Sunday, July 03, 2005

I'm ready for some football! Already!

I hate this time of year! Aside from the bikini babes of summer this time of the year just stinks for sports. The NBA playoffs are over, baseball is boring with no steroid using homerun hitters and we all know that Lance Armstrong is going to win again. I can't wait until we get to see some football action here in a few months. We are such football junkies we are already signing up for our fantasy football leagues. It's going to be worth the wait though. I have a feeling this NFL season will be one for the ages. I thought this little animated gif can spark some off season football talk.


Blogger Steve said...

It's going to be a good season all right, not sure if it'll be "one for the ages" as Red states, but as always, it will be a great fun season.

I guess I'll start the NFL chit-chat off by giving my predictions for the AFC and NFC Champions...this of course is just my preliminary predictions, so these could very well change prior to the season kicking off. I'll make my final predictions on this blog the week of opening day.

For the NFC, going to be fun watching these teams battle it out. I think there are going to be a few surprises in store. I think the Redskins will make a good run for the playoffs and the Giants will also make a strong stand. I don't care for Eli right now, but after a season under his belt, and a few key off-season moves, could very well boost their stock. However, when it comes down to it all, I could really see a rematch of Atlanta and Philadelphia in the NFC title game. McNabb and company will be a strong force, and no matter how much T.O. is crying right now, he won't sit out games. T.O. maybe a cry baby sally over his contract, but he is very much a competitor and won’t sit out any regular season games.

In the AFC, it’s going to be just as tough as it has been lately. I think you’ll have your teams to beat remaining, Colts, Patriots and Steelers along with any of the 4 teams from the AFC West. I could honestly see every team in the AFC West averaging 30 points a game offensively. Plus the teams that struggled defensively last year have improved, especially the Chiefs who have really done a lot of movement in the off-season for the defense. Will it pay off? Don’t know…lots of questions are still up in the air. Either way, I still think we are looking at someone playing against the Patriots in the AFC title game. The Patriots are just too good not to get back to that point. Their biggest problem right now is replacing the offensive/defensive coordinators and how much of an impact that is going to have to their squad. However, Belichick is a genius and I don’t see this team losing a beat.

My prediction is a re-match of last year’s Super Bowl, Eagles vs Patriots.

As for my surprise teams, I think the Redskins will turn some heads in a weaker NFC…won’t be a contender in the playoffs, but will have a strong season. I also think the Bengals can make a move and have an outside shot at becoming a wild card team. Carson Palmer played well last season, got some experience and quite frankly, Marvin Lewis has done one hell of a job there turning that team around. Two years in a row they have been 8-8, but this past season, they improved offensively and defensively. Their problem is they play against the two of the best defenses in the NFL twice (Ravens and Steelers). I think if the Bengals can split the series with both teams, watch out!

I would like to be writing about Buffalo…I think they have a strong team, but their utter lack of respect for Bledsoe is going to hurt them. I think Losman will be all right, but the guy didn’t even practice much last season. Remember, he was a rookie who broke his leg before the season started, so his only practice time was upon his return in week 13. How can you release a Bledsoe for that? Not saying Bledsoe is the Bills high and mighty savior but, I think offensively the Bills were better off with Bledsoe. If they can stay away from a slow start as they had last season, the Bills might also be making a run for a wild card slot.

8:57 AM  
Blogger kevinck04 said...

Dog days of the sports summer but I'm ready for some college and pro football. I'm ready for fantasy football as well let me know about the leagues Jess. Peace Kevin

2:49 PM  
Blogger RED said...

Hey Kevin we sent you the invite and the info already. Let me know if I need to re send it. You can do your draft via phone.

As for Stevie's predicions I have to agree with you on those teams you said would be the teams to beat. I think the AFC West will come out with the AFC represenative for the superbowl as for the NFC I don't think the Eagles will be back in the superbowl, I think this last one took the air out of them. i do believe that the Falcons will make a great run and probably make it to the superbowl. Of course these are my summer picks and they will most likely change. I agree with you Stevie that the Skins will make a run at the playoffs and be the sleeper team in the NFC, as for my sleeper team in the AFC, I have to go with the Ravens.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous JohnnySox said...

Remember that in the NFL we should expect the unexpected!!
Go back to July 2004, who would have predicted that the Chargers would be 12-4 after a 3 win season, or that Atlanta would rise to the title game. Did many see the rapid decline of the Titans and Chiefs? It will not be Atlanta vs Philly in the NFC, but at least one new arrival. Who ? Dallas, Detroit or even Carolina may be in this years title game.The AFC has ten teams capable of going to the big dance.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Interesting picks thus far...may I remind you though, I did specifically state these are preliminary picks, it's hard to make an educated dicision until pre-season is in full form and depth charts are released to see who has the upper edge.

Johnny, as far as your comments, I sure as hell didn't expect the Chargers to do as well as they did, but honestly, the Falcons weren't that big of a surprise. Remember the season before was lost because of the injury to Vick. And being in a weaker NFC, that just made it even more expected.

I expect some big things from other NFC teams this year, like the Redskins or even Dallas, heck even the Giants, but I think your two powerhouse teams in the NFC are the Eagles and Falcons. Are they beatable? Absolutely, but your defense better be very good.

As far as the rapid decline of the Titans and Chiefs...I did notice that with the Titans. And I think it'll get worse, especially when NcNair retires, salary cap contrictions really hurt that team. As far as the Chiefs. I can honestly say I think they are going to have a great season. Their only downfall last year was a serious lack of defense. Still had the #1 ranked offense in the NFL last year (yes, surprising considering how well Peyton did), and still averaged more than 30 points. With the core of their offense still together (and we all know Priest Holmes isn't the heart and soul of that offense), I see them doing the same damage as last year. This time however, the Chiefs finally made some smart moves defensively, signing Ambrose, Surtain and Bell. Remember this - the Chiefs fared decently well against the run, ranking 12th overall in the NFL, but dead last against the Pass. Now they have two solid CB's and a dominant LB who is going to improve that. The Chiefs can easily go 11-5 this year.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This time of year does suck when it comes to sports action, and i cant wait till football starts...i'm a big broncos fan, and i think they are legitimate contenders in the AFC despite the fact that they'll be in the toughtest division. I think the Broncos will win the division followed closely behind by the chiefs, chargers, and raiders..If you can avoid the patriots in the AFC then you have a chance..Superbowl: Ravens v.s. Falcons...Kyle Boller showed quite an improvement at the end of the 04-05 season, and I think he'll finally come out of his shell in the upcoming year...and as we all know, the ravens have a phenomenal defense and with the addition of Samari Rolle, they'll be even better...and if Michael Vick can keep his cool, the falcons will surely make it to the top

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You heard it here first:

AFC Champ pics: Jets vs. Baltimore
NFC Champ Pics Seattle vs. Arizona

Superbowl: Jets Edge Seattle out, 34-30

Submitted by the One True Guru

4:34 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Bold picks...but next time, don't post anonymously, that is annoying. I can see Baltimore having another good season, but not Super Bowl bound in the AFC. Their defense will of course be strong, Boller did start to play a touch better towards the end of the year, and with the legal troubles behind Lewis, offensively they could be looking in good shape. Though they do play in a tough division having to face the re-emerging Bangals and the Steelers. But the Jets vs Baltimore in the AFC Championship game? Well - I hope you're not taking that silliness to Vegas! Oh wait, gets even better, Seattle vs Cardnials? Wow...As much as I'd like to see the Cardinals do well, which they may this season provided they all remain healthy, I don't see them beating a team like the Falcons or Eagles. And Seattle? What, their previous years chocking haven't clicked a little light in your head? Here's the bottom line with the Seahawks - if they don't give a contract extension to Alexander, he WILL sit out as long as he has to. Without Alexander, that team really doesn't have anything. Their WR corp can't catch crap, Hasselbeck is good during the regular season then folds...their defense is shaky.

I'm a huge Broncos fan myself, though I must admit I am more of a fan of the game. This season I'll be rooting for the Broncos to win the AFC West, though I am unsure if that is going to play out. Bringing up some previous posts, Plummer may not be the right fit for this offense. Though I don't think Denver needs to go out and get someone else (unless Peyton or Vick were free agents). Bottom line is the Broncos need to improve their Red Zone offense production if they want any chance at winning the division. What Denver needs to do is win the division, it's clear we are having trouble winning a playoff game as a visiting team. Last 3 playoff seasons have all been on the road and all have ended up in defeat.

I think it'll also be nice if Denver sticks with a RB the entire season - who that'll be...who knows. I think Bell could be solid, but now that Anderson is healthy, a proven back - tough to decide. I never cared for RB by committee, so I really hope Denver doesn't follow those patterns. 1 other thing Denver needs to improve upon is getting pressure on the QB defensively. Now that we have the entire defense of the Browns on our roster, we'll see if it's just poor play or bad coaching in Cleveland. Sure Denver faired well with the rest of the NFL in yards, but times when it mattered, we couldn't stop the fast pace passing attack. That's a combination of DL getting pressure, or a blitzing LB - we just didn't have that pressure. If you give someone like Peyton all day to throw, he will pick your defense apart.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blah blah... Steve is quite the windbag...

I'm totally taking my picks to Vegas. Why? Because they'll pay a hell of a lot better than your weak-ass, let's pick the same teams every year pics.
Seriously though, Oakland is trying to come up with a way to land T.O. (provided he doesn't end up in the NBA). They do that and they own the AFC West.
Denver needs a standout wideout to step up in addition to Rod and Ashley--and the putz needs more red zone looks--for a chance to contend. Pitts is maming a bid for Ty Law. He ends up there, they clinch the division. The Jets will go deep this year. Pennington will be the most sought after fantasy QB by the end of the season, and Martin will have another terrific year. You're right about Seattle. But if they do sign Alexander, they soar. Another sleeper pick: the Bungles. They will be a playoff contender this year--and may take their division.
--One True Guru--

5:12 PM  
Anonymous JohnnySox said...

For One True Guru,
the Jets have talent but face a brutal schedule this year, amazingly tough. The road games are usually against a Superbowl contender, here are the road games:
AT: Chiefs, Ravens, Buffalo, Atlanta, Carolina, Denver, Patriots, Miami.. Seven of Eight have been picked for the Superbowl by some expert. And the Home games are not much easier with Patriots, Chargers, Raiders, Bills, Jacksonville!!!!
Look for a team with a softer schedule to make an unexpected playoff run.

10:24 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

I agree JohnnySox, in fact, that will make the AFC West even more difficult this year, the brutal schedules. Anonymous, if you want to take your weak ass bets to Vegas go right ahead and lose your money. The payoff might be better with your picks, but the chances of that payoff are much less likely.

And, and I keep mentioning, those are my preliminary picks - sure they may be the same teams from last year, but whose to say we won't see the same damn teams back in the SB? Remember Buffalo and Dallas?

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why it's called "Gambling," Steve.
Just watch. oh, and your Cowboys are going nowhere fast.

11:24 AM  
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