Every year, hundreds of sports writers make predictions and every year, quite a few end up well, quite a bit embarrassed.
One of those writers is Greg Bedard of Sports Illustrated who has changed his tune quite a bit since his rough preseason predictions for the Arizona Cardinals.
Back in early September, Bedard predicted every NFL game and he was definitely not high on the Cardinals. The senior NFL writer had the Cardinals going on a 10-game losing streak, finishing 5-11 and at the bottom of the NFC West. Halfway through the Cards are 6-2 and sitting in first place in their division.
Wednesday, SI made their midseason predictions of Bedard now has the Cardinals taking on the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
“That mute button on Twitter is a godsend,” Bedard joked about fans’ reactions on the Burns and Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
“It’s not my favorite thing in the world, actually I hate it,” Bedard said about making those predictions. “It’s a natural instinct to want your predictions to be right which goes against everything you’ve learned in journalism.”
Also, the predictions were sort of a whirlwind for Bedard back in August.
“I had no idea I picked them to lose ten games in a row,” he said. “I just took like a season grid and went week by week and just said ‘you know’. I took about five seconds, as you can imagine, to pick each game.”
It’s not as if Bedard’s picks were unwarranted; The Cardinals QB had missed a majority of the 2014 season with a torn ACL and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles left in the offseason to coach the New York Jets.
“Carson at his age coming back from another ACL, the offensive line looked terrible in the preseason,” Bedard said. “The defense had a new coordinator and I just thought may this would be a reset year for the Cardinals but obviously I was way off.”
Although he was obviously wrong, Bedard said he was at least able to admit it when in came to midseason prediction time.
“I’m not going to be a moron and stick to my preseason picks now that we have actual data and Carson Palmer is not hurt,” he said.
Now that he has actual game action to go off of, Bedard has a lot he likes about the Cardinals.
“They’re pretty healthy,” he said. “That’s unbelievable and if that holds up, that’s the biggest factor to if a team holds up. They are so aggressive in all three phases of the game. They’re relentless, they don’t let opponents breathe.”
The Cardinals are currently tied for second place in the NFC and if they want to make it to the Super Bowl like Bedard predicts, they’ll have to go through teams like the Carolina Panthers and the Green Bay Packers. Bedard thinks the latter won’t be a problem for the Cards.
“I think defensively, they match up great against the Packers. Right now the Packers can’t get off man coverage and we know the Cardinals will do that. The Packers also have trouble protecting and the Cardinals can dial up some things as far as pressure. Offensively, the Packers have a lot of holes that I know Bruce Arians will exploit.”
Bedard picked the Patriots as this year’s Super Bowl Champion but thinks Arians and company will definitely look interesting.
“A team like the Cardinals, they can match up and Bruce Arians is the type of coach who has the guts to actually say ‘you know what? The Patriots can’t cover anyone in the secondary and we’re going to throttle them all game long.’ Now, I have my qualms with Bruce as far as some of his game management, but the Cardinals, if they stay healthy they have the talent to match up against anybody.”