The Worst NFL Predictions Ever Revisited, Plus Some New Ones

Corey McSweeneyAnalyst IDecember 29, 2008

Ah, the playoffs. They’re here, folks. This season has been a crazy one, with many unexpected twists, as you will see in my preseason predictions. I will be recapping my earlier predictions, seeing where I was right and wrong, and making some new playoff predictions. Here we go. Let us start off with my bold predictions.

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Yup, that’s about all I can say. The only one you can say that came remotely close was Calvin Johnson having a monster year, but I said #1 among fantasy receivers, and he didn’t quite get there (freaking Andre Johnson). Brady Quinn finally got the job in Cleveland, but then decided to get injured, so Ken Dorsey finished the season as Cleveland’s QB.

Now that would have been a bold prediction. Reggie Bush would have had a shot at 1600 total yards, but was injured as well. 0 for 13 for me. Double ouch. Well, those were supposed to be bold, so what about easier ones, like award winners?

Nope, still sucked at these too. I had RUN-DMC pegged as my offensive ROY, but Matt Ryan might get this award renamed after him. McFadden wasn’t even high on the running back list, surpassed in production by the Titans’ Chris Johnson, the BearsMatt Forte, the Texans’ Steve Slaton, and the Panthers’ Jonathan Stewart.

Hell, he was even in jeopardy of being outperformed by a college teammate, and not Felix Jones. Luckily for me, Mr. Hillis got injured, not before costing me some points in a fantasy league when he got injured against the Chiefs (still bitter about that).  Yeah, you know you need to get a life when the fifth-string running back from Denver ruins your week. Onto the defense (sigh).

I was a wee bit closer on this one. I correctly predicted that the top few rookie picks in the draft would not contend (Chris Long, Glenn Dorsey, Vernon Gholston) and was right that a linebacker would win here, and even had the present odds-on favorite in my final two. I just picked the wrong one, of course. Jerod Mayo had a fantastic season, while Keith Rivers was playing well until Hines Ward had something to say (or do) about that.

My offensive POY had some flaws as well. I stayed away from the two no-brainers, Brady and Manning, because it seemed to blasé and just too easy, which turned out right. My thoughts after that were pretty bad though. I considered a few WR’s (Fitzgerald, Edwards, Moss), which were not the right ones, with the exception of Fitzgerald.

I chose a running back, and it was LaDainian. Sigh. Larger Sigh. Anyway, my guess is that Drew Brees gets this one, with Adrian Peterson finishing second, Michael Turner third, DeAngelo Williams and Andre Johnson fifth. That would be my ballot. Brees stands out because his 5000 yards stands out as something that never happens, while 1700 rushing yards is fantastic, but still happens.

I was also off on the defensive side. I thought Shawne Merriman was healthy and would one-up rival DeMarcus Ware, but he turned out to be not healthy and missed all but one game. This award has come down to pass rushing linebackers Ware, James Harrison of Pittsburgh, Joey Porter of Miami (the undisputed Comeback POY, you can lock that down), and safeties Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed.

Tackles Albert Hayneswoth and Kris Jenkins were in contention earlier this year, but an injury for the former and lackluster play for the latter doomed them in the final few games. I think it comes down to one of the linebackers because the safeties have been recognized for their outstanding work before, especially Reed. I bet Ware gets it because he finished with four more sacks than Harrison and two and a half more than Porter.

And now the MVP. Sadly, I also thought LT would get this one, which he will not, I’m fairly sure. Whose in contention now? Well, for me, it has to come down to guys in the playoffs. The word valuable says to me that you have to impact your team in such a way that they would greatly underachieve without you. The underachievement cannot be too much when you don’t make the playoffs in the first place.

So who are the contenders? Matt Ryan is there, with what he has done for that Falcons team that was in turmoil before this season. They have taken a complete 180 since the Vick/Petrino mess. Someone has to be the cause of that, Ryan the biggest reason to me. You also have to consider Adrian Peterson. You obviously can’t point to the quarterback as to why that team succeeded, and their other two playmakers, the D-Tackles, have had steroid issues.

As Cris Carter said on “Mike and Mike” this morning, AD is the Michael Jordan of the NFL, an absolute athletic and talent marvel. He’s the guy that makes that team go. Other contenders will be the defensive duo of the Steelers, Harrison and Polamalu, Kurt Warner, DeAngelo Williams, Chad Pennington, and maybe even Joe Flacco. However, it all comes down to one guy: Peyton Manning.

With him, the Colts have gone 12-4, reeling off nine straight, tied for the second best overall record in football. Without him, they definitely would have started the season 0-4, struggling to get six wins. He single-handedly won a handful of games for the Colts this year. He’s going to win his third.

Onto the playoff predictions, completing the third rung of my stinker trio, a five dollar sub at Subway (not really). I had Dallas, Minnesota, New Orleans, and Seattle winning divisions in the NFC, with the Giants and Eagles as wildcards. I was three of six on overall playoff teams, but one of four on divison winners, and chose Seattle, who would have had the most disappointing season of any NFL team, if it wasn’t for those lovable Cowboys. Jeez.

On the AFC side, I had New England, Indy, San Diego, and (oh my god)…(you can’t be serious)…(this can’t be true)…Cleveland. I want to kill myself. Seriously. I had Jacksonville and the Jets as the two wildcards. Two of six, one of four. Not good. Would have been one of six and 0 of four if Denver hadn’t self destructed this season. My god, I hope none of you took my picks to Vegas, and if you did, I owe you a sincere apology. I am truly sorry. Really, I am.

Ok, now that the teeth have been pulled, lets end on a positive note and give my playoff predictions! (I probably shouldn’t even do these anymore). Anyway, I’ll take Atlanta over Arizona, the Colts over San Diego, the Ravens over Miami, and Minnesota over Philadelphia. That’s three of four road teams. Am I setting myself up for tremendous failure again? I think so.

Onto the divisional round. We would have Atlanta at the Giants, the Vikes at the Panthers, the Colts at Pittsburgh, and Balty at Tennessee. Hmm. Let’s go with the Jints, Vikes, Colts (lightning does strike twice), and Baltimore.

Now we got the Vikings at the Giants in the NFC title game, and Baltimore at the Colts in the AFC title match. The first game will be good, and I’ve actually seen the second in person. Let’s start with that one. The Colts started the year off horribly, not looking like the Colts we have known and loved.

This game brought us the Colts we love. I know Flacco had been very good since this game, but I don’t care. The Colts have allowed a grand total of six passing TD’s this season, the lowest in NFL history. Sorry Flacs, the Colts take this one again. We just saw the Vikings and Giants in week seventeen. The second time around won’t be the same, the Giants break through.

Yeah, I did it. Giants vs. Colts. The last two champs. Manning vs. Manning. Sue me. I want to see this game in the Super Bowl, and if you don’t want to see this matchup, I seriously question your humanity. My heart says the Colts can pull through, but the Giants are arguably a better overall team.

Still, the Colts have Peyton, so I’ll say my Colts pick up their second ring in three years. I don’t care if you think it’s a homer pick, it probably is. With this prediction, I’m saying the Colts finish the season with 13 straight wins. Take me away in a strait jacket if you want, but this is my prediction. Deal with it.

Well, there you haven’t people. The recap of the worst possible predictions, and some new ones that are destined to go down the toilet. You’re welcome.