Tuesday, September 2, 2008
AFC West Preview
Greetings reader(s) and welcome back to your shitty life/job after summer and the long weekend. I am here to bring you the AFC West preview for the 2008-09 National Football League season. In honor of going out west to cowboy country, we are touring the division with the easiest schedules in the style of one of the greatest movies ever made. Who said all the Italians could make was pasta sauce and fast cars?
Whales Vagina Chargers:
The Good: Everyone is picking these guys to run away with the conference. I'm not necessarily going to disagree with that assessment, as they have the most explosive offense in the AFC(I went there pats fans) and a defense that can run with the big boys, even with/without a knee-less Shawne Merriman. Phillip Rivers proved to me in the playoffs last year that he has the balls it takes to lead an NFL team all the way, by playing injured while the teams biggest weapon sat on the sideline sulking. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge LT(sorry Gints fans, your nickname goes up for grabs when you become a crackhead) fan, the man is an animal on the football field, and if you are hurt, you are hurt, but it was Rivers who we all expected to be sitting that one out. But enough about the past. This is a team all about the now, and they are angry they didn't get a chance for a ring last year. As long as Gates's toe doesn't keep him out for an extended stretch, and they have 2 wide receivers with a pulse, this team is going to put some points on the board. An easy schedule will allow this D to dominate and this team is going to win a lot of games this year.
Brick Tamland: Another huge LT fan
The Bad: If you've been anywhere near the ESPN empire in the past week, you know Shawne Merriman is pretty much taking the biggest gamble on a gimpy leg since Kirk Gibson limped out of the dugout in October '88. From everything Ive read, playing football is about the dumbest thing this guy could do with these injuries, but hey, no one ever said steroids make you smart. Sometimes you can be too hardcore. I know some of the SUS staff aren't big fans of this guy, but hes a baller, and the defense will suffer without him. Some would say injuries are the only thing that kept the Chargers out of last years Super Bowl(sue me NFL, please), and those some would probably be right. They cant afford another year in the M.A.S.H. unit.
The Ugly: Norv Turner still coaches this team.
The Prediction: 12-4
The Good: Well, this is the big year for Jay Cutler. Everyone is talking about him making the leap to the next level this year. Cutler is no Roethlisberger, so I'm not expecting miracles from him, but he had a great connection with Brandon Marshall that should continue this year. Cutler to Marshall could become a common phrase in the next few years, possibly at the elite level. Put that together with Mike Shanahan's plug and play running attack and you have something to win games with. Champ Bailey looks to be his usual self, taking out the opposing offense's top aerial threat on most plays. A good draft class consisting of highly touted tackle Ryan Clady, a rookie who will put down roots in the starting LT spot, and sleeper fantasy pick Eddie Royal will help rejuvenate this squad and start to grow a winning team. The rumors of the Donkey's demise are much exaggerated, they are on their way back up.
The Bad: I guess I like Selvin Young, I have to, hes on my fantasy team, but it just seems like we roll the dice every year with no-names at running back, keeping the faith that zone-blocking and illegally diving at defensive linemen's knees will get the Broncos back into contention in a tough conference. This team may be on its way up, but its still got some room to grow. The defense has some standouts, but will not be able to stop the onslaught of the Chargers. A weak schedule will help, and perhaps let them squeak a wild-card berth, but they wont go much farther than that.
The Ugly: This is a young team, and young teams make mistakes. Sometimes bad ones. And besides, remember the last Denver QB to wear #6?
The Prediction: 9-7
Al Davis finally meets his long lost son
Oakland's Aggressive Pirates:
The Good: I'm going to try to remain positive in "The Good" category, but don't blame me if I fail. Al Davis decided to do his best Dan Snyder impersonation this offseason, spending money to build a team he can see achieve a winning record before he dies, and yet still he keeps the rumors of firing his head coach swirling. Lane Kiffin isn't in the worst spot tho, I doubt being fired by Al Davis will hurt your resume as much as being fired by some other, less insane owner. The additions made in the offseason will certainly help, there is no doubt about that. On paper, the Raiders have a totally baller defensive secondary, with two of the best corners in the game able to make 3 hours on Sunday rough for opposing QBs, allowing Gibril WIlson to help stop the run. On the other side of the ball, Darren McFadden will add punch to an already decent running attack. Justin Fargas had a decent year last year, but hes a 2nd option at best.
The Bad: Gibril Wilson might be the only guy trying to stop the run, as this front seven sucks. Oh you know who else sucks? JaMarcus Russell. This will be my second year on the anti-JaMarcus bandwagon, and the seats are still just as comfortable(free wifi this year!). This guy had one great(maybe only good even) game in college that everyone saw, so he automatically became THE guy. But theres a problem, hes not that good. Its great to have a cannon for an arm, but if you cant aim that cannon, or move away from marauding D-linemen, it doesn't do you any good.
The Ugly: We all take Oakland's dysfunction for granted at this point, but there is something magical about it really. Its become the land of the misfit superstar, and Javon Walker will be no different. Al Davis's disregard for character is charming in some ways, but lately it hasn't been winning football games. Look for Walker to pull a Moss and be a non-factor by seasons end.
The Prediction: 6-10
The high point of the season
Kansas City's Less Embarassing Professional Sports Franchise:
The Good: Tony Gonzalez, Dwayne Bowe, Larry Johnson.....2008 draft class(Glen Dorsey, Brandon Albert), maybe. Theres not much to cover here.
The Bad: Pretty much everyone else.
The Ugly: Rebuilding years are ugly by nature, and this one is no different. This team is gonna suck hind tit in the AFC West and will be good cannon fodder for the Chargers and the Broncos. The Raiders might be fucked up enough to drop one to these misfits. KC, say goodbye to the 08-09 season and hello to another top 5 draft pick next April.
The Prediction: 4-12