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American Football: 2006 NFL Season

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posted on Jul, 30 2006 @ 12:23 PM
This site does need some more posting, so I'm going to try to step up to the plate.

This is a thread to discuss the NFL season, and the objective is to keep this thread running all the way from the preseason to the Super Bowl.

The NFL is on a roll. For the last four seasons attendance records at games have been set. The television conracts are bigger than ever. Labor peace has been maintained for almost 20 years (something baseball, hockey, and basketball aren't even close to). The NFL is far more popular than any other sport in the U.S., and the NFL's domination just keeps growing.

In this era of salary caps, free agency, and revenue sharing, a team can go up or down very quickly. Parity in the NFL now means that outside of maybe five or six elite and abominable teams, there isn't much difference between the rest. Just because a team went 6-10 last year doesn't mean they won't make the playoffs this year, and a few teams who made the playoffs last year may struggle to win six games. Almost every team goes into the season believing it can make the playoffs.

As usual, player moves have been numerous in the offseason, and we as fans have to get reacquainted with where everyone is. Daunte Culpepper and Joey Harrington are in Miami. Terrell Owens is a Dallas Cowboy. Drew Brees is a Saint. Edgerrin James is on the Cardinals. Steve McNair is in Baltimore. Of course, many other players switched teams. Then there are the additions of the rookies, like Reggie Bush, Vince Young, and A.J. Hawk. How will these additions and deletions hurt the teams?

There really doesn't seem to be a truly dominant team in the NFL right now. Indianapolis was close, but I can't see them being as good without the Edge. Pittsburgh lost the Bus and one of their most valuable weapons, Antwaan Randle El. Seattle is still solid, although they did lose Steve Hutchinson and Joe Jurevicius; however, they must prove that they can compete with the big boys, not just their pansy division. Other teams are poised for a run, but need to show the NFL world that they are great: Miami, Washington, N.Y. Giants, Carolina, Denver, Cincinnati, San Diego, Kansas City Chicago. Then there are those teams that are trying to bounce back from problems in 2005: New England, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Green Bay, Baltimore. Finally, there are the sleeper teams, those that may surprise the league with a run at the playoffs: Cleveland, New Orleans, Arizona, St. Louis.

This year will see some great statistical achievements. Marvin Harrison needs only 73 receptions to become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 1000 career receptions. With 1569 receiving yards, Harrison could move into fourth place in career receiving yards. Randy Moss need only two TD receptions to reach 100 in his career (he would be the seventh to achieve that). Edgerrin James need 774 yards rushing to hit 10,000 for his career. With 30 TD passes, Peyton Manning would move into seventh place in career TD passes, only behind Marino, Favre, Tarkenton, Elway, Moon, and Unitas. Most of all, though, Brett Favre can break some records that once seemed unbreakable. With 290 completions and 25 TD passed, Favre will break Dan Marino's career marks. Marino's record of 61,361 yards, however, is well out of Favre's reach unless he comes back in 2007.

This season should again be competitive. The NFC East, NFC South, AFC North, and the AFC West all look to be competitive divisions. I think that any of the four teams in the NFC East can win the division. In the others, three of the four teams could win the division. Here are my playoff predictions:

Division winners:
New England 11-5
Pittsburgh 12-4
Indianapolis 12-4
Kansas City 11-5
Philadelphia 11-5
Minnesota 9-7
Carolina 13-3
Seattle 12-4

Wild Cards:
Miami 10-6
Jacksonville 10-6
Dallas 11-5
Washington 10-6

Yeah, I know I'm going out on a limb on a few of those, but taking chances is part of the fun of making predictions. Here's two bold predictions for this year: Green Bay will be in the playoff race in the last week of the season, and Larry Johnson of the Chiefs will break Eric Dickerson's single season rushing record.

My Super Bowl pick? Carolina 27, Kansas City 20

posted on Jul, 31 2006 @ 08:20 AM
Good job, BTB. Way to step up and get something going.

It'll be no surprise that I'm more in tune to the Colts than I am the rest of the league. Let me just say that although I absolutely loved Edgerrin James - his professionalism, attitude, skill, effort - just everything about him, I don't think losing him to the Cardinals is as devastating to the Colts' chances as it would appear. Colts have a very good draft pick and quality backup. I predict Edge-like numbers out of that position at the end of the year, although it will take a couple of guys to do it.

And as much as I liked Edge, he never really was a "lower your head and hit the line" guy. Yes, he could turn what looked to be a loss into a six yard gain, but he could also turn a 35 yarder into a six yard gain. I think he'll be missed as much for his ability to pass block as anything.

Looking back at the Colts, they've been eaten up in the playoffs because pass protection completely collapsed, or the D-line disappeared. It's been line play that's cost us big. I think the D-line is in good shape, and I like our running backs. If we can get some quality participation from linebackers and some consistency from the O-line, especially come playoff time, It could be interesting.

Far be it from me to diss Manning, but I do get PO'd in the playoffs when he does the long count thing and waits until the very last instant to have the ball snapped. Every time. This just allows the entire defense to bum rush the backfield with a running start. No O-line in the world can overcome that. So I don't see the "breakdown" of the O-line in the playoffs as necessarily all the O-line's fault. Manning bears a good deal of responsibility for that.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the season and any comments anyone cares to make about what I've posted or a similar perspective on your favorite team.

posted on Jul, 31 2006 @ 04:19 PM
Thanks for the opinion from the perspective of a Colts fan. The Colts will still be strong, that's for sure. The loss of Edgerrin James won't be cataclysmic, but it will probably cost the Colts one or two games.

Good point about the offensive line. I saw on ESPN where they broke down that playoff game with Pittsburgh. Indy was using the same blocking scheme on every play, and they just couldn't handle the pass rush. What you said about the long count is so true. If the defense keeps an eye on the play clock, they can be running full tilt when the ball is snapped.

I'm an Eagles fan, and I'm very optimistic about this season. Donovan McNabb is back and healthy and TO is gone! Terrell Owens was a great receiver in 2004, but last year he was just one big pain in the hindquarters. McNabb was injured in the first game last year and never was 100%. If coach Andy Reid can remember to run the ball, Philly should have a good year. Last year he just refused to run the ball when McNabb was in, but once McNabb was out, the Eagles suddenly became a running force. They need to run Ryan Moats more often, while giving Bryan Westbrook only 10-15 touches a game. I'm not really concerned about the loss of TO, considering Philly made it to the NFC championship game three straight years without him. Even in 2005 they made it to the Super Bowl without him; Owens was out of the NFC playoffs with an injury. I am somewhat concerned with their defense. The secondary is stellar, but the linebackers and defensive line are just above mediocre. Someone on the team really needs to step up.

The Eagles showed last year that they were still good, just really damaged by injury and drama. Now they're healthy--for now--and the drama is now in Dallas.

posted on Aug, 1 2006 @ 11:00 PM
Two NFL quarterbacks said some interesting things lately.

Dallas's Drew Bledsoe said that he didn't think he would have a problem handling Terrell Owens because of his experience in handling mini-divas Terry Glenn, Eric Moulds, and Keyshawn Johnson. On PTI the point was made that TO is ten times worse than any of those three.

Green Bay's Brett Favre would say recently that this years Packer team is the best one he has ever been a part of. Huh? Better than the 1996 team that won the Super Bowl? On ESPN Radio today, Colin Cowherd said that if Favre leads the league in interceptions again, the Packer fans won't have an excuse. They will have to condemn Favre for his mistakes; they can't say that he has to carry the team because he doesn't have the supporting talent. Favre himself said that the team has talent.

posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 11:13 AM
Bledsoe's sooo gonna be surprised. "Handle" Terrell Owens. HA! I'd love to see Owens's reaction to Bledsoe saying he's gonna "handle" him. My fondest wish is that there's a locker room brawl and an errant swing catches Jerry Jones in the temple.

I think Favre's just trying to be a leader. He can't very well diss his team at this point then expect them to follow him. Yeah, he said they're talented. He's trying to pump 'em up. Cowherd's blowing off, playing the journalist "gotcha" game.

posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 10:29 PM
I agree with you about Favre--he doesn't really believe that. Of course, that statement could end up biting him in the backside.

Tonight on NFL Live there was a great piece about the talent level of quarterbacks in the NFL. Several QB's are returning from injury this year and some young guys are getting chance to play. Joe Theismann--whom I usually despise--said that there just aren't enough QB's to go around. Each team has three quarterbacks--that's 96 total! Not all of them are good and even fewer are marquee players. They also made the good point that more and more younger QB's are being forced into action before they're ready simply because the teams have invested so much money in them. Drew Brees said that the Chargers had given Philip Rivers such a big contract--they had to pay him.

In the NFL today, I'd say there are only a few marquee QB's--that is, possible Hall of Famers. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are the only ones who come to mind. (Yes, Favre is a Hall of Famer, but he's way past his prime/) There are several great QB's, but many of them are coming off injuries, so we have to wait and see who's still great.

posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 07:12 AM
I think the Chargers made a huge mistake getting rid of Brees. The Saints will be at worst a .500 team this year with Brees and Bush. They're in a tough division so I'm not going to say they're a playoff team, but it could happen.

Yes, Brees is coming off an injury, but I think he'll have a great year.

Speaking of marquee QBs, I'm not a Mike Vick guy. He's got a boatload of talent and is an exciting player, but given his running ability I think he sometimes (frequently?) gives up on a play before it develops. Manning can't do that. He has no choice but to wait. So an 80 yard strike for Manning could just as likely be a 15 yard gain for Vick. (I'm generalizing here, but I'm sure you see my point).

Interesting what money does to the game. When a team shells out millions of dollars for a pick, they're not going to want him sitting around "learning" on the bench. Chuck him in there for some ROI. Probably not the best long-term strategy, but what with the salary cap and the prices an early round draft choice commands, it's "win today, baby".

posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 08:20 PM
I have to agree with what Birdsthebest said in his initial post when he said that there is no dominant team in the NFL this year.

This year will be more wide open than its ever been.

There are not many things to be sure of, but one thing you can be sure of is that there will be a new champion this year, Pittsburgh is way to shaky this year, and making the playoffs will even be a struggle,
My Divisional picks are:
AFC East- New England 12-4
AFC West - Denver 11-5
AFC North - Cincinatti 10-6
AFC South - Indianapolis 11-5

NFC East - Dallas 11-5
NFC West - Seattle 10-6
NFC South - Carolina 13-3
NFC North - Chicago 12-4

Wildcards - New York Giants 10-6, Arizona 10-6, Miami 10-6, Kansas City 10-6

Superbowl- New England 20 Over Chicago 14

If the Bears offense stays healthy they will impress a lot of people this year, and the Patriots may have lost some key components but they still have arguably the best coach and quarterback in the NFL.

The Cardinals also will impress a lot of people this year too with a playoff appearance and a win in the playoffs. They have extrordinary offensive potential, and with such a weak division I wouldn't be suprised if they won it. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are two of the best recievers in the game and Edgerrin James adds a running game finally, Kurt Warner will finally have the kind of offense he had in St. Louis. Defense wins championships, but offense can win quite a few games...

posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 11:18 PM
I just don't see New England going that far; the rest of the league has caught up to them, and now they have competition within their own division (Miami).

How about Tom Brady essentially telling the NE front office to pay Deion Branch what he wants and get him into training camp? Brady said that Branch may be the most important player on their offense and that they can't be effective without him.

About Arizona. Yeah, their offense looks really explosive, but what can their defense do? I get the feeling that this will be a hit or miss year for the Cardinals. Either they go something like 10-6 and make the playoffs, or they have another disappointing season.

posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 09:23 PM
Ben Roethlisberger, less than two months after a serious motorcycle accident, has said that he will be ready to play in the first preseason game. I know that his face looks quite good considering the damage that was done. Personally, I think that Big Ben is the more essential to his team than any other player in the NFL. When he was out last year, the Steelers went from being a great team to being simply good.

posted on Aug, 5 2006 @ 08:31 PM

Originally posted by BirdstheBest
Ben Roethlisberger, less than two months after a serious motorcycle accident, has said that he will be ready to play in the first preseason game. I know that his face looks quite good considering the damage that was done. Personally, I think that Big Ben is the more essential to his team than any other player in the NFL. When he was out last year, the Steelers went from being a great team to being simply good.

I have to disagree with that... Patriots without Tom Brady go from good to no chance

posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 01:26 AM
Yeah, you're right. Now that Doug Flutie has retired, the Patriots don't have an experienced backup. Losing Brady would submarine the Pats' season for sure.

NFL preseason football began last night as the Oakland Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 16-10 in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. The Eagles' first string offense looked good. Brian Westbrook in particular was excellent. He ran hard and broke tackles on every run. Philadelphia had a scary moment when running back Bruce Perry had to be carried off in a stretcher. For some time he lost feeling in his extremities, but gradually that feeling would come back.

posted on Aug, 9 2006 @ 12:47 PM
Ming is announcing his retirement from SportzTawk.

Ming will locate another, more hospitable site, to provide information to the masses. Ming has found one too many insults, totally uncalled for, directed againt Ming.

Gibbs you have needlessly cast unjust aspersions upon Ming. That cannot be tolerated. Ming understands and recognozes good fun and levity. But when another member inquired as to who Ming was, you responded that Ming was the local or resident idiot - or words to that effect - and for that person to ignore Ming. That, my friend, is mean spirited.

Ming has tried his best to be both amusing and informative. Those who do not know of Ming should judge for themselves what Ming is all about.

Ming knows that for many this will come as a grave disappointment, especially now that NFL season is nearly upon us. Ming thanks his suoorters and admirers and still respects those who have disagreed (always incorrectly) with the Almighty Ming.

From Ming's golden throne on a far, far distant planet, Ming bids you farewell and hopes that Ming may encounter some of your brighter lights on another site - especially the idiot Steeler fans (Ming could not resist that last jab at those black & gold pinheads coached by Sgt. Slaughter's son).

Good by my sporting pals.

Ming the Merciless

Thus it is written...and thus it shall be...thus sprach Ming.

[Edited on 8/9/06 by MingMercil]

posted on Aug, 9 2006 @ 09:19 PM
All I have to say about that one is: "George is gettin' upset!"

OK, you have to have seen Seinfeld to get that one.

Anyway, Ming, good riddance to bad rubbish!

posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 11:55 PM
Today on PTI they addressed the quarterbacks who are recovering from injury. The consensus was that the one who was most in question was Carson Palmer. His knee injury was severe, and he is wearing a brace. He has expressed concern about taking a hit. He's probably is not going to play in any preseason games and may not be ready for Week 1. The experts seem to agree that Drew Brees, Daunte Culpepper, and Ben Roethlisberger will all be 100% by Week 1, but that Palmer is iffy.

The injuries of Culpepper, Brees, and Palmer are the kinds of injuries that would have ended careers 15+ years ago. On PTI they mentioned Joe Namath, saying that he wouldn't have had to get artificial knees if the medicinal expertise we have today had been available in the 1970's. As an Eagles fan, I think of Randall Cunningham, who suffered a severe knee injury in 1991. He was never the same after that. If he had been playing in 2005 instead of 1991, he would have been the same exciting player after surgery and rehab.

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 08:17 AM
I would question Brees the most of them, as he's not got much of a line in front of him for protection. If he's not at 100%, that is a recipe for disaster...

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 11:57 PM
Kurt Warner had a good showing in the Arizona Cardinals' preseason victory over the Steelers. Arizona is one of those teams that is poised for a playoff run. One thing is for certain: the Cards are stocked with offensive talent. They have the best receiving duo in the league with Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, and one of the most versatile backs in Edgerrin James. Warner must stay healthy, though. He had a good year last season, but he needs to play in at least 14 games for Arizona to have a shot.

On another quarterback note, ESPN's Chris Mortensen has said repeatedly that he is impressed with Tampa Bay's Chris Simms. Mort has been to several Buccaneer practices, and he raves about the improvement in Simms's game. He has said that Simms looks better than Eli Manning, and in a few years will have established himself as one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks. Mort believes that Simms may do that in only two seasons.

posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 09:18 AM
I'm hoping that Simms establishes himself this season, I've got the kid sitting behind Byron Leftwich in my keeper fantasy league. TONS of potential, expecially considering the offensive talent they have in TB, along with Gruden at the helm.

posted on Aug, 16 2006 @ 08:42 PM
Well, Terrell Owens is finally off the exercise bike and on the field. His hamstring had been causing him trouble for a number or days--or so he claimed. His avoidance of practice caused many reporters to bombard coach Bill Parcells with questions, something that seemed to frazzle him a bit. Already some people were thinking if this was a sign of things to come. The verdict is still out.

Carson Palmer and his coach seem to be on opposite sides on the issue of his knee. Palmer feels he's not ready to play, while Lewis says that he is going to play in the preseason. Palmer is quite apprehensive about testing that knee, and he really seems to be spooked about taking a hit. For him, it's questionable as to whether or not he will even be ready for the first regular season game. Lewis is saying that it's ultimately Palmer's call, while Palmer is saying that it's really Lewis's call.

posted on Aug, 18 2006 @ 06:52 AM
With Terrell it's always all about Terrell. Terrell and Parcells are the irresistable force and immovable object. Terrell needs to be coddled. Parcells is one of the all-time great ballbusters. This is going to be a sideshow and huge distraction, which is exactly what Parcells doesn't want.

And Jerry Jones is right in the middle.

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