Heck yeh, just a few more weeks until football, American Style!
Oddsmakers are breathlessly heralding Tommy Boy's return and calling this season New England's to lose. But we'll see. Yes Brady's back, but the team's defense is going to give up lots of points. Boy will need to put up numbers similar to the '07/'08 season. No matter, if he stays healthy the Pats will easily win that division ... the other teams' shiny seasons from last year were fortified by lucky powder puff schedules.
Steelers, Chargers, and Colts - in that order - are the teams seen as giving the Pats a run. Steelers have Big Ben's rape story worries, along with their usual post-Super Bowl win season history. Chargers? Curious, I'm not sure why they're so highly regarded. Their punter's astoundingly good day vs. the Colts is all that kept them from losing in last year's divisional playoff ... and finishing with a losing record.
Colts. Many changes for the team, including the loss of coach Dungy and Marvin Harrison. But their schedule is markedly easier than last season. Flip side: Their division should be ultra tough this year, with Houston and Tennessee both with strong playoff possibilities. They'll beat each other up, and the division winner may end up with a so-so record.
NFC. As usual, I don't have as much to say about the sissier division. Four tough teams in the NFC East - Eagles (the #2 Super Bowl champ pick), Giants and Cowboys all could have huge seasons, and the Redskins have the goods to bust out. I'm eager to see the Bears' new look with big-throwing Crybaby Cutler in their line-up.
Blend of expert opinions:
A. Favorites to win the AFC:
1. New England (by a lot)
3. San Diego
B. Favorites to win the NFC:
2. New York Giants
C. Favorites to win the Super Bowl:
1. New England
4. San Diego
5. New York Giants