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NFL 2009 Regular Season Discussion Thread


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#1 of 547 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 04 2009 - 05:52 AM

The preseason is over, so it's time to start the annual HTF NFL regular season discussion thread.



#2 of 547 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 04 2009 - 06:05 AM

I'll start with my season predictions:

NFC North
1. Green Bay
2. Minnesota
3. Chicago
4. Detroit

NFC East
1. Philly
2. NY Giants
3. Dallas
4. Washington

NFC South
1. New Orleans
2. Atlanta
3. Carolina
4. Tampa Bay

NFC West
1. Arizona
2. Seattle
3. San Fran
4. St. Louis

NFC Wildcards: Minnesota, NY Giants
NFC Champ: Philly

AFC North
1. Baltimore
2. Pittsburgh
3. Cincinnati
4. Cleveland

AFC East
1. New England
2. Miami
3. NY Jets
4. Buffalo

AFC South
1. Tennessee
2. Indy
3. Houston
4. Jacksonville

AFC West
1. San Diego (can a team clinch the division in September?)
4. Kansas City
4. Denver
4. Oakland

AFC Wildcards: Pittsburgh, Indy
AFC Champion: New England

Super Bowl Champ: New England

I think the Pats are motivated after getting shut out of the playoffs last year. I wanted to pick the Cardinals to miss the playoffs due to the Super Bowl loser hangover, but I do not see a decent team to challenge them in that bad division. I considered Seattle, but their offensive line and running game look terrible. San Diego has already clinched the AFC West -- has any team had an easier path to the playoffs?

I think Dallas will struggle, and Wade Phillips will be looking for a new job. The Vikings are a tough call with Favre. If this experiment does not result in a deep playoff run, Childress is gone from there, too.

Detroit, St. Louis, Denver, Oakland, KC and Tampa will contend for the #1 pick, with either the Lions or the Rams winning the honor.

As for my local Detroit Lions, they will be improved over last year (how could they not be?). However, they will simply go from one of the worst teams in NFL history to one of the worst teams in the league this season. There is just too much damage from Millen to rebuild in a year -- after all, it took Millen eight years to build an 0-16 team. The offense should be a little better (as long as Calvin Johnson stays healthy), but the defense still will struggle to stop the opposition. There is virtually no pass rush, as the defensive line was ignored in the off-season rebuilding process. I think two or three wins should be expected.


#3 of 547 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 05 2009 - 04:43 AM

Scott,

The Lions have already won three games this year.  These will be carried over into the regular season ... because they are the Lions.

:)

I think the Chiefs could surprise some people this year.  Also, I do hope that New England takes their division this time around.  Miami had a great turnaround last year from the year before that; I'm hoping that they don't do nearly as well this year.

How about that opening day Titans - Steelers game, eh?  That should be a lot of fun.


#4 of 547 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 05 2009 - 08:55 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield 

AFC West
1. San Diego (can a team clinch the division in September?)
4. Kansas City
4. Denver
4. Oakland
 
Whle the AFC West looks to be a week division, the road is not smooth for the Chargers.  They open on Monday night at the Raiders and I know they suck, but it's a rivalry and those are not predictable.  They then play at home against the Ravens and Dolphins and at Pit.  All three are playoff teams last year.  Combine that with the Chargers having slow starts, I can see them easily being 2-2 or worse after the first four games.

Later they play at the Giants, Browns, Cowboys, and Titans.  Those should all be tough.  At homey the play the Eagles and the Redskins.  Of course they have to play Denver in Denver and if you look at the franchise history, that's a very losable game.  If I remember correctly, they lost to both Denver (the Hockulee game) and the Chiefs.

I agree they are the class of the AFC west, but it won't be easy.


Johnny
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#5 of 547 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 05 2009 - 02:28 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem 

Scott,

The Lions have already won three games this year.  These will be carried over into the regular season ... because they are the Lions.

:)
 
They went 4-0 in the preseason last year, and look where it got them. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


#6 of 547 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 06 2009 - 08:56 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield 



They went 4-0 in the preseason last year, and look where it got them.
Scott,

In all sincerity, I expect much better things from them this year.  How does 6-10 sound?



#7 of 547 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 07 2009 - 11:48 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem 




Scott,

In all sincerity, I expect much better things from them this year.  How does 6-10 sound?
 
Like you had a few too many beers last weekend. /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif

Seriously, I cannot see how this team wins more than four games. Between the tough early schedule, lack of talent on both the defensive and offensive lines, and the rookie QB, I think they are a year away from a 6 or more win season. There was just too much to rebuild in one off season.



#8 of 547 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 08 2009 - 01:37 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield ">




Like you had a few too many beers last weekend. <br /></span>
<br />
Seriously, I cannot see how this team wins more than four games. Between the tough early schedule, lack of talent on both the defensive and offensive lines, and the rookie QB, I think they are a year away from a 6 or more win season. There was just too much to rebuild in one off season. <br />
<br />
 </div></div>
Scott,<br />
<br />
So, no Miami Dolphins turnaround for the Lions this year, eh?  They may surprise you.  In fact, you can count on them surprising you -- kind of like they did last year. <img src='http://cdn.hometheaterforum.com/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' /><br />
<br />
I'm a bit curious to see how the Minnesota Favres are going to do this year.<br />
<br />

					
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#9 of 547 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 08 2009 - 11:45 PM

Last year's Lions were much worse than the 2007 Miami Dolphins or Atlanta Falcons -- they were arguably the worst team in modern NFL history (and not just because of the 0-16 record). Miami and Atlanta had already started their rebuilding process at least a year earlier, while Detroit's has just started. Also, both those teams had focused on improving along the OL and DL, while the Lions have virtually ignored those two critical areas.

BTW, last year's team did not surprise me at all -- with the exception that I thought it would be nearly impossible for a team in the modern NFL to actually go 0-16. I had stated before the season last year that the team would be awful, and there was virtually no talent on the roster (despite the local shill beat reporters' claims).

I, too, am interested to see how the Favre experiment works out in Minnesota. Childress is certainly putting his job on the line with the outcome.


#10 of 547 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk

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Posted September 09 2009 - 01:56 AM

The Chargers will easily win their division I think.  They may have difficult schedule, but everyone else in their division has the same schedule except 2 games (IE 14 common opponents).  You play all your division teams twice, All of another AFC division, all of another NFC division, then two games in your league where your oponent ranked the same in their division as you did last year.  IE chargers are playing titans and dolphins, both won their division last year.  Broncos will play the 2nd in the division, IE pats and colts.  With that in mind, I don't see how the broncos or cheifs keep up with the chargers.  Playing the division with ravens/steelers and NFC east (philly/dallas/redskins/giants) will be hard. 

#11 of 547 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 09 2009 - 02:13 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_Tk 

The Chargers will easily win their division I think.
Your  points make sense, but as a long-time fan of the Chargers, I can't conceive of them doing anything easily./img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif  And as always, they will fall short of the ultimate goal.

Johnny
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#12 of 547 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 09 2009 - 02:32 AM

I understand your apprehension, Johnny, but I agree with Steve. While the NFL is unpredictable, the Chargers are the most "sure thing" favorite to win a division going into a season in recent memory, IMO. They have a lot of talent, and the rest of the division is awful. Eight wins should be enough to win the division, and San Diego is better than an 8 win team.




#13 of 547 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 09 2009 - 03:34 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield 

I understand your apprehension, Johnny, but I agree with Steve. While the NFL is unpredictable, the Chargers are the most "sure thing" favorite to win a division going into a season in recent memory, IMO. They have a lot of talent, and the rest of the division is awful. Eight wins should be enough to win the division, and San Diego is better than an 8 win team.

 
My problem is that I have been rooting for them ever since they came to San Diego (their 2nd year in existence) and no matter how exciting they have been, every season ends the same way, short of the big prize.  Every team in their division has won the SB at least once.  The Raiders and Denver, multiple times.  Just once, I want my team to win it all.  Their best chance was the year they went 14-2, but they had a head coach who doesn't know how to win in post-season and lost their first playoff game (at home).

The year they got to the SB, they didn't belong there and were embarrassed.  The years of Air Coryell were fraught with frustration because they had an all-time great offense and and an all-time bad defense.  They had to score gobs of points to win by a TD.  They'd score points because they were so good and then give up points because they were so bad.  Aaarrgh!

You're right, they should win the division.


Johnny
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#14 of 547 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 09 2009 - 03:43 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angell View Post




My problem is that I have been rooting for them ever since they came to San Diego (their 2nd year in existence) and no matter how exciting they have been, every season ends the same way, short of the big prize.  Every team in their division has won the SB at least once.  The Raiders and Denver, multiple times.  Just once, I want my team to win it all.  Their best chance was the year they went 14-2, but they had a head coach who doesn't know how to win in post-season and lost their first playoff game (at home).

The year they got to the SB, they didn't belong there and were embarrassed.  The years of Air Coryell were fraught with frustration because they had an all-time great offense and and an all-time bad defense.  They had to score gobs of points to win by a TD.  They'd score points because they were so good and then give up points because they were so bad.  Aaarrgh!

You're right, they should win the division.

 
Johnny,

Wow, so you remember the Hadl, Alworth, and Lincoln years?  I grew up watching John Hadl.  I began watching football before the merger (ca. 1967-ish).  I don't recall the Chargers' 51–10 victory over the Boston Patriots (1963), but my father has discussed that game with me a few times.  The Patriots had only been in the league a few years.  That particular game is one of his more vivid memories.

Anyway, I'll see you back here in January to congratulate you after the Chargers win the Super Bowl, defeating the Detroit Lions 19-17 with about three seconds to go....

#15 of 547 OFFLINE   Hanson

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Posted September 09 2009 - 05:58 AM

Surprise teams:

Saints.  They lost 6 games last year by less than a TD, most of them within a FG.  If Gregg Williams can stop the other team from one score per game, they will wrap up the NFC South.

Seahawks.  Hasselback is healthy, but the real reason the Hawks sucked so bad last year was their defense.  The addition of Curry should help the LB corps that had immense problems stopping the run.  If Lofa Tatupu (or, "Loaf of the Poo Poo" as I like to say) can back to probowl form, it will make up for the fact that the one-two punch of Julius Jones and Edgerrin James scares no one.  They can win the NFC West back.

Disasters

Cardinals.  Superbowl losers do not fare well the following season, and with everyone gunning for them and their best RB in Seattle (Edge was the reason they had a late season rushing surge), that unbalanced quick strike offense and a defense that has trouble holding leads will result in 8-8 and disappointment.

Eagles.  Yes, I am a Giants fan, but the only thing on that Eagles team that remotely scares me is McNabb to Jackson.  So many stalwarts gone both on the field and on the sidelines, and I don't think McCoy will be able to take up the slack for a hobbled Westbrook, and the middle of the field patrolled by their 2nd tier LB's and Safeties is going to be attacked.  I doubt we'll see the semblance of a real running game.  Again.  Looking at a disappointing 8-8.

And here are some Separated at Births.  They are Redskins-centric because that's who the Giants are up against:

http://home.comcast....nrichards.jpg">
Jim Zorn & Reed Richards


Jim Zorn & Steve-O


Joe Bugel & Shemp


Dan Snyder & Milhouse


Chris Cooley & Jonah Hill


Albert Haynesworth & The Thing


Todd Yoder & Chester A. Arthur


Mike Singletary & Darkseid



#16 of 547 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 09 2009 - 06:49 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockeghem 




Johnny,

Wow, so you remember the Hadl, Alworth, and Lincoln years?  I grew up watching John Hadl.  I began watching football before the merger (ca. 1967-ish).  I don't recall the Chargers' 51–10 victory over the Boston Patriots (1963), but my father has discussed that game with me a few times.  The Patriots had only been in the league a few years.  That particular game is one of his more vivid memories.

Anyway, I'll see you back here in January to congratulate you after the Chargers win the Super Bowl, defeating the Detroit Lions 19-17 with about three seconds to go....
Make sure you patent that machine you will invent that transports you to an alternate reality./img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


#17 of 547 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 09 2009 - 06:59 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield 




Make sure you patent that machine you will invent that transports you to an alternate reality.
It's already patented.  After all, I bought if from you. ;)



#18 of 547 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 10 2009 - 12:10 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 

Surprise teams:

Saints.  They lost 6 games last year by less than a TD, most of them within a FG.  If Gregg Williams can stop the other team from one score per game, they will wrap up the NFC South.

Seahawks.  Hasselback is healthy, but the real reason the Hawks sucked so bad last year was their defense.  The addition of Curry should help the LB corps that had immense problems stopping the run.  If Lofa Tatupu (or, "Loaf of the Poo Poo" as I like to say) can back to probowl form, it will make up for the fact that the one-two punch of Julius Jones and Edgerrin James scares no one.  They can win the NFC West back.

Disasters

Cardinals.  Superbowl losers do not fare well the following season, and with everyone gunning for them and their best RB in Seattle (Edge was the reason they had a late season rushing surge), that unbalanced quick strike offense and a defense that has trouble holding leads will result in 8-8 and disappointment.

Eagles.  Yes, I am a Giants fan, but the only thing on that Eagles team that remotely scares me is McNabb to Jackson.  So many stalwarts gone both on the field and on the sidelines, and I don't think McCoy will be able to take up the slack for a hobbled Westbrook, and the middle of the field patrolled by their 2nd tier LB's and Safeties is going to be attacked.  I doubt we'll see the semblance of a real running game.  Again.  Looking at a disappointing 8-8.

Hanson,

I definitely agree with you on the Saints, and I really wanted to pick the Seahens over the Cardinals for the reasons you mentioned -- specifically the Super Bowl loser trend. However, I just do not feel good about Seattle's offensive line. Walter Jones is going to be hampered by injuries all year, and their collection of running backs is less than impressive. Deion Branch is hurt (again), too, so I think their offense could struggle, even with the return of Hassleback.


#19 of 547 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted September 10 2009 - 01:46 AM

Any predictions for tonight's NFL opener?  I will be pulling for the Steelers.  The Titans could pull it off, however.  I hope that Pittsburgh remembers some of the Titans' antics from last year's regular-season game.

BTW, Scott -- The Lions sit firmly in second place in the NFC North at this moment. :)

#20 of 547 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk

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Posted September 10 2009 - 02:56 AM

I can't stand Lendel White, so I'll pull for the Steelers.