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Playboy’s NFL Preview
  • September 20, 2013 : 02:09
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The Baltimore Ravens fielded the best team in the NFL in 2012. This off-season, the Ravens learned what so many Super Bowl winners already have: In the salary-cap era, it’s nearly impossible to keep a championship squad together. Eight starters are gone. No wonder the NFL hasn’t seen a repeat champ since the 2004 Patriots. Who to keep your eye on in 2013? Start with Chip Kelly and his Eagles. The puppeteer of one of college ball’s most dynamic offenses (Oregon), Kelly will bring his fast-paced game to the NFL. The Miami Dolphins, who haven’t won a postseason game in 13 years, spent more than $200 million on contracts this year. The Dolphins doled out the off-season’s largest free-agent contract (to receiver Mike Wallace) and two of the top 10 deals. Can they finally unseat the Pats in the AFC East? Last year a new generation of elite QBs emerged (see right). All eyes will be on the young guns again—RGIII, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck. Heading into 2013, the NFL will feature a new toughest division. In the 1990s it was the NFC East; in the 2000s, the AFC North and AFC East. Now the NFC North reigns supreme. Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota all won 10 games or more in 2012. The division features the game’s best QB (Aaron Rodgers), best RB (Adrian Peterson, who had the second-best rushing season ever last year—on a tender knee), plus emerging QBs at Detroit (Matthew Stafford) and Minnesota (Christian Ponder). All that said, our money’s on an aging arm to win it all this year. We’ll give you a hint: His name is not Tom Brady.

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read more: sports, football, preview, super bowl, issue october 2013

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