2015 NFL Preview

Before we embark upon a new season, it only makes since to look at how the last one ended. Russell Wilson's game-winning 35 yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse in overtime of the NFC Championship game will certainly go down in history as one of the NFL's most memorable plays of all time. While I'm not sure I agree with the league's decision to cancel the Super Bowl, I do understand where they were coming from. Once those dogs got loose on the field they just wouldn't leave; really Commissioner Goodell was left with no choice. But that was last season, and we shall dwell on it no further (NO FURTHER!). Let's move on to 2015 with a look at my projected (exactly correct) records for all 32 teams (playoff teams in ITALICS):

AFC East
New England 10-6
Buffalo 9-7
Miami 6-10
New York Jets 5-11

AFC North
Baltimore 11-5
Pittsburgh 10-6
Cincinnati 8-8
Cleveland 6-10

AFC South
Indianapolis 12-4
Houston 8-8
Tennessee 6-10
Jacksonville 5-11

AFC West
Denver 11-5
Kansas City 10-6
San Diego 8-8
Oakland 4-12

NFC East
Dallas 10-6
Philadelphia 10-6
New York Giants 7-9
Washington 3-13

NFC North
Green Bay 12-4
Minnesota 10-6
Detroit 8-8
Chicago 4-12

NFC South
New Orleans 9-7
Atlanta 8-8
Carolina 6-10
Tampa Bay 4-12

NFC West
Seattle 16-0
Arizona 8-8
St. Louis 7-9
San Francisco 5-11

As you can see, I'm expecting traditional AFC powers Denver and New England to take a bit of a step back this season, mainly because of Tom Brady's suspension and the fact that Peyton Manning apparently has no feeling in his fingertips. Also, Gary Kubiak is the Broncos' coach. I won't say that he was a bad hire, just uninspired ... and bad. In the NFC I actually had trouble cobbling together six teams that I could confidently put in the playoffs. Expecting big things from the Hawks, but who else is looking solid? I'm not sure how I feel about Dallas or Philadelphia, so let's just call them both 10-6 and let them go at it in the Wild Card round. Speaking of the playoffs, here's how they're going to shake out:

Wild Card Round
New England over Kansas City
Pittsburgh over Denver

Divisional Round
Baltimore over New England
Indianapolis over Pittsburgh

Conference Championship
Indianapolis over Baltimore


Wild Card Round
Dallas over Philadelphia
New Orleans over Minnesota

Divisional Round
Green Bay over Dallas
Seattle over New Orleans

Conference Championship
Seattle over Green Bay

Super Bowl 50
Seattle over Indianapolis

Place your bets accordingly.

Now I know what you're thinking, "Erik, you think you're a real hot shot, and rightfully so. I mean you did win a world championship picking scores, and you have the gaudy trophy to prove it. And don't get me started on your good looks. But sometimes I disagree with you, and being the ungrateful punk that I am, I think I can do a better job picking games." Well now you're in luck! I've started a pick 'em league on Yahoo called HCM Challenge. Here's the info:

League ID: 27697
Password: picks

Join up and see if you can best a World Champion. You won't be able to, but it should be a real thrill for you to try.

As usual, check back here every Friday for weekly picks (Thursday games are posted on Thursday, otherwise that would be cheating). As a bonus, I've managed to land a special guest analyst who will be lending his expertise to the Sunday night game every week; not that I need the help, but it should be interesting regardless.

Well alright, I don't know about you, but I'm ready to rock. Let's do this! What's that? One more week? Hmm. Well what are you guys up to for the next eight days? Wanna hang out, er ..? Hey, wh-where ya going? If you're trying to leave there's no door over there. In fact, now that I look around there are no doors at all. Where are we? How do we get out? .....


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