On Thursday, the 2014 NFL season begins. Only a few things are known as fact; the Seattle Seahawks are defending champions, the Denver Broncos aren't, and Johnny Manziel loves rolling $20 bills more than football. Also, good times for Cleveland.
So, time to dive right in with this can-you-handle-it-no-holds-barred-what-the-hell-just-happened prediction festival.
1. New England Patriots (15-1)
This is the best team in football after adding Darrelle Revis.
2. Miami Dolphins (5-11)
The line is still a mess and I'm not sold at all on Joe Philbin.
3. Buffalo Bills (4-12)
It's the Bills. Doug Marrone. EJ Manuel.
4. New York Jets (4-12)
Even with Eric Decker, this team has no offense. Also, no pass rush.
1. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
Steve Smith is a huge addition, and Joe Flacco will bounce back.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6)*
The defense will struggle, but Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown lead the way.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)
Having a first-place schedule hurts. So does employing Marvin Lewis.
4. Cleveland Browns (4-12)
No Josh Gordon, no talent on offense.
1. Indianapolis Colts (12-4)
Outside of Andrew Luck, this team is bad. However, so is the division.
2. Tennessee Titans (7-9)
Not one player stands out as elite on the entire roster. Highly mediocre.
3. Houston Texans (5-11)
Great roster, but Ryan Fitzpatrick devastates this group.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
Jacksonville is much improved, but won't take off until Blake Bortles comes in.
1. Denver Broncos (12-4)
The offense is incredible, the offseason highly overrated. Small step back.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)*
Andy Reid will make the offense watchable, and the front seven can be scary good.
3. San Diego Chargers (8-8)
The most overhyped team in the NFL. Name five defensive starters.
4. Oakland Raiders (1-15)
Much better than this record, but the schedule is insanely tough.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
Hard schedule holds down record, as does defense. Offense is great.
2. New York Giants (10-6)
Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin rebound for nice campaign.
3. Washington (6-10)
Jay Gruden inspires as much confidence as fat guy going on Atkins diet.
4. Dallas Cowboys (5-11)
Obama should call for state of emergency when this defense hits the field.
1. Green Bay Packers (13-3)
Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers.
2. Chicago Bears (8-8)
Great offense, atrocious defense. Stop somebody, win a game.
3. Detroit Lions (7-9)
See above. However, Jim Caldwell systematically murders this team.
4. Minnesota Vikings (4-12)
Quarterback play and defense will sink this ship.
1. New Orleans Saints (13-3)
Brandin Cooks adds to super offense. Rob Ryan has defense humming.
2. Carolina Panthers (10-6)*
Loss of receivers overcome by Cam Newton and special front seven.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8)
Lovie Smith can coach, and he will get this group going in right direction.
4. Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
Roster is really falling apart. Lines are bad and secondary will struggle.
1. Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
Defense, home field and Russell Wilson rule the West again.
2. San Francisco 49ers (11-5)*
This is the pick 'm least confident in. I can see 6-10. Major house of cards.
3. Arizona Cardinals (8-8)
Excellent roster but Carson Palmer still on the roster. Good luck.
4. St. Louis Rams (4-12)
Very good front seven but no offense. Sam Bradford loss is crushing.
Byes: New England Patriots, Denver Broncos
3. Indianapolis Colts 34, 6. Pittsburgh Steelers 20
4. Baltimore Ravens 17, 5. Kansas City Chiefs 13
1. New England Patriots 31, 4. Baltimore Ravens 17
2. Denver Broncos 44, Indianapolis Colts 34
1. New England Patriots 34, 2. Denver Broncos 24
Byes: Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints
3. Seattle Seahawks 10, 6. Carolina Panthers 9
4. Philadelphia Eagles 17, 5. San Francisco 49ers 23
1. Green Bay Packers 27, 5. San Francisco 49ers 20
2. New Orleans Saints 24, Seattle Seahawks 20
1. Green Bay Packers 30, 2. New Orleans Saints 17
New England Patriots 28, Green Bay Packers 24
MVP: Tom Brady
Coach of the Year: Sean Payton
Offensive Player of the Year: LeSean McCoy
Defensive Player of the Year: Justin Houston
Rookie of the Year: Brandin Cooks
Ten deep thoughts to remember
1. No matter how bad things get, the Chiefs don't employ Brodie Croyle anymore. It's a good day.
2. The Trent Richardson experiment will end in Indianapolis by Week 3.
3. Cleveland fans will beg for Johnny Manziel. They will get Manziel. They will plead for Brian Hoyer.
4. Jay Cutler will throw at least three backbreaking interceptions. ESPN will defend his strong arm.
5. The FBI will launch a probe to discover Chargers fans. They won't search Qualcomm, they know it's abandoned.
6. The Seahawks will hold a team under 100 yards passing. The NFL will suspend them for poor personal conduct.
7. Kirk Cousins will start more games than Robert Griffin III.
8. At least five clowns will violate the domestic abuse policy.
9. The Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick contracts will be discussed all year, and not for good reasons.
10. Mike Smith will be the first head coach fired.