Thursday, August 26, 2004

NFL Predictions Part 4 of 4

In which our bloggin' hero *ahem* quickly sums up the rest of the NFC and comes to a quick and hasty conclusion in order to put this 4-parter behind him...

NFC North
Chicago Bears - Lovie Smith has a great mind for defense. But that won't be enough to bring the Bears to the promise land. Who's the QB? Seriously, can someone tell me? I forget. Urlicher is the only player I can name on this team and that's only because I still play NFL2K3 with him on the cover... Last in the division. 5-11 or so...

Green Bay Packers - Here's my prediction for the Pack. They will win the division, but not because of Bret Farve... Ok, not ENTIRELY because of Farve. Ahmad Green will be this teams offense. Ok, Farve will make a ton of great throws to no-name receivers, but the Pack is turning into a running team. Prediction: Division Champs, NFC Conference Finalist and Farve retires.

Minnesota Vikings - If they the Viks can pick their chin off the ground after last year's loss to Arizona and play defense, they will go far. You'll continue to hear "Culpepper to Moss" a whole lotta times. But, I'm more interested in hearing about Brock Lesnar, but that's the wrestling fan in me talking. Prediction: Wildcard birth.

Detriot Lions - Boy, I'd really hate to face this team's offense after Harrington and his WRs gel. However, even with Mariucci's great coaching, that won't happen this year. But, I do expect a few teams to be shocked by lossing to the Lions. 6-10 isn't asking for much and they should do that or better.

NFC West
St. Louis Rams - Warner is gone, thankfully, yet the Greatest Show On Turf will struggle to be 8-8 this year. Faulk isn't what he used to be due to various injuries. Torry Holt should do very well this year, but it won't be enough to secure a Rams playoff birth.

Seattle Seahawks - The Birds will be scary. Lots of points from this high-charged offense. Easily win the division. Prediction: Division Champs

Arizona Cardinals - The Birds will be scary. Lots of points from high-charged offenses facing the Cardinals. Easily last place in the division. This ain't the year, Dennis Green...

San Francisco 49ers - are still in re-building mode. They'll win a few here and there, but they don't have what it takes to even get 7-9.

Ok, so let's see looking it over... For making the playoffs, I'm going with Baltimore, New England, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Carolina, Seattle, Green Bay, Philly, and wild cards will be Minnesota, Dallas, Cincinnati and Jacksonville.

Pats vs Colts (again) for the AFC title with the Pats advancing.
Pack vs Cats for the NFC title.

I'm not picking a NFC Champ because part of me thinks it'll be Carolina but part of me doesn't want to see Pats vs Cats again in the Super Bowl. Though, it was, in my opinion, the best damn Super Bowl EVER. If it is New England and Carolina, the Panthers will win this year. If it's Packers vs Patrioits, Farve retires without getting another ring...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

NFL Predictions III

In which we'll begin talking about the NFC...

NFC East
Dallas Cowboys - The 'Boys were looking good to be for a while. Picking up Keyshawn, adding Vinnie T to backup and teach Quincy Carter. But, Quincy was let go for whatever reasons and now they don't look too hot, at least, offensively. The defense will kept them competitive though. Vinnie T have just enough left to help them make the playoffs.

New York Giants - It doesn't matter who starts at QB. Eli has growing pains to go through and Warner is washed-up. They will finish last in the division. Yeah, so Ron Dayne is starting to finally look good (after, what 5+ years?). So what? 6-10 is Eli starts. 4-12 with Warner.

Philadelphia Eagles - Three years in a row losing in the NFC Conference Championship will weigh a heavy toll on the Eagles. Even with Terrell "Whiney Boy" Owens giving McNabb a solid receiver, and Javon Kearse filling defensive weaknesses, getting inches to the Super Bowl for three years will be too much. They'll make the playoffs, but won't make it to the NFC Conference Championship. Their Conferense Championship run is over. Prediction: Division Champs

Washington Redskins - All the questions lie with Joe Gibbs. Can he bring them back to glory? The answer is yes, but likely not this year. No playoffs 'til next year.

NFC South
Atlanta Falcons - Vick is back, and a new coach to boot. A potent offense but will take at least a year to gel. 2nd or 3rd in the division.

New Orleans Saints - as long as Aaron Brooks remains inconsistent as their starting QB, the Saints will not be in playoff contention. Don't get me wrong. Brooks is a phenomenal player, half of the time. When he is on, the offense is unstoppable. But with a defense that leaks yardage and points worse than my old ride did oil, Brooks has to be on all the time, and he can't be. Plus, the Saints did hardly anything during free agency to fix problems with the defense. If Haslett has a job after this year, it'll be a miracle. Though, not entirely his fault. Benson fucked the team when he fired former GM Randy Mueller.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They ain't back yet. Gruden knows how to win, but they are quickly becoming the Raiders: Part Deux. Adding Tim Brown and Charlie Garner? McCardell still holding out? The Buccs could very well be last in the division.

Carolina Panthers - Personal love and bias aside, this team could very well be in the Super Bowl again this year, and might even win it (if K John Casey doesn't botch a kick off). They are a lock to win the NFC South title. Jake Delhomme is for real. I've been saying it for years. They have to stay healthy though. Look for the secondary to improve. Prediction: Division Winners and NFC Conference Finalist

Coming: Part IV and The End...

Monday, August 16, 2004

NFL Predictions: Part 2

Continuing my thoughts and predictions on this upcoming NFL season...

AFL South
Indianapolis Colts - All you need to know is that the AFL Championship game will be a repeat of last year's game - Colts vs. Patriots. Though, the outcome might be a little different. If they Colts don't make it to the bowl this year, they're not going to for a while. Prediction: Division Winner

Tennessee Titans - Mark my words: The Titans will finish last in the division. They have let too many good players go (Javon Kearse, Eddie George)in the past two years and haven't filled the gaps well enough. A losing season is in the cards.

Houston Texans - The Texans will grow by leaps and bounds this year, maybe even making it into the 6th wild card spot. To do that, they'll have to beat Jacksonville twice. They have a rather easy schedule, so 8-8 isn't out of the realm of possibility. 10-6 is. Last year, the Texans lost to tough teams in the final minutes of close games. This year, they will win more of those close games and shock a lot of people. And, (if memory serves) they should be the first expansion team to go 3-0 in the first game of they year. They play San Diego... at home... Cake walk.

Jacksonville Jaguars - Sleeper pick of the year because they are primed to shock the entire league. I expect them to make the playoffs. Everything is coming together to make them playoff contenders. This year, a wild card birth. Texans vs Jaguars on December 26th will be a hot-ass game.

AFL West
Denver Broncos - Champ for Portis. I think the offense will be hurt big time by the loss of touchdown production Clinton Portis brought to the table, especially with Jake Plummer sucking it up. However, it'll only be a matter of scoring enough to win as the defense will be killer. If Plummer shakes off the pre-season crap he's been throwing and if a runner emerges, they should make the playoffs. But, those are some BIG Ifs...

Kansas City Chiefs - Expect high scores in the Chief's running game and the passing game, just like last year. Also expect high scores from their opponents because they haven't shored up that awful run defense. They'll continue to be very successful and make the playoffs. But, they'll be out when they have to play Indy or New England. Prediction: Division Winners

Oakland Raiders - have a better chance at picking a regular starting QB than having a winning season. The Raiders are just gonna suck, and to think we'll be subjected to O-Town vs. San Diego twice this year. The loser of those games will be on the clock for the draft...

San Diego Chargers - made a nice draft deal for the quarterback they wanted, yet somehow fucked it up and he's not even under contract. Anyone wanna bet they have the first pick of the 2005 draft? Please note that LaT will continue to dominate despite being the only offense the Chargers have.

Stay tuned for Part 3 and the NFC...

Friday, August 13, 2004

NFL Predictions: Part 1

Here's my thoughts on the NFL this year. Please note, I'm only a fan making wild predictions and they are based on gut feelings mostly.

It's been a wild off-season, especially in the last few weeks. Ricky Williams retired.. go figure on that... David Boston out for the year... Miami's pretty much been counted out now. Quincy Carter got bagged, and I'm a little surprised by that considering how much he improved last season. San Diego still doesn't have a quarterback, or wide receiver or anything except a running back (who will continue to do gangbusters for fantasy football fanatics). Let's look at it team by team (this could take a while, so I'll only post 2 divisions at a time):

AFL East
Buffalo Bills - eh? Who cares? I don't. A new head coach. I just don't see great things happening for this team. 7-9 is probably they best they can do.

Miami Dolphins - You can look at it two ways. Wannstedt either has a built-in reason for not making the playoffs (ie: Ricky and DB) and therefore gets another year to right the boat. Or, he's a bad coach who can't get his team to overcome adversity and his pink slip will be signed on January 3rd. Jay Fielder will be the QB. The Fins will miss the playoffs.

New England Patriots - I think in today's era of free agency, the term "dynasty" has been redefined. Today, I don’t think it means 4 Super Bowl wins in 5 years. I think this team has redefined it, to me at least, to mean consistently at the top. 2 Super Bowls in 3 years. Even if they lose in the AFC Final, this team should be considered a dynasty. But I am not expecting them to lose that game. Prediction: Division Winner and AFC Champion

New York Jets - Honestly, I haven't paid much attention to the Jets. Should I have? Doubt it. That's probably a good indication that they aren't an exciting team. By that I mean, I'm not excited by their chances.

AFL North
Cleveland Browns - a new quarterback in Jeff Garcia... But, this is the Browns we're taking about. I can see 9-7, at best, but no playoffs.

Cincinnati Bengals - I expect them to continue to improve and make the playoffs. Most likely as a wild card, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were in the playoffs as Division Champs. That will depend on Carson Palmer. With Corey Dillon gone, Rudi Johnson's gonna have to run the Bengal's into the post-season.

Baltimore Ravens - a great running game, a killer defense, and a great coach. If the QB can make critical plays, they'll have a great season. Prediction: Division Champs

Pittsburg Steelers - will be the big losers in this division. 6 and 10. And that's about all I have to say about that.

To Be Continued...

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

She Wants To Play Hearts

by: Ryan Adams
from Demolition

(*ML note: Picture a dark, smoky lounge. A bright, white spotlight shines on the small stage. This singular light breaks through the contrasting darkness revealing a guitar player struggling to find where he belongs. He sits playing his song illuminated only by the fuzzy, grey edges between light and black*)

I'm the broken toy for lonely girls.
Use once and destroy and go find some more.
Back home, the kids play in the leaves in the park.
She wants to play a game of hearts.

I'm the rag doll boy with broken eyes.
She only comes to me when it's raining outside.
Back home, the kids play in the leaves in the park.
She wants to play a game of hearts.

And I fell for you.
I fell for you.
Why? I guess I wanted to play, too.

Here's the lonely strings playing 'long in my head.
For only just my arms are dancing marionettes.
Back home, the kids play in the leaves in the park.
She wants to play a game of hearts.
She wants to play a game of hearts.