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Time for some early predictions

It will be a few weeks before I make my predictions for the 2011 season. But, now that we’re into the preseason, I know many of you don’t want to wait.

That’s why I’m sharing the results from the “Predictalator," that’s the name used by PredictionMachine.com for the device that simulates each game 50,000 times and calculate predictions for the season.

Turns out the machine is pretty high on the New Orleans Saints. They’ve got a 12-percent chance of reaching the Super Bowl, which puts them in the upper tier of teams around the league.

The Saints have a 43 percent chance of winning the NFC South and a 19 percent chance of earning a wild-card berth. The Atlanta Falcons have a 38-percent chance at winning the division and a 23 percent chance of earning a wild-card spot. They also have 9 percent chance of reaching the Super Bowl.

Tampa Bay has an 18 percent chance to win the NFC South and a 13 percent chance at a wild card. The Bucs have a 3 percent chance of reaching the Super Bowl. Then, there are the Carolina Panthers. They were 2-14 last year and can’t escape being labeled as a bad team even by computer simulations. The Panthers have a 1 percent chance to win the division and the same chance at a wild-card berth. In the 50,000 simulated seasons, there was not a single one in which the Panthers reached the Super Bowl.

All right, I know predictions are good conversation starters, so go ahead and air out your thoughts in the comments section below.