As anyone who knows me is aware, I am a hockey FANATIC. But, I am also a big football fan. I have spent many a Sunday at the bar, drinking beer and watching the game. So naturally, I have been watching much of the Preseason goings on and I have reached some conclusions.
1. I hope the Tuna kicks T.O.'s ass all over Dallas. The Cowboys only have room for one boss on the field. And it must be Bill Parcells. Anything else will just lead to a repeat of what we've already seen with T.O. in San Fran and Phili. That and T.O. is just an ass. I was greatly relieved when he didn't go to my Broncos.
2. Farve needs to retire. I'm sorry to all you Packers' fans, I really am. But after watching him last night, I can't help but think this year is going to be even worse than last. Farve had a fumble and an interception in the first FIVE MINUTES OF THE GAME! And the rest of the time he didn't look much better. Now I like Farve. I think he's one of the all time greatest quarterbacks in football history, but all good things must come to an end. Step aside, let Aaron Rodgers take over.
3. Gary Kubiak is what the Texans have needed. He's a no-nonsense coach, with tons of experience both on and off the field. He's also not afraid to get the face of one of his players if they're screwing things up. One of the problems with the Texans over the last few years is that no one was willing to tell David Carr to get his head out of his ass. Instead, they treated him with kid-gloves. Kubiak, on the other hand, has flat out told Carr that he is no longer a rookie and will not be allowed to make rookie mistakes. Period. And it seems to be paying off. The Texans are 2-1 so far in the Preseason. Both of their wins have been by at least 7 points, and they only lost to the Broncos by 3. There's no way in hell they're going to win their division or even get to the play offs (the AFC is way too strong for that to happen), but they will have a much better year than last year (although, with a 2-14 record in 2005, it would be hard to get worse).
4. Hard-core fantasy footballers are idiots. I play fantasy football myself, but it's just a bit of a distraction once a week or so. There are grown men who spend hours every day working on their team. Three words: Get. A. Life.
5. The Oakland Raiders are already in deep shit if they've been forced to sign Jeff George again (he was a Raider 1997). The man has not thrown an NFL pass since 2001! Only in an Al Davis universe.
6. There has been a lot of hype this Preseason about the Arizona Cardinals. Well, here's the sad truth, Arizona. The Cards will suck this season - again. They may not suck as bad as some past seasons, but they will still suck. Here's why: Kurt Warner is incredibly inconsistent and gets shaken far too easily, and Matt Leinart does not have enough experience at the pro level to really carry the team by himself. Edgerrin James is a great runner, but the O-line isn't good enough to give him the holes he needs to be truly effective. Without a good running game, defenses will key on the Cardinals' passing game. Even if one or both of the quarterbacks were perfect, again the O-line won't be able to provide decent pass protection and the secondary will know the ball is probably coming their way, meaning they can prepare for it. Yes, the Cards' defense has looked pretty good (good, not great), but you can't really expect to win with just your defense (well, maybe if you're the 2005 Chicago Bears, but no one else). Yes, the new stadium is cool and attendance will be plenty high this year (actually, it's pretty much sold out for the entire season - never thought I'd see that happen), but the team will probably still will have a losing season. Final record for 2006: 6-10.
7. Denver running backs. It seems almost every year the Broncos have a new running back who rushes for 1000+ yards in the season. And every year people are surprised. See, there's this thing called an "offensive line" and they do this thing called "blocking." Now, when your "offensive line" is "blocking" effectively, it is very easy for the running back to get 5-10 yards a carry. Denver's offensive line has been one of the best in the NFL in the last decade. Match that with a quarterback who can throw a mile, which stretches the defense, and you have a great running game with a running back of average ability. Why do you think Clinton Portis and Rueben Droughns have not been as effective since they left Denver?
So those are the thoughts I have come away from this preseason with. For the record, here are my late-August Playoff Predictions:
AFC Division Winners
AFC Wild Card Teams
NFC Division Winners
NFC Wild Card Teams
We'll see come the first week of January!