Posted on: August 30, 2009 4:46 pm

Giants vs. Jets

I was at the Giants vs. Jets preseason game last night and noticed a few things that I would like to point out.

First, Mark Sanchez looked fairly poised, given that the Giants blitzed quite often.  Although the Giants were missing Antonio Pierce and a few other key defenders, he held his ground and was only sacked once.  He also didn't commit any turnovers, which is a great sign for the Jets.

Leon Washington also had quite a game.  Thomas Jones continues to bore the crowd while Washington fights for every yard and gives the fans something to cheer about.  I'm thinking of picking him up for my fantasy team if he continues to produce.

I honestly think that the Jets may be a contender this year.  When you look at Rex Ryan's defense, their running game, and their potential for Sanchez, it is quite possible that the Jets could give the Patriots a run for their money.  What they'll need is consistency with their passing game, and a #2 receiver to step up after losing Coles to free agency.

As for the Giants... I have very mixed feelings.  Their very first drive was perfect, and I thought I was in store for a blowout.  Eli Manning looked very accurate throughout the game, and looks as though he is comfortable throwing in the pocket.  The offensive line also did a very good job with protection.

The Giants running game was also stellar, with all three running backs averaging very well.  Danny Ware is showing that he really wants to get that #2 spot in the Giants depth chart.

Plus, how about David Carr and Hakeem Nicks!  David Carr was able to run the ball successfully while still throwing for two touchdowns to Nicks, who looked fantastic except for a dropped ball early on.  I'm really hoping he turns out to be a #1 receiver for the Giants in a few years.

Now for the bad.  What in the world is wrong with the Giants receivers?  Eli went 9/21 solely because his receivers could not catch the ball.  Steve Smith, a usually reliable player, dropped a 90-yard bomb, which ultimately would have won them the game.  Manningham looked sluggish and sloppy, while backup tight end Darcy Johnson couldn't hold onto the ball either.  It looked like they became too comfortable with an early score.  Boss remained consistent and Hixon didn't get many touches, so hopefully they can bounce back in the regular season, considering we won't see many (if any) starters in the fourth preseason game against the Patriots.

Overall, if the Giants were at full strength, I don't believe they would have given up as many points, but I wasn't quite happy with their performance.  On the bright side, Hakeem Nicks and David Carr looked brilliant, and Eli continues to be consistent while his running game carries the load.
Posted on: August 27, 2009 3:57 pm

Typical Jerry Jones

I'll preface this entry by saying that I despise the Cowboys more than any other team in sports history.

That being said, Jerry Jones' comments about his too-low video screen are absolutely ridiculous.  He sincerely believes that having a video board that can be hit by punts during NFL games isn't that big of a deal.  He acknowledged the fact that it will probably be hit during the regular season, but it's alright with him.  Typical Cowboy arrogance if you ask me.

Apparently he did meet the speculations set forth by the NFL, and has it at least five feet above the league minimum height, but it still interferes with gameplay.  I hope the league steps in and forces him to move the video board up higher, though I'm not so sure that he should be forced to pay for it.  This is just one more thing that the Giants will have to deal with in the stadium opener in mid-September.
Posted on: August 26, 2009 2:39 pm

The "IT" Teams

After listening to The Herd on ESPN Radio and watching a few NFL.com videos, I've realized that there are only about 12 teams that really have "It" to win the Superbowl this year.  Of course, I wouldn't have said that the Cardinals had "It" to make it to the Big Game last year, and look what happened.  But anyways, here are the 12 teams (in no particular order) that I believe have "It" to make it to the Superbowl in 2010.

AFC: Patriots
NFC: Giants

The five teams in the AFC will no doubt dominate in the 2009 season.  In the NFC, however, there are more teams because the talent isn't quite as good in that conference.  That's why a team like the Cardinals or the Buccaneers could emerge throughout the season as a favorite.  Here are the 10 teams that I believe do not have a chance to make it to the Superbowl.

AFC: Dolphins
NFC: Lions

I strongly believe that the Browns are a completely worthless organization, and would bet on the Lions winning more games than them.  The rest of the teams seem to be in the position the Cardinals were in last year, and could possibly make a run if they become hot in the post-season.
Posted on: August 24, 2009 4:49 pm

Draft Results

My PPR fantasy football league draft was last night, and here were the results:

Quarterbacks: Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck

Going into the draft I had wanted to grab Phillip Rivers or Aaron Rodgers in the third round.  Rivers was taken the pick before mine, and Rodgers much earlier, so I was forced to take McNabb.  As a Giants fan, this makes me a little unhappy, but he usually torments the Giants so it might pay off.  I love Hasselbeck as a backup.

Runningbacks: LaDainian Tomlinson, Clinton Portis, Knowshon Moreno, Chester Taylor, Ricky Williams

I had planned on taking LT regardless, but did not think I would end up with Portis.  He fell to the third round, so I had to.  I am concerned about both my RBs being older and more prone to injury, so I picked up Knowshon as my RB3 in case he is a breakout player.  The Chester Taylor pick was solely in case AP gets hurt, which would be a monumental plus for Taylor.  Likewise, if Ronnie Brown gets hurt, Ricky Williams will get a ton more carries.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne, Vincent Jackson, Devin Hester, Muhsin Muhammad, Miles Austin

I did not have a clue who I would pick as my WR1, so I just decided to pick the best on the board.  Wayne and Calvin Johnson fell to me at the fifth pick in the second round, so I chose Wayne.  I love how he has performed in preseason so far, and you don't get a more reliable quarterback than Peyton Manning.  Vincent Jackson is a player that I strongly believe will be a top 10 WR this year, and had wanted from the beginning of the draft.  Otherwise, I wasn't too thrilled with my other picks, especially Muhammad.

Tight Ends: Greg Olsen, Visanthe Shiancoe

I am extremely happy with these two guys, both have an extreme upside.  They both have new quarterbacks who love to throw to their tight ends.

Defense: San Diego Chargers

Their defense seems to be back to 2007 form, where they were in the top 5.  I'm really looking forward to their production.

Kicker: Matt Bryant.

I was the last person to pick a kicker, seeing as they're really not worth talking about.

I really don't know what to make of my team.  I'm mostly scared by the age of some of my players and their proneness to injury.  If they stay healthy, however, I think I can have a great year.  One thing I do have to look out for is Week 5, where Vincent Jackson, the Chargers defense, LT, and Greg Olsen are on their bye week.
Posted on: August 17, 2009 10:20 pm

ESPN's Overvalued Fantasy Players

I was watching the Giants game tonight and noticed something odd at halftime.  On the top of the screen they had (I think it was Mike Sando's) "Top 5 overvalued players" for fantasy football this year, and I didn't agree with the top 4.

His #1 overvalued player was Ronnie Brown, who I didn't realize was really all that well valued to begin with.  He's more than a full year removed from ACL surgery and had a stellar year last year.  Plus, the wildcat formation makes him dangerous.

His #2 was Reggie Bush, which I actually can understand to some extent.  I'm in a PPR league so he gains value in that respect, but his injury troubles are just too large.  He might be a good 3rd RB.

#3 was TO.  I don't get this at all.  He looked great in his first preseason game, and historically, he's done well in his first year on new teams.  I don't think anyone is ranking him in the top 5, maybe somewhere around 10th, so how could he be overvalued?

#4 was Eli Manning.  I can understand that there are concerns with him due to the lack of receivers with the Giants, but come on.  He's ranked like 18th in most rankings.  How is that overvalued?  Plus, he looked great in his first preseason game.

I actually plan on going for Brown as a second RB, perhaps Bush as a #3 if he's available, and Eli as a backup.  The Eli move is questionable, but I'm a Giants fan so what the heck.

My top overrated players would be:

#1: Chris Johnson.  No doubt he'll do well this year, but Lendale White will take a lot away from him since he's lost so much weight in the offseason.  Sophmore slumps are rough.

#2: Joe Flacco.  I really think that he's going to have a rough year.  The Ravens lost a lot of defensive support, and their running game is lacking.  These are crucial to your quarterback having success.

#3: Brandon Jacobs.  He fits in very well with the Giants, but he's not a good fantasy football back.  He will split a lot of time with Bradshaw, and Danny Ware could step in as a third down running back.  Plus, he's a concern with injuries.  I love Jacobs as a running back on my favorite team, but not for a fantasy team.

#4: Matt Cassel.  I almost have no faith in his QB skills now that he's out of New England.  It was the system that helped him get the numbers he had last year.  KC's offensive line is terrible, and they all around don't have the tools to support him.

#5: Matt Ryan.  He actually didn't have that great of fantasy number last year.  He's a great fit for the Falcons and will probably do well, but for some reason his numbers don't translate well to fantasy.

Posted on: August 17, 2009 6:03 pm

Preseason Predictions

I know it's early in the preseason, but it's always fun to try and guess who will succeed and make the playoffs this year.  I'll run down each division and then explain my Wild Card picks.

AFC East:  New England Patriots.  As much as I hate to say it, the Pats are back.  Key additions to their defense are equally as important as Brady returning.  One thing to watch for is Brady stepping up in the pocket.  With his repaired knee going forward first, he may look uncomfortable following through, which could lead to more interceptions.  I don't care who you are, ACL repair is serious business.

AFC North:  Pittsburgh Steelers.  Not only are they the best team in the division, but none of the other teams look like they have the material to challenge them.  The Ravens lost key defenders, including defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.  The Bengals have too many questions on both sides of the ball.  And Cleveland... well Cleveland is a mess.  Oh yeah, and the Steelers are the defending champions.

AFC South: Indianapolis Colts.  While it'll be a tough battle, I strongly believe the Colts will return to dominance.  They finished 12-4 last year, even while struggling with Peyton being injured in the beginning of the season.  They do seem to have trouble in the playoffs, so I'm not saying they'll succeed in that respect.  The Titans, and possibly the Texans, will give them a run for their money.

AFC West:  San Diego Chargers.  This is almost a no-brainer.  The Broncos are a mess, the Raiders are run poorly, and the Chiefs are too inexperienced.  Rivers continues to get better, LT is looking to return to dominance, and Shawn Merriman is back.  Enough said.

AFC Wildcards:  Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans.  I'll admit it, I've jumped on the Houston bandwagon to make the playoffs.  If Shaub stays healthy, they've got a very real chance to run deep this year.  The Titans should be fine as well, and may even see a little improvement in Vince Young.  I don't think losing Haynesworth will be too much of a detriment, because I believe the system made him good, not the other way around.  The AFC South is going to be great this year.

NFC East:  New York Giants.  I'll admit this is 50% because I'm a Giants fan.  I do, however, believe that they will have the top defense in the league due to their additions in Canty and Bernard.  The Eagles have lost too many defenders in the offseason, and Jim Johnson has passed away.  Every year Washington adds the biggest name player to their team, thinking it's fantasy football season, and falls short.  Although many people are down on Dallas, I wouldn't count them out to challenge the Giants and Eagles for the division.

NFC North: Green Bay Packers.  They could very well have a top 3 offense this year.  Many people think their transition to the 3-4 will take a year or so, but they looked spectacular in preseason.  If Favre goes to the Vikings, I'd be about 50/50, but I think the Pack has this one.

NFC South: Atlanta Falcons.  This is a very tough call, because all four teams could legitimately win.  The addition of Gonzalez will help Matt Ryan's short passing game, and hopefully Roddy White will end his holdout.  If the Saints defense improves, they could be in this spot.  In addition, if Delhomme pushes that playoff loss out of his head, the Panthers could do the same.

NFC West: Arizona Cardinals.  I wanted to take the Seahawks as a dark horse here, but I can't do it.  Fitzgerald and Boldin are just too good, even if Warner gets hurt.  Their defense is underrated too.

NFC Wildcards: Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers.  The Panthers defense and run game are enough to at least get them a wild card birth.  The Eagles, despite their losses, are dynamic on offense.

Let me know what you think about these rankings!  I often get too biased in my predictions, so feel free to let me hear where you think I went wrong!  It's my first entry in this blog, so don't be too harsh!
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com