One of my favorite segments on the show has always been the "Predictions Sure to go Wrong."
In that session, the duo throws out bold predictions that, while not likely, were always plausible, at least if you argue their case correctly.
With the season's opening kickoff in Cincinnati just a few hours away, now is the last chance to make predictions for this season. Below are five predictions sure to go wrong for the 2009 Cincinnati Bengals.
No. 1 Chad Ochocinco returns to form and catches 80 passes for more than 1,000 yards and five scores
This offseason, the receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson re-dedicated himself to playing the game and not plotting his escape. He has looked sharp in workouts and preseason contests, and seems to be happy where he is.
Chad has always been the guy who racks up a lot of yards, but not many scores and this year will be no different. With the continued improvement of Chris Henry, development of Andre Caldwell, and the additions of Laverneus Coles and Chase Coffman, Carson Palmer will have a number of options in the red zone.
While I don't think he'll get back to the level that brought him five consecutive seasons with 87 or more catches and five consecutive AFC receiving yards crowns from 2003-2007, Chad will be drastically better than the 53-catch, 540-yard receiver from a season ago.
No. 2 Kevin Huber wins the Bengals Rookie of the Year award
I'm sure many of you are asking "who?" but Huber is the real deal as a punter.
This preseason, he has averaged nearly 43 yards per kick, pinning eight inside the 20 with no touchbacks.
Rey Maualuga is going to have a fine season at strong side linebacker and Michael Johnson will make a strong push in the second half of the season as he begins to come into his own as a pass rusher, but no rookie will have a bigger impact on the 2009 Cincinnati Bengals than Huber.
No. 3 The defense finishes in the league's top five this season
While this is the biggest stretch of all my predictions, the pieces are coming together on the defensive side of the ball.
Last year was Mike Zimmer's first in Cincinnati as the defensive coordinator, and he made his presence felt as the Bengals improved from 27th to 12th in total defense. The focus a year ago was improving against the run. They made that improvement, but struggled on third downs, allowing opponents to convert 43 percent of them a year ago. That isn't expected to be the case this year.
Antwan Odom and Robert Geathers are healthy at the defensive end spots. In addition, the Bengals added a good pass rushing defensive tackle in Tank Johnson, and a freakishly athletic 6-foot-7 defensive end in Georgia Tech's Michael Johnson.
By applying more pressure to the quarterback on passing downs, Cincinnati will get off the field and move up the defensive ranks.
No. 4 Palmer wins the AFC Comeback Player of the Year award and is voted into his third pro bowl
Palmer, one of the league's best and most feared passers when healthy, missed three-fourths of last season and the bulk of the preseason but should be healthy for week one.
The line looks better than it has any year since 2005, and should be able to keep the quarterback upright in 2009. If this happens, Palmer is ready for a big year.
Chad is back and on the same page with Carson. Cedric Benson looks like he'll provide enough of a running attack to keep defenses honest. Coles and Henry bring big play potential.
This offense can again be scary, and no player will be more feared than Palmer..
No. 5 The Bengals shock the world and make the postseason in 2009
It's not rocket science. With the top five defense and a pro bowl quarterback that have already been predicted, how would they miss the postseason? Even in a tough AFC North featuring perennial powers in Baltimore and Pittsburgh, the Bengals can compete and be successful.
Enjoy the games today.
CHRIS DUNHAM can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.