Anyone who’s read this blog knows I can’t pick a winner. My NFL picks last year were an atrocity – in my preseason predictions, for example, I was correct on just five out of 12 playoff qualifiers.

The Lions should be better, but will still reside in the NFL gutter.

The Lions should be better, but will still reside in the NFL gutter.

For that reason I’m going to switch it up this year … and because I fell asleep after 3.5 minutes of watching Chris Berman call the Home Run Derby. Anyway, here are your worst teams in each division and two Gutter Wild Card teams in each conference:

NFC West – St. Louis Rams (4-12)

What a terrible division, but the Rams are the winner. They cleaned house, but did little in free agency to fill it back up. Even if Marc Bulger and Steven Jackson miraculously stay healthy behind a crappy offensive line, the Rams won’t sniff .500. Quick, name a St. Louis wide receiver. Better google it.

NFC North – Detroit Lions (3-13)

Hey, at least 3-13 will be a season of great progress for the Lions. Detroit may be able to put up some points this season, but their refusal to build a defense will keep them in basement for a couple more years. The Lions allowed 32 points and 404 yards per game last year, one of the worst defensive performances the league has seen in years.

NFC – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10)

Once upon a time the Gruden-led Bucs sat at 9-3 and appeared headed to a first-round bye in the playoffs. What a difference eight months make. The Bucs have gone with the youth movement, showing numerous high-character veterans the door. If they are smart, the Bucs will hand the keys to rookie quarterback Josh Freeman and see what he’s made of.

NFC East – Washington Redskins (6-10)

In a division of parody, the Redskins will land on the bottom.  Their defensive will be formidable, but the Skins won’t put up enough points to rise to the top. Washington averaged 16.6 ppg last season and didn’t add any weapons. Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El are each 30-years-old and Clinton Portis might as well be. Time flies when you’re mediocre.

NFC Gutter Wild Cards – San Francisco 49ers (5-11), Green Bay Packers (7-9)

AFC West – Kansas City Chiefs (3-13)

I’ll admit it … I just had to look up who the Chiefs new coach is. Either way, what happens when you surround Matt Cassel with a below average team? Nothing good I’m guessing. In a terrible division the Chiefs should be able to steal a couple wins, but nothing more. Zach Thomas (36) and Mike Vrabel (34) are both slated to start at LB for the Chiefs. Pretty bad ass if it was 2002.

AFC South – Houston Texans (7-9)

Top to bottom, this will be the most competitive division in football. I hate to put the Texans here, but I just don’t believe in Matt Schaub. Running back Steve Slaton was outstanding, but at 5-9 will he stay healthy? If the Texans finally break through it will have to be behind their defense and I don’t think it’s good enough.

NFC North – Cleveland Browns (4-12)

Toss up between the Browns and Bengals here. Ultimately the Bengals defense was more impressive last season. Also, Brady Quinn is starting which means growing pains. Jamal Lewis is running on fumes and I don’t know who their coach is … hold on … ah, that’s right Eric Mangini. 4-12 it is.

AFC East – N.Y. Jets (6-10)

A rookie quarterback from California in the frigid AFC East leaning on a 31-year-old running back. Could be a long season for the Jets. However, new coach Rex Ryan brings a defensive toughness and has the personnel to bring the pain. Look for a lot of ugly games and low scores, but ultimately this isn’t a .500 team.

AFC Gutter Wild Cards – Oakland Raiders (4-12), Cincinnati Bengals (5-11)

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