Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NFL 2010 Preview: Overview

Two Divisions at a time, I'll break down the state of the teams heading into the 2010 season, make my predictions, and all that. However, before I can do any of that, I have to start with a brief look at my predictions of the league as a whole. Here it is, the official 2010 NFL Season Predictions:

(of course, these W-L Record predictions are not solely based on my Power Rankings, as I did take into account schedule, and trends - such as having six new playoff teams, and one ten-loss team from 2009 make the playoffs)

AFC


AFC East


1.) New York Jets - 10-6 (3 Seed)


I think at some point Revis comes back, but either way, through that mountain of hype lies a good, solid football team. Sanchez cannot be as bad as he was a year ago, can he? They win the division, but only improve by one game.

2.) Miami Dolphins - 9-7


Solid team that is stuck between two minds. They were the team that gave us the wildcat, but with the addition of Brandon Marshall, and the maturation of Chad Henne, the wildcat might be a thing of the past. Karlos Dansby's addition to that defense will be huge.

3.) New England Patriots - 7-9


I can't go against one of my mid-offseason prediction of the Patriots not making the playoffs. Their preseason defensive performance against the Rams sold it to me again. The defense is just not up to par, especially concerning given their schedule.

4.) Buffalo Bills - 2-14


They are just bad, really, really bad. Good thing is that the prize for being this bad (yeah, I've predicted them having the worst record in the NFL) is the opportunity to draft Jake Locker. His big arm will be able to do what Trent Edwards' noodle cannot, throw in weather.


AFC North


1.) Cincinnati Bengals - 12-4 (2 Seed)


Defense? It is better, with the return of Antwan Odom, the health of the LBs and the additions of Geno Atkins and Gibril Wilson. The offense? It is better, with the maturation of Bernard Scott and the addition of Terrell Owens. They are good.

2.) Pittsburgh Steelers - 11-5 (5 Seed)


I think that the suspension will get reduced to four games, so given a 2-2 start, the Steeelers have the talent to finish out 9-3. The defense is fully healthy, with Aaron Smith and Polamalu back in the fold, and Mendenhall is set to explode.

3.) Baltimore Ravens - 10-6


It is a shame that a 10-win team cannot make the playoffs, but that is just the way it is. They, much like the Jets, are a bunch of hype. I don't like Joe Flacco's development against quality opposition, and the secondary is an absolute mess

4.) Cleveland Browns - 5-11


They might be better than they were a year ago, but not win any more games. The hard part about making these is having the W-L records work out correctly. Some teams have to lose more than they deserve. Cleveland is a team that has some friskiness but is a year or two away.


AFC South


1.) Indianapolis Colts - 14-2 (1 Seed)


Loaded everywhere, including at defense. If injuries don't kill them, they have the most talented team in the AFC. If injuries do kill them? Well, they have Manning and will win 12 games anyway and threaten for the #1 seed just like in 2009.

2.) Houston Texans - 11-5 (6 Seed)


It is finally their time.... to make the playoffs. Their offense alone can win 8 games, and their defense, plus a kicker that won't miss 10 field goals, will allow them to win those extra three games that they need to get the last playoff spot in the AFC.

3.) Tennessee Titans - 9-7


Good team, fun team, but just not there yet. I do like how Vince Young is developing, as is their defense, and they will be really good in a year or two, but in what is one of the league's toughest divisions, it is not enough.

4.) Jacksonville Jaguars - 4-12


They have finally bottomed out. David Garrard just hasn't improved since his 2007 heyday, which is a problem when all the other players on their team have either left or diminished. Because of MJD, they'll stay relevant fantasy wise.


AFC West


1.) Oakland Raiders - 9-7 (4 Seed)


Yes, yes, here is that 10 loss team that will make the playoffs. The karma around them is great. Ten years ago, after not making the playoffs for five straight years, the Raiders went 12-4. This isn't then, since Jason Campbell is not Rich Gannon, but they can win nine games.

2.) San Diego Chargers - 8-8


And nine games will be enough since the Chargers have the total opposite karma. Phil Rivers, not the most mobile, evasive guy, is missing his LT and his top weapon. Their defense is not the same as it was in 2006-2008, and they cannot get pressure on the QB.

3.) Kansas City Chiefs - 4-12


The Chiefs don't have much talent. In fact, they have less talent than almost every team in the league, but they do have the coordinators to still sneak out four games. Matt Cassel is on a rather fiery seat right now, and not having Dwayne Bowe for a while won't help.

4.) Denver Broncos - 3-13


They stink. A league average QB is fine, when the rest of the team has talent. But Orton is missing his best WR, TE and has injuries across the o-line. The defense was already below average, and that was before Dumervil's injury.


NFC


NFC East


1.) New York Giants - 13-3 (1 Seed)


I still believe in Lil' Manning. Their team takes after the Colts, in that every game is just a business trip. Their defense seems reinvigorated with Perry Fewell calling plays. With Aaron Ross and Kenny Phillips healthy, the defense has the playmakers they missed last season.

2.) Washington Redskins - 9-7


The McNabb injury seems a little sketchy to be that serious, and assuming it is not, they have talent. Their defense has been quite good for a couple years now, and the offense should be rejuvenated under McNabb's guidance.

3.) Dallas Cowboys - 7-9


The perfect storm seems to have lasted just one year. They have looked awful in preseason, and their o-line is just not good enough to allow Romo enough time. That leads to Romo improvising, which leads to major problems.

4.) Philadelphia Eagles - 5-11


Kolb will struggle. He might be good in the future, but for a year he will go through the lumps. Their defense was also quietly a mess at the end of the season last year. Jim Johnson's sudden death hasn't exactly helped that, and Sean McDermott had a really tough time replacating him.


NFC North


1.) Green Bay Packers - 12-4 (2 Seed)


The offense seems great, as they have tons of weapons for Aaron Rodgers, and Ryan Grant has quietly become one of the most stable fantasy options in the league, however that defense has seemed to take a step backward late in 2009.

2.) Chicago Bears - 10-6 (6 Seed)


I just have a weirdly good feeling about the Martz/Cutler duo. I know that their o-line has been just awful so far in the preseason, but that is the preseason. Also, that defense has a chance to be really good. With Julius Peppers and a healthy Tommie Harris, really good.

3.) Minnesota Vikings - 8-8


Sidney Rice's injury really, really hurts. Brett Favre just cannot have that good of a year once again, plus the o-line is far from what it once was. Their defense is still awaiting the return of key guys, like Cedric Griffin and EJ Henderson.

4.) Detroit Lions - 5-11


This is actually a major step up. Their defense has enough players to actually keep teams below 30 once in a while, and that offense can be good enough to score in the 20s. Calvin Johnson is healthy, and ready to dominate again.


NFC South


1.) New Orleans Saints - 11-5 (3 Seed)


The defending champs are still the best team in their division, mainly because they have an incredible passing offense and their chief competitors just do not have the pass rush to get close. The Panthers at least have the secondary, but that won't be enough.

2.) Atlanta Falcons - 10-6 (5 Seed)


They are primed to be the Colts of the 2010s, and that run might start this year. Coming off their first back-to-back winning seasons in franchise history, they can start a run here. They are probably one year away from usurping the Saints, but they are closing in.

3.) Carolina Panthers - 9-7


I've cooled on this team a little bit, but I still feel that they can grab a wild card spot. They're schedule is really tough, especially since they have to travel to Pittsburgh, while Atlanta and New Orleans don't. Their running game is still the best in the league.

4.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 3-13


They are improved from 2009, no doubt about it, but I still don't think Josh Freeman is the answer. Their receiving corp is a mess, and none of their running backs can stay healthy. Mark Domenik has been able to build a nice little defense, though.


NFC West


1.) San Francisco 49ers - 10-6 (4 Seed)


Someone has to win this division. The 49ers are in flux because of their coach. The defense has taken the image of Mike Singletary, and coach wants the offense to do the same, but Alex Smith needs to stay in the shotgun. That might doom a team that should be better than 1o-6.

2.) Arizona Cardinals - 7-9


Whether it finally be Derek Anderson or Matt Leinart (it is looking increasingly like Derek Anderson), this team needs a new QB for 2011. Their schedule outside the division is very tough. This will be a year of rebuilding, but the building will be beautiful.

3.) Seattle Seahawks - 4-12


Their QB situation is dicey, with Hasselbeck being an injury waiting to happen, but their defense does have their bright spots, but that bright spot is negated by their injury-prone-ness. The Seahawks had their five year run, but it seems it is back to irrelevancy.

4.) St. Louis Rams - 4-12


They are slowly getting better, but are still just in need of simple talent. Sam Bradford does look like the real deal, but Donnie Avery's injury will hurt his comfort level. I want to trust that Steve Spagnuolo can build that defense but the pieces aren't there.


Wild Card Round:

ATL (5) 24 @ SF (4) 17


This should be an even matchup, and I give the edge to the Falcons becuase of their experience. They have been there before, and Matt Ryan played well in that playoff game. They have the better team, and their weaknesses cannot be exposed by the 49ers, since the 49ers don't really throw deep.


HOU (6) 27 @ NYJ (3) 17


The Texans have enough weapons on offense to still put up points on the Jets defense, but what really gives the Texans the edge is the Houston defense. The Texans defense has the versatile pass rush to bother the Jets o-line, and their run defense is quite good. Their pass defense isn't great, but against the Jets that is not a huge problem.


CHI (6) 31 @ NO (3) 37


This can be the Cardinals-Packers of the 2009 playoffs, but since the Bears do play Tampa-2, the scoring probably won't be just as high. Both offenses are (in the case of the Bears) should be dynamic, and I can see Cutler putting up a hearty effort trying to match Drew Brees pass for pass.


PIT (5) 26 @ OAK (4) 14


The Steelers are just a better team. If they do enter the playoffs, they will most likely be really hot, and the Raiders don't have the offensive ability to score enough points on that Steelers defense. The Steelers will probably be able to shut down the Raider offense enough to tire the Raider defense.


Divisional Round


ATL (5) 21 @ NYG (1) 27


The Giants are not built to beat a team like the Falcons easily. The Falcons o-line will be able to slow down the Giants pass rush, and they will be able to defend the Giants, since the Giants struggled against zone-coverage teams. All that said, the Giants are the better team, at home, and Eli will want to win a playoff game for the first time in three years.


HOU (6) 24 @ IND (1) 38


Except for 2006, the Colts usually play the Texans better the second time around, so with that knowledge, the third time around should be even better. The Colts should be able to just dissect the Texans defense like usual, and with the rest, the defense should be fired up to limit the Texans scoring enough.


PIT (5) 14 @ CIN (2) 17


In what would be a dream matchup for all Defensive Football Enthusiasts, like myself, these two teams, as shown by each of their two meetings last year, are really, really close to each other. They play each other well. The Bengals get a slight nod being at home, and the Steelers might just be running on fumes this late into a long, crazy season.


NO (3) 28 @ GB (2) 38


Another shootout should end with the Packers on top. The Packers do have the defense to at least get consistent, varied pressure on the Saints, and the Saints don't have the defense to do the same to the Packers. Aaron Rodgers will probably want to do right by the Pack Faithful in his first home playoff game.


Championship Sunday


GB (2) 23 @ NYG (1) 21


In a rematch of the 2007 NFC Title Game, but this time in the Meadowlands, I guarantee it will bot be -23 degrees like that fateful night. Just like that game, the road team squeaks out one. It is really hard to predict why this game will turn out the way it will, but I just like the road team to win a conference title game, as in each of the last two year, the home teams swept.


CIN (2) 13 @ IND (1) 23


This will probably be the smallest combined markets of any title game in recent memory (probably since Jacksonville-Tennessee in '99), but should be a great game. The Bengals have the defense to take out Reggie Wayne and the Colts #2 receiver out of the game, forcing Peyton to rely on Dallas and the slot guy. Good thing for the Colts is that Peyton has won those type of games before. In what should be a tense affair, the Colts defense is the better one on this day.


Super Bowl XLV


GB (1) 17 vs IND (1) 34


In a rematch of a nightmare preseason game for Indianapolis, the Colts avenge their Super Bowl XLIV loss by winning the Super Bowl one year later. No team has won the Super Bowl the year after losing it since the '73 Dolphins, but the Colts are the perfect team to do so. They have handled devastating losses better than anyone. The last time they lost a playoff game as a number one seed they followed it up the next year with winning the Super Bowl.


Super Bowl Champions: Indianapolis Colts (17-2)





Notes:

New Playoff Teams (OAK, PIT, HOU, NYG, SF, CHI, ATL)
Teams That Don't Return (SD, NE, BAL, MIN, DAL, ARZ, PHI)
10 Loss Team to Make the Playoffs (OAK: 5-11 in 2009)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The A-B-C's of the NFL

A - America's Game

No, this is not an allusion to how the NFL defines America, but rather a direct reference to the best show on TV. America's Game was first shown before Super Bowl XLI, and it counted down the 20 best Super Bowl teams of all time. They then released the shows for the 20 other Super Bowl Champions, and since, it has been the real beginning of the NFL season, as the new America's Game for the previous years champion comes out. This year, on the day before opening night, the Saints magical 2009 season will be profiled. Of course, I will watch it, and yes, it will probably be the first time I subject myself to the Tracy Porter pick-6 since the Super Bowl. I have avoided all references and highlights of that play, but as the final step of a cleansing process, watching the play is a true signal to put it behind me and look forward to 2010.

(No, the next 25 letters aren't me-centric stories)

B - Baltimore Ravens and their Boldin

The hype machine for the Ravens is perfect. They have a great defense (supposedly) a star-in-the-making QB (supposedly) and finally a legitimate receiver (truly), so of course, they should be the media's darling pick to go to the Super Bowl. Of course, that defense is injured in the secondary (not to mention that apart from Ed Reed, those injured players aren't that great anyway), plus their QB has never completed over 50% of his passes in any of his 5 career playoff games, and their receiver is injury prone, plus is essentially a 5-year-younger version of Derrick Mason. They are good, but have a tendency to play to the media, blowing out bad teams and struggling against good ones. The media loves those teams because aesthetically their good performances overshadow their flaws. Either way, Baltimore seems to be a complete team now with Boldin aboard, but I still have my doubts.

C - Coaches Under Pressure

I can't remember the last time there were this many established coaches who are truly coaching for their jobs. John Fox and Lovie Smith are both essentially in contract years. John Fox definitely knows that he will be snapped up if the Panthers let him go, but still there is pressure on the guy. Of course, the eternal Wade Phillips and Brad Childress watches will be on (especially Childress, who if it were up to Favre would have been fired as part of Favre's contract). Of course, the free-agent coaches that are in line for jobs are numerous as well. It needs to be seen if Bill Cowher still wants to coach, especially after the tragic death of his wife. Jon Gruden still wants to coach, but he seems to truly love his job at ESPN (and I love watching and listening to him - it makes me remember a time when the Raiders were good) so it will take a handsome amount of green to persuade him to leave the WorldWide Leader. Of course Brian Billick is still out there. Either way, here's a never-talked about coordinator that is my sleeper future head coach: Mike Mularkey. Currently, he's the Falcons Offensive coordinator, where he developed Matt Ryan. He was the HC of the Bills in 2004-2005, and actually led them to a 9-7 record in 2004 (which for the Bills is like going 13-3) before having a fall-out with Marv Levy. He's going to be a head coach again.

D - Defense Comes Back

2009 was the year of the offense (although it should be noted that across the league, fewer points were scored than in 2008), but defenses are set to make a comeback. The first reason is with the new rule that umpires have to spot the ball than backpedal behind the QB will slow the game down and stop offenses from using the umpire as a pick. And then of course, everything is cyclical. Referees called pass interference fewer times in 2009 than they did since 2003, showing that they are becoming more forgiving. There are many teams built to play great defensively (Bengals, Steelers, Jets, Colts, Redskins, 49ers, Packers). Teams are getting smarter at building defenses. We could have a repeat of 2008, where although scoring was up league-wide, the best teams that year were great defensive teams.

E - Eastern Hype

Almost every year, the two Eastern divisions are considered the best in football (especially the NFC East), and this has never been more apparent than this year. People are orgasming at the sight of the NFC East. Sure, the storylines in the NFC East are legitimately good (McNabb as the headline), and the AFC East might actually be a competitive race for once, but the NFC South, AFC South and AFC North can all make claims to be the best division, or at least a division with better top teams than the NFC and AFC East. It isn't purely East Coast bias, but just because the NFC East teams are big draws doesn't make them immediately all that good. If you remember, the only Eastern division team in the title game last year was the Jets.

F - Favre (How Could I Not Mention Him in this Column)

It isn't the huge storyline it was last year, since that was year one in Minnesota, but he's still a large figure in the league. His return makes the NFC North a much more interesting division (in fact, put them in that list that has teams that easily could be better than the easts), and makes the Green Bay vs Minnesota games that much more interesting. Of course, there is his everlasting "alleged" feud with Chilly-dress, now it being that Favre thinks Brad is a football retard (which could very well be true). The sad part for Favre is that a year with 3,800 yards, 26 tds, and 13 ints would be a very good year, but a substantial step down from last year's dream season, and now without Sidney Rice for half a season, it becomes that much harder. He will be one to watch, like always.

G - Great Expectations

Yeah, this means the Jets. In reality, they have Super expectations, with or without Darrelle Revis. The Jets, spirited by the ever-flowing fat that is Rex Ryan truly believe that they are Super Bowl bound, this despite them getting severely outclassed in the AFC Title Game last season and needing the Colts and the Bengals to lay down in Weeks 16-17 just to get them in the playoffs. What is more amazing is that people, and by people I mean legitimate football writers, are buying what Rexy is selling. Just like Grossman and Van De Kamp, I would never trust anyone named "Rex" as they seem to all die fiery deaths (for Grossman, it is fortunately just his football career that died). The Jets, if they win their division with an 11-5 record and lose in the divisional round after beating some Wild Card team, will be a disappointment, when that would really be a step up.

H - Houston's Arrival

Houston will finally be a playoff team. You need to learn to be a playoff team, and usually, the teams that take a while to learn how are the teams that stay for an extended period of time (hello, Colts!). The Packers went 9-7, 9-7, 9-7 from 1992-1994. Their next four years: 11-5, 13-3, 13-3, 11-5 with two trips to the Super Bowl. For an even closer example, the Titans went 8-8, 8-8, 8-8 from 1996-1998 (never making the playoffs in that span), and then followed that up with a 13-3, 13-3, 6-10, 11-5, 12-4 in the next five years. Houston is built to take over from the Colts eventually. They have fast, young talent on defense, and that offense could easily be the best in the league. They will be playoff bound, plus they will be really fun to watch.

I - Injuries

Injuries are the one thing that can level all teams. Is there a way the Jaguars finish 2010 with a better record than the Colts? Yes, there is, if a certain Manning gets himself hurt. That is why, outside of positions like QB, depth is the most important factor of any NFL team. Depth is what made the Patriots from 2001-2004 great. They didn't have the best starters, but they had the deepest team, so they were able to easily recover from injuries, while other teams could not. Injuries will happen, and God as a Colts fan I know this is true, but it is those teams that can not only avoid them, but also back them up when they do inevitably happen that will. Just hope that the Super Bowl isn't decided because of an injury (it was last year, his name rhymes with "Meanie").

J - Johnson's

No, this is not a short on the new fad of posting pictures of your exposed Johnson on the internet that is ravishing through the NFL like steroids in baseball. No, this is about two kids in the AFC South named Johnson that are the most dynamic and fun to watch offensive players in the NFL. Watching Andre Johnson demolish teams is the closest things to watching Jerry Rice in his prime. Just watching him in the preseason game make Orlando Scandrick and Terrence Newman look like Pop Warner CBs was amazing to watch. Chris Johnson might get more notoriety, and largely because his 2,000 yards cannot just be overshadowed, but each one is the best at their position, and could be the difference in getting a wild card berth. They are the players that often keep the Texans and Titans (two the of the NFL's more nameless teams) relevant when their teams are out of the playoff hunt. Now that both could be in the playoff hunt, it is only more fun. Another reason I would want to see the Texans in the playoffs is to get the chance to see Andre Johnson in the spotlight.

K - (the) Kurt Warner Effect

With Kurt Warner gone, we can finally see if Matt Leinart is more than a pretty Cali kid, and we can see if the Cardinals truly are a well-run franchise that has talent besides its all-world QB. The answers to those two questions are no, and a resounding yes. With Warner leaving, much of the shine and the likability of the Cardinals is gone (especially that likability part, with Leinart having all the likability of a forest fire), but it allows the world to see that the Cardinals have a solid foundation of talent that made it easy for Warner to have a career rennaisance in the desert and will possibly carry Matt Leinart to an 8-8 season. The Desert is not dry, and Matt Leinart certainly isn't either (although that might be the Tequila).

L - Locker, Jake

He's the prize for the Bills, Bucs, Broncos and Jaguars of the world. He's the almost consensus top QB in the 2011 draft, and is a prototypical QB, much mike Matthew Stafford from 2009. He's bg, with a rocket arm. He's a top decision maker, throwing very few interceptions in an offense that relies on him, and he's a winner, helping resurrect a dormant Washington program to respectability. Jake Locker should be the #1 pick in the 2011 draft, and he will be quite a consolation prize for that sad 2-14 team that is bestowed the honor of picking the kid. I haven't been this excited about a QB coming out of college since Carson Palmer. He's good, real good.

M - Mike Shanahan

The biggest coaching story of the year is easily Shanny. Back after a one-year hiatus, he is finally trying to be the one coach to conquer Mt. Snyder. Shanny failed at scaling Mt. Davis in Oakland, so it remains to be seen if he can work with a meddlesome owner (I don't believe Snyder when he says he is going to stay hands-off), as Pat Bowlen in Denver was about as anti-meddling as you can get. Shanahan has already gotten a 'C' on his first assignment, with his pitiful performance in the Haynesworth fiasco, but his players seem to like him, and he has the ability to reinvigorate the running game and Donovan McNabb. Shanahan now makes the list of Super Bowl winning head coaches that are active 25% bigger as well. He commands respect, as any two-time winning Super Bowl coach should, but the owner and some of the players aren't quick to give him that respect, and it he goes 5-11 and turns into Spurrier-lite, than he might just have a shorter leash than one with a 4 year, 32 million dollar coaching deal would think to have.

N - New Faces

Partly because of the looming lockout, the 2010 offseason was very eventful, and it might not be done yet. Already Donovan McNabb, Anquan Boldin, Brandon Marshall, Santonio Holmes, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Jason Campbell and Karlos Dansby have all changed teams in high profile moves. The NFL seemed to have more high-profile free agents than ever, and that list might not be complete. Vincent Jackson seems to be on the market, and LT Marcus McNeill might not be far behind (because no one messes with the A.J. Smith). Darrelle Revis could be on the block. Even lower-tier FAs changed teams at a dizzying pace with TO joining Chad, Keith Bullock switching shades of blue and Antrel Rolle joining Keith in Gotham. Needless to say that every team has a new, shiny FA or draftee or tradee to show off come Week 1, and these new players, especially the higher-profile guys like Boldin, Marshall and McNabb are being counted on to bring the wood and change their teams into winners.

O - Old Guard's Last Stand

Since 2004, the AFC has been dominated by the Steelers, Chargers, Patriots and Colts. They have combined for 18 of the past 24 divisional titles, and have all made the playoffs a combined 20 times in the past 6 seasons, but the days of those four ruling the AFC might be over. Surely, they are all teams in the upper-half of the league, but aside from the Colts they all have question marks as to their long-term lasting power, and that aside they all are different than their roles in the 2000's would suggest. The Chargers, with the demise of the Sha(w)(u)n(e)s and the (possible) holdout of Vincent Jackson are nowhere near the team that was consistently being hailed as the most talented in the NFL, and a lot of that has to do with LaDainian suiting up for another team. The Steelers pounding run game that led them to a 15-1 record in 2004, a Super Bowl title in 2005 and a playoff berth in 2007 are also gone. Despite being only 28, Roethlisberger also seems to be last decade's news. Then there is the Patriots, who will not start a single player in 2010 on defense that was around for Super Bowl XLII. The Pats have also changed identities, becoming the Colts of the early 2000s, with a high-flying offense and a suceptible defense. The AFC has new teams, and the old guard will have to adjust or become the 49ers and Cowboys ten years later.

P - Prediction Predicament

All across the country, in magazines and on the small screen, football "analysts" (read: writers and ex-players) will start the yearly tradition of making predictions, most of which will feature a certain puzzling trend: picking playoff teams to return. Historically, the NFL turns over half its playoff teams on a year-to-year basis. At least 5 teams have made the playoffs after missing it the year before every year since 1997. Last year, it was the Bengals, Jets, Patriots, Cowboys, Packers and Saints crashing the party. In 2008, it was the Dolphins, Ravens, Eagles, Vikings, Panthers, Cardinals and Falcons doing the trick. I honestly had an epilepsy when I saw Phil Simms' AFC playoff predictions, where he predicted the exact same six teams to make the AFC playoffs that did last year (to his credit, he changed one division winner, you know, to make it seem like he did actual work). I'm almost sure Peter King will do the same thing in this Weeks SI NFL Preview, pick an overwhelming amount of teams to repeat in the playoffs. Take this into consideration when you make your predictions.

Q - Quarterbacks Gone Wild! Can it Happen Again?

A crazy 10 QBs threw for 4,000 yards in 2009. That will not, absolutely not, happen again. That is an outlier, a crazy fluke. However, is this trend something to believe in? Surely, the amount of 4,000 yard QBs will be up, but in 2006-2008 the average was 6.66, which is a far more palatable amount than 10. Guys like Rivers, Romo and Favre are QBs who aren't definites to crack 4,000 again, and surely Eli is the leader of the group likely not to see 4,000. Even Roethlisberger isn't likely to do it again, but is 4,000 just an easier number to obtain (this will be irrelevant when Roger Goodell continues his streak of approving things the fans hate and makes the season 18 games long). Peyton Manning's record of 10 seasons of 4,000 yards won't mean much when 12 QBs are getting it every year. No yardage records will mean anything then. If the NFL truly is cyclical, teams will learn that running the ball still is really important. Cold Hard Football Facts usually is wrong on just about everything, but they did a really nice expose that showed that scoring was at an all-time high when the league threw to ball only 41.7% of the time. Now, that ratio is about reversed, and scoring has gone down. The key to actually scoring TDs may be that reliable 26 HB smash.

R - Ryan, Rivers, Romo, Rodgers, Roethlisberger

The R's are set to rule the next 10 years in the NFL (don't sleep on the BMB - Brady, Manning, Brees too), and are in that group that are the next generation of QBs. In about 5, 6 years, Brady and Manning will have left the spotlight, and these guys have to step up and keep the NFL a star-studded league. Right now, the biggest problem is that they all have flaws. Romo and Rodgers have questions about their clutchness, as both seem to struggle in close games. Rivers seems to have it all, but he seems to be kind of a jack-ass. Roethlisberger has it all (plus Ringzz), but he IS a jack-ass. That leaves the youngest member of the group: Matt Ryan. After being fellated at a Favre-ian level during and after his rookie year, Ryan took a step back in his sophomore year, falling behind Joe Flacco as the "best QB in the 2008 QB Class." Of course, people did not realize that Mr. Matthew Ryan had the better W-L record (9-6 vs. 9-7). Joe Flacco really struggles against quality opposition, and Matt Ryan's one playoff game was vastly better than any of Joe Flacco's. In fact, Matt Ryan is my pick for the best QB of the 2010's (him and Stafford).

S - Shotgun

The Pats used shotgun on 62.2% of their snaps in 2010. The highest percentage in the 2000 NFL season was 52.1% (Rams). The shotgun has become the base formation in the NFL, which has also helped make the NFL a passing league, through and through. Teams are drafting QBs who only use the shotgun in college to primarily play the shotgun in the pros, and defenders are being taught more and more to play the shotgun. Somewhere, this has to stop, but for now in the 2010 Season, the shotgun will be as prevalent as ever. The most telling sign of this total formation change is that running out of the shotgun is now at an all-time high as well.

T - Ten-Loss Turnaround

What do the 2009 Bengals, 2008 Dolphins (Ravens, Falcons), 2007 Redskins (Buccaneers), 2006 Eagles (Saints, Jets, Ravens), 2005 Redskins (Giants, Bears, Buccaneers) all have in common? They made the playoffs after losing at least ten games the previous season. The list even extends 8 years before that. The NFL is the king of the quick turnaround, and 2010 should be no different. A ten+ loss team from 2009 will make the playoffs in 2010. The candidates are bleak, obviously, with the Rams, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Lions, Redskins, Chiefs, Raiders, Browns and Bills being the possibilities. To me, the Seahawks, Redskins or Raiders will make the leap. They are all in winnable divisions (especially the Seahawks). The Redskins and Raiders both have new QBs who make their teams instantly substantially better than their forms in 2009. I will pick one of those three teams to make the playoffs. I might not pick the right one, but one definitely will.

U - Underrated-ness

Being underrated is the lifeline of the entire NFL. NFL Teams and coaches love to spew out how "No one believed in us", but what is more underrated isn't this false modesty, but teams that are truly underrated, and that leads us to the: COLTS. I have read five different NFL Preview Annual magazines, and in those contained 14 different predictions for the Super Bowl. A total of two (one in Lindy's and the other Athlon Sports) pegged the Colts as the AFC Champion. Two of them. The other twelve had 7 Ravens predictions, 3 Jets, 1 Chargers and 1 Patriots. The Ravens and Jets averaged 5 AFC Champion selections, and the Colts had a total of 2. Of course, the Colts beat those two teams 50-20 in two playoff games last season, shutting each out in the second half, but let us not let facts into the discussion. The Colts get Anthony Gonzalez back on offense, and Donald Brown should be better, so the offense should be its usual stellar self and probably a tick better than the 2009 version. The defense returns all 11 starters to a team that had allowed the second fewest points in the NFL before the Week 16 game against the Jets. Not only that, but they get a what seems to be healthy Bob Sanders, plus Jerry Hughes. The Colts are loaded, and are truly underrated. I'm not biased enough to say that the Colts are perfect (their o-line needs major run-blocking help), or that everyone should pick them, but for a team with a QB who threw 12 tds and 20 ints last year to get more AFC Champion nods in respectable magazines is ridiculous.

V - Violence

The NFL Violence is at a new level, mainly in the continuing fight against concussions. The new news that Chris Henry had brain damage seemingly from hits absorbed on the field before he died, and that he had never even sustained a concussion has really opened up pandora's box. The NFL has to solve the concussion issues, because players are only becoming bigger, stronger and faster, with the hits becoming more violent and vicious. I do not want to see my heroes of today like Peyton Manning or even Andre Johnson with the mental capacity of vegetables thirty years from now because of repeated blows to the head.

W - Wild, Wacky, Worst, West

The NFL's Western Divisions aren't called bad because of East Coast Bias, but truthfully because they suck ass. No Western division team has won a Wild Card since 2006 (The Chiefs) That's not a lie. It has been four years since there were more than two Western Division teams in the playoffs. The AFC West has potentially two of the worst teams in the NFL in the Broncos and Chiefs (who are at best seven win teams). The NFC West has three teams that could lose double-digit games, and one team that has won 6 games in three years. This is cyclical, as in 2002 the AFC West had all of its teams finish 8-8 or better and sent the Raiders to the Super Bowl, but the cycle is really stuck on the West being suck (I know that wasn't quite English, but I got a rhyme in there anyway).

X - (e)Xtra Games

If Roger Goodell gets this through, I will legitimately call for his head every day I can.He has released his fair share of bad ideas, but this is the worst. First of all, who would the teams play in these extra games. It will only make teams' schedules less equal, and make the playoffs more about if you get a tough extra two games or an easy extra two games. Then, the records and numbers will be totally screwed. Right now, if a team scores 500 points in a season, that's a big deal. Not if the season is 18 games long, as then that team would 28 points a game. It will inflate numbers, and records will be shattered, milestones reached by ordinary players. Finally, there is the injury concern, with two extra games meaning two more chances for star players (or any player) to be injured. Careers will be shorter, lives will be shorter. All in all, there is no benefit to adding two extra regular-season games.

Y - Year After Effect

Usually this effects the Super Bowl runner-up more than the Super Bowl winner, but since the Steelers ended the Pats run of success by winning Super Bowl XL, Super Bowl winner has yet to win a playoff game the following year, including twice losing divisional round games at home. In that span, the Super Bowl runner-up has twice won playoff games. Super Bowl runner-ups have made the postseason twice in the past four years (with the 2008 Pats going 11-5 but not making the playoffs), which is the same amount of Super Bowl winners who have made the playoffs in the past four years. As for the Saints, they seem literally hungover. The Saints celebrated more than any team in recent memory after their Super Bowl win, having two parades, making innumerable media interviews, and writing book after book. The Colts have moved forward from the start (whether that was being stubborn or smart, I don't know). The Saints are primed for a let down.

Z - Zebras

And of course, those damn refs. The umpire spotting the ball and running backwards seems to be the new biggest complaint, but after a year of referee gaffes (Jim Joyce being the headliner) and with the admission from Bill Leavy effing up Super Bowl XL, there is bad karma surrounding the men in stripes. The referees now have a new head of refereeing who seems less amicable than good ol' Mike Perreira. Refereeing did not ruin the 2009 Postseason, and I can only hope that stays true in 2010.


Starting tomorrow: Division Breakdowns

Friday, August 27, 2010

Preseason Power Rankings

Too excited to wait, too excited for an intro, here is the initial 2010 Power Rankings for this here National Football League Season.

(putting this in parentheses so it doesn't count as an "intro": the teams are broken into tiers).

Tier 1: They Won't Make the Playoffs, or Your Money Back

32.) Buffalo Bills (6-10)

Their starting QB is a mess, their coach is a retread from 11 years ago. Their top two running backs are injured. Their best defensive player retired after a fiery exit from their team. I feel bad for the Bills, but they truly do stink. They are in a tough division, and a division that, luckily enough for them, draws the two northern divisions (not easy). That is a recipe for Jake Locker.

31.) Denver Broncos (8-8)

Yup, the Bills are bad enough for me to not make the Broncos the worst team in the league. Josh McDaniels should personally give Chan Gailey a footie just for that distinction alone. Somehow, they gained a spot from my mid-summer rankings AFTER losing their best defensive player for the year. Lucky for them, they are in a bad division, so McDaniels has a 2% chance of keeping his job, instead of the customary 0%.

30.) St. Louis Rams (1-15)

Since I'm sick of pointing at the negatives of teams, here is a positive: Sam Bradford looked great. Granted, the Pats defense is not exactly the greatest test a rookie can take, but he was poised, showed great accuracy and poise in the pocket. Sam Bradford seems fully recovered from that surgery, and seems smart and tough enough to front this long-term rebuilding project.

29.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)

They are building a nice defense. Sadly for them, they have a little bit more work to do on that offensive side of the ball. Price and McCoy will make it hard for teams to run all over them, and Tanard Jackson and Sean Brown will keep plays in front of them, but that middle part of the defense needs work. Josh Freeman was a tad overrated, which is scary since he wasn't that good to begin with.

28.) Kansas City Chiefs (4-12)

This is out of respect to Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel as co-ordinators. Without them, this team is at least #30. They have very little talent. Their last two top-5 d-liners are awful and were vastly overrated. Matt Cassel is not any good, and their coach was smart enough to put their best player (Jamaal Charles) in his very hellish doghouse. I know it is cyclical, but how are both Western divisions this bad. How is this possible?

27.) Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)

Their offense will keep them in at least 10 games, but David Garrard is not the best clutch quarterback, and Jack Del Rio (who has stolen time from borrowed time) is a complete mess late in games. Maurice Jones-Drew will keep them in relevance fantasy wise, which puts them in a better position than some other teams (*cough* Denver *cough*).

26.) Seattle Seahawks (5-11)

I have always had a soft spot for the Seahawks, mainly because Holmgren is a Walsh guy and Matt Hasselbeck is one of the few truly class people in the league. Because of this, I have always been a 'Hawks apologist, noting that they have the talent. However, their talent just cannot stay healthy, and the current players probably never will. Now, if they trade for Vincent Jackson, they can probably contend in that division, but I still doubt the Chargers trade him.

25.) Cleveland Browns (5-11)

In 2008, the Bengals won their last three games of the season, and parlayed that into a 10-6, division-title season. In 2009, the Browns won their last four games of the season and.... will not win their division. They might not even win the five games they did last year, but they have shown some fight and heart. Mangini can coach defense, and that is what they need to steal some game.

24.) Detroit Lions (2-14)

I like Matthew Stafford. I still contend he will have a better career (purely as a QB) than Mark Sanchez. Megatron is finally healthy again. He is dominant, the heir apparent to Andre Johnson. Jahvid Best is a dynamic talent as a running back. Their defense is still in shambles, but I liked their moves for Corey Williams and Kyle Vanden Bosch. They'll be really good in 2011. Mark it down now.

Tier 2: They Might Make the Playoffs if Things Break Their Way.

23.) Arizona Cardinals (10-6)

Exit Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Karlos Dansby and Antrell Rolle. Enter stability and a solid organization. With Warner gone, we can finally see that the Cardinals are truly one of the best run franchises in the league. Of course, their QB isn't great shakes, but that will change, because I doubt Whisenhunt will keep Leinart on another year if he fails. The Whiz has built a solid team, with great young players like Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Beanie Wells and, obviously, Larry Fitzgerald. Because they are in a bad division, they have the ability to still win that division.

22.) Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)

They are in the same boat as the Cardinals, with a big downgrade at QB, but with the headline-grabbing QB gone, the team can now reveal a solid organizational base beneath the QB. The Eagles have a stable of young players who can all play, and even drag up the level of Kolb as he inevitably goes through the first-year doldrums. To me, this smells of the 2008 Packers, a gifted, talented team that goes 6-10 with its first-year starter QB.

21.) Oakland Raiders (5-11)

Yes, I am serious. They can make the playoffs. San Diego will not be that good again, and the Raiders were a 5-11 team with JaMarcus Russell and Bruce Gradkowski. Honestly, every move they have made this offseason has made sense. From adding good players like Henderson and Campbell, to good gambles like Kamerion Wimbley (who looked rejuvenated in the preseason), to a solid draft, they finally have the makings of a league average team.

20.) San Francisco 49ers (8-8)

It really is all about Alex Smith. If he continues to improve, which isn't as easy at it would seem, they are the clear class of that division. Their defense has the necessary parts to be a top-5 defense in the league, but there isn't much depth there. They need Michael Crabtree to step up, since Vernon Davis cannot possibly have that good of a season touchdown-wise again. The only fear is that Mike Singletary literally "runs" this team into the ground.

19.) Washington Redskins (4-12)

This is probably the most intriguing team in the league. Obviously, there is the McNabb factor. There hasn't been a QB to change teams intra-division like this in years. McNabb will really be motivated to kill the Eagles in those two games. What remains to be seen is that the other teams will be able to kill McNabb because that offensive-line is not all that good. Then there is Haynesworth, who's feud with Shanahan can ruin this defense. Their story will be one of intrigue, but recent developments might make them a playoff longshot.

Tier 3: Solid Teams That Could End Up Between 7-9 and 10-6, 11-5 if They Get Lucky.

18.) Miami Dolphins (8-8)

The usual trend for teams that come out of nowhere one year are for them to fall off a bit the second year and bounce back in year three and stay there for good. The Dolphins might not be as close as the Falcons to perfecting this trend, but if Henne develops, they could be set for a while. Ronnie Brown's injury-prone-ness scares me since Ricky Williams is also not a sure bet to match his 2009 stats. Their defense seems to be built very well, and if Sean Smith and Vontae Davis develop more, they should be a top-15 defense.

17.) Tennessee Titans (8-8)

It is NOT all about Vince Young, it is about how much does Chris Johnson regress? If he regresses about as much as all the other 2,000 yard running backs of recent note this team will probably hover squarely in mediocrity, but if he doesn't, they can be a wild-card team. Vince Young is league average, which is good enough to make the playoffs. Their defense's young lineman need to step up also, which they did sporadically last season.

16.) Carolina Panthers (8-8)

I'll say this: I am 100% sure that, barring injury, Matt Moore will be the starter all year. He has enough Delhomme-ness (circa 2003-2005) about him to make the Steve Smith machine operate well. Their running game is the best in the league, and with more teams building their defenses to stop the pass, that is actually an underrated skill. Their defense will not be horrible, since their Tampa-2 will consistently hold teams to 17-24 points.

15.) Chicago Bears (7-9)

Mike Martz was bad in San Francisco. Fine. But he had the Lions 6-2 in 2007. He had Jon Kitna throw 4,000 yards in back-to-back season, had Marc Bulger as a pro-bowler and of course, there was Kurt Warner. Cutler is easily the second-best QB Martz has coached, so his ceiling is about 4,000 yards, 33 tds. Cutler is smart enough to grasp that offense, and it suits Matt Forte's skills perfectly. Peppers should revive that defense, and what should really revive that defense is having Tommie Harris back, healthy.

14.) San Diego Chargers (13-3)

They were not even 13-3 good last year, and that was with Marcus McNeill and Vincent Jackson playing all year. Even if they both come back halfway through, they are not locks for that division anymore. Philip Rivers is great, but he's not Manning. That defense is also left without a lot of their old playmakers there or healthy. Shawne Merriman is a shell of himself, and Shaun Philips is nearly joining him there.

13.) Dallas Cowboys (11-5)

They had everything break right for them, everything. Good health, great performance, Romo limiting his turnovers, defense playing out of its mind, and yet they were shelled in the divisional round. That was the Cowboys peak. They have a lot of aging players, or at least players that have already peaked. Tony Romo is not going to get any better. Miles Austin oozes regression, and Jason Witten is no longer the dynamic player he has been for the last decade.

12.) New England Patriots (10-6)

Their offense will be solid, as always, but that defense scares me. They have players who are solid, don't make dumb mistakes, and keep the Pats in games, but they don't have a Bruschi, or a Vrabel. They don't have game-changers. It is almost like they built their defense will eleven 7/10s. That won't scare anyone. Brutal schedule also.

Tier 4: Teams That Can Get to Conference Title Games and Not Surprise Me.

11.) Atlanta Falcons (9-7)

They seem to be the epitome of a young team entering its prime. They can be the Colts of the new decade, or at least the Eagles of the 2010s. I feel like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco have kind have switched places. After 2008, Ryan was overrated, but now, Flacco is. Ryan, with less around him, and him being banged up for a bit of last season, ended up with the same record as the Ravens. Their defense still needs more playmakers, but that offense is on its way to being scarily good.

10.) Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)

I'm guessing that Roger Goodell will reduce Ben's suspension to 4 games, and that will allow the Steelers more than enough time to make up for the Ben-less part of the season. Their defense will probably not be 2008 good, but it is still good enough to drag out a 2-2 record without Ben. Roethlisberger is good enough to overcome the loss of Santonio Holmes. They have Polamalu and Aaron Smith back, and those linebackers are special. Still a class team, and still a good one.

9.) New York Jets (9-7)

Not buying all the hype, but if Revis comes back (and this ranking has Revis playing at some point) they are the class of that division, by a hair over the Patriots. I actually like the Tomlinson deal, and putting him behind a good offensive line (which the Chargers were not) will revive something. I like getting Santonio Holmes as another option for Sanchez. And then there is that defense. If Cromartie plays half as well as he did in 2007-2008, they have the second best cornerback tandem in the NFL.

8.) Minnesota Vikings (12-4)

Sidney Rice's injury really does hurt them. They have a tough schedule, and navigating the early part of that only became harder. I trust Brett Favre to not revert to his turnover-prone-ness. What I still love about the Vikings is that defensive line. Pat Williams isn't as good as he once was, but Ray Edwards emergence late last year can make up for that, and by making his presence more meaningful even help Jared Allen. If they can tread water without Rice, they can be scary headed into January.

7.) New York Giants (8-8)

I like them, I like them a lot. People seem to have written them off, forgetting that they were 5-0 to start last season. Sure, their defense went to hell after that, but Bill Sheridan was a schmuck. They seem more varied and stable and hungry on defense with Perry Fewell as the coordinator. What makes me intrigued is that Fewell made the far less talented Bills defense good. He can make the Giants one quite good. Eli Manning is now a top-6 or 7 QB, and he has the weapons to take another step further, and he is money late in close games, which can't be said for Rivers, Rodgers or Romo.

6.) Houston Texans (9-7)

This might be high, but if they had a good kicker last year (and Neil Rackers does qualify as good) they would have been 11-5. If they had better fumbling luck (which it will be hard for them not to) they would have been 12-4. Schaub to Johnson continues to amaze, and their defense gets better every year. What really makes me feel confident they will make the playoffs and win a game in those playoffs is Owen Daniels' making a full recovery from his ACL tear. He was on an all-pro pace before his injury, and with him, the Texans were 5-3.

5.) Baltimore Ravens (9-7)

They are getting a little too much hype. Boldin is still an injury-prone receiver, their secondary is still in shambles (especially with Reed's injury), and their pass-rush is still secretly average. However, they are still one of the toughest outs in the league. They do have a swagger that allows them to be in every game they play. The only problem they had was that they lost most of those games. If they learn how to close games, they can fulfill their lofty goals, but they have work to do to learn how to close close games.

Tier 5: The Super Bowl Favorites

4.) Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)

I rode them last year and got thrown off in the Wild Card round, but I loved their offseason. TO will not act out with his buddy Chad right next to him, and Carson knows how to handle headcases. Carson looks healthier than he has been in the past two years, and I like the development of Bernard Scott as a change-of-pace back. None of this compares to that defense. PacMan can be a great slot-corner, and Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph will always limit big plays in the passing game. If Rivers and Maualuga can stay healthy, they have a great young twosome at LB. Their d-line can shuffle in and out players who can all get a rush and all hold their blocks and stuff gaps. Antwan Odom looks to be healed fully. They are really, really good on defense.

3.) Green Bay Packers (11-5)

They are also getting a little too much hype, but in an NFC that seems to be tightly packed at the top with a lot of good teams and few great ones, that might be enough. The Packers have the offense that will always explode on bad teams, but they do struggle at times to consistently score on good teams, which forces them to play catch-up one too many times (see the Vikings games and the playoff game against the Cardinals). Their defense will probably regress a bit as Charles Woodson probably won't have that season again. They are still, top-to-bottom, the most talented team in the NFC.

2.) Indianapolis Colts (14-2)

Throw out the preseason with this team. They are 4-21 in the preseason since 2005, and 65-15 in the real season in that time. Here is what we know about the Colts: They are healthier than they have been in a while. All reports have Jeff Saturday and Dallas Clark back for Week 1. Gary Brackett's x-ray came back negative. All of that pales in comparison to Bob Sanders being healthy and being all over the field. Anthony Gonzalez seems to have gotten his slot job back and is excelling. They are deep, talented, and hyper-motivated. Not many Super Bowl runner-ups have been established teams. Established teams that lose the Super Bowl (Seahawks in 2005, Packers in 1997, Titans in 1999) seem to do pretty well the next year, and Manning will be haunted by that Tracy Porter pick until he throws another ring on that finger.

Tier 6: The Champs ('Nuff Said)

1.) New Orleans Saints (13-3)

They are the champs, so they get top billing. I will say this though: They seem way too enamored and caught up in their success. The book tours, the ongoing parties (with another parade coming on opening day), the media appearances. The Saints seem a little too happy with themselves right now, and they should be. They are the champs and gave a great sense of accomplishment and happiness to that city that so badly needed it. However, in the NFL, you need to forget the past, and I feel the Saints haven't exactly done the best job of that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stabilizing the Desperation: 5 Ways to Fix Desperate Housewives

Can They Ever Recover that Magic?



I have loved Desperate Housewives ever since I first watched the show in my trip to India in 2006. Since the Indian TV season is about 6 months behind, Season 2 was concluding in mid-August, and I got my first taste of the show then. I've been hooked ever since. I have now seen every episode at least twice, and run through Seasons 1-4 in Housewives marathons on multiple occasion. For the past six days, I have started and finished off Season 1 again, and this most recent watching has reaffirmed my belief that Season 1 of Housewives was the finest drama/comedy on TV this decade. It was perfect. The storylines were original and captivating. The season-long mystery was finely constructed, and played out in an exacting way that was perfect. The casting was done brilliantly, as the cast was totally believable as a upper-middle income suburb. It was perfect.

This is in stark contrast to the show in it's past two Seasons. After a nice bounce-back in Season 4, the show has again lost its way. After Season 4, creator/producer/writer/Czar Marc Cherry took the bold step to leap five years forward, and start Season 5 five years after Season 4 ended. This perfectly coincided with the show's drop in quality (not to mention ratings, which although still very good, aren't where Seasons 1-4 were). Lost in the five-year jump were storylines, mysteries, character development, and the most egregious of all, the seemingly jumbled kids ages. The kids all seemed to grow 10 years in the five year jump. But none of that truly explains why the show isn't up to the standard it set early on.

There is a funny thing about TV shows, something that seems to afflict it more than it does any other media genre, is that nostalgia is a way of life. Nearly every show seemingly gets old, used and common after a while, and its loyal fans yearn for the good ol' glory days of yore. In most cases, the show actually does get appreciably more unoriginal and stale (not truly bad, as that is a different thing) as times moves on, with shows like Friends, Seinfeld, How I Met Your Mother, the Office, 24, and so many more as prime examples. In a way, this reason, this inevitable nostalgia that sets in with every show is a large reason why I am happy that Arrested Development left the air after three seasons, it never had enough time to grow old. The major tangible reason for this problem that besets every show on television is that overtime, the characters grow into caricatures, as their unique characteristics get so pointed and focused that they take over the character itself, like Monica, who grew increasingly, bitchy and neurotic, or Kramer, who grew increasingly crazy. This hasn't exactly happened with Housewives. Susan has become a slight caricature of the klutzy, sweet woman, but other than that, the main characters are largely similar to the ones at the start of the show: independent, strong and growing. No, the problems that have fallen on Housewives stretch further. Anyway, here are the five best ways to change the show and get close to what it was in Season 1:


1.) Jump around with time more

No, this does not mean that Marc Cherry should sign up the cast for another multi-year jump forward, but rather to play around with time more. Have more flashbacks, with maybe an entire flashback episode thrown in. Sure, this is really just a way of me getting what I truly want: more time with Rex Van De Kamp, but it will be nice to get a flashback. With Paul Young back on the lane for Season 7, the show is obviously not afraid to dig into its past, so why not dig deeper. Have a flashback to a time before the show's purview started, to when Susan and Karl were still married, Rex was alive, and Mary Alice did not have a shot-wound in her head. To me, this is a better way of doing business than just bringing in 5 new characters each episode, and increasing the list of regulars all the time with no end in site.


2.) Have someone big die again

When Rex died at the end of Season 1, it was no huge deal. Rex was the third death that Season, and the first of any big character (Main Housewive or Main Housewives' Husband). Since, it has only happened one other time, with Victor Lang dying, but he was already on the outs with Gaby before the death. The closest death we have had since was Edie, but even then, the news was out before hand. Cherry was able to keep the rumors under wraps with Rex. It was a total surprise, as well as the most emotionally amazing scene in the show's history. Another key piece needs to fall, wether it be Mike, Carlos or Tom. My guess is Cherry will keep Tom alive, just because he seems intent on having one couple stay together for the entirety of the show. Mike would be interesting, since it would be a natural end to six years of craziness. Of course, it could be a housewife, but I have a feeling that we will never see one of the main four housewives die, but a Katherine, or McCluskey, or even one of the kids. In fact, make it one of the kids. Make it Andrew, or even one of the Scavo kids. The deaths in the early seasons were some of the most emotionally charged scenes in the shows' history.

video

Yes, I hated that Rex had to die, but God damnit was that a beautiful scene.



3.) Don't change the characters anymore

This does not mean keep them the exact same as they were in Season 1, but don't have them do things that go totally against who they are and what they stand for. The worst example of Cherry and co. failing to live up to this tenet was with the ill-fated, and inevitably deadly, Bree-Karl affair. Bree is not someone who is going to start an illicit affiar with one of her closest friends' ex-husband. Sorry, it isn't happening. Bree might not be the moral saint that she pretends to be, but she's not the sneaky adulterer either. Other characters have suffered smaller mental changes, but they should go back to who they were in Season 1. I realize they are now ten year older in TV years then when they started, but that shouldn't make them hornier or more criminalous.


4.) Have better, more complex mysteries

Only two seasons have had good mysteries, Seasons 1 and 3. The mysteries in the other four seasons were all two easy to get and to thin. They were either someone dying, or some old lover is back to get even. It might be cliched, but the "who killed the victim" mystery is still the best. In Season 1, that question was adjusted to "why did Mary Alice kill herself", but it still had the major elements. There were so many mini-mysteries in Season 1 that all related to the big mystery. 'Why did Mary Alice kill herself?' sprouted into 'Who blackmailed Mary Alice?', 'Why did Mary Alice used to be called Angela?', 'Who the hell is Dana?', 'Why is Mike looking for some druggy in Fairview, and why is he in cahoots with an old billionaire?'. Season 1 was perfect mainly because its season-long mystery was perfect. Season 3 came close, but the mystery wrapped-up way too soon, leaving dull episodes at the end of the season. All we know about Season 7 is that Paul is returning, and there is a child that was mistakenly (or maybe intentionally) given to the wrong mother. Whether those two things are connected is not known. Bringing Paul back gives me hope. I honestly think that one year it should just be a CSI: Housewives sort of deal, where like Julie dies in the Season premier, and the Season revolves around finding out who killed her, and for what reasons.


5.) Make the Housewives interact with each other more

If anything has noticeably changed since Season 1, it is this. There used to be so many episodes in Seasons 1-3 that featured two or more of the housewives in the same place, whether it be a dinner party or just a general party. Having the housewives together with their husbands is always better than 5 individual stories with minimal interaction. This is also a problem that affects a whole lot of shows. The individual characters become just that, individual, as time goes on. In Season 1, there were four different dinner parties hosted, not to mention a birthday party. There were episodes that were more of the housewives together than not. All of those things are absent now. They are really just neighbors, not friends, anymore seeing that they are all by themselves quite a bit. If anything should change, it should be this. The show was at its best when it was exploring the lives of four friends who's friendships would strengthen and weaken like the tide, not when it was exploring the lives of five neighbors who liked each other.


C'mon Marc Cherry, give us a damn dinner party or two, a good mystery, a nice, little death, some flashbacks to past characters (Rex, REX, damnit, Marc, aren't you listening?!? R-E-X!!), and characters that don't change dramatically for no good reason, and I guarantee you will have a better product to release to fans that love the show so much for, sadly, what it once was: the greatest drama/comedy of the decade.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'll Have a Brettian Waffle, Please


I'll say this for Favre, the third time, he didn't make it very dramatic. One week he was done, the next, he was on a videotaped plane to Minneapolis. There was no more back-and-forth, no Brad Childress running off to Hattiesburg. No Ed Werder and Rachel Nichols' having a nice tryst in a tent in Favre's front-lawn. However, it was as nauseating, as idiotic. What was the point? Everyone knew that he was going to come back. Everyone knew that his "retirement", and "ankle" was full of Mississippian Bologna. Everyone knew that he was just trying to squeeze every bit of his offseason as he could, and really who could blame him? What 40-year-old wants to be out there in the hot sun for three straight weeks, but that is what football players are supposed to do. They are paid millions of dollars to play a game, and to practice the playing of that game, that is what they do, so for Favre to intentionally play the "retirement" card, and this time do it so obviously that everyone knew he had zero intention of actually leaving the NFL, is just abhorrent.

I have to admit, I still do enjoy watching Brett Favre play the game. He is a more refined version of Ben Roethlisberger. With the best three QBs in the league all essentially similar forms (Brees, Brady and Manning all great robotic passers, with Manning having an underrated charisma, Brees an aptly rated one, and Brady an underrated love of petting goats), Favre is something different. His recent "will he, won't he" annual routine, and the backlash that has come with the media fellating his every being each Sunday has clouded the memory of a player that truly was great. Favre from 1994-1998 was, other than Manning, the best stat producing QB of all-time. Looking at his stats from those days is almost like looking at the stats of pre-steroid Barry Bonds, as in they are both phenomenal, but covered by controversy of their later incarnations. Brett Favre really was a great, great player.

I even defended him in the whole exile from Green Bay. I usually defend the superstar in those circumstances, and feel that Green Bay should have waited for Brett to waffle and make a decision. Sure, it is still a better long-term decision to go with Aaron Rodgers, but three years down the line, Favre's the QB of a better team. I even cheered when Favre and his Vikings beat the Packers senseless in their game in the Metrodome. Now, I feel that Favre was slightly vindictive in openly opining to play for the Vikings, but it still doesn't change my opinion of Favre the player. The problems lie with Favre the man.

He has no real soul. He's not as bad as LeBron in that regard, but there has rarely been a more cultivated public persona ever. I would not even be surprised if he has been faking that southern drawl his whole life, just to be known as the good ol' boy from Mississippa. He's perfectly constructed this, banking on his marketability and facade to win over the support of the media as he twisted and turned the media itself like the media was his personal lackey. Finally, in year three of this charade, everyone has now turned against him in the media, but come September, one he evades a defensive end and flings a TD to Sidney Rice, Peter King will drool at the mouth, and Ron Jaworski will get bigger in the man region. One should not cover or make up for the other. The media has really been confounded by how to play Brett Favre, much like most of the other NFL teams. Media simultaneously slams him for "retiring" with all the legitimacy of a China town Coach bag, but then they love him for his "commitment to the team". All in all, I'm rambling, and mainly because of the Favre effect. Brett Favre has made everything about him one big confusing joke.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Food on Fire: Live Blogging the Hell's Kitchen Finale


Hell's Kitchen is a nice guilty pleasure of mine, and how could it not be? Food? Interesting Characters? Angry British Guy Screaming Obscenities So Much That It Makes Rex Ryan Look Polite? Hell's Kitchen has got it all. This season has been very, very interesting. There has been a total psycho who admitted to eating raw live calves. There has been a menapausal woman who acted quite whorish at times. There were two african-americans who were hated from the beginning, despite them actually both being talented, which dripped of nice racism. There has been a in-competition romance, and those two are left. The competitors are Jay, a great chef and the prohibitive favorite, and Holly, a curvy, but slightly overrated cook and harlequin. Anyway, here we go, Ramsey's out there, so are the two, and it is ON.

8:02 - So, we start off with a nice little montage, which appropriately shows Jay as a person who can cook, and Holly as a person who likes to wear skimpy clothing and act all cute. I think it is pretty sure by my tone that breasts aren't swaying my decision. Jay really should win this.

8:05 - Jay says confidently "I can beat her." Holly responds with a nice "I will do whatever it takes." Again, I'll take the more confident guy here. For a nice little twist, the chefs will design their own menu for the final, to which Holly is bewildered, saying "I didn't think I'll make it far." Yeah, that's a good sign.

8:07 - Holly says "I'm not sure what the taste of the menu will be. People will say it is French, but I think it is Californian." I'm not sure how you get those two mixed up.

8:08 - They are now in a limo. Jay quips "Chef Ramsay doesn't do anything nice for us." Of course, Jay has to forgetten that every single episode, there is a fucking prize where they get to do fun, expensive shit.

8:09 - The final challenge is the chefs designing five dishes, and it will be judged by five of Ramsay's yes-men (or as he calls it "my executive chefs").

8:10 - "Cooking five dishes in an hour, my head might fall off," Holly says. At least it wouldn't be her boobs falling off, because then she has no shot. Also, why is it always they finish just in the nick of time. No one can finish it 57 minutes, not 59:59.

8:11 - Both present their amoze-buch (not sure what that is, but it seems like a cloudy martini-type thing). Jay wins the first test, and now the cold appetizers.

8:12 - Holly wins the cold appetizer, mainly because the chef had googly eyes for her. Way to let your testosterone get in the way.

8:13 - Holly wins the hot appetizer, and this time a woman was judging, so I have to assume she was a lesbian. Jay wins the fish entree, and even gets a "definitely the better one."

8:14 - The final dish will be judged by who is essentially their future boss. Jay has tater tots in his dish. To me, that would be an immediate DQ, since tater tots are basically first-grade food. Holly tries to flirt her way to a win. Very surprising there.

8:17 - Hell's Kitchen's ad breaks are so predictible, as they go to commercial right before he announces the winner. It would be a bigger surprise if the FOX people actually give out the answer before the challenge. Jay wins. Thank the fucking Lord.

8:19 - Another tradition in the final, Chef Ramsay brings back older chefs that were previously knocked out to be the souz chefs in the final. Jay pick Benjamin, which is a great pick, since he, you know, is the second best chef in the whole damn competition. Holly picks Autumn, who everyone hates. Jay picks Jason, who everyone also hates. It's like the FOX higher-ups told Jay and Holly to stop acting so damn racist.

8:21 - The final pick is between one crazy young bitch, and one crazy old bitch. Jay picks the old bitch. Basically, those two will not decide this competition at all. Siobhan, who is the last pick, needlessly brings up an old grudge and curses out Ben.

8:22 - Back upstairs, they go over their menus. Siobhan says she hasn't cooked foix gras before. That's nice. I think I have. For some reason, Ben is stepping up as the leader, controlling the menu. Jay says, "We have the 'A' team, they have the 'L' team." Not sure what that means, but I still probably agree with him no matter what.

8:24 - Siobhan doesn't know that the center of a flame will give off the most heat. She seems well qualified. She somehow was not kicked off first, which shows that they must intentionally pick bad people with no skills.

8:25 - Chef Ramsay ends act 2 by calling them to his office. They seem scared, but he's probably just handing out a pep-talk, or a camera to film them having sex, which is the only thing that hasn't yet happened on this season.

8:26 - Dinner for Schucks commercial comes on. I have a rule that if you put five really funny people together in a movie, the movie has to be funny. I think I have found my long-awaited exception to that rule.

8:27 - Sprint gives off a nice ad about their unlimited text and web deals. You'll need those, since they have a rarely-quoted very-limited talk deal.

8:28 - FOX is releasing a show called "The Great Food Truck Race" about a race between, you'll never guess, a group of Food Trucks. I love cooking shows, and truck shows, but there is a better chance I will watch Betty White get herself off than watch "The Great Good Truck Race".

8:29 - Chef Ramsay gives them each a trip to Australia for some reason. Was that really necessary? Couldn't they have donated that money, or at least use it to give Chef Ramsay a haircut, or Siobhan a penis-removal surgery.

8:30 - Right before the opening, Jay and Holly share a very awkward half-kiss. Very sweet, like watching two dolphins have sex, but only awkwarder.

8:32 - They gave Siobhan the amuze buch responsibilities. That seems like a good idea Holly. She didn't even know what foix gras is, so it probably isn't a good idea to give her something even harder sounding to do.

8:33 - Fran burns scallop. These guys make it seem so fucking easy to burn food, or cook it raw. It really can't be that hard.

8:34 - Meanwhile, over at the red, everyone is in one big clusterfuck. This could be a Ravens-Patriots type beatdown. Of course, FOX won't let that happen, but just know, it really was that one-sided.

8:36 - Jason screws up the lamb, and of course, everyone gets on his case. Jason is about to self-destruct. Thankfully for Jay, so is everyone in the red kitchen.

8:38 - Drew Barrymore? Average. Justin Long? Past his prime. JIM GAFFIGAN. HOLY FUCK, JIM GAFFIGAN IS DOING A MOOOOOOOOVIE!!!!!!!! (However, they won't let him talk about hot pockets, and seeing from his one word role in the preview, I'm pretty sure he's not good enough to make this movie any good.

8:40 - Jason finally cooks good lamb. It even gets a "so tender" from a very metro-looking customer. What is funny is even after Jason's shitting on lamb, the red kitchen is barely started with their entrees.

8:42 - Jay is smart enough to not yell at Jason, who is a talented cook when he's not being spat at. Jay is really a good chef, and a great leader. If he doesn't win, he should immediately sue Ramsay for sexism.

8:44 - Black on black crime between the true beauty of the season (Autumn - who's slightly bitchy) and Nilka (who's slightly crazy). It ends with gunshots. I mean, it doesn't, but it really should have, just to bring their racism theme full-circle.

8:46 - Finally, an ad for Ramsay's show "Master Chef." Really, Ramsay should be just elected President. He's been able to effectively launch four different cooking-based shows in the US. Sure, "Gordon Ramsay's Cook-a-long Live" is no longer on the air, but that show had Alyson Hannigan and LeAnne Rimes as guest-cooks, which makes that show a perfect 10 for me.

8:48 - FOX shows an ad for a new screwy-family comedy "Raising Hope." Considering it is on FOX, there are only two possibilities. One: Either the show will be great, and thus cancelled in two years (Arrested Development), or piss-awful but stay on the air (American Dad).

8:50 - Somehow, both have just three tickets left. Not sure how this happened, but it seems a little shady. At least to the viewer eye, Jay's team did so much better. They even finished first. Holly's son greets her, accompianed by her "friend" who is also the son's dad. Never really was explained how that all worked out.

8:51 - Another never explained fact: Why do all the chefs smoke? They always light up a cig in the apartment upstairs. Jay and Holly are getting drunk. They could finally close the deal. Of course, FOX won't show us the consummation of their relationship. They can show us "The Great Food Truck Race" but not a little sex?

8:53 - Chef Ramsay is in the office with both of them. They stand in front of their doors. One door will open, and that chef is the winner. Again, it better be Jay. He's the best. The best chef one last year, and should win this year.

8:54 - Predictibly, there is an ad break right before the door is opened. Again, they really should switch it up once, and fuck over all the people who have cracked their ad break code. It will be fun for millions of people who fast-forward through that moment have a "What the shit" look and rewind frantically.

8:57 - And were back. The chef who's door opened is................



8:57 - Holly. This is BULL. She is far from the best chef. She is far from the best looking girl in the history of the show. She is far from the best leader. Whatever. Shit happens. She has to be the least talented winner in the history of the show, definitely worse than past winners Heather and Danny Veltri. Ramsay gives some bullshit reasons to why she is the winner.

8:59 - Till next year.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Desperate NFL

The Desperate NFL. The NFL has been compared to a tv show by me and a multitude of other people. (OK, fine, only me.) Well, if it was a TV show, the NFL would be Desperate Housewives, because of its effusive drama, splashes of comedy, season-long mystery. (OK, fine the comparison is not that strong, but it’s less fun to compare the NFL to a show that isn’t about four women.) Each character on the show represents a different feeling, a different characterization of women. Each team in the NFL represents something different about the league, so without further ado, here is the list of NFL teams, and what Desperate Housewives character they represent.

Arizona Cardinals – Edie Britt

The Cardinals, just like Edie, have a ton of positives. Both are flexible, both are led by youthful talent, and both continued to show a smart and stable plan. The only problem, the most important part is not there. For Edie, it was her conscience. She was a vindictive, crazy, bitch. For Arizona, it is that quarterback, Mr. Matthew Leinart, who like Edie, seems to like a party or two.

Atlanta Falcons – Mike Delfino

Sweet, homely, they’re the Man’s man. Even their names: Mike Smith, Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez, they are the plain, reliable team. However, just like Mike, they have some mystery to them. They can explode on the NFL, just like Mike did on Paul Young late in Season 1. Just like Mike, the Falcons can be scary good, but mostly, they are just sweet kids.

Baltimore Ravens – Carlos Solis

Like Carlos, the Ravens are rich, the Ravens so with talent. They have the talent and the business-like attitude. They both have a cool, confident swagger. They both have a manly, physical attractiveness (not to sound gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that). However, they both lose their cool under pressure. Carlos literally just loses it, while the Ravens get flag-happy, turn the ball over and do all the other things that keep teams away from the Super Bowl.

Buffalo Bills – Zach Young

They’re both sad, crazy kids. The Bills are now a mess, just like Zach after he lost his mother to suicide. They both are searching for an identity, as the Bills are waffling between Buffalo and Toronto, and Zach between the idea of being raised by Paul but being Mike’s son. Although they are so messed up, you cannot help but root for the success of either.

Carolina Panthers – Penny Scavo

Sweet and innocent. There is no other way to describe Penny, someone who was legitimately upset that her mother was having another kid because she loved being the cute, youngest kid. The Panthers have a cute draw to them. In a passing league, they run the ball. They have a short, speedy receiver who catches everything. They have a no-name QB who anyone can root for.

Chicago Bears – Karl Mayer

With Mike Martz and Julius Peppers in the fold, they have the cockiness and hilarity that Karl Mayer espouses. Also, looking at the Karl character before the affair with Bree, he really was deep down a good guy, an underrated character, who wanted to get back what he foolishly gave away. Same with the Bears, who after all the platitudes are handed out, are a good football team, one capable of the playoffs.

Cincinnati Bengals – Rex Van De Kamp

Tight-lipped defensive team for the most part, the Bengals mirror Rex’s outward image, especially his dourness paralleled with Marvin Lewis, but they both have that wildness in them that makes them so interesting. For Rex, it was his affinity to being dominated, and for the Bengals, it is obviously Messers Owens and Ochocinco. Treasure the Bengals, because before you know it they might turn out like Rex, flamed out too soon.

Cleveland Browns – The Bolen Family

Just like the Bolen family, there seems to be a lot of infighting within the Browns. Eric Mangini and Mike Holmgren seem a mix made for TV, while their counterparts Angie and Nick seemed to be totally incompatible. The players, the analogue for Danny Bolen, seem to hate Mangini, but secretly, much like Danny, they love their leader, and would do anything for him.

Dallas Cowboys – Victor Lang

Clean-cut, cool and prepared, the Cowboys emulate the old Mayor of Fairview in many ways. Sadly, one of those ways is that secretly all the strings are being pulled by their superior, and that superior can make everything crash and burn. For Victor, it was his scheming father who was behind it all, and for the Cowboys, it is Jerry Jones, whose maniacal obsession with sticking his nose everywhere may doom them.

Denver Broncos – Kayla Huntington

Started out great in the McDaniels’ era. Josh came in there, and much like Kayla entering the Scavo family, and turned heads. His 6-0 start made everyone forget the peculiar things that happened early in his tenure (like trading the QB, for instance). Of course, the truth cam out, and McDaniels’ team fell off, and like Kayle it turned snippy and devious.

Detroit Lions – Juanita Solis

Juanita started out as ugly, fat, and honestly, a bit underloved, but as Gaby grew to love Juanita, seeing that she had rare talents, so to do we with those Lions. Like Juanita in her first season, the Lions went 0-16, and set a record for being despised. A lot of that seems in the past. Juanita matured, and the Lions found a coach who cares and a QB. Happy times are ahead for both.

Green Bay Packers – Susan Mayer

Just like Susan, who is supposedly the main character, the Packers seem to good. Like Susan, they are attractive, beautiful and sweet (at throwing). They have the mental fortitude to succeed, but there is a klutzy element. The Pack’s o-line cannot protect Rodgers, while Susan’s mind cannot protect herself.

Houston Texans – Andrew Van De Kamp

Like Andrew, everyone thinks this is the Texans year. Certainly, Andrew is no longer an idiot youth, while the Texans are no longer a bad team, but neither can finish their transformation completely. A lot of fans have given up on both ever reaching more than mediocre, but they both have the chance and should not be counted out too soon.

Indianapolis Colts – Lynnette Scavo

Hardworking, beautiful (passing), smart, strong, both are the perfect embodiment of what a team (or strong woman) should be. However, their abilities can get them into problems. Lynnette’s strong will creates occasional problems in her marriage, while the Colts defensive system creates problems with injuries. Yet, at the end of the day, they both are the best in their respective arenas.

Jacksonville Jaguars – George Williams

Both are crazy, with the Jaguars led by a patently insane man in Jack Del Rio. Both toe the line between pitiable and just sad. Not only do you try to feel bad for them, you want to feel bad for them. You think you want to see them succeed, but really, they are beyond reproach. They have (in George’s case literally) killed themselves in their attempt to gain respectability, and that attempt failed.

Kansas City Chiefs – John Rowland

He seems nice and sexy from the outside, as do the Chiefs with Chaarles and the newbie Dexter McCluster, but in reality, Rowland is nothing but a fake, confused pretty face. The Chiefs have these convoluted ideas, like bringing Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennell along will somehow make Matt Cassel good, just like Rowland somehow thought his affair with Gaby was more than what it was.

Miami Dolphins – Katherine Mayfair

With Parcells, Sparano and now Mr. Marshall in the fold, they seem a little too perfect off a woman-next-door team. They have all the arrogance to go with the practice. Like Mayfair, they have a very intriguing prospect that behind the perfect veneer is a young, innocent team. Mayfair was a troubled woman, just like Marshall, but given a second chance, they both can make good.

Minnesota Vikings – Danielle Van De Kamp

Danielle Van De Kamp started out well, and like the Vikings, a young team without a quarterback, at the start she showed promise but had to mature. However, with the addition of Brett Favre, like the sad demise of her father, the Vikings and Danielle turned into a dynamo. She became the craziest character, just like Favre’s Vikings, with crazy storylines, a sadist coach and a dominant wall of a defensive line.

New England Patriots – Orson Hodge

Started out so perfect, but like most things, the Pats and Orson both hid some serious sins (No, I am NOT talking about Spygate). Orson’s beautiful smile and polite demeanor, much like the Patriots and their passing game, was able to overshadow many, many holes. Orson was a scheming man, running over Mike, while the Patriots had holes all over their defense, being run over by the Ravens.

New Orleans Saints – Gabrielle Solis

Beautiful and sexy, that is all that needs to be said. Both focus on big things, as the Saints get big plays on offense and defense, and Gaby likes to purchase big price-tag items. Both rely on their strengths for mostly everything, with Gaby her looks and the Saints their offense. Both are a little more diverse than given credit for, as Gaby is a much more stable loving woman than seen, and the Saints with a much better running game than given credit for.

New York Giants – Bree Van De Kamp

The Giants started out with a Bree Van De Kamp efficiency last season, but much like Bree in her personal life, they fell apart. For the Giants, it was a lack of coverage; for Bree, it was her lack of understanding. Now, they seem a bit lost. Actually, Bree is lost, losing her husband again, but you know that both will find their way, recover, and lord over the league with a classy, efficiency again.

New York Jets – Maisy Gibbons

Both were solid performers, but like Maisy Gibbons, the Jets seem too perfect. Maisy was also a cocky bitch, which makes her much like the Jets, with their mouths cashing checks that no one can cash. Of course, Maisy’s image blew up completely when she was outed as a dominatrix. Of course, there probably is no NFL equivalent for that, but there is a high percentage of a blow-up.

Oakland Raiders – Caleb Applewhite

Counted out from the beginning, Caleb, as with the Raiders, was thought to be a maniacal, retarded murderer (for the Raiders, murderers of careers). Both lived in a black (basement) hole, locked up. Of course, Caleb ended up being innocent, and truly a good person, but no one would give him the time of day, much like the Raiders, who are finally competent but no one will take them seriously.

Philadelphia Eagles – Porter Scavo

Solid kid and team, one huge mistake may ruin each one of their lives. For Porter, it was his decision to marry a gold-digging Russian girl. For the Eagles, it was to marry their chances to a unexperienced quarterback. Porter Scavo was finally shown the error of his ways, but he broke down because of it. The same thing could easily happen to the Eagles, especially this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Tom Scavo

Solid, all-american man paired with the all-american team. Of course, both have suffered their indiscretions, like Tom bringing his love-child into the fray, and the Steelers’ Roethlisberger bringing his love-stick into the fray. However, both are home-town guys, blue-collar guys, and while make some mistakes, stick to their image and roots.

San Diego Chargers – Paul Young

They seem solid on the outside, but there is something dark about each. For Paul, it was his past, as he changed his name, assisted a murder, strangled another woman and went to jail. For the Chargers, it is them choking away playoff games and having a long trail of contract squabbles and being lorded over by a dark GM who is ready to murder any contract or tie to a player. Paul has seemingly turned his life around, so hopefully the Chargers can join him.

San Francisco 49ers – Karen McClusky

The old reliable. The 49ers are the McClusky of the NFL because they seem to live in an old age. They love to run the ball. Their coach is a hard-ass who threw his best player out of a game. However, much like McCluskey’s ability to provide caring and wisdom to the residents of the lane, there is something idyllic about the old-school approach the 49ers take to running their team.

Seattle Seahawks – Bob and Lee

No, it is not because Seattle or the Hawks are gay, but because they are probably the funniest bunch in the league, whether intentional or not. Watching Pete Carroll say that he did not run away from USC due to their impending sanctions is high, high comedy. Matt Hasselbeck is always funny. Bob and Lee are really only there for their humor in their character, much like the Seahawks.

St. Louis Rams – Sophie Bremmer

Well past her prime, Bremmer (Susan’s young mom) is trying to recapture her glory years, but is doing so by attaching herself to and old guy, much like the Rams are desperate to recapture their glory years, but have finally accepted doing so by attaching themselves to and old pillar: a young, franchise, QB. Hopefully, Bradford can do for the Rams what Morty did for Sophie.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Alma Hodge

Like Bremmer and the Rams, the Bucs are trying to recapture their glory. Unlike them, the Bucs and Hodge aren’t trying anything new, but are desperate to do exactly what they did before. The Bucs are trying to build a dominant defense again, just like last time. Alma did the same thing, trying to recapture her lover Orson the same way she tried to lure him last time, by having a baby. Didn’t work for Alma, we’ll see about the Bucs. The new Bucs do have the mediocre QB part of the formula right.

Tennessee Titans – Julie Mayer

Julie started out as the princess of the show. She matured from cute to pretty to beautiful, much like the Fisher era. It started cute, with three straight 8-8 seasons, to beautiful (13-3, 13-3, 11-5, 12-4 from 1999-2003). However, when Julie moved back on the lane in Season 6, she was a new woman, with the shine of the perfect teen gone. She was a lover of a married man, and a strangler victim. Fisher’s teams aren’t shiny and new anymore, and the era might finally be over.

Washington Redskins – Betty Applewhite

Betty Applewhite was devious, as she used her fake calm persona to deceive the members of the lane that she was housing a criminal. Of course, the criminal ended up being her son that she cherished, instead of the one she locked in her doghouse. Shanahan is the same, cherishing McNabb, who might be the next criminal (in terms that his performance will steal money from fans), while the person in his doghouse (rymes with “Shmanesworth”), is a true star to be cherished, but his devious plan will stop that.


There it is, the whole league, cast as the characters from America's favorite show about women housewives. By the way, I guess it goes to figure that Lynnette is my favorite (plus the one who if I had a choice I would marry). That's not the only reason the Colts are her, though, just most of the reason.

About Me

I am a man who will go by the moniker dmstorm22, or StormyD, but not really StormyD. I'll talk about sports, mainly football, sometimes TV, sometimes other random things, sometimes even bring out some lists (a lot, lot, lot of lists). Enjoy.