On the heels of a perfect 16 for 16 in Part 1 of my Fearless NFL predictions, I put my flawless record to the test with some AFC predictions in Part 2.
New England Patriots
With the Brady suspension overturned, Jimmy Garoppolo files his own separate appeal of Judge Richard Berman’s decision. Bill Belichick finds out and banishes him to the Cleveland Browns before the trade deadline.
Rex Ryan, distraught over the relative lack of media attention, begins interviewing himself in mirrors around the Bills facility. It’s funny at first, until the cleaning crew walks in on a disheveled Ryan holding a film session late at night in a room full of tackling dummies, which he concludes by shouting “lets go get a goddamn snack” at the room full of intimate objects.
Having been to the postseason just once in the past 13 seasons, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins enter the season believing the hopes and dreams of all Miamians rest on their shoulders…until they remember they play in Florida, and no one cares about professional sports.
New York Jets
After a week one romp over the Browns, hopes are high in Jet land…until Gang Green drops their next three. By week 8, Geno Smith is once again the starting QB. By week 10, IK Enemkpali—freshly cut from the Bills practice squad—is a Jet again, and after week 17, Todd Bowles locks Geno and IK in the locker room and throws away the key.
With the departure of Troy Polamalu and Brett Keisel, the entire Steelers defense vows to neither shave nor get a haircut the entire season, in tribute to their well coifed former teammates. Ben Roethlisberger decides to join in the fun, until his image consultant gently reminds him this might not be the best idea.
The Bengals finish with 10 wins…again. Lose in the first round of the playoffs…again. And neither Marvin Lewis nor Andy Dalton lose their jobs…again.
The Steve Smith retirement tour kicks off with an ejection for fighting Aqib Talib in week 1, rolls along with two personal fouls against Joe Haden in week 5, and culminates with a bust up along the sideline with Richard Sherman in week 14, forever cementing Smith’s reputation as football Tie Domi.
In an effort to show he’s matured, “Johnny Football” is replaced by “Jonathan Football.” The former was a great college QB, the latter has a degree in economics and does the team’s taxes.
The Colts, out to prove that history does in fact repeat itself, blow through the regular season with ease, win one playoff game, and then get crushed in the conference final, setting up yet another summer full of “is (insert Colt’s former number 1 overall pick here) clutch enough?” debates.
Vince Wilfork opts to play the entire season wearing the overalls he showcased on Hard Knocks, and sets a new single season record for sacks with 25. Everyone’s afraid to block him.
In an effort to generate some much needed headlines, the Jaguars team twitter account tweets out “there’s always next season” after a week 1 loss to Carolina. It takes 3 days for the rest of the football world to notice, and at press time was still trending behind several week-old Kim Kardashian tweets in Jacksonville.
After a surprise 2-0 start, it becomes clear Marcus Mariota is the most dynamic weapon the Titans have had since Steve McNair. Somehow though, it takes Tennessee newspapers more than half the season to begin referring to Mariota as “the Flyin’ Hawaiian,” defying conventional logic and Vegas oddsmakers alike.
Peyton Manning, his right side now completely immobilized after countless surgeries, shocks the world by coming out and throwing left handed in week 1. After being named NFL MVP and throwing for 4,500 yards and 38 TD’s in the regular season, the Broncos lose in devastating fashion to the Colts in round 1 of the playoffs, with Manning being picked twice en route to a pedestrian performance.
Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid—a longtime Beatles fan—still can’t figure out why all his players laugh when he walks in humming his favorite song, I Am the Walrus, in the morning.
San Diego Chargers
After signing a 4-year extension that essentially guarantees he’ll be a Charger for life, Philip Rivers decides to grow a beard and study broadcasting in an attempt to emulate another Chargers great that didn’t win a thing—Dan Fouts.
Led by Derek Carr, the Raiders show signs of being on the right track for the first time in years. Emboldened by the teams relative success and determined to carry on his fathers legacy, Mark Davis decides the only way to keep the positive momentum going is to use their first three picks in the draft on track stars who have never played football before.