Premature 2010 NFL/Patriots Preview

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    Premature 2010 NFL/Patriots Preview

    A very premature take on the NFL 2010:

    AFC  - If you think the Jets are going to usurp control of the AFC East, think again.  While Mark Sanchez will get better the rest of the Jets proved unready for primetime and Sexy Rexy's act began getting old as the season went on, this despite protestations that Jets players were buying into it.  I don't expect the Jets to better their 9-7 of the last two years.  
    The Patriots remain the division's muscle and are certain to get stronger with the return of Brady and Moss to health, improvement by the young defense and young players on offense like Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate (lost to injury in 2009), the acquisition of some veteran receiver help, greater development and cohesion on the coaching staff, and reinforcements on both sides of the LOS.  The Patriots seek to play physical football and can get that back while maintaining a high-scoring offense, and I expect a division title at 12-4 at the least.
    The Dolphins have potential with Chad Henne and a good physical group; I think they can rebound to 10-6 or better, while the Bills remain in need of new ownership to become a real team, and appear halfway to permanent status as the NFL's Toronto Argonauts.  I don't expect much from Chan Gailey though I hope he can produce something the Bills can rally around.

    The South is the deepest division in the conference and the Superbowl loser's jinx may afflict a Colts team that has stood in place as a .500 playoff club unable to beat tough teams come the postseason.  The Colts are certain to get a greater challenge from an improving Texans club, a Titans club that saved its 2009 season with Vince Young, and a Jaguars team inexplicably unable yet to boost itself higher.  I expect a three-way fight between the Titans, Colts, and Texans, any one of which can go 12-4 or better (I'm half-expecting all three to do so), with the Jaguars a game back in the end.

    The North is confusing right now, as the Ravens were uneven despite being a playoff team, the Steelers fell apart after winning the Superbowl, and one never knows what to expect from the Bengals.  The Browns have Mike Holmgren, but he's in a job (GM) he's never been good at, and the Browns are stuck with an incompetent coach in Mangini.

    The West remains San Diego's territory.  The Chargers are certain to come out firing after an embarassing playoff loss; I expect 13-3 again.  The Broncos started strong in 2009 but fell apart and it's a bad sign for Josh McDaniels.  The Chiefs remain in long-term rebuilding mode; the hiring of Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel looks based more on their familiarity to Scott Pioli than on reason to think they can coach well.  The Raiders remain a joke.

    NFC - Suddenly the East is no longer the Beast.  The Eagles remain the division's best club but have been running in place lately.  The Giants have fallen apart after Plexiglass shot himself (9-11 record the last 20 games) and Eli now looks like the Eli that couldn't win tough games.  The Cowboys remain a hideously expensive tease incapable of playoff success; why Tony Romo remains the starter is a mystery.  The Redskins have a decent coach but Mike Shanahan didn't acquit himself as well as advertised his last years in Denver. 

    The South has risen here as in the AFC.  In 2008 all four teams finished .500 or better; I expect New Orleans, Carolina, and Atlanta to fight it out for the division; any one of them can go 12-4 and probably more than one will reach that record.  New Orleans has the base to win another Superbowl; the Panthers have a potential new starting quarterback in Matt Moore; the Falcons remain a solid group.  The Bucs remain a mystery between the collapse of the front office and questions about the Glazers' fitness as owners.

    The North is all about Green Bay and Minnesota, both talented clubs likely to hit 12-4; Aaron Rodgers' progression in 2009 was superb.  The Vikings remain hostage to Brett Favre but have a very talented and hard-hitting team all around.   The Bears and Lions are the distant second-tier; Jay Cutler is not a winner and the Lions remain as rebuilders, but at least have a quarterback people can believe in. 

    The West isn't close to the best.  The Niners show the most promise in a competitive group and a coach the players clearly react positively to.  The Cardinals are a talented group, especially on offense, but now lack a competent quarterback.  The Rams are a top-to-bottom trainwreck that was years in the making and the Seahawks are taking a big risk with Pete Carroll.  I expect the Niners to go 10-6 and win a very weak division.
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Evil2010. Show Evil2010's posts

    Re: Premature 2010 NFL/Patriots Preview

    One thought about the Fins Personally I think the constant use of wildcat is bad for Henne's development. He's a much better QB when he's left in the game and allowed to get his game going. That said I hope they keep pulling him out for their trick offense.
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  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from tamayo2431. Show tamayo2431's posts

    Re: Premature 2010 NFL/Patriots Preview

    ehhhh I live in Miami and its overbearing and excruciating to have to listen to the groveling and garbage spewing out of fins fans. I hope they finish under .500 again.
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    Re: Premature 2010 NFL/Patriots Preview

    Couple of comments.... I'd be a little more objective in AFC East, Moss has a lot of mileage for an NFL receiver, Welker may not play and the offense is exactly loaded with playmakers, it is a cause for concern.  The Jets run the ball and play defense, that is not likely to break down, the D and Sanchez will actually likely be better next year and they play an easier schedule than the Pats.

    NFC East is still a very competitive division.  Your dismissal of the Cowboys is baseless.  The defense is very good, Barber/Jones/Choice give them great options at RB and Romo remains the starter b/c he is a solid NFL QB.   Philly seems like they might be a team in transition but they are still a play-off contender.  Bagging on Eli is popular but the Giants passing game was the least of their problems last year.  If they can fix the D (no small task) they are still viable.

    Carolina needs a QB if they want to compete with ATL and NO.

    I agree that with Warner gone, SF may be the team in the West.