NFL Experts Pick 2013 Divisions, Playoffs
The 2013 NFL season kicks off on Thursday, September 5, as the Denver Broncos play host to the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Both teams will sport a bit of a new face this year, as Denver says goodbye to Elvis Dumervil and welcomes in Wes Welker, and Baltimore says hello to Elvis Dumervil and goodbye to defensive stalwarts like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
But this trend (and article) isn’t just about one game; it’s indicative of every fresh season in the National Football League. More than any other team sport, every NFL franchise can truly begin the season with dreams of making the playoffs. But which of the 32 NFL franchises have legitimate aspirations, and which are fooling themselves?
The staff at SidelineMOB rounded up two guest experts and a featured columnist to join our two main writers & editors on a five-man panel of NFL experts. Each man debated, researched and argued his case, until finally all five came up with their own 2013 NFL predictions for each NFL division, wild card berths, 2013 NFL playoff games, the AFC and NFC Championship, and Super Bowl XLVIII.
So who’s playing in January, and who’s watching the playoffs on their couches? Which surprise teams will jump from sub-.500 to the playoffs, and which 2012 NFL playoff contenders will crash back down to Earth in 2013? Here’s our official 2013 NFL predictions, courtesy of SidelineMOB, Balls Out Radio and our guest panelists.
For each AFC and NFC division, each expert’s projected division winner is in bold green, while wild card predictions are in italicized green. Let the debate begin!
2013 NFL Season: Division Predictions
AFC Picks Breakdown:
As you can see, two teams were picked unanimously to win their respective divisions: the New England Patriots (AFC East) and Denver Broncos (AFC West). Although the Texans only received 4 first place votes out of a possible 5 in the AFC South, they were also picked unanimously to make the 2013 AFC playoffs. Three different teams were picked to win the AFC North, while all 4 AFC North franchises were picked by at least one expert to make the 2013 playoffs.
In all, 10 of the 16 AFC teams were picked by at least one SidelineMOB NFL expert to make the playoffs: the Patriots, Dolphins, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers, Browns, Texans, Colts, Broncos and Chiefs.
NFC Picks Breakdown:
The NFC was a lot harder to predict for our panel, as only one NFC squad (the Atlanta Falcons) was picked unanimously to win its division. The NFC South, meanwhile, was the only division in the entire NFL that our 5-expert panel unanimously agreed would send 2 teams to the 2013 NFL playoffs (some combination of the Falcons, Saints and Tampa Bay Bucs).
Interestingly, the NFC East sparked debate when it was discovered that no expert picked the Washington Redskins (the 2012 NFC East champions) to return to the playoffs. In all, 10 of the 16 NFC franchises (exactly the same number as the AFC) were picked by at least one expert to make the 2013 playoffs: the Cowboys, Giants, Packers, Lions, Vikings, Falcons, Buccaneers, Saints, 49ers and Seahawks.
2013 NFL playoffs picks breakdown:
Although our experts disagreed quite often on each of their 2013 NFL divisional predictions, things seemed to come together quickly when it came to the topic of the 2013 NFL playoffs. Although 20 different NFL teams were predicted by our experts to make the playoffs, only half of those (10 teams) were picked by at least one expert to make the AFC or NFC Championship Game. Of those 10, only 2 AFC teams (the Broncos and Texans) were selected to win the AFC Championship, while 4 (the Falcons, Packers, Vikings and Seahawks) were selected to win the NFC Championship. Interestingly enough, the San Francisco 49ers (last year’s Super Bowl runners-up) were not picked by a single expert to win the NFC Championship, and the Baltimore Ravens (last year’s Super Bowl champions) were not predicted by a single expert to even reach the AFC Championship.
In the end, the most popular selection to win Super Bowl XLVIII by our experts is the Denver Broncos, with 2 selections (Wheels and Ryan Reis). Our two regular columnists and editors, Sean and Steeze, picked two NFC squads – the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons, respectively – while guest expert Jaron went against the grain, picking the Minnesota Vikings to defeat the Houston Texans.
Do you love our predictions or hate them? Where are we right? Where are we wrong? Leave your opinions and comments below, or tweet us @SidelineMOB!