The whole nine yards: Predictions for the 2011 NFL season


The first month of the NFL season has come and gone; here are my nine thoughts and predictions for the remainder of the season.

  • Peyton Manning doesn’t play at all this year. Manning had his third neck surgery in the last year a couple weeks ago and is supposedly out 2-3 months. The Colts will be so far out of the playoffs by then that he’ll get put on injured reserve.
  • Tim Tebow is starting by week seven for the Broncos. The Broncos play the Packers and Chargers in weeks four and five respectively. If incumbent starter Kyle Orton struggles in these games, expect the team to use their week six bye to get ready for “Tebow Time” at long last for many Broncos fans.
  • Atlanta Falcons miss the playoffs. After their defensive secondary got torched in the playoffs, Atlanta made a bold move trading five draft picks to get receiver Julio Jones. The “Dirty Birds” will learn the hard way that offense is not the best defense and take a step back this year.
  • Cam Newton wins Rookie of the Year, but misses the playoffs. Newton became the first player ever to pass for over 400 yards in his professional debut, but his team is still not very talented around him. Losing star linebacker Jon Beason will cause a weak defensive unit to give up too much to the nine teams Carolina will play who had winning records last year.
  • Arizona goes worst to first again by bringing in a new QB. The Cardinals have been one good quarterback away from winning ever since Kurt Warner retired two seasons ago. This year they’ll put it all together with the new man at the helm, Kevin Kolb, and make a playoff run.
  • Peyton Hillis Succumbs to the Madden Curse. Cleveland Browns fans made the huge mistake of voting their one-year wonder running back to be on the cover of Madden 2012. As history shows, the cover athlete almost always sustains an injury or suffers a statistical letdown from the previous year. Hillis will be no different.
  • Tom Brady sets every single-season passing record this year. Brady already owns the record for most touchdowns with 50, but he will surpass Dan Marino in yards, Peyton Manning in completions, and Drew Brees in completion percentage by the end of this season.
  • Minnesota finishes last in NFC North, stops bringing in old QB’s. Minnesota has three potential playoff teams in their division in the Bears, Packers, and Lions. They will finally admit they are a rebuilding team and let Christian Ponder, their first round draft pick, start next year.
  • Packers over Patriots in the Super Bowl. Two of the best quarterbacks in the league will square off in Super Bowl XLVI, with Aaron Rodgers edging out Tom Brady as the Packers repeat as champions, 42-35.