Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Andy Barch NFL Interview
One of this blog's NFL experts, Andy Barch, and I talked some football Tuesday night. ESPN has guys like Stephen A. Smith. Vitamin Z has Andy Barch. I'll take what we have, and not just because Stephen A. Smith is a synonym for annoying.

Zach: Which team is the most disappointing so far?

AB: It's a toss up in the AFC between the Bengals and the Chargers. How in the world San Diego is 1-2 after three games I really don't know. Their offense is atrocious and their defense has been average at best, so much for being the best team on paper. We all knew Cincy was bad on defense, but I had no idea they were this bad. How do you beat Baltimore on MNF, then lose to the Browns and Seahawks??? Thats really bad. They cant get their running game going at all.

AB:In the NFC, hands down its the Saints. The Bears to me aren't disappointing, as I mentioned on my blog (NFL Preview edition) I picked them to finish third, as long as Grossman is their QB, I'll never take them seriously. The Saints have been a trainwreck on offense. They've got the same problems as the Bengals, we knew the defense was bad, but I had no idea it was this bad.

Zach: Is Green Bay for real?

AB: Their defense is for real, their offense I still worry about. Their d-line is so incredibly deep, their linebackers are athletic, fast and have a nose for the football and that secondary is full of ballhawks who have benefited from a nice pass rush.

On offense, they need to get that running game going or teams just wont respect it, and Favre's INT's will go up. That, and Greg Jennings has to stay healthy; he's the only guy on that offense who is a vertical threat that can stretch a defense.

Zach: What is going on with Larry Johnson and Ladanian Tomlinson?

AB: Larry Johnson's offensive line is terrible. When you lose two pro bowl linemen in consecutive years (Will Shields and Willie Roaf), there will be a significant drop off in the entire unit's production. That, and nobody respects their passing game.

Zach: Nor should they. They have to long for the consistency of Trent Green

AB: LT has been a victim of Phillip Rivers. I was never high on Rivers, even after his terrific combine workouts before the draft. Did you know that his QB rating was way down in the second half last season? Teams eventually figured him out, and it seems as though they've figured him out this season. LT is still a great player, and he always starts out slowly, I think he'll emerge ... not to mention their schedule hasnt been to kind, Chicago, good run defense, Green Bay, good run defense and of course New England.

Zach: After watching the Raiders, I can't help but think they have improved more than anyone wants to admit.Am I wrong?

AB: They have been competitive this year, I still don't see many signs of improvement in their passing game. They need to stick with a QB, playing musical QB's isnt good for the chemistry of the club. Their running game has looked a little better (or at least it did last week). Their defense as a bit overrated going into the season. I think they have improved a bit. But having said that, they couldn't have gotten any worse than they were a year ago.

Zach: OK, last one. Browns ... any hope?

AB: None whatsoever, new year, same story. They still have the worst luck in the league. What will really sting this year, is that they'll only win 5 or 6 games, and will not have anything to get excited about in the first round of next year's draft. You know how I feel on Brady Quinn, I really don't think he's going to provide the spark that people think he will. If I'm wrong there, then maybe there's hope, but I just don't see it. Teams are also stampeding through that paper thin run-defense, which is SCARY. They are a lot worse than I thought up there. If you can't stop the run, then you have no hope.



At 7:53 AM , Blogger Joel said...

"LT has been a victim oh Philip Rivers."

Really? I'm not saying Rivers doesn't deserve blame for the loss to the Pack, because he threw the late pick. ... But he completed 15 straight passes at one point. He was 27-of-36 for 306 yards before that pick.

Really? LDT is a victim of Rivers?



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