Super-Sized Predictions (NFC)
Division Champions: The G-Men, The Saints, Da Bears & The Seahawks
Wild Cards: Minnesota & Detroit
Sleeper Team: See Team After & Above This Sentence
- It has humored me greatly to hear how many naysayers are linking New Yorks chances at winning the NFC to whom emerges from the pack as Elis Go-To-Guy in Plaxicos absence. Yes, Plaxs absence killed any chance the Giants had to repeat last year, but I think people are forgetting the true essence of the Giants in years past. In the late 80s and early 90s, when the Giants were a perennial power in the NFC, can anyone in the class tell me who Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetlers #1 receiver was?
Anyone? I mean, sure, he had Mark Bavaro, but Im fairly certain none of you could find out who their leading receiver was without the help of Wikipedia. My point? Point is, the Giants have been known for traditionally two things and its the two things you absolutely NEED to win a Super Bowl if nothing else
1) A great ground game that can control the clock.
2) A bonecrushing defense.
Ask Brady if that defense is legitimate and that ground game last year, behind one of the best o-lines in football gave ya two 1,000 yard rushers. Yes, Derrick Ward took his ball and went to Tampa. Last time I checked, Ahmad Bradshaw is still in the house. Sure, the defense lost Spags because some moron told him taking over the Saint Phooey job was a great idea. But what are coordinators in the grand scheme of things? Belichick loses em the way insomniacs lose sleep and yet, they keep winning. So after just flat out laughing at all these experts letting something thats truly inconsequential keep them from saying the obvious, Im going to do something rather uncharacteristic and say it bluntly about one of my teams
The Giants will win the NFC. Brett Favre is an upgrade the Vikes needed, but hes INT prone. The Giants proved that two years ago in Lambeau in OT no less. Arizona wont be a factor and I dont see Seattle being anything other than a happy to be back in the playoffs division winner. They wont bust a grape at a food fight in other words.
Chances The G-Men Are Super: 88/12
- Drew Brees lost his mind last year and just threw it up. Threw it left, right, long, short, anywhere the ball could go, it went. Last QB to throw for as many yards as Drew, went by the name of Marino. Im of the understanding its a little presumptuous to say this, but Drew Brees may very well be the greatest QB in the history of the New Orleans Saints. Nothing against Archie, but he never got the Saints to a playoff game. Drew did. I dont see him matching last years unconscious pace so to speak, but they should be in great shape provided everyones healthy. Especially Shockey. I dont particularly like Reese for letting him walk, but I still wish Shockey the best. (Which is puzzling, considering hes an alum of The Who, but hes still the best TE in Giants history to me. Go fig.) The true question mark that Im very very uncertain of is the defense. Adding Gregg Williams is one thing, whether or not it will result in more wins for the Saints is something else entirely. History is in their favor however, the last time they finished in the cellar this decade, they ended up winning the division the following year.
Chances Saints Go Marching To Miami: 65/35 if the D improves. 50/50 if its the same as last year.
- Cutler gives the usually QB deficient Bears its best signal caller in uh a very long while. Not even Jim McMahon was as gifted as Jay Cutler is. If ever there was a QB bred for Chi-Town, this one might be it. While Im not seeing him rocking a headband with Goodells name on it anytime soon, I think he likes that hes unliked. Or just plain doesnt give a shit, which is even better. Anyway, hes going to have a lot of toys to play with here, with Hester, Forte and Olsen at TE. That defense still has some bite to it, even if it has gotten a little long in the tooth so to speak. I fully expect the NFC Norris to be tough, especially with Minnesotas upgrade at QB. Still, I think the Bears will win that division.
Chances Da Bears Are Super: 64/36
- So why them? Why not I say? Look, dont get me wrong, I still feel the New Show On Turf is the best team in this division. However, the Double Whammy of Super Bowl Loser and Having A Player On The Madden Cover is just way too much for them to overcome. Hell, Id like to know how many souls were sold in order for them to have made the run they made to the Super Bowl last year.
In any event, I like Seattle. Yes, they lost Steve Hutchinson in the middle of this line. Yes, they sent former MVP Shaun Alexander packing and yes, Mike Holmgren hung up his headset and clipboard. Last time I checked however, theyve still got Matt Hasselbeck. Adding T.J. Whos Your Mama Cause He Definitely Aint Yo Daddy (heard Chad say this years ago during MNF and it has still stuck with me to this day) to that passing attack definitely doesnt hurt. But what really puts it over the top for me is very simply put defense.
Defense, is the reason why were not talking about the Cardinals as Super Bowl Champions right now. Defense, is the reason why Clancy Pendergast was handed a pink slip after the Super Bowl. Defense, is what Seattle has in diamonds (not spades folks) in terms of this division. Their front seven is formidable and the linebacking trio of Hill, Tatupu and Wake Forest rookie Curry, might be the scariest in the West. Secondarys good, the front four aint bad. San Frans not quite there yet and the Lambs are in full blown reconstruction mode after letting Big Game Torry walk in free agency.
Chances Seattles Super: Yeah fucking right /What blow are you snorting?
Favre & The Vikes
- For the record, I dont hold Favre responsible for the Jets implosion late last year. I saw the last two games of the regular season while at home in Jersey and well I blame Mangini. (Hence why I feel no sympathy whatsoever for the Clowns or their fanbase, which will have to suffer through his tenure for at least the next two to three years max.) In any event, lets fast forward shall we?
The Vikings, HAD to get Favre. Without him, this is no better than a 9, maybe 10 win team. With him, theyre a legitimate threat to win the NFC, depending on how well Favre holds up. The left side of Minnys line is arguably one of the best in the NFL with Mount McKinnie and Hutchinson. They have depth at the QB position in case Brett doesnt hold up (which he has indicated doubts about through this upcoming year) and defensively ouch. Their defense isnt anything to sneeze at, please believe. So if all of this is true, why am I picking Chicago to finish ahead of them in the Norris? Favre. If hes not able to hold out through all 16 games, I dont see the Vikings being able to eclipse Chicago. With him healthy and making smart decisions (stop laughing :P), then yeah, Minnesota more than likely edges out Chicago in the Norris Division. But like I said yesterday, I fully expect the Norris to get at LEAST two Norris Division teams in the playoffs.
Chances Of A Norse Winter: 70/30 (IF Favres healthy ) 40/60 (If hes not )
The Bad News Lions
- Alright, so heres where I get Willy Wonkie with it. Heres where I do the unthinkable and explain why the Lions could feasibly make that jump to the playoffs after not winning a game last year.
The theory behind rock bottom is once you hit it, theres nowhere to go BUT up. Last season, after an unbeaten preseason, the Lions apparently forgot how to win a game. I dont believe they were THAT bad, there was just something other worldly that kept them from closing out a couple of games last season. This year, I think things are different. Matt Millens in the booth, Rod Marinelli for some Im unsure reason, found gainful employment just months after not winning a single game. Any coach who can do that, honestly, shouldnt be rehired by another franchise even as a janitor or water boy. Still, Im confident that Stafford can help them win now. Kevin Smith gives them the best ground threat theyve had since Barry walked away and their passing game isnt anything to sneeze at either. So you figure if all comes together for the Lions then sure, why cant they turn it around the way the Dolphins did a year ago? I think these Lions have more to work with than those Dolphins and the Lions arent going on the whim that the Auto-Run/Pass offense is going to stymie and confuzzle opponents the way Miami did a year ago.
But in the off chance Im horribly wrong on this one, heres who I think WILL win the Wild Card
The Not So Dirty Birds
- I know, they havent made the playoffs in consecutive years in franchise history. Well, heres the thing
Theyre the second best team in the South (I think Delhomme wont rebound from that Arizona induced nightmare last season and Tampas all but done after Kiffin went to Tennessee with his boy, while they had Gruden fall on the sword for last seasons collapse). So right now, I think Atlantas it by default. I like their offense a helluva lot more than I do Phillys (even with Vick and the Auto-Run/Pass) as well as Green Bay (can someone PLEASE tell me whats so great about Rodgers?! I must know!!!). Jenkins, White & Gonzalez are as formidable a pass trio as what Kurt Warner has in the Desert. Matt Ryan is the best QB in Falcons history (probably presumptuous after just his rookie season, but can anything short of a career ending injury prove otherwise?) and assuming their defense bends yet doesnt break Im not seeing any reason Atlanta cant get back in.
Chances Atlanta Gets Dirty In January: Helluva Lot Better Than Expected/Not Bloody Likely.
So lets talk Super Bowl, shall we?
Super Bowl Good Grief There Hath Been A Ton Of These (AKA Im Too Lazy To Type Out The Roman Numeral)
AFC Champions: The Patriot Conglomerate
- Its hard out here for a pimp especially one with a Super Bowl ring trying to add on to it with another one. I think the return of Brady fuels the Patriot Conglomerate past the Steelers in January.
NFC Champions: G-Men
- Screw jinxes and the like. Screw Plax shooting himself and Eli not finding a #1 receiver. All he has to do is find someone who can catch the ball and do something with it, let the ground game and D do their things respectively. Worked well in 1986 and 1991, itll work again in 2009.
Super Bowl Champions: G-Men
- Yes, rematch. Yes, the second verse will be the exact same as the first. That offensive line for the Pats will get exposed by Coughlin and his meticulous gameplanning. Giants win two Super Bowls in the decade, beating the Patriots twice and pulling Eli ahead of Peyton, yet even with Big Ben.