*Guest post by Josh Wolfe. STC contributor, avid cigar smoker, BOTL, Packer Fan. 3 of out 4 aint bad*
I am not a paid football analyst. I have never played football. I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I am just a guy who loves sports and have been given a platform to waste your time reading my prognostications.
I am taking this division by division. I will rank where each team will finish and give you a synopsis of why my crazy ass mind thinks this is going to happen. I do not have enough time to give you records for each team, because I have a job and a family and I do not want to start sleeping on the couch. Be warned, I am a Green Bay Packer fan. I am biased, I put money down on them to win the Super Bowl in March.
And away we go!
Everyone knows that New England is the class of the AFC East. They will win this division, but it will be closer than you might expect. Tom Brady (name inserted just to annoy you Paul) is still the quarterback, therefore they win.
The Jets will be better if they let Mike Vick play. It is put up or shut up time for Rex Ryan. Is he more than a defensive coordinator playing head coach? If he wants to win, he needs to give Vick the reins on offense and let him go until he gets broken in half.
For some reason in my head, I think that EJ Manuel is going to be a good QB someday. I look for him to take a small step this year and with improved weapons (if Sammy Watkins can stay healthy).
Sorry Paul, but Miami is going to regress this year. I do not see Tannehill as a viable option at QB in the NFL. Their offensive line was a train wreck last year and I do not see it much better this year. Think of David Carr when you see Tannehill on his back this season.
How long until Johnny Freaking Football is starting in Cleveland? By the fourth game if you ask me. How long until he is out with a concussion? By the fourth quarter of his first game. This guy is too small and not smart enough to know he can’t do his college routine in the NFL. His brain will be a pile of mush the first time he tries to juke out a linebacker. He is the only reason why anyone will watch the Browns this year. They are going to be BAD. I will talk about relevant teams now.
Andy Dalton has a shiny new contract in his sights and a giant chip on his shoulder. He will keep winning, proving the pundits wrong. Cincy’s offense will be expanded this year and with the defense in the division not what it used to be, they will score their way to the title.
Pittsburg is getting younger, a few years ago they could not have been much older, so there is that. I actually believe they win games in spite of their defense this year. Polamalu will be hurt in the first three weeks and miss most of the year. This might actually benefit the Steelers, he has been trying to play like he did 6 years ago and he can’t physically do that anymore. The offense will be the star, and Big Ben will be a nice backup QB on your fantasy team.
Baltimore is still rebuilding, which is hard to do when you overpay your quarterback by 6 million a year. They are two years away from making some big noise again.
This is Andrew Luck’s world, we are just living in it. He is already a top five quarterback in this league and he just got here. He will be kicking everyone’s ass for 10 more years. He carries this team to the division win, but it won’t be a cake walk like last year.
Houston has the best defensive front in football and I haven’t seen a single snap that Clowny has taken. The guy down the line from him is a BEAST! Add the best d-line prospect in 20+ years to the mix and they will be making opposing QB’s have happy feet. Fitzpatrick will be a solid signal caller, just so he knows where his bread is buttered (Andre Johnson).
Jacksonville will be interesting with Bortles at QB. They will win a few games that they shouldn’t. That is the breadth of my knowledge of the Jags.
Titan fans look out, you suck and it will continue to until you get a quarterback. It will be a long year in Nashville, but at least it will give all the country music singers something else to bitch about.
Andy Reid is the best at getting a lot out a so-so QB. Alex Smith is the epitome of a so-so QB. I like the defense enough to see them returning to the playoffs in spite of their pedestrian offense.
I am not a fan of Phillip Rivers. That being said, he had to play under Norv Turner for two seasons too long. For that I commend him, and give him a pass for that shit-tastic season two years ago. They miss the playoffs this year because they just got damn lucky last year and won’t this year.
The San Antonio/Oakland/LA/Sonoma Raiders are building. I cannot say rebuilding because they haven’t been good for a long time. Al Davis screwed them over by taking the fastest guy at the combine every year. They are many, many years away.
I ask myself, why did I not just skip this division? Philly would go 7-9 in any other division in the NFC, but here they will win at least 10 games. Nick Foles will regress this year. But then again if he didn’t he would be a first ballot hall-of-famer. McCoy is still the best running back in the game and will prove it this year. The defense will be better and that will give Chip more reason to amp up the speed on offense.
The Redskins will not be good, just not as bad as the other two behind them. RGIII will be better with an offseason and I really like Alfred Morris. Their defense was the worst I have seen in recent memory last year. I can’t imagine another year of that, but then again.
The Jerry’s have a quarterback that is the most overrated in football if you ask me. He makes bad decisions, has no ability to manage the clock, and gets hurt a lot. Not a recipe for success. The loss of Sean Lee again is devastating. They have no soul on the defensive side of the ball.
Eli Manning looks so bad in preseason that if he did not have two rings, he would be benched. I will be shocked if this team wins 4 games this year. They are not better than last year and with Cooper’s brother playing like a moron, they could be the worst team in the NFL.
The safest bet in Vegas every year is that the NFC South winner will be different from the year before. Lucky for New Orleans, they were beat out by Carolina last year. When you add a weapon like Brandon Cooks to a Drew Brees led offense you are in for a treat. Sean Payton is still an offensive guru and their defense will hold up.
Atlanta was worse than a MASH unit last year. I don’t recall a week going by without an addition of a starter to the IR. They are better than a four win team, if they stay even remotely healthy this year they will double that win total. Matt Ryan is not a wow guy, but he is good enough to win a few games by himself.
Carolina had a golden horseshoe stuck somewhere last year. It won’t be around this year and when you cut the face of the franchise (Steve Smith) you are asking for some karmic ass kicking. Great defense, no offense beyond Cam. Good luck with that in this division.
Nice addition of Josh McCown. He is a big upgrade from Glennon, who looked lost last year. Two years from now and I see Tampa making waves in this division.
A lot of people call this the toughest division in football, I agree that the worst team in the west is much better than the worst team in any other division.
Seattle will not be as good as last year. When everyone gets paid after winning, they lose their hunger. Russell Wilson will be solid, but the running game is going downhill this year. The defensive secondary is going to be taking chances (Richard Sherman) and getting burned. If the officials are actually going to call illegal contact after 5 yards this year, then Seattle will suffer more than any other team.
San Francisco is loaded on paper. I just don’t see it working out this year. Kaepernick is the least accurate QB in this division, and he is one hit away from no longer running effectively. There are too many egos on this squad (starting with the coach), this will cause serious issues this season.
Arizona has one of my favorite players on their team, Patrick Peterson is filthy good. He deserves the contract he got and will live up to it. Palmer at QB is better than all other teams at the bottom of their division, he just can’t do it all anymore. They need more than Fitzgerald, and no I do not count Ted Ginn Jr. as more.
I have made an adjustment to this division after the news that Sam Bradford is out for the season. I had St. Louis second in this division, yes I said second. This is what I originally wrote…
Punishing defensive is why I have St. Louis this high. Sam Bradford is not ideal, but he is serviceable, and all he needs to do is throw it to Tavon Austin a few times a game. The Rams have a good coach, one more offseason with him and I see big potential for them.
I had to look up the Rams backup quarterback, then I had to look up who the hell Shaun Hill was. That is not a good sign for your team. They will lose 4 games this year due to their backup, now starter, QB.
Aaron Rodgers healthy = GB winning a lot. They have reloaded on offense and big question mark right now. Eddie Lacy is a fucking stud and will soon be considered the best back in the game, just not yet.
As long as Jay Cutler throws the ball to Packer’s DBs as often as he does, they will not win this division. The receiving core of Marshall and Jeffery are scary good. Matt Forte will be a shell of his former self. Injuries and carries without a solid offensive line the past few years will catch up with him and he will be an afterthought at the end of the season.
Megatron is the man, too bad he plays in Detroit. When your protection on the other side is Golden Tate, you are looking at a safety over the top every play. I see another losing season. Detroit did not get better in the secondary or at linebacker. This is a glaring weakness that Matt Stafford cannot overcome.
What can I say, the Viqueens are really bad. Adrian Peterson is going to be the new Barry Sanders, racking up yards and never sniffing the playoffs again. I actually feel bad for the guy. Bridgewater is a noodle-armed rookie with no chance to succeed. They will be the best team to play in the stadium, but not by much. I can’t wait for the first snow storm to send those wannabe fans running.
Chiefs – WC
Texans – WC
Bears – WC
Falcons – WC
I hope you enjoyed this or are so pissed off that you are cursing my name right now. Either way I am good. Light up a cigar, crack a beer, and GET READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!