Thursday, September 06, 2007

2007-08 Preview (part two)

2007-08 NFL Predictions (continued)

NFC East – You know what the biggest move Dallas made in the off-season? They took Tony Romo off of field-goal holding. Oh, and he bagged Carrie Underwood. Other than that, not much has changed. Philly will be slightly down this year from their perennial 10-12 wins, and that will be enough for Dallas to pass them by. The Giants won’t be contenders, partially because of Eli, partially because they’re just not that good. Same with the Redskins, who have a whole slew of almost-good-enough players (Portis, Moss, Cooley, etc.)

Dallas (11-5), Philly (9-7), New York Giants (7-9), Washington (6-10)

NFC North – Gawd, this is a bad division. Sure, the Bears are OK, but are they Super Bowl quality? Rex Grossman proved me right by being the worst QB in the Super Bowl since David Woodley, almost single-handedly giving away the game. And the damn Bears will still win 11-12 games because this division is total crap below them. Which means they’ll get homefield, which means they have a chance to fuck up another Super Bowl. Minnesota, Green Bay, and Detroit won’t total 20 wins this year, even though it’s made simpler by the fact that six of them will come against each other. The NFC Rookie of the Year will come from this division though with Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson fighting it out.

Chicago (12-4), Detroit (6-10), Green Bay (6-10), Minnesota (4-12)

NFC South – New Orleans will roll this sad group and challenge da Bears for homefield. They’ll have two 1000-yard backs, and Drew Brees is good enough not to screw things up. Bill Simmons is touting the Falcons as a Ewing Theory sleeper, but I don’t think they have enough on defense to sustain a playoff push. Carolina is an enigma. They should be better. I don’t know if it’s Jake Delhomme’s fault or not, but they have too much talent not to compete for a wildcard this year. It’ll be interesting to see if Jeff Garcia can save Jon Gruden’s job this year. I don’t think he can.

New Orleans (11-5), Carolina (8-8), Atlanta (7-9), Tampa Bay (5-11)

NFC West – OK, I’m a 49er fan, and even I don’t believe all of the preseason hype. They’ll be better on offense this year, and immensely better on defense. So, 7-9 should become 10-6, right? Well, a lot of that is going to depend on keeping Frank Gore healthy, which seems difficult. I predicted his coming-out party last year (though I guessed low with 1200 yards compared to the 1600+ he actually got). Seattle should still be considered the front-runner here with the Rams playing lots of 34-31 games. Arizona will put up some impressive fantasy numbers, but won’t crack .500.

Seattle (10-6), San Francisco (10-6), 7-9 if Gore gets hurt, St. Louis (9-7), Arizona (7-9)

Division winners: Chicago, New Orleans, Dallas, Seattle

Wildcards: San Francisco, Philly

NFC Championship: Dallas at New Orleans

Super Bowl Prediction : New Orleans 34, Indianapolis 30

2007 AFC Preview

2007-08 NFL predictions

AFC East – Gee, is there anyone but New England in this division? The three runners-up will all be 6 +/- 2 wins this year, so no other playoffs to be found here. If forced to pick between the “other three”, I’d say Buffalo has the best chance to surprise with Marshawn Lynch and Lee Evans providing some offensive fireworks. Look for New England to clinch, oh, about now.

NE (12-4), Buffalo (8-8), Miami (6-10), New York Jets (5-11)

AFC North – The only AFC division that is actually up for grabs. Everyone but Cleveland has a chance here with nine wins likely to be enough. Cincinnati has the offensive horses to run over this division if Marvin Lewis can keep the boat afloat amidst the flotsam and jetsam of the offseason. Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson, and Ocho Cinco will be making their pitch to be the new AFC triplets, with TJ Houshmanderheizen (“Championship!”) playing the role of Alvin Harper/Reggie Wayne. Baltimore surprised last year with the suddenly resurgent Steve McNair leading the way. Willis McGahee is an upgrade to the aging Jamal Lewis, but there are several questions here, like “What’s a receiver?”. Pittsburgh will be better, if only because Big Ben had training wheels put on his hog. Willie Parker is the breakaway threat that Pittsburgh never really had, and Hines Ward is still the most overhyped underrated receiver in football.

Cincinnati (10-6), Baltimore (9-7), Pittsburgh (8-8), Cleveland (4-12)

AFC South – I accurately predicted that last year would be Peyton’s year, and this year, I think (along with the rest of the world) that Indy will roll this division. Joseph Addai will break 2,000 total yards, and the Colts will be fighting the Pats and Bolts for homefield. Houston is the most improved team in the AFC and might sneak into a wild card. Look for Andre Johnson to have a huuuuge year. Jacksonsville is still looking for Mark Brunell’s successor. Think about that awhile. They have the best 1-2 running back punch with the 8-game greatness of Fred Taylor and the stumpy MJD, but absolutely no quarterbacking. VY will win a couple of games for Tennessee this year entirely on his own… which is fortunate, because the talent around him is only good for 3-5 games.

Indy (13-3), Houston (9-7), Jacksonville (6-10), Tennessee (6-10)

AFC West – Ah, the Norv Turner effect... Look for the offense in San Diego to show more imagination without the leaden leash of MartyBall. LT will have another stellar year with more pass receptions, Vincent Jackson is my sleeper fantasy WR pick this year, and San Diego will fail in the playoffs yet again. Denver will find that life with Jake Utler (say it out loud) is a lot like life with Jake Plummer, just with fewer interceptions in the flat. Kansas City and Oakland will find that when you have two shitty quarterbacks each, not much else matters, even if you do have Larry Johnson.

San Diego (12-4), Denver (10-6), Kansas City (6-10), Oakland (4-12)

Division winners: NE (duh!), Indy (duh!), San Diego (duh!), and Cincy

Wild Cards: Denver, Houston

AFC Championship – San Diego at Indianapolis