Thursday, August 28, 2008

2008 - NFL Season Preview - Part 1

The NFL regular season is upon us. So it is time for Brickinthebox to do what every other site that talks NFL does, make some worthless predictions about how teams will fair this season.

Here at Brickinthebox we are going to break this thing up into parts. There are only so many hours a day I can waste at work without forcing myself to stay late to take care of actual work. The goal being to have all the predictions for team records out by Thursday, and maybe a closer look at each division as well.

So here is how we came up with this mess. I went through the NFL schedule and assigned each team a win or loss for each game. Then I told my spreadsheet to tally up the record, and I was surprised by some of the results.

Then I had to decide how to present this wealth of misinformation. Some sites present it by division, some by record. I’m going to do things a little differently; I am going by draft order in next year’s draft. So with all the BS out of the way, the 1st team on the clock is:

1 - Atlanta Falcons (projected record 2-14)

What a freaking mess, their two best players going into last season are now in prison and on the Oakland Raiders (no that is not the same thing wise ass). They are starting a rookie QB, Matt Ryan, whom I believe is incredibly overrated (go look in the archives for why). They have two sample size superstars (TM in the backfield. They are starting a rookie at LT, who I believe should have been moved to guard, or even better center. Then you look at their defense. There is just nothing to like about this team this season. Next…

2 - St. Louis Rams (projected record 3-13)

Look, this team has the potential to do much better than this I admit that. But they also have the potential to beat out Atlanta for the 1st pick. Their offensive line is in shambles, Pace is already injured. Bulger looks shell shocked, and Trent Green and his vacant stare is backing him up. Steven Jackson is the lone bright spot on offense, and he just got paid, the carrot has been taken out from in front of the horse. The defense has some young talent, but way too many holes. This is going to be a long year for St. Louis.

3 – Cincinnati Bengals (projected record 4-12)

I am not going into the tiebreakers, and I have a ridicules number of teams at 4-12, so I am just going with the order that the spreadsheet sorted them. So Cincinnati gets the #3 pick. I would like to pick the Bengals to perform better, I have Carson Palmer on two of my fantasy teams, but I just kept giving the edge to the opponent for two reasons. One being that the Bengals defense sucks, and two being the offense looks to be falling apart due to injury. I will say that of all the teams I have picked to go 4-12, the Bengals are the one in my mind most likely to go 8-8, whoopee.

4 – Miami Dolphins (projected record 4-12)

After last year’s debacle, this is a great turn around for this team. I like allot of what the Dolphins have been doing. The O-line has some of the best young talent in the league; the running backs look good if they can stay healthy. Pennington is a gamer, say what you will about his arm, and Henne is a great Parcells type QB. But it is going to take at least one more season for the Dolphins to get the personnel they need on defense, and there is no one to catch the ball. The Dolphins will play allot of teams tough, but fall short most of the year.

5 – Kansas City Chiefs (projected record 4-12)

I kept asking myself as I picked Chiefs games, are they really this bad, or is it just my anti-Chief bias? The answer, they really are this bad, and I could have just as easily picked them to go 1-15. Croyle sucks, Herm sucks, the defense sucks, the receivers other than Bowe suck and LJ has the curse of 370 (TM hanging over his head. Other teams are going to run and pass at will against this team, and the offense will face 8 and 9 in the box all day. But remember Chiefs fans, this is a rebuilding season, as will be next year, and the year after, and the year after…

6 – Chicago Bears (projected record 4-12)

There were plenty of games where I could have gone either way with the Bears. I kept saying to myself, “the defense should keep them in this, but can the offense score?” unfortunately I could only see the defense pulling out 4 wins. When you QB choice is Orton or Grossman, you really don’t have a choice. The receiving core is abysmal. I do like the young backs, but the O-line will struggle to open any holes. Four wins sounds about right for this team.

7 – Arizona Cardinals (projected record 4-12)

Wait a minute, isn’t this the year the Cardinals finally turn it around and compete for a playoff berth? Well if you have believed this the last 10 years, you probably believe it again. I like coach Wiz, Boldin and Fitz are an incredible WR pairing. But I don’t trust Edge to hold up, I don’t trust the line to give them enough time and the defense is Swiss cheese. If Arizona can work out there differences with Boldin and keep Wiz around I expect them to improve, next year.

8 – San Francisco 49’ers (projected record 4-12)

I will say this upfront, hiring Mike Martz was a huge mistake. His schemes do not fit the personnel. His personality will clash with Nolan’s, and this team will be a mess by midseason as fingers get pointed at everyone. There are good young players to build around on defense, but the Vets that have been brought in don’t make sense. The offense is Frank Gore, and Gore cannot carry a team this bad alone. And in case you haven’t been paying attention, San Fran makes three of the NFC West teams drafting in the top 8. What a pathetic division.

9 – Cleveland Browns (projected record 6-10)

If anyone in Cleveland read this blog, I would be getting allot of heat right now. Fortunately I have 3 readers, so there will be no backlash. For Cleveland I kept thinking “can the offense score enough to keep up” and the answer time and time again was no. Derrick Anderson is the big question mark here. Will he recover from his concussion and prove that last season wasn’t a fluke? I believe that the answer is no, last season was a fluke, his WR’s & TE’s will return to earth, and the Dog Pound will be calling for Quinn by midseason. But the real problem is on D. Shaun Rogers will break down early after looking unblockable the 1st few weeks. And there is just nobody in the secondary that can cover. This is a great team for fantasy production, both for and against.

10 – Tennessee Titans (projected record 6-10)

BrickintheBox’s favorite idiot, Adam Schein, went off on a caller the other day for referring to the QB situation in Tennessee as the “Vince Young Experiment”, but what should it be called. Everyone loves to point out that Vince was a probowler as a rookie (just proves how worthless the probowl is for accessing talent) and the Titans winning percentage under Vince. Well the record is more due to a tough defense getting by despite Vince. This year some of that D starts to show its age, and Vince will be forced to carry more of the load. Vince cannot handle the load, and when the Titans are forced to go away from their run heavy ways they will lose, and lose often.

There you have it, the top 10 picks in the 2009 NFL draft will look something like this, if not I will give you your money back (as this site is free you are looking at $0, spend it wisely). Keep checking back for the next segment where we will go into the rest of the non-playoff teams.

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