NFL 2008: WHO IS THE TEAM TO BEAT?
First of all, let me say that the New York Giants are not the team to beat this year. Not to take anything away from last year and their Super Bowl run, but the Giants fall short of any Super Bowl predictions this year.
The toughest division in the NFC will be the East
Let's start with the obvious, the Dallas Cowboys. Veteran wide receiver Terry Glenn has been waived, but he wasn't even really a part of the dominating Cowboys offense last year, missing 15 games due to back to back surgeries. Besides, the Cowboys are overloaded with talent on both sides of the ball. Terrell Owens, Jason Witten, Marion Barber, and of course Tony Romo on offense. On the defensive side of the ball, DeMarcus Ware, Roy Williams, and Pac-Man, oops I mean Adam Jones. Jones is still waiting for reinstation to the league, but he is on the active roster for the Cowboys. The only question mark for this team, is how far they can get before Romo chokes.
Next up, Philadelphia Eagles. The secondary is impressive for the Philadelphia Eagles. Sheldon Brown, Lito Shepherd, Asante Samuel, and Brian Dawkins. On the other side of the ball, You'vegot Brian Westbrook who racked up over 1300 yards running the ball last year. The combination of Donovan McNabb, and Kevin Curtis is a nice offset to the explosiverunning game. With the dual offensive threat, Philadelphia should be able to put up some numbers. The biggest question to me in Philly is their tough schedule, and their tough division.
On to New York, and the defending Super Bowl champs, the New York Giants. The Giants are only mentioned here because they ARE the defending champs. Eli Manning is not his brother. He had 23 TD's last year coupled with 20 INT's. I think the Giants barely miss the playoffs this year.
All in all, I think the Cowboys are the team to beat in the NFC. They've just got too much talent. I think Romo will be on top of his game come playoff time this year and I think the Boys go to the Super Bowl.
As with any AFC prediction discussion, we must start with the New England Patriots. I don't know if you're aware of this but they were undefeated last year. Oh wait, I almost forgot, they lost the one and only game that mattered, losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. What do you say about the Patriots? Are they cheaters? Do you love them? Do you hate them? Well, it really doesn't matter what you say about them, because they have enough talent on that team to silence the naysayers. Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welkner, and a RB in Laurence Maroney. Maroney probably isn't as good as he is made to look, but when you've got the deep threat of Randy Moss, any halfway decent RB can excel. The question for me in New England is , where's the D? You know that old saying "offense wins games, but defense wins championships", nowhere did that ring truer than in University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb 3, 2008, when the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants by a score of 17-14.
Indianapolis Colts always get a mention in teams to beat as long as they have Peyton Manning at the helm. With a 1000+ yard rusher in the backfield by the name of Joseph Addai, and a 1500 yard receiver in Reggie Wayne, the Colts have the ability to put up numbers.
This could be the last year for San Diego fans to hold out hope for their San Diego Chargers. With their key offensive weapon LaDainian Tomlinson nearing the age where most NFL running backs begin declining, the passing game needs to be more of a threat. WR Chris Chambers, and TE Antonio Gates have the ability to make things happen and put up numbers, but even if Phillip Rivers is an up and coming Quarterback, he's no Brady, or Manning. Defensively, the Chargers have Shawne Merriman a beast at the OLB position, recording 12.5 sacks, and 68 tackles in 2007. Combined with Antonio Cromarte, and Quentin Jammer, the San Diego Defense is a formidable opponent to any NFL offense.
I think Patriots beat the Colts in the AFC championship game, and go on to a second straight Super Bowl defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, beginning the inevitable demise of one of the most dominant teams to ever grace the gridiron.
There you have it, my opinions on the 2008 NFL season. Now go ahead and tell me where I'm wrong. Tell me how the Pats are the greatest team ever, and there's no way they lose 2 Super Bowls in a row. Tell me why you're mad at me for not including your favorite team (I didn't include mine either, but I will be within the next couple of years). Tell me how my predictions don't mean squat, you're probably right because in the NFL anything can happen on any given Sunday.
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