NFL Season Preview
A really late one, at that.
Disclaimer: If you consider any one of my predictions insane, please take a step back from reading, and consider taking a deep breath instead. Hopefully, a nice deep breath will provide you with the clarity needed to enjoy a bit of mindless entertainment. For the rest of you, ignore what I just said, and enjoy the dinger socking.
32. Cleveland Browns 0-16.
Everyone and their dumb mom thought the Browns would pick first overall last year because, haha, they had the Bills first rounder. Well, that didn’t happen. What did happen is Justin Gilbert, Cameron Irving, and Ibraheim Campbell for Sammy Watkins.
Anyways, the reason the Browns go 0-16: Josh McCown. Last season, McCown played for the Buccaneers, who finished 2-14. Of course, all 2-14 seasons aren’t alike — the winner of the NFC South finished 7-8-1. Now Mccown is playing for the Browns in the very competitive AFC North.
Not to mention, McCown is going from throwing to Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, to Terrelle Pryor.
In the immortal words of Vontae Mack, “who ya pickin?” Cleveland?
31. Washington Redskins 2-14
Like most people, I think Jon Gruden is insane. He regularly says incredible bizarre things like this:
Amazingly enough, he isn’t even the most insane Gruden. That honour belongs to his younger brother, Jay. Jay Gruden isn’t insane in the verbally incoherent sort of way, but rather, he is insane because he thinks Kirk Cousins is a viable quarterback option.
Good luck with that.
30. Tennessee Titans 3-13
The Titans are a puzzling franchise. For years they have had some interesting pieces, but haven’t figured out how to to get on the plus side of the ledger. Are things going to change with their most interesting piece of all, Marcus Marriota? Can you imagine a world where Ken Whisenhunt is good at solving puzzles?
29. San Francisco 49ers 3-13
During an intro psych class, my prof used a Malcolm Gladwell anecdote to explain suicide epidemics. Apparently ideas spread like “viruses” — you might have heard this before. Anyways, during the offseason, 49er players were dropping like teenagers in Micronesia.
First, Patrick Willis retired early, then Chris Borland and Anthony Davis followed suit. Is Patrick Willis a trendsetter ala those Hush Puppy wearing hipsters in SoHo? If so, Patrick Willis, the tastemaker, may very well be responsible for a 3-13 finish for the once great 49ers, rather than the absolute, and utter, asshat-ery of Trent Baalke.
To be completely honest, I’m hoping for a dramatic fall from grace so the Bills land Colin Kaepernick for Greek cents on the dollar.
28. St. Louis Rams 4-12
For years I ragged on the Rams for sticking with Sam Bradford and they finally got rid of him. Good start, but its not exactly an addition by subtraction. Especially since the addition involves Nick Foles. I can’t imagine Nick Foles long as all get out delivery working well in conjunction with the Rams terrible defensive line.
What the Rams should have done this offseason subtract Jeff Fisher.
27. Oakland Raiders 4-12
Blame it on Jack Del Rio.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-11
The key for Jameis Winston’s long term success is being good enough to get his next coach excited, while getting his current one fired.
25. Kansas City Chief 6-10
You live by the sword you die by the sword. Except that playing Alex Smith at quarterback is more akin to living by the butter knife, but you know what I mean.
24. Houston Texans 6-10
Year after year, Hard Knocks chooses the most boring teams possible. I didn’t think any team could be less exciting than the Mike Smith led Falcons, but Bill O’Brien Texans have taken that dubious honour away from them. This despite the fact that the Texans feature small screen star JJ Watt (of New Girl fame). The Texans upcoming season will go as well as JJ Watt’s cameo.
23. Chicago Bears 6-10
John Fox, overall, is a great head coach. As long as you’re not asking him to make tough decisions at the end of games, you can most certainly do worse than him. Regardless, Fox won’t turn Bears around in year one. Mainly because I can’t see Jay Cutler gelling with Fox.
Might be wishful thinking on my part.
22. New Orleans Saints 6-10
This carnation of the Saints, featuring Drew Brees, and Sean Payton, is starting to feel a lot like a long running TV show that’s stayed past its welcome. Think Malcolm In The Middle, which last seven seasons. Sean Payton is going into his ninth season as head coach. Time to get cancelled.
21. Miami Dolphins 6-10
You can sign Suh to whatever contract you want, but when Regis Philbin is coaching your team, you aren’t getting it done.
Also, this team doesn’t pass the Moneyball scout test cuz Ryan Tannehill’s wife.
20. Cincinnati 7-9
I’m very concerned about the Bengals this year and moving forward. This year, their quarterback is Andy Dalton. Moving forward, it’s probably A.J. McCarron.
19. New York Jets 7-9
Is 7-9 good enough to convince the Jets that they have a future with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB? I sure hope so.
18. Jacksonville 8-8
You know things haven’t been going well for you as a franchise when an 8-8 prediction feels like a stretch. But I believe in the Jaguars. Why? I’m not entirely sure. I just do.
17. Detroit 8-8
Detroit will Suh-ck this year.
16. Minnesota 8-8
The Cleveland Browns could have had Teddy Bridgewater. That’s why the Vikings aren’t going 0-16.
15. New England 8-8
Yeah, no one in their right mind would predict the New England Patriots to go 8-8. Am I saying that I’m insane? No. I’m just going based on the evidence.
Yes, they still have Brady and Gronkowski. Yes, they still have Belichick. But look at the rest of the roster? Revis is gone, their starting running back is most famous for marijuana puns, and Julian Edelman is their number one receiver.*
Here is the twist: I’m not taking into account all of the cheating that is likely to occur. Like with most conspiracy theories, the burden is on the accuser to provide evidence. Without evidence, I can’t possibly justify a better record for the Patriots.
*Julian Edelman would be the worst human being on most teams, except the Patriots.
14. New York Giants 8-8
Odell Beckham this, Odell Beckham that. Madden Curse what?
13. Pittsburgh 9-7
Pittsburgh should be better than 9-7. Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best QBs in the league. Antonio Brown is one of the best wide receivers. And Le’Veon Bell is the best running back. Not to mention, Todd Haley isn’t the worst offensive coordinator in the league. Problem is, he’s one of the worst.
Brightside: I still have the Steelers in the playoffs as a wild card.
12. Carolina 10-6
Poor Cam Newton. He works so hard to get healthy after his near death experience, gets himself primed for a comeback season, and Kelvin Benjamin tears his ACL. Regardless, I think Carolina will win 10 games. Problem is, it wont be enough to get them into the playoffs in a tight NFC.
11. Philadelphia 11-5
Quick question: Is Tim Tebow practice squad eligible? With or without Tebow, I’m sure Chip will manage.
10. Denver Broncos 12-4
I have the Broncos finishing 12-4, but somehow losing the division. The Broncos, in my mind, still make the playoffs, though. It wouldn’t be the worst thing for Peyton Manning. Getting him away from Denver weather might give him a real shot at another Super Bowl.
9. Arizona Cardinals 12-4
Yet another 12-4 team that doesn’t win their division. Nonetheless, I have the Cardinals making the playoffs. In Bruce Arians, I trust.
8. Buffalo 11-5
All I have to say is, I predicted a 9-7 record for my beloved Bills last season. I will be right once again.
7. Indianapolis. 12-4
Indy is good for 6 wins from their division alone (Titans, Jaguars, Texans). That leaves only six more wins against the rest of the league. With that cake walk ahead of them, the Colts feel like a shoe-in for a big season — relatively speaking.
6. Atlanta Falcons 12-4
I am glad the Falcons waffled on hiring Rex Ryan. Still, getting anyone other than Mike Smith to coach the Falcons this year will be a significant improvement.
5. Dallas Cowboys 12-4
It feels weird predicting a 12 win season from a team coached by Jason Garrett. Then again, Tony Romo is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. I’m glad I can say that without fear of internet based repercussions now.
4. Seattle Seahawks 12-4
The truther is the Seahawks are going to be good for a long time. They’ve managed to sign Wilson, Sherman, Lynch, Thomas, etc. long term and trade for Jimmy Graham.
3. San Diego Chargers 12-4
It’s got to be Philip Rivers year, right? Seriously.
2. Baltimore Ravens 13-3
I like Joe Flacco. I like Marc Trestman. I would like those two together even better if Torrey Smith was still around. But still, big year for Bodymoremurderland.
1. Green Bay Packers 13-3
Jordy Nelson is not the heart and soul, or any of that bullshit, of the Green Bay Packers. The Pack will be perfectly fine without him. Their biggest problem will be the playoffs when, inevitably, Mike McCarthy screws up.