AFC Preview 2009

PITT-BALEach year billions of Journalists, TV personalities, bloggers, and gambling junkies offer their forecast for the upcoming NFL season.  I am no different. In fact, I would fall into the gambling junky category if I had money to lose. Normally, my NFL preview transpires via a heated, delirious conversation with my brother.

Growing up, the battle ground was our bunk bed, but we got old and were forced to leave it behind.  No bunk beds were available this year to rekindle the magic, so we moved to Plan B; electronic mail.  AFC preview today.  NFC preview tomorrow.  Here we go. Your 2009 NFL forecast, bunk bed style (well, sort of).

AFC Weak, I mean West

  1. Despite a brutal schedule (outside the division of course; AFC North & NFC East), the Charges roll. Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Tila Tequila, it does not matter: These Chargers will physically maul anyone in their way.  Hide the kittens and puppies. This will get ugly.
  2. Won’t matter here.  It’s like finishing second for your party’s Presidential nomination.  No one remembers you unless you go insane (a la Howie Dean). Chiefs.
  3. Broncos. Josh McDaniels will be taught a tough lesson this year when he learns he can’t trade fans that refuse to show up for games.  Maybe next year he’ll embrace his best players instead of alienating them. (Hugs and Kisses, BDawk)
  4. Team in Oakland that is owned by one of those vampire elders in “Underworld” that need to consume blood to regain human likeness. Get that man some blood!

DWC’s Take: Chargers (they’re good, but it really isn’t fair with this division), Raiders (not because they are this good, but everyone else will be this bad), Broncos (McDaniels has made too much negative noise in his first year as coach), Chiefs (Matt Cassel will not have the cast he had in NE)

AFC North

  1. I would love to pick against Big Dork, ehh hmm, I mean Ben, but the Steelers will be the division champs.
  2. Surprise Pick, surprise pick.  This pick could be because I enjoyed “Hard Knocks” so much, I’m not really sure.  Regardless, Ocho Cinco is too much fun not to root for and I think the Bengals play up to the unlimited potential of those fantastic unis.
  3. Ravens are getting older than the Spurs on defense, and while J-Flac is a solid QB, he has no real threat to play catch with.  (Please don’t tell Ray Lewis I picked his team to finish third.  Thanks.)
  4. “Browns” is a fitting name for a suffering franchise.  This pu-pu platter won’t win due to QB controversy, lack of running game, iffy defense, and a dysfunctional coach.  Would have been shorter if I just listed what they do well. Side note: What can we do to make sure Vick plays in the “Dawg Pound” next year?

DWC’s Take: Steelers (until someone says differently, they are the class of the division and maybe the league), Ravens (will tangle with the Steelers, but their defense won’t be the same), Bengals (slowly coming back from the brink of extinction, but nowhere near respectable), Browns (Mangini is in the process of ruining another team on the cusp of the playoffs) Wildcard: Ravens

AFC South (Arguably the best division in Football)

  1. New coaching staff, different WR core, injury-prone defense, and yet I still can’t pick against Peyton.  Maybe the Texans/Titans slip in here, but I can’t make the leap.
  2. For the 3rd year in a row, I LOOOVE the Texans.  Steve Slaton, Andre Johnson, DeMeco Ryans, and Mario Williams are at the core of that talented young roster that make this team so appealing. Yes, I am totally prepared for them to flounder their way to a 7-9 year.
  3. Defending division champs can run over anyone in the league.  However, the Titans defense will not be the same.  Fat Albert’s departure left a big (really big) hole in the middle.  Can they stop the run? Can the offense put up points? Will Jeff Fisher ever lose the mustache?
  4. Can we move the Jaguars before they tarp off the entire upper bowl of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium? If you live in Jax and want to watch your team, let me know, I can put a sling box on my TV for you. I love Maurice Jones-Drew and that secondary, and they could finish as high as 2nd, but I can’t condone poor football fans. Can’t do it.

DWC’s Take: Colts (one more year of Manning dominance, then the decline begins), Jaguars (comeback year after a tough 2008 campaign), Titians (will really miss not having Albert to shore up the defense plus they are too one dimensional), Houston (still one year away from being a real player in the division) Wildcard: Jaguars.

AFC (L)East

  1. New England is by far the best team in this division, but that isn’t saying too much.  Veteran players better be careful.  A few down years and they’ll end up in Oakland like Mr. Seymour (or hiding to avoid Oakland).  Wes Welker is a stud, and who isn’t excited about Brady coming back? Welcome back, Patriots.  I missed your offensive brilliance.
  2. Eeany, meany, miney, moe.  Second is irrelevant here. Wild cards will come from the South and maybe the North.  I pick the Dolphins here because they’re the most stable and have the “no nonsense” coach.   Side Note: Look at this ownership crew; Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, Venus Williams, and Serena Williams. There’s more big names there than on the field.
  3. Buffalo Bills. I wanted to pick the Bills to finish 2nd, but T.O. will put a lot more bark into this team than bite.  Let’s hope he doesn’t poison this young group because we need those uniforms back in the playoffs pronto.
  4. J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! JE…  The chants will fade as the season continues.  I like Rex Ryan and believe he’ll have success in New York, but not this soon.  They’ll spend most of the season trailing the division like Lito Sheppard chasing Randy Moss on a fly route.  Who knows, maybe Vernon Gholston will even see the field (moral victories Jets fans, moral victories).

DWC’s Take: Patriots (they are one-dimensional, but their QB is Tom Brady…enough said), Dolphins (won’t be as good as last year b/c Wildcat won’t be as effective), Jets (Rex Ryan will succeed in bringing the Jets back into contention, but Sanchez might be one year away), Bills (TO still loves him some him, so the Bills are doomed)

My Playoff Breakdown:

  1. New England Patriots
  2. San Diego (2 of 4 losses will be to NFC)
  3. Pittsburgh
  4. Indianapolis

Wildcard: Texans and Titans

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