NFL 2011 Preview: AFC North & NFL Week 1 Picks and Analysis – FootballSunday, September 11, 2011 9:22
AFC North preview for the 2011 NFL season and game picks for Week 1 of the 2011 NFL football season.
NFL 2011 PREVIEW
Roger Goodell, Propaganda and Me
ROGER GOODELL PROPAGANDA AND ME
What does the NFL have to do with 9/11?
That question was bravely and brilliantly addressed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s, Ed Bouchette, who happens to be the Steelers’ beat writer. Unfortunately, it was a subscription article so this link only works if you join PG+: http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/111625-ed-nfl-and-911-shouldnt-mix
Here’s Ed’s entire comment:
What’s with football and the 9/11 remembrances? What does football have to do with the 10-year anniversary of that awful day? So, football fans will [be] going to remember the worst attack on American soil by tailgating, drinking, trash-talking and watching two teams beat the crap out of each other. Sorry, I can’t link the two and you won’t see anything else written by me trying to this week. I nearly got sick in the locker room this week and at Mike Tomlin’s press conference when people asked MT, Ben Roethlisberger and the like, “Where were you 10 years ago?” I really don’t care where Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger were 10 years ago. I know where I was, I know what I thought, and to try to capitalize on this anniversary that way is terrible. It’s like those fans who said the NFL had an obligation to end the lockout so it could open the season on 9/11. I’d rather they had delayed it by a week.
He hits a couple nails flush to the wood, doesn’t he?
Couple nights ago, I watched snippets of what turned out to be an awful show on MSNBC where they were interviewing children who were very young during that day of mass murder. Each had a parent killed in the attack; the sense of loss, the lifelong scars these now young adults bear was genuine.
After the teens started weeping, one after another–there’s no other way to say it–I got creeped out. These children were being given airtime so viewers could what, cry? Hate Muslims more? Continue to turn a pair of blind eyes to a government going broke while spending a billion bucks a day to fight three wars?
The show became insipid when, during the four interviews I watched, every kid insisted (s)he had been victimized again…Everybody stared at me when I got back to school, even now, I’m just one of the “9-11 kids.”
Uh…you’re on television with a camera three feet from your face.
The people your family has paid to help you process your pain are over-paid and incompetent.
Only Americans can transmogrify genuine, tragic, human victimization into a self-serving, surreal art form.
The exploitation of the event by the NFL is just as devious and exemplifies the lengths to which corporate America will go to conflate whatever they sell with being a “true American.”
The all too common Blue Angel fly-bys, the meaningless “parachute-ins” by one Special Ops group or another, the Broadway production of the national war anthem are designed to keep the Pentagon and corporate behemoths like Halliburton, GE, and AT&T raking in the dough.
Bush’s wars were a scam and Obama has proven to be an even more talented grifter. We’re literally being snowed…Admiring the smooth white blanket from the cozy warmth of our living room…Unable to see the names of airmen soldiers, sailor, marines, and hundreds of thousand of innocent brown-skinned victims scrawled in yellow on our lawns…
That’s a much bigger tragedy than 9/11.
Previews and Predictions
Let’s escape with some football…
Division Record: 36 – 28
Home to the most intense rivalry in football, the AFC North figures to be even more competitive with the Brownies fleecing the Falcons, who were seemingly in love with Julio, for a bevy of draft picks.
Marvin Lewis still tries to reform troubled souls, Bengals’ owner Mike Brown keeps finding ways not to spend money, and the Baltimore/Pittsburgh rivalry kicks off in Week One…
2010 Record: 4 – 12
Annnnnnd…Welcome to WHAT IF…(Applause)…
Our First contestant is Dawg, the Mounty Hunter…or is that Bounty Hunter, Dawg.
You are correct, sir…I like Mounties…
What if you coached 8 years in the NFL, never won a playoff game and lost seven more games than you won?
I’d be like Marvin Lewis and wondering why I still had a job.
What makes Mike Brown tick? He just extended Lewis a few months ago and Lewis thanked him by keeping Cedric Benson, another serial criminal on the team.
The same kind of thinking that shaped his eight-year and counting ride with the Bengals.
Andy Dalton and A.J. Green may have a future with the Bengals–but not with Marvin Lewis.
Major Story: Lewis signs three convicts while visiting Benson in jail.
Predicted finish: 5 – 11
2010 Record: 4 – 12
The Browns will fool a few teams this year. They are young and made a great draft day trade netting Baylor Bear Phil Taylor and Pitt Panther Jaball Sheard in April’s draft. Taylor lists at a svelte 334 and he doesn’t look very friendly.
Finally, the Browns have a solid football mind running–what used to be a circus–in Mike Holmgren who snapped up Pat Shurmur from the Big Horns. Cleveland’s offense will be better than people think and the defense will be keep them in a lot of games–they’ll still find a way to lose too many of them.
Predicted Finish: 6 – 10
2010 Record: 12 – 4
One of the best drafters in the league, the Rat Birds’ Ozzie Newsom, and John Harbaugh have put together a team inflicted with “Pittsburgh Envy.”
Really can you blame them?
The Ravens took a smart gamble on socially-troubled CB Jimmy Smith, the former Colorado Buffalo, and this guy has the skills to make Pittsburgh stop talking trash.
The Ravens suffer from the aging defense bug that has hit the Steelers almost simultaneously. Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are only a quarter step slower, but the Ravens dropped to tenth overall in total defense last year.
2011 Has to be Flacco’s year if the Ravens are to play football after the New Year.
We will know how likely that outcome is in a few hours.
Major Story: Ravens miss the playoffs.
Predicted finish: 9 – 7
2010 Record: 12 – 4
This Pittsburgh offense has the talent to rival any Steelers team in history.
Newly married Big Ben actually worked out this off-season and has the league’s deepest receiving corp–including TEs and RBs–in the NFL. Big Ben is at his peak and Rashard Mendenhall has a Super Bowl fumble to make up for.
The defense features some much younger blood in the secondary and upfront, with former Buckeye Cam Heyward–but the starters will be playing shuffleboard in a few short years.
While the Pittsburgh defense is the league’s oldest, we think it the leagues best, top to bottom–especially with a healthy Troy Polamalu’s newly-inked deal guaranteeing he’ll retire a Steeler.
Barring injury, the Steelers could play in their record 9th Super Bowl.
Major Story: Big Ben breaks a lot of team records.
Predicted Finish 12 – 4 AFC North Champions
Let’s gaze into Murray Dunnosquatis’ crystal ball and see the playoffs unfold.
NFC PREDICTED PLAYOFF BREAKDOWN
NFC WEST CHAMPS: St. Louis Rams
NFC SOUTH CHAMPS: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC NORTH CHAMPS: Green Bay Packers
NFC EAST CHAMPS: New York Giants
NFC WILDCARD: Philadelphia Eagles
NFC WILDCARD: Atlanta Falcons
I don’t think either conference has ever had a scenario easier to call than the six teams I have coming out of the NFC.
The Bucs will host the Falcons and get duly spanked by Matty Ice.
Philly travels to St. Louis, Vick pulls up lame, but Philadelphia’s Fran Kafka turns into a cockroach after throwing the game-winning pass.
Green Bay throttles the Falcs again as the Eagle take care of business in New York.
The NFC Championship isn’t even close; Green Bay returns to the Super Bowl.
AFC PREDICTED PLAYOFF BREAKDOWN
AFC WEST CHAMPS: San Diego Chargers
AFC SOUTH CHAMPS: Tennessee Titans
AFC NORTH CHAMPS: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC EAST CHAMPS: New England Patriots
AFC WILDCARD: New York Jets
AFC WILDCARD: Houston Texans
Over in the AFC, San Diego routs the Texans as the Jets follow suit in Nashville.
The Patriots erase last year’s memory and thrash the Jet mercilessly. I can’t wait.
Mike Tomlin schools Norv Turner as the Chargers play lights out but lose.
In the AFC Championship game, New England solves Roethlisberger, and Brady tortures a depleted Steeler secondary.
Green Bay has too many weapons and the Pats shoot themselves in the foot. The Pack repeats…Can they become the only team to win three in a row?
WEEK ONE PICKS
Same format as last year, which I’ll detail in Week 2. My picks in italic…
NFL Lines For Week 1 – NFL Football Line Week One
NFL Line 9/11 – 9/12, 2011
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Baltimore GW||-1.5||Pittsburgh||36|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Tampa Bay||-1.5||Detroit||42.5|
|9/11 1:00 ET||Atlanta||-2||At Chicago||40.5|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Kansas City||-5.5||Buffalo||39.5|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Houston||-9||Indianapolis||44|
|9/11 1:00 ET||Philadelphia||-4||At St. Louis||44|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Cleveland||-6.5||Cincinnati||35|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Jacksonville||-1||Tennessee||37|
|9/11 4:15 ET||NY Giants||-2.5||At Washington||39.5|
|9/11 4:15 ET||At Arizona||-7||Carolina||37.5|
|9/11 4:15 ET||At San Francisco||-5.5||Seattle||37.5|
|9/11 4:15 ET||At San Diego US||-8.5||Minnesota||42|
|9/11 8:25 ET||At NY Jets O/U||-6||Dallas||40.5|
Monday Night Football Line
|9/12 7:00 ET||New England LW||-7||At Miami||45.5|
|9/12 10:15 ET||At Denver||-3||Oakland||40.5|
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