With the regular season start looming just around the corner (you know because we need a SPORTZ ENTERTAINMENTZZZ EXTRAVAGANZA WITH OUR FOOTBALLZ….right??)….its time to finish up the other half of my lil preview of the NFL before we get into the week by week breakdowns…insults and all the wisecracks you’ve grown to know and enjoy on a weekly basis….hopefully I can keep the NFL Thought Police just far away enough to say what I can actually wanna say without the Goodell BAN HAMMER running wild on me…..
Jesus these four teams look damned identical don’t they?? They all put out big name QB’s and flashy offenses, and none of them play a damn bit of defense…not even in practice….the NFC East is the NFL Front Office’s recurring Wet Dream isn’t it?? You can make a case for any of these guys winning it (well except Dallas )…..and any of these teams going in the sh!tter and winning 5 games….it’s going to be a fascinating watch indeed……
I could give you all sorts of X’s and O’s reasons….Robert Griffin makes a comeback and looks like a rookie again (doesn’t seem likely from early reports…and he seems to have a fragile psyche….a BAD sign for an NFL QB)…hell maybe Kirk Cousins comes in and looks like a God too (its possible….Cousins seems more a Gruden-style of QB too, again just an opinion)…I could say Alfred Morris will have a big year under Gruden too (yes I’m nicely saying that Shanhan was a buffoon and his only success in the NFL was on the arm and legs of two super-dominant players in Elway and Terrell Davis)….I could say the defense looks healthy and improved….and I’d even take the 15 yards from the NFL thought police for it….but there’s one small fact that is indisputable fact that damn well guarantees the Redskins the NFC East….what’s that you ask?? Of course you do….simple….the key to the NFC East the last three seasons has simply been….playing the Dallas Cowboys in week 17….and once again the Redskins got that Golden Ticket!!! The fact that Dallas may not be GOOD ENOUGH to make that game matter might hinder the Redskins….but damn its hard to forget that kinda trend!! (and everything else I said plus adding Deshawn Jackson is a BIG plus too….)
Projected Record: 10-6 (1st)
This may be a bit of a bold estimate for the Eagles….after all the NFL has had a full year to counter the Warp Speed Offense and that usually changes everything….having a weapon like Dr McCoy in the backfield does help making adjustments difficult and the Eagels are betting HEAVY on a healthy Maclin replacing Deshawn’s numbers in Washington (and to be fair, if Maclin was there last year he’d have gotten a good share of the looks….and we’d have lost out on a LOT of “Oh …I see…. Riley Cooper only catches passes from the WHITE GUY” jokes…..)…this offense is built to outrace you to the line and take advantage of the matchups before you have a bloody clue what the hell is going on….the problem with that is still the execution damn well better be there….if it misses you’re off the field quicker than a piss break ….bad news for a defense that was DEAD LAST against the pass (and you know #10 is gonna light them up….twice…so will Dallas for sure)…the 31 turnovers helped with that, and this whole team is NFL approved and all about getting the ball to the offense as much as possible….it will be fun to watch again….provided Nick Foles can be CLOSE to what he was last season (expecting a 27-2 TD/Int ratio again is pure madness though)…this team will knock on the playoff door again this season….
Projected Record: 10-6 (2nd)
Most people get biased TOWARDS their own team….but 15 years of unfiltered Jerry Jones idiocy kinda wears you thin on that (so does my ungodly habit of me talking smack coming back to blow up in my face much like the 49ers defense in handcuffs)….as long as Tony Romo is healthy (and yes say what you want about him….but Dumbo makes the mistakes he does because between horrific coaching, a useless defense and all the stuff around him….he HAS to do 10,000 %...and like I say…a LOT…”I can’t wait for the day that Tony Romo is the biggest problem of the Dallas Cowboys”….that will require a fatal heart attack of Jerry Jones (well maybe a crippling stroke )….and a glorious and horrifc death of Jason Garrett (and hopefully a painful one)…to START getting the Cowboys on their way again….it’s a shame, with this rebuilt O-Line, this team has a potential to be a legit Top 5 offense (if the idiot in charge learns that handoffs are cool too….)…Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten are as good a top 3 catching trio as the league has….and Murray if healthy….and getting the ball can make this offense damn near unstoppable….the offense can be as good….as the defense will be bad….corners being asked to play a style they can’t….a D-Line that could actually use Michael Sam (not only sad, but opens the door WIDE OPEN for the classic “only thing from Texas are Steers and Queers” jokes…) …the D-Line and Linebacker group would need a massive upgrade to be called “Swiss Cheese”….and its gonna be UGLY some weeks…but the Cowboys do have the guns and the firepower to stay with ANYONE….that will win them just enough games to fool people into thinking this team has a shot….unless Romo’s back fails….then this is a two win team at best (and with the amount of leagues I have Dez Bryant in….I can totally buy into that )
Projected Record: 7-9 (3rd)
New York Giants:
This is always dangerous….anytime you count the Giants out, they slime out like a snake in the grass and bite you in the leg….and then you get these nasty hallucinations of bandwagon fans all around you ….surrounding and drowning you…it’s a terrible thing….but when you look at this team….what used to be its strengths are gone….the O-Line is suspect and being slapped back together…the D-Line scares NO ONE (outside of Pierre-Paul….that is a BIG IF about him coming back to form again, especially with the front 4 looking pretty ordinary outside of him)…the secondary is improved, but a defense is only as good as its pass rush, I stick by that belief…and at least the running game should be improved (can’t be much worse, right??) and Jennings is well-schooled in running behind awful O-lines….it comes with being a Raider…another big concern here is the passing game… Cruz is decent (and I will never cry about seeing fewer Salsa’s ) …and Beckham should be able to out-do all ZERO of Nicks’ TDs last year…but we started calling him El-I-N-T for a reason after all….and he’s showing no signs of improving in this new offense …and oh how will EVER the Giant fans survive this UNTHINKABLE Super Bowl “drought” of… *gasp* THREE YEARS….how will the NFC survive without a “New York Team” in it??....Good God I’m just setting myself up for disaster here…..
Projected Record: 6-10 (4th)
A bit more predictability in this one….though the annual trip of the entire Packer roster to the injury list has begun, they still are a step or two ahead of everyone else in here…..it’s hard to figure out Detroit and Minnesota, but this is another NFL Front Office approved division….lots of fancy offense….and not much on the other side of the ball….Minnesota is a total Wild Card here….good luck figuring out what the hell they are in August…..
Green Bay Packers:
If the packers didn’t have the injury crisis with A-Rod last year…the Packers would have run away with this damn thing easily last year (and we’d have missed out on an EPIC finish in the Week 17 game with the Bears)…the Packer offense is as good as it gets in the NFL….A-Rod is the best QB in football (screw you Peyton and ditto to Brees and Brady too…A-Rod is the man, no doubt!), a healthy receiver corps (at least to start the year)…and Eddie Lacy to balance the run and the pass (and unlike some fool in Dallas the willingness to balance that sh!t out)…Julius Peppers to give a counter-pass rusher to Clay Matthews on the other side of the front 7….that’s a scary pass rush and a team that is very opportunistic on big plays and turnovers…anything that gets the ball back to that offense is a good thing….this is by far the best team in the NFC North….if they stay sorta healthy (which would be a first in Green Bay) this team’s hat is in the ring for home field in the NFC….and the NFC winner likely wins the whole damn thing….
Projected Record: 11-5 (1st)
Much like Green Bay, the Bears have a loaded offense, Forte, Jeffrey, Marshall, Bennett and others….Jay Cutler has a ton of options to spread the ball too (providing he can do something he’s not done in Chicago…play all 16 games)….Jared Allen will bring some pass rush to this team…but is the run defense any better??? Not so likely (and certainly not so in the pre-season)…this defense will provide some fantasy football goodness (especially in leagues you don’t get hit for points allowed)….but in all reality…it’s gonna all be on the million dollar arm….and five cent brain of Jay Cutler, but much like Dallas this team has the firepower to win enough games to likely be a wild card team....gotta keep this short and sweet so I can my defense talk for the NFC West where I can watch my flag throwing chaperone’s head explode when I go DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE….suspended 49er….MORE DEFENSE….damn I can’t wait!!!
Projected Record: 10-6 (2nd)
There is not a more difficult team in the NFL to gauge than the Vikings right now (ok…MAYBE the Bills, but they are set outside of QB)….so many question marks here…..well aside of Adrian Peterson being AP….and Cordelle Patterson on the verge of breaking out into reeking of awesomeness….well maybe Kyle Ruldoph because Norv Turner does love his tight ends (hrrrmm…maybe the Vikings should get Michael Sam…. *FLAG*….UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT….*smacks official in the face with my old goalie stick*…oh just shut up already ….question marks at QB…like Matt Cassell….REALLY?? those kinda questions….and Teddy Bridgewater….and HOW SOON?? PLEASE!! Cassell sucks!!! GET IN THERE NOW DAMMIT!! And all sorts of questions at WR…and *gasp* defense (good thing I knocked my lil companion out, I can speak freely again!)….there’s too many “What If’s” on this team to trust them for sure….but getting production out of Bridgewater in any fashion makes this season a WIN for them…and the window for AP is starting to close too….
Projected Record: 6-10 (3rd)
Yes, the coaching upgrade from Schwartz to Jim Caldwell is nice…but we’re still not talking Lombardi here…hell we’re not even talking Lovie Smith or Dennis Green…and this team is still a bit on the immature side (Suh is STILL making dumb plays all over the place, and that kinda stupid may be beyond repair)…I don’t trust Stafford in the big spots…he has that Favre-factor in him….in all the bad ways….the running game is still uncertain and I don’t think anything’s been done to help the defense either….and this de-Schwartzing of the Lions is gonna take some time to clean all the crap out (that includes Suh walking at the season’s end)…Calvin and Tate and the other WR’s will keep this team in games…but I’m just not buying this team or roster at this point….can you blame me?? (Don’t worry….Stafford will pile up his 5,000 yards on Aylbert’s bench and no one will care J )
Projected Record: 6-10 (4th)
A legit Super Bowl contender in the Saints….and a lot of questions after that….have the Falcons fixed their O and D Lines? Was Schiano really the problem in Tampa or was my Rutgers hatred seeping through? (a little of both)….who the hell is Cam Newton going to throw too….or is he just getting injured on purpose…..I’d want a do over too with that offense….it’s doubtful anyone but the Saints make the playoffs here….and they MUST get home-field to meet any Super Bowl expectations…..
New Orleans Saints:
This might possibly be the deepest and most complete Saints team of all-time ever assembled (and yes …on paper….better than the Super Bowl winning team they had) …..we all know about Drew Brees already and all he can do with the football….and yay it took stupid arbitration for us to learn that a guy who lines up at TE, goes to the Pro Bowl as a TE, and is a tight end GETS PAID AS ONE (and then goes and cries like a bitch about Lance Moore (who deserves to die anyway) and Darren Sproles having to leave the team to paid his overpriced ass in the process…funny thing is when Graham lines up as a WR….he might as well be Stephen Hill (I use him not because he’s a Jet…but because his ass got cut and they were just talking about it on the radio…)….and not to piss on the NFL’s parade….but this defense looks pretty sick this year….hell it was good enough to cut Chump Bailey (who’s career is probably over) and adding Jarius Byrd with Kenny Vaccaro makes for an awesome pair of safeties down the middle….add in Rob Ryan’s crazy defensive mind….and a chance at Home Field….and this is a possible….hell I’d say probable Super Bowl team…..providing January football goes through the Superdome….
Projected Record: 12-4 (1st)
Tampa Bay Bucs:
Yes firing Schiano and adding in an ACTUAL NFL head coach not only adds respectability to this team…but it instantly gives them 5 wins in the next season! Not that Lovie Smith is Lombardi mind you….just compared to Schiano he is …adding Josh McNown as a tutor/mentor/fill-in for Mike Glennon was a smart move too (esp with those targets of Evans and V-Jax to chuck it too….McNown should feel like he’s in a Global Warmed Version of Chicago down there….add in the health of Doug Martin and the improvements to the offensive line and this looks like a solid offense (and way better than the two teams below)…the defense was solid last season too (and hurt more by the level of awful trying to run a Rutgers offense in the NFL turned into)….plus Lovie Smith defenses tend to get pressure and cause turnovers…both essential things in the current “defense is evil” mindset the NFL has….and dare I say it…this is a bubble playoff team….amazing what wiping a Schiano-stain from your soul can do for you!!!!
Projected Record: 9-7 (2nd)
Good God, the NFC does offer a lot of “family friendly porn” for the NFL higher-up’s don’t they??? A top-flight QB in Matt Ryan, two top targets in Roddy White and Julio Jones (and even Harry Douglas stepped up big when the other guys went down)…but that’s where the good news stops in Atlanta….in fact….to the Falcon fan out there (is there one?) I’m afraid I have some BAD NEWS FOR YOU!!!! (get better soon Wade Barrett)…the running game was horrific last year….the offensive line is already shuffling injuries…there’s NO ONE at Tight End now that Gonzo can’t dunk the goalpost anymore…and the D was soft and horrific last year and won’t be much better this year….their head coach is a fool….and the ONE GODDAMN YEAR I HAVE HBO THESE IDIOTS ARE THE HARD KNOCKS TEAM??? Screw them!!! And they suck anyway!!!!
Projected Record: 6-10 ( 3rd )
…..as much as the other teams in this division offer flashy offense and all that eye candy for the powers that be….this is that ugly fat chick in the back of the room that is about to take her shirt off and you yell NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO at….you don’t wanna see THAT people….yeech….an over-priced and under productive backfield (in fact these high priced backs on god AWFUL contracts are why this team is in cap hell….if any team would want to steal two compliance buyouts from the NHL and use them it would be on DeAngelo Williams and John Stewart and be done with those abyss-like contracts)…and the receiveing core that was brought in when Steve Smith HAD to go (he was a rare cuttable player on this team…that old GM needs be pistol-whipped still)…Jericho Cotchry? Kelvin Benjamin? Good God….at least they have Greg Olson at TE…but there’s not much else on offense here…..3 and out might be a good drive for the Panthers….and I didn’t even mention the mass injuries that Cam Netwon has taken in the off-season (the broken foot from kicking the wall when Smith left…the ribs he hurt in the pre-season)….and while the front 7 is as good as it gets…the secondary will be crappy…and the offense is gonna leave them out there more often than not….that’s an ugly prognosis for the Panthers in the short-term future….its the kinda ugly that costs coaches jobs….
Projected Record: (5-11, 4th)
The best Division in football not only sports the reigning and defending Super Bowl Champs….but it also boasts the runner-up team last year (screw Denver, the Niner pass rush would have gotten just as many defensive rules changed this season too)…..an upcoming Rams team the league is buzzing about….and oh yeah….a 10-6 team that missed the playoffs….long gone is the 7-9 division winner…well maybe that one just moved East…..
Reigning and defending Super Bowl CHAMPS….damn that is nice to say still!!! Young, signed up and now with a possible full season of Percy Harvin…..and a nice middle finger to the NFL that a DEFENSE AND RUN FIRST TEAM CAN STILL WIN….suck it Goodell!!! And hence the 40,000 illegal contact penalties in the pre-season this year (*sigh*…it’s like hearing Mario Lemieux complain about obstruction in the NHL….and seriously….the faster you make the game the MORE YOU PUT YOUR PLAYERS AT RISK….the good players will fight through the challenges and be good….you’re just evening the field for the lesser players to make plays and 55-50 games with no defense are boring….and why the Arena League sucks )…. Marshawn Lynch is back in the fold, but he ran out of gas near the end after all…but at least Seattle can rely on the league’s best defense to help them out and make it easier on the offense (not to mention Harvin in the return game if needed in big spots)…add in Russell Wilson in year three and being able to take steps and leaps ahead in his development and maybe make the rest of this receiver corps too…..I don’t expect the total dominance of last season….and a few untimely flags will probably cost Seattle …..but if they like New Orleans….get home field…look out, this team is HELL ON EARTH to beat in Seattle….its just so goddamned hard to repeat, and this team doesn’t have a huge margin of error (and a tough schedule too)…I don’t see a repeat likely….but there’s not many teams in football that could knock them off….
Projected Record: 11-5 (1st)
St Louis Rams:
OH MY GOD THE RAMS CUT MICHAEL SAM!!! THEY HATE GAYS AND DIDN’T WANT TO SPEND EXTRA MONEY ON A MICHAEL SAM SHOWER ROOM….HOW HORRIBLE ARE THESE PEOPLE!!!! OH MY GOOODDDDDD!!!...ok, did I get that out of everyone’s system?? Can we stop talking about one of three 7th Round picks?? Good grief….anyway….to the actual active Rams….
….many moons ago the Rams lost their starting QB, they had an awesome team around him and people were buzzing about this team….but Trent Green was gone….and in came this Arena Football playing, Bible in his back pocket, Jesus ADORING guy named Kurt Warner….we all know how that turned out ….right?? Shaun Hill could be that next guy…an improving receiving core…a good O-Line…Zac Stacey who emerged last year as the guy (given last year, someone ELSE was the guy and all he did was piss off fantasy owners and be so bad I can’t even remember his damned name)….the best D-Line and possibly front 7 in the game ….if a WR can step up (people expect it to be Kenny Britt…he’s a Rutgers alum….I know better….)…and the safeties can develop on the fly, this is a complete team and Hill can ride the wave just like Kapernick does in San Fran and just try to not screw it up and this team will be good….I also heavily believe in their coach, and expect this team to be knocking on the playoff door…..
Projected Record: 9-7 (2nd)
San Francisco 49ers:
This is the one I expect to take a LOT of sh!t over……the San Francisco 49ers WILL MISS THE PLAYOFFS….I’ve been saying it all off-season….all pre-season (nice to know they actually found the end zone at long last)…but I’ll break it down into three reasons (and I swear only one is their overrated Tim Tebow clone with a deep ball )
First: when you go to three NFC Title games in a row….you only have down to go, it’s VERY rare you can maintain that level season after season
Second: their defense is on the down too….Bowman starts the season not playing…. Aldon Smith misses nine games for his dopey LAX incident, the secondary has holes…add in this Ray McDonald incident too…... this team leans HEAVY on this defense….which leads to….
Third: (yeup)….Colin Kapernick….as much as I feel he’s VASTLY overrated because of his legs and being in a perfect system with all the pieces being around him …and now they added receivers….and good receivers want the ball…this guy only knows one kinda throw…the fastball…he has NO touch…and like I have said before….I don’t think he has it between the ears to get it….if they can run and dominate on defense…he can make his goofy plays and his ugly throws (did I mention his horrid competition percentage too?)…not to mention go back and look at his record when playing an equal or better opponent….it ain’t good….there’s a reason that his contract extension is a glorified chain of one year deals….even the Niners know this can blow up on them and get ugly in a nanosecond!
Don’t get me wrong this team still has a good o-line, and running game, and defense and all the stuff the NFL hates (also don’t factor the NFL’s war on defense making this team have problems too)…and having Crabtree for a full season will help….since he’s good enough to catch those off-target scud missiles that Kap loves to sling….this team is just due for a step back….we can call it a new stadium jinx if you guys want J
Projected Record: 8-8 (3rd)
Speaking of a team that had a brutal off-season…oh boy Arizona….Daryl Washington done for the year (just made losing Dansby all the more painful since those MLB were kinda important here) …add in John Abraham’s eventual suspension too (and I heard him call in XM’s NFL Channel and was drunk off his ass a few years ago…..cringe radio at its best)…notice how I spoke bad things and played up the NFL actually caring about its wellness policies and I DIDN’T get flagged….I’m either learning or I’ve given the thought police a headache by now…its probably Option B…it tends to be (and now I’ll sneak in that Cromartie and Peterson MIGHT be the best take the ball away corner tandem in the league)….add in a still crappy O-Line (it’s amazing Carson Palmer survived all 41 sacks last year)….a suspect running game….and it’s hard to see this team going 10-6 again, no matter how many times Palmer can get the ball to Fitz and Floyd…..this team took as many off-season hits as Carolina did….seriously…..
Projected Record: 6-10 (4th)
Ahh, all preview’ed and ready for Thursday Night now!!! Well almost….still gotta do the Week 1 Preview….that should be done Wednesday Night or Thursday morning after yoga….nothing says yoga focus like breaking down the defenses for the Chiefs and Titans game while in Tree pose, right?? Welcome back football!!!!