As the glorious sensory feast that is football season approaches, you will begin to see a more formal organization to the goings-on here at the Sickness. We will cover both the NFL and the college game from our unique perspective with various weekly features, and will do our best to provide useful fantasy insights (though, again- if you’re looking for thorough, scientific analysis, you need to look elsewhere). We will even drop a few nuggets from whatever personal football experiences we have during the season, be it an especially rousing victory by a son’s youth league team or a road trip to New Orleans to see the Browns get shellacked by the Super Bowl Champs. You see, in some ways, FootballSickness.com is intended as a support group- a place you can come where you know people understand and accept your condition, rather than judge you for it. In addition to analysis, we share stories of football and good times, creating bonds borne of common experience. I don’t know about you, but I can already smell the flame-kissed encased meats and frosty beer that will sustain us once again through our annual rituals. It is almost here. And, as with the approach of each new season, the sporting debates commence anew.
With that in mind, I thought a quick and random spin through the NFL was in order. I’m not ready to make broad predictions about Super Bowl Champions or call my 6 playoff teams in either conference yet. But I do feel comfortable making an observation or two. One for each team, in fact. How’s that for living on the edge? So, with no further ado, in the 2010 NFL season I expect…
ARIZONA CARDINALS: …Beanie Wells to get every chance to be the workhorse.
ATLANTA FALCONS: …Matt Ryan and Roddy White to explode. This is happening.
BALTIMORE RAVENS: …Joe Flacco to forcibly persuade all doubters that he is the real deal.
BUFFALO BILLS…CJ Spiller to provide more fireworks than that franchise has seen in the past decade.
CAROLINA PANTHERS…at least two inexperienced quarterbacks to see playing time.
CHICAGO BEARS…Devin Aromashodu to be the best WR, and Greg Olsen to disappear through no fault of his own.
CINCINNATI BENGALS… last season’s AFC North dominance to prove impossible to repeat.
CLEVELAND BROWNS… Jake Delhomme to be infinitely better than their 2009 QB’s.
DALLAS COWBOYS…Dez Bryant to show that he is the best football player in the 2009 rookie class.
DENVER BRONCOS…Josh McDaniels to regret numerous decisions, but none more than allowing Mike Nolan to get away.
DETROIT LIONS…Jahvid Best to remind us that a lot of people were calling him the best player in the country before he got hurt.
GREEN BAY PACKERS…Jermichael…Finley. That is all.
HOUSTON TEXANS…that yes, Houston, this is finally the year.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS…Pierre Garcon to run away with the #2 WR job.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS…Rashad Jennings to grow into a larger role to keep MJD fresh.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS…Dexter McCluster to play the Wes Welker role, and play it well.
MIAMI DOLPHINS…Cameron Wake to provide some ROI in the form of double-digit sacks. He’ll get killed in the run game, though. He’s not Peezy, who remains an underrated villain and could still play for me any time.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS…Percy Harvin to take the next step into sheer greatness as Grandpa Favre facilitates.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS…one last monster year from the Brady-Moss connection before Randy chases one last (probably misguided) payday.
NEW YORK GIANTS…a lot of Eli. It’s been a process, but he’s taking the reigns completely in 2010. You don’t put Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Kevin Boss all on the field just to run the power sweep.
NEW YORK JETS…Jets fans to be absolutely livid should I jinx it for them. So I won’t.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS…a little less good fortune, but no less fun (until it ends).
OAKLAND RAIDERS…8 wins or more. Michael Bush is the thunder, Darren McFadden is the lightning. Tom Cable teams will run the ball on you whether you like it or not, and now he has a serviceable quarterback. Get ready to hear a lot about Chaz Schillens, Louis Murphy and Zach Miller, and prepare for at least a bomb per game to DHB. Not a Raider fan, but I believe.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES…Brandon Graham to have 10+ sacks and win Defensive ROY.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS…Dennis Dixon to make Mike Tomlin and the Rooneys seriously re-consider the degree of their affection for Ben Roethlisberger. The Sausage King of Pittsburgh, as I now call him, is in trouble.
ST. LOUIS RAMS…Sam Bradford to be really glad he has Steven Jackson as his dump-off option.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS…Norv Turner to continue to show us all what a truly masterful offensive coordinator looks like.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS…big things from one Alex P. Smith. But I won’t be shocked if he lets me down, either. And though I assume you have no doubt, let me assure you that Michael Crabtree is indeed the truth.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS…Justin Forsett to put to rest the question of who the #1 back is.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS…Gerald McCoy and Brian Price to wreak havoc on the defensive front.
TENNESSEE TITANS…Chris Johnson to discover the meaning of the phrase “career year.”
WASHINGTON REDSKINS…that despite a backfield with a collective age rivaling that of the cast of “Cocoon,” Mike Shanahan will find a way to put a productive running game on the field, as always.