Thursday, September 10, 2009

NFL Preview Part III

If you read through Part I and Part II of my NFL preview, you're wondering why I never told you my Super Bowl pick. Well, I set the stage with things that could happen for all 32 teams. Now it's time for my predictions on the upcoming season. I gave away predictions, such as the Patriots and Chargers winning their divisions and the Lions getting a win this season. Here's 10 more (that actually will expand to more than that):

1. The Eagles won't make the playoffs. It seemed like once Michael Vick joined Philadelphia, they were instantly made the favorites in the NFC. However, as I said when he was signed, Vick won't make a huge impact on this team. He may have looked okay during the preseason, but the game is played at 80 percent in August. Once the season starts, everyone plays at 100 percent and I just don't believe you can just sit for two years and comeback like it was two days. Add to that, Donovan McNabb played every game last season for the first time since 2003, I can't see that happen again (not to mention Philly fans calling for Vick after every interception). Let's also remember that Brian Westbrook also misses about five games a season.

2. This year's MVP will be a defensive player. At least in this blog, in real life, no one will vote for a defensive player because they never do. As for me, unless the offensive player had a year like Tom Brady in '07, it can't be always better than a defensive player's year. I thought James Harrison should of been in the hunt for MVP last year. I know Ed Reed, Osi Umenyiora and DeMarcus Ware are all worthy of consideration in a given year. I will say that Ed Reed will be the MVP of the league this year as he gets 10 INT's and runs three of them for a touchdown. You're top offensive players with be Drew Brees and Knowshon Moreno as top rookie, while Aaron Curry will be top defensive rookie.

3. One of the eleven first year coaches will be fired. The NFL has increasingly become harder to maintain work because the object of winning is too prevalent in the state of the game. Seeing three offensive coordinators, including long-time coach Chan Gailey, lead me to think that some of these coaches who were just hired will certainly be fired. Now Tom Cable certainly could be fired, but he doesn't count because the Raiders are bizarro world. But, I definitely could see Eric Mangini let go, in fact, here it is. The Browns will finish 4-12, the players will cause a revolt and he will be gone. Of course, we will lose more coaches than the new ones.

4. The Brett Favre experiment will crash and burn and Brad Childress will be the fall guy. You all knew that I would go out in this point of view, but I just don't see Brett Favre only handing the ball to Adrian Peterson and throw safe passes. He's a gunslinger and the only way for a gunslinger to stop slinging guns is to shoot him. While that works in Westerns, in football, they just don't get signed to $12 million contracts after a while. Sure the Vikings can start 4-1, but their stretch of Baltimore, at Pittsburgh and at Green Bay will do them in and they won't recreate the early momentum. Childress will be fired as a result and he will have company; Dick Jauron will finally be let go after a failed season with TO, same for Wade Phillips when the Cowboys finished last in the NFC East (albeit at 7-9).

5. The most disappointing team this year will be the Falcons. I know the offense can be good, but it won't be and the lack of defense and harder schedule against NFC and AFC Easts will lead to another year where Atlanta won't have two winning seasons in a row. They will be joined by the Panthers who will be 7-9 and that will end the Jake Delhomme era. It actually could be considered a successful one that almost beat the Pats in the Super Bowl, but he has lived off that Super Bowl loss for way too long. As for the AFC, the most disappointing team will be the Titans. I know you saw them play well tonight, but I just can't believe Kerry Collins is capable of two good seasons in a row; trust this Giant fan, I know. Finally, the Super Bowl curse continues, the Cardinals will finish 6-10, Kurt Warner gets hurt and miss the playoffs.

6. Seattle will just miss the playoffs and fail in their sleeper status this year. I think too many people are on their bandwagon. I just think they finish 9-7 and lose out on a playoff berth. Now if the Seahawks don't make the playoffs, the sleeper of the year is the San Francisco 49ers. I believe in Mike Singletary more than Jim Mora Jr. and even though Michael Crabtree not being there hurts, I think Frank Gore plays great and they stop enough on defense to also go 9-7 and win a tiebreaker.

7. Houston will be the AFC sleeper, though they really aren't one. This is a team that is getting picked by people who know that 5+ teams are new to the playoffs each year. I just love that offense and Mario Williams will be a beast (another player who could win my MVP). It's also a winnable schedule with games against Miami, the Jets, Buffalo, Cincy, St. Louis, Arizona, Oakland and I'm sure they can win at least 4 more. They join the Ravens as the AFC Wild Cards as the Chargers, Colts, Steelers and Pats win divisions again.

8. Washington and New Orleans also make the playoffs. The Saints become the latest team in the NFC South to go from the cellar to the postseason as the division champ, while the Redskins surprisingly carry their defense in the playoffs like in the past few years. They will be joined by obviously the Niners, Bears as the wild card and Packers and Giants as division winners.

9. This season will continue as The Tyson Zone of sports seasons. Simmons is right, the stories in the league will only get crazier; I won't be surprised to hear that a player smoked crack an hour before a game, like in Playmakers. Two serious issues facing the league, the drop in attendance this year coming up and the potential lockout. Somehow, the experience of watching a game live has to get better, because I'm better off watching at home or a friends place with NFL Sunday Ticket. Pricing has to go down so the real fans can watch the game and effect it with crowd noise. As for the lockout, do everything in your power Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith to avoid it. Problem is the owners don't know what they want, which almost derailed things in 2006. I hope sports fans are prepared because 2011 is shaping to be a year which both the NFL and NBA could have a work stoppage and MLB and the NHL have to have contracts expire around that time as well.

10. Here's the final picks: AFC playoffs have Pittsburgh beating the Texans and Baltimore beating Indy in Round 1. The Chargers beat the Colts while the Steelers upset the Patriots in Round 2. San Diego knocks off the defending champs in the AFC Championship game. The NFC starts with the Bears beating the Niners, while the Saints take care of the Redskins. The Packers beat Chicago in Round 2 as the Giants beat the Saints in the final game at Giants Stadium. The Pack get their revenge on the Giants and head to the Super Bowl. Our winner, Green Bay sticking it to Favre as they beat the Chargers. Regardless of who goes to the Super Bowl, this one will be not be thought of as a great one immediately following the game.

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