Too bad news surrounding the incompetence of NFL commissioner/warden/playa hater/wannabe HNIC Roger Goodell. aka “Fraud-ger Goodevil”, has moved the actual upcoming games to the back-burner. Jesus, be a fence!
Steelers over Ravens
Bills over Dolphins
Panthers over Lions
Bengals over Falcons
Saints over Browns
Vikings over Patriots (as close to an upset special as I could get)
Cardinals over Giants
Titans over Cowboys
Redskins over Jaguars
Seahawks over Chargers
Buccaneers over Rams
Broncos over Chiefs
Packers over Jets
Texans over Raiders
49ers over Bears
Colts over Eagles
Last week’s record: 8-8 (Man, predicting opening week NFL games are tough. Oy!)
I don’t like the man nor his mama.
I have long hated the way Goodell has handled the NFL’s concussion issue. I didn’t like the way he skirted away from the issue by instituting asinine rules where a defender could not breathe on a quarterback and receivers. If defensive linemen and blitzing linebackers come within a stone’s throw of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees they would be penalized and fined the next day.
Goodell is turning the NFL into powder-puff football before our eyes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes QBs wear pink jerseys and skirts.
I have also despised the way Goodell levied out disciplinary suspensions/fines. Not only had he set himself up as judge, jury and executioner when it comes to handing out suspensions and fines – he had appointed himself as the mediator in appeal hearings! As far as the punishments themselves, Goodell has been wildly inconsistent. He has gone for harsh punishments for convicted felons (Michael Wick’s dogfighting, Donte Stallworth’s drunk driving), athletes who had NEVER been charged (Ben Roethlisberger), to bonafide wrist slaps (Ray Rice).
Speaking of Rice, Goodell’s bungling of the domestic abuse case makes one thing to me clear: “Fraud-ger Goodevil” should resign or be removed from his role as commissioner of the NFL quick, fast and in a hurry.
Let’s look at how Goodevil handled this.
Everyone saw the first video, released just days after the February incident, when Rice was shown dragging his unconscious fiancee out of the elevator into the lobby. That was damning enough, but in today’s world, you knew there was a video of what happened behind closed doors.
So why didn’t the NFL demand to know those facts? Or did they know and chose to ignore them? What did Goodevil know about the second video, which was really the first video? The end result should really be the same either way, the commissioner’s conduct as the head of the most powerful sports league in the country has been so neglectful, so disrespectful, so reprehensible, that to continue on as commissioner is to spit in the face of common sense.
In lieu of seeing the video, or having a full understanding of what we all now understand to have taken place, the league instead chose to ask for Janay Palmer’s side of the story. Only, in cases of domestic violence, never is it appropriate to have the woman speak in the presence of the attacker (Rice), his employer (team officials) and multiple league executives.
Yet it happened on Goodevil’s watch.
Let’s not stop with the commissioner. The Baltimore Ravens fucked this up from the beginning as well.
Remember when the Ravens publicly had Rice’s back after he was charged?
Remember when head coach John Harbaugh called Rice “a heck of a guy”? Remember when the Ravens’ PR flunkie wrote a glowing piece about Rice?
That shit changed when TMZ showed that elevator video. The Ravens fired Rice, and the NFL called itself suspending Rice indefinitely. And now you have media members like this Ravens homer who sung the Ravens’ praises.
Give me a fucking break.
Since the Ravens fired Rice, where was owner Steve Bisciotti? And since he didn’t post at a night time news conference, where were the other leaders in the organization — president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome? After terminating the contract of running back Ray Rice Monday afternoon, Bisciotti should have appeared before the media to address questions and publicly apologize for the poor judgment made by his franchise.
The decision was made by Bisciotti and he should have talked about the new video and whether the Ravens had seen it. If they had, why did the team support the two-game suspension by the NFL? Bisciotti also needed to explain why the team didn’t punish Rice separately from the league.
Instead he offered this wordy, but lame-ass open letter to personal seat license holders, suite owners and sponsors.
While both the team and commissioner both had some culpability in the Ray Rice cluster-fuck, I believe accountability starts at the top. Goodevil should man up for a change by stepping down as NFL commissioner and get the fuck out of Dodge – quick, fast and in a hurry.
As with previous seasons, I will keep a running tally of my own win-loss record on my picks starting in Week Two. I will also give y’all my Game of the Week, and “Who Gives a BLEEP?” game of the week starting next week. It’s too damn early to assign any game either of those labels, plus I’m just too damn happy to have the NFL back.
And as always, your input and your own prognostications are more than welcome.
So without further ado, let’s get this party started – shall we?
Seahawks over Packers
Steelers over Browns
Saints over Falcons (VERY underrated rivalry)
Rams over Vikings
Eagles over Jaguars
Jets over Raiders
Ravens over Bengals
Bears over Bills
Redskins over Texans
Chiefs over Titans
Patriots over Dolphins
Buccaneers over Panthers
49ers over Cowboys
Broncos over Colts
Lions over Giants
Cardinals over Chargers
It can’t get any better than that.
Last week I had my own version of NFL “two-a-days”, previewing two divisions a day. Today in addition to predicting division winners, I will also predict wild card teams, conference winners and the 2014 Super Bowl champion. For those who believe that reading is fundamental, I will include links to each of the bi-divisional previews.
I will also give my individual award winners for this season (which I have a 70% chance of screwing up, but we won’t talk about that).
Feel free to make you comments heard below – I know some of you clowns will not agree with me. So, without further ado…
Note: *- denotes wild card team.
NFL Coach of the Year: Sean Payton
NFL MVP: Peyton Manning
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: LeSean McCoy
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Richard Sherman
AFC Champion: Denver Broncos
NFC Champion: Seattle Seahawks
Super Bowl Champions: Seahawks (the Broncos won’t be punked again, but they aren’t beating Seattle in the rematch)
- Denver Broncos (12-4)
- San Diego Chargers (9-7)
- Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)
- Oakland Raiders (5-11)
Analysis: This should be another easy divisional ride for the defending division champion Broncos. Peyton Manning was embarrassed in last season’s Super Bowl, and you don’t want to embarrass Manning. I feel for the rest of the teams in the division.
Speaking of which, I think the Chargers will put together another solid campaign. As long as Phillip Rivers is still slinging the rock, the San Diego will remain competitive. The Chiefs will still be competitive under Andy Reid. “Big Red” and co. awarded QB Alex Smith with a well-deserved suspension, though I think KC will take a step back this season. As for the Raiders, I like that they FINALLY have a sense of direction, but the talent is simply not there. Having rookie QB Derek Carr start the season is a good way to jump-start the future.
- Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
- San Francisco 49ers (10-6)
- Arizona Cardinals (9-7)
- St. Louis Rams (7-9)
Analysis: Though I think San Fran will give Seattle a fight in this division, I still like the Seahawks to come out on top. There is one thing being fat and happy after a Super Bowl win, but I think Seattle is still motivated to defend its title. Hell they might be even HUNGRIER. The defense remain intact with Richard Sherman and Cam Chancellor leading the way, though I think the key to Seattle being scarier is on offense. If QB Russell Wilson continues to improve his play, look the hell out.
The 49ers will be so depleted defensively via injuries (Navarro Bowman) and suspension (Aldon Smith and probably Ray McDonald), I don’t see them recovering enough to overtake the Seahawks. That’s just too tough to overcome, even with a coach like Jim Harbaugh running the show.
The Cardinals simply do not have the same defensive firepower from last season, especially after losing Darnell Dockett to free agency. Arizona’s secondary will keep the defense rolling a bit, but the Cardinals will not be sneaking up on anyone this season.
Sucks to be the Rams. St. Louis is a well-coached team, and would be a playoff team if it competed in the NFC East and North last season. Hang in there St. Louis, …hang in there.
- Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
- Houston Texans (6-10)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)
- Tennessee Titans (4-12)
Analysis: The Colts should moonwalk to the division title. Take a look at the rest of the division – it’s God-awful.
The Colts have a stud QB in Andrew Luck. They are talented at WR, led by the ageless Reggie Wayne. Their defense ain’t half-bad either.
But the rest of the division? Ewwwwww. While the Jaguars are steadily improving, and the Texans have Javedeon Clowney, those teams will still suck.
As for the Titans, not even an exorcist could bless their season.
- New Orleans Saints (12-4)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8)
- Carolina Panthers (7-9)
- Atlanta Falcons (5-11)
Analysis: Much like the AFC South, this is a one-team division. The Saints are still loaded offensively, still employ Drew Brees, still have Sean Payton as head coach, and still play in the Superdome – one of the best home-field advantages in all of football. And much like the Colts, New Orleans is improving defensively. In fact, they are pretty damn good thanks to coordinator Rob Ryan (who inexplicably does not have a head coaching job).
The Buccaneers will be one of the big surprises this season. They have acquired more talent over the off-season. Rookie WR Mike Evans will be a huge addition offensively. They are decent defensively. And they have under-stated Lovie Smith coaching the team. That to me spells improvement.
Meanwhile in Charlotte, the Panthers are devoid of offensive talent – especially at wide receiver. Aside from TE Greg Olsen (who will be triple-teamed), who will poor Cam Newton throw the ball to? And the front office, namely general manager Dave Gettleman, did not re-sign many of its starters in the secondary, though the Panthers’ front seven will still be good.
The Falcons are just too soft to comment on. A one-dimensioned offense + a leaky defense = a helluva lot of losses.
- Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
- Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
- Cleveland Browns (7-9)
Analysis: This is one of the toughest divisions in football (the other being the NFC West). This is easily a three-team division. What separates the Ravens, my Steelers, and the reigning division champ Bengals are their schedules. All three teams contend with the patsy NFC South and horrific AFC South this season, and all three should win at least six games apiece from those two divisions alone. The Ravens have the easiest conference games with Miami and San Diego, while my Steelers have the Jets and Kansas City, and the Bengals contend with New England and Denver (ouch!).
The Bengals are better than they were last year, but those tough two games will be the death of them in terms of repeating as division champs. Coach Marvin Lewis also has to prove that he could win without his top two lieutenants Mike Zimmer and Jay Gruden, both of which are now first-time head coaches.
The Ravens and Steelers are going to bounce back in a big way. Baltimore now employs the fiery Steve Smith at wide receiver, who should help QB Joe Flacco tremendously. As long as Ray Rice focuses on regaining his form at RB instead of beating the hell out of women, Baltimore’s offense should rise again.
As for my Steelers, as long as Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrett Blount stays off the weed, Pittsburgh will be in good shape. They finally got younger on defense, and if they learn how to stop the run and get to the opposing QB like old times, all the better.
Poor Cleveland. Their top-10 defense’s efforts will be wasted by a moribund offense. At least the Browns made the right decision in benching Johnny Manziel. No use sending him out there to get himself killed without any offensive weapons to speak of.
- Green Bay Packers (10-6)
- Chicago Bears (10-6)
- Detroit Lions (7-9)
- Minnesota Vikings (6-10)
Analysis: Here is all you need to know about the NFC North – the Packers, Bears and Lions will score points at will on everyone, but their alleged defenses will give those points all back to the opposition. Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler will play at higher levels this season. It’s just that both of their teams (Green Bay and Chicago, respectively) will not be able to stop many teams.
Green Bay gets the nod here because its defense is slightly less horrific than Chicago’s.
The Lions are very talented, but get in their own way. Detroit is a highly penalized team, which means they have no discipline (see Ndamukong Suh). QB Matthew Stafford is very talented, but turns over the ball WAY too much for the Lions to succeed. That’s too bad because WR Calvin “Megatron” Johnson is perhaps the most unstoppable force in the NFL.
The Vikings got the right man in Mike Zimmer leading the team. He will bring some much-needed discipline and accountability to Minnesota. I like the way QBs Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater look in the preseason. The Vikes will be a work in progress and need to be more talented on both sides of the ball before they make any noise in this division.