Monday, August 25, 2008

Legit Football Preview AFC Version

Just like most Yankee fans, I can not wait for the NFL Season to kick off. Going into this season, there are many valid questions. Can the Patriots get vindication for their Giant choke job last year? Will Brett Favre lead the Jets to the playoffs? Will Matt Leinart take advantage of his free time to perfect his keg stand technique? Let's delve right in.

Predictions by Division


1. New England Patriots (11-5): Yes, I know that they've laid more eggs this preseason than the Red Hook Varsity Football team under the "tutelage" of Josh Mandel (had to). But if Brady is under center for Week One, this New England team has to be considered the favorite yet again. Their defense needs to stand together and adopt their "bend not break" strategy last year.

2. New York Football Jets (10-6): Perhaps 10-6 is a lot to ask of a team that was absolutely unwatchable last season. But without the drama of a quarterback controversy and a significant upgrade under center, this scrappy team will make an impressive little run to the wild-card. Jerricho Cotchery could become the next Antonio Freeman/Donald Driver/Greg Jennings.

3. Buffalo Bills (9-7): Shhhh. Don't tell anyone, but the Bills almost snuck into the playoffs last year. They really are a quality bunch of players, with Marshawn Lynch becoming an absolute specimen. If Trent Edwards can make the leap to good quarterback, don't be surprised if the Bills overtake the Jets this year. Plus, if Paul Pozlusky can play the entire year, their defense will be very underrated.

4. Miami Dolphins (4-12): I like Chad Pennington. Maybe it's because I didn't have to root for him for four years, but I kind of like the guy. However, he is not the one that will make the Dolphins into a team that anyone cares about. It should be a long season in the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach til the break of dawn.


1. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6): The Steelers may have faded down the stretch faster than Sugar Ray in the early 2000s (apologies to Mark McGrath...and fade away), but they have all the tools to make a return trip directly to the top of the AFC Norest. Gotta love Big Ben.

2. Cleveland Browns (9-7): I'm not completely sold on the Browns. Yeah, they have a high flying offense, led by Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow, and Jamal Lewis, but they can't stop anyone at all. Everyone is high on the Browns this year, but I think 9-7 might be a stretch.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (7-9): Another team with a high flying offense (Carson Palmer, Chad Ocho Cinco, TJ Houshmandkdhbfoadhfldjajldfeh) that might get burned by their stationary defense. Also, they are weaker at the RB position than most teams, relying on Chris Perry to carry the major rushing load.

4. Baltimore Ravens (7-9): A look at their offense and it's a who's who in great college football players over the past five years. McGahee. Smith. Flacco. Rice. Unfortunately, Tulsa is not on their schedule this year.

AFC South

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5): You read that correctly. This is the year that the Jaguars overtake the Colts for first place in the AFC South. David Garrard quietly had a phenomenal season last year, the tandem of MoJo and Freddy Taylor are the best platoon in football, and the defense is tough. Plus, I love the fact that their head coach has a name that sounds like a cocktail. I'll take a Jack Del Rio on the rocks, please.

2. Indianapolis Colts (10-6): If Manning is himself, this team will have no problem winning their fair share of games. The X factor here is Bob Sanders. Although I believe him to be grossly overrated as a player, you can't argue that his presence is felt on the field by the defense.

3. Tennessee Titans (8-8): Nobody had a more disappointing 2007 season than Vince the Prince. After having arguably the most successful 2006 of any football player (Rose Bowl, leading the Titans to respectability), he just did not make the leap that everyone expected him to. Is this the year that Mr. Young becomes the stud that he can become?

4. Houston Texans (7-9): Matt Schaub proved last year that he is a legitimately good starting quarterback. But I don't think there are enough parts around him to build a contender. Not yet, at least.


1. San Diego Chargers (11-5): LDT is determined to make up for his early exit in the AFC Championship game. This Chargers team has a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball and are a dangerous team for anyone. I'm concerned about Shawne Merriman's decision to play through his injuries. Hopefully, the guy doesn't end up regretting his decision.

2. Denver Broncos (8-8): The Mile-High City is desperate for a return to glory. Jay Cutler is supposed to make the leap this year, but I've heard that before. I'll believe it when I see it. This Denver team is not easy to prognosticate. They could really have 4 more wins or 4 more losses and I wouldn't be shocked.

3. Oakland Raiders (7-9): While their defense scares precisely nobody, I like their young nucleus of Russell, McFadden, and Ronald Curry to put some points on the board. Oakland fans should be happy with where their team is at right now.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (5-11): Just not enough weapons for Larry Johnson and Tony Gonzalez to hang out with. Should be a long season for the Chefs.

Wild Card Round
JAX over NYJ
IND over PIT

Divisional Round
JAX over SD
NE over IND

Conference Championship
NE over JAX

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