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2012 NFL preview roundup

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  September 5, 2012 10:00 AM

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Look, it's football. Glorious, glorious football.

That's a real game tonight. Cowboys-Giants. It actually counts. The Patriots play Sunday. Everybody plays Sunday.

Not to get overly Tim Allen here, but happy chrusciki has it been an enduring offseason in these parts, so forgive the occasional grunt of anticipation. Forget that first breath of autumn air nonsense, fall arrives now. Today. Previews. Predictions. For the love of all things John Hannah, offensive line talk. Serious, honest to goodness offensive line talk.

Who's going to be in New Orleans come February? All we can say with certainty is that 95 percent of the following will turn out completely incorrect:

Globe staff: Five out of six have the Patriots in the Super Bowl; Chris Gasper, Shalize Manza Young, and Scott Thurston have them winning, Greg Bedard (Packers) and Dan Shaughnessy (Giants), losing.

ESPN.com staff: Four of the 16 analysts pick the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. The Packers are an overwhelming favorite with nine picks.

Foxsports.com staff: Alex Marvez picks the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Nancy Gay (49ers) and Ross Jones (Cowboys) have them losing in New Orleans.

Peter King, Sports Illustrated: King picks the Packers over the Broncos (Manning Fever!) in the Super Bowl. King has the Pats losing to Denver in AFC Championship game after beating the Chiefs in the divisional round.

SI.com staff: Andrew Perloff and Chris Burke pick the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Five others have New England losing in the AFC title game.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: As has been previously noted, Prisco picked the Patriots to go 16-0, only to lose to the Packers, 37-31, in a Super Bowl XXXI rematch.

ProFootballTalk.com: Four out of five have the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Only Josh Alper has them winning it, defeating Green Bay.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Iyer has the Pats losing to the Broncos in the divisional round.

How we saw it last 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.

How we see it this year:
AFC East: New England
AFC North: Steelers
AFC South: Houston
AFC West: Denver
Wild cards: Kansas City, Baltimore
NFC East: New York
NFC North: Green Bay
NFC South: Carolina
NFC West: San Francisco
Wild cards: Detroit, Chicago
Patriots fall to Ravens in AFC Championship Game.
Super Bowl: Packers over Ravens.

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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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