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Fifty Prognostications, Pontifications & Ponderings on the 2015 NFL Season

| September 7th, 2015

Last year’s column caused a FIRESTORM when readers had the nerve to question the veracity of my claiming a more than 50% success rate on the 2013 version. What did I do? I answered with a stunning 51.38% success rate in 2014. This success was not lost on the American public but I did not know how far my column reached.

Obama Letterhead

 

So without further adieu, fifty prognostications, pontifications and ponderings on the 2015 season with a nod to every single team in the league.

#1 Nobody’s opinion of Jay Cutler will be different on January 4th 2016 than it is right now.

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#2 Andrew Luck will win the MVP award if his offensive line figures out a way to block people.

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#3 Buffalo Bills and New York Jets fans will spend the entire season reciting the following haiku:

Our steely defense

Dominating opponents

Alright, back out there

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#4 Non-First Round offensive rookie of the year: Tyler Lockett, WR/KR, Seattle Seahawks

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#5 Non-First Round defensive rookie of the year: Randy Gregory, OLB, Dallas Cowboys

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#6 Martellus Bennett’s career high touchdown mark is 6 (last year). He’ll top that this season with 8. And then he’ll somehow make the argument that his 8 touchdowns make him worthy of the league’s most lucrative contract.

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#7 The Cleveland Browns will continue to depress me.

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#8 Every NFL writer in the world can write love poems to the Packers organization but if they don’t miss Jordy Nelson, I’d be shocked. Jordy Nelson isn’t a body. He isn’t a “good receiver”. He is one of the best receivers in the league and the personal favorite of Aaron Rodgers. Packers will miss him.

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#9 Oakland Raiders go from 3-13 to 7-9.

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#10 Cincinnati Bengals will go from 10-5-1 to 7-9 (and still won’t fire Marvin Lewis).

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#11 Oldie but goodie from The Onion:

NEW YORK—Noting the league’s increasing popularity among fans in Britain and across Europe, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell revealed Tuesday that the Jacksonville Jaguars will play 16 regular season games in London next season. “Fans in the United Kingdom have shown an incredible passion and enthusiasm for our sport, so I’m thrilled to announce 16 exciting matchups featuring the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium next year,” Goodell told reporters, adding that the Jaguars will be listed as the home team for eight of their London games and as the away team for the remaining eight. “This is a great opportunity to further grow the NFL internationally and give thousands of British fans the chance to see the Jaguars play in person. And to prevent any logistical issues, the team will stay in England during those weeks with their own practice field, training facility, and front office based in London.” Goodell also confirmed that the Jaguars would also wear special limited-edition uniforms for their London games, featuring a new color scheme and team logo

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#12 When Chris Borland retired, I don’t think it was met with the attention he expected. So it’s completely unsurprising to me that he’s now giving interviews to ESPN questioning NFL drug testing and outing Cris Carter. You see, Borland envisions himself as a pioneer, a trailblazer. But he realized soon after his decision to retire made headlines that he was now faced with what all former athletes are faced with: anonymity. He hasn’t had that since he started playing the sport.

Niners 5-11.

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#13 Jay Cutler will throw for 3,368 yards.

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#14 Jay Cutler will throw 28 touchdown passes.

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#15 Jay Cutler will throw 13 interceptions.

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#16 I killed Robert Griffin III as a self-obsessed camera whore before most others. His having the gaul to call himself the best quarterback in the league…now…after what he’s accomplished…which is nothing…reeks of the kind of narcissism that courses through his veins and kills his locker rooms. I don’t think he’s Washington’s starting quarterback in November.

Side note: Wrote this before leaving for Ireland. Not changing it.

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#17 Here is Ryan Mallett’s reaction to Brian Hoyer being named the starting quarterback in Houston: “I don’t agree with it.” Neither do I, Ryan. I’m now calling the Texans a 6-10 team because of it.

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#18 Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots. Yes, I think even if he is hit with a four-game suspension he will deliver the 12 best games ever played by an NFL quarterback in response.

Ireland.

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#19 Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Donald, DT, St. Louis Rams. 

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#20 With the Panthers roster of receivers being the worst in the sport by a wide margin, Greg Olsen will top every single number from his career year of 2014:

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 11.35.47 AM

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#21 Devin Hester will have one game early in the season for the Falcons where he resembles a professional receiver, causing Bears fans to act INCENSED, and then catch like four passes the rest of the season. Because that’s what he does.

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#22 Bucs. No good.

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#23 Seahawks. Good.

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#24 I’m not convinced Gary Kubiak and Peyton Manning makes sense. And I’m not convinced the Broncos have the athleticism along their offensive line to run Kubiak’s system. So because of that I’m going to predict the Broncos do not win the AFC West.

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#25 I don’t have anything to say about the Miami Dolphins.

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#26 Kyle Fuller will be just fine.

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#27 Tim Jennings will not. (This message will also lead to my receiving the several angry emails I always receive when I write anything negative about Jennings. I assume all of these emails come from his family.)

Ireland

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#28 On January 4th 2016 Bears fans will consider Eddie Goldman a cornerstone player for the next half decade.

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#29 You know who you haven’t heard much about these days? Kansas City. Decent team a year ago. Good players. Smart additions this off-season. Good regular season coach (on the whole, not in-game). Chiefs win the AFC West.

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#30 I love the Bears fight song. But it will never hold a candle to the Chargers.

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#31 New York Giants better score a lot of points because they’ll be among the 7 worst scoring defenses in the league.

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#32 Most shocking prognostication made in this column. Sam Bradford will start all sixteen games for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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#33 The winner of the primetime game on November 8th between the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys will win the NFC East.

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#34 Marcus Mariota may turn out to be a terrific NFL quarterback. But Harry Douglas and Anthony Fasano being starters ain’t going to make that easy in year one. Look at the Titans offensive talent.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 12.51.37 PM

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#35 Marc Mariani will score multiple return touchdowns this season.

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#36 Pernell McPhee will sack Aaron Rodgers twice in the opener.

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#37 Robbie Gould will miss four field goals.

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#38 Steve Smith is retiring as a Baltimore Raven. Smith has been my favorite player in the NFL for more than a decade. He’s the Sugar Ray Robinson of the NFL – pound-for-pound he might be the best to ever play his position.

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#39 Bill Simmons is fond of saying the most underrated injuries an NFL team suffers is an injury to its center. Maurkice Pouncey is one of the best centers in the league, on a rather shaky Steelers offensive line. If he gets back to the field during the final third, he’ll be joining a team with a .500 record or worse.

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#40 It is the 10th anniversary of Katrina. Saints win NFC South. Why? Because it will lead to 10,000 “human interest” pieces on the carrying networks in the postseason.

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#41 Look out for J.J. Nelson on Arizona. Cardinals may have found a solid deep threat for Carson Palmer in the fifth round.

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#42 Jared Allen will produce a ten-sack season.

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#43 Jared Allen will top his 2-interception season from 2010.

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#44 Marco Rubio is not going to be president. Nor is he good at not hurting the faces of children with footballs.

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#45 [Place Your Own NFL Comment Here]

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#46 Lions. 9-7.

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#47 Vikings. 9-7.

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#48 Bears fans will love the center of the team’s offensive line, as Slauson-Montgomery-Long will average throwing 4.5 punches at defensive linemen per game.

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#49 Shea McClellin will sign a three-year contract with the Bears in January and remain the team’s middle linebacker.

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#50 Bears will open as significant underdogs each of the first three weeks. If they go 0-3, do you see them going 8-5 over the final 13? I feel like this is a 7-9 team.

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