(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The National Football League season kicks off on Thursday night with a marquee matchup. The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens travel to Denver to face a Broncos team that is picked by many to be this year’s powerhouse squad.

Of course, when a new campaign is about to begin, I just can’t stop myself from making predictions. Sometimes right, often times wrong, it doesn’t matter. I love predicting things.

I’ve been waiting patiently for this season to get here and I am ready to do this. Ready to share my thoughts on what will happen on the gridiron in pro pigskin.

So, without further ado, here are my NFL division and playoff picks for 2013.

AFC North

1) Ravens: Plenty of new starters on defense. That will prove to be a good thing.
2) Bengals: Have quietly made the playoffs three of the last four years. Yet to win a postseason game in that span.
3) Steelers: QB Roethlisberger keeps Pitt dangerous. Can rookie RB Bell emerge?
4) Browns: They’ll be better. But not good enough for this division.

AFC East

1) Patriots: They will roll through the East. How effective will Brady’s receivers be?
2) Dolphins: New uniforms. QB Tannehill has a new weapon in WR Wallace.
3) Bills: They haven’t made the playoffs since 1999. The drought will continue.
4) Jets: Bad. Real bad.

AFC South

1) Texans: Could be primed to take the next step in the playoffs.
2) Colts: Are they an 11-5 fluke or a legit contender? I’ll lean towards somewhere in between.
3) Titans: Time for QB Locker to step up.
4) Jaguars: Time for QB Gabbert to step up.

AFC West

1) Broncos: They will score. A lot. Where will the sacks come from?
2) Chiefs: A trendy sleeper pick. QB Smith will try and prove his worth after leaving SF.
3) Chargers: After years of underachieving, could they surprise? QB Rivers looks to return to Top 10 status.
4) Raiders: It looks like Pryor at QB. For now. Glory days for this franchise are long gone.

NFC East

1) Giants: In a division that really doesn’t have a clear-cut favorite, I’m picking New York. QB Manning gets it done.
2) Redskins: Can QB Griffin last a full season? He gets hit often. If he plays 16, Washington will win.
3) Cowboys: QB Romo is capable of brilliance. Can he be that guy in big games?
4) Eagles: Is this Michael Vick’s last ride in Philly? New coach Kelly will pick up the tempo.

NFC North

1) Packers: QB Rodgers is money. Can RB Lacy can get it done on the ground?
2) Bears: New coach Trestman will get the most out of QB Cutler. D forces a lot of turnovers.
3) Vikings: RB Peterson is gunning for Dickerson’s rushing record. WR Jennings is a nice addition.
4) Lions: WR Johnson is the best. RB Bush brings versatility. This team could surprise, if they stay disciplined.

NFC South

1) Falcons: QB Ryan wins. Just not in the playoffs. That will change in 2013.
2) Buccaneers: Improved their secondary. QB Freeman needs to cut down on turnovers.
3) Saints: I could be wrong, but I’m not jumping on this bandwagon. New DC Ryan will bring aggressiveness.
4) Panthers: QB Newton needs a little help on offense. LB Kuechly is a beast.

NFC West

1) 49’ers: QB Kaepernick is one of the NFL’s new poster boys. How much is left in RB Gore’s tank? Strong D.
2) Seahawks: Also strong on D. Wilson is a dangerous multi-threat QB. A cocky bunch.
3) Rams: Sleeper alert. QB Bradford needs to play like a top-pick. B-More native Austin will help.
4) Cardinals: QB Palmer may benefit from a change of scenery. Star CB Peterson will play some offense too.

Wild Cards

AFC: Bengals, Chiefs
NFC: Seahawks, Bears

Divisional Champs:

AFC: Texans
NFC: Falcons

Super Bowl Champ: Falcons

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