A collective smile has come across the faces of sports fans everywhere as the NFL training camps are beginning. The Dallas Cowboys were the first to open and their ongoing soap opera debuted a new actor named Dez Bryant. The fun has began.
The following are my top 20 storylines and predictions for the upcoming year. No great leadership principles here. Just sheer fun.
- New York Jets – Rex Ryan’s bunch have the potential to be the most entertaining team since the ’85 Bears. In terms of attacking the quarterback, we will be witnessing the future.
- Jason Campbell and the Oakland Raiders – Redemption comes to Campbell as the Raiders become a wild card team.
- Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns reach respectability – With Scott Pioli and Mike Holmgren in their front office positions, I expect both teams to hover around .500 and be play-off teams in 2011 (if we have a season).
- Vince Young and Chris Johnson – Tennessee finished 8-2 last year with Young at the helm. Also, DeSean Jackson and Johnson are the game’s two most exciting players.
- NFC Quarterbacking Excellence – Drew Brees, Brett Favre (yes he will play), Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning. Which three go to the Pro Bowl? One who will not is….
- Matt Leinart – The Arizona fans are praying Kurt Warner comes home.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Big Ben misses four games. He then misses Santonio Holmes for the next 12 games. Pittsburgh misses the play-offs.
- Pete Carroll – He won big at the NFL Draft. That’s where it ends for Mr. April. Seattle fans soon begin chanting Jake Locker’s name.
- Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Brees – All three have made their teams slump proof. However, if any get hurt, you could be looking at the first pick in next year’s draft.
- Thelma and Louise – Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens will drive the Cincinnati Bengals off a cliff. Carson Palmer deserves better.
- Leadership…Not! – You can’t lead if you’re not on the field. Sorry Tim Tebow.
- New England Patriots do not make the play-offs. Jets win the division. Miami Dolphins go to 2nd place in the AFC East. Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall make Brady and Randy Moss envious.
- CJ Spiller will be what Reggie Bush should have consistently been.
- Ed Reed and Troy Polomalu – I’m going to enjoy them while I still have a chance. Thanks guys, you’re the two best safeties to ever play the game.
- A Tale Of Two Top Picks – It will be the best of times for Matthew Stafford and the worst of times for Sam Bradford.
- 49ers win the worst division in football. Somebody has to.
- ESPN will continue to under-utilize Trent Dilfer (the best analyst on TV) while continuing to over-expose Chris Berman who will provide the most painful Hall of Fame induction speech ever.
- AFC Play-Off Teams – Division Winners – Jets, Ravens, Colts, and Chargers. Wild card teams will be the Raiders and Dolphins.
- NFC Play-Off Teams – Cowboys, Vikings, Falcons, and 49ers. Wild card teams will be the Saints and Packers.
- Super Bowl – Ravens over the Green Bay Packers.
Well, that’s my list. We’ll re-visit this in January and see how I did. Tell me what you’re looking forward to.