Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NFL-We're Halfway Home

Now that every team has at least 8 games in the books, this is an appropriate time to look back again to see how my preseason predictions are looking. If they're anything like my week-to-week picks, it won't be good.



New England (Overall 5-3, My Pick 5-3) Interesting. I picked them at 5-3 with Brady and they've done it with Cassell instead. This team doesn't look too bad right now. Cassell does a lot of the things Brady does. He just is still getting used to being the starter. Remember, it has been nine years. The Pats are looking good, especially with Buffalo's recent struggles and the Jets' inconsistency.

New York Jets (5-3, 5-3) Once again, I'm right on the money. I predicted a 4-4 finish for the Jets, and with Tennessee, New England, Denver, Miami and Buffalo on tap still, 4-4 is possible, but I'm thinking 5-3 again to go 10-6, one better than my 9-7 prediction.

Buffalo (5-3, 2-6) So, I said at the quarter pole, and I say it again. I was wrong about this team. They have one more win right now than I predicted they'd get the entire season. Watch out though. Trent Edwards hasn't played well since the big concussion, and I feel like the Bills are a sinking ship.

Miami (4-4, 4-4) How about starting off by picking 3 of the first 4 right at the midpoint. I knew the Dolphins would be improved this year, and it's very realistic that they'll betterthe 7 wins I predicted with games remaining against Oakland, Seattle, San Francisco, St. Louis and Kansas City, with division games against New England, Buffalo and New York. Would it be that surprising if they won 5 or even 6 of those. It wouldn't be to me.


Pittsburgh (6-2, 4-4) I didn't have a lot of confidence in the Steelers this year, but it's looking like they're going to steamroll the 9-7 prediction I had for them, and win the division easily.

Baltimore (5-3, 3-5) I never would've thought Joe Flacco would have the impact he has so far, and the defense isn't as washed up as I originally thought. They already have more than the four wins I predicted, so I guess they go in the Buffalo boat for me.

Cleveland (3-5, 4-4) I'm not looking too bad right now with the Brownies. It'll be interesting to see if Brady can pull them together and lead them to a 5-3 finish to get the 8-8 record I imagined.

Cincinnati (1-7, 0-8) So, they broke the losing streak this week, keeping me from being correct in giving them a perfectly awful defeated first half. I said they'd win against Baltimore and Washington in the second half, and I don't see them ever beating Washington this season, so I'm still feeling good about my 2-14 prediction.


Tennessee (8-0, 2-6) Well, speaking of horrible picks. I came into this season having no confidence in Vince Young (a good assessment), but had no idea that their defense, Chris Johnson and LenDale White would do the things they're doing this season. I like to see the Titans do well, so I'm alright with blowing this pick.

Indianapolis (4-4, 7-1) Old impressions die hard. I never foresaw the fall from grace that has been the Colts this season. They'll have to finish 7-1 to get the 11-5 I predicted. Not likely, especially with games against @ Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Jacksonville and San Diego and a home match up Week 17 against Tennessee.

Jacksonville (3-5, 6-2) I had big expectations for the running back tandem of Jones-Drew and Freddie Taylor, and the no-turnover David Garrard, but this team has been awful at times this season. They're already guaranteed to be worse than the 12-4 I predicted for them.

Houston (3-5, 4-4) Well, I was right in thinking they'd be better or as good as in the last couple years, but it's been more of a struggle than I expected. Despite a good young defense and the great Andre Johnson at wideout, they're not quite ready to take the next step.


Denver (4-4, 4-4) The pick was right at the quarter pole, and it's right now too, but a lot of my actual picks have been wrong. This is a strange team, and I never know what they're going to do from week to week. I picked them to have a 6-2 second half to lock up the final playoff berth. I would be surprised to see them play that well with contests remaining @ Atlanta, Cleveland, New York Jets, Carolina and San Diego, with a home date with Buffalo.

San Diego (3-5, 8-0) So I had a lot more confidence in LT and Philip Rivers than I probably should have. A lot of the Chargers' problems have been injuries on Defense, but also, just like Denver, they seem to be a different team every single week. They don't play with a sense of urgency, which scares me, considering they still have to face Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Denver.

Oakland (2-6, 2-6) A correct pick indeed. 1-3 for the first quarter, 1-3 for the second quarter, but there is no way the Raiders go 4-4 the rest of the way to go 6-10 the way I thought they would. I thought McFadden would have more of an effect this year and JaMarcus Russell would do something, but Russell has been a blob and McFadden has had some injuries.

Kansas City (1-7, 1-7) 3 out of 4 out west too, with one terrible exception. I'm proud of myself for realizing how terrible the Chefs would be this year. Which game did I predict they'd win?? Not the very surprising win over the Broncos...but an even more surprising win against Tennessee. Good one Jake. The chances of them finishing 4-4 like I said is looking almost impossible, just like for the Raiders. Stay posted.

Playoff Picture

Preseason Picks:
1. San Diego 2. New England 3. Jacksonville 4. Pittsburgh 5. Indianapolis 6. Denver

Right Now:
1. Tennessee 2. Pittsburgh 3. New England 4. Denver 5. Baltimore 6. New York Jets

I'm at 3 out of 6 right now. From the quarter pole until now, Buffalo dropped from second seed to first team out, Pittsburgh moved up one, New England moved up two, Baltimore's up one, and the Jets have supplanted the Bills.



New York Giants (7-1, 5-3) Well...I picked them to beat Dallas and lose to Cleveland, but I also had them losing to Seattle (oops). Anyway, this is a team I definitely underestimated, picking them to finish 9-7, last in the uber-competitive NFC East. Look at this defensive line though. Boy are they incredible.

Washington (6-3, 5-4) So they're one game better than I predicted. This is a very talented team, another that is better than I gave them credit for. With the easiest games remaining being Cincinnati, Seattle and San Francisco, they should get to the 10-6 I predicted, but it's up in the air whether it will be much more.

Philadelphia (5-3, 6-2) Pretty much exactly opposite of Washington. They're a half game behind the Skins, and I said they'd be 1 1/2 ahead. It could be a struggle finishing 6-2 to get to the 11-5 I predicted with remaining contests against the Giants twice, Baltimore, Arizona, Cleveland, Washington and Dallas with the only near gimme coming next week against Cincinnati.

Dallas (5-4, 7-2) I thought this team was going to be great, and for the first 3 games, they really were. Unfortunately, the wheels have fallen off since then, and while I predicted them to finish a modest 4-3 in finishing 11-5, I'm not sure they'll win that many with games left against Washington, the Giants, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. I'd expect about a 3-4, to finish 8-8.


Chicago (5-3, 1-7) I have no idea why I thought the Bears were giong to be so bad. I think I was distracted by the putrid play of Rex Grossman, and their complete lack of run game. The Defense has put it back together though for the most part, and Kyle Orton is leading one of the top offenses in the league. Wow...that doesn't feel right at all. But to say they'll be better than the 2-14 I predicted.

Green Bay (4-4, 5-3) I haven't been very good with the Packers. In the second quarter of the season in particular, I picked them to beat Atlanta, Seattle and Tennessee and lose to Indianapolis. For those of you scoring at home, that's one out of four right. Yet, I'm pretty close on the overall record. I thought they'd finish an identical 5-3 in the second half, and it seems pretty possible with dates against Chicago twice, Minnesota, Detroit, New Orleans, Carolina, Jacksonville and Houston. I see wins against Minnesota, Detroit, Jacksonville, Houston and at least once against the Bears. Not so sure about the NFC South games.

Minnesota (4-4, 7-1) What a mistake it was for me to think this team would do so well. They have proven that a team without a quarterback can't be truly great. I should have known better. The chances of them finishing 7-1 and going 11-5 like I said is almost impossible.

Detroit (0-8, 3-5) Well, I thought they'd be decent, and I was very wrong. Will they go 3-5 the rest of the way and end the 3-13 I predicted?? I doubt it.


Carolina (6-2, 6-2) I was right about the comeback of the Panthers this season. With a healthy Jake Delhomme and a rejuvenated run game with Jonathan Stewart, these guys have been pretty consistent, except for a blowout loss to Tampa Bay. 4-4 the rest of the way should get them in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay (6-3, 5-4) If I'd only known then what I know now, I would have never picked Seattle to beat them, and I'd be right where I need to be with the Bucs. I had them going 4-3 the rest of the way, with near gimmes against Detroit and Oakland and home match ups with San Diego, New Orleans and Minnesota.

Atlanta (5-3, 4-4) I was right in believing that the Falcons were going to rebound this year, but they've done even better than I thought. Matt Ryan has been great, and Michael Turner has been everything that made me believe this team would improve this season. I said they'd go 3-5 over the final eight, but I think they have favorable matchups home against Denver and Minnesota, and three of their last four NFC South contests are in Atlanta. This team could still make the playoffs.

New Orleans (4-4, 4-4) Right on with the Saints. I'm kind of proud of this pick because many people had them going a long way. Drew Brees is amazing, and Reggie Bush has stepped up to the plate this season, but they won't go to the Super Bowl with a Defense like the one they employ. I predicted a 6-2 finish to take the division going away, but it will be tough with four division games (2 at home, 2 on the road), two against playoff contenders Green Bay and Chicago, and two near gimmes, Kansas City and Detroit.


Arizona (5-3, 2-6) I was right on with them at 2-2 at the quarter pole, but they've won 3 of 4 since then, and I had them losing all four. Go figure. The Cardinals are close to being a lock already in this terrible division, and they're two games better than I predicted for the season. It's about time they're decent.

Seattle (2-6, 7-1) Probably my worst pick of the year. Either this or Tennessee. I don't think anyone foresaw them being quite this bad, though picking them to go 12-4 seems foolish. The thing is, I thought this division would have one good team (a correct assumption), I just didn't pick the right team.

San Francisco (2-6, 0-8) They're bad, but I thought they'd be even worse. What two games did I pick them to win this year?? Buffalo and at St. Louis...both doubtful.

St. Louis (2-6, 2-6) After a division of terrible predictions, I finally got one right. I thought they'd match the second half with another 2-6, winning at San Fran and at Arizona. That second one...I doubt it, but I could see another win home against Seattle.

Playoff Picture

Preseason Picks:
1. Seattle 2. Dallas 3. Minnesota 4. New Orleans 5. Philadephia 6. Green Bay

Right Now:
1. New York Giants 2. Carolina 3. Arizona 4. Chicago 5. Tampa Bay 6. Washington

As of right now, my preseason playoff picture doesn't have a single team that will make the playoffs. That is the NFL to a tee. Honestly, how does that even happen??

My picks for the season are 76-55. I guess I should just use those for my picks, considering I'm 68-62 picking week by week. I just feel bad about myself for having to write that. In my picks, I have only 3 of 12 of my preseason teams making the playoffs, and out of last season's 12, 7 would be in. Here's to a wild and crazy second half. Go Pack Go

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