2011 Season NFL Top Spot Predictions by division:
AFC West: San Diego Chargers, though they have a difficult schedule, they should be able to pull ahead.
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts. Peyton Manning’s health an issue (neck injury) and could possibly be the Colts undoing this season. Perhaps too much stock is put solely into Manning.
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens. Ravens have a great schedule; most of the tough games are home games. For the Steelers, they have a few tough games lined up against Baltimore and a home game against the Patriots. This division will be a tough win. Other possible competitors include the Cleveland Browns with Colt McCoy as their quarterback. The Cincinnati Bengals will probably compete with the Detroit Lions for the worst record in the league and they get rid of talent to meet their salary cap.
AFC East: Obviously the New England Patriots have the best record. Tom Brady will resume play at QB this season after being out on the disabled list for the majority of the season last year. The New York Jets are best positioned and hungry to take that title from the Patriots however. Their two key players, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie, will come back from another season. While this probably won’t be the Buffalo Bills year again, they will be in a great position to get one of the top quarterbacks next season.
Wild card: the Jets and the Steelers would make an awesome duo to knock-off the Colts and the Chargers.
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as the Seahawks have won five of the last seven divisional titles. Their roster is still being overhauled, but they should still take the top spot again.
NFC South: Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have banked on Julio Jones being their go-to guy at the expense of many draft picks. Ray Edwards on defense should also be formidable. Just behind the Falcons are the New Orleans Saints. They will be an improved team this year, but probably not enough to overtake the Falcons.
NFC North: Tough to predict, but probably the Green Bay Packers. The Packers resigned most of their key free agents therefore having much of the same guys as on their 2010 Super Bowl Championship team. The Chicago Bears are right behind them, although they might have too much stock in their Dallas Cowboys pickups, Roy Williams, Marion Barber and Sam Hurd.
NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles. While this division is one of the most competitive, the Eagles should easily take the top spot with their great talent and large salary cap to add more key players.
Wild card: Saints vs. Seahawks and Packers vs. Falcons.
Superbowl: Ravens over Eagles
MVP: Michael Vick
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Patrick Peterson, CB Arizona Cardinals
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mark Ingram, RB New Orleans Saints.
Predictions by Bleacher Reports