Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NFL Week 2 in Review

This year in The Sandlot, instead of recapping every game, I’m going to take a look at the division leaders, and as we get further into the year, focusing on playoff position and potential matchups, since the playoffs are the only place it matters anyway.

NFC East
Dallas and Washington are both 2-0, but Dallas is obviously the class of that division. I think Washington will be improved this year, but I don’t see them beating high-quality teams in close games. On the other hand, Wade Phillips is a good enough defensive coach to make use of the talent Parcells left him while allowing his O.C. to run the show with Romo and T.O. Dallas may end up with the #1 seed in a weak NFC.

NFC North
Anyone else think Detroit and Green Bay will stay on top of this division? It’s wide open when you consider the strength of the defenses in Chicago and Minnesota. If either of those teams had even an NCAA D1 caliber QB, they’d be feared. But Tarvaris Jackson is a joke, and Rex Grossman is simply the worst in a long history of bad Bears quarterbacks. Having said that, in another weak division, there’s no reason why all four teams can’t compete to win the division with a 9-7 record. No one here is for real, though. It might be the Bears, but not until Lovie throws Rex overboard.

NFC South
I don’t think Tampa is for real, so the division is Carolina’s for the taking. Except I don’t think they’re for real. What’s wrong with the Saints? Easy—last year was a fluke. Drew Brees and Reggie Bush both had chips on their shoulders, combined with the emotion of playing in the wake of Katrina. Now they’re left with a first place schedule, an average QB and a lousy defense. Heck, let’s go with Tampa for now.

NFC West
Call me crazy, but I have to go with Arizona here. I hate Seattle because they’re chronic underachievers led by a bafflingly overrated head coach. Holmgren’s been riding Brett Favre’s coattails for way too long. SF has a tough defense but not enough offensive firepower, thanks to lousy wide receivers. The Rams stink on ice. That leaves Arizona, with a dynamic offense, a quick, tough defense and capable leadership in the coaching staff. All they need to win the division is 9-7, so let’s see what happens from here.

Tomorrow: AFC recap