Len Cosell's NFL Preview...(Horribly Late Unfortunately)
For the sake of arguing and such, I know it's Week 2. I wrote this just before Week 1, but never got around to posting it.
Len Cosell's back...not that I really went anywhere. So the lockout's over (in the NFL) and we've got football. A few Week 1 thoughts before I get to the brass tacks which all of you are reading for...my predictions. (Smile.)
A) I remain baffled at how Tony Sparano not only kept his job, but earned a two year extension he might not be around for after the scrimmage that was their Monday Night opener. Oh and cutting the guy who couldn't keep Wes Welker from going the length of the field...really not doing much when there's still 10 other guys from that All-Swiss Cheese Defense still around. (Swiss Cheese = Full of Holes)
B) Tom Brady's sick of hearing about Aaron Rodgers being the best in the league, when he's still packing more rings than Aaron. (One wedding band to Gisele, three Super Bowl rings.)
C) After Sunday night, I'm moderately more jacked about the Jets.
C2) I'm full blown set on the notion that until the Giants shitcan Coughlin, I'm through with em'. No way should they have let W-rex A Million kill their obsolete secondary with guys who other than perhaps Santana Moss, haven't been relevant since COLLEGE!!!
D) In spite of what Oakland did to Denver and have continued to do since last year against the AFC West...oh, let me hold this thought.
E) If you're a Colts fan, PANIC. PANIC NOW. Because short of that defense going absolutely LIGHTS OUT in a biblical sense, the Colts are finished. They will go from double digit wins to double digit LOSSES in a season and honestly, if they're out of it by the end of next month and Peyton's ready to come back...he cannot come back. Seriously. Indy's paying for not taking Peyton's heir in April's draft (honestly, they could've snatched Mallett and been SET...but New England aka 'What San Fran Should've Been Well Into The 90s But Weren't' did) and now, they're stuck.
So...let's get on with it shall we? This year, I'm doing a little something different. I'm going with division winners in the order by which I'm certain to that which I'm absolutely uncertain of or just am outright indifferent/apathetic about.
Another fantasy football season has concluded here at SB, and here are the results:
Congratulations (and curses) go out to SB's own Ron, whose Mariotti's Pimp Hand snatched victory from the grasp of yours truly's Team Jademyst, who had dominated the season for the most part. My best FF season ever, I went into the playoffs with a 10-4 record. Unfortunately, my team chose the championship game of all games to sink into mediocrity.
I do take comfort in the fact that I completely surpassed my 19-year-old son, though; he had such a rough time that he changed his team name to The Losing Team, and with a 4-10 season, that pretty much summed it up.
1. Mariotti's Pimp Hand
2. Team Jademyst
4. Solidarity Failure
5. 15 Seconds of Shame
6. The Losing Team
Alright, I've been quiet long enough, hmm? Yeah, I'm going to get to the basketball side of things in due time. But first, it's time for the NFL. In years past I've gone rather deep into it, but this year...I dunno. The looming spectre of a work stoppage just leaves a very sour taste in my mouth. Sad, but true. Certain things, just jump out at me. The West divisions in both have a chance to be mildly surprising...or over before your kids head out for Halloween. If the Niners can't win the NFC West this season, Singletary should update his resume and quit. SERIOUSLY. The Eagles are essentially New England Lite when it comes to running a franchise. All the arrogance, none of the results. Trading McNabb within the division to a heated rival, makes as much sense as letting your best bud get a night with your wife. Or letting him in on a threesome with your loved one. Someone's gonna end up getting fucked and it won't be pretty at the end of the day. Bet your Philly Cheese Steak that McNabb's gonna be motivated to stick it to Philly twice a year, for the rest of his career.
Then of course, there's Da Jets. The Jets are essentially the offseason villains of the NFL. They made moves, they stole a month's worth of TV time on HBO via Hard Knocks and if it is at all possible...they upstaged the VH1 tandem of Ochocinco and T.O. in Cincy. So much ado about them, even I find myself worried they might not live up to the billing. Alright, I'm gonna keep this short and to the point. Or at least attempt to anyhow.
Wild Cards: Jets, Bengals, Giants & Falcons
Playoff Team From A Year Ago Most Likely To Slip (whether in wins or out of it entirely): Chargers & Vikings
Non-Playoff Team From Last Season Most Likely To Return This Year That I Didn't Name Above:
Steelers & 49ers
If ever there was one rule that all GMs should abide by when dealing players it's this...
NEVER, EVER, under any circumstances deal within your division.
Why? Simple. You never want to run the risk that the player you're dealing can and will come back to haunt you. Why do you think the Packers wouldn't deal Favre to Minnesota? Still, defying conventional wisdom, Philadelphia dealt Donovan McNabb, easily their best QB since the days of Ron Jaworski in terms of getting the Iggys to the promised land or close to it Southeast as it were. To Washington, for a couple of magic beans in this and next year's Draft, work stoppage pending. As a Giants fan, I found myself running the gamut of emotions on this when news broke. First, I was utterly pissed that McNabb was not only leaving Philly, but going to Washington of all places. Then, I was kinda relieved to a point in thinking that this is the same Redskins team that ran a botched play twice in one series against the Giants.
But after hearing Shanahan run down Donovan's oft-forgotten accomplishments, I found myself rather pissed again. Then, when it was mentioned the parallels between when Donovan and Mike met compared to when Elway and Mike met (age 34 for Elway, 33 for McNabb), I returned to being concerned.
If you're Philly, the only upside to this deal is Kevin Kolb shows you that his first two games started last season was just a sampling of what's to come going forward. Then again, there's still the possible/probable payback factor for Donovan which has me greatly concerned about this deal going forward. If you're Washington, you're all smiles. You've got easily the best QB you've had or seen since the days of Doug Williams. I shit you not on that. From a sheer skills standpoint, probably the best QB since Theismann. No other QB that I can recall did more with infinitely less than McNabb did in Philadelphia. I can recall telling an ex-girlfriend of mine that once Donovan got a playmaking receiver to throw to, he'd be in the Super Bowl. Two years after I said it, he got T.O. and got to the Super Bowl. Maybe I should've accounted for the probability that he'd throw three INTs in the first half and blow that game before the halftime show put us all to sleep.
Alright, time to put the official "cap" on the NFL year since we had our Pro Bowl last week. The irony here is that this offseason, there is no Salary Cap. So get ready for Owners Gone Wild!!! I say this before I officially start, at some point in the next three seasons, I do believe we will get a Super Bowl where the host team is actually playing at home. It's inevitable people and to be real honest, I'm shocked it hasn't happened sooner. Oh, your next three Super Bowl sites you ask?
Next Year- Jerryland aka New Texas Stadium
The Year After (Provided Goodell Doesn't Strangle The Best Thing Going Right Now Into A Work Stoppage) - Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the reigning AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts
The Year After That- Louisiana Superdome home of Da Saints
It will happen at some point in the next three years, I guarantee it. Alright, so let's kick the ballistics here. I believe it was Nas who said...
So you went Platinum, yeah that's nice...
Now let me see you do the same thing twice.
So it's on this premise that I go on by saying, short of some serious defensive upgrades, I don't like the Saints' chances of repeating. I just don't. Teams that are heavily reliant upon shooting their way to back to back titles don't have much success. Look at the Greatest Show On Turf. They had just enough defense to keep Kevin Dyson inches away from the tying touchdown in Super Bowl XXXIV. Know what happened to them the year after? They were punched out in the Wild Card Round by...the New Orleans Saints. Irony's a mofo, ain't it? So let's get to it...
Who Dat? Dem Champs! (Len's Super Bowl Retrospect 1/2)
So now that 'The Game' has been seperated from 'The Truth', let's get down to it, shall we? I sat down last night, threw down on some chicken and a Roast Beef & Ham sammich while watching the entire game. From long start to incredibly quick finish and here's what me came out with...
A) Pregame's way too fucking long. Commercials are even longer. Halftime, oh, don't even get me started with the CSI Medley we got from The Who last night. I never thought I'd live long enough to see a band perform three different theme songs for three different shows all on the same network. I'm sorry, but there's not that much coincidence in the world.
A2) Was it just me, or did every commercial last night involving beer get incredibly dumber as the night progressed? Is it just me or was there something utterly oxymoronic about a beer commercial asking people to "drink responsibly", yet the actions within the commercial are anything BUT RESPONSIBLE?!
B) This Spring is going to kick ass from a movie standpoint. From the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street to the long awaited (or not) Wall Street sequel to next month's Alice In Wonderland... I can't recall being this excited about movies in a very long while.
Alright, filler time's up. On with my analysis of the game and ramifications thereof.
Separating "Game" From The Truth (Super Bowl Edition)
Before Americana gets immersed in minute long commercials and four hour long pregame shows, I felt the need to write something Super Bowl related. Not on the game mind you, but just some things that I feel the need to expound on before we crown a successor to the throne that the Steelers left vacated back in December. What with all the "hell" they unleashed, that turned out to be foreshadowing laying down for the Browns in Cleveland. To quote The Notorious B.I.G. to a point, gotta separate "The Game" from The Truth...
Better Early Than Later, Right? (Super Bowl Prediction)
So the Jets and Vikes went down. The Jets ran into the perfect storm that was Peyton Manning, the Vikes unfortunately were done in by a Favre INT late in the game and never got another shot. So for the first time in well, ever, I'm writing a Super Bowl column 11 days before the actual game itself. Why?
A) For once, I'd like to be early with something.
B) I think that for every soul that's saying/praying it's a high scoring affair, this will be San Fran/Denver SB XXIV turrible. Indy's playing the role of San Fran, in case folks are unclear.
C) I want to devote some time towards the NBA and by putting this next to last NFL piece out of the way, I can do so with zero lingering distractions.
The Grand Finale Before The Miami One. (Conference Title Preview)
Bloody procrastinitis struck again, but mercifully, Divisional Weekend turned into Three Blowouts And A Funeral Procession In San Diego. So given the storylines for this Conference Championship Weekend, I felt compelled to come out days in advance looking at each one and why each team should feel they're going to win...topped off by my telling you who will win and why.
AFC Championship Game
#1 Indianapolis Colts vs. #5 New York Jets
Indy's Storyline: We Were Right In Not Killing Them When We Had The Chance, Weren't We?
- Regardless of whether they win or lose, the answer to this question is NO. They weren't. Week 15, the Colts were sitting on a lead in the 3rd quarter when coach Jim Caldwell pulled his starters. All of them. Curtis Painter's first snap from scrimmage was a fumble that turned into 6 points for the Jets. The rest as they say, was history. Colts end the year 14-2, the Jets are now back on their doorstep like Benny Blanco from Carlito's Way ready to pop em' one time for the great time.
Still, why shouldn't the Colts be confident? The last AFC Championship game they hosted was against an AFC East team and they won then, they assume they'd have won Week 15 and ended the Jets' season. So what's to go against it? They've got Peyton Manning, the game's MVP for a 4th time and his motley crew of receivers that nobody heard of until Anthony Gonzalez went down with an injury for the year and Marvin Harrison's services were no longer required. Their defense is better than most thought or presumed and well...they're the Colts. Did I mention they've got Peyton? Alright, great.
Lenstradamus Predicts The Playoffs And A Personal Super Bowl (2 of 2)
Okay, it's time for the rubber to meet the road. Time for the money to talk and all BS to run the marathon. Wild Card Weekend starts late Saturday afternoon with the Jets and Bengals in a weekend I'm subtitling...
Regular Season Redux
As every Wild Card game is a rematch from the regular season. Since yours truly is a full service blogger, I will give you the prediction on this weekend and what we'll end up seeing in Miami next month after the Pro Bowl. Wow, the last part of that sentence reads funny with the "after the Pro Bowl" part and all. Rather interesting that there were more Browns picked for the AFC than Bengals. But I digress on that, as it's time.
Vertically Challenged Teams & Other NFL S**t (1 of 2)
First blog of the New Year, may as well be on the NFL year that was, right? I'll go personal first with my thoughts on the Jets and Giants. Giants...first.
- Yup, I think that about sums up the second half that was for New York. After roaring to a 5-0 start, they went down to the Saints, Cards, Eagles and Bolts in succession. Of them all, the Philly loss was probably most disturbing. There was a trend there that I didn't catch until it was too late, both on the start and what followed. Only one win during that winning tear came against a playoff team. The four losses that followed were ALL to playoff bound teams. So the bye week comes and NY's reeling, yet still breathing.
Well, thanks to the Giants, the NFC playoff picture is set with its six teams. Thanks to some guy I never heard of catching a TD pass in last night's game, we now know that should the Saints win once, the road to Miami will logically stop through New Orleans. What isn't known, is what Plan B might be for some team's itinerary if New Orleans stubs its toe in Divisional Weekend. Well, that's why I'm here. It's ironic to think that two of the games we see this weekend, we might just see again one week from now in Wild Card Weekend. Arizona hosts Green Bay and Dallas will host Philly in the most important game in the short history of "The House That Jerry Built".
While I temper my enthuisasm about stopping my 2 game skid in Fantasy Football heading towards the playoffs, let me speak on this...
The BCS Goes "Classic"
- Thanks to Texas taking care of the pesky Black Shirts and Alabama shutting down (and exposing on a much larger, yet not as discussed scale) Tebow and the New Ball Coach... we've got a National Championship game between two traditional powers that we haven't seen occupy the same stage since I was...2? Wow. I'm old. :P Texas/Alabama should be very interesting and as much as I'd like to say the BCS got it "wrong", how could they? We all but conceded the SEC Champion would get one slot, Texas if it won would get the other. That's what happened. So we've now got...