GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 09: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass during the NFL season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The NFL season kicks off on Thursday night when the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens travel to Colorado to take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Before the game starts, however, Grizzly Detail is here with predictions for the upcoming season.
AFC Playoff Teams
AFC West: Denver Broncos
AFC South: Houston Texans (Wild Card: Indianapolis Colts)
AFC North: Cincinnati Bengals (Wild Card: Pittsburgh Steelers)
AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC Champion: Bengals
-There aren't a lot of tough calls in the AFC this season. The Patriots, despite losing players like Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez, are still the dominant team in the East, and the Broncos are the only real contender in the West.
The Texans and Colts should have a good battle for the South title, with Andrew Luck and the Colts looking to prove that last season wasn't a fluke.
Ultimately, the Bengals are the most well-rounded team in the conference, and they could be prime to make the third Super Bowl appearance in team history.
NFC Playoff Teams
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks (Wild Card: San Francisco 49ers)
NFC South: Atlanta Falcons (Wild Card: New Orleans Saints)
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC Champion: Packers
Super Bowl Champions: Packers
-The NFC is by far the stronger of the two conferences this year, with at least 10 teams with reasonable Super Bowl aspirations. The Seahawks and 49ers are arguably the top two teams in the NFL, and the Falcons are a perennial contender with QB Matt Ryan under center.
The Packers are going to have an interesting time of it this season in trying to hold off all three of their North opponents, but with their blend of defensive talent and having QB Aaron Rodgers under center, the Packers should be able to navigate the tough waters of the conference and win their fifth Super Bowl in team history.
Coach of the Year: Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins
-While I'm not picking the Dolphins to make the playoffs, the addition of Mike Wallace to their roster, as well as Lamar Miller at running back, should at least make them a contender for the East title and give Philbin enough love from voters for the award.
NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay
-Not really a stretch to pick the MVP from the Super Bowl champion.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati
-Bernard is going to have a tough battle on his hands, with Tavon Austin of the Rams, Montee Ball of the Broncos, and EJ Manuel of the Bills all serving as prime contenders for the award, but with the potent Bengals offense helping open space up for him, Bernard should grab the hardware.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Tyrann Mathieu, S, Arizona
Jarvis Jones of the Steelers and Barkevious Mingo of the Browns are both prime contenders for this award, but Mathieu's versatility and eagerness to prove his critics wrong should carry him to the rookie of the year honors.