Making predictions for an entire football season isn’t easy and is rarely done correctly. The reason why is that injuries and on-field performance simply cannot be accurately projected for 16 weeks. So, essentially, when making season predictions, what you’re really doing is ranking the teams by talent and strength of schedule.
With that said, here are my off-the-cuff season predictions for 2008:
Wild Card Round
Pittsburgh over NY Jets
Indianapolis over Jacksonville
New England over Pittsburgh
Indianapolis over San Diego
New England over Indianapolis
Wild Card Round
NY Giants over Seattle
Tampa Bay over Green Bay
Minnesota over Tampa Bay
Dallas over NY Giants
Dallas over Minnesota
Super Bowl XLIII
Dallas over New England
Most Valuable Player: Brett Favre, New York Jets
Voters like a good story, and Favre returning to football — scratching that “itch”, if you will — and leading the team to a 10-6 record a year after going 4-12 is what “good stories” are made of. Of course, if my 10-6 prediction doesn’t hold up, then the whole theory is a wash.
Comeback Player of the Year: Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts
Harrison played in just 5 games last year and yet he still has talent left in his 36-year old body. Assuming he stays healthy this year, he should put up productive statistics as Peyton Manning will still look his way often.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Marion Barber is now the starting running back in Dallas with the departure of Julius Jones, but I’ve got a feeling that Barber could continue the roll he played last year and we’ll see a lot of the rookie, Felix Jones.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots
The linebacker had a good preseason, finishing 8th in the league with 21 tackles. Playing for a defensive coach like Bill Belichick, he should have a good season.
Bears Pro Bowlers:
Devin Hester, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Tommie Harris, Olin Kreutz.