My picks looked pretty good this week. Sitting here before the Monday Night Football Eagles and Saints face-off I already have 10 wins booked against the spread. So there’s a pretty good chance that these three things are actually right this week.
THEY’RE RIGHT EVERY WEEK.
This week’s Three Things are going to be only one thing and a ton of things all at once. I’ll be making my (mostly because of bye weeks) mid-season NFL playoff predictions.
The Mid-Season Playoff Predictions
NFC North Winner
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it about 35,000 times; I don’t like Jay Cutler. The Bears defense has convinced me that my ever-deteriorating feelings toward Cutler don’t amount to a hill of beans when picking Chicago to maintain their lead in the NFC North. 17 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries and 7 touchdowns after 8 games is the kind of thing that you only see in video games.
NFC South Winner
I’m as guilty as everyone else who is somehow not respecting the Falcons enough. The Falcons have been the sexy pick to contend for a Super Bowl so many years in a row that the hip thing lately is to think that they’ll blow it eventually. Atlanta won’t.
Matt Ryan is completing 68% of his passes, Michael Turner is averaging 4 yards per carry and Roddy White AND Julio Jones are both averaging over 15 yards per catch with 10 and 11 20+ yard receptions respectively. In other words, holy offense, Batman.
NFC West Winner
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers aren’t quite as invincible as we once thought they were, but good coaching and a soft schedule will keep San Francisco on top of the West. It also doesn’t hurt to lead the league with 168 rushing yards per game.
NFC East Winner
New York Giants
The NFC East should be dominated by the Giants the rest of the season. The rest of the division is as dysfunctional as the family that would have happened if Ted Bundy and Roseanne would have had TV divorces and got remarried to each other to create big Brady-like Married with Roseanne TV series.
Arguing about what players would fit which cast roles will be fun, but I’m pulling rank and making Jerry Jones the creepy neighbor.
NFC Wild Cards
Green Bay Packers
The Packers offense has finally woken up, and I’ve finally woken up to this Seahawks team. We were all waiting for Green Bay to be good, but Seattle is over-achieving on defense and Marshawn Lynch is going beast mode all over the NFC West.
AFC North Winner
The Ravens are becoming a shell of their former selves just as the Steelers are coming into their own. You can’t convince me that Ben Roethlisberger likes Todd Haley’s game plan, but the two offensive leaders are learning how to coexist. Being a top ten defense isn’t bad, either. There aren’t many squads out there that can get out to early leads and still only give up 174 passing yards per game.
AFC South Winner
Do I believe in the Texans as a Super Bowl contender? Probably not. But I believe the Texans are head and shoulders above the fray in the AFC South. Arian Foster running the rock and a top five defense make it possible for Matt Schaub to play without worrying his every mistake will lead to losses.
AFC West Winner
Turns out that Peyton Manning fella is pretty good, huh? The Broncos have the most weaknesses out of all my division winner predictions, but they’ve got Manning and eight more games that they’ll be favored to win to close out the season.
AFC East Winner
New England Patriots
The Patriots top five offense is finally balanced. Stevan Ridley is providing 4.8 yards per carry to give Tom Brady a jab to go with the knockout right cross that Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski provide.
AFC Wild Cards
The Colts and Ravens are meeting in the Wild Card spots going different ways. The Ravens will regress enough to give the AFC North up to the surging Steelers while the Colts will ride Andrew Luck‘s big time arm past a tough finishing schedule to explode onto the scene.