2011 NFL Season: 9 Logical Predictions Based On Week 1
We’ve been previewing the 2011 NFL season for weeks now, it seems, and enough it enough. Now that the first full weekend NFL football is complete, it’s time to step back, take stock of everything that’s transpired, and figure out what these various outcomes portend for the remainder of the season. In other words, yes, it’s time for some predictions.
But in this observer’s opinion, there’s no point in playing it safe when it comes to forecasting what’s to come. I say if you’re going to make a prediction, be bold. So that’s what I did in compiling this list—I made 9 bold but perfectly logical predictions for the rest of the NFL season based on the first week’s outcomes. If I had a million dollars (I don’t), I’d divide it nine ways, head to Vegas, and place sizable bets on each one of these babies, because they’re all locks.
9. Pittsburgh will go 0-16
The Steelers were utterly embarrassed by the Ravens on Sunday, losing by a final score of 35-7. Pittsburgh turned the ball over an incredible 7 times, including 2 fumbles by sexual predator Ben Roethlisberger. Now, some may say this game was just a fluke, and the Steelers will regain their form and go on to contend for the Super Bowl like they do every year. I say no. It’s clear to me that this was an act of karma coming to bite Big Ben in the ass. Pittsburgh will go 0-16, losing games in preposterous ways no one ever thought possible (e.g. Roethlisberger’s pants falling down right as he’s about to throw to a wide-open receiver in the end zone on the last play of the game).
8. Tony Romo will quit football to focus on golf
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo proved over the weekend that the “Curse of the Bimbino” is real. You can’t just date Jessica Simpson for a season and expect everything to go back to normal. On Sunday, Romo was doing just fine for himself and the Boys through the 3rd quarter. Then the you-know-what hit the fan. In the 4th quarter, Romo completed only 5 of 12 passes and gave up 2 interceptions, including one when the game was tied in the final minute that led to the Jets’ winning field goal.
I think there will be two or three more weeks of this kind of nonsense before Tony finally gets fed up and quits football so he can focus on making the 2012 U.S. Open.
7. Buffalo will set the all-time record for points in a season
The sad-sack 2010 Buffalo Bills averaged 17.7 points per game in going 4-12. They lost to the AFC-West champion Kansas City Chiefs 13-10. This year, in the opening game, they beat those same Chiefs 41-7.
What can we take away from this result? Obviously, the Bills are dramatically improved and have become an elite offensive juggernaut. They will probably go 15-1, their only loss being a wild shootout to the Tom Brady-led Patriots in either week 3 or week 18. Along the way, the Bills will set the all-time record for points in a season with about 600. It’s a sure thing; call your bookie.
6. By week 18, St. Louis will loses 48 of 53 players to injury
In their week 1 shellacking at the hands of the morally impaired Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, the St. Louis Rams lost three key players to injury: sophomore QB Sam Bradford, Welkeresque receiver Danny Amendola, and stud running back Steven Jackson.
Unfortunately for the Rams, this is a trend that is likely to continue. By the final week of the season, St. Louis will have lost somewhere between 40 and 50 players to injury. As a result, by the end of the season they will have been forced to sign the entire roster of the Arena Football League’s Iowa Barnstormers. (But they’ll probably still beat the Cleveland Browns in week 10.)
5. Cam Newton will be the next governor of North Carolina
The impressive rookie debut of Cam Newton with the Panthers on Sunday (422 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT) means he is probably already the 12th most popular man in North Carolina (after the starters on the UNC and Duke basketball teams, and Mike Krzyzewski). A couple more weeks like this and he’ll be the most beloved guy in Charlotte before you know it. I predict that the citizens of North Carolina (a “red state”) will get fed up with current governor Bev Perdue (D), run her out of office in a recall, and elect Cam Newton the new governor by mid-December. (Of course, Cam won’t last long before he’s impeached on three counts of bribery and misuse of office—though he’ll claim it was all his dad’s fault.)
4. The Detroit Lions will win the Super Bowl
Hey, the Lions finished last season on a hot streak, going 4-0 down the stretch, beating Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Miami, and Minnesota to finish the season 6-10. Then they came out and beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-20 in the first game of the 2011 season. With five wins in a row, I’d say all signs point toward “team of destiny” status for this beleaguered franchise. So I’m gonna beat the rush by proclaiming right here and now that Detroit will win Super Bowl XLVI. When this prediction comes true—and it will—tell your friends you heard it here first.
3. Jay Cutler will become the most popular sportsman in Chicago
Jay Cutler (the football player, not the bodybuilder) was one of the most hated sports figures in Denver prior to 2009. Then he was traded from the Broncos to the Bears, and he became one of the most hated sports figures in Chicago. He is so hated, in fact, that even when he suffered a legitimate injury against the Packers in last year’s NFC Championship Game, people were calling him soft. However, Cutler is off to a tremendous start this season. Against the Falcons on Sunday, he was 22 for 32 with 312 yards, 2 TD and only 1 INT. Obviously, Cutler is in the zone, now, and will lead to Bears back to the playoffs this year. Unfortunately, he will lose in the NFC Championship Game again (this time to division rival Detroit). But Cuter will play through a broken leg, two severed fingers on his throwing hand, and a nasty case of pneumonia, endearing himself to Bears fans and making him a Chicago sports legend.
2. Tom Brady will shatter single-season QB records for TD, yards
The record for most touchdowns in a single season was set in 2007 by Tom Brady himself. His 50 beat Peyton Manning’s 49, which had previously beaten Dan Marino’s 48. However, the record for most passing yards gained in a season, 5,084, still belongs to Dan Marino—though Drew Brees’ 5,069 in 2008 gave Marino a pretty good run for his money.
But none of this will matter at the end of this season because, based on what we’ve seen this first week, Tom Brady will surely obliterate these amazing records. His 4 TDs against the Dolphins Monday night proves he will almost certainly have 64 TDs by the end of the season, which will beat his old record by 14. Meanwhile, his 517 passing yards clearly indicated that Brady will throw for somewhere between 7,000-8,000 yards for the season, which will beat Marino’s record by at least 2,000 yards (but probably more).
I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve done the math, and this is indisputable.
1. Indianapolis will bring a legendary QB out of retirement
It looks like the Colts may have to endure a big chunk of their season without all-time great QB Peyton Manning. After the dismal performance against Houston by their backup, poor Kerry Collins, the blogosphere is abuzz with talk of who Indy might go out and get to replace the injured Peyton. Of course, the first name that anyone brings up is everyone’s favorite pathological re-retirer, Brett Favre. But after that whole “took a picture of his dong and sent it to a reporter” incident last year, I think the Colts will be looking for someone with better character. That is why I think it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that they will bring none other than Dan Marino out of retirement to fill in for the injured Manning. Yes, he’s 49-years-old, but he’s hungry for a ring, so it just might work.