Esteemed ladies and gentlemen who visit this blog, we have gotten very busy very quickly. As a result, you may have noticed we have not been quite as active as normal, and that is not good. However, it is a necessary evil of not being a professional writer, so while we will do the usual NFL rundown, do not expect a 7,000 word column this week or the next few weeks. However, we are going to try something a little different this week just to mix it up in lieu of quantity. I am going to give you my gut feeling on how each team will do the rest of the year. Not looking at schedules (unless I just know about a game already), just going with how each team feels.
Jets- Losing this week will not derail their season in the least. Probably the most complete team at this point and if the entire team were to play well on the same day, it would be scary.
Patriots- Title contenders and they still remind me of the Saints a little too much. Opportunistic but weak defense, elite passing game, underrated running game. I hope they fail, but they look promising.
Dolphins- Mediority in Miami reigns once again! The only gut feeling to have about the Dolphins is that they will continue to disappoint.
Bills- Surging and fun to watch, but they just don’t have enough. Ryan Fitzpatrick has played like a Top 10 NFL QB this year. Somehow.
Steelers- They have started to dismantle parts of that spread offense I lambaste them for, but I still get that feeling that they are going to come up short. They will play the Chargers in Wild Card Week, upset the red-hot Chargers, then turn around and lay an egg the next week.
Ravens- Legitimate contenders whose defense will let them down in the playoffs. Probably against the Patriots. I could definitely see the Pats getting revenge in Foxborough from last year.
Browns- They will keep fighting and keep being about 4 pieces away from really being legitimate until the end of the year. Colt McCoy is next in line to be the QB who is a game manager that the coaches try to turn into more and it doesn’t work. It has to happen. This is Cleveland.
Bengals- Nothing doing here. Marvin Lewis, pack your knives and go. Yes, I have a gut feeling he will be on Top Chef. Maybe even Desserts. Regardless, his team is a mushy corn souffle with a maple dressing that tastes like baby food which makes Tom Colicchio vomit on Carson Palmer’s head and Padma punch Terrell Owens in the face as he makes advances. If given the option between that and going through this season again, I think Bengals fans would choose the Top Chef scenario.
Colts- Disclaimer: I am a Colts pessimist. As a fan, I always fear the worst. I think the Colts miss the playoffs. I do not like Jacksonville’s chances. I do not like the Titans chances, but the Super Bowl Runner-Up curse is lurking in the background. The offensive line has been trash, the Colts need Joseph Addai more than anyone really knew, and even the receivers have the dropsies. They could come out and kill Dallas, but something about this scenario has me very worried.
Jaguars- AFC South Winner. I don’t know how, but it is going to happen. Jack Del Rio is destined for another 5 mediocre years at the helm, and this will be enough to get them there. That or they will go back to being mediocre. I don’t know for sure, but I have a funny feeling about them.
Titans- Done. Moss is done, the offense is done, and the defense seems pretty done too. If they can beat the Jags, I will revise my position, but they have some issues going forward. A lot of them.
Texans- Doner? Is that a word? No? It is now. It is pretty much beating a dead horse at this point, but THE TEXANS FIND WAYS TO LOSE GAMES!!!!! Sorry. At least I didn’t say it was beating a dead dog after Vick beat them. Oh. I basically did by phrasing that hypothetically? Oops.
Chiefs- They will lose to the Chargers in San Diego. I am sure of that. They still have a half-game lead though and it depends on if they can win their other games to get into the playoffs. I am sensing a negative on that. Just a gut feeling.
Chargers- Classic Chargers. Late season push, sexy Super Bowl pick going into playoffs, and huge disappointment exiting playoffs. Last time, I referred to the kid who shows up really late to parties, then tears them up (in the good way) for the night only to pee his pants and remind everyone why no one likes him. One of my stranger comparisons, admittedly, but let’s just say that the Raiders are the Chargers version of chugging a couple beers to fill up that (Sepp) Blatter. Yeah, it’s a stretch. Screw you, Qatar.
Raiders- QB controversy. Do we start the guy who has been mediocre his entire career, or the guy who is mediocre in relief of mediocre quarterbacks? Or do we admit that Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski aren’t really good enough to make a real playoff push? Not a gut feeling. Fact.
Broncos- Tebow cometh too soon. Kyle Orton hath played nobly, good sires. Olde English maketh things sound more complicated. Sorry, I just really have very little to say about the.
Eagles- Title contenders but not going to make it. Defense has too many flaws and I do not trust this Desean Jackson-Andy Reid situation. Is it so hard to imagine Desean Jackson quitting on his team? I don’t think so.
Giants- Missing the playoffs. Guarantee it.
Redskins- I have a gut feeling that they will continue to baffle me and be inconsistent. Is it me or has Shanahan sort of built a reputation for inconsistency where once he was Mr. Consistent?
Cowboys- Will they keep overcoming their flaws? Will they keep playing to the level of their competition. No and Yes. But which wins out? Week to week with this team,
Bears- NFC North Champions. They don’t deserve it, but it isn’t that impossible to believe. They have got to watch out this week even though the Lions might start Drew Stanton. With the Patriots next week, this has Trap Game written all over it. I hope I am wrong on my gut feeling on this one.
Packers- No idea if they are making the playoffs, but they sure as hell deserve to. Definitely dangerous, but McCarthy might abruptly end any playoff run.
Vikings- They can reload rather than rebuild, but it remains to be seen if they have the balls to get rid of Favre, go with Tavaris and re-invent the dead parts of their team.
Lions- To quote Mark Schlereth “This isn’t a try hard league, it is a do good league”. Lions aren’t doing well. They need Simba Stafford (just throwing that out there as a mediocre, somewhat mocking nickname) to stay healthy and to keep building. Like the Browns, only about 4 pieces away from being really good.
Falcons- NFC #1 seed. Will not lose at home. Will lose Super Bowl. You cannot convince me otherwise.
Saints- I have them and the Packers making it, but it is entirely possible that their schedule drops them below the Bucs. Very precarious position for the Champs. They really need that running game back.
Buccaneers- Step 1: Beat the Falcons. Step 2: Stay in playoff race. Step 3: Let the playoff be a microcosm of the season. Sit back, be just in it for most of the game, and win it in the 4th quarter. I would be surprised but not shocked to see them edge the Saints or Packers.
Panthers- Entering the Bills Zone of a team that is dead and starts to find its rhythm, but still sucks enough to not win.
Rams- NFC West Champs by holding off a furious push by the 49ers. Sam Bradford for ROY and it isn’t close.
49ers- Late push not enough to makeup for season of disappointment. Frank Gore’s injury doesn’t help either.
Seahawks- If not for Qwest Field, they would lose to the Panthers this week.
Cardinals- They will continue to be a laughing matter. Something about the heat down there makes for hilarious press conferences.