Sorry I’ve been AWOL, I just got a new laptop that should make the process of researching and writing posts much easier as it won’t take 35 min to start my computer and load 3 webpages.
Anyway back in September I broke down some observations and notes from each of the week 2 games and gave my input and predictions. I wanted to go back and see how I did. In no particular order I said:
Statement: The Bears are for real IF the offensive line can keep Jay Cutler upright and healthy.
Result: Going into week 10 the Bears were 7-1 and looking like a Super Bowl contender. Then Jay Cutler gets hurt and surprise, the lose 5 of their next 6 games with and without him and just miss out on a playoff spot thanks to a week 14 loss to division rival Minnesota when Jason Campbell again had to finish the game for Jay Cutler. I’m going to count this as a good call by me. WIN
Statement: Andrew Luck has a good rapport with Reggie Wayne and the team will grow together throughout the season.
Result: Indy started 2-3 but did in fact grow as a team and finished 11-5 and made the playoffs. Their only 2 other loses were at New England and at Houston, the number 2 and 3 seeds in the AFC. Andrew Luck finished with well over 4000 yards and 23 TD passes and Reggie Wayne grabbed 106 passes for 1355 yards and 5 scores. Not to shabby. WIN
Statement: The Falcons will score a bunch of points but their lack of run game and suspect defense will cost them.
Result: The Falcons looked great all season, going 13-3 and locking up the top spot in the NFC. The actually had a run game against the Seahawks in their first playoff game, but allowed 21 points in the 4th quarter and got lucky to come away with a win. Then they were unable to run against the Niners in the NFC championship game and lost 28-24 despite Matt Ryan throwing for nearly 400 yards. While the Falcons run game and defense were a bit up and down, they did still find ways to win and made it further than I expected with a close game in the NFC championship. I won’t claim total defeat here and I’m going to call it a PUSH.
Some of the things I got wrong: I said that Dexter McCluster would be a big part of the Chiefs offense. In my defense, no one was a part of that offense, it was non-existent. I also claimed Michael Vick would be a Buffalo Bills by this time next year. Technically that could still happen… I said that Louis Murphy and Brandon LaFell would be able to draw attention from Steve Smith this year and that the Panthers could contend for a playoff spot, as could the Bucs. I also said that despite Adrian Peterson, the Vikings needed help and would end up with a top 10 draft pick again, they got 10 wins instead.
Result: Oops. That’s about 5 LOSSES.
Now on a bunch of things I nailed:
Randall Cobb is a legit talent. Yes he is, Cobb led the Packers in receptions, receiving yards and finished second in touchdowns while serving as an explosive return man too.
Von Miller is scary good. That might be an understatement, 18.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles. Wesley Woodyard keeps getting better, 117 tackles to lead the team and added 5.5 sacks. Peyton Manning is back and the Broncos will be better than last year. Over 4600 yards and 37 touchdowns, the team made the Divisional round and lost but was the #1 seed in the AFC.
The Chargers and Raiders will be irrelevant and Ryan Mathews won’t take the next step as he gets hurt and fumbles too often. The Raiders managed only 4 wins, the Chargers had 7, but 4 of them came against the Raiders and Chiefs in the division. Mathews finished with only 700 yards and 1 touchdown.
The Bengals will get a wild card spot but take a back seat to Baltimore in the division. Happened exactly that way.
Jonathan Dwyer will be the best running back for Pittsburgh when the season is all said and done. Dwyer lead the team in rushing yards by a lot and also led in yards per carry and tied for the lead in touchdowns.
The Browns looked lost and will have a top 10 draft pick again. 5 wins and picking 6th.
The Cards, despite a strong start, won’t finish in the top 20 teams in the NFL for the season although Andre Roberts will finally emerge across from Larry Fitzgerald. The Cards followed their 4-0 start with an insane 9 game losing streak and only won 1 more game and will be drafting 7th. Despite terrible quarterback play, Roberts had over 700 yards and had 5 of the teams 11 receiving touchdowns.
The Texans are a lock for the playoffs. Yes they were.
I won’t tally the wins but I am pretty proud of myself at this point.
Two more things I said that I really liked when I look back:
Statement: The 49ers were no fluke last year and have an effective ground game, a deeper set of receiving options, strong defense and the best set of linebackers in the game.
Result: The Niners finished 4th in rushing yards and 3rd in total defense and went to the Super Bowl.
Statement: The Ravens are angry, Joe Flacco is out to prove himself, the team has very few weaknesses and the only thing that will prevent a long playoff run will be consistency in play calling.
Result: Consistency in the play calling did hurt the Ravens but they fired their offensive coordinator while backing into the playoffs and they took flight. They won the Super Bowl and Joe Flacco earned a mega-payday.
Overall I did an outstanding job in my predictions. While I got a few things wrong, that is to be expected and I also had in there that the Lions wouldn’t contend and that the Redskins and Seahawks would surprise some people and have winning records. I was much more right than wrong and had some really good insights that I enjoyed re-reading after the season, I hope you do too.