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.
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
New England 11-5
Kansas City 11-5
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