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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scott Merryfield, Aug 28, 2012.
The regular season starts in about a week, so it's time for the annual HTF NFL discussion thread.
Here are my picks for the season, along with a more detailed analysis of our local team -- the Detroit Lions:
1. Packers - still the class of the division
2. Bears - Cutler and Forte return, no Martz, added Marshall
3. Lions - see my analysis below
4. Vikings - rebuilding
1. Giants -- no reason to pick against champs
2. Eagles - Vick needs to stay healthy
3. Cowboys - lots of question marks on OL and receiver
4. Redskins - rookie QB
1. Falcons - tough division to predict
2. Saints - will offseason controversy hurt this team?
3. Panthers - still a year away from a playoff team
4. Bucs -- rebuilding
1. 49ers - only decent team in division
2. Seattle - two inexperienced QBs
3. Rams - better QB than Cards
4. Cardinals - horrible QBs. Will compete for #1 overall draft pick
Wildcards: Bears, Saints
1. Ravens - older defense, but most solid team in division
2. Steelers - too many injuries before season has started
3. Bengals - should be competitive. Could be a sleeper
4. Browns - rookie QB
1. Patriots - may have already clinched division
2. Bills - only other decent team in division
3. Jets - could easily finish with worst record in league
4. Dolphins - see Jets
1. Texans - most talent in division. Need to do something with it.
2. Titans - only other decent team in division
3. Colts - rebuilding
4. Jaguars - a disaster. Will challenge for #1 overall draft pick
1. Broncos - toughest division to pick. Manning is the difference
2. Chiefs - could finish anywhere from 2nd to 4th
3. Chargers - cannot keep losing talent without replacement and win
4. Raiders - could finish as high as 2nd
Wildcards: Steelers, Bills (someone has to get the 2nd wildcard)
Super Bowl: Patriots over Packers
Expectations are high around here after the team made the playoffs last season, but I think the fans will be disappointed when the season is over. The Lions failed to address their biggest weaknesses -- defensive secondary and running back.
The secondary was lit up all last season, and they lost one of their starting CBs (Eric Wright). They intend to replace him with a bunch of late round draft picks. Linebacker is still very thin, too. This defense will not stop any decent NFL offense.
On offense, their three top running backs are not healthy. Best will start the season on the PUP, meaning he will miss at least the first 6 games. The Lions were 5-1 with him in the lineup last year. Mikel Leshoure is trying to come back from a ruptured Achilles, an injury which usually ends careers. He is also suspended for the first two games due to offseason arrests. Kevin Smith gets hurt tying his shoes, and was already hurt in the last preseason game.
The team stayed relatively healthy last year, other than at running back and rookie DT Nick Fairley. This year they still have the same health issues at RB, and DT Suh is already banged up. In today's NFL, it's tough to avoid significant injuries two straight years.
The division will also be tougher, as the Bears should be much better. Last season Chicago was competitive until Cutler and Forte were hurt. They are both back, and the team actually looks to finally has some threats at receiver now in Marshall and Jeffery. Getting rid of Martz at offensive coordinator is also a huge improvement.
So, with Chicago improving and Detroit doing nothing to add talent, I see the Lions slipping to third place and missing the playoffs.
Here are my picks for the 2012-2013 NFL season:
Wildcards: Broncos, Ravens
Wildcards: Eagles, Saints
NFC: Giants, Packers, Falcons, 49ers
Wild Card: Bears, Saints
AFC: Patriots, Ravens, Texans, Broncos
Wild Cards: Steelers, Titans
With the Eagles, they always seem to find ways to underachieve, and will continue to do so this season.
Even with their loss last night, the Giants will still be the team to beat in the division. I know the annoying Cowboy fans don't want to hear that.
Art Modell passed away today. While it is always sad to see a builder of the league gone, I am sure there will not be many tears shed in Cleveland.
I always remember Modell for not only moving the Browns out of Cleveland, but also starting the sudden discontent in the NFL (and sports in general). Suddenly, numerous sports teams were not happy with their current stadium, and strong-arm their local governments to help build them a new stadium of their own, or else they move elsewhere.
Is there no HTF fantasy league this year??
The Modell family has requested that Cleveland not recognize Art Modell's passing at today's game. I think that is best, as I'm sure there would be quite a few boos if the crowd was asked to observe a moment of silence. Nothing positive could be gained from such a situation.
Agreed. The venom I've heard on some radio sports programs toward Modell (amazing how many people have said they are pleased he has passed) has been astonishing to me. And I'm paraphrasing here, as what I've heard has been much worse.
Some observations from Week One:
The Niners and Ravens certainly played like contenders
The Packers looked flat against SF. They have an early "must win" this week against Chicago.
The Saints look like they will miss Sean Payton
Peyton Manning is going to put the Broncos over the top in the AFC West if his neck holds up
The Lions won ugly. They should lose ugly this weekend in San Fran.
What got into the Jets?
Cleveland should be declared a disaster area.
A disaster indeed, as it was tough to watch, with all those turnovers. Thank goodness that I had a 1 week free trial of NFL Sunday Ticket, so I was able to watch other games, though not a lot of good ones this week.
Peyton is going to win Denver a bunch of games. I say that literally, he will be the difference between the Denver as they were last year and the Denver that wins.. and remember, Denver won a playoff game last year with Tebow.
Matt Cassel in KC is exactly what he is. He will never be better then he is. He might get worse, but this is what you get folks. As it stands, if there was a draft of only QBs in the league, he'd maybe be 22? Lower?
RG3 has only one weekend, but he has potential to be the real deal. Does not get flustered, that alone is huge.
Tampa looks like a team that actually has a coach who knows what he's doing. That tends to help..
The Saints look like a team that is going to have a pretty rough year.
Tony Gonzalez for Atlanta continues to be an amazing freaking athlete, outside of a HOF'er first ballot, his composure and that of the Atlanta offense makes Matt Ryan a much better QB.
The Browns are almost unwatchable.
The Bills.. yeah it's not going to get much better.
The Jets.. there are these things called mirages, don't buy into the hype yet.
One other thing... the most impressive thing I saw in the Lions win over St. Louis was the way the Rams played. While they still are lacking talent, they played a sound game fundamentally. The new coaching staff made a big impact in only their first game. Jeff Fisher is one heckuva coach. Give him a year or two, and the Rams are going to be tough.
In defense of Matt Cassel: He is a very good QB - as his last year with New England. One person (QB) cannot do it himself, you need other players. Football is a team sport. A good QB is not enough.
Watching a little bit of the Packers-Bears game last night, football fans have to be relieved not to be subjected to the "commentary" of Matt Millen, who just rambles on and on.
I think Scott M. is still mourning the day Matt Millen left the Lions organization. He was probably the best thing that ever happened to them.
Yes, Matt Cassel helped the Pats get to 11-5 that year, and they didn't make the playoffs. I think that was the first time an 11-5 team failed to make the playoffs, but I could be mistaken.
As good as I've been hearing some stations say the Bears are, was there really any way the Packers were going to start the season off 0-2, especially with their first two games at home? I would have bet the farm (straight up) on the Pack winning last night.
After Millen left the Lions, ABC kept putting him on the University of Michigan games. Talk about sticking it to the local football fans. After a decade of putting up with that moron in the front office, we had to listen to his idiotic comments during Wolverine games.
While Millen was horrible, the true blame lies with owner Wm Clay Ford, Sr., who not only hired the moron, but also refused to fire him while Millen destroyed the team. Ford never did fire Millen -- he resigned after Ford's son publicly said he would have fired Millen long ago if he was running the team. Ford, Sr. is the most incompetent owner in the history of U.S sports.
As for that 11-5 record Cassell accumulated in New England, remember that he was playing for a team that went 16-0 the season before. So, basically he was 5 games worse than having Brady at QB. That's a pretty significant difference.
Speaking of the Pats, did either team want to win that game yesterday? First the Cards fumble late in the game to give New England a huge gift. Then the Pats promptly returned the favor with one of the worst field goal attempts I've seen in the NFL in awhile. UGLY!
As a Pats fan, I was greatly torn over the results of that game. On one hand, the Pats played so horribly for the entire game that I don't feel they deserved to win anyway. On the other, I would have been very excited had Gostkowski made the field goal. But Arizona definitely played the better game and deserved to win, and I'm glad the late fumble did not cost them the victory. I felt really bad for Williams until the missed FG.
I'm still convinced that Brady just doesn't care anymore. He's made his millions and won multiple rings, so he's just going through the motions on the field these days.
Yeah, Brady really was terrible last year! It sure looked like he was just going through the motions in passing for 5000+ yards and getting the Pats to the Super Bowl.
And he's married to a super model.