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The Blue & Gray Press | September 22, 2017

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Sweet Smell of Pigskin Returns

By GOVINDA AVASARALA

AFC East- Formerly the toughest division in the NFL, the AFC East is now the New England Patriots and three other teams. If Tom Brady and his three new Brady-ettes (wide receivers Randy Moss, Donte’ Stallworth, and Wes Welker) don’t clinch the division by Week 4, the season will be a disappointment.

AFC South – Not unlike the AFC East, the Indianapolis Colts should have their division title.

AFC North – I refuse to speak of the Cleveland Browns as an NFL team this year. As for the Cincinnati Bengals, the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers, a lot will depend on which team gets luckiest: will the aging Ravens defense make it through an injury-free year (already a no); will the Steelers escape similar injury problems and freak motorcycle accidents (that loud sound you hear is Ben Roethlisberger knocking on wood); and will the Bengals send less than nine team members to jail this year?

AFC West – Apparently the San Diego Chargers have a decent running back (Tomli-something. I don’t really remember). With him and the rest of their uber-talented roster, it makes no difference that they lost their head coach and two assistants. Kim-Jong Il and Britney Spears could coach this team and they still would have no excuse to not make the Super Bowl. The Denver Broncos should challenge the Chargers, but they lack the firepower (read as: LaDainian Tomlinson and Shawne Merriman) to surpass them.

NFC East – No, the Redskins will not make the playoffs. Jason Campbell is not the answer. As good as he looked on Sunday, one must remember that he was playing against a Dolphins secondary that makes more mistakes than the Bush administration. So who will win the division? It will come down to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. I pick the Eagles purely out of my general dislike for the Cowboys (I don’t care if you lose respect for me).

NFC South – The New Orleans Saints are a popular pick to reach the Super Bowl and you won’t get much argument from me: they have an explosive offense and an improved defense (both of which were hibernating last Thursday night). Saints fans, don’t be worried about the poor start to the season. The only team you have to worry about are the schizophrenic Carolina Panthers who are talented but unbearably inconsistent. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ only joy this year will come in the consolation prize for the coolest stadium in the NFL (they have a pirate ship IN the stadium!). The Atlanta Falcons starting quarterback Michael Vick has been suspended indefinitely from the NFL.

NFC North – Rex Grossman should not be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Period. That being said, quarterback/Civil War veteran Brett Favre (Packers) does not have the overall team to best Rex and his Chicago Bears. The two remaining teams in the division, the Detriot Lions and Minnesota Vikings, are like that exotic hottie that Facebooked you and you fantasized about her ever since: they’re exciting, dangerous, and will only be good in small doses.

NFC West – Of all the teams in the West, the Seattle Seahawks have the best outlook for the season. Unfortunately, the Seahawks have the ultimate case of the West-Coast Syndrome: outstanding teams who are located west of Oklahoma in a city other than LA. They are very good, but they play in Seattle, which gets as much fame as Ashlee Simpson. Look for them to make a deep push into the playoffs, erasing memories of last year’s troubles.

PLAYOFFS:
AFC Wild Card Round: San Diego over Denver, Cincinnati over Baltimore
NFC Wild Card Round: Chicago over St. Louis, Carolina over Philadephia
AFC Divisional Round: Indianapolis over Cincinnati, New England over San Diego
NFC Divisional Round: Seattle over Carolina, New Orleans over Chicago
AFC Conference Championship: Indianapolis over New England
NFC Conference Championship: Seattle over New Orleans

SUPER BOWL: Indianapolis 31, Seattle 23


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