The twelve teams that will make a run into the postseason in 2010 are:
#1 Seed – New Orleans Saints. A rare Super Bowl champion that has improved their roster in the offseason and seems motivated to repeat. Plus, they’ve got four wins penciled in against Carolina and Tampa.
#2 Seed – Green Bay Packers. The Packers open the season with a banged up secondary and we’ll know how well that unit can hold up against the Eagles on opening day. They are going to score a load of points.
#3 Seed – Dallas Cowboys. Fewer question marks than the remainder of the division, though I think they have a glaring one at left tackle.
#4 Seed – San Francisco 49ers. The best defense and running game in the division, coupled with the absence of Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin made this a sort of no-brainer. I think they may win the West at 8-8.
#5 Seed – Atlanta Falcons. I think Matt Ryan is a hell of a quarterback and I think Carolina and Tampa are two of the worst four teams in the league.
#6 Seed – Chicago Bears. The Bears end the season with the Pats, at Vikings, Jets, at Packers and I think this final gauntlet will be what keeps them from winning the NFC North. (Although nothing would be more exciting than Bears v. Packers on the final week to decide the division.)
The Surprise: Minnesota Vikings finish 8-8. When Favre starts to pile up the excuses in the preseason, you know things are headed downhill. I think they are going to get blitzed Thursday night and struggle to recapture the 2009 magic all year.
Wildcard Round: Bears over Cowboys, Falcons over 49ers
Division Round: Saints over Bears, Packers over Falcons
Championship Game: Saints over Packers
#1 Seed – Indianapolis Colts. You tell me why I should stop picking them.
#2 Seed – Cincinnati Bengals. People forget that Antwan Odom was the best defensive player in the sport before succumbing to a season-ending injury. I love their defense and defensive coaching. I think their entire season will come down to the two matchups with the Ravens.
#3 Seed – San Diego Chargers. I like the Raiders to be improved but the Chargers are still the class of the division and could probably stumble to double-digit wins.
#4 Seed – Miami Dolphins. Year three of a Parcells era. Playoffs.
#5 Seed – Baltimore Ravens. I think the Ravens would win the East or the West.
#6 Seed – New York Jets. I describe the Jets as a baseball team with great frontline starting pitching but very little depth to the lineup. If they can pile up enough wins, they’ll be hell in a five game series. I think they probably get to 10 and that gets them in.
The Surprise: Oakland Raiders finish 8-8. I think not having JaMarcus Russell at quarterback should mean 3-5 more wins for the silver and black.
Wildcard Round: Jets over Chargers, Ravens over Dolphins
Division Round: Colts over Jets, Ravens over Bengals
Championship Game: Ravens over Colts
Super Bowl Champion: Baltimore Ravens