Featuring Alon AND Walsh!!!!!!!!!!!!
We're gonna do this division by division you little randalls, two divisions per post (that makes four posts total for the mathematically challenged/retards), starting with the one and only:
Walsh: 1, New England 2, New York 3, Buffalo 4, Miami
Alon: 1, Jets 2, Pats 3, Fins 4, Bills
Walsh: No big surprises here. The Patriots will coast their way into the playoffs and should win the division by at least 3 games. Not much to say about the Pats, they are sick and did not make any very significant or notable changes to their roster. They should at least make it to the conference championship game this year. The Jets are vastly, vastly improved from last year. They made tremendous acquisitions on both the offensive and defensive sides of the football which they desperately needed to do following a terribly disappointing 4-win 2007 season. In a very weak AFC East division, combined with a relatively easy out of conference schedule, it is reasonable to expect an 8 win season out of this football team. They have such a different team this year than last it is difficult to predict how the Jets will fair. They probably don't know what to expect themselves. I can see them stumbling a bit as they learn to play together initially but finishing quite strong. Ultimately, in the wild card picture, they will be on the outside looking in. But for 2009, I think the playoffs will definitely be on their radar. The Bills kind of suck. They went 7-9 last year in what could have easily been a 5-11 season. Their defense was dead last in the AFC in yards per game, and while they did make a few notable off season acquisitions in Kawika Mitchell and Marcus Stroud, their defense looks to be average at best. Offensively, there's a lot to like about rookie James Hardy who could as the season progresses emerge as a serious #2 wide out opposite Lee Evans. And Marshawn Lynch will only continue to improve. But last year they averaged a paltry 277 yards/game good for second to last in the AFC. And this can be attributed to their abysmal quarterback play. Entering this year, much of the same will occur. They are still stuck with Edwards and Losman who will give them inconsistent and below average play at the quarterback position which will faulk their offense all season. It's tough to see the Bills being much better than they were last year. The Dolphins were good last year. Hm. They did make terrific moves this off season bringing in new personnel in Parcells and Sparano. Parcells has a proven track record for turning around troubled franchises and Miami should be happy to see him take their joke of a team as his newest reclamation project. So they shed some older faulks like Taylor and Zach Thomas and have undergone the rebuilding process. I really, really like Chad Henne to be a solid NFL quarterback, he's got good arm strength, good size, good accuracy, and is intelligent. The fact that they drafted him shows that the new regime is not buying what John Beck is selling. Hopefully they won't be forced to use Henne this year in an unfavorable situation on what looks to be a horrible team, but I can see Henne being their quarterback of the future. Ronnie Brown will be just one year removed from ACL surgery and he will not last the season. Once he goes down, their running back situation is very suspect and could prove to be a huge problem for them. It will be a very important season for Teddy Ginn, as he could prove to be a HUGE bust by idiot old regime Fins, and this will likely be a make or break year for him with this team. Overall, this team still sucks and is a joke. They are still a couple years removed from being competitive, but they will obviously win more than 1 game this year. Yay for fins fans.
Alon: I've already written pretty extensively on the Jets for this wonderful blog and I feel there isn't much else to say. Here are links to my past Jets posts about the defense, offense and Favre acquisition. I hate the Pats although realistically they should finish first. Is this a biased post? Absolutely it is. F*** the Pats. I can have my fun... Anyway... Brady is amazing, Randy is amazing, Welker is amazing. Their O-line is very good but has shown an extreme weakness to speed pass rushers as they struggled last season against the Colts, Eagles, Ravens, Giants and the Giants again(cue in Giants fans' circle jerk session). The Jets have added some serious speed coming off of the edge in Pace and Gholston and I hope they severely ruin Brady's model shoots. The Pats' biggest strength on defense by FAR is their d-line featuring a good Ty Warren and the two unbelievable ones; Vince Wilfork and Richard Seymour. Other than the d-line I think Pats fans are in for a surprise this season as far as overall defense goes. Their linebackers are jokes. Vrabel is 33 and couldn't be slower, Bruschi is 35 and couldn't be slower, Hobson (maybe rookie Jerrod Mayo will take this over) is just a body with average speed and decent tackling ability and Adalius is sick. I suspect opposing offenses to take full advantage of these guys' horrible speed. Their secondary is also not very good at all. They lost their stud Asante Samuel and his boyfriend Randall Gay (get it? Gay! owned). It looks like their two starting corners will be Ellis Hobbs and Fernando Bryant who both have very good speed. Besides good 40 times neither of them can tackle, not to mention Hobbs is 5'9" and Bryant is 5'11". Rodney Harrison is a steroided up 36 year old which is a recipe for disaster and their other safety will either be the pretty solid James Sanders or the inexperienced Brandon Meriweather, so I'm not too worried there either. Favre is going to pick these guys apart, and to be honest, so is Chad, Trent Edwards, and every other QB they face except for Alex Smith. I think the Dolphins have been making all the right moves so far this off season. Although obviously the loss of Jason Taylor hurts them this season among others (Booker, Chatman, Traylor) I feel that their additions are much more important. The biggest and most recent addition is Chad Pennington. Chad, with what will be a solid o-line and good running game (especially if Ronnie Brown is at full strength) is a very capable quarterback. You probably hate him but he wins games. The Fins also added Akin Ayodele, Jason Ferguson, Justin Smiley and Ernest Wilford (as you spit out your coffee thinking, "Those are their key additions?!??! Man the Dolphins suck!") True! The Dolphins suck! But there were only two teams last season that were actually WORSE in yards per game AND yards allowed per game and those two teams were the 49ers and the Buffalo Bills. I am sorry Bills fans, but you guys are WAY overrated. I like the moves that the Bills made a LOT but I like it more for the 2010 season than for this one. Bills drafted CB McKelvin in the 1st round and WR Hardy in the 2nd round. They also traded for Stroud and signed Kawika Mitchell. I like all of these moves. McKelvin could be sick, but rookie corners are usually not and I think Hardy eventually will be among corner-backs' most feared guys to lineup against (mostly in the red-zone) standing at a towering 6'7". Kawika is a slightly better than average tackler and Stroud can maybe put together a healthy season and return to 2004 form. Wait a second. Stroud has only played in 20 games the last two seasons combined and hasn't impressed since 2004. Hmm... The Bills' all around most valuable player is their left tackle Jason Peters and he is still holding out for a contract extension. Are you kidding me Bills? We're talking top tackle in the NFL and they aren't showing him ANY love. With Peters the Bills have a below average line, without Peters they have one of the worst o-lines in the NFL. Their starting QB Trent Edwards I do like to be a SOLID QB in the future but he has only started ten total games and not impressed me too much. His ceiling to me seems to be a game manager as he finished with 8 interceptions and 7 touchdowns in 10 games, but if you subtract week 14 against the Dolphins (of course) then he only had 3 touchdowns and 8 picks in 9 games. I love Marshawn Lynch and think he is sick but frankly an inexperienced game manager in Trent Edwards limits this offense to the bottom of the barrel for yet another season.
Walsh: 1, Cleveland 2, Pittsburgh 3, Baltimore 4, Cincinnati
Alon: 1, Cleveland 2, Pittsburgh 3, Cincy 4, Baltimore
Walsh: Faulk Pitt and Big Ben, I think that Cleveland owns their division games and takes the division this year. They are sexier. The Browns defense was abominable last year allowing the second worst yards per game in the AFC. They added Shaun Rogers, who is one of a few DTackles in the NFL with real game changing ability. If he is able to play at least 12 games, his impact on the defense as a whole will be huge. But, if he plays like 6 games, they could be in trouble. Other than Rogers, Cleveland will be returning basically the same defense as last year. Both of their corners, Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald, were rooks last year, and they should be much improved this year. I think that the defense will be completely contingent upon Rogers' ability to stay healthy. If he can be healthy, their defense will be average; if not, they will be quite bad. But, regardless, they have shown last year that they have the offense for it to not matter much. They were 4th in yards per game and added Stallworth. Super scrub DAnderson really excelled in their high powered offensive system last year and there is absolutely no reason to believe he will not do the same this year. Their OLine is one of the best in the game; Jamal Lewis looked rejuvenated last year running behind them and is always good at punching it in on the goal line. Braylon completely busted out and has cemented himself as one of the best wide receivers in the entire league. Kellen Winslow similarly broke out to prove to be one of the best pass catching tight ends in the league. Once they get Jurevicius back and get him going in the slot, they will be a pick your poision offense with serious options at WR123 RB and TE. The Steelers are the most popular pick to win this division but lets go against the grain here, EOH?! I hate Ben. I love Mendenhall, but I hated the Steelers taking him as they had no need at running back and great needs at offensive line. They have the toughest sked in the league they have the Colts, Pats, Boys, Gmen, Philly, Tenn....etc. I think they will have a VERY difficult time winning 10 games this season. Their offensive line was horrible last year, they lost Faneca, and I'm ABSOLUTELY drafting Roehltishglithshburger in every single fantasy league I'm in where concussions are a category. The AFC's best defense will return, and should own again. But, schedule, offensive line woes, I just don't see the Steelers winning the division this year. The Ravens are a team I like to bounce back with some type of moderation from a down year in 2007. They are returning the entire defense and they look to be healthy to some degree, certainly more so than last year. Their red zone defense last year was an absolute joke as they ranked 4th in yards per game but somehow ranked 12th in the AFC in points allowed. Their red zone defense must improve, and I think it will. Offensively, we'll see what they get out of the quarterback position this year. Boller is Boller, and we'll see if Flacco emerges to significantly contribute this season. I hope Troy Smith gets a look at QB, I mean, Boller just sucks, so why not? But, if they can put up 17 points per game again as they did last year they should be good for third in this division. I am really, really down on the Bengals this year. This has got to be the year they fire Marvin Lewis, I am frankly surprised they are entering this season with him as this team has been going nowhere for the past couple years. Their offense will be good again, as usual, and their defense will be an absolute joke, again, as is the trend with Lewis run teams. Carson, TJ, Chad, blhablhab they will score points. Yes, fine. But they will stop no one. This team peaked several years ago and have done nothing to significantly improve since. They did not sufficiently address their defense this offseason (to be fair, it was an impossible task), Lewis will get fired, they will suck, finish last in the divison, and begin to rebuild.
Alon: I honestly like the Brownstains a lot this year. If you don't know about their offense well then you were living under a rock all last season. Their offense is sick. They have probably the best o-line in the NFL (sorry Peter), the best young wide receiver in the NFL in Braylon and the best young pass catching TE in the NFL in Kellen Winsnotslowwinsfast. They're rushing attack is led by the still good and apparently in the best shape of his life Jamal Lewis. The QB position is handled by third year Derek Anderson who had a great year last year. The Browns finished 8th last season in points and I think they'll climb up even further to top five this season. Their defense is lulu woohoo chuchu. The secondary is young, athletic and should improve some. The D-line was terrible last year and thats what the Browns' management targeted to improve through trade and thats exactly what they did. Welcome Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams to the line. Rogers is SO overlooked because he has played his whole career on a defense that has been consistently among the worst in the NFL; the Detroit Lions. Rogers is a rare and special talent. He has the size and strength to effectively play nose tackle in the 3-4 and he also has the speed and pass rushing ability to pressure the QB. He obviously will not get as many sacks as he has been getting in Detroit b/c they run the 4-3 there, but he'll probably still get at least 4 which is very good. Him clogging the middle and former packer DT sack machine Corey Williams on the end are TREMENDOUS additions. They combine to be way over 600 pounds of muscle, mayonnaise and mustard, and they will very effectively take up maybe four guys at a time between them leaving their young athletic linebackers to feast on the baby opposing running backs and quarterbacks. Other then McGinest; Andra Davis, Kameron Wimbley and D'Qwell Jackson are all in their prime athletically, and makeup a very underrated linebacker core. The Steelers are still good, but they are no longer top tier. First of all, can I start by saying that Ben Roethlisberger two years ago finished with 18 TDs, 23 INTs, 59.7 completion percentage and got sacked 46 times (5 fumbles). Last year Big Ben finished with 32 TDs, 11 INTs, 65.3 completion percentage and got sacked 47 times (9 fumbles). What a jump. I feel like he'll slow down a little this year. That is too big a jump for me to believe. Those sack numbers are mind boggling, in a bad way. The Steelers lost pro-bowl guard Alan Faneca and now have an even worse o-line. I like their receivers, all of them, I like Willie Parker and Mendenhall but on teams with bad o-lines I flat out don't trust their offenses, sorry Pitt. Their defense is still elite of course, obvi Blitzburgh, and they very well may snag a wild-card spot, but sorry, I think the Browns take the division. The Bengals should've had a top tier offense last season but they finished 11th in points. Wait a tick. They finished 11th on what was considered a HUGE down year? Interesting... It seemed as though everyone took a step back for varying reasons. Carson got sacked actually 19 less times, had his completion percentage and yards go up as well. Touchdowns went down though and picks went up because the Bengals were always losing. Carson constantly had to try and make outstanding throws that the defense was prepared for because the Bengals HAD to throw. Keeping an opposing offense forcing to put the ball in the air because YOUR offense has provided a substantial lead can make any defense look good. It really all comes down to the running game for these Bengals. Rudi Johnson some say has completely hit a wall and some say will bounce back to top form. Time will tell. I think somewhere in between. The Bengals defense will remain very poor but their offense will at least keep them out of last place. The Ravens are bad. I'm sorry they just are. Willis McGahee is their "bright light" on offense and he is so mediocre it is sickening. They pretty much have no offensive tackles so that combined with McGahee limits them to no big play running game potential (Willis only had 5 carries of 20+ yards). They're hoping that their newly drafted back Ray Rice can change that and make some big plays but I really can't see that happening with no tackles to lead the way. Again, no tackles absolutely kills a passing game. The Ravens QBs last season combined to get sacked 39 times and fumbled the rock 16 times! And that was with 11 games played by the retired future hall of famer Jonathan Ogden!!!!!!!! Ugh. I hate their offense. Their offense is so horrible that it led the Ravens to the worst turnover differential in the NFL last season. I'm sorry. I'm not going to even go into their defense. With an offense that bad, consistently providing the defense with no rest and horrible field position, it's not even worth talking about. Ew. Eeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.... Please don't kill me Ray Lewis...