An Obligatory Glance at My Staggering Mediocrity.

It’s over.  Now we must suffer the seven month punishment that is the NFL offseason.  Careful readers will recall that at the beginning of this most surprising NFL season, I made twenty-four bold predictions about what was to happen, and promised to revisit them at the end of the season and prove myself horribly wrong.  Here, for your enjoyment, is that line-by-line revisitation, each with its own analysis, and a running score:

1. Tom Brady will not lead the league in touchdown passes, nor will the New England Patriots have the top-ranked offense in the league in scoring or total yards.

Tom Terrific gets injured, I start out with a correct prediction.  Tommy’s knee explosion wasn’t what I was predicting, but you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.  Score: 1

2. The Patriots will rank outside the top 12 in pass defense, but will still win at least 11 games.

Pats win 11 games, rank eleventh in pass defense.  So close.  Score: 1.5

3. Donovan McNabb will start 16 games this season for the Eagles.  Asante Samuel will not.

Correct, and correct.  Also interesting to note: when Donovan McNabb starts 16 games, the Eagles go to the NFC Championship game.  Unfortunately, when McNabb starts the NFC Championship game, he loses.  Score: 2.5

4. The New York Jets, who ranked 26th last year, will rank in the top 15 in total offense this year.  Thomas Jones will have 1,300 yards, and the Jets will be in the playoff race until the last two weeks of the season.  Brett Favre will start all 16 games, and come back for the 2009 season.

Had the Jets not taken an enormous turd for the last four games of the season, this would’ve been spot on.  With that turd, they ended up 16th.  So close again.  However, Jones had 1,312 yards, the Jets could have made the playoffs, and Favre started all 16.  Will he come back?  Even if he doesn’t, I’m still 2-for-4 on this prediction.  Score: 3

5. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will win at least 9 games, and sweep the Bears for the first time since 2003.

Whoops. Score: 3

6. Marion Barber will make Dallas Cowboy fans forget how excited they were about Felix Jones.  Jones will finish with under 500 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Again, when injuries help my predictions come true, I don’t complain. Score: 4

7. Matt Ryan will do exactly what every other rookie starting quarterback does: struggle.  Michael Turner will have about three games where he looks superhuman, and thirteen games where he looks average.  The Falcons win no more than four games.

Whoops again. Score: 4

8. Chad Pennington will improve the Miami Dolphins threefold.  Meaning they’ll win three games instead of one.

Man, this predicting stuff is hard.  A side note, however.  After the Dolphins drastic turnaround in 2008, come this August, every NFL talking head on the block is going to be writing some article predicting who’s going to turn it around in 2009, and here, I’ll predict that prediction: The Kansas City Chiefs.  Mark my words.  I’m not saying they’ll turn it around, I’m just saying it’ll be trendy to say they will.  Score: 4

9.  The Minnesota Vikings will be .500 at best, and miss the playoffs. (Shocked?  Think about this: Remember who the trendy preseason playoff pick was from last year?  Anyone?  The San Francisco 49ers.  Everyone said Patrick Willis was a beast, and the Niners would surprise everyone.  They went 5-11.)

Okay, I’m contending this one.  Due to the mediocrity of the NFC North, the Vikings made the playoffs by default.  The only reason the Packers didn’t wipe the floor with everyone was their defense disappeared in the fourth quarter.  I’m still not right, but I don’t necessarily think I’m wrong.  Score: 4

10. The Patriots will lose the first playoff game they play.

This is technically correct.  The Patriots played a playoff game against the NFL’s playoff seeding system, and lost.  Winning 11 games loses to winning 8 games.  That’s a playoff loss.  Score: 5

11.  Jason Campbell will pass for over 3,000 yards, and still be ignored.

Zing!  A winner!  3,245 yards, and anyone who lives more than 15 miles from DC probably couldn’t name the Redskins QB.  The trend continues next season.  Score: 6

12. The Cincinnati Bengals will finish at .500 and miss the playoffs only because of the difficulty of their division.  Chad Javon Ocho Cinco will have a career year while wearing a shoulder brace all season long.

In this case, an injury bit me in the ass.  Would Carson Palmer have led the ’08 Bengals to a .500 record?  In this case, it just doesn’t matter.  Score: 6

13. The Dallas Cowboys will NOT be in the Super Bowl.  Wade Phillips will be fired, and Jason Garrett will be the coach of the 2009 Dallas Cowboys, who will also miss the Super Bowl.

So Wade Phillips didn’t get fired.  But he didn’t get fired because everyone assumed he would be fired, and Jerry Jones didn’t want to look like he took his business decisions from the fans, even though in this case, he should’ve.  I’m giving myself the point here, because with the mess this team is in, there’s no way they go further than the divisional round next year, and that’s being generous.  Score: 7

14. J.T. O’Sullivan will be no better a quarterback than Alex Smith.  After this season, (if they don’t already) Niner fans will be wishing their team had used their number one pick on Aaron Rodgers.

Correctamundo!  J.T. was replaced far before the season was over, and A-Rod proved he could fill the shoes of Brett Whatshisname, even in winning only 6 games.  Score: 8

15. The NFC West will not be decided until the week seventeen game between Seattle and Arizona, and Arizona will win.

Again, this isn’t necessarily wrong.  I was predicting a Cardinals playoff appearance, not a Seahawks collapse.  Let’s go halvsies.  Score: 8.5

16. Matt Leinart will not start a single game for the Arizona Cardinals.

Another winner.  Who knew Warner would have the season he had?  That’s right, I knew.  Score: 9.5

17. The worst record in the AFC South will be 8-8. Again.

Okay, so it’s wrong.  8-8 was the best record in the AFC West, though.  Not that that means anything, but it’s interesting, in a pathetic way.  Score: 9.5

18. The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants will end the season dead last in the NFC East.

Did I say dead last?  …he he, I meant, first place, which they’d have locked up by week 15!  It’s a simple misunderstanding, right?  Score: 9.5

19.  The Oakland Raiders, despite Al Davis’ best efforts and ridiculous spending, still won’t break 5 wins.

Correct.  Replace the words ‘ridiculous spending’ with ‘new puppet coach,’ and you’ve got a legitimate 2009 prediction.  Score: 10.5

20. During the regular season, the Jacksonville Jaguars will lose twice to the Indianapolis Colts, then will reach the AFC title game, where they will lose to them again.

Wrong, wrong, wrongeddy wrong wrong. Score: 10.5

21.  Darren McFadden will not win the Rookie of the Year award.

Winner winner, chicken dinner.  Thank you, Matty Ice.  Score: 11.5

22.  Adrian Peterson will not win the league MVP award.

Yeeee-haw!  This is where I start my late-season prediction push!  Score: 12.5

23.  Peyton Manning will.

Sadly, MVP awards don’t always make for Super Bowl appearances.  Score: 13.5

24.  The universe will return to normal, and an AFC team will win the Super Bowl.  More specifically, the Indianapolis Colts will win, and this, not Super Bowl XLI, will be Peyton Manning’s career-defining performance.

Yikes.  Well, I got the AFC part right, even if everything else about this prediction was as wrong as a brown belt and black shoes.  This one’s a wash.  Score: 13.5

…so there it is.  Thirteen-and-a-half out of twenty-four.  That’s good enough to make the playoffs in the AFC and NFC West.  And should I remind you what happened to the winner of the NFC West?  That’s right, they lost the Super Bowl.  Oh well.


1 Response to “An Obligatory Glance at My Staggering Mediocrity.”

  1. 1 Beau
    February 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Winner winner chicken dinner!

    After checking this damn blog every day since December 5, I am not disappointed!

    Pop quiz. The Chiefs are a trendy pick for which reason: 1. Their division sucks, 2. They got the Cardinals (great) offensive coordinator for a coach, 3. Christian Okoye is coming back for the 09 season! 4. They are going to draft somebody almost as good as his greatness, Joe Flacco.

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