2012-13 NFL Season Predictions
It's been a long summer. Too long, if you ask us. Bounty scandals. Long holdouts from Pro Bowlers. Excessive amounts of Jets - ahem, Tebow coverage. Excessive amounts of Skip Bayless. And, for heaven's sake, the worst of all - replacement referees!
And while only some of these irritating stories and headlines will fade in the coming weeks, America can rest assured that come Sunday - or this week, Wednesday - these matters will be nothing more than extraneous details complementing the thrills, the anxiety, the action, and the beauty of a new pro football season.
Football is back, baby, and our Neon Tommy staff writers have a few varied opinions on how this 2012 campaign will play out.
Season In Seven Words
Jeremy Bergman: Favorites fall. Manning struggles. No Tebow starts.
Evan Budrovich: Replacement officials make Lombardi roll in grave.
Aaron Fischman: Rookie quarterbacks with prime opportunity to shine.
Jacob Freedman: Peyton’s back. Let the passing era reign.
Max Meyer: Russell Mania is better than Tebow Time.
Matthew Tufts: Pats' dynasty continues. Matt Ryan becomes elite.
Bergman: New England Patriots
Evan Budrovich: New England Patriots
Fischman: New England Patriots
Freedman: New England Patriots
Meyer: New England Patriots
Tufts: New England Patriots
Bergman: Baltimore Ravens
Budrovich: Cincinnati Bengals
Fischman: Baltimore Ravens
Freedman: Pittsburgh Steelers
Meyer: Baltimore Ravens
Tufts: Baltimore Ravens
Bergman: Houston Texans
Budrovich: Houston Texans
Fischman: Houston Texans
Freedman: Houston Texans
Meyer: Houston Texans
Tufts: Houston Texans
Bergman: San Diego Chargers
Budrovich: Kansas City Chiefs
Fischman: Denver Broncos
Meyer: San Diego Chargers
Freedman: Kansas City Chiefs
Tufts: Denver Broncos
AFC Wild Cards
Bergman: New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers
Budrovich: Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers
Fischman: Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers
Freedman: Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos
Meyer: Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers
Tufts: Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans
Budrovich: Dallas Cowboys
Fischman: Dallas Cowboys
Freedman: New York Giants
Meyer: Dallas Cowboys
Tufts: Philadelphia Eagles
Bergman: Green Bay Packers
Budrovich: Green Bay Packers
Fischman: Green Bay Packers
Freedman: Green Bay Packers
Meyer: Chicago Bears
Tufts: Green Bay Packers
Budrovich: New Orleans Saints
Fischman: Atlanta Falcons
Freedman: New Orleans Saints
Meyer: Atlanta Falcons
Tufts: Atlanta Falcons
Bergman: San Francisco 49ers
Budrovich: San Francisco 49ers
Fischman: San Francisco 49ers
Freedman: San Francisco 49ers
Meyer: Seattle Seahawks
Tufts: San Francisco 49ers
NFC Wild Cards
Budrovich: Chicago Bears, New York Giants
Fischman: Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints
Freedman: Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles
Meyer: Green Bay Packers, New York Giants
Tufts: New Orleans Saints, New York Giants
Bergman: Baltimore over New England
Budrovich: New England
Fischman: New England over Houston
Freedman: New England over Houston
Meyer: New England over Houston
Tufts: New England
Budrovich: San Francisco
Fischman: Green Bay over Atlanta
Freedman: Green Bay over NY Giants
Meyer: Chicago over Green Bay
Tufts: San Francisco
Super Bowl XLVII Champion
Bergman: Baltimore over Atlanta
Budrovich: New England over San Francisco
Fischman: New England over Green Bay
Freedman: Green Bay over New England
Meyer: New England over Chicago
Tufts: New England over San Francisco
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
Bergman: Giants 17, Cowboys 14
It’s the second-straight season that America’s Team opens up in primetime at MetLife Stadium, and it will also be the second-straight opener in which Tony Romo blows a fourth-quarter lead. Expect both running games to struggle early and often, but a late fourth quarter Manning-led drive and David Wilson scamper will salvage a Giants win.
Budrovich: Giants 24, Cowboys 13
The Giants will thrive in front of the MetLife crowd, oozing at the opportunity to try on their championship rings while defeating their archrival. Plus the defending Super Bowl champion has never lost on opening night since its inception in 2004.
Fischman: Cowboys 31, Giants 27
When these teams square off, a high-scoring game in which the Giants prevail is usually the result. That being said, the Giants have yet to experience the pain inflicted by a fully healthy DeMarco Murray, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Jason Witten will be cleared to play. Conversely, if Witten is rested, expect the Giants to secure the home victory.
Freedman: Giants 31, Cowboys 20
While Brandon Carr is a meteor-sized upgrade over Terence Newman in the Cowboys secondary, the Giants offense is riding high after their Super Bowl victory in February. Plus, the defense is (relatively) healthy. That won’t last long if track records are any indication, but give me the reigning champs for the moment.
Even though I like the Cowboys to win the NFC East this season, the Giants will beat them in the NFL season opener. The Cowboys have a lot of injury questions, including Tony Romo and Jason Witten. Cannot wait to see the battle between the two best pass-rushers in football, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Law Murray: Giants
A 9-7 team won the Super Bowl in a lockout season, so this game had to be moved to Wednesday night. Okay, that's not the reason. Just know this: The Giants can thank the Cowboys for making the playoffs last winter, and no defending Super Bowl champ has lost the opening game since the NFL started the tradition in 2004.
Tufts: Cowboys 31, Giants 21
The Giants always have trouble early in the season, and the Cowboys have something to prove. At MetLife Stadium on opening night, the Cowboys will shock the reigning Super Bowl Champs in an offensive showdown.