There’s one thing I’m pretty certain about, and that’s one of the teams that in the Super Bowl last year won’t be in the Super Bowl this year. Teams in the AFC got significantly better last season, and while the Colts didn’t have to do much of anything, the way they lost the Bowl last year can be looked at a variety of ways.
It wasn’t like the Saints defense set the world on fire all year, but they’re the team that found a way to slow down the Colts, when everyone thought it was a foregone conclusion the Colts would win, and Peyton Manning would be crowned the greatest quarterback of all-time. Besides, the division title won’t fall on their lap like it did last year. The Titans won’t start out 0-for-the-century again, and the Texans surely won’t lose five games by a touchdown or less.
To be honest, the AFC is wide-open. The Colts, Chargers, Patriots, and Bengals won their division last year, and it wouldn’t be a complete shock if none of those teams won their division this year. The Chargers definitely won’t, unless everyone else in the AFC West stays mediocre. I don’t trust the Bengals to repeat their success from last year. On top of that Pittsburgh and Baltimore are right there, and they can easily take over the North. As for the Patriots, the East is wide open, and anyone can win that joint. Well, not Buffalo. They still suck (sorry, Joslin, but it's true).
The same can be said for the teams that won their division last year. My Cowboys won it last year, but---lemme take that back. The Cowboys are on a mission to play the Super Bowl in Dallas in 2011, so the journey will start off with us repeating as NFC East champs, and even if the Cows don’t win the division, they’ll get the wild-card, so no worries there. The Vikings are just waiting on Lorenzo Favre to come back, but even with that, Green Bay may be ready to snatch that division. The Cardinals won’t win that division, and I’m prepared to bet anyone that they won’t. The division is San Francisco’s to lose, and as for the South, well, the Saints should repeat.
With all this said, the earliest way to find out where your team stacks up is to hit your team’s training camp. The Browns are the first ones to have their rookies report on July 23rd, and everyone else follows suit after them. As much as free agency talk is dominating discussion, the anticipation for NFL camps to start is right up there with it, if not more.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!