Friday, August 3, 2007

NFC South Preview: Doggies, Hurricanes, and the like

Each of the contributors is going to be previewing one division and the remaining divisions will be assigned to several guest writers. We're going to try to do about one or two per week until the start of the season.

Ever since the Texans joined the league and there was realignment, I always looked at this division as the awkward division. The Panthers are still a pretty new team in my eyes, thus no rivalries have been formed. And the Buccaneers were just kind of pried away from the Central, which killed Favre’s “rivalry” (if you can call it that) with Warren Sapp and the Buccaneers. It also forced upon the average football fan another hopeful rivalry of Vick vs.
Tampa’s defense. Yawn. The only constant here is the Falcons and Saints being in the same division. Not much history here, but recently many storylines have surfaced among these four teams.

Glass Half Full Storylines that may or may not interest you

1. Bruce Gradkowski to Maurice Stovall was the most electrifying play in sports

A friend of the blog’s went to the same high school as Bruce (Seton La Salle in Pittsburgh). She (yes, she) informed me that when the Buccaneers were playing the Steelers in Pittsburgh, Gradkowski visited his old school to the tune of a rally. Oh yeah, and t-shirts that said “Seton La Salle Grad(kowski).” Those clever Pittsburghers. The glass half full news? Gradkowski won’t be starting anymore. Phew. Jeff Garcia was acquired in the offseason and will take the helm (unless Chris Simms steals the job-- you do have to feel bad for him), which should be an improvement despite the horrendous offensive line of the Bucs. And Michael Clayton can’t have another bad season. Can he?

2. Reggie Bush, DeAngelo Williams, and Steve Smith have talent

And the best part for the Reginald? He has a very good offensive line, quarterback, and receivers around him to help him out. Bush’s talents can’t really be put into words-- he just gives you a scare every single time he touches the ball. As far as Williams and Smith go, that offense should be scary. The Panthers didn’t have much of a running attack last year with their subpar offensive line and DeShaun Foster limping around. I feel like he got injured a little bit too late in the season for DeAngelo to make his rightful impact. This year, DeAngelo should be getting more carries and I couldn’t be more excited. The little shit has some moves and I think he will ultimately give the Panthers more of a ground threat, lightening the focus on Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson Dwayne Jarrett. I would be picking the Panthers to go far this season because of their very above average defense (especially the line-- Kris Jenkins, Julius Peppers, Mike Rucker), but Jake Delhomme just doesn’t do it for me. Sorry. If David Carr takes over his job, then we’ll start talking.

3. The Saints rid themselves of Joe Horn

Good for them. And the kicker? They get to dick all over him two games a year now that he is with the Falcons. Suckers.

Glass Half Empty Storylines

1. No one feels bad for you anymore, New Orleans

Sorry, guys. This year you will have to actually win games by using such attributes like ability and talent. Katrina has since passed and the Saints’ defense is going to have to start contributing to football games since other teams will be trying. That sucks for Saints fans. At least Reggie Bush and Brees are, you know, pretty good.

2. Joey Harrington, it’s your show

ESPN already beat me to the “Cousin Padraig won The Open, so now its Joey’s turn to take advantage of the luck of the Irish” angle, so it looks like I’ll have to go another way. And I’m not looking to tie in his other cousin, Dan (poker professional-- a pretty successful family, that bunch). Joey Harrington really isn’t all that bad of a quarterback, as he proved in Miami with a few good outings until he lost running back Ronnie Brown and his helpfulness to an injury. He was drafted #3 overall in 2002 by the Detroit Lions, which was clearly a disaster waiting to happen. The Lions were awful in the three years with him at quarterback, but he did steadily improve for the most part. Anyway, things could be worse. It should be an exciting interesting year to be a Falcons fan

The Train Wrecks (Completely Empty Glass) Storylines

1. The Buccaneers Defensive Ends Get Senior Citizen Perks

Three of their ends add up to 32 years in the league (Greg Spires, Simeon Rice, and Kevin Carter). Gaines Adams was their first draft pick, but he is probably going to need a year to adjust. As for Chris Hovan and Ryan Sims and the interior line? They’re pretty bad.

2. Mike Vick will be Getting Friendly with Jail Security Guards

I won’t even waste your time with errant jokes.

3. Cadillac Jokes Still Aren’t Funny

Like many others, I am sick of the “Cadillac just needs a tune up” or “Cadillac needs to go in the garage for a week to rest” jokes. Can we all agree that he just sucks?


Like I said above, this division is just awkward. The only serious threats of doing anything are the Saints and Panthers.

As for the Saints, their offensive line and weapons are scary as hell. The only question mark is their defense-- I just can’t take them seriously. Their line and secondary aren’t awful, but their linebackers are a joke. When you’ve got guys named Scott Shanle, Scott Chicken Fujitas (I bet he’s never heard that one before), and Brian Simmons starting, its time to start re-evaluating your play.

I personally think the Panthers are scarier than the Saints, just because their defense is frightening. If Delhomme gets it together or Carr takes over and gets something going, this is going to be a tough team to beat. I feel like I’ve loved the Panthers in the preseason for the past 4 years. Since I’m stubborn, I’ll take them to win the division at 11-5. Saints 10-6. The rest-- who cares.


Daris said...

i think everyone always ends up picking the panthers. It's strange. They made that super bowl, their D is always solid (Peppers is a fucking freak), and ppl assume the O can do its share. usually jake screws evrything up or foster/smith get hurt.

Saying all that, I'll pick them again and watch them fail miserably. Midpoint of the season they'll be 2-6 and we'll all be predicting they'll still make a run.

im sad that my joe horn cloning a sheep in the endzone line didnt make it into the article, but overall good stuff. I am definately interested to see how the saints perform this year.

who's katrina btw?

Do you think its irnonic that the first ever "black name" was giving to that hurricane. I mean if it was named john, andrew, mary, anything else, it would work, but most of the ppl in NO probably have a relative named katrina.

I have a sister named trina, so its not that far of a strectch.

Buzzsaw said...

I'm not so sure I agree with the fact that Katrina is a 'black name.' I googled black baby names, and Katrina was nowhere to be found, but neither was JamesOn so maybe that wasn't the most accurate place to look.

Buzzsaw said...

As for you McCready ... I'd first say that Scott Fujita is good, but it was totally worth saying he's bad if only for that joke, haha. I'd also like to inform everyone that Maurice Stovall has a really good chance to be starting for the Bucs, that's how bad their passing game is gonna be. Sadly, his clone, Rhema McKnight got cut from the Saints yesterday, their receivers are actually awful. If Colston doesn't play just as well as last year, it could be really ugly. Expect a TON of dumpoffs to Reggie.