Hey everybody, the Madden predictions are back! Why all of the long faces? Oh, because of what I just wrote -- the Madden predictions are back. Well, don't be so glum. Thankfully, many of the Broncos fans who were upset with me because I predicted a Seahawks blowout in this space last season know that it's not my fault.
Here are my predictions for the coming season. Feel free to let me know what an idiot I am down below. Don't worry, I'm a big boy. I can take it.
Prediction:Peyton Manning takes on the NFL this season like he's playing on rookie level as he exceeds his gaudy numbers from last year.
Player most likely to get a boost:Travis Kelce. Have you seen him run? Dude outruns defensive backs.
Outlook: The Raiders made a huge impact in free agency, and are a definite threat to win the 2009 AFC West crown.
Prediction: The Raiders hang for most of the season, especially in games that start before the early-bird special. The team goes 8-8.
Player most likely to get a boost:Keenan Allen has just begun to reach his potential. Last year's rookie breakout didn't even begin the season as a starter and had monster season.
"Madden NFL 15"
Player most likely to get a boost:Tavon Austin. He could have a bunch of plays drawn up for him this season.
Prediction: St. Louis loses a bunch of 12-3 games, but the defense is one of the best in recent history.
Prediction: The 49ers miss the playoffs for the first time in four years. The defense has sustained too many injuries on defense and end up in a ton of shootouts.
Outlook: The Seahawks are coming off the first championship in club history, and are poised for another strong performance this season.
Player most likely to get a boost:Robert Woods. Having Watkins to draw attention should make his job much easier. Put him in the slot and let it fly.
Outlook: The Dolphins kind of seem to reside outside the realm of consciousness of most NFL fans, but have been quietly building a winner.
Player most likely to get a boost:Knowshon Moreno. He seems to be counted out every preseason. And yet, he always seems to come through by the end of the year.
Outlook: The Patriots continue to be one of the most dominant teams in the AFC, and again figure to compete for the conference crown.
Player most likely to get a boost: Tim Wright is a pretty good fit for this offense and will play alongside Rob Gronkowski and thrive.
Outlook: Some might say Rex Ryan had the best coaching performance of his career last season when the team finished 8-8. He'd better hope to be that good again.
Player most likely to get a boost: Geno Smith. Hey, he was somewhat decent last year. Stop laughing, he really was.
Outlook: The Cowboys have been pretty even over the past couple of years with multiple 8-8 finishes. That might be an optimistic outlook with this offense.
Outlook: The Giants have a brand new offense. And it doesn't look very good. Seriously, it looks like a television pilot that's about to be canceled. Yet, you can't stop watching.
Player most likely to get a boost:Rashad Jennings has been underrated at just about every stop along the way.
Player most likely to get a boost:Darren Sproles has been productive for a lot of years, but he's about to reach unprecedented heights for his career.
Prediction: Back-to-back NFC East titles.
Player most likely to get a boost: Freddy Morris. You've been robbing him for years!
Prediction:Bernard Pierce crushes it right out of the gate, and that other guy doesn't get much of a chance to work back into the mix.
Player most likely to get a boost: Mo Sanu. He's given the opportunity because of injuries, and he will make the most of it.
Prediction: The Bengals win the AFC North again. And all of the haters won't give Dalton any credit when he finally breaks through to win a playoff game.
Player most likely to get a boost: No, not Johnny Football. It's got to be Terrance West, who is going to be a beast behind this offensive line.
Prediction: West wins rookie of the year and the Browns are much more competitive than people will imagine.
Outlook: The Steelers are getting older, slower and are in danger of missing the playoffs once again.
Outlook: It's year two of the Marc Trestman show in Chicago, and this offense seems ready to explode. But is the defense, once again, going to be a liability?
Player most likely to get a boost:Alshon Jeffery. He made the leap during his second season, but could reach even greater heights this season.
Prediction:Aaron Rodgers will make more commercials. Too bad it won't mean any more playoff victories.
Outlook: New coach Mike Zimmer makes his long-awaited debut as a head coach. And look, the team is playing outdoors again!
Prediction: The Vikings won't be terrible, but they are the third-best in one of the league's best divisions. And playing in the snow is going to make the team rethink its position to have an indoor stadium. But probably not.
Outlook: Well, it can't be much worse than finishing 2-14 last season. What's that? Ryan Fitzpatrick is the quarterback? Oh wait, it can be.
Player most likely to get a boost: Yeah, the Jadeveon Clowney rating is kind of a joke. If you leave him at linebacker. Move him to the defensive line and he's in the 90s. You won't have to go to such extremes after this season.
Highest rated player:Jurrell Casey (93). Makes sense. Seriously, turn off the snark, I have no complaints.
Prediction:Jake Locker makes significant strides this season and remains healthy for most of the year.
Outlook: The Panthers were one of the surprise teams of 2013, as they went on to win the divisional crown. But the NFC South has never had a repeat division winner.
Highest rated player:Jimmy Graham (97). Hmmm. I'm not sure I can get down with this. He might be the best player in the game. IN. THE. GAME.
Player most likely to get a boost:Mark Ingram. The former bust from Alabama has looked really good during the preseason and figures to have a lock on the No. 1 running back spot.
Highest rated player:Gerald McCoy (95). He should just be the player most likely to get a boost, too.
Player most likely to get a boost: I just said McCoy! Oh, you want another one? All right. LaVonte David (93) is poised to be the best at his position very soon.
AFC West: Denver
AFC East: New England
AFC North: Cincinnati
AFC South: Indianapolis
Wild cards: San Diego, Jacksonville
NFC West: Seattle
NFC East: Philadelphia
NFC North: Chicago
NFC South: New Orleans
Wild cards: Arizona, Green Bay
Champion: New England