Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Train Wreck

"Girl there's a better life, for me and you."

Ehhh, I don't know what to think of my personal life anymore. A job I thought was a done deal once again has escaped me, and my security blanket job is now being overrun by hooligans...and not the good kinds. So, in my inevitable release from this job, that will leave me with the Panthers...and that runs once a week, every other week. In other words, I'm about to enter another spell which includes a lot of loneliness, depression, and Raisin Bran. It won't include DirecTV though, because that had to be taken out because I don't have a clear view of the "southern sky." Really, really good stuff. Why did I have to pass all my classes and graduate? If I knew it would be like that, you can bet I would still be in Columbia figuring out some way to stay. The real world is not for me at all.

Ok, anyway, enough about downer notes. Let's dive into something a little lighter. The National Football League decided to start up this Thursday, and all I have to say is this:


Not like the Sox have been given me anything to yawn about lately, but the anticipation is absolutely killing me for this season to come. For the first time...ever, the Pats are favored to win it all. Despite losing Rodney Harrison to Barry Bonds Syndrome, and Richard Seymour being placed on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list, meaning he'll be out for at least the first six weeks, regardless of if he's healthy or not, the Pats still have a mess of talent. True, Seymour is probably one of the top five or ten ends in the league, but with Jarvis Green stepping in, the defense really won't lose too much of a step. Green is an explosive rusher off the end, and has shown he's plenty capable of picking up the slack not only this pre-season, but basically, in his entire tenure with New England. Harrison is the one that somewhat concerns me. I like James "The Colonel" Sanders as much as anyone else, but still, after him, the depth at safety is very sparse, which is funny because the thought was to move first-rounder Brandon Meriweather to corner because the safety position seemed to be overflowing with guys. Now with Harrison out for four games, and the cuts made to shrink the roster, Meriweather all of a sudden becomes the last line of defense, and after that, it's anyone's guess. I do think Sanders will be able to fill in, but when you're going up against teams like San Diego and Cincinnati in the first four weeks, you want to have all hands on deck. Oh well. This team is still stacked, and with the cut of a certain wide-eyed receiver, my sentimental favorite, Jabar Gaffney, is still on the team. Plus, everyone's new favorite go-to-guy, Wes Welker, could be in for a potentially huge season this year, despite the fact that Tom has an absolute goldmine of receiving talent on this team. No one has seen Randy Moss in red, white, and blue in game situations yet. What an absolute wild-card he is going to be this year. Sure, it was brilliant to give him an incentive-filled, one year deal, but what would make it complete would be if Moss could do any of what he did in Oakland (no hissy fits though), not even Minnesota. Seriously, you don't think I'll take the 50 reception, 750 yard Moss? After what happened last year? If you have a "go get it" kind of guy, the possibilities are endless. Plus, because of Donte, Moss will not be the lone focal point in this offense. So I'm dying to see him in action. People make a big deal about what Asante will do when he comes back. Look, I know Asante (not personally, but as a football player), the guy is going to be fine. Sure, he may be a little rusty in his first action, but looking down the road, having a guy like that in your secondary is absolutely huge. You know he's still trying to get a long-term deal, and there's no better way than showing that the results he put up last season was not an aberration of his actual play. Many know that he's an above-average corner (I personally already have him in the top-10), but if he can do some of the things he did last year, and show that his nose for the ball was not just a one-season wonder. I'm biased about how I feel about this team, and why shouldn't I be? I put up with enough crap in my life in terms of the Pats always being on the outside looking in (if you're over 40 reading this, and you're a Pats fan, then I really feel bad for you), so now that they're in, and, oh by the way, not going anywhere anytime soon, I'm proud that I've never in my life stopped believing that the team would turn it around, and thanks to a guy who dresses as bad as I do, and a certain #199 overall selection, we're the toast of the league, and despite losing two All-Pros, we're still looking like a super power. Now that's saying something.

In terms of the rest of the league, here's how I see everything shaking down:

Bobby Petrino is on the fast track to getting the #1 pick, and a reunion with his old quarterback from Louisville, Brian Brohm. Those Atlanta/Tampa matchups are going to be great to watch.
The Niners are going to be good, and it really pains me because the Pats are getting their first-round pick, and if they turn out being as good as I think they might, the Pats may have actually made a bad trade, which is unheard of. This is the same team that got a first-rounder for Drew Bledsoe and Deion Branch.
The Saints are not as good as people are making them out to be. Last year was a totally different story. Not to say that it was only Katrina that got them to the NFC Championship game, but the fact that people can gameplan for Reggie Bush now suggests to me that he won’t be nearly as effective as he was last year.

Overrated Team: San Diego. Am I the only one who realizes that despite going 14-2 last year, they fired their coach because he's horrendous in the playoffs, then replace him with a guy whose only been there twice? Overall, Turner, as a head coach, is 58-82! Come on now! For a team that probably has the second-most overall talent in the league, the best replacement they can get is a guy who comes into this year 24 games under .500 for his career? I know LT gives them ten wins off the bat, but the whole "this is the year" for the Chargers can't be further from the truth. Wrong coach, and plus, an absolute lack of receiving options going for them. Vincent Jackson is their #1? Really? True, Gates is an exceptional pass catcher, but how long is it going to be before teams start putting eight and nine guys in the box, and really try and test those wideouts?

Underrated Team: Houston Texans. That's right, the same exact team you're thinking of. However, there have been a lot of shakeups. Yes, their line is, how I would say, "questionable at best," but I really think they have done enough in terms of personnel to really surprise people this year. Of course, you can't talk about the Texans without talking about Matt Schaub, who now ranks as amongst the biggest "hey, can we get a mulligan on that trade" moves of all-time. Schaub has the money, but can he live up to all the hype surrounding him? This will be easily the biggest question the Texans have heading into the season. What is known is that Schaub was outstanding in the very limited time he was in Atlanta. Unfortunately, Eric Moulds went off to Tennessee, meaning Schaub has Andre Johnson, and a lot of "pick up the pieces" guys. However, he does have Owen Daniels, who had a breakout rookie season last year, and I expect him to go to Daniels early and often, as with most rookie QBs, or those who are in an new system, they tend to target the middle of the field before they acquire a wider peripheral vision. Also, the fact that Ahman Green has a reliable backup in Ron Dayne, I expect both backs to be given a bunch of opportunities, as both will wear down the opposing lines. As far as the defense, they still have Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, and a pair from everyone's favorite school (Dunta Robinson and Fred Bennett...Gamecocks!). I think the Texans have a legitimate shot at winning eight games this year, and while that won't be enough to make the playoffs in the always-tough AFC, it will at least give the fans in Houston a lot more to cheer about than they had before (their first player ever signed to the team was Tony Bosselli...he never even played a down for them...this team has been through a lot).

Breakout Performance: Green Bay's Defense: Sure, it's not an individual player, but this is a unit that's not getting a whole lot of pub, and I don't see the reason why. The Pack bolster a line featuring Aaron Kampman, fresh of a 15.5 sack performance last year, and KGB at ends, with Ryan Pickett and Justin Harrell (who has to do good, because the Cheeseheads have been booing him since he was picked in April) at tackle. That's a solid group. A.J. Hawk is going into his second year, and don't expect a sophomore slump of any sort (he has to have one of the best football names ever...sounds like a guy who was in "The Program"). Despite some legal difficulties, Nick Barnett will open the year at MLB. He got a huge extension in the off-season, so he will be patrolling the middle of Lambeau Field for perhaps the rest of his career, and entering just his fifth year, his ceiling still possibly hasn't been reached. In the backfield, you have arguably the best combo of corners in the league with Al Harris and Charles Woodson (although I have to say the Dre Bly/Champ Bailey combo out in Denver is going to be quite formidable this year). Nick Collins is also a very underrated safety. I really think that the defense can carry this team along. Think about what division this is. This is the NFC Norris, a division the Bears, who have basically no offense, have dominated the past few years. A nine win season is not completely out of the question, especially with #4 at QB, and a rookie in Brandon Jackson who has been extremely impressive so far.

Biggest Letdown: Marshawn Lynch. I'm just going to call this one now because a.) I really don't think he was even the fifth or sixth best back to come out last year, and b.) Anthony Thomas has been splitting time with the first team in the pre-season...that's not very encouraging for a guy who is supposedly going to be the main man from day one. Yet, Buffalo felt that this would be the guy to answer their problems. To me, I think Lynch will create more problems than solutions, and it won't be long until they fire up the A-Train up in Orchard Park.

Ok, now onto the not so bold predictions. First, divisions:

AFC East: Ok, say what you will about how the Bills and Jets continue to try and make the moves to contend with the Pats, but it's tough when the Pats make more key moves than both of them combined. Now, you have a juggernaut that simply can't be stopped know what?...not even going to get into that. Wrap it up. Jets fans, cross your fingers for the Wild Card...and I guess Miami still has a team. Well, they could wind up playing the role of spoilers for someone if Trent Green stays healthy...big if.

Pats: 13-3
Jets: 8-8
Bills: 7-9
Dolphins: 5-11

AFC North: This division is wide open between three teams who I think will just beat the bejeezus out of each other. In the end, I think the Ravens will prevail because of the Willis McGahee addition. You can't begin to underscore what a huge pickup that was for the Baltimore. Jamal Lewis had a bunch of good years, but like so many bruising runners, he's on the fast track to retirement (Cleveland, where careers go to die...I hope they don't open with that). McGahee will help Steve McNair (yes, he's still playing) out tremendously. Cincy will definitely be a contender with their offense. The Palmer to Johnson/Housh combo will once again get all of them big time stats. Rudi Johnson will be solid despite some injury concerns. The main question I have is that defense. They have been unable to give the offense any rest, and that eventually wears on the team to the point that they can't get out of the first round of the playoffs. Pittsburgh is the wild card. If they play like they did in Charlotte (granted, it was only the pre-season), they are in for a world of hurt. I really think Lawrence Timmons could contend for Defensive ROY. He has looked outstanding so far, so the Steelers hope that translates into regular season success as well. Cleveland is Cleveland...and they drafted Brady Quinn...goodnight nurse.

Ravens: 11-5
Bengals: 10-6
Steelers: 8-8
Browns: 5-11

AFC South: The wild, wild...south? This is easily the most intriguing division in all of football because there is just so much uncertainty going on outside of the defending champs (man that is painful to say). Let's start off with Indy, because yes, despite once again having no defense on paper, they will win the division again. Bob Sanders needs to get paid. If Freeney gets $72 over six, Sanders should get $100 over eight, or something like that. Basically, if he's in the lineup, they win, and if he isn't...??? Manning again has a slew of first-rounders playing for him, and now that Anthony Gonzalez has replaced Brandon Stokley in the slot, Manning has a first-rounder in three WR spots, his RB, and his TE. This guy has it better than what Leinart and Palmer had at Southern Cal. Absolute ridiculousness. Anyway, onto the intrigue. Jacksonville is a great team. They ranked in the top-10 of total offense and defense last year, and still, they missed the playoffs. It just seems that the injury bug has found its way into the Jags clubhouse, and hasn't left since around '99. Jones-Drew is a beast, but it definitely would help if Fred Taylor took some of the carries this year to preserve Drew for the stretch run. Reggie Nelson got banged up in the pre-season, but should be available come Week 1. Vince Young was a smash last year, and single-handedly nearly willed the Titans into the playoffs (once again, the lesson is this: if you are trying to make a stretch run to make the post-season, do not schedule the never works). Now, Young is going to have to try and make the backfield of LenDale White, Chris Brown, and Chris Henry work. They do have Ben Troupe, who should benefit from having another year under his belt, and despite losing Drew Bennett, they were able to get Eric Moulds, who will team with Brandon Jones as the wide-outs of choice. No Pac-Man means the defense and special teams will suffer big time. Say what you will about the guy, but he is a big-time player in this league. His presence will be missed. I already gushed over Houston, so if you need a reminder, see above.

Colts: 13-3
Jags: 11-5
Titans: 8-8
Texans: 7-9

AFC West: Two teams of dominance, and two to be left in the dust. The Chargers are the favorites to win this division based on the talent they bring to the table, but you would be surprised how close the race will be between the Bolts and the Broncos, who made a major splash acquiring Dre' Bly for Tatum Bell. Denver now has a great secondary, especially when you add in the John Lynch factor. I still think Jay Cutler needs another year to develop, but he does have Javon Walker, Rod Smith, and our old friend Daniel Graham to throw to. KC is going to be in for some difficulties, especially on offense. LJ is signed up for the long run, but how long can this line continue to produce the results that they have in the past? Tony Gonzalez is solid, but he's far from being a spring chicken (entering his 11th year), and there is no way you're going to put me in a position to say I'm totally confident in the abilities of Damon Huard. The defense is also spotty, but I do like the acquisition of Donnie Edwards to their linebacking core. Ty Law and Patrick Surtain are big names, but both have shown some rust, especially Surtain. Then we go to Oakland, who I have to say will be an improved team this year. Although Josh McCown is likely starting Week 1, this job is Culpepper's to lose. I don't expect JaMarcus Russell to play at all this year, especially considering he hasn't signed yet. That defense is freakishly underrated, and the addition of Dominic Rhodes will help once he is re-instated (suspended for violating the substance abuse policy for the first four weeks).

Chargers: 12-4
Broncos: 11-5
Chiefs: 7-9
Raiders: 6-10

NFC East: This division always is a little screwy. Philly has dominated since re-alignment, winning five of the last six division titles, including their remarkable run into a division crown last year despite Donovan McNabb going down early on in the season. Again, I feel like Philly is going to take this division down. Andy Reid is a great coach, and with a healthy McNabb, Brian Westbrook, and a defense that has a lot of depth, I love Philly's chances not only in the regualr season, but I think they have enough to make a push in the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how Sean Considine handles being "the guy" at strong safety replacing Michael Lewis. The Cowboys hired Wade Phillips to replace the Tuna (who inevitably will re-surface with another team next year), which means that there will be an emphasis on defense. DeMarcus Ware is one of those guys that's so good, he really doesn't have a set position. In addition to Ware, there is talent all over this D, especially in the backfield with terrance Newman, Roy Williams, and the newly-acquired Ken Hamlin. Expect that unit to have a big year. As far as the offense goes, I like the Marion Barber/Julius Jones combination on the ground. Terry Glenn is again underrated, and their line is pretty solid. T.O. is a ticking time bomb, but he seems to have settled into Big D. Jason Witten is overrated, but he still can produce. Romo, at least in my opinion, is grossly overrated. He's under the "Big Ben syndrome" big time. If you think about it, it's right around the same pattern, except Romo didn't go in the first round. He came from a small school (what is Eastern Illinois Alex, I'll take Potent Potables for $1,000), filled in for an injured starter (Drew Bledsoe is making more money for the two guys that replaced him than he will ever dream of...and he signed a 10-year, $100 million pact with us!), and had immediate success because he managed not to ____ (adjective) it up too much. Romo is a decent passer, but really doesn't do much for me. Call me a hater, but I don't see the guy getting people to forget about "the snap" anytime soon. These other two got me? The Giants are going to really, really feel the loss of Tiki this year. I like Brandon Jacobs, but there's no way you're going to replace a guy who gets 2,000 yards from scrimmage a year. Their defense was awful last year, and now, Michael Strahan barely ended his holdout before the regular season, meaning it will probably take a few weeks from him to get back into "game condition." The 'Skins have some positives going for them. Again, I am arguably the biggest fan of Chris Cooley south of Landover, and I once again think he will have a mega year. Portis and Betts out of the backfield is good as long as the egos are in check. Remember where Portis is from (the U), and remember that he had 1,500 yards in each of his first two years. It might be tough for Portis to except a lesser role while he's in the prime of his career. The receiving core is weak, especially since Santana Moss will be playing through injuries for most of the year. The addition of London Baker-Fletcher means that the defense should be able to stop the run a little better (137.3 yards/game, 27th in the NFL), and if the secondary can stay healthy, they have a chance to pull themselves out of the rut that they put themselves in last year (23rd in the league), especially with the addition of LaRon Landry.

Eagles: 12-4
Cowboys: 10-6
Giants: 6-10
Redskins: 6-10

NFC North: Da Bears. Forget this one. The Bears will have this division under wraps until Urlacher retires. Despite some key additions for the other three teams, the Bears should win this division by four or five games. Now is the time for Cedric Benson to step up to the plate. The Bears attempted to sabotage Thomas Jones' career by playing him in limited action, but despite that, he still went on to rush for over 1,000 yards. Now Benson is the man in Chi-Town, and will need to make good on his worthiness of being a top-5 pick. Rex Grossman is horrible, there's just no other way around it. He has The Moose and Bernard Berrian, and also, an interesting position battle has cropped up between Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen for the TE spot. In terms of the's the Bears! No flaws anywhere. They will rough you up, plain and simple. Plus, they have the best special teams unit going, with Robbie Gould, Brad Maynard, and Devin Hester, but don't expect Hester to get 5 TDs again ( never know). I love the Packers this I mean is this Favre's last year? Who knows, other than the fact that his last game will involve a gruesome hit, a stretcher, and an ambulance. They will have to carry Favre off to get him to hang it up. Brandon Jackson is my pick to win Offensive ROY. The D is going to be the Packers this year! The Lions quietly have created one of the best offenses in the league (maybe all those first-rounder spent on receivers will pay off this year!). Row Williams, Mike Furrey, and rookie Calvin Johnson comprise arguably one of the best receiving corps in the league. The health of Kevin Jones is a serious question mark, but they did trade for Tatum Bell, who should be able to pick up some of the slack if Jones is unable to go. Their defense is, all together now, questionable at best. I love Ernie Sims, and they locked up Cory Redding in the off-season, and when you combine him with Shaun Rodgers, you have great run-stopping abilities. Their secondary doesn't look too hot, so don't bank on a Lions' playoff appearance just yet. Then, of course, there's Minnesota. Two words: Tarvaris Jackson...hoochie mama! Good backfield with Chester Taylor and Oklahoma prodigy Adrian Peterson. Their receivers still need help (in addition to never rooting against Tom Brady for fantasy purposes, another thing you will never get me to do is admit that a Gamecock was a bust...I still love you Troy Williamson!...and they added Sidney Rice...all they need to do is bring back Marcus Robinson, and they're in business). Their defense is actually quite good. I love the guys up front. It doesn't get any better than Pat and Kevin Williams stopping the run. Also, they have Darren Sharper playing safety, one of my personal favorites.

Bears: 13-3
Packers: 10-6
Lions: 7-9
Vikings: 6-10

NFC South: Easily the worst division in football. If you want to see what happens to great teams when they refuse to make any big off-season moves, this division is right up your alley. The Saints are going to win this easily, even though they won’t be as good as they were last year. The Saints needed defensive help…and they drafted a receiver in the first round, who by the way has not been healthy for any of their pre-season games. Carolina is pitiful against the run, and as far as their QB situation, that’s just going to come up over and over again if Delhomme can’t find a way to get the ball to Steve Smith or Dwayne Jarrett. Tampa is just wallowing right now. The Cadillac has not been able to establish himself the way it looked like he would after his rookie season. They did draft Gaines Adams, but all and all, this defense has a ton of holes. Can Jeff Garcia possibly will another team to the playoffs? If so, he has to be considered the Trent Dilfer of the 21st Century. Then there’s Atlanta…forget about it. It would take an entire column to write about their problems.

Saints: 11-5
Panthers: 7-9
Bucs: 5-11
Falcons: 3-13

NFC West: The land of promise. Arizona has long been the “sexy” pick in terms of a team ready to break out, and now, the Niners have become that team. This was easily the hardest division I had to pick. I’m going to go a little different than everyone else and go with St. Louis. The Rams have always had the offense, and now…they have even more of it. Drafting Brian Leonard was a huge move. I always liked Leonard when he was with Rutgers, as he and Ray Rice ran their way into history last year. Plus, the Rams added Randy McMichael, a big-time underrated TE who will see plenty of balls. With Jackson and Bulger blossoming into superstars, they will once again be “The Greatest Show on Turf.” I had Seattle going to the Super Bowl last year, and they gave the Bears all they could handle in the Divisional Playoffs at Soldier Field. This year, they are without Ken Hamlin, but they gained Patrick Kerney to help their pass rush. I think they will finish with the same record as the Rams, but given how well the Rams play Seattle, the Seahawks will have to look for a wild card birth. The Niners aren’t instantly going to be this big-time, unstoppable team. Yes they’ve improved, but they need a year to gel as a team. When next year comes around, this team could be even more dangerous. For now, I have my reservations about handing them over a playoff birth. The Cardinals need defense, but with that being said, they have three outstanding players in Bertrand Berry, Karlos Dansby, and Adrian Wilson, who could be the best safety in football (seriously) They have offense, but they don’t have the line to protect Leinart. Letting Leonard Davis walk is really going to hurt this team.

Rams: 10-6
Seahawks: 10-6
Niners: 8-8
Cardinals: 6-10

And now, who’s in and who’s not:

East: Pats
North: Ravens
South: Colts
West: Chargers
WC #1: Broncos
WC #2: Jags

East: Eagles
North: Bears
South: Saints
West: Rams
WC #1: Seahawks
WC #2: Cowboys

Wild Card Round:
Denver vs. Baltimore: I like the Ravens, but I like where the Broncos are going even more. Travis Henry is going to have a very productive year, and frankly, I think last year’s Colts/Ravens game showed that Baltimore simply doesn’t have the offense to contend with a halfway decent defense. I have Denver going on the road and winning this game.

Denver 17, Baltimore 9

Jacksonville vs. San Diego: The Chargers have got to win this game. They were thoroughly embarrassed last year by the Pats, which is what you get when you start selling Super Bowl tickets and planning parades before you get to the show. The Jags will have a great season, but David Garrard is going to have to do a hell of a lot to convince me that he’s going to guide this team on the road and win a playoff game. Perhaps in this go-around, the Bolts will remember #21 and why he was the MVP last year

San Diego 28, Jacksonville 10

Dallas vs. St. Louis: A very interesting game. Dallas has a defense to hang with just about any team in the league. That being said, they are going to have their hands full with this offense. In the end, I see the Rams squeaking out a victory, and surprisingly, it will be because of their defense, much like what they did in 2001 in the NFC Championship game against the Bucs.

St. Louis 16, Dallas 13

Seattle vs. New Orleans: Despite the Saints not riding the momentum train like they did last year, I still think they are able to advance into the Divisional Playoffs. The Saints will have too much offense for Seattle to handle. What will be interesting is how effective Matt Hasselbeck is at this point, as all of a sudden, his credentials are being brought into question.

New Orleans 31, Seattle 21

Divisional Playoffs:
San Diego vs. Indianapolis: A dream matchup of two high-powered offenses, which again will mean that whoever’s defense bends is going home. I think San Diego will not be able to handle Peyton and all his shenanigans. Also, for some reason, the Colts get a defense when the playoffs hit. So, I see the Colts heading back to the AFC Championship…but this time, they will have to win on the road to make the Super Bowl.

Indianapolis 35, San Diego 14

Denver vs. New England: The Broncos are going to have a great season this year, but I cannot see them beating New England at The Razor. First of all, they just came out of a dogfight with Baltimore. To ask a team to win another tough game on the road as a wild card team might be too much to ask. The Pats will have to stay focused on Denver though, and not attempt to look ahead to the potential rematch from last year.

New England 24, Denver 14

St. Louis vs. Philadelphia: This is where I think the road ends for St. Louis. They have a great offense, but I have never liked dome teams going out into the elements after playing a playoff game indoors. Remember what happened to Minnesota when they went to the Meadowlands for the NFC Championship game? 41-0. So, I like the Eagles, especially if McNabb is around.

Philadelphia 24, St. Louis 7

New Orleans vs. Chicago: In a rematch from last year’s NFC Championship game, the Bears will once again be all over the Saints. They will handle their offense, and Grossman will have just enough to get them back to the NFC title game. Throw in a few defensive TDs, and the score will be a lot more lob-sided than what the actual game would indicate.

Chicago 35, New Orleans 17

Championship Games:
Indianapolis vs. New England: Ok, so I’ve spent some time doing this…I can’t avoid putting this in. These are the two best teams in football, and it’s only right that they meet again. This is probably the best rivalry in the NFL right now (maybe not the most spirited, which would go to Dallas vs. any NFC East opponent). The two best QB’s (I’m biased, shoot me), the two best coaches…it’s only right. If you’re a Pats fan, there is no way you don’t go at least a day or two without thinking about Reche Caldwell in the back of that end zone in Indy, standing all by himself, and dropping that ball. The Pats should have won that game, but instead, they went soft in the second half, and the Colts tore them up. This will be the third trip for Manning to Foxboro in the playoffs…not this time Peyton.

New England 24, Indianapolis 17

Philadelphia vs. Chicago: I remember when the Eagles beat the Bears at Soldier Field a few years ago in the playoffs. It was a big deal because Donovan was coming back to Chicago, where he grew up, and beat the hometown team. This time, I don’t see it happening. The Bears have been the best team in the NFC for the last two or three years, so a repeat visit to the Super Bowl is well within reason.

Chicago 19, Philadelphia 6

Super Bowl:
Chicago vs. New England: To us, last year was supposed to be the rematch of Super Bowl XX, when the Pats were embarrassed by the Monsters from the Midway, including The Fridge, which may take the cake for most unsportsmanlike moves in the history of football (it’s enough to hate the Fridge, but his school of choice was not the wisest either…if you don’t know, look it up…ehhh…). This is our chance to make it right. I’ve been wanting this since I figured out what football was, who my team is, and how their only Super Bowl appearance went…come on, you know who’s going to win.

New England 24, Chicago 21 (what would a Pats Super Bowl be without winning by a field goal?)

Take all of that to the bank…you might get a free checking account, or at least a lollipop. Check in tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have my college and pro picks up, and if not…sorry? I will say that I have the Cocks over the Dawgs, and the Pats over the Jets…everything else…we’ll see. See you in two and two (sorry, I just wanted to get a Chuck Wolerey/Love Connection reference in there somewhere). Peace.


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