Miami coming off an overachieving season, now has to play a first place schedule including another ’08 cinderella this week. They got Pat White for the Wildcat, but I think defenses have figured out the Wildcat and the fact that Pennington can’t throw a pass over 25 yards. These are the kinds of things you learn by studying film in the off season. Or having a two minute conversation with a Jet fan.
The Falcons and Matt Ryan won’t sneak up on anyone this year. We may even be able to name their head coach. Just kidding, we still don’t know or care. But we do know they should be able to handle a shaky Dolphin team at home. Falcons.
Chiefs got rid of their punching bag, Herm Edwards, and we’re all going to miss his press conferences. It’s called addition by subtraction. But then they screwed up their math by doing subtraction by subtraction in getting rid of Tony Gonzalez.
Ravens defense looks nasty as ever and out to prove they can still dominate without Rex Ryan and Bart Scott. Matt Cassel is day to day for the Chiefs, do you think his foot hurts more as he watches film of Ray Lewis? Me too. Ravens.
So the Iggles decided to help the most insecure quarterback in the NFL by taking a controversial, divisive, exciting backup who is responsible for the death of dozens of dogs. But Andy Reid should be able to handle this, he’s good with young men. It’s not like his sons were dealing heroin out of his house. What, too soon? (Don’t blame me, I didn’t kill dogs, I didn’t deal heroin.)
Carolina had a great season last year but all everyone remembers is Delhomme pooping the bed in the playoffs. But they have a great running back, great wide receiver and a solid defense. And Delhomme doesn’t always suck, remember he took them to the Super Bowl. I swear, he did. Panthers.
What’s happened to the Broncos since we last saw them, not much, really. Just got rid of their hall of fame coach and the star quarterback of the future. But people forget that Kyle Orton is a winner. And no, I’m not joking, he actually wins, 21-12, on a Bears team with terrible wide receivers. He’s got receivers, he’s got chop blockers (what they call linemen in Denver) and he’s got a coach who needs to win now.
Somehow, everyone’s opinion of the Bengals has changed. But they haven’t changed at all. Unless you count Denzel yelling at Ocho Jerko. I’m not fooled by that. King Kong ain’t got nothing on me. (Can you believe they gave him an Oscar for that nonsense?) Broncos.
Favre, much like Joseph Lieberman, seems to have less of an impact the more he changes teams. After a while, you’re just thinking, What a jerk! Wait, who are we talking about here? Anyway, the Vikes may be a solid team this year, but not in week 1.
Mangenious should be an upgrade over Romeo in Cleveland, but his handling of the QB situation has not inspired confidence. But if the home crowd still dresses like dogs and barks loudly, and Braylon doesn’t drop too many passes, the Browns should be able to keep this close. Browns.
Jet fans have hope with their rookie QB and new defensive minded head coach. Do you think Matt Leinert has pictures in his room of Mark Sanchez with knives in his eyes a la the Ace Ventura Dolpin kicker? Leinert was supposed to be the good looking USC QB to take over New York who the Jets passed up. Leinert used to be Vincent Chase in L.A. before Vincent Chase, now he’s a backup to an aging legend in Arizona and probably strikes out with ASU cheerleaders. How the mighty have fallen.
Everyone loves Houston this year, because they went 9-7 last year with a very strong second half. But as I wrote last year, I have no respect for teams that go on hot streaks after they’re eliminated from the playoffs. Exactly what the Texans did last year. I think they fall to the Hobgoblin of high expectations. Hobgoblins are tough to overcome. Jets.
Jags at Colts (-7):
Didn’t the Jags quit on Jack Del Rio last year? I wrote about this in week 14 last year. How he only keeps his job because he has a cool name. His name is still fun to say, and his team is still a bunch of quitters.
No one, NO ONE, is talking about Indy this year. Peyton Manning still plays for these guys, right? He can still throw to Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, right? Indy is still in a dome full of fans whom have nothing else to do til Hoosier basketball season, right? I thought so. Colts.
I do have a heart. I just can’t make fun of a city with 20% unemployment that had to endure Matt Millen as a GM for last several years. I hope Stafford works out for you guys. Good luck, Lions fans. This moratorium is lifted next week.
New Orleans is another city that has endured too much hardship. Is the agreement still in place? You know, the one where we all agreed to root for the Saints in lieu of providing federal money to rebuild their city. That’s good, I’m sure they appreciate it. Saints.
Cowboys at Buccaneers (+5.5):
We’ll save the scoreboard jokes til Dallas plays at home. Romo supposedly dumped Jessica Simpson to show that he’s ready to be the man in Dallas. He could’ve showed us more by dating Megan Fox, but whatever. Without TO, it should help Tony focus on his game, rather than the suicidal maniac.
Tampa looks like it’s in trouble. They just fired their offensive coordinator, their QB takes longer to release the ball than Kobe in a pick up game and they finished last season by losing four in a row. Cowboys.
49ers at Cardinals (-6):
Mike Singletary was awarded the head coaching job even though as interim coach he dropped his pants at halftime to show his team how humiliated they should feel being down 20-3. Let’s just hope the Cardinals don’t run up the score here.
Arizona is getting no respect this year. They have the same team back that came within a play of winning the Super Bowl, they play in the worst division in football, have a potential hall of fame QB and a solid coach. People just can’t get over their past, kind of like Tracy Lords. Cardinals.
The Redskins made themselves better with Haynesworth and committing to their improving QB Jason Campbell. The good news about Haynesworth is that he’s 400 lbs and hard to move. The bad news is that he’s 400 lbs and finds it hard to move. These guys often wear down against an aggressive O line like the Giants.
The Giants were the best team in the league last year until an unfortunate incident involving Plaxico and his sweatpants. They still have everything that a championship team needs except a receiver who can catch the ball. Who thought you could make it to the NFL as a receiver without being able to catch a football. But apparently 4 or 5 guys slipped through the cracks and made it. And they all play for the Giants. Redskins.
I like this Rams team, mostly because of their new head coach, Steve Spagnuolo. It looks like Bulger will be able to start and Stephen Jackson should have a good season with a healthy Bulger keeping the defenses honest. And in the NFC West, can’t you compete for the division with a better than average QB, a good running back and a solid, competent head coach? I think so.
Seattle is getting a lot of buzz, especially since getting T.J. Houshmandzadeh. I don’t see it. Just to be clear, signing a ex-Cincy wideout is not a panacea. A panacea is a remedy for all ills or difficulties. Houshmandzadeh is not a panacea. Rams.
Bears at Packers (-4):
People love the Bears with Cutler, I don’t. I’m not saying he whined like a jilted 14-year old girl in the offseason, but I will say that he’s lucky that the NFL doesn’t have gender testing. Wait for his big stats and critical turnovers in the red zone.
With Favre two years removed and making the Packers front office look better everyday, the Pack should be back. I think it bodes well for them that the Bears and Vikes are getting all the press, because press usually leads to losses. Packers.
The Bills did nothing in the offseason except sign TO. As discussed earlier, TO has the same problem as Favre and Lieberman, diminishing returns with each new team. They inexplicably still have Dick Jauron who has a track record of losses and more losses. You gotta feel for Buffalo, on top of all that, the NFL takes one home game and moves it to Toronto every year. Canada! Can you disrespect a fan base more. How much more can these people take?
Pats are back with a healthy Brady who is down to one super hot, sane girlfriend. This could be trouble for the rest of the league. Can someone tell Tara Reid to get on a treadmill for a month and go over to Brady’s house. Patriots.
The Chargers should dominate this division, but nothing is ever easy with Norv Turner. Tomlinson should come back with a monster season or a lot of sulking with his helmet on, hard to tell which. They should win this, but the crowd might keep it close.
The Raiders are great if you’re not a Raiders fan. Last year, the coach Lane Kiffin gets in a battle with Al Davis about who can give the weirder press conference. Then this year, the head coach Tom Cable punches out one of his assistants during a meeting. They also were the only team who had Heyward-Bey ranked ahead of Crabtree in the draft. It’s a wonder they can’t turn things around. Raiders.