At the beginning of every NFL season, diehard fans will make prognostications about how the season will turn out. Yours truly is no different from that lot.
Sometimes looking like Nostradamus, and sometimes comical, it is fun to imagine how a season will progress even if we all know an injury can change things in an instant for the teams we cheer for.
Most of us kind of knew who would win NFL Rookie of the Year in 2010 before the season even started, but making the correct prediction somehow still brings a sense of gratification.
I already wrote a comprehensive analysis on why I made the predictions for each team this season. If you want to see the AFC East, click here, here for the AFC North, here for the AFC South, here for the AFC West, here for the NFC West, here for the NFC South, here for the NFC North, and here for the NFC East.
Here is the short version:
2. Detroit Lions *
1. Saint Louis Rams
2. Arizona Cardinals *
2. New England Patriots *
2. Baltimore Ravens *
Detroit Lions @ Saint Louis Rams
Doormats to the NFL no longer, the Lions pull it out late, thanks to the stellar play of their defensive line.
Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles
Kevin Kolb does a fine job against his old team, but the Eagles just have too much talent for the Big Red on this day.
Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets
This is a grueling battle that is decided by a Ray Rice touchdown run.
New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The best game of the playoffs, both teams go back and forth as bodies leave the field bruised and bloodied. Troy Polamalu deflects a ball that Ryan Clark catches to thwart the Patriots late in the fourth, preserving a Steelers victory.
Detroit Lions @ Atlanta Falcons
Detroit is happy to be here, but the Falcons are already comfortable at this stage. Their balanced attack and experience prevail.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Green Bay Packers
The three Pro Bowl cornerbacks Philadelphia kept on the roster come up big, allowing the pass rush to reach Aaron Rodgers more often than not. Green Bay's defense keeps them in the game, but Michael Vick finds Steve Smith in the end zone with less than a minute to go for the win.
Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans
Houston hosts their first playoff game ever, but the Texans are no match for the veteran Ravens.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Diego Chargers
Norv Turner coaches his last game with the Chargers as the Steelers take advantage of a series of bad play-calling in the fourth quarter.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
Vick returns to more jeers than cheers in Atlanta, but he has the last laugh as the Eagles pass defense shuts down the Falcons passing game.
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers had already won their three previous playoff meetings with Baltimore, but they come in limping today. With few points on the scoreboard, Billy Cundiff hits a field goal as time expires to send the Ravens to the big game.
Super Bowl XLVI
Baltimore Ravens @ Philadelphia Eagles
Vick gets off to a hot start to keep Philly in the game, but Ray Rice is running wild. Down by a score late in the fourth, Vick gambles and Ed Reed picks off the pass. Flacco takes a knee three times as Ray Lewis retires at the top of the mountain holding the trophy.
NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Offensive Player of the Year: Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
Defensive Player of the Year: Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins
Defensive Rookie of the Year: J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
Comeback Player of the Year: Ben Tate, Houston Texans
Coach of the Year: Steve Spagnuolo, Saint Louis Rams