England Patriots – The Pats return
from their crushing defeat in Indianapolis versus
the Colts reloaded and poised for another Super
Bowl run. Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli did
their jobs this off-season bringing in wideouts
Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth
and linebacker Adalius Thomas. Thomas is the
outside linebacker Willie McGinest was and even
better. Junior Seau is supposed to return which
will mean more leadership to a team and defense
that already has leaders in Tedy Bruschi, Mike
Vrabel and Rodney Harrison.
offense Corey Dillon was let go and we get to
see Laurence Malroney as the fulltime starter
plus along with those WR additions there is
a certain MVP QB named Tom Brady. Injuries are
the only thing that will prevent this team from
hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Conference Championship
on the road for the Pats.
York Jets – The Jets had a surprise
return to the playoffs last season under first
year head coach Eric Mangini. This season they
look to improve and have added a few pieces
that could help including RB Thomas Jones (from
Chicago). The teams 3-4 defense is led by Dewayne
Robertson on the line and Jonathan Vilma at
linebacker. Rookie Darrelle Revis should help
at cornerback and Vilma is supported by Victor
Hobson and Bryan Thomas at the 'backer spots.
offense QB Chad Pennington proved he could last
a whole season and lead his team to the playoffs.
Now he has to prove they can take the next step.
Jones should definitely help at running back
and Leon Washington is a nice change of pace
back too! The receivers are led by speedster
Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery. The
Jets' offensive line made several changes before
the '06 season and still fared well led by then
rookie center Nick Mangold. The Jets have a
excellent special teams unit led by kicker Mike
Nugent, punter Kyle Larson and KR/PR Justin
Miller. A borderline season for the Jets.
Dolphins – The Dolphins had a
top three defense in the NFL led by defensive
player of the year Jason Taylor. This off-season
they added Joey Porter, long time of the Pittsburgh
Steelers, and things look even more dominant
good because their offense still has question
marks despite the addition of quarterback Trent
Green (trade with Kansas City). Ronnie Brown
is still a mystery at the running back position
and the offensive line has been poor to say
the least but is improving. The receivers are
good in Chris Chambers and Marty Booker and
rookie Ted Ginn will look to add some spice
to the receiving and return game.
Cameron is the new head coach and he's a offensive
genius so look for the Dolphins to improve in
the points department. Too many adjustments
for the Dolphins to make the playoffs but will
look good toward the end.
Bills – J.P. Losman took a big
step forward at the quarterback position and
will look to improve but he's running game took
a step in the unknown direction as the team
let go of RB Willis McGahee (to Baltimore) in
free agency. Losman will hand the ball off to
rookie Marshawn Lynch (California) and he will
throw to Josh Reed, Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish,
three speedy and tough receivers.
defense is young and led by DE Aaron Schobel,
S Donte Whitner and rookie MLB Paul Posluszny.
This team is not built for now but for a couple
of years from now.
Ravens – The offense basically
traded Jamal Lewis for Willis McGahee at the
running back position and keeps the same personal
on offense. On defense the team lost Adalius
Thomas at linebacker but returns many players
from the league's number one defense including
LBs Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, CBs Samari
Rolle and Chris McAlister.
Billick is on the hot seat after years of cushion
following their 2001 Super Bowl win so expect
the offense to be under a lot of pressure to
perform. QB Steve McNair has lost a step but
is still a very good QB and he has weapons in
TE Tood Heap, WRs Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason.
The offensive line is led by future hall of
famer tackle Jonathan Ogden. Playoffs for the
stingy Ravens but nothing more than a second
Bengals - The Marvin Lewis led Bengals
have proven they can score with anyone but can
they play enough defense in this tough division.
The offense is led by Carson Palmer at QB, and
he brings weapons to the table in RB Rudi Johnson
and WRs Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
The offensive line is led by Willie Anderson
and usually gives Palmer enough time to work
and Johnson enough holes to run.
defense is mediocre but not great and is led
by Justin Smith at defensive end and Deltha
O'Neal at cornerback. Their defense will be
the real factor on whether they will make noise.
Out of the playoffs and Lewis is on the hot
Steelers – The legendary Bill
Cowher stepped down as head coach after the
season and former Minnesota Vikings defensive
coordinator Mike Tomlin has stepped in. Tomlin
won't change much with the Steelers and still
has Dick LeBeau coaching on defense so Blitzburgh
is still there. The team lost leader Joey Porter
so expect LBs Larry Foote and James Farrior
to do more of the talking. The defense also
has safety Troy Polamalu and DE Aaron Smith
to help out but their secondary is a concern
offense, a year removed from his almost tragic
motorcycle accident QB Ben Roethlisberger is
back and has RB Willie Parker, WRs Hines Ward
and Santonio Holmes and TE Heath Miller to help.
This team is taking their step backwards before
it moves towards another Super Bowl run.
Browns – The Browns have their
QB of the future in Brady Quinn out of Notre
Dame and he will eventually come out on offense
with some really productive young guys in WR
Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow II. Jamal
Lewis was added and should bring tough running
to the team and Rookie Joe Thomas should add
some size and protection from the offensive
On defense Kameron Wimbley showed some future
promise at the linebacker position and Willie
McGinest is steady and knows head coach Romeo
Crennel's system from A to Z. Ted Washington
will stuff the middle at Defensive Tackle and
Robaire Smith will help too! Crennel is said
to be on the hot seat but this his first team
that has a remote chance at a .500 record! Teams
need time to develop.
Colts – The Colts return as Super
Bowl champs losing 5 starters from last year's
team. Magically the defense learned how to stop
the run towards the end of the season with the
late season addition of Anthony McFarland and
now he's gone for the season. The offense lost
tackle Tarik Glenn to retirement and Brandon
Stokley to free agency but the core of Payton
Manning, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne is
still there with second year running back (and
now full-time starter) Joseph Addai and TE Dallas
Clark helping out too!
defense is the big question with holes at linebacker
and cornerback. Marlin Jackson should be alright
moving from safety to cornerback and Bob Sanders
returns healthy at safety. The defensive line
is anchored by Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
Adam Vinatieri is one of the game's all-time
greats at kicker and has 4 rings in seven seasons.
Playoffs and that's just because they will win
Jaguars – The Jaguars are known
for their massive defensive tackles John Henderson
and Marcus Stroud on defense and their inconsistencies
on offense. The offensive problems begin with
QB Bryon Leftwich and his oft-injured career.
His weapons are decent with RBs Fred Taylor
and Maurice Jones-Drew and WRs Matt Jones and
Reggie Williams. The wideout all have size of
6-3 and better but lack in game breaking speed.
defense lost leader Donovin Darius to retirement
but has LB Mike Peterson and CB Rashaan Mathis
to help out. This team will have to beat Indy
to get to the playoffs and Leftwich will have
to prove he's the guy to lead this team or they're
will be a lot of changes. This is borderline
Titans – QB Vince Young electrified
the league and took over for Mike Vick when
it came to scrambling QBs. Young is young leader
and he will need to lead by example because
he has little to work with besides mediocrity.
There are three RBs in Chris Brown, LenDale
White and Chris Henry that could all start but
who is it going to be? The wideouts are so-so
with Brandon Jones and David Givens leading
the bunch. Bo Scaife is decent at TE and will
look to start this coming season.
defense Keith Bullock is a elite linebacker
in the league but has little help besides DE
Kyle Vanden Bosch and safety Chris Hope. The
team is solid and not yet a playoff team but
one you can't take lightly because head coach
Jeff Fisher has them prepared all the time.
Texans – The David Carr era is
over in Texas and now it's Matt Schaub's turn
to get sacked in Houston. Schaub came over from
Atlanta and will work with free agent signee
Ahman Green at running back, and All-Pro Andre
Johnson at Wideout. The offensive line has long
been a problem and the team hopes they can improve
although they made no significant additions.
The defensive found a gem in DeMeco Ryans at
linebacker and still waits to see if Mario Williams
will show his 1 st overall pick potential on
the field. The team added Amobi Okoye at defensive
tackle and Dunta Robinson leads the secondary
at the cornerback slot. This team isn't close
to a playoff spot but will be more competitive.
Diego Chargers – The Chargers
had the best record in football last season
and fired their coaching staff and brought in
Norv Turner. Turner is a offensive guru and
will look to make the tandem of RB LaDainian
Tomlinson, QB Philip Rivers and TE Antonio Gates
into that prized three that won Super Bowls
for the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990's.
defense features the super exceptional Shawne
Merriman at LB and he's flanked by Luis Castillo
and Jamal Williams on the line. The secondary
is improved but still has question marks and
the special teams are exceptional with K Nate
Kaeding, P Mike Scifres and PR/KR Darren Sproles.
This team should make it to the championship
game and is my pick to make the Super Bowl out
City Chiefs - The Chiefs snuck into
the playoffs last season but it will get tougher
after losing their starting QB Trent Green to
the Miami in a trade. The team will go with
Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle at QB with no
clear-cut starter and their job will be.hand
the ball off to RB Larry Johnson, the workhorse
of a running back. Johnson has some help with
Tony Gonzalez back at TE but the team has lost
another offensive tackle as Will Shields has
retired. On defense the team has a decent set
of linebackers led by new signee Donnie
Edwards (back for his second stint in K.C.),
and Napoleon Harris. Ty Law is always a scary
proposition for opposing wideouts and Patrick
Surtain is a good counterpart. Jared Allen is
becoming a regular Pro Bowler at defensive end
and is known for his hard-nosed play. This team
will likely have to sneak in similar to last
year's team to make the playoffs but as head
coach Herman Edwards says, "you play to win
Broncos – The Broncos didn't
make the playoffs last season and have QB Jay
Cutler in his first full year at starter. Cutler
has all the tools a QB needs and his success
will be the success of the team.
offense the team plugged in RB Travis Henry
via free agency and WR Javon Walker will look
to continue the great play he showed last year.
Daniel Graham returns to his Rocky Mountain
roots (he's a Colorado grad) from the Patriots
and looks to provide another weapon for the
defense Champ Bailey is the best cornerback
in the NFL hands down and he's aided by veteran
safety John Lynch, recent add at corner Dre'
Bly and LB Ian Gold. The defense lost Ebenezer
Ekuban to injury before the regular season began
and traded Gerard Warren to the Raiders so there
are depth issues. This team will compete for
the playoffs but I don't think they will do
more than a first round exit.
Raiders - This team can't even sign
it's 1 st overall pick in QB JaMarcus Russell
but still looks to improve because how much
farther can you go! The team signed QB Daunte
Culpepper in late July and he looks to help
while the Raiders and their top overall pick
get their act together.
offense no longer has Randy Moss but still has
a decent core of wideouts with former 1 st rounder
and USC stud Mike Williams joining Jerry Porter,
Ronald Curry and Doug Gabriel. Running back
has been a question mark so the team brought
in Domenic Rhodes over from Indy and this is
Lamont Jordan's last season to prove he was
worth the pay given a few years back. The offensive
line is still weak and QB Josh McCown will probably
start because he can work better with a short
passing game compared to his counterparts.
defense the team actually improved with DT Warren
Sapp as an anchor and DE Derrick Burgess coming
off the edge for sacks. The young secondary
shows promise with S Michael Huff and CB Nnamdi
Asomugha showing a lot of Pro Bowl promise.
This team won't make the playoffs and will struggle
to win more than one game in their division.
Oh did I mention their new head coach is former
USC assistant Lane Kiffin and at 32 he's the
youngest in the NFL?
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