Prediction 1: The Green Bay Packers will have a winning record without Aaron Rodgers.
Reality: The Packers severely struggled to score without Rodgers, effectively making me look like an absolute idiot. The low point had to have been Green Bay's 40-10 thanksgiving day loss at Detroit. The Packers finished 2-4-1 without Rodgers (without including the Chicago game). However, the Packers did just enough, defeating the Bear at Soldier Field to win the division at 8-7-1 and would advance to the playoffs where they would lose 23-20 to the 49ers.
Prediction 2: The Broncos will not sweep the Chiefs.
Reality: Oh, but the Broncos DID sweep the Chiefs. The Broncos won in Denver just like I had predicted. However, the Broncos (well, more specifically Peyton Manning and Eric Decker), shredded the Chiefs' pass defense en route to a 35-28 win in KC. Both teams ended up making the postseason. The Chiefs lost in heart-breaking fashion in Indy 45-44 while the Broncos were man-handled in Super Bowl XLVIII by Seattle 43-8.
Prediction 3: The New York Giants will finish 8-8.
Reality: Take it as you will, but the Giants ended up finishing the season 7-9. I wasn't as off as I could have been, but I did predict they would make the postseason, which they didn't. Manning had arguably the worst season of his career, ending with 18 touchdowns, but a career-high 27 interceptions. The Giant's will look to make 2014 another historic year.
Prediction 4: Tony Gonzalez does not retire this year.
Reality: This one could still come true. Yes, Gonzalez is retired, but when summer comes rolling around, and training camps and preseason ball starts, we'll see if he gets the itch to play once again and try to claim the all-elusive Super Bowl ring he truly deserves. If he doesn't come back by the end of the 2014 regular-season, consider this bold prediction a bust.
Prediction 5: The Super Bowl winner will not come out of either west division.
Reality: Well, this couldn't be farther away from wrong. The only team that wasn't from the west divisions (AFC West or NFC West) that was even in the championship game was New England, but in all fairness, I made this prediction with New England in mind. However, New England was dominated by Denver and the NFC Championship game was all NFC West between Seattle and San Francisco. Maybe next year, the winner will come from the other six division, but this year was a year dominated by both the AFC and NFC West.
Well, that's all from my bold predictions. In case any of my readers wondered how my bracket is doing, well starting from Friday, all of my final four picks remain alive, with Wisconsin and Florida advancing to the Elite Eight and Michigan State and Louisville playing tonight against Virginia and Kentucky, respectively. Let's hope I win all six (so many) of my pools this year!