Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Impressions about the Forthcoming 2012-2013 NFL Season

With the NFL season almost here, I thought it would be appropriate to divulge what is going through my mind. There have been a bevy of storylines during the offseason. The elephant in the room is undoubtedly the New York Jets and Tim Tebow.

The New York Jets
The Jets can have the headlines, but the Giants have the Super Bowls. Should the Jets place advertisements on Craigslist seeking talented offensive players? Everyone is either thinking when Tebow will start or when Mark Sanchez will falter. I used to feel sorry for Sanchez, but it is arduous to feel sorry for someone who has that many zeroes in his paycheck. I abhor Rex Ryan making guarantees he always fails to deliver; however, I agree with him on his decision to make Sanchez the starter. Tebow won his first playoff game, yet Sanchez won his first two playoffs and has a better playoff record than Tebow. Why would anyone want Tebow as the starter for the Jets? Is it because he has a string of fourth quarter comebacks with the Denver Broncos? Did Tebow defeat Tom Brady in the playoffs? Sanchez defeated Brady (the MVP that year) in the playoffs 2011 divisional game in New England, and New England Patriots were heavily favored. That is a more grandiose feat than Tebow defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Denver. The evidence suggests Sanchez is the right player for the job. At this point in his career, Tebow is analogous to Michael Vick when he played for the Atlanta Falcons. He is a quarterback disguised as a running back, and that is why the Jets only want to use Tebow in wildcat formations. One aspect of this that everyone seems to overlook is Braylon Edwards, and how the loss of Edwards really hurt Sanchez. Plaxico Burress was a downgrade from Edwards. I know there are many doubters who believe Sanchez and Edwards are both dreadful, but Marc led the Jets to the AFC Championship game in two consecutive years. They will give you nothing if you have them on your fantasy team, but they can make plays that count. If you appreciate them or detest them, the fact is those two (Sanchez and Edwards) deliver in the playoffs.

The New Orleans Saints
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the New Orleans Saints and bountygate. Evidently, Drew Brees would go to hell and back for his teammates. However, he is incorrect by defending them. There is an overwhelming and incriminating proof that Greg Williams and the Saints defense participated in bounties. No amount of passing yards can mask the bounties. What the Saints did was utterly reprehensible.

AFC West
Peyton Manning is a lock for the Hall of Fame once he retires, but there is no way I envision a scenario where the Denver Broncos make the playoffs. I have no faith in any of the Broncos receivers. Is Manning going to throw the ball to himself? Anyone can call me a demented scientist for saying this; nonetheless, the Kansas City Chiefs have a legitimate chance at the playoffs. This is my rationale for the Chiefs winning the division. They have a double threat with their running backs Peyton Hillis and Jamal Charles. Dwayne Bowe is the most underrated wide receiver in the NFL. Matt Cassell and Eric Berry are healthy. Furthermore, Tamba Hali can get to the quarterback. Dexter McCluster can be dangerous if you give him the football in the open field. Whether it is on special teams or catching a screen pass, McCluster is eerily reminiscent of Dante Hall. No one should be surprised if the Chiefs secure the number 2 seed in the AFC.

The Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson just came out of nowhere and completely dominated the quarterback competition by earning the starting job over Matt Flynn. With his mobility and accurate throws, Wilson took the job away from his peers. What are the Seattle Seahawks planning to do with Flynn? Can they trade him to a team that is in desperately need of a quarterback like the the Arizona Cardinals? Cardinals fans (all three of you) would love to see a Flynn and Larry Fitzgerald combination. The only two players on the Cardinals who have any trade value are Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson. It is unlikely the Cardinals will trade either player. The only feasible option would be to trade Flynn for future draft picks.

Super Bowl 47 (I know this isn't in Roman Numerals)
Is it premature to start talking about the Super Bowl? I am selecting the San Francisco 49ers to defeat the Baltimore Ravens. The 49ers bolstered their offense with Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs, and Randy Moss. Nobody should be surprised if Alex Smith and Manningham make the Pro Bowl this year. Then, you look and Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree. It is easy to picture this transpiring: Davis on one side, Crabtree on the other side, and Manningham in the slot. Defenses should bite on the play action fakes to Jacobs and Frank Gore. I have not even begun to mention that the 49ers have the best defense in the NFL which is led by Linebacker Patrick Willis. They lost to the New York Giants last year in the playoffs because their special teams (not because of their offense or defense). In regards to the Ravens, it less about them but more about what other teams in the AFC lack. The Patriots offensive line is abysmal, the Steelers have an aging defense, and the Houston Texans have a quarterback with no playoff experience in Matt Schaub. The loss of Mario Williams will come back to haunt them. Schaub being back in the lineup will undoubtedly help them. Arian Foster should be brilliant as he always is, but Andre Johnson is getting up there. Joe Flacco has proven he can play with the upper echelon quarterbacks in the league. Flacco outplayed Tom Brady in the playoffs last season.

NFC East
How do you spell the word elite? You spell it with the letters E-L-I which stands for Eli Manning. Eli Manning proved to the skeptics that he was indeed an elite quarterback. What the New York Giants will attempt to do this year will unleash that relentless pass rush just like they did last year. Who can forget that memorable block by Jason Pieree-Paul that propelled Giants to a victory against the Dallas Cowboys? It will be a challenge to repeat. The last time the Giants had to defend their crown it was in 2008. Regrettably, that concluded with Burress shooting himself at a strip club. The reigning Super Bowl Champions lost some pivotal players such as Mario Manningham (to the 49ers), Brandon Jacobs (to the 49ers), and Aaron Ross (to the Jacksonville Jaguars). Albeit the Giants are the Super Bowl Champs, they had their own controversy. Was hazing Prince Amukamara by throwing him in ice cold water necessary? Did Pierre-Paul feel jealous because the Jets were receiving all the attention? In any case, hopefully this will just be water under the bridge (see what I did there). The Giants swept the season series last year against the Cowboys. These are two teams that have different concerns heading into the September 5th opener. The biggest concerns for the Giants is can they flourish with those three aforementioned free agent losses. Conversely, the biggest concern for the Dallas Cowboys is keeping Dez Bryant out of prison.

Rejoice! All of those unanswered questions will ultimately be answered. Nothing is scripted, nothing is premeditated, and nothing is guaranteed in the NFL. The NFL truly is the best reality show on television. The hell with Jersey Shore.