By now, you are probably aware of the importance of quarterbacks in the NFL. Sure, they were important all along, but they are now more critical to their team’s success than ever.
Last season, the teams with the two best quarterbacks played in the Super Bowl. And for the most part around the league, the quality of the quarterback is roughly equal to the quality of the team.
This season, it is almost all about quarterbacks. The NFL is a passing league.
Not that teams need to pass all the time to be successful, but if you can be lights out when you pass, your offensive is going to be tough to spot, and subsequently, your team is going to beat tough to beat.
With that in mind, it determines my pick to win the Super Bowl this season.
So I’ll begin with my playoff predictions right of the bat and then follow them with some commentary on my Super Bowl prediction.
AFC Wild Card
New England over N.Y. Jets
Pittsburgh over San Diego
AFC Divisional Round
Indianapolis over Pittsburgh
Baltimore over New England
AFC Championship Game
Indianapolis over Baltimore
NFC Wild Card
Dallas over San Francisco
Philadelphia over Carolina
NFC Divisional Round
New Orleans over Dallas
Green Bay over Philadelphia
NFC Championship Game
Green Bay over New Orleans
Super Bowl prediction:
Indianapolis over Green Bay
Last season, the Colts chose to rest their starters after they clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Some believe it cost them the Super Bowl because they weren’t as sharp as they needed to be in that game.
This season, I believe the Colts clinch again fairly early, but they don’t rest their starters to the degree they did last year.
Combine that with the fact that Peyton Manning will now be more motivated than ever, trying to avenge his costly interception in the Super Bowl, and the Colts are my pick to win it all this season.
As an aside, with the loss in the Super Bowl in February, Manning cost himself the right to be called the most valuable quarterback to his franchise in league history and the right to be ascend into discussion for greatest quarterback of all time.
Not to imply that he is motivated by that, but he is obsessed with being excellent and doing anything to help his team win the game. We’ve never seen a quarterback like him.
If the Colts win the Super Bowl this season, Manning probably clinches the Greatest Quarterback Ever status, especially if he wins another MVP this season (his fifth, an NFL record).
Against the Colts in the Super Bowl, I have Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers is ready for a breakout season. With tremendous arm strength and pinpoint accuracy, he has a lovely combination of Brett Favre and Peyton Manning in him.
The Packers offense is going to be tough to stop this season. Their defense is solid, too. With that, I have the Packers winning a league-best 14 games this season.
While we’re on the topic of wins, let me show you my team-by-team win-loss predictions for the 2010 regular season.
N.Y. Jets 10-6
New England 10-6
San Diego 9-7
Kansas City 8-8
N.Y. Giants 8-8
New Orleans 13-3
Tampa Bay 3-13
Green Bay 14-2
San Francisco 10-6
St. Louis 3-13
Quickly, here are three bold predictions for this season.
- Tim Tebow rushes for more yards and scores more rushing touchdowns than Vince Young.
- Norv Turner will be fired after this season despite the Chargers winning the AFC West.
- Brett Favre finishes the season outside the top 20 among quarterbacks in fantasy football.
And lastly, the final part of this NFL preview full of predictions I’ll address is the Associated Press’ postseason awards.
Defensive rookie of the year: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Lions (Runner-up: Earl Thomas, S, Seahawks)
Offensive rookie of the year: Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers (Jahvid Best, RB, Lions)
Comeback player of the year: Wes Welker, WR, Patriots (Brian Urlacher, LB, Bears)
Most Valuable Player: Peyton Manning, QB, Colts (Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers)
Defensive player of the year: DeMarcus Ware, LB, Cowboys (Jared Allen, DE, Vikings)
Offensive player of the year: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers (Chris Johnson, RB, Titans)
Coach of the year: John Fox, Panthers (Mike McCarthy, Packers)