By this point, every team in the NFL has played a minimum of eight ballgames.
And since that’s as close as we can reasonably get to a halfway point, what better time than now to speculate on how things are going to turn out?
You know, I thought about going with a League wide version of Midseason superlatives. But screw that – I already did that for The Skins.
Nope. I got something better. Before Kickoff Thursday night (damn these NFL weeks start fast!) I’m going to give you my 10 bold predictions for what happens in The NFL by season’s end.
Don’t worry – I’ll be lucky if I nail 4 of these calls. All “bold predictions” means in sportswriting circles is if I nail one of these, folks will think I’m a genius. Otherwise, it’s water under the bridge (unless I unwittingly insult your team–then you’ll never forget it!).
So no more stalling, here’s the list:
1) The Patriots Win the AFC East but DON’T reach The Super Bowl.
This is the turning point for New England. If you’re new here, then be advised that I said this at the season’s opening. But here’s the deal in a nutshell: Brady & Belichick are still the best team in their Division. They’re just not the class of the AFC anymore. I got ’em going about 11-5 and not reaching The Super Bowl. Their Defense is too bad.
2) The New York Jets are gonna sniff .500 this year.
Big whoop. Who cares, right? Well…I care. Because going into the year if you said the best football team in NYC would be the Jets you’d get laughed out of your fantasy mock draft! Look; in my opinion, Todd Bowles deserves serious credit for turning gang green into a competitive outfit. I mean, who the hell’s he starting at Quarterback anyways? The Jets were considered a laughing stock during Training Camp. Now they’re a decent team. And as I see it, they deserve props for that.
3) The Washington Redskins are going to The Playoffs.
A funny thing happened the other day. One of my buddies called me a Homer. Naturally, I had to correct him. I ain’t no Homer; I’m a Diehard. That’s a much deeper commitment! And yes this is a Diehard pick. But it doesn’t mean that I’m wrong. The Redskins are a hard nosed, gritty, physical squad of hammerheads that never say die. And the way this year is shaping up, The Burgundy and Gold is gonna get to The Postseason. And kick some ass! You heard it here 1st. Remember that.
4) The Los Angeles Rams will Win the West.
I gotta be honest here. For most of this season, I wasn’t sold on the Rams. I know they traveled to Texas and Beat The Hated Rival. But I wasn’t sold on ’em. Well, it turns out I was wrong. These guys are 4-0 on The Road, 2-1 in their Division, and 6-2 overall. That qualifies as pretty damn good. Why couldn’t Jeff Fischer do that?
5) The Carolina Panthers will Win the South.
Okay. The Panthers were my Preseason pick in the South, so take this under advisement. Although the Saints are currently leading the Division, I still like Carolina to finish ahead of them to Win The NFL’s wackiest Division. I also have the Falcons missing The Postseason completely. Their mojo’s off. How do I know the Panthers will pull it off? I don’t know. No one knows anything about the NFC South except this: Tampa Bay is terrible.
6) Denver will completely collapse.
Alright, alright. This isn’t the boldest pick, as their collapse is already under way after getting manhandled in Philly. But there’s no real way for Denver to stop the bleeding since they’re a headless team. Without a quality NFL caliber Signal Caller, how is this team supposed to be competitive? Right now the Chargers are 3-5 right along with the Broncos, but LA is playing better football. And Rivers might be old, but he can still play. Denver’s in serious trouble.
7) The NFC North becomes the worst Division in Football.
The Rodgers injury CLEARLY affects this entire Division. Without the Packers at the top, Minnesota Wins it by default. And yes, the Vikings are a good team, but are they Super Bowl good? I don’t know about that. They have their own Quarterback issues. Besides an good Vikings team, what else do you have? The Packers are a 6-10 team without Aaron Rodgers, Detroit is Detroit, and Chicago….you see my point. Congratulations NFC North. You’re the worst!
8)John Harbaugh is fired in Baltimore.
When’s the last time the Ravens made The Playoffs? 2014. If they miss this year, that makes it 3 years in a row that Bmore will be enjoying The Postseason on their couch. That’s no good. And the natives are already restless over the early returns. The bad news for them is this team can’t score because they lack a Big Play Playmaker. And shoutout to my homeboy Ryan Marshall (a deranged Ravens fan) for being on top of this one. Season’s end brings the close of the John Harbaugh era in Baltimore.
9) Alex Smith Wins The MVP.
I suppose an argument can be made for Carson Wentz too. But to me, Smith is the better story. He puts up numbers as the Chiefs lame duck Quarterback and will ride off into the sunset as the man that validated himself. The key here is he better keep putting up the numbers, or Philly will get that trophy. As long as Hunt and Kelce stay healthy (and take the pressure off him), Smith should have no worries.
10) The Kansas City Chiefs are The Super Bowl Champions!
Yup. They get it done. Of course for every reason you name in their favor, there’s a counterpoint to consider. The biggest one to me is their Defense has been shakier this year than normal (but I understand that injuries have a lot to do with that). I’ll just say this: if Alex Smith does have an MVP caliber year, then this squad really could do something special. Fuck it, I’ll give ’em the benefit of the doubt (and The Football seems to be bouncing their way this year). Kansas City actually Wins in The Playoffs this year and tops it off by Prevailing in The Big Game!
How’s that for some bold predictions?