Sunday, September 6, 2009

Eagles will soar in '09

By this time next Sunday, most of America will be sitting around their TV sets, flipping their remotes vigorously to catch every second of every NFL game on. Domino's and Papa Johns delivery drivers will be burning more fuel than Al Gore's Lear jet. Side note- seriously, if Oil companies wanted to make more money and NOT gauge the American Public, here is my suggestion, just raise gas prices on Sundays and Mondays during the NFL season (when I am certain more people order delivery than any other time of the year). This way, the big time corporations who pay for the gas mileage for their drivers get stuck paying the overpriced gas prices, and the rest of us can be sure that we only get gas on Tuesday - Saturday, when it is mandated that gas cannot be over $1.99 a gallon. This wouldn't work? Why not? Since President Obama is losing the Health Care debate worse than Charleston Southern lost last night, I think he should look into this idea. It's a winner.

Ok, back on point, this is the final Sunday of 2009 without NFL football. So, it appears to be the perfect time to unveil my 2009 NFL Predictions, division by division.

Brady is back. The Dolphins have the toughest schedule in football and history is not on their side. The Bills did not improve by adding T.O. and Lynch is suspended for 4 games. The Jets are starting a rookie QB and his best Wide Receiver is a 2nd string running back. Meanwhile, the Patriots just swindled the Raiders into a 1st Rd pick in 2011 (and it's the Raiders, so let's be real, it's going to be a top-5 pick) for a defensive lineman whose contract is up after 2009. Sometimes, I think the Patriots use the Jedi mind trick on teams when talking trade with them.

Predicted order of finish:
Patriots 11-5
Dolphins 8-8
Bills 7-9
Jets 6-10

It's always hard to repeat as Super Bowl Champion. Pittsburgh is going to have an even tougher time doing it in a very competitive division. Baltimore still has a fantastic defense, but questions still loom about their offense. The Browns can't make up their mind on their QBs, and it's not like they are debating between Montana and Marino. Their defense still has swiss cheese-like holes in it. And they have RB issues. This is not a recipe for success on Lake Erie. Meanwhile, in the southern part of Ohio, a sleeper looms. A healthy Carson Palmer. A hungry and oddly overlooked receiving corps. A RB looking for a second chance. A vastly underrated defense. And a maligned head coach with something to prove. Hello 2009 Sleeper!!!

Predicted order of finish:
Bengals 11-5
Steelers 10-6
Ravens 10-6
Browns 4-12

Welcome to this season's most overrated division. The Texans are the chic pick to be this year's sleeper. Does anybody realize that Rex Grossman, REX GROSSMAN, is a Matt Schaub injury away from being their QB. And Schaub gets injured every year. He already sustained an injury in pre-season. The Jags are poised to rebound from their 5-11 season. They are? With what passing game? And what offensive line? The Titans had the league's best record last year. Yeah, and they lost their best defensive player, one of their Wide Receivers, Kerry Collins is another year older. Meanwhile, lying in wait is the team nobody seems to be talking about. This year, things return to their natural order in the south.

Predicted order of finish:
Colts 12-4
Titans 9-7
Texans 8-8
Jaguars 7-9

Does a pre-season prediction even matter in this division. You could simulate this season 1,000 times and 999 of them, the same outcome will be reached - this division has only one team that will finish over .500 and make the playoffs. It's the same team every time. Try as you might to find a sleeper here and all you find is three teams just flat out sleeping. If San Diego doesn't go 6-0 in divisional play, they should all take handguns to a NYC night club.

Predicted order of finish:
Chargers 13-3
Chiefs 7-9
Raiders 6-10
Broncos 5-11

AFC PLAYOFF TEAMS: Chargers, Colts, Patriots, Bengals, Steelers, Ravens

Probably the most intriguing division maybe in the history of the NFL. Ask 20 different NFL analysts, and you'll get legitimate arguments as to why all 4 teams can win the division and why all 4 teams can miss the playoffs. It's fantastic. It's the best division in football. All 4 teams can, and very well might, finish over .500. It's the anti-AFC West. I love the Redskins young and fast defense. But I hate their passing offense. I love the Giants rushing attack and their defense. But I hate their Wide Receivers. Oh, and brother Manning is still less than 24 months removed from nearly being run out of town. Now he's a $100 million man. The Cowboys have the flash and the new stadium (with some low-hanging fruit). They also have a dandy running game. But not much else. And the Eagles have a chip on their shoulder. Don't underestimate that chip. Or McNabb. Or Westbrook (if he's healthy). Or their receiving corps (man, is it fast). Or their pass rush.

Predicted order of finish:
Eagles 12-4
Giants 10-6
Redskins 9-7
Cowboys 8-8

Brett Favre used to play for the Packers. They hate the Vikings. The Vikings are Favre's new team. Favre's old team now has Aaron Rodgers, maybe the most talented QB in the division. But their biggest rivals are the Bears, who just traded for Jay Cutler, the QB that most people call the next Brett Favre. The Packers have the best set of Wide Receivers in the division. The Vikings have the best running back. The Bears have the best defense (and their running back is pretty good, too). Oh yeah, the Lions play in this division, too, in case anyone forgot.

Predicted order of finish:
Bears 11-5
Packers 10-6
Vikings 8-8
Lions 2-14

The Saints play offense. They play it pretty well. As a matter of fact, I don't think anyone will score as many points as they will. All they need is something that resembles a defense to run away with what will be a very mediocre division. The Falcons, like the Dolphins in the AFC, will come back to Earth a bit - remember for all the hoopla, Matt Ryan only threw 16 TDs last year. The Bucs have a lot of question marks on both sides of the ball. And the Panthers play great defense and can run the ball down your throat. But do you trust Jake Delhomme anymore? Me neither.

Predicted order of finish:
Saints 12-4
Panthers 9-7
Falcons 8-8
Bucs 6-10

Talk about mediocre. At least the AFC West and NFC South have a bonafide Super Bowl contender in it. What's that? The defending NFC Champions, who came within a whisker of winning last year's Super Bowl reside here? Crazy talk! What I see are three teams that are 8-8 caliber (though one of them will find a way to go 9-7 and win the division because the league mandates somebody has to) and one team that will be lucky to win any games this year. Seriously, other than divisional games, where are the Rams getting a win from? I'll wait. Yeah, exactly. They have a beat up offensive line. Their QB is already hurt. Their Wide Receivers are Donnie Avery and Laurent Robinson (no, that's not a punchline, it's the truth) and their defense will give up 30 points a game. Other than Steven Jackson, what's to like?

Predicted order of finish:
49ers 9-7
Seahawks 8-8
Cardinals 7-9
Rams 3-13

NFC PLAYOFF TEAMS: Eagles, Saints, Bears, 49ers, Giants, Panthers

Patriots over Ravens
Bengals over Steelers
Bears over Panthers
Giants over 49ers

Chargers over Bengals
Colts over Patriots
Eagles over Giants
Bears over Saints

Colts over Chargers
Eagles over Bears

Eagles over Colts

Of course, there is no chance any of this will prevail. I guess we'll just have to tune in each week to the best reality show on TV - NFL Sundays (and Mondays, and the occasional Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays).


  1. How would Bears make round two and not be listed in your predictions under round two? Either you had some typos or some mis calculations in there... Intersting predictions though...

  2. Thanks for catching the typo. Huge typo, since in my notes I have the Bears in the NFC Championship game. oops :-)

  3. I agree on the Eagles but the last few years they've had teams come out of nowhere from the wildcard spot to make into the Super Bowl. My pick this year is the Texans as a surprise team.