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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Are You Ready? Yeah, You're Ready...


Well, kids. Here it is. The annual Rooch Nation 2010 NFL Predictions. Complete with yet another scantily clad woman on a motivational poster. I wouldn't have it any other way. Football is here, friends, and there's no denying it. And since I know that you fools are as excited as I am to just get this thing goin' , that direct thinking is exactly the route I'm choosing to take with unveiling this year's picks...

OK, I do have one caveat before I get down to business. After all, I wouldn't be me if I didn't, right? But fortunately for all of you, this little adjustment to the way in which I post my picks should make this experience all the more enjoyable...

Thing is, that while in the past I've always done the traditional route and posted my prediction for each division followed by a nice little summary. This year, I'm gearin' this sucker more to my strength. Uncensored directness. Simple, to the point, yet still full of color and enough emotion to hopefully encourage the occasional chuckle. From tweeting, to texting, to the naming of fantasy teams, being a cagey combination of creative and direct is the only way to go. And seeing as I happen to view it as a strength of mine, I figure what better way to format this year's picks...

So now, with that little caveat aside, it's time to get down to bidness. Ladies and Teds, without further dudes, I give you my predictions for the 2010 NFL season. Not the '10-'11 season. That type of thinking just makes me confuse who won past Super Bowls. And it's September, for crying out loud. I'll start thinking about 2011 about a week after Christmas...


AFC EAST
1. Miami Dolphins (10-6)

I'm not drinking the Chad Henne Kool Aid, but I still think the Phins represent the most complete team in the AFC East. Brandon Marshall figures to make every one's life a little easier, and even if Henne doesn't progress they can still be a playoff team with him playing "Trent Dilfer" to Miami's effective running attack...

2. New England Patriots (10-6)

I'm pumped Tom Brady has allegedly inked an extension, but this team has defensive issues that seriously scare me. I mean, if I can tell that they're extremely vulnerable to the screen passing game, I can only imagine that many opposing OC's are foaming at the mouthfor a chance to get at this group. If the D has to spend too much time on the field, it will be bad, but the offense should be able to balance that out by winning shootouts when necessary. Don't think that description jives withat that 10-6 record? Well, maybe my inner Pink Hat gifted them a win or 2. So sue me. They're still better than the team I have ranked one spot behind them. And that's a statement I wouldn't mind backing up with a few Benjamins. Or at least a Jackson and maybe a Lincoln or 2...

3. New York Jets (8-8)

Ken Dorsey. I asked the same question about both Leinhart and Sanchez when they were highly touted of of USC. "Tell me why he's better than Ken Dorsey?" Well, Mark Sanchez isn't better than Ken Dorsey in the eyes of this astute observer, and he should be the main reason as to why this team again finds themselves right about .500 when all is said and done...

4. Buffalo Bills (6-10)

I'm not going to lie to you. I don't hate Trent Edwards, and CJ Spiller is flat out electric. But this is Buffalo. Someone will get hurt (Spiller), and the folks in Western NY will spend another ungodly cold winter wondering what exactly it is that "Dick Jauron has got goin' on"...

AFC SOUTH
1. Indianapolis Colts (12-4)

My gut told me to put the Texans here, but my gut tends to pick teams a year too early. Maybe next year Schaub and friends can take the thrown, but not this year. It's Peyton's Playground yet again, and barring a disastrous fall from the monkey bars, Indy should be good for 10+ wins and another home playoff game...

2. Houston Texans (11-5)

I mean, see above. This team is really close to putting it all together, and should they actually be able to put together a solid ground attack without fumbling every other carry, they could be really scary. Like, "Super Bowl scary". Oh, and how's that Mario Williams pick lookin' these days? Ooops. Our bad, Houston...

3. Tennessee Titans (7-9)

Jeff Fisher scares me, but Vince Young doesn't. And as much as I love Chris Johnson's confidence in saying he's gonna go for 2,000 again, I just seriously doubt that's gonna happen. Not his fault, it's just that it's so tough to do. They'll be in a lot of close games, and that should only fuel the speculation as to if they have the right QB to lead them to the Super Bowl. Here's a hint...they don't...

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)

I'm sure Maurice Jones Drew will rack up yards (when healthy) and David Garrard will provide a nice boost to some body's fantasy roster in week 9, but that's about all I can see working out well for the Jags. It's not that they're that bad, it's just they're in a tough division...and they actually might be that bad, too...

AFC WEST
1. Denver Broncos (9-7)

This team got a taste last season when they raced out to an impressive start, and I like their chances of building on that this year. And get Tim Tebow out of your mind. I wouldn't be shocked to see him used as a "secret weapon" of sorts, but this team' gonna kill you with precision passing and clock chewing ground game. You'd think they would dearly miss Brandon Marshall, but this is more a case of addition by subtraction for a team Josh McDaniels figures to model after the Patriots teams from earlier in the decade...

2. San Diego Chargers (9-7)

The 9-7 mark and 2nd place position might seem like a slap in the face for a team with Super Bowl aspirations, but I really do think this is a talented football team. I just don't love their chances of staying out of their own way for 16 weeks. This bunch just always seems to get mixed up in shady situations, and I suspect that will cost them a game or two over the course of the year. Their skill players will be all over SportsCenter and play major roles in many a fantasy team, but that won't necessarily translate to victories on the field...

3. Oakland Raiders (7-9)

The Raiders are gonna be shady good and therefore devalue that 1st round pick the Patriots swindled from them. That much I know. How shady good? Well let's just say I hedged my bet with the 7-9 record. I know Jason Campbell isn't all that great and possibly hurt, but any QB is an upgrade from Rohan Davey...that's who their last QB was, right? Huge dude from LSU? Big arm but no real talent to speak of? That was him, right? Anyway. Whoever that guy was, he was awful. But no matter who is under center, they have the potential in both the ground game and on defense to at least put them in position to be there at the end of games with a chance to win. Definitely a team to keep an eye on. And no, I don't like that fact any more than you do...

4. Kansas City Chiefs (5-11)

I'm not excited about Jamal Charles or Matt Cassel, so you can pretty much see why I have the Chiefs at the bottom of the barrel. Matter of fact, I'm having trouble right now trying to remember how I gave them credit for 5 wins. Great googly moogly...

AFC NORTH
1. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)

Joe Flacco is "Joe Flaccid" no more, and in tandem with Ray Rice should help the Ravens have one of the most effective offense attacks in the entire NFL. Oddly enough, their dinged up defense remains a concern, but like the Dolphins in the East they just have a team that at least on the surface seems rather complete. At 12-4, I like their chances of taking it to the next level this season and building on a campaign last year that saw them lay a 1st round beat down on the Patriots in Foxboro...

2. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)

Carson and the dramatic duo get all the pub, but Cincy's season rides on whether or not they can run the ball. When Ced Benson was doin' his thing last year, they were a formidable team, and with an upgraded passing game that should only lead Bengal fans to be hopeful. Obviously I'd like to see this thing blow up and bask in the TO/Ochocinco fallout, but I just don't think it's in the cards...

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-9)

People who I trust tell me that the Steelers are still the Steelers, and they'll still be able to run the ball and control the clock. Obviously be me putting them at 7-9, I don't wholeheartedly agree. I still admire they're style (even though I despise them), but I just don't see the machine running as smoothly as it has in year's past. And unlike the Bengals, I think the fallout in Shattsburgh could be imminent, and you best believe I'll be basking in that like a mother fucker!...

4. Cleveland Browns (5-11)

Let's see. The Browns. Hmmmm. How bout this? At least Cleveland fans don't even have to be tempted by images of LeBron in a Browns football jersey anymore. Right? So they go that goin' for him, which is nice. Oh and it will be fun for Patriot fans when Mike Holmgren takes Eric Mangini out back and does him up Old Yeller style. So I guess not all hope for some entertainment value is lost...

NFC EAST
1. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)

To echo "The Dude", "I hate the freaking Eagles, man!" Pretty much always have, and I pretty much always will. But hey, that thinking didn't stop me from trading for Brian Westbrook and winning a fantasy football title, and it's not gonna stop me for picking the Eagles to have a nice year. I like Kevin Kolb to move confidently into the starting QB role, and I like his plethora of weapons to develop into what might end up being the league's most explosive offense.

2. New York Giants (10-6)

The Giants are about as solid as they come, which is why I have them pegged for another fine season and a playoff berth. But the ceiling for "solid" is about at 10-6. They can run it, they can pass it, and they can defend, but they're gonna find themselves in a lot of close games. That tends to wear on a team, and I bet that will be the case in the Big Apple come Winter...

3. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)

You've heard it before. "This could be the year the Cowboys finally put it all together." Right. This could be the year I start dating a super model, too. And you know what? Not to be arrogant, but I think the latter is much more likely. Being humorous and good looking is much further towards dating a super model than being inconsistent and cocky is towards winning a Super Bowl. So in short. You're more likely to be seeing a Rooch Nation sextape in the near future than you are seeing Tony Romo donning a Super Bowl ring...

4. Washington Redskins (5-11)

Donovan McNabb is on the Redskins, huh? Baaahahahahaha. 5-11 says it all. It will be fun watching McNabb struggle though...and hopefully puke on the field again. Freakin' choker. Thanks again for that Super Bowl...and the money I won betting against you...

NFC SOUTH
1. New Orleans Saints (11-5)

They're the defending Super Bowl champs, and there's no glaring weakness that points to a reason as to why they won't be able to make a run again. Unlike what I said about Chris Johnson and his ability to repeat last year's success, the finely tuned passing attack like the one the Saints posses has a much better chance of living up to last year's lofty standards. And hey, if their defense can keep up it's opportunistic tendencies, there's no reason to think they can't at least put themselves in a good position to make a run at another Super Bowl berth...

2. Carolina Panthers (9-7)

Here they are. The team I'm going with to defy the experts and end up having a decent season. And to be honest, I didn't really need to take that big of a leap of faith on this one. I mean sure, we have no idea what Matt Moore is gonna do, but I do know this team can run the bean and I'm fairly sure their defense is going to be much better than advertised. Mostly with Jon Beason eating people and spitting their bloody body parts at those who dare question his prowess...

3. Atlanta Falcons (8-8)

One of the few teams that has a legit Pro Bowl caliber player at every offensive skill position, and here I have them at 8-8. So what gives? I'm not sure, to tell you the truth. I just know that week in and week out, I didn't love their chances, and so here they are. like the Chargers, the roster packed with fantasy gems should hold your interest, but that's gonna always lead to wins. Plus, it's the NFC South. It's like the Bermuda Triangle of divisions. Nothing ever goes to script here. Hence the Panthers...

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)

Might as well bust out those hideous "Yuccaneer" jerseys, because this group is gonna flat out stink. I mean, what are the odds an upside WR from Syracuse is gonna pan out when one from USC didn't? Exactly. Syracuse football? Beat. Tampa Bay football? Beat...NEXT!


NFC WEST
1. San Fransisco 49ers (9-7)

Another balanced bunch, but this one seems to be just a hair short at the QB position. I like Mike Singletary, I like Patrick Willis, and I like the potential they have on offense. i just don't really care for Alex Smith. If he can show why he was once handed a shatload of money as a #1 pick, then this could turn into a one horse race rather quickly. i don't see that happening, per say, but i still like their chances to take this thing down...

2. Arizona Cardinals (9-7)

Neither Derek Anderson nor the Cards are gonna be as bad as people think. Sure they've lost a lot (Warner/Boldin), but they're still an aggressive team with a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. And unlike what I've said about other teams in this listing, the Cards won't be "hanging around" and putting themselves in position to win late in games. What they will do, is make enough big plays to win a lot of unlikely games going away, and win a lot of games from coming from quite a ways behind. Per usual, it's live and ide b ythe big play in the desert, and not so shockingly, that gets you about a 9-7 record...

3. St. Louis Rams (7-9)

Sam Bradford has impressed me, and I'm liking the way Steve Spagnuolo has seemingly righted the ship. That's really all I got in regards to the Rams, but that's a Hell of a rosier outlook than I'm sure I had pegged for them last season...

4. Seattle Seahawks (3-13)

I wish Pete Carrol nothing but the worst, and while I wouldn't be shocked if this team rides his "rah-rah" attitude to some early season W's, there's no way I'm picking that to happen. I look at the Seahawks, and I just see a team in a real funky sort of transition. And while if anyone were to burn me and turn that funkyness into an unlikely 10 win season it would be West Coast Pete, I just think that's so far fetched I don't even wanna poison my mind thinking about it for even a minute...

NFC NORTH
1. Green Bay Packers (11-5)

Believe me, I tried to find a reason not to pick Aaron Rodgers and the Pack to have a big year this season, but for the life of me I just couldn't find one. This year, they beat the Vikes twice, and prove once and for all that they've arrived as an NFC power...

2. Minnesota Vikings (8-8)

Speaking of the Vikes...and their QB that used to be addicted to...vikes. This is yet another hatred motivated projection, but it's not without reason. Not only is Favre yet another year older, but this team is already dinged up and will have to deal with an undoubtedly improved squad in Green Bay. Those factors, combined with their penchant for late game mistakes, should land them at about 8-8, and leave Brett Favre with no legitimate reason to return for yet another season...at least with the Vikings...Yeah, that whole thing will only be over when that guy's 6 feet under...

3. Detroit Lions (6-10)

I agree that the Lions should be better than they have been in recent...errr....long term memory, but I'm careful to temper my expectations. i wouldn't be shocked if they're a chic pick next season, but moving them too far up the depth chart here in 2010 would probably be a mistake, and from a prognosticators standpoint, a risk not worth taking...

4. Chicago Bears (5-11)

Mike Martz in Chicago. It just doesn't sound right, does it? Yeah, and it's not gonna look right, either. Jay Cutler, learning a new system, throwing to guys who aren't established receivers. Good luck with that...


And here. I won't breakdown a bunch of playoff match ups that will never happen, but what I will do is give you a token Super Bowl prediction. Although that "token" tag can be removed retroactively. you know, if I turn out to be right...


SUPER BOWL
Indianapolis Colts OVER Green Bay Packers

This could be more Peyton Manning, what 2007 was supposed to be for Tom Brady. The cherry on his sundae, if you will. A great statistical season that finishes with a well deserved championship ring. He out duels "The Beard" en route to his second Super Bowl title, and much to chagrin of Patriots fans, answers the question of "who is the league's best QB" en route to doing so...


So there you have it, friends. All my picks out there for the world to see. Will I be proven to be a genius with Nostradamus like abilities? Only time will tell. If I had to wager, I'd bet I'll end up looking more like Nostra-dumbass when all is said and done, but the unpredictability is what makes all this entertaining to begin with. So if I'm wrong, and the Patriots win the Super Bowl or the Packers finish 1-15, I'll be a little confused, but I'll take it because it probably means we had an incredibly entertaining 4-5 months. And if I'm right, well let's just say I'm not above saying I told you so. Especially if you're askin' for it...


Hope you enjoyed, friends! have a great week, and check back on Friday for all of this weekend's picks. Football baby! Woooooo. it's almost here...


Teddy Williams...
Rollo_Soze...
100...

#$>
__________________________________________________________________

As a closing note, I'd like to send my condolences out to the family and friends of Chris O'Hara, a classmate of mine at Attleboro High School who suddenly and surpsingly passed away this weekend. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that Chris and I were best friends, but as someone who was close to several members of my inner circle, I already know his loss has been, and will continue to be felt by those who loved him. It's truly heartbreaking when we lose someone so young, but all we can do is support those who loved him, and help keep his memory alive. As a football fan, and the most colorful player during our time together in high school, I know Chris would have been rabidly gearing up for this year's season ,and I know I will be keeping him in mind when I sit down on opening weekend to take in all the action. I ask that all of you do the same, not only to remember Chris if you indeed did know him, but if just to take stock, and give thanks for all the things that we seemingly take for granted...

RIP Chris. You're already missed...

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