We’ve gone through weeks of training camp and meaningless preseason games to get to this point – the regular season is about to begin! Here are some bold predictions that will probably sound silly in December.
1) Martavis Bryant is going to have 1,000 yards receiving, 13 touchdowns and will win Comeback Player of the Year.
In almost every article I write, I mention Bryant is going to have a huge year. Why?
a) He has 15 touchdowns in 21 games – and that’s before his suspensions.
b) After a being suspended for a year, all he has heard is criticism over his maturity and intelligence. Think he won’t be motivated?
2) T.J. Watt will have over 10 sacks.
Steelers linebackers usually don’t make much of an impact their rookie year but T.J. Watt could be an exception. He will struggle, but I predict he will have over 10 sacks because the rest of the defense will be much better. Cameron Heyward, Javon Hargrave and Stephon Tuitt are going to wreak havoc on the defensive line. Bud Dupree is going to be much improved and Ryan Shazier is going to be a beast. The secondary will be much improved. Offenses will have to figure out how to stop all those weapons and Watt will capitalize.
3) Landry Jones will save the season.
There are few certainties in life: death, taxes, and Ben Roethlisberger will suffer some injury (or injuries) and miss 1 or 2 games. Landry Jones will have to step in. He’s done it in the past with some success. He’s a good backup, as long as it is just for a game or two.
4) Antonio Brown will have over 2,000 yards receiving.
Brown had a down year statistically in 2016, “only” getting 1,284 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Why? The wide receiver group was decimated with injuries and the suspension of Martavis Bryant. The Steelers fortified the position and now have tremendous depth. Why will Brown have a monster year? Because Martavis Bryant will stretch the field and cause defenses to worry about multiple threats.
5) Le’Veon Bell will rush for over 1,500 yards.
This one is easy. Bell is super motivated after not working out a long term contract and sitting out training camp. He’s heard for months how he’s stupid and selfish. He was designated with the franchise tag so his contract only lasts this year. He needs to have a monster year to get bigger money next year.
6) The only time the Steelers will play the Patriots is in the regular season…and they’ll win.
There’s so much talk of how the Steelers will do against the Patriots in the playoffs since the Patriots seem to always beat the Steelers. Well that won’t be an issue because the Steelers will beat the Patriots on December 17. This will give the Steelers home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Patriots will lose to some team in the playoffs and the Steelers will beat the Raiders in the AFC Championship game and go to the Super Bowl. Message me and I’ll give you next week’s winning lottery numbers!
Lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan here.