According to statistics, our attention span is now shorter than that of a gold fish. So instead of publishing a 2014 NFL preview that would rival War And Peace, I’ve decided to make my predictions as concise as possible.
Without further adieu, here is my NFL prediction for each of the 32 teams in one sentence.
Arizona Cardinals – A 10-win team last year, the Cardinals finish behind the Rams in the division for dead last.
Why – Besides having an unimpressive Carson Palmer at quarterback, the Cardinals lost three key defensive pieces this offseason in Karlos Dansby, Daryl Washington and Darnell Dockett.
Atlanta Falcons – The Dirty Birds will be the most improved team in football.
Why – Seven of the team’s 12 losses last year came by a touchdown or less. Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones are on the roster this year to help curve that trend.
Baltimore Ravens – Bernard Pierce will run for more yards than Ray Rice this season.
Why – They both averaged close to 3 YPC last season. Rice has a two-game suspension for domestic violence; Pierce is three years younger.
Buffalo Bills – Rookie star wideout Sammy Watkins will finish with less than 500 yards receiving.
Why – E.J. Manuel hasn’t shown any improvement in accuracy since recovering from last season’s knee problems. In fact, many say the sophomore QB looks terrible.
Carolina Panthers – Greg Olsen will be the Panther’s biggest offensive weapon and the team will have the largest win drop-off in the NFL.
Why – Cam Newton is already playing with broken ribs and has no one to throw to except for rookie Kelvin Benjamin. The team also lost LT Jordan Gross, WR Steve Smith and defensive leader Captain Munnerlyn in the off-season and DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are a year older, coming off non-productive years.
Chicago Bears – Jay Cutler will be an MVP candidate and lead the Bears to 12+ wins.
Why – Not only does Cutler have three of the best offensive tools in the game in Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte, but if you combine his stats (before he was injured last season) with Josh McCown’s, the Bears had the third most fantasy points scored at the QB position last year. And you know Cutler is better than McCown.
Cincinnati Bengals – Marvin Jones will emerge as a super star.
Why – The WR scored 10 TDs on 77 targets (2nd in NFL) and forced a missed tackle on 25 percent of his catches (3rd). Andy Dalton’s QB rating also skyrockets to 119.2 when targeting Jones.
Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel will get suspended before he will lead the Browns to a win.
Why – Do I really need to make my case?
Dallas Cowboys – America’s team leads the league in offense but finishes last in defense.
Why – Only four NFL teams have had better passing effiffiency from their quarterback over the past eight years. Since 2010, the Cowboys have the worst pass defense and did nothing to improve this offseason.
Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning doesn’t finish the season and Denver loses in the first round of the playoffs.
Why – Manning is now 38 years old and still just one year removed from recovery of a neck surgery in which doctors were unsure if he would ever play again. God forbid, but Manning is one bad hit away from his career possibly ending.
Detroit Lions – Joique Bell will lead the team in fantasy points.
Why – Calvin Johnson is still the man, but at the RB position Bell has more receptions (105) than Reggie Bush (89) over the last two years, has a larger contract than Bush, is one year younger and has 12 rushes inside the 10-yard line with 7 TDs compared to Bush’s 2 TDs from the same distance.
Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers will have a better season than Peyton Manning and win MVP
Why – Alright, this really isn’t that bold considering he’s a favorite for the award, but Rodgers has led the league in YPA (7.8) the last five seasons and if not for his mid-season injury last year would have challenged the league lead for TDs yet again. Rogers will dominate.
Houston Texans – Ryan Fitzpatrick will be competitive and lead the Texans to the playoffs.
Why – Don’t forget the Texans were a Super Bowl favorite before last year’s dismal 2 win season. Everything that could have gone wrong, did. This year they have Jadeveon Clowney playing alongside J.J. Watt, a healthy Arian Foster and DeAndre Hopkins on the verge of a breakout season at the WR position alongside veteran Andre Johnson.
Indianapolis Colts – With Reggie Wayne back and the addition of Hakeem Nicks, Andrew Luck utilizes more weapons than ever before, leading the Colts to an AFC championship game.
Why – Luck is the best young quarterback in the game and is getting more freedom within the offense this year, which includes 6 audibles instead of 2.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles will win Rookie of the Year.
Why – He was taken as the first QB in the draft for a reason. He looks sharp in the preseason and has a talented WR corps to throw to in Cecil Shorts, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns. He won’t start until week 6 at Tennessee, but he’ll put up enough numbers and win some games to win ROY.
Kansas City Chiefs – You will eat more pounds of BBQ this fall than the Chiefs will have wins.
Why – They lost 60 percent of their offensive line this offseason and scored 11 miscellaneous TDs in 2013 (returns), a number they won’t repeat.
Miami Dolphins – The team will make Sportscenter more because of their play than because of a serial-bully.
Why – Richie Incognito is likely moving across the state.
Minnesota Vikings – Kyle Rudolph will finish with 900 yards receiving.
Why – Norv Turner.
New England Patriots – Tom Brady will finish among the top 5 in quarterback rating.
Why – A healthy Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola along with an older group of more competent WRs.
New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees leads the Saints back to the NFC championship.
Why – The Saints reloaded with the additions of Khiry Robinson and Brandin Cooks. Brees has thrown for over 5,000 yards for two seasons straight while averaging 41 TDs; he’s an MVP favorite once again.
New York Giants – Rashad Jennings will rush for 1,000 yards.
Why – The G-men spread the ball out amongst three RBs last year. With David Wilson out and a rookie sitting behind on the depth chart, Rashad Jennings is their go-to guy, running behind an improved offensive and a player who averaged 4.5 YPC last year.
New York Jets – Michael Vick and Geno Smith will be unable to lead the Jets to more than four wins.
Why – Vick’s history of health isn’t promising and Smith continues try to grow in a system that only focuses on defense.
Oakland Raiders – Although the Raiders fail to win more than four games, rookie QB Derek Carr throws for 3,000 yards.
Why – Aside from the fact a recent poll revealed players see Oakland as the least desirable place to play, the consensus among experts is that Matt Schaub will never be the quarterback he once was. OC Greg Olson was quoted in ESPN saying (about Carr), “He’s a very mature player. We felt we should accelerate his learning curve.”
Pittsburgh Steelers – In honor of Legarrette Blount and Le’Veon Bell, Cheech and Chong will be given front row seats to a home game.
Why – Le’reefer.
Philadelphia Eagles – While leading the NFL in rushing, LeSean McCoy will lead the Eagles to the NFC championship game after destroying the NFC East.
Why – McCoy had 2,146 yards in 2013, which was 474 more than his previous record and was the fourth best in the NFL over the last five years.
San Diego Chargers – Ladarius Green and Antonio Gates combine for the most dangerous tight end attack in the NFL
Why – Gates is aging but still set to be a fixture in the Chargers offense while a 24-year-old Ladarius Green registered a 4.53 40 and at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, ranked second among TEs in yards per route ran at 2.67 seconds.
San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers will in the Super Bowl.
Why – The Seahawks have an over-used Marshawn Lynch and are against all odds to defend their title; the last team to repeat as Super Bowl champions was the 04-05 Patriots. The only team who came close to beating them last year was San Francisco, who returns almost all key pieces.
Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks fail to win a playoff game.
Why – See above
St. Louis Rams – The Rams will win 7 games without Michael Sam.
Why – It would be great to see Sam on a roster, but it sounds like they’ll give the job to Ethan Westbrooks. 7 wins may not sound like a lot, but Shaun Hill is a competent quarterback and the Rams are in the toughest division in football.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The highlight of the season will be when the Buccaneers Cheerleaders create a viral video rivaling that of the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders last year.
Why – Their cheerleaders look like this.
Tennessee Titans – Shonn Greene will lead the team in fantasy points.
Why – Everyone loves rookie Bishop Sankey as a sleeper pick this year but it’s been Green getting first-team reps this preseason. And not many are enthusiastic about Jake Locker’s arm.
Why – Owner Daniel Snyder is… well, something else.
Photo Credit: Getty