The final dull sunday is upon us

This is it. Not again in the year 2008 will we know a sunday without QB’s, zone coverages, and end zone dances. It’s almost time. The NFL season should be a glorious one regardless of how your favorite team finishes. Here are some things I expect to see this season, with the full bout of predictions coming on wednesday night.

-Brett Favre’s consecutive games streak will come to an end. He’ll throw 20 TD’s and have the Jets on the verge of the playoffs though.

-There will be a 2,000 yard running back this year. I’m seeing the initials A.P.

-This is finally the year the Cleveland Browns beat Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

-First NFL head coach fired during the regular season? His first name will be Mike. His last name will be Shanahan or Nolan.

-Jamarcus Russell and Darren McFadden will change a lot of opinions about the Oakland Raiders, who will compete for a playoff spot surprisingly.

-By years end, Reggie Bush will be being pushed for his starting job, but will have an impact in the playoffs for the New Orleans Saints.

-Aaron Rodgers will take the Packers to the playoffs and have a fine season (24TD, 10 INT), but the Packers will not win a playoff game.

-Chris Henry will not get arrested but will not play well leading to his release for the struggling Bengals late in the season.

-Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will not be league MVP, and Derek Anderson’s stats will rival their own.

-Jay Cutler will have a big statistical season. The Broncos will finish behind Oakland and San Diego though.

-The rookie of the year will be Matt Ryan offensively and Glenn Dorsey defensively.

-Brad Childress will be NFL head coach of the year, with Tavaris Jackson and Adrian Peterson playing big parts in that.

-The New York Giants will be a playoff team but not win their division and not win a postseason game, but Eli Manning will emerge as a franchise QB like his big brother.

-The Patriots will not represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

I can hardly live long enough for the start of the NFL season. It will be here before we know it, with the Giants and Redskins kicking off the action. We’ll be covering it all right here.

Washington Redskins 2008 Season Preview

Leading up until the regular season, there will be team capsules brought to you of every team in the NFL. These capsules will serve as a primer for the NFL regular season opening up. Today we examine the Washington Redskins.

Was Jim Zorn a good choice for the ‘Skins head coach?
It was certainly worth a shot and Zorn will bring a nice breath of fresh air with him. Don’t get me wrong, Joe Gibbs was a legend that will go down in history as the greatest Redskins coach in history in my opinion. But it was time for him to go.

Zorn was a former quarterback and the organization is hoping that he’ll be able to bring signal caller Jason Campbell along as a franchise QB. Zorn is going to get some leeway but he’s not going to get several years to do this. This is a playoff team and Zorn is going to have to show he can win in this league or he’ll be out quick. There’s better men to work for than Daniel Snyder.

Is Clinton Portis entering the twilight of his career?
Portis rebounded from an injury-riddled 2006 to run for 1262 yards last season. He did it in the memory of his fallen teammate Sean Taylor. Portis is a very likable and colorful player. He’s also going to start showing some tread on the tires this season. At age 27, he’s amassed 1710 rushing attempts and 205 receptions in his career. That is a lot of touches by age 27. If Portis can have a year similar to last year, where he was running like he was 22 again; the Redskins will have a shot at pulling some surprise victories in this tough division.

What kind of year is this for Jason Campbell?
This guy really should have succeeded no matter what. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, a great arm, and he works hard. He’s also had 4 offensive coordinators in four years. That is just disastrous for a young QB.

Campbell put a stretch together last season before injury that was very impressive, including a big statistical game in Dallas where they nearly pulled off the upset. Still, Campbell has hit snags in his career for various reasons, and it’s puzzling. Things are going to start to slip away from him in Washington if he doesn’t start to deliver some solid and consistent play. He’s not a young pup anymore. He’ll be 26 this season and has just 22 TD and 17 INT to his career stat line. Campbell needs a big year and needs to show the organization and fan base that he’s going to be their long term solution at QB. There’s something that tells us that he’s going to do it and be just fine.

The Bottom line for the Hogs
The Redskins are in a division with the world champions (Giants), the supposed 2008 world champions (Cowboys), and a team that some have said could be the world champions (Eagles). There’s not much association with the Redskins as world champs, but stranger things have happened… I guess. They’ve got a solid foundation on both sides of the ball. The acquisition of Jason Taylor will help a veteran defense that does enough to win usually. The offense needs to be consistent and they must find a target that is consistent other than Santana Moss and Chris Cooley. Look for Devin Thomas to become a dependable favorite target of Campbell.

Overall an 8-8 season wouldn’t be a terrible thing considering who they’ll be forced to play. That is about what we expect them to do as they’re in a transition year.

Appetizers & Main Courses

With every week the excitement grows from here. One week from today the NCAA football season kicks off with a full slate of games. That is just the appetizer, as the NCAA season is for me; even living in Columbus.

Then we have the main course. The Giants host the Washington Redskins and begin to defend their title. Just two short weeks from today. The dull sundays are drawing to a close. I can hardly live long enough for the NFL season to get here.

The Curse of the Brown Pants

Couple of thoughts on the Browns 37-34 loss at the Meadowlands the other night:

-The brown pants. Well they’re going to get some shitty reviews based on how the team came out and played and basically had a nightmare performance. Fans are going to associate them with the catastrophies of the evening, our first Monday Night Football performance since 2003 (when we wore orange pants ironically enough). I actually don’t mind them, as the away pants. Leave the home uniforms the hell alone. If you wanna use these pants as a temporary spice up to the all-white traditional uniforms, go ahead. I’ve been told this is just a temporary tinker and nothing permanent even though many fans in Cleveland are going wild. Let me rephrase. As long as they don’t touch the helmets, or the home uniforms; I’m fine.

-Derek Anderson has a concussion and could be out the rest of the preseason. Instead of talking about the lack of things we saw out of Anderson I’d like to point out that the Giants pass rush showed why they won a Super Bowl last year. They went out and beat the Browns O-line to the punch. It’s a unit (Browns O-line) that has had a ton of publicity in recent weeks. The Giants D-line is better. Without Strahan. They’re the only reason in my opinion that the Giants could repeat. Osi Umenyiora ended Derek Anderson’s evening and preseason before it ever got rolling.

-Brady Quinn looked pretty solid again. He’s making this somewhat of a habit. He’ll get his first start this saturday in Detroit. I’m happy for him. This will allow him some time to develop as a quarterback and get some people some more time to watch him. Who knows how long it could be before we see him again. Brady makes all the throws. He throws a nice ball. As much as I like Anderson I feel it would be a serious mistake for the Browns to never let Brady Quinn be the starter. I’ll always say it. Derek might be an All-Pro, but Brady Quinn is going to win a Super Bowl.

-Eli Manning looked great. Dominic Hixson probably rose his stock a bit with this performance, as did Syndric Steptoe. Steptoe probably made the team with his effort.

-Cleveland plays in Detroit for the Great Lakes Cup at 4:00 on saturday. The last time I remember watching this battle, I was a senior in college and Braylon Edwards caught his first touchdown pass. It was preseason of course.

-Glad the Browns got to be on the national stage last week. It was nice to get them ready for all their national appearances of the season. They’re not as good as all the preseason headlines say, but they’re not as bad as they showed last week I can assure you.

Scouts on DA vs. Quinn

— Scout #1, regarding Brady Quinn: “If you gave me a choice between Quinn and (Derek) Anderson, I’d go with Quinn. We just see a bigger upside there.”

— Scout #2, regarding Derek Anderson: “Why are you even asking me this question? You can’t teach what he has. I wouldn’t care if I gave up three #1’s (for Quinn).”

— Scout #3, regarding Quinn and Anderson: “We’ve thought (Quinn) was the real deal going through our (pre-draft) evaluations, and nothing has changed that. But you’d have to be suicidal to just throw away a Pro Bowler for potential. That’s not how this game works.”

— Scout #4, regarding Quinn and Anderson: “29 touchdowns speak louder than any potential somebody else might have.”

— Scout #5, regarding Quinn and Anderson: “I wish we had that problem. But if I had to choose one? Quinn, for the upside in the long-term. But, if we had to win this year? Probably go with Anderson.”

Browns rebuttal:
— After being told of the wide array of opinions regarding their QB situation, one Browns source sighed slightly and said simply, “And people wonder why we kept both?”
Then, he got a wee bit indignant and a tad bit defiant.

“Nobody knows what we have (in Anderson and Quinn); not us for the most part, and not anybody who’s outside of this organization and doesn’t see them on a day-to-day basis. Those (scouts) can think what they want, but only how this plays out this season is gonna tell us what happens (in 2009).”

So, what exactly is the point of this whole endeavor? Nothing more than this QB “situation” the Browns find themselves in is an enviable one for the vast majority of franchises in the NFL, and one that will play itself out – one