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tony hipchest
07-23-2007, 06:06 PM
this is good stuff. see link for actual picks. (someone else who isnt annointing the ravens- 3rd in AFCN)

http://nfl.com/news/story/10263285

It's that time of year again, the time most journalists dread: Prediction time.

Ah yes, prediction time. A magical, wondrous time when scribes around the country get to attempt to make sense of the NFL (an impossible task) and expose themselves to the kind of ridicule not experienced since high school (I might be projecting here). Make your picks, and then face the public's wrath. Survival of the fittest. Darwinism at its best.

Frankly, I don't feel a whole lot of sympathy for the folks who complain about this chore. As a writer of a fantasy football column for the past two years, I have had to make predictions on a daily basis -- predictions that have often decided whether thousands of random strangers would find happiness or not (at least until the following week). I once had a guy beg me to give him a winning starting lineup for a league he had $2,000 invested in. I'm not sure I ever signed up for such a thing, but there it was regardless. A total stranger wanted me to decide the fate of his $2,000. Much hand-wringing was done before responding to that one, I can tell you.

So when we, as journalists, are faced with something as easy and (mostly) harmless as making some playoff picks, I have to scoff at those that protest too much. If you can't take the heat, quit writing about football. It's pretty simple.

Not that the complainers don't have a point. The whole thing is ridiculous. What can honestly be gained by speculating about which teams will do well and which teams will be the Cleveland Browns? I mean, seriously, does this matter in any appreciable way?

All that said, you've gotta give 'em (the fans) what they want. And if there's anything I've learned in the past several years, other than a strong belief that sports writers need to get out more (OK, I'm definitely projecting here), it's that fans love to hear and share opinions about what will happen. I'm not sure any of them are calling Miss Cleo in their spare time, but they are clamoring for something to talk about -- especially in the offseason. Absurd predictions give them that.

So with that in mind, I offer the following guidelines to any writers getting ready to make their NFL picks. Keep these rules in mind, and you'll likely fare much better in 2007 (fewer angry mobs to deal with).

1.) When writing, use words like "probably", "potentially", "could", "might" and "likely". I could say something about the Raiders being the worst team of all time in 2007, but so long as I don't make it a definite, the fans have nothing to nail me on. For example, I might say, "The Raiders have the potential to be the worst team of all time in 2007." See how that works?

Now, this can backfire on you pretty easily with fans accusing you of never saying anything worthwhile or definitive. While they have a point, I'd rather be seen as the guy who chose my words carefully than the guy who guaranteed the Texans would make the playoffs. Try living that one down.

2.) Don't rely too heavily on last year when trying to decide who will win their divisions this year. Just four of eight division-winners from 2005 managed to defend their titles in 2006. The year before, only three out of eight managed to repeat. It's safe to say there will be changes at the top, so make sure you account for that.

3.) Don't put Arizona or Detroit in the playoffs. Just don't do it. I know these two teams look like they might break through with a big season every year, but if you pick them you will be wrong, and more importantly, you will look like an idiot (scroll down to see me looking like an idiot).


Sure the Raiders might be bad, but don't expect them to be the worst.
4.) The worst team in football is generally not who you think it's going to be. Last year, the primary suspects prior to the season were Houston, Tennessee and Cleveland. Instead, Oakland nabbed the title. This year, most will probably pick Oakland, Cleveland or possibly Tampa Bay, but folks should really look elsewhere for the true flops.

5.) Find a pick you feel good about and then stress the heck out of it. If you're confident about a certain team (and better yet, if you have evidence to back it up), beat it into the ground. Bring it up every chance you get, and don't ever stop talking about it. Make the readers so sick of hearing about it that they can't help but remember when you're right later on ... unless you're wrong. Then pray for a quick death.

6.) Look at the schedule. More than any other factor, a team's schedule can determine its success. I chose to break things down game-by-game, but if you don't have that kind of time, at least try to get a feel for how tough a schedule any individual team might have. It can help.

7.) Write something. Read it. Remark to yourself that you must be out of your mind. Delete. Repeat at least 20 times.

8.) The three teams favored to do the best this season are New England, Indianapolis and San Diego. Chances are, at least one of those teams will have a somewhat disappointing record. I'm not calling for any of them to miss the playoffs, but giving each of them 13 wins probably isn't realistic either. Keep your expectations for the favorites in check.

9.) Try to be funny. I know, I know, I should practice what I preach. But seriously, a little levity can lighten the mood and soften the impact. If I lash out with hatred at the Dallas Cowboys for seven paragraphs, their fans will attempt to lynch me. If I instead joke about the Dallas Cowboys for seven paragraphs, their fans will merely threaten to lynch me. And give me a cookie. At least I hope so.

10.) Have fun. I think some lose sight of the fact that our jobs are supposed to be enjoyable. Is it really that bad to have to sit around and try to make NFL predictions? Try telling that to the guy who has a mountain of headaches and plenty of reasons to truly hate his job with a passion (Bobby Petrino?).

Anyway, if you're having fun, it will come out in your writing, and maybe your readers will have fun reading it. Everybody wins! Well, everybody except the Dolphins. (Zing!)

So read on for my own (pathetic) attempt at predicting the divisions. Notice some inconsistencies with my advice from above? (hint: Cardinals) Don't get so hung up on things -- after all, this is supposed to be fun, right? Right?

Livinginthe past
07-23-2007, 06:31 PM
Seriously - Cincy over New england in the Divisional round?

Predictions/prognastications/power rankings suck!! :toofunny:

RoethlisBURGHer
07-23-2007, 07:03 PM
My predictions for each division:

AFC North
Steelers
Ravens
Bengals
Browns

AFC East
Patriots
Jets
Dolphins
Bills

AFC West
Chargers
Broncos
Chiefs
Raiders

AFC South
Colts
Titans
Jaguars
Texans

NFC North
Bears
Packers
Vikings
Lions

NFC East
Eagles
Cowboys
Redskins
Giants

NFC West
Seahawks
49ers
Cardinals
Rams

NFC South
Saints
Panthers
Buccaneers
Falcons

tony hipchest
07-23-2007, 07:48 PM
My predictions for each division:
other than the afc north thats almost EXACTLY how they all ended last season. it never ends up that way. infact, recent history going back about 5 years, says 4 of the 8 division winners wont be repeat winners.

RoethlisBURGHer
07-23-2007, 09:47 PM
I don't see anyone out in the AFC West taking the Chargers title...not even Norv Turner can screw it up.The Broncos will come close,but those two losses to SD will keep them from winning the division.KC is in too much turmoil...LJ might hold out...they don't know who thier QB will be...they lack a defense.And Oakland will be Oakland.

I don't see the Pats losing in the AFC East either.The Jets will probally get a Wild Card spot,but they won't be at the Pats level.Green might help the Dolphins get to 8-8,but he isn't the answer and if he goes down for another significant period of time,the Phins are done...not to mention that he didn't play well when he came back from his injury,that may carry over.And the Bills won't do squat,what a surprise.

The Colts are the cream of the crop in the AFC South,everyone else is second rate.The Titans are without thier best CB and return man for the season...they got lucky last year with some maricle plays from Young,but don't count on the magic happening again...not to mention to Madden Curse hovering over Young.The Jag(off)s will be in a QB quandrum,especially if they get Cullpepper...thier defense is getting older and always seems to be injured.And the Texans are the Texans.

The Steelers are much better than thier record last year...Tomlin is gonna light a fire under thier butts and they'll surprise everyone by winning the division.The Ravens will come down a few notches but still capture a Wild Card thanks to thier defense.The Bengals offense will be enough to get them to 8-8 again and take third place.The Browns,well they are the Browns,what do you expect?

In the NFC West I think the 49ers have caught up...Alex Smith is developing nicley and Frank Gore is a beast...thier defense will be able to keep the offense of the Seachickens in check.The Seachickens reign in the division is done...thier defense got weaker...Alexander isn't the runner he was in 2005...the traded thier best reciever to the team most likley to take the division from them...they get a Wild Card.The Cardinals have a ways to go on defense but will catch up in a year or two...offensivley this year they will find consistency and next year with the addition of Faneca that line will take a leap in talent.The Rams aren't the Greatest Show on Turf any longer...I just don't see thier defense stopping the offenses they are up against.

In the NFC North the Bears are the best there,no doubt.The Packers will have a good season,but not great,in Favre's last season.The Vikings have an excellent run defense,but thier pass defense is aweful...thier gonna rely heavily on the running game since I don't see them having much of a passing game.The Lions can talk 10 wins and the playoffs all they want,they won't win more than 5 games this year.

In the NFC East,it's a tight race between the Eagles and the Cowboys.I am choosing the Eagles due to the fact that McNabb is due for a non-injury season and is the best QB in the conferance when healthy.The Cowboys take the Wild Card falling a game short of the division.The Redskins imrove thier defense but thier offense will struggle as Jason Campbell develops.The Giants have the retarded Manning at QB...an idiot at WR (Plaxico)...a loudmouth ball-dropper at TE (Shockey)...an aging defense...and thier running game will suffer with Tiki Barber's retirement,he won't be there to carry the team.

In the NFC South,I think the Saints are much more than a one-year wonder.The Panthers will revamp and dominate everyone but Carolina.The Buccs will improve and get toa t least 8-8 this year.The Falcons,without Vick,will flounder...Harrington won't lead the team...and Cullpepper may not be any good with that knee.

tony hipchest
07-23-2007, 09:56 PM
I don't see anyone out in the AFC West taking the Chargers title...

In the NFC South,I think the Saints are much more than a one-year wonder.The Panthers will revamp and dominate everyone but Carolina.The Buccs will improve and get toa t least 8-8 this year.The Falcons,without Vick,will flounder...Harrington won't lead the team...and Cullpepper may not be any good with that knee.

i hear you on all accounts. all i can say is NOBODY picked the saints to beat the NFC pre season sb favorite, Carolina Panthers, for the nfc south crown last year. stuff happens. denver can beat the chargers.

the only teams i'll lock in right now is probably the patriots and colts. and the steelers of course.

CantStop85
07-23-2007, 10:32 PM
Bengals with the second best record in the league and a spot in the AFC championship game. I'll take it. :cheers:

Interesting notes: 3rd place in the AFCN is 10-6 and they fail to make the playoffs. I think I'd give a playoff berth to the Ravens before I would the Titans.

All 4 teams in the NFC East finish at 7-9. :sofunny:

revefsreleets
07-24-2007, 04:28 PM
The part that you quoted is perfect! I love the line about picking what teams will be the Cleveland Browns.

As for the predictions, they are about as good as any other (and I include if you had a 5 year old throw darts to make predictions), but I gotta ask, everyone in the NFC East at 7-9? I know the conference sucks, but won't someone "step up" and play .500?

tony hipchest
07-24-2007, 06:30 PM
The part that you quoted is perfect! I love the line about picking what teams will be the Cleveland Browns.

As for the predictions, they are about as good as any other (and I include if you had a 5 year old throw darts to make predictions), but I gotta ask, everyone in the NFC East at 7-9? I know the conference sucks, but won't someone "step up" and play .500?lol. i forgot to highlight the browns part. this was pretty funny too:

Try telling that to the guy who has a mountain of headaches and plenty of reasons to truly hate his job with a passion (Bobby Petrino?).



i cant see the eagles worse than 8-8 (really, id be suprised if they were worse than 10-6)

i hate to say it but i think the cowboys will be better than 8-8 too.