Editor's note: politics- and français-free post*
Brothers, sisters, other species -- no, not you, Republicans, you want the fundie steeple down the road -- welcome to the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.
Let us read from the Book of Bulldogs --
-- from Canton! --
-- from Canton.
"O, woe unto thee, for thy Bears will not thunder across the frozen tundra nor over the kings of the jungle nor in the land of the Northmen, starving from a lack of faith in their leader who always commands them to overturn. And overturn. And overturn. And what of thee, with head of steel? Verily shall thy backing quarters be put into a sack and carried away. This is the Word of Guy Chamberlain. Praise be to Fritz Pollard. Amen."
AFC East: New England. They won't go 16-0 again -- I wonder if I'm the 37,445th or 37,446th person to mention that on the intertubes today -- but Miami is in serious rebuilding mode -- though nabbing Chad Pennington is smart so poor
John Beck Chad Henne some future guy doesn't have to get killed, the Bills aren't that much ahead (though Trent Edwards showed some flashes last year, though, though, though, guess how many thoughs are in this post and win my undying scorn) and the Jets, despite the feel good/hate/fucking sick of story of Four Mississippi, just can't compete with a still-loaded Patriots team over seventeen weeks.
AFC North: As I pointed out last September, ever since the NFL expanded the playoff field to twelve teams in 1990, there have been at least five new squads making it to January every single season. And since the two best quarterbacks in the division are saddled with a deteriorating offensive line (Ben Roethlisberger; only Jon Kitna has been sacked more the last couple of years; ask Bernie Kosar and Drew Bledsoe what kind of toll that takes) or a collection of utter knuckleheads, clowns and future inmates (Carson Palmer) and the other team is wasting a top-10 defense with a pop-gun offense -- all you who picked Willis McGahee in your fantasy drafts, hope you enjoy his sub-4.0 yards/carry and three touchdowns as they dare Smith (chuckle) or
Boller (snicker) or Flacco (snort) to beat you -- that leaves one team. And we're due for some fucking luck, so I don't even want to fucking hear it. Fuck, Tom Coughlin hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Tom Coughlin.
AFC South: Indianapolis. Sorry Florida, despite Marvin Harrison getting a bit long in the tooth, I still don't think Jacksonville has quite enough juice/chutzpah/offensive firepower to unseat the 79-time defending division champs, but it would be the least surprising 'upset' if it were to occur. Houston might be finding that Matt Schaub is a keeper, and perhaps rookie Steve Slaton can add some oomph to the running game -- Ahman Green is 31 (about 136 in running back years) -- but they still need more than Andre Johnson. Oh, Tennessee, why art thou wasting the youthful inconsistencies of Vince Young by drafting 752 running backs every year? Get. the. man. some. receivers. Sheesh. Alge Crumpler, despite the extra groovy name, doesn't count. I want to watch him toss 40 picks, not run around like Fran Tarkenton with his head cut off. Although that's comical, too.
AFC West: San Diego. Frankly, the biggest no-brainer of the lot, even if Shawne Merriman completely wrecks his knee in Week 5. Mike Shanahan continues to get too much leeway from past, Elway-fueled glories, when the Broncos are about as average as a team gets -- only Jay Cutler keeps them from double-digit losses -- the Raiders are obscenely young at quarterback and running back -- be smart, give a good amount of the carries to Son of Huggybear -- and losing Warren Sapp to retirement will hurt the locker room more than they think; don't forget, the Raiders had/have a legit defense. The Chiefs? Poor Larry Johnson and Dwayne Bowe. Anyone seen Bill Kenney or Steve DeBerg around?
AFC wild cards: Jacksonville, because they're easily the best of the non-division winners and probably one of the five best squads in the league, though there's no way in Dick Cheney's house that David Garrard is throwing that few picks again. As for the final playoff spot? Yes, why the hell not, one last hurrah for number four, eking out 9 or 10 magical wins, advancing on some arcane tiebreaker before getting blown out in the wild card game by the Colts or something.
NFC East: The Fucking Cowboys, though they're about due to get smacked with a bushel of injuries one of these years. Be quiet, Terry Glenn doesn't count. I figure Philly will bounce back from .500 -- assuming they stop playing Jekyll & Hyde -- and would you stupid fucking morons in that town give up the McNabb bashing? Jee-zus, a fucking metropolis full of caricatures. He's the best QB you've had since Van Brocklin, dumbasses, and I like Jaws (someone get that dude his own six hour X and O show, pretty please?). The defending champs? Well, they lost half of their world-beating defensive line and play in the toughest division in the league where 8-8 might put you in the basement. Enjoy the shiny trophy and be thankful that despite Jason Campbell having showed plenty of moxie last year -- Moxie is such a cool word, isn't it? Seems to conjure up speakeasys and Humphrey Bogart, sweetheart -- he is learning a brand new system. Getting Jason Taylor will help in the short term. Just not the short-short term.
Minnesota. Green Bay. I really hemmed and hawed on this one, but I think Aaron Rodgers will be a decent enough quarterback and he has a superior collection of skill players to work with than Tavaris Jackson/Gus Frerotte when Tavaris Jackson gets hurt who basically has to hand off to Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor while lobbing the occasional bomb to Bernard Berrian, but dude, the Vikings defense? They really will remind people of the Chris Doleman/Kevin Millard days. As will the offense, and if you've got Super Bowl aspirations, that ain't good. The Bears could maybe -- maybe -- sneak in to wild card contention with that defense no doubt tired of carrying the load since Lovie arrived and Kyle Orton, simply by not being Rex Grossman, is an upgrade. The same theory can be applied to Matt Forte and the clown that wasted all that money last year, Benson. Bad TV show, bad running back. Betcha wished you didn't trade Thomas Jones. The Lions? Well, they have nice wideouts.
NFC South: New Orleans. America's New Team will resemble the 2006 model: garbage pass defense and a ton of points, and that's good enough to win a weak division. The Panthers reloaded/retooled/whatever but the key is Jake Delhomme -- and Steve Smith not slugging anyone else -- and who knows if he can rediscover the MOXIE! from a few years back. This division is full of Bret Saberhagens, so of course the Buccaneers will revert to sub-.500 this year. Don't believe me? Check the past standings. Boy, the Falcons are as messed up as la famille de Sarah Palin. [Editor's note: So I lied; I was a POW, dammit. Thank you, thank you, enjoy the veal]* Hope the decision to start Matt Ryan from day one doesn't permanently damage his soul.
NFC West: Seattle, by default. On paper, easily the most talented team in the division with a potentially ferocious defense and a quarterback with Super Bowl experience, but these guys always seem to underachieve just a little. Alien Fumbling Maestro starting in McCainville! See the amazing film at 11! Better run the ball to give him time to pick you apart. Oh that's right, you guys can't. The Rams are in that 'we're rebuilding but we're not' limbo of 5-7 wins and the 49ers, well, I don't know what's going on there. Some guys pan out, most aren't, and really, you can't blame it all on Alex Smith; try an inconsistent running game (heralded Frank Gore only had two 100-yard games last year) and changing offensive coordinators every offseason. Nolan gone before or after their bye?
NFC wild cards: Minnesota, Philadelphia. I can't in good conscience call the Giants hard luck despite the losses of Michael Strahan to retirement and Osi Umenyiora to a busted knee -- after all, they did win the Super Bowl last year -- but it'll be just enough to keep them around 8 or 9 wins and watching the Golf Channel in January, snort a few lines or whatever it is that millionaire athletes do in the offseason.
The Cleveland Browns: 9-7 (you see who the AFC North has to play this year? And all you Pittsburgh homies bitching about the Browns cupcake schedule last year might want to take one last glance at your own) and a home playoff game for the first time since I personally witnessed at the old piece of shit garbage dump that passed for a stadium -- oh, the frozen pipes no longer frozen, the overflowing urinals now dry as a bone -- the Browns, led by Bill Belichick, defeat the New England Patriots and his mentor, the Big Tuna, all the way back before Clinton committed The Most Heinous Act In the History of Western Civilization.
Not that, perverts, the choice of music at the 1996 DNC. No Slayer?
Really, Bill. Candy ass Democrat party. Sheesh.
Oh, Section 42, row K, seat one, how I miss you. Sniff.
The Super Bowl:
San Diego New England (I've thought it over and believe that Shawne Merriman will wreck his knee by Week 5) over New Orleans. Home field gets the second-most most talented team past the first second -- easy schedule, baby -- okay, the Patriots Chargers have an easy one, too -- and America's New Team bounces back from a surreal 7-9 campaign, bolstered by their own easy schedule -- funny how they don't always turn out that way, but I'm making an edumacated guess -- and a prolific offense. Sorry, Dallas fans, them's the breaks. Maybe you can petition to move to the South. Muahahahahaha!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Editor's note: politics- and français-free post*