What are your thoughts on how the team you root for will do?
Everything I've seen coming out of Ravens camp bodes very very well for the regular season. For the first time since 2015 training camp, Flacco came in under injured and is 100% healthy. And it really shows. Combined with the fact that the Ravens completely revamped the WR corps from last year (363 completions and 3235 receiving yards by Ravens in 2017, only 144 of those receptions and 1063 of those yards were by players still on the team.) Flacco and the entire offense has looked sharp.
Luckily for the Ravens, Dean Pees retired and then unretired to join the Titans this offseason, so that's a huge milestone removed from the neck of the defense. I expect the defense will finish a lot more games in the 4th quarter this year compared the rate during the tenure of Dean Pees.
Who do you think will be in the Super Bowl?
Obviously biased, but I'm thinking Flacco will have a career year and replicate his 2012 playoff run, winning the Ravens the Super Bowl against... let's say the Rams. The Rams looks like they've done a good job of buying a team for this year, but it's been rare that a team that was built that way to actually win the Super Bowl.
Are there any players that you think will have a breakout season?
Marlon Humphrey was lights out last year, but he was the #3 CB for a lot of the year and as a result his season didn't really get noticed. But this year at some point he'll take over the starting position from Brandon Carr (I feel kind of bad when that happens, because Carr has never missed a start in his career.) And when he does take that spot, the rest of the NFL will be on notice.
Hayden Hurst and Orlando Brown Jr. are possibilities to win starting spots on the Ravens, the former more so than the latter, but I don't know if they're necessarily rookies to watch. As far as the rest of the NFL, all the rookie QBs who will start, we get to see all the horrible decisions that terrible teams make that keep them on the bottom of the pile. (Jets/Browns)
Is some player, or players, going to have a down year?
I think the three B's in Pittsburgh will have a down year (Ben/Brown/Bell). Brown has a quad injury which means he'll miss training camp and likely won't be 100% to start the season. Bell is skipping training camp again thanks to his contract dispute and will get off to a slow start just like last year. And without his two playmakers at 100%, Big Ben will falter too. (Totally not a biased opinion there.)
What do you think of the new helmet rule?
I don't like it, but I recognize the fact that the league needs to make the game safer and if this is one of the trade-offs that has to happen, then so be it.
Did the highly trained, uber-intelligent brain scientists on the NFL Rules Committee finally discover what a "catch" is?
Frankly I never had a problem with the old catch rule. Maintaining control of the ball while going to the ground seemed fairly clear to me. I think people are going to get seriously hacked off at the new rule once we start seeing a massive increase in a fumbles after plays which previously would have been ruled incomplete passes are now ruled fumbles.
Which team will win the coin toss on November 11th (Week 10) between the Cardinals and the Chiefs?
The coin will land on its side and both teams will receive, resulting in the game never starting and both teams missing the playoffs after forfeiting their entire remaining schedule waiting for the other team to blink and kick-off.
Will Bill Belichick give a press conference where the only intelligible response he gives is, "mumble grumble brmmph hmm something something mshluggunovitz"?
I'd be comfortable predicting he'll have that press conference in the next 24 hours.
How many times will Trump tweet about the National Anthem? (Stop it! I said, No Politics! Bad Howie!
Only three times... in the first five minutes after the Eagles and Falcons kick off. And all of them will come across as whiny petty comments. However I also predict that he will only end two of them with "sad".
Will Howie run his annual NFL Weekly Competition?
I hope not. However the lucky coin which did quite well last year does hope so.
OK, are there any other predictions you would like to make? Let's hear 'em!
I predict that Joe Flacco will throw for 4,000 yards and 25 TDs.
Because I've predicting that every year since Joe Flacco's 3rd year in the season, I might as well keep predicting it until it's true.