I’ll Tell You This: Bold predictions for the 2013 season

First of all, I would like to say, it’s great to be back in the MSF camp! And, in the spirit of our old rivalries, I am required to let our chief and editor, Jerod Morris, know how much his Dolphins and his Madden skills both lack the ability to win.

Now, let’s move on to what really matters, the NFL season, which is finally here! Every year (as much as I love spring and summer) the days between February and August seem to take longer and longer to pass as we wait to see our favorite gladiators battle it out on the gridiron to make it to the biggest stage, in the greatest game known to man.

Since it’s my first article back, I figured a good ol’ fashioned “I’ll Tell You This” would be in order.

1. The Patriots still rule the AFC East

I’ll tell you this: Regardless of all of the offseason drama with Aaron Hernandez, the injuries and incessant party life of Rob Gronkowski and the departure of Wes Welker, the New England Patriots won’t suck. Trust me, as a die-hard Colts fan, nothing pains me more to say.

Tom BradyBut I expect the Patriots to win the AFC East. I mean, really, who could upset the balance?

The Jets are still a sideshow, and although they have passed the Tebow Bug on to the Pats, let’s be honest, there is no and will never be any quarterback controversy in New England. Head coach Bill Belichick will find a use for Tebow (most likely at tight end or some sort of hybrid H-back role). The Bills still have no solid base for building a team, and in my opinion drafted the wrong guy, way too early, to build their franchise around in E.J. Manuel.

The wild card is Jerod’s Dolphins. The Fins made some great offseason moves bringing the likes of former Steelers standout Mike Wallace, who is a much improved target for second year quarterabck Ryan Tannehill. I am one of those who thinks Tannehill – while he may not be a top tier guy – is still more than passable, and likely better than at least half of the league’s starting signal-callers. However, with a porous offensive line and a question mark in the backfield following the loss of Reggie Bush to the Detroit Lions, my gut tells me that it will still be a year or so before Miami can truly challenge the Pats for the AFC East title.

2. Will young quarterbacks shine or struggle?

We had a historic year of successful rookie quarterbacks last year. Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Tannehill and Colin Kaepernick (who was a second year player but we will allow in this conversation) all shined. But who of these young stars will improve their performances, and who will fall victim to a sophomore slump?

I’ll tell you this: of the five young quarterbacks, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will have the most disappointing season.

Now I know I am going to get a lot of flak for this, but hear me out.

Percy Harvin, who was brought in to enhance Wilson’s abilities, is now out for a large portion, if not all of the 2013 season. To complicate matters, Wilson’s other two main targets, Sidney Rice and Golden Tate, are already battling preseason injuries. The running game will be solid, and will probably be used a lot to help mask Wilson’s struggles, but I fear that the combination of injuries, Wilson’s diminutive stature, and the fact that defenses now have plenty of film to study, will hold Wilson back.

Mind you, I still think Seattle will fare well this year, and likely make the playoffs. I just believe that it will be on the back of a strong defense.

3. Old faces, new places

One of my favorite things about the preseason of NFL football is looking at all of the changes to the league, and taking an “educated guess” on what may transpire as the year progresses. So these last two segments will be all about predictions.

Carson PalmerThe NFL had quite a shake up this offseason. Players like Ed Reed and Dwight Freeney, who had spent their entire amazing careers in one place, forever associated with success in that place, find themselves dawning new colors in an attempt to ride off into the sunset with another ring. But the great thing about an offseason that sees so many big names find new homes is that we gain the excitement of new teams coming from the ashes to become super powers in the NFL.

I’ll tell you this: The team that will surprise more than any other this year in the NFL will be the Arizona Cardinals.

Whoa, now. Calm down. Let me explain.

First of all, for the first time since Kurt Warner dawned the red bird on his helmet, phenom wideout, Larry Fitzgerald will have a half-way decent quarterback to fling passes in his direction. Now I’m guessing not too many folks think that Carson Palmer has anything left in the tank. But lets remember his days of throwing to Chad Johnson, another premier receiver at the time. As a matter of fact, Palmer was instrumental in bringing the Bengals franchise out of the gutter.

Since those days, who has Palmer had to throw to?

Last year, he threw for over 4,000 yards, with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 85.3, which was just below his career average in Cincy (86.2). By the way, that was in Oakland. With the Raiders. Surprised?

Let’s not be so quick to dismiss the best move Arizona made, which was hiring Bruce Arians as their head coach. Arians is a great leader as he proved in Indianapolis last year. He understands the game of football, his players love him, and if you look at his coaching history, he wins football games.

Arizona is going to surprise some folks, and may even squeeze into the playoffs. I don’t expect the Cardinals to win their division (it may quietly be the toughest division in football), but don’t fall asleep on them, they just may be the dark horse of this year’s NFL.

4. Super Bowl predictions

Now what would a preseason I’ll Tell You This be without a Super Bowl Prediction? So without further ado:

NFC champion: San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers got even better in the offseason. Even with the loss of Michael Crabtree for a good portion of the season, the 49ers made great additions like Anquan Boldin, and (if he can stay healthy) Austin Collie. Kaepernick will continue to impress in his second year on the field, and no one can deny, that defense could be the best in football.

Peyton ManningAFC champion: Denver Broncos

As weird as this may sound, I think this is a make or break year for Peyton Manning’s legacy. He had troubles winning playoff games in Indianapolis, despite one Super Bowl win and an additional appearance. But after a loss in his first playoff game in Denver, Manning – who may be the greatest regular season quarterback of all-time – can stop at nothing short of a Super Bowl appearance to be considered one of the all-time greats.

In every game, there must be a winner.

Manning is a winner. The addition of Wes Welker to an already talented receiver core makes that offense almost unfair. I’ll tell you this: The Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl.

Here’s all that matters. Football is back, and we are in for what I anticipate to be one of the most entertaining seasons we have ever witnessed. Buckle in, it’s going to be one hulluva ride.

Follow Myles B. at @djMylesB on twitter
Follow the 4th and Short Show at @4thandShortShow



Comments

  1. Nice. But, the 49ers do not sniff the Super Bowl! The hangover will loom large over them.

  2. LETS GO CARDINALS!!! THE DARK HORSE OF THE NFL SOMEONE FINALLY UNDERSTANDS. # TILTS MY TOPHAT IN RESPECT

    • Thank you, Andrew! As a Colts fan I am a BIG believer in Bruce Arians and Tom Moore. You’re team is in good hands, If management handles the next couple seasons the right way, you are going to have a bright future.

  3. Matt Doherty says:

    I can’t say I agree with the Broncos winning the super bowl or even making it for that matter. They are built a lot like the 2007 Patriots, their defense will be a joke with the exception of Von Miller, losing Dumervil will be a huge loss. Champ is far to old to cover like he did in his prime(why he got beat bad in last year against Baltimore). I just dont see it, I agree its make or break this year on Manning but whenever the pressure was high he choked he beat the Rex Grossman led Bears in the Super Bowl and in my opinion only beat the Pats that year in the AFC championship game because he was down 21-3 at halftime so there was no pressure, he had nothing to lose. This year is so wide open I’m really excited, I think you could see as many as 4 different teams from each conference as legit super bowl contenders. NFC still has the Packers, as well as the 49ers, the Falcons are revamped, the Seahawks could make some noise if healthy come the playoffs, and even the Giants can’t be counted out after a couple of underdog playoff runs. The AFC will have the defending Champs in the Ravens, another high powered offense with Denver, a strong Texans team that looks to continue to make progress(plus they might have just found the right compliment to Andre Johnson in Deandre Hopkins), and last you can never count out a Patriots team led by Tom Brady which looks to have finally built a much improved defense. I’m sure there will be a fair share of surprise teams this year to(I like Arizona as well, the rebirth of Larry Fitz) Excited to see what happens when the dust settles this year.

    • LMAO^^^^^^^ he had NOTHING to lose…….nah….only the game. and every bit of dignity that he has ever had as a player….because losing to Tom Brady AGAIN isn’t such a big deal is it? being brady and the pats whipping boy or being labeled the guy that cant win the big one…lol……18 lives with THAT pressure daily because talent wise he knows as well as everyone else that he SHOULD be the GOAT, and hasn’t lived up to it regarding SB wins in many peoples eyes…….but dude youre a complete moron….he ONLY won because he was down 21-3 and had no pressure….LOL…hilarious…..

      • Manning’s dignity had been long gone since his little brother has outplayed him in the playoffs. Brady had already owned Manning he had long been the whipping boy, Brady went into that game 6-2 against Manning including 2-0 in the playoffs. Manning pouted like a baby on the sidelines of that game. Saying the Colts weren’t a good team you sound like a jackass they had a fine rushing attack in 06 with Addai and Rhodes near 1700 yards combined in the regular season as well as running for over a 100 yards in 15 of the 20 total games that year and he was stacked on offense his whole career he had Harrison and Wayne with Clark at TE and a pretty good o-line. The defense only lacked a secondary when Sanders began catching the injury bug otherwise Bethea, Freeney, Mathis, Brackett, and even the young Hayden gave them something of an average defense never a ranked last defense in the NFL like Brady’s pats and Bree’s saints. Even if Manning wins another superbowl I still believe he underachieved, he should be ending his career with at least 3 rings with his regular season pedigree. I’m a colts fan and I can admit to Mannings problems. We looked ready to win a superbowl everytime the playoffs came then he would make stupid passes that led to interceptions and the losses were directly his inability to drive the field late. Brady’s top reciever would have been a 4th or 5th option on most Colts teams untill Brady got the unfair duo of Moss and Welker. Don’t tell me Manning just lost to better teams that is just dumb and the more optimistic fans point of view.

      • ChokeArtist says:

        PM is a choker, plain and simple. 9-11 playoff record speaks for itself, but I’ll go further. He owns a QB rating of 90 or higher in a whopping 8 of those 20 playoff games and owning a QB rating of less than 80 in 6 of those games including 3 in the 30′s. FAR less than elite.

        In his 2 Superbowl appearances he was a pedestrian 81.8 (win) and 88.5 (loss)

        Post season totals: Games:20 TD:32 INT:21 Rate:88.4

        In my opinion the run game was the reason for his lone Superbowl win. I won’t even bother to comment on the MVP thing for that game. They have been wrong on SB MVP’s for far longer than I care to comment.

  4. The Patriots win the division again, a repeat NFC Champion vs. everyone’s AFC favorite in the Super Bowl…”Bold” might be a bit of a stretch.

    • Although the AFC East isn’t the greatest division in football there is still talent, and a lot of question marks in New England.

      One of the hardest things to do in sports is to repeat anything, especially in a conference that has gotten significantly stronger in this offseason. Atlanta, Seattle, Packers, just to name a few.

      Peyton Manning has made it to two Super Bowls in his illustrious career, losing in the first game, as he did last year with the Broncos, in the postseason, in many of the years he did not make the Super Bowl. The previous commenter made it clear that he does not believe the Broncos will make it to the big game.

      Getting to the Super Bowl isn’t exactly easy, so picking any team is “bold”.

      Perhaps you would share your bold predictions with us.

  5. BradleyBeaver says:

    Watch for Jermaine Kearse to fill a huge role in Seattle. I feel as though it’s going to come down to Seattle and San Francisco for the NFC. Two of the best defenses hands down.

  6. I agree with your 49ers pick. For Kaepernick to come in midseason and play the way he did…..he will be even better this season. They threw an offense together midseason and Kaep ran it like they practiced it all through training camp. I think Lamichael James will have a bigger impact on offense giving Kaep plenty of weapons to work with. If they do face the Broncos, thats a team the are better suited for and would win. The 49ers struggle with teams that have a great defense and a strong running game like the Giants, Seahawks, and Ravens. Pass happy teams like the Broncos, Pats, Packers and Saints they are able to disrupt their rhythm and slow them down enough to come out on top. I do believe the NFC West will be the strongest division this year and dont count out the Rams…they may surprise many just like how the Cards could.

  7. I agree that if the Broncos don’t win the super bowl that 18 is simply a QB that will never be associated with multiple rings….however great he may be and whatever stigma that may hold…but it will be simple fact. and a legacy (good or bad) that he, himself helped create…..with the colts, I could always say that his entire team sucked except for him…(meaning defensively, and special teams (coverage units), and running game (for the most part…even when edge was there, we were not a top tier running game) I always blamed a lot of our post season losses to this lone fact, we simply lost to better teams….the pats were BETTER …in every way….period…it wasn’t simply brady is great and blah blah blah and manning is a choker while brady is a winner…….not at all….the pats had the better team. period. every year…I cant say the same for the broncos of last year and even moreso the broncos with welker…..if 18 doesn’t win this year, he simply is not going to. and his legacy will be complete. and it wont be that of the GOAT. period.

Speak Your Mind