I gotta tell you guys, when I saw the schedule the other day it made me cringe. I'm a fairly optimistic guy to the point of being a card carrying member of La-La Land, but only a sadist would wish this schedule on their favorite team. I figured I'd let my jets cool a day and then review it for my family here at MHR.
Disclaimer: This is the off season...we haven't even been in TC so this is all just my "in general" opinion. It is not some be-all end-all opinion that should be taken with the utmost seriousness. It is just my talking points and where I think we are headed. This is more meant for discussion than anything.
Week 1: Steelers
Let's get this party started right. Man the NFL likes to set up some drama don't they? Pittsburgh will want badly to exercise some demons week 1...I liken it to our '97 loss the the Jaguars and how bad I wanted them in the playoffs. Pittsburgh will be out for some blood in this game. We will find out a lot about our team right out of the gates.
Prediction: Win - I think our offense will ultimately trump their defense. They will not have any good film on us and that is an advantage to our team. Defensively we match up well against their offense.
Week 2: at Falcons
This is most certainly not a cake walk of a week 2 match up. We have to travel to Atlanta and play a very good team. Atlanta doesn't wow me, but they are playing good football lately. In a league that has so many rules bent toward all teams being equal, the Falcons are a real reflection of rising to the top of that mediocrity. For 4 years now they have been a top contender in the NFC South.
Prediction: Win - I think their defense will be exposed by us. Their pass defense hasn't been good and I don't see much changing that. If our run defense plays solid I think we will be in great shape on the other side of the coin. I can unfortunately see Mays being a big part of this game.
Week 3: Texans
This game honestly worries me the most out of the first three games. Their defense is scary good and though it has a couple of holes, good coaching will cover that up. Wade Phillips is one of the best DCs in the game...if he'd just stick to it instead of trying to be a HC I'd be a bigger fan of his. Offensively Houston's run game is one of the best in the business. They will be scary good this year too.
Prediction: Loss - If there is any semblance of passing game from Schaub we will be in big trouble. I do think we can win a shoot-out with them, but my fear is that it won't be like that. I think this game will be more of a slug-fest...and that plays to the Texans' strengths.
Week 4: Raiders
Finally a figgin gimme! ...Except that it is not in any way a gimme. I do think their team will stink this year, but they ALWAYS play us tough. And for years now they beat us at home. Hopefully we put a stop to that this year.
Prediction: Win - I think the shoe finally gets on the other foot this year. I see Manning blowing their minds and putting up over 20 in the first half of this game.
Week 5: at Patriots
Screw these guys. I'm so sick of the Patriots...I don't hate them...that is reserved for the cowgirls and faders. But man their offense is too good. This game is going to tell us a lot about where our pass defense is and is a real snapshot of what we can expect to see in the playoffs should we make it there.
Prediction: Loss - Unless we have some draft picks that really make big impacts a la Von Miller from last year, I don't think our defense will be up to task yet. I think we're another year from being able to slow NE down.
Week 6: at Chargers
Show time baby! This is going to be the game where we get to make a statement about our role in the AFC West. My hope is that we shut down the Chargers and blow them out in front of their home crowd. If we are playing poorly this late into the season, then it will show that we are more likely a year away from being the front-runner.
Prediction: Win - San Diego has nothing that scares me any more. Rivers doesn't have weapons and that plays to us big time. Their defense hasn't scared me for 2 years now at least. This should be an easy win. (Thanks for keeping Norv SD! I love me some "Play not to lose" coaches!)
Week 7: BYE
Good time for a Bye -- we are about to our "easy" stretch. If things go we we could be running away with the division by week 12. Getting a rest at week 7 is a great set up for that.
Week 8: Saints
This game is a real question mark to me. Will Brees be playing? Will this team be in disarray? Their coaching shake up will affect them for sure...and they may even have suspensions that wreck their start. I expect we play a solid team by week 8 though. We'll have our hands full and I'm happy this game is at home.
Prediction: Win -- I give this to the home crowd more than anything. I think both teams will be dangerous this far into the season. I think the altitude + home crowd = win. This team will be sucking oxygen on the sidelines like it is going out of style.
Week 9: at Bengals
This team is a young group that may be getting really dangerous this year or next. I like their new shiny QB. He's playing at the NFL level already and will put points on the board unless he makes some serious mistakes.
Prediction: Win -- Our veterans will make the difference in this one I think. This is definitely a game we should win.
Week 10: at Panthers
Prediction: Win -- We will have plenty of film on Cam by this point. Play smart against him and you will win. It is that simple.
Week 11: Chargers
See week 6. We have no business losing this game at home. It is that simple.
Prediction: Win -- Rivers has caught lighting in a bottle at our house before...but Matthews is no Tomlinson.
Week 12: at Cheifs
Screw this crap. I know I'm not alone in being completely sick of playing KC at KC in November. It is a BS setup that needs to stop. The NFL schedule makers shouldn't be setting up this game for them so friggin often. The good news is that they are a team that screams "Mediocre". Whoever they have at QB won't be scary. They have a good run game, but I'm hoping we play it better than in past years.
Prediction: Loss - I want to say we should win this, but KC is like an annoying fly that never goes away. We'll probably get the home town refs too. I'm going to bitterly give them the win.
Week 13: Buccaneers
Punching bag. Seriously. Unless they come out of nowhere to take the NFL by storm in 2012, we should out play them in every phase.
Week 14: at Raiders
Ah the black hole...nothing better than walking through the shadow of the valley of death. See week 4. They will be scrappy and play with hate. But I think we have more high school diplomas on our team than they will have at their whole stadium.
Prediction: Win -- Brains win football games.
Week 15: at Ravens
Bad news - we play Baltimore this year. Good news - we have Manning now. If he's still healthy yet I guarantee you the Ravens will be shitting bricks for this game. (go look up the history)
Prediction: Win - if anyone in the NFL can expose the Ravens defense it is Manning. We don't play them till week 15 so by this time I think our offense will be really clicking.
Week 16: Browns
See week 13. Until you get past the point of sucking so bad that your fans make videos like this, I'm not worried about you.
Week 17: Chiefs
The best thing about this game will be that we will only be playing for vengeance. I think it will be enough.
Overall record: 13 - 3 Bring it.