Guests tonight include Johnny Manziel…James Harrison…Tom Brady…Mark Davis…Ray Rice…and the city of St. Louis. And herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre’s ROGER!
To be honest I wouldn’t put it past the man to create this show on the NFL Network.
It’s about that time for NFL predictions for the 2016 season. To start, let’s take a trip in the way-back machine and look at last year’s predictions….OK maybe we shouldn’t. Holy crap did I ever shit the bed on those. Miami over New England? I must have been drunk at the time. Then again the Dolphins shouldn’t have been THAT bad. So let’s move on to this year. Here’s my predicted order of finish followed by some notes on the season (* denotes wild-card team):
|NY Jets||NY Giants|
|Kansas City||Los Angeles|
|San Diego||San Francisco|
- OK no crazy AFC East bullshit this year. Despite the fact Tommy Touchdown will be absent for the first four games, I am sure Jimmy G and the Pat-tones can hold the fort until he comes back. Other than the opening week trip to Arizona, it’s not a tough schedule so they should be 2-2 at worst when all of Massachusetts blows its wad and Gisele’s hubby comes back to save the day.
- I could see Pittsburgh and Cincinnati really being the class of the AFC so it will suck when one of them has to be the #5 seed and playing on the road the entire playoffs. I wish the division winners were only guaranteed a top-5 spot. Keeps these 9-7, 8-8, or, dare I say it, 7-9 teams from getting a home playoff date.
- The two worst divisions in football, yet again, will be the two South divisions. Houston and Indy will actually have a battle and Jacksonville will be much improved but I kind of see a 9-7 division champ there. As for the NFC South, Carolina should clinch the division sometime around Thanksgiving…our Thanksgiving.
- Yes I have Dallas winning the NFC East. No I am not drunk or high. Other than Philly, it should be a bit of a dogfight but I can’t see Washington repeating last season and I just don’t trust the Giants offense enough.
- Arizona, Green Bay, Minnesota, and Seattle will be the four of the five best teams in the NFC (Carolina fits in somewhere there) which again outlines the poor NFL playoff structure. Wait until they put a third Wild-Card team in for each conference. I’m sure Commissioner Gingerhammer will fuck that up as well.
And now the playoff outlook. I have Pittsburgh and Arizona nabbing the top seeds in their respective conferences. Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Baltimore will be just on the outside looking in with the rest of the AFC teams not really having much of a shot at anything. In the NFC, the aforementioned Redskins and Giants, along with Chicago and Detroit will be close but no cigar (the NFC North should be extremely tough this season). Finally, I am struggling to figure out where Tennessee and Cleveland will get more than two wins this season. And they play each other week six so one of them will at least get one win unless they tie which would be hilarious, especially if one of the teams went 0-15-1.
AFC Wild Card
Cincinnati (5) def. Houston (4) – As I mentioned above, the Bengals should be really good this season. Unfortunately they have the Steelers in their division so they get relegated to the Wild-Card round. This should be easy pickins for them.
Oakland (6) def. Denver (3) – You could consider this an upset if you like. However, the Raiders should be quite good and Derek Carr could be eyeing some MVP votes. Also, I am not quite sold on what will happen with Denver’s QB situation. Their schedule is easier than the Raiders and that’s why I gave them the AFC West title but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them not make the playoffs at all. For that reason, I can’t have them advancing beyond this round.
NFC Wild Card
Green Bay (3) def. Minnesota (6) – No matter where this game would be played, it would be bitterly cold. The Vikings will not get to right the wrongs of last season’s playoff heartbreaker as I think Green Bay is just a bit better team. The issue here is all about home-field advantage. Whoever ends up winning the NFC North should be able to win this game.
Seattle (5) def. Dallas (4) – Three out of four away teams winning in the Wild-Card round. I am sure this isn’t something new. But instead of being lazy I will check on the last time this happened. What am I talking about, I don’t need to check. Last year, ALL FOUR AWAY TEAMS won the Wild-Card round games. So this isn’t unprecedented. Also, Dallas will easily be the worst NFC division champ of the bunch (and may be the worst NFL playoff team period this season).
AFC Divisional Playoffs
Pittsburgh (1) def. Oakland (6) – Many might say this would be a Steelers rout. I am not so sure. I think the Raiders (yes, the Raiders!) have set themselves up to be quite a good team over the next few years as long as they can keep all their key cogs. So I believe this would be a very close affair but playing in Pittsburgh has to be considered a huge advantage to the Fighting Tomlins.
Cincinnati (5) def. New England (2) – OK hear me out here. Cincinnati has done their best to do horrible things in the playoffs. And when they win, they usually sneak by another snake-bitten team like the Texans. This may be their year though. Andy Dalton will look like a million bucks and become a quasi-God (in southern Ohio) if he pulls this out. I think he will but it will be very close. Plus they have to contend with Brady and the massive chip that will be on his shoulder thanks to the early season suspension.
NFC Divisional Playoffs
Arizona (1) def. Seattle (5) – There may not be a more complete team than the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL this season. Gone are the days of 56-49 victories because their defense suck-diddly-ucked. They should be able to handle the Seahawks pretty easily here.
Green Bay (3) def. Carolina (2) – In what should be another close game, I think the extremely easy schedule the Panthers should face this season will come back to bite them as I can’t see them being prepared enough for a Packers team who will have gone through a grind just to get to this point. Home field advantage means nothing here really and the Pack should move on.
Cincinnati (5) def. Pittsburgh (1) – I can honestly say there will probably be nobody out there picking these two teams to make it to the AFC Championship. And if they somehow did, 11 out of 10 people would pick the Steelers to win because the Bengals in the Super Bowl without Boomer Esiason? No chance. But I think it will happen. Dalton will play out of his ever-loving mind and somehow get this team to the promised land, much to the chagrin of the NFL since Cincinnati isn’t exactly a huge market.
Arizona (1) def. Green Bay (3) – Speaking of getting to the promised land, not since the long ago days of Kurt Warner (just kidding it was about a decade ago) have the Cards been in the situation where they have a truly legitimate chance to make it to the Super Bowl. Well Cardinals fans rejoice since I think your team has got what it takes to make it to the Big Dance by knocking off the pesky Packers in the NFC Championship game.
Super Bowl (Jet) LI
It will be interesting if the NFL goes with numbers instead of Roman numerals again this season. Or a mathematical equation. Who knows. Anyway:
Arizona (1) def. Cincinnati (5) – I think it’s the Cardinals’ year this year. Finally. First Super Bowl win. You know, the one they should have got over the Steelers if it wasn’t for that ill-fated pick six at the end of the first half that ended up being EXTREMELY important at the end when the Steelers won by 4 on a last-minute touchdown.
Alright there you go. All done for another season. Wait, no I will have schedules as well once the NFL season commences. But before that…
This Friday is the first college football game of the season. Cal faces Hawaii in Sydney, Australia for some unknown reason. Anyway, for specialty pack subscribers, this should be on there. I haven’t seen it yet (as of about 7 this morning). If it doesn’t show up by tomorrow night I might have to start my 12-times yearly ritual of contacting Bell to see what the hell is going on. That is followed by the FCS Kickoff game the next night as Charleston Southern travels to the Woodchipper to face Future Mountain West Conference member North Dakota State. Then finally (FINALLY!) the season really kicks into gear next Thursday and goes into the best opening weekend possibly ever in college football history. We have finally arrived! Our long national nightmare of no college football is over once again.