Some of the information I am about to give you may be shocking, even, dare I say it, bordering on crazy. These are some Prediction for the 2011 NFL season that few others are making or foreseeing.
The clairvoyance I possess may not bring existence as we know it to a screeching halt, but if even half of these come true, it would make me a Football Guru. Bring any of these up in a conversation and you are almost guaranteed to have a debate.
If they actually come to fruition, then you will be revered by friends and feared by fantasy football opponents. These are the 8 Predictions That Will Wow Your Friends.
Or at least show them how much of a football geek you truly are.
Mike Martz has been a coach in the NFL for quite some time. He was the man who created the Greatest Show on Turf and any team he has coached put up outstanding offensive numbers.
Why may you ask? Because, he refused to change his offensive strategy.
They had a workhorse in Matt Forte and they could have used him to wear down teams. Instead he passed and passed. Then after the bye week, he started running the ball more, and suddenly, the Bears looked like an unstoppable juggernaut.
That is until Martz went back to passing the ball in the NFC Championship even though Forte was averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Look for that to happen again this year. The Bears were obviously concerned or why else would they not let the Titans talk with Mike Tice?
You need a fall back plan if you have to fire Martz.
The NFC West is, without a doubt, the worst Division in the NFL. Last year they became the first division to send a champion with a losing record into the playoffs.
Nothing really changed this year other than the Seahawks are actually worse.
The Cardinals are banking on Kevin Kolb to be the man, and the 49ers brought in a coach that they believe will return them to their glory days (just not this year).
Last season he looked good for a rookie QB with no wide outs. He did just enough to keep them within a game of the playoffs. He now has one more year with the same coaching staff and an improved defense.
If the Rams are to make the playoffs it will need to be on the shoulders of Sam Bradford and he will need to have a great year and he should since he will be lucky enough to face some weak defenses in his division.
If he does that (3500+ yards/28+ TDS and under 15 INTS), then he should be the league MVP.
While most people are picking them to continue flustering the Patriots, can someone explain to me why? Other than a great defense, what makes them so good?
That will change this year.
Mark Sanchez has a 70.1 QB rating in the regular season. That tells me that he is not the reason they keep making the playoffs. Now, once he gets there he shines, but he struggles up until that point.
More teams are going to focus on stopping the run and that means that Sanchez will have to throw to a receiving corps that has Santonio Holmes (a great possession receiver) and Plaxico Burress (has not been in football for two years).
I've also noticed that Rex Ryan has been a little quiet lately. Maybe he sees the same thing I do.
I am saying this fully knowing that Big Ben and Joe Flacco are in the same conference. They have led their teams to the playoffs and have dominated the AFC North the two of past three seasons.
Both have shown their ability to win the games they need to win and Big Ben has led his team to three Super Bows with two Championships.
Thing is, though, they are mainly running teams that grind out yardage and time on the clock.
Colt McCoy has shown some very impressive skills late last season and in this preseason. He has a decent running game, but the defense is suspect and can be scored on.
I have a feeling they will be passing the ball a lot late in games and this will run up his passing stats. Colt will help keep them close, but they are an improved defense away from contending for the AFC North crown.
Until then, Browns fans can enjoy knowing they have their QB of the future.
A lot of people are saying that it will be Julio Jones. Sure, he does have the potential with a QB like Matt Ryan and Roddy White on the other side.
Heck, there are a good amount of experts picking them to go to the Super Bowl.
They also get the opportunity to play against some pretty weak passing defenses within their division, but I am not so convinced. I think it will be Mark Ingram with the Saints.
Ingram was drafted in the first round signalling the end of Reggie Bush's tenure in New Orleans. Ingram is a fast, hulking figure that can hit the hole quick and make someone pay for taking him head on.
While the Saints still have Pierre Thomas (injury prone) and Darren Sproles (has yet to show he can be "the man") you do not draft a RB in the first round to have him be a simple role player.
He was impressive in the preseason and I am betting that he eventually becomes the featured back in New Orleans and gives them a ground game that can grind out the clock.
The Lions have been awful for a decade.
Marty Mornhinweg, Steve Mariucci, and Rod Marinelli could not right that ship and that was in large part to two things:
1) Matt Millen's total ineptitude in running the Lions.
2) William Ford Sr's unwavering loyalty to Matt Millen.
It wasn't until Bill Jr told a local radio station that he would have fired Millen by now, that Bill Sr's hand was forced and Millen was given a pink slip. In came Martin Mayhew and with the end of the first 0-16 season came the hiring of Jim Schwartz.
If the Lions make the playoffs, Jim Schwartz should be the unanimous decision for Coach of the year. He took over a team that was 0-16 and losing fans by the thousands.
Now, at the start of the 2011season, most prognosticators are stating that the Lions should make the playoffs and tickets to Ford Field are hard to find.
Should the Lions make the playoffs (and if luck would have it, go to the Super Bowl) it would rival the feel good story that was the New Orleans Saints two years ago. And if that were to happen, tell me who would be more deserving than Jim Schwartz.
OK OK OK. I know that the NFC East is one of the more talented and competitive divisions in football and that all the other teams in the NFC East have been select at one point or another to take the division.
Philly has a ton of talent. A dream team if you will.
Vick, Jackson, McCoy are scoring threats on offense. Rodgers-Cromarte and Asomugha make a very formidable CB tandem. I am not sold, though.
In the preseason they have looked OK, but not dominant. The Cowboys only upgrade was their coach and a healthy Tony Romo. Romo hasn't really lead that team to a anything beyond frustrating end to a season and Jason Garrett is in his first full season as a head coach.
They showed a spark last season when Rex Grossman (yes that Rex Grossman Bears Fans) took over for an ineffective McNabb.
In the preseason, Rex Grossman looked like a leader on the team and even though he was fighting it out with John Beck (yes, Dolphins fans, that John beck), he was able to take over the starting job.
Tim Hightower has looked like the back that Arizona wanted him to be and Santana Moss is always a big play threat. Their defense looks to be improved, but it is not on par with either the Eagles or Giants.
Also, I just get a gut feeling that they are going to surprise people in the second year of the Mike Shanahan's era. Maybe even a Super Bowl?
Let me get this out of the way. Cincinnati will be the worst team in football followed by the Panthers.
They drafted Andy Dalton to replace Carson Palmer and will not draft a QB, lest it shows that Mike Brown was wrong. The Panthers and the Vikings already drafted their future QBs.
That leaves the Raiders, but if Jason Campbell has a good season (and he might) then that leaves one team in the mix.
The Seattle Seahawks need a franchise QB and Tarvaris Jackson is not that guy. Seattle could be the second worst team in football, but thanks to a weak division, other teams could jump to that spot, but not teams that need a QB.
Worst case is that Seattle trades up to get Luck and that would be likely since they should have the high draft picks to trade. So, do not be surprised if, come next April, with the second (or third) pick in the NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select.........Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford.
Will all of these come true? Most likely they will not. In fact I may be way off on all of them, but there is an argument that makes these all valid predictions or at least a make for a fun debate watching on a Sunday with friends.
Now, let the season begin. Enjoy your football everyone.