NFL 2002: Ange Hamm's picks and pans

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

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    OK, let's have it: How do you think the NFL season is going to shake up this year? Who's going to the Super Bowl? Who's going into the toilet bowl? Of course, if the last few years have taught us anything about the NFL, it's that guesses are about as accurate as predictions.
    So here are my completely valueless predictions:
    • Super Bowl: Rams over Raiders. I kind of want to pick the Steelers, but I just don't believe in Kordell Stewart. Mike Martz's system is too strong and his personnel are just too good, and the batches of fast young defenders they've drafted the last few years are going to pay off big time. The Raiders are going to turn their last opportunity to go through that championship window into a glorious season followed by a humiliating defeat in San Diego.
    • MVP: Marshall Faulk, Rams. Barring injury, I just can't see any reason to pick anyone but Faulk or Warner. Flip a coin.
    • Defensive Player of the Year: LaVar Arrington, Redskins. He's the linebacker of Marvin Lewis' dreams, and playing next to Armstead and Trotter will only help. He'll get some MVP consideration, too.
    • Coach of the Year: Boy, I want so bad to say Steve Spurrier. But it's going to be Tony Dungy.
    • Rookie of the Year: Antwaan Randle El, Steelers. I've loved this guy since he was a sophomore, and he lights up the field like Deion used to. Dallas' Roy Williams and the Giants' Jeremy Shockey will also excel from the start, and both will make the Pro Bowl.
    • Sleeper teams: Washington will challenge for the NFC East. Cleveland will win double-digit games behind Tim Couch. The Colts, Chargers, and Saints will all rebound from substandard seasons to challenge for playoff spots.
    • Snoozer teams: The Bears can't duplicate last year's magic--or luck. Dallas still has no quarterback and problems with receivers, and their owner needs to hire an actual coach, not a figurehead. Baltimore has taken too many hits. The Bengals' three half-quarterbacks don't make a whole. The Lions and Panthers are just in total disarray, despite each team having a young quarterback with a great future.
    • Best divisional race: As usual, the AFC East, where the last-place team will finish above .500.
    • Worst divisional race: The NFC North, which is looking at a down year.
    • Big stories: Steve Spurrier's offense works better down the stretch than at the beginning of the season--but the Redskins are carried by their defense. Randy Moss has a down season. Jon Gruden's Gulf Coast offense is one of the best in the league--but the Bucs' defense has an off year. Donovan McNabb may be better than Randall Cunningham ever was. Tim Couch emerges as a legitimate franchise quarterback. The Patriots weren't exactly a fluke last year, but they're also not exactly Super Bowl material now. Houston should never have messed with David Carr's mechanics. Michael Vick is amazing, but Warrick Dunn isn't. Eddie George is rushing champ. Jeremy Shockey leads the Giants in receptions.
    • AFC NORTH: Pittsburgh (12-4), Cleveland (10-6), Baltimore (6-10), Cincinnati (5-11)
    • AFC SOUTH: Indianapolis (11-5), Tennessee (10-6), Jacksonville (4-12), Houston (3-13)
    • AFC EAST: Miami (11-5), New England (10-6), Buffalo (9-7), New York (9-7)
    • AFC WEST: Oakland (12-4), Denver (10-6), San Diego (9-7), Kansas City (5-11)
    • NFC NORTH: Green Bay (10-6), Minnesota (8-8), Chicago (5-11), Detroit (3-13)
    • NFC SOUTH: Tampa Bay (10-6), New Orleans (10-6), Atlanta (7-9), Carolina (2-14)
    • NFC EAST: Philadelphia (11-5), Washington (9-7), New York (8-8), Dallas (3-13)
    • NFC WEST: St Louis (14-2), San Francisco (12-4), Seattle (7-9), Arizona (2-14)
    OK, sports fans, rip me a new one.
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Those are some pretty solid predictions, Ange. I think you are a little too high on the Raiders, though. I expect the advancing age of their offensive stars and a new coach to slow them down a little. Pittsburgh would be a no brainer choice, if not for their weakness at QB. Same for Miami. Denver, Indy and Tennessee should all contend, too. As you can see, I think the AFC is a wide open race.

    In the NFC, it is tough to pick against the Rams. Their offense may be the best the NFL has ever seen, and the defense was improved last year. Their only major loss was London Fletcher. Tampa will be an interesting team to watch. Can Gruden get this perennial underacheiver to finally perform up to expectations? Philly and San Francisco will be St. Louis's other top competition. Washington's defense will have to carry them, since I cannot believe that Spurrier's offense can be successful with either Shane Matthews or Danny Wuerfel at QB.

    I agree with you regarding the Bears. I think they will come back down to earth this season (but maybe not as far down as you predict). My hometown team, the Lions, will be very fortunate to win more than four games. Dallas is also being overrated by a lot of people. They have absolutely no offense, and their best running back is sitting on the sidelines while Emmitt Smith tries to break Payton's rushing record.

    Another rookie to watch, if he can hang onto the ball, is Clinton Portis in Denver. With Terrell Davis gone, he has a chance to take over the running back position there for the next several years. I have seen William Green in two preseason games, and he has not impressed me at all. He may be this year's biggest draft bust.
     
  3. Mike Hutman

    Mike Hutman Supporting Actor

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    The 49ers win! the 49ers win!
    That's what John Madden will yell as the San Francisco 49ers kick a last second Field goal to win the Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Oh what a year it would be [​IMG]
     
  4. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Dallas overrated?...I don't think so.The 'boys from Big D look better now than they have in the past few years. There is nothing wrong w/ going after Payton's rushing record, after all, records were made to be broken and someday Emmitt's (soon to be) record will be broken as well. As far as hard and fast predictions go, I've given up. It's not as easy as it used to be. The expression "any given Sunday" rings alot more truer today than in seasons past. With that said, GO COWBOYS!!![​IMG]
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Kevin,

    Who do you think is capable of moving the ball on offense for Dallas? Quincy Carter? Emmitt Smith? Joey Galloway? The 'Boys will be lucky to win six games this year.
     
  6. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    My one prediction is that the Ravens will be better than the Bengals. Every season preview I've read says the opposite, and it's beginning to piss me the hell of. Cleveland, maybe, but this is the damn Bengals we're talking about. I wouldn't trade their entire defense minus Spikes, Foley (who's out for the season) and maybe Justin Smith for just Ray Lewis.
     
  7. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Scott, I'm sure the same could be said about the Patriots as well before the season started last year.[​IMG] Dallas has looked good in the preseason, and have proven that they can move the ball on offense. If I were you, I wouldn't be too critical of any team as of yet. All NFL teams are just one key injury away from a disappointing year. Who is your favorite team BTW? GO COWBOYS!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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  9. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    I'd rather have just Ray Lewis than just Takeo Spikes. Not that Spikes isn't a good player, but Ray-Ray (as he's affectionely known) is far and away the best. Actually these are two very similar teams, in that they have basically two or three man D's, a good RB, a question mark at QB and nothing else. I think Ray is probably good for about 5-7 wins all by himself though.
     
  10. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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    I got a "Peter Gammons" that says the Bengals finish higher in the standings than the Ravens...
    Whadaya say? [​IMG]
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  12. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Joel, I'm afraid I don't follow.
     
  13. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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    I'll bet you $20 (If you don't listen to the Jim Rome show, you probably don't get the "Peter Gammons" reference. Peter Gammons is on the 20-dollar bill. [​IMG] ) the Bengals finish higher than the Ravens.
     
  14. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    Yeah, I don't listen to the show, so I didn't get the reference. If I was a betting man, I'd take you up on your offer.
    [off to go find a $20 bill and see if it's true][​IMG]
     
  15. Bruce Hedtke

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  16. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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  17. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Actually, I think Washington's defense will outperform the offense. The Redskins have excellent linebackers and a fine secondary. On offense, neither Shane Matthews nor Danny Wuerful are good starting QB's, Rod Gardner is their only decent WR, and Stephen Davis does not fit into Spurrier's system (he's a power back). As Marty Morninghweg is finding out in Detroit, a great offensive system means nothing if you do not have the talent to run the offense.
     
  18. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    I'll throw in some support for Joel. I know the Bengals' miserable record since 1990 leads people to believe in their perpetual futility, but I think they've got a legitimate shot at pulling off some major surprises. I certainly don't think second place is out of the question, and first place might not be attainable. I'd be happy with a playoff berth or even a winning season. [​IMG]
    More often than not the Bengals tend to get no respect and the Browns get too much in preseason predictions. Cleveland's offense, for one, certainly doesn't scare me. Cincinnati's offense should be vastly improved, with a talented corp of backs and what should be marked improvement at wide receiver. Frerotte looks to be good enough to step in at QB, and believe it or not, Akili Smith appears to have gotten it together if they need to call on him. Defense looks solid. I think they stack up well against divisional opponents, and their schedule overall is considered among the easiest in the NFL. Time for a return to the days of The Jungle.
    All this is subject to change in four weeks when the team has dashed my hopes once again...
     
  19. Mitty

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  20. Tony_P

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