Aaahhhh, it’s that time of year again. It’s getting cooler, the leaves will be turning soon, and America’s favorite sport is back! Other than the playoffs, this is one of my favorite times of year! Read below for my upcoming season synopsis and predictions.
I have been the biggest Tebow proponent out there. My defense is that coaches can’t get over the fact that the guy wins, even if he’s not a standard QB. Well this preseason before the final game, he looked pretty awful. Even his 2 TD performance was essentially short throws and the WR did the work. I’m backing off the Tebow bandwagon for now (and no, it’s not too late).
Broncos Make a Statement:
So last night we were anxiously awaiting the kickoff game of the season, only to be disappointed with a lightning delay (on a side note, the same weatherman looking at blue skies and calling a lightning delay has just been fired and sent to Miami, where this week’s Dolphin’s game will get hit with a snow delay…). It’s funny how upset you can get as a football fan having to wait an extra 30 minutes, you just spent 7 months without football! Anywho, wow did the Broncos put on a clinic. Peyton ties the NFL record for 7 TD passes in a game! Second side note, he can average 2.8 TD’s a game (very doable) and break Brady’s 50 TD record. The Broncos were out to make a statement last night. First, they wanted to show the Ravens they had no bragging rights for beating them in Denver last year in the playoffs, and the Ravens got TROUNCED! Second, there was definitely a message sent to Brady and the Patriots saying “Miss Welker Yet?” Very impressive performance and reason I have chosen the Broncos to win it all.
My rookie to watch is EJ Manuel. I think he’s going to have a very strong season, but won’t have the cast around him to lead that to wins. Still impressive.
Adrian Peterson will have a drop off and not reach his lofty goal of 2500 yds, my guess is 1700 (and yes, that’s a “dropoff” for AP).
Michael Vick will tear it up this year under Chip Kelly’s offense. My guess is 600 yards rushing, 3500 yds passing
The best WR in the NFC North will not be Calvin Johnson, it will be Brandon Marshall
David Wilson for the Giants will be one of the better running backs in the league
League MVP is Matt Ryan
Mike Wallace can’t find his groove in Miami, Brian Hartline gets more catches and yards
At least 3 QB’s start for the Jets
Jamaal Charles will be a top 4 running back if he can stay healthy
Darren McFadden will be a top 5 running back if he can stay healthy
Phillip Rivers will be looking for a job by the end of the season (or will be traded)
Team by Team Predictions:
Patriots (2012: 12-4)- As much as I hate to say it, with Belichick and Brady the Patriots are a favorite to contend every year. But they’ve had a troubled offseason, losing much of their wide receiver corps to free agency, and star tight ends to injury or murder…This will cut into the Patriots’ dominance this year, but with no competition in the East, they should easily win the division at 10-6.
Dolphins (2012: 7-9)- The Dolphins had a mediocre season, with flashes of greatness in wins over the Bengals and Seahawks. They won the Free Agency contest, and Tannehill should be improved this year with Mike Wallace, but they lost Reggie Bush and coach Tony Sparano. I expect more of the same with a 7-9 season.
Jets (2012: 6-10)- Two years ago the Jets were coming off back to back AFC Championship appearances. This offseason they dumped their entire coaching staff, leaving Rex Ryan with 1 more year to prove himself. Geno Smith is going to be just as much of a distraction as Tim Tebow, except Smith has a horrible attitude. Especially with Sanchez not being able to start the season, Smith will struggle, they’ll put Sanchez in (who will struggle), and then turn back to Geno. Geno will be the QB of the future, but will still drive the franchise into the ground. This will be Sanchez’ and Rex Ryan’s final season with the team, ending up 4-12.
Bills (2012: 6-10)- The Bills surprised with selecting E J Manuel as the first QB taken this year, but he has some upside. They went from starting their 3rd string QB, to starting a “still healing” rookie against the Patriots. Overall, with a Rookie coach and QB leading the helm, watch for some more struggles and a 5-11 season.
Bengals (2012: 10-6)- This is the Bengals year to take the division. With a rising cast of young stars, and a dipping Baltimore, this is their best chance to win the division and a playoff game. Still not elite, but can picture them going deep into the playoffs. Expect an 11-5 season.
Ravens (2012: 10-6, won Super Bowl)- FMQB has a tendency to make these predicitions, but I feel like the Ravens had a “Super Bowl or Bust” mentality last year, and went on to lose Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, Matt Birk, Dennis Pitta, and Danelle Ellerbee. This is just too much to overcome in my mind. I want to have them missing the playoffs altogether, but the AFC is too weak to allow this. I have them sneaking into a Wild Card spot at 9-7.
Steelers (2012: 8-8)- The Steelers are on a downward spiral of being too old and too slow. Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger are enough to keep this a .500 team any year, but I expect another 3rd place division finish at 7-9.
Browns (2012: 5-11)- I actually think the Browns have a solid team. Their coaching decision to hire the Panthers offensive coordinator was a bit puzzling, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt since working with God’s Gift to Man Cam. I think Brandon Weeden will have a strong year, same with Trent Richardson. Small improvement, but 7-9.
Broncos (2012: 13-3)- Sure Dumerville’s gone, and Von Miller suspended for 4 games, but Wes Welker alone makes up for that. Also, remember that Manning started 2-3 before winning 11 straight. I have high expectations for the Broncos, and feel they are the team to beat in the AFC. They’re Super Bowl window is closing rapidly, but this is their year to claim it with a 14-2 season.
Chiefs (2012: 2-14)- FMQB notoriously hasn’t been a fan of Alex Smith, but I think he’s the best thing the team has done since Trent Green and Priest Holmes rocked it up. A healthy Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe should bode well with Andy Reid as the new head coach. I see the Chiefs as the most improved team, sneaking into the final wild card at 8-8 (yes, the AFC is that rough).
Raiders (2012: 4-12)- The Raiders are still struggling, and we still haven’t heard why Terelle Pryor was named the starting QB. He definitely adds a spark to the offense, but his lack of accuracy will catch up with him. I think Matt Flynn will be in by mid-season and will improve the team with the chip on his shoulder. I can see Oakland improving with the QB upgrade alone, leading them to a 5-111 season.
Chargers (2012: 7-9)- New coaching is finally in place about 2 years too late. However, I think Phillip Rivers is a quarterback in decline. I see them struggling in a slowly improving division, and ending at 5-11.
Houston (2012: 12-4)- This is a Super Bowl or Bust year for the Texans as well. However, they seem to a team that dominates in the regular season only to fall short when it really counts. They definitely have the talent to make it to the AFC Championship, and an outside shot at the Super Bowl, but they don’t have the winning gusto to take it all. I see another #2 seed, finishing at 13-3.
Indianapolis (2012: 11-5)- The 2012 season with Andrew Luck was magical, but there were a lot of comebacks and games they didn’t deserve to win. Most of the season was Bruce Arian’s winning, and not Chuck Pagano. I’m a fan of Luck, but I see him having a bit of a Sophomore slump this year, and actually missing the playoffs, but still rattling off a .500 season at 8-8.
Tennessee (2012: 6-10)- The 2012 season with Andrew Luck was magical, but there were a lot of comebacks and games they didn’t deserve to win. I’m a fan of Luck, but I see him having a bit of a Sophomore slump this year, and actually missing the playoffs, but still rattling off a .500 season at 8-8.
Jacksonville (2012: 2-14)- Even with some playmakers, the Jaguars had an atrocious offense last year. Blackmon is now suspended the first 4 games, and for some reason their coach and GM still think Blaine Gabbert is the answer. I always like to think that a 2-14 team can improve, but I really don’t see it happening, and ending at 2-14 again.
Washington Redskins (2012: 10-6)– This division is full of mediocre teams, but that also makes it tough to figure out who will win it. I think RG3 will do well again this year, but will start off slow with his knee injury and conditioning issues. This will hurt the Redskins, who will finish up at 9-7 to barely miss the playoffs.
New York Giants (2012: 9-7)– The Giants came off a Super Bowl win to miss the playoffs. I think they bounce back this year and sneak into the playoffs. They will fly under the radar the entire season until people realize that they’re leading the division. Eli Manning makes this team an 8-8 contender any year, and with some of their weapons, it pushes them to a 10-6 finish and division win.
Dallas Cowboys (2012: 8-8)– The Cowboys confuse me every season, making me think they will do well and then falling off. I’ve always been an advocate for Tony Romo, but I think this is his year to fall off after the huge contract. Watch for Jason Garrett to get fired by Week 14, as the Cowboys go 7-9 and last in the division.
Philadelphia Eagles (2012: 4-12)– The Eagles went a disappointing (and surprising) 4-12 last year, prompting the firing of one of the longest tenured coaches. I think Chip Kelly will add a spark to the offense, and plays will be rattling off so quickly, it won’t matter if their O-Line is horrible. Vick will be the starter all season (barring injury), and will be a bounce-back year for him. All things considering, they’ll end at 8-8.
Green Bay Packers (2012: 11-5)– Packers will be a strong team, but their O-line issues are ridiculous. Aaron Rodgers is a top 3 QB in the league right now, but he also gets sacked an amazing amount of times. One of these times will catch up with him, and he already has concussion issues. BUT, I’m not in the business of predicting injuries (that’s Sean Payton’s job…), so I still see them as a strong team (as long as Eddie Lacy doesn’t eat himself out of the league). Let’s go 10-6, but easy win of the division.
Minnesota Vikings (2012: 10-6)– I know many of my readers are Vikings fans, and I find myself slowly following the team more and more. But I have multiple problems with their current corps of players. First, Adrian Peterson can only do so much. Even with a 2100+ yard season, the Vikings limped into the playoffs and were bounced miserably. That basically tells me he needs to break the all-time rushing record for the Vikings to have a shot. Second, their receivers aren’t established. Sure Greg Jennings was a steal, it’s hard to believe he’s under 30 yet. My final problem is with Christian Ponder. I saw a ridiculous stat about the lack of throws he’s had over 20 yards. The coaches know that he’s not accurate at that range, and has to survive with dink and dunk passes. This is great if you have a Percy Harvin-eske receiver (which they don’t anymore…), but you won’t win games unless you’re up in the 4th quarter. Long story short, I see the Vikes as a decent team, but at 8-8 and unfortunately missing out on the playoffs.
Chicago Bears (2012: 10-6)– This was a tough one for me. I’ve heard that their new coach is an offensive genius. New coaches are always hit and miss their first year, but this is also the Bears window to actually do something (not that they have recently). I still think Cutler is a better QB than people give him credit for, and they could explode if their D is as good as last year. But here’s where it’s tough, I see them barely missing the playoffs behind Seattle, but only because of how strong the division is. 9-7
Detroit Lions (2012: 4-12)– The Lions came off a playoff year miserably, only eeking out 4 wins last year. I have a bad feeling about this year too. Reggie Bush is a plus, and you never know if him and Calvin Johnson tear it up again, but don’t see it happening. My guess is 6-10.
San Francisco 49ers (2012: 11-4-1)– Another very tough division, and I think teams start to figure out the read option offense (like the Ravens did). It’s Kaepernick’s first full season at the helm, but I see him getting battered around quite a bit. The Raven’s strategy in the Super Bowl was to not let Kaepernick beat him. Defenders ran past RB’s during the option to smoke Colin. Of course he would hand it off everytime, which is why Gore got 120+ yds in that game, but it held Kaepernick’s yards to a minimum. That’s the strategy teams need to take, and will take. But Kaepernick’s accuracy will also surprise teams, and they will still be elite. That tie last year should have been a loss, which is why I say 11-5 this year.
Seattle Seahawks (2012: 11-5)– Seattle is a team on the rise, just not in record this year. Harvin was a great addition, and it’s a shame he can’t play until late in the season (ring any bells Vikings fans?). Wilson will still be strong, maybe a small dropoff. But the “Fail Mary” karma will straighten itself out this year, and they’ll end with the 10-6 record they were supposed to.
St. Louis Rams (2012: 7-8-1)– Ahhh the Rams. Every year I come in super excited about our team, but perhaps a bit more this year. We’re still a year away from being a playoff team, but the pieces are being put in place. Jake Long and Jared Cook were awesome acquisitions (although losing Amendola and Gibson is painful). I see Bradford solidifying his place with the Rams, and avoiding the “bust” term, but they’re still an 8-8 team that’s 1 year away.
Arizona Cardinals (2012: 5-11)– Adding Bruce Arians over the offseason was genius, so was dropping Kolb for Carson Palmer. Larry Fitzgerald should see an increase in production this year, and they bolstered their running game with “Don’t Kill Bin Laden” Mendenhall. The Cardinals could be a surprise team at the end of the season, ending at 8-8 but going into the next year with confidence.
Atlanta Falcons (2012: 13-3)– This is a rapidly improving division, but it’s still the Falcons for the taking, and it should be an easy win. Not to mention, they just dropped Michael Turner (who was the only bad player on their team) for Steven Jackson. Gonzalez decided to come back for one more hurrah, and they got Osi Umenyioria (didn’t check the spelling on that, am I close?). I have the Falcons as the #1 playoff seed at 12-4 this year.
New Orleans Saints (2012: 7-9)– Off year last year with Bounty-Gate, but Sean Payton is back with a vengeance. The Saints will return to their playoff ways with Brees going stat crazy again. I see a 10-6 finish and top Wildcard spot.
Carolina Panthers (2012: 7-9)– Everybody is huge on God’s Gift to Man Cam this year, and I just don’t buy into it. He struggled mightily last year, and when they were close in games, he would somehow blow it in the 4th quarter. Not to mention they have a new coach and new offensive coordinator. Picture a Sam Bradford scenario, super strong rookie year and struggles from here on out. Plus, Jonathan Stewart is out the first 7 weeks, cutting off the head to their 2 headed RB machine. I see more of the same, 8-8 finish.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012: 7-9)– I am not a fan of anything this team has done other than the Greg Schiano hiring. Freeman is not the QB of the future, and I feel like this is his last productive year. The South has a tendency of a Worst to 1st mentality with that happening several years the past decade. But not this time, Bucs finish last at 6-10.
2: San Francisco
3: Green Bay
4: New York Giants
5: New Orleans
4: New England
6: Kansas City
Atlanta vs Denver (Broncos Win)
You got some ‘splainin to do!
Continuing with last year’s trend, I actually found a database that shows every NFL arrest! Since the Super Bowl, 36 players were arrested or charged with various charges (34 of those were non-Murder related). However, it has been 25 days since our last arrest…
I hope to stay up to date on postings at the beginning of the season, but FMQB and FFMQB have decided to become one (FFFMMQQBB? That can’t be right). I will for sure miss the Week 2 posting, but next Friday is the DAY before I sign my “no trade” clause, so not sure if it’ll get out. Rest at ease, FMQB will be rested and refreshed with a lot to talk about come Week 3.
Some solid predictions there. I agree AP will probably have a little “drop off” and I definitely agree with you that Brandon Marshall will be better than Calvin Johnson this year because he will get so many target since he basically is the offense for Chicago.
Great post by the way man!