1) New Orleans Saints – I have 2 concerns about this team, first is their defense, it has to be better than last year if they want to make it to the super bowl. The defense doesn’t make a lot of plays and the secondary is weak and gives up lots of big plays. My second worry is that last year everything seemed to go too perfect, i don’t see it being so easy this year as they won’t be sneaking up on anyone. Brees has had some injury problems ( but for the sake of one of my fantasy teams please don’t get hurt Drew ) but assuming he stays healthy this offense should continue to be a machine. The young wide receiving core will struggle a bit but Brees will put the ball where they need it more often than not. Bush should continue to break out as a dangerous threat both as a RB and a receiver. Duece will also continue to run the ball well and help keep them both fresh at both the end of the games and the end of the season. The offense will make up for the short comings of the defense at least during the regular season if they plan to play much further past that, they need to fix that D.
Prediction – 11-5
2) Carolina Panthers – What happened to this team ? Just a couple years ago they came out and took over the NFC and with a new head coach and young team and seemed to be marking their territory, but ever since the super bowl loss they just haven’t been the same. Yeah they have had their injury problem but this team has no excuse to play the way they have the last couple of years and until they show me otherwise i can’t believe they will win too many games. Jake Delhomme has completely fallen off since the super bowl. He constantly makes horrible decisions with the ball and takes his team out of the game. If the Panthers smarten up and decide to give David Carr a shot they might be able to salvage the season and sneak into the playoffs but if they wait too long it will be too late even in the weak NFC.
3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Where to even start with this team ? How many Qb’s can one team have ? Apparently not enough for Jon Gruden, but I don’t expect him to be here past this year so it should be fun to see how they handle the QB situation then. Yeah I know he won the super bowl not to long ago but lets be real people he won it with Tony Dungy’s team, they just had to shove him out the door first. Since Gruden has gotten control of the team he has tinkered with it to the point where they are devoid of talent. The o-line is a mess can’t open any holes for Cadillac and won’t be able to protect Garcia or his 4 back-ups. The defense is a shell of it’s former self with all their vets not being near as talented or fast as they were, and they don’t have Dungy’s defensive expertise to make up for what the lack talent wise.
Prediction – 6 – 10
4) Atlanta Falcons – This team was built around Mike Vick and they weren’t very good then, imagine how they are gonna do now. Joey Harrington will actually play pretty good I think but again this team is built for Vick not Harrington and it will show. Jerious Norwood should benefit the most from Vick’s abcense as he will be asked get the most carries by year’s end, but they will struggle in year 1 A.V. ( After Vick ) and the defense just isn’t good enough to make up for any problem they will have on offense.
Prediction – 5 – 11