PFF’s 2013 Predictions

PFF analysts give their predictions for league awards, playoff winners, and the top spot in next year's draft.

| 4 years ago

PFF’s 2013 Predictions

2013-predictionsWe can’t start a season without some predictions, right?

Never fear, a group of PFF analysts has come together, selected sides and now they’re ready to reveal their choices for all of the league’s key accomplishments in 2013.

You’ll find some common threads and plenty of contending ideas — including which team will take home the Lombardi — but most of all you’ll surely see something that is food for thought.

Where do you come down on all of these? Which analyst are you mind-melding with and which has you completely confused? Let us know in the comments below.


  Ben Gordon Khaled Nathan
Super Bowl: SF DEN NE DEN
1st Pick in 2014: TB OAK OAK OAK
MVP: Peyton Manning  Peyton Manning Drew Brees Colin Kaepernick
OPOY: Julio Jones  Adrian Peterson Calvin Johnson Payton Manning
DPOY: Terrell Suggs  Luke Kuechly Geno Atkins JJ Watt
OROY: Eddie Lacy  Giovanni Bernard Eddie Lacy Eddie Lacy
DROY: Star Lotulelei  Robert Alford Sheldon Richardson Alec Ogletree
Comeback POY: Darrelle Revis  Robert Griffin III Darrelle Revis Darrelle Revis
Coach of Year: Jim Harbaugh  Sean Payton Pete Carroll Andy Reid


  Neil Rick Sam Steve
Super Bowl: NE ATL DEN GB
1st Pick in 2014: OAK NYJ OAK OAK
MVP:  Tom Brady Peyton Manning Peyton Manning Aaron Rodgers
OPOY:  Drew Brees Peyton Manning Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers
DPOY:  Geno Atkins Geno Atkins Geno Atkins Geno Atkins
OROY:  Giovani Bernard Cordarelle Patterson Cordarelle Patterson DeAndre Hopkins
DROY:  Star Lotulelei  Star Lotulelei Barkevious Mingo Star Lotulelei
Comeback POY:  Sean Lee Darrelle Revis Darrelle Revis Darrelle Revis
Coach of Year:  Sean Peyton Chuck Pagano Jim Harbaugh Jeff Fisher



Follow the team on Twitter: NeilBenSamKhaled, Steve, Nathan, Gordon, and Rick … and the main account as well: @PFF



  • Neer

    Totally agree with Neil. I see the Rams sneaking into the playoffs at the expense of Seattle though, and the Falcons making it instead of the Bears.

  • Bubs Solo

    That last wild card spot in the NFC will be a battle. There will be some good teams with good records not making the playoffs.

  • YevinOrion

    Even as a Dolphins fan I’m surprise two of you picked Miami to win the division. If anything, my hope is that we can get in via a Wild Card spot.

  • Shaun

    Not that I agree, but ok you don’t pick the Pats to win the East, but you don’t even have them making a wildcard?!? Craziness. Also Neil, no offense, lost all kinds of respect for you. Tampa Bay #1 pick overall??? Not a chance

  • Topher Doll

    Why is it that you didn’t review your last season predictions?

    • Colin William Weaver

      Good call! You can even see mine in the comments section! I think the most hilarious thing from last year is not one but TWO with Romeo Crennel for Coach of the Year. But hey… predictions are hard.

  • Shaun

    I know this seems a little bit crazy, but i’m toying with the idea of the Saints finishing last in that division (toughest division in football) Panthers I believe beat them twice last year and really improved up front. TB bolstered their biggest weakness by adding Banks, Revis, and Goldson (also expecting Barron to improve quite a bit). Atlanta is Atlanta. Anyone want to add any thoughts to this?

    • Mark Stevens

      Freeman has not looked good, nor has the pass rush. CAR offense has looked tepid. Saints & ATL Ds will struggle. Whole division seems second tier. Toughest div. in football? Let’s see how they do head-to-head with NFC West…

    • Nick Saikley

      I’m a Saints fan so BIASED ALERT, but you can’t really go by last year’s results. Ask any team to play without a head coach and they will be significantly worse than if they had the *worst* head coach. The Raiders without a HC would be much, much worse than the Raiders with a HC. It’s not even so much a gameday issue as it is a preparation and organization issue.

      And let’s remember, the Saints went from one of the best HC in football to none. That’s going to have a large negative impact on the team’s chances. And when so many NFL games are decided by 4 or fewer points? Even if their defense played the exact same, the offense would’ve likely been much better. Pete Carmichael without Sean Payton isn’t a very good OC and he proved it by being extremely predictable last season. For the first month of the season, you could easily predict most every 1st down call.

      Of their 9 losses last season, 7 were by 10 points or less. With Payton at the helm, it’s not unreasonable to think they pull out 3 or 4 of those losses by his playcalling alone.

      As for this season, I think Atlanta will regress; multiple changes on the OL, rookie CBs, downgraded pass rush. They won’t suck or anything, but I wouldn’t expect another NFC Championship appearance. Carolina still hasn’t added any weapons for Newton and their secondary hasn’t looked that good. Tampa’s secondary should be improved (though San Fran made little effort to retain Goldson so I wonder if he will do as well outside their scheme), but Revis hasn’t even taken the field yet and Banks is a rookie. And Freeman looks like Freeman. If Rob Ryan can get the Saints defense to be close to average (and it’s looked better than that, but of course it’s just preseason), the Saints offense can do the rest.

      • Shaun

        well just to be fair I’m not picking on the Saints, if anything it’s a testament to the improvement of Carolina and Tampa. Carolina’s front 7 is setup to be downright filthy. Star was once talked about being the top pick in the draft and looked the part in pre-season. Short looked great as well. As for Tampa I know Goldson is overrated but the 49ers decision to let him walk i think has more to do with the salary cap hell they’re going to find themselves in soon. You can count on the fact that he’s going to improve the secondary, at least somewhat. And Revis is a stud. Plain and simple. There’s no questioning Brees and the offense, but there are a LOT of questions surrouding the defense.

        • Nick Saikley

          I didn’t take it as you picking on them; it’s not out of the world to think they might finish last. I just think they’ve made enough changes and I don’t think the rest of the division got substantially better to think they won’t finish in 2nd at the least. It’s unlikely they will have one of the worst defenses of all-time *again* and they shouldn’t struggle as much on offense with Payton back. There are definitely lots of defensive questions, but they already look better this preseason than they did last preseason. More pressure without tons of blitzing, fewer blown coverages, muuuuuuuuuch better tackling. While you can’t base much on preseason, it’s these things I like to see.

          This defense is unlikely to ever be great or even good, but all the Saints offense needs is an average defense. Average-ish defenses got them to 10-6 (2006), 13-3 (2009), and 13-3 (2011). Somehow, the 2010 defense was top 10 (!!!) but reared its ugly head when they went to Seattle in the playoffs.

          • Shaun

            you definitely make some good points. I think getting Payton back is the biggest thing. Though they’ve slowly been losing offensive weapons over the years (Henderson, Ivory and Meachem – though Meachem just resigned, I really thought that could be a weakness), and their offensive line isn’t as good as it was a few seasons ago. By no means do I think they’re a bad team. I just think if the good Josh Freeman (2010 and first 3 months of last season) surfaces that each team has improved to the point where they become bad matchups for Brees & Co and could put the Saints in last.

          • Nick Saikley

            Nick Toon and Kenny Stills look to make an impact this season at receiver. They really need to get the running game going, though. Their best seasons have been when they were able to run the ball effectively.

      • Colin William Weaver

        All good points. And irrationally, let’s not forget about how pissed off Payton and Brees must be after last season. If they go into f*$% you mode, who can stop them?

  • CMG8462

    7 of 8 have NO making the playoffs. What is the value of Sean Payton? The division got tougher, NO didn’t add much talent. Just wondering what he could do to change that team back into a contender in 1 offseason. Tough to quantify leadership, I know.

    • Nick Saikley

      They were 7-9 without a head coach, with 7 losses being by 10 points or less. Without a head coach, they were in 14 of 16 games. I imagine having one of the best coaches in the NFL could’ve changed a few of those Ls into Ws.

      It’s not even so much how valuable Sean Payton is (though he is extremely value, for his offensive gameplanning/playcalling if nothing else), but how important having a head coach is. There’s so much more to it than just showing up on Sunday.

      I also think a lot of their defensive issues rest with Steve Spagnuolo. The 2012 Saints were 13th in points allowed and 24th in yards allowed; the same group dropped to 31st and 32nd. Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins suddenly became the two worst safeties in football. Neither was a stud by any stretch of the imagination prior to 2012, but they instantly became the worst in football in a year’s time? Some of the blame has to land on the DC when a bad defense turns into the absolute worst. And from player accounts, a lot of it had to do with Spags not making in-game adjustments.

  • Colin William Weaver

    Predictions are fun!

    AFC East: NE
    AFC North: CIN
    AFC South: HOU
    AFC West: DEN
    NFC East: WAS
    NFC North: GB
    NFC South: NO
    NFC West: SEA
    AFC Wildcards: BAL, MIA
    NFC Wildcards: CAR, NYG
    AFC Champs: NE
    NFC Champs: GB
    Super Bowl: NE
    1st Pick: OAK

  • Shaun

    I won’t do all my predictions, but I see the Jets with the top overall pick. It worries me. Do they take Bridgewater or Clowney?! My big prediction is they finish in last, fire Rex, move to a 4-3 and form a devastating 4-3 with Coples Richardson Wilkerson and Clowney…gulp. hope i’m wrong

  • Steve

    Most of the predictions I can see happening but Ben thinks that TB will finish with the #1 pick overall? You really think that based on thier schedule and talent they will lose more games then OAK, JAX or NYJ? That is going out on a limb.

  • Dartridge MacTanion

    This Raiders fan doesn’t mind you 3/4 of you thinking they’ll have the worst record in the league. Ben, Khaled, and Nathan (and 5/8 of those picking) all had KC in first place last season. The teams picked to actually get the first pick all won at least five games. Half the PFF crew picked the Eagles to win their division, including Ben and Nathan. Hmm, Ben and Nathan now think that the Chiefs, who finished last in the league in point differential as well as record, will take a big step forward to the playoffs – which is where they both thought they’d be last season, even beating out the Broncos to win the division. Presumably, this is in large because they poached the coach who led their pick to win the NFC East to the NFC’s worst record and worst point differential. It’s the perfect storm of overrating KC and Andy Reid! Ben was the only member of the PFF crew last season to correctly pick either conference champion, a 1/16 success rate. Nobody picked Indy, Minnesota or Washington to reach the playoffs either. Being able to grade doesn’t engender the ability to predict accurately, not that I begrudge you trying! Just saying I don’t feel like a fool for disagreeing that Oakland will suck, even though all of you would take me for one :)

    • Colin William Weaver

      Nah man, predictions are a fool’s game and super hard, but Oakland is going to be terrible.

      • Dartridge MacTanion

        Oh wow, now that the great Colin Weaver tells me so, I must accept it to be true! What will you do for me if you’re wrong, sir?

        • Colin William Weaver


          But to explain:
          1. Oakland has over $50 million in dead money this year, of their adjusted salary cap of $127 million.* 40% of the money the Raiders can spend this season is lost on players not playing for the Raiders this season.
          2. Of the $77 million they have left, they’re spending $9.6m on McFadden, $5m on Janikowsk**, and $3.9 on Matt Flynn, who is at the moment their backup. To Tarrell Pryor.
          3. I think the Raiders are sort of like the 2012 Cardinals: terrible offensive line, terrible QBs. Except instead of Larry Fitzgerald, it’s Darren McFadden. And instead of the good AZ defense (that finished last year 6th in DVOA***), it’s the Raiders defense (that finished last year 27th in DVOA). That Cardinals team started the year 4-0, including beating the Patriots in Foxborough. They were still a terrible team, even before they went on to lose 11 straight.
          4. Does anything guarantee the Raiders finish with the worst record? No, but it can make it more likely. I’d say the Raiders are favorites (Vegas would agree, 2-1 odds****). Anyway… they’re Bad.

          ** Their second highest paid player is a kicker. Just think about that.

          • Dartridge MacTanion

            The amount of dead money counting against the cap isn’t an argument about the quality of the team. Given that I know how to spell Terrelle Pryor, I feel quite confident I know more about the team than you do. Given that I watched almost all of the 49ers games last year, I feel pretty confident I know more about your team than you do about mine (and that you being a SF fan is why you think Pryor’s first name is spelled like Tarell Brown’s.). But that is beside the point. How good will Terrelle Pryor and Rod Streater be? Lucas Nix and Menelik Watson? Sio Moore and DJ Hayden? Will Ausberry or Rivera add something to the passing game? No one can answer those questions yet. If they’re all pretty good, and veterans like Walker, Sims, and Roach blossom with playing time, the team will be quite competitive. The Raiders defense was 27th last season, but had no secondary depth. Matt Giordano played an ungodly number of snaps filling in for Huff, who was the only occasionally decent corner (outside of when Hanson was in the slot, where he was okay). Their linebacking corps was pretty awful outside of Wheeler, and even he was pretty inconsistent. This year, they spent early draft picks to improve at LB and CB and they brought in two corners, two safeties, and three linebackers who all would have been starters last season (and if Hayden and Moore start, then three of those FA’s will ). All of those are veterans who’ve graded out well at least for part of their career by PFF numbers. The defensive line is the real concern this year, after it was the D’s strength in previous years. They lost Shaughnessy and Kelly, who were both major disappointments with grades well in the red. They also lost Seymour and Bryant, who played well but between them didn’t log all that much playing time in 2012. On the offense, McFadden and Reece are pretty established as quality players, with the caveat that McFadden has been inconsistent and injury prone. He could be bad this year, or he could be good. The receivers are all young but have all shown something – PFF praise for Ausberry, Streater, and Moore is scattered through the archives. The absence of Veldheer until midseason hurts, but Wisniewski is good and there’s really no telling, good or bad, how the guards will do – people like to point out Brisiel is a ZBS guy, but of course he’s never played in a power scheme – could be he plays better in it. Barnes is a mediocre player, but they’ve brought in Pashos, and if Gurode has something left in the tank their depth at O-Line looks a lot better than Arizona’s last season – Arizona had some players on the line who had established they were really bad and who were given playing time anyway, the Raiders don’t unless you want to exaggerate the struggles of Barnes and Brisiel. Yes, the kicker is highly paid – because they have a very young roster and a very good kicker. Which is my point. Asserting a young team will be terrible is foolhardy. They certainly could be. They could also be a big surprise. People seem to think the Chiefs will be good. That doesn’t make an awful lot of sense to me, to be honest. They were a lot worse than the Raiders the past two seasons. Throwing Andy Reid, Alex Smith, and Eric Fisher at RT into the mix won’t solve a lot of their problems, if you ask me. But by your logic, the Chiefs would have to be better, since they have the least cap room in the league. I say they have some one-dimensional players who have stood out in the years when the scheme suited their strengths (i.e. Hali, Charles, Johnson) but who don’t really have another gear to kick into. Everyone likes to say Todd Haley should have given Charles more carries, but Charles has never proven he can handle it – if you add the extra carries to his workload he puts up Thomas Jones numbers over the extra touches. Bottom line, if Terrelle Pryor is bad (and Flynn does not save the day after reclaiming the job), there’s every reason to think the Raiders will have a lousy season, though they have enough young talent that five or six wins isn’t out of the question even if the QB is the 28th best in the league, just as the Cardinals mustered five wins with a collection of replacement level QB’s and Kolb. If you honestly think Skelton and Lindley were or are better than Pryor,
            then I honestly think you’re incapable of reasonable observation. If
            you think Kolb is substantially better than Flynn, fair enough, but
            there’s hardly evidence to support it. Terrelle Pryor could play like 2006 Alex Smith or 2011 Alex Smith. We’ll see. But this Raiders fan has plenty of reason to think Pryor could be better than Smith this season, and by extension, the Raiders could be better than the Chiefs. Ergo, if cats like Ben and Nathan think KC is a wild card team, I have every reason to think if the breaks come their way the Raiders have an outside shot at the postseason. Not an expectation, just a vision of a better-case scenario to which I assign low probability but certain possibility, and to which you assign zero possibility. I think you are wrong in that regard.

  • PhilfromPhilly

    No votes for Jolly as Comeback Player?
    It’s not like he murdered dogs or anything, so there’s no moral asterisks.

  • ItsJustWerner

    Neil’s the only one with any sense having the Bears get into the playoffs, but then he loses it *Meatball fan

    But really, I’m surprised no one else thinks they can make it there when they were so close last year. It’s not like the Vikings or Lions pose a threat, so I guess the NFC is more competitive than usual.

  • Doc-man

    Nobody outside of Chicago should think the Bears will do anything this year. And unlike the Bears, the Vikings actually got better in the offseason.

  • TheSyndicateProject

    No rams in wildcard?