I had orginally done this as a straightforward division winners and players of the year type of piece. I was kind of inspired by Bill Simmons first article since 1982 today on ESPN, and feel like doing a points of emphasis type piece on the entire season.
- The Patriots are not done yet. I know everyone thinks the departure of Asante Samuel, the arrest of Nick Kaczur, the depletion of the secondary and linebacking corps, the departure of Donte Stallworth, and the lack of any playing time by Tom Brady will finally spell the demise of the mighty Pats. Wrong. Sorry. Best coach in the game, and the best player in the game. I think Lamont Jordan will be a big addition to the team, Tom Brady will win the MVP and Jerod Mayo will win the Defensive Rookie of the year. This is still the team to beat in the NFL.
- The Bills are the sleeper of the NFL this season. Everyone is all over boring and terrible choices like the Browns (I’ll get to them later), and the Niners. The Bills have been steadily building defensive talent through the draft for the last 4 seasons. Donte Whitner, Leodis McKelvin, and John McCargo should all have really good years for the Bills who are sure to improve on their 29th ranked defense of last season. 2nd year QB Trent Edwards has a new target to go along with Lee Evans in giant WR James Hardy. I really like the chance for this offense to grow and develop this year together. SLEEPER ALERT!
- Why does everyone love Derrick Anderson so much? A 3:2 TD/INT ratio with a 56% completion % doesn’t exactly bring up thoughts of Dan Marino in my mind. This team will be garbage (impossible schedule, way to many expectations, too many guys who get hurt), mark it down.
- I love the AFC South. This division is just spectacular. Houston is definetly a team on the rise, you can never count out any team coached by Jeff Fisher, the Colts have Peyton, and the Jags are finally looking to top the Colts. Even the NFC East isn’t this deep.
- I really like Jay Cutler this year. People are so up and down on this guy. Peter King loves him, Bill Simmons hates him, and I don’t really give a shit what either think!!! Cutler has a cannon, and enough offensive options in Brandon Marshall, Daniel Graham, Tony Scheffler and Selvin Young. Cutler is my Comeback Player of the Year pick for this season. I’m not sure their defense is good enough for them to be a playoff team, but there offense will be able to score with anyone.
- The Cowboys are stacked. Simmons touched on this today, but the talent that they have on this team, in the salary cap era at that, is incredible. I’m not sure that half the team doesn’t end up in jail by the end of the year, or that the cohesiveness of all these guys will be prevalent, but regardless, stacked.
- The Packers will regret not keeping Favre. It’s not that I think that Aaron Rodgers is horrible, but I just don’t understand how the Pack brass didn’t think that Favre gave them a much better chance at winning a Super Bowl, and this team has that kind of talent.
- The Vikings will regret not trying to bring in a veteran to push Tavaris Jackson. This division is crazy. Two teams that I really like, but I am so unsure of their QB’s that I do not know how to rate them.
- The NFC South is back. After last season, everyone was back to their original realignment assessment of the NFC South as the worst division in the league. Jake Delhome is back from Tommy John Surgery, the Saints defense is much improved and their offense is potent, and the Bucs have the deepest defense in the history of the team. The Falcons don’t count.
- The NFC West is the worst division in the NFL. Seattle is blah, the Cards would be fine If i had any hope that Kurt Warner could play all 16 games, the Rams have no defense, and the Niners have…I’m not sure what they have really, other than good linebackers.