Noted football enthusiast Peter King has officially made his picks for Sports Illustrated's NFL Preview edition, and he has the Patriots winning their first Super Bowl since 2004 and the Seahawks losing in just their second championship appearance in franchise history. The MVP?
King has the Patriots winning the AFC East with a final record of 12-4, well ahead of the second-place Bills at 7-9. According to King the team picking first in next year's draft may also be coming out of the East: He has the Jets finishing 3-13, tied for worst record in the league with the Oakland Raiders.
There were few surprises in King's predictions.
The Bengals, Colts, and Broncos joined as division winners in King's picks, with the Texans and Ravens getting in via Wild Card. There also weren't any surprises in the NFC, as the Giants, Packers, Falcons, and 49ers all won their divisions, while the Seahawks and Saints got the final two spots. King has the Seahawks and 49ers tying for best record in the NFC at 11-5.
No team in King's predictions really ran away with the league's best overall record, which was the Patriots 12-4 finish. There also weren't many playoff upsets.
King had the Broncos and Patriots meeting in the AFC Championship game, the 49ers and Seahawks doing the same in the NFC, before New England beat Seattle by a score of 30-23:
"Brady’s mastery of the up-tempo game and his team’s ability to seamlessly incorporate new skill players explain why SI is picking the Pats win the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2004 season," says King.
Other award winners besides Brady:
The Titans' Chris Johnson triumphantly returns again as the league's Offensive Player of the Year. The Bengals' Geno Atkins takes that award for the defensive side of the ball. The Packers' Eddie Lacy and the Cardinals Tyrann Matheiu are King's picks for Rookie of the Year.
King also notes Robert Griffin III as Comeback Player of the Year, though he was only hurt after the regular season was over, it is still rather remarkable that he could start in Week 1.
The rest of the picks are mostly what you would expect. No word yet on if King has predicted that Brady will go up to Richard Sherman after the game and ask him, "U mad, bro?"