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The NFL officially kicks off it’s 2012 season tonight when the Dallas Cowboys visit the defending Superbowl Champion New York Giants tonight at 8:30 on NBC. The game is being played tonight in order not to conflict with President Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention. It’s been a long wait for NFL fans and ends tonight followed by a full slate Sunday and a double header Monday night.

It’s time for me to trake a look at my three favorite teams and how I think they might do.

Might as well get the worst one out of the way first.

I’ve been a fan of the New York Jets ever since the 1968 season and their win of the third Superbowl over the Baltimore Colts. It’s pretty much been downhill ever since. Over the forty-three years since, the Jets have teased we fans every few years, giving us the hope they may be on the rise, only to sink back into obscurity again. The tease for us with this version of the team were the two campaigns where they reached the AFC championship game. Last season was the beginning of their latest swoon.

This year is not going to get any better.

Rex Ryan jumped the shark when he picked up Tim Tebow, a fine young man and a good football player. Just not an NFL quarterback. He’s not going to help the easily bruised Mark Sanchez’s feelings and will undoubtedly lead to fans, when he has a bad game or two, to screaming about start Tebow. The pressure will be on Ryan, who’s job probably hangs on what they do this season, to put him in. It won’t help and the team is likely to crumble.

8-8 last year and no playoffs. I’d like ti think better, but I think they fall under a five hundred record.

My ‘Skins look to be better this year. They got the quarterback they wanted. RG3 looks to be good for years down the road. The defense was decent last year and looks better for this season.

Their biggest problem is the division they hang in. the NFC East has been tough fore many years. My ‘Skins have to contend with the Giants, the Eagles, and, yes, even the Cowboys. All better teams this year than last. All four teams have gotten better, so the playoffs are unlikely for the boys from Washington, fans hopes to the contrary.

Better, but a five hundred record will be a victory for the ‘Skins.

The Panther have Cam Newton, a decent running game, and a much improved defense. But they also have the Saints, the Falcons, and even the Bucaneers(not nearly as bad as their record, I don’t know what happened) to contend with in their division, the NFC South.

Newton had a monster rookie season, one it would be hard to duplicate in a conference that every single team looks to be better.

I’m looking for a five hundred record, maybe 7-9 for the season. They look to be a year away from making significant noise.

These are my predictions. I would love to be wrong, on the low side, for all three. We’ll see.