Washington Redskins (7-9)
Every year since 8th grade I have heard about how good the Redskins are going to be. “They got so many great players in the offseason, blah, blah, blah…” A fossil of a man who still thinks it is 1985 coaches this team. They have Mark Brunell as their quarterback; that would have been awesome in 1998. Clinton Portis is already bruised up (A quick note here. I picked Portis as a keeper for my fantasy league literally two days before he went down. Here I am now, torn between my devotion to the New York Giants, wanting to see him fail; and my desire to thrash people in fantasy football. Life is hard.) Randle-El is not THAT big of a pickup. He is an exceptional slot receiver, nothing that is going to bring a team to the Super Bowl. Until they prove me wrong, I will have this team pegged for mediocrity.
Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
I get really excited when I watch Sportscenter updates about Bill Parcells and T.O. I’m waiting for the day I can turn it on and see Parcells calling T.O., “A piece of $^*#” Is that so wrong? Again, this is the same situation as the Redskins. This team isn’t good. It is an old coach, with an old quarterback, and a few ‘big’ pickups. Did people see what happened to Bledsoe under a little bit of pressure? He folds up like a cheap suit. I don’t think Julius Jones is all that, definitely not a superstar back. They will finish similar to last year, and then we can all wave goodbye to Bill Parcells forever.
Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
Yeah, don’t doubt this team. People actually think that losing T.O. is going to make them a 4 win team now. Don’t be foolish. Andy Reid made a lot of questionable decisions last year when I watched him, I actually remember openly ridiculing him for the first time ever. But this guy also won 12 games one year using one of the brothers Detmer, and A.J. Feely. With Donovon McNabb super refocused, Westbrook vowing to return to former full strength, and a defense that should still scare the bejesus out of anyone, I think this team is one of the scariest teams in the NFC. It could just be a habitual fear of the Eagles because of the way they have owned the Giants since 2001, but this team is definitely a lot better than a lot of people give them credit for.
New York Giants (11-5)
Don’t act like you didn’t know this was coming. COME ON BIG BLUE! Eli Manning has me on the brink of wetting my pants with excitement. I love hearing people hate on this guys talents, but fact is he DID have a stellar first half of the season last year. If for no other reason, every Giants fan has to love this guy for his clutch factor. He lead game-winning or game-tying drives against Dallas, Denver, and Seattle last season. He came up with big plays when he had to, and he has the supreme confidence of everyone on that squad. I don’t want to jinx it, but this year could be a really special year for this team. For the Giants to succeed they need their defense to continue playing the way they have this preseason (2 touchdowns in 3 games, I know it’s preseason, but that has to get you a little excited.) They also need Tiki Barber to have one more year left in that tank. Look, every year I doubt Tiki’s ability, and it is just foolish. I never bought into the fumble hype that used to follow him (that tag followed him around unfairly, he had a couple bad games, and his arm was wrapped for a few times when that happened) Still, he isn’t 28 anymore, he is definitely over the running back hill. There is a little concern in that department. This team is good for 11 though…I hope.
Before I write about the individual teams in this division, let it be known this division is AWFUL. There is not a redeeming quality in this division to be had. If you can avoid watching these four teams, do so.
Chicago Bears (10-6)
You know how in sci-fi stories and movies and stuff, sometimes there is a race of people that are hated by the rest of society, like the PigMen or something. Well the PigMen always have a King right, like the best of the worst. Well, here you are. The Chicago Bears are the King of the PigMen.
Green Bay Packers (4-12)
Just retire, man. You are not good anymore. What you are doing is kind of sad, I understand you’re a legend in Green Bay, but you are legitimately hurting your team now. I hope at least you will tutor Aaron Rogers, and help him become the next starter of this team.
Minnesota Vikings (4-12)
Christ, this team is trash. Chester Taylor is not a starter, neither is Brad Johnson. Minnesota should quit now.
Detroit Lions (7-9)
Intriguing. They need a year to gel under Mike Martz’s offense. They could be deadly though. If these guys actually live up to their potential from the last few years, they could be dangerous. Still have a terrible defense, and Jon Kitna is their quarterback. They are a few steps off in Detroit, but certainly headed in the right direction.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8)
I think they were lucky to make the playoffs last year. I think Cadillac is the real deal, and I think he will be deadly, unfortunately Chris Simms is the quarterback. Great defense and solid running game will bring them far, but just short of the playoffs in such tough division.
Atlanta Falcons (9-7)
Until they put Mike Vick in the system he wants (Jim Mora Jr. refuses to give up on this West Coast thing) they will not break through. They are dangerous of course. They have the second most underrated running back in football, Warrick Dunn. If their defense was playing up to par last season, they would have made the playoffs. People love hating on these guys, especially Vick, but you have to give them credit. They have competed every year that he has been there. They went to the NFC Championship a few years back, don’t forget that either.
Carolina Panthers (12-4)
As much as I hate this team, and believe me I really hate this team. I have to put them as the cream of the NFC crop. They are the team to beat in the conference. DeAngelo Williams answered any doubts I had in DeShaun Foster as a starter. That kid has been proving all preseason that he is extremely real. Picking up Keyshawn is huge for that offense too, and that defense is still lethal.
New Orleans Saints (8-8)
Very interesting team. Reggie Bush…man that guy is good. Drew Brees will help add leadership and guidance to a team that desperately needs it. I think that it is going to be clear that with those two guys taking over, this team is heading in the right direction. I really didn’t like their hiring of Sean Payton as head coach (he used to be an offensive coordinator for the jints…Jim Fassel stripped him of his playcalling privileges. If that doesn’t tell you what kind of coach he is, I don’t know what will.) If you wanted to brighten the situation I guess you could say they have an athletic, potent offense, and an offensive minded coach. Their defense is mediocre at best though, a secondary that can be chewed up by anyone who has a mind to do some chewing. Also, I still don’t know when they are allowed to start playing normal home games again. You remember that whole Katrina thing last year?
San Francisco 49ers (2-14)
You want to know the only thing Niners fans have to look forward to over the next 12 months? “Ladies and Gentleman, with the first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select, Adrian Peterson from the University of Oklahoma.”
Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
I wouldn’t say that I really believe in this. But, the Madden curse definitely does have some credence to it. I mean, it has worked every year. 2001, the first year of Eddie George’s decline. 2002, Daunte Culpepper throws for more interceptions than touchdowns. 2003, Marshall Faulk hasn’t run for 1,000 yards since that cover. 2004, Mike Vick broke the hell out of his leg in preseason. 2005, Ray Lewis missed a quarter of the season to injury, even when he was playing his tackles and sacks were both down. 2006, I think we all remember what happened with Donovan McNabb. With all that said, they also lost a big member of their offensive line. I think that the mental state with that team and their fans since the Super Bowl has been pretty negative, and that definitely has an affect on a team after a little while. They are still bitching about that pass interference call, that mentality will bring them down. But, they play the Niners, Rams, and Cardinals twice.
Arizona Cardinals (9-7)
Yeah, this team is good. You can hate all you want on them, and I think a lot of people are. That doesn’t stop how good they are going to be on the offensive side of the ball. Edge is nasty man, and he is playing with a MEGA chip on his shoulder. Add that to two receivers who are just FILTHY. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin make up the nastiest one-two receiver punch in football. If Kurt Warner can be half the man he used to be, this team could be devastating. If not, than maybe Matt Leinart can. Their defense leaves a lot to be desired, they got torched by everyone last year. Good enough for 9 wins in this cupcake division though.
St. Louis Rams (5-11)
Stephan Jackson is overrated. After that, is there anyone good on this team? Of course Torry Holt is great, but a receiver is only as good as his quarterback. Marc Bulger is absolute trash. He should be mowing my lawn on Sundays, not playing professional football. Good luck struggling to 5 wins this season St. Louis. Isn’t it kind of nice to have the Rams back down where they used to be, pre-Faulk.