If there’s one thing the NFL draft is good for, it’s putting the upcoming NFL season back on our minds. And while April might be too early to go hunting for fantasy magazines, it’s the perfect time of year to stay up on all the off-season moves and beginning to form a concrete game plan for your plan of attack for the coming year.
And speaking of off-season moves, don’t the Jets just continue to look better on paper? Yeah, on paper, since we all know where games are really played. But I continue to be a huge fan of this team. If the chemistry finds a spark, they could get to the Super Bowl. No doubt the Colts will be back again, albeit with a core that’s another year older. Nobody needs to challenge the heart of Peyton Manning, but it’s been a couple years now since we had to start watching the injury report for the guy. He might be the iron man of the game, but nobody’s body lasts forever. So will the Colts lose a step this year? I’m betting yes. They’ll still be a playoff team and still be an odds-on favorite leading into the season, but that dominance will take a step back to the reality of the team’s age and it’s defensive situation.
How about out in the NFC? With the silliness of Washington aside, you know New Orleans is going to come steamrolling into the season with the talent, confidence and power of a champion. If they can just put together a more cohesive running game, we’re talking 14 wins. Challengers? I’d say the Packers, but where are the real steps to improve the O-line, fellas? The Vikings? Eh, we’ll see how good the team is without Favre (always an if) or the solid backup Chester Taylor. Remember, Peterson isn’t a given every week. He might be good at gutting it out, but he gets hurt just like the rest of the world. My sleeper right now is the Ravens. We’ll see what Ray Rice can really do, and how much more of a ceiling Flacco has early on. That defense seems ageless behind Ray Lewis, so they should be good to go for another year. New Orleans vs. Baltimore in the NFC Chamionship game? Could happen.
You’ll notice I didn’t mention the Cowboys or the Patriots. Neither should you.