As 2014 comes to a close, CBS Local Sports is looking forward to 2015 - where there's hope for many sports possibilities and surprises in the new year.
Will Tiger Woods win a major? Will Adrian Peterson return to top form in the NFL?
See what bold predictions our sports experts made for 2015.
John Jastremski, "JJ After Dark" on WFAN and CBS Sports Radio in New York.
- Tom Brady will win his 4th Superbowl & 3rd Super Bowl MVP over the defending SB Champion Seahawks.
- The Kentucky Wildcats will go undefeated throughout the NCAA Tournament.
- In what may be the most loaded Western Conference in NBA history, the San Antonio Spurs will win back-to-back championships for the first time in franchise history & Tim Duncan will walk into the sunset.
- The New York Mets who have not had a winning season since 2008 will make the postseason for the first time since 2006.
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports in Boston.
- The Boston Red Sox will find their ace to lead the pitching staff sometime in 2015.
Right now their rotation shapes up as Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, and Justin Masterson. Good, solid, capable starters, but no true ace. Where will this ace come from? There are lots of possibilities. One of those five could emerge as an ace, but Ben Cherington could also pull the trigger on a trade. Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels or Washington’s Jordan Zimmerman are possibilities on that front, but Ben is nervous about giving up his top prospects. The ace could come via the free agent market (Max Scherzer or James Shields) although it doesn't seem like the Sox want to shell out a long-term, big-money deal to someone like Scherzer after not signing Jon Lester. Maybe the more likely route is that the Sox hope one emerges from within their system, like a Henry Owens, Matt Barnes, Eduardo Rodriguez (a guy the Sox rave about), Anthony Ranaudo or Brian Johnson.
Cherington said during the Winter Meetings that if you look at the aces that led their teams to World Series titles, they were all in their late 20's. Madison Bumgarner, Lester, Josh Beckett, Hamels, and John Lackey are all examples of this. Ben thinks/hopes/believes that one of his prospects can grow into that role.
A lot depends on how the Sox begin the 2015 season too. If they haven't acquired an ace before the season, and if the club gets off to a great start, an ace may be acquired at the trade deadline. If not, it could come later. But, I can tell you... it WILL happen.
Dan Durkin, CBSChicago.com Bears reporter and contributor to the Spiegel and Mannelly Show and the Boers and Bernstein Show in Chicago.
- Adrian Peterson will win the 2015 NFL rushing crown.
After playing just one game in 2014 because of legal troubles and a suspension that stemmed from child abuse charges, Peterson has gone so far as to say he's considering retirement and wants to make an attempt at qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes.
Neither of those developments will come to fruition. Instead, Peterson -- who turns 30 in March -- will return to top form for one more year. Fresh after basically having a full season off, he'll win the 2015 rushing crown in a new setting. Which team will he play for? Who knows, but he still has something left in the tank.
Chris Fillar, producer on Baskin & Phelps on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.
- The first three picks of the 2015 NFL Draft will be quarterbacks.
The demand for signal callers will be high for many teams limping to the finish line to end 2014, and QB is a position that teams are getting desperate to figure out. Marcus Mariotta and Jameis Winston are the obvious top talents, but the need for a solution will cause another organization to overdraft a third arm at the expense of other picks more worthy of a top-3 pick. If the Raiders are sitting in one of those top spots, look for a trade out and WR Amari Cooper wearing Black and Silver come the beginning of May.
Jeff Phelps, co-host on Baskin & Phelps on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.
- Tiger Woods will win a Major in 2015.
When Tiger won his 14th Major, the U.S. Open in 2008 at the age of 32, did anyone think he'd still have 14 Majors at the age of 39 (he turns 39 in late December)? As the television commercial says, "Life comes at you fast, especially when you cheat on your wife with multiple losers, run over fire hydrants, and change your swing coach 37 times," or something like that. Tiger has gone from the dominant force in sports, to a sympathetic figure, one who's not really deserving of anyone's sympathy. That said, majors have been won by players age 40+ a surprising 33 times. Tiger still has plenty of time left to track down Jack Nicklaus' all-time record for Major Championships. He won't get it, but he will get one in 2015. With it will come the love (not talking about the previously mentioned losers here) and adulation that he's always seemed to disdain, but I'm guessing, has secretly missed and messed with his psyche more than anyone, including Tiger, could have ever imagined.
Dustin Fox, co-host on Bull & Fox on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.
- The Cleveland Browns will draft another QB in the 1st round.
The Browns aren’t completely sold on their current QB situation and will look to the draft one more time to attempt to remedy that issue. This year, Brian Hoyer started out strong, but lost the confidence of the coaches and front office and will probably be gone next year. Johnny Football didn’t “wreck the league” with his dismal inaugural performance and the team isn’t sure if he ever will.
Marc Hochman, co-host of the Marc Hochman Show on 560 WQAM Sports Radio in Miami.
- Dan Gilbert will sell the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015.
LeBron James and Dan Gilbert with have a public falling out over the play of the Cavaliers, and the end result will be Gilbert putting the team up for sale.
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