25 Thoughts: Predictions and Questions Heading into the 2012 NFL Season

Aaron Hernandez Patriots

Can Aaron Hernandez lead the Patriots to a Superbowl win? (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

With the NFL regular slated to kick off tonight, I take a stab at making some predictions and prognostications about the 2012 NFL Season. Who are the top five Super Bowl Contenders? Who will be the most impressive defensive rookie? Who will be the top five picks in the 2013 NFL Draft?

I’ll make my predictions and the readers can hold me to them at the end of the season. Who doesn’t love to read top five lists anyway?

1) Who are the Top Five Teams in the AFC?

1) New England Patriots
2) Houston Texans
3) Baltimore Ravens
4) Cincinnati Bengals
5) Pittsburgh Steelers

2) Who are the Top Five Teams in the NFC?
1) Green Bay Packers
2) New York Giants
3) San Francisco 49ers
4) New Orleans Saints
5) Chicago Bears

3) Who will be the NFL MVP?

1) Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
2) Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
3) Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
4) Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
5) Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

4) Who will be Defensive Player of the Year?

1) Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants
2) Patrick Willis, LB, San Francisco 49ers
3) Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos
4) Chris Long, DE, St. Louis Rams
5) Kam Chancellor, SAF, Seattle Seahawks

5) Five Players Who Will Breakout in 2012

1) Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
2) Connor Barwin, LB, Houston Texans
3) Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
4) Titus Young, WR, Detroit Lions
5T) Brandon Spikes, LB, New England Patriots
5T) Henry Melton, DT, Chicago Bears

6) Who will be the Top Five Defensive Rookies?

1) Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers
2) Chandler Jones, DE, New England Patriots
3) Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4) Dont’a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots
5T) Melvin Ingram, LB, San Diego Chargers
5T) Casey Hayward, CB, Green Bay Packers
5T) Mychal Kendricks, LB, Philadelphia Eagles

7) Who are the five most overrated players in the NFL?

1) Troy Polamalu, SAF, Pittsburgh Steelers
2) D’Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, New York Jets
3) Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers
4) DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
5T) Mario Williams, DE, Buffalo Bills
5T) Roman Harper, SAF, New Orleans Saints

8) Who are the five most underrated players in the NFL?

1) Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills
2) Jonathan Joseph, CB, Houston Texans
3) Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints
4) Henry Melton, DT, Chicago Bears
5) Ahmad Brooks, LB, San Francisco 49ers

9) Which teams will be picking in the top five of the 2013 NFL Draft? *In no particular order

1) Arizona Cardinals
2) Cleveland Browns
3) Miami Dolphins
4) St. Louis Rams
5) Oakland Raiders

10) Who are the five NFL Players that are at the end of the road?

1) Brian Urlacher, LB, Chicago Bears
2) Ed Reed, SAF, Baltimore Ravens
3) Dwight Freeney, DE/LB, Indianapolis Colts
4) Shaun Phillips, LB, San Diego Chargers
5) Bart Scott, LB, New York Jets

11) The Top Five Picks in the 2013 NFL Draft will be? (In no particular order)

1) Matt Barkley, QB, USC
2) Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
3) Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
4) Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
5) Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

12) The five teams sure to disappoint in 2012 will be?

1) Denver Broncos
2) Philadelphia Eagles
3) San Francisco 49ers
4) Atlanta Falcons
5) Detroit Lions

13) Five Players From the 2012 Draft Who Will Look Like Busts This Season

1) Dontari Poe, DT, Kansas City Chiefs
2) Brandon Weeden, QB, Cleveland Browns
3) Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Baltimore Ravens
4) AJ Jenkins, WR, San Francisco 49ers
5) Mike Adams, OT, Pittsburgh Steelers

14) The Top Five Free Agent Signings Will Turn Out To Be..

1) Carl Nicks, OG, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2) Curtis Lofton, ILB, New Orleans Saints
3) Brandon Carr, CB, Dallas Cowboys
4) Mario Williams, DE, Buffalo Bills
5) Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England Patriots

15) Who will lead the NFL in Receiving Yards?

1) Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
2) Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
3) Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints
4) Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
5T) Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots
5T) AJ Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals

16) Who will lead the NFL in Rushing Yards?

1) Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens
2) Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders
3) Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills
4) Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
5) LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

17) Who are the coaches under the most pressure to keep their jobs this year?

1) Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers
2) Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
3) Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings
4) Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears
5T) Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles
5T) Rex Ryan, New York Jets
5T) Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals

18) Five Practice Squad Players Who Will Make an Impact in 2012

1) Lance Dunbar, RB, Dallas Cowboys
2) Tori Gurley, WR, Minnesota Vikings
3) Duke Ihenacho, SAF, Denver Broncos
4) Matt Kopa, OT, New England Patriots
5T) Marc Tyler, RB, Green Bay Packers
5T) Matt Broha, DE, New York Giants

19) Top Five Coordinators That Will Be Head Coaches Someday

1) Rob Chudzinski, OC, Carolina Panthers
2) Jay Gruden, OC, Cincinnati Bengals
3) Mike Zimmer, DC, Cincinnati Bengals
4) Rob Ryan, DC, Dallas Cowboys
5T) Perry Fewell, DC, New York Giants
5T) Aaron Kromer, IHC, New Orleans Saints
5T) Bruce Arians, OC, Indianapolis Colts

20) Top Back-Up Quarterbacks Who Will Thrive If Called Upon

1) Chase Daniel, New Orleans Saints
2) Tim Tebow, New York Jets
3) Matt Flynn, Seattle Seahawks
4) Jason Campbell, Chicago Bears
5) Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

21) Ten Best Games on the NFL Schedule (In no particular order)

1) San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers – Week 1
2) Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles – Week 2
3) New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens – Week 3
4) Denver Broncos at New England Patriots – Week 5
5) New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers – Week 6
6) Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans – Week 6
7) New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos – Week 8
8) Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints – Week 9
9) Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers – Week 10
10) Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions – Week 11
11) Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers – Week 11
12) San Franciso 49ers at New Orleans Saints – Week 12
13) Green Bay Packers at New York Giants – Week 12
14) Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens – Week 13
15) Houston Texans at New England Patriots – Week 14
16) New Orleans Saints at New York Giants – Week 14
17) Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions – Week 16
– I couldn’t choose just ten!

22) Five Players Who Will Be First Time Pro-Bowlers (I tried to keep it to players with 2+ years in the NFL)

1) Red Bryant, DT, Seattle Seahawks
2) Ahmad Brooks, OLB, San Francisco 49ers
3) Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
4) Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders
5T) Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
5T) Jason McCourty, CB, Tennessee Titans

23) Five Late Round Picks From 2012 That Will Make An Impact

1) LaVon Brazill, WR, Indianapolis Colts – 6th Round Pick 206
2) KeShawn Martin, WR, Houston Texans – 4th Round Pick 121
3) Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals – 5th Round Pick 166
4) Nate Ebner, SAF, New England Patriots – 6th Round Pick 197
5) J.R. Sweezy, OG, Seattle Seahawks – 7th Round Pick 225

24) Who will be the most improved player in the league?

1) Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
2) Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
3) Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
4) Derrick Morgan, DE, Tennessee Titans
5) Robert Quinn, DE, St. Louis Rams

25) Who will win the Super Bowl?

1) New England Patriots
2) Green Bay Packers
3) Houston Texans
4) San Francisco 49ers
5T) New Orleans Saints
5T) Chicago Bears

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5 Responses to “25 Thoughts: Predictions and Questions Heading into the 2012 NFL Season”

  1. I see that everybody is picking against the new orleans saints the whole 2012 season . They also picking against the saints for the superbowl 47 in 2013 . Why? Just because they lost their coach you all knocking them down. That’s stupid. Everybody pick against them for the playoffs in 2009 and also the S B 44 too. They beaten the odds that time and this time they will do it again. They will Prove Them Wrong”.

  2. Lundahl says:

    Good job ! Although I will give my personal point of view. I do see the Patriots, not to be a homer not at all, on top of the AFC, but, I think the Chiefs come at the second place. Texans are the medias’ pet, hyper hyped overrated team, they play in a horrible division, no wonder why they have good stats. Regarding the NFC, I predict the Chicago Bears are on top ! Great ground game, good potential air game, hopefully the o-line does block Cutler and avoid him from getting smashed, and a solid defense. My SB pick: Chicago Bears vs NE Patriots. No the 49ers are not a contender team, Alex Smith is one of the most disgusting busts of all time ! He is miserable ! Look at the quarterbacks that have won and played in the last SBs: Warner, Big Ben, Eli, Brees, Manning, Rodgers, Brady. And their defense are not the 85 Bears, Brees nearly threw for 400 yards against them in the divisional. The most underrated player is Jared Allen: how come the medias never talk about him but always do for Ware ? It’s quite controversial that the leading sacker last season, the player who registered the most sacks in the last eight years, who goes up against the best left tackles, who is a first round pick, is completely ignored. Put that man on the list guys.

  3. Jesse says:

    Interesting. I’m gonna hold you to this Mike.

  4. Dave King says:

    I’m confused… you don’t put the Eagles in your top 5 NFC teams and count them as the #2 potential disappointment, yet rank them #3 to win it all?

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