Tuesday, September 4, 2012

NFL PREVIEW 2012: The World Champions Kick Off Wednesday

So something strange happened this weekend in that I made a domestic trip that, much to the shock of everyone who asked me why I was going out of town, did not include a sporting event. No, instead I was headed to the barbecue-opolis known as Kansas City not for baseball, nor football, nor soccer -- though strangely I almost did two of those three -- but for a wedding for my good friend Susie, star of such previous episodes as "Dave discovers that drinking laws are way too lax in Missouri" and "The American Royal BBQ Festival is the most American thing you will ever do." Susie has always been such a trooper about my dragging her to Kansas City sporting events in the past, and so while I did flirt with the idea of seeing the Royals Friday night (the game was eventually rained out anyway), flipped out in the middle of Arthur Bryant's while watching Northwestern try its best to blow the Journalism Bowl and wrestled with an invitation to Saturday night's Sporting Kansas City game, I instead dedicated my entire weekend to wedding-related activities.

And BBQ. Seriously, I ate BBQ for five straight meals.

As a result, I have very little to tell all of you about this past weekend that would have any real strong connection to what this blog is supposed to be about, though the wedding and its ancillary activities were superb on the whole, but fortunately, you don't need me to blather on with stories about my attendance at a new sports venue since a) I've already seen the Royals and Chiefs and b) there's a whole new bigger sports-related item to broach and that's the fact that the World Champions will be opening up the NFL season in roughly 34 hours against the Dallas Cowboys. (NOTE: For the rest of this entry, the New York Football Giants may be interchangeably referred to as the World Champions.) Because they're the World Champions.

Because the World Champions will be opening the NFL season for the second time in five years Wednesday night, that means my back is a bit against the wall to get out what all of you have really been looking forward to this fall, and that is not the World Series, the Jewish high holidays nor the 2012 General Election, which should be a total barn burner that provides memories for a life time when an empty chair gives its victory speech in November. No, you guys are looking forward to my super duper almost certain to be COMPLETELY 100% ACCURATE AND INFALLIBLE NEVER TO BE QUESTIONED 2012 NFL Predictions. I should warn you that the records predicted are more in the ball park of where I expect teams to finish and not meant to be exact. As a result they will not add up to the perfect 128-128 record that the NFL's 256-game scehdule requires. That said, these are guaranteed to be absolutely correct in every way, which means read, enjoy, tell your friends and then run to Vegas, because for the love of Kansas City BBQ, I will not be wrong.

Nope. No way. It's a slam dunk.

AFC East
1. New England - With Mitt Romney winning the GOP nomination, the Pats are officially going to be the most successful thing coming out of Massachusetts this fall. 12-4.
2. NY Jets - I wish Tom Tupa was still on the Jets. That would make Tim Tebow the third best quarterback on their roster. 8-8.
3. Buffalo -  We quietly rebuild our defense to make a competitive team and this how you do me? Those unis are still super sharp, though. 7-9.
4. Miami - The funny thing about the Dolphins being on Hard Knocks this summer is that the hardest knock will be their final record. 5-11.

AFC North
1. Baltimore - Seriously. Most underrated team in all of professional North American sports in the last 15 years. A trend that will almost certainly continue when they don't win the Super Bowl again. 11-5.
2. Pittsburgh - I almost put the Bengals ahead of the Steelers this year, but I just had to say no. If only Ben Roethlisberger listened so well. 10-6.
3. Cincinnati - Hey, Cincy, just because I'm picking you to miss the playoffs, it doesn't mean you can't set aside a bowl of Skyline Chili for me when I'm there in November, right? 8-8.
4. Cleveland - The difference between Joss Whedon and Brandon Weeden is that Joss is really funny and Brandon's performance this season won't be. Unless you don't root for the Browns. Then it'll be kind of funny. 3-13.

AFC South
1. Houston - It's weird to see Houston as the class of this division after it took them nine years to make the playoffs but we should all get used to it. And given their lack of throwback logos, it's really annoying for my preference for throwback logos in these posts. 13-3.
2. Tennessee - Ah, the Titans. The prettiest ugly girl at the AFC South prom. 6-10.
3. Indianapolis - Andrew Luck may already be the best player on this team. That's not really a good thing. 4-12.
4. Jacksonville - Maurice Jones-Drew is back in camp! He's going to wish he wasn't! 2-14.

AFC West
1. Denver - Sure the Broncos have one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game and a solid defense. BUT HOW WILL THEY WIN WITHOUT TEBOW MAGIC? 11-5.
2. San Diego -  Remember last year when I picked the Chargers to win the Super Bowl? Man, I crack myself up. Seriously, this year's picks are totally 100% accurate. 9-7.
3. Kansas City -  The Chiefs could surprise some people. Could is the key word though. 7-9.
4. Oakland - The Raiders are a team you remember being terrible and then you look at the 2011 standings and see that they were somehow 8-8. That's just one win fewer than the World Champions. There's a reason we were surprised, though. 5-11.

NFC East
1. The World Champions - The schedule makers did the Giants no real favors with their schedule, which is at times completely brutal, but they're the World Champions for a reason, no? 11-5.
2. Philadelphia - Last year I referred to the Eagles "Dream Team" as "one of those dreams where you wake up right before finding out who the murderer is or that hot girl in your apartment building takes her clothes off." Turns out it was more like a nightmare from the start. 10-6.
3. Dallas - Ladies and gentleman, the most talented groups of quitters that ever quit! 7-9.
4. Washington - Don't underestimate the rebuilding Skins who beat the World Champions both times they face them last year. I mean, they were 3-11 against the rest of the league, but whatever. 5-11.

NFC North
1. Green Bay - The Packers had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year. The Packers won 15 games. Kind of makes you wonder how they'd be if they got a defense, doesn't it? 13-3.
2. Detroit - I ended up autodrafting in one of my fantasy leagues and wound up with Calvin Johnson. The Lions, like that fantasy team will be really good this year as a result. Like my fantasy team they will also not win a championship this year. 9-7.
3. Chicago - The Bears are a very sexy Super Bowl pick among preseason prognosticators. And man is that funny. 8-8.
4. Minnesota - I would make a joke here about how bad the Vikings will probably be this year, but that would just be redundant. 4-12.

NFC South
1. New Orleans - The Saints got battered by Roger Goodell's penalties for embarrassing the league in the bounty scandal. Funny how there are no penalties for embarrassing defenses, though. Drew Brees should be doing plenty of that this season. 11-5.
2. Atlanta - The Falcons are just one of those teams that is a total mystery, like a film that has a confusing, mystifying plot. Unfortunately those movies are generally pretty unsatisfying. 8-8.
3. Carolina - Cam Newton grabbed a ton of headlines last season, but the Panthers' offense on the whole is actually pretty loaded. Too bad they don't actually put anyone on the field for defensive series. At least, that's what it looks like. 6-10.
4. Tampa Bay - Fun Fact! The last two head coaches of the Buccaneers are from New Jersey! That's pretty much what they've got going for them. 3-13.

NFC West
1. San Francisco - Keep Away is a really fun game to play when you're a kid, but not as much when you're adults and the person you need to keep the ball away from is your quarterback. Thank goodness for that defense though. 12-4.
2. Seattle - If Seattle goes on some miracle run to the Super Bowl this February it will be the most unwatchable Super Bowl ever. Fortunately, we don't really have to worry about that. 7-9.
3. Arizona - So this is fun. ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley has the Cardinals winning the NFC West, thereby making everything else he says about football completely irrelevant. 5-11.
4. St. Louis - Hiring Jeff Fisher would be a big move given his success in Tennessee if it weren't for the fact that in Tennessee he actually had NFL players to work with. 2-14.

AFC Playoffs
Wild Card Weekend
(3) Baltimore over (6) San Diego
(4) Denver over (5) Pittsburgh

Divisional Weekend
(1) Houston over (4) Denver
(3) Baltimore over (2) New England

AFC Championship
(3) Baltimore over (1) Houston

NFC Playoffs
Wild Card Weekend
(3) World Champions over (6) Detroit
(4) New Orleans over (5) Philadelphia

Divisional Weekend
(1) Green Bay over (4) New Orleans
(3) World Champions over (2) San Francisco

NFC Championship
(1) Green Bay over (3) NY Giants

Super Bowl XLVII
(1) Green Bay over (3) Baltimore
Obviously, I am very original. But 100% correct at the same time.

So yeah, that's it folks. These picks should probably be your Bible because like the Bible they hold just as much literal truth. So basically, I'm putting everything I own on the Rams.

And now, finally, in a more immediate sense, here is who I'm going with for Week 1.

Last week: n/a
Season: 0-0-0
Last season: 116-116-13

NY GIANTS (-4) over Dallas
CHICAGO (-9) over Indianapolis
CLEVELAND (+9) over Philadelphia
DETROIT (-7) over St. Louis
New England (-6) over TENNESSEE
KANSAS CITY (+3) over Atlanta
MINNESOTA (-4) over Jacksonville
NEW ORLEANS (-7.5) over Washington
Buffalo (+3) over NY JETS
HOUSTON (-12) over Miami
GREEN BAY (-5.5) over San Francisco
ARIZONA (+3) over Seattle
Carolina (-3) over TAMPA BAY
Pittsburgh (+2) over DENVER
BALTIMORE (-6) over Cincinnati
San Diego (-1) over OAKLAND

There you have it folks. Time to watch the World Champions.

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