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2008 NFL FORECAST
by Doug Walters

I thought that maybe this would be the year that I made some money off of you schmucks, but since nobody bought the 2008 NFL Predictopotamus I’m just screwing that dream and posting my forecast right now. My hope is that you’ll be able to look back at this once the big sites and networks (yeah, that’s you FO) roll theirs out in July and August and go “ooh, wow, he knew it before they did”. You schmucks. You’re lucky my kid doesn’t wear diapers anymore.

PROJECTED 2008 STANDINGS:

rsi table preseason

PRE-SEASON POWER RANKINGS:

preseason power

ANALYSIS:

Yep, you saw correctly. The Pittsburgh Steelers are headed into 2008 as our top team, two years removed from their Super Bowl victory over Seattle. They’ve stumbled a bit, lost some players, gained a new coach, and this appears to be the year that they get back their swagger. My question for the fundamentalists is this: will it be a resurgence on offense, defense, or both? On the NFC side, Dallas appears to be just as strong as they were last year except now they won’t have those pesky Packers or Giants holding them back. They’ll have to stave off the resurgent Eagles if they want to make it to the Super Bowl.

There are some more surprises lurking in the standings. Minnesota and Arizona, both coming off successful seasons, are primed and ready for playoff runs. I’d also like to point out that this is the FIRST year since I’ve been making predictions that I am ready to see the Cardinals do something big. They’ve been everybody’s darling for the past five years and I’ve never jumped on the bandwagon, something I’m very proud of. 2008 should be a good year for them as they finally capitalize on the massive offensive firepower they’re been misusing for a while. Minnesota’s defense was solid last year, especially in terms of stopping the run, and if Adrian Peterson seems destined for stardom. Last year I hit their 8-8 record on the nose, and I’d love to see Purple Jesus and the rest of the Vikings win the 11 games I’m forecasting for 2008.

A number of playoff teams are set to regress negatively. New England, those 18-1 Patriots, will suffer from the Super Bowl Loser’s Curse but still win their division because Miami, Buffalo and the Jets still stink like Ricky Williams’ locker. Green Bay without Favre is like…um…sniffle…I just can’t talk about it. Their defense will be hard-pressed to maintain the kind of dominance that they had last year and their division will catch up to them. The Giants are still basking in their Super Bowl victory (er, should I say “gift from the league”) and won’t even see the rest of their division sneaking up behind them. It’ll be a tough year for the Giants as they realize that Eli Manning is not as good as his brother and they’ll miss the playoffs completely.

There are a couple teams that I’m curious about. Cincinnati, in my gut, should rebound from their horrendous year. The numbers say they should win around 6 games. Houston and Cleveland, with their short life spans, are hard to predict using RSI. San Francisco was absolutely horrendous in 2007 but RSI thinks they’ll be in the playoffs with 9 wins. All of these things are odd and I’m curious to see how they pan out.

As for the Super Bowl, it’s still an AFC dominant period and the NFC championship in 2007 makes 2008 a lot easier to predict. I’m calling for an AFC blowout in the big game, more than two touchdowns, and my favorites are Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. I’m still unsure about which team will be the Replacement Dynasty (see the Dynasty Theory article on the menu bar) but if it wasn’t New England, it’ll be one of these two teams. Their opponent? Probably Dallas. Arizona and Minnesota could surprise people though, so watch out.

Do you have team-specific questions you’d like answered? Leave me a comment or hit me up at footballprofessor@gmail.com. I’d be happy to help you, you schmuck. And even though I’ve divulged nearly all of my 2008 NFL secrets in this post, feel free to buy a Predictopotamus. It’ll be a collector’s item some day, I swear.