About a week ago, I was asked for my 2011 NFL predictions. "Division orders, conference champions, Super Bowl winner, offensive and defensive MVPs. That's it," my boss said. So that's what I gave him (you can read it here).
But a lot more than that is going to happen throughout the league over the next five months. So, in honor of Super Bowl XLVI, which will be played Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis, here are 46 more predictions for the upcoming season.
1. By season's end, Sam Bradford will be considered an elite quarterback.
2. So will Josh Freeman.
3. Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez won't be.
4. James Harrison will rack up another couple grand in fines while finishing with double-digit sacks.
5. Cam Newton won't start all 16 Panthers game, but will lead them to multiple victories.
6. Of the eight new head coaches, Jason Garrett will finish the season with the most wins.
7. Jimmy Graham will score the most touchdowns on the Saints.
8. Aaron Rodgers will miss at least one game yet again because of a concussion.
9. Nnamdi Asomugha will record multiple interceptions in a season for only the second time in his career.
10. The Chiefs once again will lead the NFL in rushing yards.
11. ESPN's Jon Gruden will refer to 483 different players as "this guy."
12. Michael Vick will lead the league in "Oh my, did you just see that?" plays, just edging out Troy Polamalu.
13. An injury will prevent Chris Johnson from playing all 16 games or eclipsing 1,000 rushing yards.
14. Mike Shanahan will get into another dispute with a player, as people realize it might not have been all Donovan McNabb's and Albert Haynesworth's fault for the ’Skins poor record last season.
15. The Vikings will play all eight of their home games at the Metrodome.
16. Every team that faces the Bucs will regret letting Da'Quan Bowers fall to the second round of the draft.
17. The NFL will revert to their aging rockers halftime show for Super Bowl XLVI, likely going with Indiana native John Mellencamp.
18. John Harbaugh will run up the score on his brother Jim when the Ravens play the 49ers on Thanksgiving night.
19. Carson Palmer will sit back in his La-Z-Boy and laugh every time he sees a Bengals final score.
20. Gus Johnson will be horribly missed on CBS telecasts.
21. Santonio Holmes will make the best toe-tapping, on-the-sideline catch of the season.
22. The Madden Curse will slow down Peyton Hillis, as will defenses loading the box against the Browns.
23. Not a game will go by that the Raiders won't regret not re-signing TE Zach Miller.
24. Von Miller will record double-digit sacks.
25. Despite the new kickoff rules, Devin Hester still will bring one back for a touchdown.
26. Multiple media members will complain about the Super Bowl being in Indiana and write columns saying that only Florida or Arizona should host the big game.
27. The Patriots at Jets "Sunday Night Football" showdown in Week 10 will be the highest-rated regular-season game in NFL history.
28. Terrelle Pryor's biggest impact this season will come with his legs, not his right arm.
29. Unlike last year, the team with the most players on I.R. won't win the Super Bowl (or even make the playoffs).
30. By Week Six, the Bay Area media will be asking Jim Harbaugh to tank games so the 49ers are in position to draft Andrew Luck.
31. Adrian Peterson will lead the NFL in rushing yards.
32. Chad Henne will throw more TDs than picks, but won't return as Miami's starting QB next season.
33. The Patriots' 4-3 defense this season will perform better than last season's 3-4.
34. Vincent Jackson and Larry Fitzgerald will end the season as first-team All-Pro receivers.
35. Terry Bradshaw will not make sense once the entire season on the FOX pregame show.
36. And yet, he still will be easier to watch than Chris Berman.
37. Blaine Gabbert will finish the season with the most passing yards of any rookie quarterback.
38. The reputation that Ndamukong Suh is a dirty player will grow when he severely injures someone with a late hit.
39. There will be a Brett Favre comeback rumor at some point in September, though he won't return.
40. An NFL player will violate the league's social-media policy and Tweet something during a game.
41. Tampa Bay at Atlanta will be the Week 17 game flexed to "Sunday Night Football," with an NFC wild-card berth on the line.
42. At least one head coach will be fired before Week 10.
43. The four NFC West teams will finish a combined 11 games under .500
44. Bengals rookie WR A.J. Green will lead the league in one-handed catches.
45. Rex Ryan will be at the center of some controversy this season, though none involving feet or his wife.
46. By Feb. 5, 2012, the names Jeff Pash, Arthur Boylan, Susan Nelson and Bob Batterman will seem like distant memories, and all will be good in the world of football.
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