Team-by-team Predictions for the NFL in 2014
We all know how this season's Super Bowl will go down. Bill Belichick, after using his rarely-confirmed-but-widely-assumed necromancy powers to revive Rob Gronkowski's knee (and also hiring Nancy Kerrigan's boyfriend to demolish Peyton Manning's knee), will lead his team of diabolic henchmen to yet another Super Bowl appearance. Combining his black magic prowess with a well-used and peculiar gravitational phenomenon that occurs around Giselle Bundchen's breasttaking breaths -- did I get that right? -- the Patriots will win the Super Bowl by 30 or 40 points over the opposing team, who could be basically anyone but the Eagles. In the off-season and beyond, however, the picture is less clear. To help guide you through what should be a fascinating year in the NFL, here are our predictions for 2014.
New England Patriots
After taking home the
Lombrady Lombardi trophy, the Pats will migrate south for the off-season to their team's winter home in Gehenna. They should come back swinging next season with a deadly running back trio of Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount, not to mention a wide receiver corps boasting a higher percentage of white people than FDR's executive cabinet. Expect them to win their 74th consecutive AFC East Championship next year over powerhouses like the Buffalo Bills.
Prediction: 11-5, AFC East Champions, Super Bowl Champions and Eternal Princes of Darkness.
New York Jets
It appears that the New York Jets are not going to fire Rex Ryan, which is surprising, considering that he's basically the Herbert Hoover of football coaches. Then again, the New York Jets are actually the best sports team in the state of New York, kind of like how Thorin Oakenshield is the greatest of all the bearded midgets in The Hobbit. Regardless, expect another year of terrific mediocrity for the Jets.
Prediction: 8-8, just good enough for Rex Ryan to somehow keep his job another year.
2013 was a tough year for the Fins; it's hard to imagine the team has choked this badly since they first came to the haunting realization that they inhabit the same city as Pitbull. But even amidst the disappointments of Weeks 16 and 17, things are looking up for the Dolphins. Sure, the team hasn't been really successful since the days of Dan Marino, but if you really think about it, Ryan Tannehill is sort of like a Dan Marino who just throws a lot more interceptions and doesn't play very well.
Prediction: 9-7, wild card berth, and a swift beheading in the first round at the hands of literally anyone.
Guys, I really think this is going to be the year that they go to the CFL. I reeeeeally think it's gonna be the year.
Prediction: 8-12, no playoff berth, but still the most wins in a season in franchise history despite their crushing pair of losses to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
After over two decades of hiding from the playoffs like Rapunzel in a shitty, dilapidated tower in south Ohio, the Bengals are finally starting to grow into a strong AFC force. Maybe it's the stars aligning, though more likely it's just the shocking collision of an orange-haired quarterback with an orange-donning team. Andy Dalton and
his receiving corps A.J. Green should turn Cincinnati into a favorite to win the AFC North next year.
Prediction: 12-4, AFC North champion, loss to New England in the second-round in an event which will be fondly remembered as "The Cincinnati Bowtie."
Nobody's really sure where it happened, but somewhere between Mr. Rapelisberger's Wonder Emporium and the inevitable decline of the metallurgical industry, Pittsburgh has fallen from a staple force in the NFL to a team whose playoff hopes hinge on the San Diego Chargers. The Steelers probably will continue their streak of playoff-less seasons next year, but they'll at least get some media attention when coach Mike Tomlin steps onto the field in Week 7 and brains Torrey Smith with a 2x4.
Prediction: 9-7, no playoff berth, but you can almost count the birth of one of Ben Roethlisberger's illegitimate children, which will happen sometime between July and September.
Even though the Ravens' 2013 Super Bowl win was about as accidental as Gerald Ford's presidency, the Ravens held their own this season -- an impressive feat, since they managed to lose between 75 and 85 key defensive playmakers in the off-season. Sadly, the trend for the Ravens isn't looking great. With an overrated Ray Rice and a Joe Flacco who probably has two concussions, a broken arm and Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer after last Sunday's loss to the Bengals, it's hard to see success in Baltimore's near future.
Prediction: 6-10, no playoff berth, and yet another year without any silver lining for the residents of Baltimore.
Okay, you know what? The Browns have put up with everyone's shit for long enough. Besides the fact that they have to play for, well, the Cleveland Browns, they have tried for so long. They're like the nerdy guy who asks the cheer captain to homecoming every year -- eventually she has to say yes, right? So I'm going out on a limb and saying the Browns will snag a wild card next year. Maybe when they have one stable quarterback and a solid first-round draft pick, they can make something of their season.
Prediction: 10-6, wild card berth, demolished in a second-round playoff game. You didn't really think they'd make it to the Super Bowl, did you? Lol!
Due to a terribly ironic incident involving a freak trainwreck and the untimely death of someone whose last name is "Luck," the Colts will be a much weaker team next season, losing all of their non-conference games and most of their non-division match-ups as well. But since they're in the AFC South, they'll still win their division handily.
Prediction: 6-9-1, AFC South champions, loss to Cleveland in first-round. Chuck Pagano's only comments after the loss will be, "Failed I have. Into exile I must go."
Under the leadership of Jake Locker, AKA "The Hurt Locker," Tennessee will have yet another mediocre season. I'd write more about the Titans, but let's be honest, I don't care about the Titans and you don't care about the Titans.
Prediction: 3-12-1, no playoff berth, and a continuation of the trend of alliterative AFC teams being just...so goddamn terrible.
Snatching one of the best draft pick spots in the league after a terrible season, Jacksonville will pick up six remarkably skilled punters to add to their ranks. They will frequently pin their opponents to their own 1-yard lines, and proceed to set the NFL record for "Number of 99-yard drives allowed." Yet another terrible Jacksonville season will affect virtually nobody, except for Roger Goodell, who will download a number of GIFs of the Jaguars losing to My Documents >> Personal >> Very Personal >> Spank Bank >> Teams From Small Media Markets Losing Football Games By 30 Or More Points
Prediction: 1-15, no playoff berth, and let's not forget that their one win was in a scrimmage against Vanderbilt and yeah I know someone should say something about that but let's just have them let their moment okay?
The Houston Texans, who performed so poorly this season that they somehow get the first three overall draft picks, will be revitalized next season with the additions of Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney and Carlos Hyde. However, they will still fail to produce a winning record, seeing as they will inexplicably hire T. Boone Pickens as their head coach.
Prediction: 3-13, no playoff berth, but hey it's better than last year!
Peyton Manning will retire from the NFL in shame after videos surface of him receiving a blowjob from literally every media outlet in the United States. His forehead, however, will stay on as starting quarterback and lead the Broncos to another great season, despite the defense allowing an average of 70 points a game.
Prediction: 13-3, AFC West champions, but they'll lose to New England in the AFC championship in a showdown of the decade's two greatest quarterbacks that will definitely just go unnoticed by the media.
Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid will resign unexpectedly in May to be featured on the hit show, The Biggest Loser. The rest of the team will get discouraged and resign as well. The only player remaining will be Jamaal Charles, who will single-handedly lead Kansas City to a .500 season.
Prediction: 8-8, no playoff berth, and most importantly, shittiness is restored to the AFC West.
San Diego Chargers
Just like last year, the Chargers will not be relocated to Los Angeles like they should be. They will also continue to be very mediocre under Phillip Rivers, who will continue to be -- you guessed it! -- a douchebag. They won't make the playoffs in 2013, which will also help to restore the traditional horribleness to the AFC West.
Prediction: 7-9, no playoff berth, and attempts to develop a time-turner to regain the glory days of Ladainian Tomlinson will not make any significant progress.
After years of laying low, the Raiders will set an NFL record next year! For most opposing fans stabbed at home games. They will set the record for most opposing fans stabbed at home games. In other exciting news, quarterback Matt McGloin will become a father to a baby son, finally opening us up to the "Gimli, son of McGloin" joke that has just been waiting to happen for years.
Prediction: 7-9, no playoff berth, but another pretty great season for Sebastian Janikowski. Good for him.
Now that the Eagles have managed an NFC East title, edging out fearsome division rivals like the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins, the sky is the limit. With Nick Foles putting up incredible numbers that not even a 2011 4th-quarter Tim Tebow could swing, it wouldn't be surprising to see once-starting QB Michael Vick thrown to the dogs. Combine Foles' offensive prowess with top-tier running back LeSean "Seriously Why Didn't I Fucking Draft You In Fantasy Football" McCoy and a defense that, in theory, could be worse, the Eagles are a force to be reckoned with next season.
Prediction: 11-5, wild card berth, but won't make it to the Super Bowl because let's not forget that they're still the Eagles.
Some call them "America's Team," most just call them insufferable pricks; no matter what you call the Cowboys, we can all agree that they're not a great football team. That won't change next year. They may try to keep opposing defenses on their toes by instituting a two-quarterback system with Tony Romo and Kyle Orton, but they'll soon realize that their offense will only be successful when they stop paying their quarterbacks on commission for each interception they throw. Oh, and Dez Bryant will probably do more dumb things next year, but that probably goes without saying.
Prediction: 6-10, no playoff berth, and hopefully someone just smothers Jerry Jones in his sleep.
New York Giants
Sometimes people look back at primogeniture laws from pre-colonial England and wonder how such an unfair policy became so emblematic of a powerful country. Then they look at the Manning brothers and think, "Yeah, maybe that made sense after all." Maybe a bit of a tangent -- my point is that Eli Manning sucks. I know, he has two Super Bowl rings, but Adolf Hitler was also TIME Magazine's Man of the Year. AND YES I DID JUST COMPARE ELI MANNING TO HITLER. As long as Eli is at the helm for the Giants, they're not going to be doing anything impressive.
Prediction: 8-8, no playoff berth, but they're tied for the best team in New York, which is really pretty great.
After years of public scrutiny for boasting a mascot that is, well, egregiously racist, the Redskins will finally break under the pressure and change their mascot. Following the change, the Narwhals will post a fantastic season under a new coach, who let's just hope doesn't end up being Nick Saban.
Prediction: 12-4, NFC East Champions, and after so many years, they're finally ready to move past the haunting memory of Gus Frerotte.
Green Bay Packers
The media's throbbing hard-on for Aaron Rodgers will remain long and veiny, and Packers fans will remain intolerable, and the Packers themselves will remain overrated. They won't even make the playoffs, but they will still be talked about in the off-season. Because they're the fucking Packers.
Prediction: 8-8, no playoff berth, and probably another two or three obnoxious commercial appearances between Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews.
In true Midwestern fashion, the Chicago Bears will have a season that's so mediocre that it's actually endearing. Kristin Cavallari's husband will put up mediocre numbers and maintain mediocre insulin levels. If you ask any Bears fan about the season, they'll instinctively starting talking about how great the '85 bears were. You know, basically the same things that happen every year.
Prediction: 8-8, no playoff berth, and I think Jay Cutler is going to get really into Avenged Sevenfold this year.
Detroit will win the NFC North this year, even though they will only go 9-7. But then again, 9-7 in the NFC North is basically like going 14-2 in a real division. Ndamukong Suh and the Lions' D will really just murder the opposition, but the offense under Calvin Johnson,
Calvin Johnson Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson Reggie Bush will struggle to keep up. I probably don't need to even point this out, but no, they won't make it to the Super Bowl.
Prediction: 9-7, NFC North Champions, no Super Bowl win but really glad they didn't just totally fuck things up again this year.
Adrian Petersons Vikings will have a much better season this year, since the gradual atrophy of Christian Ponder's marriage will allow him more time to think about football and stuff like that. Of course, improving upon this last season doesn't mean the Purple People Eaters will have a winning record. In fact, they almost definitely won't.
Prediction: 7-9, no playoff berth. Will Minnesota ever have a good sports team?
The Panthers had a huge season this year, as the percentage of Americans aware of the Carolina Panthers rocketed up to 55%. Carolina will have another excellent season in 2014, in which Cam Newton will presumably get twice as many rushing yards as DeAngelo Williams (that speaks to both of their abilities) and Steve Smith will apparently still be alive.
Prediction: 14-2, NFC South Champions, and damn it all if their parents won't finally admit that they're proud of what they've done.
New Orleans Saints
So, let's fast forward to, say, Week 12. Your fantasy football team needs one more win to make it to the playoffs, and you've got a comfortable lead. The only things standing between you and a win is your opponent's QB and TE, Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham. LOL YOU'RE FUCKED. Yep, Drew Brees will throw between 40 and 50 touchdowns to Jimmy Graham this year, and the Saints will still manage to not make the playoffs. Darren Sproles will pretend to be good for a few games again, and everyone will have a good laugh at that.
Prediction: 9-7, no playoff berth. Since when did a .500+ record not automatically win the NFC South?
This year looks better for the Falcons, since they'll probably have at least one healthy receiver. Of course, the retirement of Tony Gonzalez will be a setback, but it will also bring the average age of the team down by 5 or 10 years, which is nice. Regardless, probably nothing too great going to come from this season. But Matt Ryan seems like a nice guy.
Prediction: 6-10, no playoff berth. But let's not forget that they were pretty good in 2012! Yeah, see guys, you're okay. Don't beat yourself up too much. The NFL is really tough. I mean, it's the best football players in the world. It's really just impressive that you guys have even gotten to the point where you can make a living off of this! Come on, let's go eat some fruit snacks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
That's correct. There is still a football team in Tampa Bay. And Lovie Smith is their coach. Even after the 2014 season, both Lovie and the Bucs will be wondering who got the short end of the deal there.
Prediction: 4-12, no playoff berth. Bummer, because we all totally thought Mike Glennon could have been a franchise quarterback.
Speaking of people whose knobs the media loves to slob, Russell Wilson looked good this season, and will be a big threat next year. Not to mention that Marshawn Lynch, aka The Beast Mode, should have another big season. And even setting aside the team's actual skill, the whole nation really just wants to see Pete Carroll win a Super Bowl. Oh, what's that? Wait. Really? Okay. Correction, this just in -- absolutely fucking nobody wants to see Pete Carroll win a Super Bowl.
Prediction: 10-6, wild card berth, and probably an appearance in the NFC Championship but let's just hope for the sake of everything that they don't make it to the Super Bowl plz.
San Francisco 49ers
Under the trusty strength of Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore -- who, contrary to popular belief, is not related to 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore -- San Francisco looks pretty good for next year. You know who else would tell you that? Anybody from the fucking Bay Area. But with a tough division schedule and a quarterback who is neither Joe Montana nor Steve Young, the 49ers might miss the playoffs next year.
Prediction: 8-8, no playoff berth. Now let's just hope that San Francisco Giants don't win again, either.
After finally murdering Carson Palmer and effectively disposing of his body in Lake Powell, the Cardinals will have an excellent season, winning the NFC West and probably making it to the NFC Championship -- possibly even the Super Bowl! They won't win the Super Bowl, just like they won't get caught for the premeditated homicide of Carson Palmer.
Prediction: 14-2, NFC West Champions, and a team MVP award (Most Viciously-Intolerant Players). That might be a false statement, I'm just trying to speculate, since they live in Arizona and all.
St. Louis Rams
With Sam Bradford not being injured in the beginning of the season, the Rams have a shot at the Super Bowl next season. But everyone has a shot at the Super Bowl. A lot of teams that are much better than St. Louis have a shot at the Super Bowl. I have a shot with Chrissy Teigen. So let's just be practical and say that no, the Rams will not make the Super Bowl or the playoffs next season.
Prediction: 5-11, no playoff berth. Zac Stacy will probably get drafted in fantasy football pretty early on though, so that's good for him.