It's pretty obvious that the Redskins will win the divison. They dont have an excellent
quarterback; they have two. Their recievers are outstanding. LeVar Arrington, Chris Samuels,
Bruce Smith and Deion Sanders will fill in holes from 1999. If Stephen Davis isnt a one
year wonder, Washington will go all the way this season. The rest of the NFC East (or Least
I should say) is pretty iffy. The Giants are definatley on the rise behind revived QB Kerry
Collins. Ron Dayne should add a needed running game, and Tiki Barber plus the Giant
reciever corps arent bad to throw at. The losses of Percy Ellsworth and Charles Way will
probably keep the Giants out of the playoffs. They will finish 2nd.
The Eagles should fall
next in the division. If Donovan McNabb improves a lot and Staley stays healthy, this offense
should break out of the cellar. They still badly need a reciever.
With some luck, this team could see the playoffs, but injuries
will probably prevent that.
Dallas was struck by
the injury bug, followed by the free agency flu. Michael Irvin, Randall Godfrey and Deion
Sanders are gone. Emmitt Smith and Joey Galloway should win about 7 or 8 games for Dallas.
Look for Randall Cunningham to play for the often injured Aikman. Arizona will probably finish last. Goodbye Vince Tobin. Jake
Plummer will probably be benched for too many INTs. Thomas Jones will be the only sort of
bright spot on this offense. The loss of Eric Swann will soften the defense.
Tampa Bay will win this division. Keyshawn Johnson should help out 2nd year QB Shaun King
and the Bucs passing offense. Although their prolific defense lost stud linebacker Hardy
Nickerson, they are still one of the best. The revamped offensive line should protect King
and help Mike Alsott and Warrick Dunn run the ball. If Shaun King plays great, the Bucs
could challenge the Redskins in the NFC Championship. Despite being 28th in the NFL in
rushing, the Lions made the playoffs last year. With James Stewart, the Lions could be
going for 10 wins. It depends if Charlie Batch can stay healthy; something he is not too good
at. Detroit will grab 2nd place. Kid Cade will be the starter in Chicago. With
recievers such as Marcus Robinson, Eddie Kennison and Bobby Engram to throw to, he should
have a great season. Da Bears' defense was pretty good last year, and should be better with
the addition of Brian Urlacher and R.W. McQuarters. One thing that is crying for help is the
running game. Curtis Enis averaged a whopping 3.2 yards per carry last season, and without
at least an average running game, the Bears wont see the playoffs.
Brett Favre is having tendonitis in his elbows again. Combined with the fact that they have
a new coach (seems a lot like last year), Green Bay should be good for seven, maybe
eight wins. Rookie Bubba Franks was drafted to take the place of Mark
Chmura; something that will not be easily accomplished. The Packers just dont have the
weapons they had in Mike Holmgren's days.
Like the Cowboys, the
Minnesota Vikings lost many players to free agency. Jeff Christy, Jake Reed, Andy Glover,
Randall Cunningham, Jeff George and Randall McDaniel to name a few. Bryce Paup should
help a little bit. Daunte Culpepper is a rookie all over again, and it wont be easy despite
having Randy Moss and Chris Carter to throw at. Chicago and Minnesota should both see
about seven wins.
The Rams are the third team (Tampa Bay, Washington) that will make a run for a Super Bowl
appearence. 20 out of the 22 starters are still intact. Yes, all the weapons the Rams had are
still there. Even if Kurt Warner was a one year wonder, they still have Trent Green as a
backup. If the Rams and Redskins play in the NFC Championship, watch it. It will be a good
game. Next in the standings will be my surprise team of the season, the Saints. For the last
two seasons a surprise team has come out of the woodworks and into the Super Bowl from
this division (Atlanta, St. Louis). The Saints should be the third if Ricky Williams and Jeff
Blake stay healthy. The Saints made major offseason moves, signing Jake Reed, Jeff Blake,
Andy Glover, Kevin Mathis and Joe Horn. Look for New Orleans to win 10 games this year,
a major turnaround from last years' 3 wins. Carolina should come next. If Steve
Beurelein puts up numbers like he did last year, they could finish second in the West. Chuck
Smith should help this mediocre defense, but the big question is if Natrone Means can
excel his inconsistency. The Atlanta Dirty Birds have the biggest question mark of them
all. Chris Chandler might be too old to come back from injuries, but you never know... Jamal
Anderson could rush anywhere from 700 to 1600 yards this season; it all depends on how he
comes back from injury. Chuck Smith and Lester Archambeau are gone. Can the Dirty Bird
defense hold up without them? I do not expect Atlanta to fully come back. Not this season.
Look for about seven wins. The 49ers will be bad for quite some time. Steven Young and
Charles Haley are gone. With 15 or more rookies on this roster, this team should be worse
the Browns. Three wins if pushed......
R.I.P. Fred Lane. The team that will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl will most likely be
the Colts. They made no key acquisitions or losses during the offseason. They just look for
Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison to develop together. Not bad for a
13-3 team last season. Look for Manning to have 4,000+ passing yards. James should have
2,000+ total yards. Harrison should have close to 2,000 recieving yards. If young recievers
such as Jerome Pathon and E.G. Green continue to develop, Peyton Manning will be
unstoppable. Barring any major injuries, the Colts will be in the big game. What was once a
super divison is now a dismal division. With a healthy Vinny Testaverde, The New York Jets
should finish second in this division. The losses of Keyshawn Johnson and Steve Atwater
are big, but rookie defensive end Shaun Ellis will be good. The scary thing about this team is
that once Vinny Testaverde's career is over, Chad Pennington's begins. Sounds like the 49ers
from back in the day.
Although they lost Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Sam Gash to free agency, the
Bills should finish third in their division. Why? Rob Johnson. It is not known, but over
the last three season, Rob Johnson has had a quarterback rating of over 110. Look for
Johnson to step up and be one of the elite QBs in the league.
The Patriots should come next. They only lost 2 somewhat key free
agents. There are two factors that will determine this team's performance. One is if Drew
Bledsoe can keep his interception total down. On paper Drew looks like Jake Plummer's older
brother. The second factor is if running back Robert Edwards can make a solid appearence
sometime during the season. Otherwise, they'll have to settle with J.R. Redmond, a third
round pick who may pan out. This team will not see the playoffs if both factors aren't met.
Next should be the Dolphins. Dan Marino out, career backup Jay Fiedler in. Yatil Green out,
over payed Bert Emanuel in. Abdul Kareem Al Jabbar out, old man Thurman Thomas in. Plus,
they lost Kevin Gogan and Stanley Pritchett with no replacements for them.
1999 AFC Champion Tennessee will win this division. This is basically the same team that was
a yard short of winning the Super Bowl last year. (Plus Randall Godfrey, Minus Jon Runyan).
If Steve McNair, Eddie George and Jevon Kearse stay healthy, this team will challenge the
Colts in the AFC Championship game. Oh yeah... I forgot that they added superstar
reciever Carl Pickens. Oops. The Jaguars will come next. This team lost James
Stewart, who gave Fred Taylor some relief. Hardy Nickerson should cancel out the loss of
Bryce Paup, but they also lost Regan Upshaw. A rookie starting at center could spell disaster
especially with the often injured Mark Brunell. The Jags will challenge to win or may win this
division, but I'm putting my money on the Titans. Last year's 8-8 Ravens improved greatly and
may win ten or eleven games this year. Signing Shannon Sharpe without really losing anyone
to free agency was big. Rookies Jamaal Lewis and Travis Taylor should fit in well with this
offense and will give Tony Banks more weapons. Tony looks like he fits in well in this
offense, and if
he doesnt screw up (like he has throughout his young career) this team may (surprise) win this
division. The rest of this division sucks. The hold out Bengals should finish fourth. If Corey
Dillon decides not to be a spoiled brat, then the Bengals will be a lot better. Without him,
they will win around five games. Akili Smith will have Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans to throw
to. Their defense still sucks, but their offense looks much better. The Steelers, although they
have a better team than the Bengals, have Kordell Stewart at quarterback, so they will once
again be terrible. Look for Kent Graham to step in at QB in the middle of the season. Kordell
should play reciever. Pittsburgh will not score this season. The Bus seems to be broken down.
Rookie Plaxico Burress is good, but he will have nothing to catch (see Terrell Owens). Last
years' expansion team, the Cleveland Browns will finish last. However, there seems to be the
start of something good in the works. Tim Couch and Kevin Johnson seem to be developing
nicely together. Darrin Chiaverini made an impact at the end of last season. Courtney Brown
will probably win defensive rookie of the year. Errict Rhett, although not a Super Bowl back,
will bring stability to that position. Give this team one more year.
This division now surpasses the NFC East as the worst division in football. The leader of the
pack seems to be the Seahawks. If Jon Kitna plays like he did at the beginning of the 1999
season, the Hawks will have no problem winning this division, even though the Seahawks lost
Joey Galloway. If not, they will barely win it like last year. It
will be interesting to see when Shaun Alexander replaces the aging Ricky Watters. The
Broncs' 6-10 1999 season happened because Terrell Davis was injured and John Elway
retired. If Terrell comes back 100%, the Broncos should do well. Their quaterback situation
is still questionable. Brian Griese, although young, was unstable last year. Gus Frerotte played
well for Charlie Batch last season and coach Shanahan won't hesistate to use him. The
Broncos did lose Shannon Sharpe and Neil Smith. If Jon Kitna messes up in Seattle, this team
will win the division. It's the do or die season for John Gruden in Oakland. If he goes 8-8
again (or worse), he'll be fired. I say die. They signed Regan Upshaw, but lost Russell
Maryland in the process. Unless Rich Gannon and Tyrone Wheatly have dynamic seasons,
another 8 win season looks to be in the works. I feel sorry for the Chargers. They put all
their hopes into Ryan Leaf, and look what he has done. I think he might be related to Corey
Dillon and Carl Pickens (the brat pack). If Ryan Leaf settles down this year, San Diego might
have some hope in the immediate future, but not this year. I dont know who is going to run
the ball, or what Curtis Conway will catch, but their defense led by Junior Seau is supreme.
This team should win 6 games, all won by their defense. Last will be Kansas City. Although
they always seem to exceed expectations, a 9-7 team who's defensive leader (Derrick
Thomas) and special teams leader (Tamarick Vanover) are gone. Not to mention Joe Horn and
Reggie Tounge hitting the road. Anything above 6 wins would be remarkable.
NFC Playoff Picture
The top two teams will recieve byes. The Bucs will destroy the Lions. The Cinderella Saints
will beat the Panthers in a close game. The Redskins will beat the Bucs in a close game. The
Rams will kill the Saints, ending their surprise season. The Redskins will beat the Rams in a
high powered shoot-out. Redskins to the Super Bowl.
AFC Playoff Picture
The top two teams will recieve byes. The Jags will barely beat the Ravens, and the Broncos
will upset the Jets. The Colts will destroy the Broncos. The Jaguars will upset the Titans, the
opposite of what happened last year. The Colts will beat the Jags in a close game. Colts to
the Super Bowl.
2000 All-Walter Team (Offense)
QBs: Peyton Manning and Steve McNair.
It's obvious that Peyton Manning will have a good year, but why did I pick Steve McNair over
Mark Brunell, Brad Johnson, Kurt Warner, etc? Air McNair had a great year last year. He
led the Titans to the Super Bowl with his superior running game. This year, he has Carl
Pickens to throw to. McNair is now a complete two way QB threat. Edgerrin James and
Marshall Faulk will lead halfbacks this year. Their talent to catch passes is what seperates
them from other running backs. Mike Alstott is the best fullback in the game. Marvin Harrison
is in a high powered offense; Keyshawn Johnson is the only good reciever in sight for
maturing quarterback Shaun King; Mushin Muhammad will once again carry the load as
Patrick Jeffers is out for the whole season, plus he catches passes from Pro Bowl QB Steve Beurelein.
I thought about putting Jimmy Smith on this list, but Mark Brunell gets injured too often.
Tony Gonzalez is the best tight end in the NFL.
2000 All-Walter Surprise Team (Offense)
QBs: Jeff Blake and Tony Banks.