Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sportz Football Roundup - 9/26

Instead of a full breakdown of the NFL's Week 3....I'm just going to take a look at the best and the worst of the league.  Those teams that still have a ZERO in their records.

WHY THEY CAN KEEP IT GOING:  Their defense has been stunning....allowing a mere 16 points all season long.  And how many people expect the offense to keep playing this badly?  Plus, their upcoming schedule is pretty light.
WHY IT WON'T LAST:  Like I said, the offense isn't on track...and it did struggle in the preseason.  Also, after this cupcake portion of the sked, they'll have some tough games later in the year.  Where would this team be right now if their defense hasn't played so great?
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  I think they breeze to the AFC South title and get that homefield in the AFC.

WHY THEY CAN KEEP IT GOING:  That offense is on fire.  Carson Palmer has grown leaps and bounds this season and has a lot of weapons around him.  Also, that defense has gotten 10 picks in the last two games, showing that it can be quite formidable.
WHY IT WON'T LAST:  You can run on this team, and I want to see how Cincy responds in a game where they play a physical team that wants to pound the ball.  The Browns and Vikings couldn't do it and the Bears had to chuck the run to get back in the ballgame [but they did run effectively].
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  Right now, they are the best looking team in the AFC North.  With the schedule easy now, but a beast in a few weeks....I want to see how they respond.  I think they'll make the playoffs.

Somehow, this defense is playing as well as it did a couple of years ago.  Also, they've found the most productive player of the past draft in Cadillac Williams.  That smart offensive play and tough defense will always keep you in games.
WHY IT WON'T LAST:  I haven't seen Tampa play from behind...or be forced to score yet.  Not to say they can't, but I just want to see if this team can score quickly if needed. 
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  Right now, they have a shot to winning this division.  But, to me, I think Carolina and Atlanta sprint past them down the road.

They have a Super Bowl caliber defense that can take away the run and mess with pass timing.  They'll blitz on any down and will come from anywhere to do so.  Look at the first two games of the season.  Their defense kept them in until their offense got over the top.
WHY IT WON'T LAST:  If not for those two Santana Moss TD catches in Dallas...this Redskins offense would be at the bottom of the NFL.  They struggle to sustain drives and this could wear on the defense, just as it did last year.
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  The Skins should bottom out at some point...but with that defense, they could steal a couple more wins the rest of the season.

They are, to me, the most undisciplined team in the NFL.  Not just penalties...but they just don't seem to have any sort of gameplan to win. 
WHY THEY'LL TURN IT AROUND:  Despite their 0-3 mark...they did play tough in New England; lost on a last second FG to the Chiefs;  lost on a last second FG in Philly.  Oakland at 0-3 is better than several of the 2-1 teams.
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  Oakland has to win sometime soon, or the season will be mailed in.  And maybe Norv Turner's job.

That defense blows.  If you notice the trend, the Colts, Bengals, Redskins and Buccs defenses have played stellar.  The Packers blow.  They give up big penalties at wrong times and just look lost out there.  They can't run the ball and are content to let Favre fling it all game long.
WHY THEY'LL TURN IT AROUND:  Cuz they always do.  They were 1-4 last year, then ended up winning the division.  I mean, even though they are 0-3 right now....they are only 1 win away from tying the 1st place Lions win total. 
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  I think they can turn this around.  The loss of Javon Walker stings, but the Packers seem to gel as the season goes along.  And with the Lions, Bears and Vikings all suspect...why not G-Bay?

Because they are the Cardinals.  That's what they do.  This team has been mentally horrible all season long.  Their defense has stopped nothing and the offense just doesn't seem to click.
WHY THEY'LL TURN IT AROUND:  They do have talent on both sides of the ball.  They just aren't showing it.  Arizona was a trendy pick to win the NFC West...but they've failed thus far to live up to it.
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  Um, they are the Cardinals.

With Kyle Boller out, teams are focusing on Jamal Lewis.  And the sad thing is that I just said "with Kyle Boller out" as if it made a big difference with him in the game. 
WHY THEY'LL TURN IT AROUND:  That defense has a ton of pride.  That offensive line has a ton of pride.  Their running backs have a lot of pride.  Sometime, that has to kick in.
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  While they aren't my favorites to win the division anymore...they can still get back into the race.

The offense blows.  Domanick Davis has done nothing....and neither has Carr.  Now, they've fired several people...which has got to put some extra anxiety of the rest of the coaching staff.
WHY THEY'LL TURN IT AROUND:  I honestly don't see how.
SPORTZ OUTLOOK:  Right now, they are the worst team in the AFC.


*Well, we found out that I am not as smart as I  My gutsy pick of Michigan to meet USC in the Rose Bowl has pretty much crashed and burned.  We haven't stepped foot in October, yet, and the Wolverines already have 2 losses.  That makes me feel great [sarcasm].  Last year, I went out of my way to dis the Big Eleven and how overhyped they were.  And I was proven correct.  This year, I felt that the youth that the Big Eleven had would blossom into greatness.  So far it hasn't.  I mean, Michigan has lost twice....Ohio State lost at home to Texas....Iowa has lost twice, and badly both times....and Purdue has now been smacked. 

*So who takes the place of Michigan in my pick to meet USC for the title??  Texas?  I do like the makeup of Texas...but I'm not sure if they can pass all of the tests in the Big XII.  If I had a gun to my head right now...I'd pick Virginia Tech to play USC in the Rose Bowl.  Va Tech has been so dominant on defense and special teams that they can win games even if their offense is struggling [which it hasn't].  Beamer Ball really comes down to focusing on every facet of the game.  I mean, only at V-Tech is special teams such a high priority...and not a place to put your crazy linebackers and fast wideouts.  Place that with the fact that I don't think anyone in the ACC can beat them.  I think they'll take the Coastal Division since they have the Miami game in Blacksburg.  Then, I think they have the defense to stuff Florida State in the ACC Championship.  After is on to Pasadena!

*Louisville got slammed!!!  Um, weren't the Cards supposed to breeze thru this Big East??  Oops!  One game in, one loss.  And not just a loss....a spanking!  How in the heck does the #9 team in the nation lose 45-14 to SOUTH FLORIDA???  This was the first time in about a year that the Cards didn't score 30 pts in a game.  Heck, scoring 30 would have meant it was just a mild beatdown here.  The one gracious fact of this loss is it really doesn't cost the Cardinals anything.  It is almost meaningless.  Sure, they are out of any NationalChampionship picture....but, c'mon, even if they finished undefeated they probably weren't looking at a title shot.  If this was last season, this loss would have cost L'ville a shot at BCS money...something they can/will still acheive with their entrance into the Big East.  Remember, you could have been 6-5 and in the BCS last year.  Next up for U of L....Florida Atlantic?

*North Carolina isn't as bad as many is just that tough schedule.  Only 1-2, Carolina did play Georgia Tech and Wisconsin tough.  Then they go into Raleigh and score 30 points against that vaunted NC State defense to beat their hated rivals.  Hahaha.  Even in our darkest hour, NC State gets smacked up by the Tar Heels.  Again, screw you Wolfpack!!

*Um, Purdue, it's a good thing you don't have Ohio State or Michigan on your sked.  After losing to the Gophers by having your defense dismantled, I don't think you would have had a shot anyways....Don't shoot USC.  You'll only make them mad....I still think those Florida teams are overrated, but they are winning....I really think that Archie Griffith will have company in the Two Heismans club.  If Matt Leinart keeps doing what he is doing, who in the country could possibly take it away?


1-USC.  A scare from Oregon, as the 13-0 halftime score indicated.  But the 45-0 spanking to close the game out was impressive.
3-VIRGINIA TECH.  Boy, did that 51-7 shalacking of G-Tech show what kind of team this is??  That defense scored one more TD than the Jackets' offense did.
4-LSU.  Big game vs Tennessee on Monday Night.
5-OHIO STATE.  Destroyed Iowa at the horseshoe.  And I guess Troy Smith will be the full-time QB.
6-FLORIDA.  Has a big game at Alabama next week.  Still gave up 28 pts to lowly Kentucky.
7-FLORIDA STATE.  Did they figure out their offense during the bye week?
8-TENNESSEE.  The Vols go into LSU on Monday night.  After that, they face Georgia.
9-MIAMI-FL.  The Canes team still does't look too impressive...but that defense looked a lot better.
10-GEORGIA.  The Dawgs keep chugging along.  Next stop:  Knoxville.
11-CALIFORNIA.  Remember, the last team to beat USC.
12-MICHIGAN STATE.  I know that spanking Illinois isn't a tough feat, but this was one week after upsetting Notre Dame.  They could, essentially, end Michigan's season next week.

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