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Richardson’s predictions

By Denebola
Published: November 2008

By Will Richardson

As temperatures drop this winter in New England, the race for the NFL playoffs is forecasted to heat up. Teams have been vying for those coveted 12 playoff spots for as long as the league has been around. So football fans, enjoy the final weeks of the regular season with Thursday Night Football, no bye weeks, and heated divisional rivalries.

I am going to try to make what I can of the 2009 NFL playoffs, and try to create a clear picture out of a season that could be compared to the most abstract of Picasso’s paintings.

AFC East: Starting off in all New Englanders favorite division, I predict that the Pats will prevail this year and take the division. Unlike the last four years, this playoff berth will be very difficult. But Matt Cassell has improved his play, and pending any more serious injuries to marquee players, the Pats should be able to hold off the resurgent Jets and Dolphins.

AFC North: Big Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers will take yet another divisional title, to the pain and resentment of the Baltimore Ravens. During the week 15 match-up of the division rivals, Ray Lewis will flex every muscle in his body, rupturing a blood vessel in his brain.

AFC West: The Mile Highers (Denver Broncos) will hold off the San Diego Chargers. Jay Cutler’s gritty Favrian attitude of “one touchdown makes up for plenty of interceptions will seal the playoff berth in the final game of the season against the Chargers. On the lower half of the division, the Raiders will mutiny against Al Davis, the seasoned owner who still wears a letterman jacket from his high school days.

AFC South: The Titans, with their consistency and poise will take the division easily. Their first loss will come on the classic Thanksgiving Day game against the winless Detroit Lions. I’ll take a side of upset with my turkey please. The Lions play every Thanksgiving, but this year’s game will end Detroit’s goose (turkey?) egg in the win column. Daunte Culpepper will return to retirement after finishing the season with one win. Congratulations Detroit, take the #1 draft pick with pride.

NFC East: NFC East divisional games are like a scene from the movie Fight Club; Men throwing their bodies around, absolutely destroying others and themselves in the process. Tony Romo can play Brad Pitt’s role. In the most competitive division, where four playoff caliber teams (Giants, Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles) are fighting for the playoffs, Eli Manning and the New York Giants have proven that their playoff victory last year was no fluke. They will win the division and make another run at the Super Bowl, but good luck without David Tyree.

NFC North: Aaron Rodgers will bury the Brett Favre era in Green Bay and squeak out of the division with a 10-6 record. The afore mentioned, atrocious Detroit Lions will finish the season 1-15 and hopefully not draft yet another receiver with their #1 pick next year.

NFC South: I’m feeling Tampa Bay. Although the Bucs are led by a quarterback who has bounced between five teams in as many years (Jeff Garcia), and a coach who looks like Chucky, the horror movie doll, when angry (Jon Gruden), they are 7-3 after 11 weeks. They have beaten the Panthers and Falcons, who would compete for the division. The Tampa Bay Rays took all the postseason magic and still came up short, and the Buccaneers will not make it near the championship. My dream of seeing a team win the Super Bowl in their home town (the game is in TB this year) will have to wait till next year.

NFC West: In the year of outlier quarterbacks, when teams are led by boys who have just begun shaving or men about to collect social security, it is fitting that Kurt Warner is competing for the MVP award. His Arizona Cardinals have a stranglehold on the NFC West and may stay around throughout the post season.

Wild Cards: New York Jets: Much to my disgust, the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS! will sneak into the playoffs on the arm and the salt n’ pepper beard of 39-year-old Brett Favre.

Dallas Cowboys: If Tony Romo stays healthy, the ‘ËœBoys will make a second half run, and Jerry Jones can stop doing Pepsi Commercials.

Carolina Panthers: The tandem of wide receiver Steve Smith and quarterback Jake Delhomme will hold onto the final playoff spot.

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