It’s Gonna Happen: 18 Bold Visions of 2007

We have made some bold claims
before the season began.  Let’s take a look back and see how we did
at predicting the future. 

1)  Tom Brady will have
roughly the same year in 2007 that he has had in every other season. 
His numbers will be roughly 4000 yards, 28 TDs, 15 INTs, and a passer
rating of 89.

Result:  WRONG.  No,
you see it turns out Randy Moss is still really good. 

 

2)  Anonymous
Rams quarterback Marc Bulger will again throw 25 touchdowns. This will
prompt Stephen Jackson to offer his congratulations to “our fearless
leader, Mack Folgers.”

Result:  WRONG.  Try
11 touchdowns and 15 picks on the way to a 3-13 season.

 

3)  Randy Moss will not
double the production of Anthony Gonzalez.  He will fail to double the
yards, catches or TDs of a rookie, number 3 receiver. 

Result:  WRONG.  No,
you see it turns out Randy Moss is still really good. 

 

4)  Desperate
for a change of pace, Detroit Lions fans will trade their grocery bags
in favor of handy, dandy, identity-concealing Duct Tape.  (below)

Result:  CORRECT. 
The Lions teased us with competence and thus made their inevitable
return to crappiness all the more painful for their fans.

5)  Jason David and Nick
Harper will surrender at least 5 combined TDs to Peyton Manning and the
Indianapolis Colts.

Result:  WRONG.  We
thought this was a gimmee after David was burned for 3 scores in the
opener.  Manning exploited Harper in Week 2, but not for a score. 
He rested in the final game.

 

6)  The Colts will not miss
Cato June.  The run defense will be ranked at least 10 spots higher in
2007 and will stiffen by at least 1 yard per carry.

Result:  CORRECT. 
The Colts gave up an impossibly bad 173 rushing yards per game in 2006,
dead last in the NFL.  They allowed 5.3 yards per carry.  This
season they ranked 15th against the run allowing 106 yards per game. 
They allowed only 3.8 yards per carry, good enough for sixth in the NFL.

 

7)  Miami’s First round draft
pick Ted Ginn Jr. will throw for 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.  No,
scratch that.  He’s a punt returner. 

Result:  CORRECT. 
This was one of the big mistakes of the NFL draft.  Maybe the
biggest.  Ginn Jr. caught 34 balls and 2 touchdowns on a 1-15 team. 
He did return a punt for a touchdown.

8)  The Colts will win the
AFC South.

Result:  CORRECT. 
Nearly swept the division.

 

9)  David Garrard will be an
unmitigated disaster:  Garrard was border-line horrible last
season, getting yanked in the middle of the last game of the season; a
game the Jags had to win.  In his favor, is his 60% completion
percentage, and acceptable passer rating of 80.  On the other hand, he
also threw 9 Interceptions in just 10 games in which he threw a pass. 
He also fumbled twice.  He was the quarterback as the Jags lost their
last three games and four of their last six.  One of the games the Jags
won in that stretch was the beat down of the Colts, a game in which he
only had to throw 14 passes because Gilbert Gardner and Cato June
couldn’t figure out how to tackle.  When last we saw him, he was melting
down under the pressure of playing a virtual playoff game.  He is not
the answer in Jacksonville, and will sabotage their season.

Result:  WRONG. 
Garrard couldn’t have been better, throwing 18 touchdowns against only 3
picks.

 

10) 
The Titans won’t win 6 games unless Vince Young shows dramatic
improvement as a passer (i.e. greater than 55% completion percentage). 
The Titans won’t have the same luck they benefited from in 2006. 


Result:
RIGHT AND WRONG.  Vince Young regressed from marginal to awful (9
touchdowns and 17 picks in 2007).  At the EXACT SAME TIME, he
increased his completion % from 51.5% to 62.3%, a remarkable
improvement.  His YPA also improved. He also missed a game and
parts of two others
,
yet the Titans managed to win 10 games and make the playoffs. 
Weird team led by a great coach.  In the end, Young’s play seems
to have nothing to do with the Titans winning or losing.

 

11) 
Joe Addai will out perform Fred Taylor:  This sounds obvious,
unless your name is Fred Taylor. 


http://www.jaguars.com/multimedia/video.aspx?id=2375

Result:  CORRECT. 
It’s debatable because both played great.  Addai’s stats are skewed
because he was intentionally rested for most of December.  We’ll
give him the edge because he found the end zone far more often than
Taylor, and was named to the Pro Bowl over Taylor.  The playoffs
will provide the true answer to this question.


12)  Del Rio will be fired during the season: 
He’s among the worst in-game coaches in the league and he has screwed up
the QB situation as badly as humanly possible.  His time is up.

Result:  WRONG.  Del
Rio made the call of the year by cutting Byron Leftwich a week before
the season.  Realizing he was coaching for his job, he decided to
go for it on fourth down more than any coach in the league.  Always
a smart move.  Did we really just say that?

 

13)  As Dwight Freeney helps
himself to his second sack of the game, it will suddenly hit Matt Schaub:
being the second-best quarterback in the AFC South isn’t anything to
write home about.

Result:  WRONG. 
Schaub was the third best quarterback in the AFC South in 2007. 
Fourth if you count his replacement, Sage Rosenfels.  His season
was derailed by the knee injury to Andre Johnson, and later by his own
injury.
 

 

14)  The Colts will
outperform their Pythagorean win total by more than one win (again): 
For the last several years the Colts have won more games than the
normally reliable Pythagorean win stat would suggest.  This year they
are expected to win 9.6 games.  They will win at least 11. 

Result:  CORRECT. 
The Colts exceeded even our expectations by notching 13 wins.  They
made everyone forget about Cato June, Jason David, and Nick Harper. 

 

15)  Giants coach Tom
Coughlin will be fired for ordering the covert assassination of Tiki
Barber.  Backed into a corner, he will interview for his old job in
Jacksonville, promising to continue the proud Jaguar tradition of .500
football.

Result:  INCOMPLETE. 
If the Giants lose to the Bucs this weekend because of Tiki’s loose lips
then we may see a murder yet. 

 

16)  San Diego will regret
the hire of Norv Turner, despite excellent talent.

Result:  CORRECT. 
The Chargers won 3 fewer games this season and Philip Rivers looked
significantly worse throwing the ball.  Norv needs a playoff win in
the worst way.

 

17)  Scandal will again rock the NFL as a
Youtube video will surface of Peyton Manning engaged in the heinous act
of poodle grooming. 

Result:  WRONG.  Manning’s dogs,
Colt and Rookie, are safe and sound as far as we know.

 

18)  None of the departed
Colts will outperform their replacements.


  • Freddy Keiaho will outperform Cato June


  • Kelvin Hayden and Marlin Jackson will outperform Jason David and
    Nick Harper


  • Kenton Keith will out perform Dom Rhodes


  • Anthony Gonzalez will outperform Brandon Stokley

  • Ed Johnson will
    outperform Cory Simon and Montae Reagor

Result:  RIGHT.  Keiaho was a
revelation.  Hayden and Jackson immediately made us forget about
the old secondary.  Keith did his job nicely, but still needs to
come up big in the playoffs.  Ed Johnson became only the fourth
rookie in NFL history to start all 16 games for the defending champions. 
Amazing.  The only one that was a close call was Brandon Stokley
who had 40 receptions for Denver, 3 more than Anthony Gonzalez. 
However, AG played a far more crucial role for the Colts stepping in as
a rookie for a Hall of Famer and helping his team to 13 wins and a bye.

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