I’m not going to break down all the individual team records and all that kind of nonsense. Instead, I figured I’d just list some things that I see happening in the 2008 NFL season.
-Leading passer: It’s kind of tough to go against Tom Brady here, so I won’t.
-Leading rusher: I’m going to assume All Day will be healthy all year. Yes, Adrian Peterson will win the rushing crown for 2008. I’m not really going out on any limbs here, huh?
-Leading receiver (catches): I have to go with Wes Welker from the Pats. They just dump it off to him underneath too often for me to think otherwise.
-Leading receiver (yards): I want to pick Cleveland’s Braylon Edwards, but I worry about the Derek Anderson situation. Anderson has a concussion and I don’t know that he’ll be as good this year when teams are ready for him. I’m going to say that Megatron will lead the league this year. Detroit’s Calvin Johnson is poised for a nasty year and his back is finally healthy.
-Overall TD leader: I have to stick with All Day here. If A.P. doesn’t break down, he’s the guy.
-Leader in tackles: I don’t know how I can go against Patrick Willis from San Francisco. As a rookie he had 174 tackles last year. That is insane.
-Sack leader: I know it’s easy to go with last year’s sack leader in Jared Allen, but I’m going to anyway. His 15.5 sacks came in just 14 games in 2007 (suspended two games for DUI). He is now in Minnesota where he’ll have the luxury of playing next to the Williams brothers (they aren’t really brothers), aka the best D-tackle combo in the league. Assuming he stops guzzling the Early Times whiskey and hopping into the Escalade, he’ll play a full 16 games.
-INT leader: This is very tough to pick because it doesn’t go to the best DB. Many times a guy (or girl, let’s be fair) will benefit from playing on the other side of a super stud that no one wants to go near. I think the Eagles Sheldon Brown will grab the most picks. It’s dangerous to keep firing away at Asante Samuel.
-MVP: Brian Westbrook. Not many mean as much to their teams as Westbrook means to the Eagles. He just keeps getting better and is perhaps the most dangerous weapon in all of football.
-Offensive Player of the Year: Calvin Johnson from the Lions. He looks like a man amongst boys.
-Defensive Player of the Year: San Fran’s Patrick Willis. This guy is a monster.
-Offensive Rookie of the Year: Titans RB Chris Johnson. He has been phenomenal and shouldn’t have any problem keeping fat Lendale White off the field.
-Defensive Rookie of the Year: Arizona Cardinals corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He’s a Cromartie…’nuff said.
-The Patriots will not come close to achieving what they did last season. They will still be extremely tough, but their defense looks horrendous. It was bad last year, but it got masked by the fact that they were also winning by 70 points. It’s much easier to play D when you know the other team has to pass. The defense looks old, slow and tired.
–Favre will not get the Jets to the playoffs. I know it’s the big trade this offseason, but the Packers were good for more reasons last year than just Favre. I like the Jets o-line, but their defense is still suspect. They overpaid for Calvin Pace, Kris Jenkins is learning the nose in the 3-4 (if he’s even motivated to do that), they lost Jonathon Vilma, and Vernon Gholston stinks.
-The Browns will miss the playoffs again. Everyone is hyping the Browns after they added several players to their surprising 10-6 team. The Browns don’t have the element of surprise this year, and Derek Anderson looked awful to finish last season. If that’s the Anderson that they will get this year, then you’ll see Brady Quinn by Week 5.
-The Giants will miss the playoffs. Their run last year was excellent, but this team has too many issues to get back into the playoffs. Plaxico Burress is whining about his contract, Antonio Pierce would like an extension, Osi Umenyiora is done for the year, their secondary is still a question mark and they are expecting Eli Manning to be decent for an entire year. I don’t see it.
-The Bengals will be miserable. I know they aren’t great, but you would expect more given some of the talent on the roster. They will win four games.