Wassup Sports!?!?!?!?

17 year old Cale's very opinionated view on everything sports.

Posts Tagged ‘AFC

Wild Card Playoff Predictions

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#3 Dallas Cowboys vs. #6 Philadelphia Eagles

Personally, I am an Eagles fan. Unfortunately, I do remember sweeping the New York Giants three straight times last season, so I know it can be done. So far, the Cowboys secondary has shut down DeSean Jackson, and if he can’t make any plays, they are done for. Although, McNabb must step up his play to get Jackson the ball, for he looked absolutely lost last Sunday. I don’t see anyway my birds can pull this one out, as the Dallas defense is just on a roll, and they showed no way of stopping either the Romo-Austin or Romo-Witten connections last week.

Prediction: 24-14, Dallas

#4 Arizona Cardinals vs. #5 Green Bay Packers

I see this game as a bit of an easy matchup as well. Green Bay blew apart the Cardinals last week, and there is no reason to believe that they won’t do it again. The Cardinals are most likely going to be without WR Anquan Boldin, who can barely walk now with his MCL sprain and an upper ankle sprain. Yes, the man is tough, but even if he does play it would be a very small contribution. Without Boldin, the Packers can put the NFL’s best cornerback, Charles Woodson, up against WR Larry Fitzgerald all day, and blitz Warner nearly every play.

Prediction: 30-14, Green Bay


#3 New England Patriots vs. #6 Baltimore Ravens

This could be the best game of this weekend, as the Patriots prolific offense will matchup against the always ready Baltimore defense. However, the Patriots are missing the NFL’s leader in receptions, Wes Welker, and will be relying on rookie Julian Edelmen to replace him. Frankly, the x-factor in this game is Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco. He has had a pretty inconsistent season, but if he can play a good four quarters, with passes setting up the running game with RB Ray Rice, than the Ravens should come out on top.

Prediction: 24-21, Baltimore

#4 Cincinnati Bengals vs. #5 New York Jets

Yes, the Jets held Carson Palmer to zero yards on eleven passing plays. Yes, Chad Ochocinco injured his knee in pregame warm ups and was a non factor. Yes, the Jets walloped the Bengals 37-0. However, the playoffs are a different animal. Rookie QB Mark Sánchez will have to learn that mistakes are more critical now than in the regular season, and have to be held to a minimum. Also, the Jets must realize that just because their coach, Rex Ryan, calls them the favorites, doesn’t actually make them the favorites. The Bengals had absolutely nothing to play for last week. That’s why I expect a totally different team to take the field, and beat the New York Jets. I believe this was the toughest call on Wild Card weekend, as I had felt that the Jets were going to win earlier in the week. However, as we creep closer and closer to game time, something inside of me is telling that the Bengals will run through the Jets top defense, setting up the passing attack to WR Chad Ochocinco and former Jets’ wideout, Laveranues Coles.

Prediction: 20-16, Cincinnati


The Chris Henry Effect

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Early Thursday morning, Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver, Chris Henry, passed away from serious injuries sustained in a car crash. The details aren’t quite clear yet, but it is known that he was fighting with his fiancée at the time of his unfortunate death.

Chris Henry (above) passed away early Thursday morning.

While alive, Henry had a troubled life. Arrested numerous times for various crimes, Henry reached rock bottom after being suspended from the NFL for eight games of the 2007 season, and he was released by the Bengals. However, Henry worked to clean up his act, and succeeded by returning to the NFL, and kept a relatively low profile for the past two years. At 26, it is no doubt that Henry, even though troubled, died too young. However, his life may lift his team, the Bengals, to heights that they have never reached, being the NFL and Super Bowl Championship.

Currently, the Bengals are 9-4, and are in first place in the AFC North. They are the third seed for the AFC playoffs, and have a shot of catching the Chargers, who they play this Sunday, and clinching a first round bye. After this weekend, the Bengals play the Chiefs and New York Giants, and both of those games should be relatively easy wins. However, I expect the Bengals to not only clinch a first round bye, beat the Chargers this weekend, and sweep their final two games, but they are now my Super Bowl favorites.

Over the years, this core group of Bengals has proven to be good, but not great. This year, they have been quite surprising, but have struggled during the past month. If there was any team in need of inspiration, it was Cincinnati. Bengals’ QB Carson Palmer has even suggested the idea of dedicating this season to Henry, and defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer’s wife, Vikki.

I expect this team to be on a mission. The Bengals could very well go and blowout the Chargers this weekend, and storm into the playoffs. If the standings were to finish as I think they will, with Cincinnati as the No. 2 seed, and the first round of the playoffs sporting New England and San Diego as winners, the Bengals would face the Patriots. Not only is New England reeling, but I think the Bengals will be unstoppable. After that, I would predict that Cincinnati would face the Colts in the AFC Championship game, and storm into the Super Bowl.

My AFC Regular Season Standings Prediction & First Round of Playoffs

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Now that I have previewed every team’s season, and the keys to their success or failures, it is now time to recap and look forward. Let’s begin with the AFC.

AFC EAST                                  AFC NORTH                                      AFC SOUTH

1. Patriots 10-6                          1. Steelers 13-3                                     1. Colts 11-5

2. Dolphins 9-7                          2. Ravens 11-5                                      2. Titans 10-6

3. Jets 8-8                                    3. Browns 4-12                                      3. Texans 9-7

4. Bills 6-10                                 4. Bengals 3-13                                      4. Jaguars 5-11

AFC WEST                                                                          FINAL AFC STANDINGS

1. Chargers 10-6                        *=first round bye                1. Steelers 13-3*

2. Chiefs 9-7                                                                                    2. Colts 11-5*

3. Raiders 6-10                                                                              3. Chargers 10-6

4. Broncos 4-12                                                                             4. Patriots 10-6

                                                                                                             5. Ravens 11-5

                                                                                                             6. Titans 10-6


#3 San Diego Chargers vs. #6 Tennessee Titans

Chargers Vs. TitansThis is a rematch of a playoff game a couple of years ago. San Diego is the clear favorite here, with a great balance on offense between the passing and running game. While Tennessee has an outstanding defense, an offense as explosive as San Diego’s can’t be stopped. The Chargers should win this matchup without too much trouble, as the Titans will just not be able to keep up.

Prediction: 24-13, Chargers

#4 New England Patriots vs. #5 Baltimore Ravens

This should be a great first round match up. New England has lost a lot onRavens Vs. Patriots defense this year, and that will surely be the weakness of their team. However, the Patriots should have an explosive passing game, led by QB Tom Brady. On the other hand, the Ravens are the total opposite. The defense is the strength of this Baltimore team, while the offense can be suspect at times. Although, QB Joe Flacco, combined with his running game, should be able to pick apart the weak New England defense.

Prediction: 28-17, Ravens


NFL Season Preview: #1 Pittsburgh Steelers

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Overview: With a 12-4 record through the regular season, the Steelers ran through the playoffs, and all the way to a Super Bowl victory. Despite various injuries to QB Ben Roethlisberger, RBs Rashard Mendenhall and Willie Parker, and WR Hines Ward, Pittsburgh went all the way for the second time in the past five years.

Offseason Moves: The Steelers didn’t have many moves to make, especially coming off a Super Bowl winning season. In the draft, Pittsburgh selected Missouri DE Ziggy Hood in the first round. Through free agency, the Steelers signed WR Shaun McDonald, and CB Keiwan Ratliff. Although, Pittsburgh did lose CB Bryant McFadden, and G Kendall Simmons to free agency.

Upcoming Season: Nothing much should change for the Steelers. The pieces are still all the same. QB Ben Roethlisberger will be consistent throwing the ball to WRs Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes. RB Willie Parker should rebound from a couple of injuries, and carry the load for Pittsburgh. The Steeler’s defense is still one of the best in the NFL, and is led by S Troy Polamalu.

Rashard MendenhallPlayer to watch: RB Rashard Mendenhall is coming off a rookie season in which he only played in four games due to injury. There were high expectations for the former Illinois running back, and Mendenhall should be ready to help RB Willie Parker out in the backfield. Look for Mendenhall to be a threat as a receiver out of the backfield all season for Pittsburgh.

Prediction: 13-3, 1st in AFC North

The Steelers are one of the best, if not the best, teams in football. Not to mention, they get to beat up on Cleveland and Cincinnati twice a year. Look for Pittsburgh to prove that they are still the class of the AFC.

NFL Season Preview: # 7 Tennessee Titans

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Overview: Tennessee went into last season not totally sure of what they had with their team. The Titans would find out, they had one of the most dynamic running back duos in football, with RBs Chris Johnson and LenDale White, and one of the most efficient quarterbacks in QB Kerry Collins. These factors led the Titans to a 13-3 record, the best in the AFC, before losing to Baltimore in the divisional round of the ’08 playoffs.

Offseason Moves: Right away, the Titans began adding depth to their wide receiving corps. In the first round of the draft, Tennessee selected Rutgers WR Kenny Britt. The Titans also signed former Pittsburgh Steeler, WR Nate Washington. On defense, Tennessee added LB Rocky Boiman and CB Demarcus Faggins. The Titans biggest splash this off season, may have been when they lost All-Pro DT Albert Haynesworth in free agency to the Washington Redskins.

Upcoming Season: The Titans should only be better this season, for the gained experience will help this team down the road. QB Kerry Collins will start the season, but backup QB Vince Young has become motivated to regain his starting job back. With one of the best offensive lines in football, the Titans’ running duo, Smash and Dash (RBs LenDale White and Chris Johnson respectively) should have another great season. The defense is solid, and its only relative weakness is the defensive line.

Vince YoungPlayer to watch: QB Vince Young has made some eyebrow lifting statements. Young claims that he will be the next black quarterback to win a Super Bowl and will be in the Hall of Fame. Well, he’s set high expectations for himself, and has played well this preseason. Young has also been called the quarterback of the future by the Titans owner, and one has to wonder how soon the future is. If Young continues to push QB Kerry Collins and can find consistency, look for Young to make a case for the starting job. Although, if the Titans aren’t struggling, don’t look for it to be this year.

Prediction: 10-6, 2nd in AFC South

The Titans were dominant for one year, but the Colts weren’t exactly top notch competition. Look for Indianapolis and Houston to be stronger this year and knock Tennessee down a few pegs.