Before I start, this is all injuries aside. I.E. if Aaron Rodgers gets injured, the Packers are going nowhere.
Well, with all that aside, let's start with the NFC
I feel like there are going to be 3 playoff teams out of the NFC North, although the Bears and Lions won't go past the divisional round. Out of the East, I think the Eagles could make a run, but if the chemistry stays the same, the Giants take the east. I think the Eagles will fix their Out of the west, it will be San Francisco but Seattle will give them a run for their money. The south will be the Falcons, but there will be steady improvement from the Panthers and Buccaneers. There is no way Tampa goes 4-12 again. They are too talented of a team for that.
The AFC stays the same it has been for the last 6-7 season. Same teams are dominating that conference. The Patriots, Steelers, and Ravens will once again be top contenders. For the other three teams, I think if Peyton Manning can fit into Denver's system, then they are a legitimate contender. The Texans will make the postseason again as a 4-seed, and the Chiefs are my bold pick to make the playoffs as long as they get average play from Matt Cassel.
Now for the playoffs, my seeds look like this:
Wild Card Round
Bears - 10 49ers - 27
This won't be a very close match-up. The Bears are getting that much older each year on defense. Although their offense will improve, the 49ers have a powerful rushing attack and a aggressive, tenacious defense that can control games. This will be a clear example of San Francisco's defensive prowess.
Lions - 24 Eagles - 31
This will be a much closer game than people would expect. The Lions aren't even close to their peak with their current roster. Their defense led by Ndamukong Suh will terrorize quarterbacks and the combination of Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson will tear up defenses. Don;t worry about the madden curse, Johnson will break it (knock on wood). That being said, I think the eagles are too talented of a team right now to let another disappointing season happen. Eagles will find a way with Michael Vick, their D-Line, and their shutdown corners to win this one.
Steelers - 14 Broncos - 38
Maybe I'm over exaggerating how big of a deal Peyton Manning makes to the Broncos, but Indianapolis went from 10-6 to 2-14. I think if the Broncos can figure out how to incorporate Manning into the system, then the Steelers can;t keep up. we saw what Denver's defense can do to opposing offenses last year, and the Steelers will be no different. The Steelers are getting older like the Bears. This will be a 14-0 game by the end of the first quarter, and won't get much closer after.
Chiefs - 17 Texans - 30
The Texans have a very strong team this year, and it won;t be very fun for the Chiefs defense to stop them. Although the Chiefs have a potent rushing attack led by Jamaal Charles. I think they can be very good defensively with Romeo Crennel at the helm, but the team isn't talented enough yet to make a deep run in the playoffs. Texans have too many weapons and enough defense to get by Kansas City.
Packers - 31 Eagles - 30
This might be the match-up that determines the NFC representative in the super bowl, since both teams are better than both Atlanta and (maybe) San Francisco, although the last could be easily debated. The Eagles have a lot of talent, but if there is one team that can tear apart the Eagles, it's the Packers. The Packers have a great passing attack with Rodgers at the helm, they can pick apart the areas the eagles linebackers cover since that is a below-average group. Packers squeak by on a final-second field goal.
Falcons - 17 49ers - 21
First upset of the postseason happens here. The Falcons are a very strong team, but I think this is a classic case of superior defense trumping superior offense. 49ers roll on.
Texans - 21 Patriots - 24
Not yet for Texan nation. Although the Texans have a very strong offense, their defense, I believe, will be picked apart just enough in this one. The Patriots are too strong with Brady and an improving defense.
Broncos - 20 Ravens - 24
This might be a scripted year for the AFC, although the Ravens defense id getting older by each year, both Reed and Lewis are close to, if not, elite players still in their respective careers. Although the Broncos do have Peyton Manning, not much will go well in this game. I think that Manning will throw 2 picks, 1 for a pick 6, effectively sealing Denver's fate.
49ers - 21 Packers - 20
This is where the Packers lack of a running game will bite them in the ass. The packers will need at least 90-100 yards a game form Starks. If he gives them that in this game, then the Packers advance. I think he won't, (and this is painstakingly hard to say considering I'm a Packer fan), but the 49ers will hang on for another win on the road, going to their first super bowl since 1995.
Ravens - 24 Patriots - 23
I can hear the boos from here, how could the Ravens win when the Patriots beat them last year? Well, I'll tell you why, Brady will throw 3 picks. How about that for a bold prediction? I think the Patriots falter in this game. although they will score 23 points on the Ravens defense, I think this might be a game where the Patriots could get a little overconfident and blow their chance at a super bowl. On top of that, the Patriots lost a huge chunk of their running game in the departure of Banjarvus Green-Ellis. The Ravens will shut down any hint of a running game the Patriots might have, and will finally get over the hump, for their first super bowl appearance since 2000.
49ers - 16 Ravens - 19
This will be a very close game, and the score won't look like a football game score. I predict at least 1 safety in this game. The 49ers lack of quarterback will hurt them here. I know what your saying, like Flacco's any better. But with that statement he made about him being the best quarterback in the league, and everyone criticizing him for that statement, he will have a huge chip on his shoulders. The Ravens should have gotten to the Super Bowl last year if Lee Evans doesn't drop that easy touchdown pass. I think with the dominant running game the Ravens possess, the defense of the 49ers won't match up with the running game. Rice gets 75 yards in this one, uncharacteristic of a Harbaugh-led 49ers defense. Ravens will win the Super Bowl, and Flacco will prove doubters wrong with a solid regular season, a better postseason, and a great Super Bowl Game, making him Super Bowl XLVII MVP.
well, these are my predictions. Everything is debatable, but this is how I see the 2012-2013 season playing out.