NFL Preview: 2010
September 9, 2010 12:57 AM
Preview of the 2010 National Football League Season
Starting with New Orleans Saints football; in reverse. The Saints last game was the Superbowl, which they won over the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts were a 5 point favorite, and most analysts picked the Colts to win. Peyton Manning was supposed to will his team to victory because he is the greatest quarterback of all time.
The game before that, the Saints beat the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game. Most analysts picked the Vikings to win. Brett Favre was supposed to will his team to victory because he is the greatest quarterback of all time. Game before that, the Saints beat the Arizona Cardinals in a divisional playoff game. Many analysts picked the Cardinals to win. Kurt Warner was supposed to will his team to victory because he is a hall of fame quarterback.
Maybe you see a trend there?
A lot of that disrespect still lingers today. ESPN's Mike Greenberg and John Clayton, and TV analyst Troy Aikman are some of the guys who don't seem to care for the Saints much and don't give them a chance to repeat as Superbowl champs. Fuck them. This is why I like Trent Dilfer when it comes to team analysis, he knows what he's talking about. Aikman does good in-game analysis, but poor in-studio analysis.
John Clayton says the Saints "won't have the break of going against every rookie or inexperienced starting signal-caller in the league as they did last season." Pardon me Mr. Clayton, but last time I saw the Saints they were winning games against Payton Manning, Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, and Eli Manning. All of whom are Superbowl winning, MVP, and possibly hall of fame, quarterbacks.
The Saints offense has been strong for the past four seasons, and everyone recognizes that. The problem is apparently with the defense. A lot of folks credit Darren Sharper for being what made the defense so good last year. Those people are mostly wrong. Sharper did have a great year, but he was also the beneficiary of the opportunities created by the rest of the defense. Without Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter shutting down receivers, without Will Smith and the aggressive blitz schemes of Gregg Williams, and without Jon Vilma quarterbacking the defense, Sharper would have been pretty ordinary. Just look at the games where Porter and/or Greer were injured, Sharper wasn't pick-sixing anybody in those games.
Down the stretch, in the big games, who intercepted passes to put games away? Tracy Porter. As long as Greer and Porter stay healthy, the defense will be fine.
AFC East: New York Jets
AFC West: San Diego Chargers
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
AFC South: Houston Texans
AFC Wildcards: Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers
NFC North:Green Bay Packers
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC Wildcards: Atlanta Falcons, Minnesota Vikings
AFC Championship: Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts
NFC Championship: New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers
Superbowl: Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints
Superbowl Champion: New Orleans Saints
Saints fans don't need to wear paper bags over their heads anymore, but Raiders fans might need to start. The Raiders have been worse in the past 7 years (29-83, 26% win percentage) than the Saints were in their first 8 years (30-77-5, 29% win percentage). The Raiders have been worse than what is widely considered to be one of the worst teams in NFL history. Dumping JaMarcus Russel was an overdue necessity, and their defense is respectable. I don't think they can make the playoffs this year, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them make it next year.
Aaron Rodgers is getting a lot of attention this year. Fantasy gurus think he will be the #1 quarterback, and NFL experts think the Packers will win the Superbowl. I'm here to tell you he's not really that great. He's very good, but he's more Philip Rivers than Drew Brees, more Carson Palmer than Peyton Manning. And it's a little disrespectful to Brees that Rodgers gets so much hype. Is Rodgers one of only two guys to throw for over 5,000 yards? Does Rodgers hold the NFL record for completion percentage in a season? Has Rodgers's offense been #1 in 3 of the last 4 years? No, that's all Brees.
I think Tim Tebow will make the Broncos worse than last year.
Enjoy it while it lasts
All indications point to the owners locking out the players after this season, which means next year may be a shortened season, or no season at all. This may be the last real season of football until 2012. And if you saw the movie 2012, you know there won't be any football played at all. This may be the final year of the NFL. Forever. I can think of no better way for the NFL to dissolve than under the weight of back-to-back Saints championships.