Aaron Schatz, the creator of Football Outsiders and Football Prospectus did an interview with a local radio station here in Dayton, and he had some pretty interesting things to say.
For general NFL thoughts, his book predicts that the Texans will make the playoffs, which perked my interest, because I said as much in our prediction thread a couple weeks back. His arguments were that they had a much higher number of injuries than in previous years, and thus were likely to be more fortunate this year. He also said that teams that draft a group of talented defensive players within a small time period, as the Texans have, tend to take big steps forward 2 or 3 years later, citing examples of the Panthers and Bears earlier this decade. Lastly, he likes Schaub, and Rosefels looked good last year too.
The local guys asked him about the NFC North, and this is where I thought it was really interesting. First off he tore the Browns a new one, saying they'd go 6-10 and that they had a lot of the signs of the classic "take a step back" teams of years past. He specifically mentioned Anderson as a guy who may have played over his head, but admitted he had some of the same questions about Romo last year . He also talked about the schedule differential, the uncertainties with bringing in 4-3 guys to play 3-4, and the anomolously low number of injuries they had last year compared to previous years. Their reliance on their playmakers on offense (Lewis, Winslow, Edwards) and their lack of secondary depth could amplify this if a key guy got hurt.
trolls fans think I'm being biased, he also said that the OL for the Steelers is the worst it's been in 10-15 years and that he doesn't think we'll win the division because of it and the schedule. That honor went to the Ravens, whose secondary won't be as bad with injuries as last year, although when asked, he couldn't give an answer for their offense. He also has the Bengals going 6-10.
So basically, he's spot on with the Browns, but completely wrong about the Steelers :)