1. The Bears Won’t Get Back To Playoffs:
Some of this is a sudden and (really now!) misplaced love affair with the “new and improved” Lions. And I am thrilled about the fact that the Lions are improved! I love it! But to say they are good enough to keep the Bears out of the playoffs is ridiculous. And to think, thanks to the officiating last year in game one with Calvin Johnson not getting the TD he should have gotten, the Lions keeping the Bears out of the playoffs in 2011 would be poetic justice. But I simply do not think the Bears aren’t good enough to make the playoffs.
I didn’t think they’d be good enough last year, but lo and behold they won the division! A lot of that last year was due to the fact that I do not like Jay Cutler. There, I said it. But I shouldn’t let dislike of Jay Cutler color my opinions…heck, if not liking a player had a bearing on final standings, the Steelers would be last place every year! (Hint: I don’t like Roethlisberger, either.)
2. The Jets will win the AFC East. Right. Just like they won Super Bowl 45! Nope, I’ll say it right here right now: either the Pats repeat again, or Chad Henne fools everyone and plays like he’s Mark Sanchez in the playoffs and Daboll shows why all that nonsense about him not doing anything with a piss-poor Browns offense is just smoke and mirrors. Yeah, I know I said Miami would finish last because Stephen Ross deserved it. But the Fins weren’t as good as 2008 but also weren’t as bad as 2010. One of these days I will try to figure out what went wrong in South Florida last year. In fact, I think–no, really–that the Bills have a better shot at the playoffs than the Jets do. In other words, I just have a really bad feeling about the Jets this year…having to sign a zillion free agents will do that to ya.
3. The Cowboys will get back to the playoffs. Why? Because they’re the Cowboys, dammit! Sorry, but this ain’t the 1970s, 80s, or 90s anymore. Wade Phillips needed to lose his job, but when you have players on the team saying John Kitna is a better leader than Tony Romo, honey you got problems! And that also assumes that the Giants will fold again and that Micheal Vick will repeat last year’s performance. You can’t assume either one.
4. The Rams will win the NFC West. The ONLY reason I’m seeing this one is because the Rams are the only NFC West team that you know who their starting QB will be. And that’s it. But this division is so weak that you can’t assume one of the other teams won’t come up with a good starting QB to rival Sam Bradford, nor can you assume Bradford won’t have a bit of a setback. I mean, Matt Ryan had a setback in his second year and Chad Henne had a setback in his second starting year. So who is to say Bradford won’t? I say that if Kevin Kolb finds his way to either Seattle or Arizona…not that Kolb is a great QB…he could (being in a weak division) lead his team to the division title over Bradford.
5. The Colts win the AFC South. I know I’ve waffled on this issue as late as a few days ago saying the Colts will probably win by default again, simply because I have no reason to trust the Texans or Jaguars will finally get over the hump. Thing is, if the Texans get Nnamdi Asoumagah (spelling?), along with having a defensive top notch coach in Wade Phillips, along with that great offense, the Texans could–despite Kubiak–get over the hump this year.
6. The Redskins trade McNabb. I mean, who would want the guy? I say the Skins get over their John Beck fettish and keep McNabb just because…
7. The Broncos trade Orton. Orton is one of those guys that is a legit starting QB on the one hand but isn’t on the other. He’s not really franchise but not really journeyman, either. He reminds me of Jay Fiedler, who never quite got a real chance to replace Marino in Miami because, well…he wasn’t Marino! In fact, of all the QBs in Dolphins history, I’d put Fiedler behind only Marino, Griese, and Chad Pennington. Don Strock would be number five, but Henne might get on there one of these years. So, no, I really don’t see the Broncos trading Orton. Why? Because I really don’t see the Broncos handing it over to Tebow just like that. What has Tebow done?
8. Carson Palmer retires. Now, who would want to play for the Bungles the way Palmer is being done? But still, if the guy really wants to keep playing, Mike Brown (who is worse than Stephen Ross, Jerry Jones, Al Davis, and Jerry Richardson put together!) will make sure he plays in Cincy. No ifs ands or buts. And until this team actually does something right, I’m calling them the Bungles!
9. The Ravens take over the AFC North. I made that mistake last year picking them to win the AFC. Well, teams don’t spoil my predictions and get away with it! So, since Flacco can’t ever seem to do anything about the Steelers and Ray Ray might be getting too old to make it right–and Ozzie doesn’t seem to have confidence in Flacco, anyway, then why the heck should I? My prediction: second place. Again!
10. The Chargers win the AFC West. This “expert” prediction probably has the most chance of happening. After all, Phillip Rivers’s chance of a Super Bowl window is closing very fast, and the Bolts have still the most talented team in the division. Thing is, the Bolts have this very annoying tendency of starting very slowly that they simply haven’t done much about over the last several years, and because this division is getting stronger, the Bolts may not be able to operate like that and expect to win much longer.
Next time: Predictions I expect are correct.