Well folks, it’s been a long 7 months since the Super Bowl, and although I have enjoyed the break, but Friday Morning Quarterback is back in action! Is everybody ready for some football?!?!?! Some nicknames will be back, others will be changed. As always, my goal is to bring in some interesting facts mixed with a bit of humor. Thanks to my loyal readers for requesting me to start this up again!
In this Season Premier episode of FMQB, you will all be privy to seeing my wacky predictions come back. Before you read this and think I’m crazy, below is a few of the more bizarre predictions I got right last year.
I’m the first to admit that I make some pretty wacky predictions, but without risk there’s no reward right? Here are the bad predictions from 2011.
Rams start off the season 2-5, then make a run to finish 10-6 (ouch, not even close)
The 49ers will inexplicably keep looking at Alex Smith to be their QB (we’re on year 7 already, what part of “bust” don’t you understand?) *way to prove me wrong Alex
Both Super Bowl teams from last year will miss the playoffs (Oops, Packers and Steelers combined to go 25-7)
Week 2: Watch the Gods smite the Giants and miss the playoffs again, just because these two angered the Gods (so much for being smited)
But here we go, look at the preseason predictions I had last year!!! Hopefully this gives me some credibility from what I’m about to say later:
(All preseason predictions)
Colts will miss the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. (I never thought I’d say that this decade)
Browns and Lions will be 9-7 (I never thought I’d say that in my lifetime) *1 out of 2 teams isn’t bad!
Texans will make the playoffs for the first time in their history
McNabb will start 6 games before being benched for Ponder (Best prediction of last year, dead on).
Peyton Manning will end his consecutive streak of games
Tim Tebow will start the season as the #3 QB, and will be the starter by Week 12 (he was starting by week 12
There will be a team with 6 INT’s in a game, by a team not named the Jets or Eagles (Chiefs did it)!
John Fox will take the Broncos back to the playoffs by 2012 (he did by 2011, pretty good for a 4-12 team)
Carson Palmer will be living in the bay area very soon, as he will be leading either the 49ers or Raiders in the 2012 season (2nd best prediction from last year)
Week 1 Prediction: On a side note, Brees had 419 yards passing, on pace for a whopping 6700 in one season! Prediction? I bet Brees breaks the yardage record this year, and becomes the MVP.
I know it’s only Week 1, but props to the Texans, you just won the AFC South.
2012 Team Predictions by division:
Patriots– After a tough (yet amusing loss) in the Super Bowl, the Patriots will come back strong. Easily reaching a 12-4 record and making a deep run in the playoffs.
Bills– Once again will start strong, perhaps 5-1, and still miss the playoffs. This isn’t a hard prediction, it happens every year!
Jets– The Tebow vs Sanchez affair will cause enough drama and discord on the team which will cause the collapse of Rex Ryan. Ryan will be fired before the end of the season, not before Tebow starts several games but can’t find his winning ways.
Dolphins– Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill will struggle (oh well, he can still go home to his smoking wife), and become this year’s Blaine Gabbart
Ravens– The Ravens will turn into a pass crazy team, Flacco has career highs for numbers, Torrey Smith becomes a breakout WR. Even with an aging defense, the offense will make up for it. Ravens are the team to beat in this
Browns– I can see Weeden leading the Browns to a decent record for the first time in years, flirting with .500, but will still struggle mightily.
Bengals– Sorry Bengals fans, last year was just a teaser as we see a Sophomore slump for both Andy Dalton and AJ Green. Finish last in the division
Steelers– Steelers also see a slump even in this weak division, falling out of the playoffs.
Titans– The Titans have a legitimate shot at being the final wild card. Watch them to post a similar 9-7 mark, and be a team that gets looked past but is surprisingly successful.
Texans– Easily the team to beat this year, and if Schaub can stay healthy, I would argue that they post a 13-3 record for the #1 seed in the AFC. Legitimate Super Bowl contender
Jaguars– And we go from the best (above) to the worst. By 2013, Justin Blackmon will be catching passes from Matt Barkley, or whoever the #1 pick in the draft will be. MJD won’t be back with the team until Week 5.
Colts– Andrew Luck will impress his first year, leading the Colts to a better record than Peyton Manning’s rookie season. Watch for 6 or 7 wins, and some optimism for next year!
Broncos– Even with the toughest schedule in the league, watch Peyton lead the Broncos to a Wild Card spot. Eric Decker will become the next Wes Welker, and a more explosive offense with a staunch D will be tough to compete with.
Chargers– Norv Turner is finally on the hot seat this year, and with a lack of offensive threats, he is finally out at the end of the year. Phillip Rivers continues his decline from last year and struggles to get wins when they need it most.
Raiders– I picked them to do well last year, but I’m sticking with my guns. Watch Carson Palmer lead the Raiders to a division title and a 10-6 record.
Chiefs– A lot of people have the Chiefs being a playoff contender this year, but I don’t see it. They will turn into the Romeo Crennel Browns of 5 years ago, with no spice or flavor. Look for 6 wins.
Giants– Defending Super Bowl champs! I made this prediction last year and it backfired, but the Super Bowl Champs will not make it to the playoffs this year. Cruz will get shut down, and Manningham and Jacobs are gone. They’ll put together a 8 win season, but nothing more.
Cowboys– Dez Bryant’s rules will work for the first 10 weeks of the season until he falls off the wagon. Fortunately for the Cowboys, by that point they’ll be a strong 8-2 and well on their way to the playoffs. Romo will be the surprise QB of the league this year and he takes the Cowboys deep into the playoffs.
Eagles– With Vince Young gone, the Nightmares will finally turn into the Dream Team. Vick will lead the team to a strong record, with the Eagles playing hard for Andy Reid’s son. A strong D with an explosive offense will be tough to stop this year. Look for the Eagles to be somebody else’s Nightmare in the Super Bowl.
Redskins– RG3 will bring a lot of explosiveness to a team that desperately needs it. But they have one thing against them, they’re still the Redskins. Potentially a .500 team with RG3 alone, but will be very similar to the Panthers of last year with Cam Newton. Great stats, but not in the Win column.
Vikings– You thought my QB forecast last year with McNabb was bleak, this year’s with Ponder isn’t any better. The only thing the Vikes upgraded this year was their O-line, which won’t help Ponder overthrowing tight ends 5 yards down the field. Peterson will bounce back fine after his injury, but once again, he can’t carry the entire team (think MJD of last year).
Lions– Expect a dropoff from the Lions this year. Not by much, but Megatron won’t be invincible anymore. With a sketchy backfield and a Matthew Stafford injury, Lions will just miss out on the playoffs as an 8-8 team.
Bears– Here’s my Dark Horse pick of the season. I really think the Bears will make a push towards the Super Bowl. Here is their window to make a move, Cutler’s in his prime, Forte will excel, Brandon Marshall will mesh with Cutler just like he did in Denver, and the window of the aging Defense is now. Mike Tice’s commitment to the run will push the Bears to the elite stage. A Bears Eagles NFC Championship is very likely this year.
Packers– The Cheeseheads have a chance to make it back to the Super Bowl with this elite team. However my prediction is another opening round Playoff loss after a crazy season with 13 or 14 wins.
Falcons– Falcons had an ugly playoff performance last year, scoring all but 2 points against the Giants. Their momentum will carry over to this season in a tough division. Even with a strong corps of players, Falcons barely miss out on the final playoff spot.
Saints– Watch the Saints rally around their fallen coach. There will be little to no impact with Sean Payton gone. Drew Brees has such a command of this offense, it won’t matter. Easily an 11 win team and taker of this division. Defense will prevent a deep playoff run, but the divisional playoffs isn’t out of the question.
Buccaneers– Definitely the worst team in the division. I want to root for Greg Schiano hardcore, probably the most likeable coach in the NFL even in his rookie season, but they will struggle to get 5 wins. I’ve never been impressed with Josh Freeman, even with their playoff appearance 2 years ago. Don’t be surprised if Freeman is benched by the end of the year.
Panthers– This is my one question mark of the year. I can see the Panthers going 5-11 up to 11-5. Newton had several game winning chances last year that came up short, enough to swing the team by 5 wins. That separation will determine whether they make the playoffs or not.
Rams– I want to get excited about the season so bad, and Jeff Fischer will be a huge improvement from what we’ve had since the Super Bowl run. But the first year will be tough. Better than 2 wins from last year, but don’t expect more than 4 or 5 wins for the year (an a depressed FMQB). Bradford should solidify himself as the starter though, back to his Rookie of the Year caliber.
Cardinals– Even with a strong showing at the end of the season, the Cardinals will still be in the low-tier team in a bad division. The QB competition will be an ongoing issue. Whoever gets the start will be benched, and then re-started by the end of the season. Back to 5 wins this year.
Seahawks– The Seahawks are my dark horse for this division, after a poor start last year, they won something like 6 of their last 9 games. They also just made a huge upgrade at QB, even though a rookie, Russell Wilson will be an accurate Vince Young-like player. Braylon Edwards wins Comeback Player of the Year. Watch the Seahawks to sneak out a surprise playoff spot!
49ers– Here’s my boldest team prediction of the year! The 49ers have so much hype going into this season, and have been labeled the team to beat in the NFC. Super Bowl favorites for many, they are not on my high list of great teams. My prediction is that the 49ers will be this years’ Eagles, and will not live up to the hype. The 49ers will not make the playoffs this year, ending at 8-8 or 9-7. I’m still not sold on Alex Smith at all, and with a ton of new toys I see discord in their offense.
Tim Tebow will be the starting QB for the Jets by Week 10
Randy Moss will start strong, but as the 49ers falter, his effort will drop to 25%
Joe Flacco will be a top 5 QB in yards/TD’s
Chris Johnson will get back on track, and have 2200 yards of total offense
Braylon Edwards will win the Comeback Player of the Year award
Matt Schaub will be the league MVP, and lead the league in passing yards
Andrew Luck will win 6 games this year, but will not win Rookie of the Year
Peyton Manning will miss more games due to injury, but will have a strong season of 3500 passing yards, 27 TD’s, 20 INT’s (he’ll struggle a little bit with his new team)
Eric Decker will lead the league in receptions with 124
3 Preseason Super Bowl Picks:
Patriots vs Eagles
Broncos vs Packers
Texans vs Cowboys