Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Football Preview Pt. 3a (The AFC)

I'm glad I didn't put my NCAA point spread picks up here this weekend. I went 0 for every "gentleman's" wager I made. I was so confident in my picks that I didn't even watch the first set of games, I played golf instead. The Michigan loss to a 1-AA (I refuse to use that subdivision stuff, 1-A and 1-AA was just fine) team took the cake. At least I had them at #3 on my championship list instead of 1.

As far as the NFL, the Patriots were looking like a team that could go undefeated after they picked up Randy Moss and Adalius Thomas in the off season. Then Richard Seymour got hurt and will miss at least six games, Moss didn't play in the preseason, and Rodney Harrison is suspended for steroids (where's the media to decry the use of steroids in football???????). They still have Brady and Asante Samule is signed as well. They may not win it all, but its definitely there's to lose.

AFC East

New England Patriots (13-3) - The Patriots have a very difficult schedule. Yet, they are so good, that their schedule won't even slow them down. They should have the best offense and the best defense in the NFL. Their running game might be a question mark, with Laurence Maroney's injury problems, but they signed Sammy Morris who can hold his own as a starting running back.

NY Jets (10-6) - The Jets, like always, aren't the best team but they are one of the best coached teams in football. Eric Mangini learned with the Patriots and has turned the Jets into the Patriots B. Chad Pennington is very efficient and their schedule is set up for them to make a run.

Miami (6-10) - The Dolphins are my favorite team, so it hurts my heart to see them this bad. The decision to hire Nick Saban (hiring a big-time college coach to coach a pro team in any sport is never a good idea) will set us back for years. In fact, he'll probably win at least 2 New Year's Day bowl games before we go back to the playoffs. Cam Cameron might be a good coach, but this year will be a struggle. Trent Green will not be with Miami next year, and Cleo Lemon (Yo Nupe!) will probably start before the year's over.

Buffalo (5-11) - The Bills have one of the hardest schedules in the league. They also aren't very good. They seem to consistently make weird roster decisions, and are in need of a major organizational overhaul to ever get back to the team they once were. I am a fan of the J.P. Losman to Lee Evans connection. Roscoe Parrish is a fast young man who helped me win a fantasy football championship in one of my league's that required us to have a ridiculous amount of players. Marshawn Lynch is good, but if Willis McGahee couldn't produce in Buffalo I'm not sure Lynch will do much better.

AFC North

Cincinnati (12-4) - Thank God for Michael Vick. Vick's stupidity has taken the Bengals police problems off the radar. Pacman Jones has also helped Chris Henry's case. Pacman is all over the place while Henry seems to be laying low. Perhaps one of these guys have learned a lesson. As far as football is concerned, Carson Palmer is poised to have his best season ever. The Bengals are also armed with an easy schedule and a motivated head coach who is nearing the hot seat. Don't fret Marvin, the black and orange will be back in the playoffs this season.

Baltimore (9-7) - The Ravens are an ugly team. Ugly offense, punishing defense, ugly jerseys. They are easy to appreciate, but very hard to watch. This season they face the league's hardest schedule, with an aging QB behind an aging O-line. Look for Willis McGahee to disappoint as well. This year, we won't have to watch the ugly play of Baltimore after the regular season.

Pittsburgh (8-8) - I'm all for the hiring of minority coaches, but I don't see it in Mike Tomlin. I guess people said the same thing about Bill Cowher. Look for their defense to struggle and their offense to be good against bad teams and bad against good teams.

Cleveland (3-13) - Goodbye Romeo Crennel. The person who gave up a first round pick for Brady Quinn should be fired as well. The starting running back for the 2008 Dallas Cowboys will be Darren McFadden or Steve Slaton. Yikes.

AFC South

Indianapolis (11-5) - The Colts won't be as good as they were last season, but that doesn't matter. They'll sweep their division, get a first round bye, and probably make it back to the AFC Championship game again.

Houston (7-9) - The Texans will be this year's 49ers. A young team making moves to get better that will be competitive. Last year, nobody realized that San Fran was kinda good until the season was halfway over. Should go something like that for these guys.

Tennessee (6-10) - The Madden Curse is real.

Jacksonville (6-10) - Too much turmoil in J'Ville for me. Bye bye Jack Del Rio and David Garrard.

AFC West

San Diego (11-5) - I was in no way against the firing of Marty Schottenheimer. But bring in Norv Turner? They should've fired Marty, hired Wade Phillips and got Cam Cameron to stay. Luckily for Norv, they're too good to not win 11 games.

Denver (9-7) - Denver is poised to be pretty decent. I say pretty decent because Cutler will likely be up and down. Welcome back to the playoffs Mr. Shannahan.

Oakland (8-8) - Oakland could sneak their way into the playoffs. They probably won't, but they have the players and the schedule to make a run. Hopefully their coaching will be up to par, and their o-line will hold up.

Kansas City (6-10) - The Hard Knocks curse, plus Larry Johnson coming off a season with major carries and a major hold out, plus a QB quandary = a bad year for K.C.

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