Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Assessing the NFL At the Quarter Mark

With all but four teams finishing up their quarter mark of the season, let's go ahead and look at each division and try to figure out what's going on.

NFC EAST: This division is a jumbled mess -- three teams sit at 2-2. The Redskins, who were left for dead a week ago, has already won two division games. The Eagles have gone from Kolb to Vick to Kolb ... and probably back to Vick in a couple of weeks. The Giants looked outstanding against the Bears just one week after looking horrible against the Titans. I still think this division goes to the Cowboys, who just have too much talent to ignore. Injuries to the Eagles (Vick) and Redskins (Portis) should push them to the rear for now.

NFC SOUTH: The Saints aren't looking like world beaters right now, but you have some games like that when you walk in with that Super Bowl trophy. The Falcons are like any Atlanta team -- they can look really good but you're not sure if they can close the deal. Does anyone really believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are any good? If Steve Smith is out for an extended period of time, the Panthers are then the worst team in the league. This division still belongs to the Saints.

NFC NORTH: Crazy division here. The Bears aren't as good as advertised and the Lions aren't as bad. This division comes down to the Packers and Vikings ... duh. With the Vikings getting Randy Moss, this really puts a shot in the arm in Minnesota. With Ryan Grant out in Green Bay, I think the Vikings pull this one out.

NFC WEST: Who knows? Who cares? This is the worst division in any sport. The sad thing is that the 49ers could turn this thing around and win the division. They could. They still get to play everyone twice but Seattle (just once more). The Seahawks are too inconsistent, the Rams too young and the Cardinals are praying Kurt Warner un-retires. The division, shockingly, goes to the Niners.

Who gets fired first in each division?
EAST: Wade Phillips, SOUTH: John Fox, NORTH: Brad Childress, WEST: Mike Singletary

Who has the worst quarterback issues?
EAST: Eagles, SOUTH: Panthers, NORTH: Vikings, WEST: Cardinals

Which team will turn it around (good or bad)?
EAST: Cowboys (good), SOUTH: Buccaneers (bad), NORTH: Vikings (good), WEST: Niners (good)

AFC EAST: The Patriots just dealt Randy Moss to the Vikings which eliminates their big play threat. It will be interesting to see how defenses adjust. The Dolphins' loss to New England may really kill any momentum this team was trying to create. The Bills suck. To me, the overwhelming winner of this division is the Jets. They have the studs despite missing guys to injury and not getting what they thought they'd get from Shonn Greene.

AFC SOUTH: The Houston Texans look like they could run away with this. I like the Colts, still, but they just seem to be missing something. The Titans are just too flip-floppy for me to take seriously. That defense can look really good or really bad. The Jaguars are tough to figure out as well, but they're right in the mix. Still, I think the Texans comes away with it. They are the hungriest team of the bunch.

AFC NORTH: It's the Ravens and Steelers. The Bengals just have too many flaws (*cough* ... coaching ... *cough*) and the Browns blow chunks. Both the Ravens and Steelers boast great defenses. I love what B-more's receivers are doing and giving Flacco a chance to succeed. But I'm going to side with the Steelers. It is impressive to me that they nearly went 4-0 with a bunch of crappy QBs. With a rested, humbled and focused Ben Roethlisberger back, Pittsburgh is set to make a move.

AFC WEST: Everyone is loving the Chiefs right now ... and they should. This is a speedy team with a lot of offensive firepower. The Chargers are the only real competition they have. I think closure of the Vincent Jackson situation would be ideal for San Diego, but you just don't know what A.J. Smith will do. The Raiders are still in too much disarray and the Broncos are mediocre, at best. I'm sticking with the Chargers to pull this one out.

Who gets fired first in each division?
EAST: Chan Gailey, SOUTH: Jack Del Rio, NORTH: Eric Mangini, WEST: Norv Turner

Who has the worst quarterback issues?
EAST: Bills, SOUTH: Jaguars, NORTH: Browns, WEST: Raiders

Which team will turn it around (good or bad)?
EAST: Patriots (bad), SOUTH: Colts (good), NORTH: Steelers (good), WEST: Chiefs (bad)

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