Sports
by Mr. T on September 5, 2012

AFC EAST

New England Patriots: 12 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (even)

The Patriots’ weakness last year was their defense and they made sure to bolster it through the draft. The addition of Brandon Lloyd should add a vertical threat to their passing game. They’re the favorites to win it all.

New York Jets: 8.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-180)

A pass rush is still something the other New York team is lacking. It amazes me that they still haven’t picked up a 3-4 OLB who can rush the passer. The offense can’t score in the preseason and will struggle to do so in games that count as well.

Buffalo Bills: 7.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-200)

Defense was an area the Bills focused on in the offseason and it should pay off this year. The offense should continue to be productive with a healthy Ryan Fitzpatrick and two good RBs.

Miami Dolphins: 6.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-140)

They have no quality receivers to help a rookie QB. It’s going to be a long season.

AFC NORTH

Pittsburgh Steelers: 10 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-145)

Pittsburgh’s offense line was banged up last year so they’re return to health will energize the offense. You know the defense will be effective and should create more turnovers than last year.

Baltimore Ravens: 10 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (+145)

The switch to a no-huddle offense will be an interesting thing to watch, but I’m still not sure Joe Flacco is good enough to take the leap. The defense will miss Terrell Suggs, but they’ll still be one of the AFC’s best.

Cincinnati Bengals: 8 games

Mr. T's Pick: Push

The Bengals overachieved last year, but I’m a little worried about Andy Dalton experiencing a sophomore slump. The offensive line has already lost two of its starters.

Cleveland Browns: 5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-170)

The Browns invested in their offense, but Weeden and Richardson will experience growing pains. The defense doesn’t scare anyone.

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans: 10 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-170)

The Texans should have beaten the Ravens in the playoffs last year and that was with their third string QB. Their defense won’t miss Mario Williams as much as you think because of their young pass rushers. They’re my pick to surprise win the AFC right now.

Tennessee Titans: 7.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-135)

Jake Locker has potential to be a quality gun-slinger, but it won’t happen right away. Matt Hasselbeck allowed the team to win nine games last year, so there’s bound to be a regression.

Indianapolis Colts: 5.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-110)

Andrew Luck looks like the real deal and the Colts are doing things to help him be successful.  They’re going to surprise some people after last year’s disappointment.

Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Push

Blaine Gabbert has looked better in the preseason, but I need to see him do it for sixteen regular season games. The roster lacks talent on both sides of the ball.

AFC WEST

San Diego Chargers: 9 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (+140)

The Chargers sustained many an injury last year, so they’re going to bounce back this year. It’s going to be a pretty tight divisional race, but they’ll lead the way unless Norv Turner gets too…you know…like Norv Turner.

Denver Broncos: 8.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-170)

Peyton Manning has looked like his old self in preseason, but can he stay upright for the whole season?  I’m a little skeptical and the rest of the team isn’t exactly a juggernaut.

Kansas City Chiefs: 8 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-160)

The return of Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry will help, but Matt Cassel is still their quarterback and he’s rather ineffective.

Oakland Raiders: 7.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-150)

I’m not sure why people are getting excited about the Raiders’ offense. Carson Palmer threw more interceptions than touchdowns last year, Darren McFadden always gets injured, and their receivers are already banged up.

AFC Best Bets: Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets

 

NFC EAST

 

Philadelphia Eagles: 10 games

Mr. T's Pick: Push

The “Dream Team” didn’t get things done last year, so they’ll give it another guy.  They’re good on paper, but the games are played on the field. How long can Andy Reid keep his job with only one Super Bowl appearance anyway?

New York Giants: 9 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-120)

The defending champions (that feels good to say) have all their main pieces back and used the draft to and trades to replace what they lost in free agency. They’re somewhat schizophrenic, but they enjoy the fact that no one’s paying attention to them right now.

Dallas Cowboys: 8.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-145)

The Cowboys made good moves in the offseason, but they’re another team that hasn’t lived up to their hype. As of now they’re somewhat under the radar as well and I think they’ll thrive in that way.

Washington Redskins: 6 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+145)

Robert Griffin III could be an effective NFL QB, but we still have some time before that happens. The Redskins are unfortunately playing in the best division in football.

NFC NORTH

Green Bay Packers: 11.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-110)

The Packers offense could be better than last year with Cedric Benson as their lead back. I also expect them to be more motivated after last season’s disappointment.

Chicago Bears: 9.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+100)

The addition of Brandon Marshall will help the offense, but I still worry about the offensive line. The defense is also an issue with Brian Urlacher having to prove he’s healthy.

Detroit Lions: 9 games

Mr. T's Pick: Push

The Lions’ offense will be productive, but their defense will remain their Achilles’ heel.  They didn’t address their secondary enough in the offseason and that’s a major problem.

Minnesota Vikings: 6 games

Mr. T's Pick: Push

Christian Ponder will need to prove his worth as an NFL QB and it won’t help that Adrian Peterson won’t be at full strength for a little while.

NFC SOUTH

New Orleans Saints: 9.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+100)

Sean Payton is one of the best head coaches in football, so there has to be a decrease in the team’s ability without him around. They also didn’t have a pick in the top two rounds of the draft, so their talent levels aren’t as high as they should be.

Atlanta Falcons: 9 games

Mr. T's Pick: Over (-140)

Atlanta’s generating buzz as the offense to watch this year. Julio Jones is a monster and should allow Matt Ryan to put up career numbers. The Saints’ loss is their gain.

Carolina Panthers: 7.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+120)

The league because a little more wise to Cam Newton by the end of the season as can be seen in his passing numbers from the first half to the second.  I think the expectations are slightly higher than they should be.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6 games

Mr. T's Pick: Push

New coach Greg Schiano will inject some life into the Buccaneers, but the loss of Davin Joseph will be an issue for their offensive line.

NFC WEST

San Francisco 49ers: 9.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+140)

San Francisco was the Cinderella story of the NFL last season, but the play of Alex Smith in the NFC Championship Game showed the team’s glaring flaw. He’s still there, so I see a regression with a tougher schedule.

Seattle Seahawks: 7.5 games

Mr. T's Pick: Under (+140)

I like what Russell Wilson’s bringing to the table, but I think the Seahawks’ surge at the end of last year was a little fluky. They’ll be slightly under their win total.

Arizona Cardinals: 6.5

Mr. T's Pick: Under (-120)

Whether it’s John Skelton or Kevin Kolb, it’s pretty obvious that the Cardinals’ offense will not be productive. They won a lot of close games last year, so their luck is bound to turn.

St. Louis Rams: 6 games

Mr. T's Pick: Push

Jeff Fisher will help the Rams improve, but the team has no talent at receiver. How do you spend a #1 overall pick on a QB and not give him anything to work with?

NFC Best Bets: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants

And finally, my predictions for divisional winners and the SuperBowl

 

NFC East: N.Y. Giants
NFC North: Green Bay
NFC South: Atlanta
NFC West: San Francisco
NFC Wild Card #1: Philadelphia
NFC Wild Card #2: Dallas

AFC East: New England
AFC North: Pittsburgh
AFC South: Houston
AFC West: San Diego
AFC Wild Card #1: Baltimore
AFC Wild Card #2: Denver

Super Bowl: Green Bay over Houston