Behind the Mic: The NFL – Pre-Season Best and Worst

BEHIND THE MIC:
The NFL – Pre-season Best and Worst

I realize it is only July, but the summer seems to be flying by. I am already thinking about high school and college football. It will be here soon. And since I am writing this week’s blog and, in the fall, my blog includes my weekly NFL picks, it seemed like a good time to consider (in my estimation), which NFL teams will be the BEST and which teams will be the WORST.

Let’s start with the worst, since when these teams play (unless it’s against each other) my predictions should be easier. The five worst teams in the NFL for the upcoming season will be the:

Jets – Tim Tebow goes; Geno Smith comes in so the Jets still have a quarterback controversy (5 on their roster including Mark Sanchez) and they have gotten worse overall as a team.

Raiders – This team just does not have the talent to contend at all.

Bills – QB position is really questionable. 6-10 last year and they will probably struggle to surpass that win total.

Jaguars – They were awful last season and did very little in the draft to think they got better. Remember a 3-win season will be an improvement over last year.

Browns – They traded away draft picks in Rounds 4 and 5 so they had only 2 picks in the first five rounds and they find themselves in a division where everybody is better.

Titans – In case I’m wrong, the Titans should improve on their 6-10 record, but most of that responsibility rests on the QB Jake Locker.

Now that I have upset the Jets and Browns fans, I wish the Eagles, Steelers and the Redskins (my boss’s team) would now show up in my top 5. But, alas, that will not be the case. To me, the very best will be the:

 • 49ers – They were outstanding last year; had a decent draft and will have a new starter at safety (Eric Reid).

Broncos – Peyton Manning and a talented stable of receivers (including Wes Welker) make this team extremely strong offensively, but they, also, have one of the top defenses. They could win it all.

Falcons – They just needed to improve their defense and they did that with great improvement at the cornerback positions. They were 13-3 last year and, if possible, they could be better.

Seahawks – They have a great coach, terrific chemistry, and improved in the draft on both sides of the ball. They are one of the very best and will battle the 49ers for the Division title.

Packers/Patriots – Both of these teams have outstanding quarterbacks who could carry them to a win every weekend. The Packers got better at the running game. The Patriots did not do much with the draft and lost Welker so time will tell if they will be better this season.

 Oh, by the way, the Redskins and Giants should finish in the upper half, the Steelers in the middle, and the Eagles in the lower half.

Please, please don’t blame the messenger.

 

Behind the Mic – February 4th

SUPER BOWL XLVII OBSERVATIONS:

  1. How can anyone possibly watch the pre-game shows, which started at 11:00 AM? I watched from 6:00 and that was more than enough pre-game for me!
  2. The Sandy Hook Elementary School choir was outstanding and Jennifer Hudson only added to the beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful”.
  3. Alicia Keyes is REALLY, REALLY talented, BUT can’t anyone sing the National Anthem anymore without drawing it out and adding words or notes at the end? The pace was too slow and the ending was unnecessary.
  4. I just cannot accept the sincerity of Ray Lewis or forget his past. He seems to know when the camera is on him and “acts” accordingly.
  5. Off-sides, illegal formation, interception, fumble – These early mistakes were disastrous for the 49’ers. They did not seem ready to go in the playoffs until things got desperate. Then they really turned it on.
  6. We would really be talking about the fake field goal on 4th and 9 by the Ravens if they had lost.
  7. Look closely at the missed field goal by David Akers and the subsequent penalty for “roughing the kicker”. I watched it many times. Akers fell on his own and I do not think he was even touched.
  8. Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick’s Super Bowl performances just added their names to the list of some great, young quarterbacks in the NFL right now. Kaepernick’s accuracy and arm strength are amazing. Flacco’s demeanor and skills are equally impressive.
  9. Everyone, including the CBS announcers, seemed to blame the power outage for the 49’ers comeback. Perhaps, San Francisco made some defensive halftime adjustments to limit the effectiveness of the Raven offense and figured some things out on the offensive side to combat the Raven defense.
  10. I wonder how many people turned the game off (28-6) when the outage occurred?
  11. Colin Kaepernick is adopted. His parents lost two children shortly after they were born before adopting him. It is quite a story. Check it out.
  12. The Harbaugh parents must have loved and hated the game. How could they enjoy the success of one son at the expense of the other? I hope they enjoyed Beyonce!
  13. Speaking of Beyonce, everyone at the gathering I attended to watch the game agreed her halftime show was terrific. I really liked the stage rising up from behind her and the graphics and special effects that went along with the song. She did not seem to give much acknowledgement to her roots, Destiny’s Child, however.
  14. Is pass interference pass interference no matter when it occurs during the game? Do you agree with the adage that you let the players win or lose the game? I believe non-calls often decide who does win or lose a game.
  15. With all the millions spent on Super Bowl ads, the big winner this week was TCCD International. They distribute BuckPower Antler Velvet legally to vitamin stores and Walgreens. Ray Lewis allegedly used the deer antler spray to recover from a torn bicep. And all their publicity was free!!
  16. My top five commercials were, in no particular order were:
    1. GoDaddy geek-supermodel kiss
    2. Budweiser Clydesdale reunion
    3. Audi prom story
    4. Best Buy with Amy Poehler
    5. Taco Bell’s nursing home rebellious clients
  17. I was not impressed with the:
    1. Coke Chase
    2. GoDaddy’s other commercial about coming up with new ideas
    3. E-trade’s baby spot
  18. The beer that is poured from black bottles looks like beer poured from regular glass bottles.
  19. CBS cleverly added their #1 new show, “Elementary”, to their program lineup to follow the Super Bowl. Not so clever with the power outage adding a half hour to the Super Bowl broadcast and the new show ending well past midnight. Even TiVo could not anticipate the late start. I’m sure it seemed like such a good idea at the time.
  20. XLVIII is being held outdoors at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and it will be in February! I’m sure it seemed like such a good idea at the time.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

SEE ABOVE. I AM ALL “MUSED” OUT!


 

FINAL SUMMARY OF NFL PICKS

(Last week – 0-1)

(88-55 for the season – 62%)