Condolences & Congratulations: Bold predictions for the 2022 NFL season
Seaside Boldness: What to expect from what you're not expecting
If this goes out on Tuesday, it will indeed be e-mailed to you rather late at night. You just never know what will happen at Seaside Joe: After Dark.
In case you somehow missed the day time posts on Monday and Tuesday, don’t forget to vote in the Pete Carroll prediction poll (the answers WILL SHOCK YOU!!!) and especially do not miss out on these 12 highlights from Kenneth Walker III.
Speaking of predictions and highlights, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few of my bolder prognostications about the NFL season in a bonus article for Regular Joes. Upgrading to R.J. is only $5 a month or sign-up for the whole year because Seaside Joe is literally the most consistently reliable Seahawks resource on the internet: Who else can commit to writing for another year than someone who hasn’t missed a day since the inception of the newsletter in March, 2019?
Or if you don’t, that’s chill too, we’re still going to have an amazing year together. Maybe Richard Linklater will even make a movie about it. “My Year with Joe.”
As we always say around here, predictions are tough and it’s almost always a losing proposition. It’s not that you will be wrong more often than if you just made predictions at random—which you will be—it’s also that people rarely care about what you got right. They’ll remember what you got wrong.
Therefore, predictions should never be made to prove that you’re the smartest person in the room. Instead, use bold predictions as opportunities to highlight why you believe something that most others don’t seem to see yet.
And do always be bold; I hate it when analysts give us answers that we’ve come to expect. It’s not that I expected anyone to predict that the Cincinnati Bengals would win the AFC last season, but those who picked the Chiefs, Bills, Ravens, Colts, Patriots, or the team that I liked, the Chargers, were all wrong.
That’s my point on why predictions are a losing game: We thought we had enough figured out to assume that at least one of the 14 or so AFC teams ranked ahead of the Bengals a year earlier would win the AFC. We know nothing.
What will happen in 2022? As Pete Carroll said on Monday, “We don’t know!” So along with my inevitably-wrong predictions, I’ll add in some congratulations…as well as condolences.
These are not my basic predictions. These are my bold predictions.
Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints!
Why: Number one seed in the NFC
First let’s just set aside Jameis Winston: The Saints might have the best non-QB roster in the NFL.
Though New Orleans lost left tackle Terron Armstead in free agency (Dolphins) and first round pick Trevor Penning to injury (foot), the offensive line is always among the best in the NFL. Winston is surrounded by Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and first round pick Chris Olave.
The Saints had a top-five defense by any measure last season but they add Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye at safety and some of their younger players on that side of the ball, like linebacker Pete Werner and cornerback Paulson Adebo, could be budding stars.
The biggest question mark for the Saints is not Winston, but head coach Dennis Allen. He had an 8-28 record for the Raiders. However, he wasn’t setup for success in Oakland. He is setup for success right now and if New Orleans can go 5-1 in the NFC South (anything less than 4-0 against the Panthers and Falcons is a disappointment) then I could see Winston, a former national champion at Florida State, floating bye the first round of the playoffs.