Tuesday, September 06, 2005

NFC Preview, Part One

This is my opinion. If you disagree with my opinion, then that's what the comments pop-up is for. I've purposely not included predictions of records; it's just too hard to determine exact records with all the different variables involved. I'm gauging my predictions based on my overall impressions of the team and their prospects this year. I'll make playoff picks after I complete each division. And away we go!

NFC East
1. Philadelphia Eagles—Owens may not shut up, but he also wants to prove that he's worth the money they're not going to pay him. This will almost certainly be his last year in Philly, but in any case, he's playing for a new contract. McNabb will have another huge year, and their defense is still the best in the conference. An easy pick to win the East.

2. Dallas Cowboys—Bill Parcells in his third year overseeing the resurrection of Drew Bledsoe. I have it on good authority that Julius Jones is going to have a huge year. With a weak schedule, it looks like playoff time for the wild-card Cowboys.

3. Washington Redskins—Will Joe Gibbs decide to return exclusively to NASCAR? Probably, after this group underachieves again this year. You know, there's a reason that Jacksonville decided to discard Mark Brunell.

4. New York Giants—No quarterback and a sociopath for a head coach: it couldn't happen to a nicer gang of alleged football fans. I hope this group goes 0-16.

NFC South
1. Atlanta Falcons—This is a team on the rise, with a hungry young head coach, an improving defense and the most exciting athlete in professional sports in Michael Vick (and yes, that includes LeBron James). Don't be surprised to see Atlanta in Detroit come January.

2. Carolina Panthers—After getting off to an atrocious start last season, Carolina just missed a wild card berth with a late-season surge. A year removed from their Superbowl hangover, Jake Delhomme should revert to his free-wheeling gunslinger style, and their defense will dominate games. My solid pick for one of the two wild-card spots.

3. Tampa Bay Bucanneers—Do you really want to stake your season on Brian Griese? I wouldn't, either.

4. New Orleans Saints—Everybody's sentimental favorite this year, for obvious reasons, but they're not going to be able to overcome playing the entire season on the road, not to mention the possibilities of moving permanently to San Antonio, a real probability if they have to demolish the Louisiana Superdome. Oh, and Jim Haslett still looks like Boggs from The Shawshank Redemption.

Coming tomorrow: NFC North and West predictions

p.s. Scott Stevens retired from the NHL today, forever crushing the hopes of St. Louis Blues fans that he may someday return to wear the note. The Stevens decision was the biggest screw-job in the history of professional sports: it was completely disproportionate, unfairly biased toward an East Coast team (what else is new), and dealt a blow to the Blues franchise that they never really recovered from. Idiotic decisions like this help explain why the NHL has been reduced to a minor-league sport. Now I have to watch clip footage of Stevens hoisting the Cup in a NJ Devils sweater. Thanks, ESPN—I have to go puke now.


TUCK! said...

You asked for it:

NFCE: You mean Gibbs hasn't already returned exclusively to NASCAR? I thought that was the whole "Mark Brunell" thing...

NFCS: Looks good, but I'd flip ATL and CAR -- since I have S Davis in fantasy football rosters, I have to say that.

TUCK! said...

And Scott Stevens is his own thing:

1) The BLUES botched that from top to bottom. True, Old Judge (Hang 'Em High) Houston did the Notes NO favors (and the bias wasn't for an east coast team, but rather a FOR a team that played ball with the NHL administration (and AGAINST a team seen as the radicals of the time))... make no mistake -- as detailed in Dave Simons' book, the compensation package for the Devils (as initially prepared by the Notes)(and which apparently included our pal CuJo) didn't include another forward (which was what the hockey-illiterate Houston was looking for, so to be able to compare apples to apples, as I understand it). D'OH!

2) That Scott Stevens remains the little red headed girl (to the Blues fans' Charlie Brown) is a testament to the real inferiority complex we natives of the Mound City have about ourselves/self worth...Stevens used the Blues offer (in 1994) to drive up his price with the Devils, nothing more...I don't think anyone would have been more surprised than he himself to have him take the ice at Savvis wearing the note again. And yet the Blues fans yearned (and continue to yearn). Drives me nuts. (Just like when you hear people talk about the "trading" of Brett Hull. But that's a whole nother blog, I think).

3) And no one will EVER convince me that it wasn't Jack Quinn who turned in the Blues for (his own?) tampering (when he was probably the only one who could have had access to the incriminating FedEx receipt) as payback for them firing him. I haven't watched Kay Quinn since, really.

Anyway, instead of a press conference (and in addition to the Stanley Cup footage), they really coulda/shoulda had a wide angle shot of Stevens in front of his freakishly large house, holding bank receipts, screaming, "THANKS ST. LOUIS!"...a little more honest, I think...

Now, Damphousse retiring, that's a downer..!! :)