King Says, Benji Says (2009 Predictions)

by

YeahKingAndIAreThatCool

After a much needed “separation period,” Peteypoo and I have reconciled our differences and are ready once again to match wits at picking football games. What brought us back together? I believe it was the common ground we found in our new, shared philosophy on life: less is more. I now eat less food, but consume a more nutritious diet; The King has decided to spend less time at the buffet table and more time modeling his new sunglasses; finally, we both decided to use less space on our preseason predictions so as to retain more credibility later in the season when we inevitably end up being completely wrong and all you naysayers out there have less faulty analytical material to work with. I’ll admit that King took this last point to the extreme (he failed to write a single sentence in support of his picks), but, hey, no relationship’s perfect. At least he predicted each team’s record, right? As our marriage counselor would probably say, “he’s making an effort.”

AFC Picks:

AFC East:

King says:

Prediction: New England (13-3)

Benji says:

Let’s face it—the Dolphins overachieved last year and the Jets (starting a rookie quarterback) and Bills (who should have looked for a quarterback in the draft) are not going anywhere anytime soon. The Patriots will win the division easily and I would be surprised if they lost a single game to any of their aforementioned divisional foes.

Prediction: New England (13-3)

AFC North:

King says:

Prediction: Pittsburgh (11-5)

Benji says:

In my opinion, the Steelers had a lot of things go their way last season. That’s not to say that they weren’t a talented and disciplined team—I just don’t think they have what it takes to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Eventually a reckless throw that Roethlisberger makes on the run is going to result in a turnover, right? Right?!?

Prediction: Pittsburgh (11-5)

AFC South:

King says:

Prediction: Houston (10-6)

Benji says:

This division will end up being the most competitive one in the AFC. I’ll take the Colts, because they have experience and the division’s best defense on their side. Jacksonville and Houston will be hot on Indy’s heels though…

Prediction: Indianapolis (10-6)

AFC West:

King says:

Prediction: San Diego (11-5)

Benji says:

This one’s a no-brainer—the Chargers have a huge talent advantage over the rest of the AFC West. Like the Patriots, they are likely to go undefeated within their division and stack their overall record.

Prediction: San Diego (14-2)

Wildcard teams:

King says:

Prediction: Baltimore (9-7), Indianapolis (10-6)

Benji says:

Houston will come close to making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history but will ultimately be beaten out by a revived Jaguars team. David Garrard was one of the most accurate passers in the league last season but did not have a single receiver who could catch the ball. New acquisition Tory Holt, while not the offensive force he was five years ago, has great hands and is a disciplined route runner. The Ravens have a hard-hitting defense, a solid running game and a quarterback that can make accurate downfield throws—they’ll be tough to beat.

Prediction: Jacksonville (10-6), Baltimore (10-6)

NFC Picks:

NFC East:

King says:

Prediction: New York Giants (12-4)

Benji says:

With Brian Westbrook and second receiver Kevin Curtis nursed back to health, the Eagles look to me like an offensive juggernaut. No other team in this division can match up with them defensively, provided everyone stays healthy.

Prediction: Philadelphia (12-4)

NFC North:

King says:

Prediction: Chicago (11-5)

Benji says:

With all of their defensive players and running back Ryan Grant back healthy, the Packers look like the team to beat in this division. Forget all of the hype about Favre and the Vikings—they’ll start off hot with an easy warm-weather schedule, but they’ll ultimately fade down the stretch.

Prediction: Green Bay (13-3)

NFC South:

King says:

Prediction: Atlanta (10-6)

Benji says:

The Falcons got by with a strong offense and an atrocious defense last year, but as the Saints proved, that formula never works in consecutive seasons. The Panthers have not been successful in back-to-back years in recent memory. That leaves the Buccaneers and the Saints. By process of elimination, I’ll take New Orleans but its defense is still going to be shaky. Tampa, after upgrading its quarterback (Byron Leftwich) and running game (Derrick Ward), will be much better than people think it will be, and may make a push for the division title.

Prediction: New Orleans (9-7)

NFC West:

King says:

Prediction: Seattle (9-7)

Benji says:

The Arizona Cardinals’ offense really came into its own during last year’s playoffs and I truly believe that if Kurt Warner stays healthy, this team will run away with the division. That’s a big if though…if Warner goes down, look for Seattle to sneak into the playoffs instead at 8-8.

Prediction: Arizona (10-6)

Wildcard teams:

King says:

Prediction: Minnesota (10-6), Green Bay (10-6)

Benji says:

Now that the Bears finally have a real quarterback (Jay Cutler), they should be a tough team to beat if their defense returns to form. I am still a bit worried about the quality of their receiving corps, though. As for the other wildcard spot, I chose the Giants but I don’t feel very good about this pick. At some point, they need to find a deep threat at wide receiver or teams will just stack the line to stop their running game.

Prediction: New York Giants (9-7), Chicago Bears (10-6)

Playoff Predictions:

Wildcard Round:

King says:

AFC:

Steelers 20, Ravens 17

Colts 26, Texans 13

NFC:

Vikings 30, Seahawks 17

Packers 23, Falcons 20

Benji says:

AFC:

Jaguars 20, Steelers 17

Ravens 19, Colts 16

NFC:

Cardinals 30, Giants 24

Saints 28, Bears 24

Divisional Round:

King says:

AFC:

Patriots 23, Colts 17

Chargers 17, Steelers 16

NFC:

Packers 20, Giants 17

Bears 27, Vikings 25

Benji says:

AFC:

Patriots 23, Ravens 17

Chargers 24, Jaguars 20

NFC:

Eagles 38, Cardinals 31

Packers 30, Saints 24

Championship Round:

King says:

AFC:

Patriots 27, Chargers 20

NFC:

Bears 16, Packers 13

Benji says:

AFC:

Patriots 27, Chargers 24

NFC:

Eagles 26, Packers 20

Super Bowl XLIV:

King says:

Patriots 30, Bears 27

Benji says:

Patriots 29, Eagles 26

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