Thursday, September 4, 2014

You really wanna go there?

..... That was the question I put to my crystal ball (CB) a couple of days ago immediately after finding out who it was predicting to win Super Bowl 49 at the conclusion of the 2014 NFL season. I continued: "You do know that the last 9 teams that won the Super Bowl failed to win it again the following year, don't you?" To which CB replied: "L.O.B." Well, I guess that settles it then. The Seattle Seahawks, who took 38 years to win their first championship in franchise history, will need only 12 months to win their second. If CB is correct , it'll be Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch (photo) and friends raising the Lombardi Trophy - and doing it on the home field of their NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals - when the season ends in February.

As for who the Seahawks will defeat in the Super Bowl, again - more emphatically this time - I asked CB, "You really want to go THERE!?
Come on, CB, the Bengals haven't won a playoff game since ..... since ...... since I can't remember when. And to that CB simply replied, "2014." Huh?? "2014: 20 - Reggie Nelson and 14 - Andy Dalton. 2014 - the year of the Bengal." Oh. Whatever.

Seriously though. I can understand why CB is going with the Seahawks to win it all again. Other than Lynch, their best players are still getting better. Their defense, led by the L.O.B. secondary, has a tough act to follow after allowing a league best 274 yards and 14.4 points per game in 2013. But even if they don't reach that lofty level again, they may not have to. The offense, which averaged 339 yards (18th best), I believe will be greatly improved, especially if WR Percy Harvin can find a way to stay healthy.
Also, it's just time for a team to repeat. In NFL history the longest period of time in which there have been no repeat champions has been 10 years. And 2014 marks 10 years since the 2004 Patriots repeated as champion. So indeed, it's time.

As always, CB has not only predicted the Super Bowl winner but also the winner of all 256 regular season games. Last year CB (and remember, all the picks were made before the start of the season) picked the correct winner in 149 games, a very slight improvement over its 147 winners in 2012. This year CB is forecasting the home field advantage to be a big advantage, as it picked the home team to win 204 of the 256 games. As a result of all those picks, here's how CB sees the divisions ending up.

  1. NE 10-6
  2. NYJ 9-7
  3. MIA 6-10
  4. BUF 4-12
CB: One week after Chris Ivory's TD in overtime defeats Patriots in Week 16 to put Jets in driver's seat in division race, Ivory scores TD with 1:33 to play to give Jets 24-20 lead over Dolphins; but ex-Jet Clyde Gates returns the ensuing kickoff 107 yards for his 1st NFL TD, costing Jets division title and playoff spot.
CB is predicting neither Fred Jackson nor rookie Sammy Watkins, but instead Anthony Dixon will lead Bills in touchdowns with 10, the highest total by any AFC East player with dreads.

  1. CIN 12-4
  2. PIT 10-6
  3. BAL 8-8
  4. CLEV 4-12
CB: With division title on the line at Pittsburgh in Week 17 and Bengals leading 27-21, Dri Archer's 67-yard punt return to the house with 1:51 remaining is nullified by illegal block penalty. Steelers then drive to Bengals 4-yard line, but Reggie Nelson intercepts pass in end zone with :12 on the clock to save game for Cincy.
CB says that with rookie speedster Dri Archer contributing 4 TD, Steelers will lead AFC in total TD scored by players with dreads with 17, one more than Chiefs' total of 16.

  1. IND 12-4
  2. JAC 7-9
  3. HOU 6-10
  4. TEN 3-13

CB is certain that Jadeveon Clowney will begin his Hall of Fame career with 10 sacks in his rookie season, the most of any player with dreads in the league.

  1. SD 11-5
  2. DEN 10-6
  3. KC 6-10
  4. OAK 4-12
CB: Rookie Isaiah Burse's 104-yard return to the house on opening kickoff of overtime gives Broncos 34-28 win over Raiders in Week 17, clinching final AFC wild card playoff berth and knocking Jets out of playoffs.
CB thinks that although Chiefs will struggle, Jamaal Charles will still lead all AFC players with dreads with 14 TD and tie for the league lead among players with dreads.

AFC TIEBREAKERS: Colts clinch #1 seed over Bengals due to head-to-head victory in Week 7 ..... Steelers clinch #5 seed over Broncos due to better record in conference games (PIT 8-4, DEN 7-5)

  1. PHIL 11-5
  2. DAL 8-8
  3. NYG 5-11
  4. WASH 4-12
CB: Richard Sherman intercepts Nick Foles twice in Week 14 showdown in Philly as Seahawks grab upper hand for top spot in conference with 24-16 victory over Eagles.
CB believes free agent WR Andre Roberts will supplant Cowboys WR Dwayne Harris as the NFC East player with dreads with the most TD, scoring 5 TD to 4 by Harris.

  1. CHI 11-5
  2. GB 11-5
  3. MIN 8-8
  4. DET 7-9
TIEBREAKER: Bears clinch 1st place due to better record than Packers in conference games (CHI 8-4, GB 7-5)

CB: With Vikings trailing Bears 20-16 in Week 17 at Minneapolis, Cordarrelle Patterson looks like he will score 84-yard TD run on reverse with less than 2 minutes remaining in game but slips on the icy turf and falls and is tackled at the CHI 15-yard line; Bears hang on to edge Packers for division crown.
CB is positive that Eddie Lacy will have an even better season than his 2013 rookie campaign, finishing with 1,327 yards rushing and tying Jamaal Charles for the NFL lead in most TD by players with dreads with 14.

  1. NO 12-4
  2. CAR 7-9
  3. ATL 6-10
  4. TB 6-10
TIEBREAKER: Falcons clinch 3rd place due to head-to head sweep over Buccaneers (Weeks 3 and 10)

CB: Todd Gurley would look good in a Falcons uniform.
I'll drink to that.
CB has WR Kelvin Benjamin (shown here beating Bills CB Stephon Gilmore for a TD in Preseason Week 1) leading all rookies with dreads with 8 TD catches.

  1. SEA 13-3
  2. ARIZ 10-6
  3. SF 8-8
  4. STL 7-9
CB forecasts that NFC West, aided by 6 TD by rookie Tre Mason, will edge NFC North as the division with the most TD by players with dreads (NFC North edged NFC West 37-36 in 2013).


  • DEN over SD
  • NE over PIT
  • GB over CHI
  • PHIL over ARIZ
  • IND over DEN
  • CIN over NE
  • SEA over GB
  • NO over PHIL
  • CIN over IND
  • SEA over NO
  • Seahawks 27 Bengals 13 (MVP: Marshawn Lynch)
CB: Marshawn Lynch rides off into sunset after rushing for 124 yards and 2 TD to lead Seahawks to 2nd straight crown.
Let me get this straight. You're saying Lynch is going to retire?
CB: I ain't about that action no more, boss.

CHANGES FOR 2014 (Team rosters are very fluid at this time of the year. I try to keep up with the changes, but I might have missed a couple. Please let us know if something is inaccurate.)


These players have cut off their dreads since the end of last season.
  • Lamin Barrow (DEN, rookie)
  • Oniel Cousins (TB)
  • Dashon Goldson (TB)
  • Mario Harvey (IND)
  • Asa Jackson (BAL)
  • Ishmaa'ily Kitchen (CLEV)
  • Joe McKnight (KC)
  • Cam Thomas (PIT)
The following players are also ex-dreads but are currently either free agents or on practice squads. They might be in action at some point in the season.
  • Kevin Cone
  • Tim Dobbins
  • Rogers Gaines
  • Greg Jones
  • Keith Lewis, rookie
  • Craig Loston, rookie
  • Dezman Moses

These players did not have dreads when last season ended but do now.
  • Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah (DET)
  • Joe Barksdale (STL)
  • Brandon Carr (DAL) (photo below, alongside Jaguars CB Will Blackmon in London to hype the Jaguars-Cowboys Week 10 game at Wembley Stadium)
  • Damontre Moore (NYG)
  • Jason Odrick (MIA)
Also with beginner dreads who are currently inactive but may play at some point in the season:
  • Alonzo Highsmith
  • Jamon Meredith
  • Rokevious Watkins
I'll also be keeping tabs on Bills S Da'Norris Dearcy and Saints CB Patrick Robinson, both of whom look like they might be bringing their dreads back after cutting them off a couple of years ago.


I'll list both the team each player played for last season (first) and his new team this season (second and underlined).
  • Robert Ayers (DEN, NYG)
  • LeGarrette Blount (NE, PIT)
  • Anthony Dixon (SF, BUF)
  • Louis Delmas (DET, MIA)
  • Lavar Edwards (TEN, DAL)
  • Quentin Groves (CLEV, TEN)
  • Tyson Jackson (KC, ATL)
  • Mike Jenkins (OAK, TB)
  • Chris Johnson (TEN, NYJ) (photo below, getting lifted by G Willie Colon while celebrating his TD on Aug. 7)
  • David Johnson (PIT, SD)
  • Davin Joseph (TB, STL)
  • Kendrick Lewis (KC, HOU)

  • Dwight Lowery (JAC, ATL)
  • Ricardo Mathews (IND, SD)
  • Dexter McCluster (KC, TEN)
  • Danny McCray (DAL, CHI)
  • Andre Roberts (ARIZ, WASH)
  • Brandon Spikes (NE, BUF) (photo below, congratulating Nickell Robey on his INT on Aug. 16)

  • C.J. Spillman - (SF, DAL)
  • B.W. Webb (DAL, PIT)
  • Willie Young (DET, CHI)


The season ended unfortunately before it even got started for these players, as they were placed on their team's injured reserve list and thus cannot play at all this season.
  • Lonnie Ballentine (HOU, rookie)
  • Mario Butler (BUF)
  • Jermaine Cunningham (NYJ)
  • Greg Jenkins (OAK)
  • Deji Karim (IND)
  • Mistral Raymond (MIN)
  • Demetrius Rhaney (STL, rookie)
  • Khyri Thornton (GB, rookie)


All careers must come to an end at some point, and I'm afraid these players have reached that point.

With his 51 career INT and 6 career pick sixes, CB Asante Samuel might some day end up in the Hall of Fame. Now 33 years old, he has been injured often the last two seasons with the Falcons and unable to play to his ability. He hasn't officially retired, so there is a chance some team will sign him at some point this season.

If you're a corner and you're too slow to cover anybody, it's not a good thing. And it's hard to get a job. That's where 32-year old Dunta Robinson is at right now. Let's be honest - he was brutal with the Chiefs last season in the few chances he got on the field. Maybe he could play for a team that played zone exclusively; but for a man-to-man defense like the Chiefs play, he's useless. We're really going to miss those great dreads, Dunta.

And we're really, really going to miss Sidney Rice's dreads. At age 28 Rice is too young to retire. But he got tired of all the injuries and decided he wanted to be as healthy as possible later in life, and you can't blame him for that. Please click on the link below for an article from the Seahawks' website that briefly reviews his career and mentions what Rice's plans are for the future.
Good luck, Sidney!


  1. You're still doing college dreads right?

    1. Yes.
      I was really busy last week and didn't have time to go over any of the college games.
      I'm planning to start my weekly college reports next week.