Opening kickoff for the new NFL regular season is tonight and, as I have tried to do in the past, I would like to take a glance into my crystal ball (well, more like a Magic 8 Ball), look ahead and go on record with what I believe we will see between now and the Super Bowl.
My predictions (in no particular order):
The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts will both fail to return to the Super Bowl.
NFC East Finish – Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.
Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb will miss a minimum of two games this season due to injury.
The Cowboys will enter the playoffs as the top NFC seed.
AFC East Finish – New York Jets, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills
The Bills will win no more than 2 games this season.
The Jets will fail to win a playoff game.
NFC North Finish – Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions.
Vikings quarterback Brett Favre will see his consecutive start streak come to an end at some point during the regular season; either because of injury or because of a sudden decline in his skills.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will win offensive player of the year and league MVP.
AFC North Finish – Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns.
Browns coach Eric Mangini will be the first coach fired this season.
The Steelers will win a minimum of two games without Ben Roethlisberger.
NFC West Finish – San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams.
Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback John Skelton will be starting by mid season.
By the end of the year, there will be rumors linking Seahawks coach Pete Carroll with a college team’s vacant coaching position.
AFC West Finish – San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs will make a quarterback change before the end of the year.
The Chargers will enter the playoffs as the AFC’s top seed.
NFC South Finish – Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Sorry Drew Brees and Saints fans; the Madden curse will strike again.
The Buccaneers will be looking for a new head coach by the end of the season.
AFC South Finish – Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio will be on the unemployment line at the end of the year.
The Texans will make the playoffs for the first time ever but will not get a post season win.
AFC Title Game – Patriots at Chargers
NFC Title Game – Packers at Cowboys
AFC Conference Champ – San Diego Chargers
NFC Conference Champ – Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl Champ – Packers