Oct 28, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls out instructions in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos Hump Day Hot Reads: 2013 NFL Season Predictions

Welcome to my inaugural Hump Day Hot Reads article. Each Wednesday, I will be giving my take on how the Broncos did the previous week and then previewing the coming week. This week I’m bringing you my predictions for the 2013 NFL season.

Playoff teams = * with seed in ( )

NFC East
Giants (9-7)* (4)
Cowboys (7-9)
Eagles (7-9)
Redskins (6-10)

NFC North
Packers (12-4)* (1)
Bears (9-7)
Vikings (8-8)
Lions (8-8)

NFC South
Saints (12-4)* (2)
Falcons (10-6)* (6)
Panthers (7-9)
Buccaneers (6-10)

NFC West
49ers (11-5)* (3)
Seahawks (11-5)* (5)
Rams (9-7)
Cardinals (8-8)

AFC East
Patriots (10-6)* (4)
Dolphins (7-9)
Bills (4-12)
Jets (3-13)

AFC North
Ravens (10-6)* (3)
Steelers (9-7)* (6)
Bengals (8-8)
Browns (6-10)

AFC South
Texans (11-5)* (1)
Colts (8-8)
Titans (6-10)
Jaguars (5-11)

AFC West
Broncos (11-5)* (2)
Chiefs (10-6)* (5)
Chargers (6-10)
Raiders (2-14)

Regular Season Explanation:
There are a lot of strong teams in the NFC, which will lead to a lot of tight division races. Teams like the Rams, Bears, Cardinals, and Vikings would all be fighting for playoff spots if they were in the AFC, but with the strength of teams like the Seahawks, 49ers, Falcons, and Saints, they will find themselves on the outside looking in when playoff time comes around. The playoff teams are all the same as last year in the NFC, except I have the Saints in instead of the Vikings and the Giants winning the East instead of the Redskins. I like the Saints to bounce back from a “lost” season last year without head coach Sean Payton. In the AFC I have all the usual suspects winning the divisions and then a bit of a drop-off to find the Wild Card teams. I think the Colts will fall short of the playoffs this year with a tougher schedule and I believe the Chiefs and Steelers will steal the wild card spots in the AFC this year.

NFC Wild Card Round
(3) 49ers over (6) Falcons
(5) Seahawks over (4) Giants

AFC Wild Card Round
(3) Ravens over (6) Steelers
(4) Patriots over (5) Chiefs

NFC Divisional Round
(5) Seahawks over (1) Packers
(2) Saints over (3) 49ers

AFC Divisional Round
(1) Texans over (4) Patriots
(2) Broncos over (3) Ravens

NFC Championship Game
(2) Saints over (5) Seahawks

AFC Championship Game
(2) Broncos over (1) Texans

Super Bowl
Saints 21
Broncos 27

Broncos Explanation:
The Broncos will begin this season with expectations that are a Mile High and they will have to start the first six games of the season without Von Miller. I have them coming out of that stretch at 4-2. I think the Broncos will fall to the Giants and Cowboys on the road without Miller. The Broncos will go 7-3 the rest of the way and drop games on the road to the Patriots, Chiefs, and Texans. I have the Broncos going undefeated at home this season. The Broncos get the No. 2 seed behind the Texans due to a head-to-head loss. The Broncos still will get a first round bye and will get a rematch with the Baltimore Ravens, which I believe they will win this year and move on to Houston to take on the Texans in the AFC Championship game. This will be a very competitive game and the Broncos will get revenge for their regular season loss in Houston and will move on to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl to face the New Orleans Saints. The Broncos’ revenge tour meets the Saints reunion tour and it will not disappoint. The Broncos come out on top and hoist the Lombardi Trophy and get Peyton Manning his 2nd ring.

It all begins this Thursday night when the Ravens visit the Broncos. Let the season begin! Whoop! Whoop!

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