JC's 2009 NFL Preview

I post for the website www.soundcircuit.com. Every year I make an NFL preview. I would like more people to read it since I do put a lot of effort into it. So here it is. It's long, so prepare to read!


These records aren't necessarily how good I think the teams are. It's just how the season played out. We know good teams records suffer due to difficult schedules, and the other way around.

And just for fun, I tried to pick a team in the NFC and AFC to be the new Dolphins/Falcons. A team that was really bad last year but could be playoff teams this year. Conversely, I picked a playoff team or near playoff team in each conference to really fall off. Nothing more boring then seeing predictions where every team is within one or two wins of their last years record (I'm looking at you, Pro Football Weekly).

We all know NFL predictions are completely pointless. One quarter into the first game of the NFL season and your predictions could be destroyed with one hit to a dreamy NFL QB's knee.

There's a mock draft down at the bottom also, check that out. I correctly picked the Lions to take Matt Stafford first overall way back in July 08.

There's a lot to read. Yes, I know I'm a fucking nerd. This has been established years ago. But I do this for you guys, I just hope you enjoy it. People have been asking about it, so I know at least a couple people do!

Enough about that, enjoy and then immediately start to bitch!


OK. It's the last year of the decade. The decade started with the St. Louis Rams being a dynasty. Shortly into the decade we had an unknown Tom Brady leading an unknown Patriots team into a sure beatdown by the hands of the Greatest Show on Turf. Well, we know how that turned out. Three Super Bowl wins later the Patriots are the team of the decade and the dynasty St. Louis was supposed to be, and the Rams quickly faded away into oblivion. Amazingly enough the Patriots have not won the Super Bowl in five years. The Steelers, Giants and Colts have hung around to be the other elite teams of this decade.

However, like clockwork, the Super Bowl losers have amazingly had disappointing years following their losses. While no one can top the Oakland Raiders post Super Bowl hangover following 2003, the Panthers, Eagles, Seahawks, Bears, and Patriots struggled for one reason or another following their losses. The jury is out on the Cardinals, but I expect the trend to continue.

So how does this decade end? Well, as much as I would like to pick a sleeper team to win the Super Bowl, I just can't go against the Patriots. Tom Brady is dreamy and back and better then ever. The team is faster, deeper and stronger then before. And, most importantly, the AFC seems weaker then years past. Fuck Boston fans, but unless Tom Brady loses his knee again, they should win the Super Bowl. I just can't see a better team.

So who's the team that will have a hangover in 2010? It's really a crap shoot. Did we really think the Cardinals in 08, the Giants in 07, the Bears in 06 or the Seahawks in 05 were on their way to the Super Bowl? The NFC is always so unpredictable. I think the Giants are the best team in the NFC. They are battle tested, Eli Manning is in his prime and they have a great deep defense.

My official Super Bowl XLIV prediction? New England - 24, New York - 20.

But what's the fun in that?

My unoffical Super Bowl prediction. New England - 34, New Orleans - 28.

The Saints? The fucking Saints? The same team that has underachieved for two years since arriving on the scene? The team that has not added much talent to a defense that has been horrible? Sure, why not? The formula worked for the Cardinals last year. All you have to do in the NFC is get hot and before you know it you can find yourself on the biggest stage. On any given week, Drew Brees can beat anybody. He can easily beat any team not in the NFC East. And with a great game, he can beat them as well.

Since I'm not going with the obvious Giants, it could be the Packers, Vikings, Eagles, Cowboys, Falcons, Cardinals, Bears. I mean, so many teams. So the Saints it is.

Which means you can pencil them in for a 7-9 record in 2010.


AFC East

1. New England Patriots, 14-2
2. New York Jets, 6-10
3. Miami Dolphins, 6-10
4. Buffalo Bills, 5-11

The Patriots should go back to dominating this division. I have already talked about them. The other three teams could be worse record wise this year. The Jets are breaking in a new QB and have questions at all skill positions. They are still adjusting to the 3-4 also. If Mark Sanchez can do a Joe Flacco/Matt Ryan impression, I think they have the highest upside of the bunch. Unfortunately, my Dolphins look to take a huge step back, even if they may be better then last year. We know Chad P is due for a catastrophic injury, and the schedule is the toughest in the NFL. The Dolphins just don't have the offensive fire power to beat the great teams they didn't have to play last year. The Bills have been 7-9 a few years in a row, but I think the players will quit on Dick Jauron and the team will free fall. They just continue to have too many holes on the roster.

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers, 13-3
2. Baltimore Ravens, 7-9
3. Cleveland Browns, 3-13
4. Cincinnati Bengals, 2-14

Like the AFC North, I have a feeling the Steelers will run away with this division. The Ravens seem to have a great year followed by a disappointing year. With the young Flacco still improving and the very questionable offense, I think they will take a step back record wise again this year. Last year it was the state of Missouri that had a duo of pathetic teams. This year it looks like Ohio may have the two worst teams in the NFL. It seemed like only yesterday that the Bengals and Marvin Lewis looked like the next hot thing in the NFL. But the roster has gotten significantly worse and this looks like the end for Lewis in Cincinnati. There is no reason that Cedric Benson should be a starting running back in the NFL. That plus the horrible defense means Carson Palmer is going to have to throw A LOT. It sucks my man Keith Rivers is going to waste away a very good career in that black hole. The Browns, after teasing Cleveland's poor poor sports fans for one year, are back to their usual horrible ways. Everyone knew Derek Anderson was a one year wonder, and that team severly lacks talent pretty much everywhere. The offense and defense is very bad. Cleveland just can not draft to save their lives.

AFC South

1. Tennessee Titans, 11-5
2. Houston Texans, 11-5
3. Indianapolis Colts, 11-5
4. Jacksonville Jaguars, 7-9

I wanted to pick the Houston Texans as a sleeper team to win this division. I think they have potentially the most explosive offense in the league. The defense just needs to be average, and I think they are well on their way to having the first winning season in their history. But if Matt Schaub or Steve Slaton suffer an injury, or the defense continues to be as bad as they are, I think they can easily finish 5-11 as well. The two division heavyweights, Tennessee and Indianapolis, aren't going away though. Both teams face questions. Tennessee needs to bounce back and prove that they just aren't a great regular season team. I think that's exactly what they are, as you need more then a game manager at QB to do anything in the playoffs. The Colts now must face life after Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy. I think they are still a threat as long as #18 is under center, but they could finally snap that long streak of 12 and more wins. The Jaguars are not as bad as last year, but they are clearly the worst team in this division.

AFC West

1. Kansas City Chiefs, 10-6
2. San Diego Chargers, 10-6
3. Denver Broncos, 5-11
4. Oakland Raiders, 3-13

After looking over the AFC, the Chiefs are the only bad team from last year I could see possibly having that Dolphins season in 2009. Do I think they are this good? No, but like I said, I had to pick somebody. The Chiefs brought in plenty of veterans, but they still lack any kind of pass rush, a no no for a 3-4 defense. I also think Cassel is a mirage, but he'll play in a similar scheme as New England, so he could put up the stats. I have them winning the division mainly because I have no faith in Norv Turner. Turner and Wade Phillips are two coaches who have always been great coordinators and somehow keep getting head coaching jobs, and their teams constantly under perform. The Chargers are still clearly the most talented team in this division, but I think their window has closed. LT is nearing the end. 8-8 is just rediculious for a team with this talent, and I can't see them winning 11 or 12 games. The Broncos have some talent as well, and McDaniels has no where to go but up after his historically bad summer. The Raiders for the past decade have probably been the most pathetic franchise, and they look no better then they did when they first started being this bad. JaMarcus Russell is about an inch (and 5 more pounds) away from being a bust. They have a great running back duo and the best cornerback in the NFL, but that's about it. They are just really really bad everywhere else. At this rate, they probably won't have a winning season for the next decade as well.

1. New England Patriots
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Tennessee Titans
4. Kansas City Chiefs
5. Houston Texans
6. Indianapolis Colts

Wild Card

Colts over Titans
Chiefs over Texans


Patriots over Colts
Steelers over Chiefs

AFC Championship

Patriots over Steelers

NFC East

1. New York Giants, 13-3
2. Dallas Cowboys, 11-5
3. Philadelphia Eagles, 10-6
4. Washington Redskins, 7-9

Ahh the NFC East. The best division in football, but if you have been a Sound Circuit poster these last 5 years, we are so fucking tired of hearing about it. Well, I'm preparing to hear about it in this thread, so I'll brace myself. First of all, I'll talk about the only team who is not a threat. That's the Redskins. I can see them being as bad as 4-12, but they do have some talent. Clinton Portis is a workhorse who tires out at the halfway mark. They have Santana Moss and some other pass catchers. And I think Brian Orakpo is a good pick, wherever he starts. But that's about it. Enough about them. We have the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles. Who I think are the three best teams in the NFC. I rank the Giants ahead of the pack. They have one of the best defensive lines in years, they are solid on offense. I don't think they'll miss Plaxico Burress. They were owned by the Eagles in the playoffs though, and we'll see how they can bounce back. I think they have to be the favorite in the NFC. The Eagles go from benching Donovan McNabb to reaching the NFC Championship game. They are so unpredictable. I think they can be 12-4 or 8-8. So I put them somewhere in the middle. And the Cowboys, they are still a darkhorse Super Bowl contender to me. I think the subtraction of TO was a plus. They are too talented to not make the playoffs. Though they have Wade Phillips working against them. He seems scared to death of Jerry Jones.

NFC North

1. Minnesota Vikings, 12-4
2. Green Bay Packers, 11-5
3. Chicago Bears, 10-6
4. Detroit Lions, 3-13

OK, so I picked the Packers as the Falcons of 2009. It's not exactly going out on a limb though. They have the players in place for a good year. Aaron Rodgers really stepped up, Greg Jennings has become an elite receiver and Ryan Grant rebounded nicely following a slow start. The defense may take some time to adjust to the 3-4, but they have the talent to step up pretty quickly. I can see them as a dark horse to make the Super Bowl. In fact, I had them going to the Super Bowl before I changed it. The Vikings have went from 6 to 8 to 10 wins. Even with Sage Rosenfels (ugh) at quarterback, I think they can make that step to 12 wins. They could be the Carolina Panthers of this year. A strong defense and an MVP canidate at running back. I think they will suffer the same fate as Carolina, having a bye then losing their first game. The Bears are better with Jay Cutler, but I still don't think they are that good. Devin Hester shouldn't be a number one receiver. And what scares me the most is how bad the defense was last year. Ulracher, Harris, Vasher, Tillman, Briggs, Anderson, Ogunleye all had horrible years. It seems like a lot to ask for all of those players to bounce back. The Lions are still the Lions. They'll remain the punching bag of the division.

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints, 10-6
2. Atlanta Falcons, 8-8
3. Carolina Panthers 7-9
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2-14

The Saints made the NFC championship then have been mired in mediocrity ever since. It's the same story. An amazing passing atack and a horrible defense. I think the addition of Gregg Williams is a big one. He's always been a very good coordinator. I think the other three teams will take a step back, meaning the Saints could win it with a 9-7 or 10-6 record. The Falcons have the offensive firepower to win the division, and are a popular pick. But I see that defense really letting them down. That and they have never had back to back winning seasons. Not that that means shit. I think they'll take a small step back with a tougher division then take the division by storm in 2010. Early prediction, they will be 12-4 in 2010. The Panthers imploded in the playoffs. I do not trust Jake Delhomme, and with a first place schedule, they could take a step back as well. The Buccaneers are blowing things up and starting over. They lost Derrick Brooks and Lane Kiffin, and are now nothing resembling their Super Bowl team. It's going to be a long road back to respectibility for the Bucs, they really need to hit on several first round draft picks to build back that roster. They have nothing to show for their last two high draft picks, with Cadillac Williams a complete bust and Gaines Adams perhaps on his way there.

NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks, 8-8
2. Arizona Cardinals, 8-8
3. San Francisco 49ers, 7-9
4. St. Louis Rams, 5-11

I like the Cardinals. No one has a better set of receivers then they do. They also have some studs on defense in Adrian Wilson, Darnell Dockett and Karlos Dansby. But Super Bowl losing teams always suffer a set back the following year, and why buck that trend now? The Cardinals were only 9-7 last year, and are still improving on defense. That and they have no running game to speak of, who knows if Chris Wells will be the real deal. That and Kurt Warner's second deal with the devil is set to expire. Even if they are 8-8, they could win the division. This is easily the worst division in the NFL. I picked the Seahawks to win the division, but they are as mediocre as it gets. A mediocre running game, passing game and defensive line. They need to blow it up and start over around Aaron Curry and..who else? Dunno. The Niners are a QB and pass rushing outside linebacker away from winning the division. I like them to win it in 2010. The Rams still hold up the rear. They have officially moved on from the Greatest Show on Turf days with Holt and Pace moving on. They should be a strong running team, but the defense is still much too weak for them to do much of anything.

1. New York Giants
2. Minnesota Vikings
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Seattle Seahawks
5. Dallas Cowboys
6. Green Bay Packers

Wild Card

Saints over Packers
Cowboys over Seahawks


Saints over Vikings
Giants over Cowboys

NFC Championship

Saints over Giants

Super Bowl XLIV

Patriots over Saints


[b]1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DE Carlos Dunlap, Florida.[/b] Quarterbacks always go first but with them taking one last year, the Bucs need to take best player available. This draft is loaded with stud defensive prospects, and I think Dunlap has the skill set and size to rise to the top. Think Mario Williams with more strength.

[b]2. Cincinnati Bengals - S Eric Berry, Tennessee.[/b] Two is extremely high for a safety but Berry is the best safety to come out since Sean Taylor. He can also play some cornerback. The Bengals need help everywhere on defense, so they just need to take the best defender available.

[b]3. Cleveland Browns - QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma.[/b] It's clear that Derek Anderson is not the answer and the new regime is not a fan of Brady Quinn. Someone always has to take a quarterback high, and Bradford should be the #1 guy this year.

[b]4. Oakland Raiders - S Taylor Mays, USC.[/b] We know what the Raiders will do. And by Raiders I mean Al Davis. He will draft speed and he will draft defensive backs. Mays is an athletic freak and should go in the top ten. The Raiders will make sure he goes in the top 5.

[b]5. Detroit Lions - OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma St.[/b] The Lions did the right thing by just drafting best player available will all their picks in 2009. But they still have so many holes. Eventually they need to shore up the offensive line.

[b]6. Buffalo Bills - OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma.[/b] Like always, the Bills just trade their good players, then have to use picks to fill the holes created.

[b]7. St. Louis Rams - DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska.[/b] The new coach is coming from leading the top defensive line to leading one with some talent (two high first round draft picks) but a position that needs much more help.

[b]8. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos) - WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma St.[/b] The Seahawks raped the Broncos and should have a top ten pick out of it. They really need to inject some youth and talent into their offense. Can't go wrong with a receiver or running back.

[b]9. Miami Dolphins - DE/OLB Greg Hardy, Ole' Miss.[/b] The Dolphins have two potential hall of fame OLB's in Taylor and Porter, but they could really use that young guy to groom.

[b]10. New York Jets - WR Arrelious Benn, Illinois.[/b] The Jets have a lot of #3 types, but lack a #1 or #2 to go with Jerricho Cotchery.

[b]11. Washington Redskins - QB Tim Tebow, Florida.[/b] Come on, you know it's going to happen! Who else would take Tebow?

[b]12. Jacksonville Jaguars - DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma.[/b] The Jaguars really struggled without Marcus Stroud last year. They could use his replacement. That and John Henderson could use someone to push him as well.

[b]13. San Francisco 49ers - DE/OLB Sergio Kindle, Texas.[/b] The Niners still lack the right personell for the 3-4. What they need more then anything is a pass rushing beast. Freddy Hash might tell you Manny Lawson is a future hall of famer, but he is nearing bust status.

[b]14. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina Panthers) - OT Brian Baluga, Iowa.[/b] Joe Staley is good, but the Niners could use a right tackle.

[b]15. Baltimore Ravens - TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma.[/b] Ozzie Newsome has always had great pass catching tight ends in Baltimore. I'm not sure what's up with Todd Heap but one more year like the last and his replacement will be on the way.

[b]16. Arizona Cardinals - DT Terrence Cody, Alabama.[/b] Terrence Cody is an absolute monster (6'5, 370) who might be too big for his own good. But his talent and size and all the teams who run the 3-4, he'll be picked in the first round.

[b]17. Atlanta Falcons - CB Trevard Lindley, Kentucky.[/b] Chris Houston struggled last year, and he could use some healthy competition. These days you need three corners anyways.

[b]18. Denver Broncos (from Chicago Bears) - QB Colt McCoy, Texas.[/b] I have a feeling Josh McDaniels is going to want to bring his guy in. Colt McCoy might not be a first round pick, but the QB position is always at a premium.

[b]19. Philadelphia Eagles - OLB Sean Witherspoon, Missouri.[/b] The Eagles finally used some picks on skill players, so this year they can focus on adding to the defensive side of the ball.

[b]20. San Diego Chargers - RB Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech.[/b] Even if LT has something left in his tank, the Chargers can't keep spending that kind of money on Darren Sproles. Dwyer is the best running back available.

[b]21. Seattle Seahawks - DT Marvin Austin, North Carolina.[/b] The Seahawks have used many first round picks on the defensive line but have nothing to show for it. The line is very bad, so they have to keep trying.

[b]22. Kansas City Chiefs - DE/OLB Jerry Hughes, TCU.[/b] The Chiefs seriously lack any pass rush whatsoever.

[b]23. Houston Texans - CB Joe Haden, Florida.[/b] Dunta Robinson is okay, but they really have nothing opposite him.

[b]24. Green Bay Packers - OT Ciron Black, LSU.[/b] The Packers could really use some more talent on the offensive line.

[b]25. Tennessee Titans - DT Vince Oghobaase, Duke.[/b] A Duke football player in the first round? Say what? Oghobaase has Haynesworth like size.

[b]26. Dallas Cowboys - CB Javier Arenas, Alabama.[/b] The Cowboys could use a nickle back and Arenas might be the best return man in college football.

[b]27. Indianapolis Colts - WR Brandon LaFell, LSU.[/b] The Colts know what their bread and butter is, continuing to fill holes in offense with these late first round picks. This year they take their new slot receiver.

[b]28. Minnesota Vikings - DT Arthur Jones, Syracuse.[/b] The Vikings are solid so they can take depth. Pat Williams is getting old.

[b]29. Pittsburgh Steelers - MLB Rolando McClain, Alabama.[/b] McClain has great size and could go much higher then this. The Steelers are great at taking replacements for their aging stars, and he could be the heir to James Farrior.

[b]30. New York Giants - RB CJ Spiller, Clemson.[/b] The Giants are deep everywhere, so they can take the new Derrick Ward. I know they took a running back last year though.

[b]31. New Orleans Saints - OLB Greg Jones, Michigan St.[/b] A undersized quick linebacker that could fit the scheme.

[b]32. New England Patriots - MLB Brandon Spikes, Florida.[/b] Middle linebackers seem to go lower then I thought. Spikes would be a nice future starter next to Jerod Mayo.

Jonathan Carrano

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1 comment:

LLcoolJ said...

Many words of wisdom there Jon...

IMHO, i think the Steelers may pull it off at the end though.