With March Madness going on, I'm sure that not everyone is focused on the 2009 NFL Season. But with the NFL being the king of the sports jungle, it's never too early to make some terrible predictions (which I will be held liable for in 2010). We'll have some laughs next year, but in the mean time, let's get serious.
10. Jay Cutler will stay with the Denver Broncos:
I know that this one could be wrong within the next 48 hours, but I'm going to take a shot in the dark here and say Cutler will have to stay with the team.
The Broncos are asking a little too much than what most teams have to offer, but if they're given the right price, Cutler could be on his way out. As good as Cutler is, he has a few attitude problems and it's unknown if some teams will give up a first round pick and a top-tier quarterback.
9. The Lions will win five games:
I wouldn't expect a Miami like turnaround from Detroit this year, but look for them to make a steady improvement. Now by no means is 5-11 a good season, but with three picks in the first 33 selections in the draft, there is definitely some room to build for the future. They've set themselves up nicely for a few playoff appearances down the road.
8. The NFL will announce that the Jaguars will move to Los Angeles:
It shouldn't come as a surprise that a team will be moving to Los Angeles as a new stadium proposal has been approved, now they just need a team to put in it. Jacksonville seems like the perfect candidate for relocation to a large metropolis.
As the only team that doesn't consistently pack the stands in support of their team, expect this announcement to be made this year.
7. The Redskins will get some bang for their buck:
Albert Haynesworth, Deangelo Hall, Derrick Dockery, and the inevitable additional newcomers should make a difference for them in 2009 (although two of these men already played with Washington previously).
As a Redskins fan, I won't homer people all day and have them think I'm picking the Redskins as a slam dunk for the Super Bowl, but they should be able to make some postseason noise.
6. T.O. will get the Bills to the Playoffs:
It's just a one year deal, it's not a big risk for them. If things go badly, T.O. gets the boot, no biggie. If things do go well (which they normally do in the first year of T.O.'s tenures), the Bills should be able to at least grab a wild card.
This was a team that was pretty close in 2008, and they may be able to get over the hump in '09.
5. There will be an announcement of no salary cap for 2010:
It just seems to be looming that the 2010 year will not include a salary cap, and the announcement should come in the next couple of months. If it goes down, expect a flashback to the days of the Cowboys, Redskins, and Raiders all returning to prominence, while teams like Buffalo and Jacksonville (if they're around) may fall off a bit.
4. Arizona won't repeat as NFC West Champs:
Things just went too well in the playoffs for a repeat performance. After just squeaking in by default, the rest of the field got better this offseason as San Francisco finished strong, Seattle will have a healthy Matt Hasselbeck with someone to throw to, and the Rams can't be any worse.
3. Houston will make the playoffs:
After showing flashes of brilliance at the end of the past two seasons, expect the Texans to put it together for a full season and contend for the AFC West title. Indianapolis doesn't appear to be getting better, Jacksonville has taken a step back, and the Titans may not be able to keep up as they appear to be getting a bit older.
2. The first pick of the 2009 NFL Draft will be:
1. The Super Bowl Champ will be from the NFC East:
There are four very good teams in the same division, one of them is bound to break through the playoffs and win the Super Bowl.
The AFC has held onto the title for too long, the Giants took the whole enchilada two years ago and they may be able to do it again. None of these teams appeared to get worse over the offseason and can only move up to the top-tier.
These are my predictions for 2009. Save them, lock them up. Bring them back out to me on February 8th, 2010 and tell me how fantastic these picks were. I won't delete them. Just tell me what you think, and we'll open it up for debate.