What I Know, What I Don’t Know

2010 NFL Predictions

Part 1, East Divisions

Part 2, North Divisions

AFC South:

Indianapolis Colts: What I Know- Sanders-Bethea, hands down, best safety duo.  Sanders is to Indianapolis as Troy Polamalu is to Pittsburgh.  Only difference: Colts can overcome his absent with much better results.  He’s one of the top ten most exciting players to watch.  When healthy, third-best safety in football.  Rookie LB Pat Angerer (Iowa) is going to make this defense even better.  He will make more waves than fellow 1st round rookie DE Jerry Hughes (TCU).  That’s saying more about Angerer, than it is against Hughes.  I love their system in place on D.  Always quick, attacking unit.  Count on this without hesitation: Pierre Garcon, next great Colts WR.  Pro-Bowl this year, #1 ahead of Wayne next year.  Garcon-Collie next Harrison-Wayne for Peyton.

What I Don’t Know- Is Jerry Hughes going to answer the hype?  Everyone is talking about him, what an outstanding steal, what an excellent pick…is he ready to step in once Freeney or Mathis go down?  Is he the heir apparent, next undersized pass rusher?  Still a rookie, was he that dominant at TCU?  Tony Ugoh just got cut, how can you support this move?  Donald Brown, what’s up with him?  Can he stay healthy?  Addai still impresses me with his ability, he’s the perfect back for this offense.  Who can stop Dallas Clark?  He could be the most fluid, smooth TE.  Is anyone going to figure him out, he does everything so effortlessly.  I can’t choose between Peyton, Brees, and Brady.  Flip a coin?  Rather than debate, let’s step away, sit back, appreciate, and marvel.  Who can you compare to Peyton in sports?  He’s a mastermind, so rare.  Do we understand how great he really is?  I don’t think I do, not yet.

Tennessee Titans: What I Know- Jeff Fisher is doing more with less.  What a coach.  Maybe other than Adrian Peterson, I would want to see Chris Johnson live more than any other player in the NFL.  We talk about his speed, how about his vision, cuts, and most importantly smarts.  He runs not only fast and strong, but very wisely.  Avoids big hits, is sharp in everything he does.  Incredible.  Sky’s the limit.  Vince Young is a winner.  Went 8-2, beat four good teams.  He can lead my team.  The way he lead the troops against Arizona on the game-winning drive was a thing of beauty.  What a comeback.  He’s going to impress this season, he and Johnson are better than last year, they will be crazy hard to defend.  Will Witherspoon is a really good under the radar replacement for Keith Bulluck.  Solid vet.  Alterraun Verner, rookie 4th rounder from UCLA, should be the starter, he can be a good one for many years to come, starting right now.  1-2 punch of Jacob Ford-Jason Jones is going to raise some eyebrows.  They don’t need to trade for Haynesworth, they’re set on the defensive line.  You got rid of LenDale White, now don’t ruin it by getting this guy, keep the draft picks.  Now what they should do is trade for a LB with Thornton on PUP and McRath suspended the first four games, Thomas Howard?  Go get him, a move that would pay big dividends, and not cost you much.

What I Don’t Know- Why Kenny Britt’s not making progress?  He came in out of shape?  What?  I thought he was going to be an impact guy.  Taking steps back now.  Why isn’t the ball being thrown more Jared Cook’s way?  He can open things up in the pass game.  I really like the TE from South Carolina (’09 3rd round pick).  Why do you trade your 2010 2nd rounder to move up in the 3rd round to have him fighting Craig Stevens for playing time?  Scaife-Cook could make up for lack of top-flight WR’s.  Another USC WR, another wasted pick?  Not a good track record, Damian Williams looks like just another body, project.  Give more time to Lavelle Hawkins.  Why is this team not mentioned in many Playoff discussions, give me them over the Jets.

Jacksonville Jaguars: What I Do Know- Mike Thomas will the most explosive player on offense, not Maurice Jones-Drew.  Don’t blink.  Something tells me this won’t be an MJD type of year.  Weird feeling, injuries.  David Garrard is under appreciated and criticized way too much.  He’s a better than more than half the QB’s in the NFL.  Above-average, can make plays with arm and feet.  Solid.  Kirk Morrison, what a coup.  Love this move.  Oh, and Aaron Kampman back to playing DE in a 4-3, 15 sacks.  In order for the defense to be complete, they need Rashean Mathis to play more than ten games and get back to playing on the All-Pro caliber level he should be competing at.

What I Don’t Know- Why Derrick Harvey is still on the roster?  Time to cut dead weight.  Where’s the love for the LB’s?  I really like the starting core.  Back to dead weight, Marcedes Lewis?  Let him go already.  Time to move on.  If there’s a better OL in the AFC.  What happens if MJD misses any time?  Why didn’t they pick-up a back-up RB?  Rashad Jennings?  This team could be more respectable if they addressed a few dead areas.

Houston Texans: What I Know- Andre Johnson is a top five player.  We haven’t seen his best yet.  If Owen Dainels overcomes injuries, he and Andre are the best WR-TE in all of football.  Arian Foster is the answer.  Sorry Steve Slaton, this kid is for real.  Foster has all the tools to become a top ten RB.  Mario Williams should be challenging Julius Peppers for the most intimidating and forceful defensive lineman in the league.  If I’m a Texans fan I should be expecting more, not less from Super Mario.  If he plays like he should and elevates his game to match his potential, it could make a big difference.  Kareem Jackson was a brilliant choice.  He’s been around winning.

What I Don’t Know- When defensive linemen Amobi Okoye and Connor Barwin plan on showing up?  Underachievers are holding this team back.  If Brian Cushing will return to form.  Will Eugene Wilson keep his job with Troy Nolan pushing him?  Should I keep an eye on Frank Okam, he was a big-time player at Texas, will he make a worthwhile contribution to the DL rotation?  Why Jacoby Jones is being raved about when you have Kevin Walter, who is as reliable as they get as a second receiver.  Let me hear more about the consistent, reliable Walter.

NFC South:

New Orleans Saints: What I Know- Everyone loves Drew Brees.  How can you dislike him?  Bush-Thomas work so well together.  Saints do a great job of mixing in their backs, whether on run plays or pass plays.  Greer-Porter is solid CB tandem.  Malcolm Jenkins will be a sufficient replacement for Darren Sharper.  He has really good ball skills.  Patrick Robinson, their first rounder from Florida State, will develop into a really good nickel back.  Reminds me a bit of Antonio Cromartie.  All talent in the world.  Jimmy Graham, TE third rounder from The “U” has a chance to be special.  Basketball player at TE, sound familiar?  I want to see some more of Chris Ivory.  Goal-line RB?  Good option.  Alex Brown was a nice addition.  Vilma is invaluable to this defense.  Rock-solid leader.

What I Don’t Know- If Robert Meachem takes over as the #1 WR.  Well, if not this year due to possible injuries (should be the only reason why not), then surely next season.  Does he outdo 2009’s touchdown output?  Shouldn’t there be more mention of Devery Henderson?  He’s a big-play receiver.  Is this the year Sedrick Ellis puts up?  I hope so, he should be free to produce with the line he’s playing alongside of.  Anthony Waters, how much time shall he see at OLB?  He should be the replacement for Fujita.  Darren Sharper, can he be counted on to recover and be himself?  Call me crazy, but don’t they have enough on defense to fine without him?  Is his absence that big of a deal?  Secondary is loaded with talent.

Carolina Panthers: What I Know- Steve Smith will show us once again why he should be involved in the talks when the best WR’s are brought up.  We tend to forget how good he really is, impossible to take down on first try.  Can’t speak enough about Jon Beason.  He is your next Ray Lewis.  The run game will be that dominant to make this team a serious playoff contender.  Nobody in the league has a better combination of backs.  Everette Brown and Greg Hardy will make people forget Julius Peppers a little more easier.  Watch out for Eric Norwood.  If I’m Carolina I go small, quick, and undersized on the defensive line to get to the QB.  This is their best option.  Go Brown-Hardy-Norwood-Johnson.  Brandon LaFell will give the team that Mushin Muhammad tall target next to Steve Smith.  Rookie from LSU has the chance to be a playmaker.  This secondary is one of most underrated groups.  Really like their ability to defend pass, all possess plus athleticism and ball skills.

What I Don’t Know- If the team can compete with New Orleans with Dan Connor and James Anderson as the two starters next to Beason.  They’ll miss Thomas Davis.  If the OL is the best in the NFC.  It’s close.  Why this team isn’t the primary darkhorse to unseat New Orleans, but Atlanta is?  Is Matt Moore going to bring it up a notch with Jimmy Clausen looking over his shoulder.  John Fox has done a really good job, hasn’t he?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: What I Do Know- Josh Freeman reminds me of Joe Flacco.  Will be good, yet not great.  Special moments at times.  Can’t be main leader, defense needs to be team’s calling card.  Mike Williams is a #1 receiver.  What a pick in the 4th round.  Bright future, pro bowls.  Freeman-Williams-Benn-Winslow has the potential to open eyes.  Defense is good all across the board.  I like the direction of this squad.  Raheem Morris needs to be kept.  The rookie DT’s McCoy-Price will get all the pub, but the first year corner starting next to Ronde Barber is the rookie to watch.  Myron Lewis will be a fixture, another good pick.  Other than Kansas City, they had the best draft class.  Creamsicle throwbacks are the best in the NFL.

What I Don’t Know- Can Cadillac make this a run-first team?  I see more of a passing offense.  Why do people sleep on Kellen Winslow, he’s finally healthy.  Is Barrett Ruud really their best LB?  Quincy Black is someone that will surprise.  The offensive line should be vastly greater than what it performance says.  What’s holding them back?  Can they consistently get to the QB?  The edge rushers seem to leave much to be desired.  Shouldn’t we see more of Josh Johnson and Sammie Stroughter?  I would like to see them involved in the offense with some trick plays/wildcat.  Where’s Tanard Jackson among the talk of top safeties?  He’s a definite player.

Atlanta Falcons: What I Do Know- Tony Gonzalez is Matt Ryan’s go-to guy, not Roddy White.  Says more about Tony, than it does against Roddy.  Gonzalez still can be the man, he’s rather impressive.  Quite clear Dunta Robinson is being counted upon to be the secondary’s leader, and he will be, really good off-season acquisition.  Kroy Biermann is a really good pass rusher that people outside of Atlanta don’t know about.  He will be known more by season’s end.  He will put more pressure on the QB than John Abraham.  Jamaal Anderson is a bust.  We should see more of Lawrence Sidbury, the kid from Richmond (4th round, ’09).  Same goes for William Moore, another 2009 selection.  This defense can make some leaps and bounds if they get production from the young bloods.  I wouldn’t want to rely on Matt Ryan to win me games.  Good QB, but nothing special.  This is a pass-first team, right move limiting Turner’s carries, don’t want to overwork him.  He’s better on 15-20 carry basis rather than 20+.

What I Don’t Know- If Harry Douglas will be going under the radar any longer by mid-season.  This kid has wheels.  Playmaker.  Return game, slot receiver, he’s going to do work and make an impact.  Falcons need him to do well.  Should Mike Peterson start?  Wouldn’t you rather have the rook Weatherspoon and Nicholas be the starting outside ‘backers?  I think we may have seen the best already from Roddy White.  He’s one of the top 10 receivers in the game, but is he going to be any better from what we’ve seen?  Maxed out?  Is this the year Jerious Norwood stays healthy?  He becomes the #1 back if he does.  Most talented offensive weapon?  Why are some experts picking this team out to be a darkhorse for the Super Bowl?  Let’s win a playoff game first.

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