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Don's Crystal Ball 2011 Season Predictions

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; THE DON'S Crystal Ball 2011 SEASON PREDICTIONS By DonCanabis/TheDon Analyst/Godfather CONGRATS TO THE 2010 DONíS PREDICTION LEAGUE CHAMPIONS *** Mlmpetert from thewarpath.net *** *** Sparty from detroitlionsforum.com *** With No OTAís, High Speed FA and almost straight to Preseason this ...

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Old 09-07-2011, 10:49 AM   #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 DONíS PREDICTION LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

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

With No OTAís, 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 donít 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. Peytonís 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 teamís right that got into the playoffs & the Super Bowl Winners the Green Bay Packers
  • This year expect teams with more continuity that didnít had mayor changes to have good seasons because of the lockout.
  • Remember teams that didnít made the playoffs didnít practice or had team meetings since Jan 02 until the lockout was over
  • Next to the 2010 record youíll see a correct written next to it for all the records I got right from last yearís 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 youíre 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 heís not an Elite QB so what I didnít get is why they didnít went for Mallet on the third round. This team hasnít addressed their O-line situation and hasnít 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 doesnít 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 couldnít pull the trigger for Kyle Orton. Henne isnít the answer and this coaching staff couldnít 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 Iím sure, we wonít 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 canít 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 canít count them out. I donít know if the third time will be the charm for the Jets because I havenít 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 theyíre not hiding it this team was old and needed a complete overhaul so bad that the franchise QB threw the towel. I donít 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 didnít 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 HCís 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 hasnít practice and heís playing with a new and young Oline that he hasnít teach. Also itís 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 Peytonís 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 hasnít 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 wonít repeat with a 6-0 in their division. So I donít expect another 8-8 season.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

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

Last year finally December caught up with the Chargers and they couldnít 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 werenít ready. I like what I see in the team this year I just hope they can find a pass rush.

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 wasnít 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 thatís 6 defensive players lost for the season or at least the most part of it. Their Oline doesnít look good and Eli has been all over the place but thatís nothing new. With a lot of teams in the conference being good I donít 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 wonít. Donít 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 donít expect them to even make it to the big game. This team has way too many issues still that a few big names donít 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 hasnít comeback 100% from his injury so you can expect teams testing the Eagles deep. I believe Vick wonít have another Cinderella season. He hasnít 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. Iím 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 youíre expecting another Favre type of run or year youíre 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 donít 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 didnít 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 didnít 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 thatís how it is. Look itís a rookie QB, though schedule so the games posted on top or matchups are the most important to this team if they donít want to be #1 again this year. Maybe with the new rookie cap it wouldnít 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 arenít that easy. I really like the Sproles pickup I think he will do in Paytonís offense what Bush couldnít 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

Itís 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 thatís 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 donít 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. Itís too bad because he has made good drafts and has 4 top picks playing the Oline that for some reason canít 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 itís 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
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:53 AM   #2
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On with the picks.

I got Chicago +3 and Pitt +1.5 as my two strong plays.

I'm digging Carolina, Giants, and Over Philly too. Not sure they will be plays though.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by papz View Post
On with the picks.

I got Chicago +3 and Pitt +1.5 as my two strong plays.

I'm digging Carolina, Giants, and Over Philly too. Not sure they will be plays though.
Ok Papz if I get it correctly ur saying Pit' get 14 or 15 wins. Chicago 11.

And you like Carolina nad giants what to make the playoffs? really?
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:19 PM   #4
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On with the picks
No I meant on with the first week picks... the spreads.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by papz View Post
No I meant on with the first week picks... the spreads.
ooohh My week 1 Picks are comming up later today I was like What?

Ok of the top of my head I like

Phi -5 ovr STL, Ten over Jax if it opens again, NYG -3 over War ,NYJ-4 over Dal and NE-7 over Miami.

I like the over in PHI 44 and und in NYJ 41

but I'll say more later tonight
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:06 PM   #6
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Interesting. When we get to that point I do not see SD beating us
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