It’s Chargers And Falcons This Year

San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers warms up prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals Aug. 27 in Glendale, Ariz.

Hopes are high in most NFL cities at this time of year, but only a handful will exceed expectations.

It seems like a couple of teams are the trendy picks to become playoff worthy or better. Many pundits like Houston in the AFC. While the Texans are a handful on offense, I don’t see where they’ve improved a ton on defense.

When the smoke clears, it’s going to be Indianapolis in the South.

The North will put Pittsburgh and Baltimore in the postseason, and the East will contribute both New England and New York once more.

The only team to make the playoffs that missed last year will be San Diego the Chargers had the top offense and the best defense but failed to make the playoffs. This season, the Chargers will have the best regular season record in the AFC.

I see Cleveland being better than they’ve been, and Kansas City much worse.

When the smoke clears, it will be San Diego and New England in the AFC championship game. The Chargers will win an exciting game at home behind another masterful performance by Philip Rivers.

The NFC will have some new blood in the playoffs. St. Louis will win the West, and will be the only team in the division to boast a winning record.

New Orleans and Atlanta will be back in the playoffs for the South.

Only Green Bay will be really good out of the North.

In the East, Philadelphia will win the division and New York will beat Dallas in a tiebreaker.

Aaron Rodgers will have another good post-season, but this time Matt Ryan and the Falcons will crash the party, making the front office look good for trading five picks for wide receiver Julio Jones.

Which takes us to the Super Bowl, where Norv Turner finally quiets the critics as San Diego bests Atlanta 35-24. Philip Rivers will cap an outstanding year by winning the MVP.

There you have it. Some very happy fans in San Diego who as a special reward will see their team relocated to a new stadium in Los Angeles.

* Credit the University of Hawaii for moving quickly when linebacker Aaron Brown and wide receiver Darius Bright were arrested following a fight in the Zanzabar nightclub in Waikiki.

They were each suspended for the opener against Colorado. The incident resulted in no serious injures and no other arrests.

Pending any other unexpected complications, that one-game suspension will be the extent of the punishment. The two players will be able to learn from the experience and move on, the team has received an object lesson and the coaching staff has put together a list of places off limits to players.

While you know that young people will make errors in judgment, handling such an incident quickly and decisively serves everyone best.