Tag:NFL
Posted on: September 26, 2012 2:46 pm
 

Weekly Recap Week 3

 

The original intent for the column this week was to not
mention the replacement referees even once. However I have come to the
conclusion that it would be impossible not to speak on the subject. The refs
should not be the story in this game that we all cherish so much. Sure refs
make mistakes; officials in every sport make mistakes, on a daily basis even. The
integrity of the most popular game in our nation though is now being
compromised and what I fear most is that Commandant Goodell doesn’t care.

That man has pounded into our heads and the heads of the
players that the shield needs to be protected. The integrity of the game needs
to be protected. He champions protecting the players in order to protect the
league. Well the Commandant now has substitute teachers running the classroom and
someone is going to get seriously hurt. Everyone remembers the feeling of
having a substitute teacher in class; you feel emboldened, you push the limits because
the sub doesn’t know the rules or is too afraid to enforce them. Injuries have
already started. Darrius Heyward Bay of the Oakland Raiders spent the night in
the hospital after a helmet to helmet hit. There was no flag on the play. Tony
Romo was sacked with a helmet to his chin; there was no flag on the play. How
he even got up is beyond me.

Those that were defending the replacement refs argued that
nothing really has changed statistically from last year as far as the amount of
penalties being called. Well, there should be a lot more this season than last
the way some players are playing.

There is a lot more to it than just the safety of the
players, but Roger Goodell has spent the last few years shouting from the top
of a mountain how deeply he cares for the safety of his players. He claims that
his number one concern is the safety of the players. I call BS.  Money and power are his number one concern.

The scariest part of all of this is nothing is going to
change unless the real refs give in. Goodell and the owners hold all of the
cards and they don’t care if we fans suffer because they know one very
important fact; we won’t stop watching. They know this and you know this so
nothing will change. If you don’t think I’m right just read the BS statement
the NFL released after the Monday night debacle in Seattle. Everyone knows what
happened and everyone outside of Seattle knows the Packers got hosed. What did
the NFL say? They admitted there should have been pass interference, but as far
as the pass being a catch or an interception the league hid behind the lawyer
speak of the official rule book. In so doing they pretty much sided with the
substitutes. There is no way Golden Tate had any possession of that play.

That’s enough of that let’s get on to the games.

Eli Manning is again the best Manning brother in the league
this year. He led the Giants and a band of backups over the Panthers in decided
fashion. Cam Newton’s sophomore slump continues.

It looked pretty promising for the Rams before they traveled
to Soldier Field. Jay Cutler had the meltdown the previous week and the Rams
were coming off a pretty impressive win over the Redskins. Not to be; The Bears
utterly dominated Little Sammy and the Rams. The Bears now travel to Dallas
Monday night. Let’s see if Cutler can keep his composure in prime time?

The Bills beat the Browns and remain in first place. The
Amish Rifle marches on.

The False Start Bowl was held in Dallas with the Cowboys
hanging on to beat the Buccaneers in one of the sloppiest games ever played in
the NFL. 23 penalties for 174 yards combined. If the Cowboys are looking to do
something special this year they need to learn discipline. They have committed
31 penalties in three games.

Detroit lost to the Titans in Tennessee. Actually it would
be more accurate to say that Detroit lost to Jim Schwartz on Sunday. The new
overtime rules state that if the team receiving the ball scores a field goal
then the other team gets a chance to do the same. Detroit opted to go for it on
fourth and one rather than kick a chip shot field goal. Needless to say they
didn’t make it and lost the game. Did Matt Millen make that decision? I haven’t
seen such an egregious coaching error in a very long time.

The Jaguars and the Colts are irrelevant and will be the
entire season; maybe longer.

The Jets barely beat a girls’ team in Miami. Please stop
trying to ice the kicker right before he kicks?

The best team in the league (as this column anointed last
week) got beat up on by the Vikings. I know Minnesota is a tough place to play,
but if you want to be the best team in the league San Fran, you have to win
that game against that team.

We all knew the Saints were a mess, but did anyone realize
it was this bad? Getting beat by the Chiefs in the Super Dome? Defense is just
a rumor in New Orleans.

 The Redskins were
destroyed by the Bengals, well the score doesn’t show it, but the Skins were
never in that game. Looks like RGIII will have to wait a little longer for win
number two. Washington travels to Tampa this week and hosts Atlanta the
following week.

As I told you last week turnovers are going to catch up with
Mike Vick and the Eagles. Three more this past week brings the running total on
the season to 12; in just three games. Arizona is [one of] the best teams in
the league. That defense is exceptional.

The Falcons are one of only three undefeated teams along
with the aforementioned Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. It’s too early to
go all in on Atlanta, this team has folded in the past and until they prove
they won’t I’ll stay weary. San Diego sucks and will continue to as long as
Norv Turner is head coach.

Matt Schaub traded part of his ear for a victory over the
Broncos in Denver. The Texans continue to roll as questions about Peyton’s arm
strength continue to mount.

As with the 49ers; the Steelers need to beat the Raiders
even in Oakland. They didn’t and their record is now 1-2.

It was another great game by the replacements in Baltimore
Sunday night. We should be talking about how good of a game it was and what a
great story Torrey Smith was, but no; the referees stole all the storylines.
The Patriots are now 1-2 and trail the Bills by a game.

Then there was Monday night. I’ve spoken enough about the
refs and they are the biggest story in that game; except for the fact that
Seattle has found one hell of a defense. The Pack have some major problems on
the front line.

I’ve said enough; let’s hope Goodell and the
real refs get something done quickly. Don’t count on it though.
Category: NFL
Posted on: December 15, 2010 8:27 am
 

Week 14 Recap

By BRAD DEGNAN

 

Weather and wacky finishes seemed to be the theme this week in the NFL. There’s just three games left in the regular season and only one team has clinched a playoff berth. The Jets are trippin’, the Raiders are flippin’ and the Patriots are showing no sign of slippin’. The Falcons have the best record in the NFC and the longest winning streak in the NFL and no one seems to notice. A complete collapse in Minnesota and a record streak comes to an end. Let’s peel back the layers from week 14 to see what happened and take a look at some huge games next week with lots of playoff implication.

We have to start off with the statement game of the season thus far; Patriots at a blustery and snowy Solider Field in Chicago. The game was supposed to be a test and a low scoring contest. It was neither. By the time the Bears left the field for the warmth of the locker room at halftime the scoreboard read 33-0. Both teams are cold weather clubs, but only the Patriots looked it. Tom Terrific was unfazed by the elements while Jay Cutler was bothered both by the weather and the Patriots defense. New England had its fifth straight game with no turnovers. This is how you win championships and with their eighth playoff appearance in the last ten years they are now the leader in the club house for Lombardi.

Another AFC East team seems to be imploding before our very eyes. The Jets lost their second straight division game this one at home to the Dolphins. The last two games the Jets have put up a daunting nine points. Is it me or does Sanchize look like a quarterback from Southern California in the cold? If he struggles this December like last, they’re in big trouble. Two of their last three games the Jets travel to Pittsburgh and Chicago, both cold weather and at least one a must win for them to reach the playoffs.  

The Jets’ strength and Conditioning Coach has been suspended the rest of the season (including the Playoffs) for tripping Dolphin’s gunner Nolan Carroll while covering a punt. The play was reminiscent of a Woody Hayes moment.

Jay Feely had the best week ever. The Cardinals kicker banged home five field goals, including a 55-yarder, in addition to scoring a touchdown on a fake field goal attempt. Fantasy owners of Feely rejoice.

The Buccaneers and Redskins game didn’t have the weather that the Patriots and Bears had to deal with, but it was a down pour and Donovan McNabb struggled. Washington’s kicking game also struggled with the wet field. Kicker Graham Gano missed two field goals of 24 and 34-yards. The Skins looked as if they were going to tie the game in the waning seconds though with a simple extra point. The snap however slipped through holder Hunter Smith’s hands; as did the game. Washington is a real mess, but at least they’re not the Cowboys.

Speaking of the Cowboys; how can you justify going up to the quarterback who just beat you and ask him to autograph your glove. Tashard Choice did so by explaining it was for his nephew. The Cowboys continue to amaze.

Of all the games outside, exposed to Mother Nature, there was not one that was worse than the Green Bay Detroit game, which of course was played in Detroit, in a dome. Sure Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the game with his second concussion of the season, but come on? Unless you’re a Lions fan this game sucked.

Keeping with the weather theme, Minnesota received the fifth largest snowfall in state history over the weekend causing the Metrodome’s roof to collapse. The Vikings’ game against the Giants was then moved to Detroit where all hope of a home field advantage was nonexistent as the freeloading spectators at Ford Field were more interested in doing the wave than watching the football game. This game also saw the end to a true “Iron Man” streak for most consecutive games started by a quarterback. Favre’s’ streak stands at 297. The Vike’s may have to play next week’s game at the University of Minnesota, which is outdoors. If this happens don’t expect #4 to lace ‘em up.

The Jaguars pulled off another victory and are in the driver’s seat for the AFC South. The Raiders squandered a huge day by Darren McFadden who had nearly 210 combined yards and 3 touchdowns, two of which were over 50-yards. The Jags are winning but don’t be surprised if there is a collapse either before the postseason or in the first game they play of the post season. Jacksonville’s point differential is minus 36. No other playoff bound team is close to the negative. That is if you don’t include the NFC West where all four teams are in the negative. Can you believe one of those teams may host a playoff game?

It’s week 15 next week, and as mentioned there are some huge games. The battle for the AFC South takes place in Indianapolis as the Jaguars try to extend their lead to two games over the Colts. Philly travels to New York to face the Giants, these teams have identical records with the Eagles beating the Giants earlier this season. Jets @ Steelers as mentioned just might be a “must win” for the Jets. Will Aaron Rodgers play as the Pack travels to New England? And don’t forget the big Cowboys and Redskins game, woo hoo.

That’s all for this week folks and sorry for all the stats. Talk to ya next week.
Posted on: November 10, 2010 6:24 pm
 

Weekly Recap Week 9

For the first time in 50 years the Cowboys have fired their head coach mid season. Wade Phillips was put out to pasture just eight games into what was supposed to be a promising season. And a week after Jerry Jones said Phillips would remain head coach for the rest of the season. The thumping the Cowboys took for the third straight week must have changed his mind.  The reigns will now be taken by Jason Garrett, the architect of the NFL’s 31<sup>st</sup> ranked rushing offense. While Phillips may be partly to blame, there is plenty of blame to share with the entire organization. Don’t expect a quick fix just because Philips is gone; this team is in disarray from top to bottom. Everyone knows the Cowboys need a no nonsense coach and the same names are being tossed around by all the talking heads. Nothing though, will matter much as long as Jerry and his giant ego remain in the way. The Cowboys will improve tremendously the day he realizes to step away and let a general manager and a head coach do their jobs.

Enough about the Cowboys. There was plenty of other headline grabbing games and plays in week nine. The so called best team in the league got beat by a perennial bottom dweller. While one New York team was nearly embarrassed the other was doing the embarrassing on the other side of the country. Week nine also introduced a few new players to the nation and some well known players take their shot at a new position.

The Bucs showed some guts when they traveled to Atlanta. In a back and forth game it came down to the final minutes and a goal line stand. On fourth-and-one from the Falcons two the Bucs decided to run it. It didn’t work as LaGarrett Blount was punched in the mouth for no gain. Atlanta now leads the NFC South by themselves, but Tampa is on their way up.

I don’t often give credit to this guy, when it’s deserved however I do. #4 threw for 446 yards in the Vikings overtime victory against the Cardinals. It was his career best and just the second time in 286 starts that he threw for 400 yards. His 36 completions were also his career best. Way to go #4 at least you didn’t get carted off the field this week and let the media go bananas all week wondering if you were going to start next week.

The Browns had their biggest win since; since they beat the super bowl champs 2 weeks ago. New England went into Cleveland on top of the world and looking to role the pitiful Browns. Mangini had a different plan for his former boss. Some chicanery and a relentless dose of power running was way too much for the Patriots young defense. The Browns’ defense with their different fronts and looks reduced Tom Terrific to a mere average quarterback. If you didn’t know who Peyton Hillis was before the game he made sure you know him now. Hillis was running like a man possessed. He ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns. I think Cleveland made out on the trade when they sent Brady Quinn to Denver for this guy, just another stellar move by Coach Josh. How’s Brady doing this year Coach?

The lone highlight for the Patriots was Wes Welker’s successful extra point.

The Lions nearly pulled off a huge upset this past week against the Jets. If it wasn’t for a complete breakdown they just might have won. A horrible play call in the fourth quarter and a late hit out of bounds allowed Sanchize to stay close and force overtime. The Jets were only down three points late in regulation because of my favorite play of the season. Jason Hanson, the Lions kicker, was hurt earlier when he was roughed up on a field goal attempt. So the backup kicker/defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh replaced him for an extra point try. He was unsuccessful, but he looked great. Suh actually won the backup kicker job in training camp and would probably be playing in the English Premier League if he wasn’t so massive.

Looking forward to next week when the Ryan twins go head to head as the Jets travel to Cleveland.      

Another player you may not have heard of before last week’s games is the Oakland Raider’s Jacoby Ford a rookie out of Clemson. Ford lifted the Raiders over the Chiefs in what could be described as a chippy contest. The most impressive part of the Raiders’ victory was their 15 penalties. It’s pretty tough to get flagged 15 times in today’s NFL.

It was a scary moment in the Colts and Eagles game when Austin Collie took a shot to the head. A flag was thrown on the play which enabled the Colts to continue a drive. The response by the Eagles’ defense seemed a little inappropriate while Collie lied on the turf obviously unconscious. Several minutes passed as the receiver lay motionless and some Eagles’ players looked as if they were ready to fight the refs for throwing the flag. The Refs had to do something in that instance. There was no malicious intent in the hit and it didn’t deserve a penalty, the refs are just taking orders from upstairs. The problems wasn’t in the penalty, it was in the reaction by the Eagles.  

The Bills lost for the third straight week by three points. So now it’s official, the Bills stink in the US and Canada.

The Ravens (my Super Bowl Pick) were very opportunistic with three takeaways in their victory over the Dolphins. Baltimore also held the ball for nearly 20 more minutes than Miami.

The Giants didn’t knock another quarterback out this week, but might as well have. In Charlie Whitehurst’s first NFL start he went 12 for 23 and 113 yards. He did throw a touchdown though in garbage time. The Giants are looking pretty good.

That’s it kids. Talk to ya next week. Sorry for all the stats.

 

Posted on: October 13, 2010 9:30 am
 

Weekly Recap Week 5

Well, you could hear the champagne corks popping Sunday night as the old and tiresome ’72 Dolphins celebrated yet another season without an undefeated team. It is the first time since 1970 that the league didn’t have a team with a record of 4-0. What does that say about the current state of the NFL? Is it parity or is it mediocrity that is plaguing our most beloved sport?

Four teams are 4-1, two from each conference. It’s not a huge surprise who leads atop the standings; what is a bit of a surprise is who isn’t at the top. It seems the Saints and the Colts are both suffering from the Super Bowl hangover. You might have thought some other teams might also be right up there, for instance the Chargers, Cowboys and Vikings? The combined record for those three teams is a whopping 4-9. Some of the most concentrated talent in the league is found on those three teams. So what is the reason for their demise thus far in 2010? For one team it might be a 41-year-old gunslinger who’s taking too many risks. Another’s trouble stems from their coaching staff and the subsequent disciplinary problems. The last just doesn’t seem to have the talent that everyone thought they had. Can these teams turn it around? The Chargers have the best opportunity to make the post season since they are in the weakest of the three divisions. The Cowboys and the Vikings aren’t afforded the same luxury. And the loser of next week’s meeting between the two in Minnesota will certainly be in a lot of trouble.

Let’s discuss what went down in Week five and take a look at what is coming up in week six.

Clearly through five weeks the AFC has the two best teams in the league. The Ravens and the Jets share the best record in the NFL and they do it in similar fashion; defense, defense, defense. With a little bit of good old fashion smash mouth running. The NFC also has two teams with the same 4-1 record; however these two are not on the same level as the elite of the AFC. The Falcons are a legit contender in the NFC, not so sure about a Super Bowl though. The Bears on the other hand are a few steps below.

On the flip side there are three teams that are 0-5; San Francisco, Carolina and Buffalo. The latter two not a shock at all, the 49ers are, but no fear, owner Jed York has guaranteed that his team will win the NFC West. Usually it would be a pretty ridiculous thing to say; in this case though he may be right, maybe. Since realignment in 1990 no team has started 0-5 and made the playoffs, let alone won their division. The 49ers though, have played only one division game so far and are in by far the weakest division in the league. Couple that with non division games against the Panthers and the Raiders coming up and we just may have history made. Albeit improbable Mr. York will have to keep his quarterback and head coach from fighting on the sideline to fulfill his prediction.

Another disappointing team is the Cincinnati Bangles. Your father’s Bungles are back, but now they are stacked with talent at the skilled positions. You might think that their two wacky receivers are to blame. I am here to say it’s not their fault. There is something wrong with Carson Palmer and if he doesn’t fix it there’s going to be a lot of trouble in the Natti.

The Packers are a bit of a surprise. They were one of the sexy picks to win the Super Bowl this pre season. However injuries are mounting and there isn’t a team in the league that has been bitten by that bug like the Packers. Rodgers may not play next week due to a concussion and they are down to their third tight end. Not to mention Clay Matthews’ injury troubles. If the Pack doesn’t get healthy and quick, they’re in big trouble.

An undrafted rookie quarterback beat the Champs last week, with a little help from a very impressive defense. Max Hall led the Cardinals over the Saints for his first NFL victory. The Saints continue to struggle; it may get a bit easier though with three of their next four games against the Bucs, Browns and Panthers.

My favorite play from week five without a doubt was the tip, interception and run back for a touchdown by Kroy Biermann, the defensive end for the Falcons. Linemen aren’t the most athletic players on a football team and that is what makes it all the more enjoyable to watch when they chug down the field towards the end zone. All said it was quite an athletic play. Way to go Beer Man.

The ass kissing from the media over #4 continued after Monday night’s game. He threw his 500<sup>th</sup> touchdown (commendable) and he has now thrown for over 70,000 yards (also commendable). Both are milestones, but what you didn’t read or hear about was the milestone and record of 163 fumbles. Why does the media love this guy so much? He’s thrown for a ton of yards and touchdowns I know, but he’s been in the league since the 70’s. And to read how some writers called his performance Monday as “Magical” is sickening. What would the mainstream media label a performance by any other QB who lost two fumbles and threw an interception late in the game for a loss? Just sayin’.

Can you believe the Raven’s secondary hasn’t had an interception this year?

Lastly, Big Ben makes his much anticipated debut from suspension this week when the Steelers host the Browns. Not a bad first game for a possibly rusty quarterback. This game will also feature the first start for rookie Colt McCoy. One of these quarterbacks is going to have a lot more trouble than the other. Let’s just hope McCoy can come out of this game with his head still attached to his body.  

So long folks talk to ya next week.

Posted on: September 14, 2010 5:15 pm
 

Week 1 Recap

By BRAD DEGNAN

For-redhottlocks.com

 

Week one finally brought meaningful games to our lives and we get our first chance to get a peek at what teams are really about. What stands out for me is the amount of injuries all over the NFL. Do players really not try at all during the pre season? Don’t crown a super bowl champ yet it’s just the first week, but some players and teams have been exposed. I’ll share some thoughts about this past week, hand out a few awards and take a look at some things to keep an eye on in week two.

 

Keeping with the injury topic; this off season Bob Sanders was voted Most Likely to Be Injured by his peers. Someone needs to tell Bob he’s just a little bit of a guy and not Ronnie Lott. Seven years in the league and he has never played 16 games and the last two seasons he’s played a grand total of eight games. Well a torn bicep has him out again indefinitely.

 

Must See TV Award goes to the Cowboys. We all new Dallas was going to implode; we just didn’t think it would happen in week one. There is something really wrong in Big D and you can’t blame it on T.O. Jason Garrett makes a whole lot of money to be making calls like the play he called on the final play of the first half. The Dallas Debacle demands attention, you can’t look away.

 

The Shut Up and Play Award goes to the Jets. Nobody paid more lip service this off season than the Jets. When you start talking trash about the Ravens you better be able to back it up. Six first downs are not going to win you many games. I know the game was close, but these guys are convinced they are the best team in the league. They may not even be the best team in that city. I loved Fat Rex Ryan’s jaw flappin’ last season, it’s a new season though and can someone cover Anquan Boldin?

 

The El Duce Award goes to my man Arian Foster. He showed the Colts that he is the MAN. I tipped you off to this guy in the pre season and he went bananas in his first start of the year. 231 yards and three touchdowns; this guy looked like a man playing pee wee ball.

 

Calvin Johnson fell victim to one of the stupidest rules in the NFL. Do players now have to hold the ball until they get home after scoring a touchdown? Sorry Circus Dave the Bears should be 0-1.

 

The Ripping the Monkey Off Their Back Award goes to Houston. 2-16 now all time against the Colts. I know it’s just one win, but if this team is finally going to make it over the hump they needed this win. Besides, I predicted they make the playoffs this year so I have to talk them up. Go Texans!

 

The That Guy Looks His Age Award goes to #4. In the NFL every game counts that is why they have OTA’s and mini camps and training camps and pre season, so you can get into shape. If I were a Vikings fan I would be pissed off that the first four weeks of the season are this Diva’s training camp. Retire!

 

Speaking of Divas, Randy Moss out divaed the dynamic diva duo from Cincinnati. He gets the Diva Award. The presser after a week one victory is not the time to start complaining about your next contract. This guy is just a little kid; he saw Tom Terrific get paid and now he wants his. Tread lightly Randy; this organization doesn’t particularly care for their players. If there is a bottom line team in the NFL nobody is more so than the Patriots.

 

Your weekly Twitter update is brought to you by Darnell Docket of the Arizona Cardinals. “OMG!!!!! My body feels like Precious Fell on Me!! Wtf I can’t even Move!! “My neck! my back!, my neck and my back” Thank you Darnell and keep them coming, I love Precious jokes.

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers did as I predicted played great defense and pounded the ball and Dixon was adequate. I hope he wins their next three games so we could have a quarterback controversy with Big Ben. Who doesn’t like a quarterback controversy? As much as I hope it is very unlikely.

 

Across the state in Philadelphia there very well may be a quarterback controversy. With Kolb going down with a concussion, Vick came in and actually gave the Eagles a better shot. Andy Reid says though, there is no controversy. OK, we’ll see.

 

So, what do we have in store for us in week two? The Chiefs at the Browns is sure to be must see TV. There is the Manning Bowl Sunday night, can’t wait to see how many times NBC shows Archie. The Bears at the Cowboys is sure to be a grab ass fest. Which team will find the more interesting way to lose? Two games that I really look forward to are the Ravens at the Bengals and the Steelers at the Titans; both should be very physical games and all the talk in the Ravens/Bengals game should be really fun. Finally, how much is Rex going say after they lose to the Patriots and fall to 0-2?

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 7, 2010 4:22 pm
 

2010 Season Preview

By BRAD DEGNAN

 

Well kids, we’ve finally made it. The draft has passed, OTA’s and mini camps are done and even that silly pre season is finally over. Now we have real football to occupy our time until February. No games have yet been played and everyone has a clean slate and Super Bowl aspirations. Some fans have legitimate hopes while others simply have false hope. Let’s try to dredge through the muck that is each division and see who really has a legitimate shot at winning the Lombardi Trophy.

 

NFC East:

I have the Cowboys winning the East again. There has been a decline in this division and the Cowboys have the most talent. Washington is in a perpetual rebuilding year and Philadelphia is putting a lot of trust in a guy with no experience. New York has a good team, but I don’t see them contending for the East or a Wildcard, the NFC is too deep. So the Cowboys win the division their coach however, will prevent them from making the Super Bowl. This fact should scare the hell out of Wade Phillips because the Super Bowl is being played at Jerry World this year and you know he wants nothing more than to pad his already enormous ego with his team playing host in the Super Bowl. This is how the season plays out for Dallas: They roll off 10 to 12 wins and lose before the NFC Championship game in the playoffs, Wade Phillips never coaches again and Jerry begs Jimmy Johnson to stop playing Survivor and come back and coach for him.

 

NFC West:

Someone has to win this division right? Well Arizona is going to be much worse than the previous couple of years, St. Louis sucks and if Seattle plays like Carroll manages his roster they too will suck. That leaves San Francisco to win the division and bow out in the first round of the playoffs.

 

NFC North:

Minnesota were a interception away from the Super Bowl last year and again this year Brad Childress has showed his faith in Tavaris Jackson by begging and pleading the forty-year-old #4 to return. He has returned and the only question I have is how long will that forty-year-old surgically repaired ankle last? Not a whole season is my prediction. There are a lot of offensive concerns here most notably the wide receiver position. Their defense is too good to miss the playoffs so I have them as the first Wildcard. Chicago is stuck in the mud with no identity. I wonder how many picks Cutler will throw this year. Detroit will be better and Stafford will continue to improve, but they are miles away from the playoffs. That leaves Green Bay with North title. Aaron Rodgers has been anointed the next coming of [any great quarterback]. He’s got a lot of weapons to play with and he plays at Lambeau Field. The holes in the defense are going to prevent this team from going to the Super Bowl.

 

NFC South:

The Saints have too much talent not to win the division, so they will, even if Reggie Bush didn’t win the Heisman. Carolina is another team that is looking for an identity. DeAngelo Williams is a nice running back and they have “Crazy” Steve Smith who is tremendous, their problem though could be the guy leading the team. Matt Moore, the pride of Van Nuys, CA has attempted just 249 passes. Tampa might rattle off four wins this year, which will be one more than last year. My remaining Wildcard winner in the NFC is Atlanta. Matt Ryan is going to be a great quarterback in this league for many years to come and you need a great quarterback to be successful. Again, defensive concerns will prevent them from going far.

 

AFC East:

New England wins the division because that’s what Hoodie does. If Brady can stay on his feet they can go deep in the playoffs. Buffalo is a joke and just might be the best team in the CFL. Miami is still recovering from the Dave Wannstache and Nick Saban era, but are likely the third best team in the division.  New York overachieved last year and this year they will be exposed. They have a great defense, but their offensive woes will be their down fall. Not to mention the “Hard Knocks Jinx”.

 

AFC West:

What a pathetic division.  I can’t wait to see those Oakland v. Kansas City clashes. Denver has a little kid coaching them so they won’t be relevant, although they do have the savior Friar Tuck. So San Diego will again roll through the regular season, win the division and fizzle out somewhere in the playoffs.

 

AFC North:

This might be the best division in football, if they could only find a way to get rid of the Browns there would be no argument. Cincinnati swept the division last year and then took a crap. That’s not going to happen this time around. Baltimore will win the division and go very far in the playoffs. Joe Flacco is going to look very good. He has the deepest receiving core in the league now with addition of TJ Houshmandzadeh. How are they the only team to get this guy, and for cheap, 800 grand. So I’ll give the first Wildcard to Cincinnati and their wacky receivers. The Steelers won’t fool anyone anymore and without Big Ben for four games (as I predicted) they will fall behind early and never recover.

 

AFC South:

This is an interesting division. Some teams have made strides at catching Indianapolis, but they are clearly the division winners again this year. Tennessee is on the cusp of becoming a good team, they’re going to overuse Chris Johnson though and he will breakdown leaving them out of the playoffs. Does Jacksonville still have a team? There’s one Wildcard spot left and I have mentioned all but one of the 32 teams. That’s right kids; I have Houston winning the second Wildcard spot. Matt Schaub has the best target in the NFL in Andre Johnson. They were first in overall passing last year and they have a nice little running back in Arian Foster, watch out for this guy. Don’t forget the defense and Mario Williams. The Texans finally reach relevance.  

 

So, who’s my Super Bowl pick? I think picking the Super Bowl before a single game is played is stupid, but they’re making me so here it is: Baltimore v. New Orleans; with Baltimore winning by more than a point.

So long and enjoy the season.

Posted on: September 7, 2010 3:24 pm
 

Pre Season week 3

By BRAD DEGNAN

 

 

 

Three of the four agonizing pre season weeks are out of the way and this last week may actually be the worst. The coaches don’t even want to play this week, they already know what fat they’re going to trim to get to that magic 53 number. The only people who care about week 4 of pre season are those looking for a miracle to make the team and some bookmakers. So instead of looking forward to the final week of pre season let’s take a look ahead to the regular season. I’ll give you some things I’m looking forward to and some things I’m not, also I hope you didn’t have your fantasy draft yet, week three always has some pretty significant injuries.

Putting this column together something dawned on me; everything I am looking forward to is a negative. Take for instance me wanting nothing more than #4 to fail. I love when his last pass of the season is a pick. So it got me thinking “Should I not root against him in hopes that he will have an ok season and not throw a pick his last throw of the season and finally friggin retire?” This week though he threw two picks and had a fumble. I love it, retire.

Another thing I look forward to this season is the sociological experiment that is the Washington Redskins. With failure, they get everything they deserve. Time after time, season after season this organization makes horrible personnel decisions; the worst, probably, the Haynesworth signing. Have you ever seen a guy who cared less about playing after he got paid? I would love to see him get cut; the guy (in my opinion) shouldn’t even be in the league. Remember what this tool did to Andre Gurode? If you don’t a quick summary. Gurode had his helmet knocked off and was lying on the ground when the then Tennessee Titan, Haynesworth, stomped on his head with his cleats, twice. I feel just as strongly today as I did then; Dude should not be in the league.

How about some positives? Can’t wait to see the 9ers and the Broncos duke it out in London. Right? Who cares? If you’re a fan of those teams, you don’t want them to travel all that way. If you’re not a fan of either team you don’t care. I think Roger Goodell is about the only person here who cares about playing in England.

The Cowboys collapse is always fun.

Redskins at Eagles should be fun. The four letter network will go bananas hyping this one.

A lot of people can’t wait to see if the Jets can duplicate last season. When was the last time there was so much pub on the Jets? Was Drunky Joe still playing? (I wanna give you a kiss) Whatever Tony Dungy says I still think Rex Ryan is great for the NFL.

As I mentioned above I hope you waited until next weekend to have your fantasy draft. Week 3 in preseason is the only time before the regular season that guys play at 100% and you can just look at the injury reports to prove that.

Two notable injuries to check out happened to Donte’ Stallworth and Jason Campbell. Stallworth will miss about eight weeks. What makes this significant is you may recall; the receiver missed all of last season due to suspension for pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter. Actually he wasn’t suspended for pleading guilty; he was suspended for killing a guy.

Campbell left Saturday’s game with a stinger, however, in the series prior to the stinger he hurt his wrist, which is of much more concern to the Raiders. They are awaiting the results of an MRI.

In Big Ben news: the Commish will meet with him after the Steelers final pre season game this Thursday. I see the sentence being reduced. Why? I ask the same question. Do you think Ben is less of a pervert today than he was six months ago? Doubt it.

Something I am not looking forward to this season is Chris Berman. I can’t take his shtick or his voice anymore. I haven’t watched the Homerun Derby in years thanks to this guy. Back-back-back, STOP IT, I would rather watch my kid run around with scissors. The times have changed and this guy is doing the same crap he was doing 20 years ago. Oh I’m getting annoyed just writing about him. Thank goodness for the NFL network, I’d rather put up with Deion.

For your weekly Tweet update, Dez Bryant broke the news via a tweet that he will be playing this Thursday. Thank you Twitter, don’t know how else we would have gotten that news.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com