Less than 2 weeks from the Hall of Fame game, lets take a quick look at the divisions and see who may be our playoff teams in 2009.
First, the teams who finished with double digit losses last season...
Detroit should definitely get some W's this year. I like the veterans they got on their lines (Big Grady/Jansen), picked up Stafford and Pettigrew in the draft, and re-hauled their receivers and signed Phillip Buchanan. Prediction - 5-11
St Louis did little to improve themselves and now all of a sudden don't have a #1 receiver (Donnie Avery?). Their OL is still atrocious and they will waste another year of having a stud like Steven Jackson. Prediction - 3-13
Kansas City is still several years away and will soon find out Matt Cassel is not the answer. Their defense should be one of the league's worst and that should net them the top pick in next year's draft. Prediction - 3-13
Cleveland has a new coach and still has not figured out what QB they should go with. Look for Quinn to be the guy, but he lacks a running game or a receiving core to be very effective. The D has added some depth at LB, but Cleveland will continue to struggle. Prediction - 5-11
Seattle finally has a healthy Hasselbeck and has given him TJ Housh as help. Struggling mightily with offensive injuries last year, Seattle looks to have improved. Aaron Curry at LB and signing Ken Lucas to shore up the secondary were excellent moves. Look for them to contend in a weak division. Prediction - 9-7
Cincinnati also looks better on both sides of the ball. Their top 4 draft picks should all contribute (Andre Smith, Rey Maualuga, Michael Johnson, Chase Coffman) and Laveraneus Coles will help offset the loss of TJ. Roy Williams will improve the secondary and if Carson Palmer is healthy, they could have a winning record. Prediction - 10-6.
Oakland's franchise is in the tank. They whiffed in the draft and brought in Jeff Garcia when they already have one of the leagues highest paid players at the same position. They have some players on D and need Heyward-Bay to be electric right away. If Russell plays well, they could win 6 or 7. Prediction - 4-12.
Jacksonville learned what UGA learned last season. It is very hard to be consistent when your OL is decimated by injuries. The Jags have revamped their OL and signed Torry Holt as another receiving option for Garrard. They need to be great on D to sniff a winning season. Prediction - 8-8.
Green Bay should be better on D this year by adding Dom Capers to run the show. They also drafted BJ Raji to help the transition to a 3-4 defense. Clay Matthews could also help at LB. This team could surprise and win 10+, but I think there are still too many issues. Prediction - 7-9.
The two 7-9 teams...
San Francisco will continue to struggle to get back to the playoffs until they get consistent work from a QB. Alex Smith has one more shot to get it done, but Shaun Hill helped Mike Singletary get his job, so he may be loyal to him first. They have some good weapons in the passing game with Mike Crabtree now on board. But, both lines are still an issue. Prediction - 4-12.
Buffalo has some nice pieces on D and added TO to line up with Lee Evans at WR. If they can stop people and get to the QB, they may be improved. Hard to depend on Marshawn Lynch, though. Prediction - 8-8.
Coming up later today, the .500 teams and winning squads from last season...