Splash’s Hot Take-o-Meter (July 2022)

Hot Take

Welcome to the final installment of the 2022 off-season Hot Take-o-Meter. In this series, NFL hot takes will be placed on a scale of peppers. There are 12 levels ranging from zero heat (milk level) to maximum heat (Pepper X). Cold takes will fall under milk, bell pepper, jalapeno, and serrano levels. Medium takes will fall under the Chile de árbol, tabasco, cayenne, and scotch bonnet levels. Hot takes will fall under the habanero, ghost pepper, Carolina Reaper, and Pepper X levels.

Make sure to check out the first 10 takes in the May edition as well as the next 10 takes in the June edition.

Hot Take 21: The Baltimore Ravens Will Have Multiple 1,000-Yard Rushers and Receivers

Two teams in NFL history have had four 1,000-yard players in a season. The 2004 Indianapolis Colts and 1995 Atlanta Falcons combined a trio of 1,000-yard receivers and an individual 1,000-yard rusher. The Ravens would have a different build, but fundamentally, they would need to give four players enough touches to get to 1,000 yards. Assuming Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews are healthy, they are good bets for 1,000 yards. Rashod Bateman is inheriting a role in the offense that produced a 1,000-yard receiver in 2021. However, both J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are coming off torn ACLs, and they could cannibalize each other’s touches.


Hotness Level: Pepper X (Level 12)

Hot Take 22: Marquise Brown Will Lead All 2019 Draft Picks in Receiving Yards

So far, the 2019 class has seven 1,000-yard receivers. While Brown ranked fifth in receiving yards among his classmates last year, he is in a unique spot with Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. Murray and Brown were college teammates, and their skill sets have tremendous overlap. Expect Brown to pile on the yards while DeAndre Hopkins (suspension) is out, and then he will settle into a productive No. 2 role. He surpassed 1,000 yards in 2021, but the ceiling is much higher now.


Hotness Level: Scotch Bonnet (Level 8)

Hot Take 23: An Off-Ball Linebacker Will Win Defensive Player of the Year

An off-ball linebacker has not won the Defensive Player of the Year since Luke Kuechly in 2013. The best bet for linebackers this season is Darius Leonard who has odds ranging from +3000 to +5000 depending on the site. Micah Parsons could technically count, but he is more of a unique positionless player than an off-ball linebacker. Leonard forced a ridiculous 12 turnovers in 2021, making his third All-Pro team.

He needs three things to break his way. First, he must replicate the statistics, potentially combining for 12 sacks, forced fumbles, and interceptions (which he has done three times in four seasons). Second, the Indianapolis Colts need to have one of the league’s best defenses (for the narrative). Lastly, Leonard needs to avoid historic seasons from the likes of T.J. Watt and Aaron Donald.

Hotness Level: Habanero (Level 9)

Hot Take 24: Derrick Henry Will Set the Single-Season Rushing Record

The number in mind is 124 yards per game. Over his last 24 games, Henry has averaged 123.5 yards per game, combining absurd volume (24.9 carries per game) and efficiency (5.0 yards per carry). The ideal path for Henry is splitting the difference between his 2020 efficiency (5.4 yards per carry) and 2021 volume (27.4 carries per game). If he averages 5.0 yards per carry on 25 carries per game, King Henry will reign supreme once again.

Hotness Level: Tabasco (Level 6)

Hot Take 25: All Four Teams in a Division Will Have a 1,000-Yard Receiver

This feat did not happen in 2021 as the New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, and Detroit Lions each let their division mates down. In 2022, there are several solid bets to tackle this task. The Cardinals added the aforementioned Marquise Brown. Similarly, the Browns added 1,000-yard mainstay, Amari Cooper. The Saints’ top three receivers combined to play zero games for the 2021 Saints. While this relies on all four teams in a division to be somewhat competent, two divisions accomplished this feat with 900 yards in 2021. If a couple of catches go differently, this milestone could be cleared by several divisions.

Hotness Level: Bell Pepper (Level 2)

Hot Take 26: The 2022 Rookie Quarterbacks Will Make 60 Starts This Season

For now, no team is expected to start a rookie, but three teams will enter the season with a rookie backup. Even if those quarterbacks – Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, and Malik Willis – were to wrestle away those starting jobs, the likes of Sam Howell and Matt Corral would have to combine for at least nine starts. For comparison, the 2021 class spawned 71 rookie quarterback starts with both Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones making 17 starts. The best bet here is that the Pittsburgh Steelers start Pickett from Week 1. The other four likely starters are playing on potentially poor teams, so they might just need a losing streak from the current starter.

Hotness Level: Ghost Pepper (Level 10)

Hot Take 27: The Detroit Lions Will Have An All-Pro Player

The most likely candidate is Frank Ragnow who made the second team in 2020. Similarly, Jack Fox was a second-teamer in 2020. Dark horses include the tackle duo of Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell. T.J. Hockenson could have a massive breakout season, but he plays at a top-heavy position. Some Lions will be competitive for an All-Pro spot, but picking any individual to win the award outright is a difficult proposition.

Hotness Level: Chile de Arbol (Level 5)

Hot Take 28: A Defender Will Intercept a Pass from the Same Team in Two Different Games

In recent seasons, Quandre Diggs (2021) and Marcus Peters (2020) have accomplished this feat. There are limitations based on divisional matchups and health. However, there are some enticing matchups. For example, Jalen Ramsey could get a dose of Geno Smith and Drew Lock in Rams-Seahawks games. Ballhawks such as Xavien Howard and the aforementioned Peters could have young quarterbacks on the docket. As with the Lions take, picking a specific player to accomplish the task is difficult, but there are solid odds that there will be at least one.

Hotness Level: Jalapeno (Level 3)

Hot Take 29: The Houston Texans Won’t Have the Worst Record in 2022

Once again, the Texans are plastered to the bottom of many power rankings. While the Texans did not finish with the worst record in the league in 2021, it took a clutch two-game sweep of the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14) to do so. If they had split the games, the Texans would have ended with the worst record. Upsets certainly happen, but the Texans might need to pull three upsets in 2022 to avoid having the worst record in the league. The Jaguars could be a disaster again, but there are just not many winnable games on the Texans’ schedule.

Hotness Level: Cayenne (Level 7)

Hot Take 30: All Four AFC North Teams Will Win Nine or More Games

In 2021, all four teams won eight or more games. In 2022, the Cincinnati Bengals are locks to be above .500, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have not been below .500 since 2003. The Baltimore Ravens are playing a fourth-place schedule, and they have an over/under of 9.5 wins. Deshaun Watson is the missing piece here. If he plays, the Browns could win nine games. If he does not, the Browns could end up as a distant last-place in an AFC North that features a trio of 10-win teams. With a year-long suspension to Watson, the Browns will ruin this. However, if he only misses a chunk of the season, the Browns could sneak in.

Hotness Level: Carolina Reaper (Level 11)

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images


Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @primetimesportstalk


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