As we pass the midpoint of the NFL season and get ready for the much anticipated playoffs we’re faced with the hasty need to make predictions for the next NFL season. Let us peer into the looking glass:
1. Brett Favre will not retire.
The ageless wonder shall be back for another season but not with the Minnesota Vikings who have bet on his gun-slinging ways one too many times. Expect him to go to only once place and that is the Cleveland Browns who under the tyrannical visage of Mike Holmgren will give him randomnly another great season. The Browns will go to the playoffs due to this resurgence but that will be the end for Favre. Another mistake via gun-slinging will prompt his exit, a fate he cannot escape due to his vanity.
2. Michael Vick will have a sub-par season.
After getting through his redemption year with the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2010 – 2011 seasons, Vick will return to inconsistent form as two major factors weigh in on his game play. The first factor will be his age, which is consistently increasing as defenders going against him will be decreasingly younger. As Vick gets older his body will warn him about the scrambling technique he enacts seconds into a play, and he will not longer be able to use his physique as a crutch. No matter what occurs in the NFL in terms of physical ability and speed, you can only win with the pocket passer. This stereotype will continue to endure as Vick continously lacks the knowledge he should have attained to become a pure pocket passer.
3. Regular season extended to 18 games.
Fans and owners will get their wish when the regular season gets extended to 18 games and the preseason gets cut to just two games. This will alter the roosters and personnel management conducted by all NFL teams which will have to rely more on back-ups and substitutes, due to such a long and arduous season. It will be good for NFL players essentially, because everyone becomes more valuable and relied upon. Sure the athletes bodies will eventually look like raw hamburger but they are getting paid millions of dollars, keep that in mind. Second string players will become more capable and the draft will become even more invaluable to team building and maintaining talent. Overall its a good thing to extend the season because it makes more players valuable, instead of a epic wasteland of forgotten talent.
4. A defensive renaissance will emerge.
It appears to me throughout this current 2010 – 2011 season that the offense are really taking it to the defense. Sure there are a few dominant defenses out there but really the offenses have been creative, intricate, and dominant this NFL season. The first shut out of the year did not occur until the ninth week of the season courtesy of Green Bay. Not only that but stable defensive stalwarts no longer carry that stereotype such as the Baltimore Ravens, or Pittsburgh Steelers. Both defenses have seem ordinary and bendable, despite having carried over such impressive units over the last ten years. The 3-4 appears to be the popular trend because it allows you one more speedy play-maker on the field. However teams that run this defense are still consistently defeated because of inadequacy that cannot be hidden by adding one more “play-maker”. On overall enthusiasm about defense will emerge after the playoffs because like the old story says, “a defense wins a championship”.
5. Expect more parity.
If the season is stretched out to the physical max, expect much more parity because every single team’s depth shall be challenged as time goes on. Contenders will rely on general office decisions more then ever, as player depth becomes an insane commodity. There will be extreme parity during the regular season, with just a few organizations who based on quarterback talent and defense will be dominant. But it will be a league of expect the unexpected, which will no doubt cause a few headaches in Vegas.