2010 NFL Division Preview: NFC East

Yesterday I put up a post by Michael Wright that gave 15 thoughts he had about his New York Football Giants for this upcoming season. I hinted that my NFC East preview would be written in the near future so here it is. This is the third installment of my eight-part preview of the 2010 NFL season, breaking it down division by division. In each of these posts I will preview each team in the division and then at the end I will predict who will win the division and how the other three teams will end up behind them.

To read my other divisional previews just click on the appropriate link:

NFC South

NFC West

In the NFC East we have had a lot of drama this offseason. A face-of-the-franchise quarterback being traded to another team within the division. Big name veteran free agency signings. A team trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2009 season. A team trying to build on their first playoff win since 1996. We had a big name quarterback get bloodied in the preseason opener. There was a prima donna receiver refusing to carry pads. You get the idea. Let’s jump in.

Teams: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins Continue reading

Friday 5 – Exciting Defenses

When I say exciting defense, what are some of the teams that immediately jump to your mind? The Ravens? Steelers? Vikings? Jets? Cowboys? What if I told you that this Friday 5 is my list of the top five most exciting defenses in the NFL right now, and not a single one of the teams I just mentioned is on it? Now hear me out before you jump to conclusions and discredit the rest of this post. I came up with with this list of top five most exciting defenses by basing it solely on numbers. That’s right, my list is purely from a statistical perspective, and that’s right, none of those teams made the cut. I started out by asking myself the basic question of what are the most exciting defensive plays? I think it’s pretty straight forward to say that they would be interceptions, forced fumbles and sacks. Bone-crushing hits would also be in there but there is no statistic for that, plus a lot of those hits result in sacks and/or forced fumbles anyhow. Starting with this as my foundation I started looking up the numbers for last season. In 2009 there were a total of 1101 sacks, 525 interceptions and 509 forced fumbles. So as a general statement (using 1 sig-fig, if you will) I think it’s fair to say that interceptions and forced fumbles are twice as exciting as sacks, based on how frequently they happen. So I developed two basic formulas:

One for the total number of exciting plays: S + I + F = N

And one for the level of excitement the team causes: S + 2I + 2F = X

Where S represents the number of sacks a team had, I represents the number of interceptions, F represents the number of forced fumbles, N represents the total number of exciting plays and X represents the level of excitement rating. I ranked the teams using the first formula, then I ranked them using the second formula, and after that I took their average from those two rankings and used that as my final number to sort the teams by. As a tie-breaker I used defensive touchdowns scored. Here’s how it panned out: Continue reading

Early 2010 NFL Predictions

This isn’t going to be in depth. That will come later. I am planning on doing an in depth preview of each of the eight divisions and that will be when I offer my analysis and thoughts behind my predictions. This is simply me taking a brief (very brief) look at each division, keeping in mind what they did in the draft, what they’ve done this offseason, and all the knowledge of each team that I have accumulated over the years as well as my gut instinct about each one. I won’t be providing anything for this other than simply listing the final standings for each division, the playoff seedings and the winner of each playoff game. Most of which I will be deciding as I go. So without further ado… Continue reading

What does your team need to do to make the playoffs?

This post will be similar to all of the other posts I have done on this very topic. The only difference for this one is that I will have four categories (AI, COD, HAC, AO) instead of six. But I will still be laying out for each team what they need to do to make the playoffs, clinch their division, get a first-round bye, and/or get the #1 seed in their conference. First let’s layout what the NFL playoffs would look like if the season ended right now. Continue reading

What does your team need to do to make the playoffs?

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THIS POST IS OUT OF DATE! CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED VERSION!

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This post will be similar to the posts I did last week. I will be laying out for each team what they need to do to make the playoffs, clinch their division, get a first-round bye, and/or get the #1 seed in their conference. First let’s layout what the NFL playoffs would look like if the season ended right now.

In the AFC the seeding would be as follows: 1. Indianapolis Colts, 2. San Diego Charger, 3. New England Patriots , 4. Cincinnati Bengals, 5. Baltimore Ravens, 6. Denver Broncos… so the Bengals and Pats flipped and the Ravens jumped both the Jags and the Broncos, knocking the Broncos down to the 6 seed and the Jags out all together.

In the NFC: 1. New Orleans Saints, 2. Minnesota Vikings, 3. Philadelphia Eagles, 4. Arizona Cardinals, 5. Green Bay Packers, 6. Dallas Cowboys. Absolutely nothing has changed here.

However, six of the 12 teams I just listed are still in danger of not making the playoffs at all. To determine how much danger they are in and what the other teams in the league need to do and have happen from them to replace one of those teams I will be using the NFL’s official tie-breaking procedures to see who needs to win which games to reach the postseason.  I will be grouping the teams into six categories (AI, COD, HAC, CFH, MML, AO) you’ll see what it all stands for below) to separate them by mathematical probability of making it to the playoffs. Here are the categories: Continue reading

What does your team need to do to make the playoffs?

**********************************************************************************

THIS POST IS OUT OF DATE! CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED VERSION!

**********************************************************************************

This post will be similar to the posts I did last year. I will be laying out for each team what they need to do to make the playoffs, clinch their division, get a first-round bye, and/or get the #1 seed in their conference. First let’s layout what the NFL playoffs would look like if the season ended right now.

In the AFC the seeding would be as follows: 1. Indianapolis Colts, 2. San Diego Charger, 3. Cincinnati Bengals, 4. New England Patriots, 5. Denver Broncos, 6. Jacksonville Jaguars.

(NB: I was going to explain how the Jags still have the second wild-card spot but Paul Kuharsky -one of my favorite writers at ESPN.com- beat me to it, so I’ll just link you to that. To view it click here.)

In the NFC: 1. New Orleans Saints, 2. Minnesota Vikings, 3. Philadelphia Eagles, 4. Arizona Cardinals, 5. Green Bay Packers, 6. Dallas Cowboys.

However, nine of the 12 teams I just listed are still in danger of not making the playoffs at all. To determine how much danger they are in and what the other teams in the league need to do and have happen from them to replace one of those teams I will be using the NFL’s official tie-breaking procedures to see who needs to win which games to reach the postseason.  I will be grouping the teams into six categories (AI, COD, HAC, CFH, MML, AO – you’ll see what it all stands for below) to separate them by mathematical probability of making it to the playoffs. Here are the categories: Continue reading

I’m a little confused

I’ve been hearing all week on ESPN and other sports media services that people should be looking for the Titans to upset my Colts this weekend. There have been a wide range of reasons given to support this claim from the Colts faltering in recent weeks to the Titans being a different team than the one the Colts faced earlier this season. It’s also been brought up that the switch from Kerry Collins to Vince Young at quarterback has turned this team around. And Young has improved so much, which is why their team has gone 5-0 since he’s taken over the starting role at quarterback.

I won’t deny any of those things: yes, the Colts have struggled in the past five games; yes, the Titans are going to give a significantly different look from what the Colts saw earlier this year; yes, it seems that the Titans have been hot since Young became the signal caller; yes, it appears that Young has improved immensely by observing and learning as a backup from the sidelines; and yes Chris Johnson is a stud.

Chris Johnson

Continue reading

NFL Passer Ratings

Bryan just called me asking what I thought of Kerry Collins’ negative-seven yard passing performance yesterday. I pulled up the box score for the game to review his stat line (2 for 12 for -7 yards, 0 TDs and a pick) and said “well there have been worse performances.” After Bryan understandably expressed his confusion about my confidence in that remark I read the last number on the stat line: “as bad as it was he still had a 4.9 passer rating and we know that there are definitely players who have had passer ratings of 0.0” to which we wondered just how bad a quarterback would have to play in order to earn that dreadful 0.0 mark. Well after some brief discussion on the matter Bryan pointed out that this could turn into a pretty good post to which I simply responded “I’m on it.” Continue reading

Where Might I Find Michael Vick in 2009?

Last year around this time I wrote a post (I’m actually just one week short of it being the exact same date) breaking down each team’s quarterback situation. You can check that out here. This post is going to be similar except it will be to specifically address whether or not each team has a need for Michael Vick and if they do, how much of a need it is. Some teams may need him simply because they need a quarterback, while others might be looking to use him in the Wildcat formation. Just today on ESPN.com’s NFL rumors section they said that the Redskins may be interested in Vick. I’d be interested as to what our commenter, Michael, who is a Redskins fan, thinks about this. Continue reading

Draft Thoughts for Bryan

First let me say that this won’t interest a whole lot of people, and will only probably intrigue people that are fans of an NFL team drafting in the top 10 or just want to gather as many different thoughts and perspectives on the 2009 NFL Draft as possible. With that out of the way, let’s get down to it.

As many of you know Bryan is a huge Rams fan and because of this he is already looking ahead to the draft for obvious reasons. So he asked me “if the Lions take Andre Smith and you were drafting for the Rams, what would you do?” This was an interesting question, because I believe (and Bryan agrees with me) that the Rams goal for the first round should be to get one of the top 3 offensive tackles in the draft: Andre Smith, Eugene Monroe or Michael Oher. They are all easily top 10 players on my big board. So what I told Bryan is that if I couldn’t trade down to a spot where I thought Monroe or Oher would still be available, then I’d reach for Monroe, but that I’d definitely be trying to trade down to get something extra out of it. He said that in addition to the team’s 2009 first round pick he’d also want a first rounder in the 2010 draft as well, but that he might settle for the team’s 2009 second rounder.

Next Bryan asked me how far I would trade down and who it would be with. This was a harder question to answer than I would have first thought. My answer to the first part of the question was simple: “I’d say we need to stay in the top 10, preferably the top 8, but I think top 10 would be fine.” The second part of the question was much more difficult. I first needed to find a top 10 team that was behind the Rams and had a big enough need for a player to jump up to the second spot because a team currently in front of them would likely take that desired player. After that I then had to figure out who I thought the remaining teams would draft to see if one of the previously mentioned offensive tackles would still be available for the Rams. Continue reading

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