But it’s clear that from a relevancy standpoint, Woody Johnson’s hype machine is doing its job down in New York. Sports Illustrated’s NFL preview comes out this week, and with it are five regional covers.
On the Northeast version, right there to your right, are Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and center Nick Mangold.
If you flip inside the magazine, the Patriots are picked to go 10-6 and finish second (by tiebreaker) to the Jets. The Dolphins are third at 9-7. And Wes Welker wins Comeback Player of the Year.
Our pal Peter King then has the fifth-seeded Patriots going cross-country to beat San Diego in Round 1 of the playoffs, and losing to the Colts in the divisional round.
Seems pretty fair. The zinger, though, is Peter’s Super Bowl pick — Steelers (Roethlisberger-less for the first month at least) over the Packers. I agree with him on half that equation, anyway.
The other SI covers: Atlanta in the South, New Orleans in the South-but-further-West, Green Bay in the Midwest, and San Diego in the West