Posts Tagged ‘Patriots’

What We Learned After Week 5 In The NFL

October 16, 2009

09000d5d8134f4b8_gallery_600This will be Dick Jauron‘s last year as head coach of the Bills

Wade Philips isn’t a very good head coach coach.

The Jaguars are definitely not making the playoffs this year.

The Seahawks are suddenly looking like favorites to win the Stinker Division…Not really, but anything is possible at this point.

The party’s over in Tennessee, you can officially turn out the lights on this season. Wow.

Miami suddenly looks very much alive for a playoff spot.

Dolphins new starter at QB, Chad Henne, looks like a good fit. Pennington may not have a starting spot when he returns.

The Jets are starting to show some holes.

Tampa Bay might have the worst secondary in the league. Oh how times have changed.

Other Observations –

I’ve noticed some sports writers saying there’s less parity in the NFL than there has been in a long time because of all the undefeated teams right now in the NFL. I say, hold on right there. Most of the undefeated teams like the Colts, Broncos, Vikings and even the Giants could all very easily have at least 1 loss.

Looking closer at it, the Colts could easily have 2 losses with close games against the Jaguars (14-12) and Dolphins (27-23).

The Vikings would’ve lost to the 49ers at home if it weren’t for a hail mary TD pass from Favre with no time remaining in the game.

The Giants would’ve and should’ve lost to the Cowboys but Tony Romo self-destructed with 3 very costly interceptions.

If not for an 87 yard TD pass with 28 seconds left the Broncos would’ve lost in Week 1 to the Bengals. The Broncos also trailed both the Cowboys and New England by 10 points at home before somehow managing to come back to win those games.

With the exception of the Saints and Giants, more often than not these teams haven’t looked consistently great in any of their games. That’s not to say that the teams and fans shouldn’t be excited about their teams, but looking at it from an outsider’s perspective there seems to be more luck involved than less parity. It’s a long season and based on the actual on field performances of some of these teams I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them struggle to make the playoffs when all is said and done.

A Quick Power Ranking for Week 6
1. New Orleans Saints
2. New York Giants
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Minnesota Vikings
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
6. Baltimore Ravens
7. Denver Broncos
8. New England Patriots
9. Cincinnati Bengals
10. Atlanta Falcons

We’ll go more in-depth next week with the Power Rankings.

Advertisements

Football Fury’s Power Rankings for Week 5

October 8, 2009

1. New Orleans Saints – THE GOOD A legitimately improved defense and running game to compliment one of the best passing attacks in the NFL makes the Saints look like the most complete team as of now.  THE BAD The defense still needs to prove it each week, though.

2. Baltimore Ravens – THE GOOD Even with this week’s loss, the Ravens don’t really have too many holes and honestly looked like a better team than the Patriots. Some very bad calls in the Pats favor definitely effected the outcome. Sorry Pats fans, but it’s true. THE BAD The only weaknesses so far are an aging WR corps and a questionable to this point in this season secondary.

3. New York Giants – Giants look tough across the board and can play smashmouth football which makes them a rare breed in today’s NFL and should give them staying power as the season goes on. THE BAD They would be 3-1 if not for Tony Romo completely choking in Dallas a couple weeks ago. If you can shut down the Giants running game and make them one dimensional, Eli generally becomes an average NFL QB.

4. Indianapolis Colts – THE GOOD – Peyton Manning is having a fantastic season, the WR corps are making some great catches, the defense at times looks tough and tenacious. THE BAD – The defense at times looks very weak against the run (see Miami Dolphins game). This team could easily be 2-2 instead of 4-0 with close wins against the Jags (14-12) and Miami 27-23. Running game is non-existent and team might rely on Manning a little too much.

5. Minnesota Vikings – THE GOOD They can run the ball as well as just about anyone and they might have the best pass rushing D-line in the NFL, Favre has become a good game manager. O-line is great. THE BAD Vikes would be 3-1 if not for a last second miracle TD pass against the 49ers. Does anyone honesty think Favre will play as well as he did on Monday night for the rest of the season? Especially late in the season? The Vikings D-line won’t be playing the Packers O-line every game this season.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers – THE GOOD – If this team played as aggressively against Chicago and Cincinnati as they did against San Diego, the Steelers would easily be 4-0. That’s the good and bad news for Steeler fans in a nutshell, if this team plays aggressively on offense and defense for all 4 quarters they can and probably will beat anyone in the league, but the question is will they? Big Ben is quietly having his best season as a QB, he’s on pace for over 4,000 yards passing, O-line is playing great, offense has a lot of weapons, defense has been really good in the 1st 3 quarters of games, but… THE BAD – Defense tends to go into a prevent style D in the 4th quarter, allowing teams to get back into the game. LB’s James Harrison and Lamar Woodley, the Steelers sack duo from last season has been largely absent in that department thus far this year. The running game has been suspect thus far.

7. New England Patriots – THE GOOD – Belichick is still a great coach, the refs seem to be on their side, Tom Brady is still the QB and is having a good start so far. The offense can put up points when needed. Defense seems to be improving THE BAD – Defense still looks weak a lot of the time, the O-line still looks very shaky. Run game is non-existent.

8. New York Jets – THE GOODMark Sanchez is having a solid year so far for a rookie QB and the players seem to have responded well to new head coach Rex Ryan. The defense is much improved from last year. O-line is looking good. THE BAD – Sanchez is still a rookie QB and has already started to struggle at times, which may be a bad sign of things to come.

9. Denver Broncos – THE GOOD – The defense looks mightily improved from last year, Kyle Orton is having a solid season so far and seems to be a good fit for Josh McDaniel’s new offensive system. THE BAD – The offense doesn’t scare anyone and hasn’t been that impressive thus far. Is the defense the real deal? The Broncos will be tested in the coming weeks with a tougher schedule.

10. San Francisco 49ers – THE GOOD – Defense looks like the real deal, giving up only 13 points a game so far, almost shades of the ’85 Bears but let’s not get crazy. Shaun Hill has been decent at QB. Team should be 4-0 if not for a miracle TD pass by Favre in the Vikings game. THE BAD – The offense doesn’t look too good, with the recent signing of Michael Crabtree things could improve. Division is weak, which puts doubts into how well they will ultimately stack up with the rest of the NFC teams. All 3 wins are against divisional rivals in what has to be the worst division in football.

The Glorious Bottom 5

5. Carolina Panthers – THE GOOD – Panthers have some good players on this team, but where are they and what are they doing? Jake Delhomme is off to a horrible start. THE BAD – Bad QB play, struggling defense, players already look like they’ve quit on head coach John Fox.

4. Kansas City Chiefs – THE GOOD – Not much to be honest, there are some young potentially good players on the team. Even with a winless record, the team’s fundamentals seem to be better than when Herm Edwards was head coach. THE BAD – Defense looks real bad at times. Offense is not much better.

3. Cleveland Browns – THE GOOD – Derrick Anderson looks like an improvement at QB over Brady Quinn. Team almost got a win against the Bengals. Team unloaded Braylon Edwards, ie, taking out the trash. THE BAD – Team looks like it already has quit on new coach Eric Mangini, Defense is stinky.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – THE GOOD – The youth movement on defense only means they’ll get better. Run blocking looks good, running game is solid. THE BAD – Defense is giving up way too many points, too mistake-prone on both sides of the ball.

1. St. Louis Rams – THE GOOD – Very little, very few brightspots. O-line is full of early round draft picks and should get better, LB corps is decent. Steven Jackson is a great running back. THE BAD – QB’s are running for their lives, RB Steven Jackson faces 8 and 9 man fronts on virtually every down which might reduce the length of his career if that continues. Unknown WR’s, no depth, pretty bad defense.

What We Learned After Week 4 In The NFL

October 6, 2009

09000d5d81326962_gallery_600

JaMarcus Russell is still a horrible NFL QB.

The Raiders are still the Raiders.

If the Texans defense improves it’s play, they could sneak into the playoffs this year.

The Titans are this year’s surprise team, but not in a good way.

The 49ers are the clear cut favorites at this point to win the Stinker Division.

Dick Jauron is probably going to be on the hotseat in a couple weeks.

St. Louis is the worst team in the NFL, now that the Browns almost won a game.

The Buccaneers are bad, but not as bad the Rams.

The Bengals are 3-1and improved but still not that impressive.

Jim Mora, Jr. might not have been the best choice as head coach for the Seahawks.

The Seahawks have the most boring offense in the NFL.

Peyton Manning is having an incredible year so far.

The Colts might rely on Manning just a little too much.

The Chargers aren’t a very impressive team.

The Steelers seem incapable of winning comfortably even when outgaining their opponents 2-1 in yards and leading in the 2nd half, 28-0. Maybe they like to keep things exciting for the fans for all 4 quarters.

Games in Depth

Baltimore 21 vs. New England 27 – This game could’ve gone either way. At times it looked like the Patriots defense simply didn’t have an answer for the Ravens offense. Strangely, the Ravens didn’t run the ball much but should have(Ray Rice had 11 carries for 103 yards!). Tom Brady progressively played better as the game went on. The officiating in this game was simply horrible and the Pats benefitted from mostly bad one-sided calls throughout. The Ravens receivers are starting to show their age, Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton dropped passes deep in Pats territory on their last drive that resulted in a change of possession and the end of the game. It’s evident that both team’s defenses have some serious weaknesses (Pats against the run, the Ravens against the pass). Joe Flacco is the real deal, he had a few great passes in this game, including the sweet TD pass to Mason on a third and goal from around the 15 yard line.

New York Jets 10 vs. New Orleans 24 – The final score was not indicative of how close this game was. One of the more entertaining games of the year so far. The Saints defense looks like the real deal under new defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams. In fact, they look like a completely different defense than last year, aggressive, smart, fast. Free safety Darren Sharper looks like a great FA pick up and was huge in this game, returning a bad Mark Sanchez pass back for a TD. As I predicted last week, Sanchez struggled in this game and Jets fans, that trend could continue as the season goes on and more teams have game film of him. Rex Ryan’s prediction of a Jets Super Bowl appearance this year might be a year or two premature. The good news for the Jets is they did a pretty decent job on the Saints offense for most of the game. Saints running back Pierre Thomas is the real deal and is looking like one of the best RB’s in the league right now.

Dallas 10, vs. Denver 17 – Denver is 4-0 and that’s a shocker, even with their relatively easy schedule. The Cowboys talented defense played sloppily and undisciplined throughout this game. The Brandon Marshall TD pass and run should be an embarrassment to all involved in Cowboys country. The Broncos defense looks more and more impressive under ex-49ers coach, Mike Nolan. The Cowboys receivers had a hard time getting separation from an aggressive Broncos secondary. QB Tony Romo progressively played worse and worse as this game went on, throwing passes behind, in front, and high of his receivers. He laid out WR Roy Williams over the middle with an over throw, resulting in Williams leaving the game with an injury. This whole game reeked of a poorly coached game by Cowboys head coach Wade Philips.

What We Learned From Week 2 In The NFL

September 22, 2009

SanchezJets
The Denver Broncos might be one of the worst 2-0 teams in recent memory.

The Tennessee Titans might be one of the best 0-2 teams in recent memory (although that defense ain’t looking so good right now, that secondary is overrated without Albert Haynesworth applying pressure on the opposing QB).

The Browns might have edged out the Rams and Lions for worst team in the NFL right now.

The Ravens look like the most complete team in the NFL RIGHT NOW (that could change in a few weeks), from offense to defense to coaching. John Harbaugh is already a great head coach as far as I’m concerned. The Ravens defense is still really good, the scary thing is they have an offense now, which never happened up under former head coach Brian Billick.

The Seahawks are once again, paper champs, always have been probably always will be.

The Cards suddenly seem like favorites once again to win this Stinker Division, BUT…

The 49ers might be one this year’s surprise teams, they are so far.

Mark Sanchez looks like this year’s Matt Ryan and the Jets defense is looking like the real deal, but it’s been only 2 games.

Matt Ryan keeps playing beyond his years.

The Saints will score more points than any other team this year and probably won’t be close, but can they out run their own defense? That’s the real issue with this team. So far they’ve played a team with a rookie QB and a team with a back up QB and in both games have given up over 20 points.

The Patriots, like I thought, have some real issues. Their defense looks average and only scoring 9 points in ANY game could be a real cause for concern. Tom Brady doesn’t look too good behind a shaky O-line. Don’t know how Belichick is going to solve the problems on this team this year, but if he does it’ll further solidify his legacy.

The media won’t be hyping up the Eagles this week, but will talk ad nauseum about Mcnabb and Vick.

Games in Depth
AAronRodgers
Cincinnati, 31 vs. Green Bay, 24Aaron Rodgers has to be the most frustrated QB in the league right now, he’s looked great so far this season, like last, but his WR’s keep dropping pass after pass and his O-line hasn’t protected him. Cincy’s Antwan Odom snagging 5 sacks says it all. Overall, Cincy’s defense was tough against the run but Rodgers would’ve had over 300 yards if his WR’s caught the passes they should have. Green Bay’s defense took a step backward from last week against Chicago, they had serious problems stopping RB Cedric Benson. Carson Palmer was solid but kept Green Bay in the game with 2 very costly INT’s, one returned for an INT and another that set them up for a TD deep in Cincy territory. Both these teams could be dangerous against as the season progresses and these teams start to gel. Yes, I just said the Cincinnati Bengals could be a dangerous team this year, they should be 2-0 right now.
ChicagoBears
Pittsburgh, 14 vs. Chicago, 17Jay Cutler looked decent doing a lot of dump offs and going after SS Tyrone Carter, who was replacing Troy Polamalu and it paid off for 2 TD passes. The Steelers offense looked great on the first drive of the game and then promptly disappeared until the 2nd half. The Steelers seem to rely on their defense just a little too much and it hurt them in this game when the Bears drove down in the last 3 minutes to kick the game-winning FG. The Steelers playing style seems to keep any team in the game, regardless of who it is. The Bears defense, outside of the D-line, looked very average. That secondary needs work. The Steelers need Troy Polamalu back ASAP, Carter just isn’t a starting SS.
EliManning
NY Giants 33 vs. Dallas 31 – Anyone see Tony Romo‘s numbers in this game? 13/29 127 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT’s. Wow, I smell Pro Bowl! What makes it all the worse is the fact that the Cowboys compiled over 200 yards of rushing. Giants had no business winning this game, and their defense looked alarmingly bad outside of nabbing 3 INT’s. Eli Manning played a solid game but far from spectacular outside of a couple drives. Both these teams need A LOT of work as this season progresses.

What We Learned From Week 1

September 15, 2009

There’s was a lot of sloppy play as teams shook off the rust during opening week of NFL football. Let’s get down to business.

Tennessee 10, Pittsburgh 13 – The Titans offense needs to find a way to score more points, plain and simple, it could be their achilles heel all year. Kerry Collins looks solid at QB, just like last year. Big Ben continues to show he is one of the most clutch QB’s in recent memory. The Steelers defense needs Troy Polamalu back as soon as possible, just not the same defense without him, especially in the secondary. Santonio Holmes picked up right where he left off last year, he could have his best year of his career. The Titans secondary had 2 Pro Bowlers last year? Could’ve fooled me. Steelers pass protection looks improved from last year (so far). Titans will be very hard to run against (shocker!). Don’t be surprised to see these two teams meet each other again this season.

Miami 7, Atlanta 19 – It seems like it takes a Goddamn Christmas Miracle for the Dolphins to move the ball on offense. 2, 3 yard run here and there and a bunch of 5 yard outs to WR’s that aren’t even open. It’s almost a thing a beauty, almost. It’s obvious the Wildcat was born out of necessity. Matt Ryan should have an even better year this season than last.

Minnesota 34,  Cleveland 20 – Brady Quinn might not be the answer at QB, it’s still early but he had more than his share of blunders and he seems to lack much heart to be honest. The Browns seem to lack mental toughness, they gradually gave up as this game went on (they were leading at halftime). Favre may have a good season if he continues to simply dump the ball off at 5 yards at a time. The Vikings defense might be a little overrated.

Denver 12, Cincinnati 7 – Unless you’re a fan of one of these teams, it’s probably a good idea to avoid watching them play if possible. Like I thought, Cincy’s defense looks tough (outside the last TD), the irony is their offense doesn’t look so good. Kyle Orten looks to be a good fit in Denver’s new offense. Chad Ochinstinko is overrated and a wimp. So is Carson Palmer. Denver’s defense is mediocre and has to rely on the other team to make mistakes, like botched snaps on FG’s.

Dallas 34, Tampa Bay 21 – Dallas’ defense has a lot of work to do if the Cowboys are going to be a real contender this year, giving up 8 yards a run to twice-injured Cadillac Williams has to worry Cowboys fans. Tony Romo puts up good numbers against mediocre competition. Tampa Bay might win some games this year that they shouldn’t.

Philadelphia 38, Carolina 10 – This might be John Fox’s last year as head coach of the Panthers. Jake Delhomme now has like 20 INT’s in his last 2 games. Is Philly that good or would any team beat the Panthers with the way they played in this game? Time will tell.

Detroit 27, New Orleans 45 – Drew Brees is a TD machine, Fantasy Football nerds probably want to go out on a date with him. Saints D seems to be marginally improved, probably too early to tell, though. The team did give up 27 at home against the Detroit Lions. Matthew Stafford might have some real growing pains this year as a rookie QB, he had a decent first start all thing considered.

St. Louis 0, Seattle 28 – The NFC West might be even worse than previously thought and the Rams might be the worst team in the NFL. QB Marc Bulger might have a rough year, he looked very frustrated against the Seahawks. Matt Hasselback threw for 280 yards and 3 TD’s. Ouch, Rams fans. With the Cards losing at home, the Seahawks suddenly seem like heavy favorites to win the division but the season has just started.

Chicago 15, Green Bay 21 – Aaron Rodgers will make the Pro Bowl if his WR’s learn to catch the ball and his O-line learns to block. The RT for the Packers was owned all night. The Packers defense looks a lot better and more aggressive under new defensive coordinator, Dom Capers. Jay Cutler may have a rough season if he keeps throwing 20 risky passes up for grabs per game. That was his problem in Denver as well. He’s like the heir apparent to Brett Favre, talented, rocket for an arm, but questionable decision-making. Ironic that he plays for Chicago and not Green Bay. Jay Cutler doesn’t like to get hit. Chicago’s D looks the same as last year, great against the run, not so good against the pass.

Buffalo 24, New England 25 – I guess no lead is safe from the Pats. The Pats may struggle to run the ball this year. The Pats may struggle to protect Tom Brady. Brady and that offense have some rust to shake off. Trent Edwards is a pretty good QB. The Bills no-huddle offense may pose some problems for teams this year. The Pats defense has some big time question marks. The officiating is a joke in this league.

Bad Officiating Watch, Week 1 – UPDATE

September 15, 2009

officials.signals

Tennessee vs. Pittsburgh – 2 horrible calls, Troy Polamalu is called for pass interference when he does nothing but stand his ground and looks back for the ball, Titans WR tries to run through Polamalu, grabbing at Polamalu’s jersey, the ref throws flag, should’ve been offensive pass interference. A defensive player is allowed his space, just as an offensive player is, horrible, horrible call.

Max Starks, Offensive Tackle for Pittsburgh is called for holding on Titans DE when does nothing but push the Titan player into the ground after the Titans player simply falls down after losing his balance.

Buffalo vs. New England – 2 horrible calls, Patriots NT Vince Wolfork is called for roughing the passer after tackling Trent Edwards by the legs as Edwards THROWS THE BALL. Not AFTER, but AS Edwards throws the ball. HORRIBLE CALL. What is a defensive player supposed to do in that situation, just give up on the play?? What a joke. Here’s a video below of the play in question. I hope Dick Butkus never sees this, he might have a heart attack.

Bills safety Donte Whitner is called for Spearing (15 yard penalty) when he hits a Pats WR that is clearly not down yet and clearly does not lead with helmet.

I’m sure I missed a bunch of other horrible calls from Week 1. If anyone knows of any other bad calls from Week 1,  let me know and I’ll post them!

NFL Preview – Let’s Get It On!!

September 7, 2009

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!

791774_f496

AFC East

NE_logo-50x50MIA_logo-50x50NYJ_logo-50x50BUF_logo-50x50
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

PIT_logo-50x50BAL_logo-50x50CIN_logo-50x50CLE_logo-50x50
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

SD_logo-50x50KC_logo-50x50DEN_logo-50x50OAK_logo-50x50
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

TEN_logo-50x50HOU_logo-50x50IND_logo-50x50JAC_logo-50x50
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

NYG_logo-50x50DAL_logo-50x50PHI_logo-50x50WAS_logo-50x50
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

GB_logo-50x50MIN_logo-50x50CHI_logo-50x50DET_logo-50x50
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

ARI_logo-50x50SEA_logo-50x50SF_logo-50x50STL_logo-50x50
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

CAR_logo-50x50ATL_logo-50x50NO_logo-50x50TB_logo-50x50
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

NE_logo-50x50 vs.PIT_logo-50x50
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

MIN_logo-50x50 vs.GB_logo-50x50
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.