2011 NFL Division Preview
Happy Thursday fellow football fanatics.In case you missed it, here is Monday’s AFC West Preview
Today we continue along our journey towards total football readiness. We’ve come a long way so far, we’ve talked about all of the NFC divisions and after today we’re halfway through the AFC. I’ve had tons of fun bring you these previews, I hope your enjoying them as much as I am.
I found a new TV show the other day, easily one of my favorite hobbies. This one is about these two guys who travel around the country buying abandoned storage units auction style, then go through them and try to sell the stuff they find. The show itself is average at best, the two guys are so typecast I started to realistically believe they were hired actors and the items were obviously staged (they found an original rocket countdown clock from Cape Canaveral, yeah I’m sure stuff like that is just hanging around old storage units).
The quality of the show notwithstanding, the one part that I found compelling was when they were allowed to look at the units before they had the chance to bid on them. They would be given what looked like a couple of minutes to crowd around the opening of the unit and shine flashlights into them to try and to figure out if there was anything valuable there. They weren’t allowed to go in the unit or touch anything in the unit, so they were forced to make educated guesses based on past experience and what bits and pieces they could see from a distance. The best part was that some times things were pretty obvious (a good looking portable generator) and some you just had to take a chance on (say like an old piece of furniture).
It hit me that this is a lot like what we do with NFL teams this time of year. We get to take quick looks at these teams, but what we’re seeing we can’t always trust. I just heard something on NFL network today that was interesting. I’m paraphrasing here, but Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said that week three of the preseason is his favorite because that is the first week where they do any actual game planning for a specific opponent. So he’s basically saying that in all the preseason football we’ve seen so far none of the teams spent any time game planning for the football that we saw on our TV screens.
That being understood, let’s all remember that we’re like those storage unit buyers, and we can only make educated guesses. Until the season starts and we get a chance to raid those units and see what is really inside.
For now, let’s continue looking at these teams from the outside and trying to figure out what treasures we’re going to find in a couple weeks when the games start to count. Today is the AFC South, a division that has been dominated by the Indianapolis Colts for years. Is this the year that roster attrition and the aging of their core superstars starts to catch up to them? I say yes, it is, but only because it’s going to happen sometime soon. Could Peyton and the Colts hold on to the division for one more year? Sure they could, but the smart money is on them slipping down to around .500.
That leaves the Houston Texans as the team in the best position to step into the division driver’s seat. The AFC South is Houston’s division to lose in 2011.