The Pessimist’s Guide to the 2012 NFL Season

The NFL preseason has mercifully come to an end.  However, this preseason was different from many others, in that the football wasn’t the worst part.  Yes, you heard that right.  Watching Charlie Whitehurst flounder around against the 49ers third string defense wasn’t the worst part of the preseason.

Not surprisingly, Twitter and the blogosphere found a way to make this preseason worse than any other.  If the crappy football wasn’t bad enough for you, the obnoxiously optimistic fans were enough to make you want to take Batman’s place the first time he fought Bane.

So, to all those fans brimming with optimism because your third string brought home a win against another team’s third string…here’s why your team is going to suck this year.

NFC North

Chicago Bears:  The Bears look great on paper, but good luck keeping Cutler healthy behind that sieve of an offensive line.  And even better luck getting Matt Forte to try now that he’s gotten paid.

Detroit Lions:  Matt Stafford had injury problems his entire career up until last season.  Since Calvin Johnson seems to be invincible, someone will have to take the fall for the Madden Curse.  Shaun Hill’s end-over-end, 20-yard “deep” balls to Johnson should at the very least be funny to watch.

Green Bay Packers:  The Giants provided the blueprint to beating the Packers last year.  Let Rodgers throw the ball around and watch his receivers drop their way out of the playoffs.  Sheer brilliance from Tom Coughlin and the Giants.

Minnesota Vikings:  Christian Ponder without a healthy Adrian Peterson is sure to give Percy Harvin headaches.

Prediction:  Green Bay wins the division because they manage to stay healthy.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons:  The Falcons scored two points in a playoff game.  Two points.  A layup.  Go away, Matt Ryan.

Carolina Panthers:  Cam Newton is sure to regress, and even with him having that ridiculous season last year, Carolina still sucked.  Expect more of the same this year as Cam Newton realizes the reason running QBs don’t have sustained success in the NFL.

New Orleans Saints:  The NFL took Gregg Williams’ advice and, “killed the head.”  Can Drew Brees coach AND be one of the best quarterbacks in the league?  Doubt it.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Philip Rivers couldn’t win with Vincent Jackson, so I doubt Josh Freeman can.

Prediction:  At the rate this division has gone over the last decade, Carolina is going to win it.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys:  Tony Romo has as many playoff wins as Alex Smith, and he isn’t getting any younger.  Dez Bryant, on the other hand, seems to be getting younger as Jerry Jones treats him like a three-year-old.  The impending implosion in Dallas is going to be a joy to watch.

New York Giants:  The Giants sucked last year up until week 15.  I’d expect more of the same this year, and Tom Coughlin’s luck is due to run out here pretty quick.

Philadelphia Eagles:  Andy Reid is in the same boat as Tom Coughlin.  The luck is going to run out eventually.  My guess it’s around week four or five when Vick goes out and Nick Foles’ inability to escape like Vick does exposes how bad Philly’s offensive line is.

Washington Redskins:  The ‘Skins knew they’d be getting Robert Griffin III, so they brought in receivers.  That would make sense if they didn’t stock up with a bunch of number two and number three wideouts.  RG III is going to be in for a rude awakening.

Prediction:  The Eagles will win the division and then get unceremoniously ousted from the playoffs in the first or second round.  That’ll be fun.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals:  I just got a mass email from the Cardinals advertising open quarterback tryouts.  And even once they do decide on a QB, their offensive line is going to do their best to make sure that guy is hurt by the third week.

San Francisco 49ers:  The 49ers got some “weapons” at receiver.  Too bad Alex Smith is still the quarterback.

Seattle Seahawks:  Following in Arizona’s footsteps, the Seahawks paid $4 billion for a backup, and then made sure he stayed a backup.  Just excellent stuff from Seattle’s front office.

St. Louis Rams:  Jeff Fisher was their big offseason splash.  Too bad the team is still entirely devoid of talent.

Prediction:  The 49ers win the division, with all of their points being scored on defense.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens:  This team seems to not change.  And they always seem to not win.  Putting those two things together, “R-A-V-E-N-S” spells disappointment.

Cincinnati Bengals:  This is the same team that got beat by T.J. Yates in the playoffs.  Not to mention Manny Lawson, Nate Clements and Taylor Mays are all on this squad.  Destined for mediocrity are the Bungals.


Pittsburgh Steelers:  The Steelers pride themselves on their defense.  That defense got beat by Tim Tebow in a playoff game.  It’s time the Steelers took a step back and evaluate where they’re at as a franchise.

Prediction:  The Ravens win the division and proceed to lose earlier than expected in the playoffs.

AFC South

Houston Texans:  Wade Phillips bears an eerie resemblance to my grandmother.  Because of that, the Texans will never succeed with him on the coaching staff.

Indianapolis Colts:  It took Peyton Manning leaving to make people realize that outside of QB, this team has been bad for a better part of the last couple decades.  A rookie Andrew Luck won’t be able to mask this team’s deficiencies right away.

Jacksonville Jaguars:  No Maurice Jones-Drew means it’s up to Blaine Gabbert to generate offense.  I’ll let that speak for itself.

Tennessee Titans:  The good news for the Titans: Chris Johnson is projected to have a big year.  The bad news for the Titans: Jake Locker isn’t.

Prediction:  This could be the worst division in football.  The Texans sneak out on top.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills:  Oh look, this is different, the Bills have expectations this year.  Wait, that’s every year.  And they fall short every year.  Carry on then.

Miami Dolphins:  I actually organized this blog like this as an educational tool for Ryan Tannehill.

New England Patriots:  The door was closing fast on the Patriots’ dynasty last year.  Wes Welker’s dropped pass in the Super Bowl may have slammed it shut.

New York Jets:  The more Tim Tebow plays, the less likely it is Rex Ryan is back in New York next season.

Prediction:  The Patriots will win the division and everyone will talk about how great they are despite not having won a Super Bowl since Yeah! by Usher was cool to listen to.

AFC West

Denver Broncos:  How will they win without the Teebs?!  Answer: They won’t.  The Broncos might have some good QB play, but that doesn’t make up for the rest of their less than stellar roster.

Kansas City Chiefs:  The Chiefs are so mediocre it’s incredible.  This team and Matt Cassel will regress as Romeo Crennel steps in and slowly makes this team less and less relevant.

Oakland Raiders:  Is Carson Palmer going to carry a team with a less than average roster to anything more than a season of disappointment and blacked out telecasts?  Probably not.

San Diego Chargers:  San Diego Fans are sick of Norv Turner.  Football fans are sick of Norv Turner.  The Chargers must be sick of him at this point.  If for no other reason than to get Nervous Norv fired, San Diego is going to mail it in this season.

Prediction:  Apparently Peyton Manning is making like Christopher Reeve in South Park.  The Broncos take the AFC West because they manage to lose the fewest games.

You can listen to Kyle Madson every Tuesday night at 7pm PST/ 10pm EST and every Friday at 12pm PST/ 3pm EST on  You can also follow him on Twitter @MadSports8.


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