So we're about halfway past the NFL season. We've seen some key injuries (Rodgers *cries*), and we've seen some breakout performances (Foles 7TDs). We've seen teams come from the ashes to be contenders (Chiefs), and we've seen teams that were hyped up that have under-performed (Buccaneers). Since I did one for the NBA, I'll do one for the rest of the NFL season. Here is my 5 bold predictions for the rest of the NFL season.
1. The Green Bay Packers will have a winning record without Aaron Rodgers.
Look, I understand the magnitude of Rodgers injury. I understand that Rodgers takes the Packers from 6-10 to 11-5. I just don't care. For this bold prediction, I'm going to assume Aaron Rodgers misses 5 weeks. The schedule for the Packers consists of such: Philadelphia, @New York (NFC), Minnesota, @Detroit, Atlanta. I think the Packers go 4-1 in that span. That's right, 4-1. I keep hearing people acting as if the Packers will not win a single game without Aaron Rodgers but let me tell you why that's not gonna happen. I see the Packers losing to only Detroit, and nobody else. It starts with their running game. Eddie Lacy almost single-handedly won the game for Green Bay Monday night against Chicago, and I expect that to continue. Seneca Wallace is going to start practicing with the first team and I think last game will be his worst.
2. The Broncos will not sweep the Chiefs.
Look, I know this isn't a bold prediction by some people's standards, but man, have I heard this statement a lot around campus. "Denver will have no problem against the Chiefs. They'll win both games handily" or at least something of that nature. I think those games will be closer than many people think. Although I believe the Invesco field crowd and altitude will give the Broncos the win next sunday night, There's just something about Arrowhead Stadium. It's usually regarded as one of the best home-field advantages of any NFL team. On top of that, this is the defense that could give Manning the biggest fits in the pocket. The Chiefs will win at home, and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see them win next sunday night. The defense is just that good.
3. The New York Giants will finish 8-8.
Now, we're getting more bold. I think the main reason the Giants have under performed this season is because of Eli Manning's decision-making in the pocket. I also think that is something Eli can fix in practice. I just can't get around to believing the Giants will finish with a losing record. I think Tom Coughlin is too good of a head coach to let this team fall to 4-12 or 5-11. I think the Giants turn it around and finish 8-8. They won't make the postseason, but at least they will have a respectable record to show for the season.
4. Tony Gonzalez does NOT retire this season.
I know this one is a huge long shot, but is this really the way Tony G had his last season playing out? I mean, the only reason in my mind he didn't retire last season was because the Atlanta Falcons were looked at as potential super bowl contenders. However, that talk is ancient compared to today. Atlanta is 2-6, and has been decimated with injuries to Julio Jones and Roddy White. I don't think Tony G is going to go down this way, not at all. I have just a slight feeling he's going to play another season, possibly with the Kansas City Chiefs or another super bowl contender.
5. The Super Bowl winner will NOT come out of either west division.
That's right. I believe that no team out of either the AFC or NFC west will win the Super Bowl. I think Kansas City doesn't have enough offense to compete at a high enough level. I believe Denver doesn't have the defense to contend in the postseason. Seattle needed to come back form 21 down to defeat Tampa Bay. At home. San Francisco has rattled off 5 straight, but it all has been against sub-par competition. Can they actually put up the same numbers against a decent team? We'll see when they play Carolina this Sunday. I believe these teams could change my mind later. But It's already sealed. I believe the Super Bowl champion comes form one of the other 6 divisions.
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