Wednesday, July 28, 2010

AFC North Predictions

Ok ladies and gentlemen it time to talk about the REAL black and blue division. For many years now games from this division have been knockdown drag out fights. Ravens and Steelers games that are like 2 heavyweight boxers beating the ever loving snot out of each other. And now the Bengals under Marvin Lewis join the Frey with a dominant defense and run heavy offense.

Lets start with the Steelers. No Big Ben to start the season is a major issue Leftwich has performed very good when he has had to step in so I think they will be able to survive the suspension of Big Ben. Hines Ward will be productive as always and I think Wallace will be a breakout player this year. Mendenhall will have his shot to be the man, the question is can he handle a 16 game season and stay healthy? Last year the defense had a lot of injuries and all these guys will be back healthy so look for the Steelers to be right in the mix this year.

Next lets talk about the Baltimore Ravens. There is a lot of buzz around this team and a lot of talk about them going to the Super Bowl. If I remember correctly wasn't there the same buzz around the Carolina Panthers last year? On offense the Ravens add Boldin and Stallworth to finally give them a decent WR corps and Ray Rice at RB is a stud. But I have not seen nearly enough from Joe Flacco to say that he is a franchise QB and could lead a team to the Super Bowl. Yes he made it to an AFC Championship but that was because of the defense. Now to the defense. For many years just the words Ravens Defense made teams shake in their cleats. But unfortunately for Raven fans that is no longer the case. Ray Lewis is slow (got abused by Addai in the playoffs), Ed Reed is on the PUP list and will miss the first 6 weeks of the season, both CBs are hurt and won't be with the team to start the year, Sergio Kindle falls down 2 flights of stairs and fractures his skull and Cody isn't in shape. This defense will finish the year in the bottom half of the league, will the offense be able to carry the team?

The Cincinnati Bengals are the defending AFC North Champs and only got better in the offseason. The defense that was dominant was able to stay in tact and should be a force again this year. On offense they draft the top TE in te NFL draft and add T.O. at WR. I personally can't stand T.O. but having him and #85 it will make defenses be more honest and instead of 8 men in the box they will have to respect the passing game again. Last year Benson had a breakout year and put up huge numbers running against 8 man fronts. So what is going to happen when they can't  bring that extra man into the box to stop the run? 2000yds in Cinci? Lastly there is Carson Palmer. He may not be that top QB he used to be but he is a steady QB who does not make mistakes and puts the balls where it needs to be.

Finally there is the Cleveland Browns. Let's be honest, there is not much to say about this team. No real starter at QB,average running game, average defense and calling anything on the Browns even average is being generous. They have a coach that should have been fired at the end of the season but was given another chance. The Browns are starting to build a good team team but they are still a good 2-3 years away from being relevant, if everything goes perfectly.

So how do I see the AFC North playing out? I have the Bengals going 11-5 and winning the division for the second straight year. Next I have the Steelers coming in at 9-7 and who knows if that will get a wild card or not. After the Steelers I have the Ravens coming in at a disappointing but not surprising to me 6-10. Old injured defenses don't get you far in the NFL today. And bringing up the rear will be the Browns at 4-12. McCoy gets some experience and the Browns show they are on the rise but just can't compete yet.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Power Rankings 32-20

32. St. Louis Rams- Added Bradford and have Steven Jackson but you cant expect a lot from a rookie QB. But look for them to start at least in the top 20 next year.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Don't think Freeman will ever be a franchise QB and a young coach equal a long season.

30. Buffalo Bills- Once again the Bills don't address the problem behind center and have a horrible offensive line. Should be in the hunt for a top rookie QB next year.

29. Cleavland Browns- A lot of questions on this team. Holmgren will build a winner, just not this year.

28. Detroit Lions- A much improving team but a very tough division. Best is an upgrade at RB and Stafford to Johnson should be big this year. Also didn't they add a talented young DT?

27. Denver Broncos- What is McDaniel gonna do next? Trade Dumerville because he sneezes in a meeting? Am not sold on McDaniel and think he runs this team into the ground.

26. Kansas City Cheifs- Will Cassel step up and be what was expected of him or is he just another Rob Johnson? Will Weis find a way to get the offense going?

25. Jacksonville Jaguars- They play in a very tough division and are maybe average on both sides of the ball.

24. Seattle Seahawks- Will Pete Carroll be just another great college coach that fails in the NFL? He failed once, will it just be a repeat? Not a very talented team with an old QB. Great draft but will take time to develop those young players.

23. Philadelphia Eagles- Trade a Hall of Famer and hand a pass happy offense off to an unproven guy. Does anyone think that's a path to a championship?

22. Oakland Raiders- The Russell era is finally over and Campbell is actually a huge upgrade for this team. He should mean 3-5 more wins.

21. Arizona Cardinals- No more Warner and lose a top LB in Dansby. These will be the Cards we all grew up with. An 8 win season might be tough for them this year.

20. Carolina Panthers- 2 very good RBS but young at QB. And how will the defense replace Peppers? Still I think they could be very good but have to rank them low to start because of questions at QB.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Generation Fans

What has happened to the landscape of sports? There is a new epidemic of loudmouthed, low class, unintelligent, negative sports fans. What happened to the days when you supported your team through good or bad? The days when you made a negative comment about your team you backed it up with facts.In this 30 second highlight era stats have been replaced by bold statements of "you suck".

I am a very open Washington Redskin fan and have suffered for many years now. However I cannot ever remember a time when I would just say they suck. I might complain about the lack of an offensive line or franchise QB but would never make some of the statements I hear from younger fans today. Do fans realize that to really enjoy a championship sometimes you need to suffer? Ask a Red Sox fan how happy they were to finally end the curse. Imagine the pure ecstasy Cub fans would have when the win a World Series. Or ask an "Aints" fan how special last year was to see the Saints win the Super Bowl.

In this generation of video games and the internet I think fans have forgotten what it is to be a fan. Gone are the days of reading the paper and memorizing stats and learning all you can about your team. Gone are the days when you understand winning takes time and the losing is just a part of the journey. I know what it is to suffer and in my own sick way enjoy every second of it because I know when I hear "Hail to the Redskins" playing at the Super Bowl one year, it will have all been worth it. So I ask you sports fans...embrace your teams for good or bad and talk to your parents and grandparents and maybe they will teach you what a real fan is.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fantasy Rankings 11-20

11- Larry Fitzgerald- A big question at QB and the loss of Boldin has made Fitz drop a little, but still a top wr.

12- DeAngelo Williams- Never really like commity guys but it's the norm today. He is still the lead guy in Carolina. But for how long?

13- Shonn Greene- Greene showed a flash of greatness in the playoffs and has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL in front of him and plays on a team that loves to run. Could be his last year out of the top 5.

14- Ryan Grant- Grant has Rodgers to make defenses concentrate on the pass so as long as he is healthy he should put up solid numbers.

15- Peyton Manning- What really needs to be said?

16- Rashard Mendenhall- With Big Ben out for the start of the year Mendenhall will have the chance to step up. He has the talent but can he last a whole NFL season?

17- Reggie Wayne- Mannings go to guy...nuff said.

18- Brandon Marshall- He has something to prove and might end up with a 30 catch game. He has the whole package. But can he stay together mentally?

19- Tom Brady- The 2nd year after a major surgury like Brady had is usually the year they are back to themselves. So look for a big year from Brady.

20- Randy Moss- Which Moss will show up this year? He wasn't happy and talk of him taking plays off started again last year. So will it be the Patriot Moss or the Raider Moss?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fantasy Football

Just a quick top 10 for fantasy players out there.

1. Adrian Peterson- I don't care if he has problems holding onto the ball. He runs angry and has explosive speed.

2. Ray Rice- Just a stud. Runs hard and can catch the ball out of the backfeild. My pick as #1 fantasy RB by the end of the year and will stay there for next 3-5 years.

3. Chris Johnson- Explosive speed and if he gets into the open feild he can't be stopped. But his size and durability scares me.

4. Maurice Jones-Drew- Not flashy but just a top producer over the last few years.

5. Frank Gore- Will have another break out year. With questions at QB he will be the offense will go through Gore.

6. Andre Johnson- The best WR in the NFL. No arguement. Big, Stron, Fast with great hands.

7. Steven Jackson- Top back but my only worry is they have NOTHING around him. No Wrs, a rookie QB and bad offensive line. But he will still produce.

8. Michael Turner- Healthy and rest from being hurt last year I think Turner has a monster year. He has a chip on his shoulder and will run with a purpose.

9. Drew Brees- The Saint have a high octane offense and Brees is their leader. He will throw the ball all over the feild and should put up huge numbers once again.

10. Aaron Rodgers- Right there with Brees. Rodgers is the leader of one of the top offenses in the NFL and is primed to have a huge if not record breaking season.

Agree? Disagree? Join in and post your top 10

Tomorrow will do 11-20

Are you ready for some football? (NFC East Predictions)

Hello everyone and it's almost the end of July and and men and women across the world are getting ready for some football. Now let's get this out of the way early, I am a Washington Redskin fan and yes I am biased and yes I hate the Cowboys. But as we approach the new season I will try to put my hatred of the Cowboys aside and look objectively. Right now in Maryland it is hot and humid and I am yearning for the cool days of fall and football. So lets take a look at what I think will happen. In this blog I will talk about the NFC East.

Ok it has to be said, the favorites in the NFC East are the Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo seemed to finally step up and take his team to the next level. Miles Austin came out of nowhere to be that big play reciever and the Cowboys are stacked at running back. The defense is solid but I think they tend to give up too many big plays and they did not adress the biggest issue going into the offseason which was the offensive line. I know as a Redskin fan how important the offensive line is. Going into last year the big question about the Skins was the offensive line and as the Gods would have it, The Skins line let us down and were hurt all year. Is that What is in store for the Cowboys this year?

The next stop on our NFC East tour is New York New York. The Giants were a favorite going into last season with a deadly defensive live. But the talent was not backed up by results. Steve Smith stepped up to be Mannings go to guy but just like the Cowboys the Giants offensive line let them down and Brandon Jacobs once again spent most of the season injured. The Giants also did not do a whole lot to upgrade their team in the offseason so I dont expect a whole lot out of them this season.

So that leads us to the Eagles. A team that had enough nerve to trade a future hall of fame QB within the division. They are going to put their faith in Kevin Kolb. What has he shown to make th Eagles think he is the future? Andy Reid is taking a big risk this year. If the Eagles take a step back and Kolb does not lead them to the playoffs will Andy Reid be around next year? Will Kolb to Jackson get the job done? Will The Eagles defense rebound from what could be called a down year last year? The Eagles do have a alot of young talent but I don't think Kolb is a franchise QB and Andy Reid will be fired next year.

Hail to the Redskins!!!! I told you I am biased but now lets look at the Skins. Gone are Jason Campbell, Randel El and a lot of the dead weight the Skins have been carrying around the last few years. In come Donovan McNabb, Trent Williams, Jamal Brown and Mike Shanahan. But who is going to catch the balls from McNabb? Will any of the RBs(Portis, Johnson and Parker) make it through the season? Will a rookie be able to protect McNabbs blindside? The Skins have a lot of questions but I think they are heading in the right direction.

Ok so how do I see things playing out? Can a Redskin fan actually pick the Cowboys to win the NFC East? Actually I think the Cowboys will win the NFC East with a 12-4 record and make a deep run into the playoffs. And even though it may ruin my entire winter, I could see them making it to the Super Bowl. Next I have the Washington Redskins finishing 9-7 and 2nd place in the NFC East. Will that be good enough to get a wild card and a spot in the playoffs? Only time will tell. After the Skins I have the Giants coming in at 8-8. They just did not do a lot to improve a team that has issues. And bringing up the rear will be the Eagles at 4-12 and Eagles fans finally realize what they had in Donovan McNabb. They don't run the ball and have a young QB and you can't be one dimentional unless you have a hall of famer at QB, and he is in DC now.

Until next time....kevin the sports nut