Saturday, September 1, 2012

Random Thoughts on NFL Teams: A NFL Preview

MVP (Regular Season): Aaron Rodgers 
He's just really freaking good.  Yah that is my only argument.


1. New York Giants
This pains me dearly.  I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to write anything coherent for the rest of the conference. (REVERSE JINX!!!)
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Whole season depends on Vick's health.  He alone can vault this team to Super Bowl contention, but if he's not on the field there not going to make the playoffs.
3. Washington Redskins
In the first Redskins versus Eagles game ESPN is going to play up the whole "running quarterbacks duel" wayyyyyyyyyy to much.  I'm already having nightmares.
4. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys are a banged up team that has a lot of good players.  Not much depth after their "stars," and crappy offensive line play submarines America's team.

1. San Francisco 49ers
I except a regression from last year, but with Harbaugh at the helm they'll stay on top of this pathetic division.
2. Seattle Seahawks
All aboard the Russell Wilson bandwagon!  All aboard!  Damn, people are jumping on this bandwagon nearly as fast as the new look Lakers.  Luckily I pre-ordered my ticket when I heard that Matt Flynn was supposed to be the starter.
3. Arizona Cardinals
"Larry Fitzgerald breaks away from the defense.  He's open near the end zone as the pass goes up. (Cardinals fans sighing loudly in background)  Skelton's pass sails out of bounds, and the Cardinals are going to have to punt again."
4. St. Louis Rams
Bradford has looked good in pre-season, but this receiving corps is the only one that I think is worse than the Jets.  The Rams are getting better... it's just not happening fast enough.

1. Green Bay Packers
The biggest question entering this Packers season for everyone is, "What will the next discount double check add be about?"
2. Detroit Lions
Assuming Matthew Stafford can stay healthy again this season I expect a very similar season for the Lions.  They are going to throw the ball a ridiculous amount, and luckily they've got Megatron.
3. Chicago Bears
I'm not sure why everyone has decided the Bears are going to be a sleeper team this year.  They have a slightly above-average defense, and a average offense.  However, they have freaking Jay Cutler at quarterback.  Jay Cutler!
4. Minnesota Vikings
I still can't decide whether Christian Ponder is going to be a solid Quarterback or not.  I also can't decide whether Toby Gerhart is a good Running Back or not.  They both appear bad in the scouting report, but look fairly good in game action.

1. Atlanta Falcons
This Falcons team has a ridiculous amount of weapons on offense, and with a solid defense they should catapult to the division title.  The big question though is whether Matt Ryan's "Matty Ice" moniker is a sex-tape name for Matt Ryan or him fantasizing about a rap career.
2. New Orleans Saints
The Saints are the anti-Bears in the NFC this year.  Everyone is way too down on the Saints this year.  If we've learned anything from the last couple football seasons it is that great quarterbacks succeed.  I think the Saints will get worse, but will have a similar season to Detroit circa 2011-2012.  (I can't believe I got throughout without a bounty gate joke).
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I like Josh Freeman to have a bounce back year, but this team just doesn't have enough talent all-around to compete with the Saints and Falcons.
4. Carolina Panthers
I absolutely love Cam Newton.  I absolutely hate the rest of this Panthers team.   Just like last year Cam will generate hype and make some highlights, but this team isn't going anywhere.  (Despite this brilliant add by Matt Kalil)

NFC Wildcards: New Orleans and Detroit (That's right, thought the seeding is different I think the exact same teams will make the NFC playoffs this year.  Yeah now that I think about it, that's probably not going to happen)

NFC Championship Game: Green Bay versus Atlanta (Matty Ice gunning for the Super Bowl)

NFC Champion: Green Bay


1. New England Patriots
With the easiest schedule in football, and one of the best teams in football it doesn't take a genius to see the Patriots winning this division.
2. Buffalo Bills
If it's true that Fitzpatrick was injured for most of last season I think the Bills will wind up as one of those 9-7 teams that gets a couple wins over some great team's, but also craps their pants against some bad teams.
3. New York Jets
If the Jets are under 500% after five games this season it's going to be Tebow Time.  In all truthfulness I think that will make this NFL season 5% better.  Even if he sucks (which I'm starting to think he does), he's a helluva lot more exciting to watch than Mark Sanchez.
4. Ryan Tannehill Sucks Miami Dolphins
You know when you're in the same division as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Sachez, and Tim Tebow and you're still the worst quarterback in the division you've got problems.  Ryan Tannehill ladies and gentleman.

1. Denver Broncos
This is a case of, "well the Raiders have Palmer, the Chiefs have Cassel and Crenell, and the Chargers have Norv.  This is not a case of, "I love the fact that the Broncos have a 36 year old quarterback coming off his fourth neck surgery."  That being said, the Broncos have far and away the best defense in this division.
2. San Diego Chargers
Phillip Rivers and Josh Freeman are buddies in the "we had a lot of hype coming into last year, but then had horrible seasons while throwing a ton of picks" group that is going to bounce back this year.  C'mon Norv I believe in your horrible decision making.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have a coach and quarterback with a track history of absolutely positively sucking.  However, they have good defensive talent, a solid offensive line, and a nice two-headed backfield monster of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis.
4. Oakland Raiders
Carson Palmer hasn't been good in five years.  Darren McFadden hasn't been healthy his whole life.  The Oakland Raiders haven't had a winning record since 2002.  All of these things will remain to be true.  (I actually expect the Raiders to be like 6-10 or 7-9, bad, but not horrible).

1. Baltimore Ravens
Even without T. Sizzle for some of the season the Ravens will be sizzling to first place.  That pun was even worse than I thought it was going to be.
2. Cincinnati Bengals
I expect improvement from Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, and Jermaine Gresham this year.  I also think Benjarvus Green-Ellis is a slight upgrade over Cedric Benson.  Overall the Bengals will just be a better version of last year's team.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
Still got a pretty good defense, but have no running game and only average passing game.  All that means is a big drop for the Steelers.
4. Cleveland Browns
Has the combination of "28 year old rookie QB", "injury prone rookie RB", "shaky offensive line", and "sports team in Cleveland" ever worked out well?  No I didn't think so.

1. Houston Texans
If Matt Schaub has a good season (which means Andre Johnson probably has a good season) this is a super bowl contender.  If not, they are a weak playoff team with a great defense, and the best running game in football.
2. Tennessee Titans
I'm one of the few people who thinks the Titans are a playoff caliber team.  I'm also one of the few people who thinks Jake Locker is not going to suck.  Locker has good threats in the passing game (Nate Washington, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright), and a dynamic running back to take pressure off him.  With a good defense and offensive line also the Titans are my team that sneaks into the playoffs this year (Every year a team sneaks into the playoffs because they're in a bad division, and they're slightly better than people think.  The Titans are that team.)
3. Indianapolis Colts
Do I think they will be good? No.  Do I think they will be better than the Jaguars? Yes.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
I have to admit that Blaine Gabbert has looked better this pre-season.  I don't think it's possible that he could have looked any worse.  If the MJD holdout continues the Jaguars might have 0-16 potential.  Last year the Jaguars had the worst offense in the NFL (based on yards per game).  Last year Maurice Jones-Drew accounted for basically 50% of that offense (47.7% to be exact).  I think the message is clear.  The Jaguars should be forcing Jones-Drew to sign at all costs.

AFC Wildcards: Cincinnati and Tennessee (Like I said, Tennessee is undeserving, but will sneak in.)

AFC Championship Game: New England versus Houston (Matt Schaub will be decent this year)

AFC Champion: New England (As a diehard Pats fan, I really didn't want to jinx them by predicting them to do well.  I just looked at the field and decided that the Patriots had clearly the most offensive talent int the AFC, and if the Defense was even a little better than last year they can make it back to the Super Bowl.)

SUPER BOWL WINNER: New England defeats Green Bay  (I repeat my thoughts from above.  I hate predicting my team to win, but they are absolutely loaded offensively.  If the defense becomes only slightly below average I think the Pats will be the best team in football.  I also think Bill Belichek is going to come into this year pissed off, and just command the Patriots to victory.)