Long time and careful readers of the blog will remember our amazing football prognostications last year, when we went a documented 167-4.
Perhaps the glow of our success last year has altered our memory of the exact record, but all kidding aside we were picking games at about a 75-80% success rate, including the documented astounding pick, on record, that the lowly Dolphins would outright beat the mighty Bears.
Training camps open next week, and we thought we’d look at the divisions and give a preliminary prediction on the division winners. We reserve the right to change our picks based on injuries over the summer, and will make our final picks just before the season begins.
Remember…ahem…this is for fun only.
AFC SOUTH (why aren’t the Fins in the south?)
(Second year jinx strikes Vince Young of the Titans)
Falcons ( minus Vick…ruff ruff)
Couple of surprises here. Starting with the NFC West, 49’ers have finally re-tooled and this is their break out year. Cardinals got the right new Head coach in Ken Whisenhunt for QB Matt Leinart and will make some noise, although their running game and OL line need to step it up. Texans will make some noise and Falcons are regretting trading Matt Schaub the best backup QB in the league last year to the Texans. Bengals have just too much talent to not win the division and the Steelers are only one year removed from their super bowl win. Ravens have just gotten too old to compete.
Our home town Fins just don’t have it. They may be a solid 8-8 but that’s all we see here. Ted Ginn, Jr., may just turn out to be the steal of the draft, but we think he will need a year or more to mature. The final analysis of Ginn as the number one pick of the Fins will always be linked to two factors: How will second round pick QB John Beck perform? And will Beck outperform the QB they passed on- Notre Dame star and Browns QB Brady Quinn. Ginn could make the pro bowl for the next ten years, but if Brady Quinn becomes a franchise QB, the Fin Fans will never let Fins head coach Cam Cameron forget it.
COLTS and CHARGERS are the class of the AFC with the Bengals and Patriots right behind. Yes, that’s right- despite all the high priced free agents the Pats have picked up, spending money is not always the way to win. Just ask Redskins fans. We think there will be some chemistry missing in New England, and there is nothing current NFL genius Bill Belichick (who is going through a messy personal situation of his own by being named as the third man in a messy divorce) will be able to do about it. The Patriots will be strong, but Tony Dungy is too good a coach, and Peyton Manning is the best player in the league. The champs will find a way to at least make it back to the big game.
NFC just doesn’t look as strong. The SAINTS look to be the class of the league (has that line ever been written before?) and we think the 49’ers will be close behind. The Bears will not repeat the great season they had last year. We are not sold at all on Grossman as a QB who can make it in this league and their defense is in turmoil.
So there it is. Our preliminary view of the NFL. Ride the 49’ers hard early before the line catches up with how good they will be. Over will be a big play in Patriot games, as they don’t have the defense but definitely have the fire power. Ditto for the Bengals. The Dolphins? Well, if you want to put your local bookmaker’s daughter through college and help out with those new boat payments, just keep picking the Fins. He will thank you at the end of the year.
See You tomorrow.