I’m getting tired of watching Sportscenter and Merrill Hoge and his giant fucking tie blasting Tim Tebow. Hoge has been one of the biggest Tebow detractors since he entered the league, and makes sure to kick him whenever he makes a mistake. On Sunday, Tebow had a couple scrambles and threw an interception, and Hoge was sure to blast him for that. Not praise him for extending plays, or running for a first down. In fact, he used that run for a first down as an example of why Tebow sucks. The whole Jets team sucks. Up to this point, they haven’t scored a fucking touchdown at all this preseason.
Yeah yeah, we all know that I’m a Tim Tebow honk. I can’t help it. The guy is exciting to watch. Sure, he’s got a shit ton of fundamental problems that would have knocked any other pocket passer or non-exciting QB out of the league by now, but that won’t happen to Tebow. You can’t help but like the the guy and I hope that the Jets and Rex Ryan can figure out how to use him properly this season.
So, as the season approaches we’re now going to take a look at the AFC East, and then the AFC West later this week. We’ll finish up with the AFC South next Tuesday which will lead into my first regular Thursday column of the season, the week one preview. I know, you can’t freaking wait. Keep your pants on kids, the season is just about here for realz.
New England Patriots
While I was rooting against them, losing in the Superbowl last year after another good season was kind of a travesty. Of course, their defense was the real travesty. The offense just had to score more points than the defense allowed. That worked ouf for them 13 times. This year, the defense should be a little bit better as they spent most of their draft picks on defensive players and added some free agents like Will Allen and Steve Gregory.
The most notable departure was BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but Joseph Addai joins the team to fill that vacancy along with 2011 draft pick Stevan Ridley, and both will fill it well. In fact, check out these additions on offense – Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, Jake Ballard and Bo Scaife. They picked up Donte Stallworth too, but then cut him. Tack them onto the already stacked offense and you have a team that is going to be hard to outscore. In fact, I don’t really see any team outscoring the Patriots this year in total cumulative points. There’s no way. Also, Josh McDaniels returns as offensive coordinator and Matt Patricia was named defensive coordinator, replacing Bellchick who has been running the near last ranked defense since 2009. He just doesn’t have the time.
I guess the only real question with the Patriots is how Brady handles his favorite target in Wes Welker, and all the other receivers. Welker is known as a slot guy and doesn’t get the respect that he deserves as one of the leagues best receivers. Hopefully McDaniels realizes this and doesn’t sideline him too much because he’s a fucking winner. This whole team is a winner. Pending some strange disaster, the Patriots are definitely Superbowl bound.
Projected Finish: 16-0
Vince Young was already cut by the Bills as they brought in Tavaris Jackson in a trade. There’s a big whoopdie-doo. Fitzpatrick is still the starter, and as proven last year, the kid can take a hit and still keep on chugging. He’ll have to this year, as I don’t see any superior improvements on the offensive line that would suggest he won’t be scrambling. I like the tandem of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller in the backfield again this year, as both players can run and run short routes for passes if needed. Jackson won’t last forever though, which is why the Bills signed Dorin Dickerson.
Sadly, I don’t think this team can win under Chan Gailey, I mean, not win the division. They’ll get some wins, like they did last year but his play calling late in games is way too conservative. This team has to be aggressive. Speaking of aggressive, giving new defensive coordinator Wannstedt Mario Williams to control is just crazy. They spent mad money on Williams in order to hopefully throttle Tom Brady a few times this year, but I don’t think that it’s going to pay off like they think it will. Sure, Mario is a game changer but the fact is that the rest of the team has to be playing at that level too.
After their terrible finish last year, one can hope that the young players on the Bills team had some time to acclimate to playing in the NFL and mght step it up this year. That’s optimistic to say the least, and this won’t be the worst team in the league, the AFC or even the division, I just don’t think they won’t be contenders.
Projected Finish: 7-9
Reminder for dolphins section of your preview. Use words like ‘rebuilding’ and ‘potential’ in place of ‘shitty’, ‘forgettable’ – @levimills
Well, this shitty team has already settled on rookie Ryan Tannehill to lead this team, rather than Matt Moore or the displaced David Garrard. In this forthcoming forgettable season they have named Regis… er.. Joe Philbin, former Packers offensive coordinator, head coach. At least he won’t have to worry about trying to keep Brandon Marshall’s attitude in check, as he’s already been shown the door.
I liked the Dolphins defense last year, but they’ll have a new coordinator this year which means that once again a team will have to adjust to a new scheme instead of advancing on what they’ve already learned to get better. Teams just like to set themselves up for failure year after year when it comes to coaching and bringing in new plays to learn after only a year with the old ones. A couple rookies on the defensive line should add a little spark to the run defense, but in the AFC East, that’s not the biggest concern. The biggest concern is the secondary and the offense. Kevin Coyle, new D-coordinator, did well in Cincinnati with the defense, so we’ll see if he can whip the secondary into shape.
As for the offense, what do you want me to say here? Reggie Bush and Chad Johnson? You’ve got Bess and Hartline at the top of the depth chart for receivers. I mean, I like Hartline but he’s no Wes Welker. I love watching the Dolphins pay for that move every time they play the Patriots. Listen, Dolphin fans, I feel your pain. I think a few wins against the Bills and Jets will help the Fins to a winning season, but ok, fine – this is a rebuilding year.
Projected Finish: 9-7
Fucking laughable. No preseason touchdowns, Tony Sparano as offensive coordinator, this team is in serious disarray. Outside of Plaxico Burress getting the boot, they are still going to rely on the running game, this year Greene and McKnight will be the featured backs, in order to score. I mean, they still have Holmes and brought in Chaz Schilens from Oakland, and retained Dustin Keller, but it doesn’t matter cause Mark Sanchez sucks donkey balls. He’s like Tony Romo light, but never banged Jessica Simpson.
Is Revis going to play? That’s the big question on defense. Another holdout situation. If not, the secondary is shit. The run defense is also something to be very worried about. Should just put Tim Tebow in at linebacker. Apparently Rex Ryan is thinking about moving to a 4-3 instead of a 3-4 which would probably be a move in the right direction, but against the Bills and Patriots it won’t matter. Their runners are too good to be bottled up by a mediocre Jets defense.
I might be selling the Jets short, I mean they have had a very high ranked defense the last couple of years, but they still have been losing games. That’s what really matters. Of course, most of that is on the lethargic offense and Sanchez, who still struggles with accuracy and decision making. I don’t get how he still has a starting job. Whatever. Either way, I see the Jets being the goat of the AFC East this year.
Projected Finish: 6-10Pin It