More predictions come gliding in as the NFL machine continues to shift into high gear. Here are a few surprising ideas.
Blake Bortles will lead Jaguars to playoffs
Preaseason is not the same animal as the regular season. So the euphoria over how well quarterback Blake Bortles started against Tampa Bay must be kept in check. At the same time, what Gus Bradley has building on defense for the Jacksonville Jaguars is very exciting. This team suddenly isn’t the talent deficient group it once was. With a nice mix of young and veteran players, the Jaguars will ride their D and 1st round draft pick through the wide open AFC South to the playoffs.
Nick Foles throws ten times the interceptions of 2013
Sometimes guys get into a season-long zone and it’s hard to get out. Nick Foles experienced that in 2013. As starter last season, he threw 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. It was easily the most efficient year for any NFL quarterback in the league, leading some anoint him as a future elite. However, one thing about pro football is it has a tendency to burst bubbles. During his first preseason action in Chicago, Foles looked flustered and indecisive on three offensive drives, throwing two bad interceptions. Granted that doesn’t mean he’s going to suddenly fall apart, but it may hint the Eagles signal caller is crashing back to Earth. Not only will he throw more interceptions than last season, he will throw around 20, ten times that number.
Houston Texans lead league in sacks but still have worst record
He may not have had a sack in his first game but Jadeveon Clowney didn’t take very long to show his incredible talent at outside linebacker for the Houston Texans by blowing up a running play in the backfield. The highly anticipated tandem of him and J.J. Watt is going to wreck offensive lines in 2014. In fact they will lead the league in sacks when it’s all said and done. However, like last season, the ongoing headaches on offense will prove too much to overcome as Houston finishes with the worst record for the second-straight season.
Kansas City will not re-sign Alex Smith
Alex Smith believes his new contract won’t be anything like what Andy Dalton got. That is a fair assumption, but if he thinks that new deal is coming from the Kansas City Chiefs, he better reserve his anticipation just yet. There are some factors working against him. First of all, he just turned 30-years old. That may not sound so bad but when considering hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s very important. Second, from a stat point of view nothing about his 2013 season was that great. Lastly, and most important, while Smith has been busy demanding his money, head coach Andy Reid has busily stocked his roster with young arms including Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray.
Those are some quality talents with great college backgrounds and Reid is known as a quarterback specialist. He has never fears moving on from proven names before and it’s doubtful Alex Smith will change that.