Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

09 Jun 2009

Early Expectations

In advance of the Football Outsiders Almanac coming out next month, I wanted to get everyone's opinion of how the 2009 season is going to play out. Who do you feel are the Super Bowl favorites, Division favorites, leading contenders for next year's number 1 pick, overrated or underrated teams, etc? Post your thoughts.

Posted by: matu_72 on 09 Jun 2009

14 replies , Last at 23 Jul 2009, 4:12am by ammek

Re: Early Expectations
by Bill Barnwell :: Wed, 06/10/2009 - 7:11pm

I'll tease FOA09 with this: There's one playoff team that comes out of NOWHERE.

Re: Early Expectations
by Dan :: Wed, 06/10/2009 - 11:58pm

If NOWHERE means below .500 and below 0% DVOA last year, and no playoff appearances in the last 2 years, then that leaves 8 possibilities: Buffalo, San Fran, Oakland, Cincy, Cleveland, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Detroit. (Looser restrictions might allow Jacksonville, Seattle, Houston, Denver, or Green Bay.) The Niners are a tempting option, but the all-caps leads me to be bolder and guess the 4-12 Kansas City Chiefs.

Re: Early Expectations
by matu_72 :: Thu, 06/11/2009 - 11:31am

I also think KC is a possibility. I think the coaching change and the Matt Cassel trade are bigger upgrades than people realize and they play in a fairly weak division, so I think there is good surprise potential there. Damn Bill, that's going to make me a little impatient now.

Re: Early Expectations
by Flounder :: Tue, 06/16/2009 - 12:41pm

Yeah, KC or Oakland makes the most sense.

Re: Early Expectations
by Chip :: Tue, 06/23/2009 - 11:00am

CIN is the obvious candidate. Franchise QB returning from injury. High amount of injuries last year. DVOA improvement in the last half of 2008. Easy schedule (AFC West is terrible + DET + CLE x2). Heavy emphasis on defensive draft picks, which contribute earlier than OFF picks.

Re: Early Expectations
by t.d. :: Fri, 07/10/2009 - 8:39am

...and nobody guessed right. I won't spoil it, but Aaron makes an interesting case.

Re: Early Expectations
by tuluse :: Wed, 06/10/2009 - 8:44pm

My NFC division favorites:

North: Bears. Cutler + top 10 defense = playoffs, right?
South: Saints. Drew Brees is just playing out of his mind, the defense has pretty much no where to go but up, every year the team that finished last in the NFC south has made the playoffs the next year. Last year was the only year that team didn't win the division.
West: Cardinals. This is more of who won't lose the division. The Rams are terrible, the Seahawks fell apart last year, and I don't see them bouncing back in a single year. The defense has talent but it didn't gel, and the offense is old and I don't think they've added any young stud players. The 49ers might give them a run for their money, but I really have no idea how they'll perform.
East: This is hardest division to call, IMO. I'll pick the Eagles, but it's a toss up between them and the Giants to me.

Re: Early Expectations
by Niners :: Wed, 07/22/2009 - 5:26am

I don't think Cutler will be able to repeat his 2008 numbers with that average Bears line and bad Bear receivers. I really like the Packers in the North. They underachieved last year. The talent's definitely there, on offense and defense.

Re: Early Expectations
by tuluse :: Wed, 07/22/2009 - 12:17pm

I'm sure Cutler won't replicate last season's totals. And his rate stats might be down too, but he's still going to be worlds better than anything we've had since Erik Kramer, and Lovie Smith almost always gets his defense to top 10 in DVOA.

Also, I don't see the talent on defense that you do for the Packers. I see an aging secondary, poor linebacking corps, and one defensive lineman I would want on the Bears, and he's getting moved to OLB.

I am ignoring draft picks here, it could be that they get a couple of stud defenders who turn everything around.

Re: Early Expectations
by ammek :: Thu, 07/23/2009 - 4:12am

The Packer LBs aren't so bad — they're not in Chicago's class, but they should improve at some of the basics (ie, coverage and pass rush) in a friendlier scheme, and with a more reliable defensive line in front of them (which they are far from certain to have).

The knock on Green Bay is the offensive line. When — not if — Chad Clifton goes down, the unit will consist of three first-year starters, plus two holdovers playing an unfamiliar position (Colledge at LT, Spitz at C).

Re: Early Expectations
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 06/23/2009 - 6:08pm

playofof teams
Pates, Colts, Raiders, steelers, Texans, bengals
nfc playoff teams-
Cardinals, giants, Vikings, Bears,. Saints, panters

Superbowl- Colts vs Vikings

Re: Early Expectations
by Sifter :: Wed, 06/24/2009 - 9:24pm

Colts better than Raiders? Wash your mouth out joe...

And the 'panters'? - tribute to those cheerleaders the Panthers had a few years ago I'm guessing. I support that name change.

Re: Early Expectations
by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 06/25/2009 - 9:59pm

cant expect Raiders to make Superbowl in 2009 seaosn. good chance they lose Afc championship game vs Colts in Lucas Oil place. Not sure if stadium or field. 2010 is seaosn when Raiders likely to win Superbowl. Need to take first step first which is to get to AfC title game. Going to happen in January 2010. Laugh now cry later when you see I am right

Re: Early Expectations
by tuluse :: Thu, 06/25/2009 - 11:49pm

Laugh now cry later when you see I am right
Brilliant, just outstanding.

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