Written by: Matt, Nelson and TehBen
Time to make way for football, America, and Jesus! Summer is starting to wind down and it’s time again to pull out our stat sheets, secret scouting reports, and Ouija boards: the 2019 NFL SEASON IS ALMOST HERE!
If you couldn’t tell already, everybody here at tehben HQ loves watching us some football. If last season was any indication, you should seriously consider taking our advice to heart– most of our wilder predictions were eerily very accurate (this came as a total surprise to us, too). Hopefully we can provide you with the all tools and insight you’ll need to make your fantasy team shine
…or just help you place a smart money bet on which player will be arrested for assault first!
Joe Flacco, QB Denver Broncos
For the 2019 football season, John Elway has been spending a lot of time consulting Magic 8 Balls and fortune cookies to try and acquire the proper captain needed to steer his team to victory. After failing to fill the quarterback position with Hollywood stars like Matt Damon, Pawn Star’s Chumlee, and Pauly Shore, Elway instead has decided to use the exact same formula that scored him a victory in Superbowl 50: Hire a QB that’s also a septuagenarian. Since Peyton Manning is too busy doing those awful Nationwide commercials for those first five unskippable seconds before Youtube clips, Elway has instead decided to go with another Superbowl winning quarterback that is winding down his twilight years. Joe Flacco (which means “The Skinny Joe” in Spanish), has fallen from glory after several lackluster seasons in Baltimore, and was traded to Denver for a third round draft pick and an old ham sandwich. Despite all the stupid giant fan signs and vitrol filled online debates, nobody’s really has any convincing evidence to convince anybody that Flacco is indeed an elite quarterback.
2019 Predictions: will start out of the gates hot, having at least a few good offensive series in which they will wind up scoring a field goal or two, but after that, he will completely dry up. The offense will then once again be mired in the same offensive mediocrity the team has been perpetually trapped in for the last 20 years. In this aspect, The Skinny Joe is indeed a perfect fit for the least explosive offense in the NFL. The only real way to really bring out his true potential is to surround him with the types of players that make him shine: girlfriend elevator punchers (Ray Rice), chronic jaywalkers (Justin Tucker) or straight up murderers (Ray Lewis). Hopefully, there is a nearby prison that they can utilize for talent scouting. Flacco will most likely top off around 15 TD passes for the season, with at least 30 picks. Nobody can tell yet if Flacco will pull off another Mile High Miracle right before his impending retirement, but if he suddenly starts starring in multiple commercials for Papa John’s Pizza, stick a fork in ‘em, because it’s the beginning of the end. I would also like to mention this section was funny to write on Google Docs, since it kept autocorrecting “Flacco” to “Flaccid”. Google Docs knows what the fuck is up.
Mark “Dirtiest” Sanchez, Head Cashier at Hot Dog on a Stick
Our second-favorite football replay of all time features a confused Mark Sanchez smashing directly into the poop chute of his linesman, coughing up the football for a defensive touchdown in the process. While the multiple layers of comedy make this clip an instant classic, it still can’t hold a handle to “Colts Punter and Two Guys Take Snap, Get Killed” as the greatest football play ever designed by humanity. Despite being a professional quarterback (and exceptional part-time turd burglar), Mark has had a long and storied career as a starter on at least 20 different teams over his storied ten year career, and was even brought to Denver play for the Broncos because, sadly they were indeed that desperate. At the time, he seemed like he might possibly be a good fit, but right out of the gates all he could do is host press conferences where he boasted about how single and available he was, which was immediately followed by the terrifying sound of every woman within a fifty mile radius instantly projectile vomiting. As training camp wore on, Sanchez fell so low down the depth chart that he was fetching cold bottles of Gatorade for the Broncos’ official waterboy, Paxton Lynch.
2019 Predictions: Sanchez will be exemplary at taking incorrect orders from customers and leering uncomfortably at teenage girls in the mall’s food court. He will likely be employee of the month in either September or October, as long as he can keep from getting high during every work shift in the walk-in freezer. There is talk of him possibly trying to work as a sportscaster for college ball, but after every play, I can imagine him saying something along the lines of “YOU CALL THAT QUARTERBACK SNEAK? HE DIDN’T EVEN TRY TO CHECK THAT FELLA FOR PROSTATE CANCER!” after every single play. No matter what happens, his broadcasting career is guaranteed to be a shitshow (pun totally intended).
Christian McCaffrey, RB Panthers
As a fun middle finger as to “normal” linage, Christian McCaffrey is a genetic experiment that combines the ferocity and insanity of Bradlee Van Pelt with the catching skill and awareness of Steve Smith. This guy is an absolute freak of nature, and also gives Cam Newton someone to throw the ball to that isn’t named Greg Olsen. Christian is the offspring of famous Denver wideout Ed McCaffrey and a space alien. It’s cool to see the newest generation of McCaffrey’s playing again in the NFL. These days, ol’ Ed keeps the money rolling in from the sales of his bottles of hot sauce and horseradish spreads, and hopes to pass the sauce torch to Christian someday. I think he is secretly hoping that Christian will go all in on the homebrewed teriyaki craze when the time is right.
2019 Predictions: With top-tier running backs and wide receivers from Pittsburgh getting pushed out onto shitty teams (read: the fucking Browns) Christian McCaffrey will lead the NFL in both rushing and catching yardage. The most versatile and surest handed running back in the league will shred all stats and be a top pick for your fantasy draft as long as Cam Newton can stop buying hats from Jamiroquai and running at full speed directly into linebackers. If Newton and McCaffrey can stay healthy, enjoy watching the show as they rack up hundreds of yards in both categories. First comes breaking all the records, then you get the khakis, and then you are buried waist-deep inpancake makeup and hot sauce cash. There’s nothing more American.
Odell Beckham Jr, WR Cleveland Browns
Wide Receivers in the NFL are a fickle bunch, and none are more prone to such wild praise and wild vitriol than Odell Beckham Jr. Playing in New York and with the amazing talent he regularly puts on display, especially during nationally televised games, ODB is the league’s most recognizable non-QB player. Unfortunately, when times seem the most tough, Beckham has been touted as less reliable by the stiff Joe Buck-ian clones of the world, and the Giants have endured more bad times than good in recent years. The blame for the Giants suckittude surely shouldn’t rest on him, but given his recent antagonism and boasts of being the foundation of a culture (jesus), ODB appears more talented than Terrell Owens with somehow less self-awareness than the league’s most infamous driveway workout mental bijou. Thankfully, sunnier skies and greener pastures are ahead for this season, as Beckham is on his way to a team with firm foundation and plan for the future. Yes indeed, things will surely be better in…
2019 Predictions: While the Browns are having what feels like a once-in-a-lifetime run of success (by their standards), I can’t in good conscience project that Odell is going to keep the good times rolling in the cursed Forest City. Baker Mayfield had an amazing season in 2018, but he’s going to struggle a little now that there’s some pro game film out there to analyze like the hopeless nerds we’ve become in this game. And with the slightest of QB struggles, comes the crumbling of ODB. It’ll start with a side eye here, a little “less hustle” there. Maybe an ill-advised tweet will cause a “player only” meeting as the Browns slip back under .500 around mid-season. By the end of it all, the Browns will be back to their former lovable loser selves and Beckham’s most noteworthy contribution will be to the inflated Madden experience gamers get to enjoy each season when the Browns look amazing on paper, and are absolutely terrible in the real world.
Daniel Jones, QB New York Giants
NFL 1st Round Draft night 2019 only mattered for one thing: the succulent, delicious, orgasmic complaining from Giants fans. Eli Manning’s been on his last legs for what feels like decades, and after the brilliantly misunderstood era of Geno Smith came and went after four glorious quarters, 2018 served as an apology bukkake to the derpy face of the league’s most famous franchise. It appears the sorry-mobile was just given a fresh oil change as Big Blue took the most bewildering of head scratchers with their first round pick in Daniel Jones. Here’s how I imagine the conversation went:
General Manager: “Eli, we have to take a Quarterback in the first round this year, which one would upset you the least?”
Eli Manning: *Lips trembling, he looks to his left for advice from his now absent father Archie…he clutches his stacks of cash from counterfeit apparel and memorabilia sales and finally speaks*
“nurrrrrrrrrr….the one… who lok lik me?”
GM: Anything you say sir! And not to worry, we’ll make sure the season’s ruined before even considering any play time for him.
Eli: “……….some dogs r Red”
GM: “Couldn’t have said it any better myself, sir”
2019 Predictions: Damage control has already begun. Daniel Jones is already “exceeding expectations” but at the same time, “there’s a process” to Jones starting at QB to justify the Giants using him at precisely the wrong time to benefit anyone on the team. Playing football at Duke has set up Jones nicely for disappointment, and by all metrics I actually think Jones will have a productive season in development. No, this won’t translate to any significant wins, and another season of running back Saquan Barkley’s absolute prime will be squandered. But much like the Brazilian economy, “next year” will once again look to be huge for the team taking yet another peg out of their own relevance for the sake of their biggest has-been player.
Lamar Jackson, RB Ravens
Going into the 2018 NFL Draft, the Ravens desperately needed to add both speed and athleticism to their notoriously perennial anemic offense. They swung big, and landed Jackson at the end of the first round. And while he underwhelmed as a pass catcher (seriously, he had fewer receptions and yards than Joe Flacco did his rookie year), he took over the starting role following a Week 10 bye. What followed was a blitzkrieg as Jackson and the Gus Bus steamrolled over the 24th, 25th, 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th ranked rush defenses. That’s out of 32 teams in the league y’all. This 6-1 late season surge led to a surprising division title and playoff berth, but was followed by a total ass kicking (it wasn’t nearly as close as the final score said) in a rematch against the Chargers. Although a great heap of the blame here goes to Marty “What is Innovation” Mornhinweg calling the exact same game from 2 weeks’ prior.
2019 Predictions: Pundits and armchair quarterbacks alike have every opinion under the sun about how Jackson will perform in his second season. Either he’ll be a human cheat code and break the NFL completely, or his bones will shatter and he’ll end up on the Redskins after a year in Cleveland “a-la reverse RG3”. Whether or not TJ Watt snaps Jackson in half like a dry twig on a crisp fall afternoon, Baltimore’s fate this year (and at least the following 2) depends on how Jackson develops as a passer. Drew Brees can rest easy on his bed of pyramid scheme money with the knowledge that his completion percentage record is safe. Perhaps a visiting Texans fan will mistake one of Lamar’s deep balls for a wounded duck, and mercifully shoot it out of the sky. All I know is, this team could win 11 games, or lose 11. With this team, chaos is the only guarantee.
Antonio Brown, WR Raiders
According to Wikipedia: Antonio Brown was a 6th round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and has since gone to 7 out of 9 possible ProBowls, is a 4 time 1st Team All-Pro, and has more receptions and yards than anyone else since he entered the NFL. But you probably know him better from his leading role in everyone’s favorite soap opera: Days of Our Steelers. During the final stretch of the Steelers’ season they went 2-4, losing to the Case Keenum-led Broncos and Gruden’s tanking Raiders, all the while choking away the nearly-assured division title to their archrival Ravens. At one point Ben “I’m required by law to tell you I’m a registered sex offender” Roethlisberger threw AB under the bus, who responded by throwing 2nd year JuJu Smith-Schuster under a different bus. All of this came to a head with AB leaving and skipping practice in Week 17, being benched, and demanding a trade. This, on top of a season-long holdout by Le’Veon Bell, Tomlin being on the starting-to-get-really-fucking-hot seat, and Ben’s annual “maybe I’ll retire this year guys” drama, led to all-time high ratings for Days of Our Steelers.
2019 Predictions: Mr. Big Chest (MBC), aka the player formerly known as “AB”, will be playing under a new team for the first time in his career so he marked that with a new nickname. By the time Week 7 rolls around, MBC will realize that having 1) a HoF caliber QB operating behind a 2) offensive line coached by someone who isn’t Tom Cable, and 3) a team that isn’t hell-bent on turning the clock back to 1999 where running the ball is the focus; was actually a blessing worth suffering in yinzer country for. In Week 11, MBC will have dyed his mustache blonde again, and his old teammate Le’Veon will call from the back of his favorite jet-ski as they strategize their joint holdout/trade plans.
Robert James Gronkowski, TE Lambda Chi Fraternity, Iota Chi Chapter
Young Robert was a meek, timid lad who enjoyed nothing more than playing chess against strangers in the park, and settling in with a nice book before bed. Then, everything changed when his best friend convinced him to take a hit from a radioactive beer bong. Young Robert grew, tall and wide; his muscles swelled while his mind, which once considered the arguments of Nietzsche and Descartes, shrank in equal measure. He went from Robert, to Rob, and finally to “Gronk”. Even though his formerly refined psyche was now replaced with the timeless adages “Bro’s before Hoes” and “Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear”. His transformation provided him the opportunity to become the best goddamn tight end in NFL history and a willful collaborator in the Patriot Dynastic Menace.
2019 Predictions: This year, Gronkowski has decided to retire and has gone to
a farm upstate the Playboy Mansion. While everyone who follows AFC teams will welcome his departure, his man-boy-ish charm will be missed by all. Fret not though, we can fully expect to see him on the next Celebrity Big Brother, starting his own Pat McAfee-esque podcast, numerous Snapchat videos shotgunning Natty’s, and hopefully damaging all of the other Patriots Lombardi Trophies.
Sleep well, Sweet Prince.
Philip Rivers, QB Los Angeles Chargers
For what Philip Rivers has lacked in Super Bowl wins, he’s more than made up for in child breeding. According to Google’s up to the minute data, the Rivers family has nine bundles of joy. So, putting his dear wife at left tackle, the Rivers family could conceivably have a full starting 11 in the next handful of years. In fact, ol’ lazer face might be subconsciously clearing the way for just such insanity as he’s more than willing to wave bon voyage to running back Melvin Gordon as the Chargers try to top an impressive playoff run from last year. Rivers is the league’s most fascinating player- if only because he’s simultaneously overrated and underrated at the same time. With football’s commitment to rewarding longevity, Rivers is surely a first time ballot hall of famer, and a Super Bowl win is the only real to-do list item that still needs to be checked for the 37 year old veteran who’s never seen a condom in his life.
2019 Predictions: The age of the “old reliable quarterback” appears to continue for yet another season, as most teams seem more worried about doing worse with something new than grinding the same “okayish” team year after year (Andy Dalton, ladies and gentlemen). With that being said, this is the last season Philip Rivers has at a realistic shot at a Super Bowl win. Playing in a soccer stadium with a worthless owner that’s going to need to to open his wallet to pay the young stars, and with no such commitment for them to do so, we’re calling 2019 the swan song for the irksome faced shot-putter. A Chargers/Patriots AFC Championship game with both starting QBs turning to dust by the final gun seems a most appropriate way to call it a career, and perhaps the corpse of Rivers will have a place of pride on the sidelines for Super Bowl LIV. Philip Rivers: “NEVER GIVE IN, NEVER PULL OUT!”
Here’s to an entertaining and enlightening 2019 NFL season!