Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My 2006 NFL Predictions

It's hard to believe that we are less than a month from the start of the 2006 NFL season!!! For me, summer is the worst time of year for sports because there is no football. I don't like NASCAR, and baseball is a sport I follow but don't really watch. Now that the preseason has started, however, it's finally time to talk football.

At first glance it appears that the 2006 season will be another split-decision for me. My hometown Tennessee Titans look like they're still going to be pretty bad. It's hard to believe that just a couple of seasons ago they were 12-4 and nearly knocked off the Patriots in the playoffs at Foxboro. On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Steelers, whom I have rooted for since I was a kid the late 1970s, are in excellent position to defend their Super Bowl title.

With the salary cap and free agency, teams can drastically change their fortunes almost immediately, for better or for worse. This makes it challenging to make preseason predictions, because teams change so much from year to year. Fortunately, I enjoy a good challenge, so here are my predictions for the 2006 season. Of course, an injury to a key player can send these predictions down the toilet, so I don't promise that I'll stand by them come November.



AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

AFC East
New England Patriots (11-5)
Miami Dolphins* (10-6)
New York Jets (6-10)
Buffalo Bills (5-11)

AFC North
Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)
Baltimore Ravens (7-9)
Cleveland Browns (5-11)

AFC South
Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)
Tennessee Titans (6-10)
Houston Texans (3-13)

AFC West
Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)
Denver Broncos* (11-5)
San Diego Chargers (8-8)
Oakland Raiders (5-11)

* Wild-card teams

First Round
Denver over New England
Kansas City over Miami

Divisional Round
Pittsburgh over Denver
Indianapolis over Kansas City

Conference Championship
Pittsburgh over Indianapolis



NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

NFC East
Dallas Cowboys (10-6)
Washington Redskins* (10-6)
New York Giants (9-7)
Philadelphia Eagles (7-9)

NFC North
Chicago Bears (11-5)
Green Bay Packers (8-8)
Minnesota Vikings (6-10)
Detroit Lions (5-11)

NFC South
Carolina Panthers (12-4)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers* (10-6)
Atlanta Falcons (6-10)
New Orleans Saints (2-14)

NFC West
Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
Arizona Cardinals (9-7)
St. Louis Rams (5-11)
San Francisco 49ers (3-13)

* Wild-card teams

First Round
Tampa Bay over Dallas
Chicago over Washington

Divisional Round
Carolina over Tampa Bay
Seattle over Chicago

Conference Championship
Carolina over Seattle



SUPER BOWL XLI
Pittsburgh over Carolina



7 comments:

Jeremy Atwood said...

Tim, I am little hurt and saddened at this post. While I do like your predictions for my teams record you have them getting beat by Tampa Bay in the first round. This is the redemption year for the Cowboys!! Or at least I tell myself that every year.

What saddens me even more is that the Cowboys will be just 60 miles south of BG in Nashville and I CAN'T FIND TICKETS!! They sold out as soon as they went on sale and my season ticket connections fell through. Please pray that the Lord will bless me with two, 50 yard line tickets right behind the bench. I was watching Kenneth Copeland and some others and I tried the name it claim thing, but it just didn't work :)

Wes Kenney said...

Tim,

You need to come and join my contest at weskenney.net. We'll see, week by week, how these predictions of your hold up...

Kevin Bussey said...

Just to let you know, my son's new team here in Charlotte is the Steelers!

Tim Sweatman said...

Jeremy,

Given the way I feel about the Cowboys, it was mighty hard putting them in first place. Dallas probably has more overall talent than Tampa Bay, but I believe that the Bucs' defense is the kind that will force Bledsoe into a few mistakes.

You can probably get some tickets from a scalper. It's legal in Tennessee, and it's a big business down there. Of course, you might have to sell some body parts to afford the tickets...

**********

Wes,

I'm definitely in on your contest.

**********

Kevin,

Smart kid. Be sure to let Kiki know; she'll be proud of your son. Of course, if my prediction comes true your son may not have a lot of friends come February.

Kiki Cherry said...

Here we go, Steelers!!!

Kevin, that's a good boy you've got there. :)

Jeremy Atwood said...

Hey Tim,

I just shot you an email through the link on your blog. Just makin sure it went through

Gordon Cloud said...

Don't count out the Jaguars.