Friday, August 29, 2008

Master Predictor

While I could write a quick blog about the Obama speech last night (I don't know why, but he kept reminding me of pre-match speeches The Rock would give before a fight, especially when he was challenging McCain...Can you smell what Barrack is cooking?) or the appointment of a woman to run as the VP for the Republican ballot, I realized that many other people will do that, and personally, I'd rather talk about football. So I will continue my trend from yesterday (man, did the Skins suck last night) and expand my predictions to the NFL Season, as I have done in the past.

Your feedback and personal opinion is always appreciated in the form of comments below, but if it is negative in any way, I will be forced to contact Barrack Obama and ask that he give you the People's Elbow. Seriously, if he did the eyebrow thing at the end of the speech, I would not have been suprised.

And now to football:
NFC East
1) Cowboys: They still have the most talent in the division on both sides of the ball. I'm interested to see how all these personalities mesh again this season, as that could be their only downfall. Isn't it about time for TO to start bitching?
2) Eagles: Andy Reid is a great coach and a healthy McNabb along with Westbrook should make them good enough to finish second in the division and possibly make a run in a weak NFC Wild Card race.
3) Redskins: There's some definite playmakers on both sides of the ball, but I'm not 100% sold on their ability to put it all together, especially with a new coach and inexperienced quarterback. I expect a tough start to the season, especially with 3 divisional road games, but they'll put it together and finish up strong.
4) Giants: The loss of Umenyiora and retirement of Strahan dramatically changes this team. The NFC East is too strong for them to be the same without them, and while they're still a good team, they're the bottom of the division.

NFC North
1) Vikings: This division is weak across the board, especially when it comes to QBs. Therefore, I'm going with defenses and the addition of Jared Allen makes the Vikes the best. Add to that a very strong RB duo and offensive line, and I feel pretty confident they'll come out on top.
2) Packers: Aaron Rodgers may surprise some people this season. He's got good people around him and I can't really see that they'd drop that much in the standings as a result of Brett Favre's departure. I figure them to be in the Wild Card mix.
3) Lions: They've got some explosiveness, but their defense is very suspect. They'll be lucky to win 5 games, but I think the Bears will be even worse.
4) Bears: It's shocking how quickly a team can fall. They are basically non-existent on offense and you can't put that much pressure on the offense and special teams to win games for you. The result...4 wins, tops.

NFC South
1) Saints: They've reloaded on offense with the addition of Shockey and a hopefully healthy Duece McAllister and I can't see why they wouldn't return to the top of the division as a result and make a strong run at the NFC Championship.
2) Panthers: This was a tough call, but I think that the Williams-Stewart running back tandem could end up terrorizing teams and take some pressure off of Jake Delhomme, who's coming off a horrible year. Julius Peppers is in line to be the best defense player in football this season, and they should grab a Wild Card bid.
3) Buccaneers: They've still got some old guys that wanna win, but how much more can Garcia, Galloway, Brooks and Barber have left? I just can't see them repeating their performance from last year.
4) Falcons: They're bad. Really bad. I thought Miami was bad last year, but these guys could be worse. If they win two games, I'd be stunned.

NFC West
1) Cardinals: It is finally time for the Arizona Cardinals to be a winner. Kurt Warner put up a very strong second half last season. Give him a full season and calm Anquan Boldin down, and you've got yourself a division champ. That's not saying too much, given the division they play in, but you gotta start somewhere, right?
2) Rams: The had a miserable year last year, but they have some playmakers in Bulger, Jackson, and Holt on offense. If their lines can improve, they can pull off an 8-8 campaign.
3) 49ers: They've made some strides but they're still a year away from making a strong push for a Wild Card berth...especially since they match up against the NFC and AFC East teams this year.
4) Seahawks: The reign has ended. Holmgren is on his way out. Alexander is gone. Their starting WRs are both out, and they're starting QB is ailing. A mighty plummet will ensue.

AFC East
1) Patriots: Come on, they're the Patriots. They were 16-0 last season. The Jets are improved but the Pats are still the best.
2) Jets: They're only two years removed from a Wild Card birth and I see them being the biggest gainer in the offseason. They should return to the playoffs this year behind a rejuvenated offense.
3) Bills: They've got a decent defense and Trent Edwards had his moments last year, but they're just a so-so team in the grand scheme of things.
4) Dolphins: They're in a rebuilding period. Period.

AFC North
1) Steelers: Roethlisberger impressed me last year. I guess he really is a quality quarterback and that first year winning streak wasn't a fluke. They should continue to excel, even if Willie Parker isn't 100%.
2) Browns: They took a big step forward last year, but some injuries this year, and the continued struggles of their defense will hold them back. They'll fight for a Wild Card, but the AFC is pretty tough.
3) Bengals: Their defense is too bad for them to consider themselves a playoff contender. Injuries to their offensive stars will also pull them down. 6-7 wins would be my guess.
4) Ravens: They haven't fixed their offensive problems and actually took a step backwards with the injury to Willis McGahee. The once stout defense is getting older, so I can't see them doing any better than maybe jumping past the Bengals.

AFC South
1) Colts: This is definitely the best division in football, but Peyton Manning is the best quarterback to play the game...yes, I said it. They're a solid team when healthy, and another Super Bowl run is not out of the question.
2) Jaguars: It's a shame they have to play in the same division as the Colts as they are possibly the third best team in the AFC. Strong defense, power running game, smart quarterback and coach...I wouldn't be surprised if they had a better record than the Patriots...yes, I said that too.
3) Titans: Jeff Fisher is probably one of the most underrated coaches in football. This team is really not that great, but he makes the most of what he's got, and Vince Young is a playmaker. They'll unfortunately be pushed out of the playoffs by the Jets.
4) Texans: They're moving in the right direction, but playing in this division is a serious handcuff. They could win the NFC West...if only.

AFC West
1) Chargers: Too many weapons on both sides of the ball. An injured Shawne Merriman really hurts them though. The downside to steroid use...let this be a lesson, children.
2) Broncos: I wouldn't be surprised to see them be the surprise of the NFL this season. I sang the praises of Jay Cutler yesterday and Mike Shanahan is a masterful coach. 10 wins wouldn't surprise me...even playing against the NFC East.
3) Raiders: JaMarcus Russell will be fun to watch this year and may be reminiscent of the old Daunte Culpepper. They have a decent defense and could surprise people with a 7 or 8 win season, despite the youth.
4) Chiefs: Who is worse...the Chiefs or the Falcons? Both will give the '76 Bucs a run for their money. My money is on the Falcons, but these guys are really bad too.

NFC Wild Card
Eagles over Vikings
Panthers over Cardinals

AFC Wild Card
Jaguars over Steelers (again)
Chargers over Jets

NFC Divisional
Cowboys over Eagles
Saints over Panthers

AFC Divisional
Jaguars over Colts
Patriots over Chargers

NFC Championship
Cowboys over Saints

AFC Championship
Patriots over Jaguars

Super Bowl
Cowboys over Patriots

Yes, as a Redskins fan, it was tough to write it...but their coach's job is on the line and there's too much talent for them to continue losing in the first round each year. What do you think....?

"It doesn't matter what you think" -The Rock Obama

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