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Maxim's 20 NFL Predictions For This Season

Gaze into Maxim’s crystal (foot)ball for all your pigskin predictions!

Illustrated by C.J. Burton | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013 

1. Goodell will be caught swimming in a Scrooge McDuck–like silo of gold.

The NFL makes more than $9 billion in annual revenue, but for some reason 60 percent of players disapprove of the commissioner. Maybe that’s because he made almost $30 million in 2011…over $10 million more than any player. It’s no wonder that when SI named Goodell the most powerful figure in sports, he was shown sitting on the Iron Throne, looking even less sympathetic than King Joffrey. And that ain’t easy.


2. Clay Matthews will be asked where his big-ass hammer is.
Chris Hemsworth makes for a fine Thor, but he’s got nothing on the Packers’ golden-maned sack machine. If Matthews ever grew a flowing ’stache, donned a horned helmet, and joined the Vikings, he could be the first NFL player to double as team mascot. (And just like that, two million Green Bay fans threw up.)

2. Jay Cutler will get hit in the face with a Kielbasa.
Really, all the 61,500 die-hard Bears fans at Soldier Field look for in their players is a little passion, and few players’ faces say passion less than the highly punchable Cutler, who actually re­quested that fans “quiet the stadium down” when the Bears are in the red zone! Better learn how to duck, homey.

4. Rooney and Kate Mara will get great seats for Super Bowl XLVIII.
The super-foxy Mara sisters are not only, well, super foxy, but Rooney (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and Kate (House of Cards) are also NFL royalty: One great-granddad founded the Steelers and another the Giants. With New York hosting this season’s big game, we have to ask: Will either of you marry us?

5. Joe Buck will be approved by the USDA as a geriatric sleep aid. 
As the turgid play-by-play announcer of Fox’s “Game You’re Most Likely to Pass Out To of the Week,” Buck has the self-importance of a man describing what’s happening on a screen you watch with your very own eyes, thereby refuting the need for his very existence. Not only that, but after hearing him drone on, we’re positive Buck’s voice has been medically classified as aural Ambien.

6. Referee Ed Hochuli will hunt down that guy in the stands who shouted, “Get new glasses!” and punch him in the face with his triceps.
Football’s populated by big, strong men. Dudes whose calf muscles could house the cast of Little People, Big WorldYet somehow the guy with the most freakish physique is a 62-year-old attorney whose most impressive gridiron achievement was making the all-WAC academic team in 1972. But it’s Ed Hochuli’s control and understanding of the game, and not his biceps, that make him the most popular official since Frank Drebin, er, Enrico Pallazzo, was busting splits in The Naked Gun

7. Tom Brady will get lost in the gaze of his own reflection.
Mr. Gisele’s propensity for racking up TDs against defenseless opponents and his coddling via the refs make him one of the most loathed players outside the municipal borders of Quincy, Mass. Then again, have you seen the way he rocks a pair of Uggs? God, he’s such a sex castle.

8. Chris Berman will be hospitalized for uncontrollable hooting.
It’s amazing to watch old ESPN footage from back when Boomer was a relatively calm, thoughtful analyst, before his descent into a bumbling, fumbling, nickname-spewing blowhard. Please, just go back, back, back to the old Berman. Or at least shelve that stupid-ass “whooop!” shouty thing you do on SportsCenter

9. Ndamukong Suh will be the first NFL player flagged for biting an opponent’s testicles on Monday Night Football.
Suh’s been in the NFL only four years, but fellow players have already voted the Lions’ lineman its dirtiest player. Twice. And fans voted him the least likable. That’s what happens when you regularly stomp on your opponents and kick ’em in the genital region. Ndamukong, if you want to get invited to more pool parties, you have to ease back on that shit.

10. Chris Johnson will make you curse yourself for picking him in the first round of your fantasy draft (again).  
Titans fans may decry CJ2K for his 2011 con­tract holdout, but the rest of us hate his guts for being fantasy-football poison. In 2012 he ran for a combined 45 yards over the first three games of the season. Of course, as soon as you put him on the bench, he breaks off a 141-yard performance…followed by a 24-yard shit show right after you start him again. This cycle con­tinues until you dropkick your laptop and swear off fantasy football for good.

11. Tony Romo will cause the citizens of Dallas to slit their wrists in unison.
It’s not that the Cowboys signal caller is a terrible QB, exactly. He’s put up some good numbers, made a few Pro Bowls, and dated his share of hotties. But there’s no one with a better (worse?) record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory than Romo, which is why his newly signed $108 million contract extension drives Cowboys fans to the brink of suicide. 

12. Bill Belichick will be caught in his basement stitching together a suit made of people.
We know, Bill Belichick has led the Patriots to five Super Bowls since 2002. He's a very good football coach. Maybe even a genius. An evil genius. With his soulless gaze, mumbly voice, and diabolical machinations, you just know that Belichick has a recipe in his notebook for fava beans and Rex Ryan's liver with a nice Chianti. 

13. Dan Snyder Will sue us before we even finish typing this sentend’oh!
The Napoleonic owner of the Redskins has taken front-office shenanigans to near-cartoon-villain heights. The media and fans alike have criticized him for hits including: refusing to develop young players, dismissing coaches who won’t fall in line, outlawing all fan signs at games, suing season ticket holders unable to pay because of the recession, suing a sportswriter, refusing to change his team’s racist name, and giving the finger to a school bus full of nuns. Fine, he may not have done one of those things, but are you really sure which?

14. Mark Sanchez will trademark “Butt Fumble” and become a billionaire in the gay porn industry.
At least he should. It’s gotta be a more relaxing way to live than getting booed by your hometown crowd, battling young-uns for your starting spot, and cameo-ing in your coach’s kinky sex fantasies. 

15. Rob Gronkowski will play a game drunk and still score three touchdowns.
Over the past few off-seasons, it’s become clear that Gronk likes a good time and, as long as he’s putting up TDs, doesn’t give a rat’s ass who cares. The five surgeries, though? You kind of have to give a rat’s ass about those.

16. The Manning Brothers will star in every other commercial airing during NFL broadcasts this year.
Peyton’s got Buick, Gatorade, Papa John’s, DirecTV, and Wheaties, while Eli has Toyota, Kraft, Samsung, Reebok, and Citizen. But given that they make a combined $40 million in salary, we guess they need the cash.

17. Cleatus the Fox Robot will continue to confuse and annoy the piss out of America.
You probably didn’t even realize the thing has a name, but Cleatus is that grating robot that pops up between commercials on Fox. What it does other than that, be­sides look like a CG project your 13-year-old nephew put together on his Nokia phone, we have no idea.

18. J.J. Watt will dispel the whole “White Men Can’t Jump” myth once and for all.
Actually, strike that. The 6'5" 295-pounder put that to rest last year, when he racked up a preposterous 16 passes blocked (thanks to an insane 55-inch vert) on his way to being named Defensive Player of the Year. To quote DLR, might as well jump.

19. Robert Griffin III will cause at least two dozen D.C. residents to suffer cardiac arrests.
Is there a more exciting player than RG3? Last season he set the NFL record for rookie passer rating, won the AP’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, and led the ’Skins to their first division title since 1999. So it’s no wonder that Griffin’s torn ACL was treated as the worst tragedy to befall Washington since Lincoln decided to take in a performance at Ford’s Theatre.

20. Adrian Peterson will snap his femur or something horrible like that and still rush for 200 yards.
If Clay Matthews is the league’s Thor, Adrian Peterson is its Wolverine. How else can you explain his coming back from a shredded knee to lead the NFL in rushing and win the MVP? While AP may not have Wolverine’s adamantium-laced skeleton, he definitely has mutant-like regenerative healing powers. Maybe it’s all those orange peanuts.
 
Illustrations by John Ueland | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013 

Check out George R.R. Martin's Fantasy Football Preview and our interview with James Harden
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