2017-18 NFL PREVIEW – *5-Second Summaries*

How to bluntly and succinctly capture the essence of each NFL franchise…

With the final week of the NFL pre-season in the books, football fans around the world can exhale after processing four riveting weeks of meaningless football.  Many knees lost, and brains permanently altered — all in the name of…well…nothing.  Can we just make it two weeks already? Or eliminate it entirely? Anything but the status quo, please and thank you.

(SIDEBAR: I can’t for the life of me put a finger on what the NFL needs to do to re-jig its pre-season.  So much time is required for accurate evaluation when narrowing down rosters, that two weeks may not suffice.  But four weeks is and will continue to be overkill.  With there being such few avenues for injury relief, teams must be certain of who stays and goes from the beginning, an argument for no changes.  Perhaps the solution lies in evolving the relationship between teams and practice squads, allowing them to have access to more players over the course of a season.  — maybe it’s a minimal contact summer league showcase??  Give lesser known players a platform to perform in hopes of landing a deal or training camp invite.  I realize assessing tackling may be tricky in a minimal contact environment.  Nonetheless, it can’t stay how it currently is)  

As we embark on another season of gridiron gladiators, lets take a look at each team’s current state, keeping in mind that time is of the essence.

So here goes nothing ladies & gentlemen — my rambling preview of the National Football League’s 2017-2018 season.  No knees or brains were harmed writing this…

_________________________________________________

ARIZONA CARDINALS (2016 record: 7-8-1)

The CARSON PALMER succession plan committee appear to be eyeing Blaine Gabbert…Oh boy.  Coach Arians did say he was “pretty to look at” – Take that as you will.  As bleak a picture as that may paint, this year’s version of the Cardinals should benefit from quality play aided by a relatively soft schedule.  Prediction: 10-6

ATLANTA FALCONS (2016 record: being on the wrong side of the largest comeback in Super Bowl history)

Authors of the most painful 11-5 season in recent memory.  A new stadium will showcase a Falcons roster beaming with talent, confidence, and an urge to erase the memory of last year’s epic clusterf*ck.  Prediction: 11-5

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I bet he thought it was a safe bet at 28-3.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (2016 record: 8-8)

Plagued by mediocrity since winning it all in 2012, the Ravens have managed just one winning season since.  Flacco is better than Kaepernick? I’m not convinced, but I guess that’s a debate worth more than five seconds (For one, CK’s career QBR is higher).  Harbaugh’s birds will stay true to their underwhelming ways.  Prediction: 8-8

BUFFALO BILLS (2016 record: 6-10)

I’d go watch a CFL game at “The Ralph”.  The on-field product makes no difference here. Orchard Park is a magical place and the longest active playoff drought in professional sports continues.  So. Much. Love. For. Tom. Prediction: 6-10

CAROLINA PANTHERS (2016 record: 6-10)

The addition of banger rookie RB Christian McCaffrey will give the offence a much needed boost and added dimension.  Throw in the return of franchise icon Julius Peppers and pesky nickelback Captain Munnerlyn, and the defence should also see improvements.  The Panthers put last year’s kryptonic sized implosion behind them. Prediction: 12-4

CHICAGO BEARS (2016 record: 3-13)

__________ > Cutler

No matter how ugly it gets, celebrate and cherish the “Post-Cutler” rebuild.  Onwards and upwards, but this year could get greasy. Prediction: 5-11

CINCINNATI BENGALS (2016 record: 6-9-1)

Looking for a more explosive ground game to compliment Archie Dalton? Recently spotted at the Bengal’s unofficial practice facility, PRISON, OJ fits the culture in Cincinnati, no? 44 arrests since 2000, and stayed true to their roots with the selection of Joe Mixon. Prediction: 9-7 (+ 2 arrests and/or suspensions)

Bengals__Jones_arrested_after_bar_incide_657960000_20130610233619_640_480
Adam “Pacman” Jones is a first ballot Hall of Shame’r and contributor to recent Bengal lore

CLEVELAND BROWNS (2016 record: 1-15)

Anybody else think the Browns are a legitimate dark horse to sign LeBron next off-season? Prediction: Who cares.  Not good

DALLAS COWBOYS (2016 record: 13-3)

Goodell strikes again!  The decision to suspend someone when the judicial system can’t even produce sufficient evidence is rather perplexing.  Cowboys struggle to replace Zeke’s production but are talented enough to stay relevant. Prediction: 10-6

DENVER BRONCOS (2016 record: 9-7)

A proven elite defence masks the uncertainty behind a QB roulette wheel.  Smoke up Bronco’s fans. Prediction: 10-6

DETROIT LIONS (2016 record: 9-7)

Is Matthew Stafford really the highest paid player in NFL history? 5-46 against winning teams, and 0-3 in the playoffs, yet this is the cost of doing business? Division rival to my preferred “purple” squad, and perennial supplier of premature retirees, notably Barry and Calvin, I wish nothing but inferiority upon the Lions. Prediction: 7-9

GREEN BAY PACKERS (2016 record: 10-6)

Aaron Rodgers is a human cheat code, I despise Clay Matthews, and HaHa “Clits n’ Dix” makes me laugh.  I have nothing more to say! Prediction: 11-5

HOUSTON TEXANS (2016 record: 9-7)

Deshaun Watson’s day will come.  Cleaning up and navigating through the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Harvey won’t be pleasant.  Neither will the reign of Tom Savage. In other news, JJ Watt continues to be a first-class football player and human being!  Prediction: 9-7 (JJ Watt catches 3 TD passes, duplicating his 2014 offensive production.  Give the man the Walter Payton Award for 2017, throw in the MVP too)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (2016 record: 8-8) 

Revolving door in the front-office, a banged up signal caller, all resulting in an abundance of sh*t on the field last year.  Could benefit from their owner’s annual plea for rule changes – has that happened yet? Initiators of Deflategate *Never Forget*.  YOU LOST BY 38!!!!!!! Prediction: 8-8

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2016 record: 3-13)

Ten years since a winning record – I long for the glory days that featured Mark Brunell, Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell, and Tony Boselli.  Perhaps Leonard Fournette can lead them to greener pastures, so long as he doesn’t break down from the 600 carries he’s slated for. Prediction: 3-13

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (2016 record: 12-4)

Charkandrick 4 Life!!  I just love that name.  Ok – 5 seconds…This team is blah but still rule their division.  Raiders take over in 2017-2018 and Mahommes finishes as the starter (whether it be due to injury or performance). Prediction: 9-7

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2016 record: 5-11)

I’m skeptical in LA’s ability to support ONE team, never-mind TWO!  The Chargers always underwhelm and I’m not about to subscribe to the thought that a change of scenery will change that despite having some quality talent on both sides of the ball. Prediction:  8-8

LOS ANGELES RAMS (2016 record: 4-12)

Mr. “8 and 8” is gone…and somewhere Dick Vermeil is crying.  I keep wanting this team to turn the ship around.  With a major progression in Goff’s game, Rams can flirt with a .500 season, laying the foundation for years to come.  Watkins should help, provided the O-line protects for looks down the field. Prediction: 7-9

MIAMI DOLPHINS (2016 record: 10-6)

Tannehill injury forced them to lease Jay Cutler for a year.  That makes me want to cry more than I did when Finkle missed that kickPrediction: 6-10

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (2016 record: 8-8)

Skol Nation still hasn’t forgiven Blair Walsh or Gary Anderson.  Tracy Porter still haunts my dreams.  Disappointment after disappointment.  Inferior to Green Bay, but take solace in the fact Brett’s best season as a pro was in purple, not green.  Dalvin Cook is a welcomed switch from Adrian Peterson. Prediction: 9-7

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2016 record: 14-2)

Bend the knee.  Rulers of the football realm.  Prediction: Lombardi Trophy

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (2016 record: 7-9)

Does Peterson have anything left in the tank? Brees is magical, and might make Ted Ginn look half decent, but that division is nasty. Might be the beginning of the end for what was a memorable era in Saints history.  Prediction 8-8

NEW YORK GIANTS (2016 record: 11-5)

Tom Brady’s kryptonite, and that’s about it.  McAdoo’s duster is legendary, Eli’s face is so hateable and OBJ is a diva.  Very iffy O-line, which may hold them back on offence.  But they always find a way!! Curse the Giants. Prediction: 10-6

NEW YORK JETS (2016 record: 5-11)

They left me a voicemail to tryout.  Maybe give this guy a shot at QB again? #struggling. Prediction: 2-14

OAKLAND RAIDERS (2016 record: 12-4)

Leaving Oakland just in time to be good again.  Vegas not only takes people’s money, it takes teams too (sorry Oakland, and for hockey fans, Quebec City). Prediction: 10-6

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (2016 record: 7-9)

Adding Ronald Darby at CB should give the back-end a much needed boost.  Blount will regress to pedestrian numbers (take a second to digest the fact that he led the league last year in rushing touchdowns).  Home to the best ginger QB in the league, the Eagles could see post-season action this year.  Thanks ZekePrediction: 9-7

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2016 record: 11-5)

I hear Le’Veon didn’t even get a call back from Dairy Queen…

If Ben’s body holds up, the Steelers take that division without breaking a sweat.  Another fan base that I’ll have little sympathy for when rebuilding time comes around. Prediction: 11-5

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2106 record: 2-14)

A difficult schedule early, coupled with Brian Hoyer suffering from being Bryan Hoyer puts Kyle Shanahan’s improved squad behind the eight-ball at the half-way mark.  Going to take a couple of years and some good fortune for John Lynch to right the ship.  STAY IN COLLEGE CHIP!!!! Prediction: 5-11

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (2016 record: 10-5-1)

One of these years, Pete is going to blow an ACL during one of his signature sideline sprints to argue a call or celebrate a score.  Dude is a such a weasel, but his team is still very much the class of its division. Prediction: 11-5

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (2016 record: 9-7)

Winston is the real deal.  The Bucs are a team on the rise and benefit from a cushy schedule.  Is Robbie Aguayo the biggest miss ever at kicker?  As a side-note, I wish John Gruden was still hammering people with second-hand spit on the sidelines, nothing against Dick Koetter. Prediction: 10-6

Optimized-Gruden-Face
Gruden’s poop face

TENNESSEE TITANS (2016 record: 9-7)

The Titans have talent on both sides of the ball, and the added benefit of playing in a pathetic division.  No reason why they don’t see double digits wins this year.  Big believer in Mariota, and even if DeMarco losses a step, Derrick Henry stands on deck. Prediction: 10-6

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (2016 record: 8-7-1)

Change the name. Keep the QB. Hope for division rivals to regress. That’s the recipe for Washington.  Cousins and Co. are not short on drama and question marks heading into this season and beyond. Prediction: 7-9

 

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP + SUPER BOWL PREDICTIONS

NFC >>> Falcons vs. Packers (PACKERS win)

AFC >>> Steelers vs. Patriots (PATRIOTS win)

SUPER BOWL >>> “The Brady Bunch”

 

Enjoy the season everyone.

FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!!!

Ciao,

 

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