Posted on: October 7, 2009 1:51 pm
It seems like the worst keep on getting worse and the best keep on getting better! There are so many bad teams, I want to put them all in the 30-32 range. Oh well, here we go...
32) St. Louis Rams (30). They've solidified themselves as the garbage of the league. How do you only score 24 points in 4 games, and get shutout twice? I feel horrible for Steven Jackson.
31) Cleveland Browns (32). They showed some signs of life, but couldn't pull it out in overtime. Looks like Derek Anderson will continue to start, so what do you do with Quinn? How will the loss of Edwards affect them?
30) Kansas City Chiefs (31). Without the garbage time yards in the 4th quarter, this team did virtually nothing against the Giants. Cassel continues to show nothing, as does Larry Johnson. This team needs a makeover.
29) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28). It was a close one against the Redskins, but they couldn't maintain their lead. A porous defense, and a lackluster offense spells goodbye playoffs.
28) Oakland Raiders (27). Darren McFadden wasn't able to put up anything against the league's worst run defense, and now they face the Giants without him. JaMarcus Russell is absolutely terrible, it's time to replace him.
27) Washington Redskins (29). Yeah, they won, but it was against a pitiful Bucs team, and they were losing most of the game. They just need more consistency, and let Campbell throw a little more.
26) Detroit Lions (26). They kept it close in the beginning, but their defense gave out. Giving up 48 points to a division rival does not bode well. Their offense looked pretty good, though, but let's hope Stafford can stay healthy.
25) Buffalo Bills (24). Not good. I'm not sure whether it's the playcalling, Trent Edwards, Dick Jauron, or a combination of these, but something is just not right. They must beat Cleveland if they want a shred of respect.
24) Tennessee Titans (19). Their season is officially over. Is it time to start Vince Young, or will that only worsen the problem? They could still bounce back to a .500 record.
23) Carolina Panthers (25). Hopefully the bye week will have strengthened this team. If they can get their passing game together, they might be able to make a run at the playoffs. Who would have thought Steve Smith would be the second best WR with his name?
22) Seattle Seahawks (21). If Hasselbeck returns, they can beat Jacksonville and Arizona back to back to even up their record. However, that defense needs to get itself together for that to happen.
21) Dallas Cowboys (14). What a dysfunctional group. TO was definitely not the problem. They need to get their act together if they want a chance against the Eagles and Giants. Romo also needs to be more accurate.
20) Jacksonville Jaguars (23). David Garrard showed up and took the pressure off of MJD. If they could have pulled out a win against the Colts in the season opener, they'd be winning the division!
19) Arizona Cardinals (20). They could quickly fall out of contention with a loss against the Texans. Hightower must put up some form of a rushing game in order to be successful. The Cards can't fall too far behind San Francisco.
18) Miami Dolphins (22). That running game is just unbelieveable. The Bills could do nothing to stop it. If Chad Henne can manage games well and play efficiently, there's no reason this team can't make a comeback.
17) Houston Texans (17). They beat Oakland. This week is where they decide if they want to break out from the middle of the pack against the Cardinals. If their defense shows up, they can win easily.
16) San Diego (7). What a disappointment. They have everything they need on offense, but their defense continues to give up games. Rivers is great, but not perfect.
15) Green Bay Packers (9). Rodgers played very well considering he had no protection. Once again, their defense failed them, and it was left on their quarterback's shoulders. They need this bye week.
14) Cincinnati Bengals (16). Carson Palmer is playing like they thought he would when he was drafted. Ochocinco has stepped up his game, and Cedric Benson played well. Plus, their defense is showing up this year!
13) Atlanta Falcons (12). This bye week will help them get over the loss to the Patriots, and hopefully prepare for the 49ers and Bears. If they can get their run defense issues settled, watch out.
12) Philadelphia Eagles (11). I still don't know what to make of this team because we've hardly seen their entire group of starters play. Tampa Bay and Oakland won't get in their way, so they'll probably be at 4-1 soon.
11) San Francisco 49ers (15). This is an extremely well-coached football team, all around. Though Crabtree may not make a large immediate impact, it's good that they got his deal settled so they can move on.
10) Chicago Bears (13). If you don't look at their first game, they're almost a perfect offense. If they can win more division games, they'll be on top of the NFC North come playoff time.
9) New York Jets (4). So it looks like Mark Sanchez is human. He'll have a poor performance every once and awhile this year, but he'll bounce back. Their defense still looks dominating, it's not easy to limit Drew Brees to 0 TDs.
8) Denver Broncos (18). Though I still don't think they're a top 5 team, they are definitely for real this year. That defense has been unbelieveable, even against a good Cowboys offense. They really needed to have Brandon Marshall step up.
7) New England Patriots (10). They really needed that win to establish themselves as still a dominant team in the NFL. Tom Brady continues to look better, and their defense has been playing decent.
6) Pittsburgh Steelers (8). Despite their record, they're one of the toughest teams in the NFL. Once Polumalu returns, they'll be back in Superbowl form. Also, their running game is back, and Big Ben is playing lights out football.
5) Baltimore Ravens (3). They're a bad call and a bad drop away from being undefeated. They'll win that game in January, and still have the division lead. Watch out for those tricky Bengals. Oh, and the Steelers are back.
4) Minnesota Vikings (6). Looks like the Favre acquisition paid off after all. He took the load off of Adrian Peterson. Their offensive line was truly amazing. This entire team is clicking right now.
3) New Orleans Saints (5). Once again, their defense showed up and took advantage of Sanchez's age. Brees didn't throw a TD for the second straight week, but he didn't need to.
2) Indianapolis Colts (2). How unbelieveable is Peyton Manning? I mean seriously, 300 yards in his first 4 games? The only thing I'd be worried about is their run defense.
1) New York Giants (1). As long as Eli Manning is their starting quarterback, they're likely to remain up top. Plantar Faciitis is a lingering injury, though, and could affect him down the stretch.
Posted on: October 6, 2009 11:35 am
During the preseason, I attempted to predict who would win each division and the wild card spots. Four weeks into the season, I'm going to do it again! This time I'll also include my early Superbowl picks.
AFC East: New York Jets (prev. Patriots). Yes, Sanchez was brought back down to earth last weekend, but their schedule is simple. I truly don't believe that the Patriots can pull this one out, for two reasons. First, the Jets have already beaten them, which already gives them a tie-breaker advantage. Second, the Patriots are a Mark Clayton drop and McKelvin fumble away from being 1-3, which would leave them tied with the Dolphins at the basement. I think the Jets will pull it out with a one win lead.
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers (prev. Steelers). They're currently 3rd in their division, but they have the tools to bring this back around. They have the Lions and Browns back-to-back, which all but puts them at 4-2. Although the Bengals have looked good, each game has been close with them. They're certainly making strides, but they're still a year away from the playoffs in my eyes. The biggest challenge is the Ravens, and I think regardless of who wins the division, both will be making the playoffs.
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts (prev. Colts). This doesn't need a lot of justification, although they did almost lose to the Jaguars in the opener. If they can put away the Titans next week (and they certainly should), we can pretty much call this one.
AFC West: Denver Broncos?? (prev. Chargers). I guess? After beating the Cowboys I finally had to admit that this team was better than average. The Chargers should win this division in every single way, but they just can't put their defense together. Josh McDaniels will exploit that. I'll fully be able to make up my mind in the Week 6 Monday Night game, when they play the Chargers. Plus, the Chiefs and Raiders were knocked out of division contention for the next 3 years.
AFC Wildcards: Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots (prev. Texans and Titans). These two teams are as close as you can get to winning their respective divisions, but I think will ultimately fall short. The Patriots have too much experience to not make the playoffs, and Brady will only get more comfortable. Flacco is playing like a veteran, and the loss of so many players on their defense hasn't seemed to phase them.
AFC Championship Game: Colts over Steelers.
NFC East: New York Giants (prev. Giants). Their week 8 matchup against the Eagles will shed more light on this, but they're the class of the NFC East for now. They will need their rushing game to step up as the weather gets colder, especially now because of Eli's foot. We don't really know what to expect from the Eagles because they've had so many changes on offense so far. Now that McNabb and Westbrook should be both playing, we'll see if they have what it takes to challenge the Giants.
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings (prev. Packers). That Monday Night win went a long way for the Vikings. Not only do they have a 1 game lead on the Bears, but also the advantage in the tie-breaker if Green Bay battles back. They don't play Chicago until week 12, so this could be too close to call until then. Though a lot is riding on Favre's durability (which I think should be fine), they have Adrian Peterson to carry the majority of the load.
NFC South: New Orleans Saints (prev. Falcons). Though I don't believe that the Saints are as good as most people do, it's hard to argue with a 4-0 record. They have yet to play a division game (and don't play one until week 8), and the Panthers and Falcons will play them hard. That win against the Jets, especially against their great defense, was very nice. Weirdly enough, their defense has been stepping up when they need it, which is vastly different than last year.
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers (prev. Cardinals). I had a feeling that the Cardinals would be a bust, and it seems like they very well might be. The 49ers defense is great, and they've already won 3 division games. You can't get much better than that. Once Hasselbeck is healthy, the Seahawks might give them a run for their money, but I'm not positive that it's Seneca Wallace's fault that Seattle is performing poorly.
NFC Wildcards: Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears (prev. Eagles and Panthers). The Eagles, when healthy, are deadly. They torment teams late in the season, especially their division opponents. The Bears are sort of my dark horse to make the playoffs, although I don't think it's too much of a stretch. Jay Cutler has been playing very well, and their defense respectable.
NFC Championship Game: Giants over Vikings.
Superbowl Matchup: Colts 31, Giants 24
Posted on: October 1, 2009 1:29 pm
12-4 last week! That brings me to 28-19! I started a new strategy last week, we'll see if it holds up this week...