A friend of mine asked the other day for a prediction.
"What's going to happen with Aaron Rodgers after the season?" this guy said. "Give me his chances of staying with the team in 2022."
I'm heading into my 23rd season covering the NFL, and I'd like to think I know how to provide safe and acceptable predictions for an unknowable future. So I hit him with the most ambivalent answer I could conjure about the Green Bay Packers quarterback. "It's 50-50," I told him. "Equal chances of him coming back and leaving."
That's what I call protecting the edge. The real trick to making successful NFL predictions, of course, is to choose the topics you're predicting in the first place. What follows are 10 parts of the upcoming season I feel confident making assertions about. They span a range of on-field likelihoods to off-field certainties, from coaching scrutiny to ticket sales to rule changes, and they reflect the way I view the game and what I think is important. And I'll even give my early take on who might win it all next February.
So as we head into the final week of the preseason -- remember, there are only three games for most teams -- let's dive into some big predictions for how the 2021 regular season might play out.