Posted on: August 20, 2009 10:15 am
Edited on: February 24, 2010 5:13 pm
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2009 NFL Predictions - Updated with Actuals

2009 NFL Predictions

As I did last year, I will predict the 2009 NFL season.  But stay tuned, because the week after the Super Bowl, I will come back and show how bad my predictions were just like last year.  You always want to see the big magazine and website 'experts' come back and grade their own predictions, so I will do it in February.  Until then, enjoy!

AFC

AFC North

  • Steelers 11 - 5  Actual:  9-7 (-2)
  • Ravens 10 - 6  Actual:  9-7 (-1)
  • Browns 6 - 10  Actual:  5-11 (-1)
  • Bengals  6 - 10   Actual: 10-6 (-4)

AFC East

  • Patriots   13 - 3  Actual: 10-6 (-3) 
  • Jets  9 - 7  Actual:  9-7 (+0)
  • Dolphins 7 - 9  Actual: 7-9 (0)
  • Bills  5 - 11  Actual:  6-10 (-1)

AFC South

  • Colts  10 - 6  Actual: 14-2 (-4)
  • Titans  9 - 7  Actual:  8-8 (-1)
  • Texans  8 - 8  Actual:  9-7 (-1)
  • Jaguars  5 - 11  Actual:  7-9 (-2)

AFC West

  • Chargers  8 - 8  Actual:  13-3 (-5)
  • Chiefs  7 - 9  Actual:  4-12 (-3)
  • Broncos  4 - 12  Actual:  8-8 (-4)
  • Raiders  3 - 13  Actual:  5-11 (-2)

NFC

NFC North

  • Vikings  11 - 5   Actual:  12-4 (-1)
  • Packers 9 - 7  Actual:  11-5 (-2)
  • Bears  8 - 8   Actual:  7-9 (-1)
  • Lions 4 - 12   Actual:  2-14 (-2)

NFC East

  • Giants  10 - 6   Actual: 8-8 (-2)
  • Eagles  10 - 6   Actual: 11-5 (-1)
  • Cowboys  8 - 8  Actual: 11-5 (-3)
  • Redskins 5 - 11  Actual:  4-12 (-1)

NFC South

  • Saints 11 - 5  Actual: 13-3 (-2)
  • Panthers  9 - 7  Actual: 8-8 (-1)
  • Falcons  9 - 7 Actual: 9-7 (0)
  • Buccaneers  4 - 12  Actual:  3-13 (-1)

NFC West

  • Cardinals  10 - 6  Actual:  10-6 (0)
  • 49ers 8 - 8  Actual: 8-8 (0)
  • Rams 8 - 8 Actual: 1-15 (-7)
  • Seahawks 5 - 11 Actual:  5-11 (0)

Playoffs

  • AFC Division Winners:  Steelers, Patriots, Colts, Chargers
  • AFC WildCards: Ravens, Titans
  • AFC Championship Game:  Patriots v. Steelers
    AFC Champion: Patriots
  • NFC Division Winners:  Vikings, Giants, Saints, Cardinals
  • NFC WildCards: Eagles, Panthers
  • NFC Championship Game:  Giants v. Vikings
  • NFC Champion: Giants

Super Bowl XLIV:  Patriots 28;  Giants 17

 Grand Total:  58 Games off;  Picked 5 teams with right record;  Picked 8 of 12 playoff teams

Posted on: February 9, 2009 4:56 pm
 

Steroids: Who takes them?

Who/why does one take steroids? And Where does it stop?

  • A-Rod to justify his contract.
  • Roger Clemens to be the greatest pitcher of all time.
  • Mark McGwire to save baseball.
  • Sammy Sosa to rebrand himself.
  • Barry Bonds to get the chip off of his shoulder about Sosa/McGwire.
  • Rafael Palmeiro to go from Good to Very Good.
  • Paul Byrd to extend his journeyman career.
  • Rick Ankiel to regain confidence to stay in the Major Leagues.
  • John Rocker to be more angry.
  • Tim Laker to be good enough to make the Indians so he can be a Major Leaguer.
  • AAA Player to get out of AA Ball.
  • AA Player to get out of High A Ball.
  • High A Player to get out of A Ball.
  • A Ball Player to get out of Rookie League.
  • High School player to get drafted or recruited.
  • JV Player to get the opportunity to start.
  • Freshman player to get some innings.

Who/why does one take steroids?  Anyone who wants to be that much better.

Where does it stop?  It doesn't until fans are happy with Smaller, Slower, Weaker.

Posted on: February 2, 2009 3:43 pm
 

Cleveland Browns v2.4: Better Days

Every fools gotta reason for feelin' sorry for himself/ And turning his heart to stone/ Tonight this fool's halfway to heaven and just a mile outta hell/ And I feel like I'm comin' home. - Bruce Springsteen, Better Days

So on this Super Bowl Monday, as Browns fans across the globe wonder how their hearts could be ripped out of their chests while the actual Browns have been on vacation since September, the Steelers have won their SIXTH Super Bowl.  We celebrated when Larry Fitzgerald scored to take the lead over the Steelers, but cringed when we saw how much time was still left on the clock.  We knew how this book was going to end and we feel for Cardinals fans.  Now we're left avoiding articles and polls on cbssports.com and espn.com that ask if Pittsburgh is the greatest franchise in the history of the NFL.  The sad thing is that I can't disagree.  The Rooneys have stuck to a discipline and a team-first mentality that rises above the normal bickering that plagues most franchises.   

So we close the book on the 2008 season.  Thank God.  The only thing we learned as Browns fans this season was:

  1. Phil Savage is not a genius
  2. Ken Dorsey will not start for the Browns in 2009
  3. There was a record for most consecutive quarters without a touchdown (now it's 24 and counting!).
  4. We have never been further apart from the Steelers

As we embark on the 4th chapter of the second version of the Cleveland Browns all we can do is hope for Better Days.  Like my man, Bruce, sang in a very average song on a forgotten album in the early 1990's, life can only get better from here.

The optimist in me says that if the Cardinals can leap frog their competition with a 9-7 team and come four points from a ring, why can't the Browns?

The realist in me says that the Browns don't play in the laughable NFC West.  The only way they are going to sniff the playoffs is to have a winning record in the AFC North.  To do that they have to beat the Steelers and Ravens at least once.  Tough task.

So I for one, am going to put away my Browns gear for a while and enjoy the Cavaliers run to the playoffs, the Indians promising season, and try to dodge the Black & Puke World Championship gear that has permeated my Northeast Ohio home.

Posted on: December 5, 2008 3:26 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2008 4:21 pm
 

Cleveland Browns; Super Bowl XLVI Champions

After the Browns and Indians 2007 successful seasons, most Cleveland fans were convinced we would have either a World Series or Super Bowl team in 2008.  Wow were we wrong.  The Indians clawed their way back to .500 and it would be a miracle if Ken Dorsey can bring the Browns back to .500 from 4-8. 

However, as disappointing as 2008 has been, I'm going to make a prediction: 

The Browns will win the Super Bowl in 2011.

2009: 9-7;  This won't be a rebuilding year like we all fear.  The new coach will motivate this team and will promote the "team first" concept.  The Browns will make some leadership changes at the top and will get rid of team cancer Kellen WinslowBraylon Edwards will come back because he'll have some help that he did not have this year. Plus, they are going to have an easier schedule again like they had in '07 due to the weighting.  Wild Card loss or barely miss playoffs.

2010: 10-6; This is going to be the gel year.  Very little changes through the organization and the team will finally win the majority of the AFC North games with the Steelers finally feeling their age and the Ravens defense decimated by age and free agency.  Brady Quinn will be one of the AFC's best QBs behind the best offensive lines in the NFL.  Wild Card qualifier.  Win wildcard against Chargers.  Lose to Dolphins in Divisional playoff.

2011: 13-3; The powerhouse Browns run through the weak AFC North and win all six games and they win all four games against the NFC West.  The Doomsday Defense doesn't allow one running back over 100 yards in a game and All-Pro CB Eric Wright has 8 INTs.  Win AFC North.  Beat Texans in Divisional Playoff.  Beat Dolphins in AFC Championship.  Beat Cowboys in Super Bowl. 

Feel free to save this blog post and congratulate me in three years.

Posted on: November 11, 2008 5:39 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2008 4:40 pm
 

Tribute to the 1987 Cleveland Browns Scabs

"Stray Dawgs are Better Than No Dawgs!!"  -- Dawg Pound Sign Supporting the 1987 Cleveland Browns Scabs

Remember Jeff Christiansen or Larry Mason or Perry Kemp? 

Probably not, but if it weren't for these guys, the Browns may never have made it to the AFC Title Game in 1987.

It's been a long time since the Browns had a team that had a legitimate shot at making the Super Bowl.  1987 was the last good chance we had and it slipped through Ernest Byner's hands at the two yard line on that cold January day at Mile High Stadium.

The Browns were 10-5 that year.  Only fifteen games were played that year because of a canceled week due to the NFL Players Strike.  The regular Browns started 1-1 and then it got interesting:

  • 10/4/87: Browns 20; Patriots 10;  Running back Larry Mason rushes for 133 yards and two touchdowns and he joined the team two days beforehand!  Coach Marty Schottenheimer is encouraged by the execution of the complex offensive and defensive schemes.  Record 2-1.
  • 10/11/87: Oilers 15; Browns 10;  Tough weather conditions and a tougher pass rush from the Oiler scabs proved too much for the replacement Dawgs as they lose in front of an impressive and supportive Cleveland Municipal Stadium crowd of $35,000.  Record 2-2.
  • 10/18/87: Browns 34; Bengals 0;  Strike is falling apart.  Players are crossing the picket lines and the Browns have 9 regulars back.  Brian Brennan and backup QB Gary Danielson team up for a huge day as the mostly scabs beat the Bengals in Cincinnati.  Record 3-2 and alive in the playoff hunt.

Everyone remembers "The Fumble" in 1987, but few remember the truck drivers, landscapers, bartenders, and machine operators who manned the ship while Bernie Kosar & Company were outside picketing.  The 'scabs' actually put the Browns in better shape after the strike and step back into the forgotten shadows of NFL History.

Great actual game summaries from legendary Browns reporter Tony Grossi of The Plain Dealer:

Posted on: November 4, 2008 8:51 am
Edited on: November 4, 2008 8:54 am
 

Brayden Tyler Quinn...You're In.

Here we go.

Brady Quinn is the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.  He can live up to his Subway commercials now (I'm kinda busy on Sundays.)

This is either the end of the beginning of the Savage rule... or is it the beginning of the end?

I don't envy the position Savage and Crennel were in over the past year and a half.  They pull off an amazing draft in 2007 and draft Joe Thomas and Quinn in the first round.  So naturally, the fans want to see the young guy start.  Derek Anderson didn't let that happen.  He had a Jekyll and Hyde year and a half for the Browns.  He was either really good or really bad.  Just when you thought he played his last game, he turns into Joe Montana the next week and keeps his job.

This was a move that had to happen.  3-5 is bad, but with parity in the NFL, the Browns could still make a run for a wildcard.  They should have picked one or the other in training camp, though, so they could have received some draft picks and moved on.  Whether it was loyalty or blind optimism, they thought they can keep Quinn on the bench and win with a known commodity in Pro Bowl alternate DA.

Both quarterbacks performed the way they were supposed to.  DA was a gunslinger and looked good and looked bad.  He played true to his low completion rate. His receiving corps also looked bad.  BQ was professional and never said a word while reporters wanted him to be a prima donna and say he deserved a shot.  He kept his head down and waited for his chance. 

Now is the chance.  The Browns probably made this move because the last thing they want is a bunch of liquored-up fans screaming for Brady during warmups of a national TV game.  Or they made it because the curiosity factor will fill the stadium and concessions will bring in some revenue.  Either way, I'll be there and will be anxious to see #10.

I wish nothing but the best for Derek Anderson and with the Browns luck, he may be starting again in 2008.

Posted on: October 24, 2008 4:12 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2008 4:13 pm
 

Ozzie Newsome, The good old days...

This week's Kellen Winslow fiasco made me long for the days when we had #82 at tight end.  Ozzie Newsome was the epitome of an NFL Hall of Famer.  He was quiet, unassuming and kept his mouth shut.  He never talked about deserving to be a Pro Bowler, let alone a Hall of Famer. 

He didn't scream at quarterbacks or coaches. 

He just caught footballs. 

He played with good quarterbacks (Bernie Kosar and Brian Sipe),

he played with bad quarterbacks (Mike Pagel, Paul McDonald), 

and he played with an old quarterback (Don Strock). 

But the one thing that was consistent was he was loyal to his teammates, his coaches, and even his owner.

Ozzie Newsome = Quiet Confidence.

Posted on: October 17, 2008 9:50 am
 

First Game in DC since 1991

The last time the Browns played in DC was seventeen years ago.  First year head coach Bill Belichick and the Cleveland Browns were 2-3 and heading to Washington D.C. to play the 6 -0 Washington Redskins.  The Browns got slaughtered (although Webster Slaughter did have a TD on a fake punt) 42-17.  The Browns finished 6-10 that year.

Let's hope that won't be the same result.  Here are my keys to victory:

Four things have to happen for a victory over the Redskins:

  1. Mix it up -  If they're cocky and think they can come with the same gameplan they did offensively and defensively vs. the Giants, they'll lose.  This is a different team than NY, so they need to prepare accordingly.
  2. Contain Clinton Portis - We have a history of allowing the other teams star running backs to dominate and take over games.
  3. Contain Chris Cooley/Antwaan Randle El -  In the past two wins, we haven't had to deal with a decent tight end or any trickery.  Cooley and Randle El can be used in multiple ways, so they need to neutralize them.
  4. Run Jamal Run -  This needs to be a 30 carry 150 yard game for Jamal Lewis.  That will be boring, but necessary for clock management.  Plus will open up for a late TD pass to win the game.

Close win, Browns 21; Redskins 17.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com