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2009 NFL Season Preview:
Playoff Predictions and Regular Season Results


2009 NFL Regular Season Standings
* - Wildcard berth
Vikings No. 6 seed over Redskins based on conference record
Patriots No. 1 seed; Colts No. 2 seed based on head-to-head
Chargers No. 3 seed; Steelers No. 4 seed based on head-to-head
Texans No. 5 seed; Ravens No. 6 seed based on common opponents


NFC East
Record
NFC North
Record
NFC South
Record
NFC West
Record
13-3
11-5
10-6
9-7
11-5
10-6
9-7
8-8
10-6
8-8
8-8
6-10
6-10
3-13
2-14
4-12


AFC East
Record
AFC North
Record
AFC South
Record
AFC West
Record
13-3
12-4
13-3
12-4
6-10
11-5
11-5
5-11
5-11
10-6
8-8
4-12
5-11
2-14
7-9
3-13


2009 NFL Regular Season Results
Home team in CAPS

These were used to determine my projected records above when I compiled my 2009 NFL Season Previews individually.


Week 1:
Thursday, Sept. 10
STEELERS 24, Titans 14

Sunday, Sept. 13
BENGALS 38, Broncos 24
Vikings 23, BROWNS 10
BUCCANEERS 27, Cowboys 24
CARDINALS 27, 49ers 24
COLTS 24, Jaguars 20
FALCONS 31, Dolphins 17
GIANTS 20, Redskins 10
Bears 27, PACKERS 24
Eagles 24, PANTHERS 17
RAVENS 27, Chiefs 0
SAINTS 31, Lions 24
SEAHAWKS 31, Rams 14
TEXANS 23, Jets 10

Monday, Sept. 14
PATRIOTS 45, Bills 17
Chargers 34, RAIDERS 17


Week 2:
Sunday, Sept. 20
49ERS 24, Seahawks 17
BEARS 17, Steelers 13
BILLS 35, Buccaneers 28
BRONCOS 38, Browns 31
CHARGERS 20, Ravens 17
Raiders 20, CHIEFS 10
Giants 31, COWBOYS 17
Saints 24, EAGLES 20
FALCONS 34, Panthers 24
JAGUARS 30, Cardinals 27
Patriots 27, JETS 10
Vikings 17, LIONS 15
PACKERS 30, Bengals 23
REDSKINS 24, Rams 23
TITANS 20, Texans 17

Monday, Sept. 21
Colts 31, DOLPHINS 17


Week 3:
Sunday, Sept. 27
Steelers 17, BENGALS 16
Saints 27, BILLS 20
Giants 34, BUCCANEERS 7
Colts 38, CARDINALS 21
CHARGERS 34, Dolphins 21
EAGLES 44, Chiefs 3
Titans 13, JETS 10
Redskins 24, LIONS 10
PATRIOTS 34, Falcons 30
RAIDERS 24, Broncos 10
RAVENS 27, Browns 0
Packers 31, RAMS 21
SEAHAWKS 24, Bears 23
TEXANS 27, Jaguars 24
VIKINGS 26, 49ers 20

Monday, Sept. 28
Panthers 27, COWBOYS 20


Week 4:
Sunday, Oct. 4
49ERS 27, Rams 17
BEARS 33, Lions 3
Bengals 34, BROWNS 10
COLTS 37, Seahawks 17
Cowboys 44, BRONCOS 21
DOLPHINS 24, Bills 20
Giants 38, CHIEFS 17
JAGUARS 24, Titans 17
PATRIOTS 30, Ravens 20
REDSKINS 24, Buccaneers 16
SAINTS 24, Jets 20
Chargers 28, STEELERS 24
TEXANS 27, Raiders 20

Monday, Oct. 5
VIKINGS 22, Packers 20


Week 5:
Sunday, Oct. 11
49ERS 27, Falcons 24
BILLS 24, Browns 16
Patriots 52, BRONCOS 25
Texans 24, CARDINALS 20
Cowboys 37, CHIEFS 27
EAGLES 56, Buccaneers 17
GIANTS 23, Raiders 20
Steelers 34, LIONS 10
PANTHERS 17, Redskins 13
RAMS 24, Vikings 20
Bengals 13, RAVENS 12
SEAHAWKS 20, Jaguars 19
Colts 31, TITANS 10

Monday, Oct. 12
DOLPHINS 13, Jets 10


Week 6:
Sunday, Oct. 18
BENGALS 26, Texans 17
Panthers 20, BUCCANEERS 17
FALCONS 27, Bears 17
JAGUARS 23, Rams 20
JETS 16, Bills 6
PACKERS 34, Lions 31
PATRIOTS 34, Titans 17
Eagles 26, RAIDERS 13
REDSKINS 24, Chiefs 10
Giants 31, SAINTS 17
SEAHAWKS 37, Cardinals 31
STEELERS 31, Browns 7
Ravens 17, VIKINGS 13

Monday, Oct. 19
CHARGERS 52, Broncos 10


Week 7:
Sunday, Oct. 25
BENGALS 28, Bears 27
Packers 38, BROWNS 10
Patriots 56, BUCCANEERS 14
Chargers 31, CHIEFS 30
COWBOYS 38, Falcons 35
DOLPHINS 34, Saints 31
GIANTS 23, Cardinals 13
PANTHERS 31, Bills 17
RAIDERS 16, Jets 10
Colts 34, RAMS 20
STEELERS 13, Vikings 10
TEXANS 34, 49ers 24

Monday, Oct. 26
Eagles 24, REDSKINS 16


Week 8:
Sunday, Nov. 1
BEARS 23, Browns 20
BILLS 17, Texans 13
CARDINALS 28, Panthers 21
CHARGERS 27, Raiders 10
COLTS 30, 49ers 20
Seahawks 27, COWBOYS 24
Giants 13, EAGLES 10
JETS 31, Dolphins 28
Rams 26, LIONS 20
PACKERS 24, Vikings 20
RAVENS 27, Broncos 3
TITANS 17, Jaguars 16

Monday, Nov. 2
SAINTS 41, Falcons 24


Week 9:
Sunday, Nov. 8
Titans 20, 49ERS 17
BEARS 31, Cardinals 24
Ravens 20, BENGALS 17
BUCCANEERS 38, Packers 31
COLTS 31, Texans 28
EAGLES 31, Cowboys 17
FALCONS 17, Redskins 14
GIANTS 20, Chargers 10
Chiefs 34, JAGUARS 31
PATRIOTS 34, Dolphins 31
Panthers 29, SAINTS 27
SEAHAWKS 40, Lions 10

Monday, Nov. 9
Steelers 30, BRONCOS 6


Week 10:
Thursday, Nov. 12
Bears 30, 49ERS 27

Sunday, Nov. 15
CARDINALS 30, Seahawks 27
Eagles 27, CHARGERS 17
Patriots 35, COLTS 31
DOLPHINS 27, Buccaneers 23
JETS 10, Jaguars 9
Cowboys 34, PACKERS 31
PANTHERS 24, Falcons 23
Chiefs 27, RAIDERS 24
Saints 44, RAMS 24
REDSKINS 24, Broncos 20
Bengals 19, STEELERS 16
TITANS 24, Bills 16
VIKINGS 24, Lions 23

Monday, Nov. 16
Ravens 16, BROWNS 14




Week 11:
Thursday, Nov. 19
PANTHERS 30, Dolphins 10

Sunday, Nov. 22
BEARS 17, Eagles 16
Chargers 24, BRONCOS 23
Saints 41, BUCCANEERS 17
Steelers 31, CHIEFS 24
COWBOYS 27, Redskins 24
GIANTS 31, Falcons 14
JAGUARS 30, Bills 20
LIONS 31, Browns 13
PACKERS 17, 49ers 12
PATRIOTS 35, Jets 21
Bengals 24, RAIDERS 16
Cardinals 37, RAMS 27
Colts 38, RAVENS 17
VIKINGS 24, Seahawks 10

Monday, Nov. 23
TEXANS 31, Titans 17


Week 12:
Happy Thanksgiving
Packers 34, LIONS 17
COWBOYS 38, Raiders 10
Giants 31, BRONCOS 13

Sunday, Nov. 29
49ERS 21, Jaguars 20
BENGALS 17, Browns 6
BILLS 23, Dolphins 20
CHARGERS 28, Chiefs 27
Redskins 20, EAGLES 17
FALCONS 16, Buccaneers 15
Panthers 13, JETS 12
RAMS 26, Seahawks 13
RAVENS 17, Steelers 10
TEXANS 31, Colts 21
Cardinals 20, TITANS 17
VIKINGS 31, Bears 21

Monday, Nov. 30
Patriots 27, SAINTS 24


Week 13:
Thursday, Dec. 3
Jets 29, Bills 19 (neutral site)

Sunday, Dec. 6
BEARS 16, Rams 6
Lions 27, BENGALS 20
Chargers 41, BROWNS 7
CARDINALS 21, Vikings 17
Broncos 34, CHIEFS 28
COLTS 26, Titans 20
DOLPHINS 27, Patriots 26
Eagles 34, FALCONS 21
GIANTS 19, Cowboys 9
JAGUARS 27, Texans 24
PANTHERS 28, Buccaneers 20
REDSKINS 23, Saints 20
SEAHAWKS 28, 49ers 24
STEELERS 23, Raiders 20

Monday, Dec. 7
Ravens 27, PACKERS 17


Week 14:
Thursday, Dec. 10
Steelers 27, BROWNS 0

Sunday, Dec. 13
BEARS 35, Packers 21
CHIEFS 17, Bills 16
COLTS 52, Broncos 17
Jets 17, BUCCANEERS 9
Chargers 31, COWBOYS 13
FALCONS 23, Saints 20
Eagles 27, GIANTS 20
JAGUARS 17, Dolphins 13
Panthers 27, PATRIOTS 24
Redskins 19, RAIDERS 17
RAVENS 27, Lions 14
TEXANS 28, Seahawks 20
TITANS 19, Rams 9
VIKINGS 20, Bengals 10

Monday, Dec. 14
49ERS 30, Cardinals 17


Week 15:
Thursday, Dec. 17
JAGUARS 27, Colts 17

Saturday, Dec. 19
SAINTS 42, Cowboys 21

Sunday, Dec. 20
Patriots 45, BILLS 17
Raiders 31, BRONCOS 24
Bengals 17, CHARGERS 16
Browns 20, CHIEFS 13
EAGLES 22, 49ers 16
Falcons 16, JETS 13
LIONS 24, Cardinals 16
Vikings 20, PANTHERS 15
Texans 34, RAMS 17
RAVENS 10, Bears 9
SEAHAWKS 35, Buccaneers 10
STEELERS 24, Packers 20
TITANS 22, Dolphins 15

Monday, Dec. 21
REDSKINS 17, Giants 16


Week 16:
Merry Christmas
TITANS 20, Chargers 10

Sunday, Dec. 27
49ERS 30, Lions 17
BENGALS 35, Chiefs 14
Raiders 30, BROWNS 20
CARDINALS 23, Rams 20
COLTS 27, Jets 17
Texans 23, DOLPHINS 20
Broncos 31, EAGLES 17
Bills 20, FALCONS 19
GIANTS 20, Panthers 13
PACKERS 44, Seahawks 34
PATRIOTS 27, Jaguars 23
REDSKINS 13, Cowboys 3
SAINTS 37, Buccaneers 17
STEELERS 20, Ravens 9

Monday, Dec. 28
BEARS 27, Vikings 17


Week 17:
Sunday, Jan. 3
Colts 24, BILLS 7
BRONCOS 34, Chiefs 24
BROWNS 20, Jaguars 10
Falcons 27, BUCCANEERS 17
CARDINALS 31, Packers 30
CHARGERS 24, Redskins 20
Eagles 41, COWBOYS 7
Steelers 20, DOLPHINS 0
JETS 18, Bengals 17
Bears 34, LIONS 24
Saints 23, PANTHERS 20
RAMS 20, 49ers 10
RAVENS 31, Raiders 14
SEAHAWKS 20, Titans 17
TEXANS 28, Patriots 26
VIKINGS 20, Giants 19


2009 NFL Playoff Predictions - Wildcard Round


Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at New Orleans Saints (10-6)
If you've been reading my site for a while, you know where I'm going with this.

If not, I spent the entire 2008 offseason hoping that the Vikings would reach the playoffs just so I could bet against the mentally inept duo of Brad Clueless and Tarvaris Jackson. My strategy worked, as I collected three units when the Eagles won and covered the spread in Minnesota.

Well, I'm hoping for the same thing again, and I don't care whether the signal-caller is Jackson, Sage Rosenfails or Brett Favre; all three are pretty lackluster, while Clueless is good for a strategic blunder or two.

I love the Saints this year because their defensive ends are healthy and their secondary has improved. Oh, and they also have a guy named Drew Brees...

Saints 24, Vikings 10



Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) at Seattle Seahawks (9-7)
I like the Seahawks this year, as I think they're completely underrated. They finished 4-12 last season, but half of their team was on the IR. Now that Matt Hasselbeck is healthy and will have a legitimate No. 1 target to throw to, Seattle is my favorite to win the NFC West.

However, that's not saying much. The NFC West is terrible, and doesn't even come close to matching the talent in the NFC East.

The Eagles are one of the best teams in the league. Andy Reid has had too much success in these early-round playoff games not to come away with a victory. Also, Reid's record on the West Coast is remarkable (8-4); unlike some inept coaches (Eric Mangini), Reid does an excellent job of preparing his team to play across the country.

Eagles 27, Seahawks 20



Baltimore Ravens (11-5) at San Diego Chargers (12-4)
The best game of this fabricated weekend features Baltimore's stout defense going against San Diego's high-octane offense.

While the old adage is that "defense wins championships," one thing can't be overlooked here - and it's that the Chargers have a pretty good stop unit themselves. They can contain the run well and make Baltimore's offense one-dimensional. They'll also be able to apply pressure on Joe Flacco, who won't have much help from his receiving corps, aside from Derrick Mason (if he's even around).

The Ravens' right tackle is a rookie and could be a liability if Shawne Merriman can bounce back healthy. I like Michael Oher, but if Merriman is anywhere near 100 percent, I'll take him, Shaun Phillips and Larry English over Baltimore's two young exterior protectors. Not having Jason Brown at center will hurt too.

That said, this one's decided in overtime...

Chargers 23, Ravens 20



Houston Texans (11-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
The Texans are my sleeper team this year and I'd like to have them advancing deep into the postseason. The problem is, this is such a bad matchup for them.

These two teams collided in the opening weekend of the 2008 campaign. I was dead wrong in thinking Houston could keep the game close; instead, the Steelers debacled the Texans, 38-17, gaining a season-high 183 rushing yards.

Pittsburgh's stop unit was also powerful enough to shut down anything the Texans wanted to do on offense. I know Houston's better now with the emergence of Steve Slaton - and that's why I have this contest being close - but I just can't see a seasoned group like the Steelers going down to a squad with no playoff experience.

Steelers 31, Texans 24



2009 NFL Playoff Predictions - Divisional Round


Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) at New York Giants (13-3)
Something about this matchup seems familiar. I can't quite put my finger on it, but why do I get the feeling that these teams have met in the playoffs before? Hmmm...

The Eagles thrive as underdogs. When their back is against the wall, they always find a way to shock the world and pull through. That's what happened right after Donovan McNabb was benched last year; they went on a tear and kept winning until they were favored once again. That's when they lost to the Cardinals.

The Giants are my No. 1 seed. Their defense and offensive line rank as the NFC's best. They'll be favored by about a touchdown here, but like last January, the Eagles will pull through while Eli Manning once again gets debacled by the Meadowland winds.

Eagles 24, Giants 16



New Orleans Saints (10-6) at Chicago Bears (11-5)
This is yet another recent playoff rematch. In January 2007, the Bears clobbered the Saints in the NFC Championship at Soldier Field. Will the same thing happen again?

I don't think so - for two reasons:

First, unlike the 2006 version of the Saints, this squad actually has a decent defense. In fact, New Orleans' pass rush figures to be better than Chicago's. If Drew Brees doesn't have any pressure in his face, he'll torch the Bears.

Second, teams coming off playoff byes have struggled immensely the past few years. Squads in that situation are just 7-17 against the spread since 2003 and 4-12 versus the number since 2005. Last year, only Pittsburgh survived.

Saints 34, Bears 31



Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) at New England Patriots (13-3)
Yet another recent playoff rematch.

Though the Steelers clobbered the Patriots in a regular-season meeting last year, it's hard to count that because Tom Brady wasn't playing. So, with that in mind, ever since Pittsburgh put an end to New England's record-breaking 21-game winning streak back in 2004, the Patriots have dominated this series, taking the previous three meetings by scores of 41-27, 23-20 and 34-13.

You could argue that this Steelers defense is more dominant now than it has been in any of those three meetings, and Ben Roethlisberger is better and more seasoned than ever, and I couldn't dispute that. However, what I could counter with is that teams that have reached the Super Bowl have almost always failed to meet expectations the following year, whether it's not making the playoffs or losing early in the postseason.

This Steelers squad could absolutely win this matchup and go on to win the Super Bowl, but I'll side with history here.

Patriots 27, Steelers 23



San Diego Chargers (12-4) at Indianapolis Colts (13-3)
What are the odds that all four of the divisional-round battles are all playoff rematches? I swear, I didn't orchestrate this.

But we all know what happens here - the Colts come in as favorites and lose to the Chargers. One is in accident and two is a trend. As Chris Berman used to say on TV's former greatest show, NFL Primetime, three will be a bonafide problem.

I've acknowledged repeatedly that Peyton Manning struggles against 3-4 defenses in the playoffs. How bad is his record, you ask? Try 1-5. Ouch.

Chargers 31, Colts 22



2009 NFL Playoff Predictions - Championship Sunday


Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) at New Orleans Saints (10-6)
I've mentioned before that the Eagles play their best with their back against the wall. Does that apply here?

I don't think so. Philadelphia has a better record than New Orleans, while the Saints have never been to the Super Bowl. And besides, how can Vegas favor New Orleans when the Eagles play in a larger market and have tons of NFC Championship experience?

The Eagles have been to the title game five times in the Donovan McNabb-Andy Reid era, but they're just 1-4 in the penultimate game of the NFL postseason. This is not some coincidence; Reid is known for making stupid decisions in the clutch, while McNabb has a tendency to choke (literally) when big games are on the line.

There's also one other factor here, and it's that whenever Sean Payton has a good team, he tends to have Reid's number. This dates back to the early portion of this decade, when Payton was the offensive coordinator of the Giants. It then resurfaced when Payton moved to Dallas, and then finally three years ago, when the Saints knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs.

The numbers don't lie: Payton is just 10-7 against Reid, but when Payton has been part of a winning team (9-7 or better), he's an incredible 8-2 versus Big Red.

Saints 27, Eagles 24



San Diego Chargers (12-4) at New England Patriots (13-3)
The Patriots dominate the Chargers. Tom Brady has knocked San Diego out of the playoffs in their last two meetings. This one should be a piece of cake to predict, right? Well, not so fast...

The last time these two squads met, the undefeated Patriots struggled to dispatch a Charger squad that featured a hobbled Philip Rivers, who was hopping around on a torn ACL, and LaDainian Tomlinson's stunt double, who was huddled up in a parka on the sidelines, hiding from everyone.

With the injuries it endured, San Diego had no business being in that game, yet the team lost by just nine points. It took a heroic effort from Rivers, who used that performance to catapult himself into what would become an amazing 2009 campaign.

Rivers now has to be regarded as one of the top five or six quarterbacks in the NFL. Tomlinson, meanwhile, has enjoyed his first healthy offseason in a long time. And as long as Shawne Merriman is good to go - he'll be ready to practice in training camp - San Diego's defense will be the better stop unit on the field.

The Patriots totaled 47 sacks in 2007, but saw that number drop to 31. They'll likely lack a consistent pass-rushing threat, giving Rivers all of the time he needs to torch New England's secondary. Meanwhile, I'm not completely sold that the Patriots will be able to keep the Chargers' rush linebackers out of the backfield.

Chargers 31, Patriots 30



2009 NFL Playoff Predictions - Super Bowl XLIV at Miami


New Orleans Saints (10-6) vs. San Diego Chargers (12-4)
It should be noted that if the Chargers reach the Super Bowl, having them face the Bears, Eagles and Saints would be fun.

A Chicago-San Diego matchup would be great for the media, given that Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler hate each other. Rivers could call Cutler a "doo-doo head," and Culter would respond with "pee-pee brain." It would be two weeks of complete mayhem.

A Philadelphia-San Diego battle (or any matchup featuring the Eagles) would allow me to make fun of Donovan McNabb's record in Florida. It's really amazing - McNabb, for whatever reason, simply can't get it done in the Sunshine State. Including a loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl at Jacksonville, McNabb is 1-4 in Florida. He's also thrown up in two of those games.

This New Orleans-San Diego would give us the "mentor versus apprentice" feel. Drew Brees was San Diego's starting quarterback until he suffered a knee shoulder injury in the final week of the 2005 season. Brees was allowed to leave for the Bayou, which meant that Rivers would be taking over his old position.

The storyline is great, but this game should be even better, as it features two explosive offenses and just enough defense to keep it unpredictable. In fact, these squads met last year in London, and the Saints walked away with a 37-32 victory.

However, that contest is not indicative of how this one will be played. The 2008 Chargers featured an injured LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates, as well as a defense that was missing Shawne Merriman.

As long as the Chargers are healthy - and right now, they are - I'll maintain that they're among the three or four best teams in the NFL. I love the Saints this year, but I can't say the same thing about them.

In a Super Bowl for the ages...

Chargers 30, Saints 27





NFL Picks - Sept. 16


2015 NFL Mock Draft - Sept. 10


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2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24


2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1


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