2005 NFL PREVIEW
Even with T.O. and all his drama the Eagles are still the team to beat in the NFC. If they stay healthy and Ownes plays up to his abillities a return trip to the Super Bowl is not out of the question, as they have one of the best defenses in the NFL along with Donovan McNabb at QB.
Joe Gibbs-Washington Redskins
Jim Haslett-New Orleans Saints
Mike Holmgren-Seattle Seahawks
Mike Martz-St. Louis Rams
Mike Shanahan-Denver Broncos
Mike Sherman-Green Bay Packers
Mike Tice-Minnesota Vikings
Coaches who will be looking for work after the season
Quarterbacks beware of Rookie Demarcus Ware. The Cowboys Defense with should be much improved this year as they rebound off a disappointing season, add Julius Jones for a full season and the Cowboys all of a sudden have the look off a serious playoff contender.
In his second season QB Eli Manning should show signs of improvement but with a tough schedule and in a tough division the Giants will have a tough time being a factor in the playoff race. Perhaps they are just a year away as they settle in at .500.
A year ago Redskins fans saw the return of Coach Joe Gibbs and thought the glory days had returned. However, it's never as good as the first time and you can't recreate history. However, you can continue to fail, while the Skins struggle, as Gibbs longs for a return to NASCAR.
With three young fast receivers and a rising star at RB, 4th QB Joey Harrington is out of excuses. The Lions had brought in Jeff Garcia to add some extra pressure, but Garcia went down in the preseason. Now it's up to Joey, and he will fine shine leading the Lions to a Division Title.
Without Randy Moss the focus now shifts to QB Daunte Culpepper. However the bigger problem is who will run the ball for the Vikings who don't have a true star runner to carry the team, and in the end that will be what hurts the Vikings more as they fall just short of the playoffs.
Brett Favre is one year older and the Packers defense has more holes then Swiss cheese. It's going to be a long year in Green Bay as the Packers window of opportunity for another championship has closed and locked, with a painful rebuilding process on the horizon.
By the time this year is over injured QB Rex Grossman might as well be Wally Pipp as Rookie Kyle Orton has a chance to be this year's Ben Rothlisberger. However the Bears team is not as good as the Steelers and a solid rookie won't be enough as the Bears end the season in last.
The Falcons are ready to fly falling just 1 game short of the Super Bowl they looked loaded and ready to go expect a big year from QB Michael Vick as the Falcons rise to the top of the NFC with an underrated defense and exciting offense, that will leave defenders gasping for air.
After a year of injury the Panthers are healthy and ready for another run for the Super Bowl. However with the Falcons in their way it will be a though road, expect the Panthers to give the Falcons a fight all the way for the division just falling short but ending up in the playoffs as a dangerous Wild Card.
After a poor season last year the Buccaneers are recharged and ready to go with Super Rookie RB Cadillac Williams driving the offense. Expect great things from Williams as the Buccaneers contend for the playoffs. However in the NFL's toughest division they will fall just short.
Even before Hurricane Katrina left their city destroyed the Saints appeared in for a long season in the NFC South. Without a home and possibly playing all their games on the road its going to be a trying year for a team already trying to piece together their lives, as New Orleans lies in ruin.
With a new stadium ready to open next year the Cardinals are on the verge of becoming a NFL contender. However in a bad division they get there early as QB Kurt Warner does well as the Cards win the division over the Rams who are too old, the 49ers who are too young and the Seahawks who don't try.
The Seahawks are the favorite team of Bart Simpson, because like the spiky haired rapscallion, the Seahawks are underachievers and proud of it. The Seahawks have the talent to contend for the Super Bowl, but once again their receivers will drop the ball again, and again...
The Rams are slowly aging and what once was the greatest show on turf now looks like a slow waltz. The Rams will show flashes, but they just don't have the speed they once had, and QB Marc Bulger cant do it alone, and the Rams defense is not good enough to shut anyone down.
The big question for the 49ers is when will number 1 pick Alex Smith take over at QB? After a horrendous 2-14 season the 49ers have a long hill to climb. However they will not be nearly as bad as they more then double their win total, but they are still not good enough to get out of last.
The Jets have a star RB, a solid QB and some good receivers along with a tough defense and solid coaching staff that has instilled discipline to a whole team that does not make many mistakes. That is the recipe for success and the Jets are well ready to fly high, expect a great year for gang green.
Losing both coordinators is tough for any team to overcome, but losing defensive leaders like Teddy Bruschi, Ted Johnson, and Ty Law will hurt even more as the Patriots just wont be able to find the same magic and formula for the 3-peat as they even lose the division title.
There will be plenty of growing pains for the Bills under J.P. Losman at QB, as the 2nd year QB now runs the show. However a good defense and a strong running game should help as the Bills will not be a team to take lightly. However in the end they will fall just short of the playoffs.
Dan Marino is the newest Hall of Famers and a Dolphins legend. Unfortunately even 6 years removed from his final season he is better then any of the Dolphins current QB. Ricky Williams is back and nobody wants him as Ronnie Brown is the future at RB for the Dolphins who struggle again.
It will be awful hard for Ben Rothlisberger to repeat his rookie performance as he will catch nobody by surprise this year. However the Steelers still have a strong defense and a Bus who always seems to get the need yards and should be able to once again with the AFC North.
The Bengals will finally end 15 years of frustration and losing and put together a winning season as they have a solid defense a good running game and a solid young QB. However, in the tough AFC it will not be enough to bring them to the playoffs as they fall a whisker short.
The Ravens have a good defense, but an offense that is a horror show. RB Jamal Lewis spent the summer in prison and QB Kyle Boller makes fans cringe every time he throws the ball. Look for a disappointing season from the Ravens who by the end of the year will be Quarterback shopping.
The Browns are going to party like its 1999. However there fans wont be too happy as they are starting from square one, with an old QB Trent Dilfer who has not started regularly in 5 years, while the rest of the team is a mix of rookies and rejects from other teams as the Browns struggle just to win 3 games.
This is the year of the Colts. With the Patriots not as good as last year it is time for Peyton Manning and the Colts to take the next step and that is the Super Bowl. Expect another super year from Manning as the Colts run gallop their way to Detroit and end up with the Lombardi Trophy.
The Jaguars might be one of the most underrated teams in the NFL. They have a strong defense and a tough Quarterback along with a solid running game when healthy. Look for them to give allot a teams a good fight as they slip into the playoffs.
The Texans are improved but in a tough division it will be hard to get noticed as they finish in 3rd place again. However, they could finish with a winning record if they can get an extra win here, as they are one year away from making a playoff run.
Steve McNair is like a beat up old car the next big bump could send it to the sidelines permanently. The rest of the team is not much better as the team which was a contender 2 years ago has now been dismantled by the salary cap. Expect a long year in Music City.
LaDainian Tomlinson is the best RB in the NFL and the Chargers have solid weapons at QB and Receiver. Expect another string year, but a tough road for the Chargers who won't surprise anyone this year. However in the end they will end up atop the AFC West.
The Chiefs will bounce back off their disappointing last place finish from last year. However, they will fall just short of the playoffs as their defense still has several holes, and the durability of RB Priest Holmes is still a big question mark.
The Raiders by adding Randy Moss will have one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL. However, offense does not win Championships as the Raiders defense leaves allot to be desired. Expect the Raiders to be inconsistent as they wind up finishing .500.
Soon it has to end the Broncos cant keep finding RBs and have their running game remain strong. The Broncos, who have been teetering the last few years, finally tip off and tumble all the way down to last place as fans turn against Coach Mike Shanahan and overrated QB Jake Plummer.
Coach of the Year
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Offensive Player of the Year
Carnell "Cadilac" Williams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Predictions Made: September 5, 2005