Tonight the NFL season kicks off with the Steelers and Patriots, and I thought what better way to ring in the new year than for some bold predictions on how this season may go?? You may have thought some of my #D46 Power Rankings (Preseason) were outrageous enough, well, you have seen nothing yet.
Before we get started, however, I’d like to recognize the definition of a bold prediction. So I looked up the word “Bold” online, and here’s the best thing I got:
BOLD: Strikingly different or unconventional, arresting or provocative
So here I am to be strikingly different than the rest, give you unconventional thoughts, and provoke you into my comments section down below, telling me how big of an idiot I am. Or if by any slim chance you feel the same way as I do, please let that be known as well! My comments are always open at the bottom of this article. :)
SO HERE WE GO!!
BOLD PREDICTION: The Cowboys rush for the most yards in the NFC!
Now hold up! I thought they lost their leading rusher in free agency? “Yes, indeed they did.” And did they lose it to a rival? “Of course.” And isn’t there Adrian Peterson, Eddie Lacy, and Marshawn Lynch in the division? “You are correct on all three counts! Told you it was bold…”
Many forget that the Cowboys, while losing DeMarco Murray, kept Dez Bryant. The Cowboys also have Jason Witten, who will take a linebacker out of the box. I’ve always been very low on Gavin Escobar, but he may have a bigger role in this offense. And if you watched any news outlet last season, the analysts were praising the Dallas Cowboys offensive line for the holes they opened up for DeMarco Murray. Yet ever since he bought into the Brotherly Love, they’ve turned the switch saying “Why did you let the league leading rusher go?” … Well, the fact of the matter is, Dallas has their offensive line still. This is no homer pick, but I’ve just given facts to this. Peterson’s rusty, Nelson’s lost will put more attention on Lacy, Lynch doesn’t have Unger anymore, and Murray’s likely going to be injured.
However, I can’t speak on who will be the guy, because we don’t know yet! Which makes it even more bold, if I might add…
BOLD PREDICTION: The Browns finish with a Top 10 defense!
“So you’re silent now… Okay.”
Anyway, this prediction is quite simple, honestly. They have a star corner in Joe Haden, they have studs like Karlos Dansby and Donte W’hitner’, and a rushing attack with Danny Shelton, Desmond Bryant, and Paul Kruger. Cleveland was 23rd in defense last year, but I honestly think it could be a breakout year for this defense. I never even mentioned guys like Tramon Williams, Tashaun Gipson, and Christian Kirksey. Plus with the Ravens and Bengals offenses likely taking a step back, there’s four games easily there they can show some dominance in.
I feel this bold prediction I’ll get the most hate over. Oh well.
BOLD PREDICTION: Geno Smith returns with a vengeance!
Isn’t this the same guy that was criticized coming out of West Virginia because of his poor work ethic? “Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard me say that a time or two on my podcasts before.”
As we all know, Geno Smith was (literally) knocked out of commission by IK Enemkpali for not paying his fellow then-teammate back. And as we all know, Geno Smith is one of the worst quarterbacks in the league, and many speculate it’s only a matter of time until Bryce Petty is throwing long bombs down the field in a Jets uniform.
Let’s look at the statistics real quick. Geno Smith has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in his first two years in the league (25 to 34). So has Drew Brees (28 to 31), John Elway (25 to 29), and Troy Aikman (20 to 36). So imagining Geno in-between there is what the media never wants you to think about, but look at the stats yourself! Not to even mention that Geno made a leap from his rookie year to his sophomore NFL season, passer rating going up eleven to 77.5 from the year before. Keeping all this in mind, with Geno having been sacked 71 times in these two seasons and has never had a team around him. Thankfully, Geno has a team around him (Marshall, Decker, Amaro) and a defense that has the potential to be very, very good.
Go ahead and shoot me, but I never thought I’d be saying that either.
BOLD PREDICTION: Haloti Ngata has better year than Ndamukong Suh!
Isn’t Suh the highest paid defensive player in league history? “Yeah, overpaid in my books.”
People think I’m crazy, but tell me what Suh brought to the Lions in his five years there… One double-digit sack season and a bad reputation. The fact he’s paid more than JJ Watt makes me want to grab myself a barf bag. But I think the Lions upgraded character-wise when they allowed Suh to go to the Dolphins, use the money elsewhere, and trade for a former Pro Bowl DT, Haloti Ngata. The most trouble Ngata’s been in is a 4-game suspension last year for PEDs, which you can be suspended for things not taken to improve field performance. But I feel Ngata fits what the Lions are trying to do and he’ll have a defense around him to help take the tension out of Haloti’s shoulders.
Ah, who knows.
BOLD PREDICTION: Desmond Trufant emerges as elite corner!
Desmond Trufant? Who is that? “He’s a nobody. I actually am doing this for a friend, Eric Robinson, so I could find out if he actually read this or not. Don’t worry about this one.”
Eric was the first person to bring this idea up to me, and I thought he needed a caring enough friend to put him in a mental institution. But I started to dig a little further in, and saw Trufant was targeted quite a bit last year, and he had 16 pass deflections along with 3 interceptions. Also not being mentioned, is being a top corner in the NFC South is very difficult – just ask Darrelle Revis. We all hear about Revis, Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, and Aqib Talib. But after looking into this, I highly expect to see Marcus’ little brother’s name mentioned among some of the top cornerbacks in the NFL.
Bold, yes, but I know I’ll have at least one to agree with me.
BOLD PREDICTION: Houston Texans win the AFC South with midseason QB change and the MVP!
Did you not know the Texans play Andrew Luck twice a year? “And did you not know the Colts play JJ Watt twice a year?”
Okay, first of all, I expect quite a good percentage of people to pick the Texans to win the uneventful AFC South. I would disagree with them, because how many times do you see a Hard Knocks team succeed? I mentioned this, I believe, in my Power Rankings. I also felt a good percentage of people would predict JJ Watt as the league MVP because he was not only robbed last year, but every college kid has a mancrush on the guy (for the record I am in high school). So I felt to get something out of this division, I needed to go three parts with this. I feel that during the season, we see Bill O’Brien change his mind, naming Ryan Mallett as the starter going forward. This would have the defense be on point, the offense see a resurrection with Mallett trusting heavily in Jaelen Strong, and the Texans beating the Colts while closing the season with three division wins.
It’s bold, and if I made you believe it without me being 100% sold, I need my Bachelors of Science degree handed to me.
BOLD PREDICTION: Derek Carr dominates the quarterbacks out West!
Did he come out of retirement? “Noooo.. You’re thinking of DAVID Carr. This Derek Carr is a 2nd-year vet out of Fresno State and is quarterback for the Raiders.”
With nothing to work with, Derek Carr made something! He threw 21 touchdowns and only 12 picks. He had a passer rating of over 76. And oh yeah, did I forget to mention he made the Oakland Raiders reach the endzone 21 times via the air? To me, Derek Carr embodies a faith in God nobody talks about, while the faith of Russell Wilson and Tim Tebow are out there in the media. I’m not complaining, but Derek Carr’s faith in Jesus Christ is there too, and for him to have an impressive rookie season is intriguing when you think of what success Wilson and Tebow had early on. But football wise, the Raiders added Amari Cooper, who many feel was the best receiver in this draft class. Can that help? Possibly. Not to mention that Peyton Manning may have a horrifying season, Alex Smith didn’t throw a single touchdown pass to a receiver last year, and Philip Rivers is in the final year of his contract with uncertainty moving forward. So I think it’s not an outrageous assumption that Derek Carr can be the quarterback to play the best in this AFC West division.
I have the confidence that Derek Carr will show up, but don’t mistake this for the Raiders winning the division!
BOLD PREDICTION: Rams win the division with best defense and QB play!
Did you know they are in the same division with the Cardinals and the Seahawks? “Do you believe I don’t know anything about sports?!”
The obvious favorite to win this division is Seattle. They’ve been to the big game back-to-back years, they’ve won a Super Bowl and nearly won the second one, they traded for Jimmy Graham, they still have most of their team back.. Why aren’t they going to win the division? Well, they very well may, and many people believe they will. The overall and realistic expectation should be them taking the division crown, yet an early playoff exit. But what if Seattle falters in the regular season? Perhaps they miss Unger, or they miss Chancellor, or injuries plague their season. What then? Who steps up? It’s going to be St. Louis, because I honestly feel their defense is crazy good on paper (especially that defensive line) and I personally believe Nick Foles was wronged by the Eagles, yet the Rams got the best end of that deal, no matter how many want to argue that point. Foles doesn’t have weapons, but he didn’t in Philadelphia either. He also has a running game between Mason and Gurley to take some pressure off of him, as well as not worrying about tossing seven touchdowns a game. Looking at the rest of the division, the shocking Cardinals will take a step back and the 49ers are going to be too bad to even mention.
So is it a long shot the Rams win the NFC West with not only the division’s best defense, but the best quarterback? You can’t be too upset with me.
As you can see, I tried to do each one for each division. I hope they turned out okay, as I’m not big on “bold predictions”… It did give me nearly 2000 words, but wait!! A bonus “BOLD PREDICTION“…
BOLD PREDICTION: Robert Griffin III is traded to the Cincinnati Bengals!
Get over yourself, you’re not a real journalist! “Actually, I am. Just keep reading to see how this all ties together.”
There have been so many reports out of Washington DC this offseason about dysfunction as it pertains to the quarterback situation, and more specifically, RG3. There’s also been reports that say the Redskins inquired teams about a potential deal involving Griffin, and there were no takers. I truly feel that last part wasn’t true, as I can’t imagine the Browns not at least inspecting the idea, as much as they wanted RG3 coming out of Baylor, as well as their quarterback situation not being that much better. I feel the Bengals would be a good place. Andy Dalton’s horrific, and the Redskins would need to get something out of it. Say Cousins isn’t performing up to Jay Gruden’s standards, so he looks to his old team, and could ask Mike Lewis for either Dalton, or the kid he probably pushed the organization to draft, AJ McCarron. RG3 goes to the Bengals and McCarron/Dalton goes to the Redskins. It gets under Cleveland’s skin and Gruden gets HIS quarterback.
So I hope you enjoyed these. I really want someone to look back in March of next year and see if any of these were right…. Would it destroy my credibility if I muttered “Doubt it”?