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Saturday, August 28, 2010


Here's a look at one of the best divisions in the NFL:


Many assume the Jets’ fate hinges upon the contract negotiations of Darrelle Revis. There is no question that they are a better team with Revis than without, but they’ve got capable corners in Cromartie and Dwight Lowery and rookie Kyle Wilson. Of course, if they have Revis and Cromartie taking out teams receivers, they’re defense will be even better than last season. The front seven feature Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, David Harris and beast Kris Jenkins. This defense alone would take the team to the playoffs. The Jets need Mark Sanchez to avoid the sophomore slump in order to have a chance at the Super Bowl. Sanchez threw 20 interceptions last season, but his post season success and demeanor really opened the eyes to the football nation. The Jets brought Santonio Holmes to compliment Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller. They also added LaDanian to compliment Shonn Greene. On paper this team has it all: a great defense, a fast and powerful offense, but rarely do teams make a Super Bowl run without a Pro Bowl caliber QB. A shaky preseason performance so far out of the first-teamers also has me wondering about this Jets offense. There will come a time when Sanchez will have to lead this team from behind during the season, and how he performs in that/those situations will directly reflect how this team does at the end of the season. His development and consistency will be the key to the Jets’ season and if they have that, and a richer Revis, look out.


The Patriots need a healthy Wes Welker, Tom Brady, and some sort of a running game to take the division back from the Jets. Randy Moss is not the Randy Moss of our forefathers, but he still demands respect and often a safety over the top. The team happened upon WR Julian Edleman (Wes Welker lite) last season. Look for Edleman to increase his workload and have a 50+ reception season. I find it hard to believe Fred Taylor will become a consistent factor in the running game or that Laurence Maroney will ever pan out. The Patriots drama with OG Logan Mankins could drag on well into the season. They have taken a stand in past years and their stubbornness has hurt them. They let Asante Samual slip away at a time their secondary was porous and Deion Branch could not get a new contract when he was the only legitimate WR threat. Tom Brady had major knee surgery just a short time ago, but that leg looks much sturdier so far in preseason and I am anticipating very good numbers from Mr. Brady. Pay Mankins and move on. On the other side of the ball, the Patriots have reconstructed their linebacker corps through the draft. Third year Jerod Mayo and rookie LB Brandon Spikes give the Pats visions of Vrabel and Bruschi. CB
’s Leigh Bodden, Darius Butler and rookie Devin McCourty give the Pats 3 talented coverage guys. Along with S Brandon Merriweather, the Patriots secondary is among the leagues most talented. The defense lacks a pass rush threat, but the secondary should generate a few coverage sacks to make up the difference. The lack of a running game will be their Achilles heel.


Buffalo may be the worst team in the NFL in 2010. QB Trent Edwards appeared to have regressed last season. In limited action, Edwards’ pass completion percentage and rating dropped significantly. He was given T.O. in 2009, and for all of his issues, normally improves his QB’s stats in year 1. If Edwards struggles or takes too many hits behind a poor offensive line, the Bills would once again turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick. My condolences to WR Lee Evans who will likely see double teams since the Bills lack another receiving threat. Rookie running back C.J. Spiller joins Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch. Jackson and Spiller will play a role in the passing game. However, neither will give this team enough of a punch to keep up with the rest of a very competitive division. On defense Aaron Schobel retired leaving a big hole for Buffalo. Their front seven is unimpressive at best and hapless at worst. Many knew Marcus Stroud’s name from Jacksonville and forget it last season while he floundered in Buffalo. Division rivals New York and Miami are salivating at the chance to run on this team. In the secondary, the Bills actually have some ability CB’s Terrence McGee, Drayton Florence, and my man Leodis McKelvin are a talented group. FS Jairus Byrd hauled in 9 interceptions last year. The secondary is one of the few bright spots for the Bills this season.


The Bill Parcells & Tony Sparano regime made Dolphins fans forget all about that 1-15 atrocity in 2007. Since then, the Dolphins have strung together a handful of respectable seasons. Chad Pennington lost his starting job to Chad Henne. Pennington provides insurance as a back up, but Henne has much more physical talent. ‘Fins fans hope Henne continues his promising progression into a solid and trusted starting QB. He’s been given the right tools to thrive. First, the Dolphins have a young and strong offensive line led by LT Jake Long. Second, they have a power running game. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams have a few miles on their legs, but still are as strong a running back tandem as the league has. The Dolphins said goodbye to Ted Gin Jr. in the offseason and traded for a true number one receiver in Brandon Marshall. Miami desperately needed someone like Marshall to keep pace with the rest of the division. The ‘fins hired Mike Nolan to rejuvenate the defense. Nolan had a great 2009 with the Broncos and Miami hopes he can replicate that success. The only big name on this defense is recently acquired LB Karlos Dansby. Nolan will try to gain respect for this no name front seven by creating pressure on opposing QB’s. Miami has some young, but raw talent in the secondary with CB’s Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, but has big questions at the Safety position. Gabril Wilson was cut and no one is scared of recent late round draft picks Rashad Jones and Chris Clemons. The Dolphins have their work cut out for them. It is going to be very difficult to make it out of the division considering the talent that the Jets and Pats have.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010



The Bengals come into 2010 as the defending division champions. The biggest names on the team would lead one to think this is a passing oriented, high scoring squad. Nope. The Bengals won in 2009 through a solid running game with minimal turnovers and a very good defense. They brought in an aging Terrell Owens to compliment Chad Ochocinco. TO’s production fell dramatically with the Bills. However, you must keep in mind that Carson Palmer is a significant upgrade over Trent Edwards, and Owens fits in very well with this offense. The Bengals drafted TE Jermaine Gresham to aid the passing attack, and what big expectations there are for Gresham who has had a stellar pre-season. Cedric Benson reinvigorated his career but racked up an awful lot of carries. Benson was the workhorse, and he faded towards the end of the season, so look for Bernard Scott to play a bigger role in the running game to help keep Benson fresh. Look for an improved Cincy Offense. However, that isn’t saying much, last season, the offense did not rank in the top 10 of any offensive category. They will need it to keep up with the likes of New England, Indy, Baltimore and New Orleans on the schedule. Defensively this team preformed well in 2009. The addition of Adam Pac-Man Jones was met with little media attention. Perhaps everyone expects so little of Jones, or maybe everyone expected the Bengals to make this move. Jones knows he’s playing his last card. If he messes this up, he’ll never get another shot. He played fairly well for Dallas and led the team in passes defensed during his short tenure. He’s not a top flight CB but the Bengals will ask him to be a Nickle CB. Jones has the ability to cover and make plays in the return game. Leon Hall and Jonathon Joseph became one of the best CB duos in the league last year. Roy Williams went down last season and it was probably the best for Cincy. Williams is terrible in coverage. With their schedule, the Bengals will need their Safety to assume coverage duties often. Rey Maualuga is an emerging star and didn’t let the Cincy faithful down when he was arrested in the offseason. Mike Zimmer’s defense is paramount to another division title.


The Ravens enter 2010 with higher offensive expectations than the young franchise (the Baltimore version) has ever had. Joe Flacco set single season franchise records for completion percentage (63.1) and QB rating (88.9) last season. The Ravens’ brass gave him a big new toy to play with. The team traded a pair of draft picks for Anquan Boldin to start alongside the everlasting Derrick Mason and Dante Stallworth. Stallworth missed the 2009 season after killing a man with his car. Stallworth gives the Ravens a viable deep threat to compliment possession receivers Mason and Boldin. The Ravens also have a trio of running backs, all capable of putting up big numbers. The tandem of Ray Rice, Willis McGahee will keep defenses honest and fullback Le’Ron McClain provides added depth in the backfield. This offense will keep itself in the conversation. No longer will Ray Lewis and company hog the spotlight. However, Baltimore’s stout front seven deserves the fanfare. Haloti Ngata, Ray Lewis, and Terrell Suggs will do their part. The big question for the Ravens entering the season is whether they can overcome the loss of Ed Reed. Reed is on the physically unable to perform list. He will not be able to play the first 6 weeks of the season. If the Ravens secondary answers the bell, this team has a chance at the championship.


The Steelers hope to bounce back from a, by their lofty standards, disappointing 2009 campaign. Offensively, the team has a number of questions. They will likely start the season with Byron Leftwich in place of Ben Roethlisberger, who spent the offseason harassing coeds in Georgia. The team let Willie Parker and Santonio Holmes go and did not do much to replace them. The team hopes Mike Wallace can continue his development and become the weapon Holmes was and that Hines Ward somehow got younger during the offseason. The Steelers also signed WR Antwaan Randle-El for his second tour of duty with the team and you can’t forget about TE Heath Miller. Miller has become one of the most reliable TEs in the game. Believe it or not, the Steelers are a passing oriented team. Rashard Mendenhall has his moments but has yet to emerge as an every down threat. Losing OT Willie Colon was a big setback for this team. They signed former Cowboy Flozell Adams as a replacement but Adams is a penalty machine and his ability has slipped with his age. Mike Tomlin is a defensive coach and a very good one. The Steelers will once again have a top tier defense. James Harrison and Lamar Woodley anchor the front seven. Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor make up for the inconsistencies of CB Willie Gay. If Troy Polamalu stays healthy, the Steelers will press for a playoff birth. If he goes down again, so does Pittsburgh.


No one expects much from the Browns in 2010. Sunrise, Sunset. Mike Homlgren cleaned house in the offseason. Eric Mangini out together a string of solid games to close out 2009 and thereby earned himself a reprieve. If the team looks hapless in the early part of 2010, Mangini could find himself among the unemployed. It does not help the Browns that they play in the second most competitive division in football. Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace and Colt McCoy replace Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn at QB. McCoy will not likely see much, if any, action this season and the Browns want it that way. Browns fans do not deserve the 2009 incarnation of Delhomme. They have to hope he can recapture some of his old magic to keep the team respectable. Running back Jerome Harrison had his moments last season and the word is out that he can run. Lets see how a new season as "the man" will provide a boost or setback for this Browns team. Wide receivers Mohammad Massaquoi and Chansi Stuckey will put up better numbers if Delhomme performs. Wildcard Josh Cribbs is the most exciting player on this team. The Browns would be wise to find more and more ways to get him the ball other than on returns. Defensively the team looks to 1st round pick CB Joe Haden to provide some stability. The Browns rid themselves of leading sack man and Kamerion Wimbley in the offseason and return a group that preformed miserably last season. Holmgren has his work cut out for him. The defense will match up against a number of high-powered offenses and though improved, the Browns offense will struggle to keep pace. Sorry Cleveland.

Sunday, August 22, 2010



Brett Farve, Brett Farve, Brett Farve. The Vikings go the way Farve goes and the season forecast will be tough for Minnesota to win big. Starting the season off against the defending champion Saints, and then against the Miami Dolphins in week 2. A break against the revamped Detroit Lions should be a win, but after a Week 4 bye week the Vikings go on a tough eight week stretch. Farve will take his boys to the Jets, Packers, Patriots, Bears, and Redskins. And they will also host Dallas, Arizona, and Green Bay. Mix the Giants and the Eagles in the final four weeks of the season, and the Vikings have an extremely challenging schedule. With Farve getting his legs under him, Adrian Peterson running left and right, and Jared Allen anchoring the defense the Vikings have a tough road ahead of them. How the Vikings are able to handle the games without, recently surgically repaired, wide receiver Sydney Rice will play a pivot role as well as to how this season will go for the Vikings. As good as this team is on paper, they will have to be even better on the field to be a contender when the end of the season approaches. A few losses in a row could spark the inevitable controversy that exists between Farve and head coach Brad Childress. The "rift" that Farve and Childress share is apparent, but wins will keep it quiet and losses will only make it more visible for the fans and media to see. Can Farve's old legs bring it for one more season? We all know it is extremely possible. But this team will have to play sixty minutes as hard as they can for all sixteen games of the season.

DETROIT LIONS: (2-14 2009)

Ndamukong Suh was a huge draft pick for the Lions and his high-motor intensity on the field will clearly make a much needed difference for what looks to be a rejuvenated Detroit Lions football team. Suh, veteran cornerback Dre Bly, and newly acquired right end Kyle Vanden Bosch will bring new life to the Lions defense. On the offensive side of the ball, Matthew Stafford seems poised to have a very solid sophmore season. With Calvin Johnson split to the right, Stafford has a Pro Bowl option to throw to, but with Kevin Smith running the ball hard and rookie running back Jahvid Best providing a home-run-hitter effect anytime he touches the ball, this offense is getting closer to becoming stable and consistent. Stafford has what it takes to be a solid NFL quarterback. Calvin Johnson is an absolute beast, and if the Lions keep themselves in games in the fourth quarter, there will be new hope in the locker room and in the stadium seating. The future is bright for the Lions.

CHICAGO BEARS: (7-9 2009)

The Bears acquired defensive end Julius Peppers and return line backer and captain Brian Urlacher to rejuvenate what used to be a stout and ferocious defense. But, nothing was done to help quarterback Jay Cutler in his second year with the team. Cutler, who had a dreadful 2009 season, needed a true option to throw to at the receiver position. Instead, Cutler will still look to Hester, Knox, Aromashodu, and tight end Greg Olson. Cutler needs help, Matt Forte took a step back last season and needs to get back to form from 2008 in order to keep this team from becoming one dimensional and being able to stay in games deep into the fourth quarter. The Bears are in a tough situation this season, head coach Lovie Smith will be on the hot seat if they are not winning, and Jay Cutler will be high criticized if he has a repeat season. A brutal final four weeks (NEW, @MINN, JETS, @GB), will put this Chicago Bears team to a real test.

GREEN BAY PACKERS: (11-5 2009)

The Packers are coming off a terrific season where they made the playoff's, finished 3rd in the NFC in least amount of points aloud, and Aaron Rodgers had an absolutely stellar season behind center. Aaron Rodgers has emerged from the middle of the pack of quarterbacks in the NFL, to top of the class and a big season this year with a few playoff wins will put Rodgers in the elite class with Brady, Manning, and Brees. He is that good. With all of the weapons that Rodgers has on offense, an offensive line that got better towards the end of the season last year, it will be the transition that the defense continues to take to the 3-4 defense that will make or break the Green Bay Packers season. Led by all-pro corner back Charles Woodson, the Packers defense must fine tune themselves so that their pass rush gets to the opposing quarterback and the secondary breaks up plays. The defense did lose veteran defensive end Aaron Kampman to free agency, but the team is hoping that second round DT Mike Neal will bolster the line and give it more depth. Overall, this Packers defense is very formidable and with a schedule that includes games against the AFC East and the NFC East, they will be tested early and often.

Monday, August 16, 2010



New Orleans didn’t make much noise in the off season. Surprisingly, the talking heads at ESPN have all but forgotten the defending champs.  Sean Peyton runs a drama free team that doesn’t garner the hype of coverage that attracts Adam Schefter and his network of sources.  Charles Brown, OT from USC, fell to the Saints and allowed them to trade disgruntled veteran Tackle Jamal Brown to the Redskins.  The Saints also resigned the ageless Safety Darren Sharper for another season to anchor a vastly improved defense.  The defense needs to be strong again this season, they led the NFL in takeaways last season, because the Saints have eight games against teams that look to be playoff contenders this season. The last three games of the season, @Baltimore, @Atlanta, and home against Tampa Bay, will be crucial for the Saints this year.  The Saints are loaded on offense and will remain one of the most efficient offenses as they were last year.  Reggie Bush is an expensive decoy/kick returner but he plays an important role.  Pierre Thomas emerged as an essential to compliment Drew Brees’ prolific passing attack.  The Saints play 5 prime time games in 2010.  They wilted under the big lights with an undefeated season on the line against the reeling Cowboys in 2009.  Can they produce in the face of soaring expectations?  We shall see.


The Bucs had a very good draft adding Gerald McCoy DT, Brian Price DT, and Myron Lewis CB to a porous defense.  These three could lay the ground work for a resurgent defense in the years to come.  Josh Freeman showed signs of promise last year.  However, Tampa remains years away from threatening for a playoff run.   The front office has stocked the team with some solid young talent, the burden now falls upon Morris to effectively develop and deploy it.  Tampa is a team that could show signs of tremendous growth this season, but also signs of major setbacks with matchups against the AFC-North. 


Carolina’s Matt Moore is a nice backup quarterback.  Moore will begin the season as the team’s starter but he will not last.  Jimmy Clausen free-falled in the draft landing with the Panthers.  Anything will be an improvement over Jake Delhomme’s 2009 season.  The Panthers will continue in 2010 as a run first team. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart power this offense.  Steve Smith has been hurt throughout the off season and was just recently activated, and the Panthers lost Mushin Mohammad who was a great compliment to Smtih last season.  Without a viable 2nd receiver, opposing defenses are free to double up on Smith.  Ron Meeks was hired to reinvigorate the Panthers defense.   A defense now without veteran pro bowl end Julius Peppers.  It’s going to be a long year for the Panthers.   Coach Fox should go ahead and revise that resume. 


Atlanta disappointed many fans in 2009 season after an ’08 playoff run. However, to put 2009 in perspective, the club posted back-to-back winning season for the 1st time in franchise history.  You may not know this, but Atlanta actually has a lot offensive talent other than Matt Ryan. Ryan’s health and consistent play remains fundamental to their success but backs Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood, receivers Roddy White and Harry Douglas and timeless tight end Tony Gonzalez are all inherent to Atlanta’s success.  The Falcons also drafted a couple of lineman in the 3rd and 4th rounds to sure up protection.  Look for an offense only second to the Saints in the NFC South.  The defense remains Atlanta’s Achilles heel.  The pass defense ranked 28th last season and when you play the Saints twice a year, that is unacceptable.  The team made 2 key additions.  They acquired CB Duanta Robinson from the Texans and drafted LB Sean Weatherspoon out of Missouri.  Robinson immediately gives Atlanta the option of single coverage freeing up other resources.  Weatherspoon has a world of potential and gives the Falcons a legitimate pass rusher to compliment, and hopefully revive, John Abraham.  Abraham disappeared in 2009.  If the Falcons find a way to bring Abraham back to form, they’ll make a playoff appearance and possibly a playoff run.


The most competitive division in the NFC.




The Redskins reinvented themselves this off-season.  Dan Snyder canned Jim Zorn in favor of Mike Shanahan giving Skins fans hope for the future.  Dan also appears to have taken a hands-off approach, letting Shanahan do his thing.  Unfortunately, Shanahan's affinity for older free agents is similar to Snyder's.  The Skins went from the second oldest team in the league to the oldest.  McNabb was certainly the highest profile acquisition, however solidifying the line with number 1 pick Trent Williams and trading for former Saints tackle Jamal Charles will prove to have the most effect.  The tight end combo of Chris Cooley and Fred Davis is among the league's best and Mike Shanahan's famed zone blocking scheme requires a lot of 2 tight end sets.  The combo of Portis, Parker, and Johnson could prove to be the offense's Achilles heel.  All 3 struggled to produce last season but the Skins hope there is still some tread on those tires.  The wide-outs simply aren't very good.  Moss needs someone to take the pressure off of him and he's lost a step.  Devin Thomas shows flashes but has yet to become a consistently productive receiver.  We are all waiting for Malcolm Kelly to develop.  Don't hold your breath.


The defense converted to a 3-4 and pissed off Haynesworth in the process.  It's impossible to say how the Haynesworth situation will turn out, but if he acts like a professional and contributes, you could have a very stout defensive front on your hands.  Orakpo is an enormous talent.  After this season the Redskins front office is hoping people are talking about him as we do DeMarcus Ware and Jared Allen.  How long can London Fletcher keep putting up productive years?  The secondary is lacking.  LaRon Landry preformed erratically and Carlos Rodgers has difficulty keeping pace with small quick receivers such as DeSean Jackson.  Jim Haslett will try to reinvigorate the defense but questions in the secondary may plague the Skins all years.



DALLAS COWBOYS:  (11-5 2009) 

Tony Romo took much better care of the ball last year.  Unfortunately, his touchdown numbers dropped along with the turnovers.  When he's given time in the pocket, and Jason Garret acknowledges the running game, no one can stop this offense.  Dez Bryant, a hot pick for rookie of the year honors, joins an already deep receiving corps.  Bryant's addition also puts added pressure on Roy Williams to put up or shut up.  The Cowboys let their longest tenured player go in releasing Flozell Adams.  Doug Free played well at right tackle for the injured Marc Columbo last year but was destroyed at Minnesota in his only start on the left side.  Alex Barron was acquired from the Rams as an insurance policy on Free but the Cowboys will struggle if any of these aging linemen go down.  America's Team has a deep backfield.  Similar to the Barber Julius Jones situation a few seasons ago, Felix Jones will ascend to the role of primary running back even if he isn't the official starter.  Barber trimmed down in the off-season and has worked on avoiding unnecessary hits but his bruising style has led to injuries in each of the past two seasons and his production has suffered.  Tashard Choice should see more action this season meaning even less carries for Barber.  Choice will not stay with the Cowboys after this season so each opportunity will serve as an audition.  The Boys also have the luxury of depth at tight end.  Jason Witten is an all pro, nothing more to say.  John Phillips emerged as a reliable possession receiver and blocker out of the University of Virginia last season.   Unfortunately, Phillips suffered a season ending injury in the preseason opener. Marty Bennett remains an enigma.  He has all of the potential to become the next Antonio Gates yet mysteriously underachieves at everything except indecent exposure. 


Defensively, this group looks very similar to last year's squad.  All pro DeMarcus Ware anchors a very solid pass rush.  Last season, Anthony Spencer came on late and, along with Ratlif, gives the Cowboys 3 solid pass rushing threats.  James and Brooking add veteran leadership and savvy in the middle.  The secondary has dogged this team for years.  They have talent at the corners.  Mike Jenkins has developed into a top-flight corner and Newman remains serviceable (if he can avoid injury). The big unknown for this team is the Safety position.  Alan Ball, a converted corner, will start the year.  Ball has excellent coverage skill but lacks the size you expect from the position.  If he does anything other than rack up late hit penalties, he's an improvement over Ken Hamlin.  Gerald Sensabaugh was signed as an afterthought last season but earned his way into an extension.  He'll blow coverage every now and again but he does very well against the run.



The Eagles showed what they thought of McNabb when they dealt him to a division rival.  Kevin Kolb has looked good and woefully overwhelmed in his limited appearances for the Eagles.  He lacks the arm strength and mobility McNabb brought but makes up for those deficiencies with accuracy.  Kolb sports a tremendous group of receivers.   DeSean Jackson poses a threat to score whenever he touches the ball. Jeremy Maclin emerged as a legitimate threat in his rookie campaign and Brent Celek has become Jason Witten 2.0.  3rd receiver Jason Avant should be on everyone’s radar.  He’s very good and will see a slew of single coverage this season.  LeSean McCoy preformed well last year after Westbrook went down but can he pull the load all year?  Can the Offensive line regain its form after a dreadful 2009?  Andy Reid sure hopes so.  The NFC East boasts some of the best pass rushers in the league (DeMarcus Ware, Brian Orakpo et. al.).  The Eagles also must face Jared Allen and Dwight Freeney.  All that receiving talent will be rendered moot if the Eagles cannot keep Kolb upright.


The Eagles gambled on Marlin Jackson’s health.  The gamble did not pay off.  Jackson will not play this season.  Fortunately, Nate Allen appears to have exorcised the ghost of Brian Dawkins.  The addition of Allen should provide Asante Samuel with even more confidence to flag down interceptions.  Trent Cole will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.  Romo, McNabb, and Manning must account for Cole each time they drop back.  The primary issue for the team concerns the rest of the defensive front.  A washed up Ernie Sims joins Akeem Jordan and Co. in the linebacker corps.  While they have a couple of stars, the Eagles leave much to be desired on the defensive side of the ball.

NEW YORK GIANTS:  (8-8  2009) 

The Giants hope to return to their Super Bowl form but give little reason to think they will.  Eli Manning put up career numbers last year, but for this team to be successful Manning's numbers should be lower and less "fantasy-like" because the Giants will be a run-first offense.  Brandon Jacobs did not have the same power and reckless abandon of years gone by.  Bradshaw is the steam’s best runner but Tom Coughlin doesn’t appear to have realized this yet. The receiving corps highlights the offense.  Hakeem Nicks surfaced as the team’s deep threat.  Steve Smith compliments Nicks well as a reliable route runner and possession receiver.  Kevin Boss made NY fans forget all about Jeremy Shockey and his American flag tattoo.  Mario Manningham poses a threat but performs too inconsistently to make a week in and week out impact. 


The departure of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to the Rams hurt the Giants more than anticipated.  NY promoted his understudy only to fire him after the 2009 season.  The Giants drafted Jason Pierre Paul.  From all accounts, Pierre Paul has as much potential as any defensive player in the draft.  I predict Pierre Paul will show flashes of this potential but struggle to consistently produce.  A healthy Chris Canty should begin to earn the lucrative contract he was given last season and Antrel Rolle will sure-up a leaky secondary.  The Giants will struggle to keep up with their NFC East brethren, all of which have improved. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010


The AFC-West is an interesting division. The Broncos began as the favorite last year, but an extremely poor finish to the season cost them and the Chargers were able to lock up the championship. The Raiders look like they are going to be the surprise team this year within the division due to the addition of quarterback Jason Campbell. With Elvis Dumervil on the shelf with a torn pectoral during the first week of training camp, the Broncos could be in for a tough start to the season. Let's take a look at the teams in the AFC-West:

1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: (13-3 2009) The Chargers will be using a backfield that does not include LaDanian Tomlinson for the first time in nine seasons. Newly acquired 1st round draft pick Ryan Matthews from Fresno State will be depended on heavily, while sharing the load with Darren Sproles, to bolster up an a potent offense with a much needed between-the-tackles running back. With a running game the Chargers have a very strong and well oiled machine on the offensive side of the football. Phillip Rivers has clearly put himself in the elite company of quarterbacks in the NFL, but without Vincent Jackson (we don't know exactly how long yet) who will Rivers depend on to catch his passes? Antonio Gates is locked up to spend the rest of his career in San Diego, but Rivers needs help outside of Gates. Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee will not be enough for Rivers to have an explosive offense. He will need someone to step up. Defensively the Chargers have questions. Louis Castillo will be anchoring the defensive line, and Larry English will be expected to step up in a major way to help the linebackers. In the secondary, the Chargers no longer have Antonio Cromartie (Jets) and they will now depend a lot more on their 2008 1st round pick Antoine Cason. If Jammer and Cason take their games to higher levels this season, this Chargers defense could be a very big surprise in the AFC.
Looking at the Chargers schedule; KC, Jacksonville, Seattle, Arizona, Oakland, and St. Louis for the first six games sounds awfully easy for Phillip Rivers to get this team off to a very good start.

2. OAKLAND RAIDERS: (5-11 2009) The Raiders have hope for once. The addition of Jason Campbell and draftees Bruce Campbell and Jared Veldheer will significantly help this offense. Defensively, the Raiders were a solid defense last season, but it is hard to play football when you know your offense is not going to score any points for you. This season is different. The offense has a great opportunity to succeed, which will give the defense more life and more intensity to play 100% for the entire sixty minutes of the football game. The departure of JaMarcus Russell will pay dividends on the field and in the locker room. All signs pointed to Russell as being a cancer within the locker room, and as a starting quarterback in the NFL that is unacceptable. Jason Campbell will not take this team to a 12 win season, but what he will do is provide this team with stability behind the center and give them an opportunity to be in the situation to win each and every game. The Raiders will be better this season and a balanced offense and an inspired defense will be the reason why the Raiders could have a winning season.

3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: (4-12 2009) The Chiefs will be better in 2010. Thomas Jones will bolster the Chiefs running game that already has a talented young back in Jamaal Charles. Split out wide will be Chris Chambers and Dwayne Bowe, Bowe clearly showed signs of a bright future last season catching 47 passes for nearly 600 yards and 4 touchdowns. Look for quarterback Matt Cassel and Bowe to have better chemistry this season. Defensively the Chiefs should improve as they enter their second season playing the 3-4 defense. The addition of 1st round draft pick Eric Berry, who appears to be a Pro Bowl caliber player already, should impact this defense immediately. More pressure from the defense, and stronger play out of the secondary will drastically change this team and keep them in many more games. I like the addition of Charlie Weis as the new Offensive Coordinator. Weis was the coordinator in New England when Matt Cassel first came into the league, so clearly Cassel and Weis know their schemes and should not have issues putting up some points this season.

4. DENVER BRONCOS: (8-8 2009) The Broncos are going to have a tough season. Will Kyle Orton be the quarterback the entire season? Why draft Tim Tebow when a trade for Brady Quinn was already made? Major questions appear for this Denver team, and with many of the questions being behind center, things do not point in good direction for the Broncos. The departure of Brandon Marshall will not be equalized by the addition of Jabar Gaffney. This Denver team had one player with more than 5 sacks (Dumervil) and he is out with a torn pectoral muscle. The Broncos lose the face of their defense right off the bat, and with poor defensive line play the final eight games of last season, this is a hard defense to believe in. Look for Quinn or Tebow to get some starts towards the end of the season as this Broncos team is going to struggle to stay afloat in the division.


This week will feature a preview for all 32 NFL teams and a look at what is to come for each team as the start of the season is only 5 weeks away.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


SUNDAY PICKS will remain active and the site will begin re-posting information regarding the UPCOMING NFL SEASON! Just a few weeks away now that pre-season camp is underway.

Sunday Picks will post all of its information on the site:

Stay tuned!