27 August 2021

2021 College Football, Week Zero: First (And Last) Time Scott Frost & Bret Bielema Step Into The Spotlight

There are no decent games this Saturday, but there is this ridiculous contest coached by two of college football's most laughable figures:

Nebrasska -7 @ Illinois: Neither of these teams will achieve anything of football merit this year.  They begin a season-long schedule of TV filler games by playing each other, and who wins and who loses makes absolutely no difference in the Grand Football Scheme, it's the football equivalent of background radiation (I don't actually know what background radiation is, but it makes for a catchy metaphor) . . .BUT. . .this is a HUGE game in the race for the National Championship of Schadenfreude Football. . .and it's imperative that Illinois spring the upset so we can begin Scott Frost's 2021 Trail of Tears.  This is the most winnable real game on Nebraska's schedule (Fordham and Buffalo aren't real games), and if Frost somehow loses to slobby boor Bret Bielema in Bret's first game at Illinois, then Frost will:

Probably sniffle and try to fight back tears from streaming down his beet-red face in the post-game presser while inventing another of his moronic excuses (remember, with last year's loss to Iowa, Nebraska became the first team to ever lose a game because the other team clapped too loud) and beg, for about the hundredth time, for just a little more patience as he continues his Herculean task of cleaning up the mess Mike Riley left, though, of course, by this time I doubt any of the current Nebraska roster even know who Mike Riley is.

Now that Mark Dantonio has retired, Frost is easily the biggest crybaby and sorest loser in college football, with an ego only a pussy hair's thinner than Sean McVay's. Everything is always somebody else's fault, he has no shortcomings, and all the proof anybody needs that life is unfair is the satanic fact Nebrasska loses way more football games than they win.

As for Illinois, all you need to know about the abysmal state of their football program is that their last two head coaching hires are Lovie Smith and Bret Bielema.  

Speaking of Bret, a poor coach who rode the wave Barry Alvarez left him in Wisconsin to a big day at Arkansas, where of course he failed, what's most interesting about him, even more interesting than how he managed to convince Illinois he wasn't a retread after kicking around the NFL for a couple years, is how a fat slob like him managed to score such a hot wife. But anyway, we are all Bret Bielema fans in Week Zero. Go Illini!

Prediction: With great reluctance we pick Nebrasska to win (and to cover), thus guaranteeing the Huskers will have a 3-0 record going into the game in which Oklahoma wipes the cupcake schedule produced smug look off Frost's ugly pasty face.

22 August 2021

2021 National Football League Season Preview

Brothers, sisters, and siblings to those still working out their gender, the One Hundred and Second season of the National Football League is upon us.   After a past few dreary seasons marked more by hype (Lamar Jackson! Revolutionary Quarterback! HawHaw say old-time Bears fans who watched Bobby Douglass.  Patty Mahomes! Insane In The Membrane Improv Throws! Never seen anything like it! Greatest QB of All-Time. . .that plays an awful like Brett Favre, so really, pretty good QB who is fun to watch, but not the most accurate or smartest QB.  Kyler Murray!  Johnny Manziel - 40 ouncers ÷ Doug Flutie.  Sean McVay! Kliff Kingsbury! Metrosexual Chip Kellys!) and pregame sermons (breast cancer/racism/domestic violence bad, military good) than actual on field excellence, NFL CII will at least look different:

The New NFL QB Office: Lawrence, Wilson, Lance, Fields & Jones

Long-time QB Partners Changing Offices: Kelly Stafford now practicing in Hollywood with new boyfriend Sean McVay. Jared gOOf leaving California Girls for the pawgs of Detroit. Arson Wentz, who torched his career in Philly, starts over in Indy. FitzMagic in DC. Sam Darnold looking for new cornhole opportunities in Carolina. Plus one of two water boys takes over in New Orleans for Drew Brees, who begins his new full-time career apologizing for being white.

Fresh (and weird) Faces On The Sidelines: Robert *Xerxes* Saleh with the Jets, Dan *Kneecap* Campbell in Detroit, Arthur *Silver Spoon* Smith in Atlanta, oddball Nick *Who?* Sirianni in Philly, and the dumbest coaching hire I can recall: 65 year old biracial-looking life-time NFL non-entity David Culley with the Texans.

And Best Of All, Manic-Depressive College Great Urban Meyer Brings His Obsessive-Compulsive Scheme To The NFL: I have no doubt he will do better in the League than Saban and Chip Kelly.  But his cyst-riddled brain will not allow him to last long enough to match Pete Carroll's level of success. 

Lately the League has had more off-field entertainment value (Dwayne *Fuck Football, Fuck Covid, I Gots To Have A Skank Stripper's Ass In My Face All De Time* Haskins, Aaron Rodgers Prima Donna Hold Out Theatrics, Deshaun Watson's Angry Cock menacing every massage therapist in a 50 mile radius of Houston, Richard Sherman's Drunken Cry For Help, Andy Reid's drunk nepotism coach hire son nearly kills a 5 year old girl, Big Frank Nitti Clark and his machine gun, Rashad *Ain't Got No Problem Hittin' A Bitch* Weaver, Jeff Gladney choking his former girlfriend, and I probably missed ten more.  Titus Young would be Man of the Year if he were in the NFL now), but NFL CII should at least have some novelty value with all the QB and coaching changes.

Here's how the League should shake out in 2021:

AFC East

1. Buffalo: Of the supposed Super Bowl contenders, the Bills have the thinnest margin for error.  Their run game is not that good, and they didn't bolster it with an explosive running back in the draft because their defensive line is slipping a little, and they chose to use their top two draft picks on ends, both of whom (Rousseau, Basham) smell like flops. The pressure therefore remains on the Allen-to-Diggs connection to carry the team, and an injury to the frail Diggs would leave the Bills looking not so Super.  The Bills have a strong, stable coaching staff, an outstanding secondary, and getting Mitch Falsebisky as a back-up QB was not a bad move.  If Allen were to get injured, Falsebisky can at least do enough to beat non-good teams, and keep the Bills from sinking like 2020 Dallas after Dak Prescott twisted his ankle. Everything broke right for the Bills last year, they only lost one close game (on the Kyler Murray Hail Mary), so the NFL Law of Averages says the Bills are due for misfortune. . .on paper they are the best in the AFC East, but if I were gonna place a money bet on the Bills, I would take the under on the 10.5 wins total wager. 

2. New England: Without Tom Brady, Bill Belichick's record is 61-72.  That's not a small sample size. That's 8 seasons of football.  So, Wayne Fontes was a better coach.  Anyway, the genius Belichick is trying to keep a stale franchise relevant by remaining mired in the past.  He now tries to resurrect the Hernandez/Gronk combination by signing a couple new tight ends, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.  Stale.  Stale coaching staff: old Belichick and over-rated Josh McDaniels, plus two Belichick kids. . .and look, there's Fat Matt Patricia lurking in the shadows, playing pocket pool while he chews his ratty beard!  This is not a good coaching staff.  They do have the elements for a strong run game, and a fairly solid defense, so 8 - 10 wins and a second place/wild card contender finish is not out of the question, if they can get even a half-way decent result from stale Cam Newton or Alabama game manager Mac Jones.

3. Miami: The Dolphins made a terrible error due to pride.  Not wanting to admit Tuna Gagvoilia! is not an NFL QB, and not wanting to admit drafting him was a huge error, they let Ryan Fitzpatrick walk away, even though he rescued Tuna and the Dolphins to a 10 win season, and, even worse, having the draft capital to take or maneuver into a position to take any QB in the draft not named Trevor Lawrence, they put on their wish caps and crossed their fingers for Gagvoilia!  Tuna is too small, his arm too weak, and his body too beat up.  I mean, he moves around the field like 1975 Billy Kilmer, but lacks Kilmer's intelligence, guts and will to win.  They drafted Jaylen Waddle to *help* Gagvoila!  LOL! You can surround a bucket of shit with roses, but the bucket of shit is still a bucket of shit.  The Dolphins were +9 in turnovers last year, if the NFL Law of Averages hit, they could even sink below the Jets.

4. New York Jets: The Jets could rise real fast in this shaky division if Zach Wilson hits the ground running. . .unfortunately, his QB coach, Greg Knapp hit the ground permanently when a car plowed into him while he was riding his bike.  How much of a setback is that for Wilson?  Any?  Draft pick Michael Carter could be a 4th round steal, and fantasy football sleeper, with only the frail Tevin Coleman ahead of him.  The Jets, like the Lions, are automatically better via addition by the subtraction of a terrible head coach.  Robert *Xerxes* Saleh is of a magnitude better than Adam Gase, has the personality to connect with players, and assembled a pretty good staff.  

AFC North

1. Cleveland: The Browns are loaded.  When Baker Mayfield is your weak link, you ain't in bad shape.  Mayfield is a serviceable QB surrounded by tons of all-star talent on the offensive line, in the backfield, and at wide-out.  The Browns have an even better power run game than Baltimore, as it's not reliant on having to have a QB run threat.  Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt behind the Browns O-Line can grind defenses into dust.  And Mayfield has a trio of top end receivers (Landry, closeted Beckham Jr and TE Hooper, plus fast-rising Peoples-Jones).  The Browns defense only has to be average, and they played that way last year, even though on paper they should have been better.  They tinkered with it in the off-season, bringing in safety John Johnson (good move) and being the latest team to believe in Jadeveon Clowney's press clippings rather than game tape.  Legit Super Bowl contender.

2. Baltimore: Lamar Jackson hasn't changed the game, and until John Harbaugh and the Ravens acknowledge this, they are stuck in a 10 win and probable Wild Card playoff loss rut.  Sorry, but Jackson just can't throw well enough to win anything BIG (good thing you don't have to throw to beat covid).  The Ravens have a nice run game, a solid defense, good special teams, but if they fall behind? Game over.  Other than his own cock, Jackson ain't beating anything with his arm.  The Ravens wasted their top draft choice by picking a WR (Bateman).  Why bother?  The ball ain't gonna get to him. 

3. Cincinnati: With Joe Burrow tossing the ball to Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and rookie Ja'Marr Chase, sprinkled in with a few runs for Joe *I Hit Girls* Mixon, the Bengals should put up plenty of points this year, and be an entertaining watch.  The defense needs a lot of work, they added a few free agents, the best being DE Trey Hendrickson, but they kept their subpar defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, thus it's unlikely the Bengals can challenge for a Wild Card spot, but they are worth a few bucks bet on the over on their current 6.5 wins total. 

4. Pittsburgh: An old team with an old beat-up QB and head coach going into his 15th season, plus they spend their first round pick on a plow horse running back? That's a first-to-worst recipe if there ever was one.  And then to make matters even worse, they promoted vagabond Matt Canada to Offensive Coordinator.  Canada is one of those coaches who bounces from job-to-job, never excelling, yet is always given one more chance.  You'll remember Canada left the pile of shit in LSU that Joe Brady had to clean up before Joe Burrow could take off.  And next year in Pittsburgh somebody else will have to clean up after Canada shits the bed one more time.  The Steelers collapse actually began at the end of last season, as they lost five of their final six games, including the playoff loss to the Browns when even their #3 defense fell apart. The Steelers deluded themselves, begging Big Ben to come back for one last Super Bowl try. HaHa!  Not happening!  They needed to let Roethlisberger retire, and then trade up for one of the QBs in this year's draft class and begin a rebuild.  Instead they are gonna waste a year, and have to take a QB from a much weaker class.  

AFC South

1. Tennessee: This is the weakest division in the League.  All the teams have serious problems in at least one area, and Houston has serious problems everywhere.  The Titans problems are a horrible defense, and the fact head coach Mike Vrabel hedged his bet trying to fix it, by keeping last year's co-DC, Shane Bowen, but bringing in long-time and former Titan DC genius Jim Schwartz as a *special assistant* to look over his shoulder.  You know Schwartz will be DC by mid-season, at the latest.  The Titans are also much thinner in the passing game after losing Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith, but Derrick Henry may be able to carry them just enough to stay ahead of Jax. 

2. Jacksonville: I have no doubt obsessive-compulsive Urban Meyer will have the Jaguars the most detailed team in the League.  The players will have every opportunity to succeed.  And Meyer made an excellent OC hire in Darrell Bevell, who was able to work out a productive offense with David Blough at QB for the Lions when Kelly Stafford got injured a couple years ago, so just imagine what he can do with all the high-end talent he has to work with in Jacksonville, starting with Wonder Boy #1 Draft Pick QB Trevor Lawrence, the best pro prospect I've seen in college ball, though I must say he didn't really improve much from his freshman to junior year.  D.J. Chark, Travis Etienne, Marvin Jones, Laviska Chenault and James Robinson mean T-Law has plenty of help, the Jags should have no problem moving the ball.  With that offense, and a soft schedule, I would have picked Jacksonville to win the Division, except I believe Meyer made a critical mistake, one that will cost several wins.  For some reason Urban chose fast-food gOOfball/nudist Joe Cullen to be DC, despite Cullen never having been a coordinator, and never having been relatively emotionally stable, either.  I'd love to know how in Hell Meyer came to hire this guy.  The way losing aggravates those killer cysts in Urban's coconut, I can't imagine he will tolerate too much from Cullen if/when Joe goes schizo. Could be a messy situation, real soon.  In any event, with Urban and Lawrence, Jacksonville should be one of the most entertaining teams to watch in 2021 (and Tim Tebow should already be cut by the time I get around to posting this).   

3. Indianapolis: The Colts are good every other year, and after stupidly trading for frail Arson Wentz, who, surprise! (not) got injured about 5 minutes after landing in Indy, this year isn't an other year.  The defense will crack after 5 or 6 games, and if they were in any other division I'd pick them for last, but look who sits just below: 

4. Houston: LOL! Where to begin? Deshaun Watson's angry cock? The horrible head coach hire, who then hired a horrible staff of relic assistants (Robert Prince, Pep Hamilton, Lovie Smith)? A stable of used car running backs? A defenseless defense that lost its face player, TJ Watt, which might actually turn out to be the only good thing that happened to the Texans, since Watt had become a prima donna who blamed everyone except his own declined self for the Texans feeble defense.  This weird old dude David Culley should win Coach of the Year if the Texans don't end up with the worst record in the League.  Hell, even if they are worst, but manage to win 4 games, that would still be a major accomplishment with this diseased roster and moldy coaching staff.   

AFC West

1. Kansas City: Tampa pushed around the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, in fact, the Bucs looked like the bully from the old Charles Atlas ad and Patty Mahomes looked like the 98 pound weakling with sand kicked in his face.  That kind of beat-down can have a lingering effect, turn the Chiefs into cowering victims who get jumpy at loud noises.  They already over-reacted, trashing their O-Line and bringing in a bunch of new *protection* for the skittish Mahomes.  The Chiefs also lost Sammy Watkins and Damien Williams, and suddenly they look a little thin at the skill positions, and Frank Clark, their only real tough guy on defense, has his machine gun problems.  Hopefully these stressors don't send Andy Reid rummaging around the medicine cabinet too much.  And as a public service, we remind anybody in the Fort Collins, CO area that Andy Reid has a son, Spencer, on the coaching staff at Colorado State, so be careful on the roads.   

2. Las Vegas
: If the Raiders were a little more stable, I'd pick them to dethrone the Chiefs.  For some reason they retooled their entire O-Line, if they didn't break it, Vegas should have an offense at least the equal to KC.  They got a great TE, good RB, under-rated Derek Carr at QB, and I expect Henry Ruggs will be much more of a factor this year.  The problem for the Raiders is they are mentally soft, they give away games, and the blame for that goes to the coaching.  Celebrity coach Jon Gruden brought in a new DC, Gus Bradley, to toughen up the defense, but. . .Bradley's one of those DCs, like Dan Quinn, who made his name running Pete Carroll's defense, he's never done anything on his own, so we are supposed to believe he can fix the Raiders? I'll believe it when I see it.  We can, though, give Bradley credit for one great comedy move: he brought in old-time Marine Rod Marinelli as defensive line coach, just as DE Carl Nassib stepped out of the gay closet. LOL! Him and Marinelli ought to be like something from a bad episode of Modern Family! We also wonder if Topps or Bottoms will issue Nassib's Rookie Gay card.

3. Denver: The Broncos should be a couple games better with Teddy Bridgewater at QB. Bridgewater is the quintessential *game manager* type QB, as opposed to Drew Lock, the quintessential *game mismanager* type QB.  In 2020, the Broncos were -16 in TO difference, dead last.  That shouldn't happen with safety-first Teddy under the center, assuming the fragile signal caller doesn't get blown onto IR by a gust of wind.  The Broncos have decent young talent at most position groups, but. . .you wonder if their ancient baltic amber encased coaching staff (Pat Shurmur, Mike Shula, Mike Munchak, Wade Harman, Ed Donatell, Bill Kollar, John Pagano!) can motivate the TikTok generation. 

4. Los Angeles: I think the Chargers made a terrible mistake shit-canning Anthony Lynn, who managed to win 7 games with a rookie QB and keep the team competitive in most others.  They replaced him with a Whiz Kid DC, Brandon Staley, who probably looked a lot more clever than he really is because he had Aaron Donald on his roster.  Worse, the Whiz Kid hired Joe Lombardi to be OC.  Lombardi failed miserably in his previous attempt at the job, under Jim Caldwell in Detroit. Kelly Stafford had his worst production with Lombardi, and I expect to see a BIG drop off in Justin Herbert's game this year.  

NFC East

1. Washington: Ron Rivera battled Haskins-Lymphoma cancer and still managed to win the Division last year.  Sure, they were only 7-9, but brother, look at the sorry-ass QBs they used.  7 wins with that garbage?  The trash QBs stank so bad, they make the ultimate journeyman back-up QB Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Trevor Lawrence and Pat Mahomes combined.  Fitzpatrick's crazy-ass QBing manages to just stay a little on the plus side, and with the WFT's defense, that should be just enough to once again win this feeble Division.  Curtis Samuel may turn out to be the best value FA signing, the guy should get the ball enough in DC to show off his skill set after having to be a second or third option in Carolina.

2. Dallas
: Just as Bill Belichick was exposed in NE without Tom Brady, so was Mike McCarthy in Dallas without Aaron Rodgers.  In fact, McCarthy was exposed even more, and that's an ugly sight, a morbidly obese guy with a dumb face, he could only win 6 games in the weakest division in League history.

Despite Prescott twisting his ankle a bit, and crying like that little naked Vietnamese napalm girl, the Cowboys still should have won the division, Andy Dalton was the best QB in that sack of shit division, but the Cowboys horrible defense and mental weakness sank them week after week.  The Cowboys ended up paying Prescott about $40 million a year. . .good luck with that!  That's a high-priced damaged goods crybaby.  Once these softies get a taste of IR, they come back to it again and again.  No way Weepy Dak plays all 16 games.  Ezekiel Elliott had a poor year, seeming to have about as much juice as Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson.  Maybe it was because of covid.  Or maybe he's just tired of football. The Cowboys defense will be better this year.  Not because they hired Dan Quinn to run it, but because they lucked out and got Micah Parsons with the #12 pick.  Parsons is a legit Top 3 guy, a difference maker who can ruin offenses.    

3. New York Giants: The Giants signed Kenny Golladay and drafted Kadarius Toney to help Daniel Jones.  Uh, it's not an indication you have a good QB when you have to go out and add new pieces, hoping they make the QB better.  It should be the other way, with the QB bettering those around him.  Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady made HoF careers throwing to low draft picks and cast-offs. Toney might help a bit, but Golladay was a malingerer in Detroit, and he'll hit the sidelines the first chance he gets.  The Giants added a lot to their offense, and hope Saquan Barkley makes a full recovery, but their defense took a couple hits, and they tried to plug one hole with another former Detroit malingerer, Danny Shelton.  This still looks like a pretty piss-poor team coached by a nut that fell from the Belichick coaching tree. Luckily they are in a sorry-ass division, and just like last year, they will probably be in the Division *race* all year even though they are a shit team.   

4. Philadelphia: Probably the worst team in the NFC.  Nobody knows who the Hell their coach is, but he better be the next Vince Lombardi, because he doesn't have much to work with: an aging defense and. . .Jalen Hurts! LOL!  Hurts is a Dollar Store Lamar Jackson, the Eagles wasted their first pick on DeVonta Smith, it's like buying a gold-plated toilet paper dispenser for an outhouse.  I mean, with Hurts, the best you can do is try to duplicate the Ravens run-heavy offense, Najee Harris would have been a better pick.  I got a feeling Eagles fans will boo Hurts off the field by week 6.  Well, who knows? Maybe the Joe Flacco-to-DeVonta-Smith connection will take off and lead the Eagles to a 5-12 record.  

NFC North

1. MyPillow: With Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and a more hot than cold Kirk Cousins, the Vikings had a Super Bowl offense in 2020, but Mike Zimmer's defense fell apart, and the Vikings missed the playoffs by one game.  Assuming Danielle Hunter and Anthony Barr return to form after missing last season with injuries, and adding free agents Patrick Peterson and Dalvin Tomlinson, Minnesota's defense should be good enough to move the Vikes past the Packers. . .as long as Cousins doesn't regress into his pre-2020 CousINTs form (and there is the risk his stellar 2021 year was due to playing so many pressure-free games after the team's 1-5 start made the rest of season irrelevant). One other risk for the Vikings: they replaced retired OC Gary Kubiak with his son.  These nepotism hires in the League have a high fail rate, and Zimmer already has his own kid as co-DC.  [After I initially wrote this, the Vikings weird anti-vaxxer contigent emerged, to the degree the entire team is clouded with a Mike Lindell-ish stink, and now I view the Vikings as very risky pick for the top spot in this division, Hell, anybody could win it, even the Bears.  When Zimmer gave oddball anti-vaxxer Rick Dennison his job back after Dennison refused to take the jab, a poor *team second* example was set, which the Minnesota QBs quickly followed, with the result the Vikings opened training camp with all their QBs on the sideline in a covid protocol. . .and Cousins still won't get the kill shot, thus making the Vikings a week-to-week QB disaster risk.]   

2. Green Bay: MeMe Rodgers *Farewell, Green Bay!* prima donna reality show was about as real as his sexual relationship with Shailene Woodley.  All it took to end the farce was for the Fudge Packers to bring back MeMe's favorite shower buddy, Randall Cobb.  Rodgers is a good QB, without question.  He's won a shitload of games for GB, and no doubt they'll win more than a few this year, but. . .I can't help thinking at least a small corner of the Packer locker-room is a little irritated with MeMe's Me-First antics. . .and it probably wouldn't take much of an incident or on-field misfortune for a locker room divide to occur.  To make matters worse, the Packers fired their adequate DC Mike Pettine and replaced him with the colossally inept Joe Barry, Rod Marinelli's son-in-law and architect of the 2008 0-16 Detroit Lions shit-ass defense.  For some reason he was given another chance, and he failed just as miserably with the Redskins in 2016. The Packers defense will be worse. 

3. Detroit: The best bet of the entire NFL Season: taking the over on the Lions at 5.5 wins.  Are you kidding me?  They won 5 games last year under one of the worst head coaches in League history, the morbidly obese, grossly unkempt Matt Patricia, whose players openly cheered his firing.  Plus they get one extra game this year to improve upon those 5 wins.  They have an extremely player friendly-new coaching staff led by the quixotic Dan Campbell and a host of other former NFL players such as Anthony Lynn, Aaron Glenn, Antwaan Randle El, Mark Brunell, Duce Staley, etc.  But. . .Kelly Stafford! exclaim the skeptics.  How can the Lions possibly win a game without Kelly!  And they are replacing him with. . .Jared gOOf?  Because of the whim of the emotionally unstable Sean McVay, all of a sudden Kelly Stafford is a Hall of Fame great, and gOOf is a bum.  I'm not buying it.  There is almost no statistical difference between Kelly Stafford and gOOf. . .other than gOOf has actually won a handful of Big Games.  In addition to the new coaching staff, the Lions actually improved their defensive line, and brought in a coach, Aubrey Pleasant, who should be able to get something out of 2020 #3 draft pick Jeff Okudah.  If the Lions can't go 6-11 I'll send Matt Patricia two dozen Krispy Kremes. . .

4. ChicagoAfter seeming to try to trade for every other team’s starter, the Bears once again sent a bunch of future picks to move up on draft day to get their latest franchise QB. This time it’s Justin Fields, and while the guy does have some skills, and certainly a better track record than Trey Lance (not to mention Mitch Falsebisky), and actually got the better of Trevor Lawrence in the CFP last year, he still seems like a *college QB,* he really struggled against Indiana’s blitzes and Northwestern’s NFL scheme. My bet is: in a couple years Bears fans are gonna be shaking their heads saying we could have had Mac Jones (or even Kyle Trask or Davis Mills). The rest of the Bears offense is adequate, with a decent runner in David Montgomery and a decent receiver in Allen Robinson. The defense still has some punch, but it’s starting to age and they didn’t create turnovers last year like they usually do. This team needs to hit BIG on Fields, but I don’t like their chances. Something about the guy don’t set well, the shady way he left Georgia, with his *race fear,* the way he reacts to big hits, I think he wanted out of the Clemson game but Ryan Day said fuck you, you’re staying in. His performance was significantly less against Alabama when he had a week to brood on his injury.
I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. . .but I don’t think so. The Bears could be crap for years to come.

NFC South

1. Tampa Bay: The Bucs looked like a fringe playoff team for most of the season, then got progressively better their last 8 games, culminating in a epic beat-down of pretty boy Pat Mahomes in the Super Bowl.  Now the entire starting lineup on both sides of the ball is back, and they don't have a weak link, anywhere.  The biggest threat to the Bucs repeating as Champ is Father Time, as a lot of their key players are on their last legs (Brady, Brown, Gronk, Suh, Pierre-Paul, David), and Mike Evans is looking increasingly frail.  Is a 17 game schedule too much for the Tampa senior class?     

2. New Orleans: Drew Brees retired, and that might make the Saints a better team, as Brees could barely get the ball twenty yards downfield by the end of the season.  If Sean Payton had had the guts to bench Drew Brees against Tampa in the Divisional Round Playoff Game last year, the Saints probably would have won.  Brees was horrible, going out with a bunch of girly throws and three INTs.  So now it's Taysom Hill, a *college QB,* or Rapist Winston, who throws as many INTs as TDs.  My guess is, Payton will think he can turn Winston into an All-Pro, then after 6 or 7 up-and-down weeks, will turn to Hill to salvage a playoff spot.  The Saints roster isn't quite as good as last year, when they were better than Tampa.  They're thin at WR, lost their sack leader and a bit of depth on defense.  Though they still have one of the best offensive lines and good RBs, they are now clearly a cut below Tampa, but still probably a playoff team. 

3. Atlanta: The schedule is favorable, as the Falcons get to play all the NFC East sissies, so they should win more than the four games they did last year, but. . .not much more.  They are thin as shit at running back, the O-Line is questionable, and Matt Ryan is another year older.  Of course, Atlanta passed on a QB and decided to get some help for Ryan, picking TE Kyle Pitts #4 overall.  Pitts is one of these *generational* talents, or so they say.  It seems to me Pitts had more injuries than big plays at Florida, but what do I know? The defense played a little harder under interim coach Raheem Morris last year, but you wonder if they will slip back out of resentment Morris wasn't given the permanent job.  The new coach is FedEx heiress Arthur Smith, who is probably the only coach in the League worth more than his team's star players.  It's hard to imagine a Little Lord Fauntleroy silver spoon like Smith motivating an NFL roster, especially the defensive side.  Maybe he can talk concepts with a nice fellow like Matt Ryan and coax a comeback year out of him, like he did with nice Ryan Tannehill down in Tennessee, but I have a feeling most of the Falcons are going to tune out Arthur pretty quick.

4. Carolina: I don't get how Sam Darnold is supposed to be an upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater.  They're pretty much the same thing: small, weak arm. . .though Darnold does have two legs and a white face.  Carolina's star player is the frequently injured Christian McCaffrey.  The Panthers have a decent set of receivers. The defense is average.  They had a ton of draft picks, but the best players they selected were at positions they didn't need any help (WR, RB).  This looks like a last place team. 

NFC West

1. Seattle: The Seahawks used to be a shut-down defense/power run team.  They don't have that kind of personnel, anymore, but Pete Carroll keeps winning, now with a pass-first offense highlighted by premier receivers and deep ball thrower Russell Wilson, which offsets a now mediocre defense.  Carroll is under-rated, one of the All-Time Greats, a Big Winner in both college and the NFL, in the same class as Jimmy Johnson (and, to a lesser degree, Barry Switzer).  Wilson threw a mini-Aaron Rodgers tantrum in the off-season, making some noise about wanting to be traded, but he quieted down pretty quick when it looked like only the Bears would make a serious offer for him.  Seattle only had a couple low draft picks and didn't do much in the free agent market, so it's the same crew again, while their main competitors in the division, the Rams and 49ers made a lot of changes.  LA and SF have coaches the Media consider *geniuses.*  You can have the geniuses, I'll take the Coach.

2. Los Angeles
: So, Sean McVay believed all the press clippings (which he personally clips and organizes himself in a 3-ring binder) stating he's the greatest offensive innovator in football since Sid Gillman, but when his offense was humbled by the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and therefore his ego was also humbled, McVay looked around for a scapegoat onto whom he could cast his failings, and retain his own high opinion of himself: it's all Jared gOOf's fault!  He's too limited to take advantage of my genius!  McVay pretends: if I just had a proper QB, nobody could stop me!  Out of the blue, I guess because he heard Kelly wanted out of Detroit, McVay convinces himself Kelly Stafford is the answer, and because a fair portion of Media still buy into the McVay-as-genius nonsense, presto! Kelly Stafford all of a sudden is Top Tier, instead of a shopworn QB who failed in every (few in number) Big Game.  McVay thinks: it was the Lions fault Stafford never won, with my infallible system (well, almost infallible, if there are no gOOfs), Stafford will be Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady combined into 1.  OK.  Kelly Stafford never had to start a single football game in 12 years in Detroit with the expectation the Lions would ever be good.  And now Kelly has to deliver a Super Bowl.  A Super Bowl win.  McVay already proved he can lose a Super Bowl, he got Kelly Stafford for one reason, to win a Super Bowl.  Maybe Kelly will rise to the occasion.  Maybe it really was all because of Detroit.  OK, but what will McVay's excuse be when Kelly throws a soft pick-6 to Nick Bosa because he couldn't calculate the amount of arc to get the ball over Bosa's arms? The Rams might have other problems, as well.  Massive turnover of coaching staff, particularly on the defensive side.  And their receivers really aren't anything special.  And their running back is already out for the year.  They still have Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd and Jalen Ramsey, so they should still make the playoffs on their defense alone.  And that's when we'll really see how much of the Detroit stink the genius McVay can wash out of Kelly Stafford's system.  Cuz that'll be McVay's next excuse if the Rams don't win the Super Bowl this year: I need one more year to finish cleansing Kelly of Detroit-itis.  

3. San Francisco: Another odd QB scenario.  Jimmy Crappolo is 24-8 as a starter.  Kyle Shanahan, another offensive *genius* coach, has a 31-36 record. . .but the QB is the problem.  LOL! These geniuses need to look in the mirror.  For some reason, the genius Shanahan decided 24-8 wasn't good enough, he needed a fresh QB.  Dumb.  Even dumber is he traded up to get a QB who played 1 mediocre game of small time college football in 2020.  I mean, if you want a QB like Trey Lance, the supposed *dual threat,* why not take the better version, Justin Fields, who played big boy college ball and beat Trevor Lawrence in a big boy game?  Makes no sense.  Taking Fields wouldn't have made any sense, either, if Shanahan wanted a QB that bad, just take the guy he gaslighted everybody into thinking he wanted, Mac Jones, but no, Shanahan fell madly in love with one of these Workout Wonder Boys, guys who run around in shorts in little domed practice fields playing 1-on-zero fantasy football.  That's how you evaluate QBs?  Instead of watching the tape of his 15 for 30 performance against Central Arkansas? Good luck.  But the 49ers should still have a powerhouse run game, and get a ton of injured defensive starters back, so they have a lot of pieces for a successful season, if Shanahan can resist the temptation to prove his genius by rushing Lance into the starter's job.  

4. Arizona: An odd roster: old beat-up receiver (AJ Green), no running backs, rookie beat-up receiver (Rondale Moore), one trick pony QB, old beat-up DE (JJ What??), all coached by a fad.  This thing could implode. 

Top 5 Rookie QBs

1. Trevor Lawrence   2. Zach Wilson   3. Mac Jones   4. Justin Fields   5. Shane Buechele

Top 5 Veteran QBs

1. Tom Brady   2. MeMe Rodgers   3. Patrick Mahomes II   4. Josh Allen   5. Russell Wilson

Top 5 They Ain't All That

1. Lamar Jackson   2. Kyler Murray   3. Patrick Mahomes II   4. Kelly Stafford   5. Dak Prescott

Top 5 Fifth Round Or Later Draft Picks

1. Jamar Johnson (Denver)   2. Daelin Hayes (Baltimore)   3. Sam Ehlinger (Indianapolis)   4. Daviyon Nixon (Carolina)   5. Dax Milne (Washington)

Top 5 Coaches

1. Pete Carroll   2. Sean Payton   3. Andy Reid   4. John Harbaugh   5. Sean McDermott

Top 5 They Ain't All That Coaches

1. Bill Belichick   2. Mike McCarthy   3. Kyle Shanahan   4. Sean McVay   5. Jon Gruden

First Coach To Be Fired

Kliff Kingsbury

Second Coach To Be Fired

Matt Nagy

They'll Be On IR Before Halloween

1. Kelly Stafford   2. Tuna Gagvoila!   3. Ben Roethlisberger   4. Kyle Pitts   5. Kenny Golladay

Top 5 MVP Longshots

1. Derek Carr   2. Joe Burrow   3. Jameis Winston   4. Ryan Fitzpatrick   5. J.K. Dobbins

Comeback Player Of The Year

Joe Flacco

Top 5 LOL! Player Of The Year

1. Jalen Hurts   2. Arson Wentz   3. Daniel Jones   4. Sam Darnold   5. Dwayne Haskins

They Will Sign Josh Gordon

Los Angeles Rams, as Sean McVay gets Kelly Stafford the help she needs to run his genius system