I mentioned in my previous article that I took my cues for these articles from The Bill Simmons podcast. That’s not entirely true. I also texted a friend asking if he knew about any fantasy football leagues that I could join. It’s been a couple of years since I wasn’t invited back to a league that I won with Blake Bortles as my starting quarterback. Honestly, I didn’t miss it all that much.
However, all of the sports podcasts that I listen to have advertisements for fantasy football. They must have wormed their way into the dark corners of my brain only to spring into action at just the right time. I always thought that advertising didn’t work on me. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age.
True to Simmons form, I had to subscribe to Cousin Sal’s podcast to get the NFC portion of their preview. However, and I say this with some pride, if the completely ignorant tag on my AFC preview wasn’t entirely true, it will be for this one. Not only do I keep a glancing eye on the AFC because my favorite team plays there, but I kept zoning out while listening to Simmons and Sal during their NFC show. More than once I said, “Wait, what team are they discussing?” Without further ado, on with the ignorance!
- Iggles: The one thing that I do know about the NFC is that the Iggs won the Super Bowl last year with their second string quarterback. I can’t even remember that quarterback’s name. I just keep thinking Frank Reich or Brian Hoyer. Eh, I probably won’t have to know his name since Carson Wentz is supposed to be back. No reason to think that having him back will result in anything less than another division title.
- Washington: Our nation’s capital professional football team has a racist nickname and mascot. Not only that, but when you consider that they could both get positive press and potentially more money from changing it and they don’t, you know Dan Snyder is a prick. With all that being said, I guess it is too much to ask karma to relegate this crap show into the bowels of oblivion every season. So, 2nd place this year it is for the racists.
- Cowgirls: I just called the previous team racist and now I’m making a slightly sexist joke? I suppose that it could be interpreted as such, but that’s not how I mean it. Um, I’m just going to apologize and move on to the next team.
- Gynts: Ugh, never mind, I’ll deal with the awkwardness of making a joke that can be misconstrued as sexist instead of dealing with the awkwardness of this train wreck of a team. Seriously, how did the NFC East go from one of the best divisions to possibly the worst? The NFL has this parity thing on lock.
- Rams: In my previous article, I mentioned that there are somehow two teams in Los Angeles again, and neither one of them is the raiders. The Rams are a much more LA team than the Chargers and they are getting the appropriate buzz of a team that resides in La La Land. It’ll be fun to watch if they an live up to it.
- Seahawks: I’m ready to give the Seahawks one more year. They haven’t had a hugely precipitous decline, but when you think that they were just in the Super Bowl 3? years ago and now they could be a 4th place team next year (or maybe this year) depending on how Jimmy G-sus in Frisco and whoever is playing for whatever other team is in this division do in those seasons.
- 49ers: I’m not as keen on good old Jimmy G-sus as some others out there. I’m not saying he’s bad. I’m just not ready to say that he’s very good. Sure, he had some great games last year, but so did Nick Foles. Maybe people are right and the NFL is just a quarterback’s league to the point that mediocre quarterbacks are now considered good to great.
- Cardinals: Our crack team of reporters have informed me that the other team in this division is the Cardinals. The only thing that I can ever say about the Cardinals is I feel bad for Larry Fitzgerald. I feel even worse that it was my Steelers who roadblocked his only Super Bowl possibility.
- Packers: I’ve heard more than one professional writer, paid money by ESPN to write, use the Brink’s truck metaphor to describe Aaron Rodgers’ contract. If they’re not being ironic, because that’s what the kids do these days, then that’s a sad state on the affair of sports writing. Grantland Rice, these guys ain’t.
- Vikings: The Purple People eaters got reincarnated in a big way last year. I kept hearing rumblings about Minny’s defense, but I didn’t actually witness them until the playoffs and they were really dang good. I remember texting Chris during the game in awe of the defense. The defense might still be good this year, but I don’t think they can carry the team to a first place finish.
- Lions: The Lions stink. Historically, they’ve mostly just been no damn good. The current team seems okay with their status as being no damn good and willing to continue that tradition of being no damn good. The only thing keeping them out of last place is.
- Da Bears: I texted Chris when I saw the scrawl on ESPN during one of the college football games. “The Raiders traded Khalil Mack.” He texted something back about a good player on a down year. Hmm, I mused, I guess I was just reacting to the name. I should have known that something was up because the Bears are a dumpster fire of a team right now.
- Panthers: As long as Cam is the quarterback, you can’t rule out the Panthers. Because he’s their quarterback, they often don’t get respect from the “media” or something, so they always have that chip on their shoulder that all professional athletes need to succeed for some reason. For me, that gives them a slight edge over the Falcons and Ain’ts.
- Falcons: Old whatshisface, according to whatshisface from Jacksonville, is still the quarterback. He might be overrated. Who’s to say, really? But, he is one of the better quarterbacks in the league, the rest of the offense is pretty dang good, and the defense is serviceable.
- Aint’s: The old Aint’s snuck up on people a bit last year. They won’t have that same opportunity. Oh sure, there could be some “Win one for the Gipper” nonsense surrounding Brees getting older, but I don’t see it. They won’t be wearing paper bags in N’Awlins, but they won’t be dancing either. Except they always dance in N’Awlins. Ah, you get my point.
- Bucs: I know nothing about the Bucs. That’s not entirely true. I’m pretty sure Jameis Winston is still the quarterback. When he’s not sexually assaulting people or stealing crab legs, he’s not that great of a player to begin with. The fact that I can’t reliable name him as one of their players or any other player, for that matter, probably doesn’t bode well for them.
The Rams look like they can put up a good fight and maybe meet the Iggles in the Championship. I recently learned that Wentz isn’t going to start the first game, which isn’t too bad considering Foles was decent last year. Still, that deal with the devil has got to be nearing an end and it is quite concerning that Wentz is still not cleared. Who knows? It would be interesting, and not altogether unpleasant, to see the Iggles go from NFL Champs to also rans.
Thursday Night Football
As I’m up against my deadline, I’m just going to make a quick pick for this game to have it on record. I’ll pick the other games Friday or Saturday.
Atlanta at Philadelphia: Speaking of those Iggs, and the possibly resurgent Falcons as I discussed, they play the opening game. The line right now is Iggs -2, which was probably higher before the Wentz decision, so there’s not much confidence in them right now. I’ll take the Falcons in an upset. George gives the Falcons a slight edge, too, 54-46. If you don’t know who George is, I’ll give him a full reintroduction in my picks on Saturday. See you then.