NFL Preview – Let’s Get It On!!

Hello  all, the name is Bobby Myers and I’ll be updating this blog throughout the season with analysis and observations. Let’s kick it off with a preview of the upcoming season!

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AFC East

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1  New England Patriots – The Pats pretty much win this division by default. Belichick is a great coach, Brady is a great QB, but don’t listen to the dummies in the sports media, the Pats still have a TON of question marks. How good is their aging defense going to be? There’s definitely holes there. How good is the O-line (one thing that has been continually overlooked by all the sports “experts”)?. Will Roger Goodell cry if the Pats don’t win the SB this year? So many questions.

2 Miami Dolphins – I was watching the Dolphins-Bucs preseason game a couple weeks back and was thinking “what the hell is this doing on TV and why the hell am I watching it?”. Dolphins might have the worst offense in the league going into this season (their starting offense had 1 first down and no points against the Bucs). Pennington is a good, underrated QB but the lack of weapons and a questionable offensive scheme puts a ton of pressure on their D. They’ll have to play mistake free football and hope for some breaks to repeat what they did last year.

3 New York Jets – I’m surprised, Sanchez looks pretty good (so far). Unfortunately for Jets fans, the rest of the team looks pretty average across the board. Is Kenny Roger’s son the answer at Head Coach? Time will tell, but the Jets will have a tough time just getting 7 or 8 wins this year.

4 Buffalo Bills – I don’t know what the hell is going on up in Buffalo, but I feel for you Bills fans, I’m afraid you’re in for another long season. You know things aren’t going your way when the Offensive Coordinator is fired just weeks before the regular season start and the entire O-line has new starters from last year. Blame Ralph Wilson, the guy obviously doesn’t give two shits whether Buffalo wins or not.

AFC North

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1. Pittsburgh Steelers – The defending champs return 20 or 22 starters and look to make another serious run at the SB. The defense could actually be better with the super athletic Lawrence Timmons replacing MLB Larry Foote and 1st round pick Ziggy Hood filling in at the DL. The team is loaded with depth. The only thing standing in their way is a mediocre O-line and a retard for an OC, Bruce Arians.

2. Baltimore Ravens – How much longer is Ray Lewis going to play? I mean, shit, the guy is like 50 years old. Flacco had a very good year as a rookie last year, but the wheels started to come off towards the end of the season. It got to point where he was basically throwing short outs and dump offs and deep sideline patterns, and that was about it. Is he in for a sophomore slump? That could determine how far the Ravens go this year. John Harbaugh might already be one of the best HC’s in the league right now, which should make Ravens fans feel pretty good about the future.

3. Cincinnati Bengals – Here’s a little shocking secret for you – the Bengals (yes, the CINCINNATI BENGALS) are actually putting together a pretty good defense. In fact, don’t be completely shocked if the Bengals edge out the Ravens for the #2 spot in the division this year. If only they could get rid of sissy boy Palmer and get some decent draft picks for him, they could be sitting pretty good for the future. Marvin Lewis talks a good game but it’s time for him to put up or shut up or he’ll be looking for a new job…Continually signing troubled hoodlums definitely doesn’t help his cause.

4. Cleveland Browns– Is it time for the Browns to leave Cleveland again for another city? Remember when all the “experts” were picking these jokers to get to the AFC Championship or even the Super Bowl a couple years ago? Yeah, that was pretty funny. Sorry, Browns fans, but it’s not looking good this year.

AFC West

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1. San Diego Chargers – Another team that should win the division by default. This team is good, but don’t believe the “THIS MIGHT BE THE MOST TALENTED TEAM IN THE LEAGUE!” crap that the sports media has been spouting for the last 2 or 3 years. Rivers is great, Tomlinson is great (but definitely not in his prime anymore), but the defense has some holes and the WR corps is questionable, but the biggest problem the Chargers is it might have one of the worst HC’s this league has ever seen in Norv Turner. I actually feel bad for Rivers and San Diego fans everywhere. This team would still have to overcome some hurdles to get to the Super Bowl but with Turner at HC, it’s almost Mission Impossible. I mean, can you picture that guy ever holding the Lombardi Trophy? even if they did somehow win it with him as HC, the NFL shouldn’t allow that sort of thing.

2. Kansas City Chiefs – Is it shocking to pick this team at #2? I’m looking at who else is in this division and I don’t think so. This is a team that virtually no one knows about, it’s almost like they don’t even exist, but there is some talent on this team. You just have to believe… Uh oh, another team that fired their OC, but I think in this case it’s a difference in philosophy due to the new HC, Todd Haley, who was the OC at Arizona last season. Just a hunch. A little fun fact, RB Larry Johnson (you know the guy that former HC, Dick Vermeil, said had to “take the diapers off”) averaged a cool 4.5 yards a carry last year. IF they get improved QB play, the Chiefs could surprised some people, you just have to believe.

3. Denver Broncos – This team ain’t looking so hot, and it’s not because Jay Cutler no longer plays here. I have a bad feeling about the new HC, Josh McDaniels, combine inexperience, youth, cockiness and maybe a good dose of arrogance and that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E….Plus the team just doesn’t look that good. Everyone knows about the problems with Brandon Marshall, but take that away and there is still a good bit of question marks with this team. Defense could be improved, but probably not enough, the team gave up the 3rd most points a game last year(28!). Sorry, Broncos fans.

4. Oakland Raiders – I see a good bit of media pundits taking the Raiders to finish 2nd in this division, even though Al Davis is still the owner, and the new HC punched someone, and the team just had one of the worst drafts in recent memory and the offense and defense were both ranked near the bottom in almost every category last year and Jamarcus Russell is still the starting QB… I could keep going. There is no doubt SOME talent on this team, Nnamdi Asomugha is probably the best CB in the league right now and RB Darren McFadden is great, but weren’t these guys on the team last year? Just not enough.

AFC South

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1. Tennessee Titans – This division is really up for grabs, but I think from top to bottom the Titans, like last year, are the deepest team. The defense should be one of the top 4 or 5 in the league, even without Haynesworth. The key is for the offense to continue to improve, however they can. That unit cost them in the playoffs last year and has always been a weak spot during Jeff Fisher’s stellar coaching tenure. At the very least, Vince Young is not the starting QB and Titans fans that’s gotta make you feel pretty good. Plus, the running game should be pretty damn good.

2. Houston Texans – The Texans finally get over the hump, beat the Colts at least once and MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!!! Or do they? I might end up eating my words if the Texans defense can’t improve from last year, but if they do it might be enough to get this young promising team into the playoffs for the first time in their history. Look for Andre Johnson, a top 3 WR and young RB Steve Slaton to have big numbers this season. Remember Texans fans, the key is the D but you probably already know that.

3. Indianapolis Colts – I don’t believe that the Colts defense is as good as it was statistically ranked last year, but it might have to be for the team to do some serious damage this year. I’m a little concerned that the new HC always looks like he doesn’t know where he is. Is he aware that he’s the HC of the team? Is Peyton Manning the real Head Coach? I wonder… The Colts offense under Manning should be efficient as always, but maybe not as good as some think, there’s some question marks at WR and RB. Should be interesting.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jags could surprise some people, but nothing really stands out to make me think they will. Garrard is a solid QB but he’s not going to carry a team, the offense just doesn’t have enough weapons. The defense took a real nosedive last year and I don’t think there’s going to be a big turnaround from last year. This division is too tough this season for this team to make a big turnaround.

NFC East

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1. New York Giants – Y’know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a luckier QB than Eli Manning. Last year he threw up about 20 passes that looked like short punts and hardly any of them were intercepted and the Giants rewarded him with a GIGANTIC contract! Not only that but he’s on one of the only teams in the NFL right now that can actually run the ball over and over again with success. What’s that saying, “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good?” I guess so! Some are picking the Giants to fall this season, but that punishing run attack should be back along with one of the best D-lines around. That should be enough to win a somewhat overrated NFL East.

2. Dallas Cowboys – Alright, Tony Romo is kind of a question mark, does he have the drive and heart of a champion? That aspect is so overlooked in sports but it’s a huge determining factor in how well someone does at the pro level. He’s talented and has some talent around him. Add to that DeMarcus Ware and a pretty good D and that SHOULD be enough for this squad to finish 2nd in the division and a possible playoff appearance. Wade Phillips has to scare the hell out of Cowboys fans, though. Along with that huge monstrosity that is the Cowboys Stadium scoreboard.

3. Philadelphia Eagles – A lot of folks are taking this team to win the division and maybe even get to the Super Bowl, not so fast. Losing MLB Stewart Bradley for the year hurts their defense more than most realize. Another huge red flag is Andy Reid looking overly giddy when reporters asked him about Vick’s 7/11 for 26 yards and 1 INT preseason performance against the Jets…That’s like 2 yards a completion. Eagles fans, watch out!

4. Washington Redskins – Someone has to finish last. The Skins could surprise some folks. Campbell has looked pretty good in preseason but that offense isn’t going to be lighting up the scoreboard, although maybe it won’t have to if the Skins defense finishes in the top 5 in yards allowed like last season.

NFC North

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1. Green Bay Packers – Are the Packers one of the NFL’s little secrets? It seems like the most attention they’ve gotten recently is when drama boy Favre left town, even though they’re putting together a pretty damn good team (they had a good draft this year) and Aaron Rodgers had a great year last season (4,000 yards, 28 TD’s, 13 INT’s). The defense struggled at times last year but it looks like definite improvements are on the way in the development of younger players and a new 3-4 D thanks to new DC Dom Capers. This division is up for grabs but I’m liking what I see in the Packers.

2. Minnesota Vikings – Is it just me or is it extremely weird to see Brett Favre in a Vikings uniform? I don’t blame Packers fans for hating this guy, kind of an asshole move on his part. Any way, the Vikings could win the division, the defense looks good (although they gave up 20 points a game last season), especially the front 7 but the secondary has some question marks (ranked 18 last year), Adrian Peterson leads one of the only grind it out offensive running games you’ll see in the NFL these days. All Favre has to do is limit the mistakes and play smart footba—, oh who am I kidding, thtat’s like asking a fat kid to only buy one double cheeseburger at McDonalds when they’re only $1, it’s not happening!! But if by some miracle, Favre does play smart football the Vikes could be pretty damn good.

3. Chicago Bears – Why are people taking this team to win the division? Because of Jay Cutler?? Who’s he throwing the ball to this season? The defense ranked in the bottom third last year, good run defense but the team gave up 22 points a game and the secondary was a big weak spot. The offense fared even worse finishing the season ranked 26th and while Cutler may help, I see this division as a two team race. Sorry, Bears fans.

4. Detroit Lions – Stafford looks like the real deal and he does have some weapons to throw to (WR Calvin Johnson might be the most talented WR in the NFL right now). Lions fans keep the expectations low, which I’m sure they are, and you might actually enjoy this season for what it is. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Lions finished 3rd in the division, not saying it’s going to happen, but….

NFC West

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1. Arizona Cardinals – I know most aren’t taking this team to win the division, but someone has to! The offense will put up points and the defense has made strides since Whisenhut was made HC. I think it’s enough to win this stinker of a division, although if Warner goes down (which is a distinct possibility) all bets are off. If the Cards can get 9 or 10 wins that should be enough.

2. Seattle Seahawks – Now that “asleep-at-the-wheel” Holmgren is gone will the Seahawks wake up? I’m not so sure. Noodle arm Matt Hasselback won’t be enough to turn around one of the most boring offenses this side of Miami. The defense should improve with rookie Aaron Curry at LB, but I don’t think it’ll be enough. Last year everyone said that the Seahawks had a great LB corps, and maybe on paper they did, but on the field it was a whole other matter. Seahawks fans, keep the expectations in check and you might enjoy this season.

3. San Francisco 49ers – I don’t know what the hell has been going on out in San Francisco lately, but I will say I think Joe Montana can still play. This team has some talent but is still at least a year or two away from playing with the big boys.

4. St. Louis Rams – Oh no. I always forget that the Rams are still part of the NFL, I don’t think I’m the only one. This team has been in turmoil for a while, Rams fans everywhere are hoping a revamped O-line does wonders for the team this year. Steven Jackson is a great RB that has been wasting away his career thus far. The defense has plenty of holes, just hope Steve Spagnuolo does a good job Rams fans.

NFC South

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1. Carolina Panthers – This division is up for grabs, and while it’s tempting to take the Falcons or Saints, neither team has proven they have the defense to get the job done (yet). The Panthers D is questionable as well but has proven to be more consistent than the other two. Look for the Panthers to continue to run the ball very well with the one two punch of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams and for Delhomme to continue to lead at QB.

2. Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan was impressive as a rookie QB and I don’t see much of a letdown from last year. The defense for the Falcons is the big question mark, they loaded up on defense in the draft but it may not be enough for this season. Finishing 2nd in this division may be good enough to get into the playoffs.

3. New Orleans Saints – The Saints and Falcons could very easily switch positions in this division, but for now I just can’t overlook the Saints softee defense. They also loaded up in the draft on defense but I just don’t see that making a huge impact on the upcoming season. The Saints have one of the most potent offenses in the league, but unfortunately that’s all they have right now. Sorry, Saints fans.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Buccaneers have had one of the most consistently boring and unproductive offenses for a while now. Don’t expect that to change this year. Journeyman Byron Leftwich is the starting QB and has looked inconsistent in the preseason, don’t expect him to make a huge difference this year, especially given the offensive weapons on this team. The defense for the Bucs is in a state of transition after longtime DC Monte Kiffin left the team. Expect a down year Bucs fans.

AFC Championship

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Pats vs. Steelers – In the game for team of the decade! Pats have 3 SB wins, the Steelers 2. Fantasy Football nerds everywhere don’t see how the Pats can lose since Brady is their QB. Steelers squeak by the Pats to advance to a second consecutive SB.

NFC Championship

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Vikings vs. Packers – In one of the most hyped games in recent memory, Favre returns for a second time in one year as a Viking. He ends up throwing 3 crazy passes up for grabs in the 2nd half for INT’s, ensuring yet another Favre choke job in the playoffs. Packers advance to their first SB since Favre was their starting QB.

Super Bowl Prediction

Steelers vs. Packers – Steelers win their 7th SB.

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