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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wonder's NFL predictions for 2008 season- Part 1

1) NFC WEST: Seattle a lock over +8.5. This division is putrid. SEA under the gun with suspensions at beginning of season but will still get 9+ wins.

2) NFC SOUTH: Vilma will fit in with the Saints and have a good year. So will the Saints, who will "hands down" win their division. Only the Panthers are a real threat. Panthers have a very good running tandem in Williams and Stewart but they only have one WR, and he is out the first two games with a suspension. Play 8 in the box and they are done. If Carolina's defense can show up and play well they might challenge the Saints, but more likely they are on the outside looking in for winning their division AND also coming up short for a wild card.

3) NFC NORTH: Pack is still back. 37-1 (Super Bowl XLIII) is a big overlay on them. Minnesota wild card? Can Adrian Peterson stay healthy? Peterson was injured in college and injured as a rookie, so this is a continuing question. Why oh why did Minnesota not get help for 2nd year starter Tavaris Jackson? As this kid goes, so goes the Vikings, a big bet Wonder does not make... why didn't they get another QB to help the team and to help Jackson, Wonder asks.

4) NFC EAST: Dallas is winning the division and going to the Super Bowl. The only question is whether PHL and NYG both go to the playoffs as wild cards. The toughest division in football right now. Philadelphia's schedule is so easy, it is very hard to see how they are NOT in the playoffs. Dallas will get derailed if they lose TO or Romo. The achilles heal is that Dallas only has one WR, so if TO is lost the entire team collapses. The Giants still have a shot, but Osi's loss was horrible... if the Giants get another big injury they are done. Most teams cannot survive a big injury like Osi, but the Giants can... they just cannot afford another one. Burress and Smith need to stay healthy. McDougle was a reasonable signing. Because the Giants play SEA at home, they will sweep the NFC West. The Eagles get CLE/PIT at home and CINC/BAL on road, which Wonder thinks is a much easier path to 3-1 or 4-0 than the way the Giants have it, which is the exact opposite. Wonder saw 9.5 games for the Giants before Osi went down, still sees 9, maybe 10 wins now. Says the Giants better/will KILL the Skins in Week 1 or else they are in trouble. Skins awful. Giants have huge advantage in 10 day layover after week 1 to get kinks out and be even stronger. Back to the wild card, PHL (Westbrook?), MINN and NYG all one injury away from disaster.

AFC NORTH: Pittsburgh. Cleveland is a good team but Crennel is a lousy coach.

AFC SOUTH: Indianapolis. They are the most balanced, play tough at home, tough in the dome. Jax? Tenn? Wild cards?

AFC EAST: Patriots. NE has huge problems. If you want to beat the Patriots throw against them 30-40 times. Their defense is slow, aging, Samuel loss hurts their secondary, make their LBers play in space, the LBers cannot cover. Bet 'over' in every game that the Patriots play. Jets can fight for a wild card. Just like the Giants must kick serious butt in week 1 vs the Skins, he sees same imperative of the Jets kicking serious butt on the Dolphins. The Jets cannot afford to lose to the teams that they are expected to beat. If they beat those teams they are 10-6 and a wild card. If they lose to 1 or 2 of those teams they are out. Sleeper of the NFL resides in this division- Buffalo. Buffalo will steamroll SEA on opening day. If they do not then they are poorly coached. Buffalo will be better than people think. Can defense gel? Trent Edwards?

AFC WEST: Chargers. KC had good draft but they stink. OAK and DEN nowhere.

SUPER BOWL XLIII- Dallas vs. Indianapolis with a tight 3 point spread for either one.

8 comments:

GoodPunk6 said...

Wonder and everyone else on this blog have to be the most negative people on the face of the earth. Nothing positive ever comes out of this blog.

The Giants will probably not win their division or repeat in the super bowl but to say that their season is one injury away from a disaster is ridiculous. You went nuts last year when Shockey went down and they WON THE SUPER BOWL.

Its also possible that Osi comes back just in time for the playoffs. Yes, now that he's gone Justin Tuck will get all the double teams but that just opens opportunities up for the other D-line players. Cofield and Robbins are scary quick this year. Jay Alford will most definitely continue to develop. Kiwi is a NATURAL D-END. All of this amounts to a dominating D-line.

Linebackers are a bit of a concern, but lets look at the options. AP, solid. Always is. Danny Clark is older but he's a smart player. Not quite as quick as he used to be but counters that by being in position. That's veteran play for any aging player. Gerris Wilkinson, the LINEBACKER that went STEP FOR STEP with RANDY MOSS in week 17. He's probably going to make some mental mistakes but the athleticism should fill in the gap.

The problem with the LBers is that they haven't yet, "Gelled."

I guess the problem I have with this blog is that every time I read it, I feel depressed afterward. Your blog is more speculation than it is anything else. So if you love the Giants as much as I do, PLEASE, show some enthusiasm.

Cooker said...

I don't see the Cowboys winning the division or going to the Super Bowl. The key thing after talent in the starting lineup is skilled depth with game experience. This is why I like the Giants to win (at least the division). The Giants don't have the number one in the league at any position, but they have a lot of top tens, which I believe is better (Tuck and/or Kiwanuka may prove to be better than this). Aside from the lines, the Giants have some of the best depth in the league. That will be the key in December. Barring several major injuries, I think the Giants win the NFC East at 12-4 and have a real shot to repeat.

Andy F. said...

Lunch break comment- As for being "negative" here, I am 9-7 for the year, maybe 10-6 if we can beat the skins on the road. I just checked (for the very first time, God's honest truth) the over/under line for wins this season at an online sportsbook, and the number there????--- 9!!!!! So please tell me how I am being "negative?" For not drinking the Giants Kool Aid and being biased and ignoring Osi's injury, that Old Eli was alive and well in preseason etc..? I happen to see the number of wins landing exactly on where Vegas sees it... so if that makes me 'negative' so be it. I prefer the words sober and objective.

Re Shockey, read what I said the day after he got hurt. Nailed that one, knew Gilbride's lack of use would mean he WOULD NOT be missed. (I am guilty of being negative Gilbride, this I confess.)

I bleed Giant Blue just like everyone else, and will be just as ecstatic if the gmen can win a championship this season. If guys like Robbins and Cofield are going to have a much better year this season, that would be a HUGE difference for the team. We had one post on that siting Cofield's words... so if he backs them up and INDEED it happens, the difference right there could be why we go to the Super Bowl. (Nothing is an underrated as interior defensive line play. Kris Jenkins has already shown that in limited play during Jets preseason.)

Is preseason meaningless? Yes and no. The first year that Amani Toomer broke out he did so when he played well at camp after taking karate in the offseason and his improved play continued in the regular season. What evidence do we have this year for improvement THUS FAR? As I look through the roster, I can site the following for improved play in August...

David Carr (as second string QB)
Domenik Hixon
Bryan Kehl
Sinorice Moss
Kenny Phillips

and none of these guys are likely to start. Sober? Reality? Last year we had the 4 headed monster wreaking havoc in the first Eagles game... Kiwi, Osi, Stray, and Tuck all going at the passer on the same play. Two of them are gone. Sober. If it depresses you that Vegas and Wonder and myself are all at ~9-7 or 10-6, I cannot do that much about it. If the new Eli shows up for all 16 games we are 13-3. Did you see new Eli in preseason? I did not. We'll have a lot more reality after the Giants play 3 weak teams in the first 3 weeks... let's see what they show us. (Even my 9-7/10-6 forecast has them 4-0 after the first 4 games, so all I can promise is a little objectivity amid the bias for a Super Bowl.)

Btw, Wonder is totally objective about the Giants. His only bias is + Jets and - Pats. And even there he is extremely realistic.

Mitch said...

Giant catch! Plax gets big new deal
The last piece of unfinished offseason business was taken care of just before the Giants' regular-season opener began: Plaxico Burress has a new deal. The Giants' No. 1 receiver now has a deal that's worth $35M over the next five years.

Andy F. said...

thanks Mitch, excellent news, good way to start the season.

GoodPunk6 said...

Andy,

So you're quoting Vegas? VEGAS?!?! That's nothing but pure speculation. Again, meaningless jib jab. If that's what you're basing your argument on then congrats. You don't have an ounce of intellect. If that's what VEGAS is choosing then you're simply just making a trendy prediction. In fact, you even predicted that the Cowboys would win the division. How creative is that?

New or Old Eli? Last night we saw a blend of the two. His interception came on a hurry where he wasn't able to step into his throw. He probably shouldn't have thrown it, but once again, against your prediction (a terrible one at best), the defense bailed them out.

The defense played amazingly well. YOU said it was pretty much over after Osi went down.

All in all. You're the "asshole(s)/media" that the Giants are trying to disprove this year. That's right, you're one of the naysayers. If you don't think so, then just read your blog.

Andy F. said...

Yah, I went off the deep end when Osi went out for the season Sunday evening Aug 24, but for the record (Monday August 25th 6:03AM): "As down as I am about Osi being gone for the season, moving Kiwi back to DL where he belongs combined with having Bradshaw start RB would change my opinion of this team's chances." The Giants promptly moved Kiwi back to DL later that morning and we await the return of Bradshaw from whatever dungeon he has been relegated to.

Andy F. said...

It is impossible to make so many predictions and not get nailed somewhere. I just found this post again and we can review these predictions:
1) NFC West- wrong. injuries killed Sea early and they never recovered.
2) NFC South-wrong. Right about Carolina challenging.
3) NFC North-wrong about Pack, right about Minn.
4) NFC East- wrong about Boys, but right about "TO or Romo" loss derailing the team. Romo cost the Cowboys dearly. "If the Giants get another big injury they are done"..prophetic. Was Burress big? RIGHT ON. Right about the Giants and the Eagles making the playoffs.
AFC North- Pittsburgh right. And right about Crennel, who lost his job.
AFC South- right about IND, who were held back by so many problems and still got through to the playoffs. Tenn wild card we'll call neutral.
AFC East- right about NE, who tied for the division DESPITE losing Brady in Week 1.
AFC West- right about the Chargers
Wrong, wrong about Super Bowl.

Summary: 10 right, 6 wrong. To do this before seeing ANY regular season action is difficult. Essentially, Wonder was in the general vacinity on all but one division, the NFC West. How many of you had AZ?

Overall you give this set of predictions a B. There are just too many injuries to really have a great deal of accuracy before the season starts. Even where Wonder was wrong on the Saints, they had the best offense in the league and blew 3 games early (which they could have and should have won) that cost them. Had Buffalo steamrolling SEA in week 1 (correct, 34-10) and correctly did NOT jump aboard BUF for the season, despite them being 4-0, saw them as weaker than their record.

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