Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pre-vision links

I'm still working on our 18 Visions for 2008, but in the meantime feast on a smorgasbord of links. I'm really starting to wonder if the 2008 Colts aren't incredibly underrated. I think people WANT change in the AFC South, but I'll be shocked if this Colts team isn't right at the top of the NFL again. The Freeney issue is still very much in play, but aside from two or three teams in the NFL, I don't think it will impede the regular season production. The embodiment of this is Bill Simmons, who just picked the Colts to "barely make the playoffs".

There are two very different schools of thought about the Colts and Jags, and really there is no middle ground. About half the experts think the Jags are juggernauts, and the other half predict them to miss the playoffs. The same people high on the Jags are down on the Colts. They have completely missed the fact that the Jags are WORSE this year than last year, and may be the worst team in the South. Those same people act like the Colts are beset with injuries now, while overlooking the fact that they are HEALTHIER NOW than they were last year when they lost two meaningful games by 5 points.

Wojciechowski has a variety of thoughts on the new season.

Judge weighs in with predictions.

John sent us this nice piece on Peyton.

Gary Horton opines on the loss of Saturday.

Paul Kuharsky thinks the South is the best.

The FO writers were more kind to the Colts than the numbers were. That's usually the case. The Colts have a unique trait of letting off the gas (both in games and during seasons) more than most teams. That affects numbers that rely on trends.


Preston said...

I was watching Monday Night Football last season when the Colts played the jags and Jaws said something that was rather telling. He said "the Jags are a team that just looks good getting off the bus." I think this has a great deal to do with how teams are perceived. The football experts are just irrationally in love with teams that a. run the ball well b. have a big defense. It doesn't seem to matter how good they actually are.

Deshawn Zombie said...

Ding! We have a winner. It's the same thing with the Vikings. It's like no one realizes that passing wins in the NFL.

Garrard impressed me last year, but who is he going to throw to? The Jags recievers can barely walk down the street. That team is going to need a lot of 12-15 play drives to score. That's not a formula for consistent winning in the NFL.

Robert I. said...

OK DZ, you say people dont want to see our Colts at the top and want change. My Question is then, Why not pick against the Pats. Yeah, yeah, yeah that division has been non existent, but now with Favre people are still picking the Pats. I think its more hate than it is wanting change.

Bob M. said...

The Boston Herald piece on manning has one small factual error: he did not, strictly speaking, miss one series due to injury, but a single play. He played earlier in the series, had Lorenzo Bromell submarine his jaw with his helmet, and Rypien turned the ball over the next play (INT or fumble, I do not recall). So much for a veteran backup..... Halftime followed shortly thereafter and manning trotted out to play.

So PM missed a single play due to a broken jaw.

Preaching to the choir, I know, but wanted to clean that up anyway.

Bob M. said...

The Simmons stupidity meter, broken by which of the following concepts he put forth?

1) Jags beat Colts 2-3 times in 2008
2) Colts start out 5-6
3) Jags win AFC
4) Jags win SB

The only team to win the SB with a similar passing game had Balt's historic D, and the Jags seem to lack that. Their coach is about the same....

Even just skimming his articles makes me feel as if I have licked clean a Greyhound terminal restroom while naked: I need a shower, a severe beating, a thorough tooth-brushing, and then you might as well kill me anyway, because his stupidity is seared into my brain. And no toothpaste--even if snorted--can get that stink out.

Robert I (or shall I just call you Mister Irsay?), I think more hate is heaped up out there for the Pats, but it's impossible to rationalize one of their division foes winning 11+ and impossible to rationalize the Pats (sans injury to TB) losing more than 4-5 with that schedule. So nobody takes that bait.
But the Jags "are due" and they have "a stacked roster" and all the rest. Yes, I think there is plenty of Colts hate to go around, but less than Pats hate. It's just that we have a more credible foil in our own division. Maybe 3 more credible opponents!

Deshawn Zombie said...

The difference is that so many people picked against the Pats and were burned back in the early 90s, that many writers swore (in print!) to never bet against them again. Unfortunately, the law of averages has now swung around and everyone who picks the Pats now just flat loses out.

JC said...

Nobody hates the Colts because theres nothing to hate about the Colts.

They're a bunch of nice guys from a nice town and a nice QB with a nice coach.

They're boring. Excellent, but boring.

And Jacksonville sucks. You guys are right about how overrated they are from year to year. I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

They play "physical football". IE. They rely solely on Fred Taylor or MJD to break a long TD run instead of that new fangled passing offense. They "stop the run" while failing a lot of the time to stop the pass. They "play the Colts tough" but almost always lose. They're a total feast or famine team.

They're the sexy pick. If it works, you're a genius. if it doesn't, you can point to any little flaw and say that this is the reason they failed. And despite always playing the Colts tough, they get swept more times than naught.

Since the formation of the division:

2002 Colts Sweep
2003 Split
2004 Split
2005 Colts Sweep
2006 Split
2007 Colts Sweep

In 12 games, the Colts are 9 - 3 against Jacksonville. At some point you stop trumpeting how much they play someone tough WHEN THEY NEVER FUCKING WIN.

Goddamnit sports media, why must you turn the NFL into a house of Lies? Oh and Mike Greenberg fails at motherfucking LIFE. Picking th Vikings AND the Jags? Sweet Fred Christ is he gonna look stupid.

Bob M. said...

Thanks, JC but I think that Manning's ubiquity in commercials--whether they're funny or not--really bugs some people. People also enjoyed the "can't win the big one" rant. They don't have that anymore, but that giant forehead is still in many commercials....

Also, I think self-fashioned, old-style, real-man, football fans (grrrr) like to ridicule "finesse" teams.

And Baltimoreans, conveniently forgetting that they also benefited from a team's move, like to pile shit on the Colts and the Irsay family.

So there's some hate out there. Not as much as the Raiders would garner if they ever had a winning season, and not as much as Houston got in the old "House of Pain" days (late 70s), but it's there.

DZ, didn't Simmons say he'd never (or advised people to never) bet against the Colts in print? Somewhere in the past few years, I think.

Jacob Burch said...

i'm actually in the middle ground in that I "have them making the play-offs" just on the basis of a weakening second tier in the AFC and a fairly weak schedule.

That said, I still have $100 riding on them not making the playoffs, damn my own predictions to hell

Adam said...

Long story short, your AFC Super Bowl representative is coming from this list: Colts, Pats, Chargers.

- The Colts have injury problems. However, they had injury problems last year too and still won 13 games.
- The Pats season rides entirely on their O-Line and D. If Tommy B is playing gimpy and the O-Line can't protect him, he runs the risk of getting even more hurt. The Pats secondary sucks, so they're going to have to get good pressure up front from a linebacking corps that is the wrong side of 30.
- The Chargers will go as far as Merriman's knee and Phillip Rivers' arm can take them. If Merriman's knee goes out before mid-season, they might miss the playoffs. If Rivers keeps jawing with fans, he's going to get shanked in the parking lot. Take your pick.