Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Sep 2007

Bill Simmons' NFL Preview (Part I)

The first part of Bill Simmons' NFL "Power Poll" is running over on ESPN's Page 2. Simmons ranks teams 32 through 12, applies the Winston Wolf "Let's Not Start Sucking Each Other's Popsicles Yet" Test to the 49ers, and constructs an elaborate defense of Joe[y] Harrington.

Posted by: Ben Riley on 06 Sep 2007

27 comments, Last at 07 Sep 2007, 3:14pm by Independent George


by Jin (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2007 - 9:10pm

Problem in that argument is, the Falcon's receivers are pretty bad too.

by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2007 - 9:18pm

Anyone else think that was a surprisingly rational column?

by vanya (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2007 - 9:24pm

Anyone else think that was a surprisingly rational column?

Yeah. I blame FO's nefarious influence. After someone like Simmons reads the Prospectus, he can no longer be quite as blase about just pulling assertions out of his butt. There are some "experts" who are so thick that FO will never affect them - Prisco for example. But Simmons seems like a fairly bright guy.

by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2007 - 9:48pm

That guy should start a cult. I'm reading that and thinking the Falcons could be something. As opposed to an epic implosion and free wins. Maybe I need to have my gulibility levels checked. Definately unsettling.

by Kwai Chaing Kain (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2007 - 9:57pm

Quote of the Year (so far): 'As we've learned over the years, QB controversies rarely lead to playoff success unless Drew Bledsoe is the guy losing his job.'

by zip (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2007 - 10:29pm


That's exactly what I was thinking.

by Justin Zeth (not verified) :: Thu, 09/06/2007 - 11:14pm

Simmons is ripping me off, like, verbatim about the Falcons, even right down to the Joe vs. Joey thing. I was there first!

by Dunbar (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 12:13am

Go away, Justin Zeth.

by jmarv (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 12:28am

Looks like he is going to get pwnt by his wife again...

by andro (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 1:03am

3: i agree... two years ago he would have been all over the road. this was a little more tempered than ive come to expect.

the jokes are progressing out from 80's movies, as well.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 1:47am

Good article IMO, interested to see his top 11. This and a few other things are somewhat changing my mind about the Falcons (5 wins), but I think he has way too much faith in Petrino.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 1:49am

"Problem in that argument is, the Falcon’s receivers are pretty bad too."

I really think people are going to find out this year that the WRs weren't the problem in Atlanta.

by centrifuge (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 2:39am

I used many of those same arguments to almost talk myself into taking a last-round flier on Joey Harrington in my fantasy league.


by Tom (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 3:31am

Simmons almost has me convinced too. I would say that the surprise sleeper definitely comes out of the NFC South. It will either be Tampa Bay (since FO is projecting them so high), or the Falcons exploiting a variable that FO doesn't or can't account for.

If I wasn't a Bear's fan I might like Minnesota's chances at being the 05 Bears.

by Truman (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 5:16am

Falcons receivers will be better this year.
New offensive co-ordinator was the Bengals WR coach, much more WR friendly scheme - look for the #3 and 4 guys to play way more snaps......

by GermanVikesFan (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 7:14am

#14. Thank you so much. I am not saying I am crazy about our team this year, but come on, everybody has us as the bottom feeders of the NFC North. With our defense finally starting last years number one pick and Peterson in the offense, we might by pretty pesky.

by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 11:17am

14, 16.

I have hope the Vikes can be the sleeper team, since nearly everybody picks them last in the division, but they can actually play very good defense and should be able to run the ball well. My prediction isn't worth listening to (I'm admittedly biased and always too optimistic about the Purple), but I have trouble seeing a team with good defense and running game being awful (particularly in the NFC--they get to face enough shaky QBs that they have a chance to overcome their own very questionable passing game).

Nothing will surprise me, especially after seeing Patrick Reusse predict the Vikings to go 9-7. Actually, that doesn't surprise me so much: he's a contrarian that will always go against the general fan perception of the team.

by The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 11:56am

Re: Vikings

I agree with the Viking fans that they are a much better sleeper than Atlanta. But their defense is going to have to be even better this year than last year to make the playoffs, and the DVOA predictions go the opposite way.

by Phil (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 12:03pm

I could not agree ANY MORE than the Leonard Little comment.

by Disco Stu (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 12:08pm

good effort from Simmons- I like that he takes the time to come up w original predictions, as opposed to most columnists who basically reprint last year's standings as this year's predictions.

And Simmons name dropping PFP throughout the article, combined w the podcast, has to be the best publicity you guys have ever gotten. Sounds like he's a convert and will be mentioning FO all season. Now if we could only figure out what his commenter name is...

by MJK (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 12:15pm

Quote of the Year (so far): ‘As we’ve learned over the years, QB controversies rarely lead to playoff success unless Drew Bledsoe is the guy losing his job.’

I don't know...that also might hold if Kordell Stewart is the one losing his job...

by Richie (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 12:36pm

Now if we could only figure out what his commenter name is…


by zerlesen (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 1:02pm

If Simmons turned out to be Raiderjoe, I would feel obliged to buy his book.

by Chris G (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 1:21pm

RE Atlanta,

I am now totally onboard the Falcons bandwagon. I was thinking they would be better than expected before reading Simmons' article. I just have a feeling that Joe(y) will turn the corner since he is with the bests team he has ever played for. Not saying he'll be in the Pro Bowl or anything, just good. I drank the Kool-ade.

Re Vikings,

That division is wide open. No way to tell what will happen right now. I think the Vikes have just as good a chance as the rest. Of course I am predicting a Bears collapse, so if they stay strong everyone else is screwed.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 2:04pm

Reading this article reminds me of why I used to read all of his articles. That was pretty entertaining.

By the way, based on a cursory analysis Bill would have bested his wife in the pick 'em contest last year if it weren't for the fact that he kept picking against the Colts and she kept picking with them (espicially in the playoffs). I notice he took the Saints and the points last night and she went the other way.

It looks like the sports gal will retain the right to and use of his manhood as long as his Payton sized blind spot continues.

by Balaji (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 2:52pm

Okay, I have to say it. Every time I see a mention of Cowher returning to coach the Browns, I die a little bit inside. I don't think I'm ready for a world where Bill Cowher is coaching the Cleveland f'n Browns.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Fri, 09/07/2007 - 3:14pm

#26 - Welcome to the world of Giants fans, circa 2003-2006.