WHAT'S THE LEAST SLAPDICK TEAM IN AMERICA? So, I guess we should also talk about the actual football season as well. I find so much of preseason predictions to be about proving how smart one is rather than actually trying to get it right -- the same impulse that leads fantasy football owners away from drafting Hines Ward and Donald Driver also leads pundits to shy away from obvious conclusions like the fact that if you're picking against the Indianapolis Colts to win the AFC, as long as Peyton Manning's there you'd better have a damn good reason. And I don't have one. No team in the conference has improved enough to top them -- certainly not the goddamn snack eaters in Green and White as long as The Sanchize is at QB.
In the NFC? Let's assume some reversion to the mean for New Orleans. Certainly, they were slowed down a bit tonight. Green Bay is the sexy pick to beat them, and with good reason -- indeed, that's one hell of a machine they've built. It may come down to something as simple as who has home field advantage in January, but when we're talking about winners, the conversation ends with those two.
Sure, there's a lot of things I'm curious to see this season: year one of Kevin Kolb, Ryan Matthews, Denver's Virgin Air and Donovan McNabb in crimson; Mike Martz's impact in Chicago and Pete Carroll's in Seattle (presumed negative); just how much longer Belichick can surround Tom Brady with mediocre running backs and a lesser defense and still win; the rise of Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub and (hopefully) Vince Young; and, of course, whether the NFL does take concussions seriously.
This is the first Eagles season in almost a decade in which the playoffs can't be presumed or expected; indeed, I don't know what to expect. I'm hoping for something around 9-7, 10-6; more than anything, I'm just hoping they were right that Kevin Kolb was ready for this. And I hope we don't lose to all three of Dallas, Washington and New York at home. We may not be great again yet, but let's not suck.