National pundits like Patriots, not Packers

Here's a survey of what five national sports magazines are forecasting for the upcoming NFL season

‘Tis the season for sports magazines to churn out their NFL preview issues.

Five tried-and-trued favorites — Athlon Sports, Lindy's, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News and Street & Smith's — give it their best shots in previews that recently hit the newsstands.

This year's writers like the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl and the Green Bay Packers to remain a distant speck in the rear-view mirrors of the Chicago Bears.

Don't despair, though. Last year, all five of those magazines picked the Carolina Panthers to reach the Super Bowl, and three of them had them winning it. Only one, Athlon, had Indianapolis winning the Super Bowl. Carolina, of course, went 8-8, proving the so-called experts are about as accurate as your favorite TV meteorologist. Most also predicted a last-place finish for Green Bay. Not quite.

But, it's good reading nonetheless. I already spent the $40 to pick up these fine pieces of bathroom reading, so save your cash and spend it on fireworks.

Athlon Sports

Super Bowl prediction: New England over Dallas.

Division predictions: NFC East (Cowboys), NFC North (Bears), NFC South (Saints), NFC West (Seahawks). AFC East (Patriots), AFC North (Ravens), AFC South (Colts), AFC West (Chargers).

Packers prediction: Second place.

Quote to note: "Packer fans are familiar with forest green and Forrest Gregg, but the 2007 Packers might have more in common with another Forrest — Gump. Like his box of chocolates, you don't really know what to expect."

 Lindy's

Super Bowl prediction: Baltimore over New Orleans.

Division predictions: NFC East (Eagles), NFC North (Bears), NFC South (Saints), NFC West (Seahawks). AFC East (Patriots), AFC North (Ravens), AFC South (Colts), AFC West (Chargers).

Packers prediction: Third place.

Quote to note: "There's reason to question whether the Packers will have any more offensive punch than they did struggling through last season."

Pro Football Weekly

Super Bowl prediction: New England over New Orleans.

Division predictions: NFC East (Eagles), NFC North (Bears), NFC South (Saints), NFC West (Seahawks). AFC East (Patriots), AFC North (Ravens), AFC South (Colts), AFC West (Chargers).

Packers prediction: Second place.

Quote to note: "The window is open for Green Bay. However, the front office did little to improve an offense lacking gamebreakers and a team that had to rally furiously to finish 8-8."

Sporting News

Super Bowl prediction: New England over Dallas.

Division predictions: NFC East (Cowboys), NFC North (Bears), NFC South (Saints), NFC West (49ers). AFC East (Patriots), AFC North (Bengals), AFC South (Colts), AFC West (Chargers).

Packers prediction: Second place.

Quote to note: "Brett Favre has the offensive supporting cast to make one more playoff push, but the defense — despite some young stars — might not have enough to get the team above .500."

 

Street & Smith's

Super Bowl prediction: New England over New Orleans.

Division predictions: NFC East (Eagles), NFC North (Bears), NFC South (Saints), NFC West (Seahawks). AFC East (Patriots), AFC North (Ravens), AFC South (Colts), AFC West (Chargers).

Packers prediction: Second place.

Quote to note: "In Favre's first 11 years with the club, the Packers were 75-13 at home. Since 2002, the Packers are 15-17 in Green Bay — Strangely, the slump has coincided with the renovation of Lambeau Field. It's as if friendly ghosts of the past have been disturbed."

Lawrence is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. Send comments to steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com.


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