Who will win Super Bowl XLVII?
If you polled NFL writers and fans at this time last year, the prevailing sentiment would have been that the Philadelphia Eagles would meet the New England Patriots at Super Bowl 46. Half of that proved true, as the Patriots faced the New York Giants.
As training camps and offseason workouts approach, here’s how the NFL looks in a division-by-division breakdown of the 2012 NFL season.
The AFC East features last season’s conference champions, the New England Patriots, and three teams on the outside looking in, hoping that the offseason additions will put them in place to challenge the ever-consistent Pats.
New England Patriots**
Predicted Record: 13-3
New England brings back most of the old cast, but adding Brandon Lloyd and beefing up the offensive-line depth was huge this offseason. With Tom Brady and Bill Belichick still around, the Patriots have to be considered heavy favorites.
Predicted Record: 9-7
The Bills made big moves by signing Mario Williams and keeping Stevie Johnson in town, but the question marks still exist on offense.
Can the offensive tackles protect quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick—and can the aforementioned Fitzpatrick consistently deliver a good football over a 17-week season? If he can, the Bills are a playoff contender.
New York Jets
Predicted Record: 6-10
A predicted drop-off is coming in New York, and not even Tim Tebow can save them. The Jets’ problems are along the offensive line and in their inability to rush the passer from outside the tackle box.
These issues, plus a tough schedule, will see the Jets decline in 2012.
Predicted Record: 3-13
The Dolphins’ record will hinge on who plays quarterback. If Matt Moore is the starter, the record could be much improved. If it’s rookie Ryan Tannehill back there, expect many bumps in the road.
The Dolphins managed to get worse at receiver—an area of need in the offseason—and will have trouble scoring points in Year 1 of the Joe Philbin reign.
** Division Winner, First-Round Playoff Bye
Matt Miller is the founder of the NFL draft site, New Era Scouting, which TicketCity is proud to sponsor. Matt will be a guest author for several posts a month on the TicketCity blog. Matt is Bleacher Report’s No. 1 ranked writer, and his work has also been featured on NFL.com, SI.com and USA Today.