13) -- Serious QB woes, poor offense with decent running backs, average defense.

NFC SOUTH

* Carolina Panthers (10-6) -- Average offense with good OL, terrific defense, super DL, outstanding at LB.

* New Orleans Saints (9-7) -- RB McAllister gets yardage, QB Brooks shows promise, defense improving.

* Atlanta Falcons (8-8) -- QB Vick very talented but in wrong scheme, undersized defensive front seven.

* Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11) -- QB Griese steady but average, QB Simms not ready, experienced defense.

NFC WEST

* Arizona Cardinals (10-6) -- QB Warner shines with young WRs and wide-open offense, defense getting better.

* St. Louis Rams (9-7) -- Solid, balanced offense with RB Jackson and good WRs, fine defensive personnel.

* Seattle Seahawks (8-8) -- RB Alexander unhappy, QB Hasselbeck overrated, underachieving defense.

* San Francisco 49ers (5-11) -- Rookie QB Smith will struggle with poor OL and WRs, below average defense.

AFC EAST

* New England Patriots (10-6) -- Super Bowl champions in tough division, solid offense, strong defense.

* Buffalo Bills (9-7) -- Young QB Losman is key to success on excellent offense, outstanding defense.

* New York Jets (8-8) -- High expectations but QB Pennington coming off shoulder surgery, adequate defense.

* Miami Dolphins (5-11) -- RB Williams and WR Boston return, QB Frerotte takes over, team in transition.

AFC NORTH

* Baltimore Ravens (10-6) -- Excellent offense but average at QB, superb defense at LB and DB.

* Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) -- Lost several key players to free agency, QB Roethlisberger must settle down.

* Cincinnati Bengals (8-8) -- Need to improve running game, QB Palmer getting better, defense in flux.

Cleveland Browns (4-12) -- QB Dilfer sub-par, TE Winslow lost for season again, below average defense.

AFC SOUTH

* Indianapolis Colts (11-5) -- Superb offense with QB Manning, RB James and WR Harrison, defense improving.

* Jacksonville Jaguars (9-7) -- Strong offense with QB Lethwich, RB Taylor and WR Smith, very good defense.

* Tennessee Titans (6-10) -- QB McNair surrounded by poor offensive personnel, defense average at best.

* Houston Texans (6-10) -- Recent expansion team slowly improving, average offense, fairly good defense.

AFC WEST

* Kansas City Chiefs (10-6) -- Strong offense, superb OL, RB and TE, good at QB and WR, improving defense.

* Denver Broncos (10-6) -- Solid offense with erratic QB Plummer, average DL, excellent at LB and DB.

* San Diego Chargers (8-8) -- RB Tomlinson is great, improved OL helped QB, good defense, fine LBs.

* Oakland Raiders (4-12) -- good offense but new WR Moss will cause distractions, below average defense.

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Bret Burquest is an award-winning columnist and author of four novels, which are available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at bret@centurytel.net.