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Posts Tagged ‘NFL Preview’

NFL Preview – A Quick Look at the NFC West

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We end this NFL Preview excursion with the less-than-appreciated NFC West. Now, I don’t expect the next Super Bowl winner to come out of this division, but there are still some teams that can determine who does.

Seattle Seahawks

Mike Holmgren

Outlook
They’ve been the best team in the NFC West for a few years now. Is this the year the Seahawks relinquish the division crown? Are the rest of the NFC West teams ready to step-up and knock Seattle off? Until I see it, I’m saying no. The Seahawks still have Matt Hasselbeck, a potent defense and the best home field advantage in the NFL. Of course, if they are going to do more than just win the West and lose in the first round of the playoffs, the Seahawks need their offense to step up around their Pro Bowl-level quarterback.

The running game is all new as Shaun Alexander left town after becoming more and more ineffective. Enter free agent Julius Jones and Maurice Morris, Alexander’s replacement last season. If these two are productive, the Seahawks could sneak up on a lot of opponents. The key is keeping Hasselbeck and the defense healthy.

10-6 and the NFC West championship.

Hottest Seahawks Cheerleader
Say hi to Sea Gal Natalie, one of many lookers on the Seahawks cheerleading team.

Natalie

More NFC West after the jump >>

NFL Preview – A Quick Look at the NFC North

Otherwise known as the “No Cheerleaders” division — except for Minnesota. I guess that’s why I’m leading with them; well, that and Purple Jesus. Due to time constraints, these will be a little shorter than the previous division previews.

Minnesota Vikings

Purple Jesus

Outlook
Everybody knows about Adrian “Purple Jesus” Peterson and while he represents the image of the Vikings, he’s not the reason they’ll succeed this season. Yes, if the Vikings have a great season, Peterson will feature prominently, but the play of quarterback Tarvaris Jackson will be what makes or breaks Minnesota’s season. They have a potent defense that will only be stronger with the addition of Jared Allen; a good offensive line, adept skill players and of course, the savior of the franchise.

In order for this season to be successful, Jackson will have to do his best Trent Dilfer impression — that is, don’t make mistakes and let your defense and all-world running back win the game. We’ll be watching you, Tarvaris.

10-6 and the NFC Norse division title.

Hottest Vikings Cheerleader
The Vikings are the only team in the NFC North to have cheerleaders and we are happy to introduce Kristina.

Kristina

Obviously, the Vikings know something the other teams don’t.

More NFC North after the jump >>

NFL Preview – A Quick Look at the NFC South

New Orleans Saints

Jeremy Shockey

Outlook
After taking the NFL by storm and making the NFC Conference finals two seasons ago, the Saints had a little bit of a fall back to earth in 2007, finishing 7-9. Injuries and a lack of defense played a big part in the disappointing end but because of a good draft and guarded optimism concerning injured players — not to mention the trade for ex-Giant Jeremy Shockey — 2008 looks like a bounce-back year for the Saints.

The keys are this: a return to form for Reggie Bush, something that should be aided by the return of Deuce McAllister who represents another key for the Saints; improvement on defense, a situation they tried to address in the Draft when they selected Sedrick Ellis; continued greatness from Drew Brees; and avoidance of the omnipresent injury bug.

The addition of Shockey, Ellis and the return of McAllister improves the outlook for the Saints a great deal. McAllister’s presence makes Reggie Bush a weapon again, instead of a 3.7-yard-a-game back who fumbled seven times. If Sean Payton utilizes Shockey correctly — and signs are he will — New Orleans should once again be an offensive juggernaut and could potentially hide a lot of defensive shortcomings.

10-6 and the NFC South championship.

Hottest Saints Cheerleader
The sad thing about NFL websites are for every San Diego cheerleader page, there’s one like the Saintsations. If San Diego and Dallas are the Facebook of cheerleader pages, the Saintsations must be Angelfire or GeoCities. To wit, they have no full images of the team members and the design looks very Frontpage-ish, especially when it comes to resizing images. Nevertheless, I did stumble upon Samantha and her nice smile.

Romessica

After dealing with that site, I wish Roger Goodell would implement some kind of web standards for these team sites.

More NFC South after the jump >>

The NFC East Kicks Things Off

The NFL Returns

Think of this post as a PSA for those that have been living like a hermit over the summer: The NFL returns tonight on NBC as the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants take on the Washington Redskins. Besides signifying the beginning of the 2008 season, the Giants/Redskins match up has obvious division implications as well.

The NFC East is probably the toughest conference in the NFL and getting a leg-up on a division foe first thing sends a message to both Dallas and Philadelphia.

A Giants win lets the world know where they stand in relation to a Super Bowl hangover and the losses of Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan. A Redskins win, one that would be on the road, shows they are capable of competing with the rest of the league; a confidence boost if there ever was one. It would also say good things about Jason Campbell’s progression, provided it’s his arm that wins the game.

Considering the fact the Redskins beat the Giants in New York last December, you have to like Washington’s chances — especially if New York’s defense has a hard time getting to the quarterback. I am curious to see if the Giants open up their offense, because they certainly have the weapons to do so. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tom Coughlin go the other way — that is, play conservative with a lot of running plays in order to protect a defense that’s all of a sudden looking for an identity.

Because of the GOP Convention, kick off is at 7pm Eastern/6 Central.

NFL Preview – A Quick Look at the NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Romessica

Outlook
Which Dallas team will show up this season? The one that looked like the second best team in the NFL before the Thanksgiving game against Detroit or the one that played after and lost to the Eagles, Redskins and then the Giants in the playoffs?

Now, there’s no denying the talent on the Cowboys as names like Terrell Owens, Marcus Spears, Marion Barber, DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten and Tony Romo jump out at you. But that and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee at most convenient stores. It’s not enough having a team with lots of attributes. You have to actually win to be successful in the NFL and not just in the regular season.

When you look for weaknesses, it’s hard to find many. As long as Roy Williams can’t cover, Dallas will remain susceptible to the long ball, unless Adam Jones becomes Terence Newman on the other side of the field. The Dallas receiving corps looks a little depleted but with the Owens on one side, the other receiver should have an easier time getting open. As for the running game, any team that features Marion Barber and rookie Felix Jones is potent, provided Jones progresses as expected.

One area of concern is whether or not Tony Romo can withstand the scrutiny he’ll face not only as the Cowboys quarterback but as the boyfriend of one of the most popular faces in the “entertainment” industry. However, he’s done a good job of it so far and with his teammates giving their approval to her presence, there’s just not much there. As long as Romessica doesn’t become a distraction — again — this shouldn’t be an issue.

Put me down for 12-4 (and the NFC East) only because they did 13-3 last season and winning that many games in the NFL isn’t easy.

Hottest Cowboys Cheerleader
Lots of choices here as we focus on the most popular cheerleading group in America. Of course, it helps when their site is set up like a MySpace page, allowing the ladies to post blog entries and pictures. Visitors can even leave comments, a service that probably has more moderators than a Chris Hansen Internet chat room sting.

Sydney

Say hello to Sydney. She’s full of energy and a good friend — according to her profile, at least.

More NFC East after the jump >>

NFL Preview – A Quick Look At The AFC West

San Diego Chargers

LT

Outlook
The San Diego (Super) Chargers begin the 2008 season as one of the favorite teams to win the Super Bowl. Is this something they can live up to? Is this the year they finally beat the Patriots and represent the AFC in Tampa come February? While they certainly have the talent to do so, it seems there’s always something in way, be it Marty Schottenheimer’s playoff touch or the arm of Tom Brady.

The biggest weakness facing the Chargers is not one of talent or coaching, regardless how many funny faces Norv Turner makes. No, the biggest hurdle the Chargers have to overcome is provided by the injury bug:

Will LT’s knee be healthy? Will he be the same player as before? What about Philip Rivers? What happens when Rivers takes a shot in the leg? Will the Chargers be reduced to backup quarterback play? How is Antonio Gates’ toe? Can he cut and shift like before? What happens when it gets stepped on? And finally, what about Shawne Merriman? Why is he even playing? Does he think the window of opportunity permanently closes after 2008? Will he be able to provide anything resembling a non-injured Merriman?

If the answer to these questions are positive, expect the to see the Chargers in the AFC Championship. However, overcoming the Patriots is another story — until they prove otherwise. Put me down for 13-3 and the AFC West championship.

Hottest Chargers Cheerleader
Earlier this year, during a playoff preview post, I picked Carly as the hottest Charger Girl — who still the best cheerleader pages of all the NFL teams — and I’m happy to say she’s still with the team. I am, however, picking another representative of the Chargers Girls for this spot to help you expand your horizons.

Kamri

Introducing Kamri, who does wonderful things for the cowboy hat look.

More AFC West after the jump >>

NFL Preview – A Quick Look At The AFC North

Alright, the NFL Preview is making its next stop in the AFC North, one of the friendlier divisions when it comes to football. No hatred here among the respective team fans. None whatsoever. What can you expect from the Northern part of the AFC?

More Bengals drama, a further fall of the Baltimore Ravens (seems like it’s been a long time since that Super Bowl), waiting to see if the Browns are for real and oh yeah, another Pittsburgh Steelers division title, taking the franchise up to 19 total.

And with that, we’re off:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Steely McBeam

Outlook
The sky is blue, the water is wet, the grass is green and the Pittsburgh Steelers will win the division they are in. Some things are like clockwork and the football team from the Steel City is one of them. We could marvel at the 18 division titles or the six conference championships or the five Super Bowl trophies. Yes, we could do all these things but, since we are talking about 2008, what are the Steelers going to do this year?

Looking at this team as a whole — best defense in the NFL last year, stout running game, Super Bowl-winning quarterback, a capable group of receivers — the Steelers have the makings of a team capable of representing the AFC in February’s Super Bowl. Ben Roethlisberger has established himself as one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL after throwing for over 3000 yards and 32 touchdowns. This should only improve as Santonio Holmes becomes more and more of a deep threat, taking pressure off of Hines Ward.

The Steelers running game should be even better when you mix a rookie Rashard Mendenhall in with a Fast Willie Parker and if their defense can improve their pass rush, the Steelers might be the best team in the AFC no one is talking about. While the NFL-watching world focuses on New England, Indianapolis, and San Diego, the Steelers will sit quietly in the background, winning games and division titles, waiting for the playoffs.

With all that in mind, the Steelers could very well be on their way to a 13-3 season, but they seem to lose a game or two you don’t expect.

Put me down for 11-5 and a trip the AFC Conference title.

Hottest Steelers Cheerleader
No such animal anymore ever since the Steelerettes were retired in 1969. Because of that, I have to rely on the blogosphere and lo and behold, it certainly didn’t disappoint:

Steelers Tank Top

Go Steelers indeed.

More AFC North after the jump >>

No More Johnson For You

Chad Ocho Cinco

Words absolutely fail me here, but I’ll try — say goodbye to Chad Johnson. That person no longer exists, at least in the NFL. The person you once knew is now legally called Chad Ocho Cinco. That’s right folks, he legally changed his name to match the sideline stunt he pulled two seasons ago when he showed up on the sidelines with the “Ocho Cinco” in the name area. This label was peeled off before the game to reveal his then-real last name.

In lieu of the name change, are we going to see a reverse label switch? Will he come to the field with Johnson on the back of his jersey, only to have Carson Palmer remove that, revealing the new Ocho Cinco last name?

Currently, the Bengals roster, pro shop, depth chart and whatever else he’s listed on has not been updated to reflect the change, and I wonder if it ever will be — although, there’s one good thing about Johnson’s switch to the “OC” — it reduces the amount of Johnsons on the Bengals roster from four to three.

Yay for eliminating jersey confusion.

For what it’s worth, the correct way to say the number 85 in Spanish is “ochenta y cinco” and not Ocho Cinco. Essentially, the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson changed his last name to Eight Five.

I, for one, welcome our new Chad Eight Five overlord. I have a feeling it’s going to be another long season for the Bengals, but at least they have Johnson’s Eight Five’s shenanigans to distract them. Again.

Via SbB.