Months before the NFL’s Week 1 kickoff, most analysts already have the entire season planned out. However, things don’t always go the way they want them to. In fact, NFL fans around the league enjoy treats of shocking surprises as the season rolls on. Every year, you get something like the Atlanta Falcons making a surprise run to the Super Bowl. Better yet, you see teams like the Panthers suffer the Super Bowl slump. Here are three bold predictions that might show us how improbable things are not always impossible.
The Cleveland Browns surpass Cincinnati and Baltimore to a Wild Card spot in the AFC
“The Browns are horrible and always will be,” you say. Well, a team has to turn around at some point, don’t they? This may be Cleveland’s year to prove everyone wrong. The Browns are currently equipped with an improving, young offensive core led by DeShone Kizer and a hungry defense with the likes of Myles Garrett. It wouldn’t be unbelievable to see the Browns grinding out wins against their beaten up division rivals in Baltimore and Cincy. After that, it would be the Browns job to scrape out four or five more defensive wins.
Taking a look at their schedule, it doesn’t take a football genius to know that it’s not back-breaking. If we’re taking the bold prediction seriously, please give way to two stipulations. First, Kizer is the year-long starter with at least the same skill he’s shown so far. Second, injuries and other unforeseen screw-ups stay minimal. Now, we can also assume wins against Indy, New York, Jacksonville, and Chicago. It’s also important to note the chance of one lucky win against a possibly Bradford-less Minnesota. You do the math on 8-8 or 9-7. Bold, but maybe not too bold.
DeShone Kizer is QB1. pic.twitter.com/JOibbrF7im
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 27, 2017
Jared Goff Finally lives up to his first overall pick status and is better than Carson Wentz
This bold prediction may be more of a prayer from LA Rams fans to some higher power. After trading away a king’s ransom to draft a raw gunslinger at #1 overall, the Rams had quite high hopes for him to lead them from Week One. First of all, that didn’t even come close to happening. In his first start against the Dolphins, he gave an extremely disappointing performance. That underwhelming play continued all the way into the offseason.
After Jeff Fisher was fired near the end of last season, the Rams made an interesting hire in Goff’s favor. Sam McVay was hired from Washington as one of the smartest offensive coordinators in football. What some people might not realize or know is that McVay is one of the sole reasons for Kirk Cousins’ stardom. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to think that McVay can take Goff’s natural football intelligence and turn him into one of the NFL’s elite signal callers. McVay’s coaching, coupled with offensive weapons in Watkins and Gurley, can make Goff and the Rams a dangerous force in the NFC West.
Certainly is possible that tales Jared Goff's demise was a bit premature… https://t.co/g3vS2REJqY
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 20, 2017
“Big Ben” Roethlisberger finally joins the long list of Quarterbacks to win the MVP Award
Ben Roethlisberger jumps over dozens of obstacles every year so that he can be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ backbone when everything else goes wrong. Every year, there are injuries to the O-Line or a very avoidable suspension to star players like Bryant and Bell. Though, Ben might not get the short end of the stick this year.
Although it is entirely likely that Tom Brady leads the Pats into the confetti once again while nabbing a third MVP award, this year has the potential to be something different. Assuming that most of the O-Line and Ben’s trio of weapons can stay healthy, he very much has the potential to throw for 40+ TD’s and 4,500+ YD’s en route to a Steelers’ Super Bowl and Roethlisberger MVP Award. However, for that all to happen on top of the above stipulations, Tomlin can’t act like his normal self and play prevent-everything against bad teams.
Three bold honorable mentions, but more believable predictions:
- Tampa Bay makes a very serious playoff bid with their impressive future potential
- Trubisky looks like the Bear’s future star and worth the 2nd overall pick
- The Giants upset the Pats a third time in the Super Bowl