NFC East Preview

By Jack Allen
The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a great season. Last year, rookie head coach Chip Kelly reinvented his up tempo Oregon offense in Philadelphia and lead them to the playoffs. Midway into the season, starting quarterback Michael Vick got hurt opening the door for University of Arizona graduate Nick Foles. Foles had a great year and was rewarded by starting a playoff game at home against the New Orleans Saints. They lost in heartbreaker, but due to the experience, Nick should adapt into being able to step up in big games. Lesean McCoy holds high expectations this year coming off a career year. Losing Desean Jackson will not hold up this offense. The Eagles still have weapons like Jeremy Maclin, McCoy, and Zach Ertz. Many are expecting a breakout season from the young tight end Ertz. It should be a good season for the City of Brotherly Love. I’m going to predict a Wild Card Weekend win, and a Divisional Round loss.
This maybe a surprise to many of you. Yes, the New York Football Giants are back. By signing former Raiders RB Rashad Jennings and drafting Heisman candidate Andre Williams from Boston College, I think that the final hole in their offense has been filled. With a proven clutch quarterback in Eli Manning and good wide receivers Victor Cruz and Ruben Randle, the G-Men look very intriguing. Defensively, losing Justin Tuck wasn’t great, but they still have some good assets there as well. With a season that begins at Ford Field in Detroit under the Monday Night lights, my belief is that the Giants will make the playoffs in the Wild Card slot on the backs of Eli and head coach Tom Coughlin. They’ll probably make an early exit, but the fans will be happy to be there.
This next part was very hard. For me, it came down to the Giants or Redskins for that final NFC playoff spot. Washington had a magical run two years ago with Robert Griffin III HEALTHY. When he wasn’t healthy, it was another miserable season in DC. With him at 100 percent, it’s hard to keep them out of the post-season with Alford Morris and other offensive weapons. Newly acquired Desean Jackson should put up some good numbers with the young quarterback. With a tough division and a long season, it’s going to be a close finish if Griffin is healthy. It’s very possible they clinch a playoff birth if RG3 can stay healthy. I say, they fall just a little short.
Finally, “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys. With chances over the last three seasons to sneak into the playoffs in week 17, my belief is that the Cowboys will not have that chance for a long time. Definitely not in this era, with the up-and-coming Redskins and Eagles, will Dallas find their way through. With a much needed improvement on defense and a quarterback with a high tendency to choke, they need serious changes in Texas. Is Tony Romo the future? I know he didn’t play in the win and in game last season, but I’m not so convinced he would’ve won it himself. Jerry Jones was recently in the news regarding his frustration with Romo and his worries about passing on QB Johnny Manziel in the draft. With good division opponents, the Cowboys antics will be unheard and ignored while the other teams are all having over .500 seasons. Im predicting the firing of Jason Garrett after this season.
Jerry Jones can prove to be a distraction to the Cowboys this season (Via AP)

Jerry Jones can prove to be a distraction to the Cowboys this season (Via AP)

Prediction
Eagles- 10-6
Giants- 10-6
Redskins- 9-7
Cowboys- 7-9

Jack Allen is a writer for dabuzzza.com. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Queens Park Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball. His favorite athletes are David Wright, John Tavares, Geno Smith, Allen Iverson and Charlie Austin. He is a very passionate and determined fan. You can follow him on twitter @JackAllen99.

Things We Learned: Jets-Giants

By Brett Malamud

Last night, the Jets and Giants battled it out for bragging rights in the preseason and a silly trophy named the Snoopy Trophy (yes, hilarious). In the end, the Giants came out on top 35-24 but there was more to the game than the Snoopy Trophy (still hilarious).

 

Although he's the backup, Chris Ivory is a threat on the ground that the Jets can use this season (Via USA Today)

Although he’s the backup, Chris Ivory is a threat on the ground that the Jets can use this season (Via USA Today)

From the Giants side:

  • The Giants first team offensive line still needs work. There were countless mistakes, especially on the left side of the line. Sure they were facing Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, but there’s still no excuse. Eli Manning had a lot of pressure from the Jets D-Line all night. Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz (left the game with a dislocated toe) must step up.
  • The first team defense must also improve if they want to compete in the NFC East. The first quarter saw the Jets march down the field twice. The secondary got burned a few times and will need to work to improve that. The Giants also lost DT Markus Kuhn and CB Zack Bowman. Jason Pierre-Paul got taken out after hurting his knee but returned back to action. I’d still keep an eye on him though, as he’s the heart of the defense.
  • A promising young quarterback in Ryan Nassib was present. Nassib was 8-12 for 103 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll make a good backup to Eli Manning.

From the Jets side:

  • Geno Smith was great. He was 9-14 for 137 yards with a touchdown. He led the Jets down the field twice on two great drives. He’s the winner in what was really not a competition for the starting QB position. Michael Vick played well too, as did Matt Simms.
  • The running backs look like they’ll help a lot on the offensive end of the field. My bold prediction is that Chris Johnson will have a great year. He had a lot of open space in this one, and showed what he could do when given space. Johnson finished the game with 42 yards on nine carries. The speedy Chris Ivory also had a great game. He finished the game with 50 yards on six carries. Look for the two to pair for an impressive tag team.
  • The screen plays are back! The Jets had three huge gains on screen plays. It should definitely be a sign of things to come this season, especially against a schedule of teams that are heavy on blitzing.

Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

AFC West Preview

By Jack Allen
Peyton Manning and the Broncos made a run all the way to the Super Bowl last year. When they got there, they were terrible and got slaughtered by Seattle. The Broncos have an all-around great team coming into to this year and I expect nothing less than 13-3.  They have a pretty tough division this season, but they could roll over anybody with even a bad game. They enter this season looking for some vengeance on their Super Bowl collapse. Its going to be just another great season in Colorado.
 I think the Chargers are going to be an exciting team to watch. They were able to sneak in on the last possible day of the season after overcoming a bad start. Philip Rivers put the team on his back, and his main target Keenan Allen was a huge threat during the second half of the season. A forgotten hero for their team is Danny Woodhead. He was very efficient in the red zone last season for the Bolts. If Phil Rivers is healthy, I can’t see the Chargers missing out. They will make the playoffs as the second Wild Card.
Was last season a bust in Kansas City? Led by 2nd year coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith, the Chiefs will try and prove to the NFL that they’re “for real.” The Chiefs started of last season 9-0, and finished 11-5. I believe this team is a one hit wonder. I think they’re okay and will finish just out of the Wild Card behind their division rival San Diego. I don’t believe Alex Smith is a good NFL quarterback, and with a running back who is injury prone, I think the defense is their only leg to stand on. It should be a good, close finish in the AFC West.
The Oakland Raiders had a productive offseason. They picked up former Houston Texan Matt Schaub, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, along with James Jones, Khalil Mack and Justin Tuck. Honestly, in any other division, this team could have a chance. However, with every team hitting their strides, they don’t stand much of a chance at all. The Broncos, Chargers, and Chiefs are all a little bit better. Should be a good year for Raider fans to see some improvement at the black hole. If they didn’t play the all those teams twice, it would be a different story. I see this team getting better each year, but then making a playoff appearance in a few years at least.
Khalil Mack will begin his NFL journey in Oakland as a member of the Raiders (Via Sports Kings)

Khalil Mack will begin his NFL journey in Oakland as a member of the Raiders (Via Sports Kings)

Predictions
1). Broncos 13-3
2). Chargers 9-7
3). Chiefs 9-7
4). Raiders 7-9

Jack Allen is a writer for dabuzzza.com. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Queens Park Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball. His favorite athletes are David Wright, John Tavares, Geno Smith, Allen Iverson and Charlie Austin. He is a very passionate and determined fan. You can follow him on twitter @JackAllen99.

Islanders To Be Sold

By Brett Malamud

The Islanders announced yesterday that the team has been sold by Charles Wang to former Washington Capitals owner Jon Ledecky. The former owner was a minority owner in Washington DC in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Along with Ledecky comes London-based investor Scott Malkin.

Charles Wang has owned the Islanders for the last 14 years before selling the team yesterday (Via Getty)

Charles Wang has owned the Islanders for the last 14 years before selling the team yesterday (Via Getty)

This is a huge step for this Islanders organization. Many Isles fans have hoped that a new owner would eventually buy the team and their day has finally come. With this being the last year of Islanders hockey at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and a move to Barclays Center next season, a fresh start sounds nice. The move also opens up a potential pool of money, something that the Islanders have not seen. This could have a major effect on the roster. The team which once was struggling with money can now set out into future free agency periods and attempt to sign a top tier player. Of course, the Islanders have a few top players that are locked into longer term deals with the team.
Wang will stay on to serve as majority owner for the next two seasons before stepping aside and passing the baton to Malkin and Ledecky. The sale must be approved by the league at a meeting that will take place in December.


 

Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

AFC South Preview

By Jack Allen 
The Colts enter their 3rd season under quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck is presented with many targets and an upcoming running game with Trent Richardson at the helm. Trent struggled last year after a mid-year trade from Cleveland, but a full offseason should give him time to study and learn the playbook. The Colts have an easy division and should be set for a good season. I do not believe they’re Super Bowl contenders, but their record will propel them into the playoffs. I believe they’ll get knocked out early by a Wild Card team, but that they’ll win their division easily.
Is Jake Locker the guy in Nashville? Locker hasn’t been able to get his team into the playoffs, or fairly close. With a rookie RB out of University Washington, Bishop Sanky can possibly elevate the team to win a few games, but I don’t see them even staying close to a .500 record. After losing Chris Johnson, this is a new era of Titans football. Maybe this can be a breakout year for Jake Locker, but if that doesn’t happen you’d have to imagine there would be changes next Fall at the quarterback position for the Titans. I think they’ll get 6 wins and place second, proving this is easily the worst division in the NFL.
Houston had the first overall pick this last spring. They selected Jadeveon Clowney from South Carolina. The Texans had an extremely disappointing season last year after starting 2-0, lost their last 14 games. They benched quarterback Matt Schaub, and started Case Keenum. Case Keenum had limited success as well. Matt Schaub was traded to Oakland in the offseason. Andre Johnson has become a major distraction in the locker room, as he continues to request trades. With a young quarterback and and an arsenal of wide receivers, the Texans have a bright future. Yet to mention their defense, lead by former defensive player of the year JJ Watt, is stellar. The Texans will eventually get back in to the playoffs, but this season is a rebuilding year for their offense.
Jadeveon Clowney hopes to have a huge rookie season for the Houston Texans (Via ThaCover)

Jadeveon Clowney hopes to have a huge rookie season for the Houston Texans (Via ThaCover)

The Jaguars have been absolutely horrible the last couple years. If you’ve been a Jags fan, you’ve had very little to cheer about. They took Blake Bortles from UCF with the #3 overall pick. The fans are hoping Bortles can be “the guy” for the future in Jacksonville. Chad Henne will compete with him for the starting job in training camp. Henne has lead them to absolutley nothing the last few years. With Maurice Jones-Drew in Oakland now, Toby Gerhart now has the starting running back gig in Jacksonville. I say they show some flashes of hope, but don’t think that they have the team to compete in the AFC South.
Prediction
1). Colts 11-5
2). Titans 6-10
3). Texans 4-12
4). Jaguars 3-13

Jack Allen is a writer for dabuzzza.com. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Queens Park Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball. His favorite athletes are David Wright, John Tavares, Geno Smith, Allen Iverson and Charlie Austin. He is a very passionate and determined fan. You can follow him on twitter @JackAllen99.


AFC North

By Jack Allen

Yes, what you see is what I believe. Under starting quarterback Brian Hoyer last fall the Browns went 3-0 before Hoyer suffered an ACL tear. With the 22nd overall pick this last spring the Browns selected Texas A&M’ phenom quarterback Johnny Manziel. We’ll see whether Manziel sits under Hoyer or takes the starting position. With a good defense and an offense ready for a good quarterback, I really believe this is THE year in Ohio. The city is ready for a return to the playoffs. With Hoyer and Manziel as a one two punch, and with a healthy defense, the Cleveland Browns are definitely a scary team in the AFC North.

Johnny Manziel hopes to make this a huge rookie season (Via USA Today)

Johnny Manziel hopes to make this a huge rookie season (Via USA Today)

The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t won a playoff game in almost 25 years. With an identical roster, I don’t think this team is good enough for their division’s up and coming competition. After a terrible performance at home in the Wild Card playoff game against San Diego, I think its going to take time for Andy Dalton and the Bengals to get back to the dance. They have a good offense, but in my opinion, it’s nothing special and not good enough. This divisional I think will be the biggest surprise, and a let down to NFL analysts this season.

The 2013 Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens struggled last season, but eventually gave themselves a chance that they blew in the final two weeks of the season getting outscored 75-24. Head Coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco had a legendary defense in the year they won the Super Bowl. Without that defense, I firmly believe this team isn’t even good enough to compete for a playoff birth. Last season they had an easy schedule and were lucky to be in any type of playoff race. They set themselves up for a wild card birth, but they still blew it. They did add Steve Smith this offseason, but until Joe Flacco can return to that great form and more improvements around the whole team, they won’t be headed anywhere. Former pro bowl running back Ray Rice will return in week 3 after he serves a two game suspension.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to come across the realization that it’s time for some big changes after this season. After missing out on the playoffs in a heart breaking fashion last year, they aren’t going to have the same chance with this team. With other teams in the AFC getting better, this will be a real “Shift in Power” for the Steelers in the wrong direction. Mike Tomlin should be on the hot seat after their struggles. They are going to be in need of a better receiving core, and perhaps a young quarterback. Roethlisberger is 32 years old and so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stock up on an understudy to Big Ben. Steel City, prepare for a major let down this upcoming season.

Prediction:
1). Browns 10-6
2). Bengals 8-8
3). Ravens 6-10
4). Steelers 5-11


 

Jack Allen is a writer for dabuzzza.com. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Queens Park Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball. His favorite athletes are David Wright, John Tavares, Geno Smith, Allen Iverson and Charlie Austin. He is a very passionate and determined fan. You can follow him on twitter @JackAllen99.

AFC East Preview

By Jack Allen

If you ask me, I believe the AFC East is a constantly improving division. Starting with the New England Patriots (Division winners for the last 6 years) under future Hall of Fame head coach Bill Belichick they’ve dominated the AFC East for pretty much the last 14 years. With three Super Bowls (2001, 2003, and 2004) are the overwhelming favorite for this division as of right now. They might have one problem, with an aging Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski just coming back it could be a problem staying healthy. It’ll take a lot to keep them off the field, but don’t forget Tom Brady could soon be wearing down.

Tom Brady is still an elite quarterback but could he be losing steam? (via ibtimes)

Tom Brady is still an elite quarterback but could he be losing steam? (via ibtimes)

As for the New York Jets, under 2nd year QB Geno Smith I believe they have enough to clinch a Wild Card birth in the AFC. Rex Ryan and his defense can lead this young team in the NFL playoffs. Im not sure how far they can go, but it will be an exciting year in East Rutherford. Im going to say it comes all the way down to Week 17 in Miami to possibly sneak in to the playoffs. With new faces like Eric Decker, Chris Johnson and Jonathan Babin it should be an exciting season.

Down in South Florida they have a very nice thing going that I think needs some time to develop. Last season in week 17 they had a win and in game at home against their divisional rival NY Jets. Nothing went right in a disappointing 20-7 loss. The Dolphins will give themselves a chance and play the Jets at home in a similar way they did last season and blow it again. Ryan Tannehill seems to have developed nicely, but not too many other threats on the football field. Should be an interesting year in Miami.

Ever since 2001 the Buffalo Bills have had no divisional titles, a 26-54 record within the AFC East and no playoff appearances. For the first time, in recent memory they look to have to hope. With a good defensive line, a young talented quarterback in EJ Manuel, and their new draft pick Sammy Watkins. Are they ready for a run yet? I say not just yet, but this team will not be a good one to have on your schedule. I project them at 6-10, but I say due to some inexperience they lose some close ones. Not so much now, but the future is looking bright in Western New York.

Prediction:
1). Patriots 11-5
2). Jets 9-7
3).Dolphins 8-8
4).Bills 6-10


Jack Allen is a writer for dabuzzza.com. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Queens Park Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball. His favorite athletes are David Wright, John Tavares, Geno Smith, Allen Iverson and Charlie Austin. He is a very passionate and determined fan. You can follow him on twitter @JackAllen99.

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