The first week of preseason games is in the books, so it is time to take a look at all 32 teams and see what we know. Who is set up to win it all? What quarterbacks will succeed? Which will flounder? The first preseason game is the perfect time to make concrete judgements about the NFL. So without further adieu, let’s get to it!
Arizona Cardinals – Kevin Kolb led the Cardinals to a victory over the Raiders and helped vault his team into a tie for first in the hotly-contested NFC West. In doing so, Kolb proved once and for all that a starting-caliber cornerback, a 2nd round pick, and $65 million dollars was not a ridiculous overpayment for a quarterback that had only started 7 games prior to the trade.
Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons traded five (5) draft picks (including two first rounders) for the right to draft Julio Jones in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. They deserve whatever is coming to them. Including a loss at home to a team that would be greatly upgraded by acquiring Kyle Orton.
Baltimore Ravens – Two things of note from their Thursday night game against the Eagles: 1) The Ravens lost to the Dream Team. 2) No felonies were committed before, during, or after the game. One of these outcomes was expected, the other was not. I’m sure they’ll rectify the situation sometime this week.
Buffalo Bills – Not only did the Bills lose to the Bears, but they were unable to intercept Jay Cutler. Can it get any worse for Buffalo?
Carolina Panthers - Charles Johnson – 1 tackle, 0 sacks, 0 forced fumbles. $76 million well spent. DeAngelo Williams: 4 carries, 23 yards. $43 million well spent. Cam Newton: 8/19, 134 yards, no TDs, no picks. $200,000 well spent.
Chicago Bears – Jay Cutler: 1/1, 0 yards, 79.2 QBrating, along with 1 rush for 10 yards. I bet Maurice Jones-Drew is rethinking his whole apology stance right about now, huh?
Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals lost to the Lions. Carson Palmer did five self-congratulatory fist pumps.
Cleveland Browns – Colt McCoy completed 90% of his passes, threw for 135 yards and a touchdown. Peyton Hillis ran for a touchdown. Both are going to the Pro Bowl. The Browns will make the playoffs. They will make it to the AFCCG. AND THEN ON TO WASHINGTON! YAAHEHAHHAHHHH
Dallas Cowboys – Tony Romo’s arm was still in a sling prior to the game. A quick trip to the Denver locker room fixed that. The game ended when the Cowboys, down by one after scoring a touchdown, decided to go for 2. The Cowboys converted the try, won the game, and forever proved Herm Edwards right. You DO play. to. win. THE. GAME. (And get paid. Lots of money.)
Denver Broncos – Tim Tebow: 6/7, 91 yards, 118.8 QBR, along with 2 rushes for 15 yards. Kyle Orton: packing his bags. Knew this guy would be good. Just knew it. 6/7? And they said he wasn’t accurate. What a leader. Intangibles. Heart. Commitment. Almost 100% completion percentage. He has all the tools you’re looking for.
Detroit Lions – The Lions look like serious contenders to finish 8-8 or better if everyone can stay healthy. The team has finally washed away the stink of Matt Millen and is putting together a nice young core of players that should be able to do some damage for a long time. This analysis would be funnier if I wrote it in one of the previous two years. In other news, networks continue to pay Matt Millen so that he can provide “expert analysis” on T.V.
Green Bay Packers – How do dynasties die? With 27-17 losses to the Browns, that’s how. Aaron Rodgers went 6/8 for 74 yards and 1 TD. But all that really mattered was the fact that he led his team to a loss. Where’s you’re championship belt celebration now, pretty boy? Ted Thompson will probably follow Obama’s advice and trade you to the Bears after that debacle. Enjoy the 9 sacks a game.
Houston Texans – The Texans played so bad that they threw away the box score. Don’t worry, though, they are still the darlings of the AFC and will make it to the Super Bowl with relative ease.
Indianapolis Colts – The Colts began their drive to a top-5… draft pick, that is. After falling to the St. Louis Rams 33-10, the worst loss in franchise history, the Colts made it clear that they had no where to go but up… in draft order. “This team is day-to-day, we’re progressing towards a top pick, we’re getting a little closer every day. It just comes down to not doing the little things. Not knowing what we’re supposed to do. And playing more of Ryan Diem and Curtis Painter. And things of that nature.” Rams sources say that none of their employees were harmed when Bill Polian exited the complex.
Jacksonville Jaguars – The good news for the Jaguars? Current technology prevents tarps from watching TV, so half of the Jaguars’ fan base missed the inauspicious debut of future Jack Del Rio Fall Guy Blaine Gabbert. The bad news? Everything else.
Kansas City Chiefs – After watching the Chiefs fall to Tampa Bay by a score of 25-0, former Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock quickly penned an article titled, “Chiefs need to sign Jeff George.” In other news, after the Chiefs win next week’s game by a score of 48-3, former Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock will quickly pen an article titled, “Chiefs need to sign Jeff George.”
Miami Dolphins – Those fans look silly now, huh? The Dolphins, led by Miami whipping boy Chad Henne, crushed the darlings of the NFC South 28-23. Henne, clearly channeling his inner Shaq, kept his post-game interview short and sweet, ”Hey, people sitting in the seats behind the south end zone during Thursday’s practice who were booing me and begging for Kyle Orton, tell me how my *** tastes!”
Minnesota Vikings – Vikings owner Ziggy Wilf has been dying for a new stadium. With a few more performances like the one his team put forth in losing to the Titans, he will get his new stadium. In California. Christian Ponder had a decent outing, going 8/13 for 84 yards. He did record one sack during the post game, when he described the catering as ‘Randy Moss, circa 2011-esque.”
New England Patriots – A couple of key points to take away from the Patriots 47-12 thrashing of the Jaguars Thursday night. A) Bill Belichick is once again prepared to take out his public embarrassment from Spy Gate out on the rest of the league, and will run up the score on every horrible team that affords him the opportunity. B) The Patriots have two future Hall of Famers at quarterback. Some have asked, “Will the Patriots trade Mallet or Brady?” I do not think it matters. They will shop both of them, obviously, and take the best deal. In the end, though, I think Mallett will fetch the bigger offer, though it will not match his actual value, it will simply be too good for Belichick to pass up. My guess? Something based around 97-consecutive 3rd-round draft picks from the Raiders.
New Orleans Saints – The Saints beat the 49ers by a score of 24-3. Drew Brees only completed one pass. MVP. MVP. MVP. QBWINS! ESPN is releasing a new metric next week: “Totally Awesome QB Rating for Players that are, like Awesome.” Drew Brees will be second on that list. Dude.
New York Giants – The Giants fell to the Panthers Saturday night. After learning of his team’s loss to the Cam Newton-led Panthers, head coach Tom Coughlin made a stunning announcement, “I’ve been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles,” Coughlin said in a statement. Coughlin, it’s believed, will teach Andy Reid the finer points of time out and field goal kicker management. The Giants received the remains of Donovan McNabb’s dignity. “Maybe Eli can put this to good use,” one high-level source was quoted as saying.
New York Jets – Rex Ryan needed a GD Snack and ate the box score. I’m sure they looked great out there though. If you’re not sure, just wait for his press conference. He’ll tell you. “**** we looked ****ing good out there you ****ing people with those *** **** microphones. ****, I love my *** **** ******* ****ing team! WOOO!”
Oakland Raiders – Al Davis is still alive. Al Davis is still paying JaMarcus Russell. No clue which stops happening first.
Philadelphia Eagles – Sweet dreams are made of this. Who am I to disagree? I travel the world, And the seven seas– Everybody’s looking for something. Haha, you just listened to the Eurythmics. The EAGLES RULE.
Pittsburgh Steelers – A question rose rom the rubble of the Steelers nearly 10-point loss to the Washington Redskins: is it time for Pittsburgh to trade Ben Roethlisberger? It has been conventional wisdom that, in order to be successful, the Steelers should limit the number of passing attempts Ben makes per game. In an almost double-digit loss to the Redskins, however, Mike Tomlin showed just how little faith he has in his part-time harassment case, part-time “quarterback” (term used loosely), allowing Roethlisberger to attempt a measly 4 passes. His wide receivers, meanwhile, put the ball in the air an eye-popping 42 times as the Steelers tried to claw their way back. Stay tuned, but it seems to me that the writing is on the bathroom stall wall.
San Diego SUPER CHARGERS – Once again Philip Rivers and the Chargers get out to a slow start, this time losing to the lowly Seattle Seahawks. This, of course, is the precursor to the Chargers winning 7 in a row in an effort to sneak into the playoffs and once again start the media on their yearly, “The Chargers are so dangerous, the one team you don’t want to play, this is their year!” spiel, for the 8th consecutive year.
San Francisco 49ers – Alex Smith: 2/7, 10 yards, and a QBrating of 39.6 (But a TQBR of 74.8). “WE WANT KAEPERNICK, WE WANT KAEPERNICK!” Kaepernick: 9/19, 117 yards, 2 interceptions, a 27.6 QBrating. No shoelaces were found in San Francisco that day.
Seattle Seahawks – Pete Carroll seems to be working his mojo on the Seahawks. One has to wonder how long his practice of handing players a wad of $20s will work in the NFL.
St. Louis Rams – Danny Amendola is scrappy. Tough. Athletic. Really smart. A fighter. Has a lot of heart. What, you don’t get what I’m saying? He is the next Wes Welker!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bucs 25 – Chiefs 0. ESPN headline said, “Freeman leads Bucs to shutout of Chiefs.” Couple of issues here: I) Freeman threw 13 passes (of 31 thrown for the entire Bucs QB group). II) What role does a quarterback play in giving up 0 points? Not throwing pic-6s? Okay, so Jay Cutler is out, but seriously.
Tennessee Titans – Teh Ttns nee ta pay me mah munny and do it fass man. – Chris Johnson || Meanwhile, without the holdout running back, the Titans were able to throttle the Los Angeles Vikings of Minnetonka. Jake Locker went 7/10 for 89 yards and a touchdown in his debut. After the game Locker declared that he would make it to the Hall of Fame before Vince Young. Sources say that he immediately logged onto Orbitz.com and booked a flight to Ohio.
Washington Redskins – The Redskins beat the Steelers, thought of by many in the media to be one of the best teams in the AFC, vindicating Rex Grossman, who was mocked this week for doing what every other professional athlete on the face of the world would do in his place: declaring that the Redskins would win their division. This win not only proves Grossman’s prediction right, but installs the Redskins as the best team in the state of Washington.
My predictions: AFCCG – Browns v Patriots. NFCCG – Rams v Redskins. Super Bowl – Browns v Redskins. Winner: Browns
Some say they learned all they needed to know in kindergarten. Not me. I learned everything I needed to know in week one of the preseason.