Football Friday: Episode II

Brian SmithCorrespondent IJune 20, 2008

Time now for Episode II of Football Friday. As promised in Episode I, I will be going over the NFC this time around. But, first, my rants regarding the NFL...

Nope, couldn't do it, couldn't go a whole week without an NFL player getting arrested. Daren Stone, a safety for the Falcons, was arrested for DUI. I think it's getting to the point where the league should require the players to hand in their drivers licenses until they are no longer in the league. Again, I will say this again to all the NFL players, "YOU CAN AFFORD TO HIRE A DRIVER!!". If you are an NFL player reading this and don't understand what I mean, please send me an email and I will explain it to you free of charge.

J.J. Arrington, arrested for disorderly conduct for being in a fight in a night club. Hey, it's cool if you want to go out, have a few drinks, hang out, whatever, but, getting into a fight? Come on, give me a break. Unless it's self defense, there's no excuse.

Speaking of having a bad time at the club, Javon Walker apparently ran into the wrong people in Las Vegas. The Raiders hope that the mugging that he received in Vegas will not be repeated on the field by a band of nasty corner backs.

Ok, who was puckered up when they heard T.O. didn't show up to a mandatory Cowboys camp? He was excused. However, that part seems to have been missed or wasn't revealed when the news broke.

To end the rant, looks like Pacman Jones gets a double whammy this week. First, the woman who was involved in the fracas in Vegas with Jones was found dead in New York and now it looks like Mr. Jones' house is in foreclosure. Hey Pacman, remember all of those hundred dollar bills you were throwing at the strippers in Vegas? Maybe you should have used those to pay your house note?

Now to my NFC review.

NFC West:

St. Louis Rams - A 3-10 team last season that drafted DE Chris Long and Rams fans hope that he will have some impact sooner rather than later. The Rams have a ways to go before being a challenge for the rest of the teams in the NFL.

49ers - I just don't know where to start with this team. The quarterback position is a huge question and I wasn't really impressed with their draft picks either. Running the ball seems to be a problem too, so, I have to say, 2008 isn't going to be their season either.

Seattle Seahawks - Shaun Alexander is gone. He wasn't really there the last 2 seasons anyway, so I'm not sure if he will be missed. Although to be fair, he was hurt and I don't think his foot was completely healed (no pun intended) when he came back. The Seahawks can win the division again as long as they can keep Arizona from emerging as a threat. I think Seattle will have to win both games against Arizona this year in order for them to take the West.

Arizona Cardinals - 8-8 last year, not bad for the Cardinals. Then they go and draft Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in hopes that lightning will strike twice (Pun intended) in the Cromartie family. Arizona has a good chance of pulling a Wild Card birth if Cromartie performs like his cousin did for San Diego last year, but, I don't see a rookie corner back doing that right away in the NFL.

NFC North:

Green Bay Packers - Well, Brett Favre finally said goodbye to the NFL and all those crazy playoff interceptions. See you in the Hall of Fame in 5 years Brett. Aaron Rodgers, hey man, no pressure. The Packers will have a hard time repeating last seasons 13 win performance. Nothing against the Packers, it's just not going to be 'easy' this season.

Vikings - Adrian Peterson, wow, is all I can say. He stays healthy, Vikings have a chance at the playoffs this season. They do need QB Jackson to step up his game though to help take the burden off of Peterson. Hopefully their drafting of DB Tyrell Johnson will improve on the 32nd ranked pass defense, if not, the playoffs just might elude the Vikings again this season.

Detroit Lions - What is Jon Kitna's prediction this year for the Lions? If he's smart, he won't say how many wins this time around. Matt Milen didn't draft a wide receiver until the 5th round this year, yay! Lions won't be in the playoffs this year though, sorry.

Chicago Bears - 12 drafts picks, not one quarter back picked. Chargers had Michael Turner, you need a running back and no trade was made. The Falcons have Turner now. Then Cedric Benson forgot that the Bears drafted a running back early in the second round and decides that he can drink and drive on land and water. It's going to be a long cold winter in Chicago. Oh yea, Urlacher is mad too.

NFC South:

Tampa Bay - Maybe Tampa will win the division again, maybe they won't. This is another team that should be good, but, is just only o.k. Lucky for them the Saints had some jinx show itself and that Carolina kept getting quarterbacks hurt. I don't see much improvement from last year unless their draft picks can make an instant impact.

Carolina Panthers - It was nice seeing an 80s quarterback play in 2007. Vinnie did an alright job, but, the Panthers problems were beyond him being able to help. This isn't a bad team over all, they need a solid, consistent leader though or they won't make the playoffs this year either.

New Orleans Saints - Dang, what happened guys? The thought of having to perform to the level you did the season before get to you? Drew Brees was doing all he could to keep the team from missing the playoffs, it's just too bad the Saints defense didn't feel the same. Step it up on defense this year and I don't see why the Saints should not be in the playoffs.

Atlanta Falcons - Well, they got Michael Turner which was a good move. They drafted QB Matt Ryan in the 1st round and then drafted OT Sam Baker also in the 1st round. I think Baker is going to help before we see Ryan helping. This is not the Falcons year, though I think they will show some improvement as long as their head coach doesn't decided to abandon them again.

NFC East:

Eagles - Will he stay or will he go? I say keep McNabb, he's a good quarterback, but, needs to stay healthy. He stays healthy all of 2007, it's the Eagles in the playoffs and not the Redskins. Time will tell though on their draft picks, nobody really sticks out as an immediate impact player.

Redskins - I'm sorry, but I feel that they fell backwards into the playoffs last year. Great end to a tragic season for the 'Skins, but I'm not sure rookie coach Jim Zorn will send this team to the next level. If Jason Campbell can come out firing, they just might sneak back into the playoffs this season.

Dallas Cowboys - Romo is married, T.O. is still there, Pacman Jones is now there and they have a not so intimidating schedule for 2008. They should be fine this year barring any injuries or strip club incidents.

New York Giants - Is Tiki Barber still kicking himself? The champs will not be champs again this season. They will be good, they play with fire and I like that. If Eli doesn't go back to the Old Eli, they should go deep in the playoffs again, but, I just don't think they will get to the big one. Strahan is gone now, which should not be a huge overall loss. They have a good defensive front, so that will minimize the impact of Strahan's retirement.

That's it for my NFC assessment. Next weeks Football Friday, I will give my predictions for the coming 2008 season.

Thanks for reading.