Picking the Colts and Saints, More NFL NotesJanuary 22nd, 2010 by Lee Eldridge
It’s a good thing I’m not a gambling man. Last weekend my teams went 2-2. But I went against my gut picking teams coached by Norv Turner and Wade Phillips. I won’t do that again.
Jets at Colts: The Jets showed some real grit against the Chargers. Great defense and a great running attack. Brian Schottenheimer has really developed into a fine offensive coordinator. But the Jets probably don’t beat the Chargers if kicker Nate Kaeding doesn’t puke all over the field and miss three field goals. The Colts on the other hand bottled up the Ravens running attack and controlled their game from start to finish. Look for another Colts win, and another trip for Peyton Manning to the Super Bowl. Prediction: Colts 24, Jets 13
Vikings at Saints: A much tougher game to pick as both teams played very well last weekend. The Vikings defensive front four manhandled the Cowboys, and Brett Favre continues to make plays in the passing game. Yet the Saints have looked like the team of destiny most of the year. They put 45 points in the Cardinals, while holding Arizona to only 14 points. It appears that the Saints defense is getting healthy at the right time. And Drew Brees is maybe the best quarterback in the NFL not named Peyton Manning. Brees is uncanny in his accuracy. And he’s certainly the heart and soul of the Saints. I’m not jumping ship now. Prediction: Saints 27, Vikings 24
Dallas Cowboys: I thought it was interesting that the pre-game story on the Cowboys was all about how Dallas had gotten rid of all of the problems in the locker room, and that they were now a “team”. Yet immediately following the game wide receiver Roy Williams was pissed off because of how few passes have gone his way this season. Sounds like team first to me.
Pro Bowl: As a kid I looked forward to watching the Pro Bowl every year. It was a blast to see all the great players on the field at the same time. Only a couple of games were televised every week, and there was little opportunity to see many of the players throughout the season. But the Pro Bowl has lost its luster over the years. And I think primarily because now you get to see NFL coverage of every game in such great detail. This year the NFL is playing the Pro Bowl the week before the Super Bowl, which means the players who have been nominated to the Pro Bowl but our bound for the Super Bowl won’t be playing. The Vikings have nine players slotted to play in the Pro Bowl, which means if they make the Super Bowl, that’s a lot of star power missing from the Pro Bowl. I’m not sure this is a very good idea. We’ll see what it does for the ratings.
Bills Hire Chan Gailey: Where did this come from? I like Chan Gailey as a coordinator, but he’s had little success as a head coach. I don’t see the Bills getting better any time soon.
Broncos Part Ways with Defensive Coordinator Mike Nolan: I don’t understand this move at all. Denver’s defense has been bad for years. Mike Nolan converted the defense to a 3-4 and really made them competitive this year. And after one year, Nolan’s gone. Can only assume that Noland and head coach Josh McDaniels didn’t get along.
Chargers and LaDanian Tomlinson: I’ve enjoyed watching LT run the ball for years. He’s a class act on and off the field. But he’s no longer an every down back. And as explosive as Darren Sproles can be, he can’t carry the load either. Tomlinson has likely played his last game for San Diego. Look for the Chargers to draft a running back early this year.
Raiders: What’s up in Oakland? Are they firing head coach Tom Cable or not? Lots of rumors that Al Davis is testing the waters and talking to some potential coaches. But word has it that Al Davis wants a coach who will commit to working with quarterback JaMarcus Russell. And any coach willing to make that commitment won’t have a chance. Russell appears to be a complete bust.
Chiefs: And just because I love my Chiefs, I have to say one more time how excited I am about our new coordinators, Weis and Crennel.