Thursday, August 27, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The San Diego Chargers

The San Diego Superchargers are in a unique position this year. They could sit every one of their starters for every divisional game this year and still go 6-0 in the division. I'm only like 35% joking about that - in fact, the more I think about, the less I think I'm joking about it. After more deliberation, I have decided that in all seriousness the Chargers could play their backups within the division and go 6-0.

I think this is a sound strategy because they are going to need all the help they can get come playoff time - that's coach Norv Turner's time to shine.

San Diego will likely be a top seed in the AFC or at least near the top... and then falter in the playoffs. A Norv Turner in powder blue is still a Norv Turner.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Oakland Raiders

Ah yes, the Oakland Raaaaaaaaiders.

The only organization in the NFL that makes me feel better about Kansas City. Be it their organizational decay, their zombified owner, their criminal fan base or their coachs' fisticuffs - I've come to believe that Oakland only exists now to make other teams look better. They certainly don't exist to win games.

Boom, roasted.

All joking aside, some people who know things about football think the Raiders will be an improved team this year. But let's be frank, you and I - those people are idiots.

Ok, I lied about that whole "all joking aside" thing, just then. But seriously, is it possible that Oakland could be respectable teams this season? In a word - no.

It's pretty clear that in exchange for eternal life, albeit as a disfigured hobgoblin, Al Davis traded the fortunes of his franchise. As long as the sawdust continues to course through the surgical tubing under Al's skin, the Raiders will not be successful. Of course this raises the question, if Al Davis is the walking undead and has no need for a circulatory system why was the tubing used to carry the sawdust implanted at all? These are the questions that keep a person up at night.

In summation I would like to add - boo Oakland!

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Kansas City Chiefs

Hey - remember that youth movement that the Chiefs were focusing on last season? No? Don't worry, the teams doesn't either. Last year was a work-in-progress rebuilding season, in which the Chiefs finished 2-14 but were at least competitive and improving in the second half of the season. But now that's over, gone to scrap heap along with Carl Peterson and noted motivational speaker Herm Edwards.

In comes noted broad-shoulder haver, General Manager Scott Pioli and never-been-a-head-coach-before Todd Haley, who look to give Kansas City a fresh start. They brought in potential one-year-system-quarterback-wonder Matt Cassel to be the franchise quarterback. And that was fine, Kansas City hasn't had a quarterback in the last few seasons - I'm incredibly skeptical about Cassel's ability, but at least they're taking a shot. But then things started to get strange - the other players traded for and signed as free agents were as follows:

Mike Vrabel
Bobby Engram
Terrance Copper
Mike Goff
Zack Thomas
Mike Brown
Amani Toomer
Ashley Lelie

If the me from 2009 could communicate with the me from 2002 and the me from 2009 told the me from 2002 about who the Chiefs just signed, the me from 2002 would be over the moon. Also 2009 me would tell 2002 me that a degree in political science is virtually worthless and to pick another major... but I digress.

The me from 2009 is slightly less excited - in fact, not excited at all. More like curious about how this mad-science experiment will work. The only reliable pass-catcher the Chiefs had, Tony Gonzalez, is gone. Larry Johnson is still a head-case who may or may not want to play in Kansas City. The only reliable player on the offensive line, Brian Waters, is feuding with coaching and management.

And to address all the Chiefs' needs a group of scrap-heap veterans were brought in. Colour me skeptical.

Looking at the Chiefs' schedule, I see only two games they "should" win - Oakland at home and Cleveland at home. Everything else is a crap shoot. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see Kansas City winning more than 4 games this year.

/begins breathing into paper bag

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Denver Broncos

I for one, am very excited about the Denver Broncos this season. I have a feeling they are going to be a train-wreck. They may make the Raiders look like a well-run organization. Of course, they'll probably still beat Kansas City twice but I will still laugh disdainfully at their hardship.

Sadly, I could not find the odds for which NFL coach will be fired first this season - despite visiting several gambling websites which will no doubt warrant a visit from the HR Department. Despite that, I think Denver's Josh McDaniels is the second-most likely to get fired this season (right behind Jacksonville's Jack Del Rio). This is the same Josh McDaniels who hasn't even coached a game for Denver yet. Let's take a look at the swath of destruction he's already cut through Denver.

1. Caused noted sulker Jay Cutler to begin sulking, after a failed run at New England's Matt Cassel.

2. Tried to strong-arm the Cutler situation, which worked out great... for the Chicago Bears.

3. Brought in the quarterback of the future - this guy.

4. At least in part, helped to alienate Brandon Marshall - who is still not happy in Denver and will likely be gone before the season.

That's a pretty significant legacy for a guy with a coaching record of 0-0-0.

Luckily for the Broncos though they still play in the AFC West - potentially the worst division in organized sport. If the NFL was Europe, the AFC West would be Bosnia: Getting better? Probably - but you still don't really want to go there. So playing against Kansas City and Oakland should give Denver twice each should give the Broncos at least the opportunity to win a couple games.

Truth be told, the Broncos could open the season 3-0, as they play at Cincinnati, Cleveland at home and at Oakland. However, after that they have just about the worst 9 week stretch I've ever seen and will likely be 3-8 when it's done. After the Oakland game, Denver plays:

New England
at San Diego
at Baltimore
at Washington
San Diego
New York Giants

Good luck with all that.

Monday, August 24, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Tennessee Titans

Tennessee was 13-3 last year - hard to believe. However, that success will be hard to duplicate.

The bad news for Tennessee: they lost Albert Haynesworth, the best defensive player in the league, to Washington. The silver lining in that is Albert will stop trying, get fat and injure himself - 'cause that's how things work out for Washington's free agents.

The good news for Tennessee: LenDale White is no longer fat, simply from not drinking as much tequila as he used to. Awesome. Even better, the one-two punch of White and Chris Johnson has become some sort of three-headed Hydra thing - the kind from The Mighty Hercules. Javon Ringer, their 5th round pick, has looked really good and will probably add that much more to an already good running game.

The bad news for Tennessee: Kerry Collins is still their quarterback. Which, I suppose, on it's face isn't the end of the world. Collins was very good at doing what the Titans needed - taking care of the ball and not killing the team. Even though he'll be protected by a really good running game, I just can't imagine Collins being as effective as he was last season.

The good news for Tennessee: Vince Young is NOT their quarterback. Bullet dodged Titans' fans, bullet dodged. This guy won Rookie of the Year like two years ago, yeah? And now he's a practicing headcase who can't beat out Kerry Collins for the starting job.

The bad news for Tennessee: They will not dominate the regular season they way they did last season.

The good news for Tennessee: Even without dominating like last year, the Titans should still be able to take a run at Indianapolis for the division title.

32 Teams in 30--some Days: The Jacksonville Jaguars

There are many questions surrounding the Jaguars this season.

Can Maurice Jones-Drew carry the load as a feature back?

Can David Garrard return to the form he had two years ago?

Will they finish last in their division?

Can I come up with anything interesting to say about the Jaguars?

The answers:




Obviously not.

Friday, August 21, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Indianapolis Colts

New head coach.

New offensive coordinator.

New defensive coordinator.

Or do they have new coordinators, because the old coordinators are now consultants? I have no idea what the situation is there - I just wanted to see how many times I could type coordinator before I got sick of it. The answer: 5.

Did you realize that Peyton Manning won the MVP last season? I had blissfully blocked that out of my mind apparently - as I was astounded when I read that bit of information last night. If I hadn't already been laying down, this would have literally floored me, as opposed to just figuratively. I just couldn't believe it.

This team seems to be about the same as last year, except for the departure of alleged gun-toting car wash owner Marvin Harrison. But Anthony Gonzalez should be able to step in.

So it's same old Colts: above-average offence and probably a suspect run defence - especially if Bob Sanders is hurt again.

It's Friday and I'm tired of thinking about the Colts, so I'm wrapping this. The Colts should win the AFC South - Tennessee might push them. New head coach or no, Peyton Manning runs that show. And hey - he's the MVP, so the Colts should be fine.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Houston Texans

Humans of Earth,

We have once again come for your white blood cells and bronchi. Resistence is futile - none will be spared. Assimilate or face extinction under our iron hoof. You will be treated as well as you have treated us over the centuries. YOUR ribs will be greedily devoured at our barbecues. YOUR back hair will be used in our fine bristle brushes. YOUR children will be dissected in our children's high school biology classes. And YOUR feet will be ground up for our household adhesives.

Retribution will be swift and brutal. None shall be spared - unless of course you have a functioning immune system... or a dust mask.


And there you have it, as you probably read today the highest health bureaucrat in Canada announced that the Swine Flu will be returning to prime time on your TV this fall. Wednesdays, right after Gary Unmarried. Check your local listings.

What does this have to do with the Houston Texans, you ask? Well nothing other than my own convoluted rationale that there are probably pig farms in Texas. Plus the fact that I had no ideas for a funny Texans poster.


The Texans are this season's sexy sleeper pick - and those preseason sleepers always pan out, don't they.

But hey, they have the best receiver in football, a solid quarterback (when he isn't injured, which isn't often), what should be an exciting ground game and a solid defence. And looking at their schedule they have the potential for 10 or 11 wins (no joke).

So if there was ever a year for the Texans to put it together, this is it. A division title might be shooting for the stars, but a Wildcard spot certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility.

I will say this, if the Texans aren't at least competitive and in the running for the playoffs, this will be Gary Kubiak's last season as head coach. I have absolutely not factual data to back that up, just the feeling I get.

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Pittsburgh Steelers

Aside from one little snafu the Steelers had a pretty solid offseason. They only lost two regulars, linebacker Larry Foote (who the Steerls wanted to get rid of) and 3rd receiver Nate Washington (who wasn't exactly a key piece of the puzzle). So the team that won the Super Bowl last season returns essentially unchanged.

Then why am I so skeptical about the Steelers this year?

To be honest, I'm not sure. It seems like this team is due for a significant injury (even though both their running backs were hurt during last season). With their shaky offensive line it feels like Roethlisberger will be down for an extended period of time. And if that happens, the team could be in trouble - even though Charlie Batch is a capable backup. Who knows, Dennis Dixon might even get a chance to show what he can do if Big Ben goes down.

The Steelers stifling defence returns pretty much unchanged - I think they lost a cornerback, but can you name one Steelers' cornerback? The defence will probably be fine.

Barring any major injuries the Steelers should take the AFC North but they'll get a strong challenge from Baltimore this season - plus they'll have an improved Cincinnati team to deal with. I think a Super Bowl repeat will be very tough but being that this is essentially the same Steelers team that won last year - why not?

Yikes, could that preview been a little more wishy-washy? How about this... the Steelers will win their division, win a playoff game but not win the Super Bowl. There.

Friday, August 14, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Cleveland Browns

Listen, it's Friday and I'm not going to apologize for having virtually nothing to say about the Browns. Do you really want to talk about Cleveland? I can sum up their season in one word: mediocre.

They will be the 4th place team in the AFC North and I will accept no other opinions on the matter. If you really want something to read, scroll down and read Trebor's excellent first installment of Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Baby.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Baby: Mock Me If You Will

Hey kids, it's fantasy football season again - and you know what that means... Trebor is back to tell what and what not to do with your fantasy team... mostly what not to do. It's that Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Baby. And we're off!

Well it’s been a sad time here since the last post, no longer can I post pictures of these two:

Sadly, they can no longer be loosely tied to the Cowboys or Saints. The only other celebrity couple I can think of in football is:

(Favre photo via With Leather)

On the Favre note I think Sage will do fine, though come Nov. 1st maybe he finds himself out of a job which is not what you want from a starting qb. Also taking a hit is Percy Harvin, I still think he’s the rookie wr that will do the best this year especially with his involvement in special teams and the Wildcat, but having Favre would have helped him out.

Anyway back to the main point, it’s August and this month is the start of the preseason. More importantly though, basements are being cleaned up, nights are being scheduled, wives are trying to spend the last little bit of quality time with their husband… NFL and fantasy leagues are upon us. Sure you could be involved in a league that’s already drafted but I think that’s just silly.

Last time I shared the one man draft, which has changed considerably. Since then I’ve started poking my head into some of these fantasy sites, looking at headlines and rankings. The biggest thing I’ve done though is this past weekend while the wife and kid were away I tried some mock drafts (Yahoo, ESPN). They have different settings but you can easily do more than 1 at a time.
The idea is just to create the best team, ignoring positional trends and just drafting with a strategy in mind. The big thing is to look at the results of the draft and see where players are falling. A ranking sheet at is great but when you’re in a draft with other people, you may notice that people aren’t willing to take a risk on a player, or think highly of another. When you go through 4-5 mock drafts and see Westbrook fall to the 3rd round 3 times, or Portis go late in the 2nd. It gets you thinking why are these 11 other guys not interested in these guys. You’ll also see players going ahead of their rankings, last year it was Chris Johnson, who I never even heard of until he kept popping up in the mid rounds of mock drafts.

The problem comes when people leave the draft and don’t select autodraft. Yahoo is really bad for people leaving. A mock draft should take like 20-30 min and again since you're not interested in trends you can make your pick walk away and come back. Having autodrafted teams can also be a problem but every time I’ve been a part of an online draft there’s always 1-2 guys who can’t make it and autodraft. As long as it’s not more then half the players on autodraft then it should be fine.

The first one I did I ignored a cardinal rule, I didn’t look at the rules. It was Yahoo and I should know that their team settings are different than I’m used to; 3WR, 2RB, 1 Flex. I realized my error after picking up 2 top rb’s and watched as others loaded up on wr’s. By the time it got to my pick in the 3rd round I was looking at a top wr of Santana Moss. I had great rb’s but when you start that many wr’s you need to get a top one.

The ESPN draft posted below was probably the best, in terms of autodraft and people not making stupid picks… ie Sproules in the 2nd round. Some notes on the rounds:

Round: 1
(1) Team Donaldson - Maurice Jones-Drew RB
** (2) Team Davidson - Adrian Peterson RB
(3) Team Amick - Matt Forte RB
(4) The Dudes - Michael Turner RB
(5) Team Hesseltine - Larry Fitzgerald WR
(6) Team Schellbach - Drew Brees QB
(7) Team dixon - DeAngelo Williams RB
(8) Team Lebowski - Chris Johnson RB
(9) Buck Futt - Steven Jackson RB
(10) Team Zielinski - Randy Moss WR
(11) Team mcinnis - Tom Brady QB
(12) Team Burns - LaDainian Tomlinson RB
1st- AP with the 2nd pick isn’t bad, the closer I get the season the more and more I like forte though. We’ll see after some preseason. Question mark pick (???) Randy Moss in 1st round

Round: 2
(13) Team Burns - Frank Gore RB
(14) Team mcinnis - Brandon Jacobs RB
(15) Team Zielinski - Steve Slaton RB
(16) Buck Futt - Brian Westbrook RB
(17) Team Lebowski - Andre Johnson WR
(18) Team dixon - Anquan Boldin WR
(19) Team Schellbach - Clinton Portis RB
(20) Team Hesseltine - Kevin Smith RB
(21) The Dudes - Calvin Johnson WR
(22) Team Amick - Steve Smith WR
** (23) Team Davidson - Marion Barber RB
(24) Team Donaldson - Greg Jennings WR
2nd – Marian the Barbarian. I really wanted either Wayne or Jennings for WR, since I was at the 2 spot I thought one would be available in the 3rd. I was wrong. Anyway when I did my one man mock I had Barber as a 1st round selection and not in any draft has he gone that high, sometimes going as late as the 3rd round and this makes no sense to me. Yes Dallas will be a committee back field but Barber had his best years when Jones was running between the 20’s. ??? pick: Boldin over Calvin... bit of a reach

Round: 3
(25) Team Donaldson - Reggie Wayne WR
** (26) Team Davidson - Roddy White WR
(27) Team Amick - Ronnie Brown RB
(28) The Dudes - Peyton Manning QB
(29) Team Hesseltine - Thomas Jones RB
(30) Team Schellbach - Terrell Owens WR
(31) Team dixon - Jonathan Stewart RB
(32) Team Lebowski - Philip Rivers QB
(33) Buck Futt - Marques Colston WR
(34) Team Zielinski - Darren McFadden RB
(35) Team mcinnis - Ryan Grant RB
(36) Team Burns - Marshawn Lynch RB
3rd – A good pickup but I see a big dropoff between Wayne/Jennings and Roddy. ??? pick: most of the rb’s... Jones is too early, Stewart too early, even if McFadden is a starter could have picked up a better wr and he’d still probably be on the board

Round: 4
(37) Team Burns - Dwayne Bowe WR
(38) Team mcinnis - Tony Gonzalez TE
(39) Team Zielinski - DeSean Jackson WR
(40) Buck Futt - Jason Witten TE
(41) Team Lebowski - Pierre Thomas RB
(42) Team dixon - T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR
(43) Team Schellbach - Wes Welker WR
(44) Team Hesseltine - Kurt Warner QB
(45) The Dudes - Roy E. Williams WR
(46) Team Amick - Brandon Marshall WR
** (47) Team Davidson - Aaron Rodgers QB
(48) Team Donaldson - Knowshon Moreno RB
4th – I don’t like taking qb’s this early, but having 2 solid RB’s and the next 4-5 wr’s were of the same caliber, so I reached a bit. ??? pick: way to high for Desean.

Round: 5
(49) Team Donaldson - Vincent Jackson WR
** (50) Team Davidson - Braylon Edwards WR
(51) Team Amick - Donovan McNabb QB
(52) The Dudes - Antonio Gates TE
(53) Team Hesseltine - Derrick Ward RB
(54) Team Schellbach - Joseph Addai RB
(55) Team dixon - Reggie Bush RB
(56) Team Lebowski - Larry Johnson RB
(57) Buck Futt - Tony Romo QB
(58) Team Zielinski - Willie Parker RB
(59) Team mcinnis - Chad Ochocinco WR
(60) Team Burns - Matt Ryan QB
5th – If he can learn to catch, steal of the draft. ??? pick: none

Round: 6
(61) Team Burns - Antonio Bryant WR
(62) Team mcinnis - LenDale White RB
(63) Team Zielinski - Dallas Clark TE
(64) Buck Futt - Santonio Holmes WR
(65) Team Lebowski - Jay Cutler QB
(66) Team dixon - John Carlson TE
(67) Team Schellbach - Lee Evans WR
(68) Team Hesseltine - Hines Ward WR
(69) The Dudes - Cedric Benson RB
(70) Team Amick - Owen Daniels TE
** (71) Team Davidson - Ray Rice RB
(72) Team Donaldson - Matt Schaub QB
6th- If this were a real draft I would likely take Felix, just so I’d have the Dallas backfield no matter what, however getting Rice who is projected to start for the team that runs the most is a great value pick. ??? pick: Carlson before Daniels or Cooley or Olsen,

Round: 7
(73) Team Donaldson - Eddie Royal WR
** (74) Team Davidson - Anthony Gonzalez WR
(75) Team Amick - Jamal Lewis RB
(76) The Dudes - Bernard Berrian WR
(77) Team Hesseltine - Chris Cooley TE
(78) Team Schellbach - Ahmad Bradshaw RB
(79) Team dixon - Felix Jones RB
(80) Team Lebowski - Greg Olsen TE
(81) Buck Futt - Steelers D/ST D/ST
(82) Team Zielinski - Matt Cassel QB
(83) Team mcinnis - Donald Brown RB
(84) Team Burns - Santana Moss WR
7th – Looking at predraft rankings this is a stretch with ~5-10 wr’s ahead but, here’s where you have to do your own rankings, a solid #3wr. ??? pick: none.

Round: 8
(85) Team Burns - Giants D/ST D/ST
(86) Team mcinnis - Devin Hester WR
(87) Team Zielinski - Darren Sproles RB
(88) Buck Futt - Julius Jones RB
(89) Team Lebowski - Torry Holt WR
(90) Team dixon - Carson Palmer QB
(91) Team Schellbach - Kevin Walter WR
(92) Team Hesseltine - Ben Roethlisberger QB
(93) The Dudes - LeSean McCoy RB
(94) Team Amick - Chris Wells RB
** (95) Team Davidson - Steve Breaston WR
(96) Team Donaldson - Bobby Engram WR
8th – One injury away from having a huge year. ??? pick: Bobby Engram, he’s like the #3 wr on a bad team.

Round: 9
(97) Team Donaldson - Earnest Graham RB
** (98) Team Davidson - Matt Hasselbeck QB
(99) Team Amick - Donald Driver WR
(100) The Dudes - Chester Taylor RB
(101) Team Hesseltine - Jerricho Cotchery WR
(102) Team Schellbach - Titans D/ST D/ST
(103) Team dixon - Laveranues Coles WR
(104) Team Lebowski - Rashard Mendenhall RB
(105) Buck Futt - Lance Moore WR
(106) Team Zielinski - Fred Taylor RB
(107) Team mcinnis - Percy Harvin WR
(108) Team Burns - Kellen Winslow TE
9th – I actually think he could be the Rivers of 2009. Last year Rivers was going in the 8-9th round and was a top 5 qb at the end of the year. Hasselbeck may not be a top 5 but could do better than Rodgers and is someone I’m targeting this year. The other late round qb – Carson Palmer. ??? pick: the guy Palmer is throwing too – Coles, I think is a steal in this round. He can be a great possesion reciever and if Palmer stays healthy easily 1000 yds, so not really a questionable pick but more of a bravo pick, as in I should have taken him rather than Breaston.

Round: 10
(109) Team Burns - Eli Manning QB
(110) Team mcinnis - Michael Bush RB
(111) Team Zielinski - Ravens D/ST D/ST
(112) Buck Futt - Ted Ginn Jr. WR
(113) Team Lebowski - Donnie Avery WR
(114) Team dixon - Michael Crabtree WR
(115) Team Schellbach - Zach Miller TE
(116) Team Hesseltine - Le'Ron McClain RB
(117) The Dudes - Derrick Mason WR
(118) Team Amick - Eagles D/ST D/ST
** (119) Team Davidson - Fred Jackson RB (Part 2)
(120) Team Donaldson - Jerious Norwood RB
10th – Just adding depth. Key is picking players who if there’s an injury can step up. ??? pick: too late in the draft and I’m tired no more questionable picks.

Round: 11
(121) Team Donaldson - Dustin Keller TE
** (122) Team Davidson - Vikings D/ST D/ST
(123) Team Amick - Willis McGahee RB
(124) The Dudes - Jets D/ST D/ST
(125) Team Hesseltine - Kyle Orton QB
(126) Team Schellbach - David Garrard QB
(127) Team dixon - Domenik Hixon WR
(128) Team Lebowski - Tim Hightower RB
(129) Buck Futt - Trent Edwards QB
(130) Team Zielinski - Kevin Curtis WR
(131) Team mcinnis - Shonn Greene RB
(132) Team Burns - Patrick Crayton WR
11th – A solid D really late in the draft showing you don’t need to reach.

Round: 12
(133) Team Burns - Sammy Morris RB
(134) Team mcinnis - Miles Austin WR
(135) Team Zielinski - Ricky Williams RB
(136) Buck Futt - Chris Chambers WR
(137) Team Lebowski - Leon Washington RB
(138) Team dixon - Dolphins D/ST D/ST
(139) Team Schellbach - Muhsin Muhammad WR
(140) Team Hesseltine - Panthers D/ST D/ST
(141) The Dudes - Jason Campbell QB
(142) Team Amick - Justin Gage WR
** (143) Team Davidson - Ladell Betts RB
(144) Team Donaldson - Patriots D/ST D/ST
12th – See comment on Round 10.

Round: 13
(145) Team Donaldson - Steve Smith WR
** (146) Team Davidson - Brent Celek TE
(147) Team Amick - Jake Delhomme QB
(148) The Dudes - Joey Galloway WR
(149) Team Hesseltine - Kevin Boss TE
(150) Team Schellbach - Stephen Gostkowski K
(151) Team dixon - Ryan Longwell K
(152) Team Lebowski - Bears D/ST D/ST
(153) Buck Futt - Jeremy Maclin WR
(154) Team Zielinski - Laurence Maroney RB
(155) Team mcinnis - Chargers D/ST D/ST
(156) Team Burns - David Akers K
13th – No more LJ Smith and Philly likes dumping to the TE, he’s a reach but could be solid

Round: 14
(157) Team Burns - Shaun Hill QB
(158) Team mcinnis - Nate Kaeding K
(159) Team Zielinski - Mason Crosby K
(160) Buck Futt - Deion Branch WR
(161) Team Lebowski - T.J. Duckett RB
(162) Team dixon - Tony Scheffler TE
(163) Team Schellbach - Chad Pennington QB
(164) Team Hesseltine - Jason Elam K
(165) The Dudes - Jamaal Charles RB
(166) Team Amick - Jeremy Shockey TE
** (167) Team Davidson - Josh Morgan WR
(168) Team Donaldson - Neil Rackers K
14th – He’s on everyone’s sleeper list, and though I don’t agree he’ll be great, with no Crabtree might be a steal or at least trade bait.

Round: 15
(169) Team Donaldson - Greg Camarillo WR
** (170) Team Davidson - Visanthe Shiancoe TE
(171) Team Amick - Michael Jenkins WR
(172) The Dudes - John Kasay K
(173) Team Hesseltine - Joe Flacco QB
(174) Team Schellbach - Nick Folk K
(175) Team dixon - Rob Bironas K
(176) Team Lebowski - Limas Sweed WR
(177) Buck Futt - Heath Miller TE
(178) Team Zielinski - Robbie Gould K
(179) Team mcinnis - Mike Walker WR
(180) Team Burns - Redskins D/ST D/ST
15th – Hardly ever take 2 TE’s but with the uncertainty of celek here’s a dependable TE.

Round: 16
(181) Team Burns - Nate Washington WR
(182) Team mcinnis - Kevin Jones RB
(183) Team Zielinski - Justin Fargas RB
(184) Buck Futt - Garrett Hartley K
(185) Team Lebowski - Kris Brown K
(186) Team dixon - Sage Rosenfels QB
(187) Team Schellbach - Bo Scaife TE
(188) Team Hesseltine - Correll Buckhalter RB
(189) The Dudes - Vernon Davis TE
(190) Team Amick - Josh Scobee K
** (191) Team Davidson - Joe Nedney K
(192) Team Donaldson - Nate Burleson WR
16th – He’s a kicker and I never expect to keep 1 kicker all the way through, so random.

I am really surprised this year with the way non rb’s are going. In this draft of the top 12 picks, 2 were QB, 2 WR. Which is a bit odd, but if your picking number 1 by the time you get your second pick in a 12 team league I’d be betting that Brady/Brees/Peyton are gone and 5 wr’s too... (Fitz/Johnson/Moss/Johnson and 1 of Smith/Wayne/Jennings).

What this tells me is that the dreaded middle of the draft 5-8, could be a power spot this year, getting a top back/top wr/qb, and in the 3rd round still plenty of good rb’s left, sounds great to me.... Picking up Pierre/Grant/Smith is a possibility and as long as you don’t blow it in the middle rounds your team should be looking pretty good.

So if picking 5-8 is good then what’s bad. Well 1-4 your going to get a solid rb. 9-12 though, now your getting a good rb’s but with question marks. Is LT going to get back to old form? Can this rb duplicate his 2008 season (Deangelo/Slaton/Johnson). Then with the 2nd round you almost have to go wr, which means you’ll get a top guy but the problem with wr’s is unlike rb’s where you just have to worry about that player getting injured, you also have to worry about the qb.

Fitz is great until Warner gets hurt and Leinart steps in. same thing with Andre Johnson... anyone know who the back up qb is in Houston? I’m sure we’ll find out since Schaub can’t stay healthy... I think it’s mccown(Ed. Note - Or possibly the Sex Cannon, Rex Grossman)?? Point is much more risk with high end wr than high end rb.

Years before you could grab 2 rb’s and still get a top 10 wr for your pick in the 3rd round, this year...if you want a decent #1 you’r going to have to pick them in the 2nd round.

32 Teams in 30-some days: The Cincinnati Bengals

As I was listening to Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post discuss the upcoming NFL season, I was struck by how favorable he seemed to be about the Bengals this season. Although, it was really his opinion on the team - he was saying how excited Carson Palmer was for the upcoming season. But it seemed like Lombardi had bought.

Why do I bring this up? Because it's literally the only thing I've heard about the Bengals this offseason. And it sounds like people are starting to think they could be a sleeper team in the AFC. Me, I'm not buying. Why? Well, let me tell you.

First of all, there's a little something called, "having to play Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice each."

Then there's the affliction I've labelled, "Cedric Benson is your starting running back."

Finally, there's the twin millstones of, "Your two receivers are a certified nutjob and a convicted criminal."

Call me crazy, but I just don't see the stars aligning for the Bengals this year. Sure they'll be better - almost anything would be an improvement over last year - but I don't think they'll be challenging for a Wildcard sport. I don't think 8-8 is out of the realm of possibility though.

For more Bengals reading, I would encourage you to follow this link to Who Dey Revolution and check out the best fanbase-revolution project in the NFL.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Baltimore Ravens

What can I say about the Baltimore Ravens that hasn't already been said? Seriously, what can I say about the Ravens? I'm really struggling here.

The big change this season for the Ravens will probably be the loss of defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who left to become the head coach of the New York Jets. How will the always-solid Ravens defense respond? I suspect fairly well. They may not be as dominant as they were last year but they're still probably a top-5 defense.

As long as the defense doesn't totally implode, the Raven's season will rest on the eyebrows of Joe Flacco. Sophomore slump or comeback of the year...

...and with that, the new all-time low has been reached here at Sports As Life. I know as you read this site you unconsciously think to yourself, "As bad as this crap is, I'm comfortable in the knowledge that he will never stoop to using Fall Out Boy song titles." Well my friends, I have stooped and the day is upon us. Commence with the Mass Hysteria!

Personally, I think Flacco is going to be fine this season. He didn't really have the huge breakout that Matt Ryan did last year. He was steady and didn't lose any games for the Ravens. There's probably going to be some improvement this season.

The Ravens don't have an incredibly difficult schedule this year - they get the AFC West and NFC North. However, aside from having to play Pittsburgh twice the Ravens have games at San Diego and at New England. With only four real tough games, the Ravens should be able to at least challenge the Steelers for the division. Either way, I reckon they're a playoff team this year.

Monday, August 10, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The New York Jets

Since I can't think of anything really interesting to say about the Jets other than: rookie head coach, possible rookie quarterback, probably decent defense - I figure this is a good place for my late-to-the-party Brett Favre rant.

As retribution for another offseason of Brett Favre waving his arms in the air and yelling, "Hey everybody look over here!" I think the NFL should punish him under the player conduct policy. I'm serious - over the past 6 months who has done more to hurt the image of the NFL, Marshawn Lynch or Brett Favre? Sure Lynch might have been high and had a loaded gun in his car, but Favre's "will I, or won't I?" routine caused the Swine Flu (that's what I heard, at least). That's much worse than felony gun possession.

And what should Favre's punishment be, you ask? How about this...

A lifetime ban from the Hall of Fame.

I'm serious. I know that may sound harsh but I can't think of a punishment more appropriate for an attention-whore like Favre. The Hall of Fame induction would be Favre's ultimate moment in the spotlight - all the media types would be singing his praises and lavishing him with all the love that poorly-dressed men in their 40's with questionable hygiene have to give.

Take all that away from Favre and that's a real punishment.

Even after all the faux soul-searching Brett Favre has done in the past two years I think the thing that makes me the maddest is that at the end of everything this year, he decided not to come back. He strung the Vikings along for months and in the end decided to pack up his ego and stubble and go home. And then he makes it seem like he's a victim in his well-orchestrated charade by saying it was the hardest decision he's ever had to make. Brett, I think I speak for everyone when I say, go away and never come back.

But you'll know he'll be back, right? Even though he couldn't man up to go through training camp and a full regular season, he left the door open for a return by saying if a team calls in November he'll listen.

Probability of Brett Favre not playing in the NFL this season: 0%
Probability of me having a coronary during the unending speculation about his eventual return: 100%

Oh... the New York Jets, you say? My guess is that they will finish somewhere around 2nd - 4th in the AFC East.

Friday, August 7, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The New England Patriots

I'm attempting perhaps my most ambitious ruse ever: a 7-month reverse-jinx cleverly disguised as grudging acceptance. To wit:

The Patriots will win the Super Bowl this season. I'm starting right now to brace myself right now for the inevitable.

The Golden Boy will be back with a brand-new knee which apparently will make him 15% better... and 350% more handsome (and you didn't think that was possible!).

Fred Taylor will suddenly morph into Eric Dickerson circa-1984.

Moss and Galloway will be the second coming of Swann and Stallworth.

The offensive line will be the most impenetrable line since the Maginot.

Tedy Bruschi will play like he's not a thousand years old.

Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden will wreak more havoc than a third world election.

Seriously? Fred Taylor, Joey Galloway, Tedy Bruschi, Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden? These are the players I'm worried about?

And yet I am. Without fail, every year the Patriots take someone else's over-the-hill, washed-up cast-off and turn him into a Pro Bowl player. At some point their old players actually have to play like they're old, right?

Do I honestly think the Patriots will win the Super Bowl this season? Yes, yes I do. Until their current reign of terror is over I'll always think the Pats will win right until the point they don't - but never before that. It's just like in golf, you always have to expect your opponent to make their shot. For my own sanity I have to expect the Pats to win.

So there you have it, the New England Patriots will win this year's Super Bowl... unless of course there's another "mishap" this season:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Miaim Dolphins

What a difference a year can make. From 1-15 to 11-5 is no small accomplishment. However, I think we can say with some certainty that there were a few "outside factors" that helped Miami to their giant turnaround last season. To wit:

- A schedule that included both the AFC and NFC West, the two worst divisions in football.
- A gimmick offensive formation that nobody had ever seen before.
- A knee injury to a certain god-among-men.

So it was a great season to be sure, but I think the chances of it being repeated are pretty slim. The schedule gets harder this year - the Dolphins have to play the NFC and AFC South. And Tom Brady will once again descend from the heavens to allow we mortals to bask in his handsomeness.

I'm torn on the Wildcat, though. On one hand I feel it will be less effective because teams have seen it and will be expecting it; what with quite a few teams implementing it this season. However, without fail as soon as I write off the Wildcat as a one-year wonder in Miami two words always spring to mind: Pat White.

Miami's second-round pick has the potential to be the position-changing quarterback Michael Vick was supposed to be. I feel like White gives you 85% of Vick's athleticism, with at least 90% less dogfighting. I think that's a pretty solid ratio and I can't think of anyone better suited to run the Wildcat.

To see White run the Wildcat will be about the only reason to watch Miami this season. It's either that or watch Chad Pennington float passes to Ted Ginn Jr. and Greg Cammarillo. No thanks.

Miami is a solid team but it's a tough division and they have a tougher schedule this year. I think they'll take a step back, maybe 8-8 or 9-7, but will probably be even better in 2010.

But what do I know? Play them off, Keyboard Cat!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

32 Teams in 30-some Days

Well friends, turns out there's only 36 days until the NFL season by my count, which probably means there's like 45 or something. However, my complete idiocy with numbers notwithstanding, you know what 30-some days until the NFL season means... it's time for 32 Teams in 30-some Days

Alright, alright... settle down.

So with 36 days to go and 32 teams to write about, by my count that essentially means a team a day until the season starts - which I can assure you, will not happen. But I'll try to keep it competitive - maybe some days there won't be anything, but on other days there will be more than one. That's the plan anyway. So without further rambling...

32 Teams in 30-some Days: The Buffalo Bills

I've long been on the record as saying I think the Buffalo Bills are going to be a disaster this season. Hey look at that - I even used the same picture! Ain't I just so creative.

I am completely willing to admit that I have done absolutely no homework on the Buffalo Bills. All I know is they were 7-9 last year, they drafted a defensive end they didn't really need, and their running back will be suspended for the first 3 games of the season. I think that's it, although it seems like I'm forgetting something...

Oh that's right, the Bills signed the biggest locker room cancer of past decade.

I know that Terrell Owens will try to be on his best behaviour so that he can parlay a strong season into one last multi-year contract. Forgive me for being cynical but I don't believe that for a second. Let's see how well-behaved he is when the Bills are 1-5 heading into New York for week 6. Say the Bills fall behind early 17-0 and the New York crowd starts to get on Owens, this T.O. will be back faster than you can say 'attention whore':

Or maybe this T.O.:

It's just so hard to tell which of his personality disorders is going to rear it's ugly head.

After all that is it too late to say that I actually don't mind this Buffalo team? I know I've killed T.O. and the team for bringing him in, but I think Buffalo has some really good, young talent. Unfortunately, young talent is not going to keep Terrell Owens in line. You need a few strong veterans to keep T.O. focused.

Buffalo was 7-9 and I think they'll be right around there again this year. Marshawn Lynch misses the first three games, the Bills still have a young quarterback, and did I mention they have no offensive line.

If the Bills had a couple more pieces on the offensive line and a little more offensive polish, they might be competing for a playoff spot. But as they are now it'll be another disappointing season for the disappointing people of Buffalo.