The Electric Commentary

Friday, September 09, 2005

NFL Preview, Parts 6 and 7

This is going to be a quickie. Let's start in the NFC East, home of the T.O.

I think the NFC East is pretty easy to pick, which is a good thing, because time is short today. This division hasn't changed much. The Eagles are the class of the NFC in general, and certainly of the East. Sure, they could blow up at some point due to internal turmoil, but even if they do, they're still better than everyone in the division, with the possible exception of the Cowboys.

Speaking of which, at least the Cowboys did something in the offseason. Drew Bledsoe's best days are 10 years behind him, but he can still wing it if his line is solid enough. When I see the boys I see a poor (desperately poor) man's Aikman (immobile but accurate QB), a poor man's Emmitt in Julius Jones, and a poor man's Novacek in Witten. Toss in Keyshawn and the woman and it doesn't look too bad. They might even make the playoffs. But probably not.

The Redskins suck at playing offense. They had QB problems (and line problems) all of last year. So what did they do? They added Casey Rabach at center and kept all of the same guys otherwise. Including the QBs. That's terrible.

Poor Clinton Portis. It's going to be a long, rough, year. A terrible team with a good defense. They'll finish in the bottom of the NFC.

As bad as the Skins are, at least they can play some defense. What can the Giants do well other than hand off to Tiki Barber? Nothing really. Maybe playing an extra home game will save them from be completely terrible, but that's it. I'll bet Plexiglass is quitting on routes by week 5.

A bad team in a bad division.

Moving right along, Let's talk AFC North. And let's get Cleveland out of the way right away. All the little chicks with the crimson lips say Cleveland sucks. This is the worst team in the NFL along with the 49ers. Dilfer. Droughns. Braylon Edwards. That's all I've got. Wager against them frequently.

Pitt was very good last year, with an elite defense and an above average offense. This year I see a tough division (except for Cleveland), a slight regression by BenRo (which started last year), a fat Duce Staley, an injured and old Bus, some dude named Willie Parker, and a distinct lack of plexiglass.

Assuming that 15-1 was a statistical outlier and they were actually a 12-4 team last year, I think they fall all the way back to 9-7 this year.

I think that will put them even with the Bengals, who will look to get right on defense. They also need Carson Palmer to continue his development. Even if he just remains at his current level he's not a bad QB, and they should score plenty.

But what of Marvin's defense? Will he join the long list of coaches that have teams which can't excel in the given coaches specialty? (See: Tony Dungy, Brian Billick, John Gruden, although I expect that to turn around this year). I think they'll be slightly better, and they'll be ever so close to a playoff spot.

Baltimore takes it home. We know they can win with very little offense, and they should improve this year. Derrick Mason gives them an actual NFL caliber WR, Heap should be back, Jamal Lewis is fine, and if he's not, Chester Taylor is a more than adequate backup. Will Kyle Boller reach a level above "sucks ass?" I don't know, but I don't think it matters much, and I actually think he's better than he looks. You try throwing to Randy Hymes and see how long your NFL career lasts.

These predictions involved me looking at no stats or schedules or anything, but I've got to get the NFC North done before I leave today, and time is short. The problem in the AFC is that there is too much quality. I still haven't decided on the last wild card yet. Playoff predictions will be coming soon, but I'm leaning towards Cinci and the NYJ.

You may be right. I may be crazy.

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