An MVP trophy
A perfect record
A new air pump
A redo on that dumb overtime call
A great lawyer
For Charlie Sly to stop pretending he never started that stupid rumor
Russell Bodine (Cincinnati center)
A redo on that snap at the end of the Monday night game (I was there, by the way!)
For everybody to forget Bodine's Christmas list
A good running back
A good offensive line
A good defense
A Super Bowl ring next year
A couple good draft picks
No more rookie mistakes
For the Jaguars to win the Super Bowl
The Denver Brockos
A Super Bowl
For everybody to stop pretending that the Patriots are the best team in the AFC (they aren't!)
For the Patriots to lose
More opportunities to cheat
A better logo
A coach who doesn't look and act exactly like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars
In case anybody disputes this claim:
Well, enough about Star Wars. Enough Christmas lists too. Now, let's review the season.
Top 10 Huge Headlines (in chronological order)
1: Return of the Tebi
Bad pun, but since we were talking about Star Wars and the return of Tim Tebow, I kind of had to. Star quarterback and famous evangelist during the Broncos' Tween era (between Elway and Manning) returned to pro football right before the preseason. He was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles to compete with Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. He was released soon, but not before winning some Eagles games and busting the jersey sales charts. (He'd also be a cool NFL Wars character. Qui-Gon Tim, Obi-Wan Manning's youthful predecessor. Has a nice ring to it.)
2: Brady's Suspension Overturned
I could try and be witty about this. But I found a meme that just about sums it up.
3: The Raiders Aren't Terrible
Who would've guessed? I think you know the answer. Some guy called Luke from HardnoseRocks. He's probably just really lucky. Anyway, the Raiders were a very deserving team this year. They upset several stronger foes. I consider them more worthy of that AFC West Wild Card spot than the Chiefs, who had a meh year and won plenty of games on pure dumb luck. Amari Cooper and Derek Carr will be in Canton someday. I guarantee you.
(P.S.: If they pull a Chris Borland and retire this offseason, please disregard this guarantee.)
4: Todd Gurley is Unbelievable
Gurley will be in Canton as early as possible. His unique combination of speed and strength make him the best running back to be drafted in years. When you have any other running back in the league, the strategy of choice is to run outside. Not Gurley. He can power through the defensive line, and then it's off to the races. And he is faster than any defensive back.
5: Devonta Freeman Breaks Out
In the biggest breakout of the season, Freeman has cemented his status as a star. He and Gurley will be the NFL's best running backs for years to come. However, I know very little about him, so I can't write very much here.
6: Joe Philbin Fired Early
Philbin, who coached the 'Fins for 3 years, was relieved of his duties after an embarrassing start to the season. He was replaced with Dan Campbell, who redeemed the Dolphins from a prospect of a terrible season. The popular tight ends coach gave Miami fire. However, he was not given a permanent job. Philbin's long-term replacement will be offensive genius Adam Gase.
7: Panthers Pursue Perfection
Carolina was last year's postseason surprise story. They were the winner of the worst division of all time, the 2014 NFC South. They were the only playoff team with a losing record. Their story, up to this point, was not unlike that of the Houston Texans. But they won a playoff game over the higher-ranked Arizona Cardinals. They continued by becoming one of the true powerhouses in the NFL. Although they ultimately finished 15-1, they stayed undefeated longer than any other team-up till their penultimate game.
8: Broncos Win Top Seed; Patriots, Packers Go Downhill
Maybe the Broncos can't hold on to leads against mediocre teams, but when they get to the nitty gritty, there's no stopping them. They overcame the Packers and Patriots, who went waaaaay downhill after those losses. Denver exposed their weaknesses, leading them to go almost winless for the rest of the season. The Packers and Pats are expected to fall early in the playoffs, but the Broncos have the strength to go on to the Super Bowl.
9: Charles Woodson Retires
The first-ballot Hall-of-Famer is closing out his illustrious career. And while he played for the Broncos' rivals, it's hard not to respect the wisdom it took to decide to leave. There are players who sit around, going from team to team and getting old, even though they should've retired years ago. Woodson ended a career for the ages this year. His last NFL snap will be in the Pro Bowl, which, even though it isn't a Super Bowl, is a nice way to go out on a good note.
10: Rams Move to LA
I knew we needed a team on another planet! 30 owners apparently agreed. They elected to move the Rams to LA, where hopefully they will sign a franchise quarterback. (I hear Brad Pitt will attend tryouts.) Stan Kroenke, who owns the LA Rams and my favorite hockey team (the Colorado Avalanche) has been in pursuit of a move for quite some time. He even rented a spaceship to transport the players. Well, enough making fun of Los Angeles. If you can tolerate the city, it's an excellent move.
How Will It Add Up?
Now that I've talked about how the season began and middled, it's time to talk about how it will end.
Super Bowl 50
Broncos 27, Panthers 17
MVP: Peyton Manning
Best Backup Trophy: Brock Osweiler (just a thank-you for all he's done for us this season)
Defensive Players to Watch: Von Miller and Luke Kuechly
Offensive Weapons to Watch Ted Ginn and Emmanuel Sanders
Remember when I predicted which players I would give awards to? Neither do I. Had to go back and look at it. This is different. These are the people who I think the NFL guys will crown.
MVP: Cam Newton
Offensive Player: Antonio Brown
Defensive Player: JJ Watt
Seriously, JJ Watt is always the DPOY! Give him MVP one year and make Von Miller or Josh Norman or Chris Harris or Luke Kuechly or Khalil Mack or somebody else DPOY.
Offensive Rookie: Todd Gurley
Defensive Rookie: Marcus Peters
Coach: Bill Belichick
I repeat, these are not who I will give awards to but who they will give awards to.
So, that's it for today! Look forward to NFL Wars: A New Hope, coming to a football blog near you! Also, I'll need to give out some awards soon. My own, not my NFL predictions. And, I'm going to try and put together what exactly happened in Paul Brown Stadium that fateful January day. What I do know: the Steelers did not win that game. The Bengals just lost it. Anyway, see you soon! Thanks for reading!