I'm going to experiment with different wrap ups this year, because my MMFMQB format of last year was so difficult to maintain. I'm going with the ESPN six pack format this year until I don't, hopefully I'll nab a sponsorship from any beer company, alcoholic, non-alcoholic, or root.
1) The Steelers are the favorite to win the Super Bowl. True
The Chargers, Jaguars, and Colts all lost, while the Steelers dominated a healthy Texans team. Of all my predictions, I'd like to take back the Texans going 11-5, (I still think they're winning 9 or 10 games) but that's a quality team the Steelers rolled, and LaMarr Woodley looks like the latest stud elephant developed by the Steelers machine.
2) The Patriots are done. False
In 2001, the Patriots were coming off a 5-11 season when they lost their leading passer (Drew Bledsoe) and one of their leading tacklers (Ted Johnson) to injuries, and suspended their leading receiver (Terry Glenn). How soon everyone forgets. Coming off a 16-0 season and playing one of the weakest schedules in the NFL, it's not hard to see them making the playoffs. Take a look at their schedule and pick out six losses. At San Diego, at Indy, Pittsburgh, maybe a split with the Jets, and then? Denver? At Seattle? A split with Buffalo? And can you assume a loss at Indy or San Diego? They still look like a 10-6 team to me, at worse.
3) The Detroit Lions are the worst team in the NFL. True
The 2008 Detroit Lions look like Matt Millen's masterpiece. They've got two stud receivers and not another player who could start for more than 10 teams. The Falcons rushed for 318 yards yesterday after rushing for 1520 yards all of last season. Here's a stat for you: Matt Ryan hadn't had a game without an interception since 10/6/07 against Bowling Green! He threw a pick against Notre Dame last year! Two against Maryland! If you've got guys going against the Lions this year in fantasy, start them. Aaron Rodgers vs. Detroit or Peyton Manning vs. Jacksonville? Start Rodgers.
4) The Eagles are going back to the NFC Championship Game. False
The Eagles absolutely dismantled the Rams, and I am clearly a believer that they'll go to the playoffs, maybe even win a game. But there is just too much depth in the NFC this year. Carolina looks like they'll be in it all year, Dallas is still the favorite, and we still haven't had a look at Minnesota and Green Bay. Finally, I may have been very wrong about Chicago.
5) The Tennessee Titans are better off with Kerry Collins at QB. True
Vince Young reportedly tried to take himself out of the game yesterday, and "Fisher seemed to all but throw Young back onto the field." Young averaged 5 yards an attempt yesterday, Collins 32.5. The two starting quarterbacks in maybe the greatest bowl game of all time both look like busts entering their third season.
6) Matt Ryan will win Offensive Rookie of the Year. False
Matty Ice looked great against the ole defense employed by the Lions, but tougher days are ahead and quarterbacks rarely win the award - twice since 1971, although both times in the last four years. Matt Forte and Desean Jackson firmly established themselves as contenders, McFadden starts his career tonight, and Jonathan Stewart averaged over five yards a carry. I still feel OK about picking Stewart, but Matt Forte must look like this when he thinks about taking on the Lions defense twice this season.