A Look Back at My “Ten Bold Predictions for the 2015 NFL Season”

Written by :
Published on : March 3, 2016

 

 

 

Back in mid-August, I wrote a piece giving ten bold predictions I expected we would all see happen during this past NFL season. In this article, (which can be found here) I mentioned all of the obvious predictions like, “Who will win the Super Bowl?”, “Who will win MVP?”, as well as some other more “out there” ideas. So with the Denver Broncos winning Super Bowl 50 about a month ago, (spoiler alert: I didn’t get that one right) and thus concluding the 2015 NFL season, I figured now would be a good time to check back into that crystal ball and see how my picks turned out.

 

1. Adrian Peterson wins the rushing title

Result: CORRECT

 

I got off to a good start here as AP led the NFL with 1,485 rushing yards, edging out Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin. While drafting him didn’t help me win my fantasy football team this year, I had a feeling Peterson would come back strong this year after being suspended for much of last season and he helped the Vikings earn their first playoff spot since 2009.

 

2. The New England Patriots will finish 2nd in the AFC East

Result: WRONG

 

Well this took a quick turn. I think what makes this worse is I predicted Miami to win the division. Gross. Let me explain my rationale here though. At the time this article was published, Tom Brady was still set to be suspended for the first 4 games and I figured with Jimmy Garoppolo under center for those games, a 2-2 start was the best case scenario for the Patriots. If that were the case, New England finishes 10-6 instead of 12-4 and who knows what happens seeing as how the Jets also finished 10-6.

 

3. Ray Rice will be back in the NFL

Result: WRONG

 

I took a loss on this prediction as well and I still am a little bit surprised about it, especially once Greg Hardy put an NFL uniform back on. Now I fully understand the severity of what Ray Rice did and I don’t by any means condone it, but after being suspended for all of last season, I figured someone would be willing to take the chance and may have needed a veteran back. The Cowboys made the most sense to me when I made the prediction, fittingly, they wound up being the ones to sign Hardy.

 

4. Jameis Winston and Amari Cooper win NFC/AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year

Result: WRONG-ish 

 

So the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award went to Todd Gurley, and rightfully so as he finished third in the league in rushing yards. However, I feel like I should get half-credit or something because Jameis Winston won the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year at the same NFL Honors Award Show. Amari Cooper had a solid rookie year with Oakland as well.

 

5. Leonard Williams and Landon Collins win AFC/NFC Denfensive Rookie of the Year

Result: WRONG

 

Kansas City corner Marcus Peters won this award by a landslide after leading the NFL with 8 interceptions and helping to make the Chief’s defense one of the best in the league. Leonard Williams was third in the voting, and according to Mel Kiper Jr should have won, so I guess I had someone in my corner.

 

6. The Carolina Panthers will have the biggest increase in wins from 2014

Result: CORRECT

 

By finishing 15-1, Carolina easily had the league’s best record as they narrowly missed perfection during the regular season. Following a dreadful, 7-8-1 record last year, (granted they still made the playoffs in an embarrassing NFC South) I figured at least 11 wins was very realistic for the Panthers. Instead, Cam decided to put up video game numbers and they won 15. Either way, a win for me.

 

7. The Dallas Cowboys will have the biggest drop off in wins from 2014

Result: CORRECT

 

I knew the loss of DeMarco Murray would hurt this team…well I guess the loss of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant for much of the season didn’t help either, but regardless, I knew this team wasn’t duplicating its 12-4 season from 2014. While I didn’t predict 4-12, the Cowboys still had the biggest drop off in the wins column.

 

8. Peyton Manning will retire following the 2015 season

Result: To be determined…

 

Despite Peyton’s best efforts, the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl last month after he had an absolutely miserable regular season. Easily his worst professional season, and one that even caused him to miss a stretch of games late due to injuries. Peyton came back just in time for the playoffs and looked rather pedestrian in the process. However, because of an absolutely dominating defense, Denver made it so Peyton could ride off into the sunset a now two-time Super Bowl champion. The question still remains as to whether he will take that ride or jump back into the saddle with another NFL team.

 

9. Aaron Rodgers will win MVP, again

Result: WRONG

 

After a 6-0 start to the season, the Packers fell flat after their bye week and never really turned it around. Aaron Rodgers never looked like himself. While his stats were nowhere near, say Peyton’s, they weren’t what we have come to expect from him. Again, a 31 touchdown, 8 interception season isn’t anything to sneeze at, but he had his lowest QB Rating since becoming a starter in Green Bay. Cam Newton wound up dabbin’ his way to the NFL MVP Award in what was a fantastic year for him.

 

10. The Green Bay Packers will defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 50

Result: WRONG

 

Ugh, this one is right up there with picking New England to lose the AFC East. First, allow me to defend myself a bit with my reasoning here. Jordy Nelson tore his ACL just days after this article was written, which certainly hurt Green Bay going forward. For Indianapolis, Andrew Luck missed most of the season as well, but frankly they were better off without him (record-wise) as Hasselbeck wound up winning 5 games for the Colts, while Luck finished 2-5 on the year.

 

Overall Record: 3 CORRECT, 5 WRONG, 1 WRONG-ish, (1 TBD)

 

So there you have it. Not the best showing, but with only 90% of precincts reporting (a little election pun for you), I still have a shot to steal one more if Peyton would just make up his damn mind. So help me out, Peyton. Grab a few of those Budweisers you were talking about after the big game, open another Papa John’s Pizzeria, and just enjoy what retirement has to offer: Growing thick beards, Wrangler commercials, and copper sleeves for aching joints. Hey, it’s working for Brett Favre.

 

 


Ten Bold Predictions for the 2015 NFL Season

Written by :
Published on : August 14, 2015

 

 

 

“It’s the most wonderful time…of the year.” That’s right ladies and gentleman, cue that famous Andy Williams Christmas song, because football season is back, and I couldn’t be any more excited. We had our first taste this past weekend with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, and will get a few more weeks of preseason football to tide us over until the real hard hitting action begins. The 2014 season was fantastic, culminating with a Super Bowl for the ages. This year is shaping up to bring more of the same, and to get you started, here’s ten things bold predictions for the 2015 NFL season.

 

1. Adrian Peterson wins the rushing title

Adrian Peterson missed all but one game last season due to a near season long suspension, and the rumor is he looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. The Minnesota Vikings, led by rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, still managed to finish 7-9 without AP last year and I think he adds so much to a talented, albeit young, team. The danger of play action with Peterson will be an immense help to Bridgewater’s game, and I think AP is back with something to prove.

 

Adrian Peterson

 

2. The New England Patriots will finish 2nd in the AFC East

Since winning the Super Bowl last year, the New England Patriots have remained in the headlines but not for hoisting the Lombardi Trophy or Rob Gronkowski’s partying. Instead, all the attention has been on Tom Brady and the Patriots for the infamous “Deflategate” scandal which has landed Brady a four game suspension to start the season. The Patriots have won the division 11 of the last 12 seasons and still may be the favorites even with Brady’s suspension. I think a 2-3 start is very possible and it takes 10-11 victories to win  that division this year. The Miami Dolphins are the last team to win the AFC East other than the Patriots, and I think they may do it again this year with a week 17 home win over the Pats. If not Miami, look for Buffalo Bills to challenge for the division title.

 

3. Ray Rice will be back in the NFL

Ray Rice was suspended all of last year for his role in a domestic violence incident with his fiancé and was cut by the Baltimore Ravens. It’s said he is perhaps too big of a distraction for any team to sign. Factor that with a poor 2013 season, and being nearly 30 years old, and many teams don’t feel he is worth the risk. However, one team that is no stranger to signing players with a checkered past, is the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas lost star running back DeMarco Murray to the rival Philadelphia Eagles this past off-season and are set to go with the oft-injured Darren McFadden. Behind him are Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar and rookie Lache Seastrunk in what should be a running back by committee type attack. The Cowboys offense last year went through Murray and while the connection of Romo to Bryant is absolutely lethal, they’ll need a similar balance if they want to duplicate last year’s division title. A guy like Ray Rice may be just what Dallas needs, or Dallas may be just the type of team Ray Rice needs.

 

Ray Rice

 

4. Jameis Winston and Amari Cooper win NFC/AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year

Say what you will about Jameis Winston’s struggles off the field in college, but the guy can flat out ball. His freshman season numbers were a lot better than his sophomore season, but he only lost one game between those two years. In Tampa, he will have the luxury of throwing to big targets like Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, and play in possibly the weakest division in all of football. I think he performs well, and Tampa could find itself contending in the NFC South in just a year or two. In Oakland, the Raiders got possibly the most NFL ready player in the draft in wide receiver Amari Cooper. Raider quarterback Derek Carr had a really underrated rookie season last year finishing with 21 touchdowns and only 12 picks while throwing to some absolute duds at wide receiver. I think newly hired head coach Jack Del Rio is the right guy for the job. Expect big offensive numbers from both guys from the start.

 

5. Leonard Williams and Landon Collins win AFC/NFC Denfensive Rookie of the Year

The New York Jets have one of the best defensive lines in all of football and it got even better when they selected Leonard Williams in the first round of April’s NFL Draft. He is very versatile and can play on the end or the interior which is great for the Jets considering they are without Sheldon Richardson for at least four games due to suspension and could be facing more time off from another arrest a couple weeks ago. Williams will get plugged in right away and be pressuring quarterbacks all season long. Also on draft night, the New York Giants traded up seven spots to nab Safety Landon Collins from Alabama. He is said to have already impressed the Giants coaching staff with his leadership and work ethic. Odell Beckham Jr. became an instant success last year for the Giants and I think Collins will be a similar story this year.

 

Leonard Williams

 

6. The Carolina Panthers will have the biggest increase in wins from 2014

The NFC South was by far the worst division in all of football last season with Carolina winning the division despite having a losing record of 7-8-1. This year, I expect the division to again be very weak, however Carolina’s relatively easy schedule allows them to win 11 games, a significant improvement from last season.

 

7. The Dallas Cowboys will have the biggest drop off in wins from 2014

The Dallas Cowboys had a tough decision to make this past off-season when they had to choose between re-signing DeMarco Murray or Dez Bryant. Considering Murray’s injury riddled past and the short shelf life of running backs in today’s game, Dez Bryant probably was the correct decision. Unfortunately, Dallas did very little to replace DeMarco Murray and I think it will hurt their offense a ton this year. The offensive line is one of the best in football, but another 12-4 season with their current backfield seems very unlikely to me. I see Dallas as a 9-7 team this season.

 

Dez Bryant

 

8. Peyton Manning will retire following the 2015 season

After 18 seasons, 5 MVP awards, the NFL record for most touchdown passes and likely most passing yards, Peyton Manning will call it a career after this upcoming season, and what a career it was. His legacy will forever be somewhat debated because of only having one Super Bowl ring, but only a few quarterbacks at most will be ranked higher than him in the history of the game.

 

9. Aaron Rodgers will win MVP, again

For the third time in his career, and second year in a row, Aaron Rodgers will win the league’s Most Valuable Player award, and deservedly so. He is, in my opinion, the best quarterback in football and is incredibly efficient while having a nearly unbeatable record at home. Last season Rodgers finished with 38 touchdowns to only 5 interceptions. This year I expect much of the same as Rodgers still has Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams to throw to, along with Eddie Lacy in the backfield.

 

Aaron Rodgers

 

10. The Green Bay Packers will defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 50

Both Green Bay and Indianapolis lost in the conference championship games a year ago, but both with contrastingly different results. The Packers blew a 12-point with under three minutes left vs the Seattle Seahawks, and wound up losing in overtime after an improbable comeback by Seattle. Green Bay blew numerous opportunities to seal the game including allowing Seattle to recover an onside kick late in the fourth quarter. The Indianapolis Colts were blown out by the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, but not without controversy. It’s called “Deflategate” and you’re probably just as sick of hearing about it as I am. Unless of course you’re some New England slappy in denial that the legendary Bill Belichick or Tom Terrific would ever do such things to win a football game. This year I think both the Packers and the Colts take the next step and meet in the Super Bowl with MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers winning in another great Super Bowl.

 


Is Getting Arrested Really the Best Offseason Hobby for NFL Players?

Written by :
Published on : July 22, 2015

This time of year is by far the most boring for NFL fans. It’s the void between OTAs and training camp, and people are itching for some good football related news. Sadly though, this is the time of year when fans receive mostly bad news; that time when athletes just can’t help but get into trouble with the law or get injured, or even worse, both (I’m looking at you Plaxico Burress).

 

Like clockwork, year in and year out, the moment OTAs conclude, there is a rash of offseason arrests that put individual players’ personal lives and the collective livelihood of their respective teams at risk. Getting locked up is such a tradition that my friends and I have been running a fantasy football league for the last handful of years called The NFL Prison League. For the most part, all twelve of the teams are named after players who got arrested that very same offseason.

 

Some years are worse than others to be sure, and this year has paled in comparison to the heinous offseason that was 2014, when the Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and others’ arrests for domestic violence left a stain on the league and the players themselves. Not to mention that whole Aaron Hernandez is a ruthless murderer thing.

 

This summer has been relatively quiet, with the notable arrests being Green Bay’s Andrew Quarless, who I still can’t believe the Packers haven’t cut, and only days ago Tennessee’s Justin Turner, who will certainly be handed his walking papers and given a stiff prison sentence if the violent crimes he is accused of turn out to be true.

 

With the first rookies reporting today, that leaves about a week until the veterans report to camps, meaning they are almost to the finish line. There is so little time until work starts and it would be a shame if somebody’s favorite player were to get arrested at the last minute and risk missing some, or all, of next season. To help these misguided millionaires make it through the next week unscathed, I’ve compiled a list of relatively safe hobbies that they can enjoy until its time to hit the field.

 

Competitive Mooing

 

I already know what you’re thinking. This can’t possibly be a real thing, right? Wrong.

 

In the rural recesses of our great nation, where dairy and beef reign supreme, some people spend their time imitating our bovine friends’ vocal expressions.

 

And the result is pretty damn hilarious….

 

With so many of our favorite football players coming from America’s heartland, I’m sure there are a few who would be well served by taking up competitive mooing as a hobby. It’s a safe, family friendly way to pass that last week until it’s time to hit the field once again.

 

Falconry

 

The earliest accounts of this hunting sport/hobby date all the way back to the year 2000 B.C. and it should be said that if your favorite player decides to take it up in his spare time that it will take a certain amount of time and dedication. It is highly regulated in order to make sure that these majestic creatures are properly preserved and taken care of.

 

If a players does decide to take the leap and put the required time into becoming a falconer, then its safe to say that this new hobby will make them even more of a bad ass than they already are.

 

I mean, just look at how cool it looks to have this beautiful bird of prey under your command….

 

English Heritage - 5th July 2008 **Free Picture Usage** Michael Raphael entertains the crowds with a falconry display at Audley End House.  The show formed part of the Food and Falconry event which gave visitors the chance to meet the Victorian Gardener, plant their own seeds and watch incredible falconry displays. (event takes place from Wed 6 - Sun 10 Aug & Wed 13 to Sun 17 Aug).    Come back for more Food and Falcons next week or let the kids have fun and try out life 'Below Stairs' from Weds 20th August. Pic - Richard Marsham Richard Marsham RMG Photography 23 Millfield Littleport Ely Cambridgeshire CB6 1HN Tel : 07798 758711

 

 

Extreme Dog Grooming

 

I’ll start this one off by saying that I don’t necessarily condone making your dog look like Yoda or every member of the Muppets combined, but it does look pretty hilarious. I might catch some flak from PETA for even suggesting this, but that won’t stop me from sharing these hilarious pictures with you.

Dog_Muppets

 

Apparently there are contests held by the National Dog Groomers Association of America, among other organizations, and from what I understand they are highly competitive. So if your favorite player decides to try their hand at this hobby they had better bring their A-game.

Dog_Yoda

 

 

Ghost Hunting

 

This hobby might present the risk of heart attack, but as far as I know there has never been a direct injury or death related to ghost hunting, so why not try it out.

 

In order to get into ghost hunting you’re going to need to get some equipment first. You’ll need audio recorders, cameras, EMF meters, infrared thermometers, and video cameras among other things. All of these tools will help you in your quest to uncover spirits that have lingered on this plane past the expiration of their physical shells, and with the salaries these players are making, buying this stuff shouldn’t be a problem.

 

The other thing that you will need in order to get into this hobby is a good old fashioned haunted house. So if you’re ready, hop in the Mystery Machine and head out in search of life after death.

 

1280px-The_Haunted_House_Das_Geisterhaus_(5360049608)

 

 


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