Thursday, September 5, 2013

Oh Brother, Here we go again

Yes, it's that time of the year again - the first week in September. Time for the beginning of another NFL season. And in the house of dread, that also means it's time to take a look at what my crystal ball (which I simply call "CB") is predicting will happen during the season. At this time a year ago, in a stroke of genius (or maybe it was just dumb luck) CB predicted the Harbaugh brothers (John and Jim) would be shaking hands after their teams (Ravens and 49ers) met in the Super Bowl. And now what? CB says it's going to happen again? Well, as Lee Corso says, not so fast! Although CB thinks the 49ers and Ravens will both make the playoffs this season, neither one will make a return trip to the Super Bowl. Instead, if CB is correct, there will be a different pair of brothers shaking hands on the field following the NFL's first ever cold weather Super Bowl.

If you've ever taken a boring tour or two in your life, then that hilarious commercial - the one where the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, and their father, Archie, are part of a group taking a tour of ESPN - really hits home. Although that commercial makes fun of the sibling rivalry between Peyton and Eli, I'm sure there's at least one competition that still exists between the two in real life. And in that competition, the scoreboard currently reads: Peyton - one Super Bowl victory, Eli - two Super Bowl victories. Now as fierce a competitor as Peyton is, and as great a player he still is at age 37, do you honestly believe he's going to retire from the NFL having won fewer Super Bowls than his little brother?

Well, CB thinks Peyton is fixin' to change the score this year. Not only will he lead the Denver Broncos to victory in the Super Bowl, he'll do it with Eli's team - the New York Giants - on the opposing sideline.
Yes, it is a well-known fact that no NFL team has ever played in a Super Bowl on their home field. And this year, that's bad news for both the Giants and the N.Y. Jets. But CB is going way out on a limb, confident the Giants will break that streak - only to be denied the championship on their home field by the Broncos next February.

As always, CB has predicted the winner of every game before the Super Bowl too. Last year CB was correct on 147 of the 256 regular season games in its predictions made entirely before the season began - a win percentage of .574 and (as was promised) an improvement from 141 correct picks in 2011. What's the forecast for 2013? Well, here it is, with CB's exact words (some plausible, some that will make you roll your eyes) in italics.  

  • 1. MIA 11-5
  • 2. NE 10-6
  • 3. NYJ 4-12
  • 4. BUF 2-14
CB: With Jets bidding for Week 17 upset, Chris Ivory leaps toward the end zone on 1st and goal just before the 2-minute warning but is hit by Dannell Ellerbe short of the goal line and fumbles the ball. Dolphins recover and hang on to win 17-13 and clinch division crown. 

CB: Jadeveon Clowney Buffalo bound.
CB is predicting an unprecedented 4 players with dreads for the Jets will score TD this season, including the first 3 career TD for WR Clyde Gates.

  • 1. CIN 12-4
  • 2. BAL 10-6
  • 3. CLEV 6-10
  • 4. PIT 6-10
TIEBREAKER: Browns clinch 3rd place due to better record than Steelers in division games  (CLEV 3-3, PIT 1-5)

CB: With 17 seconds to play and Ravens leading by 3 in Week 17 thriller at Cincinnati, Bengals call surprise draw play and BenJarvus Green-Ellis rumbles 42 yards to the house to clinch division title.
CB expects Jabaal Sheard to lead all players with dreads in sacks with a career high 12, just edging out Steelers rookie Jarvis Jones.

  • 1. HOU 12-4
  • 2. IND 8-8
  • 3. TEN 6-10
  • 4. JAC 5-11
CB is predicting DeAndre Hopkins will lead AFC rookies with dreads in touchdowns with 10.

  • 1. DEN 13-3
  • 2. KC 8-8
  • 3. OAK 5-11
  • 4. SD 3-13
CB: Dramatic increase in number of players with dreads not enough to help Chargers and Raiders.
According to CB, Dexter McCluster will score a career high 5 TD in 2013, helping Chiefs edge Browns for AFC lead in TD by players with dreads.

AFC TIEBREAKERS: Bengals clinch #2 seed over Texans due to better record in common games (CIN 4-1, HOU 3-2) ....... Ravens clinch #5 seed over Patriots due to head-to-head victory in Week 16.

  • 1. NYG 9-7
  • 2. WASH 9-7
  • 3. DAL 9-7
  • 4. PHIL 5-11
TIEBREAKERS: Giants clinch 1st place due to better record in head-to-head games than Cowboys and Redskins (NYG 3-1, WASH 2-2, DAL 1-3) ....... Redskins clinch 2nd place due to better strength of victory than Cowboys (WASH 71, DAL 64)
CB: With Redskins leading Giants 23-21 in Week 17, 4th down pass to Victor Cruz is incomplete with 1:13 to play; but helmet-to-helmet hit on Cruz by Brandon Meriweather draws personal foul penalty that moves ball into range for Giants' game-winning and division-clinching FG.
CB says that by default Dwayne Harris will be the NFC East player with dreads with the most TD, doubling last season's total from 2 to 4 TD.

  • 1. DET 11-5
  • 2. GB 10-6
  • 3. MIN 8-8
  • 4. CHI 8-8
TIEBREAKER: Vikings clinch 3rd place due to better record than Bears in common games (MIN 7-7, CHI 6-8)

CB: With :03 on the clock and game tied in Week 17 at Chicago, Packers fake 42-yard FG attempt and Jamari Lattimore looks like he will score; but desperation tackle by Khaseem Greene forces him to fumble, and Tim Jennings scoops it up and returns it 97 yards to the house, allowing Lions to back in to division title.
CB has Eddie Lacy (above) leading all rookies with dreads with 12 TD and has Tim Jennings (below) again leading all players with dreads (but not leading the league) with 7 INT.
  • 1. ATL 10-6
  • 2. CAR 8-8
  • 3. NO 7-9
  • 4. TB 5-11
Now wait a minute, CB, aren't you the one always reminding me that the NFC South has never had a repeat winner?
CB: There's a first time for everything.
That's it? Anything else?
CB: Falcons edge Seahawks for league lead in TD by players with dreads.
CB believes an 1,139-yard, 10-TD season by veteran Steven Jackson will help Falcons repeat as division winners and also help lead Falcons to crown for the team with the most TD by players with dreads.

  • 1. SEA 14-2
  • 2. SF 13-3
  • 3. STL 6-10
  • 4. ARIZ 3-13
CB: With Rams leading by 7 and bidding for Week 17 upset, Marshawn Lynch takes a screen pass 24 yards to the house with :18 on the clock to send game into OT, where Richard Sherman's 25-yard pick 6 on 3rd play from scrimmage cliches win and division title for Seahawks.
CB likes Marshawn Lynch to once again be the leader among all players with dreads with 14 TD.

  • NE over HOU
  • BAL over MIA
  • GB over ATL
  • NYG over SF
  • DEN over NE
  • BAL over CIN
  • SEA over GB
  • NYG over DET

CB: With Lions leading Giants 28-27 in final minute, 39-yard pass interference penalty on Rashean Mathis moves Giants into range for game-winning FG on final play.

  • DEN over BAL
  • NYG over SEA
CB: Would-be game-winning 45-yard pick 6 by Richard Sherman in overtime nullified by roughing the passer penalty against Bruce Irvin. That plus unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Sherman for taking his helmet off moves Giants into range for game-winning FG.

  • Broncos 23 Giants 19 (MVP: Nate Irving). No, scratch that. CB always picks somebody with dreads to be the MVP. We all know that the MVP of Super Bowl 48 will be Peyton Manning. 
CB: Goodell embarrassed as Super Bowl is played in half-empty stadium due to crippling ice storm in NYC metro area, making travel impossible

Well, that'll serve them right for scheduling the Super Bowl for New York.



Players who had dreads when last season ended but do not have them anymore
  • Nate Burleson (DET)
  • Terrence Cody (BAL)
  • Darnell Dockett (ARIZ)
  • Josh Evans (JAC, rookie)
  • William Gay (PIT)
  • Bruce Irvin (SEA)
  • Michael Johnson (CIN)
  • Rashad Johnson (ARIZ)

  • Patrick Lewis (CLEV, rookie)
  • Torrey Smith (BAL)
  • Earl Thomas (SEA)
  • Isaiah Trufant (NYJ)
  • Spencer Ware (SEA, rookie)
  • Ryan Williams (ARIZ)
  • Kyle Wilson (NYJ)
These ex-dreads are currently not on anyone's roster but may be later on in the season:
  • Steve Breaston
  • Cornelius Brown
  • LaRon Byrd
  • Kennard Cox
  • Darren Evans
  • Jerrell Harris
  • Greg Jones (the LB, not the FB)
  • Kyle Love

Players who did not have dreads when last season ended but have started growing them since then:
  • Robert Ayers (DEN)

  •  Greg Childs (MIN) 
  • Patrick Edwards (DET)
  • Asa Jackson (BAL)
  • Mike Patterson (NYG)
  • Brandon Pettigrew (DET)
  •  J.T. Thomas (JAC)
  • Jarius Wright (MIN)
I'm also welcoming to the house the following players who I was not sure if they had dreads or not last season but I'm kind of sure they do now:
  • LeGarrette Blount (NE)
  • Stephen Burton (JAC)
  • T.Y. Hilton (IND)
  • Cliff Matthews (ATL)
  • Ropati Pitoitua (TEN)


A HUGE number of players with dreads have changed teams since last season. Here's where they all are now:
  • E.J. Biggers (WASH)
  • Desmond Bishop (MIN)
  • Willie Colon (NYJ)
  • Dannell Ellerbe (MIA)
  • Dashon Goldson (TB)
  • DeJon Gomes (DET)
  • Alex Green (NYJ)
  • Winston Guy (JAC)
  • Jason Hunter (OAK)
  • Chris Ivory (NYJ)

  • Steven Jackson (ATL)
  • Ricky Jean Francois (IND)
  • Mike Jenkins (OAK)

  • Greg Jones (HOU) (the FB, not the LB)
  • Terrell Manning (SD)
  • Sen'Derrick Marks (JAC)
  • Richard Marshall (SD)
  • Rashean Mathis (DET)

  • Dezman Moses (KC)
  • Drake Nevis (SD)
  • Dunta Robinson (KC)
  • Chris Scott (CAR)
  • Kelvin Sheppard (IND)
  • Pat Sims (OAK)
  • Darryl Tapp (WASH)
  • Greg Toler (IND)
  • Erik Walden (IND)

  • Reggie Walker (SD)
  • Philip Wheeler (MIA)
  • Usama Young (OAK)

Bringing the sick dreads back to Miami. Linebackers Philip Wheeler (on left in both photos) and Dannell Ellerbe (and their dreads) get acquainted (above) during an offseason workout in April after both signing with the Dolphins as free agents. The two hope to be holding several meetings at the quarterback, like the one they had against Tampa Bay (right) in the preseason.


Season-ending injuries are one of the worst things about football. And having dreads doesn't make you immune from getting them. The following players with dreads will not be playing this season because they were put on the injured reserve list after suffering serious injuries during the preseason:
  • Quinton Carter (DEN)
  • Jonathan Cooper (ARIZ, rookie)
  • DuJuan Harris (GB)
  • Emmanuel Lamur (CIN)
  • Kealoha Pilares (CAR)
  • Phillip Thomas (WASH, rookie)
  • Brennan Williams (HOU, rookie)
  • Nick Williams (PIT, rookie)

The Arizona Cardinals' hopes for improved play from their offensive line likely went down the drain when 1st round draft pick Jonathan Cooper suffered a broken leg during preseason Week 3. Get well ASAP, Jonathan, and hope you come back 100% next year.


There comes a time when either injury or old age causes your career to end. Hopefully I'll be wrong, but I think we've seen the last of these dreads in the NFL:
You don't think the Patriots would bring WR Deion Branch back again, do you?
FB Corey McIntyre and his vampire mouthpiece have been fixtures with the Bills for several seasons. But this year the Bills didn't bring him back.
We've watched WR Donte' Stallworth's dreads grow longer and longer since they debuted in 2004; but unless the Redskins change their mind, Stallworth's time in the league appears to be over.

Last but not least, Mike Peterson, at left making his best play of 2012, stopping RB Doug Martin in the open field for a 2-yard loss on 3rd and goal, forcing Buccaneers to settle for a FG in a game the Falcons won by 1 point. Peterson, drafted by the Colts 1999 (one year after Peyton Manning) started out with braids in 2002 then switched to dreads in '04 while with the Jaguars. After 4 seasons in Indy, 6 in Jacksonville, and 4 more with the Falcons .... well, he should make the Hall of Fame just for lasting that long. We're going to miss you - and the dreads - Mike.

No comments:

Post a Comment