Week 1 of the 2017 NFL regular season came and went this past weekend, and boy do I have a pair of fiery, red-hot takes to pass on to you.
These statements are not predictions: They are indisputable, incontestable, undeniable declarations of fact. Mark my words, there is no question these two things will happen on gridiron this fall. So sit back and get ready because I’m about to lay down some truth.
1) Alex Smith will lead the Chiefs to the Super Bowl:
Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith played absolutely out of his mind last Thursday night against the New England Patriots.
The former No.1 overall pick completed 28-of-35 passes for 368 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, by far one of the best performances of his career.
Phrases such as “game manager” and “draft bust” have been synonymous with Smith throughout his 11-year NFL tenure. He’s only thrown for 3500 yards in a season once before and has never led his team to the Super Bowl.
So what’s so different about 2017? His arsenal of weapons is the best he’s ever had.
Kareem Hunt, a 22-year-old rookie running back from the University of Toledo, scorched the Patriots last week with 246 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.
Tyreek Hill and De’Anthony Thomas are as speedy and agile a duo of receivers as you’ll find across the league, and Travis Kelce has developed into one of the most athletic tight ends in all of professional football.
With the playmakers he has at his disposal, Smith is bound to have a tremendous year. So great, in fact, that he’ll take them to the Super Bowl.
Just wait. It’ll happen. Trust me.
2) The Cleveland Browns are going to end their 14-year playoff drought:
To the people of Cleveland, you have suffered and agonized long enough. The time has finally come.
After 14 long, embarrasing years, the Browns are ready to head back to the playoffs.
Former Notre Dame gunslinger DeShone Kizer is Cleveland’s new starting quarterback, one of the more talented prospects to come through the organization in over a decade.
Surrounding him on offense are capable receivers in Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt and proficient running backs in Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr.
The strength of this football team, however, could be its defense.
Led by linebacker Christian Kirksey and safety Jabrill Peppers, the Browns only allowed 14 points to a star-studded Steelers’ scoring attack on Sunday.
With defensive end Myles Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s NFL draft, expected to join the team later this season, as well, Cleveland will become one of the more daunting defenses the league has to offer come playoff time.
Take all of that into account and you have a surefire AFC wild-card team on your hands.
Believe me. I know these things.
Dylan Dixon is the assistant sports editor of the Alligator. Look out for his next column on Sept. 21. Contact him at [email protected].