I try not to speculate on what will happen in the NFL before the first game of the season. I did have an NFL Prediction post last week, but that was just for fun and possibly bragging rights if any of that stuff comes close to coming true. I did predict that Tom Brady will not throw 30 TDs this season, looks like that will come true. Here is a list of things I have learned after watching week one.
– The Carolina Panthers are what many experts thought they would be last season, very good. San Diego will be good, but looks like the NFC South will be more competitive than the last few seasons.
– Matt Forte looks like Eddie George. I know the Colts haven’t historically had good run defense, but they did a great job last season. If Forte keeps this up, the Bears may find the playoffs this year.
– Matt Cassel “could” be good. He hasn’t started a game since high school. He should have a few good weeks since no team has any film to study on the QB. Unless they dust off some sort of high school recruiting video of Cassel, look for him to have a few good weeks coming up, after that, I’m not sure what will happen.
– The Raiders are still bad. I know this team has a few young studs and added DeAngelo Hall this offseason. Denver isn’t supposed to be good this season and they completely dominated the Raiders in every area. It will be another long year in Oakland and could be headed back to L.A. after this season.
– The pre-season is still a little important. I say this from watching Peyton Manning in the Colts first game. He looked completely rusty and out of sync with all of his receivers. Anthony Gonzalez didn’t help him by dropping a couple key passes, but it could be a down year for them. I am a Colts fan and it saddens me to say that, but I still expect them to win enough to make the playoffs.
– Willie Parker’s job is secure. A lot of people read into this year’s draft that the Steelers aren’t sold on Pakers as their running back. Rashard Mendenhall was taken very high, but appears that he could be a 3rd-down back for awhile. Parker looked amazing and scoring three TDs will make his fantasy football owners approve of him.
– Buffalo looks like an AFC East contender. The Bills dominated the Seahawks and looks much-improved this season. Seattle doesn’t have a great history of playing on the road and this could be a one-week wonder for Buffalo, but I think they are legit.
– Michael Turner is finally a starter in the NFL. Atlanta is going to run the ball a million yards this season with Turner and Norwood as a two-headed backfield. They will give Matt Ryan some time to throw the ball and could lead to a few extra wins for the Falcons this season.
– Jacksonville is over-rated. I have never been high on the Jaguars. I think last season they over-achieved and will fall back down to earth this year. The loss of Marcus Stroud will be too much to overcome and they really don’t have much of an offense if Maurice Jones-Drew is stopped.
– Carson Palmer played like Akili Smith. I know that the Bengals played the Ravens, but this is the 2008 Ravens and not the 2000 Ravens. Palmer didn’t even throw for 100 yards and Chad Ocho Cino, I mean, Chad Johnson was a ghost. Marvin Lewis could be coaching Cincinnati for the last season.
– How ‘Bout Them Cowboys! Cleveland did look bad, but I think Dallas made them look worse than they really are. Dallas is already loaded on offense and having a guy like Felix Jones coming off the bench shouldn’t even be fair. I will definitely watch the Cowboys/Eagles games this season, they should be great.
– Brett Favre is still Brett Favre. He is made the Jets look amazing. I know they played Miami, but he didn’t look rusty at all. The Jets should be much-improved, but it is still too early to put them as a playoff team.