Last month in Part 1 of our NFL 2013/2014 Predictions series, we here at Sports Unbiased made some predictions regarding who will win each division, the playoffs and the awards in the 2013/2014 NFL Season. This time around, we asked six questions about the NFL and the writers answered them.
The questions are:
Who will be the best team in the AFC in 2013/2014?
Who will be the best team in the NFC in 2013/2014?
Who will be the best QB in the NFL in 2013/2014?
Who will be the best RB in the NFL in 2013/2014?
Who will be the best Defensive player in the NFL in 2013/2014?
What’s going to be the biggest surprise in 2013/2014?
The writers taking part this week are:Rich Stowe, Nate Gerst. Kimani Gregoire. Mike Santangelo. Kureen Paige. Brian Podoll, Wesley Dotson and John Yeomans.
Let’s jump right in with finding out who they think will be the best teams in the AFC and NFC. There are also polls following each question so you can choose as well and don’t forget to comment and let us know if you agree or disagree!
Who will be the best team in the AFC in 2013/2014?
Rich Stowe: The Broncos, with Peyton Manning at the helm of the offfense for the second year, should step it up and be the best team in the AFC in the 2013/2014 season. The AFC is “weak” (at least in comparison to the NFC) and with teams such as the Ravens and Patriots probably going to have a down year (due to pieces missing either because of free agency or criminal activity), the Broncos are clearly the team to beat in the AFC. Even with some key losses, the Broncos should still get at least 12 wins and be the cream of the crop in the AFC come January.
Nate Gerst: I choose the Denver Broncos to be the best team in the AFC in 2013/2014 because of they have a solid team all around. Peyton Manning has had a year to become comfortable with the team, they are stacked at wide receiver, and the offensive line is gelled. On the defensive side, they are still very strong with the help of Von Miller and some new faces to the defense they should be able to stop a lot of teams.
Kimani Gregoire: The Denver Broncos will be the best team in the AFC in 2013/14. Peyton Manning will be an extra year removed from multiple neck surgeries and should be even better than he was last season (one where he was the highest rated QB in the league). The offense which ranked 4th overall last year should be even better with Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas (a stud) and new addition Wes Welker in the slot. The defense is not too shabby either, as they were ranked second overall last season. They are built to play with a lead. They have a premier pass-rusher in Von Miller and their secondary is above-average, lead by the ageless Champ Bailey. With Tom Brady having to integrate rookie receivers into the Patriots offense and the Houston Texans’ defensive struggles against premier quarterbacks, it is tough not to go with Denver.
Mike Santangelo: I think Denver will be the best team in the AFC in 2013/2014 because not only has Peyton Manning had a full season to get over neck injuries and such, he’s also had a full season in the Denver system, a full season with a majority of his skill players, and now he has arguably the best slot receiver in the NFL on his team (apologies to Victor Cruz, who is the other half of that argument). On top of that, the AFC West is not exactly a hotbed of competition. The Chargers and Raiders don’t scare anyone, and while the Chiefs can be good, it doesn’t mean they will be good. With Jamaal Charles already nursing a sore foot, they could end up being pushovers.
Kureen Paige: I choose the Broncos to be the best AFC team in 2013/2014 because they are loaded. With Peyton Manning, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, and Wes Walker on offense they should be hard to stop.
Wesley Dotson: The Denver Broncos will be the best team in the AFC this season because they have surprisingly improved from last year’s team that went 13-3. They have brought in the best slot wide receiver in the game in Wes Welker, which is another key weapon for one of the greatest ever, Peyton Manning. They also drafted rookie running back Montee Ball, who has a chance to make a huge impact. Von Miller had issues earlier this pre-season, but expect him to have another dominant season.
John Yeomans: With the addition of Wes Welker that makes three top notch wide receivers Peyton Manning now has at his disposal. Let’s not forget Denver drafted running back Montee Ball who was a touchdown machine (83 touchdowns NCAA Career Record) at Wisconsin. Elvis Dumervil might be gone but last season’s second ranked defense led by linebacker Von Miller was mostly kept intact and will perform at a high level again this year. The schedule is a little rough in the beginning, with the homecoming game against Indy in week seven being the most intriguing. After the Broncos bye in week 9 its smooth sailing, with the Patriots and Texans being the only 2012 playoff teams in their path. This should help Denver coast to home field advantage for the playoffs.
Brian Podoll: I choose the Houston Texans to be the best team in the AFC in 2013/2014, because I think they have the best offensive balance in Arian Foster and Matt Schaub and a defense led by J.J. Watt, who has not yet reached his ceiling.
Who will be the best team in the AFC for the 2013/2014 season?
- Denver Broncos (68%, 57 Votes)
- Other (20%, 17 Votes)
- Houston Texans (12%, 10 Votes)
Total Voters: 84
Who will be the best team in the NFC in 2013/2014?
Rich Stowe: The Seahawks and their vaunted defense will be the best team in the NFC in 2013/2014. I didn’t pick them to even make the NFC Championship game in our initial predictions (I have the Packers and Giants getting hot in the playoffs) but in the regular season, that defense and Russell Wilson should lead the Seahawks to 13 wins and the best record in the NFC.
Kimani Gregoire: The Seattle Seahawks will be the best team in the NFC in 2013/14. The Seahawks are arguably the most balanced football team in the conference. It starts with their defense which was ranked 4th overall (first in points allowed). Their secondary (Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and company a.ka. “The Legend of Boom”) might be the best in the league. In today’s NFL (a passing league) the Seahawks are loaded with players that can rush the QB like Cliff Avril, Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner). I also expect their offense to improve in Russell Wilson’s second year. Everyone seems caught up with Colin Kaepernick, but Wilson has been just as good – if not better. The loss of Percy Harvin will be a blow, but how can you really miss what you never had? The injury loss of Michael Crabtree for the 49ers is an even bigger deal than that of Harvin.
Nate Gerst: I choose the Atlanta Falcons to be the best team in the NFC in 2013/2014 because their offense is going to be hard to stop. With the addition of Steven Jackson the Falcons now have a legit running back and with Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez threats in the passing game, this team is going to be very hard to defend. On the defensive side they a very average team but average is fine. Their offense will carry them to several victories this year and they shouldn’t find much resistance with an superstars they have.
Kureen Paige: I choose the Falcons to be the best NFC team in 2013/2014 because they have the best receiving group in the NFL. No team sends out there the talent of Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez with a pro bowl quarterback in Matt Ryan throwing to them. The missing piece may have been added this off-season with the free agent pick up of running back Stephen Jackson.
Wesley Dotson: The Atlanta Falcons will be the best team in the NFC this season because they have the best chance to be the most consistent all season in my opinion. They are lucky to get Tony Gonzalez back for another season which will certainly keep the offense high-powered. They have also brought in running back Steven Jackson from the Rams who runs hard and still has some gas left in the tank. Receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones may be the best 1-2 combo in the league, as they both should be on their ways to big seasons. Only question is the offensive line. If it can hold up, watch out for the Falcons to finally get over the hump.
Green Bay Packers
Mike Santangelo: I think Green Bay will be the best team in the NFC in 2013/204 because they may have finally found a running back they can rely on to actually keep defenses honest. We all know Aaron Rodgers, much like Tom Brady, can throw for 17,000 yards with guys who’d barely make your local beer league teams running down the field. What he hasn’t had, ever really, is a real running threat. Eddie Lacy is a real running threat, and even in the NFL he will be a handful for any defender to take down.
Brian Podoll: I choose my home state Green Bay Packers to be the best team in the NFC for 2013/2014, because they may have finally addressed their mediocre running game in drafting Eddie Lacy and this will take the heat of off Aaron Rodgers and make him even more effective. However, the Packer defense under Dom Capers will be on the hot seat.
John Yeomans: Aaron Rodgers has led Green Bay’s high powered offense to success and in the process also earned the right to be in the discussion of all-time greats. Now, with the running back position rejuvenated the team hopefully can rely less on the arm of Rodgers, and go with a more balanced approach. Rising star Randall Cobb is expected to expand his role at wide receiver now that Driver and Jennings are gone. However, he’s not alone on this as the talented James Jones and Jordy Nelson will get more opportunities as well. On defense DC Dom Capers has the players to be great again he just has to find a way to rekindle the magic. Rodgers led this team to an 11-5 record in 2012 without a running game. So why wouldn’t a team that will most likely have better production from the running backs in 2013 improve on last season record?
Who will be the best team in the NFC for the 2013/2014 season?
- Seattle Seahawks (38%, 42 Votes)
- Other (24%, 27 Votes)
- Green Bay Packers (22%, 24 Votes)
- Atlanta Falcons (17%, 19 Votes)
Total Voters: 111