With the start of the 2009 NFL season just one week away, (and amen to
that) it’s time to look into the crystal ball and see what we’re in
store for this year.
My first prediction is that other than a handful of Turducken-loving, Batman-watching, one-syllable talking fans that put him on the map in
the first place, no one will even notice John Madden is not broadcasting anymore. Other than ESPN’s Chris Berman,
Madden will forever be remembered as the most overrated broadcaster in
the history of sports. Now, that’s not to say there isn’t plenty of
work to do before that landscape is totally cleaned up but you have to
start somewhere. I also predict that the great passion and excitement
that likely landed Jon Gruden the MNF job in the first place will eventually
become his downfall.
We get it Jon, you’re easily excitable when it
comes to the game of football, but let’s not carried away in describing
those six-yard circle routes as though you just saw the greatest play in the history of the game. Pace yourself, you’ve got five more months
before you can leave Jaws and Tirico in the rear view and start
interviewing for the vacant Lions head coaching job.
As for the players, I predict that Brett Favre will become a
media darling/juggernaut by using a country-boy, Elvis-like twang while tearing
up during a press conference recalling how his daughter envisioned him
winning another Supper Bowl title, which then inspired him to return to
the game for yet another year. Wait, that already happened. As for the
Ironman’s future, I predict an above-average performance throughout the
regular season culminating with another disappointing conclusion in the
NFC Championship game where he does what he’s done so many times before, force the issue and make a huge mistake. With a top-tier defense behind him and the best
running back in all of the land ready to carry the load and lessen the
level of contribution needed to succeed, Favre will flourish in the
land of 10,000 interceptions, I mean lakes.
Other quarterbacks to keep an eye on will be Tom Brady and Tony Romo.
While many are predicting Brady will pick up right where he left off in
his record-setting season two years ago, I don’t see it happening.
While I do believe Brady is a lock for 25-plus TD passes, the numbers
he put up in 2007 just don’t come along very often and with no real
threat of a running game, Patriots opponents will try to minimize the
damage with prevent-style coverage schemes.
As for Romo, he likely won’t miss the constant headaches that Terrell Owens supplied regularly in Big D but he will miss his productivity. With Roy Williams dinged up and a shell of his former underachieving self anyway, Romo will be missing T.O. more than Jessica Simpson by Week 3. Jason Witten
is one of the league’s best tight ends but he’ll be covered tighter
than a pickle jar all year leaving Romo with a limited arsenal which
could lead to dozens of interceptions being displayed on those big
screens at the new stadium.
As for Terrell Owens, I predict he will have a big year
statistically but he’ll also have his share of “what was I thinking
signing with Buffalo days” moments where he’ll end up begging for a Jeff Garcia
trade. Let the record show that Bills starter Trent Edwards isn’t an
NFL-caliber quarterback. Not sure if T.O thought Bills management said Trent Dilfer
was running the Bills show when he signed or what, but the now-retired
Dilfer would be a huge upgrade from Edwards and it likely won’t be long
before T.O. points that out to the Bills media and Edwards himself.
Fortunately for T.O. Fantasy Football owners like myself, Buffalo will
likely find itself down early and often allowing Owens to get his
numbers in garbage time.
I also predict the Baltimore Ravens defense will be average this
year. For years, football fans have come to expect greatness from this
unit but age and the loss of their defensive coordinator (Rex Ryan) will leave these birds dreaming of a Tony Siragusa comeback. Not don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Baltimore will be Lions bad or even Chiefs bad, I’m just saying the won’t be the dominating unit we’ve all gotten used to seeing year after year.
Well, there’s a few clueless, I mean fearless predictions for you. Not buying them? Let me hear about yours. Make a post in the “Comments” section below and let your voice be heard.