So I decided to wait until after the first week of the NFL season was finished before I make any kind of playoff predictions. While it is still difficult to know who the true contenders will be after one week, I think I can get a much better feel for how things are going to pan out.
So here are my predictions of the playoffs for the coming season:
AFC East Winner: New England (12-4)
AFC North Winner: Baltimore (14-2)
AFC South Winner: Indianapolis (12-4)
AFC West Winner: San Diego (10-6)
Wild Card: Houston (11-5)
Wild Card: Cincinnati (11-5)
AFC Champions: Baltimore Ravens
NFC East Winner: Washington (11-5)
NFC North Winner: Green Bay (13-3)
NFC South Winner: New Orleans (14-2)
NFC West Winner: Seattle (9-7)
Wild Card: Minnesota (12-4)
Wild Card: Dallas (11-5)
NFC Champions: New Orleans Saints
Super Bowl Champions: Baltimore Ravens
Unless the Colts get their defense and offensive line to improve, there is no way they get back to the Superbowl. If they both improve dramatically, then they will have a good shot of getting back to the big game. After one game though, I don't see it happening. Baltimore has a solid defense and the makings of a really good offense. I think they get pretty far if they can get past the Colts.
The Saints are the best team in the NFC, with the best quarterback in the NFC. I'm looking forward to the NFC Championship between the Saints and Packers, but I think the Saints will be able to put too much pressure on Aaron Rodgers, similar to how they handled Brett Favre last season.