5 audacious predictions to kick off the NFL season

The NFL season is finally upon us. In less than 8 hours from this point, the Cowboys and the Giants will get the 2012 season kicked off in style.

Still, the offseason is a time for making unjustified claims and having some fun. In our final hours of football-less droning, I'd like to take one more shot at making some claims that aren't likely to ever see fruition. Here's 5 last second predictions about the 2012 season.

1) Rex Ryan will be the first coach fired.
We all saw this coming at the end of 2011. The Jets are still in complete disarray, and I don't fully believe that Rex Ryan knows how to handle his team's offensive woes. It's starting to appear that maybe their troubles weren't Brian Schottenheimer's fault. Rex Ryan will flounder about for awhile, but he'll be gone before the end of the season.

2) The Chiefs will fall flat.
Call me crazy, but I just don't buy into the Kansas City Chiefs hype machine. They play in a tough division where the Raiders, who I consider to be a formidable opponent on most Sundays, are the worst team. I don't think Matt Cassel has what it takes to lead the Chiefs back to the playoffs. They'll be competitive, but they won't be winning their division this year.

3) Ryan Tannehill is in over his head.
The starting quarterback position for the Dolphins is the worst such job in the league. They really are a team in full-blown rebuilding mode. Tannehill should hope to just keep his head above water in hope of better days to come. Don't label him a bust because his numbers are poor this season, and I promise you, they will be.

4) The Bears will win the NFC North.
This is a departure from my usual Bear-bashing, but I think the Bears may be set up to snag an NFC North title. The Packers and the Lions suffer from nonexistent defenses, and if Jay Cutler can stay healthy, the Bears should be able to win with a balanced team week in and week out. They'll need to split their series with the Lions and Packers, but winning the NFC North isn't impossible. They could be our surprise division winner in 2012.

5) Tim Tebow will be the Jets starting quarterback by week 9.
Mark Sanchez has been pampered and given more than his fair share of time to rise to the position of being a franchise quarterback. It's time for the Jets to move on. Tebow won't be the long term answer, but he may be able to help the Jets grind out physical wins that Sanchez would otherwise throw away.

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.