Wednesday, September 4, 2013
32 Teams, 32 Haiku: My 2013 NFL Preview
With the 2013 NFL season kicking off in mere hours, I felt inclined to make some predictions. Much like my baseball preview five months ago, my pigskin prognostications needed a unique twist. Something with brevity, something descriptive yet arch, something... with 17 soma.
(NOTE: asterisks note wild cards)
1. Packers (11-5). Lambeau Field is now/Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood/Defense? Still sketchy.
2. Bears (9-7). New era begins/Coach Trestman, O-line guru/but still rebuilding.
3. Vikings (8-8). No purple reign here/All Day will carry this team/the D might surprise.
4. Lions (6-10). '12 was a letdown/can all this talent win games/or just tread water?
1. Giants (10-6). No flash, overlooked/drama-free Jints will prevail/with health on their side.
2. Redskins* (10-6). RG III, your knee/could make or break the season/ten high-scoring wins.
3. Cowboys (9-7). Romo, moneybags/the pressure to win, daunting/still no O-line, though.
4. Eagles (5-11). Kelly lacks the chips/to compete in a dense group/Vick or Foles? Oy vey!
1. Falcons (11-5). Spry but dangerous/Jackson raises the run game/playoffs are a test.
2. Saints (8-8). Bountygate? Over/Rob Ryan must save the D/or "Ain'ts" will suffer.
3. Buccaneers (7-9). Pushy Schiano/can't let these guys fade again/or else it's curtains.
4. Panthers (5-11). Who protects Newton?/franchise QB, wasted on/poor coaching, weak O.
1. 49ers (12-4). Primo all-around/only injuries can halt/their victory train.
2. Seahawks* (12-4). A bunch of oddballs/make unlikely chemistry/young talent prevails.
3. Rams (7-9). Third in two-horse race/anywhere else, they would be/a sure contender.
4. Cardinals (6-10). Upgrade at QB/will keep receivers happy/in fruitless battle.
1. Ravens (11-5). Birds circle the throne/Flacco needs protection, yet/their front seven stomps.
2. Bengals* (10-6). Dark horse wears orange/jejune Andy Dalton leads/an improved offense.
3. Steelers (7-9). The Steel Curtain rusts/aging, battered, fading out/youth infusion, stat!
4. Browns (5-11). It's a step forward/underrated defense, but/Weeden holds them back.
1. Patriots (11-5). Victors by default/Brady and Belichick win/despite Hernandez.
2. Dolphins (9-7). With emptied wallets/makeover, glimmer of hope/defense? Quite improved.
3. Bills (6-10). Pray for young Jeff Tuel/undrafted Week 1 QB/such unique pressure.
4. Jets (4-12). Revis is elsewhere/and Mark Sanchez is still here/the losing riddle.
1. Texans (11-5). Foster, Watt, Cushing/injuries mount, but they win/with other weapons.
2. Colts* (10-6). Rivals are singing/"Luck, be a lady tonight"/but these guys aren't dolls.
3. Titans (6-10). Upgraded O-line/step in the right direction/but the defense? Ugh.
4. Jaguars (3-13). No surprises here/morsels of talent, scattered/first pick in '14?
1. Broncos (13-3). This weak division/gobbled up by great roster/Peyton's second ring?
2. Chargers (8-8). Same as Chicago/new coach, embattled QB/and so-so results.
3. Chiefs (6-10). KC fans: pretend/that last year never happened/hope in the long run.
4. Raiders (4-12). Unpredictable/sums up Oakland in one word/what's their direction?
NFL MVP: Tom Brady, Patriots
Offensive POY: Calvin Johnson, Lions
Defensive POY: Richard Sherman, Seahawks
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Tavon Austin, Rams
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jon Bostic, Bears
First Head Coach Fired: Mike Munchak, Titans
Super Bowl XLVIII: Denver 27, San Francisco 22
Hike! Er, I mean, your thoughts?