Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Post-NFL Week 3 Predictions

Predictions made prior to the NFL Week 3 based on the results of those games

Week 3 will be one of the more exciting NFL weekends in recent history!

First, the Saints will, umm, something with the Chiefs...

Then how about the 49ers, who will, with the Vikings...

And then there will be the Music City Miracle, but doesn't make sense, because that happened during the 1999 playoffs...

Somehow the Cardinals, Falcons and Texans will all be in the same category after week 3...

Predictions are not coming easy this week. Something fishy is in the air.

Not fishy. Fishal. Ficial. Officials!

Week 3 will be one of the more exciting NFL weekends in recent history, and yet all anyone will be talking about will be the replacement officials.

It won't be good talk, like:

"Did you see how far that guy threw his flag? What an arm!"

"How about the decision making by the referee! That guy has football-smarts."

"The way the line judge followed the play down the field - what a tremendous athlete!"

No the talk will be more like what will be heard reverberating throughout M&T Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday night - something Al Michaels will refer to as "manure."

Officials are at their best when they are neither seen nor heard. Unfortunately for the NFL, the replacement officials will be seen, heard, and then seen and heard again and again as highlights on SportsCenter will not be of the players making plays, but players reacting to officials calling those plays.

To be fair, ESPN has been showing highlights (or lowlights) of the officials since week 1, because even calling the plays correctly was a reason to be amazed.

The NFL had to know that the replacement officials would be more scrutinized than the actual officials ever were, or will be. Heck, during another time of year, the NFL would want that to be the case!

The NFL prides itself in being a year-round talking point, always having something coming up on the calendar. But with this situation, the NFL blew a prime opportunity. All it had to do was have the replacement officials work the preseason games and then bring in the regular officials right before week one. That way, everyone would be interested in the preseason, talking about the preseason, arguing about the preseason, but no real games would be affected.

Now real games have been and will continue to be affected and it almost might be a better idea to keep the replacement officials in for the whole season - maybe that way, every team will get screwed equally.

Strangely enough, the owners, including the ones whose teams are affected by poor officiating, will remain quiet on the whole "let's-get-the-real-officials-back" front. So Roger Goodell, who works for the owners, will be the whipping boy for everyone with a pen (or a blog), while the owners will go unmentioned.

What should also be mentioned is that these replacement officials did not ask to be thrown into the spotlight like this. Goodell and the owners put the NFL in this position and these replacement officials were asked to help out. Because of the actions of Goodell and the owners, these poor officials are way over their head and they are being ripped apart because of it. Time to stop pointing fingers at them and start calling out those who can actually change this for the better.

Now that we've waded through the screaming about the officials, we've arrived at a few predictions.

The Giants won't understand what the big deal is with having replacements while they demolish the long-handed Panthers.

You know that desire that everyone has to show up their former employer and making them regret letting you go?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Kevin Kolb!

During the Eagles' loss to the Cardinals, after the 89th hit of the game on Michael Vick, Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid will ask if anyone called "no backsies" on the Kolb/Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie trade.

NFL announcers will trip all over themselves trying not to say "Roger Goodell" in relation to "replacement officials," so they will replace "Roger Goodell" with "The NFL."

As in, "The NFL" should really do something about these replacement officials.

As in, "The NFL" really bungled this whole situation.

As in, what was "The NFL" thinking?!

It will take 47 games before an announcer will finally point out that the replacement officials are less to blame than "The NFL" himsel- er, itself.

Thank you, Cris Collinsworth.

Prior to the Monday Night Football game between the Packers and the Seahawks, the question on everyone's lips will be, "did the Packers learn anything from the end of the first half of their playoff game against the Giants last season"?

After their loss to the Seahawks, the answer will be a resounding, "NO."

Fortunately for the Packers, the actions of the replacement officials (and "the NFL"), will allow them to escape without receiving too much grief.

Well, kind of.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Post-NFL Week 2 Predictions

Predictions made prior to the NFL Week 2 based on the results of those games

A week ago, Kevin Kolb was the backup quarterback who led his team to an improbable victory.

This week, Kevin Kolb will be the backup quarterback who leads his team to an improbable victory, as the Cardinals will beat the Patriots.

That scream you will hear is the sound of millions upon millions upon millions who picked the Patriots in their suicide pool.

Kolb will again show how much better he is as a starter starting in place of the injured starter than as a starter starting as a starter.

A week ago, the Patriots were the best team in football, the Cowboys were going to be a force to be reckoned with, the Packers and Giants were both d-o-e-n done, Peyton Manning was Peyton Manning and Bill Simmons was upset about his "Seahawks to the Super Bowl" pick.

After week 2, the Patriots will need help, the Cowboys will be back to doing Cowboys things, the Packers and Giants will probably not be d-o-e-n done (status may change based on the results of week 3), Peyton Manning will still be Peyton Manning but just not quite as Peyton Manning as Peyton Manning used to be and Bill Simmons will probably still upset about his Seahawks pick.

Let's be honest, it was a ridiculous pick.

Sibling rivalry will take a weird turn during Monday Night Football. Peyton Manning will watch his brother Eli go 31-of-51 for a career-high 510 yards along with three touchdowns against an NFC South team (the Bucs), and think to himself, "anything he can do I can do better."

The good news is that in his game against an NFC South team (the Falcons), Peyton will indeed do something better than Eli. The bad news is that it won't involve completions, yards or touchdowns.

No, Peyton will see Eli's three first-half interceptions and decide to do him one better, throwing three first-quarter interceptions. In your face, Eli!

A week ago, the Steelers' defense was old and feeble and the Jets offense was flying high.

After week two, the Steelers' defense will still be old (average age of starters: 47 (actually 30.4)) but not nearly as feeble, and the Jets offense will crash and burn.

On the plus side, Tim Tebow will have one run for 22 yards. So there's that.

The 49ers will win the Hand-Slap-Shake Bowl thanks to the play of one Alex Smith.

Hold on, let me check that again. Yes, I did mean Alex Smith.

After wishing the Packers defense good luck before the game, Jay Cutler will be sacked seven times and picked four times, proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished.

Bills running back Fred Jackson will regret telling backup CJ Spiller to put the team on his back after Spiller runs for 123 yards and two touchdowns in Buffalo's win over the Chiefs.

In a related story, Wally Pipp. That is all.

The Bengals will win the Battle of Drew Carey, beating the Browns. 

After the game, Charley Steiner will state that the Bengals are the best team.

In Ohio.

The Colts will beat the Vikings, giving Andrew Luck a victory in his second career start, bettering Peyton Manning's rookie year performance, in which he won in his fifth career start.

What does that mean, you ask?

You tell me, I answer. #Deflect

Not to be outdone, Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson will also get wins in their second career starts, over the Raiders and Cowboys, respectively.

So what does that mean, you ask?

If you don't know then I won't tell you, I answer. #Deny

Robert Griffin III and the Redskins will lose to the Rams, but RGIII can still say he won in his first career start, which means...

Which means what, you ask.

Gimme a couple minutes, I say. #Delay

The Saints will lose to the Panthers and fall to 0-2. 

When asked about the team's performance, interim interim head coach (and offensive line coach) Aaron Kromer will say, "hey we ran for 163 yards and Brees was only sacked once, right? So how bad a job could I be doing?!" #Deluded

In their loss to the Texans there will be good news and bad news for the Jaguars. 

The good news: the Jaguars will have more yards rushing than they will passing.

The bad news: the Jaguars will only have 65 yards rushing. #Dreadful

The Chargers will beat the Titans. 

Norv Turner will be 2-0 to start a season for the first time in his 15-year head coaching career. #Dumbfounding

After two games, Titans running back Chris Johnson will be tied for 71st in rushing yards with 21. 

Noted running backs Brandon Wheedon (60th, 31 yards) and Matt Cassell (48th, 45 yards) will have more yards than Johnson. #DONE

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Post-NFL Week 1 Predictions

Predictions made prior to the NFL Week 1 based on the results of those games

A father and son take a hike on Sunday, Sept. 9. After they reach the summit, they pause to listen to the sounds drifting to them from afar.

"Hear that sound son? That's the sound of Cowboys fans putting their team in the Super Bowl before the rest of the season has been played."

After a few minutes of quiet solitude, a new sound reached the ears of the two hikers.

"What's that, dad"?

"That, son, is the sound of NFL fans realizing, 'Peyton Manning is back!'"

"It sounds different now, dad."

"That's because fans of the Falcons, Texans, Raiders, Patriots, Chargers, Saints, Bengals, Panthers, Chiefs, Buccaneers, Ravens and Browns just realized, 'Peyton Manning is back.'"

After a while, the father and son turn around to head back. But as they do, they hear in the faint distance yet another sound.

"Pay attention son - that is the sound of replacement NFL officials doing a good enough job to not cost any team a win."

"And what's that sound"?

"That is the sound of the NFL counting its billions upon billions of dollars, knowing they won't have to give any of it to the striking NFL officials."

"Oh. But then what's that sound"?

"That is the resignation call of the striking NFL officials."

Prior to the Steelers' game against the Broncos, Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will remind his defense of Demaryius Thomas' short-reception-that-turned-into-the-80-yard-game-winning touchdown-catch in the 2011 playoffs, and will tell his guys not to let that happen again!

After Demaryius Thomas' turns a short reception into a 71-yard-touchdown-catch, LeBeau will yell at his defense, "what did I tell you before the game?!", before shaking his head and saying "I'm too old for this [stuff]."

(This message is brought to you by comedy, which is created when the same thing is said over and over and over again. Try it. You'll see. Hilarious.)

NFL quarterbacks will combine to throw 33 interceptions in 14 games on Sunday. Six of those quarterbacks will throw at least three picks. Two of those six quarterbacks will throw four picks.

Yet, somehow, miraculously, Detroit's Matt Stafford (three interceptions) and the Eagles' Michael Vick (four interceptions) will lead their teams to last-second victories.

By miraculously, I mean they be playing the Rams and the Browns, respectively.

Arian Foster and Adrian Peterson will reward their fantasy owners teams with two touchdowns apiece, proving correct their fantasy owners teams' decision to start them.

Five rookie quarterbacks will start for their respective teams. Four will combine to throw 11 interceptions, including three apiece by the Colts Andrew Luck and the Dolphins Ryan Tannehill. The second-overall draft pick from 2011 will lead his team to victory. There can be only one Shanahan(der).

But there can be three Robert Griffins, as he is a III.

Saints fans will do their best Matt Damon/Ben Affleck Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back impersonation, going from lemon face (Payton, Vitt, Vilma, Smith suspended) to lion face (Vilma and Smith not suspended) back to lemon face (Saints lose).

Adam Sandler will buy the rights to the 2012 New Orleans Saints' story, tentatively titled, The Waterboy 2: Interim Interim Coach. Gregg Williams is expected to make a cameo ("and that brings me to my next point: don't do bounties!")

The Cardinals will have to bring second-string quarterback Kevin Kolb off the bench after starter John Skelton is injured. Kolb will play well, prompting teams with qb issues to look into trading for him.

Seriously, any team with a question mark at quarterback should go out and trade for Kolb - back up quarterbacks with success in limited action always pay off as starters for another team.

Speaking of back up quarterbacks, Tim Tebow!

(Everyone who writes about the NFL is obligated to mention His name at least once per column.)

The Jets' offense will score more touchdowns in the first half of their game against the Bills (two) than they did the entire preseason (one).

After the game, non-NY Jets fans will check to see if Tebow did anything (he didn't) before shrugging their shoulders and going about their day.

Patriots fans will be happy to know that not only will their new starting running back play better than the previous guy, his name will be much easier to remember and say (Stevan Ridley > BenJarvus Green-Ellis).

Tony Gonzalez, who caught 76 touchdowns as a Chief, will return to Kansas City for the first time since he left the team. He will catch career touchdown No. 96. Not to be outdone, current Chiefs tight end Kevin Boss will catch his 22nd career touchdown. So there's that.

Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano will continue his trend of turning teams around and playing smart, error-free football.

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton will continue his trend of throwing for a bunch of yards in a losing effort. If it's any consolation, Newton's fantasy owners will not be entirely displeased with his performance. What? That's no consolation? Oh well I tried.

Randy Moss will make a triumphant return to the NFL but will not mime pulling his pants down, much to the chagrin of his new sponsor, former American Idol contestant Larry Platt.

Alex Smith will use the 49ers' win over the Packers to make an argument that he should have been the No. 1 overall pick in 2005 over Aaron Rodgers. Wait, what?

Not to be outdone, Aaron Rodgers' discount double-check commercial will be played for the 10,000th time, and it will still be just as funny as it was the first time it was seen.

Did I say just as funny? I meant to say just as funny and cute. Rodgers is dreamy!

MNF Predictions, MNF-er!
The Ravens will honor Art Modell by defeating the Bengals on Monday Night Football, an event that Modell pushed for.

That's right, Cleveland - he did more than just tear out your heart and stab your soul.

Millions of fans will tune into the Ravens-Bengals game, hoping that Baltimore linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo will make a play, just to watch ESPN's announcers perform lingual gymnastics while trying to discuss Ayanbadejo (and Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe)'s recent run in with Maryland douche democrat Emmett Burns without actually discussing what the run in was all about.

Well, maybe not a million, but at least one (me).

The Raiders will definitively prove that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Six penalties, three botched punts, one turnover...and an Al Davis spinning in his grave.

Did I say "spinning"? I meant to say, "winning," baby.