Arizona Sports 620’s NFL Predictions

Sep 7, 2012, 5:53 PM | Updated: 9:58 pm

The beginning of football season means a few things. Tailgate parties. Guys in the office talking endlessly about their fantasy teams. Strained relationships with the significant other.

We’ll focus on another rite of Fall…predictions!

The staff of Arizona Sports was asked to put their prognostication hats on and produce picks for the upcoming campaign. And because football is in the air, or more accurately, because their baseball picks were downright embarrassing, they obliged.

Here’s how our staff sees the 2012 NFL season taking shape.

NFC West Champions:

San Francisco 49ers: 10 votes: Bloom, Burns, Carlen, Del Colliano, Feinerman, Franz, Gambadoro, Green, Huizenga, Nacke

Seattle Seahawks: 2 votes: Gibberman, Marotta

No homers here…Nobody on the panel has the Arizona Cardinals winning the division.

NFC North Champions

Green Bay Packers: 12 votes: Bloom, Burns, Carlen, Del Colliano, Feinerman, Franz, Gambadoro, Gibberman, Green, Huizenga, Marotta, Nacke


NFC South Champions

Atlanta Falcons: 8 votes: Bloom, Burns, Del Colliano, Franz, Gambadoro, Gibberman, Marotta, Nacke

New Orleans Saints: 3 votes: Carlen, Green, Huizenga

Carolina Panthers: 1 vote: Feinerman

A little variety in the South. Three panelists think the Saints will prevail despite the fact that they’re down to their third-string head coach. Is Drew Brees that good? The popular pick, the Atlanta Falcons, are coming off of a 10-win season and a playoff appearance. Producer Charlie Feinerman is apparently on Team Ryan Kalil, picking the Panthers to do big things.

NFC East Champions

Philadelphia Eagles: 5 votes: Del Colliano, Franz, Gibberman, Green, Marotta

New York Giants: 5 votes: Bloom, Burns, Carlen, Gambadoro, Huizenga, Nacke

Dallas Cowboys: Feinerman

The Eagles may not be a dream team or a dynasty, but good enough on paper following a disappointing 2011 campaign to garner the most votes in the division. The Eagles are tied with the defending Super Bowl Champion Giants, who have the support of (guess who?) Gambo, who may or may not have been wearing his Osi Umenyiora jersey while making his picks.

NFC Wild Cards

Bloom: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay

Burns: New Orleans, Chicago

Carlen: Chicago, Atlanta

Del Colliano: Chicago, NY Giants

Feinerman: NY Giants, Philadelphia

Franz: Chicago, NY Giants

Gambadoro: New Orleans, Detroit

Gibberman: Chicago, NY Giants

Green: NY Giants, Atlanta

Huizenga: Philadelphia, Atlanta

Marotta: Detroit, NY Giants

Nacke: Philadelphia, Detroit

So that leaves the Redskins, Vikings, Rams and yes, the Cardinals, as the only NFC teams not to get a vote to advance to the postseason. Yes, Jon Bloom picked Tampa Bay — easily the gutsiest Wild Card selection.

NFC Title Game

Bloom: Green Bay over Atlanta

Burns: Green Bay over Chicago

Carlen: Green Bay over New Orleans

Del Colliano: Green Bay over Atlanta

Feinerman: Dallas over Carolina

Franz: Green Bay over Chicago

Gambadoro: Green Bay over San Francisco

Gibberman: Atlanta over Philadelphia

Green: Green Bay over Philadelphia

Huizenga: Green Bay over NY Giants

Marotta: Green Bay over Atlanta

Nacke: Green Bay over San Francisco

OK, so the Packers are the sexy pick again in the NFC, with our panel having them advance to the Super Bowl over six different teams. Only Charlie Feinerman (full disclosure — huge Cowboys fan) and Bryan Gibberman had the guts to pick against the Pack.

AFC West Champions:

Denver Broncos: 7 votes: Burns, Carlen, Del Colliano, Feinerman, Gibberman, Green, Nacke

Kansas City Chiefs: 2 votes: Bloom, Franz

San Diego Chargers: 2 votes: Gambadoro, Marotta

Oakland Raiders: 1 vote: Huizenga

This is what you can expect when three teams in the division went 8-8 and the “last place” team went 7-9. Peyton Manning was the X-Factor for seven of our panelists.

AFC North Champions:

Baltimore Ravens: 6 votes: Bloom, Burns, Franz, Green, Huizenga, Marotta

Pittsburgh Steelers: 6 votes: Carlen, Del Colliano, Feinerman, Gambadoro, Gibberman, Nacke

These two teams simply don’t like each other, and if our panelists’ picks are any indication, it’ll be another war between the Ravens and Steelers this season. Incidentally, the two teams don’t play until November 18, but will see each other twice in a three-game span. Buckle up.

AFC South Champions:

Houston Texans: 11 votes: Bloom, Burns, Carlen, Del Colliano, Feinerman, Franz, Gambadoro, Green, Huizenga, Marotta, Nacke

Tennessee Titans: 1 votes: Gibberman

Did you ever think you’d see the day when the Houston Texans were a near unanimous pick to win their division? Yeah, we didn’t either. Considering the Texans won the South a year ago after enduring a boat load of quarterback injuries, a healthy Matt Schaub makes them the popular choice in 2012.

AFC East Champions

New England Patriots: 12 votes: Bloom, Burns, Carlen, Del Colliano, Feinerman, Franz, Gambadoro, Gibberman, Green, Huizenga, Marotta, Nacke

The Patriots join the Packers as the only unanimous division champ picks. I guess five episodes of Hard Knocks wasn’t enough to convince anyone that the Dolphins are a real contender?

AFC Wild Cards

Bloom: Pittsburgh, Denver

Burns: Cincinnati, Indianapolis

Carlen: Oakland, Baltimore

Del Colliano: Baltimore, Kansas City

Feinerman: Baltimore, Oakland

Franz: Cincinnati, Denver

Gambadoro: Baltimore, NY Jets

Gibberman: Baltimore, NY Jets

Green: Pittsburgh, Tennessee

Huizenga: Denver, Pittsburgh

Marotta: Denver, Pittsburgh

Nacke: Baltimore, Indianapolis

A wide variety of teams were picked as Wild Cards by our panel. No surprise that the two Jets fans (Gambo and Gibberman) weren’t scared off by New York’s 0-4 preseason during which they scored one offensive touchdown — and that was a pass by the third string QB! The only AFC teams not to get any playoff love from our panel were Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville and Miami. Yes, two panelists (Burns, Nacke) think Andrew Luck has got the goods to get the Colts back to the postseason.

AFC Title Game

Bloom: Baltimore over Houston

Burns: Baltimore over Houston

Carlen: Baltimore over New England

Del Colliano: New England over Pittsburgh

Feinerman: Baltimore over Houston

Franz: New England over Baltimore

Gambadoro: Houston over Pittsburgh

Gibberman: New England over Denver

Green: New England over Houston

Huizenga: New England over Baltimore

Marotta: Baltimore over New England

Nacke: Houston over Pittsburgh

In a somewhat surprising twist, the most common matchup/result predicted by our panel is Baltimore upending Houston (a franchise with exactly one playoff win to their credit) to advance to the Super Bowl. Five panelists like Baltimore returning the Super Bowl for the first time in 12 years.

Super Bowl Predictions

Bloom: Green Bay over Baltimore

Burns: Baltimore over Green Bay

Carlen: Green Bay over Baltimore

Del Colliano: Green Bay over New England

Feinerman: Baltimore over Dallas

Franz: Green Bay over New England

Gambadoro: Green Bay over Houston

Gibberman: Atlanta over New England

Green: New England over Green Bay

Huizenga: New England over Green Bay

Marotta: Green Bay over Baltimore

Nacke: Green Bay over Houston

Seven panelists expect the Lombardi Trophy to go back to its original home — Green Bay, while two each like the Ravens and the Patriots to take the hardware. Bryan Gibberman likes the Falcons to win their first title in team history.

Cardinals predictions

What will the Cardinals record be in 2012?

9-7: 1 vote: Carlen

8-8: 1 vote: Bloom

7-9: 2 votes: Del Colliano, Marotta

6-10: 5 votes: Burns, Feinerman, Franz, Green, Huizenga

5-11: 2 vote: Gambadoro, Nacke

3-13: 1 vote: Gibberman

Well that paints a pretty picture, huh? Only one of our panelists, Jarrett Carlen, has the Cardinals with a winning record, while Bryan Gibberman is predicting a 3-win campaign, which would tie the 2000 Cardinals for the worst mark in team history.

Who will have more TD passes for the Cardinals, Skelton or Kolb, and how many?

Bloom: Skelton, 21

Burns: Skelton, 21

Carlen: Skelton, 20

Del Colliano: Skelton, 15

Feinerman: Skelton, 32

Franz: Skelton, 18

Gambadoro: Skelton, 15

Gibberman: Skelton, 18

Green: Skelton, 17

Huizenga: Kolb, 14

Marotta: Skelton, 10

Nacke: Skelton, 8

The vast majority of our panel sees John Skelton keeping his starting quarterback job over Kevin Kolb. In fact, our Charlie Feinerman sees Skelton thriving, throwing 32 scoring strikes. Either Charlie knows something the rest don’t, or he’s been playing way too much Madden ’13. For information’s sake, Kurt Warner threw 30 touchdown passes for Arizona in their Super Bowl season of 2008.

Who will be the Cardinals’ leading rusher, and how many yards will he have?

Bloom: Ryan Williams, 827

Burns: Ryan Williams, 1,036

Carlen: Beanie Wells, 1,025

Del Colliano: Ryan Williams, 1,000

Feinerman: Ryan Williams, 821

Franz: Beanie Wells, 987

Gambadoro: Ryan Williams, 800

Gibberman: Ryan Williams, 1,100

Green: Ryan Williams, 845

Huizenga: Ryan Williams, 740

Marotta: Ryan Williams, 759

Nacke: Ryan Williams, 903

There isn’t a whole lot of faith in Beanie Wells to return to his 2011 form when he ran for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. Offseason knee surgery and time on the PUP list during preseason will plant that seed of doubt. However, the vast majority of the panel does have faith in Ryan Williams, who missed the entire 2011 season with a knee injury, so figure that one out?

Behind Larry Fitzgerald, who will be the Cardinals’ second-leading receiver?

Bloom: Andre Roberts, 62 catches

Burns: Andre Roberts, 52 catches

Carlen: Andre Roberts, 74 catches

Del Colliano: Michael Floyd, 50 catches

Feinerman: Ryan Williams, 62 catches

Franz: Andre Roberts, 68 catches

Gambadoro: Early Doucet, 55 catches

Gibberman: Andre Roberts, 65 catches

Green: Andre Roberts, 68 catches

Huizenga: Andre Roberts, 58 catches

Marotta: Andre Roberts, 65 catches

Nacke: Michael Floyd, 55 catches

We’re going on the second straight season of speculation of who will step up opposite Fitzgerald in the Cardinals’ receiving corps, so it’s no surprise that four different players got votes. Interestingly enough, only two (Del Colliano, Nacke) think it’ll be rookie Michael Floyd who elevates to the number two position despite being a high draft pick.

Award Winners

League MVP

Aaron Rodgers: 7 votes: Bloom, Burns, Carlen, Del Colliano, Gambadoro, Marotta, Nacke

Tom Brady: 3 votes: Franz, Green, Huizenga

Cam Newton: 1 vote: Feinerman

Matt Ryan: 1 vote: Gibberman

A majority favors Green Bay signal caller Aaron Rodgers to repeat at the league’s MVP, with three jumping on the Tom Brady bandwagon. The two outliers? Charlie Feinerman and Bryan Gibberman, who each like an NFC South quarterback to win the hardware.

Offensive Player of the Year

Aaron Rodgers: 4 votes: Bloom, Carlen, Gambadoro, Green

Tom Brady: 2 votes: Franz, Huizenga

Arian Foster: 1 vote: Nacke

Andre Johnson: 1 vote: Del Colliano

Calvin Johnson: 1 vote: Burns

Darren McFadden: 1 vote: Gibberman

Cam Newton: 1 vote: Feinerman

Ray Rice: 1 vote: Marotta

Eight different players received votes in this category, including two wide receivers. That’s noteworthy because a receiver hasn’t won the award since Jerry Rice took home the honor in 1993. It’s also noteworthy that last year’s winner, New Orleans QB Drew Brees, didn’t receive one vote.

Defensive Player of the Year

DeMarcus Ware: 3 votes: Burns, Feinerman, Nacke

Patrick Willis: 3 votes: Bloom, Gambadoro, Green

Jason Pierre-Paul: 2 votes: Franz, Marotta

D’Qwell Jackson: 1 vote: Del Colliano

Von Miller: 1 vote: Gibberman

Brooks Reed: 1 vote: Carlen

Justin Tuck: 1 vote: Huizenga

There will be a new winner of this award in 2012, since last year’s winner, Terrell Suggs of Baltimore, is on the shelf for an indefinite amount of time with an Achilles tendon injury. It’s somewhat curious that not one defensive back got a vote for the award — three safeties (Ed Reed, Bob Sanders, Troy Polamalu) have won it since 2004.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

Andrew Luck: 5 votes: Burns, Carlen, Del Colliano, Gambadoro, Nacke

Robert Griffin III: 4 votes: Bloom, Feinerman, Franz, Green

Justin Blackmon: 1 vote: Gibberman

Doug Martin: 1 vote: Marotta

David Wilson: 1 vote: Huizenga

A quarterback has won this award five times in the last eight seasons.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Luke Kuechly: 4 votes: Bloom, Burns, Gambadoro, Marotta

Mark Barron: 3 votes: Carlen, Gibberman, Huizenga

Melvin Ingram: 2 votes: Del Colliano, Franz

Morris Claiborne: 1 vote: Feinerman

Bruce Irvin: 1 vote: Green

Courtney Upshaw: 1 vote: Nacke

A linebacker has won this award eight times in the last nine seasons, so things are boding well for Kuechly. The Boston College rookie was named on four ballots after being the ninth overall selection in last April’s draft by the Carolina Panthers. Adam Green of picked Bruce Irvin, even though the West Virginia product isn’t sure which team he plays for.

Coach of the Year

Gary Kubiak: 2 votes: Gambadoro, Huizenga

Chuck Pagano: 2 votes: Burns, Nacke

Bill Belichick: 1 vote: Del Colliano

Pete Carroll: 1 vote: Gibberman

Romeo Crennel: 1 vote: Bloom

Jeff Fisher: 1 vote: Franz

Andy Reid: 1 vote: Green

Ron Rivera: 1 vote: Feinerman

Mike Smith: 1 vote: Marotta

Whoever’s Coaching the Saints: 1 vote: Carlen

No votes for any of the Harbaugh family? What an upset! Seven of our voters picked the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl, yet nobody gave love to Mike McCarthy in this category.


First coach fired

Leslie Frazier: 4 votes: Carlen, Del Colliano, Gambadoro, Huizenga

Norv Turner: 4 votes: Bloom, Burns, Feinerman, Franz

Pat Shurmur: 3 votes: Gibberman, Marotta, Nacke

Chan Gailey: 1 vote: Green

Hope Leslie Frazier is renting in the Twin Cities. Minnesota isn’t projected to have a good season, and our panel thinks their head coach will be the fall guy. And Norv and Pat, yeah, you shouldn’t feel so good about your job security, either.

Our panel:Jon Bloom, Host of Cardinal Talk; Dave Burns, Co-host of Burns and Gambo; Jarrett Carlen, Arizona Sports tech director/The Oddcast; Daria Del Colliano,, Charlie Feinerman, Arizona Sports 620 producer/reporter; Doug Franz, Co-host of Doug and Wolf, John Gambadoro, Co-host of Burns and Gambo; Bryan Gibberman, Arizona Sports 620 producer; Adam Green,; Joe Huizenga, Producer of KTAR’s Karie & Chuck; Vince Marotta,; Carter Nacke,

Arizona Cardinals

Darius Robinson gets a drink of water...

Ryan Pasiecznik

The Athletic’s biggest question for Cardinals centers around run defense

The Cardinals have question marks at multiple spots on the field. But what is the biggest? The Athletic's Scoop City Podcast took a look.

1 hour ago

Trey Benson warms up during rookie minicamp...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals sign rookie RB Trey Benson to 4-year contract

The Arizona Cardinals signed rookie running back Trey Benson to a four-year contract, the team announced Thursday.

5 hours ago

Evan Brown runs out the tunnel...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals training camp battles: Left guard

Looking at Arizona's offensive line, the unit is set outside of left guard. Unlike the WR2 battle, there are several candidates to consider.

19 hours ago

Paris Johnson Jr. runs out of the tunnel...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals OL Paris Johnson Jr.’s mindset at left tackle is simple, yet effective

Cardinals OL Paris Johnson Jr.'s mindset at left tackle is a two-step process: Win 1-on-1 battles and watch the football go down the field.

1 day ago

Michael Wilson celebrates after the catch...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals training camp battles: Michael Wilson vs. Zay Jones for WR2

Of the positional battles heading into Cardinals training camp, the competition at WR2 between Michael Wilson and Zay Jones is at the top.

2 days ago

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball during the first half against the G...

Kellan Olson

49ers star WR Brandon Aiyuk officially requests trade, per reports

With the clock getting nearer and nearer to a new NFL season, Brandon Aiyuk appears to be fed up with waiting on the 49ers to meet his price.

2 days ago

Arizona Sports 620’s NFL Predictions