Football is coming, thank god. NFL thoughts below:
Baltimore Ravens - Tough as nails, always relevant with Ray Lewis on their team. This is my pick to rep the AFC in the Super Bowl this year, BOOM. Right out the gate, it's like that. 13-3
Cincinnati Bengals - Terrible. Mike Brown is quickly gaining on Al Davis as the worst owner in football, and maybe all sports. What a joke of a franchise. Usually, I feel like players control a lot of their own destiny, but this franchise ruined Carson Palmer's career. I think he might have been a Hall of Famer with 30 of the other 32 teams in the league (Oakland would've screwed him too). 2-14
Cleveland Browns - This is a team on the come, but Cleveland is a city that is cursed. I like Colt McCoy, he can play. Mike Holmgren seems to know what he's doing. I could see them going 8-8.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Always good. Great head coach, solid QB, vicious defense. I don't like the Steelers because I think Hines Ward is the dirtiest player in the league, but they'll be in the playoffs as a Wild Card in the AFC. 9-7.
Indianapolis Colts - No revelation here, but it's been a great ride Colts fans. I hate that Peyton will only win one Super Bowl in his career because I think he's arguably the best QB to ever play in the NFL but he'll be overshadowed in his own era by Brady because of the rings Brady has. It's been an unbelievable run but it's time for the decline in Indy...9-7, out of the playoffs...wow.
Jacksonville Jaguars - I feel bad for Garrard. All signs point to him as a great guy, a good QB and it just seems like the Jags have been looking to better deal him for a while. Now they have Gabbert, this will be a transition year for the Jags, Gabbert will be good and Garrard will be out of a job. 7-9.
Houston Texans - As a Bronco apologist, Gary Kubiak is my boy. I really want him to succeed and keep his job. The Texans have talent, best WR in the league in Andre Johnson, really good tight end and a RB coming off a great year. They signed a corner, which they needed. Make or break year for the Texans, I think they win the division at 10-6.
Tennessee Titans - If Hasselbeck can stay healthy and Johnson doesn't hold out for the entire year, they might have a chance to compete. I never like replacing a great coach with someone that's one the staff already, but I like the way the Titans play defense and the new coach, Mike Munchak, is an OL guy who will demand some toughness. 7-9.
New England Patriots - For the record, the Pats haven't won a playoff game in their last three tries and the last two years they've lost in the first round at home, but who am I to question the mighty Patriots? They are probably going to get some production out of Haynesworth, but as much as I love Chad Ocho Cinco I think they missed this signing. Chad Ocho has made a career catching balls between 15-21 yards from the LOS in the middle of the field and verticals on the outside. The Pats run a ton of crossing routes and short quick throws. I don't think Chad's that kind of player, plus he's getting old. He'll play well, maybe 60 catches for 800+ yards and 6-8 TD's. Good stats, no doubt, but the Pats always score points. I think they're good, I think they win the AFC East and maybe even get to the AFC championship game where they lose to Baltimore. 13-3.
Miami Dolphins - Didn't they almost go defeated a few years back? This year they might make it. Praying for Luck. 3-13.
New York Jets - Back to back AFC championship games, I'm still not sold on Sanchez. He looked like a pretty good dude in last year's hard knocks, but I don't like him as a player. I love Rex but eventually even Rex will lose some steam. 10-6, wild card.
Buffalo Bills - Hopefully they're in LA sometime soon. 5-11.
Denver Broncos - I still think Tebow can be a good NFL player, and I'd like to find out soon. It's too bad the Broncos couldn't get any value for Orton, but with him as a starter and a better coached defense I think the Broncos can win a few games. The QB situation will have to wait another year, Orton guides this year's Broncos to a 8-8 mark behind an improved defense and running game.
Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs will take a step back this year, I'm not at all sold on Cassel. Don't underestimate the loss of Charlie Weiss either. Think what you will about him personally, he's an a-hole, but he's really good at his job. Watch John Brantley play his way into some Heisman talk this year at Florida and then watch Cassel get sacked 34 times this season. Not a huge step back, but 8-8 won't get you into the playoffs this year.
Oakland Raiders - I don't care, until Al Davis is no longer running the team, the Raiders will mire in mediocrity. Let me be clear on this, I hope Al Davis lives FOREVER! 6-10.
San Diego Chargers - Chargers finally live up to the talent, make the playoffs and lose in the first round. 11-5.
Chicago Bears - I actually like Cutler, he's a good quarterback. The reason people don't like him is because his personality doesn't fit what "we" like in our athletes. Whatever. Dude can sling it, I'm still pissed the Broncos traded him, he's an all pro and the Bears play defense. They'll be good again, 10-6.
Detroit Lions - A team on the come for sure. Dominant d-lines are undervalued. If Stafford can stay healthy the Lions might be working their way up. They need a running back to round things out and if I'm honest I have no idea what they're defense looks like so I'm gonna say 8-8.
Green Bay Packers - Rodgers is the real deal, the receivers are solid. I'm interested to see how this team responds to getting players back from IR. I know on paper they should be great, but chemistry is worth a lot in sports and last season during the last two weeks and playoffs the Pack had great chemistry. Not going to repeat, but they'll win the division at 11-5.
Minnesota Vikings - Look for McNabb to have a solid season. Not sure how the receivers will respond but Adrian Peterson is a beast and the Vikes will find a way to score. I don't their defense will be nearly as dominant as it has been in the past few seasons, I'm saying 8-8.
Carolina Panthers - What if Carolina has the number one overall pick again this year? Do they take Andrew Luck? 3-13.
Atlanta Falcons - Should be really fun to watch, especially if Julio Jones stays healthy. I love this offense, the defense needs to make plays when it counts (ie, the playoffs). The kickoff rule change will affect the Falcons more than any other team. The dirty birds led the NFL last year in KOR's, so with the new kickoff rule they'll be forced to drive 80 yards more than they were last year. 11-5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Everything I hear about this team is that they're the real deal. I don't buy it, I'm saying they take a step back and finish at 8-8 this year. I'm still not buying Freeman as elite.
New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees is a top 5 QB in the league, he's fantastic. The Saints will get to the NFC title game but lose there, 11-5, Wild Card berth.
Dallas Cowboys - How 'bout them Cowboys?!?! They have to get it together sooner or later, right? I actually really like this team. No more loud personalities, Jerry seems to be letting Jason Garrett coach and control personnel. It disgusts me to say it because I'll be cheering against it all year, but the Cowboys will rep the NFC in the Super Bowl. 13-3. They'll lose to the Ravens though.
Washington Redskins - Grease fire, this team is terrible. 4-12.
Philadelphia Eagles - Vick is special, but he'll miss at least 4 games this season. Also, it's great to have 3 really good corners, but they can't all play at the same time effectively. I'd expect to see a lot of 2 back 1 TE personnel against the Eagles, play action passing to expose the middle of the field. Andy Reid is GREAT at coaching football. He may not be great at anything else, but he is great at coaching football. 10-6, wild card.
New York Giants - Injuries are piling up for the Giants, I like their running game but don't love Eli and I certainl don't love their defense. Tough division, 7-9.
Arizona Cardinals - Who knows how Kolb will be, Fitzgerald is a really good. Beanie Wells has some potential, their defense is average. Terrible division though, the Cards will be in the playoffs at 9-7.
St Louis Rams - Year two will be more difficult than year one for Bradford. A new play caller in Josh McDaniels will complicate things too, although ultimately I think McD will be good for Bradford. Stephen Jackson is an absolute MAN and if he stays healthy he'll be great again. Probably the most under appreciated back in the NFL. 6-10.
Seattle Seahawks - No idea what's going on here, Carrol might not be around long enough to draft Luck or Barkley as some are suggesting is his plan. I don't believe anyone in the NFL would ever tank a season, but that would at least explain some of these moves! 3-13.
San Fransisco 49ers - I love what Harbaugh did at Stanford and I think he's a solid coach, but doesn't it seem like we've all drank the Harbaugh Kool-Aid? Let's remember, he hasn't won a single NFL game yet, and if we know one thing for certain it's that collegiate success at the coaching level doesn't always translate to the league. I think Harbaugh will be good, but we don't need to crown him just yet. 5-11.