Thursday, September 07, 2006
My NFC Predictions
With the 2006 NFL season starting tonight, football fever is in the air.
Today I'm doing my NFC predictions and tomorrow I'll have my AFC predictions. Then, on Sunday, I'll give you my division winners and my Super Bowl Champion.
NY Giants: With a seasoned QB Eli Manning, a much improved defense and RB Tiki Barber rolling up the yardage, the Gigantes will play so well that even Jimmy Hoffa will dig his way out from under the 50-yard line to watch this team win. People are calling their defense highly questionable, but with great new additions like LaVar Harrington and Sam Madison, I believe the Big Apple has a core they can be proud of.
Seattle Seahawks: QB Hasselback is better, RB Alexander will thrive again and the seagulls from the Northwest will play just enough defense to rain supreme. They lost LG Steve Hutchinson and WR Joe Jervicius during the off-season, which will hurt, but they also picked up OLB Juilan Peterson and WR Nate Burleson, and have improved their overall depth in many places. Take away a few questionable calls last year, and we'd be calling them World Champs. The Seahawks are well-coached and one year smarter, so they'll be even tougher to beat this year.
Minnesota Vikings: I can hear the groans from here. A lot of you must be asking, "What is this clown smoking?" Well, nothing anymore. I just believe that if this team can stay away from the stripper boat excursions, they should win because they're loaded with talent on both sides of the line. I'm confident that a new coach and a new attitude will help the Vikes do right. C Matt Birk is supposedly healthy again, which will help their O-line in a big way, and their defense is stronger than its been in a long time with DT's Erasmus James and Kenechi Udeze, who are tough to block and whose names are even tougher to pronounce. Brad Johnson is a very capable, experienced QB and with RB Chester Taylor running behind the great blocking of FB Tony Richardson, this team will surprise a lot of people. Besides, the NFC North is weaker than the coffee at I-HOP!
St. Louis Rams: Less passing, more running and a much-improved offense will help the horned ones get into the playoffs in 2006. With Bulger at QB, RB Steven Jackson power running through an experienced offensive line and WR Torry Holt leading a strong receiving corps, the Rams will make a run and butt a few heads. If their totally revamped defense can hold up, they may even go deep into the playoffs. The best thing that happened to this team was when they said goodbye to former head coach Mike Martz, who started to display the brains of Paula Abdul coupled with the arrogance of Simon Cowell.
Carolina Panthers: They’re well-coached, experienced in the right places and should excel in 2006 with a tough D and just enough O to make it to the postseason. I predict right here that DeAngelo Williams will win rookie of the year honors and have people asking “Reggie Who?” QB Jake Delhomme is only getting better; the addition of a humble WR Keyshawn Johnson gives the receiving corps much-needed depth, and with names like Peppers, Jenkins, Morgan, and Ricker, the Panthers have the best defense in football. There, I said it.
Atlanta Falcons: If Mora can control Michael Vick, the team should soar into the playoffs with a team that is young and cocky and can back up the swagger. This team made a ton of off-season moves in order to shore up their weakest link – their run defense, by picking up RE John Abraham, SS Lawyer Molloy, FS Chris Crocker and DT Grady Jackson. MLB Ed Hartwell is back from injury and LE Pat Kerney and DT Rod Coleman round out a really solid group. On the other side of the ball, TE Alge Crumpler is amazing at getting open and he has clutch hands, and RB Warrick Dunn will run just well enough to keep opposing defensive squads off Vick’s expensive back.