It is that time of the year again folks. The pools are closing, the weather is changing, Chris Berman’s nutrisystems commercials are back, and that can only mean one thing: Football Season! Thursday Night at 8:30 PM the NFL season begins at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh when the Tennessee Titans come to Pittsburgh to take on the 6 time and defending Superbowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL season has many different stories that the media will love to run with. Brett Favre came out of retirement for the 157th time and joins the Minnesota Vikings. Michael Vick aka Ron Mexico has been signed by the Philadelphia Eagles and looks to resurrect his career. These are just a few of the story lines that will be overplayed this season by the media, but lets get to the good part. I bring to you Sir Dubz’s 2009 NFL season predictions.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)– The Steelers come into the season actually stronger than last season. Their two big departures, CB Bryant McFadden and WR Nate Washington have been replaced by arguably stronger players in CB William Gay and WR Limas Sweed. The special teams have a huge upgrade with the return on P Daniel Sepulveda and new addition and soon to be star PR/KR Stefan Logan. Let’s not forget that #1 ranked defense and the old additive that until beaten, they are the champs.
2. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)-The Ravens will have their strong as usual defense back and with a year under his belt, Joe Flacco will be a tough force in the AFC north. If they can maintain health, the Ravens will be back in the playoffs again.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7) The Bengals season rests on the health on QB Carson Palmer. One injury and its back to the basement with the Browns. The defense is improved with LB’s Rey Maualuga and Keith Rivers. Time will tell if Chad Ochocinco’s big mouth will back up all the smack his mouth has been running after his stellar 540 yard and 4 TD 2008 campaign.
4. Cleveland Browns (4-12)- Contrary to the belief of their fans every year that “this is the year”, it still isn’t. Mangina still has yet to pick a QB, acting like it is going to be hard to game plan for a wide receiver corp that our own Thunder Treats creator Dilo could probably see playing time with. The Browns have too many question marks and need to fill more holes before they can be considered in the rather tough AFC North. On a bright note, they do employ the top PR/KR in the league in Joshua Cribbs who will again dazzle people with his ability to return kicks.
1. New England Patriots (12-4)– It will be hard to imagine a Patriots defense without Richard Seymour, Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, and Mike Vrabel, but it will be a reality. Tom Brady returns, but will he be able to remain injury free?
2. Miami Dolphins (10-6)- The Dolphins will again be a tough team and will employ the ever popular Wildcat offense. Can the defense continue to improve and give their offense chances to score?
3. New York Jets (9-7)- First year starting QB Mark Sanchez will learn quickly how it is to play in New York. The Jets have a good core of players returning, and will be a tough game for most opponents, however, fall short of the playoffs this year.
4. Buffalo Bills (5-11) All that needs said here is 4 word phrases: Team Cancer Terrell Owens.
1. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) It will be interesting to see a Colts team without Tony Dungy roaming the sidelines. They still have double stuffed Oreo champion Peyton Manning at QB so naturally an easy choice to pick as division champs.
2. Houston Texans (10-6) The Texans are quietly building a roster with star players, but will they finally capitalize on opportunities and turn that into a playoff birth? The answer is YES!
3. Tennessee Titans (9-7) The Titans fall just short of making the playoffs and Lendale White can get an early start on his diet consisting of “just not drinking Patron.”
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) We still continue wondering what Jack Del Rio was thinking when he picked David Garrard over Byron Leftwich. The Jags struggle and Mr Del Rio is going to be feeling the hot seat.
1. San Diego Chargers (11-5) The Chargers have a plethora of talent, but forget how to play football come January. Is this the year the Chargers finally learn how to play football in January…No.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-8) The Chiefs think that bringing in Matt Cassel is going to bring them to the playoffs. News flash, you forgot to bring the rest of the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS that made him who he was. The Chiefs improve, but are still watching from home in January.
3. Oakland Raiders (5-11) The Raiders will still suck and Al Davis will still continue figuring out how to drive this franchise closer to his home in hell.
4. Denver Broncos (3-13) The Broncos will struggle mightily with the departure of QB Jay Cutler and disgruntled WR Brandon Marshall will do his best T.O. Jr impression when he has to have Kyle Orton or Chris Sims throwing him the football.
1. Minnesota Vikings (11-5) If Mr Retirement can stay healthy, they Vikings will be in the thick of the NFC playoff race. They have all world RB Adrian Peterson and if he remains healthy, looks to have another amazing season.
2. Chicago Bears (10-6) The Bears finally have a QB under center with Jay Cutler, but can he prove to be a winner? He put up stats in Denver, but never lead them anywhere in the playoffs. The Bears will be back in the playoffs this year!
3. Green Bay Packers (9-7) QB Aaron Rodgers will have a Pro Bowl season, but the Packers will fall just short of making the playoffs this year.
4. Detroit Lions (2-14) I just can’t be that cruel to make them 0-16 again, so I found a heart and gave them 2 wins this year. Good Luck and God Speed Detroit. You will need it.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5) The Eagles will have plenty of attention with QB Michael Vick joining the team, but don’t let that fool you, they are loaded with talent. Will Donovan McNabb finally stop choking in big games and lead them to a Superbowl trophy? Nope
2. New York Giants (10-6) The Giants defense will keep them in games, and if RB Brandon Jacobs can continue to rumble, they will have another good year. WR’s Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith need to step up if the Giants want to get back to the playoffs.
3. Dallas Cowboys (10-6) The Cowboys will be a happier clubhouse without resident loudmouth T.O. there. Tony Romo must s
tep up and make the plays necessary to get the Cowboys back to the playoffs. On a side note, Jerry Jones still remains a douche.
4. Washington Redskins (6-10) This is the old adage that money can’t buy you championships. Overpaid players that continue to underachieve.
1. Atlanta Falcons (10-6) QB Matt Ryan will have another year under his belt and will lead the Falcons back to the playoffs.
2. Carolina Panthers (9-7) The Panthers will have a deadly running game, but will struggle to win games in the end.
3. New Orleans Saints (8-8) The Saints will again have the best offense in the NFL, but unfortunately for them, their defense blows. Many 45-41 games again this year and yet again no playoffs for the Saints.
4. Tampa Bay Bucs (7-9) While I like starting QB Byron Leftwich, the Bucs have too many question marks to make them a contender. Look out for starting RB Derrick Ward though.
1. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) The Cardinals will win the NFC West, but that isn’t saying much. Their offense is pretty damn good, but it remains to be seen if the defense will step up. Look for another run in the playoffs for the Cardinals, but not anywhere like last year.
2. Seattle Seahawks (8-8) The Seahawks have gone downhill fast ever since losing Superbowl 40 to the Steelers. They have too many holes to be considered a playoff team.
3. San Francisco 49er’s (5-11) Shaun Hill – Michael Crabtree = Another shitty season.
4. St Louis Rams (4-12) The Rams will continue to struggle again this year. Look at the bright side St Louis, at least you got the Cardinals and Albert Pujols.
AFC Playoff Picture (* denotes a bye, # denotes a wild card)
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)*
2. New England Patriots (12-4)*
3. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
4. San Diego Chargers (11-5)
5. Houston Texans (10-6)#
6. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)#
NFC Playoff Picture
1. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)*
2. Minnesota Vikings (11-5)*
3. Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
4. Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
5. Chicago Bears (10-6)#
6. New York Giants (10-6)#
Wild card Weekend
3. Indianapolis Colts 17
6. Baltimore Ravens 16
4. San Diego Chargers 23
5. Houston Texans 14
5. Chicago Bears 31
4. Atlanta Falcons 23
6. New York Giants 27
3. Arizona Cardinals 24
1. Pittsburgh Steelers 27
4. San Diego Chargers 13
2. New England Patriots 38
3. Indianapolis Colts 31
1. Philadelphia Eagles 34
6. New York Giants 17
5. Chicago Bears 17
2. Minnesota Vikings 14
1. Pittsburgh Steelers 31
2. New England Patriots 27
1. Philadelphia Eagles 27
5. Chicago Bears 23
Superbowl 44 in Miami, Florida on February 7th 2010
Pittsburgh Steelers 23
Philadelphia Eagles 17
The Pennsylvania Superbowl finally happens but the Steelers win #7 and cement themselves as the dynasty of the 2000’s.