Tuesday, May 18, 2010

John Breech Takes a Ridiculously Early Look at the AFC North: 2010 Edition

This preview was going to be published next week, but since Peter King decided to rank the Bengals No. 23 in his power rankings, I decided it had to come out today.

TWENTY THREE? SERIOUSLY? There are only two ways to explain this, either King has decided that Shayne Graham is the best player in Cincinnati Bengals history (and therefore they will suck without him) or he has no clue what he's talking about.

I'll let you decide. And please keep in mind, King is the guy that has been reporting Brett Favre's retirement since 1998.

Anyway, lets get to this thing.

On May 11 of last year, I wrote my ridiculously early AFC North Prediction for 2009. Because most of you are too lazy to click the link, here's what I predicted:

Steelers 12-4
Bengals 10-6
Ravens 8-8
Browns 6-10

Now I'm not sure if it's because I'm stupid , but for some reason, I've made my email address available to the public via this blog. Why am I telling you this? Because eight minutes after writing last year's prediction, I got an email that went something like this (and I'm paraphrasing here): You're stupid, you suck, the Bengals suck, HAHAHAHAHA, I will impregnate a cat before the Bengals go 10-6.

Now, I haven't seen any human/cat cross breeds running around lately, so I'm going to assume that guy didn't live up to his word.

Also, I should point out that the guy who wrote that was a Steelers fan. Which shouldn't be shocking because if there is something Steelers players and fans like to do, it's to try and impregnate others without consent: cats, 20-year-old drunk college girls, Nevada hotel employees, whatever, its all the same to them.

Steelers fans, feel free to fill up my email inbox with hate this year because your team is going to suck more than the second weekend box office numbers for MacGruber.

Lets get to the predictions and remember, I'll list the team, their predicted record and the percentage chance of them making the playoffs in 2010. Oh and this is long, so you might want to grab some pretzels and a mixed drink (Ben Roethlisberger likes Cranberry and Patron).

Cleveland Browns (5-11) 12 Percent

I'm going to make two lists for you and I want you to tell me which one NFL defensive backs probably find more threatening:

List One
1. Jake Delhomme
2. Seneca Wallace
3. Brett Ratliff

List Two
1. Cute Kittens
2. Cuddly puppies
3. Bunny rabbits

For the record, rabbits scare a lot of people, including NFL DB's. No one on list one scares any one.

On a normal team (read: not the Browns) an NFL head coach would probably try and figure out which guy from list one should be his third string quarterback. Browns coach Eric Mangini has to pick a starter from that list.

Delhomme has like four wins in the last eight years, most people thought Seneca Wallace was playing Canadian football and I think Brett Ratliff was the name of my server last week at Applebee's.

So yes, without even talking about any of the other 10 offensive positions or the 11 defensive positions or special teams, Browns fans, I can tell you your season is over before it starts. Lets just all agree that the Browns are a couple players away from being a couple players away. And you can try and talk to me about Colt McCoy, but he dropped in the draft for a reason, that reason being: he sucks.

To the commissioners of the NBA, NFL and MLB: it has now been 46 years since a Cleveland championship, lets just agree that professional sports in the city of Cleveland is not working and is never going to work.

Since LeBron is going to Chicago, here's what you need to do: Move the Cavs to Seattle, move the Browns to Los Angeles and send the Indians to Oklahoma. Oh, wait the U.S government already sent the Indians to Oklahoma in the 1800's and thousands of them died, that probably won't go over to well with people who like to protest things. Alright, move the Indians to Vermont.

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) 50 Percent

Here's what the Steelers have done in the seasons following a Ben Roethlisberger offseason fuck-up: NOTHING.

That's right, like the pythagorean theorem, the formula here is simple: Roethlisberger does something stupid [pick one: gets in a motorcycle accident, gets accused of rape, gets accused of rape again] and the Steelers react by absolutely sucking the next season. (Actually, they went 8-8 and 9-7, which isn't quite Cleveland level sucking).

(INSIC asks, "Are you as cool as Ben Roethlisberger?" Here's how you play: just look at yourself in the mirror, then look at this picture of Ben on his motorcycle and decide, it's that easy and chances are, unless you take pictures like this of yourself, you will be cooler then Ben Roethlisberger).

I'm sure there are Steelers fans out there thinking, "Ben's dumb ass has nothing to do with our sucking in 2006 and 2009, that was a Super Bowl hangover." Well, we'll find out who's right this year, won't we Steeler's fans, if Pittsburgh makes the playoffs, you're right. If they don't, I'm right. However, considering the general stupidity of all Steelers fans, we can conclude right now that I will be right.

Anyway, Pittsburgh does have other problems, like this one: they HAVE to go 2-2 during Ben's four game suspension. If they go 1-3 or 0-4, their chances of getting to the playoffs will be about the same chances the Times Square bomber had of getting out of the country: ZERO.

On the other hand, if they go 3-1 or 4-0, they'll have a problem that no is really talking about now: its called a quarterback controversy. If there was a popularity contest in Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger would finish dead last, probably behind the Times Square bomber that couldn't get out of the country. (By the way, if I ever bomb Times Square, the last place you'll find me at is an airport. NO, they're not going to look for you there, what an idiot, I hope he dies).

Now if Dennis Dixon or Byron Leftwich comes in and runs the table to start the season, reinserting Mr. Roethlisberger won't be as easy as you think. If you don't believe me, just ask anyone in the Rooney family, you know them, they own the Steelers, they think Ben is an idiot. Anyway, the Rooney's are absolutely praying this happens, they've been looking to run Ben out of town and if Pittsburgh can win without Roethlisberger, that means he's expendable.

AFC North fans would love to see Ben go too. Consider the Steelers alternatives: Leftwich is good for five games a season, he would go 3-9 down the stretch. Dixon runs around too often, he would have two broken clavicles by midseason.

Oh and did I mention that they're also going to have to replace Santonio Holmes and his 1,248 receiving yards and five touchdowns. That should be easy. And don't give me this "Limas Sweed" crap, no one named Limas has ever been good at anything...ever.

Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) 65 percent

Alright Bengals fans, there's good news and there's bad news.

The good news: the Bengals made it to the playoffs last year.

The bad news: the Bengals haven't made it to the playoffs in consecutive years since the 1981-82 seasons. Even worse, 1982 was a strike year where 16 of the league's 28 teams made the postseason. The playoffs were so watered down in 1982 that the Browns made it in with a 4-5 record. The odds of getting into the playoffs with a losing record are about the same as Ben Roethlisberger getting drunk at a bar and not raping a girl, they're incredibly low.

Back to the Bengals. This preview is going to focus on one man and one man only: Carson Palmer.

Apparently, the trendy thing to do in the national media is call Carson's manhood into question. Peter King (CNNSI), Jason Cole (Yahoo!), Paul Daugherty (Cincinnati Enquirer), Jason LaConfora (NFL Network) and 90,000 other sports writers who all seem to write about the same thing have decided that Carson Palmer sucks and that his career peaked in 2005.

Everyone is also saying that the 2010 season rides on Carson Palmer, well no shit, every season rides on Carson Palmer, look at what happened in 2008 when he didn't play. Actually just think about last year.

If you take Carson off of last year's Bengals, the team loses the Packers game, the first Steelers game, the first Browns game and the first
Ravens game. I don't even need to go on because that would have put the Bengals at 0-5 and there would have only been 17 people in attendance to watch the Texans game. And seriously, don't try and tell me J.T. O'Sullivan would have won any of those games.

The sports writers say Carson choked down the stretch, I say WHERE? The only truly bad game he had was the Minnesota game. The losses to the Chargers and Raiders were caused by the same thing: fourth quarter fumbles that cost the team the game.

So with all of this negative talk about Palmer, it must have been the worst year of his career, right?

Nope. In 2009, he threw for 3,094 yards. Worst ever? Not quite, in 2004, he only threw for 2,897.

In 2009, he threw 13 interceptions (including one against the Jets in 37-0 game where no one cared). Must have been his most interceptions ever, right? Nope, that came in 2007 when he threw TWENTY. If there was a season to bitch about Palmer it was following the 2007 season. The Bengals had a losing record for the first time in Marvin Lewis' tenure and Carson threw 20 INT's.

The only number where Carson hit his career low was completion percentage, he only completed 60.5 percent of his passes.

But the reason for that is simple: I'm faster than Laveranues Coles. Andre Caldwell didn't quite understand that the final drive of the fourth quarter isn't the only time you're supposed to get open. Our left guards catch passes better than our tight ends and Ochocinco had to deal with double and sometimes triple teams all year.

Who the crap was Carson Palmer suppose to throw to? Himself?

The Bengals are the best team in this division. The only reason I'm not picking them to go 12-4 is because their schedule is deadlier than Donte Stallworth behind the wheel of a car. Zing. And that cheap shot takes us right into the Ravens prediction.

Baltimore Ravens (10-6) 78 percent

Bengals owner Mike Brown has been a part of some questionsable signings during his reign, but there's one thing he's never done: employed a player that has killed another human being. Art Modell is now on the short list of owners who employ killers.

God must love the Ravens because this actually works in their favor.

If history is any indication, the Ravens should now be the front runners to win the Super Bowl.

The last time someone convicted of DUI-manslaughter played in the NFL was 1999. Leonard Little returned to the Rams for the 1999 season and of course, St. Louis went on to win the Super Bowl. For those of you that believe in karma, Leonard Little says EFF-you, look what I did: killed someone, won a Super Bowl ring.

So the Ravens signed Mr. Manslaughter, Donte Stallworth (pictured right, going to court) and they added Anquan Boldin. They also have Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton in the receiving corp. Oh and they have Todd Heap (TE), Willis McGahee (RB), Ray Rice (RB) and La'Ron McClain (RB).

I love all of these weapons, but I don't trust Joe Flacco. There's just something about him that says, "I'm never going to win a Super Bowl or any important game where the team needs me to play exceptionally well to win the game." Don't get me wrong, Flacco is good, but he doesn't have that killer extinct. I bet he's a vegetarian or he has a pet guinea pig, I'm not sure, I just know there is something wimpy going on in his life.

And Ravens fans, don't get me started on your defense. Their average age is 51, my grandpa could get open on your secondary. Plus, we all know that the first thing the Ravens D does after games is log onto WebMD to diagnose each of the injuries they suffered. They're a shell of their former selves. And not like a strong Ninja turtle shell, but more like a brittle hard taco shell that breaks as soon as you touch it.

COMING TOMORROW: The first place Reds are in Atlanta and so is John Breech. This can only mean one thing: tomorrow you will get an incoherent mish-mash of words that Breech will pass off as a diary. Here is last year's.

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