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NFL Preview 2000

By Dean Shutt

NFL football has returned again to give meaning to our sad little lives. That means every week youmanhood will be challenged as you are asked again and again, So what do you think of the Pack's chances? Since most of you don't have the time or the inclination to thoroughly study the major preview magazines, here at the times have provided you with our 5 minute review of each teams prospects. Read it, memorize it, and you too will be able to say with conviction, "They just don't have the horses this year". All teams are listed by division and predicted order of finish.

American Football Conference

AFC East

  1. Indianapolis Colts Division Champs The Colts return 21 of 22 starters from their 13-3 team of a year ago. The only new face is the first round middle linebacker Rob Morris out of BYU. If Morris can come through and improve the Colt defense, they are a lock to repeat as AFC East champs. Besides, they are my beloved Colts and I have waited over 25 years to be able to pick them to win with any confidence.
  2. Miami Dolphins Let's see, the Hall of Fame quarterback retired, they still have no running game and their defense is too small, yet somehow, new coach Dave Wannstadt is going to manage 9 wins out of this team.
  3. New England Patriots The Pats will be dangerous, but Bledsoe is the most overrated starting quarterback in the NFL. Third place and wait 'til next year.
  4. New York Jets Vinny will be Vinny, the Jets will fold like the house of cards that they are, and they will begin their long slow slide back into the mediocrity from whence they came.
  5. Buffalo Bills Let me get this straight, Doug Flutie gets you to the playoffs and you bench him in favor of Rob Johnson? Somethin's broke on this team folks, and it won't be fixed this year.

AFC Central

  1. Tennessee Titans Tennessee scares me. They are young, they are hungry and they are talented. But I have to believe they are going to have a letdown after last year's Super Bowl run. They will win the division, but they will lose in their first playoff game.
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars - Wild Card See above.
  3. Baltimore Ravens - Wild Card My surprise pick out of the AFC. This is a real good team with veteran players who have something to prove. Age and treachery beat youth and hunger every time.
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers They will be better than most folks expect. Kordell will keep his job, but Cowher just doesn't have the horses in a loaded division.
  5. Cleveland Browns They will finish ahead of the Bengals, that had better be enough for them.
  6. Cincinnati Bengals Unfortunately for them, their can only be one worst team in the league.

AFC West

  1. Seattle Seahawks Where Holmgren goes, he wins. He's had a year and that will be enough to make them the best in the west.
  2. Denver Broncos - Wild Card Brian Griese, breakout player of the year and the next great quarterback in the NFL.
  3. Oakland Raiders 8 and 8, for the three hundredth year in a row. Yes, I am going to save this for next year.
  4. Kansas City Chiefs Elvis Grbac bwahahahahahaha!!!
  5. San Diego Chargers Ryan Leaf begins his maturation as an NFL quarterback, and only his third year in the league! Kinda puts that Manning vs. Leaf debate into perspective doesn't it?

National Football Conference

NFC East

  1. Washington Redskins Dan Snyder spent the off-season playing fantasy football with real players. Traditionally this means a team with no chemistry and there's no reason to think this squad will be any different. Talent gets them a title in a weak division, but that is all.
  2. Philadelphia Eagles - Wild Card The dark horse from the NFC. Don't be surprised to see this good young team take the division.
  3. Arizona Cardinals Plummer returns to '98 form and the Cards have a surprising third place finish.
  4. New York Giants Kerry Collins is your starting quarterback? See Kansas City Chiefs above.
  5. Dallas Cowboys Age finally catches up to the 'boys with a vengeance. The Cowboys' season will prove once and for all that the football gods are fair and just.

NFC Central

  1. Green Bay Packers Brett Favre, Dorsey Levens and Antonio Freeman all feel as though they have something to prove. Call it the Pack's last stab at glory, and give them the division title.
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Wild Card Championship defense, high school offense. Keyshawn won't be able to save this team.
  3. Minnesota Vikings - Wild Card Watch Daunte Culpepper become this year's Randall/Jeff feel-good story. Has anyone figured out that anyone can look good throwing to Randy Moss and Cris Carter?
  4. Chicago Bears A solid young team that will do a whole lot of things right. If they were in the East or the West they would challenge for the division title, but in the Central? Let's all say it together, "Not enough horses".
  5. Detroit Lions See the Chicago Bears.

NFC West

  1. St Louis Rams The most talented team in the conference and they play in the weakest division infootball. The glory days of the 49'ers have returned, they are just in a different city.
  2. Atlanta Falcons Jamal is back and that means second place to the far-too-good-to-catch Rams.
  3. Carolina Panthers Siefert continues his quest to prove that he is that damn good as a football coach.
  4. New Orleans Saints They have upgraded at just about every position, but it is going to take another year or so to recover from Ditka.
  5. San Francisco 49ers Watch as this once-proud franchise races the Bengals for the right to pick Drew Brees number one on the draft.

Final results:

AFC Title Colts over Ravens
NFC Title Rams over Eagles
Super Bowl Colts over Rams