NFC 2015 NFL Football Season Predictions, Division Winners

Here we go again, here is our NFC 2015 NFL season predictions, (best case scenario vs. worst case scenario format) for every team. We are on the NFC.  After piling through a ton of NFL off season assessments and after analyzing our comprehensive (782 page) NFL 32-team preseason book, we believe the following is a solid forecast on how things should settle, give or take a game (NFC):

NFL Prediction – NFC EAST (Final seeding: 1. Eagles  2. Cowboys  3. NY Giants  4. Redskins)

NFC EAST
1. Philadelphia
Best Case Scenario: Head coach Chip Kelly is poised to have this team vie for a deep post season run thanks to off season acquisitions. This could very well be an 11-win team when all is said and done. This team looks solid on both defense and offense and if QB Sam Bradford proves to be the vital missing component to the Eagles offense, look for this team to go places in 2015 as division champs and beyond but…
Worst Case Scenario: Sam Bradford could very well be a failure on arrival and offseason acquisitions do not pan out for Chip Kelly in another failed year.

2. Dallas
Best Case Scenario: All the weapons are in place in both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. We do project a postseason run for the ‘Boys, a potential deep one at that. This will be a 9-win WildCard team, but…
Worst Case Scenario: Early in the offseason, QB Tony Romo predicted the Cowboys to make it to the Super Bowl and coupled with the Greg Hardy acquisition, bad luck karma may be in store. This Cowboys team may end up being a .500 team led by an equally over rated coach in Jason Garrett.

3. NY Giants
Best Case Scenario: QB Eli Manning needs to have an improved season and solidify himself as the bonafide NY Giants starter for seasons to come. The NY Giants could potentially make a strong playoff run and if not, a “mathematical” WildCard berth is not out of the question with 8-wins.
Worst Case Scenario: The injury bug returns to claim another 20 something players, (last season – 22 injuries). The defense remains inconsistent and coach Tom Coughlin is finally fired after a dismal 4 or 5-win campaign.

4. Washington
Best Case Scenario: A playoff berth seems to be a bit of a stretch, but a couple of moral victory outcomes (if those even exist) may help this team in the form of a 5 or 6-win season.
Worst Case Scenario: The quarterback position continues to be a disaster and the Redskins continue to remain the division’s cellar dweller with loads of work to do in 2016.

NFL Prediction – NFC WEST (Final Seeding 1. Cardinals  2. Seahawks  3. Rams  4. 49ers)

NFC West
1. Arizona
Best Case Scenario: The Cardinals avoid injuries and become a legit threat to contend for deep postseason play and attain 10 or 11-wins for their efforts.  Heck, Bruce Arians may be #1 in coach-of-the-year balloting too, but..
Worst Case Scenario: The Cardinals fail to get it together with QB Carson Palmer sub standard play and injuries decimate this team to give them a .500 season.

2. Seattle
Best Case Scenario: The Seahawks are poised to make another deep postseason run as last year’s gaffe in the final seconds of the Super Bowl is but a memory. With the addition of TE Jimmy Graham, the Seahawks should be a Top 5 offense in both rushing and passing the ball. This is an 10-win team here but…
Worst Case Scenario: Seattle’s defense and offense will be only as good as the healthy personnel that support it and injuries could come to plague team. If head coach Pete Carroll did not learn from prior play-calling mistakes, then play calling with be this team’s undoing for a postseason early exit.

3. St. Louis
Best Case Scenario: The Rams have an improved season led by a formidable defense and a capable QB in Nick Foles which helps them to finally crack post season contention in a WildCard capacity. We certainly could see this team getting 8 wins this season, especially as a Dark Horse sleeper team, but…
Worst Case Scenario: The Rams under-perform and fail to make the postseason thanks to a miserable campaign ending with 9-losses or more.

4. San Francisco
Best Case Scenario: Enter new head coach Jim Tomsula to take over for ousted Jim Harbaugh and the Niners should have what it takes to make post season. This is an 8-win mathematical WildCard team at best and coach Tomsula would be so deserving (an awesome good guy) but…
Worst Case Scenario: The Niners continue to rebuild with a valiant first year under Tomsula.

NFL Prediction – NFC NORTH (Final Seeding: 1. Packers  2. Lions  3. Vikings  4. Bears)

NFC North
1. Green Bay
Best Case Scenario: This is an 11-win team, even with the absence of WR Jordy Nelson. If the Packers could add ferocity to their 2015 campaign, this could be a Super Bowl finalist but…
Worst Case Scenario: They need to get over the lingering sting of last season’s playoff loss to the Seahawks and not fall prey to the injury bug or this is an 8 or 9-win team at best.

2. Detroit
Best Case Scenario: Detroit has what it takes to be a formidable scoring team thanks to one of the best offenses in the NFL. We believe this is a 9-win team and the Lions clinch another postseason spot but…
Worst Case Scenario: The departure of key defensive personnel may put this team in the hole early and with a hole to deep to get out from.. and the Lions fall to the NFC North’s basement.

3. Minnesota
Best Case Scenario: See our post on Adrian Peterson. With an improved defense and a Norv Turner offense, Teddy Bridgewater has all the offensive weapons to make the Vikings a viable contender and potentially an 8-win mathematical WildCard team but…
Worst Case Scenario: Peterson is a bust and Bridgewater is over rated leading the under-performing Vikings to a failed regular season effort.

4. Chicago
Best Case Scenario: QB Jay Cutler is back with an new supporting cast to give the Bears a worthy offensive air and ground attack. Coach John Fox is no stranger to postseason contention, and the Bears should get in with an 8-win campaign but…
Worst Case Scenario: A total top to bottom rebuild is required as the Bears finish with a 5 or 6-win effort and look to 2016.

Prediction – NFC SOUTH (Final Seeding: 1. Saints  2. Buccaneers  3. Panthers  4. Falcons

NFC South
1. New Orleans
Best Case Scenario: QB Drew Brees and Head Coach Sean Payton still have lots of fuel in the tank as a tandem. If the defense improves (as planned) and the offense continues to be tops, then this is a division winning team with 10-wins but…
Worst Case Scenario: All the changes in the offense and a defense that has not improved – makes this a team that will be lucky if they secure a WildCard berth with 9-wins or less.

2. Tampa Bay:
Best Case Scenario: All eyes are on new QB Jameis Winston who has a capable supporting cast to throw to and if the defense could hold the fort then this should be a .500 (or better) sleeper team with 8 wins or more, but…
Worst Case Scenario: This could be a work in progress for the new quarterback and the defense for which a .500 season could be in order and a further rebuild in 2016.

3. Carolina
Best Case Scenario: The Panthers are a viable post season contender, although the loss of WR Kelvin Benjamin does not help. QB Cam Newton has plenty of weapons to work with while the Panthers should have a formidable defense to stay in division contention all season long with an 8-win record but…
Worst Case Scenario: The Panthers inability to make offseason improvements might be their undoing in a failed postseason bid.

4. Atlanta
Best Case Scenario: A positive change on the defensive end with the arrival of new head coach Dan Quinn. Although many pundits have Atlanta winning the division, we have them looking at a .500 season and a possible WildCard entry but…
Worst Case Scenario: This team is theoretically in rebuilding mode and could be cementing the building blocks towards an even better 2016 season.

See you at SafePicks.com!

2014 Bold NFL Power Rankings, Forecasts and Predictions By SafePicks

It’s that time of year again as NFL experts, prognosticators, and the so called pundits all over the NFL landscape debate and conclude their respective 2014 NFL Power Rankings with NFL Regular season kickoff quickly approaching. At the end of the day, this is only our preliminary power rankings and anything can and will happen in the NFL. But when you’re SafePicks.com, enjoying success year in and year out, then hopefully we have put together a nice piece here.  

Although these power rankings are open to debate, one could easily make a case for half the NFL teams this year to win the Super Bowl. Rating each NFL team from one to 32 based on their chances of becoming Super Bowl champions is no easy task when you account for a ton of varying factors. SafePicks.com experts got together last week, assessed offseason acquisitions & changes, examined 2013 performance, forecasted 2014 performance, and finalized some season-ending predictions to come up with these “preseason” NFL Power Rankings. Vegas odds are subject to change, obviously. Comment at your own will.  Our money would be on any of the top 7-8 teams to win the Super Bowl in these rankings:  

1. Seattle Seahawks (Vegas odds: 6-1) – As with most Super Bowl Champions, one has to consider the “repeat” factor for a talent-rich team like this one. This should be the team to beat. They’re not the all-out favorites, but how can we not like Seattle’s chances of repeating? The Seahawks lost some players this offseason, while securing several key members of the defense. This team has a legit chance of repeating as champions in 2014.

2. New Orleans Saints (Vegas odds: 17-1) – Don’t look now, but the Saints are serious contenders once again. The Saints were one Seahawks team away from NFC championship success. But head coach Sean Payton made a bevvy of notes and followed up with some major defensive changes (upgrades) this offseason. These offseason changes could prove to be so potentially fruitful for the Saints – that they could possibly take the No. 1 seed in the NFC, making sure the playoffs go through the Superdome this time around in 2014. Their offense needs no introduction, coupled with the defense, the Saints (and Seahawks) will almost be a ‘sure thing’ week in and week out this coming NFL season.

3. Denver Broncos (Vegas odds: 6-1) – Yes, as we predicted successfully at SafePicks.com, the Super Bowl would be an utter disaster for the Broncos. But there’s a compelling case to be made that the Broncos simply had a bad day right? Some key departures from the team might have a negative impact.  However, with a re-loaded defense, then Peyton Manning back for another year, and a chip on the team’s shoulder, there’s a reason Denver’s one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. However, we’re not buying into the offseason hype just yet – and Manning is not getting any younger. Still, Denver could potentially deliver some good regular season results. We like this team situated here at number three. ‎

4. San Francisco 49ers (Vegas odds: 8-1) – The Niners where a couple of plays short of being defending back-to-back champions. Aside from some minor personnel issues, this team looks pretty good still – but maybe not as formidable as last season. Coach Jim Harbaugh reportedly wants to be paid like a guy who has won a Super Bowl? Some of the post season hoopla has gone to his head and he is now a year and a few months away from becoming a free agent. Meanwhile we believe QB Kaepernick is overpaid and slightly over-rated, and we feel that right now, the fourth spot in these rankings is best suited for the Niners heading into 2014 NFL season. This team should surely make a fourth straight playoff appearance regardless. The jury is still out though on whether or not this is a Super Bowl team.

5. New England Patriots (Vegas odds: 10-1) – They’ve been so close so many times the last several years, it would not shock anyone if this is the season New England ends up back on top. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have to win one more before it’s all said and done, it’s this duo that keeps this team in the thick of things year in and year out. Belichick should have the right mix on defense to be viable contenders once again. On paper, this team should be able to hit the 10-win mark as sure favorites to win the division.

6. Green Bay Packers (Vegas odds: 14-1) – Aaron Rodgers must stay healthy for the Packers to have a fighting chance at success. The Packers nearly knocked off the Niners in the playoffs a season ago, and if Aaron Rodgers doesn’t get hurt in the regular season, they would have landed a better seed in the NFC playoffs, avoiding such a match-up altogether. Rodgers must play all of 2014 and the Packers would not be such a bad bet to win it all – if they can handle the other NFC contenders. There is a little uncertainty on the defensive side, but all in all, this would be the right spot to place the Pack.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (Vegas odds: 30-1) – Yes, we might get some flack on this one from our Dallas fans, but the numbers tell us a lot about this team, and especially with the quarterback for this team. Nick Foles is arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL that has yet to receive his due. If he and Chip Kelly can continue to lead the Eagles to big time success on offense, the defense might have just enough for the Eagles to take it to the next level. Do not count these birds out of a conference top spot.

8. Indianapolis Colts (Vegas odds: 25-1) – Quarterback Andrew Luck was able to win a playoff game a season ago and the next step is for him to lead the Colts on a deep postseason run in his third season. The Colts will play in a division that is unsettled at best, they should easily own the top spot in the AFC South barring a calamitous injury. Depth has been added to an already good team and winning 11 games each of the last two years has Colts fans with heightened expectations. Let’s see if the Colts can take things to the next level.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Vegas odds: 32-1) – The Bengals have done absolutely nothing to inspire confidence in the playoffs over the last three years. However, the Bengals’ defense is one of the league’s best, (only Seattle gave up less yards per play). The Bengals have the defense, now they need the offense to hold up its end of the bargain, behind $96 million dollar man, quarterback Andy Dalton. He is durable and productive – but turnover-prone. His play must improve for the Bengals to have a fighting chance.

10. Chicago Bears (Vegas odds: 25-1) – The duo of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall are both ready to prove their offense has what it takes to win in the postseason, while Alshon Jeffery could be the next Calvin Johnson. A few defensive issues needs to be resolved. But if the Bears can get hot at the right time this year, avoid the injury bug, and if they can handle the Packers in division play, they can absolutely make it to the NFC championship game and beyond.

11. Atlanta Falcons (Vegas odds: 52-1) – This spot might seem a bit low, yes. But a healthy Falcons team was a play or two away from going to the big game the season before last. Don’t sleep on Atlanta’s trio of stars in Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White, it’s not too hard to envision them having a solid chance in the NFC South. The Falcons will shift to more of a 3-4 defense this season and this might make the difference for a Mike Smith led Falcons team desperate to go deep in the playoffs.

12. San Diego Chargers (Vegas odds: 50-1) – The Chargers have been rejuvenated by Mike McCoy and there are a lot of reasons to like San Diego starting with quarterback Phillip Rivers. The 2013 Chargers earned the AFC’s final wild card berth on the final day of the regular season, and were they ever the definition of a wild card. It was a successful first season for Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, who oversaw a club that always seemed to give itself a chance to win.

13. Arizona Cardinals (Vegas odds: 50-1) – If they can steal a game in San Francisco or Seattle and bump one of those two down in the NFC West standings, the Cardinals are potentially a major dark horse. Plus, if they make it to the Super Bowl, it will be a home game – the first in NFL history. The Cardinals have a sufficiently capable defense, they need a consistent defense to have even a chance with the likes of the Niners and Seahawks to contend with in the NFC West.

14. Carolina Panthers (Vegas odds: 40-1) – The Seahawks won a title with an elite defense a season ago, so why can’t the Panthers do it as well? Some would argue that Cam Newton (who is quickly approaching his contract renewal talks) might be a better QB than Russell Wilson. Ron Rivera loves to silence his doubters, like we all saw last season, but the Panthers will be fighting in a very tough NFC South division.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (Vegas odds: 32-1) – Big Ben’s already won two, so he knows how to get it done in January and February. Wouldn’t it be fitting for the Steelers to get their third title in the last nine years when no one’s really talking about them anymore? The Steelers have missed the playoffs for two straight seasons under coach Mike Tomlin. While no one has sounded the alarm just yet, another less-than-stellar campaign from the Steelers might potentially instigate a new chapter of change in Pittsburgh.

16. New York Giants (Vegas odds: 40-1) – The Giants could absolutely come out of nowhere and win their third title in recent history. There have been some magical runs on the way to two Super Bowl titles for the Giants under coach Tom Coughlin. With a little help from defense and special teams, we have to believe that if the Giants’ offense, along with both Eli Manning and Victor Cruz, can have success – this could potentially prime New York for one more run at the ultimate prize. They will be in tough against division foes like the Eagles though. The Giants have the potential to be real contenders though.

17. Kansas City Chiefs (Vegas odds: 50-1) – Fresh off an all-time playoff collapse and a brutal offseason that saw their roster get gouged, it’s easy to be down on the Chiefs going into 2014.  However, head coach Andy Reid has a ton of experience as a playoff coach, but we don’t envision Kansas City playing postseason football this year. The Chiefs provided sound & stout play on their way to a wild card berth. However, the Chiefs had peaked early. They won just two of their final eight games, including a 45-44 playoff loss at Indianapolis marked by Kansas City blowing a 28-point third-quarter lead. In the end, the Chiefs fit here in our NFL power ranking structure. The Chiefs were 10-0 against clubs who missed the postseason but just 1-6 against playoff teams, something that will need to get fixed if the Chiefs are to have any chance.

18. Buffalo Bills (Vegas odds: 75-1) – We’re optimistic this season for the Bills.  Mind you, going from 6-10 last season to 10-6 this season requires lots of help, talent, and luck. But with all the tough luck the Bills have had recently, maybe they’ll catch a break in 2014?  We actually are leaning towards believing so.  We think fans would be happy with a .500 year, as a deep playoff run would shatter all expectations but anything can happen in the NFL. With a new owner coming on board soon, there is lots of pressure on this team to find success, from the top on down.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Vegas odds: 75-1) – The Bucs quietly got a ton better over the last few months, and Lovie Smith has a plethora of playoff coaching experience, but Tampa Bay winning it all is tough to truly see.  Unless quarterback Josh McCown proves he should have been an All-Pro over the years, it might not be happening.  But we do believe that Lovie brings a sense of stability and brand back for the Bucs. This team could surprise many this season, so conservatively, we like this generous spot in our rankings.

20. Dallas Cowboys (Vegas odds: 48-1) – With all the Tony Romo jokes and punch lines, it’s easy to forget the QB has talent – but recent back surgery and other ailments might have decreased his stock value. Dallas has found so many crazy ways to lose over the last handful of years, maybe 2014 is finally the season it all comes together for Dallas?  Doubtful. They will need lots of help in the NFC East and as long as Jerry Jones is the head man, any Cowboys progress will likely be hindered. On paper, this is simply not a great team, let alone a good enough team to make the playoffs.

21. Detroit Lions (Vegas odds: 40-1) – Maybe a change at the head coaching position was what the Lions needed to take the next step. Jim Caldwell didn’t have a ton of playoff success in Indy, but he’s a coach who knows how to win football games. This roster is full of talented players. But we’re taking a wait and see approach in a division that will see the Bears and Packers vying for the division crown.

22. Miami Dolphins (Vegas odds: 50-1) – If absolutely everything went right for the Dolphins, with a new GM and hopefully a new locker room culture, they could make a run at a title. The problem is that quarterback Ryan Tannehill is going to have to take a major step forward, something we’re not convinced will happen. He is entering this season with 32 starts, 15 wins, and a 79.1 QB rating, time for Tannehill to produce or else.

23. St. Louis Rams (Vegas odds: 50-1) – Making the playoffs is going to be a very difficult task. The Rams’ most likely chance would be to finish third in the NFC West, steal a No. 6 seed, and go on a fairy tale playoff run. Anything can and will happen in the NFL right?  But overall, the Rams will need lots of help to get into the post season.  Stranger things have happened in the NFL though. ‎The Rams should have the best defensive end tandem in the league (Robert Quinn and Chris Long). There is no need to review coach Jeff Fisher’s resume, while bringing back Greg Williams to run the Rams’ defense might just be what the doctor ordered for the the team along with this coaching duo (as we reflect back on the ol’ Titans days).

24. New York Jets (Vegas odds: 70-1) – We’re not convinced the quarterbacks on this roster will take the NY Jets to the promise land, that and playing in a division owned by the Pats, makes us place the NY Jets somewhere in this area code. Sorry Jets fans, just going with what the sheets tell us. Let’s wait and see.

25. Cleveland Browns (Vegas odds: 70-1) – He’s been the talk of the offseason recently; and wouldn’t it be fitting for Johnny Football (Johnny Manziel) to make the Browns football relevant again with a crazy run to an AFC North title?  The Hoyer/Manziel quarterback battle is not over yet mind you. We’re not betting on a big playoff run, but the Browns have enough talent to warrant such a conversation and a 25th spot here.

26. Baltimore Ravens (Vegas odds: 40-1) – Some will probably hate our assessment here.  But things just look different for Baltimore, a team that has already lost so much talent from their Super Bowl team of 2012.  With so much turnover effect still being felt, our faith in Baltimore and ultimately quarterback Joe Flacco is not very high.  The Ravens failed to make the playoffs last year and they’re facing a degree of transition thanks to last year’s post-Super Bowl retirements and free-agency defections. Some of the offseason behavior from Flacco, with his typical nonchalant ways, was concerning too.

27. Tennessee Titans (Vegas odds: 90-1) – The Titans will need a lot of things to come together to make a playoff run. Former coach Munchak posted a 6-12 record, in three seasons, against division opponents. That record must change for the Titans to have a chance.  New head coach Ken Whisenhunt might succeed eventually in Tennessee, but this year it’s not going to happen, at least not in our books.  As well, quarterback Jake Locker is in a make or break season. If Locker plays well and the newly installed defense can play with consistency, maybe the Titans become division contenders? Let’s see.

28. Houston Texans (Vegas odds: 60-1) – The Texans are an intriguing pick, as J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney should be one of the top defensive duos in the league, no question.  Also, let’s not forget Houston was nearly the No. 1 seed in the AFC in 2012 before a late season collapse.  Still, a ton of questions at quarterback remain and it will probably doom this team from the get go.  Simply put, a lack of a superior quarterback will hold most teams back.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (Vegas odds: 250-1) – There’s no doubt they had a really good draft and Gus Bradley has his team trending in the right direction – but there’s a reason Jacksonville is the biggest long-shot to win the Super Bowl.  But based on our assessment only, this is the right place for the Jaguars as they continue on rebuilding for a couple more seasons to come.  However, do not be too shocked if this team finishes at .500, because we won’t be.  Read our prior post, remember Blake Bortles, we assessed his credentials back in June, this guy will be the real deal if he (and likely will)‎ gets the nod for the Jags.

30. Washington Redskins (Vegas odds: 55-1) – What the Redskins do this season is all dependent on one person, that would be RG3. If Robert Griffin III plays at his Baylor / 2012 level again, the Redskins will remain a viable contender. Mind you, his backup (Cousins) is a good quarterback too. Realistically, this team will be finishing in the 5-11 to 8-8 range.

31. Oakland Raiders (Vegas odds: 155-1) – The Raiders actually got a little bit better over the last three months without a lot of people noticing.  While they won’t win the Super Bowl in 2014, we don’t doubt they’ll be a much improved football team, but how much improved remains to be seen.  Some veteran additions to the roster should help steer the team in the right direction, but for now, that’s about all we expect this season and a 31st spot on our preseason rankings.

32. Minnesota Vikings (Vegas odds: 120-1) – Without a true franchise quarterback, and unless Adrian Peterson rushes for 2,500 yards (not happening), the Vikings simply are not going to make the playoffs, let alone win the Super Bowl. There’s an all- out re-build process going on in Minnesota, and maybe when the city hosts the game in 2018, they’ll be closer to winning it? Let’s see. For now, we will put the Vikes in this spot, lucky to make. 500.

Go to SafePicks.com to see our over 11 years of success and to find out who we predict to win it all in the 2014 NFL season!  

SafePicks 2013-2014 – NFL Divisional Playoffs – Saints @ Seahawks – Preview And Prediction

New Orleans @ Seattle -8:  CenturyLink Field will be the venue for this NFC Divisional playoff matchup, when the Seahawks welcome the Saints.  The No. 6 seed 11-5 Saints head to the North West to take on the No 1 seed 13-3 Seahawks in this Divisional Round playoff.  While the Seahawks enjoyed an extra week of rest and preparation, the Saints recorded their first ever road victory in the post-season last Saturday evening as they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 26-24.  Ironically, the last time these two teams met was during week 13 of the regular-season, and once again the Seahawks had the extra time to prepare.  Seattle produced a dominate performance following their bye week to emerge 34-7 victors.  Away from the familiar setting and home comforts of the Superdome, Drew Brees has encountered a few difficulties, throwing nine interceptions and 12 touchdowns, compared to the three interceptions and 27 touchdowns at home. In week 13, the Seahawks’ formidable defense held Brees to 147 yards. It was the first time since 2010 that Brees had failed to register over 200 yards passing in a game.  The Saints might well be tempted to once again incorporate the running attack into their game plan, after both Mark Ingram and Khirry Robinson averaged over 5.4 yards per carry against the Eagles. Darren Sproles was targeted seven times, reeling in four passes for 31 yards. Pierre Thomas missed the Eagles game and is once again listed as questionable this weekend.  Wideout Robert Meachem could also find himself centre stage, as he’ll look to expose any holes within the coverage as the Seahawks will most likely focus their attention on the physical presence of tight end Jimmy Graham and the explosive Marques Colston. With Colston and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman matched physically and with both listed at over 6’3″  it promises to be enthralling contest between the two.  The Saints defense, minus the talent of rookie safety Kenny Vacarro (ankle), faces potentially another huge blow as standout cornerback Keenan Lewis is listed as questionable (but he stated he expects to play).  With this in mind the Saints will require a momentous effort from defensive end Cameron Jordon, who has 12.5 sacks this season, as they try to prevent Russell Wilson from establishing himself.  Running back Marshawn Lynch will be looking to improve on his figures when the two teams met back in week 13 when he was held to just 45 yards. Despite an impressive average of 4.2 yards per carry, Lynch has been held to under 50 rushing yards four times during the regular-season.  One criticism of the Seahawks is the lack of game-changing talent in the receiving core outside of Percy Harvin. With Harvin listed as doubtful, expect the Seahawks to expose the Saints’ inability to contain opposing tight ends. Zach Miller caught five passes for 86 yards and a touchdown last time out against the Saints.   Wilson has only tasted defeat once at CenturyLink Field during his first two years in the league. During that period, Wilson has thrown 31 touchdowns, rushed for two touchdowns and thrown just seven Interceptions. His best attribute is the ability the keep plays alive with his legs, while maintaining his eyes down-field before delivering an accurate pass.    While the Seahawks secondary gains most of the praise, the linebacking group should not be under estimated.  Bobby Wagner, KJ Wagner and Malcolm Smith have amassed 254 tackles and four interceptions.  The stadium in Seattle is so loud it actually registers on the richter scale at the University of Washington geology department when the crowd gets into the game. To go up there and beat the Seahawks is going to be a tall task for anybody throughout the play-offs.  The Saints are 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games in January and the Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win.  The Saints are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following an SU win and the Saints are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games.  The Saints are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games versus a team with a winning home record.  The Seahawks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games versus a team with a winning road record.  The Seahawks are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in their previous game.  The Seahawks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. The Seahawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win.  The Seahawks are 12-3 ATS versus a team with a winning record and the Seahawks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff home games. The Seahawks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 playoff games in January.  The Seahawks are 35-17-1 ATS in their last 53 games overall.  The Favorite and the Home team are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings between these two teams.  The Saints are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 meetings versus the Seahawks.  The computer gives the Seahawks a 9 pt edge in this contest.  This is not just a rematch of Week 13’s Monday night shellacking, it’s also the three-year anniversary of Marshawn Lynch’s famous monster run against the Saints in the playoffs.  The Saints struggled mightily on the road during the regular season, with all five of their losses coming away from the Superdome.  The Seahawks’ defense should be a stiffer challenge, however.  Seattle relinquishes 101.6 yards rushing per game, and has allowed a league-low four touchdowns on the ground this season.   We’ve also learned that the officiating crew will be watching this game closely, especially Seahawks’s defenders, for borderline or dirty plays that have gone undetected in the regular season.  The Seahawks defense can create some matchup issues for the Saints up front, there is no question about it.  But we expect New Orleans to slow down the Seattle pass rush with Mark Ingram and the running game to control the upbeat Brees tempo.  Expect coach Payton to use the tape from their first meeting to pull off the upset here or at least keep things interestingly close.  And let’s not forget, Sean Payton is one of the best strategists in the NFL, and no team plays better with a chip on its shoulder than the Saints. There’s no way New Orleans, which was embarrassed in Week 13 in Seattle, is going to get manhandled again.  Plus, the Saints have momentum coming off a road win versus the red-hot Eagles.  And the Seahawks were defeated on their home turf in Week 16 by the lesser Cardinals recently.  So we will put up a red flag here in favor of the Saints.  We will take the Saints with the points in what we expect to be a closer game than meets the eye.  We will also have a small play on the Over.  Seattle 27, New Orleans 23 

ALERT! 2013 NFL Fantasy Football Breakout & Sleeper Candidates, Top 10 Picks By SafePicks.com

ALERT! 2013 NFL Fantasy Football Breakout & Sleeper Picks are out!  A little edge in NFL Fantasy Football always helps us at SafePicks.com!  With another exciting season of NFL Fantasy Football quickly approaching for us – the time has come to look at our Top 10, 2013 NFL Fantasy Football Breakout & Sleeper picks!  The team at SafePicks.com takes great pride in finishing tops in the last few years, both in NFL Fantasy Football (regular season and in playoffs).  The method to the madness is simple, at the SafePicks.com Website: we prognosticate and project well, we do so for a modest but hard-earned living!  This has translated into solid NFL Fantasy Football decisions for us.  Actually, half the battle in NFL Fantasy Football, aside from what all the pundits tell you, is a little knowing.  We especially love leveraging any edge to help us succeed in NFL Fantasy Football and our ‘extra-curricular’ NFL betting activities.  Although past success is never an indication of future success, we will stick with our program, (it has helped us to finish tops in the last five years) so why stop now?  SafePicks.com success is built on going with what works!

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2013 NFL Fantasy Football Tips, Picks, Rankings And More..

2013 NFL Fantasy Football Tips, Picks, Rankings and More… By SafePicks.com

We’re about two months away from the 2013 NFL football season!  Bring it on!  Because we’re freaking fired up and ready for kick off of the 2013 NFL football season now!   We’re also edging closer to another awesome season of NFL fantasy football!   You just got to love NFL fantasy football!   Heck yeah, we do!!   Although, by no means are we the authority for NFL fantasy football, no.  But I think we know a thing or two about it?  Okay, you see, I can tell you in the last five years, we at SafePicks.com have participated in NFL fantasy football leagues often.  In fact, our team has been ‘good enough’ to finish in the top four in each of those five years:  finishing as champions twice, second twice, and third once.  Then, in the last four NFL fantasy playoffs we participated in, we finished 1st place twice, then 2nd twice!
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2013 NFL… And The 2013 Saints!

We return yet again for our 11th year of NFL and NCAAF picks and predictions at SafePicks.com.  Safepicks is also posting here, this being my first blog post!  Now I’m an amateur writer here… so please avoid any high expectations here and excuse any errors you might find.  I’ll do my best to convey my message correctly otherwise.
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