Thursday, September 09, 2004

Are you ready for some football? 

NFL season kicks off tonight with Indianapolis visiting defending champ New England. It's a rematch of last year's AFC title game and I expect the same result tonight: Patriots handly consume Peyton Manning en route to victory. New England really looks a cut above the rest of the league. Looking at them on paper, they actually seemed to get better. Here's a brief breakdown of what to expect this year. Not in depth, yeah, but a little something:

Superbowl pick: Patriots over Eagles (I swear, Philly will get past the NFC title game this year... maybe)

Baltimore, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Seattle (although I'm not even close to being sold on the last 3. Indy is soft, KC needs better D, Seattle just needs to prove it on the field -- they've been hyped for a while)

Minnesota (nope. same team as last year. nope.)
Dallas (facing a tougher schedule, offense looks better on paper but won't actually be any better than last year's poor unit)

Still in the mix to make a move:
Carolina (defending NFC champs were not a fluke. That D is still great and they can run the ball all day long with the Stephen Davis/DeShaun Foster combo)
St. Louis (as long as Marshall is healthy)
Tennessee (as long as McNair is healthy. running game may actually be better without Eddie George)
Green Bay (gotta watch out for any team that has Brett Favre and a top 3 running back -- Ahman Green. Remember, they were one 4th down away from possibly going on to the Superbowl)

Teams poised to improve:
Jacksonville (Leftwich poised to break out)
Detroit (dynamic offense, if not young. improved D, too)
Washington (Joe Gibbs is back as coach, Clinton Portis makes the offense potent)
Atlanta (Healthy Michael Vick)

Team with no expectations due to summer from hell: Miami (Ricky Williams retires, David Boston injured for the season, Fiedler is still their QB)

Worst teams this year: San Diego (woof), Arizona (yikes, doesn't help that Anquan Boldin is out the first 8 weeks)

Worse than those teams: San Francisco (They lost all their skill position starters from last year)

Holding out hope for: Oakland (Those are my boys. Definitely better than 4-12)

Wishing ill upon: Denver (Fuck the Broncos! They'll regret trading Clinton Portis away. And fuck the Broncos! Go Raiders!)

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