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

 

 

 

The 2016 Super Bowl Champions… The St. Louis Rams and Peyton Manning Watch Day 2

In the last hour the St. Louis Rams cemented them selves as the 2016 Super Bowl champions. The Rams traded the 2nd overall pick to the Washington Redskins for three first round picks and a second round pick. The Dallas Cowboys-Minnesota trade has been considered the greatest trade in NFL history, as it led to the Cowboys dominance in the 90s. For now, at least until we see how these picks pan out, it shall remain a close second.

The Rams have been lacking a receiving core that their former first overall pick QB Sam bradford could throw too. Well now with the 6th overall pick, the Rams may be able to select OK ST WR Justin Blackmon. Bradford and Blackmon could prove to be a lethal combination. As well, with 4 first round picks in the next two years, the Rams will be able to add as much depth as a team could possibly need.

Now on the Redskins front, the ‘Skins have now shown that they intend to draft Baylor QB Robert Griffin the 3rd. Although this could prove to be a great pick, the trade doesn’t make a lot of sense. Let’s say Griffin proves to be everything we thought he could be and more, who will he pass the ball to? Who will block for him? Who will play defense on the ‘Skins? Even with a great QB, you still need a great team to win a Super Bowl and you can’t have a great team without draft picks. If free agency is all you needed then the ‘Skins would have been a contender for the last 10 years.

From the beginning St Louis has been trying to shop this pick and the only possible team to make the trade was the Washington Redskins. The asking price was too high for any other team and the ‘Skins Owner, Dan Snyder has been known to make insane moves (i.e Albert Haynesworth’s 100 million dollar contract…).

Peyton Manning Watch Day 2

As of today QB Peyton Manning is talking to the Denver Broncos. This is the first of plenty of teams that the future hall of fame QB will talk to. Now a lot of people seem to think that Manning could end up there and with the ‘Skins, who were already a long shot and have now all but dropped out, the Broncos have moved into 4th place in a lot of peoples minds. I can’t see Manning signing with the Broncos. Manning is a future hall of famer why would he want to sign with a team that already has a famous QB in John Elway, Manning doesn’t want to compete with that legend. Now many people say that the trade would end Tim Tebow’s career but really it would only improve his career. Manning could teach Tebow the way of the QB or they could trade him to the Jaguars, who have been rumoured to be shopping for the Floridian legend. The Broncos aren’t stable enough for Manning, John Fox has not proven to be a great Coach, granted he made the Super Bowl with the Panthers, but since then all his teams have been failures. I still see Manning either going to the Cards, Fins or Jets.
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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