From A Youth Perspective:
By Byler E. Henry
The National Football League(NFL) preseason has begun, which means the regular season is next. The Ravens won last year’s Super Bowl and are looking to repeat. However, teams in the NFL don’t usually repeat.
The Ravens won their first Super Bowl in 2000 when they beat the Giants 34 to 7. They have lost many star players to trades and free agency. Ray Lewis retired, Ed Reed now plays for the Texans, Dennis Pitta will miss the entire season because of injury, Cleveland Browns signed Paul Kruger, AnquanBoldin was traded to the 49ers, and Dannell Ellerbe signed with the Dolphins. They have signed Elvis Dumervil, Dallas Clark, Brandon Stokley, Daryl Smith, and drafted safety Matt Elam from the University of Florida. I don’t think the Ravens can repeat after losing Ed Reed, AnquanBoldin, and Dennis Pitta.
I think the Cincinnati Bengals will win the AFC North. The Bengals are a young team with a good quarterback in Andy Dalton, A.J. Green is a good receiver and they also stole James Harrison from their division rival Steelers. Harrison will add experience to an improving defensive cast, he’s also a hard hitter with two Super Bowl rings.
In the AFC South, I pick the Houston Texans to have the best record, but it won’t come easy. Last year they were 12– 4, with the Colts nipping at their heels with an 11– 5 record. The Colts were led by their first overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Stanford, Andrew Luck.
In the AFC East the Dolphins have made moves by signing Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler, keeping Cameron Wake which places them in good position to make noise in the AFC East.
The Patriots have lost Wes Welker to the Broncos, released Aaron Hernandez, and signed Tim Tebow, Danny Amendola, Leon Washington, and Le-Garrette Blount.
The Dolphins and Patriots will be at the top while Jets and Bills are at the bottom.
The Denver Broncos will take the AFC West and has the best chance of representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. The Broncos had a 13 – 3 last season, I believe they will have similar success. One reason is #18, Peyton Manning. After three neck surgeries, he was last year’s NFL comeback player of the year. A field goal knocked them out in the AFC Divisional Playoffs in double overtime. Another reason is their draft pick out of Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, receiver Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker.
Now on to the NFC. The Falcons will have a good regular season but will break their fans heart in the post season it happens every year. Falcons will lead the NFC South but will not make it out of the first round of the playoffs.
The Buccaneers will surprise some folks after acquiring Darrelle Revis from the Jets.
In the NFC East I believe the Washington Redskins will win the NFC East again with the Giants finishing second.
In the NFC North the Bears are trying to make some changes with new head coach Marc and Trestman, even with Brian Urlacher retiring the defense still looks pretty good.
Green Bay is in good shape. Even though they lost Greg Jennings they still have Aaron Rodgers under center.
The Vikings have stolen Greg Jennings, drafted Xavier Rhodes, and Sharrif Floyd. One of the best running backs in the NFL, Adrian Peterson, is still a Viking.
The Lions will make some noise this year, they have a good defense.
The 49ers will finish first in the NFC West with the Seahawks second. Both teams had a good season last year, the Seahawks lost to the Falcons in the divisional playoffs while the 49ers lost in the super bowl. This year I believe the 49ers has the best chance of representing the NFC in the Super Bowl again.
I can’t wait for the start of the regular season; ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?