Saturday, September 17

Cut that Meat! Cut that Meat!: All You Need to Know About the AFC

Watching Freddy Krueger at age 6 scary:
The Pats are still too good. Tom Brady is the first athlete since Jordan that I am legitimately scared to go against. I can't even think about this team right now. I keep having visions of Logan Mankins giving his 2025 Hall of Fame speech.

Casper the Friendly Ghost scary:
The Colts are good. Barbecue sauce on burgers good. But not nearly as good as people think after Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright made their defense look like the 85 Bears, when in fact they're much closer to the 05 Bears. A defense that specializes in speed and missed tackles doesn't cut it in January.

Good teams that are an ACL away from the cellar:
Fans in Jacksonville, Buffalo, and KC have to be looking over their shoulder a bit right now. The Jags and the Bills have all their money on horses with certified grade-A horrific knee problems. And you're out of your mind if you think the Chiefs don't take a major step back if Priest goes down. Mister Larry Johnson can play a bit, but he's not going against Purdue here. At least one of these three will survive to do some serious damage in January.

Run for Cover:
Last week confirmed everything I've been saying about Jake Plummer, and I can't understand how anyone, especially a pro coach, could think that he is a starter in the NFL. Maybe these numbers will help: 3 of 8 seasons with more touchdowns than picks, 54-75 career record, 1-4 playoff record. He's so bad I'm beginning to think that Mike Shanahan is crazy too.

The Raiders are the Rams of the AFC, and if they'd played in the NFC they'd be a playoff team. Here's a fun game; See if any of these names sound familiar: T. Brayton, D. Clark, C. Weathers, G. Irons. Only one of these people is not starting at linebacker for the Raiders. They dropped 8 into coverage against the Pats and looked like a Pop Warner team. I don't think to much of Norv Turner, but at least they don't have Mike Martz to deal with.

The Steelers are done. There's just too much film on Rothelsomething, and their corners can't hold water much longer. The wheels on the bus go round and round the exercise bike while he watches Willie Parker and wonders whose bust they'll put his next to in Canton.

The Tennessee Cap-Casualties should right the ship in about five years when they figure this stuff out. How long until people can accept that Air McNair is only as tough as he is injury-prone?

More NFC Playoff Teams:
The Ravens, Jets, and Bengals could make a real run for it on our side of the fence, but they each have something holding them back this year. Ravens- Even the potential return of Slash has to make you cringe. Jets- Chad's toast, and Curtis is rolling the dice every time he steps on the turf. Bengals- Still one year away, but at least they've given us 85.

Robert DeNiro Sleeper:
Down in Miami, Saban is looking like the real deal. I put a lot of stock into how a coach carries himself, and his undressing of supplemental draft pick Manuel Wright was one of the highlights of the training camp tour. The two things that could put the Fins over the top are their defense (still solid), and Ricky Ricky Ricky. The man was an 1800-yard back, and I don't think his stress-filled sabbatical is going to hinder him any. Here's some parity: They could walk away with the NFC North or West title, but in the AFC, they won't be a top-10 team.

Just for fun:
Let's take a look at Browns, if for no reason other than that it's always fun when a team comes around to spark the old "Hey, do you think USC could beat them" debate. Matt Leinart will give them a boost, but nothing is going to stop them from posting a 1-15 record this year (I have them beating the Bears at home after a bye, and that's about it).

But here's the rub:
We only have to beat one of them! Who cares if they have 7 of the top 10 teams in the league. Let them fight it out in the playoffs while we draw up more screen passes to beat the blitz (in case you didn't get the memo, sending 7 on McNabb has replaced running between the tackles as the #1 way to take us down).

And unless the Pats drop two straight, you won't see me picking against them until the Super Bowl.

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