Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - San Francisco 49ers


2010 RECORD: 6-10-0
(3rd in NFC West)

HEAD COACH: Jim Harbaugh

Offense: The biggest question facing the 49ers entering the 2011 season is whether they trust quarterback Alex Smith to lead the offense.
Smith passed for 2,370 yards with 14 touchdowns and ten interceptions last season, but the team drafted Colin Kaepernick (Nevada) and recently brought in veteran Duante Culpepper for a look at quarterback.
What gives?
If Smith is the quarterback, then he should be given the job without a doubt and the team has not shown they have the confidence in him entering the 2011 season. Smith will start with Kaepernick backing him up.
Frank Gore, who just signed a lucrative contract extension, should be ready to go after being banged up last year. In spite of missing games, Gore still led the team with 853 rushing yards (4.2 ypc average) and scored three touchdowns. Anthony Dixon backs him up. The fullback is Nate Byham.
The wide receivers should provide Smith (or Kaepernick) with more than adequate targets this season.
Michael Crabtree (55, 741, six TD) and Josh Morgan (44, 698, two TD) will likely be the starters along with Braylon Edwards, who comes over from the Jets after making 53 catches for 904 yards and scoring seven touchdowns in 2010.
Tight End Vernon Davis led the team last year with 56 receptions for 914 yards and scored seven touchdowns. Delanie Walker is a solid number-two man at tight end as he caught 29 passes for 331 yards.
Also in the mix as receivers are Ted Ginn, Jr. and Kyle Williams.
The offensive line is a work in progress as the opening game looms next weekend. The O-line allowed 44 quarterback sacks in 2010 and that has to improve this season.
The center position has Adam Snyder and Chase Beeler available. The guards are Chilo Rachal and Mike Iupati and the tackles Joe Staley and Anthony Davis.
The 49ers ranked in the middle of the pack running the ball last year, averaging 103 yards per game. The passing game averaged 210 yards passing. The 49ers scored 305 points last year, which ranked 24th in the league.

Defense: Isaac Sopoaga and Justin Smith (8.5 QB sacks in 2010) appear to be ready at defensive end with either Ray McDonald or Will Tukuafu at nose tackle. Sopoaga is also listed at tackle as well. Aldon Smith, the teams' top draft pick in 2011, is listed at defensive end or linebacker, depending on where he will be needed.
The linebacking unit is led by inside backer Patrick Willis (six sacks), who lines up with Monte Simmons, Parys Haralson and Ahmad Brooks. Also included are Keaton Kristick, Alex Joseph, rookie Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman.
The secondary, which was the achilles heel of the defense last season, now has Carlos Rogers at cornerback and Donte Whitner at safety to help shore up a pass defense that allowed 231 yards per game last year.
Along with Rogers at corner is Shawntae Spencer (three interceptions) and playing the other safety spot is Reggie Smith. Dashon Goldson, Phillip Adams, Tarell Brown, Curtis Taylor and Madieu Williams provide depth.
The run defense was solid in 2010, finishing sixth in the NFL (allowed 97 yards per game) but the pass defense lagged behind, and the total defense finished 13th, giving up an average of 328 yards per game. San Francisco's D gave up 346 points last year.

OUTLOOK: In the weak NFC West, many people feel the division is the 49ers to lose.
However, they finished third a year ago with the 6-10 record. That has to get better if new Head Coach Jim Harbaugh wants to see the team make the playoffs.
If Alex Smith can finally live up to the expectations that made him a number-one pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, then the rest of the offense will take care of itself. If not, it could be a transition season for the team as rookie QB Kaepernick would take over at some point.
The defense should be solid against the run again and the pass defense should see improvement with the personnel changes made in the secondary.
This team should challenge either St. Louis or Arizona for the division title.
An 8-8 season seems most likely, which would be enough to qualify for the post-season.
Stay tuned!

Week 1- vs. Seattle
Week 2- vs. Dallas
Week 3- at Cincinnati
Week 4- at Philadelphia
Week 5- vs. Tampa Bay
Week 6- at Detroit
Week 7- BYE WEEK
Week 8- vs. Cleveland
Week 9- at Washington
Week 10- vs. NY Giants
Week 11- vs. Arizona
Week 12- at Baltimore
Week 13- vs. St. Louis
Week 14- at Arizona
Week 15- vs. Pittsburgh
Week 16- at Seattle
Week 17- at St. Louis

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - St. Louis Rams


2010 RECORD: 7-9-0
(2nd in NFC West)

HEAD COACH: Steve Spagnuolo

Offense: When the 2011 season gets going, the Rams once again will look to quarterback Sam Bradford to be the leader.
Bradford threw for 3,512 yards and 18 touchdowns with 15 interceptions. Not too shabby as far as rookie numbers go. The backup signal caller is veteran A.J. Feeley.
 The running backs are led by Steven Jackson (1,241 yards, 3.8 ypc average, six TD), who continues to be the workhorse for the Rams' backfield. Cadillac Williams comes over from Tampa Bay after finishing last season with 437 rushing yards and two touchdowns as well as making 46 receptions for 355 yards and a score.
Jerious Norwood, Keith Toston and fullbacks Brit Miller and Michael Hoomanawanui will be asked to provide depth for St. Louis.
The wide receivers include Brandon Gibson (53 receptions, 620 yards, two TD), Danny Amendola (85 grabs for 689 yards and three scores), Mark Clayton (23,306, two TD), who was re-signed by the Rams, Mike Sims-Walker (43, 562, seven TD with Jacksonville last year), rookie Greg Salas (Hawaii) and Donnie Avery, who along with Clayton was injured for most of last season.
The tight ends are Lance Kendricks, a rookie from Wisconsin and Michael Hoomanawanui.
The offensive line is comprised of center Jason Brown, guards Jacob Bell and Harvey Dahl and tackles Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith.
The Rams must improve the output after finishing 26th offensively in the NFL last year, averaging 303 yards per game. The running game averaged 99 yards per game with 204 passing yards per game. The Rams scored 289 points, which ranked 26th overall.

Defense: The Rams defense saw a big difference in the pass rush from year's past as they registered 43 quarterback sacks in 2010.
Leading the way is defensive end James Hall (10.5 QB sacks). who teams with Chris Long (8.5 sacks) at the other end spot. The tackles include newcomers Daniel Muir and Justin Bannan, along with Fred Robbins (six sacks) and Gary Gibson on the defensive front.
 The linebackers have James Laurinaitis in the middle with outside backers Brady Poppinga and Zac Diles. Josh Hull and Chris Chamberlain  provide depth at linebacker.
In the secondary, newcomer Quintin Mikell teams with James Butler at safety. Jermale Hines, Craig Dahl and Darian Stewart also are ready in the safety spots.
The corner men include Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher (four interceptions to lead team) along with reserves Al Harris, Jerome Murphy and Justin King.
St. Louis finished 19th in total defense last year, giving up 337 yards per game, which was a big improvement from the past three seasons. The Rams also had 14 interceptions in 2010.
In addition, St. Louis gave up 328 points, which ranked 12th overall and their 43 sacks ranked seventh in the NFL.

OUTLOOK: With Bradford continuing to develop at quarterback and the running game featuring two solid backs, along with a new influx of speed at wide receiver, look for St. Louis to put up more than the 289 points  (total from last year) on the board this season.
The defense is an opportunistic one that helped stake the team to good field position and also to thwart opposing offenses from lighting up the score board, which was most often the case the previous three seasons.
Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo likes an aggressive defense and has seen improvement in his first two years on the job.
The Rams were real close to winning the NFC West last season and making the playoffs, and are eager to show they belong in the post-season in 2011.
Barring any major injuries to key players, expect this team to at least do the same as they did last year in the win-loss column. A .500 record could win the division and the Rams are likely to go 8-8 this season, which could get their ticket punched to the post-season.

Week 1- vs. Philadelphia
Week 2- at NY Giants
Week 3- vs. Baltimore
Week 4- vs. Washington
Week 5- BYE WEEK
Week 6- at Green Bay
Week 7- at Dallas
Week 8- vs. New Orleans
Week 9- at Arizona
Week 10- at Cleveland
Week 11- vs. Seattle
Week 12- vs. Arizona
Week 13- at San Francisco
Week 14- at Seattle
Week 15- vs. Cincinnati
Week 16- at Pittsburgh
Week 17- vs. San Francisco

Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Arizona Cardinals


2010 RECORD: 5-11-0
(4th in NFC West)

HEAD COACH: Ken Whisenhunt

Offense: The passing game has a new man in quarterback Kevin Kolb (1,197 pass yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions), who comes over from Philadelphia in a trade. Backing up Kolb will be John Skelton and Rich Bartel.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (90 catches, 1,137 yards, six TD) is one of the best in the NFL and just signed a huge contract extension that makes him one of the highest paid players in the game.
Andre Roberts (24, 307, two TD), Early Doucet (26, 291, TD) and Stephen Williams are the other wide receivers on tap. The Cardinals have a good tandem with former Baltimore Ravens' tight end Todd Heap (40 receptions, 599 yards, five TD) and Jeff King, who caught 19 passes and scored two touchdowns with Carolina last season.
The running game will have changes as Tim Hightower left for Washington, leaving Beanie Wells (397 yards, 3.4 ypc average, two TD) as the starting halfback.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, who averaged 4.9 yards per carry on a limited basis, is the backup. Rookie Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech) is currently on the injury list. The fullbacks include Anthony Sherman and Reagan Maui'a.
The offensive line has center Lyle Sendlein, guards Rex Hadnot and Daryn Colledge and tackles Brandon Keith and Levi Brown.
Arizona ranked last in the NFL in rushing last season, gaining just 87 yards per game. The pass attack wasn't much better with 182 yards per game, which was 31st in the league. The Cardinals were also near the bottom of the league in scoring with 289 points.

Defense: The Cardinals were bad across the board defensively last year, finishing 29th overall (374 yards allowed per game) while ranking 30th against the run (145 yards allowed per game) and also giving up 229 yards per game against the pass. In addition, opposing teams scored often against Arizona, as they allowed 434 points.
The Cardinals will look to some new faces to help stop the bleeding in the 3-4 look they use.
The nose tackle is Dan Williams and the ends are Calais Campbell (six QB sacks) and Darnell Dockett, who made five sacks. Nick Eason, David Carter and Vonnie Holliday are available on the defensive line as well.
Joey Porter and Clark Haggans (five sacks each in 2010) are the outside linebackers along with inside men Daryl Washington and Paris Lenon. O'Brien Schofield, Will Davis, Stewart Bradley, Reggie Walker and Sam Acho are the reserves.
The secondary features safeties Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes, who led Arizona with four interceptions last season. The cornerbacks are A.J. Jefferson and Michael Adams with rookie Patrick Peterson (LSU) and Richard Marshall backing them up.
The Cards' defense had 33 sacks last year and also intercepted 17 passes.

OUTLOOK: Kolb to Fitzgerald will be the combination for the Arizona offense in 2011.
 The Cardinals will be looking to open it up offensively and get some respectability back in the air attack that was nowhere to be found last year following the retirement of quarterback Kurt Warner.
The O-line has to do a better job of opening holes for the backs as well as pass protection.
The Cardinals allowed 50 quarterback sacks in 2010 and the running attack was weak, finishing last in the NFL.
Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt would definitely welcome the former as well as seeing the team defense step up in 2011.
The team did get 17 picks and had 33 sacks, but they have to improve those numbers if they want to challenge for the division crown.
Playing in what appears to be league's weakest division, the NFC West, Arizona has a chance to go from worst to first in 2011, but only if Kolb can deliver and the running game improves.
 A .500 season could win the division and that is not out of the picture for the Cardinals in the up-for-grabs NFC West.
However,  a 7-9 finish seems likely this year, which would be a two-game improvement from last season.

Week 1- vs. Carolina
Week 2- at Washington
Week 3- at Seattle
Week 4- vs. NY Giants
Week 5- at Minnesota
Week 6- BYE WEEK
Week 7- vs. Pittsburgh
Week 8- at Baltimore
Week 9- vs. St. Louis
Week 10- at Philadelphia
Week 11- at San Francisco
Week 12- at St. Louis
Week 13- vs. Dallas
Week 14- vs. San Francisco
Week 15- vs. Cleveland
Week 16- at Cincinnati
Week 17- vs. Seattle

Sunday, August 28, 2011

God's Message To Rick Perry

2011 NFL PREVIEW - New York Jets


2010 RECORD: 11-5-0
(2nd in AFC East)


Offense: Getting the passing game to soar higher will be in the hands of quarterback Mark Sanchez once again in 2011.
The third year quarterback passed for 3,291 yards last year and had 17 touchdown passes along with 13 interceptions. Mark Brunell, Kellen Clemens and and rookie Greg McElroy are vying for the backup job.
The receivers will have some new faces in 2011 as Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards are gone, being replaced by Derrick Mason and Plaxico Burress.
Burress hasn't played since 2008 after serving a prison term and will join Santonio Holmes (52 catches, 746 yards and six TD) as the primary targets for Sanchez in the Jets' air attack. Mason, who comes over from Baltimore, caught 61 passes for 802 yards and had seven touchdowns in 2010.
Tight End Dustin Keller, who led the Jets last year with 55 receptions for 687 yards and five scores, is back. Reserve tight end Matt Mulligan and rookie wideout Jeremy Kerley are also available.
The strength of the offense the past two years has been the running game and the Jets feature Shonn Greene (766 yards, 4.1 ypc average, two TD) and LaDainian Tomlinson, who rushed for 914 yards (4.2 ypc average) and scored six touchdowns last season. L.T. also caught 52 passes for 368 yards out of the backfield. Joe McKnight (189 yards, 4.8 average) could get some more carries in 2011. John Conner is the fullback.
The offensive line, which does a good job both run and pass blocking, is anchored by center Nick Mangold. The guards are Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore and the tackles will be D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Wayne Hunter.
New York finished 11th overall on offense, averaging 351 yards a game while scoring 367 points in 2010. The running game averaged 148 yards (4th in NFL) while the passing game averaged 203 yards, which ranked 22nd in the league.

Defense: As was the story in 2009, the defense was the strong point for the Jets last season, as they finished third overall, allowing 291 yards per game. The run defense ranked third, giving up 91 yards a game and the pass defense allowed 200 yards, which was good for sixth in the NFL. In addition, the Jets allowed 304 points last year.
The Jets 3-4 scheme will have Sione Pouha at nose tackle with Mike DeVito and rookie Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple) at the ends. Marcus Dixon, Kenrick Ellis and Ropati Pitoitua are also available.
The linebacking corps is solid, featuring players such as outside men Calvin Pace (5.5 QB sacks) and Bryan Thomas, who had six sacks. The inside linebackers are Bart Scott and David Harris. Jamaal Westerman, Josh Mauga, Nick Bellore and Aaron Maybin add depth to the unit.
The secondary once again will feature shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis, along with Antonio Cromartie (three interceptions) and safeties Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith. Others include Brodney Pool, Dwight Lowery, Drew Coleman and Marquice Cole.
The Jets like to get after it defensively, blitzing from all angles and that helped produce 40 sacks last season. The interceptions were down from the year before as the Jets only picked off twelve passes in 2010.

OUTLOOK: Head Coach Rex Ryan is a boisterous man who holds nothing back and emboldens the team's brash attitude.
The Jets have been in the AFC Championship Game the last two years and have come up short. Like the Houston Oilers of the late 1970's, who knocked on the door, then pounded on the door, Ryan would like to see the Jets take the third step (which Houston never did) and "kick it in."
Their goal is the Super Bowl and Ryan makes no bones about it.
If Sanchez, who still is prone to throw the pick at the worst times, can continue to cut down on the mistakes and the running game doesn't falter at all, then the Jets should have a better year, which is what has to happen in 2011 if they are going to advance to the Super Bowl.
The defense is solid, but also must step up in the post-season, where they have had letdowns in the AFC title game the last two years.
Beating New England (on the road) in the playoffs was huge, but now is the time and the Jets will not be happy unless they get to (and win) the Super Bowl, which probably won't happen again this season.
Look for a 11-5 finish once again and a road loss to close out the Jets in the post-season.

Week 1- vs. Dallas
Week 2- vs. Jacksonville
Week 3- at Oakland
Week 4- at Baltimore
Week 5- at New England
Week 6- vs. Miami
Week 7- vs. San Diego
Week 8- BYE WEEK
Week 9- at Buffalo
Week 10- vs. New England
Week 11- at Denver
Week 12- vs. Buffalo
Week 13- at Washington
Week 14- vs. Kansas City
Week 15- at Philadelphia
Week 16- vs. NY Giants
Week 17- at Miami

Saturday, August 27, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - New England Patriots


2010 RECORD: 14-2-0
(1st in AFC East)

HEAD COACH: Bill Belichick

Offense: Quarterback Tom Brady put up ridiculous numbers last year, passing for 3,900 yards and 36 touchdowns to lead the league. Brady threw only four interceptions in 492 pass attempts.
Barring injury, rookie Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) and Brian Hoyer will hold the clip board in 2011.
The Patriots brought in Chad Ochocinco from Cincinnati (a la Randy Moss in '07) to give Brady another target with Pro-Bowl credentials.
Ochocinco made 67 catches for 831 yards and four touchdowns in what was otherwise a disastrous season for the Bengals.
Wes Welker (86 receptions for 848 yards and seven TD), Deion Branch (48, 706, five TD), Brandon Tate (24, 432, three TD) and the two-headed monster tight end of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez give Brady plenty of weapons in the pass offense to choose from.
Gronkowski had 42 receptions for 546 yards and ten touchdowns while Hernandez made 45 catches for 563 yards and six touchdowns.
The running game is solid as well after averaging 123 yards per game in 2010.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (1,008 yards, 4.4 ypc average and 13 TD) leads the way with a perfect complement in Danny Woodhead, who was picked up off the scrap heap after the New York Jets released him. All Woodhead did was average 5.6 yards per carry while gaining 547 yards and scored five rushing touchdowns. In addition, he also made 34 catches for 379 yards and a touchdown.
Veterans Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk are also in the fold and so is rookie Shane Vereen (California) to spell Green-Ellis and Woodhead. Faulk was limited last year because of injuries, but has been a valuable asset in the New England backfield for the last decade.
The offensive line is one of the best in the NFL, opening holes for the backs and protecting Brady, evidenced by limiting the opposition to 25 sacks a year ago.
Dan Koppen is the center and Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly are the guards. The tackles are Sebastian Vollmer and Matt Light.

Defense: With Vince Wilfork anchoring the defensive line at nose tackle, the rest of the pieces should fall into place as the season rolls along.
The Patriots have Albert Haynesworth and Mike Wright, who led the team with 5.5 quarterback sacks last season, at the ends.
Providing depth up front is Shaun Ellis, Brandon Deaderick, Eric Moore, Ron Brace and Kyle Love.
The linebackers include starters Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes inside and Rob Ninkovich and Jermaine Cunningham on the outside. Dane Fletcher, Gary Guyton and Marcus Murrell will be ready to play when needed.
The secondary helped to lead the league with 25 interceptions, including seven by cornerback Devin McCourty, who will team with Leigh Bodden at the other corner spot. The safeties are Patrick Chung (three picks) and Brandon Meriweather, who snared three interceptions.
 Others contributing are James Sanders (three INT), Jarrad Page, Darius Butler and  Ras-I Dowling, a rookie out of Virginia.
New England did intercept the 25 passes, but they also were lit up to the tune of 259 yards passing per game by the opposition, which was 30th in the league. Overall, the Pats finished 25th defensively, giving up 367 yards per game and allowed 313 points, which ranked eighth.

OUTLOOK: With Head Coach Bill Belichick and Brady running the show, the Patriots should continue to post solid offensive numbers, including scoring points as they led the NFL with 518 points last season.
Whether they can catch lightning in a bottle once again by signing Ochocinco and Haynesworth (who was a complete bust with the Washington Redskins) will play out, but Belichick and company know how to get the most out of the talent on the roster.
The defense needs to get better against the pass, because it's highly unlikely the Patriots can duplicate the plus 28 turnover differential of a year ago.
They are definitely an opportunistic team, but that didn't translate into the post-season, as for the second year in a row, the Patriots were one-and-done in the playoffs.
With all the weapons on offense and a change over in defensive personnel up front, look for New England to improve the pass rush (36 sacks ranked 14th in 2010) and ease some of the pressure on the secondary, which could make a difference come playoff time.
A 12-4 finish should be enough to win the AFC East once again, then it's time for the Patriots to prove they can get it done in the post-season, where they have lost three straight dating back to the Super Bowl 42 loss against the New York Giants.
With Pittsburgh, the Jets and possibly Indianapolis or San Diego looming in the playoffs, it won't be easy, but don't be surprised to see the Patriots return to the big game and possibly hoist the Lombardi Trophy once more.

Week 1- at Miami
Week 2- vs. San Diego
Week 3- at Buffalo
Week 4- at Oakland
Week 5- vs. NY Jets
Week 6- vs. Dallas
Week 7- BYE WEEK
Week 8- at Pittsburgh
Week 9- vs. NY Giants
Week 10- at NY Jets
Week 11- vs. Kansas City
Week 12- at Philadelphia
Week 13- vs. Indianapolis
Week 14- at Washington
Week 15- at Denver
Week 16- vs. Miami
Week 17- vs. Buffalo

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Miami Dolphins


2010 RECORD: 7-9-0
(3rd in AFC East)

HEAD COACH: Tony Sparano

Offense: There will be a revamped attack in 2011 for the Dolphins as the backfield duo of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are gone and the load will fall on the shoulders of quarterback Chad Henne.
Henne (3,301 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, 19 interceptions) is the starting quarterback and will have Matt Moore (857 pass yards, five TD, ten INT with Carolina last year) and Kevin O' Connell as backups.
Reggie Bush comes over from the New Orleans Saints and will be in the backfield with rookie Daniel Thomas (Kansas State) and fullback Lousaka Polite. Lex Hillard is also available. Veteran Larry Johnson was also signed recently for a look.
Bush compiled low output numbers last season (150 rushing yards and 34 receptions for 208 yards and one TD) by his standards. He will be looking for a rebound year in a new system, so it may take some time. Bush can also serve as a punt returner.
The wide receivers are on more solid ground for Miami entering the 2011 season.
Brandon Marshall (86 catches, 1,014 yards and three TD) led Miami in receiving last year and Davone Bess (79, 820, five TD) also returns. Brian Hartline, who made 43 receptions for 615 yards and a score, will be given a chance to possibly start this season. The tight end is Anthony Fasano (39, 528, four TD).
Up front for Miami is center Mike Pouncey, guards Vernon Carey and Rich Incognito and tackles Lydon Murtha and Mark Colombo.
Miami finished  21st overall last year offensively, gaining 323 yards per game, with 220 passing yardage per game. The Dolphins finished 30th in the NFL in scoring with 273 points.

Defense: This is definitely the strength of the team, finishing in the top ten in all the categories last year.
The run defense allowed 100 yards per game (7th), the passing D allowed 209 yards (8th) and overall Miami was sixth in the NFL, giving up just 309 yards per game.
The Dolphins employ a 3-4 look and have Paul Soliai at nose tackle with Randy Starks and Kendall Langford at the ends. Tony McDaniel, Ronald Fields, Phillip Merling, Jared Odrick and Jason Taylor provide depth for the Dolphins.
The linebackers are Karlos Dansby and Channing Crowder on the inside with  Cameron Wake (14 QB sacks in 2010) and Koa Misi playing outside. Jason Taylor, back for yet another year with Miami, can also line up as a linebacker.
In the defensive backfield are safeties Chris Clemons and Yeremiah Bell and cornerbacks Sean Smith and Vontae Davis.
The Dolphins intercepted only 11 passes a year ago, even with a decent pass rush that produced 38 sacks.

OUTLOOK: This is a team that seems to be in transition as Head Coach Tony Sparano enters his fourth season at the helm.
Henne has to improve, especially needing to cut down on the turnovers. The running game will need some time to get into the groove with three new backs taking over.
The defense should be able to keep Miami in games, as has been the case the last two seasons.
But the Dolphins, who do play the Jets tough (they split with them a year ago), have an uphill battle with New England and the Jets looming large in the AFC East. Miami split with Buffalo last year and will most likely battle the Bills for third place in 2011.
A  6-10 finish seems to be the best Miami will do this season, as they look to get things back in order with the new offensive personnel this year.

Week 1- vs. New England
Week 2- vs. Houston
Week 3- at Cleveland
Week 4- at San Diego
Week 5- BYE WEEK
Week 6- at NY Jets
Week 7- vs. Denver
Week 8- at NY Giants
Week 9- at Kansas City
Week 10- vs. Washington
Week 11- vs. Buffalo
Week 12- at Dallas
Week 13- vs. Oakland
Week 14- vs. Philadelphia
Week 15- at Buffalo
Week 16- at New England
Week 17- vs. NY Jets

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Republican Party Motto

Talking points 101 for the GOP ...


2011 NFL PREVIEW - Buffalo Bills


2010 RECORD: 4-12-0
(4th in AFC East)

HEAD COACH: Chan Gailey

Offense: After finishing near the very bottom of the league in scoring, the Bills need to get it going on offense and will have Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback.
Fitzpatrick put up some decent numbers last year, throwing 23 touchdown passes with 15 interceptions and had 3,000 passing yards. Tyler Thigpen and Levi Brown will be the backups.
Fred Jackson did a good job for the Bills carrying the ball to the tune of 927 yards (4.2 ypc average) and scored five touchdowns. C.J. Spiller was used sparingly after Marshawn Lynch was dealt to Seattle, but did gain 283 yards and averaged 3.8 yards per carry. Look for him to get more carries in 2011, along with rookie Johnny White (North Carolina) possibly getting a shot as well behind Jackson. The fullback is Corey McIntyre.
Steve Johnson is the man at wide receiver and the Bills dealt Lee Evans to Baltimore after the lockout.
Johnson (82 catches, 1,073 yards and ten TD) will team up with Donald Jones as the primary targets. Roscoe Parrish (33, 400 yards, two TD) and Brad Smith are also on hand, along with tight ends Scott Chandler and Shawn Nelson.
Smith is a diverse offensive player who can quarterback (when necessary in the "wildcat") and also rushed for 299 yards while averaging 7.9 yards per carry with the New York Jets last year.
The offensive line consists of center Eric Wood, tackles Demetrius Bell and Erik Pears and guards Andy Levitre and Kraig Urbik.
Buffalo scored just 283 points last season while averaging 305 yards in total offense per game. The running attack gained 108 yards per game while the passing game averaged 197 yards.

Defense: Stop the run!
The Bills were awful last season, giving up 170 yards rushing per game, which was dead last in the NFL.
They also gave up 425 points, which ranked 28th overall. However, the pass defense shined once again, ranking third in the NFL, yielding just 192 yards per game. A better pass rush would help as well as the Bills had just 27 quarterback sacks last season.
The Bills will employ the 3-4 scheme and have Kyle Williams at Nose Tackle. The ends are Dwan Edwards and rookie Marcell Dareus (Alabama). Alex Carrington, Torell Troup and Spencer Johnson provide depth up front.
The linebackers feature Nick Barnett (signed as free agent from Green Bay) and Andra Davis on the inside with Shawne Merriman and Chris Kelsay outside. Rookie Kelvin Sheppard (LSU) will be available as well at linebacker.
Merriman is looking to resurrect his career with the Bills after being injured two of the last three seasons and being let go by the Chargers last season.
The secondary is solid and has Leodis McKelvin and Terrence McGee at the corners with Drayton Florence (three picks in 2010 to lead the team) and rookie Aaron Williams (Texas) also ready to go. The safeties are Jairus Byrd and George Wilson.

OUTLOOK: The Bills showed some life last year and hung tough in many games.
The fact they play in the same division (AFC East) as the New England Patriots and New York Jets makes things extremely tough to compete for the post-season.
Fitzpatrick has moxie and will only get better as he has a solid receiver in Johnson, along with a good running tandem of Jackson and Spillers. Brad Smith is a good pickup and should help the offense.
Head Coach Chan Gailey will have the team for the full season after taking over midway through the 2010 season when Dick Jauron was fired.
The defense must improve against the run, especially playing against the Jets and Dolphins twice during the season.
The schedule isn't easy and if the Bills want to challenge Miami for third place in the division, they have to score more often and show consistency on offense to help keep their defense off the field.
A 5-11 finish is probably the best the Bills will do this year as they look for contributions from the rookies and hope for consistency out of the players they have on offense and defense.

Week 1- at Kansas City
Week 2- vs. Oakland
Week 3- vs. New England
Week 4- at Cincinnati
Week 5- vs. Philadelphia
Week 6- at NY Giants
Week 7- BYE WEEK
Week 8- vs. Washington
Week 9- vs. NY Jets
Week 10- at Dallas
Week 11- at Miami
Week 12- at NY Jets
Week 13- vs. Tennessee
Week 14- at San Diego
Week 15- vs. Miami
Week 16- vs. Denver
Week 17- at New England

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Washington Redskins


2010 RECORD: 6-10-0
(4th in NFC East)

HEAD COACH: Mike Shanahan

Offense: Rex Grossman and John Beck are the two vying for the starting quarterback position in 2011 after Donovan McNabb departed to Minnesota.
Grossman played down the stretch last season and finished with 884 passing yards to go with seven touchdown passes and four interceptions.
The backfield has Tim Hightower (736 rushing yards, 4.6 ypc average, five touchdowns), who comes over from the Arizona Cardinals, along with Ryan Torain (742, 4.5, four TD) and fullbacks Mike Sellers and Darrel Young.
The wide receivers are led by veteran Santana Moss, who caught 93 passes last season for 1,115 yards and had six touchdowns. Tight End Chris Cooley made 77 grabs for 849 yards and scored three touchdowns.
The deep threat for the Redskins is Anthony Armstrong (44 catches, 871 yards, 19.8 ypc, three TD) and rookie Leonard Hankerson (Miami), who will be given a chance to show his skills.
The offensive line consists of center Will Montgomery, guards Chris Chester and Kory Lichtensteiger and tackles Trent Williams and Jammal Brown.
Washington averaged 336 yards per game in 2010, which was 18th overall in the NFL. The passing game finished eighth (244 yards) while the running attack must step up after a lowly 91 yards per game average in 2010, which ranked 30th overall.

Defense: The Redskins will look to get back to the kind of defense they displayed two years ago after finishing 31st in the league last season, allowing 389 yards per game.
The run defense as well as the pass defense (261 yards per game allowed) was bad, allowing 128 yards per game.
Head Coach Mike Shanahan knows the team can do better in this area and will have a 3-4 scheme led by Nose Tackle Anthony Bryant. The ends are Adam Carriker and Jarvis Jenkins, a rookie out of Clemson.
Providing backup on the defensive front will be Phillip Daniels, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Kedric Golston and rookie Ryan Kerrigan, who will also see action at outside linebacker.
Kerrigan, from Purdue, will be on the outside along with Brian Orakpo, who was the Redskins' sacks leader last year with 8.5 take downs.
The inside linebackers are 13-year veteran London Fletcher and Perry Riley. Also in the mix for 2011 are Lorenzo Alexander, Rob Henson, Rob Jackson and H.B. Blades.
The secondary is led by DeAngelo Hall, who made six interceptions (one returned for touchdown) at cornerback along with Josh Wilson or Kevin Barnes at the other corner. The safeties are O.J. Atogwe and LaRon Landry.
Adding some depth to this unit are Byron Westbrook, Reed Doughty, Kareem Moore and Phillip Buchanon.

OUTLOOK: Playing in NFC East, where Dallas, Philadelphia and the New York Giants reside, the Redskins are looking to fly under the radar this season and sneak up on people.
In fact, quarterback Rex Grossman boldly stated the Redskins will win the division.
Only time will tell on that fearless forecast as the defense has much, much improvement to make in the 2011 season.
Grossman can do his part on offense to make the promise come true, but a lot depends on the men up front, as the 'Skins allowed 46 sacks last season.
With Hightower and Torain providing the leg work and the steady improvement in the passing game with some decent receivers and a quality tight end in Cooley, the Redskins' offense has potential to improve on the scoreboard.
In 2010, Washington scored just 302 points, which ranked 25th in the NFL. That has to improve in order for the team to contend in the division race.
The defense must also step up after giving up so much last year.
The addition of two rookies starting on the 'D' will most likely provide some growing pains, but the team showed they can step up defensively in year's past and must do so again this season if the team wants to improve from last season.
In all likelihood, the Redskins will repeat as cellar dwellers in the NFC East, going 5-11 as they look to the future and better days ahead.

Week 1- vs. NY Giants
Week 2- vs. Arizona
Week 3- at Dallas
Week 4- at St. Louis
Week 5- BYE WEEK
Week 6- vs. Philadelphia
Week 7- at Carolina
Week 8- at Buffalo
Week 9- vs. San Francisco
Week 10- at Miami
Week 11- vs. Dallas
Week 12- at Seattle
Week 13- vs. NY Jets
Week 14- vs. New England
Week 15- at NY Giants
Week 16- vs. Minnesota
Week 17- at Philadelphia

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Philadelphia Eagles


2010 RECORD: 10-6-0
(1st in NFC East)


Offense: The Eagles' offense centers around quarterback Michael Vick, who re-emerged last season as the most dynamic player in the NFL.
Once Vick took over the Eagles offense in 2010, he put up big numbers, including 3,018 passing yards with 21 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. Vick, the only quarterback to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season (in 2006 with Atlanta) also ran for 676 yards and scored nine touchdowns.
On the downside, the Eagles allowed 49 sacks, which was among the worst in the NFL last season. 
The offensive line consists of center Jamaal Jackson, guards Todd Herremans and Danny Watkins and tackles King Dunlap and Jason Peters. Others in the trenches include Austin Howard, Jason Keice, Ryan Harris, Reggie Wells and Julian Vandervelde.
The running game ranked fifth in the NFL last year, averaging 145 yards per game, thanks mostly to Vick and leading rusher LeSean McCoy, who topped 1,000 yards last season (1,080) and averaged 5.2 yards per carry while scoring seven touchdowns on the ground. Ronnie Brown (734 rushing yards, 3.7 ypc average, five TD) comes over from Miami to provide a solid core in the backfield. The fullback is Owen Schmitt.
The wide receivers are led by DeSean Jackson, who only had 47 catches in 2010, but averaged an eye-popping 22.5 yards per catch. Jackson had 1,056 receiving yards and six TD grabs. The versatile Jackson, who took back a punt for a score in that memorable comeback win over the Giants last December,  also rushed for 104 yards and scored a touchdown as well.
Jeremy Maclin led Philadelphia wideouts with 70 receptions for 964 yards and ten touchdowns. Jason Avant is another target after making 51 catches for 573 yards and scoring a touchdown. Steve Smith was signed away from the New York Giants and he made 48 catches for 529 yards and three touchdowns in 2010.
Tight End Brent Celek is another reliable receiver who had 42 receptions for 511 yards and four scores last season.
The Philly offense was second in the entire NFL last season, gaining 389 yards per game, including 244 passing yards per game. The Eagles were third in scoring, putting 439 points on the board last season.

Defense: The Philadelphia defense surrendered 377 points last year while ranking 12th overall, giving up 327 yards per game.
The pass defense gave up 217 yards per game and despite 23 interceptions (3rd in NFL), the secondary got lit up quite often in 2010.
For that reason, the Eagles got the big free agent pickup when they signed cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha away from the Oakland Raiders.
Along with him, the Eagles now have three Pro-Bowl corners as they also acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from Arizona for quarterback Kevin Kolb. Not lost in the fold is Asante Samuel, who led the NFC with seven interceptions last year.
This trio, combined with a solid pass rush unit (Eagles had 39 quarterback sacks in  2010) is what Head Coach Andy Reid hopes will add to a top flight defense in 2011.
Trent Cole (10 sacks) and Juqua Parker (six sacks) are the ends up front along with tackles Antonio Dixon and Mike Patterson. Cullen Jenkins was another free-agent signee and will also play on the D-line, as will Jason Babin, who left Tennessee for the Eagles.
The linebackers are Jamar Chaney, Mosie Kokou and rookie Casey Matthews (Oregon) and depth is provided by Keenan Clayton, Brian Rolle and Akeem Jordan.
The secondary will have the trio of Asomugha, Rodgers-Cromartie (three picks with two returned for touchdowns) and Samuel along with safeties Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen.
Trevard Lindley and Joselio Hanson provide quality backup in the secondary.

OUTLOOK: The big question will be whether there are enough footballs to go around with all the weapons on offense.
The Eagles loaded up with free-agent signings once the lockout ended and will be looking for immediate results,  much like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox annually do in baseball.
The worst case for the team would be losing Vick for any extended period of time as his loose style of play opens him up to potential injuries. Vick was sacked on a regular basis in 2010, even though he possesses extremely great scrambling abilities.
The running game should be solid again and the passing game is of the best in the NFL.
Having a lot of Pro-Bowl caliber players doesn't always add up to success (just ask the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders) and the Eagles had better produce on the field or they will be hearing about from all aspects of the media and fans alike.
 The defense has to improve with all the talent on the roster after finishing in the middle of the pack against both the run and the pass in 2010.
One other thing to remember is that the Eagles really should have won the playoff game over Green Bay last season, except kicker David Akers missed two very easy field goals in the 21-16 loss.
But for this season, expect the Eagles to soar again to a 12-4 record and a deep run into the playoffs. Whether they get to (and possibly win) the Super Bowl depends on if they can beat the Green Bay Packers in the post-season.

Week 1- at St. Louis
Week 2- at Atlanta
Week 3- vs. NY Giants
Week 4- vs. San Francisco
Week 5- at Buffalo
Week 6- at Washington
Week 7- BYE WEEK
Week 8- vs. Dallas
Week 9- vs. Chicago
Week 10- vs. Arizona
Week 11- at NY Giants
Week 12- vs. New England
Week 13- at Seattle
Week 14- at Miami
Week 15- vs. NY Jets
Week 16- at Dallas
Week 17- vs. Washington

Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - New York Giants


2010 RECORD: 10-6-0
(2nd in NFC East)

HEAD COACH: Tom Coughlin

Offense: Quarterback Eli Manning had an up and down season in 2010, throwing 31 touchdown passes, but also throwing 25 interceptions. Manning finished with 4,002 passing yards and ranked ninth among NFC quarterbacks with a 85.3 passer rating.
The Giants will look for Manning to be more consistent this season. Sage Rosenfels is the backup quarterback.
The running game for the Giants keeps humming along and with Ahmad Bradshaw (1,235 rush yards, 4.5 ypc average, eight TD) and Brandon Jacobs (823, 5.6, nine TD) back once again, expect the team to continue to pound the ball at opponents in 2011.
The Giants finished sixth overall running the ball with 138 yards per game.
The wide receivers are led by Hakeem Nicks (79 receptions for 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns) and Mario Manningham, who made 60 catches for 944 yards and nine touchdowns.
After those two, it's a free for all as four others (Victor Cruz, Domenik Hixon, Michael Clayton and Devin Thomas) will have a shot in 2011. The tight ends will be Travis Beckum and Bear Pascoe as Kevin Boss is now with the Oakland Raiders.
The offensive line will see a shakeup in 2011 with David Bass at center replacing Shaun O'Hara. The guards are Chris Snee and David Diehl, who moves from tackle to guard on the left side of the line. The tackles will be Will Beatty and Kareem McKenzie.

Defense: The Giants can defend both the pass and the run as well as get after opposing quarterbacks.
Ranking in the top ten in the NFL is all three categories a year ago, the Giants have one of the better defensive units in the league.
Up front in the 4-3 scheme are ends Justin Tuck (11.5 quarterback sacks) and Jason Pierre-Paul (4.5 sacks), who will start while Osi Umenyiora (11.5 sacks) recovers from knee surgery. The tackles are Marvin Austin (rookie from North Carolina) and Chris Canty. Mathias Kiwanuka, who had four sacks, is also ready on the defensive front.
The linebackers include middle man Jonathan Goff with Clint Sintim and Michael Boley on the outside. Providing depth will be Phillip Dillard along with possibly Greg Jones and Jacquian Williams, both rookies. Adrian Tracy is also available.
The secondary has Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas at the corner spots with Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle playing safety. Thomas had five interceptions last season and Webster picked off four passes.
Providing back up will be Deon Grant (three interceptions) and Brian Jackson at safety with rookie Prince Amukamara (Nebraska) and Aaron Ross at cornerback. Amukamara is currently mending a broken foot.
The Giants allowed 101 yards rushing per game and 210 passing yards per game last year while registering 46 sacks and picking off 16 passes. They also finished 17th overall in scoring defense, allowing 347 points.

OUTLOOK: For the second consecutive season, the Giants missed the playoffs and once again Head Coach Tom Coughlin could be looking to be on the hot seat if the team hits the trifecta in 2011 on playoff absenteeism.
Manning put up some good numbers in 2010, but must cut down on the turnovers, especially the interceptions.
Look for the Giants to continue to run the ball often with the tandem of Bradshaw and Jacobs. The O-line is solid, yielding just 16 sacks a year ago and they open holes for the backs to run through on a regular basis.
The Giants can score (394 points ranked 7th in NFL) and the defense is solid, evidenced by the numbers they put up last season.
Avoiding injuries to key personnel and avoiding turnovers will be the key as the Giants look to battle the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East division crown in 2011.
An 11-5 finish looks to be in store for New York this year and a playoff spot as they look to return to past glory. How far the Giants go will depend on the defense and the consistency of Manning.

Week 1- at Washington
Week 2- vs. St. Louis
Week 3- at Philadelphia
Week 4- at Arizona
Week 5- vs. Seattle
Week 6- vs. Buffalo
Week 7- BYE WEEK
Week 8- vs. Miami
Week 9- at New England
Week 10- at San Francisco
Week 11- vs. Philadelphia
Week 12- at New Orleans
Week 13- vs. Green Bay
Week 14- at Dallas
Week 15- vs. Washington
Week 16- at NY Jets
Week 17- vs. Dallas

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hey People, LISTEN UP! The GOP And The Tea Party Dictators Are At It Again

The veterans in the military who have made a career of it for their service to the United States of America may be in for a real rude awakening soon.
It appears as if Pentagon leaders, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, having warned that nothing is beyond consideration as the Department of Defense prepares to make $350 billion in Congress-mandated cuts over the next 10 years, would cut back on pensions for retirees of the U.S. military.


Tax cuts allowed to continue for the richest people in America, but these bastards want to shake down the people of the military?

No one is off limits, it appears, except the "elite."


Call or write your two U.S. Senators and your representative in Congress and tell them this is not acceptable at all.

As the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy said... "When will the greed stop? How much is enough (for the rich)?"

Apparently, it is never enough.

Kind Of How It Is Today In America

With the way everything is going these days in the United States of America, this is kind of how things are regarding service and the general attitude toward people in this country of ours.
Here's a funny take on that.

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Dallas Cowboys


2010 RECORD: 6-10-0
(3rd in NFC East)

HEAD COACH: Jason Garrett

Offense: The big question for the Cowboys is whether quarterback Tony Romo (1,605 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2010) will stay healthy for the entire season.
Romo missed the last 11 games in 2010 and is looking to get the Cowboys back to the playoffs. Jon Kitna (2,365 yards passing with 16 TD and 12 INT) will be ready once again if needed.
The backfield will have a different look as Felix Jones will be the man in 2011. Marion Barber is with the Chicago Bears this year and Jones (800 yards rushing with a 4.3 ypc average) will handle the bulk of the carries. Jones also made 48 catches for 450 yards with one touchdown last season.
Tashard Choice (243 yards, three TD) and rookie DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma) will be available in the 'Pokes backfield as well.
The wide receivers are led by Miles Austin (69 receptions for 1,041 yards and seven TD) and tight end Jason Witten, who led Dallas with 94 catches (for 1,002 yards) and touchdowns with nine. Second year wideout Dez Bryant, who also returned two punts for scores last season, made 45 catches for 561 yards and six touchdowns.
Martellus Bennett (tight end) is back again after a 33-catch season along with rookie Dwayne Harris (East Carolina) and Kevin Ogletree to give Dallas some depth.
The offensive line will feature Andre Gurode at center, with Kyle Kosier and Phil Costa at guards. The tackles are rookie Tyron Smith (USC) and Doug Free.
Dallas ranked seventh in the NFL in total offense last season, gaining 364 yards per game. The passing game averaged 253 yards per game (6th in NFL) and the running game was 16th overall with 111 yards per game. The Cowboys put up 394 points last season.

Defense: The Cowboys' defense simply gave up too many points a year ago (436) and that proved to be costly as they held opponents to fewer than 20 points just four times in 2010.
The run defense was fair (108 rushing yards per game allowed) but the pass defense was another story.
Despite 20 interceptions and 35 quarterback sacks from the defense, Dallas was lit up to the tune of 244 passing yards per game a year ago, which ranked 26th in the league.
Up front in the 3-4 set up is Nose Tackle Jay Ratliff, who is flanked by ends Marcus Spears and Igor Olshansky. Jason Hatcher and Kenyon Coleman are also on the defensive front.
The linebacking is the strength of the defense, with DeMarcus Ware (15.5 QB sacks) and fellow outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (five sacks) leading the way along with inside backers Sean Lee and Bradie James.
Victor Butler, Isaiah Greenhouse, Brandon Williams, rookie Bruce Carter (North Carolina) and veteran Keith Brooking are also on hand in 2011.
The secondary has Gerald Sensabaugh (five interceptions) and Abe Elam at safety with Mike Jenkins, Terrance Newman (five picks in 2010) and Orlando Scandrick vying for the starting spots at cornerback.
Alan Ball, Barry Church and Bryan McCann are also available in the Cowboys' secondary unit.

OUTLOOK: With all the attention on the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East, perhaps the Cowboys can fly under the radar in 2011 as they seek to return to the post season.
A lot will hinge on Romo and whether or not he is ready to lead the offense after the season ending injury of a year ago.
Another question is running back Felix Jones' durability as he annually misses time with assorted injuries. How about the depth at wide receiver since Dallas elected to let go of Roy Williams and Sam Hurd?
The defense has to shore up the problems in the secondary and Head Coach Jason Garrett will look to new Defensive Coordinator Bob Ryan (the other Ryan), who comes over from the Cleveland Browns to take on that task.
The Cowboys know they can compete with the likes of the Eagles and Giants, but a killer schedule early on will definitely test the team.
Down the stretch in December, where Romo and company have struggled the past few seasons, it won't be easy either as the Cowboys face the Giants (twice), Eagles and Tampa Bay (on the road) in the final four weeks.
Look for a 7-9 finish from Dallas this season, which would be a one-game improvement from last year.

Week 1- at NY Jets
Week 2- at San Francisco
Week 3- vs. Washington
Week 4- vs. Detroit
Week 5- BYE WEEK
Week 6- at New England
Week 7- vs. St. Louis
Week 8- at Philadelphia
Week 9- vs. Seattle
Week 10- vs. Buffalo
Week 11- at Washington
Week 12- vs. Miami
Week 13- at Arizona
Week 14- vs. NY Giants
Week 15- at Tampa Bay
Week 16- vs. Philadelphia
Week 17- at NY Giants

Saturday, August 20, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Tennessee Titans


2010 RECORD: 6-10-0
(4th in AFC South)

HEAD COACH: Mike Munchak

Offense: Matt Hasselbeck (3,001 passing yards with 12 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions in 2010) comes over from the Seattle Seahawks and will be the starter. Rookie Jake Locker (Washington) will back up Hasselbeck.
Hasselbeck will be replacing Vince Young (now with Philadlephia) and the retired Kerry Collins as the quarterback and brings much experience and leadership to the team. He helped lead Seattle to a Super Bowl appearance in 2005.
Chris Johnson ... aka CJ2K is in a holdout and when he does return, he will give the team perhaps the premier running back in the game.
 The numbers for Johnson were way down from his 2,000 plus yards rushing season of 2009.
Last season, Johnson gained 1,364 yards rushing for a 4.3 ypc average and scored 11 touchdowns. In addition, Johnson led the Titans with 44 receptions and also had one receiving touchdown. Javon Ringer (239 rushing yards and two TD) will spell Johnson and the fullback is Ahmard Hall.
Kenny Britt (42 catches for 775 yards and nine TD) and Nate Washington (42, 687, six TD) will be the main targets in 2011. Tight End Jared Cook, who made 29 catches for 261 yards last season, is back and will be backed up by Craig Stevens. Justin Gage (20 grabs for 266 yards) and Damian Williams (16 catches) are the other wideouts.
The offensive line consists of center Eugene Amano, tackles David Stewart and Michael Roos and guards Ryan Durand and Leroy Harris.

Defense: This was a unit that would bend but not always break a year ago, evidenced by the numbers.
The Titans finished in the middle of the pack in points allowed (339), but near the bottom of the league in total yardage allowed (368) per game and passing yards (252) as well. The run defense gave up 116 yards per game, which ranked 20th in the NFL.
Up front in the revamped 4-3 defense for the Titans will be ends William Hayes and Jason Jones along with tackles Shaun Smith and rookie Karl Klug (Iowa). There are others who will see action, including rookie Jurrell Casey (USC), along with David Ball, Derrick Morgan and Jovan Haye.
The linebackers also have a rookie starter with Akeem Ayers (UCLA) playing along with Will Witherspoon and Barrett Ruud. Also in the mix are Colin McCarthy, backing up Ruud in the middle and outside linebackers Gerald McRath and Tim Shaw.
The leader in quarterback sacks from a year ago (Jason Babin) is no longer around, but David Ball (seven sacks) is up front for the team, which totaled 40 sacks last season. Jason Jones had 3.5 sacks and Witherspoon three from the linebacker position.
In the secondary, which was a big problem last season, the Titans have Cortland Finnegan and Jason McCourty at the corners with Chris Hope and Michael Griffin (four interceptions) playing the safety spots. Alterraun Verner (three picks), Vincent Fuller, Robert Johnson and Jordan Babineaux will give the Titans depth in the secondary.
The Titans had 17 interceptions last season, but ranked 29th overall against the pass, giving up 252 yards per game. They also were torched frequently by the long pass in 2010 and that has to improve as well.

OUTLOOK: The Titans are looking to unseat the Colts in the AFC South (which they did three years ago) in 2011 but have an uphill battle ahead of them.
The  Colts are odds-on favorites in the division with Houston and Tennessee looking to battle for second place this year.
The offense for the Titans still will rely on Johnson (if and when he plays) in 2011, along with Hasselbeck getting acclimated to new Head Coach Mike Munchak's system.
Munchak replaces longtime (former) Head Coach Jeff Fisher for the Titans. In a bizarre scenario following the 2010 season, Fisher announced he wouldn't be back if (former Titans QB) Vince Young remained with the team.
Young departed, but so did Fisher.
It all adds up to a new look for the Titans, as they look to improve an offense that was 27th overall last season, averaging just 302 yards per game. The rushing game was solid, getting 108 per game, but the passing game averaged less than 200 yards per game in 2010 and that must improve.
The team must also score more. The Titans only had 356 points last season and were shut out by Houston (30th ranked defense last year) and had a four-game stretch when they put up just 39 total points in those losses.
The defense is looking to be revamped, especially in the front seven and will look to improve the pass rush and the coverage in the secondary as well.
Look for a 8-8 season from the Titans as they are definitely rebuilding and Hasselbeck will hold the reigns on offense until Locker is ready to take over in the future.

Week 1- at Jacksonville
Week 2- vs. Baltimore
Week 3- vs. Denver
Week 4- at Cleveland
Week 5- at Pittsburgh
Week 6- BYE WEEK
Week 7- vs. Houston
Week 8- vs. Indianapolis
Week 9- vs. Cincinnati
Week 10- at Carolina
Week 11- at Atlanta
Week 12- vs. Tampa Bay
Week 13- at Buffalo
Week 14- vs. New Orleans
Week 15- at Indianapolis
Week 16- vs. Jacksonville
Week 17- at Houston

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Night - Retro '80's Music Video

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Jacksonville Jaguars


2010 RECORD: 8-8-0
(2nd in AFC South)

HEAD COACH: Jack Del Rio

Offense: David Garrard returns as the Jaguars' starting quarterback with rookie Blaine Gabbert (Missouri) waiting in the wings. Garrard had 2,734 yards passing with 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season.
Maurice Jones-Drew (1,324 rushing yards, 4.4 ypc average, five touchdowns) is the man who will get the bulk of the carries for Jacksonville. Rashad Jennings (459, 5.5, four TD) showed some flashes last season and will get some touches again in 2011. The fullbacks are Greg Jones and Montell Owens.
The tight end is Mercedes Lewis, who hauled in 58 passes for 700 yards and ten touchdowns in 2010. He is a solid tight end who provides a big target over the middle.
The wideouts will be minus Mike Sims-Walker in 2011, who departed via free agency. However, Mike Thomas, who led the Jags with 66 catches for 820 yards and had four touchdowns, is back and will team with speedster Jason Hill (11 catches for a 22.5 ypc average and a touchdown in 2010) as the primary receivers. Kasim Osgood, Jarett Dillard and rookie Cecil Shorts will provide depth.
The offensive line has Brad Meester at center, Jason Spitz and Uche Nwaneri at guard and tackles Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton.

Defense: This is a weak spot for the Jaguars and must improve if they want to have success in 2011.
After allowing 372 yards per game last year (28th in the NFL), including 250 yards passing per game, Jacksonville will look to fix that in the 2011 season.
The 4-3 look has Tyson Alualu and Terrnace Knighton at tackles and Aaron Kampman and Austen Lane at the ends. The linebackers are Paul Posluszny (newcomer from Buffalo), Clint Session and Daryl Smith. Kyle Bosworth, Russell Allen and Jacob Cutera are on hand as well.
The front seven has to get better at rushing the passer. In 2010, the Jags had only 26 quarterback sacks, which ranked them 30th overall.
The secondary picked off only 13 passes last season and was torched time and time again by the long pass.
Cornerback Derek Cox led the Jags with four interceptions and will line up along with Rashean Mathis in 2011. The safeties are Dawan Landry and Courtney Greene.

OUTLOOK: Improved defense is what will determine whether or not the Jaguars can get above the .500 level in 2011.
Head Coach Jack Del Rio was thought to be on the hot seat entering last season. The team got off to a good start, including a big win over the Colts and that helped save Del Rio's job. But Jacksonville sputtered down the stretch, losing their final three games and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
The offense is decent, especially running the football where the Jags ranked third in the NFL with 150 yards per game last season. The passing game will have to answer questions as the season rolls along, such as whether or not Garrard can stay healthy and if he cannot, will Gabbert be ready to take over?
A tougher schedule in 2011 won't make things easy and over taking Indianapolis in the AFC South  is never easy.
Figure the Jaguars to finish 5-11 this season and look toward the future as they continue the rebuilding process.

Week 1- vs. Tennessee
Week 2- at NY Jets
Week 3- at Carolina
Week 4- vs. New Orleans
Week 5- vs. Cincinnati
Week 6- at Pittsburgh
Week 7- vs. Baltimore
Week 8- at Houston
Week 9- BYE WEEK
Week 10- at Indianapolis
Week 11- at Cleveland
Week 12- vs. Houston
Week 13- vs. San Diego
Week 14- vs. Tampa Bay
Week 15- at Atlanta
Week 16- at Tennessee
Week 17- vs. Indianapolis

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Michele Bachmann... This One's For You

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Indianapolis Colts


2010 RECORD: 10-6-0
(1st in AFC South)

HEAD COACH: Jim Caldwell

Offense:  The Colts offense begins and ends with quarterback Peyton Manning.
Entering his 14th NFL season, Manning will be the game's top paid player after a contract extension that ensures he will be a Colt his entire career.
After passing for 4,700 yards a year ago with 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, Manning enters 2011 with his sights set on another Super Bowl run. Curtis Painter is the backup quarterback.
Indy's running game has to improve if the Colts are to achieve their goal of being the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their own city.
The Colts ranked 29th in rushing the football in 2010, averaging a paltry 93 yards per game on the ground.
Donald Brown led the team with 497 yards (3.9 ypc average) and scored just two rushing touchdowns. Joseph Addai was injured throughout the the season and gained 495 yards (4.3 ypc) and scored four touchdowns.
The receiving corps put up numbers and will see Reggie Wayne back again in 2011 after making 111 receptions for 1,355 yards and six touchdowns last season. Pierre Garcon had 67 receptions for 784 yards and six touchdowns.
Austin Collie had 58 catches for 649 yards and eight touchdowns and along with tight ends Dallas Clark (37, 347, three TD) and Jacob Tamme (67, 631, four TD), will be a primary target for Manning.
Clark, Collie and Anthony Gonzalez were injured and missed significant playing time last season. Having Clark and Collie back healthy in 2011 will definitely help the passing attack.
The offensive line is solid (allowing only 16 QB sacks a year ago) and is anchored by center Jeff Saturday. The guard are Jacques McClendon and Mike Pollak and the tackles are Ryan Diem and Jeff Linkenbach. Top rookie pick Anthony Castonzo (Boston College) will provide depth at tackle.
Indianapolis averaged 381 yards in offense (4th in NFL) last season, including leading the NFL in passing yardage with 288 yards per game.

Defense: The Colts' defense registered just 29 quarterback sacks a year ago, a far cry from the numbers they usually put up.
Defensive Ends Robert Mathis (11 sacks) and Dwight Freeney (10.5 sacks) lead the way up front and will team with tackles Antonio Johnson and Fili Moala to try and improve a run defense that gave up 127 yards per game a year ago.
The linebackers are Gary Brackett in the middle and the outside linebackers include Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner. Providing depth at linebacker are Nate Triplett, Cody Glenn and Philip Wheeler.
The defensive backfield no longer has oft injured safety Bob Sanders, who signed with San Diego.
Filling the void there is Melvin Bullitt along with free safety Antoine Bethea. The corners are Jacob Lacey and Jerraud Powers.
The secondary has to improve after getting just ten interceptions last year. Going hand in hand with that would be an improved pass rush to keep the pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Overall, the Colts finished 20th defensively last season, allowing 342 yards per game. The 388 points allowed in 2010 was up big time from the past few seasons.

OUTLOOK: The Colts won the AFC South once again last season and should do so again in 2011, barring any serious injuries to key players.
Manning is being limited in the preseason following off-season neck surgery. Look for him to be his usual, brilliant self again in 2011. The running game must improve and having Addai back healthy will do wonders for that area.
The defense must do a better job stopping the run or the same could be expected this season where opponents simply held the ball and kept Manning and company off the field.
How far the Colts go this year depends on the health of Manning and a resurgent defensive effort.
The Colts could buck history and become the first team to "host" a Super Bowl, but don't count on it happening. An 11-5 record seems most likely this season for Indianapolis with another playoff appearance, which would be the teams' tenth consecutive playoff appearance.

Week 1- at Houston
Week 2- vs. Cleveland
Week 3- vs. Pittsburgh
Week 4- at Tampa Bay
Week 5- vs. Kansas City
Week 6- at Cincinnati
Week 7- at New Orleans
Week 8- at Tennessee
Week 9- vs. Atlanta
Week 10- vs. Jacksonville
Week 11- BYE WEEK
Week 12- vs. Carolina
Week 13- at New England
Week 14- at Baltimore
Week 15- vs. Tennessee
Week 16- vs. Houston
Week 17- at Jacksonville

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Houston Texans


2010 RECORD: 6-10-0
(3rd in AFC South)

HEAD COACH: Gary Kubiak

Offense: Quarterback Matt Schaub (4,370 yards passing in 2010 with 24 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions) is back for another season. Matt Leinart backs him up.
The two primary weapons in the Texans' offense are running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson.
Foster led the NFL with 1,616 rushing yards and scored 16 rushing touchdowns (18 total) a year ago and  Johnson made 86 catches for 1,216 yards and eight touchdowns. Foster also had 66 receptions for 604 yards.
Foster will be the man again in the backfield with Derrick Ward (315 yards rushing and four TD) backing him up. The fullback is James Casey as All-Pro Vonta Leach left for Baltimore.
Along with Johnson, the receivers include Kevin Walter (51, 621, five TD) and Jacoby Jones, who also had 51 receptions for 562 yards and three touchdowns. The tight ends are Owen Daniels (38,471, two TD) and Joel Dreessen (36, 518, four TD).
Up front are guards Wade Smioth and Mike Brisiel, center Chris Myers and tackles Duane Brown and Eric Winston.

Defense: The Houston defense, simply put, was awful in 2010.
Ranking dead last in the NFL against the pass, the Texans allowed 268 passing yards per game.
Overall, Houston ranked 30th in the league defensively, allowing 377 yards per game. Houston also allowed 427 points, which was 29th in the NFL.
To shore up the defense, Head Coach Gary Kubiak now has Wade Phillips as the Defensive Coordinator.
In addition, two rookies will be counted on to help the defense in 2011. Defensive End J.J. Watt (Wisconsin) and Outside Linebacker Brooks Reed (Arizona) are going to be counted on big time.
Along with Watt in the 3-4 scheme, Antonio Smith (End) and Nose Tackle Shaun Cody will be the men starting in the trenches.
The linebackers will be Mario Williams (8.5 QB sacks to lead the team) and Connor Barwin on the outside  and inside backers Brian Cushing and DeMeco Ryans.
Reed will see playing time along with Mark Anderson (four sacks) and defensive lineman Earl Mitchell to provide depth.
The secondary, which picked off just 13 passes last season, will see changes heading into 2011 as Johnathon Joseph will team with Kareem Jackson on the corners. The safeties are Danieal Manning and Glover Quin.
Quin, along with reserve defensive backs Jason Allen and Troy Nolan, led the Texans with three interceptions.
An improved pass rush would do wonders to take pressure off the secondary as the Texans have to improve the sack numbers, which yielded just 30 quarterback take downs last season.

OUTLOOK:  After a disappointing 6-10 finish a year ago, the Texans are itching to get back at it again in 2011.
Schaub and the Texans' offense put up decent numbers last season, but it wasn't enough because the defense was so bad.
In 2010, Houston ranked third overall on offense, gaining 387 yards per game while also finishing in the top ten in scoring with 390 points.
The defense will be the key in 2011 if Houston wants to finally get over the hump and make the post-season.
Playing in  the AFC South gives the Texans a chance to do something this season because it isn't exactly the strongest division in football.
The Colts showed come chinks in the armor last year and Tennessee is coming off a down year as well while Jacksonville is a mystery team that finished 8-8 last season.
The Texans can do some good things in 2011, however, they play a very difficult schedule, especially in the first six games of the season.
Look for a 9-7 finish this year, which would equal their best ever record posted two years ago. A post-season appearance totally hinges on how well the rebuilt defense performs.

Week 1- vs. Indianapolis
Week 2- at Miami
Week 3- at New Orleans
Week 4- vs. Pittsburgh
Week 5- vs. Oakland
Week 6- at Baltimore
Week 7- at Tennessee
Week 8- vs. Jacksonville
Week 9- vs. Cleveland
Week 10- at Tampa Bay
Week 11- BYE WEEK
Week 12- at Jacksonville
Week 13- vs. Atlanta
Week 14- at Cincinnati
Week 15- vs. Carolina
Week 16- at Indianapolis
Week 17- vs. Tennessee

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Tampa Bay Buccaneers


2010 RECORD: 10-6-0
(3rd in NFC South)

HEAD COACH: Raheem Morris

Offense: Josh Freeman emerged as a solid quarterback in 2010, passing for 3,451 yards and 25 touchdowns with just six interceptions. The second year signal caller also ran for 364 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per rush. Josh Johnson is the backup.
LeGarrette Blount had a huge rookie season, gaining 1,007 yards for a 5.0 ypc average and scored six touchdowns. Earnest Graham is the fullback and also averaged five yards per carry. Kregg Lumpkin is the backup halfback and will spell Blount on occasion.
The wide receivers include Mike Williams, who had a brilliant rookie season with 65 catches for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns. Arrelious Benn (25, 395, two TD), Sammie Stroughter (24, 239 yards) and Michael Spurlock (17, 250, two TD) are the others.
Kellen Winslow, who led the Bucs in receptions a year ago with 66 for 730 yards and five touchdowns, is the tight end. Luke Stocker, a rookie out of Tennessee, is the backup.
The offensive line has Jeff Faine at center, Davin Joseph and Ted Larsen at guards and Donald Penn and either Jeremy Trueblood or James Lee at the tackle positions.
The Buccaneers rushed for 125 yards per game last season while finishing 19th overall in offense with 335 yards per game.

Defense: The defense struggled against the run but did a decent job against the pass in 2010, allowing just 201 yards passing per game, which ranked seventh in the NFL. Overall, the Bucs finished 17th on defense, allowing 333 yards per game.
Up front in the 4-3 defense will be ends Michael Bennett and rookie Adrian Clayborn (Iowa) along with tackles Roy Miller and Gerald McCoy. Kyle Moore, Brian Price, Frank Okam and rookie Da'Quan Bowers (Clemson) provide depth to the defensive line.
The linebackers are Mason Foster, a rookie from Washington, in the middle flanked by Quincy Black and Adam Hayward. Dekoda Watson and Tyrone McKenzie are ready as well.
In the secondary are cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Ronde Barber. Talib had six interceptions last season and Barber snared three passes. The safeties are Sean Jones and Cody Grimm.

OUTLOOK: After surprising many people a year ago, the Bucs, led by Head Coach Raheem Morris, will catch nobody off guard in 2011.
A tougher schedule will face the team this season and Freeman will be under the gun from the get go. After a great season, Tampa Bay is expecting to make the post-season this year. But playing against NFC South division foes Atlanta and New Orleans is not going to be easy, but this young team believes they can take the next step.
For that to happen, the defense has to improve even more, meaning getting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Buccaneers managed only 26 quarterback sakcs last year, which ranked 30th in the league. The 19 interceptions ranked them in the top ten in that category.
The run defense has to get better, as the Bucs finished 28th overall, allowing 132 rushing yards per game.
Along with Freeman, Blount and wideout Williams will be looked upon once again to shine on offense.
If they continue to play as they did last season, there's no reason to think they cannot achieve higher goals in 2011. That will be the key for the Buccaneers this season, continuing development from the youngsters and the defense.
The call for the Buccaneers this year is a 8-8 finish as teams adjust to them, meaning Tampa Bay will look to a brighter future and taking a huge step in the right direction following the 2011 season.

Week 1- vs. Detroit
Week 2- at Minnesota
Week 3- vs. Atlanta
Week 4- vs. Indianapolis
Week 5- at San Francisco
Week 6- vs. New Orleans
Week 7- vs. Chicago (London, England)
Week 8- BYE WEEK
Week 9- at New Orleans
Week 10- vs. Houston
Week 11- at Green Bay
Week 12- at Tennessee
Week 13- vs. Carolina
Week 14- at Jacksonville
Week 15- vs. Dallas
Week 16- at Carolina
Week 17- at Atlanta

Monday, August 15, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - New Orleans Saints


2010 RECORD: 11-5-0
(2nd in NFC South)

HEAD COACH: Sean Payton

Offense: After a memorable 2009 season complete with a Super Bowl championship, quarterback Drew Brees put up some big numbers again last season, including 33 touchdown passes and 4,620 yards. But he also threw 22 interceptions, which was a problem.
Brees became just the second quarterback in NFL history (joining Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino) to pass for over 4,000 yards and throw 30 or more touchdown passes for the third straight season.
The running game for 2011 will have Pierre Thomas back again after going through an injury plagued season that saw him get just 83 carries for 269 yards. Chris Ivory (716 yards, 5.2 ypc average and five rushing TD) filled in well last season and will be back as well, along with rookie Mark Ingram (Alabama) to give the Saints a three-headed monster in the backfield.
 Add in Darren Sproles, a third down back and return specialist who had 267 yards rushing and 59 receptions for 520 yards for San Diego last year and teams no longer can take the Saints' offense for granted.
The wide receivers are pretty good too.
Marques Colston (84 catches, 1,023 yards and seven TD), Lance Moore (66, 763, eight TD), Robert Meachem (44, 638, five TD) and Devery Henderson (34, 464, one TD), along with tight ends Jimmy Graham (31 receptions, 356 yards, five TD) and David Thomas (30, 219, two TD) give Brees plenty of targets to throw to.
The offensive line is one of the better ones in the entire league, allowing just 26 quarterback sacks last year.
The center is newcomer Olin Kreutz, who comes over from the Bears after a contract dispute allowed him to become a free agent.
Kreutz is a six-time Pro Bowl lineman who will solidify the O-line, along with guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks and tackles Jermon Bushrod and Zach Strief.

Defense: New Orleans ranked fourth overall in total defense last season, allowing 306 yards per game, including just 194 passing yards per game (4th in NFL). The run defense was average, giving up 112 yards on the ground each week.
Up front in the Saints 4-3 scheme are tackles Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin, who were both signed as free agents. The ends are Will Smith and Alex Brown.
Smith had 5.5 QB sacks last year and DT Sedrick Ellis (six sacks) to lead the way in that category, which produced just 33 sacks for the season.
The linebacking corps has Jonathan Vilma in the middle along with outside backers Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Scott Shanle.
The secondary include Tracy Porter and Jabrari Greer on the corners and safeties Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins, along with free agent Fabian Washington to provide depth.
The Saints must improve the pass rush and get better at ball hawking, evidenced by just nine interceptions last season.

OUTLOOK: After finishing 11-5 in the regular season, the Saints were humiliated by the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Playoffs Wild Card Round.
The offense once again should be one of the best in the NFL with Brees leading the attack.
The passing game put up 277 yards per game in 2010, good for third overall in the league. The running game, which averaged just 95 yards per game and ranked 28th overall, should be bolstered with Ingram and Sproles added to the mix along with Ivory and a healthy Pierre Thomas.
The defense is solid, but does have a tendency to let up at times, which cost the Saints against Arizona and Cleveland last season as well as in the playoff debacle against the Seahawks.
Not having the target of Super Bowl champions on their collective backs will ease some of the pressure this year, but playing in a strong division with Atlanta and Tampa Bay won't be easy and the Saints know that opposing defenses gear up for their high powered attack.
Head Coach Sean Payton is a brilliant strategist who knows how to dissect opposing defenses and make the right play calls on a regular basis.
Look for the Saints to challenge Atlanta for the NFC South division title in 2011, finishing with a 11-5 record and possibly winning the division. The worst case scenario for the Saints should be a wild card playoff berth. How far they go in the post-season will depend on the defense, because the offense will do their part.

Week 1- at Green Bay
Week 2- vs. Chicago
Week 3- vs. Houston
Week 4- at Jacksonville
Week 5- at Carolina
Week 6- at Tampa Bay
Week 7- vs. Indianapolis
Week 8- at St. Louis
Week 9- vs. Tampa Bay
Week 10- at Atlanta
Week 11- BYE WEEK
Week 12- vs. NY Giants
Week 13- vs. Detroit
Week 14- at Tennessee
Week 15- at Minnesota
Week 16- vs. Atlanta
Week 17- vs. Carolina

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2011 NFL PREVIEW - Carolina Panthers


2010 RECORD: 2-14-0
(4th in NFC South)

HEAD COACH: Ron Rivera

Offense: Rookie Cam Newton (Auburn) was the number-one pick in the entire NFL draft and will have the chance to direct the offense for the Panthers. Jimmy Clausen (1,558 passing yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2010) is also in the mix at quarterback with Matt Moore gone.
The running game that had been so productive the previous two seasons fell off last year due to injuries. DeAngelo Williams was limited and had just 361 yards (on 87 carries) while averaging 4.1 yards per carry. The other half of the "smash and dash" duo Jonathan Stewart, ran for 770 yards (4.3 ypc)  and only scored two touchdowns. Mike Goodson, who gained 452 yards and averaged 4.4 per carry while scoring three times, is also in the backfield.
Wide receiver Steve Smith (46 receptions for 554 yards and two TD) is back for another season after also missing time last year. Legedu Naanee (23 catches for 371 yards) comes over from the San Diego Chargers and will be a target along with David Gettis (37, 508, three TD) and Brandon LaFell (38 catches for 468 yards).
The Panthers picked up two decent tight ends in Greg Olsen (41 receptions for 404 yards and five TD with Chicago) and Jeremy Shockey (41, 408, three TD), who was with New Orleans last season.
The offensive line has Ryan Kalil at center with Geoff Schwartz and Travelle Wharton at guards. The tackles are Jordan Gross and Jeff Otah.
After averaging just 258 yards per game, the Panthers ranked dead last in offense in 2010. The passing game in particular was awful, getting just 143 yards per game. Carolina also finished last in the NFL in scoring with 196 points.

Defense: New Head Coach Ron Rivera comes over to lead the defense after guiding the San Diego Chargers to the top spot defensively in 2010.
With defensive ends Charles Johnson (11.5 QB sacks), Everette Brown  and Greg Hardy playing along with rookie tackles Terrell McClain (South Florida) and Sione Fua (Stanford), the Panthers will look improve against the run after allowing 124 yards rushing per game in 2010.
Jon Beason is the middle linebacker and the outside linebackers are Thomas Davis and James Anderson.
The pass defense was decent, ranking 11th overall with safety Charles Godfrey leading the way for the Panthers with five interceptions. The other defensive backs include Sherrod Martin (strong safety) and cornerbacks Chris Gamble and Captain Munnerlyn (three INT) along with Brandon Hogan and Sean Considine.

OUTLOOK: After being outscored by a two-to-one margin last season, the Panthers will be looking for Newton and his versatility at quarterback to lead the offense back to respectability.
 Having Smith, Williams and Stewart back healthy in 2011 will be big for Carolina and if Newton can live up to some of the expectations, then the offense will see improvement.
The defense will have some growing pains up front with two rookies slated to start. But the linebackers and secondary are decent enough to help out against opponents.
Rivera worked wonders with the Chargers' 3-4 scheme after becoming the Defensive Coordinator three years ago, but the Panthers are a different story as the 2011 season approaches, especially playing the likes of the Falcons, Saints and Buccaneers in the NFC South.
A fierce pass rush is in order (Carolina had only 31 QB sacks in 2010) to ease the pressure on the secondary and the run defense must improve.
The team has some of the parts already in place but with the dependence being placed on rookies and new players, plus a new system coming along with a new coaching staff, there are lots of questions to be answered.
A 4-12 finish for Carolina would be an improvement from a year ago as the Panthers will have to continue to build with Newton and company as they look to the future.

Week 1- at Arizona
Week 2- vs. Green Bay
Week 3- vs. Jacksonville
Week 4- at Chicago
Week 5- vs. New Orleans
Week 6- at Atlanta
Week 7- vs. Washington
Week 8- vs. Minnesota
Week 9- BYE WEEK
Week 10- vs. Tennessee
Week 11- at Detroit
Week 12- at Indianapolis
Week 13- at Tampa Bay
Week 14- vs. Atlanta
Week 15- at Houston
Week 16- vs. Tampa Bay
Week 17- at New Orleans