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PFT’s 2012 season predictions

Super Bowl XLVI Getty Images

I’ve delayed as long as possible the annual PFT Super Bowl picks, in large part because I have been changing my mind every day.

Since the season starts tomorrow, I can delay it no longer.  (Yeah, I know I could milk it for another day, but I promised the powers-that-be that it would be posted today.)

History tells us that the Super Bowl opponents usually consist of one team everyone expected to be there, and one team that no one took seriously.  That happened last year, when the Pats made it from the AFC (four of the five PFT writers picked them to make it — and of course I was the only one who didn’t) and the Giants made it from the NFC (no one from PFT saw that one coming, and few if any non-Giants fans elsewhere did).

So here’s the writer-by-writer prediction of the playoff seeds and playoff tree and Super Bowl outcome.  Mine’s last because that gave me as much time as possible to change my mind.  Again.

Josh Alper

AFC

Seeds:  1. Patriots; 2. Texans; 3. Ravens; 4. Chiefs; 5. Steelers; 6. Titans.

Wild card round: Ravens over Titans, Steelers over Chiefs.

Divisional round: Pats over Steelers, Texans over Ravens.

Conference championship: Patriots over Texans.

NFC

Seeds:  1. 49ers; 2. Packers; 3. Falcons; 4. Giants; 5. Bears; 6. Eagles.

Wild card round: Bears over Giants, Eagles over Falcons.

Divisional round: Packers over Bears, 49ers over Eagles.

Conference championship: Packers over 49ers.

Super Bowl: Patriots over Packers.

Darin Gantt

AFC

Seeds:  1. Texans; 2. Ravens; 3. Patriots; 4. Broncos; 5. Steelers; 6. Bills.

Wild-card round: Patriots over Bills, Broncos over Steelers.

Divisional round: Ravens over Patriots, Broncos over Texans.

Conference Championship: Ravens over Broncos.

NFC

Seeds:  1. Packers; 2. Falcons; 3. Giants; 4. Seahawks; 5. Cowboys; 6. Lions.

Wild-card round: Giants over Lions, Seahawks over Cowboys.

Divisional round: Packers over Seahawks, Falcons over Giants.

Conference championship: Packers over Falcons.

Super Bowl: Packers over Ravens.

Evan Silva

AFC

Seeds: 1. Patriots; 2. Steelers; 3. Texans; 4. Chiefs; 5. Ravens; 6. Broncos.

Wild card round: Texans over Broncos, Chiefs over Ravens.

Divisional round: Patriots over Chiefs, Texans over Steelers.

Conference championship: Patriots over Texans.

NFC

Seeds: 1. Packers; 2. Giants; 3. Saints; 4. 49ers; 5. Eagles; 6. Lions.

Wild card round: Lions over Saints, Eagles over 49ers.

Divisional round: Packers over Lions, Eagles over Giants.

Conference championship: Packers over Eagles.

Super Bowl: Packers over Patriots.

Michael David Smith

AFC

Seeds: 1. Patriots; 2. Ravens; 3. Texans; 4. Broncos; 5. Chargers; 6. Steelers.

Wild card round: Texans over Steelers, Broncos over Chargers.

Divisional round: Patriots over Broncos, Ravens over Texans.

Conference Championship: Patriots over Ravens.

NFC

Seeds:  1. Packers; 2. Giants; 3. Panthers; 4. 49ers; 5. Bears; 6. Falcons.

Wild card round: Panthers over Falcons, 49ers over Bears.

Divisional round: Packers over 49ers, Panthers over Giants.

Conference Championship: Packers over Panthers.

Super Bowl: Packers over Patriots.

Florio

AFC

Seeds:  1.  Patriots; 2. Broncos; 3.  Ravens; 4. Titans; 5.  Bengals; 6.  Chiefs.

Wild card round:  Ravens over Chiefs, Bengals over Titans.

Divisional round:  Patriots over Bengals, Broncos over Ravens.

Conference Championship:  Patriots over Broncos.

NFC

Seeds:  1.  Packers; 2.  Giants; 3.  Falcons; 4.  49ers; 5.  Saints; 6.  Eagles.

Wild card round:  Eagles over Falcons, Saints over 49ers.

Divisional round:  Eagles over Packers, Giants over Saints.

Conference Championship:  Giants over Eagles.

Super Bowl:  Giants over Patriots.

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123 Responses to “PFT’s 2012 season predictions”
  1. chatham10 says: Sep 4, 2012 9:54 AM

    I love it when all the experts make their picks and then look at the end of the year and see who really had a clue .

  2. classactcalvin81 says: Sep 4, 2012 9:55 AM

    I have packers beating lions and pats beating Baltimore for a pats over pack Superbowl!! Ofcorse I am I lions can so I would like to see them in SB I just think they r a year or two away yet..

  3. spellingcops says: Sep 4, 2012 9:56 AM

    When undecided, I guess you just go with a repeat of what we just saw. No way that happens.

  4. 7swag7 says: Sep 4, 2012 9:59 AM

    Brady v Manning is so last decade. Get over it.

  5. The Buffer Zone says: Sep 4, 2012 10:00 AM

    Based on the unwavering phenomenon that 50% of the teams that made the playoffs the year before don’t make it the following year, these predictions are horrible.

    Go out on the limb and give us who you really think will be this year’s sleepers…

  6. fground says: Sep 4, 2012 10:01 AM

    the NFL is about 50% random luck and 50% team skill…anyone that picks the 12 teams that makes the playoffs is simply lucky – not smart

  7. mojosmagic says: Sep 4, 2012 10:02 AM

    Now that you cleared that up why bother playing the season?

  8. oriolesvsravens says: Sep 4, 2012 10:03 AM

    AFC – Texans vs. Ravens

    NFC – Bears over Packers/Eagles

    Superbowl – ? Vs. Bears

  9. hatesycophants says: Sep 4, 2012 10:05 AM

    Ridiculous. Status quo. There is nothing to suggest the Packers even sniff the Superbowl with no defense and without the benefit of favoritism in officiating.

  10. 7ransponder says: Sep 4, 2012 10:06 AM

    Loving all the drooling over the Packers again this year, because the same thing happened last year and we all know how that turned out…

  11. thewizardofbs says: Sep 4, 2012 10:07 AM

    This can’t be right! Ross and Jeff Ireland guaranteed that the Dolphins would be super-bowl contenders. You guys better do this again, you must have made mistakes!

  12. jesse834 says: Sep 4, 2012 10:08 AM

    Cleveland over Arizona for the SB…. oh wait who I’m kidding I meant to say for the first pick in the 2013 draft. I find preseason predictions usually mean nothing.

  13. romosmicrodongs says: Sep 4, 2012 10:09 AM

    ravens/49ers

  14. youdownwithjpp says: Sep 4, 2012 10:13 AM

    Manning brothers Superbowl. I want to see it happen.

  15. keithbangedyermom says: Sep 4, 2012 10:17 AM

    First of all, please shoot me prior to kickoff if we have to endure another Giants – Pats matchup. Good lord. Second, it amazes me how few people actually believe in the Bears.

  16. sportsinhd says: Sep 4, 2012 10:18 AM

    Really, five of you picked the Patriots to get back to the Super Bowl? History tells us that’s not going to happen. Teams that lose the Super Bowl one year don’t tend to make it back the next.

  17. war27 says: Sep 4, 2012 10:19 AM

    People putting a lot of stock in the Broncos because of Manning makes me laugh.

    They will not make the playoffs. They were a 5-11 team last year that used a lot of luck to get to 8-8. You can’t get lucky every time. The only reason they could win 5 games was the defense, a defense that was in the bottom half of the league in every stat last year.

    Add all that to manning most likely not making it all year and you are looking at a 8-8 team again at best.

  18. rhodeislandpatriotsfan says: Sep 4, 2012 10:20 AM

    Super Bowl XLVII: Packers over Texans

  19. blacknole08 says: Sep 4, 2012 10:21 AM

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say:

    NFC:

    Saints
    Bears
    Eagles
    49ers
    Packers
    Panthers

    AFC:

    Patriots
    Steelers
    Texans
    Broncos
    Ravens
    Chargers

    SB: Patriots over Bears

  20. gmen1983 says: Sep 4, 2012 10:22 AM

    Obviously a Giant fan here, but, the Panthers over the Giants and going to the NFC Championship game? Really?! Regardless of whether the Giants get that far, the Panthers stand ZERO chance of even getting to that round, let alone beating whoever else is there. I guess the argument could be that this guy went out on a limb, but I think picking the Panthers to finish above .500 would qualify as more than a stretch. In THAT division? No way.

  21. bobnelsonjr says: Sep 4, 2012 10:24 AM

    A lot of east coast bias in the predictions.

    One should always look at the depth a team has because injuries and fatigue take their toll on all teams.

    In my opinion the Chargers, Broncos, Texicans, and Packers will do better than most of these predictions.

  22. sasattack says: Sep 4, 2012 10:25 AM

    Bengals over Steelers? Based on what criteria? Certainly not logic.

  23. dionoil says: Sep 4, 2012 10:25 AM

    Of course it wont be right, it’s still fun this time of year

  24. The Commish says: Sep 4, 2012 10:26 AM

    If the Giants beat New England *AGAIN* then NFL Network will need to crank out a Patriot’s version of “America’s Game: The Missing Rings.”

  25. pspring63 says: Sep 4, 2012 10:28 AM

    I’m surprised I didn’t see the Browns in your discussions. Certainly just an oversight.

  26. blacknole08 says: Sep 4, 2012 10:32 AM

    Gmen1983,

    our division is notorious for having the team that has finished last or 3rd to last the previous season going on to make the playoffs the following season.

    Don’t be surprised.

  27. silvernblackpa says: Sep 4, 2012 10:35 AM

    Since I’m fearless when it comes to making myself look stupid:

    AFC Seeds:

    1. Patriots 2. Ravens 3. Raiders 4. Titans 5. Broncos 6. Steelers

    NFC Seeds:

    1. Packers 2. Saints 3. 49ers 4. Giants 5. Eagles 6. Bears

    AFC Playoffs

    Raiders over Steelers
    Broncos over Titans

    Patriots over Broncos
    Ravens over Raiders

    Ravens over Patriots

    NFC playoffs

    49ers over Bears
    Giants over Eagles

    Packers over Giants
    49ers over Saints

    Packers over 49ers

    Super Bowl:

    Ravens over Packers

    Ray Lewis goes out with a bang. Or a stab as the case may be.

  28. codysteeler says: Sep 4, 2012 10:35 AM

    Steelers over Falcons

  29. bouwel92 says: Sep 4, 2012 10:36 AM

    Its going to be a Saints Texans superbowl this year

  30. source7769 says: Sep 4, 2012 10:36 AM

    bears and texans will be the 2 biggest flops

  31. purplegreenandgold says: Sep 4, 2012 10:39 AM

    Boy that was fun… thank God the season is about to start and all the predictions and hype is over. The reality of football is here!!!

  32. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 4, 2012 10:43 AM

    The Giants aren’t sniffing a playoff birth this year. The Redskins are sweeping the division and going deep into the playoffs. With RGIII as the QB, we MIGHT even win the Superbowl. The last two times we went to the playoffs, the only reason we didn’t make it to the final games was because of Brunell and Collins running out of gas come playoff time. PFT staff remember my words. Redskins NFC East winners + Playoffs.

  33. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 4, 2012 10:57 AM

    All Steelers fans need to know about the 2012 Steelers is this: Post-Gazette columnist and talk-radio host Ron Cook is predicting a 10-6 season. That, unfortunately, is THE kiss of death. If Cook says or writes one thing, you can always expect the exact opposite.

  34. dogluverssuck says: Sep 4, 2012 10:59 AM

    Wide 9 is a helluva drugs……

    Opposing qbs….this is your brain……

    This is your brain on Wide 9……..

    Any questions? :)

  35. allnightdwight says: Sep 4, 2012 11:01 AM

    The Hawks will march on a road of bones

  36. r8rsfan says: Sep 4, 2012 11:05 AM

    You guys hyping up the Chefs make me laugh. Did you watch them at all in the preseason? They’re offense is terrible. Equally funny is that nobody is on board with the Chuggers. Norval Turner is the most mediocre coach of all time.

  37. theralph2012 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:05 AM

    Is it Sunday yet?

  38. mandracchia says: Sep 4, 2012 11:07 AM

    The Eagles will be in the Super Bowl. Andy Reid’s job is on the line I do believe Vick will learn to slide and Reid will run the ball, our defense will come up big every game. Mark this down 12 and 4. Last year was a fluke

  39. bosfaninva says: Sep 4, 2012 11:08 AM

    Hard to have much faith in the Ravens after they picked up a Patriots DEFENSIVE castoff, James Ihedigbo, a brittle, slow, inept safety.

    That was a “pinch me” moment!

    The Ravens are done. That great defense has been carrying them for over ten years. It’s over.

  40. kevin0822 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:15 AM

    The lamest prediction HAS TO BE using the same two teams from last year’s Super Bowl and ending with the same result. Come up with a little creativity. That is not going to happen. So many prognosticators do that year in and year out and it never comes true … especially in the NFL. There is way too much turnover from year to year with the playoff teams. There have been many years where half the teams from the previous season don’t make the playoffs the following year. This year will be nothing like 2011, so the Giants will not beat the Patriots in the next Super Bowl. Come on guys… some of you actually get payed for a living and you come up with that prediction?

  41. getyourownname says: Sep 4, 2012 11:20 AM

    bobzilla1001 says:
    Sep 4, 2012 10:57 AM
    All Steelers fans need to know about the 2012 Steelers is this: Post-Gazette columnist and talk-radio host Ron Cook is predicting a 10-6 season. That, unfortunately, is THE kiss of death. If Cook says or writes one thing, you can always expect the exact opposite.
    ************************
    So is the exact opposite 6-10, or 16-0?

    Both Ravens and Steelers have to be pencilled in until they prove otherwise. Which might happen, of course.

  42. floriosbigtoe says: Sep 4, 2012 11:22 AM

    Didn’t the Jets already win the Super Bowl and Rex Ryan win coach of the year?

  43. laserw says: Sep 4, 2012 11:23 AM

    Eagles, Cowboys, and Falcons will not make the playoffs. None of these teams are very good and they don’t have any depth. Eagles have no chemistry and their coach is in his last year – this could be the most shocking team in 2012 – 4-12 and they could compete with the Redskins for the league’s worst record. Cowboys will also be under .500 and their coach will be fired. Redskins will also fire Shanny after a horrific season nearing 2-14.

    Don’t look for the Steelers to make the playoffs either – this season will be the one to show how awful a head coach they have.

  44. kev86 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:24 AM

    NFC – Niners, Giants, Packers, Falcons, Eagles, Bears.

    Giants over Eagles

    AFC – Pats, Texans, Ravens, Broncos, Steelers, Chargers

    Texans over Patriots

    Giants over Texans.

  45. suhisabeast90 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:26 AM

    Lions, Panthers, Ravens and Bills will be Wildcards this year.

    Steelers, Chiefs, Texans, Patriots Division winners

    Packers, Falcons, Giants, 49ers Division winners
    —————————————————-
    Wildcard round:

    Lions over Giants Panthers over 49ers

    Texans over Bills Patriots over Ravens
    ————————————————–
    Division round:

    Packers over Panthers Lions over Falcons

    Steelers over Patriots Texans over Patriots
    ————————————————–
    Conference Championship:

    Texans over Steelers Packers over Lions
    ————————————————–
    Superbowl:

    Packers over Texans

  46. v2the4 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:29 AM

    compare the “experts” over here with the “experts” at espn and you see far different scenario’s. None of the espn guys have a patriot/giant rematch….only one of them have the ravens going to the superbowl(ravens vs falcons at that, which will be a crap game)

    Im going with the Texans vs the 49ers in the superbowl, even though I think the Saints will fight tooth and nail to get the first home game superbowl also

  47. grpatriot says: Sep 4, 2012 11:32 AM

    Patriots have made the nesseccary improvements on defense, not only to get back to the dance and win it!
    Good luck hanging onto the ball? 3 second clock for opposing QB’s…

    When the Patriots were winning SuperBowls, the D came up big in big games….this D will turn some heads this season!

  48. cav2ya says: Sep 4, 2012 11:32 AM

    Wow. what a surprise.
    Patriots/Packers/Giants.
    who better to repeat from the last 2 yrs…
    i guess we can count out the pats and giants.. cause ya know, they made it last year..
    As an Eagles fan, i always look forward tot he Giants games. not cause we hate them like the cowboys, but cause no matter the records, no matter how good or bad one has been, it’s always a slug fest/knockout/good game. sort of a mutual respect for playing hard but we still don’t like ya type of thing..
    it’ll be the Giants at Philadelphia for the NFC Conference.
    but seriously, I’d love to see the Eagles make it, and it’s about time..

    but to pick the same safe play teams just cause they played the last few SB’s.. now that was exciting to read…

  49. jonirocit says: Sep 4, 2012 11:37 AM

    Wow so this year no one is picking the niners ? Wow

  50. southpaw2k says: Sep 4, 2012 11:39 AM

    I am shocked that Florio actually had the Titans winning the South over the Texans. Did no one else pick up on that?

    Given that it’s pretty much the norm for 5 teams to make the playoffs who didn’t the previous year, I think the following teams get in who didn’t last year: Bills and Chiefs in the AFC, and Eagles, Bears, and Panthers in the NFC. The Bengals, Broncos, Giants, Saints, and Falcons all miss the playoffs this year.

  51. nunpuncher says: Sep 4, 2012 11:40 AM

    A torn MCL is a hell of an injury.

  52. cliffclavicle says: Sep 4, 2012 11:40 AM

    Pats will struggle this year, ten wins max, first round and they’re done. Wildly overrated team.

  53. rickthefactor says: Sep 4, 2012 11:42 AM

    Wow, ZERO love for the Niners. I understand they got a hard schedule and all but come on now.

  54. cantonbound13 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:43 AM

    Packers over Texans 38-24

  55. sclement65 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:43 AM

    Saints not even making the playoffs, show what a joke you are.

  56. barroomhero80 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:46 AM

    Packers won’t make it past first round…

  57. canjura says: Sep 4, 2012 11:51 AM

    Amazes me how many people are drinking the Packers koolaid. Does nobody remember how abysmal their offensive line has looked since like week 12 of last season? Also, Besides Gantt, nobody is giving the Seahawks love. thats my pick to win the NFC West, and this coming from a Rams fan. 49′ers schedule is BRUTAL.

  58. whatswrongwithmyname says: Sep 4, 2012 11:52 AM

    Some of you guys posting comments on here are jagoffs.

    1) All the snarky “Ohhh…well now we know what’s going to happen” replies…they’re predictions. It’s even in the title of the article. I mean Jesus H…you act like you’re surprised you didn’t get hard-hitting news…which if that’s what you were looking for, you’re on the wrong site.

    2) For those ripping them for not going out on a limb…they’re predictions. Once you can correctly predict all 12 playoff teams, in order, and the road to the Super Bowl, then you can talk. If Philly wins the east, what the hell difference is there between the guy who picks the Giants to win the east and the guy who picks Washington to win the east? Is the Washington guy a better prognosticator because he went out on a limb?

    3) For those of you ripping them for going out on a limb…they’re predictions. Sometimes you have a gut feeling. You go with it, despite what Lloyd from Tuscaloosa thinks about it.

  59. csmit44 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:53 AM

    anyone else just do not understand the Falcons love?

    Average Qb, 2 good wrs one of whom is often injured, AARP TE, aging 30 year old breaking down running back, solid linebackers, 35 year old defensive end, good corners,terrible safeties….seems like a superbowl team to me!

  60. radrntn says: Sep 4, 2012 11:53 AM

    sssshhhhhh……..the quiet storm……love the fact that nobody is picking raiders in wide open afc west….chiefs w/ cassell ..ok if you say so…..lol

    i think two tough teams could be texans and packers….but aaron rogers is best qb in nfl right now regardless of what robert kraft thinks.

    I’ll go w/ chesseheads

  61. succulentnipples says: Sep 4, 2012 11:53 AM

    What about the jets?

  62. screamingsheep69 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:53 AM

    This just in, the NFC is loaded.

  63. td40 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:55 AM

    I can’t believe anyone at all would even give the Ravens a chance. Year after year, they’re somebody’s Super Bowl favorite and, year after year, they fold, implode, crumble, and limp to the couch. This year isn’t going to be any different. Why would it?

  64. gisellichek says: Sep 4, 2012 11:58 AM

    I hate that everyone is picking the Pats… reminds of me of 2008 all over again.

  65. micahernst says: Sep 4, 2012 11:59 AM

    What are the chances of the same two teams going back to the superbowl? That should tell you something about how valid some of these picks are.

  66. bobbyhoying says: Sep 4, 2012 12:00 PM

    Logical choices, but I have a hunch this is the season Brady doesn’t finish because of an injury.

  67. marko959 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:02 PM

    Mike. The Eagles? With Michael Vick as quarterback? I don’t think they will even make the playoffs.

  68. thetokyosandblaster says: Sep 4, 2012 12:03 PM

    Lots of Packer hate.

    Understandable; if someone else’s team was clearly head and shoulders above every other team, I’d probably hate them too.

    If you think anyone “exposed” the packers last year, you clearly ride the NFL short bus. The packers played their worst game of the year against a team they would rout 9 times out of 10. Kudos to the Giants for taking advantage.

    Face it: the packers are the favorites for the next few years.

  69. claymath52 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:15 PM

    Could you imagine another Giants over Patriots Super Bowl? The Eli Manning dynasty era and the fall of Brady. I don’t think i’d look back on a histroy written this way fondly…

  70. jetblackninja says: Sep 4, 2012 12:17 PM

    If recent history is any indicator… some 9-7 or 10-6 scrub team will sneak in and run the table.

    Rule changes and bullsh!t have led to an NFL where being a good team means nothing at all, and winning the Super Bowl means even less.

    Meh.

  71. travishenryskid says: Sep 4, 2012 12:17 PM

    I’ll go homer on you since only one of you picked the Bills for a wildcard, understandably given history. But look a little deeper and you will see why this team should be a virtual lock for a wildcard. Here are the Qbs they play this year:

    Tannehill x2
    Sanchez/Tebow x2
    Cassel
    Wheedon
    Skelton
    Locker
    Luck
    Gabbert
    Bradford
    Wilson

    Then Smith, Schaub and Brady x2

    If that isn’t a sorry set of qbs, I don’t know what is.

  72. threedeep1998 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:21 PM

    No offense to the writers here or the Packer fan base but… that defense is not championship material. Balanced teams like NYG, Texans, Ravens, Steelers, SF get my vote. Nobody is as good as Rodgers (maybe Brees or Brady) but no way that horrible Dom Capers D keeps them alive against teams with decent pass rush and corners (NYG)

  73. villa41 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:23 PM

    Keep sleeping on the Raiders. Love the fact five so called “experts” picked every team but one in the wide open AFC West. The Raiders have the best roster top to bottom in the division – period. Oakland could easily have been 11-5 last season with a better defense, and the defense now appears much better with the proper coaching, scheme, and re-vamped corners and LB crew.

    This is why the national media cannot be counted upon to accurately analyze these teams. They just don’t do the proper and necessary research. It makes you wonder where these guys get their information and what they are watching.

  74. stuartscottslefteye says: Sep 4, 2012 12:25 PM

    Not a fan but could easily see them making it to the SB. They made it last year and they are a better team than last year – and they have the easiest schedule in the entire NFL.

  75. 07vrod says: Sep 4, 2012 12:25 PM

    Much harder picking top 6 from the NFC:

    AFC: 1)New England, 2)Houston, 3)Denver, 4)Baltimore, 5)Tennessee, 6)Pittsburgh

    Denver over Pittsburgh
    Baltimore over Tennessee

    New England over Baltimore
    Houston over Denver

    Houston over New England

    NFC: 1)San Francisco, 2)Green Bay, 3)Philadelphia, 4)Atlanta, 5)New Orleans, 6)Chicago

    Philadelphia over Chicago
    New Orleans over Atlanta

    San Francisco over New Orleans
    Green Bay over Philadelphia

    San Francisco over Green Bay

    HOUSTON over SAN FRANCISCO

  76. pmars64 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:26 PM

    If Aaron Rodgers can keep his ego in check and his mouth shut, I’m going with the Packers over anybody from the AFC. Vick can’t survive an entire season. The Cowboys are weak on the OL and have a lot of questions at WR. Giants won’t because it’s too hard to repeat. Niners won’t unless Harbaugh keeps his ego in check (and doesn’t yank the playcalling from his O coordinator like he did last year in the NFC title game – WHICH IS WHY THEY LOST!!). I’m betting he won’t. Matt Ryan still can’t improvise if the play breaks down. The Saints D stinks and the bounty crap is too much turmoil to overcome.

    Best guess at AFC champ is Pittsburgh or NE because they have the two best QBs in the conference. Maybe Houston, but Schaub chokes. Ravens are old on D and I’m still not sold on hot/cold Flacco. Dalton is OK, but his arm is still weak. Manning isn’t the same as he was 5 years ago. Jets have issues all through the offense.

    Browns/Vikes/Dolphins/Jags in race for top pick. Browns get to win something and get Barkley. Weeden will BUST big-time. Holmgren/Heckert/Shurmur gone as soon as the last second of the last game has passed (if not soomer). As a Browns fan, I’d rather have Jauron take over anyway during the season.

  77. thelastpieceofcheese says: Sep 4, 2012 12:37 PM

    I can make all kinds of predictions…as long as I’m not accountable if I miss.

  78. EJ says: Sep 4, 2012 12:38 PM

    My Predictions:
    AFC

    Seeds: 1. Patriots; 2. Ravens; 3. Texans; 4. Broncos; 5. Bills; 6. Steelers.

    Wild card round: Texans (24) over Steelers(21), Bills (38) over Broncos (24).

    Divisional round: Patriots (24) over Bills (17), Ravens (41) over Texans(14).

    Conference Championship: Patriots (38) over Ravens (24).

    NFC

    Seeds: 1. Bears; 2. Giants; 3. Lions; 4. 49ers; 5. Packers; 6. Falcons.

    Wild card round: Lions (31) over Falcons (24), 49ers (20) over Packers (17).

    Divisional round: Bears (24) over 49ers (17), Lions (35) over Giants (14).

    Conference Championship: Bears (27) over Lions (13).

    Super Bowl: Bears (38) over Patriots (27).

    Not many may agree with me, but thats the way it will go. The Chicago Bears will bring home the trophy. MVP: Matt Forte

  79. justintuckrule says: Sep 4, 2012 12:50 PM

    Brady v. Manning in AFC Champ game;

    Giants beat hated Philly in NFC Champ game preventing them yet another opportunity to replace dust bunnies with a shiny Lombardi; and

    Giants beating Pats for a THIRD TIME!!

    Tell me a naked Jessica Biel will be serving appies at my SB party and this Giants’ fan will think he’s died and gone to heaven!!!!

  80. glazed61 says: Sep 4, 2012 12:54 PM

    If they don’t mend with the real refs, they will leak the Patriots championship game scandal vs the Colts, where the NFL paid the refs to let the Pats win.

  81. torontofalcon says: Sep 4, 2012 12:58 PM

    Why is everyone putting the panthers in the playoffs. Im a falcons fan but no bias, Newton is amazing yes but is he also gonna play WR2, CB, and DT. Panthers have alot of wholes to fill, before they truly become a contender.

  82. joestemme says: Sep 4, 2012 12:58 PM

    Come on, guys. You’re supposed to be “in the know”.

    EVERY YEAR since 1996 there have been at LEAST 5 new teams in the playoffs – every season. Since 1998 the average is 6 or more.

    Not ONE of you picked even 5 new teams to make it. Not one.

    To wit:

    Phil replaces NYG
    Bears replace Detroit
    Dallas replaces Atlanta
    Buffalo replaces Pittsburgh
    Chiefs replace Cinci

    That’s 5 at least.

  83. spfripp says: Sep 4, 2012 1:01 PM

    One thing every SB team has had was a good OL. The Pats don’t even know who is on their OL. No doubt they will make the playoffs and it should be mentioned that part of it is by default but I would like to see how that OL performs in a regular season game before predicting they will make the SB much less win it.

  84. pastorbobs says: Sep 4, 2012 1:06 PM

    NFC rep in SB: Bears
    AFC rep in SB: Broncos

    Bears win 1st SB since 85.

  85. racerx1225 says: Sep 4, 2012 1:18 PM

    Only thing that keeps the Raiders from winning the West is McFadden’s health. Deny that and denial aint a river in Egypt, just a way of life for you.

  86. lrt79 says: Sep 4, 2012 1:23 PM

    Every single one of those picks is safe and boring.

  87. misterplowthatnameagainismisterplow says: Sep 4, 2012 1:35 PM

    I’m not sold on Cam Newton. We will see though.

  88. fmwarner says: Sep 4, 2012 1:40 PM

    kevin0822 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:15 AM

    The lamest prediction HAS TO BE using the same two teams from last year’s Super Bowl and ending with the same result. Come up with a little creativity. That is not going to happen. So many prognosticators do that year in and year out and it never comes true … especially in the NFL.
    ===============================

    Yeah, except for that time it did happen.

  89. dannyreneau says: Sep 4, 2012 1:47 PM

    i’m just glad to see “experts” picking the Chiefs going to the play offs. That’s all i can ask for.

  90. millerhour says: Sep 4, 2012 1:55 PM

    I find it hilarious one of them had the Seahawks winning their division and the 49ers missing the playoffs. I guess it could happen and we will know in January.

  91. tshirttom says: Sep 4, 2012 2:10 PM

    Pastorbobs

    NFC rep in SB: Bears
    AFC rep in SB: Broncos

    Bears win 1st SB since 85.

    Sorry pastor all the prayers in the whole world won’t get DaBears to the SB
    overrated
    9-7 at best

  92. drwbrsdmndsnxplntn says: Sep 4, 2012 2:23 PM

    95% safe picks. And every single one of you is going to be wrong by the way just so you know…ill remind you at the end of this year.

    I think last year was Bears vs. Chargers Superbowl if im not mistaken?

  93. thepunkyqb says: Sep 4, 2012 2:35 PM

    I am neither afraid to go out on a limb(the only person that actually has up until this point), nor worried about the hell I will catch for my predictions. So here goes…(and let it be duly noted that I am a hardcore Bears fan)

    AFC 1.Patriots 2.Ravens 3.Titans 4.**Colts** 5.Texans 6.Chargers

    NFC 1.Giants 2.Bears 3.Lions 4.Panthers 5.49ers 6.Seahawks

    Wild Cards: Colts; Texans; Lions; 49ers

    Conference Championships

    AFC Titans over Ravens

    NFC Lions over Bears

    Superbowl Lions over Titans

    Whether or not you think I am accurate, brave, stupid or just insane…let’s all look forward to a new season starting and may the best team win! I for one, am ready for Opening Day kickoff!!!

  94. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Sep 4, 2012 2:41 PM

    Harbaugh Bowl is coming and you know it. Niners over Ravens. Jim is the better coach

  95. Canned Heat says: Sep 4, 2012 2:59 PM

    oriolesvsravens says:
    Sep 4, 2012 10:03 AM
    AFC – Texans vs. Ravens

    NFC – Bears over Packers/Eagles

    Superbowl – ? Vs. Bears
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Get off the crank, bro.

    Bears won’t even be the second best team in the division…unless Glass Slippers Stafford goes down for awhile again…which is quite possible. And no one knows, really. Rodgers could get run over by the team bus and the Packers would be in the cellar.

    At some point, you guys will realize Cutler is the modern day version of Favre during big games his last 5 years in the league. Gets you to the peak, good numbers, looks solid….and then craps the bed and throws it up for grabs. Cutler-blind, you might say. I’d love to see the over/under on how many Brandon Marshall pick 6 saving tackles he has to perform this year. I’ll go with a solid 6.

  96. jhtobias says: Sep 4, 2012 3:03 PM

    I’m a little dissapointed in Packer Haters not mentioning thier usual “Well the Refs will give the game to the Packers anyway garbage ” To early for that I guess losers.

    Only one team lays claim to the Title at this point until defeated and that is the Giants.

  97. bengals3285 says: Sep 4, 2012 3:20 PM

    I don’t get why everybody is loving on the steelers this year, ya I’m a bengals fan and every year I’ve known that they were gonna be a great team… Not this year, 8-8 at best

  98. lilrob10201 says: Sep 4, 2012 4:06 PM

    It is very unlikely that the Broncos make the Superbowl and the Panthers make the playoffs.I do not know why experts are predicting what will happen when the season has yet to start.

  99. southpaw2k says: Sep 4, 2012 4:35 PM

    fmwarner says:
    Sep 4, 2012 1:40 PM
    kevin0822 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:15 AM

    The lamest prediction HAS TO BE using the same two teams from last year’s Super Bowl and ending with the same result. Come up with a little creativity. That is not going to happen. So many prognosticators do that year in and year out and it never comes true … especially in the NFL.
    ===============================

    Yeah, except for that time it did happen.

    ===============================

    …which was over 20 years ago. Hell, the last time even one team made it to back to back Super Bowls was the Patriots in 2003 and 2004 (of course, they won both those games too). Choosing chalk, while safe and somewhat logical, just isn’t realistic. Nobody bought into the Giants going in the season this time last year, and frankly nobody really believed in them going into the playoffs much either. I don’t think they even make the playoffs this season, much less get back to the big game.

  100. alskdh says: Sep 4, 2012 5:55 PM

    Re: Florios pick.

    If the Giants beat the Patriots in the Superbowl AGAIN. The city of Boston would Shut down. There would be nobody allowed near any buildings, tall structures, any staircases or high rises. The train system would shut down as well. They would have to ship the people out of the city for quite a while of manning got the best of Brady in a SB again.

  101. grogansheroes says: Sep 4, 2012 5:59 PM

    glazed61 says:
    Sep 4, 2012 12:54 PM
    If they don’t mend with the real refs, they will leak the Patriots championship game scandal vs the Colts, where the NFL paid the refs to let the Pats win.
    —————————————————–
    For a minute there I agreed with you. In 2006 when the refs kept giving Indy PI calls to get them back in the game.

  102. derklempner says: Sep 4, 2012 6:03 PM

    “silvernblackpa says:
    Sep 4, 2012 10:35 AM

    Super Bowl:

    Ravens over Packers

    Ray Lewis goes out with a bang. Or a stab as the case may be.”

    I gave you a thumbs up just for your last line.

  103. texmexdeux says: Sep 4, 2012 6:36 PM

    I have a feeling this may not be the time or place to suggest that the Jets might be in the Super Bowl?

    No? I didn’t think so.

    I mean, we have Tebow and everything…

  104. bkeating51 says: Sep 4, 2012 8:38 PM

    So every “expert” analyst except for Florio pick the Packers to go to the Super Bowl. Despite the fact the the Giants went into Lambeau last year in the playoffs and beat the Packers rather easily, even though two bad miscalls by the officials sustained both of Green Bay’s touchdown drives.

    See the media lemmings marching together off the cliff.

  105. flsnupe says: Sep 4, 2012 10:37 PM

    Florio, your pick of the Titans to win the AFC S and Texans not to make the playoffs does not logically make sense. What is your logic, the schedule?

  106. gmacc85 says: Sep 4, 2012 11:47 PM

    Florio , the texans don’t make the playoffs??? Really bro ???

  107. doubleogator says: Sep 5, 2012 11:11 AM

    Funny how many “experts” are leaving the Saints out of the playoffs all together. They were 13-3 last year with a knucklehead for a defensive coach that blew it in the 49er game. They improved the defense this year and have all of the offense back from last year. OK Payton is out, but the system is still in place. First team to play a Super Bowl at home!

    Saints vs Pittsburgh

    Saints 31-17

  108. vaquero01 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:20 AM

    Not even a nod to the TEXANS? Are ya frickin smokin something here? Not even a wild card? I rarely call anybody out, but this one is ludicrous. After last seasons run on 2nd strings and reserves….no way they deserve this kind of dis.

  109. htown1035 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:28 AM

    Why does my post not show up but I still get notified of follow-up comments? My post wasn’t anywhere near as trollish as the ones that show up here…grrr…

  110. justwinbaby29 says: Sep 5, 2012 11:49 AM

    AFC:

    1. Patriots 2. Ravens 3. Broncos 4. Texans 5. Steelers 6. Raiders

    Texans over Steelers
    Broncos over Raiders
    Ravens over Broncos
    Texans over Patriots
    Texans over Ravens

    NFC:

    1. Packers 2. Falcons 3. Giants 4. 49ers 5. Saints 6. Eagles

    Eagles over Giants
    Saints over 49ers
    Packers over Eagles
    Falcons over Saints
    Packers over Falcons

    Super Bowl XLVII: Packers over Texans

  111. greggatx says: Sep 5, 2012 12:12 PM

    The Texans over the Cowboys in a landslide! :-)

  112. allanburnz says: Sep 5, 2012 5:28 PM

    I’ve got my money on the “thumbs up”
    sooo much mor positive outlook than that “downward appendage”

  113. misterplowthatnameagainismisterplow says: Sep 5, 2012 5:50 PM

    All of these folks picking the Panthers. I just don’t see it. I would be more inclinded to pick the Buc’s before the Panthers. I just see a slight decline in Cam Newton. I’m not saying he won’t be great, I just don’t see it this year. Josh Freeman will have a bounce back season. This is how i see it.

    NFC
    1) 49ers
    2) Packers
    3) Eagles
    4) Falcons
    5) Saints
    6) Bears

    Eagles over Saints
    Falcons over Bears

    49ers over Falcons
    Eagles over Packers

    49ers over Eagles

    AFC
    1) Patriots
    2) Ravens
    3) Texans
    4) Chargers
    5) Broncos
    6) Steelers

    Texans over Broncos
    Steelers over Chargers

    Patriots over Steelers
    Texans over Ravens

    Texans over Patriots

    49ers over Texans

  114. washstnative says: Sep 5, 2012 6:14 PM

    Ha! Has anyone bothered to call the commish and see what he’s got lined up for us in January?

  115. bubba99m says: Sep 5, 2012 10:48 PM

    Manning brothers Superbowl? Not! Better chance of seeing a Mario Brothers Superbowl. Here is a suggestion to PFT: Withhold 10% of each writer’s salary and put the money into a Winner-Take-All pot for the one who comes closest to predicting the post season. If the put their money where their mouths (posts) are, they will certainly be more serious about their predictions.

  116. cliffclavicle says: Sep 5, 2012 11:33 PM

    Houston over Carolina in the SB. Pats, Steelers, Giants, Eagles all out of the post-season. Surprise teams: Rams, KC, Miami, Buffalo, Bucs. Disappointers: Pats, Steelers, Giants, Eagles, Broncos. Big storylines by December: “Will Peyton ever make it back?”, “Is Brady in decline?”, “Rex Ryan in trouble?”.

  117. defscottyb says: Sep 6, 2012 1:14 AM

    Redskins over the Pats in the SB!

  118. passerby23 says: Sep 6, 2012 1:38 AM

    Could Mike Florio make any trendier picks than what he has?

    Giants over Patriots again? Broncos as the 2nd seed with Peyton Manning making a spirited effort to take an underdog Denver team to the AFC championship game? Eagles to finally get over the hump and make some noise in the playoffs? Packers having another dominant regular season only to lose in the playoffs again?

    It’s so trendy and unoriginal and likely won’t happen.

  119. phil49ers says: Sep 6, 2012 11:43 AM

    Let’s do this prediction one more time, after that game in Lambeau Field on Sunday is over. If Alex Smith has evolved as I think he has, the rest of the leagure is in for a rude awakening. Even if the niners lose, if he compares favorably to Rodgers, which I think he will, I like the niners in the playoffs against the Pack, even in Green Bay, no make that especially in Green Bay. With the more rugged defense and more solid running game, inclimate weather favors the niners.

  120. tformation says: Sep 6, 2012 4:26 PM

    Darin giving the Seahawks some love. Winning a game in the playoffs, no less. Bold prediction. I don’t agree with it, but I give you props for going out on a limb.

  121. tformation says: Sep 6, 2012 4:27 PM

    For the Patriots, it’s true the loser of the Super Bowl usually has a tough year the next year, but the Pats schedule is one of the easiest. Hard not to just hand them the division when predicting.

  122. dutzer36 says: Sep 7, 2012 1:51 AM

    I love how ppl try predicting the most unpredictable sport! I know that it’s fun and all an that the experts have to do that for a living and ppl just like seeing their teams and saying wow we made it this year but the whole thing is 75% b.s and the more I read them year after year I’m just like wow sombody’s stomach just let one loose cause some is “proven” (bc they pretty much make it every year) and some is bc you felt that way last night…. I can go on and on. let’s seriously get a life!

  123. pagan67 says: Sep 10, 2012 2:02 PM

    All Texas SB: Dallas over Texans.

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