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2011 NFL preview roundup

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  September 8, 2011 08:53 AM

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My son woke me up this morning at an hour when light is nonexistent and infomercials are the norm on NESN.

No, it wasn't 11 a.m.

Still though, a dreary Thursday morning can only be viewed as bright in this case, as football returns to America tonight after that other guy - the President - says something or other about something that supposedly has more interest than whether or not Drew Brees can overshadow Aaron Rodgers. I know, right?

The 2011 NFL season is here. Saints-Packers tonight. Pats-Dolphins Monday. Full slate Sunday. Lockout be darned, here we go.

Season previews being the norm, here is how some of the national media see the season for the local 53 going down.

Globe staff

Six out of six have the Patriots winning the AFC East. Greg A. Bedard, Shalize Manza Young, and Jim McBride have them in the Super Bowl. Bedard has New England losing to the Saints, Manza Young to the Packers. McBride has them beating...the Giants. "The ghost of Bucky Dent, I mean David Tyree, is finally exorcised," he writes. 

ESPN.com

Six out of 16 analysts pick the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.

Peter King, Sports Illustrated

King picks the Pats to go 12-4, and win the AFC East, yet has them losing to the Ravens in the divisional round. King likes the Falcons over the Chargers in the Super Bowl.

USA Today

Patriots as AFC champs is a unanimous decision. Only two on the eight-person panel pick New England to win the Super Bowl.

Pete Pricso, CBS Sports

Pete has the Patriots in the AFC title game, beating the Chargers, but losing to the Falcons in the Super Bowl.

Adam Schein, Foxsports.com

Pats at 13-3, winning the AFC East, losing to the Packers in the Super Bowl (27-24).


ProFootballTalk.com

While three of a four-person panel have the Patriots in the Super Bowl, only Gregg Rosenthal has New England triumphant (over the Saints).

For what it's worth, T-Bone likes the Saints tonight.

How we saw it last year:

AFC East: New England
AFC North: Baltimore
AFC South: Indianapolis
AFC West: Kansas City
Wild cards: Miami, Houston
NFC East: Dallas
NFC North: Green Bay
NFC South: New Orleans
NFC West: San Francisco
Wild cards: New York, Atlanta
Patriots fall to Ravens in divisional playoff.
Super Bowl: Packers over Ravens

How we see it this year:

AFC East: New England
AFC North: Baltimore
AFC South: Houston
AFC West: Kansas City
Wild cards: Pittsburgh, San Diego
NFC East: Philadelphia
NFC North: Green Bay
NFC South: New Orleans
NFC West: San Francisco
Wild cards: Detroit, Atlanta
Patriots fall to Ravens in AFC Championship Game.
Super Bowl: Ravens over Saints.  

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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