I don’t dive into prediction season like some others, but when I do, I dip my toes into the waters once a year when I make my annual summertime Vegas trip before football season gets under way. And since we’re right in the heart of prediction season, I feel like it’s a relevant time to share that I have the Bears and Broncos making the playoffs, DeAndre Hopkins leading the league in receiving yards, Leonard Fournette winning the rushing crown, Derek Carr airing it out to have the most passing yards, the Lions winning fewer than 7.5 games, and the Bears winning the Super Bowl (at 100-1).
Best of luck to everyone in our rooting interests. Now, onto what’s happening elsewhere in the NFL.
- Meaningful regular season football returns to your television sets tonight with the Philadelphia Eagles raising their Super Bowl banner against the Atlanta Falcons. If you’re a Falcons fan, you’re probably sick of being on the short end of history. Last year, Atlanta came painfully close to upsetting the Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs. The year before, well, we all know about the blown 28-3 lead. Yeah, I’d be sick of football, too.
- Well, at least Atlanta has hot tracks to jam to when times are rough:
- It’s officially prediction season, so here are some that have stood out to me today:
2018 NFL season predictions. Gonna pin so you can mock all season long…
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) September 6, 2018
- A Bears player winning Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year would probably mean Vic Fangio’s defense had a big year. Frankly, we’re here for it
- Oh, and we are very much here for this:
3. Very Bold Super Bowl Prediction:
Bears beat the Jaguars
MVP: Khalil Mack
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) September 6, 2018
- Awful Announcing’s broadcast primer provides everything you need to know about who’s calling the games you’ll be watching in 2018. Remember, FOX has Thursday Night Football this year with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the call. ESPN has a brand new Monday Night Football booth, too. CBS Sports brings back Tony Romo as Jim Nantz’s sidekick. Because fresh starts are en vogue right now, I’m giving all of the booths a clean slate for 2018.
- In what is somewhat of a surprising twist, no one signed Peyton Manning to join their booth for this upcoming season. The popular Manning was thought to be the next ex-quarterback to jump from the playing field to the booth. Instead, Manning didn’t follow in Romo’s footsteps. And from a league perspective, that’s a shame. Because as Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! writes, the NFL misses Peyton Manning more than you might expect.
- Don’t forget to set your fantasy lineups! BetChicago.com’s Thomas Casale has start ’em/sit ’em advice for Week 1, so now would be a good time to do a double check before the game kicks off. Now is a good time to maximize your point totals by starting your best quarterbacks and receivers while the weather is nice. When the calendar turns to November and December, finding favorable match-ups for your favorite pass-catchers and signal callers might be tough sledding.
- It’s a roll of the dice to take Cam Newton in your fantasy league. Because even though Newton will throw for his share of yards and scores, while also poaching rushing touchdowns from Christian McCaffrey, he’s also working in a new offense with a ton of new weapons. And it’s not like he had the extra practice time some other quarterbacks you might be more familiar with. Newton tells the Charlotte Observer, “We don’t know what we have yet. That’s why Sunday is so important. … Before we start foreshadowing things, and kind of expecting things … we’re all just trying to focus on winning football games.” Winning is everything. So with that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if Newton sacrifices some stats for the greater good of wins because that’s what good leaders do.
- And if you have Le’Veon Bell in your lineup, now is a good time to find a replacement:
- Here’s something you never see – players going after their teammate when their teammate is going through a contract dispute:
More Ramon Foster on Bell: “He’s making 7 times what I make twice as much as Al (Villanueva) is making and we’re the guys who do it for him.”
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) September 5, 2018
- It’s a shame Bell isn’t playing because these are some rad kicks:
This will be Le’Veon Bell’s player exclusive Jordan cleats this year if he ever gets on the field pic.twitter.com/G6459qZloe
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 6, 2018
- This Nathan Peterman hype video should have Bills fans immediately clamoring for Josh Allen:
- The New York Jets made it officially official earlier in the week when they announced Sam Darnold would be the team’s starting quarterback. He’ll take on a Lions team with the full support of Jets fans and the rest of the NFC North.
- I missed this last week when Mike Glennon was reportedly generating interest on the trade block, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. Glennon is entrenched as the Arizona Cardinals’ third-string quarterback behind Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen. The Bears travel out west to face the Cardinals in Week 3, but it would take some bad luck (from the Cardinals’ side of things) for Glennon to take snaps against his former team.
- Even though he still isn’t playing football, Colin Kaepernick has been in the news this week. I found this perspective from Nate Boyer to be interesting. Boyer is the Green Beret who asked Kaepernick to kneel instead of sit during the national anthem, as a sign of respect to fallen soldiers while making his statement about police brutality. Writing op-eds isn’t easy, so I implore you carve some time out of your day to give this a full read.