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Some more predictions....


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Miami 11-5 The addition of Ricky Williams will pay off during the

season. However, they are still the Dolphins. They will lose in one of the first two rounds of the playoffs.

New England Patriots 10-6 Let’s not have any misconceptions about last years’ champs. If Mike Martz wasn’t such a … I’m thinking of six profane words and now other adjectives are coming to mind right now. Yeah, six! So for the duration of the column, whenever I want to call someone a profane name, I’ll just call them a Cowboys fan instead (that’s probably worse than anything I would have come up with anyway). Anyway, so if Martz wasn’t such a Cowboy fan (wink, wink), the Rams would be putting the 3rd coat of polish on their 2nd Super Bowl trophy as we speak. However, the Patriots’ team work can’t be duplicated. They’ll squeak into the playoffs. They get a bonus because Antowain Smith is on my keeper league team.

Buffalo 6-10 Drew Bledsoe and Eric Moulds will only take the team so far. If Travis Henry can prove he’s worthy of his praise, they could finish .500.

New York Jets 5-11 Why am I dogging the Jets? Jimmy Raye. He’s an offensive (in every sense of the word) consultant. Hands down, the worst football mind in the history of the game … other than Norv Turner, that chump. What fun is writing a column if you can’t take cheap shots at everyone?


Pittsburgh 12-4 They were on a tear the last half of the season and

were without their best player in Jerome Bettis. The defense is scarier

than that Timmy dude in “Passions”. On second thought, no it isn’t. I made the mistake of turning my TV to NBC at 2:40 PM again and saw Timmy talking in the 3rd person. That adds a whole new dimension to the horror. Let’s move on, I don’t want to have nightmares.

Cleveland 9-7 They’re one year away from the playoffs. Although,

if William Green can step it up right away, the Brownies will finish 10-6 and gain the other wild card slot. I’m pulling for them.

Cincinnati 6-10 Not only are they the Bengals, they’re the Bengals

with Michael Westbrook. They could have finished 9-7, but Westbrook will probably slam his helmet to the turf in crunch time … knocking them out of field goal range and costing them a playoff birth. You ‘Skins fans know what I’m talking about.

Baltimore 4-12 My Brian Billick impression: “Is there anything

more pretty than my impression in the mirror? I love myself. I will

display my superiority this season by starting Chris Redman at quarterback. The critics were right about Elvis Grbac last year, but I’ll show them. Is this the last year for Billick? I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope so.

4:32 AM, time for bed. Magically, it will be Saturday afternoon in the

seamless world of sports reading. Ready for your journey through time? It’s 4:33, and now … POOF! It’s 1:35. Enough wasting time, moving on.


Indianapolis 11-5 Bringing Tony Dungy on board is the best thing

they could have done. Mora always liked to defend his defensive scheme, but he was too much of an idiot to simplify it for his players when he wasn’t working. I know I don’t have to say it, but I will. That’s a steaming load of diddley-poo! Tony baby, if you’re reading this, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea for you to teach the offense how to tackle if last year was any indication of things to come.

Tennessee 10-6 With the return of Eddie George to complement Air

McNair, they’ll storm into the playoffs.

Jacksonville 6-10 If Fred Taylor can stay healthy, the Jags may be

able to finish as high as 9-7. The salary cap decimated this team. They missed the boat in ’99.

Houston 4-12 They haven’t even played a game and their offensive

line is one of the best in the league. I’m not looking for too much from their defense this year. They have a rookie quarterback, an overrated starting receiver (Gaffney) and no running back to speak of. If next year’s draft is as good as this year’s, look out.


Kansas City 10-6 Priest Holmes won’t have another year like last

year. That being said, Trent Green will have receivers to throw to and the team will have one year in Vermeil’s system under their belts. And no, I’m not smoking crack.

Denver 9-7 I really don’t like Denver. Although, Trevor Pryce went

to my high school … a couple of years before I was there. His sister is one of the most touted soccer players her age and he has a little brother who will no doubt be a monster. Can I buy their genes on e-bay?

Oakland 8-8 The loss of Chucky is greater than anyone thinks.

Although, the 87 picks they got in compensation will off-set it in a few


San Diego 7-9 I support my man Marty Schottenheimer. He’s taken

half of Washington’s starting team to San Diego with him. They have LT, but still don’t have a star QB or WR. That sounds a lot like his old team.


Philadelphia 11-5 McNabb is my franchise fantasy football player. I

would have given the Eagles a 12-4 or 13-3 record if Reid hadn’t have

dropped the ball on the Trotter negotiations. Too bad, so sad.

Dallas 9-7 They have bolstered their defense, their line is always

one of the best in the league and they still have Emmitt Smith. If they had a decent quarterback they could have made some noise. My favorite Quincy Carter moment was when he compared his ability to read defenses to Peyton Manning’s. What’s even more outrageous is that Cowboy fans everywhere swear that he’s the next coming of Aikman. Like I always say, there are three certainties you can count on in life: death, taxes and arrogance of Cowboy fans. You can also count on me throwing up after ranking the ‘Pokes ahead of Washington.

Washington 7-9 It’s important to note that the 7-9 record is totally

biased. If Richy Rich could have cooled his ego and let Marty stay on

board, they would have been in the 10-6 to 12-4 range. What a Cowboy Fan! Did you know that Spurrier didn’t even want Ramsey? He and I both wanted Gurode … WHO WENT TO DALLAS! Ugh.

New York Giants 4-12 I’m throwing my chips on the table. Anybody

wants in, get in. Anybody wants out, get out. This team will fire Fassel after the season (if not during). Tiki Barber stabbed his teammate in the back when he took managements side on a contract dispute. That was bad, but Strahan should take the chip off his shoulder. Hell, he can fill in that enormous gap in his teeth with it. As always, no love for New York. And if Jeffrey Mair is out there, watch your back.


Chicago 12-4 The front office has done a beautiful job. By the end

of the year, Chandler will be starting for this team. For the record, he’s not fragile. He’s never had an offensive line that could give him more than 2 seconds of pass protection.

Green Bay 9-7 They’ll have a tough year. They lost Levens and their

whole receiving core. My man Bubba Franks will account for at least 5 of these wins.

Minnesota 6-10 If Moss shows up, they could be 8-8. Either way,

it’ll be a rough year for Tice. They should be much improved in 2004.

Detroit 3-13 I find the Mornhinweg/Millen combo amusing. I’d say

that I love them, but they drafted Harrington. Screw them!


Tampa Bay 9-7 It’s unfortunate they can’t disband this entire

division. I picked Tampa to win for two reasons: I respect Gruden and I can’t stand Haslett.

New Orleans 8-8 I hate Haslett. OVER-RATED clap, clap, clap-


Atlanta 5-10 I think this will be the team Starvin’ Marvin Lewis will

take over at seasons end. Seriously, when you have Jamal Anderson and Warrick Dunn on your roster, how do you draft Duckett over Lelie? Falcons fans can take solace in the fact that he didn’t draft a tight end.

Carolina 3-13 On the first run through of this column, I skipped

Carolina all together. I may as well have.


St. Louis 13-3 Their only chance for a Super Bowl is if Martz’s head

can’t fit into the stadium and they need to find a replacement play caller. Not outside the realm of possibility.

Seattle 10-6 Holmgren made the right call in naming Dilfer in the

Starter. He’s the best “I don’t screw things up” QB in the league, bar

none. Shaun Alexander is a beast, particularly when he’s playing against my fantasy team. That turd.

Arizona 7-9 They finally have a coach who knows what he’s doing. If

they had been in the east, they could have competed for the wild card. Boo hoo.

San Francisco 7-9 My only explanation for last season is that

Mariucci had a deal with satan.


Wildcard Weekend

AFC: New England 27 Kansas City 17. Tennessee 35 Miami 10.

NFC: Philadelphia 20, Seattle 10. Green Bay 31, Tampa Bay 17.

Divisional Round

AFC: Pittsburgh 19 New England 16. Indianapolis 24, Tennessee 16.

NFC: Philadelphia 27, Chicago 20. St. Louis 45 Green Bay 24.

Conference Championships

AFC: Pittsburgh 28, Indianapolis 27.

NFC: Philadelphia 31, St. Louis 14 (Martz runs out the clock).

Super Bowl XXVII, the battle of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia 28, Pittsburgh 27. The eagles score 3 defensive touchdowns off of Kordell’s complete absence of judgment. My man McNabb wins the game with no time on the clock with a sneak from the 1.

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the Eagles are the closest thing to a one man offense in the NFL. they have no established healthy runner or #1 receiver to take the pressure off in case McNabb stubs his toe and the Philly coaches by their choice of backups evidently believe that McNabb is invincible. :laugh:

truthfully, this is a playoff team, but the Eagles just don't have the kinds of skill players on offense or the type of front seven that is enough of a presence to be a sure-shot to go that far.

last year the Eagles played the Bucs and Bears in the earlier playoff rounds, teams that couldn't score many points and had quarterbacks that weren't considered playmakers, ie perfect for the Philly defense.

The Eagles may not have made it that far if they had to face Green Bay or the 49ers.

That's why I think there is a question about whether the Eagles do more than make a playoff appearance in 2002.

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I see Donovan McNabb as a pitcher who is starting for the first time and the hitters are fooled for awhile but once the batter sees him a few times, he gets a hold of him.

I think defensive coordinators will figure out ways to defend Donovan McNabb and slow him down. The Ealges have nothing else on offense. If they slow him down, the Eagles offense isn't going anywhere. I don't see McNabb in the same category as a Joe Montana or Steve Young. McNabb is good, but I don't think he is great. Plus, he isn't surrounded by much. If the defensive coordinators figure out a way to contain him, the Eagles are screwed. And I know you can say this for a lot of teams but a lot of teams have more than just a QB who can run. I honestly don't think the Eagles are that good a team where everyone should be handing them the division and certainly not putting them in the Super Bowl. Do I think the Giants will take the division from Philly? It is possible but to be honest, and this is going to be painful, I see Dallas taking it from them first. The Redskins have just as much of a shot as Dallas. Each will depend on the play of their QB. The Giants hopes rests solely on their offensive line.

But that is why they play the games.

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I couldn't disagree more on McNabb. If it was as easy as any defensive coordinator 'figuring him out', it would have happened by now and they never would have won the division last year.

I was so confident going into our 2nd game with the Eagles at FedEx last year because I thought our defense had the guy pegged as someone you could just dare to throw at you. McNabb didn't put up big numbers by any means but he still toasted our D with enough big plays to win by a couple touchdowns.

I've come to accept that fact that McNabb is probably going to overcome what you throw at him eventually, so I think the best strategy is to get a solid defense (which I think the Skins have now) and get enough offense to match McNabb (which points-wise really isn't that hard). With Matthews I'm not so confident this is possible, but I have great hopes that we will have the division as early as next year when Ramsey becomes the likely full-time starter.

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I just don't think McNabb is a great QB. He is good but doesn't deserve the kind of hype he gets. He doesn't do much against the Giants and as was pointed out, his numbers against the Skins aren't that great. I would love to know what kind of numbers he puts up against the Cowboys. If they aren't good, that is a clean sweep of the NFC East where he doesn't fare too well. Maybe I just hate the Eagles this much.

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I am enjoying the fact that noone wants to give the skins any credit for there offseason. Other teams aren't going to see us comming, but they will feel the pain of our "D" when it is over.:laugh:

I guess after the last few year of everyone thinking we totally underacheived has left a sour taste in there mouths towards us.

Steve and Marvin have got to love this. Noone is giving them any credit and they are going to make them eat some major crow.

I get the feeling I am going to have the best thanksgiving ever. I wonder if madden can make up a 8 legged crow for the cowboys this year.;)

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As I recall our game @ Philly, the main thing we used to shut down McNabb was keeping the ball away from him. Those eight-minute Martyball drives may have been boring, but they give your defense a lot of time in the recliners, looking at game photos.

Hope we're not expecting those same kind of rest periods under Steve. If Gatorball works, we'll be scoring a lot, but they'll be quick scores, which send our defense out tired, to face an opponent who has to throw deep to try to keep up. Our BDs have to be good, and they have to be good when they're tired.

(Fortunately, I think we've got the guys for that).

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McNabb is overrated. No way is he a top QB.

Look. Andy Reid has done a great job of designing an offense that fits his strengths. I will give McNabb credit for managing the game and sticking to whatever plan Reid has for that game. He doesnt turn the ball over very often and a little ball security can go a long way. But you can't dink and dunk your way to a Lombardi Trophy unless you're the '85 Bears or 2000 Ravens.

All McNabb needs to do is get his team in the endzone twice and the Eagles will usually win. That's because the best weapon a QB can have is a great defense. And they certainly have one in Philly. If McNabb switched places with Dante Culpepper, you'd better believe the Vikings would be just as $hitty as they are now.

To be a great QB, you should be able to thrive in any offense and carry that offense when needed. Favre, Warner, Manning are great, great QB's. If the Eagles give up 24 and don't force a turnover you can forget about them b/c McNabb could never generate the kind of offense you'd need to win such a game. :wave:

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Without question, McNabb is a dangerous player.

But, he is limited. He is NOT a very good passer, or at least not naturally. Yeah, he can throw a marshmallow through a brick wall, but he doesn't seem to have that natural feel and touch with throwing. In short, I don't see McNabb sitting in the pocket and picking a team apart. This is what set other scramblers apart, such as Young, Cunningham, Staubach, or Elway. Those guys had an excellent feel for throwing the ball. When they scrambled, they were looking to make a play passing the ball.

McNabb is dangerous because of his legs, instincts, toughness, durability, and leadership. He's a great natural runner. I remember the Orange Bowl he played in against Florida. Florida just killed Syracuse in the game, but McNabb was giving the defenders a run for their money. It was obvious he couldn't execute a passing game against them - he would drop back, see his first read covered, and then take off - but the Florida defense had the hardest time trying to tackle him. It was incredible.

He also seems to do well in the two minute drill. I suspect this is due to the fact that he tends to be confident and poised. Defenses oblige by playing soft zone coverages (I imagine due to his running ability) that give him easy reads.

As long as the Philly defense remains stingy about giving up points, Philly will be able to win a fair share of games because McNabb is able to pull out 3-5 big plays a game to get them 17-20 points. When he doesn't, Philly will have a very difficult time winning.

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Most of your observations about McNabb are right on the money. However, as someone who attended every home game during McNabb's jr and sr seasons, I can tell you he is a better passer than you might think. There were numerous times when he would scramble around in the backfield and fire a 50 yard bomb right on the money. He is more than just a scrambler. I know you acknowlegded he has a strong arm and he does. And I agree he needs a little work with his "touch". But McNabb can get the job done with his arm and then some. I'm sure OrangeSkin can back me up on this one. I don't think he will ever be a pure drop back passer, nor should he be. But he certainly has what it takes to beat teams with his arm. We saw some of it last year when teams dared him to throw and he did. We'll see it even more this year. He's never had really good WR's (certainly never a star) and yet he still puts up very good passing numbers. Elway had the amigos and then Ed Mc and Rod Smith, Staubach had Pearson, and Young (of course) had Rice and Taylor. Cunningham was no better than McNabb with passing (and I think over time we'll see McNabb is far superior).

The worst thing is I still love McNabb to this day but I can't stand the team he is on. And I hate the Philly fans even more. Life isn't always fair.

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Listen, the Eagles played with the Rams until late into the NFC championship game. They had a great D, but NOTHING else on offense. Duece is a poor excuse for a RB and thier WRs are average at best. He deserves a lot of credit.

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