Predictions and Storylines for NFL 2010

By Todd L. Frank  |   Thursday, September 02, 2010  |  Comments( 1 )

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Time to go out on a limb with a few random predictions and notes on what I think we’ll see during the 2010 NFL season.

I think the Miami Dolphins are going to be good. Like sneaky good. Not in the sense that they will sneak up on people by just being competitive; most people expect them to be decent. I mean sneaky in just how good they are. This could be a very dangerous team.

The Chicago Bears are heading for more mediocrity. Lovie Smith is a good and decent man and certainly a capable football coach and perhaps a solid leader of men. But something is just not clicking in the Windy City. There are a lot of former head coaches on that staff now, and QB Jay Cutler might be “fiery” but who knows if he has the maturity to be a true leader on that team, especially given his sparse resume. On the other side of the ball, Brian Urlacher has been the team leader for many years, but despite a Super Bowl appearance, this has always felt like a team that hasn’t gotten over the hump. Add Julius Peppers (a talent but a highly-paid newcomer) and perhaps there’s a chemistry/leadership issue on defense too. Oh yea, and Cutler just isn’t that good. He throws a lot of interceptions and, despite the hype, he’s got a career Win-Loss record similar to Jason Campbell’s. Minnesota and Green Bay will be good. Detroit will be improved. Smells like 7-9 at best for the Bears and perhaps a pink slip for Lovie.

We could be headed for a Blackbird Super Bowl. The Baltimore Ravens should certainly be among the top contenders in the AFC. If the ageless Ray Lewis can give one more solid year, and if Ed Reed can get and stay healthy enough to make a few key plays at the right times, and assuming QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice continue their improvement and new WR Anquan Boldin is healthy and contributing… they can beat anybody. The Atlanta Falcons could be ready to make a leap in QB Matt Ryan’s 3rd season, after they took a step back last year. While each of these teams will have stiff competition from within their own respective divisions, if they can somehow emerge from those battles on top, they could wind up facing each other in Dallas in February.

I think 9-7 will be enough to win the AFC West, but another 9-7 AFC team will get squeezed out of the Wildcard playoff picture. I’m looking at you, Jets, Texans, and Bengals. In the NFC West, 8-8 might be enough for the crown.

Speaking of the Jets, while everyone has them penciled in as Super Bowl contenders, I say the Jets will miss the playoffs. Going a bit out on a limb there, but you heard it here first.

Brett Favre will be like a kid out there just playing the game with a passion and being a gunslinger.

Philly fans will curse a LOT this fall and eventually turn on Andy Reid as the McNabb Goes to Washington storyline proves to shift the balance of the NFC East a couple hours down I-95 to DC. The Giants will limp toward the end of the Tom Coughlin era and into the waiting arms of Bill Cowher. A home game for the Super Bowl is on the line for Big D, and this is certainly their division to lose, but I don’t know if they can make it all the way.
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