Jeff, the season opener just ended, so I was expecting your football thread... where you at?
Sorry for the delay. I got a monster deal from Sports Illustrated for a subscription, and was waiting for the NFL preview issue to show up. Since I don't subscribe to cable or a newspaper anymore, I don't have my ear to the free agency pipeline like before. I was going to get a decent update on which players signed with which teams, and it turns out I didn't mail the acceptance card in time (expletive)!
I went to B&N yesterday before work and thumbed through the issue. I got some more info beyond the few things I knew already (like Culpepper w/Oakland, Moss w/NE, etc.)
Tiffany wrote:both my things are about John Madden.
The first is that he insisted (when Addai looked injured on the first play of the entire season) that no back-ups were ready to play in this game...
But Keith looked ready, didn't he? I thought he did a great job. One mistake in the 4th quarter, but that looked like a miscommunication, and as we saw tonight, even Marvin and Peyton have those... so I disagree that the back-ups are ill-prepared. That's not necessarily true. Keith looked good to me.
The second is that John stroked Eli a little during the postgame chat... and kudos to John. One can only hope this was a slight reprimand (or at least an attempt to smooth over) after Tiki's totally classless unprovoked attack on Eli once he got the analyst gig.
Since they're both on NBC, I don't think there's any way Madden didn't know about Tiki's little hate parade for Eli, or about the fact that Eli himself and other Giants players obviously weren't happy about it and instantly defended Eli.
Madden is a football expert, and he's right about depth being important. Now, I don't know enough about the Colts' roster to speak to their depth, but if they have the same 2 tailbacks and the same offensive line as they did last year, there's no worry with those areas. Could it be defense that is lacking depth?
As for Eli, he is still an immature, seemingly overrated quarterback. But, just because he's no Peyton doesn't mean he's Ryan Leaf, either. Eli is in a position that is both enviable and unenviable. He is the son of a very good QB and the brother of a great QB. He has the benefit of true football expertise in Archie and Peyton, but he also has a world of expectation on his shoulders. I say this as an NFL enthusiast, but as an emotional Charger fan I say that whatever befalls that schmuck he's got coming.
For another POV: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/7145284
And since Jeff usually wants picks, well, I don't have any. I will predict that the Colts won't disappoint, even with a lot of defensive changes, but I just can't make picks this early. Don't know enough.
So there you go.
Picks from anyone else, though? Those of you who do know enough?
I was surprised to see SI pick the exact same teams I did to play in the Super Bowl: New Orleans and San Diego. And, because of the SI jinx, I am happy to say that SI's predicted winner New Orleans will in fact lose
to the Chargers.
The Colts, Pats, Saints, Chargers, Bears and Seahawks are the obvious winners of their respective divisions. Cowboys and Redskins will make it a tough competition for the NFC East. Baltimore and Cincy do likewise in AFC North.
If Randy Moss has a great year, it won't be in spite of his selfishness; it will be because of it. He recently decided he's in the mood for a championship, so he'll play as if he's a professional.
Teams to watch out for: 49ers, Panthers, and Broncos. If you play Denver, you may just as well just run the ball on every play with Lynch and Bailey in the secondary.
Awards: MVP goes to Carson Palmer, who goes from a very good QB to a dominant QB this season.
Defensive player: Shawne Merriman redeems himself with a superhuman performance this year, with NO help from banned substances. If he goes down with injury, Champ Bailey or Bart Scott will compete for it.
Coach of the year: Norv Turner.
Most improved: Jay Cutler.
No opinion on rookie of the year.
Now for this Sunday:
Chiefs win against the still-lowly Texans; Cowboys take the Giants; Denver beats Fubbalo. Pats take the Jets (duh). Chargers hosting the Bears: SD has a great offense and a mostly-great defense. Chicago has a great defense and a decent offense with a suspect QB. Chargers win, and I'm not predicting a blowout.
"I hate it when my foot falls asleep during the day, because then it's going to be up all night."