About a half an hour ago I got a text from a good friend of mine.
This is one of my oldest pals, a founding father of my fantasy football league, a guy who’s wedding I was in… you get the picture, we go way back.
My friend, we’ll call him Jason, is a pretty bold dude. He’s a swashbuckler when it comes to fantasy football. “Hey man I’ll give you Pierre Thomas for Matt Forte. It really makes sense for you. Pierre was born in November and that’s five months after your birthday so it just fits.” he’s always trying to fleece somebody!
Every league needs that person and every guy needs a friend like Jason. He’s someone who I can depend on, talk trash to, and always depend on… especially to be bold.
Aside from what I’ve already shared I should tell you that Jason is a big time Denver Broncos fan. He hails from the Rocky Mountain area so don’t worry, he’s not a bandwagon fan or anything. He’s a Texas boy so he’s seen his team play in both Houston and Dallas.
I’ve urged Jason to go catch a game in the extreme altitudes of Denver, Colorado… but things have just never worked out. Until now.
I got a text message at 10:40am on Friday morning that reads:
“So I may or may not have bought tickets to the AFC Championship this morning….”
That’s the Jason I know!
His boldness is here is something I admire. His team has a ticket to the Super Bowl on the line so he got one to go see them try and punch it. Bravo, Jason!
Here’s your ticket to this week’s Bold Predictions. It’s the probability of them, not the altitude, that’s tall and intimidating. Let’s go.
Peyton Manning Will Be Like Old Peyton Manning
If you read last week’s Bold Predictions then you saw me give Peyton a deep dish of cold disrespect. Manning didn’t exactly light the world on fire last week against the Steelers, and I still think New England will win this game, but Peyton looked unlike his 2015 self and that’s promising.
The thing with this prediction is… why not, man? The dude that sits up in the top of the stadium when Peyton plays walked out of the NFL in a similar, although less disastrous, way that Peyton is trying to. In the land of fairytales and gumdrops… couldn’t it happen again?
The Broncos are going to have to run the ball. That’s been their M.O. as far as sustainable success this season. A strong run game coupled with their elite defense are their keys to success.
Well Peyton is going to have to put those keys in the ignition and make some plays. It sure would be great for the game if he could reach deep, deep, deep down in his barrel of talent and pull one out… just for old times.
Julian Edelman Will Break The Record For Most Catches In An NFL Game
The Broncos boast one of the NFL’s top defensive units this season.
They’re great at every level, and they can get some serious pressure on the quarterback.
Tom Brady is going to have to get rid of the ball very quickly on Sunday. Consider that New England doesn’t have much of a run game and this becomes an even more likely thing. Get ready to see Tom throwing tons of screens and quick passes.
That’s where Julian Edelman comes in.
Edelman is one of my favorite players in the NFL. You can actually see the effort that he gives and his never-going-to-quit mentality. He’s going to do everything that he can to win this game for his team, and that’s going to include catching a ton of passes.
The NFL record for most catches in a Playoff Game was set by Darren Sproles in January of 2012 against the 49ers. That was the epic clash between New Orleans and Alex Smith that you surely remember. Sproles finished the day with 15 catches.
The NFL record for most catches in any game period was set by Brandon Marshall, coincidentally, as a member of the Denver Broncos. It happened during the 2009 season against the Peyton-led Indianapolis Colts. Brandon took his place atop the record books with 21 catches.
Julian Edelman is going to break both of those. Boom.
Cam Newton Will Throw For Over 500 Yards
How great is the NFC Championship going to be?
Jason won’t be there, but man this is going to be fun to watch.
There are those who think that this game will be a tight and low-scoring affair, but count me as someone who thinks we’re going to see some fireworks in the battle for the George Halas Trophy.
To be able to raise that trophy at the end of the day is going to take a herculean effort by one of these teams, and by one of these players. Cam Newton is, certainly, this season’s MVP. He’ll need to be this game’s if he wants to win.
The Cardinals are so much deeper than the Panthers offensively that it’s, perhaps unfairly, going to fall onto the shoulders of Superman as it seems to have time and time again this season. It is for that reason that in order to go blow for blow with Arizona that Cam is going to have to air it out… to the tune of over 500 yards.
There have only been 18 500 (or more) yard games in the history of the NFL… and a big, round zero of them have come in the Playoffs.
Cam is going to make history.
Larry Fitzgerald Will Catch 4 Touchdowns
Is Larry Fitzgerald still running against the Packers in Overtime? Have they tackled him yet? What a finish to last week’s game, am I right?!
Larry Fitzgerald is one of the greatest Playoff performers of all-time. In 8 career playoff games Fitzgerald has 53 catches for 912 yards and 10 touchdowns. That’s insane!
Sure, 4 touchdowns in a tall order… even for the greatest wide receivers. Fitz has come close to that mark before, though. In fact he did it in an NFC Championship Game!
During the 2008 NFC Championship Game against the Eagles, Larry Fitzgerald had 9 catches for 152 yards and 3 touchdowns!
Fitz is going for four on Sunday.
The Coins Will All Flip
Last week in the game that Larry Fitzgerald finished off, we saw one of the more improbable things ever happen in an NFL game… and it had nothing to do with football.
Clete Blakeman, the referee for the contest, went to midfield to gather the two sets of captains before the overtime period began. He explained the rules and asked if everyone was good to go. Pretty standard, right?
Well in Clete’s defense… we had just seen one of the most thrilling sequences in NFL History. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay packers converted two Hail Mary attempts to tie the game as time expired. It was quite exciting.
After asking for a side of the coin which Green Bay preferred Blakeman tossed it in the air like Aaron Rodgers had just done with his Hail Mary… for the coin to not flip at all! How is this possible? What are the odds?!
Al Michaels was totally right when he said on the call that if Clete tried 100 times, he would never be able to do that again. It was just another crazy element to a crazy game of football.
So look for all the coins to flip this weekend. If not look for Clete Blakeman to be around the corner somewhere nearby.