Hi, you know me from my Barclay’s Premier League review, in which I follow my Team Aston Villa, throughout all 38 league games with an analysis of what happened, what could have been better and how I see the next game going.
I don’t claim to be an expert in NFL, but as a fan, I feel that I can give an educated insight into how I see the 2013 NFL Football season unfolding.
Let me start with the team that won it all last time, the Baltimore Ravens.
Now, considering they got demolished this past Thursday, it’s not all bad for the Baltimore fans. Sure losing a few members of the championship winning side will hurt a bit, but under Joe Flacco and his mighty arm, they should remain competitive, especially as they won’t be facing an inspired Payton manning every week. I believe their overall record will end up at 9-7 and should see them in contention for at least a Wild Card place.
Now, last season’s losing Super bowl finalists, San Francisco 49ers. Usually, the team that lost in the Super bowl the season before, really struggle to make in impact the season after, but I think this season will be different, and the 49ers are in excellent shape to go one better and win it all. I believe their overall record will be 12 – 4. This will see them in excellent shape to pull it off, and I think they are the prime candidate to be the Super bowl representative for the NFC.
I am not going to work my way through all the teams this week, though I will try to reflect on all teams at least once throughout the season. Each week, following this article, I will focus on one team per division, so one NFC, and one AFC team. I will also rate the team of the week out of 10 per performance and also grade A-F for an underperforming team, or a team I feel should have performed better for the matchup.
A couple of teams to keep your eyes on, who I feel will surprise a lot of people.
From the NFC, Philadelphia Eagles.
While a lot of people I’ve spoken to, don’t like the background of the QB Michael Vick, while I don’t agree with it either, you can’t argue that he is the best QB the Eagles have for now.
Though TE James Casey, will be a definite upgrade, and LB Trent Cole will be a huge part of their defensive prowess. Also upgraded is their Head Coach which saw Andy Reid let go, and later he signed to the Chiefs (KC). The Eagles have an innovative new Head Coach in Chip Kelly, and his offensive schemes will suit the Eagles O line better than before. Their D left a lot to be desired and with the hot temper of CB Cary Williams, this is something which at times might need some patience, and although they won’t get at best past the Wild Card, next season they could be in prime position to make inroads into the post season glories. Their 2013 Draft Class hit all the key areas and in the coming years, Eagles could shock the world and lift the Vince Lombardi trophy by 2017. Yes it will take a while, and The Eagles need to stick with Chip Kelly to achieve this, but all things are positive for the Eagle nation. By mid-2015 some of the draft class of 2013 should be integrated within the team, and the change will benefit all parties. 2013 record 8-8.
From within the AFC, The Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking to rebound after last season’s .500 season at 8-8. They have all the pieces needed to make this happen, but it won’t be by much. They will certainly be looking forward to celebrating a winning season but it will only likely see a swing of 1 game from last year, to go 9-7. This won’t be enough for a play-off berth, but it is putting them back in the right direction. Roethlisberger will be a bigger part than ever and with Jerricho Cotchery at WR, in the final year of his 2 year deal signed in 2012, will look to make a bigger impact then he did last time out. Having only started in 2 games, he did appear in most of the 16 games, he will be in better shape to average more than 12.1 yards per reception, which was his lowest since 2005, on a team which was a perennial loser. On the flip side, his career high in carries came in 2007 when he totalled 1,130 yards at an average of 13.8 per reception. A figure, more like 500 yards at an average of 12 per reception should be considered a good season for Jerricho. He will be looked at as a veteran to help the younger members of the roster, and hopefully, will see them back amongst the top teams in the next few years. To repeat, 2013 record = 9-7. That will not be enough to make the playoffs, but will be a good stepping stone.
To quickly mention my usual blog, in which I follow Aston Villa, there will be no release there on the 10th, but normal service should resume on the 17th due to the next game being held on the 14th.
Thank you for reading, and expect the next instalment of the NFL season on the 15th September 2013.