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Nick Ferraro Predictions

2006 JetNation NFL Preview

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By Nick Ferraro

NFC East
1.      Dallas             11-5
2.      *Philadelphia   10-6
3.      New York         8-8
4.      Washington     8-8
 
The Cowboys will squeak out a division win.  They will have the best defense and an explosive offense if Owens stays on the field.  Philadelphia will surprise people this season.  Their early schedule is a dream, and it could lead to a 9-1 start.  Things will get much tougher thereafter. The Giants have the most brutal season ahead.  They overachieved last year, and it’s hard to see a repeat. The Skins can’t get out of their own way offensively.  That’s a bad thing considering the defenses they’ll face.
 
NFC North
1.      Chicago             11-5
2.      Minnesota           8-8
3.      Green Bay          6-10
4.      Detroit               4-12
 
It’s nice being the Bears these days.  Any team would enjoy playing the Vikings, Packers, and Lions twice.  The Bears will go as far as their QB will take them.  The Bears need to realize that Griese will take them further than Grossman.  The Vikings have nothing to be very excited about on either side of the ball.  The Packers will be more competitive than people think, but it will not translate into victories.  Detroit is simply a mess.
 
NFC South
1.      Carolina             11-5
2.      *Tampa Bay       10-6
3.      Atlanta                9-7
4.      New Orleans        3-13
 
The Panthers have the best talent in the division on both sides of the ball.  If they can finally develop a dependable running game, it could lead to big things.  Tampa wasn’t a fluke last year.  Simms will improve, and the Bucs will be hard to handle.  Atlanta needs Vick to finally become a passer to take the next step, but that’s been their story for a few years now.  The Saints will finally have true home games this season, but they are way behind the rest of the division.

NFC West
1.      Seattle              12-4
2.      St. Louis             7-9
3.      Arizona             6-10
4.      San Francisco    3-13
 
The Seahawks are better than last year, and they are the likely representative for the NFC in the Super Bowl.  The Rams will play better on defense, and finally commit to a running game.  They have too many holes to reach the playoffs though.  The Cards have issues on both lines.  They’ll be entertaining, but games are won in the trenches.  The Niners are rebuilding nicely, but they are a few years away.

AFC East
1.      Miami                12-4
2.      *New England    11-5
3.      New York           6-10
4.      Buffalo              3-13
 
The Dolphins will finally end the Pats stranglehold on the division.  They will find balance on offense after finally landing a quarterback that can make plays.  The Pats are far from the team they were, but they will benefit from a nice schedule.  Their toughest non-division games are all at home.  The Jets will be hard to watch on offense.  They will stay in games, but wins will be elusive.  The Bills are very bad.
 
AFC North
1.      Pittsburgh              11-5
2.      *Cincinnati             11-5
3.      Baltimore               10-6
4.      Cleveland                3-13
 
The Steelers are still stronger along the lines than the Bengals.  The air attack they flashed in the playoffs will need a revival if they plan to repeat. The Bengals are closing in, but their defense is overrated despite the big turnover numbers.  Baltimore will benefit from McNair’s presence, but they must keep him healthy.  Cleveland was hit hard by injuries in the preseason.  It will be tough sledding in the division for the Browns.

AFC South

1.      Indianapolis 14-2
2.      Jacksonville 8-8
3.      Houston 8-8
4.      Tennessee 2-14
 
The Colts are the favorite to finally find their way to the Super Bowl.  Jacksonville was bad on offense this year, and they will be even worse this season.  Houston has made great strides on defense.  The Titans are on the clock.
 
AFC West

1.      Denver 13-3
2.      San Diego 11-5
3.      Kansas City 8-8
4.      Oakland 4-12
 
Denver became more explosive by adding Javon Walker.  They need to find a way to pressure the QB if they want to take the next step.  San Diego has a physical defense, and Rivers will play better than most people think.  Kansas City will take a step back after losses on the OL.  Oakland has no direction. It’s hard to imagine they are just a few years removed from a Super Bowl appearance.
 
Playoffs

NFC Wildcard Games
Philadelphia over Chicago
Dallas over Tampa Bay
 
AFC Wildcard Games
Pittsburgh over New England
Miami over Cincinnati
 

NFC Divisional Games
Seattle over Philadelphia
Carolina over Dallas

AFC Divisional Games
Denver over Miami
Indianapolis over Pittsburgh
 

NFC Conference Championship
Seattle over Carolina
AFC Conference Championship
Indianapolis over Denver

Super Bowl XLI
Indianapolis over Seattle

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