Thursday, August 27, 2009

Looking for Sleepers: NFC Edition

Yesterday I noted who I think the culprits are for the AFC side. Here’s how I see the NFC playing out.

NFC Playoff Teams Most Likely to Tail Off:

Every team is a potential victim, with the most unlikely being the New York Giants. I can definitely see 4-5 new teams making the NFC playoffs this year. Even the Giants are vulnerable- - since most likely one of these three better NFC teams (NY Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys) will miss the playoffs solely because of the playoff format.

I like Jake Delhomme, despite unfair criticism against him. If he stays healthy, the Panthers will be a contender (Carolina is 54-33 with Delhomme and 14-19 without him under John Fox). However, I just have a gut feeling Delhomme may not play the entire season.

Arizona is also very vulnerable. The team only won 9 games last year (6-0 in their division), and their division rivals (Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers) look to make a jump. Oh yeah- their quarterback, Kurt Warner is 38 years old.
I think Matt Ryan is a really good quarterback, but there’s always a possibility for a sophomore slump for Atlanta. Plus there’s the potential for running-back Michael Turner to be a victim of Football Outsiders' curse of 370.

Minnesota’s division is much improved from last year. However, Minnesota has two glaring question marks already with Brett Favre and Brad Childress. Here’s how I think Minnesota’s season will pan out.

NFC Non-Playoff Teams Most Likely to Make the Leap:

Front-Runners for Leap:

Dallas Cowboys: I think this is the year Tony Romo steps up and starts to win in the playoffs. He has even started the process of washing himself of any stench of failure!

Green Bay Packers: I think Aaron Rodgers will make a leap this year. Green Bay lost a lot of screwy games last year. The team was 1-7 in games decided by five points of less last season. Plus NFC North teams should expect to reap the benefits of scheduling.

San Francisco 49ers: With Shaun Hill officially under center- I expect big things for the 49ers.

New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees is a really good quarterback, who has missed the playoffs two times in a row. The third time should be the charm.

Chicago Bears: With the NFC North receiving the easiest of schedules (as noted above), and the potential upgrade of Jay Cutler, many are crowning Chicago Super Bowl contenders. However, let me emphasize the “potential” part of the previous sentence.

Seattle Seahawks: Matt Hasselbeck is coming off a severe injury last season. If Seattle can stay healthy, the NFC West is certainly up for grabs. Vegas has Seattle 16/1 to win the NFC Championship…not a bad wager.

Write Them Off:

Washington Redskins: Putting little confidence in your starting quarterback (Jason Campbell), who already has proven to be average at best + six total games vs. Giants, Cowboys and Eagles = rough season for Washington.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: When your quarterback options at the beginning of the season are Byron Leftwich or Luke McCown….it most likely will be a non-playoff season for your team.

Detroit Lions: I hope Detroit is smart enough to start Stafford from the out-set. The team should be improved by years' end with him under center.

St. Louis Rams: Again, poor Rams' fans.

Playoff Picks: I’m torn between Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Chicago for the final spot.

At gunpoint here’s my picks: New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons

That's 6 new playoff teams for the 2009 season, with potentially 7. Hmm- that sounds almost like 6.4 teams to me- How convenient.

3 comments:

  1. Tony Romo has proven to be a bungler in pressure games. His December record is HORRIBLE! He mishandled a snap in the playoff game against Seattle, which cost the 'Boys the game. In the playoff game against the Giants in Dallas, Romo threw the game losing interception.

    Last year, in a due-or-die game against Eagles, where the winner goes to the playoffs, Romo became a turnover machine.

    If Romo has a bad year again, Dallas would be best to cut this waste of human flesh.

    Two years ago, the New York Times said Romo was the best of 2004 draft class in quarterbacks. That draft included Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning (the #1 pick of the draft), and Phillip Rivers. There was a reason why Romo wasn't drafted. Those quarterback are BETTER! Rivers was the highest rated quarterback last year (something Romo didn't do). Roethlisberger and Manning (Super Bowl XLII MVP) have both won Super Bowl rings (another thing Romo has yet to do). In fact, Romo has yet to win a game of importance.

    Dallas do yourself a favor and draft a quaterback and release Romo's dumb@ss!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Reply to "Romo is..."

    If you don't want Romo- the majority of the league would be glad to have him.

    If you're a Dallas fan- Romo's back-up is Jon Kitna...so Dallas is hoping Romo stays healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Does any good teams want Romo?
    Pats?
    Eagles?
    Giants?
    Colts?
    Steelers?
    Panthers?
    Saints?

    ReplyDelete