Variety is not a staple of the National Football League. The big names and best teams don’t change all that much from year to year. And since I HATE “fantasy” sports (I’m a “name on the front” of the jersey guy, as opposed to a “name on the back” like you fantasy geeks…) I don’t get as excited for the new season NFL as I do for the always evolving college game. For me, it’s the Broncos or I’d rather clean the garage.
Therefore, I need to go back to my trusty crystal ball to get a look at what to expect from the new Broncos season, as well as some tidbits from the league.
For those DENVER BRONCOS, the Super Bowl used to be a realistic goal before the season started. Not so right now. A realistic goal is improving on last season as the rebuilding project continues. The CB sez the Broncos will take a baby step forward, record-wise, when they go 9-7. The actual progress will be even more than that…and yes, Tim Tebow WILL play some actual quarterback this season, according to CB.
Don’t expect another fast start from Denver. The newness of Josh McDaniel system has worn off, and they’ve become a team that will play to the level of its collective ability and not sneak up on anyone. A loss at Jacksonville in week one is in the cards. But a home win in week 2 against Seattle has everyone feeling better. Week three? Umm…let’s just say the Broncos could not beat Indianapolis if they played in Pat Bowlen’s back yard.
Unfortunately, two more road losses loom, at Tennessee and at Baltimore. A 1-4 record won’t look good, but things will get better. The Broncos will come home to stun the football world by beating the New York Jets in week six. They will also beat the Raiders the following week and everyone will feel better about being 3-4.
Then comes the trip to London to play the 49ers. CB sez the Broncos travel well and get the best of the Niners to even their record at 4-4 going into the bye week. Not too shabby.
When the jet lag wears off, the Broncos will resume the season by beating Kansas City at home before losing to the Chargers in San Diego. A win over the St. Louis Rams gives the Broncos a winning record again, but it’s short lived after a loss at Kansas City. A pair of road wins follow – victories over the Cardinals in Arizona and the Raiders in Oakland. Now Denver is on a roll…and they keep it up by knocking off a pretty good Houston team at home to move to 9-6.
But CB sez with a play-off spot in the balance, the Broncos can’t quite close the deal and fall at home to the Chargers (who win the AFC West…again) to finish 9-7.
CB sez Bronco fan should be, and will be, okay with the season…and what lies ahead. It’s a young team that needs experience and another draft class or two. The NFL may be a “win-now league” for the most part, but that can’t apply to this team. Not yet. They’re still a year or two away, but on course.
ELSEWHERE, the CB sez Brett Favre will NEVER officially retire from the NFL. Instead, he will end up like Nolan Ryan, who only left Major League Baseball at age 46 with a career-ending arm injury. The same thing will happen to Favre, who will stop playing only when a cast or set of crutches mean he can’t play any longer. Favre will not make it through the 2010 season, and Minnesota will not make it to the Super Bowl this year.
The drama-infested Vikes will not even make the play-offs, but the Crystal Ball sez Ndamukong Suh and the Detroit Lions will. Freshly signed former holdout Darrelle Revis of the Jets will end up proving why training camp is necessary when he ends up injured and has a lousy year. Ben Roethlisberger will come back in week five to rescue the 1-3 Steelers, only to get hurt himself and miss most of the season.
Rams rookie QB Sam Bradford will have a spectacular season, and elicit immediate comparisons to Kurt Warner while he leads the Rams to enough wins to NOT have the first pick in next year’s NFL draft.
Jay Cutler will throw 18 interceptions and 18 touchdowns as the Bears finish 8-8…which instantly improves Cutler’s career winning percentage. Brandon Marshall will but heads with Miami head man Tony Soprano and find himself at the bottom of the river. (Oh, wait. I think this thing has something wrong with it. That’s an old TV show…) Okay, the CB is good now: sez here that Marshall will end up getting into it with Bill Parcells and getting suspended. Meanwhile, Chad 85 and Terrell Owens will combine to put up huge numbers as the Bengals earn a play-off spot.
The Super Bowl? The CB sez that a highly motivated Tom Brady will lead the Patriots back to the big game, where they will beat down the talented by undisciplined Dallas Cowboys – on their home field – to win another Lombardi Trophy,
If it doesn’t happen this way, the ‘ol CB is headed for the dumpster.