Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Come and Blog It Annual Prediction of How the NFL Season Will Play Out

This is going to sound weird folks. Maybe it's just me, so let's not read too much into this statement, you think football got here too quickly this year?

I know, I know, heresy, blasphemy, indecency, or incredibly...epiphany...?

By all accounts, this football season should have felt as though years had passed between 00:00 on the clock at the Super Bowl until now. The teams I root for finished strongly(ish). My Aggies came back against all odds and won a thrilling Chick-Fil-A Bowl vs Duke, putting a bow on another amazing season in the SEC. The future was full of big question marks:
  • Who will replace Johnny Football???
  • Will the defense ever get off the field???
  • Will the offense ever score another point without JFF???
  • How will they fare being so young???
My Bengals once again looked lost in a first round playoff game, literally unsure of where the end zone might have been hidden and why it was necessary to hold onto the brown object in their hands. Nevertheless, they were in the playoffs for the third straight year and, aside from a few players, are returning the bulk of a potent offense and top 5 defense. The future is bright and exciting.

To go with all of that, my Rangers - yes I realize they don't play football but they may as well have this year - saw their season come to an end before it even started. Beginning in February with the infamous dog to the knee heard round the state of Texas, a key cog of the Rangers starting rotation, Derek Holland, was out for basically the year. After that, merely putting on an article of blue or red clothing that had the word "Texas" on it was literally tempting fate with your well-being. The Rangers used their Major League Record 60th player of the season last night with still a month to go in 2014 campaign. That 60th player - Derek Holland. Who doesn't like some good poetry with their misery?

So, I have a young exciting college football team full of unknowns; a young, tested professional football team with a bright(ish) future; a sad, injury riddled baseball team whose season ended in couldn't get here quickly enough, right?

Not for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to watch the game again. I was thrilled when those young Aggies walked into South Carolina and just blew the doors off the college football season opener. I'm excited to see if the Bengals can take the steps forward and maybe, just maybe, win their first playoff game since I was 10.

Still, though, I feel it all got here too quickly - maybe the winter lasted too long, or the summer now seems so short. 

Or maybe it's that football really never does go away.

The Super Bowl ends in February - then it's non-stop talk about free agency or trades until late March and then over analyzing the draft prospects until the draft happens in May and then it's over analyzing every little thing about rookies in their first moments with their teams in June, and training camps in July and ridiculous amounts of preseason meaningless football in August and then here it is...


Real football.

Therein lies my problem, so much fake fluffy football that is like junk food filling your belly but providing no real football nourishment. It makes you feel sick. You need to lay down. Maybe you need a cleanse. If you're like me, you don't even mean to consume this junk food football - heck, maybe you're really even trying to avoid it. But you're on Twitter. Or Facebook. Or the Internet in general. And football, fluffy football, has infiltrated every single aspect of the Internet.

Like a giant candy dish sitting on a table, you walk by grab a handful of fluffy junk food goodness, and go about your day. Then you walk by again. Another handful of junk food football. So it goes, until you've eaten a whole bag of football candy corn, and you're laying in the corner bewildered at the way your belly feels.

Well reader(s), it's time for some meat and potatoes. It's time for actual games, with actual players, and actual scores that actually matter.

After one more tiny handful of fluffy football junk food: The Come and Blog It Annual Prediction of How the NFL Season Will Play Out.

But if you remember last year, then you'll know, this is as close to meat and potatoes as football candy can get.


American Football Conference


Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, grumpy Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, no receivers, BUT Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, traded Logan Mankins, BUT Tom Brady, Tom Brady.

Patriots - partially because I swore I'd never pick against him again, and partially because the rest of this division just can't seem to get out of the mud they're stuck in. In fact this division reminds me of the Corb Lund song "Truck Got Stuck" where the Jets, Dolphins and Bills are the Chevy, Ford and Dodge. The Patriots are the old Four By Hutterite Truck. Mighty neighborly, mighty neighborly...if you're a fan of one of those other teams though look at it this way: the Patriots are winning, yes, but the other teams are going to have way more fun losing than the Patriots ever will winning.

In the likely event you have no idea what I just said:

It's possible that another team will come out of this division, but my guess is the Wild Card teams will come from elsewhere. The Jets and Dolphins could finish around .500 or a little better. The Bills have somehow managed to break EJ Manuel so all the CJ Spillers and Sammy Watkinses in the world won't get this team above 7-9.


I could just copy and paste the above for this division but swapping out the Colts for the Patriots. I can't though, because that's lazy...and because the Texans actually had a couple of years there where they unseated the Colts. Albeit those Colts had a broken Peyton Manning. Regardless, this division is the Colts to lose. If I were writing this next year, I would be a little higher on the Jaguars and the Titans. They both have nice young quarterbacks that could, maybe, make this division tough in the coming years with some great battles between Luck, Mettenberger and Bortles, but for now those teams are just too short on talent to knock off the Colts - who have plenty of their own question marks. Just not enough to risk the division.


This is probably the first year ever when I've actually felt very, very confident that the AFC North is the Bengals' division to lose. So, you know what that means right:

funny animated GIF


So, since I'm picking the Bengals to win this division handily, let's just assume that doesn't happen. Who, then, will win it? Well, the Browns couldn't possibly. Hoyer's fine, but he's not going to put a game on his right arm and go win it. Plus their receivers are...well, they're not Josh Gordon.

Steelers? Maybe. But I don't think so. I think they're in one of those 3-4 year lulls that consistently good programs go through eventually. (Well, except the Patriots - they don't suffer through these.)

The Ravens? Two years removed from a near Super Bowl victory with a supposedly improved running game and defense. Sure why not? Let's say the Ravens can win it. So, to be clear - I'm picking the Bengals to run away with the division, but I'm picking the Ravens to win the division because I picked the Bengals to run away with the division. Got it? Good.


The Broncos will own this division. Own it. They improved their defense and have Peyton Manning doing Peyton Manning things.

Well, you know what I mean.

Are you noticing a theme here? Seems like there are a lot of sure-things in the NFL this year. This is not good for the NFL. Sure-things are boring. Boring is not good for a league created to provide entertainment. The league better hope I'm wrong, but c'mon, that's not happening. Remember last year?

Anyway...I see the Chiefs taking a step backwards. It's hard not to after the leap forward they made last year, which somebody called...hmmm...who was that...?

I think they'll still have a nice season though and will compete with the Chargers for the last Wild Card spot in the AFC. The Chargers won't be as good as everyone is saying they will be and the Chiefs won't fall as far as people think they might.


Do I have to pick 6 teams here? Well, if that's the case, I'm at least going to use Star Wars Helmets to do it ( And those Star Wars helmets will guide me when I don't know who to pick. Like the Force. Cause I'm a nerd.


Denver Tauntauns, 12-4, #1 Seed


Cincinnati Zabraks, 11-5, #2 Seed (that'll keep them from losing the Wild Card game)


Indianapolis Troopers, 11-5, #3 Seed


New England Jedis (of course they are...), 10-6, #4 Seed


San Diego Lightsabers, 9-7, #5 Seed


Kansas City Ewoks, 9-7, #6 Seed 

National Football Conference


Eagles right? They'll run away with this division right? Yeah, no, I don't think so. I'm not saying they won't win it, but I don't think it'll be that easy. I think if Tony Romo can stay healthy the Cowboys offense will be tough enough to put up a decent fight. The Giants may just surprise a few people, too, considering Eli Manning has been basically written off this year. The Redskins I'm afraid just won't be good at all.

Plus, Nick Foles threw only two interceptions last year. Two. That total has to go up. Even against defenses as bad as the Cowboys will be. I'll take the Eagles, but not in a land slide.


Finally, a division without a clear cut, runaway winner at the top of it. What's that you say? The Saints are clear cut, runaway winners? Well, says who? Oh, everybody...hmm...

That's cool. I'm still going to call this a 4-team race. We all know about the Saints - Drew Brees, defense that improved a lot down the stretch, etc., etc. Don't forget how good the Panthers were last year. Their defense looked mighty fine. Mighty fine y'all. That's twice I've doubled up on the "mighty" adjective so you know I'm not messing around*. Cam Newton may have a little nagging injury though and they lost Steve Smith to the Ravens which is a little scary, but still, show me a team with a good D and I'll show you a team that has a chance.

The Falcons defense is still a work in progress, but you've got Matt Ryan, an improved offensive line, and kids like Julio Jones...they'll score some points. Show me a team that can score points and I'll show you a team that has a chance.

The Buccaneers. Oh those feisty pirates. They have a new coach, a new quarterback, and fancy new giant pirate flag laden helmets. How can they lose? They just took Logan Mankins from the Patriots and drafted Mike Evans to be opposite Vincent Jackson - oh and defense? They have a little bit of that, too. Could the Bucs win this division? Maybe.

Nah, the Saints got this.


Why not right? It could be the Packers that win this division, probably not the Lions or the Vikings. The Lions have it all together on paper, but for some weird reason (they're the Detroit Lions...) they never translate that talent into enough victories to make the playoffs. The Vikings are going to get much better. Mike Zimmer is a heck of a coach and will see to that, but they just don't have enough talent to win this division.

But the Bears - their offense looks good under Trestman, so if Cutler can stay healthy I think they can win the division. The Packers are going to be good again, too, but remember, they didn't exactly run away with this division last year. I'll take the Bears with the Pack nipping on their heels.


There's no reason to think the Seahawks won't take this division again this year. They return basically everyone from a team with a dominant defense and an improving offense. The NFC West has been incredibly tough though recently - the Cardinals missed the playoffs last year despite managing 10 wins and beating the Seahawks at Seattle. The 49ers will still be solid. The Rams would have been in this discussion, but with Sam Bradford out, I just don't think they'll have the quarterback play to support their defense and running game.

I think this division will beat itself up a little more this year. Last year everyone came out with a pretty decent record except for the Rams. This year won't be so clean. The 49ers or the Cardinals may very well be playoff caliber teams, but they could look up with 9-7 records and find themselves on the outside looking in. Or not. These divisions where there are more than one good team are hard to predict...

Seahawks win it, but the rest of the division will make it very challenging.



New Orleans Androids, 12-4, #1 Seed


Seattle Wattos, 11-5, #2 Seed


Chicago Wampas, 10-6, #3 Seed


Philadelphia Yodas, 10-6, #4 Seed


Green Bay Hutts, 10-6, #5 Seed


Tampa Bay Tuskenraiders, 9-7, #6 Seed


                       star-wars-football-helmets-2.jpg         VS         star-wars-football-helmets-11.jpg



*I am in fact actually, completely messing around.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Those of you who know me know that in addition to the many manly qualities I posess (and there are tons of them, tons) I love a musical. Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Jersey Boys, The Sound of Music, etc.

One that I enjoy a lot, but have significant plot issues with is Les Miserables. Below is a phenomenal video, and despite the very interesting filming style and several quality issues, this is a version of Les Mis that I have no trouble following the plot on:

Nice work Browns fans. I love self-deprecating humor and I think the fine people of Cleveland have perfected it.

For those of you coming here for actual "Musical" content, here's one of my favorite things ever. The incomparable Doyle Dykes playing "Music of the Night" from Phantom on a guitar:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Come and Blog It Annual Prediction of How the NFL Season Will Play Out

I abandoned this post last year because, frankly, I just don't blog that much anymore and, less frankly, it seems that maybe, possibly there are less and less people who are interested in, how should I say, perusing more than 140 characters at any given moment - maybe - particularly with regard to someone who writes with little to no discernible expertise.

Nevertheless, I was bombarded by a fan recently requesting that I return to the keyboard and let the world know exactly how the NFL Season will play out. For gambling purposes I assume.

Since you all know how I hate to disappoint my fan, well, how could I refuse?


I'd appreciate suggestions on how to refuse requests without disappointing people. I don't want to type this lengthy prediction. Really, I don't have the time, and as noted above I certainly don't have the expertise. Please post in the comment section any ideas on how I can refuse these types of requests in the future while still making my fan feel appreciated.

Enough lollygagging I suppose. Let's get to it.

This year's NFL Season will be way better than last year's NFL Season. That is my first prediction. Why, you ask. Simply put, my fan's favorite team and my favorite team will be surprisingly adequate. Since we are the only two reading this post, that should satisfy the fan's question I just posed for the fan since he is reading and not typing.


The AFC is currently deemed the weaker of the two leagues despite boasting last year's Super Bowl Champion. With the mighty Niners and Seahawks roaming the West, the super-powered Saints and Falcons owning the South, the potential-laden Packers, Vikings, Lions and Bears jostling for the North and the Redskins and Giants poised to own the East, how could one not see the AFC as the fairer, more docile league.

If I've learned anything from my 31 years of non-expertly watching the NFL, though, it's that just when you think you know something, you learn you know nothing.

I predict another Super Bowl Championship from the AFC.


The only thing I can be absolutely sure of in this division is that the Jaguars will be awful. Looking. I mean seriously, did you see their uniform updates this summer?

As for how the division works itself out in the standings, I have the Colts climbing back on top. Andrew Luck appeared last year to be as good as believed, and I don't think he takes a step back. I believe his receiving corps has improved and that the offense will be good enough to offset a middling defense.

The Texans will still perform valiantly, but Matt Schaub begins the long, winding path traveled by many a-NFL quarterback: almost good enough, but not quite bouncing from team to team hoping for that one shot at glory, just like their poster child, Rich Gannon, got in the early part of the century with the Raiders.

The Titans and Jaguars will be awful, but at least the Titans will dress sharply for their disastrous season.


It was about ten years ago, it seems, that I swore I'd never pick against Tom Brady ever again.

Well, to thine own oath be true. Tom Brady and the Patriots continue to dominate the East and cruise to the division crown while hardly breaking a sweat. Tom Brady doesn't have any big name receivers though, you say. And...........I say. He's Tom Brady. If he wants a big name receiver, he will create that big name receiver from his own right arm.

The rest of this division should probably just try to have some fun because it's going to be a long year.


This division is much tougher than people are projecting I believe. The Steelers just never seem to have a bad year - maybe an average year, but not a bad year. The Ravens have the coach, the running back, the quarterback and the defense. True they lost some talent from last year's team on defense, but word on the street is the replacements are pretty good. Don't act surprised that I know the word on the street, please.

The Browns seem to be getting better each year and eventually that will show up in the win-loss record. Right? It seems like it has to. That brings us to my Bengals - everyone's dark horse team to outperform expectations. If you're everyone's dark horse team, though, are you really anyone's?

I think the division will come down to the Bengals and the Ravens, though. The Bengals have kept all of the pieces in place from a defense that performed very well last year. The offense could take a step forward. Or not. And that will probably make all the difference. I still give the Ravens the division, but right on their heels for the Wild Card is the Bengals.


This division has proven to be difficult to pick over the last few years - not that I made a pick last year - but one thing you can count on of late is that the Raiders are just bad. Dysfunctional really.

Plus, kind of like Tom Brady and the Patriots, I have a hard time picking against Peyton Manning and the (whatever team he's on)s. So, I have to go with the Broncos to take this division, but I think it will be tougher than it was last year. The Chiefs will be much improved with Alex Smith at quarterback and Jamaal Charles is a beast. The Chargers defense could be surprisingly tough this year as well, but their offense will be as unpredictable as always. Not unpredictable as in "the defense can't figure out what we're going to do and we score so many points because of it" but more as in "I learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both"*.


Division Champs:
Wild Cards:





I going to come clean to you, fan of mine. I've never really liked the NFC. Why should I really? In 1988 the NFC sent the team to the Super Bowl that thwarted my Bengals. Later I learned that when I was but two years old, that same NFC sent that same team to defeat my Bengals in an earlier Super Bowl and by almost the same score. Then it was a young Bret Favre who came off the bench to lead the Packers to a come-from-behind victory over my Bengals that sent each franchise spiraling in their separate directions: one straight up like a bottle rocket bound for glory and the other straight sideways like a bottle rocket missing a fin bound for your neighbor's barn stocked with hay that's been drying out for weeks and, as it turns out, would burn to oblivion for years.

So bear in mind, while I predict outcomes for the NFC, my greatest hope is that it is defeated often.


The Saints have a mighty offense but no defense. The Buccaneers have a Muscle Hamster for a running back (this is a good thing, I'm told), but question marks everywhere else. The Panthers have a dynamic young quarterback who looked very un-dynamic and un-young last season coupled with an aging wide receiver who shows no signs of aging. The most balanced, least question marked team is easily the Falcons, but then again, they totally lack a killer instinct. That's the word on the street anyway.


Mike Vick in Chip Kelly's offense vs Eli Manning looking sad vs Tony Romo looking awesome while somehow sucking vs RGIII looking awesome while being awesome but sort of limpy.

I guess give me RGIII, limpiness and all. Actually wait, no, I'll take sad-sack Eli to have a crappy first half and then storm into the division lead. Hold up. Nope. I'm a believer - Chip Kelly in the NFL will definitely work out. Ugh, hang on. Maybe Romo will hold the Cowboys together this year.

Give me a minute.

Give me the Cowboys. At 9-7, they win the division giving Cowboys fans everywhere hope and anguish all at the same time. Hope for glory. Anguish knowing that Jerry Jones will take this to mean he's good at GMing.


As I noted before, this division is chock-full of potential. The Lions have offensive weapons for days. The Bears have defensive prowess. The Packers have more balance. The Vikings have Adrian Peterson. So, what does that all shake out to in terms of divisional dominance? Balance is king, so give me the Packers, but if the Lions can ever just figure out how to take their awesome players and not suck, they'll be scary.

I actually like the Vikings to come out of this division, too. A healthy dose of AP, solid D and an "only throw it if we absolutely have to" philosophy just might work.


Exactly. Question mark. As in, why is a team from St. Louis in the NFC West? Probably because the NFC is stupid.

But also, this division comes down to the Niners and the Seahawks. But which one will it be? They've obviously set themselves up as the top teams in a division with two really good teams and two piles of hot, steaming garbage. The Cardinals have no O-line - literally they don't have one. They're asking all teams to count to 4-Mississippi before rushing. The Rams have a weak offense and they lost the best part of that weak offense to the Falcons when Steven Jackson left. So who takes the crown then? I'll give the nod to the 49ers - playoff experience, hunger to get back to the Super Bowl, pretty successful coach, tatted up swag-tastic quarterback - but I think the Seahawks will be right on their tails - playoff experience, hunger to get to the Super Bowl, pretty successful coach, tatted up swag-tastic quarterback.

Wait, Russell Wilson isn't tatted up? Oh, okay, well then obviously the Niners take the division.


Division Champs:

Wild Cards:









Well, there you have it fan. Now you can go feed your massive gambling addiction since you know how the NFL Season will play out. Knowing the future sure makes the games boring though, but you can't say I didn't warn you. **

*quote from Robert Louis Stevenson in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

**I did not in fact warn you prior to reading this insightful post that knowing the future makes the games boring, so feel free to say that I didn't warn you.