I had THIS brought to my attention today, so I thought it would be fun do a little progress report and revel in my cluelessness:
1 – Anthony Spencer will have one awesome game early in the season, which will inspire Jerry Jones to give him a contract extension in which he wildly overpays. Spencer will be released less than 3 years later.
He never had that “awesome game.”
2 – The Giants won’t lead the league in giveaways this season like they did in 2010. They also won’t lead the league in takeaways like they did last season.
One right! (although it was a layup).
3 – Kurt Coleman will lead the Eagles in tackles, partly because he’s really good, but also because he’ll have to.
Got benched early in the season for a few games, and is 2nd on the team in tackles anyway. Has 20 to make up on Jamar Chaney.
4 – This could be London Fletcher’s last season. He probably won’t be headed to Canton, but he should be.
OK, not a prediction, still on board with the thought though.
5 – Jason Pierre-Paul is suddenly expected to have a monster year. I think he’ll be good, but people need to calm down a little bit there.
6 – If Keith Brooking isn’t a starter, will he still do his dumb pregame thing? I mean… After yelling “We’re gonna hit them in the mouth, we’re gonna bloody their nose, we’re gonna eat their babies,” etc, you can’t really cap it off by saying “Alright guys, I’ll see you in the locker room after the game. 1-2-3 WIN!”
I think I was just sort of trying to make fun of Brooking here by saying he’s not good anymore. And he’s not.
7 – For the past year or so, I’ve been killing the Redskins for changing from a 4-3 to a 3-4 when they had players that perfectly fit their 4-3 scheme. The Redskins basically said to their players “You adjust to what we want to do,” rather than adjusting their scheme to fit their players’ strengths. It would almost be hypocritical to not criticize Eagles OL coach Howard Mudd for trying to do the same.
Whoops, Mudd has been great. Jason Kelce has been a find at center, Danny Watkins looked like a disaster in the preseason but wound up playing really well, Evan Mathis’ athleticism has fit in perfectly, and Jason Peters and Todd Herremans on the edges have been dominant at times. Dead wrong here. Plus, is there any better comedy than when Mudd does the little side bump on crutches with LeSean McCoy after the RB scores?
8 – What’s the best 1WR-2WR-TE combo in the NFC East? Gotta go with the Cowboys there on the shoulders of Jason Witten. But the Cowboys have absolutely no depth at WR behind those guys, and TE depth, once thought to be a strength, really isn’t anymore.
I can’t believe I’m typing this, but that best combo has arguably been Nicks-Cruz-Ballard. Wow.
9 – Tim Hightower will have 1,400+ yards from scrimmage. What the hell are the Cardinals thinking? Hightower for Vonnie Holliday and a late 2012 pick? Seriously? And I’m as big a believer in Kevin Kolb as you’ll find, but Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2? Really? The NFC East is treating Arizona like that guy in your fantasy football league that doesn’t have a clue.
In the 5 games he played, Hightower would have been on pace for about 1277 yards, but he tore his ACL. I can’t beat myself up too much on this one.
10 – With an OL that includes 2 rookies and a 2nd year guy with just 109 NFL snaps under his belt, Tony Romo better beef up his life insurance. Ditto that for Michael Vick and the two rookies at C and RG that he’ll be playing behind.
Those young guys have gotten Romo banged around a bit, and Vick has taken a beating as well, although Vick’s punishment has been a result of his own decision making.
11 – The Redskins will not finish last in the division.
Yes they will.
12 – Is Jay Ratliff still an awesome player? I’m not sure I saw it in 2010. He’s a guy I’ll be watching closely the first few weeks of the season.
Really good player. Not awesome.
13 – The Redskins’ defense, at least on paper, looks pretty good to me. They’ll be in the Top 20 this year, statistically. That may not sound like a big deal, but it is considering they were 31st last season.
They’re 12th. And12th is extremely impressive considering their offense can’t consistently hang onto the football.
14 – The Cowboys’ “3 bullies” will combine for 5 sacks or less. Departed Cowboy Stephen Bowen will have at least 4 on his own.
The “3 bullies” are Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher, and Kenyon Coleman. So far, they have 3 combined sacks. Bowen has 3.5. Looking decent on that one.
15 – Giants LT William Beatty, assuming he doesn’t get hurt, will lead the division in penalties.
He has 3. Lots of guys have more.
16 – Redskins fans will complain excessively about Brian Orakpo being held by opposing offenses, when Trent Cole, DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora are held just as much.
They did in the comment section of the original post. Win.
17 – Marion Barber. Marc Colombo. Leonard Davis. Roy Williams. And now Andre Gurode. Terence Newman, you might be next.
Newman is actually having himself a nice bounce-back season.
18 – Speaking of Roy Williams and Marion Barber, what in the hell are the Bears thinking?
Well, if they were in the NFC East, they be the division leaders on tiebreakers.
19 – Let’s come back to Newman: Last year, per Football Outsiders, Newman was targeted 83 times and gave up 9.1 yards per target, or roughly 755 yards on the season. Mike Jenkins was targeted 80 times and gave up a staggering 10.5 yards per target, or roughly 840 yards. By comparison, the Eagles starting corners, again per Football Outsiders, fared slightly better. Nnamdi Asomugha was targeted 31 times, and gave up 5.9 yards per target, or roughly 183 yards. Asante Samuel, meanwhile, was only targeted 36 times, and gave up an astoundingly low 3.2 yards per target, or roughly 115 yards. Also, despite being targeted just 36 times, somehow Samuel picked off 7 passes, often times when he wasn’t even the defender being targeted.
Oof, it’s a good thing I came back to Newman again so I could be wrong twice.
20 – In a related note, Samuel will pick off 10+ passes this season if he can say healthy.
Asante Samuel has been an abomination this season.
21 – OJ Atogwe has the best profile pictures in sports.
22 – Bigtime year upcoming for Mario Manningham. Thinking 1,100 yards and 10 TDs.
Nope. He’s been thoroughly outplayed by Victor Cruz.
23 – Alan Ball was an unmitigated disaster at FS for the Cowboys this year, but he’ll been a decent nickle/dime corner. Nickle if the Cowboys cut Newman, dime if they don’t.
So far so good.
24 – Brandon Jacobs has a career per carry average of 4.6. Ahmad Bradshaw has averaged 4.8 for his career. Neither will be north of 4.5 this season.
Nailed that one.
25 – Osi Umenyiora will have 8 sacks or less in 2011.
He already has 7.
26 – Felix Jones finally puts it together and has a good season. Rushes for over 1,000 yards, catches 50+ passes. Stat line similar to Shady McCoy’s 2010 season.
27 – DeMarco Murray will barely see the field, at least early in the season.
Got the “early in the season part right, but this is a mega-failure.
28 – The Cowboys defense is in for another really tough year. They were 23rd in yards allowed in 2010. They’ll be worse in 2011.
29 – Shady McCoy will have the best offensive numbers in the NFC East this season. Think Brian Westbrook in his prime.
Dare I say, better than Westbrook in his prime?
30 – Apparently, Phil Costa went to my old high school. I wonder if he would have tired to give me a wedgie if we went to school together.
He would have.
31 – I’m rooting for Jeremy Maclin to have a monster season. I don’t care if that sounds biased or not. Great kid. Deserves it.
His numbers are great. The drop at the end of the Atlanta game and the fumble at the end of the Niners game weren’t.
32 – I would advise LaRon Landry to just keep his mouth shut before he faces DeSean Jackson this year.
Well, the Eagles beat the Redskins pretty comfortably earlier this year. Don’t remember Landry chirping too much, and don’t remember DeSean Jackson doing much of anything against anyone this season.
33 – Prince Amukamara is set to return mid-way through the season. The ideal situation would have been to ease him into action gradually, but Prince will be forced to play way more than Perry Fewell would like, due to the absurd number of injuries to the Giants CB rotation. Expect Prince to get toasted early and often in his first tastes of NFL action.
Wrong about the forced into action part. TBD on the toasted part.
34 – If Michael Vick gets hurt early in the season, the Eagles will put Vince Young in even though Mike Kafka is currently the better option. Also, on a side note Cowboys fans, Kafka > McGee.
Kafka played early, but VY was hurt. Not sure I really care anymore about any Kafka-McGee debate
35 – I don’t know if John Beck or Rex Grossman will start for the Redskins Week 1, and I’m not sure if I even care anymore at this point. However, Mike Shanahan will change his starting QB at some point this season, and not necessarily because of injury. Maybe twice… and maybe not even back to the original guy.
Twice! Ha, got one.
36 – Trevor Laws gets cut, signs with the Giants.
37 – The NFC East rookie of the year (not that there’s actually an award for that) will be Ryan Kerrigan. I took the following video of Kerrigan at the NFL Combine, and I must have been shaking like a crack baby. If you can watch this without getting nauseous, you’re a better man than me.
It’s probably DeMarco Murray, but the notion that Kerrigan would be good was correct.
38 – Martellus Bennett, upon return from his high ankle sprain in 2-4 weeks, may find that the #2 TE job is no longer his.
Well, he’s still getting #2 TE playing time, but he shouldn’t be.
39 – You know how teams just avoiding throwing at Nnamdi Asomugha for so many years because it was simply easier to pick on the other side? I think I sorta covered that earlier. Corey Webster better prepare for a very boring season manning his corner.
I don’t know that Webster has been avoided to any really noticable degree, but he has had a good season. Not sure how to grade myself on this one.
40 – Matt Dodge, and not Steve Weatherford, will win the Giants punting job.
Matt Dodge may not ever play in the NFL again.
41 – The Eagles will trade Joselio Hanson for either a 4 or a 5.
Or they’ll cut him, and sign him back to the team a few days later. Potato potahto.
42 – Speaking of slot corners, Orlando Scandrick got paid WAY too much money.
Still think he did.
43 – Michael Vick may very well “regress to the mean,” as many are predicting. But so will their atrocious red zone defense, which was historically bad. In fact, the Eagles’ red zone defense was the worst since the 1988 Oilers, a team that doesn’t even exist anymore.
I Eagles have been better in the red zone this season than they were last year, but I’m not about to defend the Eagles defense for a second here. They’ve been atrocious in big spots all season. Most unclutch defense ever.
44 – Giants and Cowboys fans might argue that the Redskins overpaid for Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen, respectively, and I’d be inclined to agree. However, there’s little question those two guys will massively upgrade their DL. I don’t think Redskins fans will be missing Ma’ake Kemoeatu anytime soon.
It has been a massive upgrade, even if those guys aren’t setting the world on fire.
45 – The Giants aren’t really going to use Bear Pascoe as a FB again this season, are they?
46 – I think I might keep a running tally of how many times announcers call Casey Matthews “Clay” Matthews this season. I would set the over/under at 15, but I’m not sure how long Casey will keep his job as a starter.
Casey DID get benched, and I’m pretty sure we reached 15 anyway.
47 – Don’t be surprised if the Giants pick up two corners when teams cut down to 53, not just one.
They did eventually sign a couple corners (Brian Williams and Justin Tryon).
48 – If Steve Smith is ready to go Week 1, truly is healthy, and produces right away, the Giants front office is going to have some serious egg on their face.
49 – Tashard, please, for the love of God, no matter what charity it might be for, you don’t ask the opposing QB for an autograph right after the game… especially after a loss. And don’t let him pat you on the head afterward like you’re his little buddy.
Well, no, you don’t.
50 – The Eagles will win the NFC East… handily.
Done after just 9 games.
My batting average would get me sent down to the minors.