Just as a reminder when we start the Panini Player of the Day promotion (end of August/start of September) we will not be having our weekly giveaway since that will take its place. Most likely, even though we don't have the prizes yet to determine this, it should be a weekly contest that lasts from September to November or so. We are very excited to be able to award some great prizes and have some great contest themes in mind. We are also hoping for A LOT of people to participate so remember to mention this to friends, co-workers, family and other collectors you know.
Off to the side of the blog when the contests start for Panini Player Of The Day promo we will have a new section where we will have the links to the contest and a link to a huge write up on what you can win and how! And the link to the Panini Player Of The Day website we would like all of you to visit many times as well.
And as always we appreciate our readers and we would love to top our highest daily view total of 265. When we do, there will be a contest or two. Also, if you haven't seen it yet..off to the side there is a new page in the Readers section that is for suggestions for this blog. We are open to all suggestions or thoughts that you guys have.
Speaking of those pages...we will continue to post in most of them daily. We don't see a lot of fan interaction there..but we see they are being viewed so hopefully if there is a topic you want to chime in on you will. We will never get rid of those as they are a way for you, the readers, to be a part of the blog. Which also leads us to Favorite Card Thursday. That is another thing with not much fan participation, but we are keeping it as well. But remember if you have a card to share to email it to us at email@example.com with a pic and why its your favorite.
And another new addition to our lineup of posts if Random Card Of The Day. We have decided to do it daily now. At first it was going to be a random day thing, but its a lot of fun and quick. Cards will range from all sports and non-sports.
There is just something about the NFL that makes it my favorite sport. Don't get me wrong, I do watch baseball time to time. And a little basketball. I am not much of a hockey, racing, golf or bowling (other than playing it) person. The NFL is the only sport I can sit and watch an entire game of anymore. I don't know if its because I played it or grew up watching it...but I love the game. And because of this with the NFL season upcoming and the start of the preseason is soon...I thought I would share my opinions of how I think the divisions will break down and who will win each. I will be breaking down 2 divisions a week up until the start of the season. Today's is the AFC South and here is how I think it will go down: (note: these are in order of how we think they will finish and what their records will be)
1. HOUSTON TEXANS (10-6) For the first time since franchise came in the NFL, the Texans made their way into the playoffs last season. And there will be no doubt that they can make it there again. With an offense that can score some points with QB Matt Schaub throwing to WR threat Andre Johnson and great TE Owen Daniels and some other young wide receivers including one of their draft picks this year in DeVier Posey they can move the ball through the air. But that can only happen if Andre Johnson can stay healthy. That has not been the case so far this training camp. They can also move the ball very well on the ground with the combination of Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Both running backs almost hit 1,000 yards last season with Foster going over 1,000 and Tate coming close rushing for over 900.
On defense, they have a great foundation. Despite losing Demaco Ryans and Mario Williams, they still have Brian Cushing, Bradie James and soon to be star Connor Barwin at LB’s. Last season they picked up Jonathan Joseph at corner and the draft of J.J. Watt last year was a great one as well as he will be a force to try and stop. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips did a great job fixing up the defense and making it a good one.
Overall, this is a team on the rise. They are a veteran team in a division of young talent and they should have no problem winning it. As for when they get into the playoffs, they should be able to win a game but with teams like New England, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Denver a step ahead..it could be a one and done year.
2. TENNESSEE TITANS (7-9)
Tennessee comes into the season with a quarterback competition. Matt Hasselbeck started last season after being picked up from Seattle and played extremely well until his injury. The Titans also happened to use their top pick in 2011 and drafted Jake Locker with the number 8 pick and he finished last season as the starter and played okay for a rookie. Locker seems to be the early favorite and no matter who the qb is, the Titans have some young talent to throw to. WR Kenny Britt can be a top 10 wide out in the league and the Titans used their first round pick this year on WR Kendall Wright who is a speedster and might help stretch the field. The Titans also have WR Marc Mariani who can surprise and plays really well on special teams as a returner. And who can forget their star running back Chris Johnson who hasn’t played himself recently, but should be back on track this year.
On defense, they are a young group. LB Akeem Ayers still has a lot to learn and to prove. They have DE Derrick Morgan who has not played up to expectations quite yet. And the veteran on the group is Michael Griffin.
Overall, in a weak division, the Titans have the second best team. But it awhile for this team to catch up with Houston.
3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (6-10)
With the best player on the team holding out, I could have easily put them at 3-13. But I am assuming he will show up after awhile. Whether he gets his well deserved deal or not. On offense, the Jags will put in running back Rashad Jennings until Jones-Drew gets back onto the field. Their wide receiver core got a huge upgrade this off season with new add ons Laurent Robinson (who had a breakout year in Dallas) and rookie wide out Justin Blackmon. They go along with wide out Mike Thomas and TE Mercedes Lewis. There are plenty of weapons now for QB Blaine Gabbert. But he will have to drastically improve from last season or the Jags will stick in another qb who hadn’t shown his full potential yet but can play well in Chad Henne.
On defense, tackling maching Paul Posluszny leads the defense that has some pieces in place, DT Tyson Alualu is improving every season and the Jags have some young DE’s in place they are hoping can get pressure on the QB. CB veteran Rasheen Mathis is still there and is a top 10 corner so that will help their defense as well.
Overall, they are much improved on offense and if and when Jones-Drew hits the field he will have another spectacular season. This team falls on QB Blaine Gabberts shoulders and how he progresses and succeeds on the field will depend on how many games they win.
4. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-13)
A new era has begun in Indy. No more Peyton. No more Dallas Clark. No more Pierre Garcon. No more Joseph Addai. A new coach and a new rebuilt offense and a new feel to this team. Rookie QB Andrew Luck comes in with big shoes to fill and it may take a rough year or two before he gets there despite a great preseason game showing.. He does have some talent to throw to still with WR Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne and rookie TE Coby Fleener who he threw to in college. At RB its anyones guess who makes the field but you would have to assume that it will be split carries between Donald Brown and Delone Carter.
However, on defense, Indy should be decent still. A defensive coordinator coach who came over from Baltimore’s Black and Blue defense still has the talents of DE Robert Mathis, LB now Dwight Freeney, Antoine Bethea and up and coming LB Pat Angerer. This is a veteran mixed group and should keep Indy in games as long as the offense can do a decent job.
Overall, a lot of work needed on their offense. The defense will be decent. But with so much talent to take on in the AFC and with a mostly made up rookie team…Indy could be looking at a repeat of last season.
What do you guys think of my predictions? Did I rank a team too high? Too low? Give me your thoughts!