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The Redzone: 2013 NFL season preview

Why wait until the end of the year to hear who is going to win everything.

CJ Spiller is set to have a monster year for the Buffalo Bills.
CJ Spiller is set to have a monster year for the Buffalo Bills.
Image: Bill Wippert/AP/Press Association Images

IT’S TIME TO play the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to set the alarm clock, the NFL kicks off tonight.

The NFL is back and while TheRedzone’s normal weekly previews will resume on Saturday, I thought I’d start the season by telling you who I think will win every division, both conferences and the Super Bowl; as well as which players will pick up the individual awards.

AFC North
The Baltimore Ravens may be the defending Super Bowl champions but they’re likely to play second fiddle to the ever-improving Bengals in 2013. The ageing Steelers will do well to post a winning record while the Browns will continue to prop up the division.

AFC South
The Colts performed above and beyond expectations last year but only beat three playoff teams on their way to an 11-5 record. The Texans will win the South at a canter while the Titans’ quarterback problems won’t stop them finishing third ahead of the awful Jaguars.

AFC East
The Patriots might be missing a lot of key parts to their offence but they’ll still expect to win 4/5 divisional games which will be enough to claim the East. The Dolphins and Bills will battle it out for second place while the Jets will struggle for relevancy in what will probably be Rex Ryan’s last year in charge.

AFC West
The Raiders will shock nobody by finishing bottom of the pile with less than 3.5 wins. The Broncos are too good not to win the division and while the Chiefs will do enough to finish second, it will be touch and go as to whether it is good enough for playoff football.

Playoffs
The Patriots, Texans, Broncos and Bengals will be joined by the Ravens and Colts in the postseason.

AFC Championship
The Texans will finally show their worth in the playoffs and have made some definite upgrades on offence to go with their brilliant defence. The AFC is there for the taking for the team from the Lone Star State.

imageCan Russell Wilson lead his team to a conference crown?
Image: Elaine Thompson/AP/Press Association Images

NFC North
The Packers seem to be acknowledging the existence of the run game this year and are almost guaranteed the division title. The Jay-Culter-in-a-contract-year inspired Bears will challenge for the playoffs, but fall just short, while the Lions and Vikings could finish 6-10 as easily as 10-6.

NFC South
One of the most exciting battles in the NFL this year will be who wins the shoot-out for the South between the Saints and Falcons and, right now, I give Atlanta a slight edge. The Panthers will be happy with an 8-8 season but the Bucs quarterback problems will see them finish fourth.

NFC East
The most open division in football by some way, any one of the four teams could walk away with the divisional title. If RGIII stays fit, I think Washington have the edge with the Giants and Cowboys running them closer than a rebuilding Eagles franchise. However, the Chip Kelly wild card in Philly means they can’t be ruled out.

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NFC West
From the most open division in football to the only one to contain two genuine Super Bowl contenders. The Seahawks and 49ers will both finish with 12-4 records but it’ll be Seattle who hold the tie-breaker. The Cardinals will finish three games clear of the Rams on 9-7.

Playoffs
The Packers, Falcons, Seahawks and Washington will be joined by the Saints and 49ers in the postseason.

NFC Championship
The Seahawks will have learned from last season’s mistakes against Atlanta in the divisional round and pick up just their second NFC championship title.

Super Bowl
The old adage is that defences win championships but, while both teams can boast defences that are among the best in football, it will be Seattle’s more explosive offence that will see them win Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium next February.

imageJJ Watt will continue to prove his worth as the best defensive player in the NFL.
Image: Patric Schneider/AP/Press Association Images

NFL Offensive Player of the Year
As the safety valve for a rookie quarterback, CJ Spiller will be handed or passed the football probably more than any other player in the NFL this year. Of course teams will try to stack their defences to stop him but that didn’t work against Adrian Peterson last year and won’t work on Spiller this season.

NFL Defensive Player of the Year
It’s rare for a player to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year but it’s rare for a player to be as good at his job as JJ Watt. If he’s not swatting passes or making interceptions, he’s hunting the quarterback and, this year at least, leading his team to a Super Bowl appearance.

NFL MVP
Whether it’s on the ground or through the air, Russell Wilson will terrorise defences all around the league this season as he leads his team to Super Bowl glory.

Disagree? Of course you do. Let us know how you think the 2013 NFL season will play out in the comments below.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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