And so the SoFlo Sea Mammals suit up for another round of sixteen. Some big changes. But were they big enough? Time will tell. A lot of our AFC peers did some big time moving and shaking over the offseason. The Bifecta has taken a seat at a high stakes Let it Ride table, and plunked a whole lotta chips on a whole lotta Henne. Here’s how we see it shaking out.
VS. NEW ENGLAND – We’re going to blitz the hell out of Tom Brady tonight. Ocho doesn’t scare me deep anymore, and Welker is a slot Jedi. Brandon Tate’s been sent packing. Who is going to burn us for 60 yards if we bring the house? I think Mike Nolan has a good chance to shake Brady early, and that’s what you’ve got to do to beat the Patsies. Offense shows enough. Bush turns a few classic Henne dump-offs into big plays. Sea Mammals, 27-24
VS. HOUSTON – Okay, so we’re cheating a bit by filing this story on a Monday morning. Houston beat the hoofs off of the baby horses on Sunday, though Papa Colt has some sort of neck issue that you may have heard about in passing. Still, they look improved enough on defense to win a lot of games. We already know they can score. But can we? A valiant effort, but we lose a heartbreaker. Texans, 21-20.
AT CLEVELAND – The Browns offense isn’t there yet. Colt McCoy is servicable, but will be a welcome break from some of the beastly signal callers on our schedule. Hillis is the type of runner our defense will swarm. Chalk this one of for the good guys. Sea Mammals, 28-14.
AT SAN DIEGO – How Norv “Al Gore’s Long Lost Cousin” Turner still has a job is beyond us. The Chargers featured both the #1 offense and defense in football last season, yet they watched as Kansas City marched into the playoffs. Reggie Bush will be primed to make waves in this return to his old stomping grounds, but we think the Bolts will strike one time too many. Chargers, 31-27.
AT NEW YORK JETS – We’re going to split with these bastards. They seem to get all the bounces when we play them in the Big Apple, and this will be no exception. Dallas did well against their running game, but Dirty Sanchez piled up the yards. Slugfest in this one, but they edge us out. Guys Riding On Firemen’s Shoulders, 17-14
VS DENVER – The Kyle Orton Bowl will be much anticipated. We came within an inch of acquiring The Neckbearded Wonder, before the Broncos realized that Tim Tebow is a gadget fullback. If we fall at home because of Orton’s arm, coupled with a cruddy performance by Henne, this could be the game that decides the fate of The Bifecta. We would be 2-4 at that point. But we’re going to chalk this one up as a win. Sea Mammals, 31-28.
AT NEW YORK GIANTS – Eli can be blitzed to death, and that is exactly what we’re going to do. I think we match up well against the Giants, and despite playing up north we’ll chalk up a big win. Henne does his best Rex Grossman impression. 300+ yards, 3TDs. Sea Mammals, 27-20.
AT KANSAS CITY – The Chiefs can’t be as bad as they looked on opening day. Still, I won’t be buying any stock in Matt Cassell Inc. Not sure if I buy him as a long term guy. We withstand a big day from Jamaal Charles, and edge out the home team. Sea Mammals, 24-21.
VS WASHINGTON – I love the hell out of it that the Redskins declined a day off after their impressive win over the New York football Giants. This team is for real, and Rex is better than people think. An improved defense will put too much pressure on Henne. Racist Team Name, 27-17.
VS BUFFALO – Okay, so the Bills just beat the living peyote out of the Chiefs. We’re not sure exactly how big of a win that was, as KC is banged up and may have been a paper tiger last year. So while Buffalo is on the rise, we still say our defense slows them enough for the W. Sea Mammals, 24-21.
AT DALLAS – Turkey Day classic. I think this will be a great game. Amazing matchups with Dez/Miles versus Vontae/Sean. However, Felix Jones breaks a big one and Dallas holds off a late drive, taking it out of Tony Uh-Oh’s hands. Cowpokes 27-21.
VS OAKLAND – With Nnnadamnni Ashoooomugahwah gone, we expect some serious vulnerability in the Oakland secondary. This will be the coming out party for Clyde Gates. A big day for Henne too, as yards on the ground will be hard to come by. Sea Mammals 24-17.
VS PHILADELPHIA – Vick, McCoy, Desean, Maclin, Celek. And a defense with plenty of names as well. The Fins will put up quite a fight against the Iggles, but their weapons will be too much down the stretch. One blown coverage and Desean can get you right in the jugular. Bald Birds, 31-27.
AT BUFFALO – The first of two winter games. Again, it’s cheating that we are punching this up after Sunday’s tilts, but Buffalo isn’t going to be a bottom feeder anymore. We think we’ll split against these (gulp) improving Bills. Fitzpatrick to Steve Johnson for the win as the flakes fall. Toronto Bison, 21-20.
AT NEW ENGLAND – 21 degrees. Snow showers. Unlike in the season opener, pretty boy Tom gets in a groove, and slices and dices for a few TDs to Welker and the TEs Gronk’ and Hernandez. We try to keep New England off the field with our ground game, but even in crap weather Brady can move his team in no time. Patsies, 24-17.
VS NEW YORK JETS – We sack Sanchez four times and pick him off twice. Henne makes a case to remain Miami’s starter. A win for Miami. But sadly we’ve been nixed from the playoff race. It’s a win for pride, and leaves us at 8-8. Sea Mammals, 20-14.
The shocking surprise? A .500 finish earns The Bifecta another season. It’s in part because the lockout both scrambled and shortened this offseason. It’s also because our schedule is tough as hell. The team’s improvement will be evident when you set aside the wins and losses. Ross will also be gunshy enough after last season’s job search debacle to sit tight and allow Tony and Jeff one more round to put the final pieces in place.
That’s just how we see the chips falling. We hope we’re several wins off in our prediction, and we would love to be proven wrong.
GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose.