2007 Staff Predictions
Here's your standard warning: Predictions are hard and likely to fail. It is the intrinsic nature of the NFL: there are so many variables and so much luck involved in a 16-game season that teams will make the playoffs or bomb for totally unexpected and sometimes baffling reasons. Let's say we think the New England Patriots have the best chance of any team in the AFC to make it to the Super Bowl. Perhaps we think they have a 20% chance to make it, and we think that six other teams have a 10% chance to make it, and eight other teams have a 2.5% chance to make it, and they will also play some games in Oakland this season. OK, so we pick New England to win the AFC. Even based solely on this opinion, there is four in five chance the pick will be incorrect. So we are all going to be mostly wrong.
As we always say, we're going to make picks anyway, because that's part of running a football site: you make picks.
This year, we're doing things a bit differently than in years past. Nearly every member of the FO staff submitted his picks for the 12 playoff teams. You will also find picks based on the DVOA Projection System, which you can read about here, and a staff consensus.
However, unlike in past years, we did not each write a long paragraph summarizing our views on each conference. The fact is, most of us generally agree on who the best 7-8 teams are in each conference, and it wastes time to just restate the same things about those teams over and over -- especially when we have a lot more staff members than in past years.
Instead, we've asked every staff member to pick a team that will do better than our general team projection, and a team that will do worse, with reasoning behind the pick. We've written about this in many places: we do not believe that our statistical methods are perfect. Our subjective views are informed by our objective numbers, but not dictated by them. One of the fascinating things about Football Outsiders that often our readers accept as gospel methods that we ourselves believe are still flawed and open to improvement. Gradually, research will either allow us to remove these flaws from the projection system, or make it clear that they aren't flaws at all.
We excluded Tampa Bay and New Orleans, because everyone is basically in agreement that the system is having a hard time with New Orleans because of the after-effects of the hurricane-wrecked 2005 season, and we're all basically in agreement that while Tampa Bay is probably underrated by everyone else, the Bucs are really overrated by our projection systems.
We've also asked each staff member to pick a player that he thinks will do better than the KUBIAK projection, and a player that he thinks will do worse, and we asked a few other questions. So here goes...
|Aaron Schatz||Patriots||Steelers||Jaguars||Chargers||Colts, Ravens|
|Ben Riley||Patriots||Steelers||Jaguars||Chargers||Broncos, Bengals|
|Benjy Rose||Patriots||Ravens||Colts||Chargers||Broncos, Steelers|
|Bill Barnwell||Patriots||Bengals||Jaguars||Broncos||Browns, Steelers|
|Bill Moore||Patriots||Steelers||Colts||Chargers||Broncos, Bengals|
|David Lewin||Patriots||Bengals||Colts||Chargers||Jets, Jaguars|
|Doug Farrar||Patriots||Steelers||Colts||Chargers||Broncos, Ravens|
|Michael David Smith||Patriots||Ravens||Colts||Chargers||Jaguars, Bengals|
|Mike Tanier||Patriots||Steelers||Colts||Broncos||Ravens, Bengals|
|Ned Macey||Patriots||Bengals||Jaguars||Chargers||Colts, Ravens|
|Russell Levine||Patriots||Ravens||Colts||Chargers||Steelers, Titans|
|Ryan Wilson||Patriots||Ravens||Colts||Chargers||Steelers, Jaguars|
|Sean McCormick||Patriots||Bengals||Colts||Chargers||Steelers, Jaguars|
|Stuart Fraser||Patriots||Ravens||Colts||Chargers||Steelers, Jaguars|
|Tim Gerheim||Patriots||Ravens||Jaguars||Chargers||Broncos, Colts|
|Vince Verhei||Patriots||Steelers||Jaguars||Chargers||Broncos, Colts|
|DVOA Projections||Patriots||Ravens||Jaguars||Chargers||Steelers, Colts|
|FO Consensus||Patriots||Ravens||Colts||Chargers||Jaguars, Steelers|
|Aaron Schatz||Eagles||Packers||Saints||49ers||Bears, Redskins|
|Ben Riley||Cowboys||Lions||Saints||Seahawks||Eagles, Cardinals|
|Benjy Rose||Eagles||Packers||Saints||49ers||Panthers, Bears|
|Bill Barnwell||Redskins||Bears||Saints||Seahawks||Eagles, Packers|
|Bill Moore||Eagles||Bears||Saints||49ers||Seahawks, Packers|
|David Lewin||Eagles||Bears||Saints||Cardinals||49ers, Rams|
|Doug Farrar||Cowboys||Bears||Saints||49ers||Eagles, Seahawks|
|Michael David Smith||Eagles||Bears||Panthers||Rams||Seahawks, Redskins|
|Mike Tanier||Eagles||Bears||Saints||Seahawks||Packers, Redskins|
|Ned Macey||Eagles||Bears||Saints||Rams||Packers, Redskins|
|Russell Levine||Eagles||Bears||Saints||Seahawks||Packers, Cowboys|
|Ryan Wilson||Eagles||Bears||Saints||49ers||Packers, Cowboys|
|Sean McCormick||Eagles||Packers||Saints||Seahawks||Cowboys, Redskins|
|Stuart Fraser||Eagles||Bears||Saints||Seahawks||Packers, 49ers|
|Tim Gerheim||Eagles||Bears||Saints||49ers||Vikings, Rams|
|Vince Verhei||Eagles||Bears||Saints||Seahawks||49ers, Panthers|
|DVOA Projections||Eagles||Packers||Buccaneers||49ers||Panthers, Redskins|
|FO Consensus||Eagles||Bears||Saints||49ers||Seahawks, Packers|
Super Bowl XLII
|Michael David Smith||Patriots||Eagles|
Team Most Likely To Beat Its PFP Projection (besides New Orleans)
Aaron Schatz: Dallas. Yes, both Romo and the defense got worse over the last few weeks of 2006. I think that's a sign that the Cowboys will be worse than last year, but not 6-10 worse. They'll probably be 8-8 or so, fighting with Washington and the San Francisco/Seattle loser for the last wild card.
Ben Riley: San Diego. Offensive and defensive line? Check. Dominant running game? Check. Up and coming quarterback with a couple of weapons in the passing game? Check. Great coach who knows how to manage a football game? Che...ok, this isn't optimal, but still: this team is winning more than 8.6 games. A lot more.
Benjy Rose: San Diego. Even with Norv, this team is just too damn talented to not win 10 or 11 games. Rivers will improve, and LT is LT. They won't dominate like last year, but they're still a division winner.
Bill Barnwell: Cincinnati. That offense is too fantastic, even without Chris Henry or Kenny Irons or Chris Perry. Defensively, they got significantly better as the year went along at stopping the run, and the weak point of the pass defense (the corners) have been replaced. They were a botched extra point away from controlling their playoff destiny last year.
Bill Moore: Houston. It has to end sometime right? This is not a giant leap onto the Schaub bandwagon, but rather a marginal improvement in offense combined with a leap in defense (after ranking 31st in D, you can't fall off the floor right?). Improvement in the defensive line and a rebound by Dunta Robinson, will add two extra games over the projection.
David Lewin: Indianapolis and San Diego. The Colts aren't likely to win another Super Bowl unless the defense improves dramatically, but Peyton is too good to win fewer than 10 games. Even Norv Turner can't keep the 2007 Chargers out of the playoffs.
Doug Farrar: San Francisco. There's only one playoff contender in the NFC South (the NFC West's foe this season), and the Seahawks are the 49ers' only threat in the West. They had the easiest projected schedule before the Vick thing and the fact that Arizona is starting to look like a huge migraine for Ken Whisenhunt. I think San Francisco will have enough on the ball to surpass the 8.1 win projection.
Michael David Smith: Indianapolis. I'm the last guy to get caught up in the importance of skill position players over linemen, defense and special teams, but at the same time, I just believe a team with Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Joseph Addai is going to be really good, even if the rest of the roster is a bunch of guys who would be on the practice squad of other teams.
Mike Tanier: Dallas. The offense is loaded at the skill positions and there's lots of talent and depth on the defensive front seven. Even though Bill Parcells is a better coach than Wade Philips, I think these guys will have an early-season honeymoon where they play well for the "good cop" coaching staff. A 5-1 start is very possible, and then they only need a win or two to surpass our projection.
Ned Macey: San Diego. I think they won't be as good as last year, but I think the AFC West will be substantially weaker across the board. Denver's offense was broke last year, beyond the quarterback position, and I'm not sure Travis Henry solves those problems. Kansas City will fall apart, and Oakland is still a year or two away. I think they can sleep-walk to 10 wins, but they'll probably lose in the first round even without Marty.
Ryan Wilson: Dallas. The Cowboys have a new coaching staff, and no one knows what to expect from Tony Romo, but the offensive line should be improved, the running game is solid, and there is depth (and, after Terry Glenn and Terrell Owens, youth) at wide receiver. Wade Phillips' version of the 3-4 defense is more attacking than Bill Parcells, and the Cowboys have the players to recreate what the Chargers were able to do in recent years.
Russell Levine: Dallas. I understand all the reasons why we've projected them low, but I think that team will play better for Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett than it did in the oppressive final years of Parcells's time in Big D. Tony Romo doesn't need to be a superstar (but it would help if he could catch the field goal snaps). They'll be the last team in the NFC tournament.
Sean McCormick: Indianapolis. Yes, the defense is going to play more like the regular season version than the playoff version, yes there have been significant personnel losses, and yes the roster is paper-thin. But come on. The Colts haven't won fewer than 12 games since 2002. They're not about to change into a 9-7 squad.
Stuart Fraser: St. Louis. The defense should be somewhere closer to respectable (it could hardly be worse), and the two biggest stars on offense aren't likely to decline. Plus, they have a history of overperforming their projection.
Tim Gerheim: Minnesota. Yeah, they have no quarterback or receivers, but they're in pretty good shape everywhere else. A year ago, the Saints had a huge question mark at quarterback throwing to Joe Horn and a cast of extras, so an off-season can make a big difference.
Vince Verhei: San Diego. I don't care who the coach is, this is one of the two or three most talented teams in the league.
Team Most Likely To Fall Short Of Its PFP Projection (besides Tampa Bay)
Aaron Schatz: New York Giants. They start their year like this: at Dallas, home against Green Bay, at Washington, home against Philadelphia, and then "home" against the Jets. There's a pretty good chance they come out of that 0-5 or 1-4, and if this team starts slow, they're going full Kotite.
Ben Riley: Green Bay. The projection system must have access to some of da kine stuff, because there's no way Green Bay is winning 9.5 games. Or 7.5 games.
Benjy Rose: New York Giants. So long, Tom... don't let the entire state of New York hit you in the butt on the way out.
Bill Barnwell: New York Giants. When I think about this upcoming Giants season, my heart hurts in the way it does when you think of ex-girlfriends sleeping with new people. Many new people. At the same time. While she reassures them all how much better they are in bed than you. Oh, and she does this all in the next room over from you while you're trying to sleep. And then makes the whole group breakfast afterwards, your favorite breakfast, too, and throws out the last helping as you go to grab some. It's like that, except it's going to happen for about 17 consecutive weekends. It astounds me that some people still think this team has a chance of being competitive in 2007.
Bill Moore: Jacksonville. Quarterback controversy, a bigger workload for Jones-Drew (with the potential for a sophomore slump) and a tough schedule will do the Jaguars in. 11.8 wins? I sell to you. As a side note, I have a tough time figuring out who, of anyone, Oakland will beat.
David Lewin: Jacksonville. They just cut their best quarterback. David Garrard's average, and the Jaguars have a good defense, but Del Rio's inability to manage his own personnel will kill them.
Doug Farrar: Oakland. I know it sounds funny, but even if the JaMarcus Russell holdout doesn't stretch on interminably, Option B is Daunte Culpepper behind a line that still stinks, zone blocking or not, and this is when the Raiders' defense begins to bend from the weight of holding that whole team together. I was impressed at the lack of public frustration exhibited last year (yet more props for Rob Ryan), but patience has to run out soon. Besides, it isn't impossible for a team to be that bad two years in a row -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had about eight seasons in the 1980s and early 1990s when the CFL wouldn't have taken them.
Michael David Smith: Green Bay. I have a bad feeling that Brett Favre is going to be really bad this year.
Mike Tanier: Jacksonville. No, no, I am not going to wade into my opinions about Jack Del Rio and Mike Tice again; Jaguars fans hate me enough right now. I just don't see 12-4 talent on this team at receiver, in the secondary, and yes, at quarterback. The schedule looks encouraging, because the Jags play the NFC South and that division doesn't look too great, but after last season I'm reluctant to pencil in any sure-thing wins for these guys.
Ned Macey: San Francisco. Our 8.1 projection may be lower than other people picking them as a real sleeper, and I still think we are too high. This projection is largely based on the projected weakest schedule in football. I think that Arizona, Seattle, and St. Louis are all a little better than we are projecting which takes wins off of San Fran's ranking. Meanwhile, the 49ers were the fourth worst team in football last season. Nate Clements is not that good.
Ryan Wilson: Washington. In the preseason, the Redskins defense looked to be in 2004-2005 form, which is great news. However, the offense -- specifically, the offensive line -- still has some questions. Newly acquired Pete Kendall will upgrade the guard position, but left tackle Chris Samuels has battled injuries, and right tackle Jon Jansen has been inconsistent. The quarterback projection system loves Jason Campbell, but after Santana Moss and Chris Cooley, there isn't a bona fide pass catcher on the roster.
Russell Levine: Atlanta. This is an easy one. The Michael Vick situation will be their Katrina. Not because Vick was so awesomely great, but the players now have every excuse they need to fail, and based on past seasons that doesn't seem to be the mentally toughest bunch to begin with. They could be headed for the top of the draft board.
Sean McCormick: Jacksonville. One cannot help but notice that the Jags just cut their starting quarterback a week before the regular season. That usually isn't a good sign. The rest of the personnel is still good enough for the team to make the playoffs with a David Garrard-type (or in this case, just plain David Garrard) at quarterback. But they're going in as a five or a six seed, not as the two seed that PFP was projecting.
Stuart Fraser: Atlanta. Joey Harrington is not a very good quarterback, and the Falcons minus Vick certainly don't have the top-drawer running game that kept them alive last season.
Tim Gerheim: Green Bay. I don't buy the defense being strong enough to carry this offense toward 10 wins. The running game , "led" by Vernand Morency, smacks of the 2005 Cardinals.
Vince Verhei: Green Bay. Do you realize that according to the projection system, the Packers are not only going to win the division, but get the number TWO seed, a first-round bye and a home playoff game? Yeah, none of that is happening.
Player Who Will Most Exceed His KUBIAK Projection
Aaron Schatz: Andre Johnson. It's weird to pick these two categories for me, since I'm the person who gets to fiddle with the subjective KUBIAK variables. For wide receivers, there is a variable for expected role. The best role is not actually "1." Andre Johnson is one of four receivers who is listed with a role of "0.8." (The others are Steve Smith, Lee Evans, and Javon Walker. Torry Holt was "0.8" until the stories about his knees in the preseason.) Despite this, his projection came out way, way lower than his actual numbers from last year, and there really was nothing else I could do to move it up without "cheating." I don't think the system has the right variables to understand that no matter how much Houston struggles, Johnson will transcend these struggles.
Ben Riley: Andre Johnson. Next year, he's the number one wide receiver off the board. You heard it here first.
Benjy Rose: Joey Harrington. I know it's risky (or perhaps stupid) to think that any Atlanta QB will perform well, given the receivers and the run-first gameplan not to mention all the off-field shenanigans), but I think Harrington will be a calming influence on the team and will play right into what Petrino wants from his offense. The running game should put him in position to convert lots of short 3rd-downs. He may very quietly have a 3500+ yard season.
Bill Barnwell: Shaun Alexander. In 2005, everything went right. In 2006, everything went wrong. In 2007, some things will go right and some will go wrong. Mack Strong's not the same blocker he was, and the offensive line is worse without Steve Hutchison, but both should be better than they were last year; if not, Strong will get taken out of the lineup at some point. Matt Hasselbeck being back helps, too.
Bill Moore: Dominic Rhodes. Even with the four game suspension, Rhodes should eat into carries from LaMont Jordan once he actually makes it on the field.
David Lewin: Matt Leinart and Larry Fitzgerald. The new coaching staff should improve the line slightly, and that's all Leinart will needs to make the leap to Pro Bowl status with Fitzgerald as his number 1 target.
Doug Farrar: DeMarcus Ware. His IDP sack projection could be very conservative. Ware was tops amongst all players listed as linebackers in hurries last year, and I like what Aaron has said about hurries being to doubles what sacks are to home runs - a positive indicator. Ware's also got Purdue's Anthony Spencer, a Shaun Phillips in the making, to play Hutch to his Starsky.
Michael David Smith: Larry Johnson. He won't break down. Yet.
Mike Tanier: LaMont Jordan. Our projections don't have a variable to handle last year's Raiders. Jordan is going to get some carries and catches this year, and if the offense improves to just plain "bad," he'll register some decent numbers.
Ned Macey: Edgerrin James. I'm going to keep saying it until the guy retires, but I think he is an excellent running back. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry over his last eight games. Now they have a much more running back friendly offense. His TD total may be held down, so he is not a great fantasy back, but his real football production will be impressive.
Ryan Wilson: Kevin Curtis. The Eagles lost Dante' Stallworth, but Curtis actually had a better '07 season according to DPAR and DVOA. Also, Curtis' catch rate -- 70 percent -- was 21 points better than Stallworth's.
Russell Levine: Braylon Edwards. Maybe it's just the Michigan fan in me, but I think this is the year he makes an impact, once he has a competent QB in Brady Quinn throwing him the ball (and yes, it was hard for me to type the last part of that sentence).
Sean McCormick: Tony Romo. I watched a lot of Romo's games and it seemed to me that the team was often putting him in bad spots on first and second down. There were drops, there were penalties and there were a disturbing number of Julius Jones one-yard gains. Then Romo would promptly make a superb throw on third and long to convert, allowing the vicious cycle to start all over again. The numbers say regression is on the way, but the scout in me thinks the third down Tony Romo is the real Tony Romo.
Stuart Fraser: Larry Fitzgerald. Provided he stays healthy, KUBIAK's predicting a very pedestrian year for him. Fitz and Boldin are likely to both put up incredible receiving numbers if the Cardinals are behind as often as PFP thinks they will be.
Tim Gerheim: Devery Henderson. I think he's Bernard Berrian (maybe a little better) with a good quarterback. His 47 projected receptions are too few.
Vince Verhei: Jerious Norwood. He was the best player in Atlanta last year when healthy, and Warrick Dunn isn't getting any younger.
Player Who Will Most Underperform His KUBIAK Projection
Aaron Schatz: Rex Grossman. The system has no idea what to do with him.
Ben Riley: Cadillac Williams. This just in: he isn't very good, and neither are the Bucs. Mmm, three yards and a cloud of wasted third round fantasy picks. A close second: Ron Curry. I love the kid too, but he's supposedly going to outgain Andre Johnson (see above).
Benjy Rose: Larry Johnson. He'll play to win... and then get injured after five games.
Bill Barnwell: LaDainian Tomlinson. I think his heavy (if not quite 370-) workload catches up to him with a nagging injury or two, and Lorenzo Neal's effectiveness as a run blocker decreases because of age.
Bill Moore: Laurence Maroney. I don't think Maroney is set to be a 3-down, 20-carry back. His DVOA and Success Rate last year demonstrate his streakiness. Two rushes for one yard, then one for seven yards. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Belichick will mix it up and utilize Faulk and Morris in various situations. The Patriots have had only one other 1,400+-yard rusher since Curtis Martin rushed for 1,487 in 1995 (Dillon ran for 1,635 in 2004), and in both of those years, those running backs were real workhorses.
David Lewin:Vince Young. Young is convinced that he has made it as a quarterback; he is very wrong. Young will continue to be dangerous as a runner, but hubris will halt his development as a passer, and he won't catch nearly as many lucky breaks this year.
Doug Farrar: Matt Hasselbeck. The Seahawks' pass protection is one Walter Jones injury away from disaster in a way it hasn't been before, and Jones is 33 years old in a way he hasn't been before. Deion Branch and D.J. Hackett still have things to prove. The outlet pass to the running back is an endangered species in Seattle. Blitz pickup seems to be an issue for everyone in the backfield, and I'm not feeling too good about Hasselbeck's ability to play a full season.
Michael David Smith: Frank Gore. He will break down. Already.
Mike Tanier: Joseph Addai. The Colts are going to find a change-up back who eats into his carries. They are well aware of how running back friendly their system is.
Ned Macey: Jamal Lewis. The oldest 28-year-old in the world. There is no way he breaks 4.0 yards per carry for the Browns, and I have no idea why he is predicted with a sizable TD total. The guy has broken seven touchdowns only twice in his career. The Browns offense will not be as good as the 2006 Ravens to allow him to pick up 9 TDs. He is a third back at best in most fantasy leagues.
Ryan Wilson: Randy Moss. The Patriots have too many offensive weapons, and Moss won't ever be the guy he was in Minnesota. Not until the Patriots hire Brian Billick as the offensive coordinator, anyway.
Russell Levine: Marques Colston. Don't ask me why. I just think there's a reason why rookie receivers seldom do anything, and some of those that do don't ever get back to that level. I'm not saying he's Michael Clayton, but he's not going to be Jerry Rice, either.
Sean McCormick: Deuce McAllister. I know running back-by-committee is all the rage these days, but that's because most teams don't have a player the caliber of Reggie Bush on their roster. KUBIAK is projecting McAllister to still get a majority of the carries for the Saints, but it's more likely that Bush takes over the starting job and that McAllister is relegated to the role of "much better Correll Buckhalter."
Stuart Fraser: Jamal Lewis. Suffice to say I don't share KUBIAK's optimism about Cleveland's line or the odds of the Browns being in enough games for Lewis to rack up 1,200 yards.
Tim Gerheim: Vince Young. I don't buy the pass efficiency projection. He's a better quarterback than Michael Vick (RIP), but I think he'll remain a little too flighty in the pocket for at least this year.
Vince Verhei: Vince Young. I realize running quarterbacks always score well. But at some point he's going to have to pass, and he has nobody to throw it to.
In The Long Run, The Most Overblown Story Of The 2007 Preseason Will Be...
Aaron Schatz: Rodney Harrison's four-game suspension for using HGH. Yes, it may have an effect on the Patriots win-loss record over the next four weeks, but not as much as the Richard Seymour injury. More importantly, I'm talking here about the "scandal" aspect of this suspension. In Boston, they're acting like Harrison just got caught in the bathroom with Larry Craig, but in the rest of the country, nobody seems to be batting an eyelash. Does anybody remember that Julius Peppers was suspended four games for using banned supplements back in 2002? Does anybody mention this when they talk about what a great player he is? Nope.
Ben Riley: Brady Quinn's holdout. He'll be starting by week seven and will serve as a Leinart-like balm for ailing Browns fans.
Benjy Rose: Eli vs. Tiki. Who gives a crap?
Bill Barnwell: Larry Johnson's holdout Yeah, Herm says he's going to give Michael Bennett the bulk of the carries at the start of the season. When they start 0-2, that won't last for long. The holdout will mean a lot when LJ's on crutches in jeans on the sidelines.
Bill Moore: The status of New York's starting quarterbacks. Why worry about Pennington's effectiveness? Kellen Clemens very well may be starting by midseason, and he'll become the most popular Clemens in New York. Eli Manning will be judged by his on-field actions, not his locker room talks, despite Tiki Barber's attempt to create "news."
David Lewin: None, really. The Michael Vick story is overblown in terms of how much it will affect the Falcons on the field, but I don't see how a major active sports star going to jail for a year can be overblown.
Doug Farrar: The Tiki/Ronde/Eli/Peyton/Whoever Else Gets Involved feud. When Tiki went into television, I was hoping he would provide an intelligent alternative to the usual nonsense we get from what Howard Cosell used to call the "Jockocracy". Little did I know that he'd prefer to play a starring role in the NFL's version of "The View".
Michael David Smith: Falcons are screwed with Joey Harrington. Although Harrington is nowhere near as exciting as Michael Vick, he's overall about as good a quarterback as Vick. However, I disagree really, really strongly with anyone who thinks the Vick story overall has been overblown. This is one of the highest-profile employees of two of America's highest-profile businesses (the NFL and Nike), and he's about to go to prison for a significant length of time. That is a major news story. If anything, the mainstream media weren't covering it enough in May, June and early July.
Mike Tanier: The Larry Johnson holdout. It was already overblown. I mean, we all knew he would be back by late August, right?
Ned Macey: The Brady Quinn Holdout. Somehow, I imagine that if he plays well at any point in his career, Browns fans will overlook those two weeks.
Ryan Wilson: Ron "Ookie" Mexico. Hopefully Roger Goodell is right -- this thing won't overshadow the regular season -- but if the last month is any indication, we'll be talking about it all year.
Russell Levine: Michael Strahan. In order, he: Will play; Won't get a new deal; Will be unhappy; Will be marginally effective; Will engage in a public pissing match with Tiki Barber after the latter calls him out on NBC.
Sean McCormick: Preseason injuries. Every year players get injured in preseason and every year people seize on those injuries to complain that the preseason should be shortened. The reality is that there is very little functional difference between blowing out your knee in preseason or in week one or two-just ask Jets fans whether they were better off when Vinny Testaverde played for two quarters in 1999 than when Chad Pennington went down in the preseason.
Stuart Fraser: The entire Vick business. Yeah, I know, it's a major story and it's entirely plausible the Falcons will collapse (heck, I've just predicted it). It's being covered as if it were a natural disaster or something, so in terms of relative levels of overblowing...
Tim Gerheim: What will the Falcons do without Michael Vick? Two words: Ewing Theory.
Vince Verhei: Houston Acquiring Matt Schaub... and winning 4 or 5 games again.
|David Lewin||USC||West Virginia|
|Michael David Smith||USC||West Virginia|
|Mike Tanier||USC||West Virginia|
|Russell Levine||USC||West Virginia|
|Sean McCormick||USC||West Virginia|
With The First Pick In The 2008 NFL Draft, The What Selects Who?
|Aaron Schatz||New York Giants||Jake Long|
|Ben Riley||Kansas City||Jake Long|
|Benjy Rose||New York Giants||Steve Slaton|
|Bill Barnwell||New York Giants||Jake Long|
|Bill Moore||Oakland||Jake Long|
|Brian Fremeau||Atlanta||Brian Brohm|
|David Lewin||Dallas (from Cleveland)||Glenn Dorsey|
|Doug Farrar||Atlanta||Brian Brohm|
|Michael David Smith||Detroit||Darren McFadden|
|Mike Tanier||Oakland||Jake Long|
|Ned Macey||Dallas (from Cleveland)||Darren McFadden|
|Russell Levine||Kansas City||Jake Long|
|Ryan Wilson||Detroit||Early Doucet|
|Sean McCormick||Miami||Brian Brohm|
|Stuart Fraser||Atlanta||Brian Brohm|
|Tim Gerheim||Kansas City||Sam Baker|
|Vince Verhei||Minnesota||A Real NFL Quarterback|
Hottest 2008 Head Coaching Candidate Not Named Bill
Aaron Schatz: Brian Schottenheimer.
Ben Riley: Clancy Pendergast.
Benjy Rose: Charlie Weis.
Bill Barnwell: Steve Mariucci.
Bill Moore: Rex Ryan, although Norm Chow will get a lot of attention as well.
David Lewin: Russ Grimm.
Doug Farrar: Jim Mora.
Michael David Smith: Marty Schottenheimer.
Mike Tanier: Shane Montgomery, Miami (OH).
Ned Macey: Rob Ryan.
Russell Levine: Pete Carroll. Jim Harbaugh was 1-for-2 with statements he pulled out of his rear end this off-season.
Ryan Wilson: Gregg Williams.
Stuart Fraser: Marty Schottenheimer. Why have a chip off the old block when you can have the block himself?
Tim Gerheim: Rex/Rob Ryan.
Vince Verhei: Rex Ryan.