Friday, August 25, 2006

NFL Predictions

I've never done this before, but I'm pretty excited about the start of the NFL season this year, so I thought I would give it a shot. In February, I can look back and see how stupid I look. Anyway, I'm pretty excited this season because I think the Cowboys have a good shot at getting to the Superbowl for the first time in ten years or so, and I have tickets to the opener here in Jacksonville, which will be the first time the Cowboys have beeen here for a regular season game.

AFC East - A lot of people seem to be picking Miami to overthrow the Patriots this year. But while I like the addition of Culpepper and I think Ronnie Brown is going to be a good back, I'm not ready to take that leap yet, so I'll stick with the Patriots. The Jets and Bills will both suck.

AFC North - Carson Palmer is coming of a major injury, or I might consider picking them here. I'll go with the defending Superbowl champs. I think Baltimore is going to be improved with Steve McNair, but not enough. Cleveland will blow.

AFC South - A lot of people locally think the Jaguars are going to be really good this year, but looking at their schedule, I think they'll be lucky to go 8-8, and could easily start 0-4. I'll take the easy pick in the Colts. I want Vince Young to do well, but I don't think Tennessee has much to work with this year. Houston fans will spend all year trying to compare Mario Williams to Reggie Bush, and no matter how well Williams does, he'll come up short somehow.

AFC West - I don't have much of a read on this one. Last season, I like the Chargers a lot, even though they missed the playoffs, and I would probably pick them if they had held on to Drew Brees, but I don't know how Rivers will do. The Chiefs have a good running game, but that's about it. I'll take Denver here. Javon Walker is a good addition for them, and it looks like Cutler may push Plummer to do better so he won't have to look over his shoulder all year. Aaron Brooks is the worst off season acquisition and will help the Raiders suck. The only good thing for the Raiders is that Brooks can throw the long ball, and Moss may get some big plays, but it won't be nearly enough.

NFC West - This division sucks. I think Seattle wins it again, but I don't really like them much overall. I think they made it to the Superbowl with smoke and mirrors last year, and will use the same tricks to win the division this year. I think Arizona takes a step forward this year, but they're still Arizona, so they'll find a way to screw it up. St. Louis will be exciting but mediocre, and San Francisco will suck ass.

NFC North - Did I just say that the NFC West sucked? Well, I only thought that until I looked at the NFC North. I'm not sure they have any players at all left in Minnesota, and Detroit has three first round wide receivers and not much else. Green Bay will suck, despite Favre's best efforts. So, I think Chicago wins this again, mostly because someone has to.

NFC South - This could be a very good division, especially if Bush and Brees can make a significant impact for the Saints, which I think they will. I still think they fight with Atlanta for last in the division, but it wouldn't surprise me if they came in second somehow. Atlanta will be exciting and run the ball well, but Vick still hasn't demonstrated any command of a consistent passing game. Tampa will be solid, if boring. Carolina, I think, will be one of the best teams in the league, and I'll take them to win this division. I think Keyshawn is the perfect complement to Steve Smith.

NFC East - I saved the best for last. This division was for quite a while, the best in the NFL, and I think it returns there this year. The Eagles will be better than last year as they put the controversy behind them for at least 14 out of 16 games, but they'll still be in the cellar here. The Redskins I would like better if Portis wasn't injured, but I still think they can be pretty solid with the good receivers and a verteran at QB. The Giants will be about the same as last year, but it won't be enough to win them the division this time. That leaves the Cowboys, and this pick may look biased (like I give a shit), but the Cowboys would have been the top seed in the NFC last year if they had a kicker (they lost 3 games (Seattle, Wshington, and Denver) as the direct result of a missed FG, which would have put them at 12-4, tied with Seatlle and owning the tiebreaker), which I say not as an excuse, but to demonstrate how close they were. Now, they've added one of the best kickers in the league to make sure they don't lose those close games, and upgraded at WR, and on defense. They've made moves on the Offensive line that will hopefully solidify it, but it remains their biggest question mark. The runnign game is solid, with two good back, though hopefully Julius Jones will stay healthy and carry the load and have a big year, then Barber can be a good changeup.

AFC Playoffs - Pittsburgh and Indianapolis get the byes. Cincinnati and Miami come up with the wild cards.
NFC Playoffs - Dallas and Carolina get the byes, and the Giants and Tampa get the wild cards.

I'm not going to pick the playoffs, because that would just be picking imaginary games that will probably never happen, but when the real playoffs come around, I'll make predictions. And if the matchups match my predicitons here, I will remind you all to shower me with praise and gifts.

Bonus Prediction - Subway Series again, but the Mets take this one.

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Robert Bayn said...

Wow interesting observations, but let me clue you in where you are wrong, as far as Detroit goes, seeing i have watched a couple of the pre-season games.

Detroit has a great defence, with a new emerging linebacker, which will probably change the way people play the lions. Kevin Jones is one of the up and coming Running Backs in all of Football, if your overlooking this guy, it's a big mistake. John Kitna has looked great in pre-season, seems to be a very reliable QB at this point. As far as the wide receivers go, this is really where the lions are hurting, Mike Williams and Charles Rogers may not even make the team because of how they have looked in the pre-season, on the other hand Roy Williams looks like he is set to have a big year.

John Howard said...

Detroit does not have a great defense. They may have a good or improved or solid defense, but there is no way they have a great defense. Also, you can't judge those kinds of things by preseason games.

Kevin Jones is ok, I don't know if I would say he's even in the top half of starting RBs. He might be, but he's definitely not great.

John Kitna is fine. But he isn't going to win any games for you. He's a very slight upgrade from Harrington.

Sad that they used three first round picks in a row on WRs and you say that's where they're hurting. Roy Williams is very good, and with or without the other two, he should make their receivers a bright spot.

Robert Bayn said...

If Kevin Jones can keep healthy he will do big things.

Lions defense has been one of the best in the NFL for a while now, with the new emerging Linebacker i see good things for this defence.

Kitna will win the lions some games if he can play even a little better than Harrington (who is in Miami now, better hope you starter don't get injuried).

John Howard said...

You're wrong, Robert, look it up. Detroit ranked 20th in overall defense last season. 21st in scoring defense.

Robert Bayn said...

I could be, but none the less their defence is not that bad, they get turnovers, their secondary needs to get better, but their frontline is one of the best in the league.

John Howard said...

Actually, they ranked 24th against the run, and were better against the pass. They were also 24th in sacks. Tied for 23rd in turnovers, and had more interceptions than forced fumbles. So I think you're wrong again and must be watching them through some pretty distorted Detroit colored glasses, but that's ok, that's what it's all about.

Robert Bayn said...

Of course my glasses are distorted, i'm a lion fan!

Could be worse, could a Miami Heat or Dolphin fan, eek!

Toast said...

If it does come down to a subway series, I've got $20 that says my Yankees mop the floor with your Mets.

The Jets will not be good this year, but they won't finish last in the division. The Bills have that honor locked up.

The Cowboys will not reach the Superbowl.

John Howard said...

Surely you can let the Mets have a World Series win once every twenty years. The Yankees have won it like 4 times since the Mets last did. Anyway, this is the Mets' year. They're playing very well even without their two aces. They also have the big 20th anniversary thing going for them. If it comes to it, I'll take your bet.

I'm not worried about who is in last, if you tell me it will be the Bills, I'm willing to go along with that, but I think it will be close.

There's no reason to think the Cowboys can't get to the Superbowl. They've made a lot of good moves and addressed most of their problems from last season. We'll see what happens.