We are on the cusp of another August, which means we're about to be engulfed by training camps, Brett Favre rumors, and preseason games.
Before we know it, everyone will have their Super Bowl predictions, Week One NFL Power Rankings, and then the 2010 NFL season will be kicking off.
It's still a ways off, but NFL Soup doesn't want to wait around for things to just happen. We want to stretch our necks, clear our throats, and call it like we see it right now.
After all, who doesn't like a nice, thick, knee-jerk prediction. Others call them ridiculous, obscene, lofty, or impossible. We just call the bold.
Read on for NFL Soup's 15 bold prediction to kick-off the season before it even gets close to actually kicking off. Because what would a prediction column be if it didn't occur way before it had to?
We're not gambling men, but if we were, we'd put some high stakes on these predictions:
1. Drew Brees will, in some shape or form, succumb to the Madden Curse.
You don't have to believe it exists, and we're not going to be foolish and suggest not to draft him in fantasy drafts, but we still think he's a bit of a risk.
Because Madden Curse aside, we just don't think Brees and the New Orleans Saints can run around like they're The Untouchables for too much longer.
2. Brett Favre will be back, and he'll be better than he was in 2009.
That's two predictions in one. Firstly, it's probably not that much of a stretch that he'll be coming back. Although he doesn't care to admit it, we get a feeling that his ankle is feeling better with each passing day, and that once training camp is over, it will magically feel pretty damn close to 100 percent.
If Favre is fully healthy and does return (as we fully expect him to), we see no reason why he can't continue his awesome chemistry with his explosive weapons. Over 4,000 passing yards and 30+ touchdowns seems completely do-able for a guy who simply doesn't falter when he has elite options at his disposal.
3. Michael Vick will be traded before the season begins.
We're pulling for a trade to Buffalo, even though we're quietly thinking that Trent Edwards can still get the job done if the offense is done right.
Still, Chan Gailey loves himself an athletic quarterback, and Vick is just that. Vick would also have to be seen as a sizable upgrade over the inconsistent and injury-prone Edwards.
We also have the St. Louis Rams on board as a possible trade partner. Yes, we know Sam Bradford was drafted with the top overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, but with just one year remaining on his contract, the Rams could put Vick behind their atrocious offensive line and let him get beat to all hell as he tries to will St. Louis to more than the one pathetic win they mustered in 2009.
4. Ricky Williams will be the starter in Miami, and he'll destroy the AFC again.
Ronnie Brown is trying to come back from a very difficult Lisfranc fracture, and on top of that, the guy has missed 16 total games in the past three seasons.
Williams is 33, but had an awesome season last year, and isn't your regular 33 year old. With less than 350 rushing attempts in the three seasons prior to 2009, he still has fresh legs and looks like a back very much in his prime.
5. Dennis Dixon will win the starting job to start the season for Pittsburgh.
Byron Leftwich? Gag. Charlie Batch? Barf. Dixon is the most athletic and explosive threat they have at the position and he displayed solid awareness and composure in a tough start last season against the Baltimore Ravens.
We're fairly confident that he proves himself worthy of 4-6 starts to begin the season this year, and we're also not entirely sure he'll take a seat when Ben Roethlisberger "returns" from suspension.
6. Matt Leinart will B-O-M-B and give way to Derek Anderson.
I guess it all depends on how long Ken Whisenhunt wil tolerate ineffective drives, failed comeback attempts, and silly interceptions.
Larry Fitzgerald is still there for the deep ball and help inside the 20, but Anquan Boldin was the bread and butter of that receiving corps, and we just don't yet trust the replacements over the middle.
Yes, Leinart should be able to put it all together, but he and Arizona just have descent and disappointment written all over them. We're not saying that Derek Anderson is necessarily the answer, but there's a decent enough chance that he gets one last crack at proving his ridiculous 2007 season wasn't a fluke.
News flash: It was.
7. Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow will both see time as starting quarterback in Denver.
We're not sure if it's a Kyle Orton injury or just poor play that gives Quinn the first crack at snagging the job, but we just can't see another mediocre season going by under Josh McDaniels' watch.
Quinn will step up and play well, but just like the past few seasons, his lack of durability will show up and he'll give way to the future of the franchise, Tim Tebow.
We're definitely not ready to say Tebow will pass with flying colors in year one, but he'll be seeing the field.
8. Wes Welker will complete an impressive comeback with 100+ receptions and the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Who else could it possibly go to? Unless Jake Delhomme throws 30 touchdowns or Chad Henne goes down and Chad Pennington claims this title for an insane third time, we've got to go with Welker on this one.
He's already way ahead of schedule, and he's just too good to not have himself be 100 percent when he hits the field. That doesn't mean he'll be at exactly the same level as we're accustomed to seeing him play at, but it'll be close enough.
9. Terrell Owens will have everyone gettin' their popcorn ready.
Chad Ochocinco is okay with playing the role of Robin, meaning the new Batman will take over in Cincy and help Carson Palmer get back to being, well, Carson Palmer
It won't be a career year, and it doesn't necessarily mean Super Bowl for the striped tigers, but 1,000 yards and 10 scores for the unlikely 36-year old fantasy stud could be in order.
10. Matt Schaub will return to being Mr. Glass and won't last 10 games.
Schaub lasted all 16 games in 2009 and put up awesome numbers, passing for over 4,700 yards while guiding the league's top ranked passing offense.
But when's the last time he stayed healthy for an entire season before that? Exactly. Come to think of it, when was the last time that Schaub, Andre Johnson, and Owen Daniels all started all 16 games?
Houston's offense has them set to be on the rise, but with their luck and Schaub's history of injuries, we're proud (but sad) to say we saw this coming.
11. Vince Young will bring back the "running quarterback" and take the league by storm.
He's already started doing his damndest to impress us all by sucker punching a guy at a strip club, but after the NFL said they wouldn't suspend him, we started thinking that this just might be his year.
Kerry Collins stunk it up in 2009 and ownership is fully backing Young, so if it's ever going to happen, this is the year.
Besides, Lendale White is gone, and Chris Johnson can't do it all by himself, right? Right?
12. Aaron Rodgers will go down in flames of injury and turnovers.
Let's face it; Rodgers has been nothing but impeccable since taking over for Brett Favre. Two straight 4,000+ yard and 30+ total touchdown seasons. It's amazing; we get it.
But the joyride has to come to a halt sometime. Rodgers has played through pain well in the past two seasons, but aging tackles suggest he's in for a beating, especially with having to face both Jared Allen and Julius Peppers twice each in 2010.
13. Kevin Kolb will pull an Aaron Rodgers ala 2008, and tear up fantasy football leagues everywhere.
Philadelphia won't be going to the Super Bowl, and probably won't even get back to the playoffs in 2010, but that doesn't mean Kolb can't continue that hot-streak he was about to go on when he had two spot-starts last year.
In two starts, he threw at least two touchdowns and 300+ yards, showing command of the offense and improved awareness. He'll have to take the lumps as they come, but his offense and explosive weapons have him set up for 4,000+ yards and 25+ scores in his first year as the full-time starter in Philly.
14. Adrian Peterson will go down with an injury, and rookie Toby Gerhart will help carry the offense to a Super Bowl win.
Again, that double-prediction. You gotta love it. We surely hope a fantasy stud like AD doesn't crumble under the weight of his offense (or his wrecking ball style of play), but you'd have to admit it's entirely possible.
Good thing the Minnesota Vikings planned ahead and grabbed Gerhart, a tough, quick runner who is just as fearless and arguably as powerful as Peterson.
15. Jay Cutler has his best season to date in Mike Martz' system, and leads the NFL in passing yards.
Cutler will be this year's Schaub, as he takes a huge step toward being labeled one of the league's elite passers. Over 4,500 yards is in order, simply because he's done it before, has immense talent, and is in an offense that flat-out demands it.
This doesn't mean the Chicago Bears win their division or even win more games than they did last year. But they'll surely be more interesting to watch.
16. The Wild Card: The San Francisco 49ers Will Win the NFC West
We love Frank Gore and think he's on to greener pastures after playing nicked up for the past three seasons. We also think Mike Singeltary doesn't get close to enough credit for piecing together an aggressive smash-mouth defense that could finally come into it's own in 2010, backed by an improve offense, led by blossoming quarterback Alex Smith.
That, and we know the St. Louis Rams are stuck at the bottom, first-year coach Pete Carroll doesn't have a roster in Seattle that can make the playoffs, and Arizona is due for a regression with several key losses, not the least of which, being Kurt Warner.
For fantasy football advice, rankings, and player profiles, and not so many ridiculous predictions, head over to NFL Soup!
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