10 Things I Know I Know about the NFL - East Valley Tribune: News

10 Things I Know I Know about the NFL

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Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 2:17 pm | Updated: 2:27 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Scott Bordow: Clip and save... With apologies to Peter King, here are 10 things I know will happen during the NFL season.

Go ahead clip this article and stick it on your refrigerator. Come January, you'll be astounded that one man can know so much about the NFL.

Peter King has his "10 Things I Think I Think" in his weekly column on si.com. Well, with all due respect to Peter, here are 10 things I Know I Know:

1. The Cardinals will go 9-7 and win the NFC West.

Sorry, but I don't buy Arizona winning 11 games and returning to the Super Bowl (you'll get my picks later). The schedule is too difficult, there are too many questions on the defensive side of the ball, and I'm still not sure if the team is mature enough to deal with the target on its back.

That said, I think the Cardinals offense could be even better than it was last year - particularly if rookie running back Beanie Wells stays healthy - and coach Ken Whisenhunt knows what buttons to push.

Arizona will make consecutive postseason appearances for the first time since 1974-75 but will lose in the second round.

2. Buffalo's Dick Jauron will be first coach fired.

The Bills were 1-4 and didn't score an offensive touchdown in the preseason, prompting Jauron to fire offensive coordinator Turk Schonert. Schonert fired back, saying Jauron "wants a Pop Warner offense."

Yeah, things are ugly in Buffalo, and Terrell Owens hasn't even popped off. Wait until his inner diva emerges.

Lagging behind Jauron, but only slightly, is Oakland's Tom Cable, whose most notable coaching decision thus far has been to punch an assistant in the face. Plus, he works for Al Davis, who has all the patience - and common sense - of a 6-week-old puppy.

3. Tarvaris Jackson will be the Minnesota Vikings' starting quarterback by November.

Brett Favre can still play, but his body is breaking down. He has a small tear in the rotator cuff of his throwing arm, and the injury is only going to get worse as the season progresses.

He'll also turn 40 on Oct. 10, and the NFL isn't kind to aging quarterbacks with arm problems.

4. The Houston Texans will be the biggest surprise of the year.

Trust me on this one. Quarterback Matt Schaub is a big-time player, running back Steve Slaton will rush for more than 1,200 yards and the defense is superb, led by defensive end Mario Williams and linebacker DeMeco Ryans.

The Texans will win at least nine games and make the playoffs in the loaded AFC.

5. The Carolina Panthers will take a tumble.

Don't be surprised if the Panthers - who were 12-4 last year - finish below .500 and miss the playoffs.

Yes, Carolina still has a terrific rushing attack and Julius Peppers on defense, but losing like the Panthers did to the Cardinals in the playoffs last year leaves a bad scar. Plus, the first half of the schedule is brutal: five road games, including trips to Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans and Arizona, plus matchups against Philadelphia and Washington.

6. The Denver Broncos will finish second to the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West.

Because someone has to.

7. Mark Sanchez will have a better rookie year than Matthew Stafford.

Long-term, I'd rather have Stafford, who has a big-time arm. But the Detroit Lions are such a mess that it's hard to envision Stafford playing well this year. Conversely, the New York Jets don't have to ask Sanchez to win games; they'll rely on running backs Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.

Neither quarterback, however, will come close to playing as well as Atlanta's Matt Ryan did last year. Ryan is special.

8. The NFC representative in the Super Bowl will be ...

The Green Bay Packers.

Few people are talking about the Packers, but Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, the defense is stout and Lambeau Field could be a huge home-field advantage come January.

9. The AFC representative in the Super Bowl will be ...

The Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots are getting a lot of love, and some believe this is finally the San Diego Chargers' year. But why not Pittsburgh? The Steelers were the best team in the league last year, and they didn't suffer any significant personnel losses in the offseason. Sounds like a Super Bowl team to me.

10. And the winner is ...

Pittsburgh.

Again.

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