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Old 08-15-2002, 04:25 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's 2002 NFL Picks

It''s about that time again! A while back I promised to make my "official" picks for the 2002 season sometime in the middle of August, so I'm right on time. Without further adieu, here they are:


AFC EAST

Miami Dolphins: 11-5 - Been "Looking For Mr. Goodbar" at running back for a long time now, and if their search has indeed ended (with Ricky Williams) their '02 highlight film could very well find itself rated SBA - for Super Bowl Appearance.

New England Patriots: 10-6 - Their motto is "In Brady We Trust." They better hope someone doesn't come along and declare it unconstitutional.

New York Jets: 9-7 - At quarterback they'll either be too young (with Chad Pennington) or too old (with Vinny Testaverde). The overachieving can't go on forever; fated to be the best team this year not to finish in the top half of their division.

Buffalo Bills: 5-11 - If an excellent scrambler like Rob Johnson couldn't survive behind that sieve they have for an offensive line, then how can a pillar of salt like Drew Bledsoe be expected to do so? OT Mike Williams better turn out to be a first-team All-Pro in his rookie year or Bledsoe will be on crutches by Halloween.


AFC NORTH

Cleveland Browns: 10-6 - Yes, the Rolling Stones did sing, "You can't always get what you want," but the next line was, "but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need." And they did just that with running back William Green, who plugs up their most serious weakness and vaults them to the top of this division.

Baltimore Ravens: 8-8 - Picked to fall completely apart by virtually everyone, but then again so were the Vikings two years ago, and that didn't stop them from improving their record by a game and going one round further in the playoffs. Splitting the difference here in a tough call.

Pittsburgh Steelers: 7-9 - The Curse strikes again: The Defending Number One AFC Playoff Seed Curse that is - the last four teams to earn the top playoff seed in the AFC all finished with losing records the following year! And with all the gaping holes in their offense, don't bet against them making it five.

Cincinnati Bengals: 5-11 - At least they never trade away their top draft picks, and like the late Joe Thomas once said, if you're going to lose, you might as well lose with young players so that they may grow and mature together. But for them, will the "maturing" ever end?


AFC SOUTH

Tennessee Titans: 9-7 - McNair and George must stay healthy and defense (especially the secondary) must regain its confidence, but the Colts haven't won more games than they have in any season since 1996, so until proven otherwise ...

Indianapolis Colts: 8-8 - Brought in the right guy (Tony Dungy) to clean up their defense, but it won't happen overnight and Edgerrin James must show that he has made a full recovery from last season's knee injury, even more so with last year's surprise fill-in, Dominic Rhodes, now out for the season after suffering a knee injury of his own; not convinced.

Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-11 - Mark Brunell's loyalty is commendable, but this team is going the wrong way.

Houston Texans: 3-13 - Fresno State is poor preparation for an NFL expansion team, as David Carr is soon to discover.


AFC WEST

Oakland Raiders: 11-5 - Have many players who are nearing the end of the line, so the infusion of draft picks they got for Jon Gruden comes just in time. As good as any in a conference lacking anything even resembling a "great" team.

Denver Broncos: 10-6 - For the fourth year in a row an injury at running back had reared its ugly head, yet they always manage to adequately cope with the situation. Should return to the postseason, and Brian Griese may be better than what some of the conference's other realistic contenders have at the quarterback position.

San Diego Chargers: 7-9 - At least they now appear to be headed in the right direction, but the two quarterbacks who are battling for their starting job average 5-foot-10 1/2 and 200 pounds between them.

Kansas City Chiefs: 5-11 - Another team that's on the decline. Why did Vermeil have to come back after winning the Super Bowl with St. Louis?


NFC EAST

Washington Redskins: 12-4 - Daniel Snyder will either win a Super Bowl, or go bankrupt trying. Maybe even both.

Philadelphia Eagles: 11-5 - Bridesmaid Revisted: Last year's division title was their first in 21 years, after finishing second seven times during that drought. Lost control of the division when Jeremiah Trotter went to Washington, but bought themselves a wild card by signing Levon Kirkland to take Trotter's spot at middle linebacker.

New York Giants: 8-8 - It was a mere 19 months ago that they were the top seed in the NFC and won the conference championship game 41-0; how far could they have possibly fallen since then?

Dallas Cowboys: 7-9 - They still don't have anything better than "Quincy" at quarterback, so look for an autopsy to be conducted on Dave Campo's job after the end of the season.



NFC NORTH

Green Bay Packers: 13-3 - All systems appear to say "Go," including the schedule, which favors them greatly over the conference's defending champions, the Rams.

Chicago Bears: 10-6 - Teams that make big improvements over the previous year almost always "give back" anywhere from one-third to one-half of the gain the season after, especially if they played a soft schedule the year they made their big move. And even last year they still lost to Green Bay twice.

Detroit Lions: 7-9 - Actually missed a .500 season by only 18 points last year; this year they'll miss it by one game. The sooner Joey Harrington takes over the starting quarterback job, the more they'll improve.

Minnesota Vikings: 4-12 - You've heard of three and out; well Mike Tice has "one and out" written all over him. It will seem like Les Steckel deja vu all over again.


AFC SOUTH

New Orleans Saints: 9-7 - Made four picks in last April's draft before their new division rivals even made one; they should gain enough ground from that to win it.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-8 - Not even Vince Lombardi would have been worth what they gave up for Jon Gruden. And did they really need to bring in Rob Johnson?

Atlanta Falcons: 6-10 - Michael Vick came out way too early - and Dan Reeves' retirement will prove to have come too late.

Carolina Panthers: 4-12 - Could have hired a proven NFL winner, but chose John Fox instead. Dallas may or may not still be America's Team, but they're Snickers' Team - they're not going anywhere for a while.


NFC WEST

St. Louis Rams: 12-4 - Schedule will be a major headache. Not only is it much tougher than last year's overall, but it includes three consecutive cold-weather road games, two of them in the late time slot - and in his coldest NFL start (43 degrees at kickoff) Kurt Warner generated three points in a 2000 game at Carolina. That's something to think about if you're planning on taking the short price they're being held at to win the Super Bowl.

San Francisco 49ers: 10-6 - Will try their best, but in this division, it will be second best.

Seattle Seahawks: 7-9 - Takes biggest jump in schedule difficulty in the entire league relative to what they played last year. And now Dilfer's out.

Arizona Cardinals: 5-11 - And strength of schedule is cause for special concern for Jake Plummer. He's 2-23 lifetime versus opponents with winning records.


PLAYOFFS

AFC Wild Card: Denver over CLEVELAND; New England over TENNESSEE
NFC Wild Card: ST. LOUIS over San Francisco; NEW ORLEANS over Philadelphia

AFC Semifinals: MIAMI over Denver; OAKLAND over New England
NFC Semifinals: GREEN BAY over New Orleans; WASHINGTON over St. Louis

AFC Championship: MIAMI over Oakland
NFC Championship: GREEN BAY over Washington

Super Bowl XXXVII
Green Bay over Miami

Last edited by Anthony; 08-19-2002 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 08-15-2002, 09:28 AM   #2
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As far as record during the regular season is concerned I disagree with the Steelers being 7-9, the Bucs being 8-8, and the Colts being 8-8....I think all of these teams will have more wins!

Miami in the Super Bowl??????????....I just don't see that at all! Please, tell me what your reasoning is on saying that Miami will reach the Super Bowl. Was it the addition of Ricky Williams, are you hoping that Chris Chambers is best receiver in football, or will the defense really be that good for the Dolphins? I would like to hear why you have selected that team over all the other AFC teams.

I also think you have New Orleans going too far into the playoff race, and St. Louis losing too soon!

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Old 08-15-2002, 09:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by I OWN THIS
As far as record during the regular season is concerned I disagree with the Steelers being 7-9, the Bucs being 8-8, and the Colts being 8-8....I think all of these teams will have more wins!

Miami in the Super Bowl??????????....I just don't see that at all! Please, tell me what your reasoning is on saying that Miami will reach the Super Bowl. Was it the addition of Ricky Williams, are you hoping that Chris Chambers is best receiver in football, or will the defense really be that good for the Dolphins? I would like to hear why you have selected that team over all the other AFC teams.

I also think you have New Orleans going too far into the playoff race, and St. Louis losing too soon!

Joey

Any one of six or seven teams could make it to the Super Bowl from the AFC, so my pick of Miami is hardly an emphatic one. To prove my point, notice that I have the best record in the entire conference being a mere 11-5!

And remember that in this scenario, the Saints would get the home-field advantage in the first round as a division champion even though their first-round opponent (the Eagles) will have had a better record (in the playoff picks the home team in each game is indicated by capital letters). As far as Pittsburgh goes, I guess either you believe in "The Curse" or you don't! (And of course, you know I do). And the Colts do take the sharpest drop in the whole league as far as strength of schedule is concerned, so it's possible that you could be right about them - I still say they'll get into too many 41-37 type games, and they'll win some of them and lose some of them. Finally, the Rams would only be the #3 seed in the NFC (after they lose at Washington on November 24, costing them the tie-breaker) if these picks pan out - and that would mean a return trip to what promises to be a frigid FedEx Field in the middle of January for their second-round playoff game - a hopeless situation for them.

Last edited by Anthony; 08-18-2002 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 08-15-2002, 08:53 PM   #4
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Great stuff, Anthony, although I have to agree with Joey that those teams are too good to finish so poorly. I am planning on posting my extensive picks in a week or so when I am back home and caught up, so stay tuned. Oh, and great Super Bowl pick. I'm a bit worried since all three of our top WRs are currently banged up, though ... I also like the Niners' chances better than being 10-6 -- I see 11 or 12 wins, minimum. They've bulked up in their secondary for the Rams, obviously.
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Old 08-15-2002, 10:39 PM   #5
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Jay Fielder threw 3 interceptions tonight as the starting QB against the Saints! With this starting Qb Miami will not go to the Super Bowl! They have much better chances with Ray Lucas! Miami will be watching the Super Bowl from home as they always do! Green Bay has a decent shot though!

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Old 08-16-2002, 01:23 AM   #6
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That was horrible!
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Old 08-17-2002, 09:30 PM   #7
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Ugh, and Ricky Williams has been DREADFUL -- averaging like 2 yards per rush. Perhaps all this hype was for nothing...
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