Thursday, September 09, 2010

Phil Prusa's NFL Preview
* indicates a wildcard team


1. Patriots (10-6)
It's getting thin at the wide receiver position with Randy Moss getting older and Wes Welker coming back from an ACL injury.

2. Jets (9-7)
Darrelle Revis finally signed after missing the entire training camp and preseason due to a holdout. Mark Sanchez also has to prove he can carry a team into the playoffs.

3. Dolphins (8-8)
Will Brandon Mashall be the offensive weapon that gets Miami over the hump, or does he prove to be more of a locker room distraction?

4. Bills (5-11)
At least Chan Gailey should be safe from the chopping block in his first year as Buffalo's head coach.

Division overview: Expect a three team horse race for the AFC East Title that nay not be decided until the final week of the season.


1. Ravens (12-4)
If you don't know who Ray Rice is now, you'll know him by the end of the season. Just need the secondary to be competent now.

2. Bengals (11-5) *
It's put up or shut up for Cincinnati and Carson Palmer. After wanting more offensive weapons to work with, the Bengals went out and signed Terrell Owens among others.

3. Steelers (8-8)
Ben Roethlisberger's 4 game suspension hurts, but not as much as the offensive line, which has resembled a revolving door lately.

4. Browns (6-10)
Would be a one game improvement over last year, yet may not be enough to save Eric Mangini's job. The rebuilding process is tough playing in the rugged AFC North.

Division overview: I'm not predicting it, but could we could easily have three playoff teams coming from this division in 2010.


1. Colts (12-4)
The Colts offensive should be just as good as ever, putting them into a 12 win or higher season.

2. Texans (10-6) *
My surprise wildcard team for 2010. Houston has been so close but not quite there for several years now and it's getting time to make that next step forward. If not, the team may have to re-evaluate the direction the team is heading.

3. Titans (8-8)
Vince Young at quarterback is a big question mark as to whether or not he can be a leader for Tennessee over the course of 16 games. He shown flashes, but not sustained success.

4. Jaguars (7-9)
Do they still have a team in Jacksonville? As of this writing, not one of their home games is sold out.

Division overview: Surprise surprise, I'm taking the obvious pick in Indy. However, the Texans getting a playoff spot may not be as popular.


1. Chargers (11-5)
With fewer weapons of offense this year, it seems like San Diego is a Phillip Rivers injury away from losing the season completely

2. Broncos (7-9)
Losing Elvis Dumervil for the year to the IR hurts, but losing LenDale White is a big blow as well. Who carries the rock in Denver this year?

3. Chiefs (7-9)
After giving Matt Cassel the reins on their offense, Kansas City needs to get more of a return on their investment.

4. Raiders (6-10)
Not quite "Just Win Baby," but slowly, the Raiders are taking steps to get out of the NFL gutter. Tom Cable has survived longer than I ever would have imagined as Oakland's head coach.

Division Overview: Barring disaster, the Chargers should have little trouble securing the AFC West Title.


1. Cowboys (12-4)
Can they become the first team to host the Super Bowl? There's little doubt Dallas can make the playoffs, but the real issue with Tony Romo and company is their play during the month of January.

2. Giants (10-6)*
Three years removed from their Super Bowl win, New York should be able to compete for a playoff berth, if not the outright divisional title. The secondary must stay healthy for a successful year, and that has been an issue of late.

3. Eagles (8-8)
The Eagles do not miss the playoffs because Kevin Kolb is the new starting quarterback. They miss the playoffs because the offensive is unable to protect him. Andy Reid's faith in Kolb should be rewarded if Philadelphia's management is patient.

4. Redskins (5-11)
Owner Dan Synder seems to be learning from his past mistakes, but past ghosts such as Albert Haynesworth will slow progress. Mike Shanahan has a major rebuilding job in his first year as the Redskins new head coach.

Division overview: Would not be a surprise if this division came down to the last week, though don't expect much from Washington this season.


1. Packers (11-5)
Aaron Rodgers proves he is the real deal and rewards the Packers faith in him this year. Green Bay's offense should be among the best in the NFL in regards to passing.

2. Vikings (10-6)*
Brett Favre's latest retirement fiasco had everyone groaning, but his return should solidify the Vikings as a legit contender in this division

3. Bears (8-8)
Big name free agents including Julius Peppers won't be enough to get this team back to the postseason for the first time since their Super Bowl XLI appearance. Lovie Smith's seat has never been hotter.

4. Lions (7-9)
Not quite a winning season, but Lions should get a spark with rookies Ndamukong Suh and Jahvid Best. At least Detroit have will have reason to hope.

Division overview: Green Bay vs Minnesota. The Brett Favre Bowl.


1. Saints (12-4)
Drew Brees has emerged as a legit NFL MVP player after leading New Orleans to their first ever Super Bowl title last year. Can the defense have a repeat performance from 2009?

2. Falcons (9-7)
Getting Atlanta to another winning season will be a great accomplishment, but Matt Ryan will be judged on whether on not he can lead this team to the playoffs. He may have to wait at least one more year.

3. Panthers (7-9)
Basically a reboot year for Carolina as Matt Moore is keeping the QB seat warm for rookie Jimmy Clausen. John Fox is in his final year, thus a lame duck coach.

4. Buccaneers (4-12)
One of the youngest teams in the NFL will have some growing pains in 2010. In only his second year as head Coach, Raheem Morris may face some job security issues if there is a feeling the team is uninterested once the losing begins

Division overview: Some are a lot higher on Atlanta than I am. I see it a one horse race with the Saints crossing the finish line well before anyone else.


1. Cardinals (9-7)
Ken Whisenhunt's latest gamble of naming Derek Anderson is starter is not that big a gamble when one considers the division they play in. Still, if Anderson falters, there may not be a safety net since the birds only have two rookie backup quarterbacks.

2. 49ers (8-8)
Good: San Francisco may host the best defense in the NFL. Bad: Alex Smith is still their starting QB and his career is past the point of salvage at this point in the bay area.

3. Seahawks (6-10)
This is the current state of affairs in Seattle: they cut TJ Houshmandzadeh after one year basically paying him 7 million in guaranteed money to leave town. Pete Carroll has a long road ahead as the new coach.

4. Rams (2-14)
Sam Bradford was named the starter the Rams despite he's a rookie. On the bright side, he doubles their win total with 2 victories this season! Wake up St Louis fans when baseball season starts.

Division overview: Worst overall division in the NFL. Yes, worse than the AFC West.



Packers 20 Ravens 13
The monkey officially gets ripped off Aaron Rodgers back on February 6th, 2011.



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