Americans collectively breathed a huge sigh of relief in late July when the NFL lockout was officially lifted.  As a sports radio host I can't tell you how relieved to give up the daily charade of being a 'legal and labor analyst' and got to go back to prognosticating.

That said, let's get right to the predictions


East:  The Jets/Patriots, Rex/Hoodie rivalry has reached epic proportions.  I truly believe Jets/Patriots has passed Yankees/Red Sox in intensity, hatred, passion, and bar brawls.  Oh yeah the Bills and Dolphins are there too.

1. Patriots- 13-3

2.  Jets- 11-5

3.  Dolphins- 7-9

4.  Bills- 6-10

North:  I've said for years if I wanted to show a foreigner why Americans are obsessed with the NFL, I'd show them the last ten years of Ravens/Steelers.  Even in Roger Goodell's 'safety conscious' NFL Ravens/Steelers is smash mouth, hard hitting, old school football.  Colt McCoy spent the summer learning the west coast offense from Brett Favre, and the Bungles are still the Bungles.

1.  Steelers- 12-4

2.  Ravens- 10-6

3.  Browns- 8-8

4.  Bengals- 3-13

South:  With the bombshell news that Peyton Manning requires another neck surgery and is likely done for the year this division is wide open.  Kerry Collins is an accomplished NFL quarterback, but a mere mortal compared to the value #18 has for Indy.  Gary Kubiak knows if the Texans can't make the playoffs this year they are done.  Tennessee has me intrigued, and Jacksonville looks like they're five year plannin' it.

1.  Houston- 10-6

2.  Tennessee- 8-8

3.  Indianapolis- 7-9

4.  Jacksonville- 5-11

West:  San Diego looks like the class of the division, but Norv Turner is always good for two or three losses.  I thought Oakland was trending in the right direction until Al Davis fired Tom Cable.  Hopefully Hue Jackson will humor the old man and run a couple of his plays.  Without Charlie Weis calling the offense and a tougher schedule Kansas City will regress some, and Denver can't be any worse under John Fox.

1.  San Diego- 10-6

2.  Oakland- 8-8

3.  Kansas City- 7-9

4.  Denver- 6-10

Super Bowl representative:  New England


East:  The Eagles put a huge target on their backs with the off season moves and talk.  Like Miami, they have the talent and confidence to back it up.  Until Dallas seemingly lost their corners and Tyron Smith to injuries I loved how much they were flying under the radar.  The Giants seemed plagued by the injury bug, and Washington does little for me.

1.  Philadelphia- 12-4

2.  Dallas- 11-5

3.  New York- 8-8

4.  Washington- 6-10

North:  The old black and blue division is back.  The Packers are the defending Super Bowl champs, and the Bears were unlikely NFC runners up.  The Lions have a ton of buzz and hype, and Minnesota got old quick.

1.  Packers- 12-4

2.  Lions- 10-6

3.  Bears- 9-7

4.  Vikings- 7-9

South:  This division is my sleeper for best in football.  Atlanta and New Orleans will be tremendous.  Tampa Bay may regress, but will be very competitive, and Carolina will struggle with rookie Cam Newton running the show.

1.  Atlanta- 13-3

2.  New Orleans- 11-5

3.  Tampa Bay- 8-8

4.  Carolina- 3-13

West:  This joke of a division is the black sheep of the NFL.  Thankfully the Cards have a quarterback, the Rams are trending the right way, San Francisco has a coach who gives them hope, and well Seattle is Seattle.

1.  St. Louis- 9-7

2.  Arizona- 8-8

3.  San Francisco- 6-10

4.  Seattle- 4-12

Super Bowl representative:  Dallas (Atlanta if Dallas gets plagued by the injury bug)

Super Bowl winner:  New England???