5 Bold Predictions for 2014 NFL Season

By Matthew Johnson, Sports Editor

Published in print Sept. 3, 2014

Though it is only the first week of September, the scent of pigskin has been in the air for quite awhile now.

Even though it maybe a few more weeks until the insufferable humanity begins to dip and students around campus will be trading tank tops for hoodies, it is clear that the autumn wind’s breeze has the familiar whiff of the NFL. As the season begins tomorrow, I boldly make five predictions that I confidently believe will be true heading into the 95th season of the NFL.

Andy Dalton will prove doubters wrong

Rewarded with a contract in the off-season worth $115 million and a contract which last six years, the four year veteran’s new deal was heavily criticized by fans and analyst as Dalton has struggled in the postseason mightily throughout his career. However, the Bengals quarterback has improved in each season he has been a NFL pro and has the luxury of commanding a talented offense which includes the second best wide receiver in the game in AJ Green. With Head Coach Marvin Lewis vehemently praising his quarterback and an already strong team, Andy Dalton will not only post career highs this season, but will win games in December and January.

Peyton Manning or Tom Brady will be in the Super Bowl for the AFC

The two golden boys of the league for more than a decade have both proven to be in the conversation of greatest passers in league history. Each have been at their best since their last Super Bowl victories (Manning in 2006, Brady 2004) and show little signs of slowing down even though they final years are closing in.

In a less difficult conference, the two best quarterbacks in the AFC with revamped defenses will be once again competing against the other for a trip to Glendale, Arizona come this January for a chance for Manning to win his second Super Bowl and Brady to win his fourth title.

Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees will be in the Super Bowl for the NFC

While Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” proved last season defense still wins championships,one of the two best quarterbacks in the conference will be representing and looking for their second Super Bowl championship. As the preseason has shown with the high number of defensive penalties, officials will be more generous to the offense this year and with each team improving last season on both sides of the ball, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees will dethrone the Seahawks as the NFC Champions.

The Dallas Cowboys will have a top 10 draft pick

Placed the majority of the blame for Dallas’s struggles since 2006, quarterback Tony Romo’s championship window may have closed and Dallas could be on the verge of rebuilding this season. Coming off back surgery at the age of 34, Romo will not be able to replace the defensive productivity of linebackers Sean Lee and DeMarcus Ware, will not be a defensive back in a secondary which looks historically bad and will not be gluing together a makeshift offensive line.

However, with all these struggles which makes it likely Dallas will finish in the cellar of the NFC East, sadly, even if he has another solid season, Tony Romo will unfairly once again receive much criticism for his TEAM’s blunder.    

Panthers will miss the playoffs

Surprising many with their 12-4 record a season ago, unfortunately for Panthers nation, I do not see Carolina reclaiming the magic of last year and making the playoffs.

While the defense should once again be solid, the offense will hold Carolina back from winning the division as well as making a wild card run in such a deep NFC. Not only questions at the wide receiver leave me wondering, but the offensive line has had issues and this was shown as Cam Newton injured his ribs which sidelined the two time Pro Bowler in the final preseason game from a sack.



Categories: matthew johnson, Sports

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