Before the NFL preseason even began, I made 13 Bold NFL predictions that you can read here. I was called crazy for many of them by many people, and while some of them look just as crazy as people said, many of them aren’t looking too bad after four weeks of legitimate NFL action.
These picks were made partly as a satire, but were also based somewhat in reality. I was poking fun at the idea of the “psychic abilities” that so many “experts” pretend to have. However, in making these bold predictions, I did use my knowledge of the game to come up with these. When I look back at them after week four, I am not surprised that some of them look highly unlikely, but I am also not surprised that many of them look like they are on their way to reality.
So without further ado, I give you the second part of that article, if you will. This article will be part “Okay, I was wrong” and part “I told you so.” I will also revisit these predictions at the halfway mark of the season, the end of the regular season, and following the Super Bowl.
The New England Patriots will not win the AFC East.
After four weeks of regular season action, the New England Patriots, although they don’t look as strong as they have over the past decade or so, are still undefeated at 4-0. This is one of those picks that still needs more time to figure out if it will come true or not. If you remember, I still picked the Patriots to make the playoffs. I never said they would be a bad team. The only mistake I made was forgetting who Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are. These two go together like peanut butter and jelly. No matter the odds, they always find a way to make it work. After four weeks, they sit alone atop the AFC East. Will they win it? I’m still not convinced they will, but they have a stronger shot than I originally thought.
The AFC North will be owned by the state of Ohio.
Well, as of right now, both Ohio teams are tied for first place in the AFC North, along with the defending champion Baltimore Ravens, all at 2-2. The Ravens would technically be in first, followed by the Browns, and then followed by the Bengals if you use the tiebreakers. None of these teams look to be spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, however I did say that it would be a weak division. It still has a very good chance to play out just as I predicted. The only thing I didn’t see coming was Pittsburgh being this bad.
The Cleveland Browns will win the AFC North.
This is the one I took the most heat for, but after four weeks, I’m going to be a man and stand by it. The Browns defense is just as good as I said it would be, maybe even better. The emergence of QB Brian Hoyer and return of WR Josh Gordon has the offense playing with more confidence and a little more punch. If they stick with Hoyer, the offense will only continue to get better. Sure, it’s only two games, but the big difference between Hoyer and Weeden is how much faster Hoyer releases the ball, with much better accuracy, and ball placement. The Browns are 2-2 and tied for first place in a weak AFC North. I don’t want to say I told you so, but a Cleveland Browns division championship, although still a bit of a stretch, is looking more plausible every week.
Peyton Manning will win his first playoff game as a Denver Bronco.
Boy, this is looking less and less like a bold prediction every week, but I still stand by its boldness. Manning has always filled up the stat sheet and the win column in the regular season, only to blow it in the playoffs. Yes, Manning has looked more impressive than ever, but against what competition? I still don’t believe this team will make the Super Bowl, but I still believe he will lead them to the AFC Conference Championship. Remember, the best team usually doesn’t make the Super Bowl anyway. Just like with my Browns pick, I’m going to be a man and stand by this pick 100 percent: playoff win but no Super Bowl.
The Houston Texans will finally put it all together and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Oh how it pains me to say this as a Texans fan, but it’s not looking too good for the battle red warriors. The fan base has given up on QB Matt Schaub, and I kind of don’t blame them. However, every QB, good or bad, goes through slumps, and Texans fans need to remember that it’s not the team that starts the season on fire that wins a Lombardi; it’s the team that finishes on fire that grabs the glory. I’m going to stand by my pick and my team and still pick the Texans to get it together and represent the AFC in the big game.
Alex Smith will continue to impress and lead the Kansas City Chiefs back to the playoffs.
Here’s another one I got ripped apart for, but at 4-0, who’s laughing now? I told you so. This Kansas City team looks really good with Andy Reid calling the shots and Alex Smith running the offense. If they can stay healthy, I stand by my pick of this team exceeding expectations.
The Miami Dolphins will win the AFC East.
They didn’t look too good against the Saints on MNF, but the Dolphins are still 3-1 and only one game behind Tom Brady’s Patriots. I’ll be very interested to see how this division looks after four more games. While the Dolphins may not be able to hold of the Patriots this year, they do look like they are good enough to make a playoff push, and a division crown is still not far from plausible.
EJ Manuel will be a successful QB for the Buffalo Bills.
Here is yet another one I got made fun of for picking, but after four games in the NFL, EJ Manuel is looking like he’s well on his way to a successful career in Buffalo. Four games do not make a career, but it sure is a nice start, and I’m standing by my support of Manuel developing into a solid NFL QB.
Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys will miss the playoffs yet again.
I’m just going to come out and say it; I was wrong on this one, but not for the obvious reasons. The Washington Redskins do not look impressive; the Eagles are nothing to brag about, and the New York Giants look as bad as Pittsburgh or Jacksonville. The Dallas Cowboys will win this embarrassing division by default.
Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson will set the world on fire.
The jury is still out on weather or not Kaepernick is a one-year wonder or not after playing two good games and two terrible games in his first four tries this season. We will have to wait and see how he handles some of the better defenses he will face this season, especially the home rematch with the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson on the other hand, showed once again against Houston why he is a star in the making.
The New Orleans Saints will return to the top of the NFC South.
Sure, this pick wasn’t too bold to begin with, but with how bad that defense was last year, it was bold enough. Not only do Drew Brees and the offense look as good as ever, but also the defense looks vastly improved. Honestly, I think the New Orleans Saints will actually be even better than I predicted at the beginning of the season. Are we in store for a Saints vs. Seahawks NFC Championship? That sure would be exciting.
The Washington Redskins will win the NFC East, again.
Its not looking too good right now for RGIII and the Washington Redskins, however in such a pitiful division I guess anything is possible. However, at this point if I had the choice, I would change my pick to what I think is an ever slightly better Dallas Cowboys squad.
The Seattle Seahawks will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
There is not much to debate here. Other than maybe the New Orleans Saints, nobody else in the NFC looks even close to Seattle, but like I said about Denver, the best team rarely makes the Super Bowl. The only caveat here is that if Seattle wins home field through the playoffs, I don’t think anyone can compete with them at Century Link Field.
So now here are my post week four revised playoff picks.
- New England
- Kansas City
- New Orleans
- San Francisco
Wild Card Round
Houston over Miami
Kansas City over Cleveland
San Francisco over Detroit
Chicago over Dallas
Houston over New England
Denver over Kansas City
New Orleans over Chicago
Seattle over San Francisco
Houston over Denver
Seattle over New Orleans
Super Bowl XLVIII
Houston over Seattle
There are a few changes here, and like I said, I’m sticking with Houston, but that could very much change in a short four weeks. Like always, feel free to comment and give your opinions.