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  1. #1
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    Don's Crystal Ball 2011 Season Predictions

    THE DON'S
    Crystal Ball


    2011 SEASON
    PREDICTIONS

    By DonCanabis/TheDon
    Analyst/Godfather

    CONGRATS TO THE 2010 DON’S PREDICTION LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

    *** Mlmpetert from thewarpath.net ***
    *** Sparty from detroitlionsforum.com ***

    With No OTA’s, High Speed FA and almost straight to Preseason this will be the hardest Season Prediction Ever. It will be harder to predict the out of nowhere teams. Last year not only did I predict 6 out of the 12 teams that made the playoffs I correctly predicted the Super Bowl winner (and made a lot of cash in the process). Too bad I Bought the T.O/Ochocinco Kool-Aid and said that they will be their opponents. Oh how wrong I was on that one. Not going to buy another Kool-Aid this year so don’t expect me to put the Eagles in the Super Bowl.
    With all the changes that have been going on I tried to wait the longest to post this to keep it as accurate as I can. Peyton’s and Cassel injuries, Garrard release these are things that completely change outcomes of games and seasons.
    Some Quick Hits to get us started.
    • For the Past 15 years at least 4 new teams get into the playoffs each year and at least 5 for the past 6 years. Last year we had 5 new teams
    • For the past 11 years at least 2 teams with losing records the prior year has made the playoffs. Last year 3 teams did it (CHI,KC,SEA)
    • Since 1986 only 7 teams have been able to go back and play in a Super Bowl. Since 2000 only 1 team has done it. This Trend Continues
    • Since 2001 all NFC champions have been different teams. In the same time only 4 AFC teams have reach the Super Bowl. This Trend Continues
    • Last year I got 6 of 12 team’s right that got into the playoffs & the Super Bowl Winners the Green Bay Packers
    • This year expect teams with more continuity that didn’t had mayor changes to have good seasons because of the lockout.
    • Remember teams that didn’t made the playoffs didn’t practice or had team meetings since Jan 02 until the lockout was over
    • Next to the 2010 record you’ll see a correct written next to it for all the records I got right from last year’s projection


    AFC EAST
    BUFFALO BILLS
    2010 record: 4-12
    2011 Projection: 7-9
    Key 2011 matchups: @KC,PHI,@DAL,@NYJ,@SD,@NE


    I really liked the Bills draft overall. Dareus is a beast in the middle and Williams is aggressive and has an eye for the ball. When you play against Brady every year the easiest way to stop him is put pressure on him. If you’re going to pick high on the draft you better get someone that will make an impact right away. I like Ryan Fitzpatrick he will win you games and will be a leader but he’s not an Elite QB so what I didn’t get is why they didn’t went for Mallet on the third round. This team hasn’t addressed their O-line situation and hasn’t done anything to cover their biggest Needs in FA. Hate the Lee Evans trade a premiere WR for a 4th rounder so the future still doesn’t look good in Buffalo.

    MIAMI DOLPHINS
    2010 Record: 7-9
    2011 Projection: 5-11
    Key 2011 matchups: HOU, @SD, @NYJ, @KC, @Dal, PHI, @NE


    I like how they replaced the people they lost for younger and more versatile players. But, this team set their fat when they couldn’t pull the trigger for Kyle Orton. Henne isn’t the answer and this coaching staff couldn’t justify drafting another developing player. They have a solid foundation but still have a long way to go to be with the Elite teams. What I’m sure, we won’t be seeing another Marc Anthony/J-Lo duet this year.

    NEW ENGLAND
    2010 Record: 14-2
    2011 Projection: 14-2 (1st Place Home Field Advantage)
    Key 2011 matchups: SD,@PIT, NYG,@NYJ, @PHI, IND

    The Buy low sale High team has done it again getting 2 players that can succeed in their system for practically nothing. We all expected a big Splash in this draft with all the draft picks NE had but instead they threw some curveballs trying to show they know more than the rest. I like the Solder Pick and the late picks of both Mallett and Cannon. They needed pass rushers and they brought Ellis, Haynesworth and Carter to get that pressure from the inside and move into a 3-4/4-3 blend. Love them or hate them you can’t ignore or admire how they keep competitive and make usually the right moves at the right time.

    NEW YORK JETS

    2010 Record: 11-5
    2011 Projection: 11-5 (6th Wildcard)
    Key 2011 matchups: DAL, @BAL, @NE, SD, @PHI

    Even though the Jets lost the Nnamndi sweepstakes they were able to retain Cromartie and upgrade the WR position with the addition of Burres. The Jets has one of the toughest schedules in the league but if Rex has shown us anything in the past two years is that we can’t count them out. I don’t know if the third time will be the charm for the Jets because I haven’t seen Sanchez go to the next level.

    AFC NORTH
    BALTIMORE RAVENS
    2010 Record: 12-4
    2011 Projection: 12-4 (5th Wildcard)
    Key 2011 matchups: PIT, NYJ,@PIT, IND, @SD

    If Baltimore could only learn or find the way to beat the Steelers with Ben as the QB this team could finally reach the Super Bowl. I really like the addition of Evans because this will finally give Flacco the deep threat he has needed. The addition of Gurode and McKinnie worries me shows real problems at the oline. Baltimore has one of the thirds easiest schedulesso expect them to be in the playoffs in December.

    CINCINNATI BENGALS
    2010 Record: 4-12
    2011 Record: 2-14
    Key 2011 matchups: @CLE, IND, @BAL, @PIT, HOU

    Cincinnati is rebuilding they’re not hiding it this team was old and needed a complete overhaul so bad that the franchise QB threw the towel. I don’t like the loss of Joseph but overall the Bengals are doing good moves that if they work they could compete in 2 years. The Bengals schedule is really soft especially in the first 9 weeks which could really help Dalton build confidence. We could have a deceiving record because of the schedule but overall Bengals fans take this year to get excited for the future.

    CLEVELAND BROWNS
    2010 Record: 5-11
    2011 Record: 6-10
    Key 2011 matchups: @IND, @HOU, @CIN,@PIT, @ARI, @BAL

    If a team got really hurt by the lockout were the Browns. New Coach, young QB and changing defense is way too much for a team. The record might not reflect it this year but that has to do more with the division they are than the team.

    PITTSBURGH STEELERS

    2010 Record: 12-4
    2011 Projection: 13-3 (2nd Place bye)
    Key 2011 matchups: @BAL, @HOU,NE, BAL

    Team comes back from a Super Bowl had 5 more week of training (Playoffs) that most teams and didn’t lose any key players. They also have one of the easiest schedules baring a key injury we can expect them to make the playoffs again. Pittsburgh has to have the Softest December Ever on paper CIN,CLE,@SF, STL & @CLE.

    AFC SOUTH
    HOUSTON TEXANS
    2010 Record: 6-10
    2011 Projection: 11 -5 (4th place)
    Key 2011 matchups: @NO, PIT, @BAL, @TB, ATL, @IND

    I believe that Kubiak finally got it. He went and got a great DC, dropped dead weight and focused on their biggest problem, Defense. Drafted and signed key guys and I believe this is the year The Texans make the playoffs or it will be the HC’s last. Loved the Jonathan Joseph sign for me the corner with the most upside and lower salary. J.J Watt and Brooks Reed look like the real deal.

    INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
    2010 Record: 10-6
    2011 Projection: 9 -7
    Key 2011 matchups: @HOU, PIT, @TB, KC, Atl (If they survive the first half they have a shot)

    Well I already expected and had the Colts out of the playoffs before it was said that he is doubtful for week 1. The reality is that he had neck injury he hasn’t practice and he’s playing with a new and young Oline that he hasn’t teach. Also it’s not like they dominated last year with a 10-6 record. The Colts will use this year to get some game experience to that young Oline and come back next year to compete. Two streaks will be broken this year Peyton’s consecutive games and the 9 straight playoffs appearances. You can quote me on that.

    JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
    2010 Record: 8-8
    2011 Projection: 3 -13
    Key 2011 matchups: @NYJ, NO, @Pit, BAL, SD, ATL

    Jack Del Rio pulled a fast one today with the release of Garrard and going with McCown and Gabbert. I actually thought with Indy out of the way, Jaguars FA picks and 3 straight good drafts that they could actually fight for the division but that move and with their schedule was hard to continue with that assessment.

    TENNESSEE TITANS
    2010 Record: 6-10
    2011 Projection: 7 - 9
    Key 2011 matchups: BAL, @PIT, @ATL. TB, NO, @HOU

    This team has a new coach, new offense, QB in training and Hasselbeck who might be healthy for half the season. The reality is that this is year one of a new regime that had no time to get ready with a team with a great defense, great Oline and great HB. The reality is that Hasselbeck will keep them in the game but thinking more than 8-8 is a reach.

    AFC WEST
    DENVER BRONCOS
    2010 Record: 4-12
    2011 Projection: 7 - 9
    Key 2011 matchups: @GB, DET, @KC, @SD, NE

    The Best thing that could happen to this team is Miami not giving them what they wanted for Orton. That Von Miller kid is the real deal and the duo of him and Dumervil will keep 16 OC up all night during the season. Orton worked last year with this offensives system but Fox likes to run the ball more and control the game I expect them to be better than most predict but will fall short at the end

    KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
    2010 Record: 10-6
    2011 Projection: 7-9
    Key 2011 matchups: @DET,@SD, @NE, PIT, @CHI, @NYJ, GB

    I think the loss of coach Charlie Weis has been the biggest loss for this team the offense just hasn’t work since he left late last year which makes it really weird. If this team figure things out they could present a lot of problems to a lot of teams but is hard to believe they will pull another run especially with Cassel hurt.

    OAKLAND RAIDERS
    2010 Record: 8-8 Correct
    2011 Projection: 4 - 12
    Key 2011 matchups: NYJ, NE, @SD, @GB, @KC

    This team is hard to figure out when you cheer for them they plummet and when people give up on them they start knocking teams down pulling huge upsets. What I do know is that they won’t repeat with a 6-0 in their division. So I don’t expect another 8-8 season.

    SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

    2010 Record: 9-7
    2011 Projection: 12 – 4 (3rd Place)
    Key 2011 matchups: @NE, @NYJ, GB, @CHI, BL, @DET

    Last year finally December caught up with the Chargers and they couldn’t pull another miracle run to save their season. But I believe that that actually helped the Chargers because in the past they felt that they could just sail through the season into the playoffs and that hurt them after they had made it there because they weren’t ready. I like what I see in the team this year I just hope they can find a pass rush.
    Last edited by DonCanabis; 09-07-2011 at 12:27 PM. Reason: incomplete

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    NFC EAST
    DALLAS COWBOYS
    2010 Record: 6-10
    2011 Projection: 10-6 (6th place Wildcard)
    Key 2011 matchups: @NYJ, DET, @NE,@ARI, @TB,PHI, @NYG

    I believe the Cowboys would struggle the first few weeks of the season, young Oline, new Coach and new defensive system with the lockout will take time the good news for them is that when they have their easiest part of the schedule what would give them some winnable game while they put the things together. But what we learned from last year is than this team is not mentally strong or at least it wasn’t last year so if things start going bad early it would be hard to pulled them back. So this could be a very interesting season, some people say this team is rebuilding I see it as getting rid of the dead weight.

    NEW YORK GIANTS

    2010 Record: 10-6 Correct
    2011 Projection: 7-9
    Key 2011 matchups: @PHI, @NE, @NO, GB,@DAL, @NYJ, DAL

    Well with the loss of Goff today for the season I believe that’s 6 defensive players lost for the season or at least the most part of it. Their Oline doesn’t look good and Eli has been all over the place but that’s nothing new. With a lot of teams in the conference being good I don’t see how the Giants can overcome all the things stacked against them.

    PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

    2010 Record: 10-6
    2011 Projection 12-4 (3rd Place)
    Key 2011 matchups: @ATL, CHI, @NYG, NE, NYJ,@DAL

    AKA the Dream Team, even though this name is fading fast based on the pre season performance. I talked about this from the start never bought the Kool-Aid and just won’t. Don’t get me wrong it is a good team and if Vick can last a whole season they most likely make the playoffs even win the division but I don’t expect them to even make it to the big game. This team has way too many issues still that a few big names don’t solve. Their oline is really bad and getting Vick Killed. U have a 4th round pick even if his last name is Matthews playing at ILB that should tell you about that position and safeties have big problems Allen hasn’t comeback 100% from his injury so you can expect teams testing the Eagles deep. I believe Vick won’t have another Cinderella season. He hasn’t been the model of consistency.

    Washington Redskins
    2010 Record: 6-10
    2011 Record: 5 -11
    Key 2011 matchups: @DAL, PHI, NY, NE, @NYG, @PHI

    So Grossman is the man this year. I’m still trying to grasp my head around that one. I believe Shanahan will try to use Rex like Chicago used him in their Super Bowl run and just ask him not to lose the game and let the defense and running game do the work. They might pull some close games with that approach but to expect more than 7 wins even with the schedule is asking way too much.

    NFC NORTH
    CHICAGO BEARS
    2010 Record: 11-5
    2011 Projection: 8 - 8
    Key 2011 matchups: ATL, @NO, GB, @DET, @PHI, SD, @GB

    The Bears oline finally looks at least decent and Cutler played really good before the knee fiasco at the end of the season. We know the defense will dominate like they do each year the real question is can the offense bail them out in those though games.

    DETROIT LIONS
    2010 Record: 6-10
    2011 Projection: 9 -7
    Key 2011 matchups: @TB, @DAL, ATL, @CHI, @NO, SD, @GB

    This team looked good after the draft, better after the first few days of FA then injuries started to pile up. Stafford looks like he can have a breakout year and if that front 4 defense can put constant pressure would help out an average secondary. But, the reality is that they are also in a difficult division and have a really tough schedule to overcome. I tried to justify putting the Lions in but the more I saw the schedule and the rest of the conference games it just became impossible to put them in.

    GREEN BAY PACKERS
    2010 Record: 10-6
    2011 Projection: 13-3 (1st Place Home Field Advantage)
    Key 2011 matchups: NO, @CHI, @ATL, @SD, @DET, @KC

    The Packers have a legitimate shot at repeating because of the lockout, the return of their starters and not losing any key players. Everybody knows this if not ask the 2007 Patriots. They have a stack team on both sides of the field and if they get home field advantage in the playoffs they will be tough to beat.

    MINNESOTA VIKINGS
    2010 Record: 6-10
    2011 Projection: 6 - 10
    Key 2011 matchups: @SD, @KC, @GB, @ATL, NO

    I expect McNabb to do better than what he did in Washington but if you’re expecting another Favre type of run or year you’re only kidding yourself. The reality is that this team has passed their moment both lines are old and not what they used to. Their secondary is awful and they lost one of their best players in Rice. I believe they got scared and jump the gun early with ponder especially passing on a talent like Fairley. This will be at best an average year for the Vikings.

    NFC SOUTH

    ATLANTA FALCONS
    2010 Record: 13-3
    2011 Projection: 12-4 (5th place Wildcard)
    Key 2011 matchups: @CHI, PHI, @TB, GB, @DET,@ HOU @NO

    With Atlanta you don’t have to worry that much about the Home games because Ryan is money on those so games like, Chicago, Tampa Det, Hou even Seattle were is always tough are the games that should worry Atlanta fans. We all know the Falcons put all their marbles on Julio Jones. I personally didn’t like the trade but for the first looks of it I might be a good move. For me the Defense is where they had the biggest problems and should had attend more than Ray Edwards a move I didn’t liked.

    CAROLINA PANTHERS
    2010 Record: 2-14
    2011 Projection: 1-15
    Key 2011 matchups: @ARI, JAC, WAS,@IND, @TB

    I went in a different route with the Key matchups on this one because Carolina has the toughest schedule of the league. Crazy to believe that the worst team last season pulled the toughest schedule but that’s how it is. Look it’s a rookie QB, though schedule so the games posted on top or matchups are the most important to this team if they don’t want to be #1 again this year. Maybe with the new rookie cap it wouldn’t be that bad.

    NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
    2010 Record: 11-5
    2011 Record 13 -3 (2nd Place Bye)
    Key 2011 matchups: @GB, HOU,@TB, @ATL, DET

    I believe the Saints upgraded their team with both the draft and FA. The first game against the champs is very import because the first 3 games aren’t that easy. I really like the Sproles pickup I think he will do in Payton’s offense what Bush couldn’t always do.

    TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

    2010 Record: 10-6
    2011 record: 7 - 9
    Key 2011 matchups: DET, CHI, @NO, @GB, DAL, @ATL

    A lot of people are on the Buccaneers bandwagon based on last year run and record they have a very good young team but, they also faced a pretty bland schedule last year. This year they might get help again by playing the Colts early maybe without Peyton and Jacksonville without Garrard. The Conference is tougher and they play in the toughest division I believe the schedule will hurt them this year.

    NFC WEST
    ARIZONA CARDINALS
    2010 Record: 5-11
    2011 Projection: 9-7 (4th Place)
    Key 2011 matchups: NYG, PIT, @BAL, @PHI, @STL, DAL

    We all know why they overtraded and paid for Kolb, they have a team that can compete right now and the opportunity of getting a QB for the future in his prime it was the right move. High risk but the right move and I said that without being a Kolb believer. Arizona has the easiest schedule out there so this move could end up being a mirage the first season or can be the first of many.

    SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

    2010 Record: 6-10
    2011 Projection: 4 -12
    Key 2011 matchups: DAL, @PHI, @DET, @BAL, PIT, @SEA

    It’s starting to feel like 49ers will copy the formula of the panthers got a QB on the 2nd round this year but might end up with the 1st pick this year that’s why those games against Seattle are so important that might make the difference at the end of the season. Nobody gets why they paid 5 mill for Smith to stay. Good defense same offense.

    SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

    2010 Record: 7-9
    2011 Projection: 3 -13
    Key 2011 matchups: @CLE, WAS, @STL, @CHI, SF, @ARI

    I just don’t know what Pete Carroll is doing. He had like 9 shots to draft a QB heck he even could have gone with Mallett in the 3rd round but somehow decided that Travaris like Little Jesus the year before was his man. It’s too bad because he has made good drafts and has 4 top picks playing the Oline that for some reason can’t cover. But this team might steal some victories but might be on the run for Luck next year.

    ST. LOUIS RAMS
    2010 Record: 7- 9
    2011 Projection: 7 - 9
    Key 2011 matchups: PHI, @NYG, BAL, @GB, @DAL, NO, @ARI

    A lot of people are saying this is the year St. Louis makes the playoffs. People that are saying this are looking at the division not the schedule on top are 7 of the top 8 games the only team not there is Was, but those first 8 games are brutal! If they can survive that even go 3-5 they might steal have a choice to win it but it’s definitely not a given. They might have the talent but the schedule might cost them the season.

    AFC CHAMPIONSHIP
    San Diego vs New England

    NFC CHAMPIONSHIP
    New Orleans vs Green Bay Packers

    SUPER BOWL
    San Diego vs New Orleans

    SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS
    San Diego Chargers
    Last edited by DonCanabis; 09-07-2011 at 12:38 PM.

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    Chargers proved last year that special teams is as important as offense and defense. If they can upgrade their special teams, even a little bit, I think they'd be dominant enough to win the Superbowl.

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    NO way the Chargers get past Pitt or Pats

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    Quote Originally Posted by connecticutsteel View Post
    NO way the Chargers get past Pitt or Pats
    When was the last time a team went back to back to a Superbowl? 2nd questio nwhen was the last time the losing team of the Super Bowl came back the next year and made it to the Super Bowl?.

    Not trying to be a Huge @ but just pointing out how difficult is to repeat especially if you were the losing party. You guys have a great team and will be i nthe run or fight for the next few years but we all know it's not going to happen every year. Even though if us as fans want it.

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