Tuesday, September 2, 2014

stevo's 2014 nfl season predictions

"They met on the dance floor,
In the old high school gym.
He fell like a rock;
She kinda liked him.

Then his heart beat like thunder,
As they moved across the floor.
As the music was over?
She slipped out of his arms,
And out the door ...

Yeah a man loves a woman.
But he can't understand,
Why she's sad as she stares
At the ring on her hand.

For she sits in some club,
Where the long shadows fall.
Drop a coin in the jukebox,
Not the phone on the wall!

So close!  Yet so far away.
So close!  Yet so far away.
We believe in tomorrow --
Maybe more than today.

We're so close!  So close!
Yet so far away ..."

-- "So Close" by Hall and Oates.

--------------------

So let's do this, the 2014 NFL predictions.

This won't be the far-flung extravaganza of years past (you can click on the years with linked posts on the right, and generally speaking, the last post(s) of August, or the first post(s) of September, are my season predictions), because I have this pesky thing called a "job", and if I have to crank out this, plus the Week One Prognostications (which usually take me at least a day to write), plus throw together a Mixologist's List worthy of a season opener, well, then I gotta cut back somewhere.

NFC East

* The Schedule Run:


(should note up front, all image credits me, via the Snag-It 10 tool, unless otherwise noted.)

* The Division Champ:

Your Philadelphia Eagles, at 11-5.

* The Other Playoff Participants:

None ... although the Giants and Cowboys got into a clusterf*ck so brutal for the two wildcard slots, I actually had to research what "strength of victory" was, and try to calculate that four months out.  (I have five NFC squads at 10-6 ... that don't win their division.  I only have one AFC team winning more than ten ... and the team that wound up being, shocked the sh*t out of me.)

* The Key Game:

Cowboys at Eagles, Week 15.  Winner took the division; loser plummeted to third and eliminated before dealing with said clusterf*ck, for the wildcards.

* The Division MVP:

Eli Manning, QB, Giants.  There's a reason Buddy "You've Got a Winner In Town!" Ryan cold-cocked Kevin Gilbride on the Oilers' sideline (holy crap am I old) twenty one years ago.  It's because Kevin Gilbride is as qualified to be an offensive coordinator in the NFL, as I am.  Eli's going to be the Manning with the huge year ... although big brother won't fare too poorly.  (Unless, you know, God decides he's had enough of satan and his squad, and smites the denver broncos with every single one of the ten plagues.)

* (Jerry Springer Voice) Stevo's Final Thought:

The Cowboys won't finish 8-8 ... and they will be all but mathematically eliminated, entering Week 17.  Meaning we're spared yet another "Dallas craps the bed to a divisional opponent" finale on Sunday Night Football.

NFC Norris

* The Schedule Run:


* The Division Champ:

Your Chicago Bears, who rally from 3-6, to steal the division on tiebreakers at 10-6.  And if you think this division is the equivalent of (bill murray in "tootsie" voice) "that is one nutty hospital!", just wait until we get to the "whoa, where the hell did they come from?!?!?!" team in the AFC.

* The Other Playoff Participants:

Your Green Bay Packers, who (I think, based on four months out), win a ridiculously confusing three way for the final slot.  (Pause).  What?  (Pause).  Yeah, that was kinda kinky sounding.

* The Key Game:

Packers at Vikings, Week 12.  Projected upset hands division to the Bears, and sends Green Bay to open the postseason in Philly.

* The Division MVP:

Jay Cutler, QB, Bears.  He has to be, for this prediction to come true.

* (Jerry Springer Voice) Stevo's Final Thought:

Neither playoff participant from this division, is surviving Wild Card Weekend.

NFC South

* The Schedule Run:


* The Division Champ:

Your New Orleans Saints, who post not just the best record in the NFC, but the best record in the entire league, in the Stevo Schedule Run.

* The Other Playoff Participants:

None ... although the Panthers are the first team out, and considering that's based on Strength of Victory four months before that can even remotely be identified, let's just say, I can see two teams from this division, making the postseason party.

* The Division MVP:

Drew Brees, QB, Saints.  Another obvious call, I would think, if my predictions are to play out.

* (Jerry Springer Voice) Stevo's Final Thought:

The LEAST confident prediction out of all of them I'm making ... is the Bucs going 4-12.  And when you see how some of the AFC shakes out?  That's saying something.

NFC West

* The Schedule Run:


* The Division Champ:

Your San Francisco 49ers,  Because God knows they ain't mine.

* The Other Playoff Participants:

Your Seattle Seahawks, who win the five way tie at 10-6 for two spots via a boatload of tiebreakers.

* The Key Game:

Seahawks at Eagles, Week 14.  The outcome of this game directly and completely affected the 2, 3, and 5 seeds, in the NFC Playoff Picture.

* The Division MVP:

I'll take a flyer on this one -- Stevie Johnson, WR, 49ers.

* (Jerry Springer Voice) Stevo's Final Thought:

In the words of Kevin Harlan, not even Santa Claus, can save the St. Louis Rams, from one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

NFC Final Standings


NFC Postseason

* 3 Eagles over 6 Packers.
* 5 Seahawks over 4 Bears.

* 1 Saints over 5 Seahawks.
* 3 Eagles over 2 49ers.

* 1 Saints over 3 Eagles.

NFC Champs: Your New Orleans Saints.

And now ... for what Mr. Obama would no doubt call, the "JV Squad" of a conference, the American one ...

AFC East

* The Schedule Run:


* The Division Champ:

Your New England Patriots.  Because they sure as all hell, ain't mine.

* The Other Playoff Participants:

None ... although the Jets are the first team out (via head to head tiebreaker, with the same team that was seeded sixth last season).

* The Key Game:

Bills at raiders, Week 16.  The projected upset by oakland affected two playoff spots, and the division title.

* The Division MVP:

EJ Manuel, QB, Bills.  Buffalo will post its first winning season since "Son of Bum" was calling the shots.  Unfortunately, it won't be enough, to get them into the playoffs, for the first time since some unlucky cabbie was giving "Son of Bum" rides home, after he'd had too many shots, in the metropolitan area (appropriately) dubbed on this site as "the ass crack of America".

* (Jerry Springer Voice) Stevo's Final Thought:

Joe Philbin gets his termination notice, following the Dolphins loss at oakland, entering the Dolphins Week Five bye.

AFC Norris

* The Schedule Run:


* The Division Champ:

Your Baltimore Ravens, who win the most mediocre division in football, with about as mediocre a record, as you can muster.

* The Other Playoff Participants:

None.  Although I would caution -- had Ryan Succup hit the 41 yarder in San Diego last year as time expired, your Pittsburgh Steelers would have been the last team in for the AFC, at 8-8.  The AFC has about 12 teams capable of making the playoffs ... and none capable of finishing two clear of at least one of their divisional rivals.  (And in most cases, at least two.)

* The Key Game:

Bengals at Browns, Week 15.  The projected upset cost the Bengals a fourth straight postseason appearance.

* The Division MVP:

I'll take another flyer, big time this time -- Ravens OC Gary Kubiak.  Mr. Kubiak is a horrible head coach.  He's a brilliant offensive coordinator.  This is gonna go well for the Ravens.  At least until some brain-dead NFL front office decides to give him another shot as a head coach.  (Even money odds on it being Detroit, Minnesota, or Miami.)

* (Jerry Springer Voice) Stevo's Final Thought:

Every team in this division, is mathematically alive in Week 17 to win it.  That's sweet.

AFC South

* The Schedule Run:


* The Division Champ:

Your Indianapolis Colts, because as the second biggest Chiefs fan you'll ever meet, they will NEVER be MY, Indianapolis Colts.

* The Other Playoff Participants:

None.  And my Jags pick to reach .500 is based virtually solely and completely, on Blake Bortles getting the starting gig no later than Week Five.

* The Key Game:

I suppose Jaguars at Colts, Week 12.  Winner took the division.  But honestly, there's no team in this division right now, capable of winning more than a wildcard round game.

Emphasis on "right now".

* The Division MVP:

Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars.  I love this kid.  I have him going 7-5 once he takes over, and going 4-1 down the stretch, to get the Jags on the fringes of contention.

* (Jerry Springer Voice) Stevo's Final Thought:

I work with a guy who sits two cubicles behind me whose name is Mark O'Brien.  (Don't worry; he'll never find this site ... and even if he does, he's a pretty funny and decent dude anyway, and will get a laugh out of what I'm about to type.)  I cannot tell you the number of times, since we attained our current seating arrangement back in December, I have called him Bill.  I'm guessing it's in the hundreds.  Proof once again, that (a) I am atrocious with names, (b) few if any people think about football more than me (Bill O'Brien is the Texans rookie head coach), and (c) I am atrocious with names.

AFC West

* The Schedule Run:


* The Division Champ:

MY -- and most of Your -- Kansas City Chiefs.  I never saw this pick coming, I swear to God.  (And for once, I'm being honest; I genuinely thought denver would wind up at 12 wins or so, San Diego at 10, and the Chiefs at 9 or 10.)

* The Other Playoff Participants:

Your San Diego "Super" Chargers ... and your denver broncos.  Albeit not in that order, for Wild Card seeding purposes.

* The Key Game:

donkeys at Chiefs, Week 13.  Decided the division.

* The Division MVP:

Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs.  If this prediction has even a snowball's chance in fake mile high of occurring, he has to be upright, ambulatory, and significantly contributing, for at least 14 out of 16 games.

* (Jerry Springer Voice) Stevo's Final Thought:

Look at that Chiefs schedule.  What outcome did I pick that was ridiculous?  I picked us to win two prime time games at Arrowhead, that we'll be underdogs in.  How many prime time games have the Chiefs found a way to win at Arrowhead, as the underdog?

I have us 5-5 after ten games, after Seattle wins here in Week 11.  Seems reasonable, right?

I have our five losses as at donkeys / at 49ers / at Chargers / at Bills (our house of horrors) / vs Seahawks.

Even if you want to quibble and say denver or New England wins here?  Fine.  Chiefs are still a 10-6 wildcard team.  Been there, done that.

Even if you want to be Debbie Downer and say we lose both the donkeys and Patriots games here?  Fine.  Chiefs are still 9-7, and slide to the six seed, as they'd still have tiebreaker over the Jets (and Jets own it over the Bills, negating the loss at The Ralph to open November, that I project).

There is no reason the Chiefs, the Chargers, or the broncos can't win this division.  And there's no reason why, for the second straight years, those three teams will be half of your postseason field, in the American Football Conference.

AFC Final Standings



AFC Postseason

* 3 Colts over 6 Chargers.
* 5 broncos over 4 Ravens.

* 1 Chiefs over 5 broncos.
* 3 Colts over 2 Patriots.

* 3 Colts over 1 Chiefs.

AFC Champs: Your Indianapolis Colts.

Super Bowl Whatever The Hell 49 Is In Roman Numerals:

* 1 Saints over 3 Colts.

Super Bowl Champ: Your New Orleans Saints.

(drew magary voice) Enjoy the games, everyone!

No comments:

also, apologies on the layout ...

Something went bat sh*t crazy when I tried to upload the previous post.  I'll work on fixing it Tuesday.  I didn't change a thing; t...