Since I'm not doing weekly picks, I figure I should at least do a team-by-team analysis. Starting with the AFC, lets go:Since I'm not doing weekly picks, I figure I should at least do a team-by-team analysis. Starting with the AFC, lets go:
Buffalo Bills What were you thinking about letting go of Bledsoe? Losman still needed a year (he was injured most of last year) at the very least. Holcombe needs to be your starter this year, and switch to Losman next year. Trial by fire doesn't work that great (just look at the past decade of Bengals QBs). Offensive line needs work. Schedule is medium, so they will squeak out some victories, but without a good offense, they don't have much of a chance to get 500.
Miami Dolphins Wow. They don't only have a winning record, but lead the east. What's scarier is if Ricky Williams resembles the Ricky of old (minus the pot), this team can be EVEN BETTER starting this week! Not only do they have a semi weak schedule, but the rest of the conference is in bad shape, so there is a very good chance they could see a playoff berth under Nick Sabans first year.
New England Patriots What comes up, must come down. Unfortunately, it looks like the bad performances have to do with injuries more than anythign else. Corey Dillon is starting his mumbling, already, which isn't a good thing. Schedule isn't immensely difficult, but I still see them hovering around 500 and maybe squeak in a wildcard.
New York Jets Train wreck. Pennington may be done as a starter, and they have no where else to go. Martin is getting old, and they gave up the future of the franchise to Oakland. Next year they could be in line for both a QB and RB. Looks like the rebuilding starts on offense next year...
Baltimore Ravens Billick was once called an offensive genius. Jim Fassel has a way to grow young quarterbacks. Lets face it, the Baltimore offense has all the tools and talent, except the QBs all stink. Once again, we will see nothing but 8 man fronts, because the passing attack scares no one. Expect a high pick on a QB or an attempt to snag a quality backup (Maddox, Kitna, etc..) early in the offseason). Even then, will the defense still strong, or is age hitting the players? It appears that Peyton Manning blew up Rex Ryan's defense in the 4th quarter of the first game. This week we'll be able to tell if Rex was able to adjust during the bye weak (cause Brooks Bollinger wasn't going to be able to expose any flaws).
Cincinnati Bengals The offense is just as strong as they were last year, but the defense is causing turnovers like mad. Really strong team, that is bound for the postseason. They've played very well against weaker teams, but this middle stretch will determine if they will be a super bowl contender, or will just make an appearence in the post season.
Cleveland Browns Reconstruction (cleveland fans hate that word), but this is different. MOst reconstructions means a lot of blowouts, a lot of miscues as the team adjusts to the new personnel and gameplan. Cleveland, though, isn't rolling over. Every game they are in, they are really sticking it to opponents. I love how tenacious Romeo is, like in the GB game... instead of running the clock towards the end, he went for the kill. Anywho, Reuben Droughns has impressed me (I just thought he was a product of the Denver system, and he has proven me wrong). Charlie Frye will be the QB of the future, the recieving corps is growing up, so they can concentrate on defense next year and have a decent team.
Pittsburgh Steelers Still a powerhouse, but I'm starting to fear how Cowher chokes in important games. Hopefully the early loss will shake the players up to playing a better game. The trio of recievers isn't bad, the RB situation is full (wonder if we'll see any full-house sets?), and the defense is solid. May be one of the last few years this unit has at a superbowl before being broken apart by high salaries...
Houston Texans Bad start, but I'm starting to see the defense step it up, and the offense move a little better now that the shake-up started. The offensive line needs a lot of work, and a better QB coach (do they even have a QB coach?) is needed. Carr is holding on waaay too long. Maybe next year, Dom...
Indianapolis Colts I believe in the conspiracy that the NFL wants the Colts to be at home for the playoffs. Look at the schedule! SF, StL, Houston, NE*, Houston, Cincy*, Pitt*, Ten, Jack, SD*, Seat, Arz. 12 teams left, only 4 are decent teams capable of roughing them up. But, honestly, the way the offense has been playing, there is a chance of any team winning against them. Once again, I think Indy will fail by tough, physical, gifted defenses (good luck against Cincy, Pittsburgh, and SD...)
Jacksonville Jaguars The AFC's Seattle. They have the talent... where Seattle has the offense, the Jags have the defense talent.. yet they lose games. Jimmy Smith needs a compliment, and the Jags need to stop relying on Fred Taylor... he's a has-been.
Tennessee Titans Tennessee is waiting for Steve McNair to retire... he should be ready any time now... cause Billy Volek is ready to start, and the Titans don't want to give him up (as it is right now, I think Volek may be better than McNair). Either give Chris Brown a ton of carries and determine he is your back, or he is an injury risk and solidify this position. Defense has been ransacked and in rebuilding. Maybe next year.
Denver Broncos Jake Plummer is no John Elway. He's starting to click, but I have my reservations about him. The defense stepped up recently, but can they do it all year long? And, for once, they have no clear good runningbacks, except the injured Mike Anderson. Tatum is too small, and can't run between the tackles, and Ron Dayne is Ron Dayne. Maybe this is the result in the new blocking rules for this year???
Kansas City Chiefs Willie Roaf is the running game. With him, they run all over the place, without them they do nothing. Larry Johnson is the future, so either stick to him, or trade him and stick to Priest. Get another anchor on that line. The defense doesn't impress me... the play-action works on them like it works on high school defenses. Trent Green has no options, and looks injured.
Oakland Raiders I expected big things with this offense, as it has a bagillon weapons... but is Kerry Collins the problem? The O line? I can't really tell why they are faltering... The defense isn't the greatest, but they can hold opponents, and would do better with more runs (in other words, a fast starting offense that can pound it away with LaMont). Rob Ryan (yup, Rex's bro) can make a good defense, and doesn't resort to using his fathers defense, which Rex is failing with... he may need another year to solidify things, though...
San Diego Chargers Rollercoaster? The defense, at times, looks absolutely solid, but can be porous in some games. The offense has a good trio in Gates, McCardell, and LT, though teams are onto Gates. The O-Line is solidifying, which will make LT even more dangerous. Playing up against Pittsburgh will show whether they are the tops or bound for chance at a wildcard.