The Bengals are probably no worse a pick than the Rams With that said, you know what's coming. More pointless predictions about a season that should be unpredictable.
AFC Central: Pittsburgh will win the AFC Central going away, and will fend off the Dolphins to secure a no.1 seed in the playoffs. With a vivacious defense, powerful rushing attack, and impenetrable offensive line, the Steelers have the goods to win it all.
AFC East: Miami secures the no.2 seed, and wins a brutal AFC East division. The addition of Ricky Williams will help the Dolphins' defense stay fresh. On offense, Williams will help control the time of possession battle.
The defending Super Bowl champs will barely make the playoffs as a no.6 seed. Although they are a little more balanced than last year, the Patriots will go through the same motions a lot of Super Bowl champions go through. Other defenses will also try their hardest to stop Antwan Smith, putting the onus on Brady to consistently win with his arm. We'll see if he's up for the challenge.
AFC South: The South is up for grabs, but the Titans come out of the pack, and earn a no.3 seed. They're a more complete team than the Colts, their main competitors to win the division. The Titans could have easily been in the playoffs last year, if it weren't for a slow start, injuries and bad breaks.
AFC West: This is a tough division to call. However, I like the Broncos to win it, and the Chiefs to make the playoffs as a no.5 seed. Both teams have terrific offenses that should be tough to handle.
At the same time, both teams will have questionable defenses. The Broncos will be a little better with an improved defensive line and secondary.
AFC Championship: Tennessee defeats Pittsburgh
NFC East: The Eagles should win the division, and they'll earn a no.3 seed, but it won't be easy. Dallas and Washington improved in the off season, while the Eagles remained the same. Still, the Eagles have McNabb, and a great defense. If the Eagles receivers play up to their potential, they could win the Super Bowl.
Speaking of Dallas, they'll grab the sixth seed in the playoffs. Despite not having a consistent quarterback, the Dallas ground attack will be reborn, and the receivers are talented enough to make an impact. Defensively, the Cowboys will be ferocious.
NFC Central: Everybody is counting out Chicago; not me. The Bears will repeat as Central champs, and earn a no.4 seed in the playoffs. They addressed needs at quarterback and defensive end in the off season. Also, they are getting back a legitimate deep play receiver in Marcus Robinson. If he gets over his back injury, and Chris Chandler unseats Jim Miller as the starting quarterback, watch out.
NFC South: Tampa Bay took a big gamble by trading away multiple draft picks to acquire Jon Gruden in April. Although the trade will hurt the Buccaneers in the long term, it should help them now. Gruden is a tyrannical coach: the likes of which Warren Sapp and company have not seen. He'll motivate this veteran laden team into winning a porous south division, and earning the no.2 seed in the playoffs.
NFC West: The Rams' schedule is brutal, and they've got every team in the league gunning for them, but they're still talented enough to win home field advantage throughout the playoffs. That's if Kurt Warner manages to stay healthy this season. Warner's thumb injury has been hampering him for two years, and it has continued to give him fits through off-season workouts.
The Rams' main rivals, the 49ers, will be in the mix too. They'll claw their way to a no.5 seed, while barely missing out on winning the division. The 9ers possess a very balanced offensive attack, and a young defense that keeps getting better.
NFC Championship: Tampa Bay defeats St. Louis
League MVP: Donovan McNabb (Eagles)
Coach of the year: Dave Campo (Cowboys)
Offensive player of the year: Randy Moss (Vikings)
Defensive player of the year: Jevon Kearse (Titans)
Offensive rookie of the year: Jeremy Shockey (Giants)
Defensive rookie of the year: John Henderson (Jaguars)
Comeback player of the year: Eddie George (Titans)
Assistant coach of the year: Al Saunders (Chiefs)
General Manager of the year: Jerry Jones (Cowboys)
Best free-agent acquisition of the year: Kevin Hardy (Cowboys)
Worst free-agent acquisition of the year: Az-Zahir Hakim (Lions)