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It's time to learn ABCs of NFL

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Here is your A-to-Z guide for the NFL season, which kicks off Thursday night when the Washington Redskins kiss the Super Bowl rings of the host New York Giants:

    AFC teams won six of the previous seven Super Bowls before the NFC's Giants knocked off the previously unbeaten New England Patriots in February. Don't expect an encore, either by the depleted Giants (they've lost five defensive starters) or any other NFC contender.

    Bill Belichick won't need spy videos the next time his Patriots take on the New York Jets. He, along with the rest of us, saw endless film this summer of the Jets' new quarterback, Brett Favre.

    Coaches on the hot seat: Lane Kiffin (Raiders), Mike Nolan (49ers), Kiffin's and Nolan's eventual successors, Wade Phillips (Cowboys), Brad Childress (Vikings), John Fox (Panthers), Scott Linehan (Rams), Marvin Lewis (Bengals), Herm Edwards (Chiefs) and Romeo Crennel (Browns).

    Defenses now get one player with a radio in his helmet to communicate with coaches, presumably to drown out the sounds of Peyton Manning's karaoke singing.

    Eli Manning really did win last season's Super Bowl, thus setting the bar high again for fellow quarterbacks drafted No. 1 overall (see: Raiders' JaMarcus Russell, 49ers' second-stringer Alex Smith).

    Fans who get drunk, cuss or taunt others can be ejected under the league's new "code of conduct." Don't worry, you're still free to gamble, ogle cheerleaders and play fantasy football.

    Games to watch (this month only, for everything changes come October): Week 1 — Bears at Colts (a Super Bowl XLI rematch); Week 2 — Patriots at Jets (Spygate vs. Favre); Week 3 — Cowboys at Packers (Aaron Rodgers owns the Cowboys, right?); Week 4 — Chargers at Raiders (The Raiders could go to 3-0 in the AFC West, or they could fire Kiffin during the ensuing bye).

    Home games for the New Orleans Saints remain at the Louisiana Superdome now that it's escaped Hurricane Gustav's wrath. But the Saints will play one "home" date in London, where they'll face the Chargers in Week 8.

    Impact rookies abound at running back: Darren McFadden (Raiders), Chris Johnson (Titans), Matt Forte (Bears), Kevin Smith (Lions), Jonathan Stewart (Panthers), Steve Slaton (Texans), Felix Jones (Cowboys), Rashad Mendenhall (Steelers) and Ray Rice (Ravens).

    Jared Allen (NFL-best 15½ sacks in 2007) has left the Kansas City Chiefs for the Minnesota Vikings, to the delight of the Raiders. Unless, of course, the Vikings meet the Raiders in Super Bowl XLIII.

    Kim Kardashian and the Saints' Reggie Bush are this season's hot celebrity couple. But don't ever count out the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson, or the Patriots' Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen.

    Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts' new home, is the site of Sunday night's game against the Bears. The Cowboys' new mansion opens in 2009, the Giants-Jets' co-op in 2010 and the 49ers' in ...

    Miami's Tony Sparano is one of four new coaches this season, the others being John Harbaugh (Ravens), Mike Smith (Falcons) and Jim Zorn (Redskins).

    No chance the Patriots go 16-0 in the regular season again. But they should go 2-0 in the Bay Area: Oct. 5 at San Francisco, Dec. 14 at Oakland.

    Offseason acquisitions to note: quarterbacks J.T. O'Sullivan (49ers) and Favre (Jets); wide receiver Javon Walker (Raiders); safety Gibril Wilson (Raiders); cornerbacks Adam Jones (Cowboys), Asante Samuel (Eagles), DeAngelo Hall (Raiders); defensive ends Justin Smith (49ers), Jason Taylor (Redskins) and Allen (Vikings); linebacker Jonathan Vilma (Saints); tight end Jeremy Shockey (Saints); and defensive tackle Shaun Rogers (Browns).

    Patches will be worn by all players to honor the late Gene Upshaw, a Pro Football Hall of Fame guard for the Raiders from 1967-81 and the players' union leader since 1983. Other patches: the Chiefs for Lamar Hunt, the St. Louis Rams for Georgia Frontiere and the Jets for Super Bowl III.

    Quarterback changes: O'Sullivan (49ers), Russell (Raiders), Joe Flacco (Ravens), Matt Ryan (Falcons), Kyle Orton (Bears), Chad Pennington (Dolphins), Rodgers (Packers) and Favre (Jets).

    Rule changes: Receivers must get two feet inbounds on a catch, even if they're pushed out of bounds; any facemask friskiness will result in a 15-yard penalty, so no more 5-yard violations; coin-toss winners can defer to the second half on whether to kick or receive.

    Suspensions: The Carolina Panthers banished wide receiver Steve Smith from their first two games for breaking teammate Ken Lucas' nose in a training-camp punch. Also, the Denver Broncos are without wide receiver Brandon Marshall for Monday night's opener at Oakland, and the Vikings will sorely miss left tackle Bryant McKinnie the first four games.

    Tampa, Fla., is hosting Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1. The Patriots will be there to defeat the Saints 31-13.

    Underrated players: Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, Jaguars quarterback David Garrard, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin, Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil and Falcons running backs Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood.

    Vick (Michael) is still in jail. But next summer, he could have a short drive out of Leavenworth, Kan., to the Chiefs.

    Who's going to the playoffs: Chargers (AFC West champions), Patriots (AFC East), Colts (AFC South), Steelers (AFC North), Titans (AFC wild card), Bills (AFC wild card); Saints (NFC South), Cowboys (NFC East), Seahawks (NFC West), Vikings (NFC North), Eagles (NFC wild card), Packers (NFC wild card).

    X's and O's should be a lot more fun in the 49ers' classroom under new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who could be their head coach by season's end.

    You're up next, Jim. The Seattle Seahawks and Colts already have appointed their next head coaches for 2009, with Jim Mora taking over for Mike Holmgren and Jim Caldwell for Tony Dungy. The other 30 teams will be calling Bill Cowher at season's end.

    Zzzzzz. Time to nap. Five months of football to come.

  2. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

    Dec 17, 2007
    Sureeee....try losing in the first round of the playoffs. Pats record will be 10-6. Check that.
  3. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

    Aug 16, 2006
    Drew Brees is one of the NFL's "underrated" players?

    Yeah... okay.

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