NFL Season PreviewSeptember 10th, 2010
The Teams and Players We'll Be Watching in 2010
(These are listed in the order they popped into our heads)
With players like Davis, Gore, Crabtree and Willis; with a young, hungry O line that looks big and ornery even from the upper decks; with a coach like Mike Singletary who looks like he could glare a hole through the opposing quarterback's helmet - what is the question with the 49ers?
Could it be Alex Smith? It's true Alex Smith looks and sounds like he Believes, really Believes. It's true Alex Smith looks and sounds like he gets it, finally gets it. Which leaves this one question - SO? Yes you have to Believe before you can Do, but until he Do's we're not Believing.
The Jets are good, the Jets are very good. Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum seem to have quite a lot figured out, maybe as much as the genius in the hoodie.
Hey, they figured out how to bring Darrelle Revis back! Did you think he wouldn't be back this season? Did you think your mother in law would not bother dropping by after your first child was born?
So how good are the Jets with Revis? Super Bowl good?
Wait, Super Bowl? Mark Sanchez? Really? Until he shows us he can win a game on his own, we're going to hold off on that, okay?
Once upon a time there was a faraway land where the Indianapolis Colts weren't automatic to play in the AFC Championship Game.
Ha, ha, ha. Sounds like a fairy tale doesn't it? Because it is, because the Colts will be going to the AFC Championship Game.
You've heard of Peyton Manning, yeah? What about Bob Sanders and Anthony Gonzalez who missed loads of games and the whole postseason last year? Heard of them? They're both healthy which, in the case of Sanders, should make a good defense better and in the case of Gonzalez - can the passing game get better? Yes, the running game is not very good but then it does not need to be.
Let's take a moment to mention the best quarterback in the division, Aaron Rodgers. Whoa, don't throw stuff at us. We love Brett Favre, love the way he plays, love his leadership, his arm and his moxie. We don't even mind the 6,440 hours this off season that that sports network devoted to his plans for 2010. It gave us a chance to watch more baseball.
But Aaron Rodgers is not only a more dangerous QB than Brett Favre, he's a more interesting one to watch. Why? Because he's younger, he's newer, he's shinier. He's got way more to prove and he's got the tools and the team - the very strong Green Bay Packers - to do that proving. Maybe even in the Super Bowl.
Okay, the Chargers should win the AFC West. But how can any NFL fan not be intrigued by the Oakland Raiders? Love 'em or hate 'em, and we realize that if you're not wearing an eyepatch you probably hate 'em, you're still paying attention to them. Deny it all you want, explain to us that the Dallas Cowboys are really the team America loves to hate, but we know that if there is any team you don't want to see start rolling (unless you live in Norcal and don't wear red and gold on Sundays), it's the Raiders.
They are intriguing. JaMarcus Russell is gone but Al Davis is still there!! Not only that but Al Davis is still running the show! One of their receivers is Darius Heyward-Bey, the guy they drafted ahead of Michael Crabtree! The Redskins gave up on Jason Campbell but the Raiders believe he will lead them to the playoffs - Intriguing.
The Steelers or the Ravens, the Ravens or the Steelers? How will the Steelers manage without Ben Roethlisberger for four games? Is Joe Flacco with the addition of Anquan Boldin and the running of Ray Rice ready to step up to Roethlisberger's level?
But wait. Look over there. Isn't that T.O. standing next to Chad Ochocinco? Aren't they both wearing a Cincinnati Bengals uniform? It is T.O. isn't it? I wanna see, I wanna watch them. Doesn't Cedric Benson get handed the ball a lot over there? Didn't they add tight ends they expect to throw to? Yes and yes. This should be fun - maybe not for Carson Palmer in the huddle - let's watch the Bengals. We're either going to see an explosive offense or we're just going to see an explosion.
Maybe you don't want to see the Raiders win but watching the New Orleans Saints win last season's Super Bowl wasn't so bad, was it? No matter who you rooted for (yeah okay, we hear you there in the midwest) you had a soft spot in your heart for the Saints and when they Benson boogied in Miami, we all joined in a little bit. It's easy to root for the city of New Orleans, we're all doing that. It's easy to root for Tom Benson and Drew Brees and Marques Colston and Jonathan Vilma too. It's also fun to watch the Saints play. They score their fair share of points which is good because they allow their fair share of points too. Can they win again? Don't think so but then that's why we're watching.
We saved this division for last. Why? Because we don't know who to pick. No idea.
Who wouldn't you want to watch in this division? The Redskins now have Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb so they're already a better team. The Eagles are the Eagles (can Kevin Kolb go where no McNabb has gone before?) so they're a good team. The Giants defense can't be as bad as it was last year, it just can't be so they're a good team. The Cowboys are probably the most complete team in the NFC East, so they too are a good team.
So you tell us, who are you picking here? 'Cause we don't know.