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2009 Outlook

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  • 2009 Outlook

    No ten predictions this year, plus no one wants to read a book. I've been sitting on these picks for over a month actually, but bouts of busyness and laziness prevented me from posting this sooner.

    Want to do this out before getting the new Football Outsiders book (still haven't got it yet) and the preseason (oh well). Anyways, here goes, new teams from last year are denoted with an asterisk.



    AFC

    North - Pittsburgh Steelers
    East - New England Patriots*
    South - Indianapolis Colts
    West - San Diego Chargers

    Wild card - Baltimore Ravens
    Wild card - Houston Texans*


    Tennessee could very well be one of those wild card teams instead, but my basis for not having them is Kerry Collins has shown multiple times/years in his career to not play as well after a good year, and the defense wasn't as good last year as it was the previous year per some metrics, so that's a trend I won't go against now that they don't have Haynesworth. Not the only #1 seed from last year I piss off, keep reading.

    One ballsy pick I like is Cincinnati, actually. Baltimore should take advantage of an easy schedule but Cincy is in the same division and if the ball breaks their way, it could be them instead. The Bengals have built what could be a good-looking defense under Mike Zimmer, although they still might not be as potent against the pass as versus the run. They have those two corners in Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall though. A healthy Carson Palmer has them competing against anyone, look a the game last year at Giants stadium (granted the absurd winds helped). But they need the OL to be strong again, if they had signed Andre Smith in time I probably would have picked them.

    Houston, I think their defense continues to improve even if it's only marginally, and maybe this year Schaub might actually stay healthy. Interesting tidbit: Schaub has only played the Colts one time in his two previous years in Houston. The other three times had Sage Rosenfels, who didn't do such a bad job.


    NFC

    North - Green Bay Packers*
    East - Dallas Cowboys*
    South - New Orleans Saints*
    West - Seattle Seahawks*

    Wild card - Philadelphia Eagles
    Wild card - Minnesota Vikings


    Here's where the fun really starts, I guess. All new division winners from last year. In order:

    The Packers, for as much as the drastic change in defense would leave me leery, they often struggled between big plays (usually in the form of interceptions) last year so there could nonetheless be slight/significant improvement. Which, with their very potent offense, they will win most of the games they should have won last year, and thus return to the playoffs.

    The Eagles/Cowboys is the one pick I've changed from then to now. Because of the loss of Jim Johnson and Stewart Bradley, but Donovan McNabb should still lead the team to a wild card spot. I think the Cowboys are going back to the playoffs on the two things: (1) a strong running game with Barber and Felix; and (2) good defense all under the control of Wade Phillips. Romo will occassionally make a play through the air or with his feet, but it's the running game and defense that lead them back imo. And watch out for them in the Tournament.

    Obviously didn't like Carolina's chances and they've suffered some notable injuries since then. But if their OL stays healthy (we'll see how things go at this point), their dynamic power game could keep them in the thick of the hunt.

    Atlanta though, I don't like going back to the playoffs, because I foresee their defense (with all of the new starters) struggling a great deal. The offense will have to win blowouts, and there is the chance of that with all of the talent they have. Don't believe Burner Turner will be as productive as last year however, they have a much tougher schedule this year. Matt Ryan reminds me of a young Peyton Manning though, which is so promising for the Falcons and their fans.

    Hey, keep picking New Orleans every year, one year I'll be right. Guilty as charged I suppose. Brees is the best pure passer in the game right now and I think we see Colston have a big year and Shockey have his best season in the last few years too, plus all the great complementary weapons in Bush/Moore/Meachem/Henderson. Moving on from Duece to Pierre Thomas was overdue. They've added serious talent at corner the last 16 months: Tracy Porter, Jabari Greer, Malcolm Jenkins, and Randall ***.

    Actually I wanted to pick St. Louis for the West, but couldn't pull the trigger. Do not overlook them, they have pieces in place and just needs things to go right for them. And I'm not bullish about Seattle because Walter Jones is too much of a critical concern, he still has yet to practice - for all of their other talent, that could be the breaking point. Maybe Locklear gets the job done though, so I bench the brass balls and pick Seattle.

    Last wild card spot comes down to Minnesota and the Giants, I think. And they play each other in Week 17, wow! In Minnesota though. Although Eli might be better off passing indoors than Giants Stadium that time of year, the Vikes play better defense at home. I expect the shitstorm for not picking the Giants, but here's my thinking:
    • Their offensive line has been very healthy the last two years, and as it's cyclical, expect the likelihood of injuries now. I saw this firsthand as a Colts fan the last two years. And the Giants don't have anything close to high quality depth at OL.
    • They have talent at wide receiver, but they are so green. Inexperienced. Plus teams won't have to double anyone at all, not even consider it in the least. (Watch out though after this year.)
    • No respect for the passing game + potential injuries to the OL that has played together for so many games = decreased effectiveness of the running game. Many more 8-man boxes. More chances for Jacobs to get hurt, even.
    • The Giants can easily replace Derrick Ward the runner, but I don't think they will replace Derrick Ward the third down back as well. They need someone to step up in a big way and pass protect and run routes as well as he did. I doubt they will fully.
    • So the offense will be one major struggle. Can the defense pick up all of the slack? The DL (if healthy) is stacked, which is big. But they lost their mastemind in Steve Spagnuolo, and I think that ultimately hurts. Even if it means that carry only part of the slack.

    Six new teams in the playoffs. Okay, blast away.

    I guess I'll add some predictions:
    Super Bowl XLIV - Colts over Cowboys in Miami, just like Super Bowl V

    MVP & Offensive Player of the Year - Drew Brees
    Defensive Player of the Year - Jared Allen
    Comeback Player of the Year - Tom Brady (not Matt Hasselbeck you idiot)

    PS. Sorry for the book.
    Last edited by Geo; 08-10-2009, 12:45 PM.
    Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.

  • #2
    great writeup on the pack. also: jordy nelson

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm surprised more people aren't picking the Packers.
      Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.

      Comment


      • #4
        what excites me the most is that we now have a defensive coordinator who is actually capable of his job. bob sanders was totally unable of running a to-minute drill, make in-game adjustments etc

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Geo View Post
          I'm surprised more people aren't picking the Packers.
          I like it that way. Last time = NFC Championship game

          Comment


          • #6
            The Packers lost seven games by an average of 3 points last year, something like that. If we turn one touchdown into a field goal in those games, we would have won 5 and sent 2 to overtime. I'm pretty optimistic our luck will be much better this year with Capers running the defense.

            Comment


            • #7
              I feel that unless he gets hurt again or doesn't bring the Patriots to the playoffs then no matter how well he plays Brady will be comeback player of the year.

              Pretty ballsy to leave out the Giants and to include the Cowboys. Plus to have them going to the Superbowl, however if they get there and can somehow get over the hump and win a playoff game they could very well get there.


              BoneKrusher killing it with the sig

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              • #8
                Homer.

                Even if it's a pack of average, I don't see the Rams emerging in the NFC West. I know you didn't ultimately have them doing it either, but I'll look to Seattle and Arizona before them.

                I pretty much agree with your AFC ideas. There's not too many other ways I'd like to go, even if I'd like to find a different team to take that last wild card. I lean to Tennessee, though. Disgusting lack of turnover on my part.

                NFC East is so fun to think about. I like all four teams this year. when I started writing this post I was ready to agree with you, but now I'm fighting myself on it. I certainly like Dallas a lot, I can agree there. I buy them as a good bet for January.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AntoinCD View Post
                  I feel that unless he gets hurt again or doesn't bring the Patriots to the playoffs then no matter how well he plays Brady will be comeback player of the year.

                  Pretty ballsy to leave out the Giants and to include the Cowboys. Plus to have them going to the Superbowl, however if they get there and can somehow get over the hump and win a playoff game they could very well get there.
                  Wow, a serious D'oh moment if there ever was one. No, more like

                  D'oh

                  I'll edit the pick to Brady. I was thinking off the top of my head, and somehow forgot the Golden Boy.

                  As for the Cowboys, I kind of think they match up well in that scenario. Even moreso if they can avoid Philly, but the Giants match-up better because of their pass rush. New Orleans gets in but probably with a slightly worse record, which means that potential game would be played in Dallas.
                  Last edited by Geo; 08-10-2009, 12:49 PM.
                  Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I do like the pack out of the nfc
                    Originally posted by ATLDirtyBirds
                    Coples is that dude.
                    Go Amare. I Love Tayshaun Prince...

                    Orioles - Raiders - UNC - Nuggets/Wizards

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SuperMcgee View Post
                      Homer.

                      Even if it's a pack of average, I don't see the Rams emerging in the NFC West. I know you didn't ultimately have them doing it either, but I'll look to Seattle and Arizona before them.

                      I pretty much agree with your AFC ideas. There's not too many other ways I'd like to go, even if I'd like to find a different team to take that last wild card. I lean to Tennessee, though. Disgusting lack of turnover on my part.

                      NFC East is so fun to think about. I like all four teams this year. when I started writing this post I was ready to agree with you, but now I'm fighting myself on it. I certainly like Dallas a lot, I can agree there. I buy them as a good bet for January.
                      Yeah, I can't argue against the homer accusation. Although I think we see a much better Colts defense this year thanks to Larry Coyer. Tony Dungy did a great job in building the Colts into a consistent regular season winner, he put the train on the tracks so to speak, but he took them as far as he could imo.

                      The key for the Colts is not having to play in Foxboro in January, good luck to anyone trying to beat Belichick at home then. San Diego looks loaded, but playing in San Diego isn't as tough because the Colts always keep it close against them and there should be much better weather in that scenario.

                      Dallas, again, a strong running game and the Wade Phillips-run defense is what I think gets it all done. I am not a believer in Roy Williams as a #1 receiver, I wouldn't be surprised if Patrick Crayton turns out to be their best wide receiver. But Romo will hit those guys occassionally as well as the talented RBs and TEs, who will be the real key in their passing game. Romo to his BFF Witten.
                      Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        * Their offensive line has been very healthy the last two years, and as it's cyclical, expect the likelihood of injuries now. I saw this firsthand as a Colts fan the last two years. And the Giants don't have anything close to high quality depth at OL.
                        * They have talent at wide receiver, but they are so green. Inexperienced. Plus teams won't have to double anyone at all, not even consider it in the least. (Watch out though after this year.)
                        * No respect for the passing game + potential injuries to the OL that has played together for so many games = decreased effectiveness of the running game. Many more 8-man boxes. More chances for Jacobs to get hurt, even.
                        * The Giants can easily replace Derrick Ward the runner, but I don't think they will replace Derrick Ward the third down back as well. They need someone to step up in a big way and pass protect and run routes as well as he did. I doubt they will fully.
                        * So the offense will be one major struggle. Can the defense pick up all of the slack? The DL (if healthy) is stacked, which is big. But they lost their mastemind in Steve Spagnuolo, and I think that ultimately hurts. Even if it means that carry only part of the slack.

                        We have our young guys who been in the system and need to step up. I wouldn't call it veteran quality, but we have guys that we groomed. But with the salary cap system in place, we can't get depth at every position. I'd rather win games with defense, and stack that depth then OL, especially since we drafted that depth and groomed them. But I can see the point, non the less.

                        WRs: Yeah we have a lot of different guys right now. Hixon, Smith, Moss, Nicks, Barden, and Manningham. We also drafted Beckum who will be our H back player. So while we don't have experienced WRs, we will probably do what we normally do. Run the football, rack up a huge TOP, and throw short and intermediate routes. Now, the X factor is how we readjusted our passing attack. I think it will be totally revamped to fit the existing WRs. Hence the drafting of Beckum. So the passing scheme will be interesting for us giants fans as well. I expect a lot of different concepts this year.

                        As for the 8 man boxes.. let them.. Teams only bring 8 men in the box only on certain down and distances. Not's more of a big deal for fans than it is for people in the game. You can easily vertically and horizontally stretch the 8th guy. Not to mention if you do that it means you are giving me a single high safety. So you better pray to god your blitz gets there OR your FS is a stud. If not, he is going to get High/lowed and owned. One example of this is the NCAA concept used for a single high safety coverage.

                        RBs.. Our Backs as of now are Jacobs, Bradshaw, Ware, and Brown.. I am happy with these guys. Ward was a plug and play guy, and I think Bradshaw has a much better skill set than Ward. Plus now Bradshaw has been in the system, so I expect a lot from him.

                        Defense:

                        We lost Spags, but we don't have to hire someone from the outside. We promoted within this system, and Bill S. is going to keep the same system, but add wrinkles to it. For instance, we won't fire zone as much as we did with spags. Bill S. is a creative guy and has implemented a 5-1-5 look which will use once and while.

                        OSI-Alford-Tuck-Cofield-Kiwi

                        Plus if you are going to say that, then be fair and consider the same for the Eagles.. They lost Dawkins, who was a pillar in that system, they lost a legend, and they lost their Mike backer. Can they over come it? Sure.. but if the same stuff is going to be said for our team, then it's only fair to consider these issues with others as well.


                        Overall good job with the overview. Just wanted to provide some counter points to some of the things you mentioned. You mention valid concerns, but upon further analysis there is more going on. I guess it's a wait and see for our team.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Shockey+Manning=Shocking View Post
                          For instance, we won't fire zone as much as we did with spags. Bill S. is a creative guy and has implemented a 5-1-5 look which will use once and while.

                          OSI-Alford-Tuck-Cofield-Kiwi

                          Plus if you are going to say that, then be fair and consider the same for the Eagles.. They lost Dawkins, who was a pillar in that system, they lost a legend, and they lost their Mike backer. Can they over come it? Sure.. but if the same stuff is going to be said for our team, then it's only fair to consider these issues with others as well.


                          Overall good job with the overview. Just wanted to provide some counter points to some of the things you mentioned. You mention valid concerns, but upon further analysis there is more going on. I guess it's a wait and see for our team.
                          My argument against the Giants is definitely riddled with speculation, I would readily admit. Also I admit that I went back and forth on picking the Giants to make the playoffs anyways, but kind of went with the ballsy pick there. Saying both #1 seeds don't make the playoff next year, what the hey.

                          (Plus I do think Sage Rosenfels is an upgrade at QB for the Vikes, just not one to win a SB.)

                          The likelihood of injury to the OL is just that, chance/probability. If they continue to stay healthy like they have for the 40 or so games previous, the Giants offense should do well. I could be easily underestimating both the wide receivers and Sheridan. Re: the latter, a lot of the defensive stuff you mentioned there sounds very cool, in fact.

                          I like the Giants, so I certainly wouldn't mind being wrong. But that's kind of the conclusion I reached, thinking about it over the summer. But also, as I touched on, I think the Giants could afterwards be scary good as their receivers develop with Eli.
                          Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Geo View Post
                            My argument against the Giants is definitely riddled with speculation, I would readily admit. Also I admit that I went back and forth on picking the Giants to make the playoffs anyways, but kind of went with the ballsy pick there. Saying both #1 seeds don't make the playoff next year, what the hey.

                            (Plus I do think Sage Rosenfels is an upgrade at QB for the Vikes, just not one to win a SB.)

                            The likelihood of injury to the OL is just that, chance/probability. If they continue to stay healthy like they have for the 40 or so games previous, the Giants offense should do well. I could be easily underestimating both the wide receivers and Sheridan. Re: the latter, a lot of the defensive stuff you mentioned there sounds very cool, in fact.

                            I like the Giants, so I certainly wouldn't mind being wrong. But that's kind of the conclusion I reached, thinking about it over the summer. But also, as I touched on, I think the Giants could afterwards be scary good as their receivers develop with Eli.

                            True, but on the other hand, they are valid opinions. We very well can kick the bucket this year. But I think our GM and Coughlin proved that this is not the Accorsi-Fassel years, where it was like a roller coaster ride, in terms of overall season record. So I tend to side and welcome our stability as a franchise. But non the less, this is the NFL, so we could fall apart too.

                            Yeah we have been working on getting 3 DEs, Osi, Tuck, and Kiwi on the DL. So instead of going 3 DEs. We have a 5-1-5. I am guessing Cofield and Canty will switch too.. Basically have Tuck and Canty obliterate the inside pocket, and Kiwi and Osi meet at the QB. Coughlin and Sheridan were quoted to say, there is a lot more in the works, but obviously didn't specify.

                            But we will see, That's where you trust your coaching staff and GM to provide you with depth and stability to a franchise. Hopefully we can continue to make the playoffs yet again,and win our division. Just like other teams we have question marks too though.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't mind anyone picking against the Giants but to do so in such a speculative manner makes me wonder why. When you make predicitons you have to do so based on the players you know are going to be on the field.
                              #Chop


                              sig by BoneKrusher

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