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NFL Week 9 Poolside Rant

NFL Football - By: M. Pool
Sunday November 3rd, 2007 - Page updated at 1:00 am
Senior Fantasy Football Editor For WagerOnFootball.com Sportsbook Review



Sportsbook

Poolside Rant - Vol 6


2007 NFL Fantasy Football

Poolside Rant 11-03-07

I am back. The internet is a precious thing and you never truly know what you have until it’s gone. Moving issues aside and I love the new shack with its wiring for the future, audio, video and data. I love my new man room and help me welcome the newest addition to the family; a 40” Sony Bravia XBR5 with Motion Flow, the newest 120MHz refreshes technology which is especially good for sports.

What a weekend to break in the new addition, we have the undefeated Pats against the undefeated Colts. I have recovered some from the humiliating loss the Cowboys suffered at the hands of the Pats a couple of weeks ago, enough to put it aside and speak of them without throwing a tantrum. I ask you this internet and NFL fans: Have you ever seen a team more dominant in all phases of the game, especially on offense, than this Pats team we have seen decimate opponents this first half of the season? Pats fan or not this is about the most flawless I have seen a team play…ever. The game may have been different had Anthony Henry played but maybe only by a TD or two. The Colts are being overlooked a bit though although I seriously doubt it is by Belichick. The Pats have looked prepared for every game as though they are the underdogs and play from opening whistle to finishing whistle.

That is one menacing opponent the Colts have this weekend but let’s not forge the Colts themselves are no slouch. NE has trampled a mediocre class of opponents aside from Dallas and the Colts have played a defending Super bowl champion type schedule. Putting up 40+ points on the Jets or Dolphins is certainly no small task but these teams are not the Jaguars or Titans. The point is the Pats opponents records are nowhere close to the opponent records of the Colts. However that hardly matters when you are facing each other and can’t even be used as a measuring stick. All it does is add to the hype of what should be a spectacular game and give each teams fans something to fire at the opposing fans with. My bet says the players don’t care about any of that. They care about leaving Indy Sunday with one more W and being the last undefeated team in the NFL in 2007.

Is anyone else surprised by the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs? I had these teams along with the Vikings fighting for the first pick overall in next years draft and it would seem that I was dead wrong. Way more wrong than I am used to being. The Bills behind Trent Edwards started to put together a few hard fought wins by playing stout defense which given their unfortunate rash of injuries to their starting players is very impressive. Losman could be set for his last chance at being the starter in Buffalo and if he shows he has learned something from the rookie QB about taking care of the ball, the Bills could be a surprise contender in the wild card race. KC on the other hand is leading their division because of their win over SD earlier this season and has played amazing defense while scratching together enough offense to win games. However with SD looking like they are coming on and playing great offense like everyone expected they had better get that offense doing more than scratching, they need claws and need them to start tearing away at opponents because their schedule starts getting a little tougher starting with a solid opponent this weekend when they host the resurgent Packers.

The Dolphins are the worst team in the NFL and they are not even injured as badly as some of the other poor teams in the league. The Rams is missing 3/5 of the offensive line and their stud RB so it’s understandable they can’t keep in games with opponents but the Dolphins even with Ronnie Brown playing the best football of his career could not get a win. Now with Brown on the IR, the Fins will look to the future and likely start Beck at QB, their 2007 2nd round pick. Good move because they will need to know if they use their first overall pick in 2008 on a QB or somewhere else. The Rams will probably not go winless this season as the Niners have slid horribly since Manny Lawson hit the IR and Alex Smith still looks like he isn’t the same after a shoulder problem. Plus the Rams still have decent offensive weapons in the passing game and an improving young defense.

I know what you are all thinking. “OK Poolside you’re back and that’s great but what does the future hold. We have all been watching and know what IS happening, we tune in to your genius to find out what WILL happen.”
To all the people out there who are still reading this article ‘Kudos!’ and get bent to all you not still reading thinking I have wasted your time, like you have a better source. Teams and battles to watch over the next 9 weeks of the NFL season on the way to the playoffs.

Cincy is in trouble! Duh, I mean you have a great QB and a great WR who seem to not be clicking. Unless the Bengals get Ocho Cinqo (that’s Chad Johnson for those with less than fluent Spanish) more involved they are destined to finish last or fighting for last with the Ravens in their division. Everyone talks about the running game and the defense but let’s face it…Cincinnati is an air-it-out offense and six yard passes to TJ is not airing it out. Marvin are you listening? IF you were referring to Johnson when you said some players are selfish you should go back and examine tapes of when you were winning.

Who was contributing 75% of your big plays and why was it not selfish then? Cincinnati can go on a run, we all believe that but they need to perform this one simple thing and failing to do that may see them finish with fewer that 6 wins. TJ will have a career year mind you but they will be drafting MUCH higher than they expected in 2008.

The Gmen will slide! That’s right, and sorry to the New York fans but this team is still secondary deficient and their conference opponents will expose it. The Redskins may have trouble but the Eagles will not give up 12+ sacks again and Dallas is just a better team. The Gmen may fight for a wild card but the Eagles have started playing better on offense and until McNabb truly fails in his comeback bid I will still keep them the second best team in the division. Jacobs is solid and the team stands a better chance of winning games putting the ball in his hands but from what I have seen the Gmen still don’t throw the ball well enough to anyone besides Burress to balance that attack and have Ward stealing too many carries to be offensively dominant. NFC East is Dallas’ to lose and if the Gmen stick with Jacobs they could fight it out with the Eagles for second and a near certainty that one wild card team comes from the NFC East.

The Bears need to hand the offense over to Kyle Orton. Let’s face it, Greise is not a starting QB anymore if he ever was, three other teams discovered that and it is time for Lovie to do the same. Cedric Benson is not the runner he is supposed to be and that hurts the entire offense but the defense must step up because they are not the dominant force they once were, in part because the offense can not keep them off the field. Orton is the future and if he isn’t they need to get a future at QB. Orton performed well enough a couple of seasons ago and you have to think he has learned something watching Grossman and Greise make mistake after mistake over the past couple of seasons. The season is slipping away quickly Lovie and you need an offense to help your defense and special teams win games. The Bears still have a shot despite the play of their QB and their defense will get healthy but if they don’t make a move to improve the offense they can’t keep pace with the Lions and I doubt anyone in the NFC North can stop the Pack from winning the division.

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The Saints are back in the NFC South! They will win the division and be a force to be reckoned with down the stretch. Brees seems to have shaken the rust off from the off season and the offense has figured out their defense is still not good enough to win games when they put up 24+ points. Carolina has started playing better but Carr will have to step up and play like a #1 overall pick if they are going to challenge the Saints and the improved Bucs need to find a running game somewhere. Garcia is a decent QB but he needs help and it seems more help than Earnest Graham can give him at the RB spot. The NFC South may be the most competitive of the NFC divisions, not the best division but the one that has 3 teams that could all win the title and advance to the playoffs. I am calling the Saints and Brees to take the division.

The NFC West is a two team race and surprisingly enough the Cards are one of the two teams. More importantly they are not playing QB carousel anymore either with Leinhart on the IR Warner is the man once again. The Hawks on the other hand, specifically Alexander’s other hand, have looked shaky and have a tough matchup against the Browns this week while the Cards are in an equally challenging matchup against the Bucs. I am calling for the Cards to win the division on the arm of Warner who looks to relive his glory days in the NFC West knowing next season the offense is back in Leinhart’s capable hands. The Niners and Rams are stepping stones but play the NFC West rivals tough and could determine the outcome of the division with some well-timed upsets. Seattle could win a wild card but they need Alexander to run like the RB they are paying for and Hasselback must lead this team like the leader they are paying for.

The AFC is tricky in the West. I think any team can win that division but I am calling out the Chargers to recapture their former glory and start playing like the team that finished 14-2 last season. Huard will never be a playoff QB but the defense is playing way above their heads and making the Chiefs a threat to win any game Huard doesn’t throw away. If LJ can get his motor running and forget his offensive line is less than spectacular the Chiefs can make some noise. The Broncos need Walker back and they can’t wait 4 more weeks, by then their season is over. The defense has been solid and only Brett Favre has exposed the secondary but in a game that was very winnable for the Broncos under the young general Cutler. That game alone is my incentive to give them second place in the AFC West and to keep SD playing hard. The Raiders may soon give the ball to Russell if McCown does no more in his return than he did to begin the season and with Russell at QB the Raiders season is all for next season.

AFC East…the Patriots are awesome. Nothing else to note here except the other 3 teams have 4 wins combined and Buffalo has 3 of them. Awful.

AFC South is perhaps, along with the NFC East the best division in football. Indy will win the division but the Jags after getting Garrard back are solid and the Tennessee Titans are good even with VY having absolutely no ability to throw the ball. Defense runs this division and the Colts have shown a certain something on defense we have never seen from them before, the ability to win the game without Payton and the offense putting up 30+ points. THAT is scary. The Jags have a great defense and a plodding run heavy offense mirrored by the Titans. Ball control offenses led by solid, not spectacular defenses and with QB play that can make big plays when needed most. Sadly, for the Titans right now their kicker is their MVP not the QB they drafted 3rd overall last year and that is why they won’t be a wild card team. If VY starts throwing the ball effectively this team will challenge for the division…in the future.

The AFC North is Pittsburgh’s and the Browns likely have second place taken care of if Anderson can continue his stellar play. Pittsburgh is a solid team playing well on offense but still relying heavily on the Steel curtain to control teams and beat them down. Big Ben has played much better and the 2nd year WR Holmes has stepped up in the absence of Ward to keep the Steelers offense potent aside from Fast Willie Parker. Mike Tomlin has done the best job of any new coach this season in maintaining a solid team and making enough changes to allow Ben to make plays when they need them. I already spoke about Cincy and the Ravens but I will say again, neither of these teams is out of it but they must go back to what they have had success with in the past. In Cincinnati they need to throw the ball down the field a lot more and in Baltimore they need to lean more on McGahee who is having a stellar season. None of these teams are wild card contenders today but any of the three could vie for a wild card if they make changes and play with more consistency than they have shown to this point.

That about wraps up the future on a div by div basis and I think next week I will go on rambling about players and who needs to step up and whether they will or not along with who will continue their stellar seasons and lead their teams to the promised land.

Later y’all.

For this week I am out of the house and back in the pool!. Email Me At poolsiderant@gmail.com






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