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The SBM Sports 2012 NFL Season Preview


After months of appetizers, it’s finally time for the main course. The NFL season is upon us. Tomorrow’s season kickoff between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys marks the end of a long wait for real football. Thankfully, most players made news for what they did on the field and avoided major injuries. Now let’s breakdown what will happen between now and February’s Super Bowl.

NFC East –

This is often the most talked about division in the NFL. With long-standing rivalries between the Giants, Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and DC Redskins, there is always intrigue in this division. Too bad there isn’t always good football in it as well. Every team in the NFC East has a weakness. The Eagles have a paper mache quarterback. The Redskins have promise…but a lack of talent and experience. The Cowboys have injury question marks all over the field. The Giants have their own injury concerns, especially in the defensive backfield.

In cases like this, I go with the team that has been there before. That means the Giants will win the NFC East at 10-6 or 9-7.

NFC South –

The Saints should be the best team in this division, but the defensive suspensions behind “Bountygate” could leave the door open. The Falcons have the firepower to take advantage. Though they mustered only 2 points in last year’s playoffs, Atlanta has weapons at every offensive skill position. The Panthers and Bucs look like they’ll improve this year, but they aren’t talented enough to overtake the Saints or Falcons.

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I don’t trust Atlanta to put it all together. The Saints will win the division at 11-5.

NFC North –

As much as I’d love to sign this over to my Detroit Lions, they have real issues on defense. The offense will score enough to win games, but the defense will give up just as many. Hurts to say this, but this division is up for grabs between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. Both teams are playoff-bound, with the Bears hoping to fulfill the promise of last season’s injury-derailed season.

The Packers will win the division again, but it doesn’t matter for Bears fans. Chicago will claim one of the wild card spots.

NFC West –

I don’t see any way the San Francisco 49ers can repeat the success of last season. They return all 11 starters from the NFL’s best defense, but Alex Smith isn’t the player we saw last season. On top of that, Frank Gore is headed downhill with Brandon Jacobs and unproven young players behind him. The NFC West will come down to a Week 16 matchup between the Seahawks and 49ers in Seattle.

Seattle will come out ahead in this division thanks to a softer schedule than San Francisco. The 49ers will take the other wild card, rounding out the NFC.

AFC East –

I can’t think of a reason the New England Patriots won’t run away with this division. They have the best offense, and key additions on defense that (somehow) got them to the Super Bowl last season. The Jets should be the most interesting 5-11 team in NFL history, and the Dolphins will be worse. I think Buffalo will be a wild card team this season, but they won’t  challenge the Patriots for the division.

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AFC South –

The Texans are head and shoulders above the rest of this division. There may not be fifteen wins combined between the Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, or Tennessee Titans. This division is awful. Moving on.

AFC North –

Last year, this division produced three playoff teams. Poor Cleveland Browns. They will be at the bottom looking up again. Cincinnati will slide backwards a little, leaving the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers to fight for the divisional title.

Baltimore has shown a new, no-huddle offense this season, and they still have Ray Rice. They have the edge over Pittsburgh, despite an unexpectedly fast-paced Steelers offense. Pittsburgh’s problem is on defense. They are aging (doesn’t it seem like that’s the story every year?) and have started to show cracks. The Steelers will still make the playoffs, but it will be as a wild card instead of a division winner.

AFC West –

This division, more than any other, come down to quarterback play. Each team has a unique QB situation that will determine how far it goes this season. I don’t buy Peyton Manning. He has looked ok in the preseason, and the defense should still be good, but Manning’s neck will not hold up this season. Without Peyton, the Broncos are rudderless (and playoff-less) this season. The Raiders are depending on Carson Palmer who hasn’t been good in years. Matt Cassel is still living off of an 11-win season in New England.

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Then there is Phillip Rivers. He has several good seasons under his belt, and is the best of four decent options. The Chargers will get off to a better start than in years past, and ride it to an uninspiring playoff berth.

Playoff Prediction –

NFC: Packers (1-seed), Saints (2-seed), Giants, Bears, Seahawks, 49ers

AFC: Texans (1-seed), Patriots (2-seed), Ravens, Steelers, Chargers, Bills

I have the Packers and Patriots meeting in the Super Bowl. The Patriots were there last year with a wide receiver playing on defense. With any improvement, they should make it there again. The Packers have the probable MVP, a great home-field advantage, and a defense that can hang with the other playoff teams in the NFC.

I predict Tom Brady and the Patriots will win their fourth ring in the last few years. New England has the tools to win, and will put it together throughout the season.

This is how I see it, which teams do you have in the Super Bowl this season? Can the Giants repeat? Who do you think can surprise this season? Let me know what you think below!

Admin Note: What’s up everyone! The SBM Pro Football Pick ’em league is back! Click HERE to join!  Group ID# 56057 and the Password sbmdotorg Pass The Message!!! NFL Back!! – Streetz


  1. AFC: Patriots (1), ravens (2),.Texans (3), broncos (4), bills (5), and chargers (6)

    NFC: Packers (1), falcons (2), eagles (3), niners (4), Bears (5), Lions (6)
    NFC- bears

    Superbowl: patriots

    on another note last year there was a sbm pick em pool, what's up with that

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  2. AFC: Patriots (1), ravens (2),.Texans (3), broncos (4), bills (5), and chargers (6)


    NFC: Packers (1), falcons (2), eagles (3), niners (4), Bears (5), Lions (6)

    NFC- bears

    Superbowl: patriots

    on another note last year there was a sbm pick em pool, what’s up with that

    1. Can't argue with your list. Thanks for having more faith in the Lions than I do!

      I don't know about the Pick Em Pool, but I'm in on that. Look for an update soon.

  3. Good post Joe. Good analysis, but I think you are not giving Chicago their due justice. Greenbay is good no doubt, but I really do think Chicago will get over their hump this year. Adding Brandon Marshall (who complied 100 catches under J. Cutler in Denver) and an up in comer in Alshon Jeffries (Gamecocks baby!) I won't necessarily count them out to win the NFC. They appear to be the most balanced team in the NFC. In the AFC, of course you can't go wrong with the PATS, but I am a little concerned with the O-Line. I am glad they made upgrades in the secondary, but I think the Texans are the team to beat. They will easily win the AFC as a #1 seed and will put alot of doubters to rest. Remember, they almost beat Baltimore in the Divisional title last year with their rookie back-up starting. They could have easily won that game if Schaub was playing. Just my inital thoughts, but as usual, the injury bug can derail a team at anytime so who knows….

    1. I just don’t know about the Texans, they lost Ryans and Mario Williams and who knows if Schubert is ready for that big stage yet…if the titans stays with hasselbeck they might even have a shot at the division

      1. True, but Mario Williams was out all last year and they still went deep into the playoffs. Their front seven is vicious. I think if the titans don't stick with Locker, they will not go deep into the playoffs at all. Hasselbeck is old and Locker has an arm and entirely more athletic than Hasselbeck.

        1. I'm with you on the Texans making a run to the #1 seed in the AFC. They have such an easy division I think they'll have that locked up by Week 15. It's almost a toss up between them and New England, but when you match up offenses and defenses I give the Pats a slight edge.

          If NE's defense is improved (like I think), they can get past Houston by relying on their offense (definitely better than Houston's IMO). No blow out either way though…of course if Brady gets hurt 8 minutes into the season again, you can strike through everything written above.

    1. I love the Niners defense, but the offense way overachieved last year. They (really Alex Smith and Frank Gore) will come back to earth this season. I'm a believer in Russell Wilson as well (757!!), so I'll roll with Seattle and the weaker schedule.

      Hope I'm wrong though. I have Gore in a money fantasy league.

  4. AFC 1) Texans 2) Patriots 3) Ravens 4) Broncos 5) Bengals 6)Steelers

    NFC 1) Packers 2) Saints 3) Niners 4) Eagles 5) Bears 6) Giants

    AFC Champ: Texans
    NFC Champ: Packers

    Super Bowl XLVII winner, Green Bay.

  5. LOL we always seem to pick the Patriots to win the title don't we?

    Im a Giants fan, but I know how hard it is to repeat, and my team never plays well when they are favorites.

    I think the title stays in the NFC via the discount double check.

    If the pats make the super bowl and somehow the Giants make it too… They will lose again. No debates. lol
    My recent post #30in30 Day 1: The Story of Streetztalk 2.0

    1. If he wins his fourth ring, I agree with the GOAT title. Losing twice in the Big Game hurts his legacy. Can't believe it's been almost a decade since he's last won.

  6. "I love the Niners defense, but the offense way overachieved last year. They (really Alex Smith and Frank Gore) will come back to earth this season."

    "I don’t see any way the San Francisco 49ers can repeat the success of last season. They return all 11 starters from the NFL’s best defense, but Alex Smith isn’t the player we saw last season. On top of that, Frank Gore is headed downhill with Brandon Jacobs and unproven young players behind him."

    Typically, when a team returns all their starters on defense, they get better. Re: Alex Smith – That guy was the 28th ranked QB in the league in terms of stats last year, he just didn't turn the ball over, that had nothing to do with offensive production, just protecting the football. Re: Frank Gore's stats last year were on par for his entire career except for his freakish season in 06. He managed to stay healthy for a whole year this time too. Brandon Jacobs isn't his backup. Kendall Hunter is his backup. Gore, Kendall Hunter, Brandon Jacobs (goal line and short yardage) and LaMichael James are the RBs on the roster. That's not even an argument, that's the best backfield in the NFL, hands down. Alex Smith managed to throw for 3k yards last year after being shoved around in a new offensive system every year of his short career thus far. He had Vernon Davis and an underperforming Michael Crabtree as his ONLY help. This year the Niners add Randy Moss (who still have 4.4 speed) and Mario Manningham to the passing attack. From a roster standpoint, they got better on paper, you can't take anything away from a team if they get better and lose nobody on the team.

    So let's think about this logically, the team went 13-3 and came two fumbles (that were not caused by anybody on the Giants team) in the red zone away from the Super Bowl. Like the team self destructed… they did that last year, they got better roster additions than most teams this offseason… and we're going to say the Niners won't repeat the success.

    One question, why?

    Let me pre-emptively tell you that their strength of schedule is more difficult than last year, but only by a shred. Check it out, they had 4 tough games to win last year. This year, they have 4 tough games to win. I'll take the Seahawks seriously when they do something. They haven't done a single thing to be taken seriously yet.

    1. I don’t think the Niners will be BAD, I just don’t think they’ll be as good. I’m not as high on Moss (old), Jacobs (declining), Manningham (not that good in the first place), or James (rookie) as you are. Plus, while Alex Smith was no Drew Brees, you’d agree he was much better last year than the rest of his career. Harbaugh agreed because he drafted another QB and chased Peyton Manning.

      It makes sense your outlook is a lot more positive than mine, but I stand by it. They’ll be really good, but not AS good.

      As far as Seattle goes, you pretty much nailed our respective sides. I am projecting a good season for them, you are waiting until they prove it. That’s fair. Again…I really hope Gore goes off for 2,000 yards this year. I’ll guy you a drink with my fantasy winnings if so.

  7. as an nfc east fan – the games are always great!!!! they are annoying, heart-breaking, frustrating and great! lol.

    i dont like making predictions, but if i have to see aaron 'i got drafted late and have a wannabe chip on my shoulder' and or tom brady in the sb again…i may have to boycott. i say this knowing fully well i'll be hosting a sb party as per usual.

    i think the browns will surprise people.

    i think the chargers have gotten enough passes from people. seriously.

    i think the raiders made a mistake in letting their coach and qb go from last year.

    i think thursday night football starting so early is a stupid idea

    i think the NFL should be ashamed of themselves with this ref situation.

    i think that's all i got. lol.

  8. I think the Ravens are going to disappoint a lot of you. T-Sizzle being out is going to hurt them more than people realize…especially against their division rivals. Pittsburgh is an 11 to 12-win team. Just look at their totals over the past 5 years.

    AFC 1) Patriots 2) Steelers 3) Texans 4) Chargers 5) Ravens 6)Broncos

    NFC 1) Packers 2) Saints 3) Giants 4) Niners 5) Bears 6) Falcons

    AFC Champ: Steelers
    NFC Champ: Giants

    Super Bowl XLVII winner, Pittsburgh.

  9. The thing that made the 49ers offense function in spite of Alex Smith was the fact that they had the greatest turnover differential in the league. Unfortunately for the 49ers the turnover differential is also the most random team in the NFL.


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