The NFL preseason is in full effect, with the start of the season just three weeks away.
It's not too early to make predictions about how the divisions will shape up for the regular season.
On paper, Philadelphia appears to be the best team in the NFL. However, the Eagles must still contend with the Super Bowl Champion Packers, who should be in the most competitive division in the NFC. The Falcons surprised people last season, and will likely come out of the South, unless the Saints see their defense step up. The NFC West continues to be weak, but the Rams and Seahawks are not pushovers.
In the AFC, four teams appear to be in the race to the Super Bowl: N. Y. Jets, New England, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. A team to watch for might be the Ravens, who are trying to shed their image of playoff under-achievers. The addition of Plaxico Burress might be an upgrade over Braylon Edwards, but the Jets still have challenges with a young quarterback. The Patriots and Steelers remain focused on winning a Super Bowl, and have improved in the offseason.
Basically, this season may not look too much differently from last season.
Here's how the divisions will break down. (Below, the Super Bowl prediction.)
z Green Bay
y New Orleans
z St. Louis
z NY Jets
y New England
z San Diego
- z - Clinched Division
- y - Clinched Wild Card
- * - Clinched Division and Home Field
SUPER BOWL PREDICTION: Eagles over Patriots