2007 NFL PREVIEW
Philadelphia Eagles 9-7
Donovan McNabb should be back, but will he be full strength health is starting to really become a question mark as injuries have robbed him of much of the last two seasons. Additionally knee surgeries take more time to get over, so he won't 100% at the start of the season. Brian Westbrook was a key contributor last year and he should be even better this year, but will it be enough to win the east?
Expect to see: The Eagles battling the Cowboys all season.
Don't be Surprised if: Brian Westbrook is among the NFL's leaders in Touchdowns.
Tom Coughlin-New York Giants
Romeo Crennel-Cleveland Browns
Jeff Fisher-Tennessee Titans
Joe Gibbs-Washington Redskins
Coaches who will be looking for work after the season
Dallas Cowboys 11-5
This year will be a big test for QB Tony Romo, who came on late last year and established himself as the new star in Dallas. Now a whole season a head of him he must prove if he is for real or not. Fortunately for him there is alot of talent around him. So it may not be as difficult task as it seems, and the NFC is a conference that almost any team can win.
Expect to see: The Cowboys win a playoff game.
Don't be Surprised if: The Cowboys have the best record in the NFC.
New York Giants 3-13
Start playing taps now, Michael Strahan seems reluctant to play, if he does return, don't expect much from him. There MVP last year Tiki Barber is now on NBC, and taking shots at the coach and the QB. While Eli Manning is on a one way road to bustville, coach Tom Coughlin hated by the fans, and the players will be blamed, but can he be blamed for a team set up to fail, by a GM who did nothing to improve a sinking ship.
Expect to see: Rumors of Bill Belichick leaving the Pats to go the Giants.
Don't be Surprised if: Tom Coughlin is actually fired before the season is over.
Washington Redskins 7-9
The good news is that Clinton Portis after a frustrating year of injury should be healthier this year, the bad news Jason Campbell starting QB, the worse news he is the best option. The Redskins always seem to load themselves with talent thanks to Dan Snyder's money, but some how the right mix forever eludes them, and not even Joe Gibbs can resurrect this team that will be another year removed from the glory days.
Expect to see: The farewell of Coach Joe Gibbs.
Don't be Surprised if: Dan Snyder offers Bill Cowher a record breaking deal after the season.
Detroit Lions 6-10
The Lions have been dreadful for nearly ten years, but things could soon be getting better. Unlike the other three receivers drafted by Matt Millen, Calvin Johnson IS the real deal, and with Mike Martz offensive game plan should make an immediate impact. While Jon Kitna may not be the long term answer at QB, the Lions should show signs of improvement, but the road from 3-13 to contender is a long one.
Expect to see: Calvin Johnson win the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Don't be Surprised if: The Lions have one of the top ten offenses in the NFL.
Minnesota Vikings 5-11
Rookie Adrian Peterson should be an immediate star, but with Tarvaris Jackson at Quarterback, he may need to rush for 2,000 yards just to give the Vikings a chance. Look for Peterson to be the star and the lone bright spot for a team that begins to focus on the future, with Peterson serving as the foundation.
Expect to see: Adrian Peterson to become the top star in Minnesota.
Don't be Surprised if: The Vikings QB becomes a revolving door all season.
Green Bay Packers 8-8
The retirement tour of Brett Favre is now approaching Roger Clemens territory as for the third year in a row he could be playing in his final season. With many of Dan Marino's records in reach look for Favre's stats to catch more attention then the rest of the team as the Packers are still mediocre at best.
Expect to see: Brett Favre's final game.
Don't be Surprised if: The Packers sneak into the playoffs.
Chicago Bears 11-5
The Bears will be hard-pressed to return to the Super Bowl, but in the NFC North they should easily rise to the top as their defense remains one of the best in the NFL. However, on offense questions are all over the place as Cedric Benson is now the number one Running Back with the departure of Thomas Jones, while Rex Grossman continues to be feast or famine.
Expect to see: Rex Grossman to continue his erratic play.
Don't be Surprised if: Kyle Orton gets an opportunity at QB.
Atlanta Falcons 4-12
The Falcons picked this year to rededicate themselves to Michael Vick, hiring Bobby Petrino a coach more suited to his style, and trading back up Matt Schaub. Oops! Now they are stuck with Joey Harrington, as Michael Vick goes from the dog house to the big house. If you want to know what your chances are with Harrington, ask a Dolphin fan or a Lion fan.
Expect to see: Empty Seats in the Georgia Dome.
Don't be Surprised if: The Falcons have an off-season fire sale and start from scratch.
Carolina Panthers 10-6*
Last year was a major let down for the Panthers who entered the season with Super Bowl expectations, but missed the playoffs at 8-8. The Panthers still have a strong defense, but the offense needs to play up to expectations, for them to return to the playoffs. Look for the Panthers to bounce back as they get in as a Wild Card.
Expect to see: The Panthers to return to the playoffs, where they would be a dangerous Wild Card.
Don't be Surprised if: David Carr to get a shot if QB Jake Delhomme struggles.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-9
After a disastrous 4-12 season, the free ride enjoyed by Coach Jon Gruden is over, as the Buccaneers may need to return to the playoffs to save his job. With Jeff Garcia at QB the Bucs offense should be better, but the once powerful defense is getting older and not better, and the road to the playoffs will be a tough one, especially if Cadillac Williams continues to struggle.
Expect to see: Cadillac Williams regains his rookie form.
Don't be Surprised if: Gruden to gets one last reprieve as the Bucs are competitive
New Orleans Saints 11-5
After playing in the NFC Championship Game the Saints face something they never had before, high expectations. Look for them to meet and exceed those expectations as this loaded team is for real, and has to be considered the favorite in the NFC. Look for a big season from Reggie Bush as he gets more playing time, while Drew Brees has another strong year.
Expect to see: Reggie Bush among the NFL's leader in TDs.
Don't be Surprised if: Saints play in Super Bowl XLII
Arizona Cardinals 7-9
The Cardinals made allot of improvements this off-season, hiring Ken Whsenhunt from the Steelers to be their coach, while focusing on improving the offensive line. The Cardinals will be improved but they are still probably a year away from making a true run at the playoffs especially in a division with the fast rising 49ers, and the steady Seahawks.
Expect to see: A break out season from Matt Leinart.
Don't be Surprised if: The Cardinals end the season on a roll.
Seattle Seahawks 11-5
The Seahawks struggled just to win the division last year coming off their first Super Bowl appearance. However, with the injuries they suffered that was quite an accomplishment. Look for them to win the West again, as Shuan Alexander shakes off the Madden Jinx and regains his MVP form.
Expect to see: Shaun Alexander among the leaders in TDs.
Don't be Surprised if: The Seahawks get back to the NFC Championship Game.
St. Louis Rams 7-9
Some things I don't understand is how the Rams continue to win, the team has some talent, but with an aging Isaac Bruce most of the talent is not quite what it used to be. Look for the Rams to be among the NFL's biggest disappointments as the stumble all season and end up in last place, with Marc Bulger spending part of the season on the bench.
Expect to see: The Rams to dig a big hole early.
Don't be Surprised if: Fans start booing Marc Bulger by the middle of the season.
San Francisco 49ers 10-6*
Last year the 49ers took a huge step forward, as QB Alex Smith showed why he was the top pick in 2005, while Frank Gore showed he is a number one franchise running back. Look for the 49ers to continue to improve, as they return to the playoffs, for the first time in five years.
Expect to see: Alex Smith play in the Pro Bowl.
Don't be Surprised if: The 49ers make a run for the division title.
New York Jets 8-8
Last year the Jets were a surprise team making it into the playoffs in what was supposed to be year one of a rebuilding team behind new Coach Eric Mangini. This year with high expectations the Jets do what they always do, and that's have a let down. Part of the Jets success last year had more to do with a last place schedule then actual improvement. This year the Jets will fight just to finish .500.
Expect to see: Fans calling for back up QB Kellen Clemens.
Don't be Surprised if: The Jets are the market for a new QB after the season.
New England Patriots 12-4
Last year the Patriots made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game, where they at one time had a 21-3 lead against the eventual Super Bowl Champions despite a gaping hole at the WR position. That hole has been filed, with Randy Moss and Donte Stallworth. The Pats have the roster to win a 4th Super Bowl and on paper are probably the favorites, but do older guys on the defense have the stamina?
Expect to see: The Patriots to be among the top teams in the AFC.
Don't be Surprised if: They are stunned early in the playoffs.
Buffalo Bills 5-11
The bad news for the Bills is they are in a tough division; the worse news is there QB is J.P. Losman. The Bills who were sub .500 last year and have not been in the playoffs since 1999, now have a rookie RB from California in Marshawn Lynch. The last rookie RB from Cal J.J. Arrington was a bust and is just barley hanging on in the league. The good news for the Bills is they should have a high draft pick next year.
Expect to see: Losman benched, and released following the season.
Don't be Surprised if: If Rumors of a move North to Toronto get louder.
Miami Dolphins 6-10
After last year's the Dolphins are starting from scratch after back stabber Nick Saban left them in the lurch. If health Trent Green, can help them at quarterback, but if health is a big question mark, coming off a serious concussion. Worse is the seemingly confused draft strategy that passed up Brady Quinn, and selected Ted Ginn Jr. with the 9th pick. The Dolphins do have a strong defense that could keep in games, but the offense is simply bad.
Expect to see: A break out season for RB Ronnie Brown.
Don't be Surprised if: The Dolphins lead the league in close losses.
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
The Bill Cowher era is over, but the Steelers who struggled after winning the Super Bowl last year should be back on track this year. After a bad off-season last year QB Ben Roethslisberger had the worst season of his career. This year refocused expect him to rebound as the Steelers make a run for another 6th spot where they made their Super Bowl run two years ago.
Expect to see: Ben Roethlisberger wins Comeback Player of the Year.
Don't be Surprised if: The Steelers are the 3rd AFC North team in the playoffs.
Cincinnati Bengals 11-5*
Following their first playoff appearance in 16 years, the Bengals had a let down last year slipping to 8-8, with many frustrating losses along the way. This year the schedule will be easier, and Carson Palmer will be healthier so a return from the playoff should be in the future of the Bengals. Look for a string season all around for Chad Johnson and Rudi Johnson, who will benefit from a strong Carson Palmer a year removed from knee surgery.
Expect to see: The Bengals battle the Ravens all season for first place.
Don't be Surprised if: The Bengals are the Wild Card team to avoid.
Baltimore Ravens 12-4
Last year the Ravens finished 12-4, beating the Chargers in the regular season, and having a first round playoff bye. They lost a tough game to the Colts in the playoffs, but don't hold that against them. This year they have a better running back, and with a sense of the clock running out for QB Steve McNair, and LB Ray Lewis, whose last best chance to make it back to the Super Bowl may be this year.
Expect to see: The Ravens to be break bones and hearts of the opposing teams.
Don't be Surprised if: Ravens win the Super Bowl.
Cleveland Browns 4-12
The Browns had a terrific draft landing a rock solid lineman and franchise QB in the first round. The problem is it takes more then one year for them to both make a difference which may be one year too many for Coach Romeo Crennel, especially in very tough division. Look for Brady Quinn to be starting by Halloween as the Browns focus more on 2008 then 2007.
Expect to see: The Browns giving a scare to allot of good teams.
Don't be Surprised if: Brady Quinn wins Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Indianapolis Colts 12-4
The Colts are the team to beat, and the team with a huge target on its back. They are doing it without a few key pieces to including Tarik Glenn on the offensive line. However, with Peyton Manning it will be hard to bet against them. Look for the Colts to get off to a fast start once again and easily win the South, from there, is when the Colts season truly begins.
Expect to see: The Colts offense to be the best in the NFL.
Don't be Surprised if: They are tripped up early in the playoffs.
Jacksonville Jaguars 8-8
The defense is good, but the offense is still mediocre, while QB David Garrad now has the full load of the offensive pressure on his shoulders and in the AFC a team like this just can't match up against the upper tier of the league. Look for a carbon copy of last year as the Jaguars play well at home, struggle on the road and fall just short of the playoffs.
Expect to see: Maurice Jones-Drew to take over as starting RB.
Don't be Surprised if: Fred Taylor retires following the season.
Houston Texans 7-9
The Texans are pressing the reset button as they have abandoned QB David Carr, taking a chance on career back up Matt Schaub. However, quietly it is the defense that is making big strides as Defensive Rookie of the Year DeMeco Ryans along with Mario Williams give them a strong foundation. Look for the Texans to take a big step forward as they climb out of last place.
Expect to see: A solid season from Matt Schaub.
Don't be Surprised if: The Texans are in the playoff picture all season
Tennessee Titans 4-12
After last year's strong finish, and great rookie season from QB Vince Young hopes are renewed in Nashville. However, nothing in this game is that easy, and Young who is on the cover of Madden Football will experience the pain of the NFL he missed out on last year as he has a sophomore slump, as the Titans miss Pacman Jones in the secondary, as they finish in last place.
Expect to see: Stories of the Madden Jinx.
Don't be Surprised if: Jeff Fisher is fired following the season
San Diego Chargers 13-3
Last year the Charger blitzed through the NFL at 14-2, before a stunning loss to the Patriots in the playoffs, with some of the worst Coach in playoff history by Marty Schottenheimer. This year with a new coaching staff it will be interesting to see if they can equal the regular season, but it will be more interesting to see what happens in the playoffs.
Expect to see: Another 20 TD season from LaDainian Tomlinson.
Don't be Surprised if: Chargers play in the AFC Championship Game
Kansas City Chiefs 6-10
There is a reason why the QB Damon Huard has been a back up his entire career, and Chiefs fans will learn why very early in the season, as their pre-season struggles carry over into the regular season. With the Chargers and Broncos in the division it will be hard to imagine this team even coming close to the playoffs.
Expect to see: Brodie Croyle becomes the starting QB in the middle of the season.
Don't be Surprised if: Larry Johnson struggles to reach 1,000 yards.
Oakland Raiders 4-12
The good news for the Raiders it can't be any worse then it was last year, the bad news for the Raiders, they may still be the worst team in football. Daunte Culpepper has played well in the regular season, but one wrong step and his balky knee can give, as first overall pick JaMarus Russell will be behind an entire year for missing training camp, as he remains un-signed a week before the start of the season.
Expect to see: Plenty of Raiders jokes on Jay Leno.
Don't be Surprised if: Al Davis puts the team up for sale.
Denver Broncos 11-5*
Broncos versus Charges may be the best divisional battle in regular season as each team has the talent to win home field, and one will have to settle for a Wild Card if they can get it. Look for the Broncos to be the team that falls just short as second year QB Jay Cutler will have some growing pains.
Expect to see: The Broncos defense to win allot of games.
Don't be Surprised if: RB Travis Henry has a career year.
Coach of the Year
Comeback Player of the Year
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Offensive Player of the Year
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
San Diego Chargers
New Orleans Saints
Predictions Made: September 3, 2007