Every September, football fans across the country are filled with excitement and optimism as the NFL season opens with a flurry. Last year was one of the most exciting NFL seasons of all time, as Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos re-wrote the offensive history book, while the Seattle Seahawks and their “Legion of Boom” ultimately reigned supreme.
Looking ahead, the 2014 has the potential to be much the same. Will the Seahawks pull off the near-impossible and repeat, or will we see a different team hoisting the Lombardi Trophy February 1st, 2015?
With fans nationwide making a case for their team’s chances at winning Super Bowl XLIX, I’ll give you my picks. Joining me with their picks will be Brad Hamm and Keith Groyon.
AFC East – Mike: Patriots (9-7) It’s hard to make a case for anyone else, even harder to go against Brady and Belichick.
Brad: Patriots (11-5) Tom and Bill continue reign in the East for at least another year, but Miami’s coming fast.
Keith: Patriots (11-5) As long as they have Brady, it’s New England’s division to lose.
NFC East – Mike: Eagles (10-6) Guru Coach Chip Kelly should be able to lead Philly through a weak division.
Brad: Eagles (10-6) Shady McCoy and Philly”s high- octane offense should run a weak division.
Keith: Eagles (9-7) Chip Kelly’s high-paced offense gives Philly the advantage in a weak division.
AFC North – Mike: Bengals (10-6) A.J. Green, Giovanni Bernard, and Andy Dalton should be enough.
Brad: Bengals (10-6) While Ravens deal with Ray Rice fiasco, Bengals should take the division.
Keith: Steelers (10-6) Big Ben and Co. return to post-season.
NFC North – Mike: Packers (9-7) Injuries have plagued the Pack in recent years, but they should edge out Bears.
Brad: Lions (10-6) This is the year Matt Stafford and Megatron finally put it all together.
Keith: Bears (10-6) Going against all logic, I’m riding with my hometown in the North.
AFC South – Mike: Colts (11-5) There isn’t much competition here, Indy, hands down.
Brad: Colts (10-6) Andrew Luck + a really soft division= Playoffs for Indy.
Keith: Colts (10-6) Andrew Luck and Indy take what should be the easiest division in the league.
NFC South – Mike: Saints (11-5) Atlanta should push them, but ultimately Brees and Saints O is too much.
Brad: Saints (10-6) Saints O should be enough in this tight, three-team division race.
Keith: Panthers (10-6) Cam Newton and a strong D should carry Carolina back to the playoffs.
AFC West – Mike: Broncos (12-4) Manning and the Broncos are set to be powerhouses on offense again this year.
Brad: Broncos (12-4) It’s all about Peyton Manning and the offense. Broncos will easily win this division.
Keith: Broncos (11-5) Despite Super Bowl loss, Denver is still the top of the class in the AFC.
NFC West – Mike: Seahawks (10-6 ) Hard to repeat but young, uber-talented ‘Hawks are still stacked.
Brad: Seahawks (11-5) Beastquake and Seattle’s young core still the cream of this division.
Keith: Seahawks (12-4) Richard Sherman and the Seattle defense are head and shoulders above the rest.
AFC WILD CARDS – Mike: Chargers (9-7) and Steelers (8-8)
Brad: Chargers (10-6) and Dolphins (9-7)
Keith: Bengals (10-6) and Chargers (10-6)
NFC WILD CARDS – Mike: Bears (9-7) and 49ers (9-7)
Brad: 49ers (10-6) and Packers (10-6)
Keith: Packers (9-7) and Saints (10-6)
AFC CHAMPS – Mike: Broncos over Colts
Brad: Broncos over Patriots
Keith: Patriots over Broncos
NFC CHAMPS – Mike: Saints over Seahawks
Brad: Seahawks over Packers
Keith: Seahawks over Panthers
SUPER BOWL XLIX – Mike: Broncos over Saints- Peyton Manning will avenge his other Super Bowl loss, besting Brees and the Saints in an exciting shootout.
Brad: Broncos over Seahawks- Key to Peyton Manning overcoming last year’s embarrassment will be the key additions made to the Broncos defense, most notably Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware, and T.J.Ward.
Keith: Seahawks over Patriots- We all remember what that Seattle D did to Peyton in the last Super Bowl, Tom Brady is no different.
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