Monday, October 3, 2011

NFL Recap: First Quarter Review

Now that the NFL season is a quarter of the way done, I figured that I should revisit some preseason predictions as well as adjust some projections going forward.

The "Elite Eight"
The NFL is a peculiar beast. Worst to first is common, and guaranteed locks fall by the wayside every years. Lets take a look at the status of the "Elite Eight" after the first four weeks.
Bryan Bulaga likes the Cold, Jim Beam, and protecting Aaron Rogers
"Your the best around"- Karate Kid Voice
Packers: 4-0
Although there defense has some room for improvement, the Packers are a perfect 4-0 and looking virtually unbeatable. Aaron Rogers has a seemingly endless array of targets at his disposal. A repeat is very much in their grasp.

"Winner Takes it All"- Over the Top Voice
Patriots: 3-1
Saints: 3-1
Ravens: 3-1
Each of these teams just know how to pull out wins. The Patriots and Saints do it with superb quarterback play while the Ravens defense never disappoints. Although they are on the right track, these teams have some question marks that could derail their superbowl aspirations.

"Fight To Survive"- Bloodsport Voice
Falcons: 2-2
Steelers: 2-2
Both of these teams look great on paper, but have played some uninspiring football so far. The Steelers should be fine, but if I were an Atlanta fan I would be very scared of a 7-9 type of year.

"Hawks Dominating"- Might Ducks I Voice
Eagles: 1-3
Colts: 0-3
The Eagles are clearly the most disappointing team in the league. They are just another example of how a team needs to do the little things to be successful. They have the talent to dig themselves out of this hole, but they better start soon. The Colts sole reason for being in the "Elite Eight" was Peyton Manning. He is now injured and the Colts suck.

Contenders and Pretenders

I really don't like either one of these teams but I have to say they are both in pretty good positions thus far. The Texans have a clear path to a divisional title with Manning being hurt and the Lions are playing great. Look for both these teams to end up in the 10-6/11-5 range.

Each of these teams have too many problems to get over .500 despite strong starts. Don't get me wrong, the Titans and Bills are gritty and deserve our respect, but it is hard to see how they win week in, week out, with their talent. The Bills just lost to the Bengals and the Titans can't expect Matt Hasselbeck to play at this level the whole year. The 49ers could end up making the playoffs because of their division, but all that means is that they get bad draft pick.

Cam Newton
What a story! Killa Cam has shocked the football world with his otherworldly stats. The Panthers have to be excited by the prospect of having him for the next decade. I have been trying to find a comparison to him, but he might be in his own category. Ben Roethlisberger 2.0 has arrived!
my ears just pricked up, my nostrils enlarged, and my heart started pounding. #fight or flight
Predictions moving forward:
AFC East: Patriots, Jets, Bills, Dolphins
Jets can't play any worse and the Bills can't play any better, a regression to the mean is in order. The Dolphins may go 10-6 with Andrew Luck in 2012.

AFC West: Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos
Chargers run away with the division. The Chiefs are beat up, but could challenge the Raiders for second place.

AFC South: Texans, Titans, Jaguars, Colts
Texans easily pull away. Each of the other three teams end the year below .500

AFC North: Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati
The Steelers sneak in as the wild card. Cleveland ends the year a respectable 7-9.

NFC East: Giants, Eagles, Redskins, Cowboys
Something tells me the Eagles turn it around. Both the Redskins and Cowboys choke away any chance of getting into the playoffs.

NFC West: 49ers, Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks
I wish I could put all of the teams in 3rd or 4th place in this embarrassment of a division.

NFC South: Saints, Bucs, Falcons, Panthers
Something about the Bucs is intriguing. I like that they were an "it" team last year but have gone unnoticed so far this season. Josh Freeman is the real deal and they sneak in as a six seed.

NFC North: Packers, Lions, Bears, Vikings
This division ends the year as the surprise of the season. The Lions making the postseason is a win for a city in need of as many victories as it can get.


Charlie Widdoes said...

Cam > Ben

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