Well football season is here again. How do I know? Well the Seahawks are still crying over super bowl XL, so much so that they've gotten ex-ref Bill leavy to admit he made some bad calls in the super bowl that gave the Steelers their record tying 5th super bowl. Why say this now? Does it even matter? Well it does feel good to see them whine. :) But lets focus on the future, shall we? The AFC North looks to be one of the best divisions in the NFL this year so in anticipation of a great year to come of football I decided to do a post full of run-on sentences and predictions of the AFC North. As you can imagine, these predictions assume only the injuries that we are aware of now. If there are errors forgive me, its a long post .
Hey, Everyone else is doing it, why can't I?
So lets look at the Baltimore Ravens. Their biggest acquisition this off-season was Anquan Boldin but this team will only go as far as Flacco will take them. Lets analyze their schedule and try to figure out what their record might be.
Week 1:Ravens at Jets
So the ravens start off the season @ the Jets. The Jets are Super Bowl Contenders, wait... lol give me second so I can stop laughing. Why is that so funny? Because this is the same coach who was crying last year after a loss against the Falcons where the Sanchise threw multiple INTs resulting in a 7-7 record for the Jets and the team needing to sweep the last two games against the Colts and Bengals to get into the playoffs. After both of those teams laid down, the bengals and chargers did their usual choke in the playoffs the Jets ended up losing the AFC championship game to the Colts. This is same coach is pounding his chest and grabbing his balls proclaiming his team Super Bowl Champs in August. I have no issue with a coach being confident but this is beyond confidence, this is unwarranted arrogance. The jets have signed as many free agents as they could and it still won't make a difference. It will take a while for all of those free agents to mesh as a team, and who knows if they ever will. Especially when you conside the fact that Mark Sanchez numbers last year looked a lot similar to Jamarcus Russell's. I don't see Mark Sanchez making a big improvement this year, at least not enough to make the playoffs. Ravens win this game to start the season, they have the better QB and more consistent team. Ravens 24- Jets 10
Week 2: Ravens at Bengals
Big game here, I mean get your popcorn ready! Ravens go to Cincy to start the division. I think the Ravens are a better team but I believe Carson will be able to take advantage of the Ravens secondary whom is all of a sudden full of Elijah Prices. I do think that Flacco and company will show the Bengals weaknesses. The Bengals have a good corner combo so that will make it tough on the Ravens. Ray Rice will get busy here though. He will be the reason why this one comes down to a nail bitter. Ravens lose this game in close fashion. Bengals 17 - Ravens 14
Week 3: Browns at Ravens
Its the stains. Its Jake Del 'INT' Homme. The browns will score though through the services of Josh Cribbs. But expect Boldin and Mason to have good days along with Ray Rice. I expect to see some good old shut down defense from the ravens in this game. They win in blow out fashion and I'm not wasting another sentence on this. Ravens 35 - Browns 7
Week 4: Ravens at Steelers
Most likely this game will be played without Ben R. to the delight of Ravens fans everywhere. Steelers are unable to take advantage of the Ravens limp secondary. I think this will be a close game but the Ravens pull it out by the hair of their chinny chin chin <insert Ben R. Joke here> . Yes I used a 3 little pigs reference, its 11:47pm on a Friday night. Deal with it. I think this will be a low scoring affair with neither offense able to do much against the other defense. I see our defense responding a lot better to how we played last year and their pass rush able to get to Byron Leftwich. I think a few Dennis Dixon gadget plays gets us some points though. I got Ravens 10 - Steelers 9
Week 5: Broncos at Ravens
Josh McDaniels is a joke. Period. He has begun driving this franchise into the ground which is irony in motion. He's like Elmer Fudd running a NFL team. The broncos had a top offense when McDaniels got there, they now have an inept offense with a terrible defense. A defense that got even worse without the pass rushing abilities of Elvis Dummervil. Plus when you consider the fact that they had to add Ty Law to their DBs last year, Flacco should have a good game. Also Denver's is hurt and might be making his way back in this game. They may have NC State alum Toney Baker carrying the rock who was avg. in college. Ravens win this one. Ravens 24- Broncos - 7
Week 6: Ravens at Patriots
As James Brown says, The big payback!!! The ravens treated the patroits like they were Bill Plaschke and the Ravens were Brett favre - basically a two dollar whore. I believe that the Pats will get their revenge. Brady exploits the ravens' secondary as Ed reed tries to adjust to playing the NFL again. But then again who knows if he'll make it back by then. I think Ray Rice will have another good game against the Pats but in the end Brady is just a supieror QB to Flacco and that is who I trust in this game. Pats win this one Ravens 17 - Patriots 28
Week 7: Bills at Ravens
Who is the Bills QB? Jim Kelly needs to come out of retirement. There isn't much to say about the bills except they need help every where. Across the board. They got a good start with CJ Spiller. I think him and M. Lynch should be a good RB combo. But this team doesn't go anywhere until the WRs are better, QB is better, O-Line is better, and the whole entire defense is better. Ravens win this one against the Buffaloe BJ Spillers (BJ was intentional :P). Bills 3 - Ravens 31
Week 8: Bye
Hopefully Ravens lose the bye week.
Week 9: Dolphins at Ravens
With two weeks to heal up and prepare for the Dolphins, I thin the Ravens win this one at home, they are a notoriously good home team and the Dolphins usually win by running the ball. And the Ravens are good at stopping the run. I'll take the RAvens run defense over the Dolphins Run offense in this one. Nothing like whole alotta Ngata to stop the running game. Oh, and there is this Cody guy too, but he's not important. Their Qb Henne isn't quite ready to get past the elite defenses in the league. I don't see the dolphins defense as improved either, they got a couple of Free Agents adding Dockett from the Cardinals and a couple of other players. Brandon Marshall is a big boost for their offense. But Henne still needs some time. Ravens win this one. Dolphins 14 - Ravens 27
Week 10: Ravens at Falcons
There is always that game where a team should win and they lose. The battle of the 2007 QB draft class. Flacco has done a lot better when you consider how far his teams have gone in the playoffs. But the falcons are at home and in their dome. They don't have much of a defense and need help in the pass rushing department so expect the ball to get tossed around quite a bit in this one though. I think the ravens would win this game but I'm going to go out on a limb and say there are some turnovers that don't go their way. The Falcons are a good team with a decent QB, thye squeek this one out. Falcons 21 - Ravens 17
Week 11: Ravens at Panthers
The panthers are in experimental mode. Youth at defense and QB. Only WR worth mentioning is Steve Smith. They have a great running game but again I don't think they can run it well enough to overcome their QB play, not that Matt Moore has been bad or that Jimmy Clausen will be, its just neither of them stand out to me. When you can't pass the ball, you won't do well against the Ravens since they do an excellent job shutting down the run. Ravens win this one. Ravens 24 - Panthers 13
Week 12: Bucs at Ravens
Bucs suck, like Pirates suck, like how Cleveland Cavs are going to suck next year. Yea I know. But they are seriously rebuilding and I'm not convince their coach is good enough to win yet. They lost their top WR who really wasn't a top WR. Their breaking in a 2nd year QB who is still learning. They have a decent running game but their defense is suspect. This doesn't look good. Ravens Win. Ravens 28 - Bucs 9
Week 13: Steelers at Ravens
I think the Steelers get revenge here. Ben will be back, better than ever. Emmanuel Sanders will have taken over the 3rd WR position by this team and Troy P., Woodley, and Harrison still give Flacco nightmares. The Steelers defense makes life rough on the ravens once again. We can expect this to be another slug fest. Mike Wallace is comfortable with receiving top coverage at this point. Steelers win this game and leaves the Ravens begging to the scheduling committee not to make any of their games prime time against the Steelers regardless of venus. People don't forget. Steelers 13 Ravens 7
Week 14: Ravens at Texans
The Texans have been waiting forever to make the playoffs. Andre Johnson got his money and he isn't the type of guy to slack off just cause he got paid. He will give the Ravens fits. The Texans defense took a hit in their secondary by losing their top DB but this is a home game and the Ravens just had a physical and emotionally draining game against the Steelers. I think the ravens are a little deflated after their loss to the Steelers and if Matt Schuab is healthy he can lead this team to victory. Texans win. Ravens 14 - Texans 24
Week 15: Saints at Ravens
The Super bowl champs come to town. I don't see Brees letting up this season. The ravens have had trouble stopping high-octane passing teams with elite QBs. The Saints defense are good enough to slow down the ravens offense enough to get the Saints the edge in this one. Brees is officially elite status and joins the realm of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. We all know what Peyton does to this defense. He is the reason why the Saints win this game. Saints 28 - Ravens 24
Week 16: Ravens at Browns
This is part of the season where you have to come through if you want to make the playoffs. Ravens get back on track with a win against the Browns. This is the time of the season where they have already realized that Del Homme is done and Seneca Wallace isn't anything you can brag about. It always seems like when you need a win the Browns are there to pick you up. Dependable, loyal, the browns. Thats why we love 'em! Ravens 31 - Browns 10
Week 17: Bengals at Ravens
Ravens take this one, this is for a playoff game and I trust the ravens more than I do the Bengals. Plus I think the Ravens will want to win this game on general principle. Payback from earlier this year.
After going through the schedule, I see the ravens at 10-6 or 11-5 (beating the Texans). they will make a strong push for the division.
Now on to the Bengals. They have added TO, how will anyone match-up with their mouths? Yea, they have the trash talking game pretty much wrapped up but football is about what you can do and not what you can say. I don't think TO will be a problem in his first year as he has shown in the past. Lets go through their schedule as a seemingly complete team starts their defense of their AFC North title.
Week 1: Bengals at Patriots
The bengals start their season with a rude awakening. Its the battle of the douche-bag QBs and malcontent WRs (save Wes Welker). Should be the start of the falling to earth for the bungals. The Patriots will be looking to establish another winning season and prove to the NFL that last year was an aberration. Even though they made the playoffs they didn't show up like they expect to. They have a lot to prove this year. I think this will be a high scoring game. Brady is good and I think their defense isn't good enough to stop the Bengals. But reportedly in the Bengals camp there are timing issues between Carson and TO. These differences are going to have to flesh themselves out and the first game of the season isn't enough time to get that done. Pats win this one. Bengals 31 - Patriots 38
Week 2: Ravens at Bengals
Week 3: Bengals at Panthers
The bengals was ranked in the top 10 in defense last year. I don't see that continuing. The panthers running game is simply too good and their QB isn't Jake Del Homing it up. I think Carolina pull this game out by pounding the Bengals. The bengals will try to attack through the air and they will have some success. The panthers will play a very conservative defensive game plan and wear the Bengals down. Expect to see a lot of deep safety coverage by the Panthers to counter TO and CO. The Bengals will have a lot of stuff underneath but John Beason for the Panthers is one of the best LB in the game, he'll be there to wrap things up. Plus expect the panthers QB to manage the game. Bengals 21 - Panthers 24
Week 4: Bengals at Browns
The bengals are good enough to beat the browns. period. Even though the Browns are improving in overall talent, they do have a Qb that is Jake Del Homing it up. lol I think we should officially rename Interceptions to throwing a Jake Del Homme. The bengals have too much fire power and too much defense for the browns to really compete. Which I think its sweet to see holmgren come to the AFC North trying to turn around a perennial loser only to finish last in the division with no wins. I think the Browns woke people up last year and now no one will take them lightly. Bengals win this one. Bengals 31 - Browns 14
Week 5: Bucs at Bengals
Bucs are just abysmal. Their defense isn't good enough to contain the Bengals offense nor is their offense good enough to move the ball on the Bengals defense. This will be part of what is to be a embarrassing year for the Bucs. Bengals win this game. Bengals 38 - Bucs 10
Week 6: Bye
Bengals lose the Bye week per usual.
Week 7: Bengals at Falcons
Bengals coming off a bye week in prep for this game. I like the Bengals in this match-up. Falcons still don't have a decent pass rushing threat and Carson will have plenty of time to throw. Falcons also isn't exactly stingy against the run. Look for Ryan to do well at home but I think Carson does better, he has more weapons and he is more experienced. This one will be close though because Matt Ryan is no slouch himself. Bengals win this one, they're just too strong. Bengals 24 - Falcons 21
Week 8: Dolphins at Bengals
The Dolphins are a good team. This will be a good game. I think Bengals win this home game as I don't see the Dolphins with the secondary to stop Cincy. The dolphins will be able to keep this close though with their running game and through Brandon Marshall. But the bengals pull this game out at home and the Henne continues to show promise but just isn't quite there yet. Bengals 17 - Dolphins 13
Week 9: Steelers at Bengals
Ben will be back. He will have had a couple of games under his belt by now. He will be in better shape and more focused than ever as we have already seen. The better QB wins this match. The better defense wins this match. Also the steelers corner backs are better than advertise, the whole unit wants to show that 2009 was an blip on the radar. The steelers will be wanting payback from getting swept last season. Also Limas Sweed isn't here to drop TD passes. Steelers win this one. Steelers 24 - Bengals 10
Week 10: Bengals at Colts
The Colts who are the Bengals want to be. But theres nothing like the real thing baby! Thats a song, I swear it is. The Colts are too good at home. Manning is too good, the offense is too good. And the colts defense is actually decent. The runner up from last year is a franchise that has averaged over 10 wins a season for the past decade. Why? Because they win these types of games, games you are suppose to win. Expect Carson to fold under pressure in this game. Bengals lose this game. Bengals 21 - Colts 35
Week 11: Bills at Bengals
Bengals are better than the bills, they just are. I've already talked about how bad the bills are, this is a road game for the bills and I don't see them winning many games period much less on the road. This one could get ugly. Bengals win this game. Bengals 38 - Bills 12
Week 12: Bengals at Jets
AS much as I think of the Jets as phonies. I think they win this game. Could you imagine Santonio Holmes on the same field as Chad Ochocino and To? I think the stadium will explode due to too much ego. But seriously the Jets will have their running game going and Holmes will make a few plays that will propel the Jets over the Bengals. The Jets still have Revis who will shut down whoever they need to shut down and their defense should be hitting on all cylinders at this point. I got the Jets winning this one. Jets 24 - Bengals 16
Week 13: Saints at Bengals
Saints are far too classy for the bengals. Too much offense and too good of a QB. This will be a shoot out though. As the Bengals offense will be able to score on the saints defense. But again I'll take the better QB and the better offense in this game. Carson can't last with Brees and it will show here. The saints win this game and they try to sweep the division. Saints 44 - Bengals 38
Week 14: Bengals at Steelers
Steelers win this game. I think Ben will continue playing well and redeem himself to Steelers fans. The Steelers are champions, the bengals aren't. I think the Steelers lost a little edge last year and took the Bengal for guaranteed. Not this year, Ben is focused and they'll win this game at home with all of Pittsburgh cheering them on. Bengals 17 - Steelers 28
Week 15: Browns at Bengals
Bengals win. Its sad, they think they are going to finish ahead of the Steelers in the division this year. Just sad. But this will be the same as before. The bengals rebound here and get a win after a 3 game losing streak, its starting to become apparent that this won't be the year that the Bengals thought they would have. But if they can win out they might still have a chance at the playoffs. You won't hear any trouble out of TO nor CO at this point.
Browns 3 - Bengals 24
Week 16: Chargers at Bengals
I honestly think the Bengals win this game. This is the time of year that the chargers usually pull things together. I don't see it this year. You can't bank on that every year, its going to fail sooner or later. Bengals win this game because the Chargers defense/secondary is suspect.. And Norv Turner isn't a competent coach in my humble opinion. He proves to everyone that he is the reason why the rushing attack has fallen off, not LT. Bengals win this one in a close fashion. Bengals 24 - Chargers 21
Week 17: Bengals at Ravens
The bengals don't have the season they hope for. but they still finish only 1 loss shy of their 2009 record. With a harder schedule I dont think this is a step backwards more like a step sideways, its still respectable and they should expect the Ravens and Steelers to be gunning for them this year.
Steelers has have a tumultuous offseason. Ben is out for games, Holmes is gone, Colon is injured. How will they ever cope. Lets take a look at the schedule and see.
Week 1: Falcons at Steelers
The Steelers don't lose season home openers, they just don't. Plus the defense that Matt Ryan will face is nothing that he has ever seen in his NFL career. Woodley, Harrison, and Troy will wreak havoc all game. The Falcons' running game will be rendered useless and the Falcons lack of pass rush will bite them in the end. The Steelers win this one with the running game and defense and a few trick plays from Dennis Dixon. It will be a great way to start the season and start proving to the world the Steelers won't go quietly into the night. Steelers 21 - Falcons 17
Week 2: Steelers at Titans
The titans have Chris Johnson, but I don't trust Vince Young and their defense is questionable. After having that dominant defensive line their defense has done nothing but gone down. Last year for them was like a tale of two teams. The first half they was terrible. The second half under Young they had a resurgence. So does that mean that the Titans will continue success through this season? I don't trust Vince Young throughout an entire season. I like the defense to play great and Troy is the Chris Johnson nullifier. The Steelers have more offensively and should pull this game out. Steelers 13 - Titans 7
Week 3: Steelers at Bucs
Did I mention that the Bucs suck? Yea Lefty gets some revenge against the team that benched him. The Steelers continue pounding the ball and the defense renders the Bucs offense inept. Josh Freeman will learn a lesson in defense this game and he doesn't have any weapons to rely on. The running game will be stuffed per usual and the Steelers delivery their first shut out of the season. Steelers 17 - Bucs 0
Week 4: Ravens at Steelers
Week 5: Bye
Steelers get Big Ben Ben Roethlisberger back, they win the bye week.
Week 6: Browns at Steelers
Ben comes back and tries to help the team redeem themselves against the Browns. They get it done here. As Ben looks focused and a smarter player. The defense and special teams will make amends from their debacle from last year. This is the first step in the redemption year for the Steelers. Expect Troy to get a couple of interceptions from Jake the Great. Browns 3 - Steelers 31
Week 7: Steelers at Dolphins
Steelers start a 3 game road trip here. They owned the dolphins beating them the last 3 times that I can remember them playing each other. Its officially 1am all efforts to look up stats are lost. But this season is no different as ben continues his redemption tour. The dolphins rely too much on running the ball. Chad Henne again isn't a good enough QB yet to make a difference. I don't see their defense as strong enough to stop the Ben in this game. The Steelers continue to show the media they ain't dead yet. Steelers 27 - Dolphins 14
Week 8: Steelers at Saints
Big week here. But I think the Saints squeak by the steelers. They are so good at home and I'd be shocked if we beat the Saints on this stage. Brees will be his usual self and the Super Dome will be electric. I think we come away from this game feeling like we could beat the Saints, we just need to tweak a couple of things. The saints defense is just good enough to give them the edge in this game. We'll have a good deal of information about what changes we might see from Ben by now. Steelers 24 - Saints 31
Week 9: Steelers at Bengals
Week 10: Patriots at Steelers
I'm glad we got these guys at home. But I think they take this game, after a 3 game road trip this team will be tired. Brady and company will be looking to repay the Steelers from the embarrassing beat down given to them in 2008. The Steelers don't have a good record against Tom Brady. Every team has hiccups, this is one of those games. The patriots are a team that take advantage of other teams mistakes. They get their win due to the play of Mr. Brady, as much as I hate to say this. Patriots 28 - Steelers 21
Week 11: Raiders at Steelers
I highly doubt the Steelers let the raiders come into Heinz and pour mustard all over the fans. (Hypothetically speaking of course) the raiders will be a very good team this year and could win their division. Under the direction of Jason Campbell who will want to show that he can win. I think that the Steelers are over all a better team. The defense is the big difference in this game from last year. The Steelers have enough quality reserves this year to keep everyone fresh on defense so the 4th quarter lapses don't happen again. Raiders 14 - Steelers 24
Week 12: Steelers at Bills
The Bills will have another tough year. These are the games you have to win to make the playoffs. These are the games we lost last year. That can't happen again, if it does I really question Tomlin coaching ability to lead men. But right now I do think Tomlin is a leader of men and will have this team ready to take care of business. It'll be good to see what CJ Spiller can or cannot do against this defense. Again I think Troy will negate any magic CJ might accomplish. Bills 10 - Steelers 27
Week 13: Steelers at Ravens
Week 14: Bengals at Steelers
Week 15: Jets at Steelers
The Steelers show Santonio what he is missing. The Jets have a good defense but their lack of a elite QB hurts them in this match up. Mark Sanchez isn't ready for Troy Polamalu if he is healthy. This will be a defensive battle but the Steelers know how to beat Rex Ryan's defenses. Mark Sanchez will have to win this game for the Jets, I don't see him doing it against this defense. The Jets by now realize they aren't the team they thought they were. We won't let them off the hook. Jets 10 - Steelers 17
Week 16: Panthers at Steelers
The Steelers will need to win this game to seal the division from baltimore officially. By this time the Panthers will be breaking in Jimmie Clausen. The panthers again is another team that rely on the running game. The QB will have to win this game. That means a win for the Steelers. I think the Ben will be able to move the ball on this defense as they pack it in for the season. The Steelers have a lot more to play for. Plus the Steelers have historically owned the panthers, the last time the Panthers beat the Steelers Bill Clinton was getting the oral office treatment in the oval office. Panthers 3 - Steelers 31
Week 17: Steelers at Browns
This is the only way that losing to the Browns is acceptable. When you are resting your starters half the game. The Browns get a moral victory here as the Steelers prepare for the playoffs. Browns 17 - Steelers 14
After looking over the schedule I realize this is probably the most optimistic anyone will be about this season. So help me out, what games do ya'll think we will lose that I have down as a win. If we go 12-4 we win the division and have the #2 seed in the AFC.
There is no point in doing the Browns they will finish last int he division.