Before we get to my NFL picks, a few words about my credentials.
I am a professional sportswriter; please don’t try this at home.
Any bad predictions I’ve made in the past — Yankees in five, Cowboys over the Cardinals in the 1998 NFL playoffs, the Suns will regret trading Stephon Marbury — are irrelevant. Everyone has a bad decade.
My co-owner and I have won three fantasy football championships, and it had nothing to do with the fact we had Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson and Steve Smith in a keeper league.
So without further ado, here are my sure-fire, 100 percent guaranteed NFL predictions.
(Unless, of course, they’re wrong).
New England Patriots (12-4): The defense is slower and older, and Tom Brady’s foot is a concern, but they’re still the class of the division.
Buffalo Bills (8-8): Quick, name me three Bills’ starters.
New York Jets (8-8): You read it here first. Brett Favre will not play a full season.
Miami Dolphins (5-11): With Ricky Williams getting carries, season goes up in smoke.
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5): My boss is a Steelers fan. I love that team.
Cincinnati Bengals (8-8): Ocho Cinco muy loco.
Cleveland Browns (7-9): Derek Anderson was exposed last December. Get ready for Brady Quinn.
Baltimore Ravens (6-10): Quarterback Joe Flacco has a great arm, but he’s a rookie.
Indianapolis Colts: (12-4): Look for Marvin Harrison to have a big comeback season.
Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5): Dirk Koetter has found his niche as an offensive coordinator.
Tennessee Titans (7-9): Vince Young still can’t throw the ball.
Houston Texans (6-10): The one team I might be underestimating.
San Diego Chargers (13-3): What, they’re going to win fewer games playing Denver, Kansas City and Oakland twice?
Denver Broncos (8-8): Jay Cutler will be the NFL’s next great quarterback. (He’d better be. I drafted him high).
Kansas City Chiefs (4-12): Oh, for the days of Hank Stram and Lenny Dawson.
Oakland Raiders: (3-13): Let’s get a pool going. Which day will coach Lane Kiffin be fired?
Dallas Cowboys (12-4): There are too many knuckleheads in the locker room but, boy, can they play.
New York Giants (10-6): Eli Manning’s late-season play in 2007 wasn’t a fluke.
Philadelphia Eagles (9-7): I’d think more highly of them, but can Donovan McNabb stay healthy?
Washington Redskins (6-10): How to ruin a franchise, by Daniel Snyder.
Minnesota Vikings (11-5): Great defense, running game, but is Tavaris Jackson the answer at quarterback?
Green Bay Packers (10-6): Don’t worry about Aaron Rodgers. He’ll do just fine.
Detroit Lions (6-10): How does general manager Matt Millen keep his job?
Chicago Bears (6-10): Kyle Orton is the starting quarterback. Enough said.
New Orleans Saints (11-5): Don’t be surprised if Drew Brees is the league’s MVP.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8): It’s been a long time since Jon Gruden and boy wonder were used in the same sentence.
Carolina Panthers (6-10): As long as Steve Smith doesn’t punch another teammate.
Atlanta Falcons (4-12): And Matt Ryan thought he didn’t have a lot of talent around him at Boston College.
Seattle Seahawks (11-5): No one pays any attention to them, but they’re good. Real good.
Arizona Cardinals (7-9): More talent on the roster than last year, but schedule is brutal.
St. Louis Rams (6-10): If Marc Bulger gets hurt, could be worse.
San Francisco 49ers (4-12): Is Alex Smith biggest bust in NFL history?
And my Super Bowl prediction:
San Diego 27, Dallas 21.