Here we are…the preseason is behind us. The regular season is before us. And I have a few bold predictions (ten to be exact) for the 2012 NFL season:
10. Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler will be more likable as a dad. I didn’t say he’d be a better quarterback, but I do think fatherhood will soften his edges and make him a little more personable, or at least a little more human. Hey, that commercial he did for The NFL Store was almost funny. See? It’s already working.
9. On the other hand, fatherhood WILL make Tony Romo a better quarterback for the Cowboys. He put a lot of pressure on himself (some deservedly) the last few seasons, but now seems happy and settled. Let's hope the "happy and settled" translate to confidence on the field.
8. We will discover that Rex Ryan is a better coach when he’s overweight. Maybe it’s the diet. It’s possible he’s a little light-headed these days. I mean, claiming this is the best Jets team he’s ever coached? That may be more bold than his pre-preseason Superbowl predictions. He must be seeing something in practice that we’re not. Namely…touchdowns.
7. We will learn why no one wants to coach (or play) in Miami. If you watched Hard Knocks, you’re already half way there.
6. We will discover that there was indeed something magical about Peyton Manning’s hands under Jeff Saturday’s butt. Both will have decent seasons, but neither will be able to replicate what they had together in Indianapolis.
5. Tim Tebow will become the starter for the New York Jets. I don’t know when, but it will happen. And when it does, the skies will part, the angels will sing, and Skip Bayless will crown him MVP…all before he completes his first pass (just before halftime).
4. With the Patriots light on receivers, Tom Brady, upon suffering two Superbowl defeats to Eli Manning, will attempt to do the very thing wife Gisele Bundchen claimed he could not…throw the ball and catch it himself.
3. Eli Manning will finally prove that he is an elite quarterback after all, and is undoubtedly the best quarterback in the Manning family. Wait, didn’t he do that last season? Forget it then. Eli will find new joy playing for the Giants, without carrying a 230-pound monkey on his back named Peyton.
2. After two weeks of fumbled calls, Father Goodell will finally open his checkbook and sign the NFL officials to a new contract, just in time for week three. The replacement refs will miss the call, report to work, and flag the league for too many men on the field. They will try to reverse the call, but won’t remember what it was.
1. And for my last bold prediction of the season…Terrell Owens and Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson will fall in love (no, not with each other) and ride off into sunset, never to be heard from again. I know. I pushed it too far with that one. Damn, it was a nice thought though…wasn’t it?
Here’s to the 2012 NFL season. The clock is down to hours…and they’re ticking away.
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