To see Part I of my 2010 NFL Preview, click here.
There’s no time for pleasantries, let’s get right to the action.
New York Jets (11-5): The Jets are coached by Rex Ryan, who is the embodiment of a football coach. He is larger than life, swears more than Richard Pryor, installs confidence in his team, runs a smash mouth system that runs the ball on offense and beats the shit out of you on defense. He is a wet dream for journalists because he has no filter. His players love him and his opponents hate him. He is a master motivator. If Rex Ryan was in charge of the South, we’d be speaking Foxworthy and disavowing evolution today.
New England Patriots (9-7): Tom Brady’s back and his knee is a year stronger. Blah, blah, blah. Tom Brady hasn’t won anything in six years. Ever since he started dating Gisele he’s become an LA or New York guy. He must hate living in Boston where it is winter from October to May, the closest beach is next to a dog track and one of their nicest museums is where Paul Revere is buried. The constant scrutiny of the Massholes who turn on him as soon as he says hello to Kobe Bryant or wears a Yankees hat must really make him feel loved. Not to mention his receiving corp has about as much diversity as Brookline. The bottom line is they’re old, have no running game and are coached by a guy who makes Ben Stein sound interesting.
Miami Dolphins (8-8): Ronnie Brown will get hurt, Brandon Marshall will wear out his welcome and Ricky Williams will either run for 1200 yards or leave the team to work for Seth and Munchie's Garden Blast. The Dolphins also run the Wildcat offense. Would you believe me if I said the formation is loosely based off of Goldie Hawn’s offensive scheme at Central High School? Here’s hoping Bird Williams makes a cameo in South Beach this year.
Buffalo Bills (2-14): This will be the worst team in the league, which is too bad because it seems every year the team gets closer to moving to Toronto, which isn’t even something liberals threaten to do anymore.
Baltimore Ravens (12-4): I am drinking the Kool-Aid on the Ravens this year. Their quarterback is ready to make the jump into a Pro Bowl caliber passer. They have one of the most multi-dimensional running backs in the game. They acquired a tough-as-nails wideout in the offseason. Plus they have the kid from The Blind Side on their offensive line. Not to mention Ray Lewis, T-Suggs, Ed Reed and the fellas are back on defense. Those guys are so nasty Marlo Stanfield wouldn’t cross them with Avon Barksdale’s gat.
Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6): With the suspension of No Means Ben for the first four to six weeks, the Steelers will be hard pressed to continue their usual level of success. Since this team has been to the playoffs with slingers like Tommy Maddox and Kordell Stewart, they should be fine in #7’s absence. Not to mention Troy Polamalu is back and when he isn’t making shampoo commercials can single-handedly change the course of a game from the safety position. Another year of not making the playoffs would make Steeler Nation a bunch of shut-ins. That is until they realized there are a lot of other things to do, mostly because none of them live in Pittsburgh anymore.
Cincinnati Bengals (7-9): Last year’s surprise is this year’s let down. Their quarterback is an injury waiting to happen. Their running back likes to be in mug shots as much as he does the end zone. They have two wide receivers who combined are almost 70 years old. For whatever reason, the Bengals like to give money to players with questionable character. PacMan Jones, Matt Jones, and Tank Johnson are just a few examples. It’s like the city of Cincinnati ran out of half-way houses and the Bengals volunteered their locker room.
Cleveland Browns (6-10): The Browns finished strong last season, winning four in a row to cap off 2009. Normally a franchise would use this as a spring board to the next season. Instead of doing that the Browns signed Jake Delhomme, who has this reaction on every time he throws the ball. Hasn’t Cleveland suffered enough? Apparently not according to the Browns front office.
Indianapolis Colts (10-6): I think this will be the year the Peyton train starts to come off the tracks a bit. They’ve won at least 12 games for seven years in a row, which is a testament to their consistency. In that time they’ve won one title and lost another. Peyton Manning is an all-time great, but he is a little too quick to blame others for his own wrongs. For example, the interception he threw in last year’s Super Bowl was blamed on the wide receiver. I guess it is the wide receiver’s fault for throwing it right into Tracy Porter’s hands. At least that’s the excuse the Monday Night Football crew would use as soon as they got Peyton’s Manning out of their mouths.
Houston Texans (9-7): This team can move the ball up and down the field. Unfortunately their defense tends to let the opposing offenses do the same. The playoffs have been a long-time coming for this franchise. If it doesn’t happen this year Gary Kubiak can start looking in the classifieds in 2011. Just like the Congressional Democrats.
Tennessee Titans (8-8): Last season the team started off 0-6 and finished 8-8 after common sense re-appeared to coach Jeff Fisher and he benched a quarterback who was drafted the year I graduated from high school. Chris Johnson ran for 2,000 yards and it could have been more if his first few games weren’t so sluggish. The problem with the Titans is they play ball control offense which lends itself towards close games. There will be a few times when Vince Young needs to win games with his arm. It remains to be seen how successful he can be at that.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12): The AFC South is a tough division to play in. Someone needs to be the doormat of the South and since General Sherman torched his way to Savannah, why not take the city closest to it. The Jags are a one-man team in Maurice Jones-Drew. Given some reports out of Jags camp he might be a one-knee man, not the best sign for success. Then again lots of teams have gone on to do many things relying on injured players – like pick first in the draft.
San Diego Chargers (11-5): Despite a few big ticket holdouts, the Chargers will benefit from playing in the AFC West, where they should go at worst 5-1. There are numerous examples of players holding out or not wanting to play in San Diego. I’ve lived on the East Coast my whole life and one of the best weeks of my life was when I visited San Diego. Every winter I threaten to move there without a job or any knowledge of the economy there. These players get paid to play a sport AND live in San Diego. That's like discovering plutonium, by accident.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-8): This might be the most preposterous pick of the entire preview. The Chiefs have been horrible for several years now. They have a coach no one seems to like and two coordinators from the early 00's Patriots Dynasty who went on to be atrocious head coaches. However, they got a steal in the draft with Eric Berry to firm up their defensive backfield and Jamaal Charles is primed to break out in a big way on the offensive side of the ball. Plus they get to play the Raiders and Broncos four times, which is like shooting fish in a barrel, if those fish were coached by a third grader and Coach Harris from Revenge of the Nerds.
Oakland Raiders (7-9): The Raiders lost to a lot of teams last season, but they somehow managed to win a few big games over quality opponents. Amazing things happen when JaMarcus Russell is no longer under center. For what seems like almost a decade, the Raiders have made lousy 1st round draft picks year in and year out. JaMarcus Russell, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Darren McFadden are just a few examples resulting from the ineptitude of their recent draft strategy. Who’s calling the shots for the Raiders, Josh McDaniels?
Denver Broncos (4-12): Speaking of Josh McDaniels, the Broncos got out of the gates on fire last season but limped to the finish line. In a few short years, McDaniels has developed a knack for running high priced players out of Denver in some sort of “You will respect my authority” gesture. To make matters worse, after trading a 100+ catch receiver in Brandon Marshall, McDaniels drafted Tim Tebow in the 1st round, someone almost every talent evaluator in the country says cannot successfully play quarterback in the NFL and pinned as a 3-4th round pick. So what if Tebow was a superstar in college. If I did for a living what I was good at it in college I’d be in Motley Crue.
Playoffs: Baltimore and New York Jets win byes; Pittsburgh over Indianapolis, San Diego over Houston. Baltimore over Pittsburgh, San Diego over New York Jets. Baltimore over San Diego.
Super Bowl XLV: Baltimore over Green Bay