Ack's Preseason Thoughts

Herohill, or in this case just me is putting our football knowledge up to the test. In an east coast/west coast war similar to Biggie and Tupac back in the day, I am going to go head to head with "sports by s and t" to see who picks more playoffs teams, and their corresponding win/loss records. The winner gets a guest rant on the others site. In their case, a guest rant by me will increase the number of readers, and considerably lower the crassness of the commentary. In our case, well let's just hope my knowledge is up near where I think it is when it comes to the pig skin.

Before I get to my picks, I must say that football is my favorite season of sports. I have been looking forward to the season starting for months. With the salary cap, the constant player movement and the short schedule, football is the one season where year-to-year, anything can and will happen.

Somethings I'd like to see this year:
1) The Saints to make the playoffs. This may sound like it is out of left field, but after hearing Joe Horn tell the story of the fans truly needing the Saints to do well to give that city some hope, I hope Brooks gets his shit together and the defense can stop some people. The city needs whatever lifts it can get, so, for the first time ever, I'm screaming - GO SAINTS. PS - I have to say, Joe making good on his promise to visit the refugees in Houston show the character of that guy. Anyone can send money, which obviously is nothing to scoff at, but he went and touched the people and helped people smile for the first time in a week. Forget the cell phone celebration, and the Deion pimp suits and all the type casting that has probably given him. Joe Horn is a role model not only for young kids, but for other football players.

2) Obviously, I want the black and gold to make it past the AFC Championship game. Baby steps. Cowher seems to get his team through the regular season in good shape, then he becomes like a kid playing Tecmo Bowl. He calls Pass 2, or Run 1 too often, adds no new wrinkles, and they get smashed by the visitor and miss the big game. The injuries to Duce and Bettis, and the fact Big Ben is overthrowing his receivers is sketching me out, so we will see. One plus - more field time for Willie "Sweetness" Parker.

3) I'd love to see the Pats lose. I'll give it to Brady. He's like Tony Sanderson's Grade 11 car - CLUTCH-o-MATIC. That being said, somehow people have decided no one can out coach Bill, losing two coordinators won't affect them (seriously, Weis helped ND score 42 points in his first game and had the Pitt defense looking lost - you think Bill wants to try to run that offense, and not study film? If you do you are crazy), and the sad loss of their all-pro middle linebacker will make this a better team?

4) I'm interested to see what is going to happen in Oakland. Collins already had a great crew of deep threats, and speed bullets to throw to. Now he has Randy Moss, and LaMont Jordan. I'm not sold on LaMont, but he has got to be better than Huggybear Jr. and Famous Amos.

5) I'm not a fan at all, but I think this is the year Indy finally gets over the Patriot hurdle. I thought this BEFORE they got Corey Simon for nothing. The Colts have an easier division, play the Steelers on the turf, not out in the cold and I think Peyton will finally realize he is not Jon Voight in Varsity Blues, and he might let Edge run the ball in for a few scores, keeping him hungry and happy. The D got better, and the O is already the best in the league.

6) Teams I want to see crumble:
Jets, Giants, Pats, Eagles, Falcons

7) Teams I'd like to see do better than expected:
Steelers, Saints, Jags, and in theory, the Skins, just so Marc can get to enjoy a few weeks of the season.

8) Teams I think are hugely overrated by everyone:
Bills - MacGahee is good, but who else do they have? A QB who has never started. At least Drew could run an offense. It will be harder for Wilie to run with 8 in the box for the first 5 or 6 games, especially when he JP has 4 games against the Pats and the Jets.
Bengals - Sure, Carson Palmer is getting better, and Chad Johnson is a great receiver, but this is more or less the same squad that scored 58 points against Cleveland and BARELY won. With two games vs. Pitt, Indy, Buffalo and KC, they better get that defense in check.
Jets - Yep, they got Ty Law. If his foot holds up, that is a stellar pick up. They let LaMont go, so they better hope Curtis Martin holds up well, or it could be a long season, since Pennington has looked dreadful thus far.

Ok enough with the hub-a-lub. here are my picks:
AFC Central - Indy (13-3)
AFC EAST Pats (13-3) Tie Breaker advantage to Indy for beating the Pats
AFC North Steelers (10-6)
AFC West - Chargers (11-5)
Wild Cards
Jags (10-6)
Chiefs (9-7)
NFC East - Philly (14-2)
NFC West - Rams (10-6)
NFC Central - Vikes (12-4)
NFC South - Falcons (11-5)
Wild Cards
Seahawks (10-6)
Dallas (9-7)

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