I Hate Preseason Predictions …… But Here Are Mine

07Sep16

If you’re anything like me, congratulations. But you’re also sick to death of all of the preseason predictions for divisional winners, conference winners and even Super Bowl winners. They began pouring in just after last February’s Super Bowl, and they haven’t stopped since.

The idea that anyone, with any degree of credibility and accuracy, can predict such a thing before rosters are filled or games are played, is just nuts. Add into the mix the unknowns, such as injuries, under or over achieving performances and contract holdouts and it is purely a crap shoot.

Why anyone would waste their time figuring out wins and losses for every game of the entire season, trying to anticipate such things as overlooking a weak opponent, riding a win streak, looking at past history between two teams, time of the year, indoor versus outdoor stadiums, etc., is beyond comprehension. What an utter and complete waste of valuable time.

So here is what I came up with.

What? I just said it was a waste of time to go through all of those pains, just to come up with a prediction that rarely ever comes to fruition. I didn’t say I wasn’t going to do it anyway!

So, again, here is what I came up with. After careful analysis of draft picks, off season trades and free agent acquisitions, and a small dose of preseason football (individuals, not teams), this year’s playoff fraternity will look eerily similar to last year’s, with only a couple of exceptions.

First of all, last year’s Super Bowl champions will be vacationing in January this season. And they will be replaced in the AFC West by (hold on to your helmets) the Oakland Raiders!

Go ahead, I’ll wait until you stop laughing and get back off the floor. Because I’m dead serious. The Broncos will be relying on their defense to keep them in some very low scoring games this year, which will leave them sitting at 9-7 and just outside of the playoffs. With a much easier schedule and an offense that will shine more than usual, the Raiders will finish in first place at 11-5.

New England will win the hapless AFC-East, even with Brady sitting out the first four games. In fact, they’ll still manage to grab the #2 spot in the AFC with a 13-3 record. At 11-5, Houston will edge out Indianapolis by a game to win the AFC-South, but the Colts will grab a Wildcard spot.

Pittsburgh will return to form and dominate, even with all of the suspensions. They are simply too talented and will run (and pass) over their opponents on their way to a 14-2 record and the #1 seed in the AFC. Cincinnati will finish at 11-5, grabbing the other Wildcard spot.

Over in the NFC, due to a very weak schedule and an offense that should put up some points (if they can keep the turnovers to a minimum), the Giants will find themselves back in the playoffs, finishing atop the NFC-East at 11-5, ending the Redskins short playoff stint.

At 13-3, Carolina will once again dominate the pathetic NFC-South, although this season they will finish as the NFC’s #2 seed. Taking over the #1 spot will be Arizona, finishing at 14-2 and edging out Wildcard Seattle by a game. Ironically, I see the Cardinals and Seahawks splitting their two games, with each club winning on the road!

Green Bay and Minnesota will take the last two playoff spots, with the 13-3 Packers winning the division by a game over the Vikings. I know everyone is racing to be the first to jump off the Minnesota bandwagon, now that Bridgewater is gone, but I think they are too good of a team to go down that fast.

Before we hit the playoffs, let’s take a brief look at the bottom of the pecking order. Everyone is talking about Cleveland being the worst team ever, wondering if they will win a game at all this year. Well I happen to think that they will. In fact, I even think that there will be a team with a worse record than the Brown’s 2-14. Tennessee will limp to the end of the season with a 1-15 record and the #1 pick in next year’s draft. Joining the battle of the lamest will be Detroit at 2-14 and the 49ers at 3-13.

Now, on to the playoffs. They will be exciting, but predictable, with the favorites winning most of the games. The first round will see the Packers, Seahawks, Colts and Texans winning, only to lose on the road the following week. The Steelers will beat the Patriots for the AFC crown, while the Cardinals will taste revenge in beating the Panthers for the NFC crown.

The Super Bowl will be a smash mouth, bloody affair, with plenty of points to go around. Ultimately, Arizona will bring home their first Super Bowl victory in a high scoring shootout!

Ready to carve all of that in stone? Me neither! Look, if all teams stay healthy for the next 22 weeks, I’d feel really comfortable with my predictions. But we all know that’s not how things work in the NFL.

But for right here, right now, all things being equal, get ready to crown the Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl champions!

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