Thursday, September 28, 2006

NHL Eastern Conference Preview + quick NFL picks

Hey all...

Well, Hockey is back starting next week. I don'tknow about you, but I'm pretty freakin' excited. 2005-2006 turned out to be the best hockey year in a long long time. The scoring was up, the play was much more exciting and the game just simply looked better. We had great playoffs, headlined by the Oilers magical run. This year, some teams, like the Boston Bruins reloaded in a big way. The Canadiens made some subtle changes that could pay big dividends. The San Jose Sharks added Mark Bell of Chicago to an already potent offense. The Canucks changed their coach (Alain Vigneault is in for Marc Crawford), their goalie (Roberto Luongo replaces Dan Cloutier) and their whole philosophy, really. The Oilers traded their unhappy MVP, Chris Pronger, to the Ducks (who have ditched the "Mighty" from their name), for young sniper Joffrey Lupul, and then lost 2 more starters on their blue line.. And so a team that took the Stanley Cup winners to 7 games by playing great defense will now look to win games by outscoring the opposition. Dominik Hasek is back in Detroit (what are they thinking?) while Brendan Shanahan left "HockeyTown" for "The Big Apple", Evgeni Malkin has arrived in Pittsburgh and the Lightning may have found a goaltender. These are just a few of the biggest storylines we'll be looking at this year.

Now, before we get to our preview of the Eastern Conference, let me announce that I will be adding another segment to this blog next week. Indeed, joining "The Dwarf's Tuesday NFL Musings" and "Friday NFL Picks" will be my new NHL column, "Between the Pipes". It will be available every thursday. In it I will discuss what's going on around the league. I will tackle 3 topics per week, along with my "5 things I liked about last week" and my "5 things I disliked about last week" segments. And, of course, there will be a dedicated section for our Hockey Pool.

Speaking fo the Pool, the draft will take place next Wednesday, October 4 (opening night in the NHL), at 8:30pm (Montreal time). The participants look to be Veillotron, Nick the Dick, Sweet LP, Huy, The Dwarf and our good friend Mat Robillard. The draft will be done online, and the address for the chat room will be sent to you in the coming days. If you can't be there, please have a draft list sent to me via email by Wednesday at 8pm. Now, onto the predictions...



1. Ottawa Senators: Even after losing Zdeno Chara, they are still the class of the conference. Martin Gerber, who comes over from Carolina, might've struggled mightily in the playoffs last year, but he had a great regular season and is an improvement over Dominik Hasek. Their offense shouldn't miss Havlat too much, and Tom Preissing and Joe Corvo will help lessen the blow of Chara's departure.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning: Marc Denis is the new goalie in town, and he should do very well. Denis is a workhorse, and he always had good seasons for a bad Columbus team. The loss of Modin hurts, but if Lecavalier and St. Louis improve on last year, the Bolts offense will be more than fine. Losing Pavel Kubina will hurt the defense, but overall, the acquisition of Denis will count for more.

3. New York Rangers: The Rangers look really good right now. King Henrik Lundqvist is already a star in net. Jagr is back to his MVP form, and the addition of Brendan Shanahan will only help an already potent Power Play. Ex-Hurricane Matt Cullen comes in to center the 2nd line and D Aaron Ward solidifies a defense that includes a returning Darius Kasparaitis and futur star Michal Rozsival.

4. New Jersey Devils: The Devils could wind up anywhere depending on what happens with Alex Mogilny. If the league accepts to put Mogilny's salary aside because he can't play, then the Devils will be able to resign 48-goal man Brian Gionta and defenseman Paul Martin. Otherwise, a big trade might be in the works because the Devils are too close to the cap. If Gionta resigns and the team stays as it is, they will be very strong. Brodeur is still an elite goaltender, the defense is strong even if it still lacks the departed Niedermeyer, and the offense is exlosive, led by a returning Patrick Elias, Gionta and Scott Gomez.

5. Montreal Canadiens: I really like this edition of the Canadiens. i think Guy Carbonneau will be a great coach. The goaltending duo of Christobal Huet and David Aebischer will be a very good one. The defense is ok at the 6 starting spots, but it lacks depth. On offense, this team is deep. Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev will again lead the charge, but this is the year Micheal Ryder and Mike Ribeiro have to explode. Sergei Samsonov was a nice addition (he should contribute for about 25 goals). Getting Mike Johnson might've been their best move though. If their top guys stay healthy, look out.

6. Carolina Hurricanes: Look for the Stanley Cup Champions to fall a little. Aaron Ward is gone, and Frantisek Kaberle is out for 1/2 season. There are still questions regarding Cam Ward's ability to carry the load in nets all year as well. Still, they will have an explosive offense again, led by Eric Staal and the returning Erik Cole.

7. Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres won't sneak up on anyone this year, but they are still good enough to end up in the playoffs. Their star is Ryan Miller, so look for him to have a great year. Tim Connolly comes back after missing a huge chunk of last year, although he might miss the start of the year. Still the Sabres do it by committee on offense, and it works. Jay McKee is a significant loss on the back-end, but he will be adequately replaced by ex-Oilers Jaroslav Spacek.

8. Atlanta Trashers: This is the year they finally make it to the playoffs. Look for Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa to once again fill the back of opposition's nets. Kari Lethonen will have to stay healthy, but if he can, he will reveal himself as one of the league's best.

9. Boston Bruins: The Bruins have one again retooled. This time, though, they are starting to look good. Their defense is now lead by Zdeno Chara and ex-Shark Brad Stuart, as well as ex-Coyote Paul Mara. Their offense is now the domain of budding stars Patrick Bergeron and Brad Boyes. Joining them are 1st round pick Phil Kessel, ex-Trasher and 97-point man Marc Savard, as well as Marco Sturm. Glen Murray is another big name you can add to the mix. The problem for the Bruins is in net, where Toivonen has yet to prove he can carry the team. Boston will be in the hunt until the end, but they'll miss out by 1 or 2 points.

10. Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers are in a bad place right now. Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Kyle Calder, R.J. Umberger and Simon Gagne will take over this team in a year or two and make it theirs. But they are not ready for that just yet. Peter Forsberg is the centerpiece of the offense, but he misses too many games. The defense is a mess, with Derian Hatcher, Mike Rathje and Denis Gauthier all too slow for the new NHL. Robert Esche is a good enough goalie not to lose games, but he won't win any for you either. Niitymaki will miss the first 2 months with an injury.

11. Toronto Maple Leafs: The Leafs have started to jettison some of the old guard, but they don't seem to be getting any better. Adding Pavel Kubina to the defense was a good move, and I think that Andrew Raycroft should regain his rookie form. Still, the offense is a mess. There isn't enough talent, and the talent they have is too old. Matt Stajan, Alex Steen and Kyle Wellwood will become good players in this league, but they aren't ready to lead this team.

12. Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby will improve on his 106-point rookie season and will challenge for the Art Ross trophy. Evgeni Malkin, who will miss the start of the season, will probably wind up with about 60-70 points as a rookie. Yes, he is ready for the NHL. Getting Mark Recchi back after lending him to Carolina was a good move. He provides good leadership. Look for Sergei Gonchar to play like he did in the 2nd half of last season and reclaim his spot as the league's best offensive defenseman. M-A Fleury will continue to get better. This is a young team on the rise, and they will get better as the season goes on.\

13. Washington Capitals: If there ever was a one-man team, this is it. Alexander Ovechkin is this team. Ovechkin won the Calder as the league's best rookie, but if there was a trophy for the most explosive player, he would've won that too. The Caps are a very young team, one lacking talent as well, but look for themto rally around their star and improve on last year. In nets, Olaf Kolzig not only provides a safety blanket to a team that needs one, but he is also very loyal and a true professional.

14. Florida Panthers: As you will read in my next column, I think that the blockbuster trade that sent Roberto Luongo to Vancouver will backfire for both teams. The Panthers thought they could sign Ed Jovanovski on top of getting Todd Bertuzzi in the trade, but they lost him to Phoenix. Big Bert should improve on his totals for the last 2 seasons, and he joins an already pretty good offense that includes Olli Jokinen, Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss. But after Jay Bouwmeester, there isn't much too like on the blue line. And the goaltending is a mess, with a too old Eddie Belfour challenging Alex Auld.

15. New York islanders: They have the stupidest owner in hockey. Usually, something like that trickles down an organization, and it does here. There is somet talent on the team: Miro Satan, Mike Sillinger, Mike York and Jason Blake are all pretty good fowards, and Rick DiPietro, no matter how stupid the contract the team gave to him is, is a pretty good goalie. But Alexei Yashin is the ultimate cancer. On top of that, their defense is a bit of a mess. Oh, and did I say their owner is just plain dumb?

I'll see you tomorrow for my NFL Picks.

Dwarf out


Arizona vs. Atlanta

Minnesota vs. Buffalo

Dallas vs. Tennessee

San Francisco vs. Kansas City

Indianapolis vs. NY Jets

New Orleans vs. Carolina

Baltimore vs. San Diego

Miami vs. Houston

Detroit vs. St. Louis

New England vs. Cincinnati

Cleveland vs. Oakland

Jacksonville vs. Washington

Seattle vs. Chicago

Green bay vs. Philadelphia

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tuesday NFL Musings - Week 3 Edition

Hey everyone...

Well, that was a nice weekend of football we just had. I went 9-5 in my picks for the weekend, bringing my season record to 18-12. It's not a great record, but it's nothing to be ashamed of either.

For those who watched, last night they were able to witness something special in New Orleans. The Saints met with the Atlanta in the first game at the Superdome since Katrina the ravaged the stadium and the town about a year ago. So when Steve Gleason slashed through Atlanta's line and blocked a punt 90 seconds into the game, you knew you might be in for something good; and when Curtis Deloath fell on it in the endzone for the first touchdown of the game, you knew on which side faith was.

For the balance of the game, New Orleans completely dominated the Falcons. They held the best ruhsing offense in the league to 117 yards. Although he rushed for 57 yards, Mike Vick was held to 12 completions in 31 attempts for a pedestrian 137 yards and no touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush, who are truly starting to look like the most lethal backfield in the league, combined for 134 yards rushing. Meanwhile, Brees looked awesome all game, not making any mistake whatsoever (that guy is the complete opposite of the Saints' previous QB, Aaron Brooks). When all was said and done, the Saints stood victorious, 23-3. More importantly, they now stand on top of their division, alone at 3-0. And at this point in time, where the Saints end up in the standings at the end of the season is meaningless. What is important is that they are giving the city of New Orleans something they haven't had in a long, long time: something to cheer about.

Random observations from week 3:

  • Congratulations to Brett Favre, who is now only 18 touchdown passes away from tying Dan Marino's all-time record. It took Favre only 1 more game than it did Marino to reach #400. And I have to say, Brett looked like a young kid again out there on the field on Sunday. I will say this: that one game was enough for me to say the guy made the right decision in coming back. I mean, don't look just yet, but Favre has thrown for 850 yards, 6 Touchdowns and 3 interceptions since the start of the year, all good for a 87.3 QB rating. Pretty good for a 36 year-old.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars need to let Byron Leftwich loose a bit. Against the Colts, they kept running, never letting him get into a comfort zone. Leftwich has never lived up to his billing, but no one has allowed him to.
  • Kudos to Mark Brunell for his league record 22 straight completions. But I still think the Redskins suck.
  • David Carr is the top rated QB in the league. That, in itself, is amazing. What's even more amazing is he's doing it on a team that looks like it might not win a single game this year. He needs help, and that defense better start doing something soon.
  • Last week's comeback by the Giants against the Eagles was a bit of a fluke, i wrote here a week ago. Well, they tried it again this week, but with no success. 2 things the Giants need to do if they want to make the playoffs: Eli Manning needs to learn that a game has 60 minutes, not 30; and that defense needs to start putting pressure on oppoising QB's. The Giants have collected, as a team, a measely 2 sacks in 3 games. That is unacceptable.
  • The Eagles offense looks pretty good right now doesn't it? Even with Donte Stallworth out, McNabb lit up the 49ers defense for 38 points. Terrell who?
  • Carolina is such a different team with Steve Smith in the lineup. That guy is more valuable to his team than just about any other player out there.
  • Carson Palmer is Da Bomb! In a game in which he was harrassed by the Pittsburgh defense, and in which he found himself on his butt after just about every pass attempt, he still threw for 4 touchdowns. Keep in mind, Chad Johnson caught only 2 passes in the game. That Cincy offense has a lot of weapons, and they're all good.
  • I am starting to like what Denver is doing this year. They are playing great defense. I mean, great, great defense. It took the opposition 11 quarters to finally put up a TD against them, and that includes offenses with guys like Torry Holt, Steven jackson, Larry Johnson and Tom Brady. They balance that out with a terricfic ground game. And now, Jake Plummer is starting to find out how good Javon Walker is. Watch out!
  • Finally, I like Kurt Warner. He is the prototypical nice guy. He throws a really pretty ball too. But boy does he make stupid mistakes sometimes. Case in point: with under a minute left in the game against St. Louis, the Cards are at the Rams' 14 yard line. Losing by 2, Arizona is looking at running one or two more plays and getting Mr. Automatic, Neil Rackers, on the field to kick the winning field goal. So Warner goes under center and proceeds to fumble the snap. The Rams recover and win the game. Today, Dennis Green announced that Matt Leinart would be starting the next game.


It's time that time of year again... what time, you say? Time for hockey pools baby. Get youselves ready, because I am going to whip your collective butts this year. Oh yeah, you can write that down.

Till next time,

Dwarf out

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Week 3 NFL Picks


Well, this has been one wheck of a week for me. So, I'm ready for the weekend to arrive. Big time. But before I go on to my weekly NFL picks, let me say that the US will ride Tiger Woods all the way to their victory at the Ryder Cup this weekend. Normally, I would've predicted a US loss, but Sergio Garcia opened his big mouth and said Woods was a bad Ryder Cup player and he wished to play against him 2-3 times. Well, someone should've reminded Garcia that Woods has never lost after being badmouthed or challenged by an opponent.

Also, I have already started to look at what the NHL season will look like. I will stay away from making any predictions until my pool is picked though... I wouldn't want to give you guys pointers on who to pick. But I will say this: The Edmonton Oilers will get scored on a lot, but they will score buckets of goals as well. Looks like a promising season.

Now, onto my NFL Picks:

NY Jets at Buffalo: Chad Pennington has looked great this season. But he has no running game, and the Bills defense has looked even better. There won't be too many points getting scored in that one. I pick Buffalo.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh: Cincy's defense is banged up. Roethlisberger won't get shutout again. But Carson Palmer and the Bengals will score more points. I pick Cincinnati.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis: The Jaguars made a statement on Monday night. And they always battle the Colts tough. But they always lose by 3 points. No different here. I pick the Colts.
Tennessee at Miami: Miami has had a rough start to this season. But the Titans just might be the cure. Look for Culpepper to get it together. Ronnie Brown will also run for over 100 yds as the Dolphins kill the Titans. I pick Miami.
Washington at Houston: 2 teams that are struggling. But the Texans were expected to struggle. The Redskins are in disarray. Rookie DE Mario Williams gets his 1st sack. I pick Houston.
Chicago at Minnesota: The Vikings are 2-0 but struggled against a bad Redskins team in week 1 and needed Carolina to shoot themselves in the foot to win in week 2. I pick Chicago.
Carolina at Tampa Bay: 2 teams going in the wrong direction. But Carolina should've won last week, while Tampa got killed. I pick Carolina (My bet: Carolina at -3)
Green Bay at Detroit: Favre will have an ok game (2 td's, 1 int). He won't make the big mistake, and his defense will hold on against a bad Detroit offense. I pick Green Bay.
Baltimore at Cleveland: As long as they are healthy, it's hard to pick against the Ravens. Especially when they play against the very bad Browns. This will be a blowout. I pick Baltimore (My bet: Baltimore at -7).
St. Louis at Arizona: The Rams are playing good defense, but bad offense. The Cards will put a lot of points on the board, and as weird as it sounds, the Rams won't be able to keep up. I pick Arizona.
NY Giants at Seattle: Deion Branch sees his first action as a Seahawk. Matt Hasselbeck loves him. Eli Manning again waits until the 4th quarter to wake up. This time it's too late. I pick Seattle.
Philadelphia at San Francisco: The 49ers are getting better, but they're not in the Eagles league yet. Jevon Kearse might be out, but this is still a great D-line. Sorry, Alex Smith. I pick Philadelphia (My bet: Philly at -6 ½)

Denver at New England: A rematch from last year's playoff. Bigger yet, both teams need to win to stay on top of their divisions. Plummer gets better in this game, but Brady is the best. I pick New England.
Atlanta at New Orleans: The Saints come back to the Superdome. The fans will go crazy. The Saints will be charged up. They will fight, they will claw, they will hang on for dear life. But it won't be enough. The Falcons will win by 3 in what will be the best game of the weekend. I pick Atlanta.

Season record: 9-7

By the way, Veillotron wrote a great, must-read comment on the last post. Check it out!

See you Monday!

Dwarf out

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Dwarf's Tuesday NFL Musings - Week 2 Edition

Hey everyone!

Well, I went a very humbling 9-7 this weekend in my predictions. That, while still over .500 (which is the threshold of acceptability), is not very good. Still, I won 35$ with betting (Won 50$ with Baltimore and San Diego, lost 15$ on Philly), which brings my total earnings to $80 in 2 weeks. So at least I am doing well in that department.

One thing that looked worse than my predictions in week 2 was offense. Yes, offense, as in they're not scoring many points. Tampa's offense, lead by Cadillac Williams, Chris Simms and Joey Galloway, has scored all of 3 points in 2 games. The Raiders offense, which includes Randy Moss, has scored 6 points in 2 games. Pittsburgh got shutout last night. Daunte Culpepper, who was supposed to revive the Miami offense, has been sacked 10 times in 2 games. The vaunted Denver offense with its dominating running game, has scored a whopping 19 points in 2 games.

But while we look at that thinking that offense is down, what I found out is that this is not true at all. Yes, it is true that offensive numbers were way down in week 1 compared to last year. In fact, 553 points were scored in week 1 this year, as opposed to 615 in 2005. That's a big drop. But when you look at week 2, 589 points were scored this year, compared to 565 last year. So, after 2 weeks, the difference is negligeable.

The truth is, we are always looking for storylines. A few years ago, the Patriots started 0-2, and all the talk was about how they had fallen from grace; they went on to win the Super Bowl. Last year, after 2 weeks, the Chiefs were sitting alone in first place in the AFC West, and they wound up not making the playoffs. This year, it's offense that's down. It's the Giants, who might've won the division by beating the Eagles this weekend. It's Jay Cutler, who will be replacing Jake Plummer in 1 or 2 weeks. It's Tony Romo, who will quarterback Dallas to the playoffs. Maybe some of those stories will come true. But don't bet on it.

Random Observations from Week 2
  • Daunte Culpepper looked even more uncomfortable this week than he did last week for the Dolphins. Ron Jaworski said on NFL Primetime he thought Culpepper looked like someone who didn't trust the system, like he's hlding on to the ball because he doesn't trust his receivers will be at the right place at the right time. I think Jaworski is exactly right.
  • While I am not too happy the Dolphins lost, I told you that I liked that Bills team. Their defense is just really good. Donte Whitner, the Safety Marv Levy "overreached" for in the draft (according to so-called experts) is looking like a seasoned veteran back there. And there's J.P. Losman who, while not playing great, is really managing the game well and is giving his team a chance to win.
  • I think John Fox's call of a reverse punt return when leading in the 4th quarter and with Minnesota punting from deep in their own endzone is a stupid call. Still, I think Chris Gamble, who missed on his lateral, is even more stupid. Memo to Gamble: when you see the guy you're supposed to throw it to is surrounded by 3 purple jerseys, don't throw it. That was way dumb.
  • Washington just doesn't look very good right now. They need Clinton Portis back really fast. And they need a quarterback who doesn't look 100 years old.
  • Jacksonville's receivers are big guys, big targets. Still, I am amazed at how Byron Leftwitch keeps putting the ball in such tight spaces. I said it last week and I am saying it again: this guy throws the tightest spiral in the tightest spots. No one does it like him in the league.
  • We can talk about declining offenses all we want, great quarterbacks will be great quarterbacks. Check out these lines: Peyton Manning 400 yds; Donovan McNabb 350 yds, 2 tds, 0 int; Eli Manning 371 yds, 3 tds, 1 int; Brett Favre 340 yds, 3tds, 1 int. That's pretty good.
  • The Eagles really blew it against the Giants. They were leading by 17 points in the 4th quarter, at home, agaisnt a division foe, and they lost. But to me, that just looked like one of those freak times when the ball starts rolling, and you can't do anything to stop it. Keanu Reeves refers to it as "quicksand" in The Replacements. When the Giants started to get going on offense, suddenly the Eagles couldn't muster any offense of their own. Brian Westbrook fumbled, McNabb missed open receivers... everything went wrong. They kept sending their defense back on the field to get beat up some more, and they eventually lost the game. Oh yeah, and DE Trent Cole took a roughing the passer penalty with 8 seconds to go, giving the Giants kicker a 35-yard field goal to make to tie the game. That was dumb.
  • Finally, there's New England, who aren't playing that well. Brady is clearly missing Deion Branch. But you know what? They're 2-0. And I bet that when the regular season is all done, the Pats are right there in the playoffs as one of the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. I hate the Patriots, but Tom Brady is just that good.

I'll be back on thursday with some talk about the upcoming hockey season. Then, I'll check back in on friday for my weekly picks.

Dwarf out.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Observations from Week 1 and predictions for Week 2 in the NFL

Hey all...

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, but it's been a crazy week. Hopefully, I can finish my 2006 NFL Preview this weekend and post my predictions for the last 3 divisions between now and Sunday. As for my Tuesday NFL Musings, its first official installement will come next week. For now, here is the unofficial first Tuesday NFL Musings, followed by my predicitons for the weekend.

Random observations from week 1

  • Is it me or are the annoucers and analysts just getting dumber every year? During the Bears-Packers game, the analyst (forgot who) said that Desmond Clark (TE for the Bears) is one of the best pass-catching TE's in the league, as proven by his stats. He followed that up by saying that Clark is due for a breakout season. What??? First, if he's one of the best, he's probably broken out already. Second, 51 catches (his best season in 2001) is hardly material for being called one of the best. In the Atlanta-Carolina game, the analyst talked about stick tackles (a tackle where the ballcarrier doesn't fall foward). So, as he was saying this, it was 3rd down and 6 for the Panthers. Delhomme threw it low to Keyshawn Johnson, who had to kneel down to catch it. The Falcons defender only had to touch him, which he did. The analysts' comment? "Now, that's stick tackle right there!". As my brother was telling me the other day, I don't know if it's because we're getting older and understand more, but the commentators seemed to have so much more insight when we were younger. Oh how I long for those days...
  • A quick follow-up on the Bryant McFadden comment of last week. We saw it all this week. Defensive players jumping around and acting like they just won the lottery for basically nothing. Move over Tom Cruise, there are others who want attention as well.
  • The Ravens sure looked good didn't they? McNair was sharp, the running game was good, and the defense, well, simply dominant. And you know what, I think that when healthy, the Ravens are one of the best teams in the NFL. I just think that come week 12, McNair probably will be sitting on the sidlines with an injury. I saw Ed Reed get up limping after making a tackle (he was ok though). I think if Ray Lewis will get hurt, as he has the last 2 years. I just don't see this team staying healthy. But if they do, watch out.
  • As for the Bucs, don't put too much in that game. Yeah, they looked terrible. But that O-line will get better. Simms will find a way to not get all his passes batted at the line of scrimmage. Cadillac will get in his groove. And that defense is a proud one, so they will bounce back.
  • Eli vs Peyton was a great game. I mean, it was worth the 3 hours just to see Plaxico Burress make those 2 incredibly athletic catches. And I don't really like Peyton, but good lord is he good. He faced huge pressure from the Giants front 4 all night, and he kept delivering those clutch passes. One thing though, if the Giants' DBs could hold on to balls, Manning might've been intercepted 3 times.
  • Some people are already calling for Jake Plummer's head in Denver. But people are dumb, and people have no memory. Remember 2005? The Broncos got clobbered by Miami in week 1, only to bounce back and win 13 of the next 15 games. And Plummer, after throwing 2 ints and 1 fumble in that game, was pretty good the rest of the year. The lesson here? Week 1 means as much as the pre-season, which is nothing.
  • Experts are split on Byron Leftwitch. One thing they all agree on, though, is that he is one tough guy. They should all agree that the guy can fit the ball into some really tight spots too. A couple of passes he completed last Sunday, only Brett Favre would've dared throw them. And he probably would've gotten picked off. Letfwitch made it look easy.
  • 1 last thing: The Bills will be better than people think. I have them at 8-8 in my NFL preview, and I feel pretty good about that prediction. Their defense was pretty good against the Patriots, although it faltered late in the game, when the Pats ran the ball down their throats during the last 6 minutes of the game. The offense also performed well enough. In the end, they took the Pats down to the wire and could've easily won the game. I don't see them winning in Miami, but games against the Jets (twice), Green Bay, Houston, Tennessee, Detroit and Minnesota all seem very winnable. I like this team, and you'll hear me say it all year.

Week 2 Predictions (games I ambetting on are in bold)

  • Cincinnati at Cleveland: Cleveland didn't look bad against the Saints, but they will against the Bengals. I pick Cincy.
  • Tampa Bay at Atlanta: The Bucs defense is fast, real fast. And they were humiliated last week. They will hunt and kill Mike Vick this week. I pick the Bucs.
  • Buffalo at Miami: Miami knows they have to win this to stay with the Pats. I like Buffalo, but without Takeo Spikes, it will be hard. I pick Miami.
  • Detroit at Chicago: Detroit's defense will hold the Chicago offense to under 20 points. The only problem is their offense probably won't score more than 10. I pick Chicago.
  • New Orleans at Green Bay: Reggie Bush will have a good game. So will Drew Brees. But Brett Favre will throw for 4 touchdowns. I pick Green Bay.
  • Houston at Indianapolis: I like the Texans. I like Gary Kubiak. I like David Carr. He's tough. But Houston looks like a roadkill after this game. I pick Indianapolis.
  • Oakland at Baltimore: I think the Ravens posting a second shutout this season and the Raiders getting shutout for the second time this season is a real possibility. I pick Baltimore . (My bet: Baltimore at -13)
  • NY Giants at Philadelphia: Battle for the NFC East begins here. NY is good. But McNabb is looking awesome. Brian Westbrook is healthy. The Eagles "D" looks awesome. I pick Philly. (My bet: Eagles at -3)
  • Carolina at Minnesota: Minnesota won against Washington but didn't impress me. Carolina is in trouble without Steve Smith and Dan Morgan. I think Smith winds up playing and Carolina wins. I pick Carolina.
  • Arizona at Seattle: This will be a shootout. Seattle will run wild. Arizona will air it out. In the end, Seattle gets the ball last and wins by a field goal. I pick Seattle.
  • St. Louis at San Francisco: Alex Smith looked good in his debut. I think he continues to look good here. Steven Jackson looks better. San Fran gets a chance to win it late, but don't. I pick the Rams.
  • Kansas City at Denver: Trent Green is hurt, but the Chiefs survive that. What they don't survive is a now porous O-Line, and the fact that they never win at Mile High. I pick Denver.
  • Tennessee at San Diego: The Chargers are loaded and coming off a shutout win. Kerry Collins looked liek he wanted to retire last week. Vince Young will be a worse QB than Mike Vick. I pick San Diego. (My bet: San Diego at -12)
  • Washington at Dallas. Bledsoe looked bad last week. But he practiced with Owens all week long. He will get pressured, but like McNabb did 2 years ago, when he does he will just throw it to T.O. #81 gets a big game. I pick the Cowboys.
  • Pittsburgh at Jacksonville. Roethlisberger comes back. He throws 2 td passes, while Willie Parker runs for one. Jacksonville's offense never gets on track. I pick Pittsburgh.

See you guys next week!

Dwarf out.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pit 28 - Mia 17... and AFC South preview

Hey all...

Just finished watching the Pittsburgh-Miami game... here are a few impressions from what I saw:

- Pittsburgh looked good on offense even without Roethlisberger. They pounded the ball down Miami's throats, and it paid dividends in the second half when the Dolphins couldn't stop Willie Parker at all. They used the run to setup the pass very well. Best example of that? The 87-yeard touchdown by Heath Miller. Batch faked to Parker and both safeties bit. Miller ran past Zach Thomas (who looked old and slow tonight), caught the ball and neve looked back. This is an offense that might actually become explosive when Big Ben comes back.

- Daunte Culpepper looked an awfully lot more like the 2005 Culpepper than the 2004 one. He was tentative for a lot of the game and his passes weren't that sharp. And towards the end of the second half he imploded. First, he panicked on a corner blitz and lofted a big air ball towards the sideline that was intercepted by Polamalu. Then, on his very next pass, he never read Joey Porter dropping back and threw the ball right in his hands. Porter took it back down the field to score the TD that put Miami away. Then, on his next pass, he overthrew Chris Chambers. And right after that he took a bad 8-yard sack when he should've thrown it away.

- Miami played the whole game without a running game. If they want Culpepper to get back on his feet next game, they'll need to help him with at least a semblance of a running game. Ronnie Brown needs to start living up to his #2 draft choice billing fast, or Miami's playoffs hopes will go down the drain fast.

- In defense of the Dolphins misfirings on offense, the Steelers "D" just looks good. Dick LeBeau is really a genius at disguising coverages and had Culpepper on his heels on night long. But please (and I'm talking to you Bryant McFadden), stop jumping around like you just won the Super Bowl after making a tackle or a big hit. It's your job dumbass. I don't see you crying when you miss a tackle, so why would I have to watch you gloat when you do make one? Just get up and hope you can do it again on the next play.

Now, onto our preview of the AFC South...


1. Indianapolis Colts (12-4)

Head Coach:
Tony Dungy (5th year)
2005 Record: (13-3)
Key Acquisitions: PK Adam Vinatieri
Key Departures: RB Edgerrin James, PK Mike Vanderjagt, LB David Thornton, DT Larry Tripplett, WR-KR Troy Walters

The Colts needed 14 games to experience their first loss in 2005. But after a splendid regular season that saw them post a 13-3 record, they once again fell short of expectations in the playoffs, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round. PK Mike Vanderjagt, who was made the scapegoat in the defeat after he missed a 46-yard field goal as time expired, is gone. So are star running back Edgerrin James and linebacker David Thornton. Vanderjagt, an excellent kicker who was prone to mistakes under pressure, as well as putting the proverbial foot in his mouth, has been replaced by maybe the best clutch kicker in history, Adam Vinatieri. James will be replaced by Dominic Rhodes, who once rushed for over 1,000 yards when James was hurt in 2001, and promising rookie Joseph Addai. With their 3 star receivers and Peyton Manning at the helm, you can bet the offense will not miss a beat without James. So the Colts are hoping that the golden foot of Vinatieri can help them win a game or two more in January to take them to the Super Bowl.

For all the talk about him not having won the big game yet, Peyton Manning is still the most prolific passer of his generation. He is a modern day Dan Marino, so to speak. Manning can make every throw on the field, and he is the ultimate general in the huddle. Offensive coordinator Tom Moore gives him all the latitude he needs to make adjustments at the line, and he is the best quarterback at directing a no-huddle offense since Jim Kelly did it with Buffalo’s K-Gun offense in the early and mid-90’s. Manning also takes very few bad decisions, so he doesn’t throw a lot of interceptions.

For the first time in years, Manning will not have “The Edge” lining up behind him. In his place will be Dominic Rhodes, most of the time anyway. Rhodes does not pick up the blitz as well as James, nor is he as a receiver, but he is the same type of “slasher” runner as James. He also knows the offense very well. Addai can do everything. He is a big back who like to take one cut and then go. He has good speed, and he can either run over defenders or juke them out. As a rookie, he is not yet adept at picking up the blitz, but he will learn fast. Count on him possibly starting by year’s end.

Wide receiver is the position that makes this offense so hard to defend against. It all starts with All-Pro Marvin Harrison. Harrison is not big, but he can make every catch in the book, and his hands are like glue. On the other side is Reggie Wayne, who exploded last year. Wayne decided to pass up the opportunity to test free agency in order to come back to the Colts. Look for him to have another big year. Brandon Stokley mans the slot. Stokley is the smallest of the three receiver, but he might be the fastest. He is also fearless over the middle, and he is especially clutch on third downs. Terrance Wilkins, who will double as the punt and kick returner, comes in on 4-receiver sets. Dallas Clark, who took over the tight end position when Marcus Pollard left last year, has great hands and knows how to get open. He gives Manning yet another security blanket.

The reason the Colts were so dominant last year is that the defense finally caught up to the offense. Tony Dungy finally got the ingredients he needed to make his cover-2 scheme work, and boy did it ever. The defensive line has become one of the best in the league. Dwight Freeney, who looks like a small pinball out there, collected 11.0 sacks last year. More importantly, because he is almost always double-teamed, he allowed Robert Mathis, who plays opposite him, to collect 11.5 sacks of his own. Look for the pair to total over 20 sacks again this year. Inside, the Colts have 3 starting-caliber tackles. Monte Reagor (5.5 sacks) is very quick and can get around blockers. Raheem Brock moves from defensive end, and look for him to create havoc on pass plays. Corey Simon, who came from the Eagles last year, also figures to see a lot of playing time. The one knock against this unit is that they can be bullied by bigger, power-running offensive lines. But Indy’s offense scores so many points that opposing teams are usually forced to pass more than they want.

At linebacker, the loss of David Thornton will no doubt hurt a lot. He will be replaced by Gilbert Gardner, who observers say should do an adequate job. Still, Thornton was a rising star. On the weakside, smallish Cato June returns. June is really fast and makes plays sideline to sideline. He isn’t very good when he has to take on blocks, but he usually has a lot of space on the weakside. The middle linebacker is Gary Brackett, who, like, June, is very small but very fast. This is a linebacker group that is built to defend the pass, and they are very good at that. But like the defensive line, they can struggle against running teams.

The secondary is not star-studded, but it is deep. The Colts feature 3 cornerbacks that fit the system very well. Jason David and Nick Harper, the starters, are not your typical cover corners, but they are very physical and are excellent in zone coverages. Converted safety Marlin Jackson is the nickel back. Bob Sanders is a future star at free safety. He made his mark last year with his bone crushing hits. He had 92 tackles but only 1 interception. He will have to do better in that department this year. Mike Doss, who is also very physical, is the strong safety. As a group, the five of them only had 9 interceptions last year, and with teams passing so much against them, they have to improve on that number this year.

The Colts play in a fairly weak division, so the crown is theirs. You can also expect them to gain home field advantage throughout the playoffs. But while the regular season is where Indianapolis has shined in recent years, they have to take the next step in the playoffs this year. With a team that has that much talent, it is only a question of time until it happens. It says here that 2006 will be the year it all comes together for the Colts.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-7)

Head Coach: Jack Del Rio (4th year)
2005 Record: (12-4)
Key Acquisitions: OT Stockar McDougle
Key Departures: LB Akin Ayodele, OT Ephraim Salaam, S Deke Cooper

In 2005, the Jaguars went 8-1 against teams playing under .500 en route to 12-4 record and a wild-card berth. But in the playoffs, they got destroyed by the Patriots. Indeed, the Jaguars probably were not as good as their record indicated. They have one of the best 5 defenses in the league, but their offense is mediocre at best. But in a division that is this weak, expect the Jaguars to get the second place by default.

The centerpiece of the offense is Quarterback Byron Leftwich. Leftwich has a big arm and he is tough as nails, but he is pretty immobile and tends to hold on to the ball too long. Still, last year he threw for 15 TD’s despite missing the last 5 games of the season and he finished with a 89.3 rating. But in the playoffs, the Patriots constantly dropped 7 guys in coverage and Leftwich struggled to get rid of the ball. His backup, Steven Garrard, will never be more than a backup, but he is a good one and he knows the offense. If Leftwih goes down again, he should be able to fill in adequately.

The biggest problem Leftwich will have this year is finding targets. WR Jimmy Smith, who was the Jaguars’ best receiver by a mile and doubled as Leftwich’s security blanket, retired unexpectedly in the offseason. That leaves Ernest Wilford and 2005 first-round draft pick Matt Jones as the starters. Jones has a ton of potential and is a huge target, but as a converted quarterback, he is still very green and perhaps not ready to take on a starring role just yet. Wilford lacks speed and is not great at getting separation, but he is a big target and has developed a nice chemistry with Leftwich. Former first-rounder Reggie Williams is the #3 receiver. At tight end, Jacksonville plans to feature their top pick in this year’s draft, Marcedes Lewis. Lewis has tons of potential, but he missed most of the preseason with an injury, and there are doubts as to how ready he is. Still, with the lack of weapons in the receiving corps, expect Leftwich to try him early.

The most pivotal player on offense will be RB Fred Taylor. If Taylor can have a big season, the offense will ride on his back and be fine. Otherwise, the Jaguars could be in trouble. The knock on Taylor has always been his durability, but he is such a talented runner. He is a big guy, so he can run over people, but he also has great moves, can turn on a dime and has a great burst of speed. He will be playing behind an offensive line that is steady. But if he misses any time, like last year, the Jags offense could be in big trouble. The best back behind him, Greg Jones, is lost for the season.

The Jacksonville defense is another story. While they lack big-name stars, they are one of the best units around. Like most great defenses, it starts in the middle. DT’s John Henderson and Marcus Stroud are huge bodies. Stroud, the better of the two and a perennial Pro Bowl player, is also adept at rushing the quarterback. DE Reggie Hayward (8.5 sacks) is their main threat as a pass rusher. Hayward is also very stout vs. the run. Opposite him is Paul Spicer, who chipped in with 7.5 sacks of his own in 2005. The two are better pass rushers than their numbers indicate, but because the Jags don’t play with a lot of runaway leads, teams don’t pass as much against the Jacksonville defense. Veterans Marcellus Wiley and Rob Meier provide solid depth at both positions.

Mike Peterson anchors the linebackers. Peterson does not take on blocks that well, but playing behind mammoth DT’s Henderson and Stroud, it matters little. Peterson is an excellent athlete and he seems to always be around the ball. He is also very effective in pass coverage, which means he stays in on passing downs as well. Daryl Smith, who recorded 80 tackles and 4.0 sacks last year, is more than adequate on the strong side. He can run with almost any back or tight end in the league. On the weak side, Pat Thomas has made great strides in the pre-season and is looking to push Nick Greisen for playing time.

Rashean Mathis made a name for himself last year at cornerback by picking off 5 passes and becoming one of the better cover men in the league. While he will bite on double moves, Mathis is a tall corner who will win jump balls and he is fast enough to stay in a receiver’s hip pocket. Opposite Mathis, the Jaguars return Brian Williams. After missing almost all of last season, Donovin Darius returns at strong safety. Darius is a solid tackler and is a monster against the run. He will be flanked by Deon Grant at free safety. Grant takes too many chances so he can be a liability at times, but he has great hands and makes a lot of plays.

In the end, this is a Jaguars team that will be severely hampered by its lack of offensive fire power. They should still win more games than they will lose, but with a tougher schedule this year, they will fall short of a playoff berth.

3. Tennessee Titans (6-10)

Head Coach:
Jeff Fischer (13th year)
2005 Record: (4-12)
Key Acquisitions: QB Kerry Collins, WR David Givens, S Chris Hope, LB David Thornton
Key Departures: C Justin Hartwig, QB Steve McNair, S Tank Williams,

After another miserable season in 2005 in which they were still trapped in salary cap hell, the Titans seem ready to come back from the league’s basement. Tennessee will be looking to build on an off-season that saw them bring in WR David Givens from the Patriots and S Chris Hope of Pittsburgh, as well as standout LB David Thornton of Indianapolis, all through free agency. The Titans also picked up Texas quarterback Vince Young in the first round and RB LenDale White from USC in the second round.

Still, the Titans suffered one loss that could come close to canceling out all those additions: QB Steve McNair, after a long battle with management, was traded away to the Baltimore Ravens. McNair was getting up in age, but he was the leader of the offense. At first, it looked like Billy Volek would finally get his chance to start. But he seemed disinterested in training camp and was unimpressive in the pre-season. So 2 weeks before the start of the season, Tennessee brought in Kerry Collins. At this point, it looks like he will be the starter. Collins has a big arm and he is very experienced and should pick up the system quite easily, but he lacks mobility and just came off a subpar season with the Raiders. Collins is evidently a stopgap solution, with Vince Young waiting in the wings. Most scouts are divided on Young’s potential. But while they might disagree on whether he will become a good player in this league, they all agree that, barring an injury, he should see almost no action this year.

The strength and depth of this offense is at running back. In Chris Brown, Travis Henry and LenDale White, the Titans possess 3 backs capable of starting on many teams in this league. Brown, who has durability concerns, had a great training camp and pre-season and will begin the season as the starter. Brown needs to learn to run with his shoulders lower, or he will continue to get hurt. That being said, he is a good one-cut type runner with good vision and enough speed to get to the outside. Henry is like a tiny little bulldozer. He runs with a lot of power and always keeps his legs going. He does have a tendency to put the ball on the ground. White, the prized rookie, shared the backfield with Reggie Bush for most of his career at USC. The Titans will probably use him on short-yardage situations at first, but if Brown or Henry falters, look for him to get more playing time. White has surprising speed, and like Jerome Bettis, he has very quick feet for a man his size. Rookie Ahmard Hall is the fullback.

Things do not look as rosy at wide receiver. Givens will be one of the starters. Givens has good hands and is a big enough target, but he has yet to play a full season in his career. And so far, his best season is 2005 where he caught 59 passes and 2 touchdowns, hardly #1 receiver-like numbers (and that was with Tom Brady throwing to him). The other starter is Drew Bennett. Bennett is tall and lanky, but he lacks breakaway speed. He is mostly a possession receiver and is better suited as a #3 receiver. There is hardly any depth behind them. Fortunately for Collins, he will have TE Ben Troupe to throw to when things break down. Troupe is a good receiver and always seems to find the soft spot in zones. Erron Kinney backs him up.

While the Titans’ offense got most of the attention during the off-season, it is the defense that will determine how good they can be this year. If the unit plays up to its potential, Tennessee’s record could be better than the one we predict here. When all starters all healthy, the defensive line is among the best in the league. DE Kyle Vanden Bosch had a career year in 2005, posting 12.5 sacks and being stout against the run. DT Albert Haynesworth is a dominating force inside, but he doesn’t stay healthy enough and takes too many plays off. But when he is on his game, he is one of the best. The Titans also picked up DT Robaire Smith from the Texans after the last cuts of the pre-season, and he will enter a rotation that will also include starter Randy Starks and rookie Jesse Mahelona. Travis Laboy (6.5 sacks) is the other starter at defensive end.

The linebacking corps was really upgraded with the addition of ex-Colt David Thornton. Thornton can make plays all over the field and he takes over the strong side. Keith Bulluck, another player with a high motor and a great leader, is the starter on the weak side. Peter Sirmon is adequate in the middle.

The secondary has some big names, but also a big question mark in second-year CB Pacman Jones. Jones a terrific training camp and pre-season before he got himself into trouble with the law again. Last year, Jones played well at times, but he suffered too many lapses. The Titans are hoping he will cut down on mistakes this season, but don’t look for that to happen. The other starter is Andre Woolfolk. Woolfolk is unspectacular but very steady. He doesn’t make enough plays to be considered among the best at his position, but he rarely gets beaten. The safety position gets a huge upgrade with the addition of FS Chris Hope from Pittsburgh. Hope is a hard hitter and makes plays all over the field. Now that he is out of the shadow of Troy Polamalu, he should get his due. Lining up at strong safety will be Lamont Thompson, who is a force against the run. Depth is a concern.

It is evident that the Titans are still reeling from their years in salary cap hell. Some positions still need to be overhauled and depth is a concern down the whole roster. Still, this is a team that is on the rise again, and they seem to be on the right track. Just don’t expect them to make their leap back to respectability this year.

4. Houston Texans (5-11)

Head Coach:
Gary Kubiak (1st year)
2005 Record: (3-13)
Key Acquisitions: C Mike Flanagan, WR Eric Moulds, TE Jeb Putzier, DE N.D. Kalu, OT Ephraim Salaam, RB Ron Dayne, DE Anthony Weaver
Key Departures: WR Corey Bradford, WR Jabar Gaffney, S Marcus Coleman, DT Robaire Smith

The biggest news coming out of the Houston Texans camp this off-season was the fact that they passed up Reggie Bush in the draft in order to select DE Mario Williams (more on Williams later). That might’ve been a bogus move by former General Manager Charlie Casserly, but more significantly, the Texans will be starting the season with a whole new regime in place. Gary Kubiak, who used to coach Denver’s offense, is in as head coach. Kubiak is a brilliant offensive mind, and he should help the team get out of the funk they have been in ever since entering the league.

One of the first moved Kubiak made was to have the team resign QB David Carr to a long-term extension. Carr has a boatload of potential, but has never really blossomed. But he should benefit tremendously from Kubiak’s presence. Carr can move really well and has a strong arm, so he will fit well in the new west-coast style offense Houston will use. Carr spent the whole off-season working on his mechanics and he looked better in pre-season than he has in years. What should help him more than anything is an improved offensive line. Kubiak brought in former Packers head coach Mike Sherman to coach the O-line. The Texans will integrate the same kind of cut blocking techniques that have made the Denver offensive line so successful. LT Ephraim Salaam, while no standout, is an improvement over former starter Seth Wand, who was released. He will alternate with rookie Charles Spencer as the man charged with protecting Carr’s blindside. C Mike Flanagan comes in from Green Bay, and he will anchor the line and make the calls at the line of scrimmage. He brings in a lot of veteran leadership. Chester Pitts and Fred Weary are adequate at guard, and former Dolphins center Seth McKinney is ready to step in case of an injury. Zach Wiegert, who really improved last year as the season went on, is the starting right tackle. While this is far from a great unit, expect Carr to take less than the 62 sacks he suffered last year.

Carr will also benefit from a vastly improved receiving corps. Eric Moulds comes in from Buffalo to be the #2 receiver opposite Andre Johnson. Moulds does not have the breakaway ability he once had, but he still has very good hands and is an excellent possession receiver. Look for him to become a security blanket for Carr. Johnson should also benefit from Moulds’ presence. Johnson was double-teamed on every play last year, but that shouldn’t be the case anymore. Johnson is a legitimate game breaker. He has great hands, awesome vertical jumping ability and is very fast. Look for him to explode the same way he did in 2004. Kevin Walter, who came in from Cincinnati, will see action as the #3 receiver. TE Jeb Putzier, who Kubiak brought with him from Denver, is a huge upgrade in the passing game over Mark Bruener, who is much more of a blocking tight end. Also, rookie Owen Daniels has looked great in training camp and the Texans are excited at the possibilities in using two-TE sets.

The big question mark on offense is at running back. Starter Domanick Davis was lost for the season with a knee injury. The Texans brought in Ron Dayne from Denver to challenge rookie Wali Lundy and incumbent Vernand Morency for playing time. Somehow, Reggie Bush looks like he would’ve been a good fit there. Still, Kubiak, aling with Mike Shanahan, was a master of turning no-names into star running backs. It will be tougher with a subpar offensive line, but we think Houston will be ok. They’ll have trouble running on tough defenses, but should do ok against the weaker ones.

DE Anthony Weaver, who comes over from Baltimore, will start on one end. But all eyes will be opposite him. Rookie Mario Williams, whom the Texans chose over Reggie Bush with the first pick in the draft, will need a monster season to justify the pick. Physically, Williams reminds scouts of Panthers standout Julius Peppers. He is extremely fast for a player his size, and he has the long arms scouts love. But he was known for taking too many plays off in college. He also got many of sacks in spurts and against weaker teams. The Texans will do everything to make him successful. They will move him everywhere on the line and have him the QB from different angles. Jason Babin, a former first rounder himself, and N.D. Kalu provide good depth.

At linebacker, Miami castoff Morlon Greenwood is the best of the trio. The Texans will start promising rookie Demeco Ryans in the middle. Ryans has all the tools, but some think he might not be ready to start yet. Shantee Orr is the other starter. This is an area of concern for the team.

The star of the defensive backfield is CB Dunta Robinson. Robinson is an excellent CB who has wonderful pure cover skills. He takes away one side of the field. He can also come up with a big play, and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Opposite him is Lewis Sanders. Sanders is nowhere as fast nor as good as Robinson and he will get picked on a lot this year. Phillip Buchanon, who gets burned way too much, is the nickel back. Buchanon loves to go for the big play, and he gets his share, but he is a liability far too often. Glenn Earl and C.C. Brown are adequate at best at safety.

The arrival of Gary Kubiak no doubt brings a breath a fresh air to a team that badly needed it. His coaching and intricate schemes will probably turn the offense into a potent one, but there are way too many questions marks on defense. The Texans are still a year or two away from being contenders.


Check back here on Monday... I will finish the last 3 divisions over the weekend. Then, on Tuesday, I will give my playoff and Super Bowl predictions, as well as my overall impressions of the first weekend of Football of the year. And for the following weeks, I will post my review of each week every Tuesday in a segment I will call my NFL Tuesday Musings...

Enjoy Sunday everyone... we've been waiting for it long enough!

Dwarf out