--- This post was my NFL preview/predictions which I released on Thursday before the season started. Given some of the events of week 1, some of them look idiodic already.......see NY Jets, Houston, Philly, etc. ----
Alright tools - here goes. Some long winded rambling, predicitons, and other garbage before the season begins. Obviously, I have no real knowledge, but then again, who ever does? I mean, who thought the Cards had a chance last year? Who predicted Plaxico would shoot himself? So this year, who knows what thug is going to shoot himself, invite his d-list celebrity girlfriend to join him in a threesome only to have her strip down and storm out of his house so he decides its a good idea to choke her (allegedly) - wait, that already happened to Lights Out Merriman.
In any event, here are my predictions after spending a little too much time on it. And since half of you have the attention span of a fly, I'll give you the key super bowl picks up front and then go through division by division with my ramblings. I have New England beating the Giants in the Super Bowl. I have NE beating SD in the AFC championship, and the Giants beating the Packers in the NFC Championship. That's right, I'm a homer and have the Pack in the NFC championship, and I think Rodgers has a legit chance at the MVP award. I guess we all owe Teddy Thompson an apology because he actually kept the better QB last year. I'm not downplaying what Favre did during his time in GB, but he went out like a total diva/d-bag. I'll never knock him for wanting to continue to play, but he's been nothing but a whiny 16-year old girl in how he handled everything and the way he tries to play the media. Even all this latest garbage about how he wanted Clemens to play last year because of his injury, etc. just reeks of him making excuses ahead of time in case he isn't successful in Minny, and he decides to quit again before the season's over. He'll have that parachute he's stuffing today by saying he might get hurt and he's not sure he can make it, and he might have menstrual issues right around the last part of the season when he starts playing like a baffoon. The bottom line is that he has had 1 good season in the past 4 (passer rating over 90, more than 4000 yards, and more TDs than INTs) - that season was 2007. That was the ONLY year of those 4 when he actually participated in the off-season program and actually showed up to camp in shape. So I think it's pretty obvious that when he's not prepared, and not in shape and his heart isn't in it, he isn't successful. Good luck with that Mr. Childress - looking forward to you being an offensive co-ordinator next year for some college team along with Andy Reid.
Enough of that rant.......and on to the predictions:
NFC West: Seattle (10-6), Arizona (9-7), SF (7-9), STL (2-14)
I think with Hasselbeck healthy, they're ready for a bounceback in a putrid division. Arizona doesn't have enough defense and at some point, Warner is going to realize either (a) he's Kurt Warner, an old dude coming off hip surgery, or (b) his wife is hideous and he ends up in a hot tub with Leinart and a dozen ASU college chicks, which leads to some serious distractions for the season. SF is better, but still not good, and St Louis is awful.
NFC North: GB (11-5), MIN (9-7), CHI (7-9), DET (4-12)
The question for the Pack is the defense. They have the guys that make big plays in Woodson, Collins and Bigby, but the question I have is whether they can consistently stop the run. I hope that Raji is the real deal and if the defense holds up, I think they're one of the best teams in the conference, if not the entire league. Their offense is extremely potent, and like I said earlier, Rodgers could make a run at MVP. I think Grant will be fine at RB, and Jennings is a flat out stud. Minnesota has the talent to be as good as anyone, but Peterson is still a little fragile and I think there will be some issues when Favre audibles out of a run play on 3rd and 2 to a pass and it goes incomplete. The team is going to be ticked, and since Childress has permanent knee-pads on when dealing with Favre, he can't discipline him. The team chemistry is then shot, and you can forget about his receivers wanting to make the extra effort across the middle for another off-the-mark pass from the old man. Cutler is an improvement in Chicago, but he seems like a big baby and he has no one to throw to. And the defense is older and less effective than it's been. Peter King is an idiot for picking them to the Super Bowl. Detroit is better with Stafford, Megatron and Kevin Smith, but still has a way to go.
NFC South: NO (11-5), ATL (10-6), CAR (9-7), TB (2-14)
New Orleans has a ton of offense and if their defense can just be average, they'll be one of the better teams. Atlanta is another really good team and by adding Gonzo as a weapon for Ryan, they should be able to compete with anyone. I don't believe in Turner as a fantasy stud this year, but between him and Norwood, they do still have a solid running game. Carolina is good, but always seems to underachieve. No real reason from me, just don't think they're as good as the other teams. TB is awful - any time Byron Leftwich is starting for you and you had to fire that Polak from West Allis as your o-coordinator before the season even starts, you're in for a long season.
NFC East: NYG (12-4), DAL (10-6), PHI (9-7), WAS (8-8)
Giants running game and defense are enough to keep them in every single game. Eli is not worth that huge contract, but he's above average, and they have enough capable wide outs to at least be a threat. I really didn't want to have Dallas with a good record, but their schedule isn't too bad, and I think they'll benefit from having no TO being a pain the locker room. Philly is the most overrated team in the league. Westbrook is old and beat up, they have a rookie and a second-year WR (Jackson & Maclin) that are not proven and while explosive, have problems with the basics of playing WR (catching the ball and remembering to hang on to it all the way across the goal line). Their defense is pretty decent, but not outstanding. Oh, and they went and messed with the psyche of the most fragile QB in the league when it comes to bruised egos by bringing in a huge distraction. I expect it to backfire royally, and the city turns on both McNabb and Reid, leading to Reid being fired when they miss the playoffs. Who cares about Washington? The only interesting thing about them is Clinton Portis when he dresses up like Sherriff Gonnagetcha.
AFC West: SD (10-6), DEN (6-10), KC (5-11), OAK (4-12)
The weakest division in football. I think Tomlinson has a big year, and Rivers is a good QB. The Merriman distraction is an issue, but I don't think the team likes him anyway, so they'll be fine. Besides, which of these other crummy teams can compete? I say none. Denver is a mess with the big-ego McDaniels trying to be Belichick. By the way, in case no one has noticed, NONE of the Belichick assistants have worked out well. Weiss at ND, Romeo Crennel in CLE, Mangini in NYJ & now CLE, and now McDaniels in DEN. I guess it goes to show you can't be a young guy and act like an a-hole - you have to prove it, like Belichick did before he became such a jag-off.
AFC North: PIT (12-4), BAL (12-4), CIN (8-8), CLE (3-13)
Pitt is extremely good - well coached, solid offense and great defense. Case closed. Baltimore is another team I thought would not be as good, but their schedule breaks right for them, and that defense is still tough. I expect Cincy to bounce back with a healthy Palmer and a rededicated Ochocinco. That being said, they're still just a .500 team. Cleveland stinks - see above about Mangini. The guy is an absolute moron and I can't believe he got another job. It's a shame because I think with Quinn, Edwards, and the rookie RB James Davis (fantasy alert - stash that guy on your bench right now), along with Joe Thomas, they have some potential.
AFC South: IND (11-5), HOU (11-5), TEN (9-7), JAC (6-10)
I think the Colts will be fine with the transition to a new coach and coordinators. Let's face it, Manning is basically running that team on offense already. I think this is finally the year that Houston breaks through and makes the playoffs. If Schaub stays healthy, they have one of the best offenses in the league. Tennessee was somewhat of a fluke last year, and I have a bad feeling Vince Young will see the field this year - that's not a good side for the Titans. Any time your QB may or may not have considered suicide the previous year, you do NOT want him on the field in a meangingful game - I'm just saying. Jacksonville is not that good and I still don't believe in David Garrard as a starting QB. Although more importantly, who the heck is he going to throw to? The ghost of Torry Holt?
AFC East: NE (12-4), BUF (6-10), MIA (6-10), NYJ (5-11)
With Brady back, they're pretty close to unstoppable. Their offense is sick. The rest of the division is pretty dumpy. Miami will struggle now that teams have seen the wildcat and can prepare for it. TO makes Lee Evans and Trent Edwards more valuable, but I think their offensive line is weak and I don't know anyone on their defense (maybe that kid Polozny-something from Penn St??). I think the Jets are headed in the right direction, and I'm sorry to disappoint the Head-Master (remember he was a big J-E-T-S fan), but it's not this year. I like Rex Ryan because he's kind of a loose cannon like his dad, and Sanchez will be good, but they still have plenty of holes and have kind of a tough schedule.
So there it is boys - an extremely long hit on the entire NFL. Like I said earlier, I have the playoff teams in the NFC as: NYG, GB, NO, SEA, DAL and ATL. In the AFC it's PIT, NE, IND, SD, BAL and HOU.
Well I'm tired from all that typing, so I guess I'll go get comfortable and make sure I have my drink ready for the game tonight. I love football season.................