NFL Division Predictions: AFC East

Originally, we here at Critics From The Couch wanted to do a 32 in 32 but things came up, and we were unable to complete the task, so to get out are NFL predictions we decided just to go straight to the divisions. The first division that we’ll be discussed is the AFC East.

Last Season:

New England Patriots: 13-3

New York Jets: 8-8

Miami Dolphins: 6-10

Buffalo Bills: 6-10

The AFC east will not go up for grabs, the Patriots will once again reign supreme in the East but the times are a changing there.

The Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins will be starting a rookie QB who I have little faith in, as well Chad Johnson was recently released after Zidaning his wife. This leaves the team without a big name Wideout, there only real offensive threat is Reggie Bush but he’s been borderline bust since being drafted. They have a new Coach in Joe Philbin, he’s  been trying to make a more humble Dolphins team, but humble doesn’t win games and the Dolphins won’t be winning a lot of games. The Dolphins will go 4-12 this season and finish last.

The Buffalo Bills: The Bills will be looking to improve off of last season, they started the season 4-1 but ultimately fell to 6-10. This however was a 2 win improvement from the past season and they were able to beat the New England Patriots who they had lost to 15 consecutive times. The Bills suffered some serious blows with injuries, the most serious being star running back Fred Jackson who was placed on IR. The Bills signed free agent Mario Williams who will make a major impact on their defense. The Bills already have a solid defense and now with Williams they’ll only be looking to improve. As well, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will be looking to replicate his early season work. The Bills will be looking to  make a run for 2nd in the AFC East. I see the Bills going 8-8.

The New York Jets: The Jets at the moment are looking horrid, granted it’s only preseason but if you can’t score a TD in preseason theres something wrong with your offense. As well the Jets are in the midst of a QB controversy with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow both these QB’s have proven that their favourite targets are the ground, coming in close second are their opponents CBs and Safeties. Shon Greene will be the starting running back, he can be a solid starter but really is a crab shoot. They don’t have any standout wideouts, if their lucky Santonio Holmes will become the Holmes of old but that doesn’t seem likely. All those offensive woes aren’t a recipe for success. Now Sanchez will start but will be benched by week 8 when the Jets have only won 3 games. The Jets fans will be riled up by that time and demand for either Rex Ryan’s head or Sanchez’s, so of course Ryan will chose Sanchez and thus begins TEBOOOOOOOW Time. Now for the defense, we can still expect the Rex Ryan style but last year they proved they weren’t the Defense of old. Revis will still be a pro bowler and a shut down CB, so that is a plus. Even though I see the defense getting worse they still will be a menace to any offensive co-ordinator. I see the Jets going 6-10

The New England Patriots: The Patriots will still be dominant, sadly. Tom Brady will be the Brady we’ve come to know and expect. Gronk and Hernandez will be stellar TE’s even though personally I think Gronk is overrated. Belichick will still be the evil mastermind that he is, dissecting opponents defenses and offenses. Now there is one weak point that can be exposed, their defense. The Patriots defense was the 2nd worst defense in NFL history. That tends to say something. The Patriots did pick up DE Chandler Jones and LB Dont’a Hightower to improve their defensive woes but it will be hard for these players to make a sudden impact. Even with such defensive woes with an offense led by Tom Brady you know they can go into a firefight and win. The Patriots will still be stellar but I have them losing an extra game, they will finish 12-4

Season Outlook:

The New England Patriots: 12-4

The Buffalo Bills: 8-8

The New York Jets: 6-10

The Miami Dolphins: 4-12

 

 

 

32 Teams In 32 Days- Miami Dolphins

When me and Señor Smells began discussing which team to “dibs” for the first instalment of 32 in 32 I had the choice between my TEEEEEEEEEBBBBBOOOWWW Jets and the player formerly known as OchoCinco and his Dolphins. I went with the choice of the Dolphins (Sorry Tim, your everything I love in sports), but the Dolphins just seemed too perfect, we’re talking about a team that is known for having one of the greatest QBs of all time in Dan Marino, yet they were still unable to win a Super Bowl, as well as a team whose known for having a group of old men cheer for the undoings of others. Now enough about old athletes talking about the “glory” days, let’s get to the team with no glory in sight. The Miami Dolphins.

2011 Record: 6-11
Result: Did Not Qualify For Postseason
QB: Matt Moore, 210/347 (60.5%), 2,487 YDS, 16 TDS, 9 INT
Best Offensive Target: Brandon Marshall, 81 REC, 1,214 YDS, 6 TD
Best Defensive Target: Yeremiah Bell, 106 TKLS,  2.0 SCK
Important Offseason Acquisitions: Ryan Tannehill QB, David Garrard QB, Chad Johnson (Formerly Chad OchoCinco, Formerly Chad Johnson), Marcus Thigpen RB of CFL fame, Jerome Messam RB ALSO FROM THE CFL.
Important Offseason Losses: Brandon Marshell WR, Chad Henne QB,
Head Coach: Tony Sporano (Fired after week 13), Todd Bowles (Interim)

At first when the Dolphins got the prestigious granting of ‘Hard Knocks’ by the almighty HBO, one could only groan. That all changed with the acquisition of Chad johnson AKA Chad OchoCinco AKA Chad Johnson. The Dolphins now have one of the best WRs in the last 10 years. Too bad we haven’t seen his skill in about 3 years, right around the time he put on the fake HOF jacket. DONT TEMPT THE GODS CHAD! Now for Mr Johnson to prove himself once again he will need a QB, and currently Dolphins have one of the worst QB controversies in recent memory. Its reminiscent of the mid 2000 Bills. They have Matt Moore, who played particularly well for the Dolphins after Chad Henne went down against the Chargers, David Garrard, who is of Jacksonville Jaguar fame, he’s the guy who replaced Bryan Leftwitch a few years back and then got released a week before the season started last year (Jacksonville is all class, one reason why they’ll be soon the LA Jaguars), and of course there is then the “saviour” of Miami, Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill was by far not the best player sitting at the #8 spot in this years draft, but after the ‘Fins lost out on the “Peyton Manning Automatic Super Bowl Contender Extravaganza. TM pending” they had to go with a QB or so they believed at least. Fun fact: Tannehill was a Bio major. Anyway, this leaves the Dolphins with quite the predicament.

The rest of the offense should relatively stay the same, they did lose Brandon Marshall to the Bears, but if Johnson can be the Johnson of old and learn to read a playbook, he could make up for that. They still have the former Heismen winner, I mean former Heismen winner who is no longer credited as a Heismen winner in Reggie Bush, who although has never greatly produced as a rusher, is still a great receiving threat. There O line still has Jake Long who will be looking for another Pro Bowl appearance, and could get it pending which QB is starting which week (Yes i expect to see them all). They’ve hired a new coach in Joe Philben which according to Wikipedia, has never been a head coach before, however he had been with the Packers organization since ’03, and has been the Offensive Coordinator since ’07, and we all know that organization screams greatness!!!!!!! You get the point.

Dolphins’ fans have nothing to look forward to, in reality Chad Johnson will most likely score 2-4 TDS (for my sake I hope more), They have 1 Qb who lost his job to Blaine Gabbert aka Yo Gabba Gabbert (S/O Jay Onrait), a QB who has started less then 30 games but I will give him credit for his 16/9 TD to INT ratio, and last but not least The Bio Major Mr Tannehill, who in reality shouldn’t see action till week 6-12, when Moore is 2-5 and Garrard goes down with a torn ACL reliving his days when he could somewhat run the  ball.  There defense I believe will be mediocre like last year (hence their lack of mention. Sorry to whomever is playing D). Here are my predictions

2012 Prediction: 4-12
Result:
4th in AFC East
QB:
Matt Moore, David Garrard and Matt Tannehill, 4,267 YDS, 29 TDs, 34 INTS
Best Offensive Target: Reggie Bush, 1,265 RUSHYDS, 11 Rush TDS, 325 REC YDS
Best Defensive Player: Cameron Wake, 49 TACKLES, 10.0 SCKS, 1 FR

-McFultz

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Peyton Manning To Denver And What Does This Mean For The Rest Of The NFL

As of today, former Colts QB, Peyton Manning will be a Denver Bronco, now for Denver this means the obvious, they’re getting a future hall of famer QB who will give them the best shot to go to a Super Bowl. Now obviously there is some doubt with his neck, but I think it’s fair to believe that all is right with Mr. Manning. Now seeing as Denver could make it to the second round of the NFL playoffs with the Messiah Tim Tebow, theres no doubt in anybody’s mind that they could make the playoffs with Manning. Denver’s defense on average gave up 19 points per game last year, there’s no doubt in my mind that Manning could put up more.

Now for the more interesting topic, what happens to the other teams that were in the mix?

The San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are in a strange predicament. They were the surprise of the NFL season, making it all the way to NFC championship game. This in turn, took away the “bust” label on Alex Smith, but now Alex Smith is a free agent and seems to think he deserves more, so although the 49ers have signed receivers Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, they now have no QB to throw them the ball.

The Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals will leave this sweepstakes unscalled pretty much. Last season they traded for Eagles QB Kevin Kolb, granted he didn’t do “squat”, but maybe this season it will be different. They also still have all-pro wideout Larry Fitzgerald.

The Tennessee Titans

The Titans gave it a good go trying to sign Manning. They pulled the “you played here in college” card, but that didn’t work. So now for the Titans are stuckwith another aging QB (Matt Hasslebeck), although young QB, Jake Locker didn’t look half bad last year. 2010-2011 NFL Rushing leader, Chris Johnson had a lack lustre year in the 2011-12 season. If Johnson can improve they could give the now Mario Williams-less Texans a run for their money.

The Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are definitely in a panic mode. They finished with a record of 6-10 (not too bad considering they started off 0-7), unfortunately, since they were able to win those 6 games, they now sit in the 8th position when it comes to the draft. The Dolphins are QBless as Chad Henne singed with Jags and Matt Flynn signed with the seahawks, so all signs point to the fact that Miami will try to draft Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill.

However, there is a subplot to the Miami situation. Seeing as Denver now has Manning, they will try to trade Tebow, and with the Jags already getting Henne, some believe Miami will trade for Tebow, seeing as he’s Florida’s favourite son.

The Tebow Situation

As previously mentioned Tebow could go to Miami. Now another team I could see him going to is San Fran, With receivers like Manningham and Moss, Tebow could just launch the ball up to them. Not to mention, a Frank Gore and Tim Tebow backfield could be lethal. Also we can’t forget that former QB Jim Harbaugh is there coach, so he could show Tebow a thing or two.

The Jaguars have been rumoured to be in the mix still, but I don’t see why the Jaguars would sign Henne and then trade for Tebow. The Patriots have also been in the mix, which I surprisingly understand. Now, the Patriots aren’t going to be trading Tom Brady or anything, but Belichick is an innovator, so he would try to find a way to fit Tebow in.

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-McFultz

 

The End of An Era

Although it is not official…yet. It is rumoured that the Indianapolis Colts will release  star quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning was drafted in 1998 by the Colts with the first overall pick, his first season he went 3-13, but in his second season he went 13-3. He brought the Colts to 9 consecutive playoff appearances, before missing last season. With the Colts, Manning won 4 MVP awards (an NFL record), he won one Super Bowl and a Super Bowl MVP award. He is 3rd in every major passing category and he’s face of the franchise… or was. With Manning gone, the Andrew Luck era shall begin, pending the Colts draft Luck. The best situation to happen for the Colts is that Luck goes 3-13 (like his predecessor) and gets the Colts another first overall pick so they can build a team around Luck.

Now for Manning, he now has the option to sign wherever he pleases. The top four teams I can see Manning go to are as follows.

1) The New York Jets, the Jets have a great defence and a great run game. The one thing they’ve been missing is a consistent QB, Mark Sanchez has been less then stellar in his time with New York. Manning’s father Archie during an interview a few months ago almost hinted that Peyton could end up there. If Peyton were to land in New York it would really heat up the Manning-Brady rivalry, as well there would be two Mannings’ in New York.

2) The Arizona Cardinals, the Cardinals have been one of the teams that are consistently mentioned. Arizona is a very stable environment (which Manning likes), they also are the city that took in an old Kurt Warner.  Arizona also has one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, Larry Fitzgerald. A Manning-Fitzgerald combo would be killer, as well the Cardinals are in the NFC West, a division that has been the weakest division in the NFL in recent years. With that being said the 49ers were stellar last season but Manning could easily dissect the 49ers defense. Also the Cardinals hired Manning’s ex QB coach Frank Reich.

3) The Washington Redskins, the Redskins are a team that have been known to sign older players and have always been willing to pay top dollar. The Redskins have been known to look for the quick fix and if your looking for a quick fix, Peyton Manning is your man. The Redskins also hold the 6th pick, with that pick they could possibly draft Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon. With Manning and Blackmon the ‘Skins could tear up almost any defense. Now their main competition would be the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, who are led by non other than Peyton’s younger brother Eli. The Giants made the playoffs with a 9-7 record, Peyton hasn’t won less then 10 games since 2001. Now, even if the Giants were once again to finish first in the division, it’s safe to say that Manning would lead the Redskins to a  wild card spot

4) Last but not least, the Miami Dolphins, The ‘Fins have been a team always in the mix of the “where will Peyton end up talks”. Although the ‘Fins had a pretty bad season at 6-10, they were not actually as bad as their record suggests, they finished the season 6-3. The ‘Fins also hold the 8th pick, with that they can improve an already pretty solid o-line, fix up some of their defensive problems or if around, draft WR Michael Floyd from Notre Dame or Kendall Wright from Baylor, with one of these  two start wide receivers plus Brandon Marshall, the Dolphins could torch any opposing defense.

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-McFultz