So you can tinker with the categories a little and save the link and take your time responding (I know it's still early preseason) but I wanted to at least get this out there while I was thinking of it. As usual, my picks will be without any research and off the cuff. I just thought it would be fun to have everyone's predictions saved for later.
SUPER BOWL FAVORITES:
I really feel like there are only two AFC teams who should be expected to make it to the Super Bowl, the Patriots and the Broncos, anybody else would be an upset.
SUPER BOWL CONTENDERS: Again though, in my opinion this is a short list. I think the NFC is by far the deeper conference. But if the Texans finally put it all together, I wouldn't be surprised they make it there, especially if they get someone else to knock off one of the two favorites. The defending Super Bowl champs by law have to be in this list, even though I expect them to fall back a bit this year. So add the Ravens to this list. Who else has a legit chance to get there from the AFC? Boy, I'd fall out of my seat if anyone other than the 4 above got there. The Colts, Steelers and Bengals are good teams and I'd expect them to make the playoffs but that's it, isn't it?
PLAYOFF CONTENDERS: Colts, Steelers and Bengals should get there and maybe they can even win a game but that's it. Add to them a few teams who could find there way there, even if you don't expect them to do anything once they're there: Dolphins (because they get to play the Jets and Bills twice each), the Chargers have "always" had the talent and maybe now with a new coach things will change, everyone's on the Chiefs' bandwagon this year but is a new QB and head coach enough? Maybe.
AIN'T GOT NO SHOT: This'll be the one that bites us the hardest but I'm still not seeing the Titans, Jets, Jags, Bills, Raiders or Browns having a shot this year. Did I leave anyone out? Nope, I believe that's 16.
SUPER BOWL FAVORITES: Off the top of my head I expect this list to be longer than the AFC but let me actually look at the teams. As I look at the teams in the NFC, I find the line between SB favorites and contenders a little more blurry, other than the SF 49ers, who I consider the true favorite to win it all; but then I have 5 teams you could argue would be favorites if they were playing in the AFC (or damn near it). So are they favorites or just strong contenders? I'm going to have to split hairs and put a couple in this category to cover my arse and to be realistic -- the 49ers are not yet the 49ers of yore. Screw it, I'm going out on a limb...the 49ers are the favorite for me and everyone else is a contender.
SUPER BOWL CONTENDERS: Very strong contenders and, as I said, likely favorites if they were playing in the AFC. There's a lot of talent and promise here (and experience.) Give me the Packers, Giants, Falcons, Saints and Seahawks in this category. Would it really be a complete shock if any one of them got there? I don't think so. Doesn't live much meat on the bone for anyone else to slip into the playoffs though. So as strong as the 49ers are, there are some serious contenders for them to get beyond.
PLAYOFF CONTENDERS: So I have 6 NFC teams whom I think are SB contenders. How does anyone get beyond them or who stumbles enough to leave the door open? Well, I have to put someone in this category, so how about the Cowboys -- well, maybe I should at least look at the divisions in case someone else has to make it in. Nope, that works. So even though I really don't expect anyone other than the above six to make it, let's throw some hope to the fans of the Cowboys, Bucs, Redskins (I expect to hear some hollerin' from DC and ND on these two) -- wow, this is tough. I respect the teams I've already mentioned in this category and a couple others (Carolina and Chicago) but how do they win enough games, especially those who have two SB contenders in their division, to get into the playoffs? Good luck with that.
AIN'T GOT NO SHOT: I think that leaves the Eagles, Lions, Cardinals and Rams playing only 16 games this year.
Boy, that was hard but I think it would be harder if you actually tried to research it. I hope to see a good many of you leave your predictions in the comments to this post or at the very least rip me for my lousy picks.