So who’s ready to hear how it’s REALLY going to go down this year? Who wants to know what the NFL will offer before the season even starts? Well we all do, so I’ve decided to bring to this blog my crystal clear, crystal ball forecast of the 2009 NFL season.
For some of you who may have been with me through the “Myspace” years and even through the beginning of my Facebook Era, or even in my days as a mere amateur, you will remember “The Sharks Picks”. Yes Jeff “The Shark” Porrini is back to bring to you educated guesses,much like every other predictor on the planet. Words to live by or just a hunch, you read and you decide.
To me this division looks like four teams who are all very similar and one will break out of this pack. The Giants, now two years removed from the Super Bowl have a boat load of nothing at WR, and the defense seems aged suddenly to believe that they can come back as divisions champs. The Cowboys are quite a question mark with the departure of Terrell Owens, although the defense looks to be improved. Than there are the Redskins with another year of big name free agents as they pursue mediocrity.
Why the Eagles?
Well the offense looks to have some new and exciting young weapons. It appears that after years of fans begging they have turned attention to lightning fast wideouts and complimentary RBs. The defense does have some question marks, but it seems to every year, and somehow always finds its way to the top 10. This is a unit under Andy Reid that makes changes but always has a similar core. I expect about 10 to 11 wins, enough to win the East.
NFC North: Bears
The good ol NFL Norris Division ( as ESPNs Chris Berman would call it) looks like a three horse race again. The Vikings have now done “The Favre Thing” and are many peoples favorites here, but unexplosive WRs and Favres health seem to be big issues. The Packers were red hot last year at the start and then just faded. No real big moves on defense to support a team that ended up last in the league against the pass last year. The Lions, well they wont go 0-16 this year, but they are nowhere near the top.
Why the Bears?
It is alot more then just Jay Cutler, but you have to admit, in the past the Bears had very little play at QB and still made noise in this division. Matt Forte looks to be the real deal at RB, TE Greg Olsen is becoming one of the best at his position and the WRs have speed for Cutler to work with. The defense is starting to age, but you cant argue with the playmakers they have. Lovie Smith usually gets his teams to come out and play hard. This Bears team will win 9 to 10 games and eek out this division.
NFC South: Panthers
Ok so this division is becoming the NFCs best in my opinion. The Falcons have recovered quickly,but will have a tougher schedule to face this year and teams now know that Matt Ryan and Michael Turner can play. Also they have lost some names on defense that can hurt for sure. The Buccaneers seem to be slowly stepping toward a rebuild. The Saints, as much as it hurts to say, just DO NOT make the big moves on defense that it needs to become and elite team. Yes the offense can make huge splashes, but they have to, because they can’t stop anyone!
Why the Panthers?
Yes, everyone saw them get dismantled by the Cardinals in the playoffs last year. Yes they have had yet another tough pre-season of contract disputes and injuries. Coach John Fox does get these guys ready in good fashion. This is a team that, if anything has heart. Guys like Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith let you know you’re playing a mans game. The defense will be its usual self, and young linebacker Jon “the beast” Beason is becoming an NFL star. If all goes right this team can win 11 to 12 games this year and walk away rather easily, though it NEVER seems to work that way?
Yes, Seahawks. I am not to believe that last years goat team is the true Seattle bunch. The Cardinals were in the Super Bowl last year I know, but I have seen little this off season to correct whatever kept them from winning it all, and alot was lost as far as morale with trade demands and coaches lost. The 49ers are making some nice moves, but are far from ready for this spot. The Rams should be the worst team in the NFC (a bold prediction I know).
Why the Seahawks?
Well Jim Mora Jr. steps in as head coach, a nice change of pace and enthusiasm that the team had seem to lose behind Mike Holmgren. Mora in the past has done good things with some average teams. Matt Hasselbeck will need to stay healthy, and if he does he inherits a good looking group of wideouts led by free agent T.J. Houshmanzadeh. RB is a bit of a question but the west coast scheme tends to fix that. On defense they still have some good playmakers, and with defense being Moras strong suit this team seems ready for one last go around. I see the Hawks winning 9 to 10 games and winning it by at least 1 game.
Next time I will bring you the AFC outlook, then we will look at Award winners and standouts!
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