Bold predictions for 2013 NFL season

Adrian Peterson needs consecutive 2K seasons to outrush Alfred Morris. (USATSI)
Adrian Peterson needs consecutive 2K seasons to outrush Alfred Morris. (USATSI)

Not so fast on AP: Alfred Morris, not Adrian Peterson, will lead the NFL in rushing this year and crack the 2,000 yard mark. It's close to impossible for a running back to have back-to-back 2,000-yard seasons, which AP would have to do to hold off Morris.

Dez Bryant's numbers indicate he's ready to surpass Megatron in 2013. (USATSI)
Dez Bryant's numbers indicate he's ready to surpass Megatron in 2013. (USATSI)

• Son of not so fast (on Megatron): Dez Bryant will lead the NFL in receiving this season instead of Calvin Johnson. Bryant has improved every season in targets, receptions and touchdowns. Last year he had 92 receptions and 12 touchdowns, and this season looks better for Bryant because the Lions will spread the ball around more, meaning Johnson will be targeted less. Megatron still cracks the 100-catch mark, but Bryant gets the edge here.

EJ Manuel has the right stuff to be the NFL's top rookie. (USATSI)
EJ Manuel has the right stuff to be the NFL's top rookie. (USATSI)

• Manuel transmission: First-year Bills QB EJ Manuel will throw for 3,000 yards and 18 touchdowns to be the Rookie of the Year.

You can expect more fines than penalties for hits similar to this. (USATSI)
You can expect more fines than penalties for hits similar to this. (USATSI)

• Not-so-crowning achievement: The new penalty for hitting with the crown of the helmet will be called less than 80 times this season. Considering there are 256 games, and the fact it could be called on either side of the ball, many think this will be called every game. Players will be fined for leading with the crown far more than it will be flagged in games.

They won't be celebrating an AFC West title in Kansas City. (USATSI)
They won't be celebrating an AFC West title in Kansas City. (USATSI)

No first to lasts: No team will which finished last in 2012 will finish first in 2013 in any division.

The right to draft Jadeveon Clowney will be decided relatively early this NFL season. (USATSI)
The right to draft Jadeveon Clowney will be decided relatively early this NFL season. (USATSI)

Clowney Derby D-Day: The battle for the No. 1 spot in the 2014 NFL Draft will be decided Sept. 15, when the Jaguars visit the Raiders.

Colin Kaepernick is among the QBs at risk in the 'Pistol' watch. (USATSI)
Colin Kaepernick is among the QBs at risk in the 'Pistol' watch. (USATSI)

Gunned down: After all my conversations with coaches and players and the "Pistol" offense, I expect two starting quarterbacks to go down with season ending injuries while executing the attack. I'm not wishing misfortune on or name the potential QBs, but this package will be challenged.

Ray Rice and Rey Maualuga can make plans for the playoffs from the AFC North. (USATSI)
Ray Rice and Rey Maualuga can make plans for the playoffs from the AFC North. (USATSI)

Division of power: Three teams will make the playoffs from AFC North: Ravens, Bengals and Steelers.

Peyton Manning and the Broncos could use strong alarm clock for two games. (USATSI)
Peyton Manning and the Broncos could use strong alarm clock for two games. (USATSI)

Broncos won't be early risers: The Broncos only have two games in the 1 p.m. ET slot (five are at night and nine are in the 4 p.m. ET window). Beware of those 1 p.m. starts (Dec. 1 at Kansas City, Dec. 22 at Houston); I could see the Broncos losing both because their personal clocks will be way off.

 
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