2014 NFL Season Predictions and Prognostications

Is this the year Tom Brady and the Patriots end the Super Bowl drought?

Is this the year Tom Brady and the Patriots end the Super Bowl drought?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The 2014 NFL Season finally kicks off tonight when Green Bay travels to Seattle to take on the defending Super Bowl champions. For the next five months our daily lives will be consumed by football until a champion is crowned in  Phoenix, Arizona on February 1st. Is this the year the Patriots finally clear the final hurdle and win their fourth Lombardi Trophy? Is this the year the Jacksonville Jaguars return to respectability? Well, I think we all know the answer to the last question, but there are plenty of other questions to be answered. Here are my predictions for the 2014 NFL Season.

Hot Sportz Takes

First Coach Fired: Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills
Marrone and Doug Whaley went all in on E.J. Manuel during the 2013 NFL Draft, then turn around to mortgage the future during the 2014 Draft with WR Sammy Watkins. If the Bills get off to a rough start and Kyle Orton is forced to replace Manuel, Marrone will find himself looking for another second tier college job.

Coaches that will be Fired after 2014: Joe Philbin (Miami), Dennis Allen (Oakland), Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati), Ron Rivera (Carolina)
No big surprises on this list. Joe Philbin’s locker room and game management ability leaves a lot to be desired. Dennis Allen was in over his head from day one. Marvin Lewis will end up coaching in Cincinnati for 11 seasons, without a single playoff victory, amazing. Carolina plummets back to earth and Jerry Richardson figures he can find someone better.

Seat Getting Hotter: Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
If he misses the playoffs for the third straight season his seat will get very warm. The window will Ben Roethlisberger seems like it’s closing and it’ll close faster than Brady or Manning.

Breakout Offensive Player: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Trendy pick and I agree. Patterson is a great fit in Norv Turner’s offense and will torture defenses with explosive plays.

Breakout Defensive Player: Kenny Vaccaro, SAF, New Orleans Saints
Vaccaro can play multiple positions in the defensive backfield and all he does is make plays. He’s the next great Safety in the NFL.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Brandin Cooks is the odds on favorite, but I have trouble trusting rookie Wide Receivers regardless of reports. I think Frank Gore goes down at some point and Carlos Hyde puts up monster numbers.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Houston Texans
Is there really any doubt? The only other player I see challenging him is Steelers LB Ryan Shazier who looks poised to be a dynamic defensive playmaker.

Biggest Offensive Disappointment: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Newton was coming off ankle surgery and now has a fracture rib. Combine that with the fact he’s forced to develop chemistry with a whole new cast of receivers and it spells trouble.

Biggest Defensive Disappointment: Demarcus Ware, DE, Denver Broncos
People expecting Ware to be the same player he was three years ago will be disappointed. Ware will be productive, but won’t have the impact many are projecting.

Best Free Agency Signing: Darrelle Revis, CB, New England Patriots
Best cornerback in football goes to one of the best teams in the league and immediately elevates everyone on the defense.

Worth Free Agent Signing: Julius Peppers, OLB, Green Bay Packers
Peppers didn’t look like he had much left last season. Ted Thompson strayed from his usual course and signed the edge rusher to a 3 year $27 million deal despite his drop in production.

Most Overrated Player: Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Griffin better show some progress after last seasons disappointing performance otherwise there will be some nervous people in Washington. Based on what I saw in the preseason, that’s far from a guarantee to happen.

Most Underrated: Eric Weddle, SAF, San Diego Chargers
I’d kill to have a Safety like him on my team. Impact defensive player and a Special Teams stud.

Coordinators Next in Line to be Head Coach: Adam Gase (OC/Denver), Ray Horton (DC/Tennessee), Greg Roman (OC/San Francisco), Dan Quinn (DC/Seattle)

Division Standings

AFC East:
New England Patriots (13-3)
Miami Dolphins (8-8)
New York Jets (7-9)
Buffalo Bills (5-11)

AFC North:
Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
Cleveland Browns (5-11)

AFC South:
Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
Tennessee Titans (9-7)
Houston Texans (6-10)
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)

AFC West:
Denver Broncos (12-4)
San Diego Chargers (10-6)
Kansas City Chiefs (6-10)
Oakland Raiders (6-10)

NFC East:
Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)
Washington Redskins (8-8)
New York Giants (7-9)
Dallas Cowboys (5-11)

NFC North:
Green Bay Packers (11-5)
Chicago Bears (10-6)
Detroit Lions (9-7)
Minnesota Vikings (7-9)

NFC South:
New Orleans Saints (12-4)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7)
Atlanta Falcons (8-8)
Carolina Panthers (5-11)

NFC West:
Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
Arizona Cardinals (8-8)
St. Louis Rams (5-11)

AFC Playoff Seeds:
1. New England Patriots
2. Denver Broncos
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Baltimore Ravens
5. San Diego Chargers
6. Tennessee Titans

NFC Playoff Seeds:
1. Seattle Seahawks
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Green Bay Packers
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. Chicago Bears

Wild Card Round
Indianapolis Colts beat Tennessee Titans
San Diego Chargers beat Baltimore Ravens

Green Bay Packers beat Chicago Bears
Philadelphia Eagles beat San Francisco 49ers

Divisional Round
New England Patriots beat San Diego Chargers
Denver Broncos beat Indianapolis Colts

Seattle Seahawks beat Philadelphia Eagles
New Orleans Saints beat Green Bay Packers

Conference Championships
New England Patriots beat Denver Broncos
New Orleans Saints beat Seattle Seahawks

Super Bowl
New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints

I don’t like to pick a winner of the Super Bowl because everyone will say I’m a “homer” if I pick the Patriots and my biases can get in the way. I believe this will be the match-up and either team could easily be victorious.

Award Winners 

MVP: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

Offensive POY: LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Defensive POY: Robert Quinn, DE, St. Louis Rams

Comeback Player: Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

Head Coach of the Year: Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles


8 Responses to “2014 NFL Season Predictions and Prognostications”

  1. Kevan says:

    The long off season is over, FINALLY! Season starts today, pats get revenge for losing in Miami last year all banged up. Brady is 11-1 in season openers. Let’s get it done. Today we are all patriots. Game prediction 34-17

    • Kevan says:

      Well that sucked.

      • acm says:

        Look at it on the bright side – if you reversed that score, you’d have pretty much nailed it.

        • Kevan says:

          Yea I was thinking that too. Could you or anyone tell me why BB wants to keep running a 3-4 defense with a team built to play 4-3. What gives? The run defense was atrocious yesterday. The last time the pats lost a home opener to a division foe was in 2003 against the bills. That worked out alright. Brady did not look good at all though, I don’t know pats better regroup and get it together.

  2. Paul Hayes says:

    I agree with many of your predictions as they match some of mine. (MVP, DPOY, SB matchup, comeback player,and top 3 seeds in each conference. Marrone could be 1st to go, but I choose Philbin. I think RGIII will deserve a benching but probably won’t due to his draft status. Brees loves to go deep and Cooks can get there. Cooks OROY. Brady could win the MVP if Gronk and others stay healthy. I like Shazier as DROY. I was hoping he would fall to the Pats in the draft. As a homer I will pick the pats to win the SB, 31-27.

  3. dwayne says:

    Wouldn’t you know…a Patriots blog picking the Patriots to go to the Super Bowl. What makes you think Seattle EVER loses at home in the playoffs? What’s the precedent there? And why would Ron Rivera not be a surprise on the fired coaches list, one year after being named COTY?

  4. MaineMan says:

    WRT Coach firings

    Marrone being fired maybe depends on how much autonomy CEO Russ Brandon has been granted by the Trust ownership. They may be somewhat change-averse if a sale is near. OTOH, if a sale is till a couple years down the road, dramatic changes might be allowed in the hope of potentially increasing the franchise value. Firing Marrone may also depend on what Brandon knows about who had the most influence in drafting Manuel – Marrone or GM Whaley. Marrone has assembled a pretty decent staff who’d likely get broomed as well if he goes.

    Mark Davis needs to get rid of GM McKenzie more than anything. Allen would probably go at the same time, but he’s not the source of the problems, really.

    Stephen Ross seems pretty impatient and not particularly a football genius, so Philbin could go even if the Fins make the playoffs and lose.

    The stuff that’s going on in Carolina looks like a deliberate tear-down/rebuild of the offense. If it’s a Gettleman/Rivera plan that owner Richardson gave his blessing to, they both might get a couple more seasons to see it through (they’ve both only had two years on the job and have built a very good defense so far). In any case, it’s not their fault that 4 or 5 of their OL decided to hang up the cleats in the same off-season or that Steve Smith got old.

    Mike Brown is certainly an odd duck, but is apparently extremely loyal to Lewis. If the Bengals can make the playoffs for the 4th consecutive season, he seems likely to stick with Lewis awhile longer.

    The Tomlin situation is maybe a tough call, even if the Steelers fail to make the playoffs again this season (as they well might). On the one hand, the Rooney’s were pretty loyal to Cowher, tolerating three consecutive playoff misses in his 7th-9th years on the job. OTOH, Tomlin has created some PR issues for them recently and the team has gotten old on both side of the ball under his tenure while effective replacements haven’t been found in the draft, especially on the defensive side. Tomlin’s contract runs through 2016, so the Rooney’s could wait it out.

  5. Daniel R. Martin says:

    Reading Brady missed practice today due to a calf injury? That’s more than a little unnerving. Hopefully some more shenanigans from Coach B.

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