It's Gonna Happen!
We at 18to88.com generally have issues with witchcraft and divination, but we make an exception every year. Some years are better than others. This year we are taking on the NFL with a vengeance. As always, we mix in some old favorites with our new and penetrating insights.
1. The Colts will win the AFC South
How do we know? It's the Colts. It's the AFC South. You do the math.
VERDICT: Hey! I got one! Just stop reading. Trust me I got the rest right.
2. The Colts field a top 5 defense in 2010.
At least through 15 weeks. I'm not responsible for anything that happens in weeks 16 and 17. It's like my crystal ball has been all Painter-ed over.
Verdict: Yeah, that didn't happen. It was more than injuries. I think the Houston game week one was a wake up call that the defense was not going to be elite. It struggled all year.
3. Jack Del Rio will be fired in Jacksonville.
One of these days this one is bound to be right. This is the year...right? When they finally do fire him, I'm going to be lost. I really like being able to pencil in this prediction every year.
Verdict: Teflon Jack repeated his 2009 high wire act with a strong start and a terrible finish. The Jags overachieved and made people think they were better than they were. Jack lives.
4. Vince Young just wins a lot of games this year.
By a lot, I mean 8. The rest he just loses.
Verdict: I think this was on the way to happening. The Titans jumped off to a 5-2 start before injuries to Young and Collins derailed their season.
5. Tom Brady will throw fewer than 30 TD passes.
With one notable exception, he's never hit the 30 TD pass mark. Pats fans point to his 'two year injury' while simultaneously expecting Wes Welker to be fine this year. I ain't buying it. Brady is who he is, and who he is is a quarterback who doesn't throw 30 TD passes.
Verdict: Congratulations to Tom Brady for having the best season of his career and passing for 30 TDs for the SECOND time.
6. Mark Sanchez lives up to the heritage of Joe Namath in 2010.
He has little problem throwing as many picks as touchdowns or equalling Namath's lofty 65.5 career passer rating.
Verdict: Sanchez was positively Namath like with 17 TDs, 13 INTs and a rating of 75
7. Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Vick form an unlikely friendship based on their mutual experiences.
Unfortunately it all goes horribly wrong at the Harrisburg Hooters Charity Dog Wash.
Verdict: Both men were linked all season long in the media. Vick managed to become a good person by being an MVP candidate. Roehtlisberger fell one drive short of redemption. As of right now, he's still going to hell.
8. Derek Anderson proves to be a major upgrade for the Cardinals over Matt Leinart.
Instead of short incompletions and bad decision interceptions, Anderson provides deep incompletions and bad throw interceptions.
Verdict: Anderson was a mess with a rating of 65. He lost his starting job within weeks of gaining it.
9. The Colts top three defensive ends will combine for 30 sacks this season.
Freeney and Mathis have banner years, while Jerry Hughes picks up just enough garbage sacks to hit the total.
Verdict: Hughes was a massive disappointment. Mathis and Freeney both made the Pro Bowl and totaled 21 sacks. Eric Foster chipped in 3.5 and Hughes had none.
10. Sam Bradford shows up to his first game on time and properly adjusts his chin strap.
He is instantly declared to be the best quarterback in the NFC West.
Verdict: I pretty much nailed this one.
11. Gary Kubiak adopts Matt Leinart and renames him "Gary Kubiak Jr."
Disgusted, the Football Outsiders rename their fantasy projection system "SORGI".
Verdict: Disgusted that Kubiak kept his job, the Outsiders are considering renaming their projection system "DEL RIO"
12. Wade Phillips will celebrates the Super Bowl being played in Dallas.
Unfortunately, he is unclear about exactly what that means. After choosing to rest his starters all 16 weeks of the regular season, he will be fired by an exasperated Jerry Jones.
Verdict: Yeah...I think that's basically exactly what happened.
13. Bob Costas hosts the studio show for Football Night in America with spinach in his teeth.
The following day, a disappointed Tony Dungy expresses his dismay at the 'poor example of good oral hygene' set by Costas. He remarks on the Dan Patrick Show that Costas, "...is a role model for the young men of America who need to know the importance of floss."
Verdict: NBC upgraded their dental plan, allowing Costas to avoid rebuke.
14. The Giants lose the Manning Bowl.
As a result, Eli is forced to wear the "Cone of Shame" at family dinners for the next four years.
Verdict: Archie refuses to look at his youngest son any more, just averting his eyes in shame.
15. Peyton Manning takes a page out of his own book and waives his own offensive line off the field.
In a move reminiscent of his heroic waiving of the punt team off the field, Manning finally decides that he and Saturday can take the Broncos D line all by themselves. Saturday blocks two guys, Addai picks off a third, and Manning turns the left end to dust with lasers he mounted to his shoulder pads.
Verdict: Yeah, this is basically what happened against the Chargers. It didn't work out so well.
16. Four members of the Colts' defense make the Pro Bowl.
My bet is Freeney, Mathis, Session and Bob Sanders. Yeah, that's right. I'm betting Sanders stays healthy.
Verdict: Thanks for taking Clint with you, Bob. Nice of you. Frick.
17. Joe Flacco plays at a playoff level all season.
Unfortunately for him, his career playoff rating is 46.5. His main problem will be that with so many third down veteran possession receivers to chose from, he spends the season unable to decide which slow old guy to throw to on 3rd down.
Verdict: The Ravens plan to rebuild their receiving corp came completely unglued. Boldin completely disappeared over the second half of the season. Flacco had a nice season, but played poorly in his second round playoff game, and the Ravens once again stayed home.
18. The Colts will win the Super Bowl.
What? You were expecting me to say something different? Come on. You're smarter than that.
Verdict: Next year, baby. Next year.
Final Tally: Yeah, let's not worry about that so much. I count 11 right. Some of you might count only two or three, but I swear the Costas thing happened.