Mike Freeman's 15 Big-Time NFL Predictions Sure to Go Right

Mike Freeman@@mikefreemanNFLNFL National Lead WriterSeptember 2, 2013

It's not just opinions that are like...well, you know. Predictions are like them, too. Everyone has one. Everyone is wrong. Except me. If loving my predictions is wrong, you don't want to be right.

These predictions span the crazy league we all love—from the rooter to the tooter. Just sit back and enjoy, and feel free to respond with your wrong predictions. I'll read them and chuckle.


Ben Roethlisberger Will Be League MVP

We haven't seen Roethlisberger have a huge year in a long time, but he seems due.

Having been around Steelers camp recently, there's a great deal of confidence that the young offensive line will hold, the injuries won't sink the team and that Roethlisberger will have one of the best seasons of his career. This prediction is also gambling that Roethlisberger will stay healthy for at least 14 games.


The Seahawks Will Take a Step Back

Not a huge one. They'll make the playoffs but barely. The division is eminently tougher, Percy Harvin may not be back until Thanksgiving or later, and the thinking around the league is that the Seahawks peaked last season.

There's also something that truly worries me about all of the Adderall issues. I wonder just how much control Pete Carroll truly has over that locker room. 


The Cardinals Will Take a Step Forward

All Carson Palmer has to do is play decently, and he'd be better than the guys who recently played the position in Arizona. One competent quarterback can indeed make a huge difference. Larry Fitzgerald will actually be able to catch footballs while in stride. Imagine that. Plus, Arizona's defense is sneaky good. 


By December, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly Will Be the Most Talked-About NFL Head Coaching Candidate

The talk around the NFL is that if Jason Garrett falters in Dallas, he'd be replaced by Kelly. Odds of that actually occurring? Who knows? I heard similar chatter last year regarding the Cowboys and Urban Meyer.

Still, I think it's almost a lock that Kelly ends up coaching professionally after the 2013 season, and please don't talk about his contract extension with Notre Dame. College contract extensions mean nothing to NFL owners. 


Adrian Peterson Will Rush for 1,400 Yards

That would still be a great season even if it were some 600 yards below what he did last year. We all know how powerful Peterson is. Superman wears Adrian Peterson pajamas.

The reality is the human body can only take so much abuse. Peterson's frame is sturdy, but it's still made of flesh and bone. There's also the fact that defenses have pride, and other teams won't want Peterson bashing their heads in again.


Roger Goodell Will Give a Sweeping Speech on Concussions and the NFL of the Past

It's clear the NFL won in its settlement with thousands of former players. And by win, I mean complete and utter landslide (settling on $765 million). My belief is Goodell knows the perception is that the NFL obliterated the plaintiffs in the suit and that the league looks like it lacks passion for the players from the past.

So in the near future, Goodell will give a sweeping speech about how the NFL has sympathy for some of the past players and how he will do everything in his power to protect current and future ones.


Joe Flacco Will Shut Up His Dumbass Critics

Flacco wins a Super Bowl, and still there are buffoons questioning his competency. I think the Ravens will be far more dangerous offensively than people know, and Flacco will be the reason why. He will set career highs for completion percentage and touchdowns.


Tom Brady Will Turn Wide Receiver (Insert Name Here) into a Star

Brady is so accurate with the football that he can transform an average receiver into a great one. He'll do it again with (insert name here) because he always does. He did it with Wes Welker and a small army of others, and he'll do it again. Pick a name out of a hat. 


Mario Williams, Who Will Make $12.4 Million This Season, Will Still Suck in Buffalo



Quarterback Josh Freeman Will Do Enough to Earn Tampa Bay's Trust and a Contract Extension

Freeman isn't great, but he's slowly learning how to maximize his talent. His learning curve isn't on the same trajectory as that of an RG3 or Andrew Luck, but he will get better. And richer.


The Browns Will Still Be the Same Ol' Browns

Cleveland is making significant strides, to be sure, and I feel like the franchise has a front office that knows what it's doing. The huge optimism ascribed to the Browns is a case of premature celebration.

The biggest obstacle the Browns must overcome is changing the loser mentality of the franchise. The Browns haven't won anything of significance since the 1700s. It will take a great deal of time to eradicate the Browns' loser thought processes. It may happen. Just not now.


Ryan Tannehill Will Lead Miami to the Playoffs

Stop laughing. I'm not saying they will win the division over the Patriots, but I see this as a 10-win team and Tannehill as a player who makes a significant leap. His throwing accuracy will improve, and he'll get some help from that defense.


We Will Look Back at the 2013 Season and Say That Dez Bryant Was the Best Receiver in Football

Maybe not statistically. But we will say that Bryant was the best. His mental skills will finally match his physical ones. He's maturing. A mature Dez Bryant is a dangerous Dez Bryant.


Tim Tebow Will Join a Television Network as a College Football Analyst When the Bowl Season Begins

I think Tebow will realize his football dream is over, and someone will sign him to a mega-TV deal to talk college football. My guess: He signs a deal that makes him the highest-paid television analyst in history.


Washington Will Win the Super Bowl

This isn't as insane a pick as it seems. My gamble is that RG3 will be as productive as he was last year and the coaching staff will use him less as a read-option weapon and more as a drop-back passer. It's sometimes forgotten that RG3 is an accurate passer. Washington has a defense that has weak spots, but it will be good enough.

There is also the once-vaunted NFC East. It's average now; the division is in a rebuilding mode. The Cowboys can't truly be counted on. The Eagles are piecing things together. The Giants didn't make the playoffs last season. Washington might be the best.

And because of RG3, Washington matches up fairly well with the other NFC powerhouses, including San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta and Green Bay. This will be Washington's year in what is sure to be another insane, depressing, spectacular and wonderful NFL season.


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