NFL Regular Season open thread

posted at 2:01 pm on August 31, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Jazz: It’s been a long time, my friends. A far, far, far too long period of darkness without NFL football, where we were stuck with only baseball, basketball or hockey. The drought of sports entertainment was so bad that, at least for a brief period, people began making up sports to make them sound interesting and pass the time. But the dark times have ended, the teams have made their final cuts and the NFL will get down to business and kick off this week.

As far as the AFC goes, I’m sure Ed and I are in agreement that the only real question is whether it will be the Jets or the Steelers who bring home the Lamar Hunt Trophy this year. The NFC picture is a bit more cloudy. But one thing to look forward to takes place on November 9th when, due to the vagaries of the NFL scheduling rules, we shall once again be treated to the Ed-Jazz Bowl, as the Jets host the Steelers in New Jersey. Also, just to add a bit more spice to the mix, Ed and I have joined a fantasy league with a group of mostly bloggers and politicos from across the political spectrum, so we’ll probably give you a peek at that as well.

Ed: This is the first fantasy league in which I’ve participated in a long time, and the draft was especially fun. However, now I have to start caring about what happens to the Saints, the Patriots, and the Broncos, so this should be seen as a full-disclosure statement of sorts for the season. It’s not like I’ll pick those teams to go 19-0 — I reserve that prediction for the Steelers, of course — but I will now have at least some interest in outcomes for those teams. I’d thank Jazz for inviting me to participate in the league, but I suspect they wanted a person of keen analysis who would provide stiff competition a sucker.

Jazz: So who will actually come out on top this year? The NFL Network assembled a group of nearly a dozen analysts to get their early predictions. As we all know, these vitally important bits of prognostication, along with a dollar, might get you a cup of coffee at McDonald’s, but they have a lot of experience so it’s worth seeing what they think.

In the AFC, every single one of their experts picked the Patriots to take the East division. (Shows what they know. The Jets will shock the world, baby.) For the North, Ed will probably be pleased to see that a plurality of them picked the Steelers, with most of the rest taking the Bengals. (Really?) The South and the West had unanimous calls, with the Colts and the Broncos being predicted to take those divisions respectively. I’d never trust the Steelers to lose when you need them to, so I’ll pick them. Indianapolis and Denver look like sound picks.

Ed: The Bengals will be tough this year, just as they were last year. Pittsburgh will obviously come out on top, but I’m not discounting the Bengals. What we all agree on is that Johnny Manziel is the future for the Cleveland Browns. Wait, what …?

Jazz: In the NFC East, all but one of the village elders took the Eagles, with a lone holdout giving the nod to the Cowboys. (I assume he was drunk on Saturday night.) The Packers were the pick for the North, with the exception of one pick for Da Bears. They pretty much all wanted New Orleans in the South and the Seahawks in the West. (Boy, there’s a brave pick.) I’d agree with all of those except for the West. I think San Francisco is ready for prime time.

Ed: I’d be watching out for San Francisco in the NFC West. They’re on the cusp of something big there, if Colin Kaepernick can stay healthy. In the NFC East, I’d love to see Washington win it just for the amusement of watching announcers choke on the name “Redskins.” Won’t happen — the Eagles are the best pick, and the Giants might surprise people this year — but it would be amusing.

Jazz: For the final victory, the consensus of the experts broke down entirely. They came up with 3 for the Packers, 3 for the Saints, 2 for the Broncos, 2 for the Patriots and one lone vote for the Seahawks to repeat. The only other team to get a vote for making it to the big game (and lose) was the Colts.

Of course, I’d give any of you an equally good chance of correctly picking the Superbowl winner as these professionals when the season hasn’t even started. (Providing you pick the Jets, of course.)

Ed: Pittsburgh will win the Super Bowl this year. Trust me.


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I’m ready!

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 2:08 PM

GO PACKERS! Time to bring the trophy back to Green Bay!

Webrider on August 31, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Go Seahawks

DarkCurrent on August 31, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Are you ready?

Can take it or leave it. Getting pretty tired of the NFL.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 31, 2014 at 2:18 PM

In the AFC, every single one of their experts picked the Patriots to take the East division. (Shows what they know. The Jets will shock the world, baby.)

No one here in New England is predicting the Pats to go 16-0, but they should be either 11-5 or 12-4. Staying injury-free will be the key.

And the Pats are only going with 2 QBs-they are so confident in the abilities of the rookie, Jimmy Garopollo, that they just traded Ryan Mallet to the Texans. The new Texans head coach coached Mallet during his rookie year in NE.

Since the Pats are only carrying 2 QBs that means they can fill a need somewhere else in the roster that needs plugging.

NFC: Geaux Saints!

Del Dolemonte on August 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

The Jets? Thanks for the laugh, Jazz.

Go Giants!

rbj on August 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

I love my Niners but Kap has never been good at reading the whole field like Young or Montana. With Aldon Smith suspended again, the pass rush lacks leadership and “wow” factor. On the plus side Michael Sam is available. I think it’s the Seahawks, but I will hope against it.

Nethicus on August 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

So sorry for both of you, Ed and Jazz, but this is obviously the Redskins’ year. I can’t WAIT to see all those sportscasters try to avoid using the “R” word in the post-season.

flipflop on August 31, 2014 at 2:20 PM

No game today … hence clickbait. Right?

Smegley on August 31, 2014 at 2:20 PM

On the plus side Michael Sam is available. I think it’s the Seahawks, but I will hope against it.

Nethicus on August 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Has he left the shower yet?

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 2:24 PM

I am Cowboys fan……I don’t if I want them to completely destruct this season so they can finally rebuild or show some improvement.

terryannonline on August 31, 2014 at 2:27 PM

No game today … hence clickbait. Right?

Smegley on August 31, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Technically the NFL Season starts this Thursday night. Green Bay at Seattle.

Del Dolemonte on August 31, 2014 at 2:29 PM

As long as Wrecks Ryan is head coach, my Jets will be lucky to make the playoffs as a wildcard. I’ve lost all faith in that man. I’m thinking a .500 regular season record is most likely. I hope I’m proven totally wrong, as I refuse to pass away from this life until I see Gang Green in a superbowl during my lifetime.

The best I can hope for is to see the Cheatriots fail…I can deal with that :P

JetBoy on August 31, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Not losing a single game today! But my fantasy teams haven’t scored a single point.

swamp_yankee on August 31, 2014 at 2:32 PM

JetBoy on August 31, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Aren’t you a Texas? You don’t root for Texas teams? (I understand our team suck right….now lol)

terryannonline on August 31, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Jazz, Ed – you guys are 1,000% correct in all of your picks except for the fact that the Dolphins will win the AFC East and the Super Bowl………

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 2:35 PM

In a sure sign that the Chargers will win the Super Bowl this year, no one picked them to be the team.

Baggi on August 31, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Not sure what to say about the Carolina Panthers. They won the NFC South last year, but this year in the off season, they managed to bring back their entire defensive front seven – but they let go all of their receivers and defensive backs. They angered their fan base by simply releasing Steve Smith, who was the face of the team. They will be unpredictable this year.

TarheelBen on August 31, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Ed: Pittsburgh will win the Super Bowl this year. Trust me.

Uh yea…the kiss of death. Why Ed…why?

msupertas on August 31, 2014 at 2:48 PM

JetBoy on August 31, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Aren’t you a Texas? You don’t root for Texas teams? (I understand our team suck right….now lol)

terryannonline on August 31, 2014 at 2:34 PM

That’s called being a “Homer”. Rooting for the home team (wherever your are). I grew up in upstate New York, but I’ve lived in Texas (twice), Nebraska and Connecticut. I’ve been a fan of the NY Giants (the only NY team in any sport I’m a fan of) forever.

Mitoch55 on August 31, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Horray! Hockey is almost here!

Go Avs! (alright, go broncos.)

Ace ODale on August 31, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Go Steelers!

ladyingray on August 31, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Jazz, Ed – you guys are 1,000% correct in all of your picks except for the fact that the Dolphins will win the AFC East and the Super Bowl………

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 2:35 PM

http://i.imgur.com/F7l2S4m.gif

Aren’t you a Texas? You don’t root for Texas teams? (I understand our team suck right….now lol)

terryannonline on August 31, 2014 at 2:34 PM

http://i.imgur.com/x2hUNJC.gif

lol…maybe in an alternate dimension of space/time ;)

JetBoy on August 31, 2014 at 2:55 PM

lol…maybe in an alternate dimension of space/time ;)

JetBoy on August 31, 2014 at 2:55 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAp57G1hLn0

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Apparently it won’t be dreadfully symbolic “Sam, Play it again” on the Rams’ team anymore….

viking01 on August 31, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Ed: Pittsburgh will win the Super Bowl this year. Trust me.

I’m feeling a wager coming on. Go Chiefs!

TulsAmerican on August 31, 2014 at 3:05 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAp57G1hLn0

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Oh sure…rub salt in an open wound.

Sanchez once made a pass at his girlfriend, but alas…even that was intercepted.

JetBoy on August 31, 2014 at 3:16 PM

There ought to be an over/under side “wager” on whether the Redskins decide to change the team name at some point in the year. If the First Gay Female Preznit starts to run his flappin’ mouth about it, I can’t predict what will happen.

ExpressoBold on August 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

How about those Jets? I’d settle for winning 10 games this year.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on August 31, 2014 at 3:20 PM

There ought to be an over/under side “wager” on whether the Redskins decide to change the team name at some point in the year. If the First Gay Female Preznit starts to run his flappin’ mouth about it, I can’t predict what will happen.

ExpressoBold on August 31, 2014 at 3:19 PM

I hope they make it to the Super Bowl – “The Patriots and the team from washington dc will face off today with Tom Brady for the Patriots and RGIII for the team from washington dc going head to head…………………..” It will be a pc nightmare.

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 3:24 PM

I love my Niners but Kap has never been good at reading the whole field like Young or Montana. With Aldon Smith suspended again, the pass rush lacks leadership and “wow” factor. On the plus side Michael Sam is available. I think it’s the Seahawks, but I will hope against it.

Nethicus on August 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Kaepernick didn’t look particularly good in the preseason either. If he can play to his potential, I like their chances. NaVorro Bowman’s absence will hurt a bit as well, but both he and Aldon Smith (assuming he can stay out of further trouble, which very well might be wishful thinking on my part) should be there for most of the second half of the season.

GOPRanknFile on August 31, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Kaepernick didn’t look particularly good in the preseason either. If he can play to his potential, I like their chances. NaVorro Bowman’s absence will hurt a bit as well, but both he and Aldon Smith (assuming he can stay out of further trouble, which very well might be wishful thinking on my part) should be there for most of the second half of the season.

GOPRanknFile on August 31, 2014 at 3:27 PM

This just in……you guys are down another one.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24689383/ers-dl-ray-mcdonald-charged-with-felony-domestic-violence

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 3:32 PM

My name says it all. GO PATRIOTS!

Stoic Patriot on August 31, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Not sure what to say about the Carolina Panthers. They won the NFC South last year, but this year in the off season, they managed to bring back their entire defensive front seven – but they let go all of their receivers and defensive backs. They angered their fan base by simply releasing Steve Smith, who was the face of the team. They will be unpredictable this year.

TarheelBen on August 31, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Is that for real?

What are they thinking in Charlotte?

nobar on August 31, 2014 at 3:34 PM

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Dang! Messed up! What is up the violence?

terryannonline on August 31, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Going to Seattle Thursday for the opening night game, been looking forward to this for months, Go Hawks!!!!

My surprise team this year, Arizona Cardinals, love their coach….

Canuckistan on August 31, 2014 at 3:34 PM

EdNotCoach: PittsburghDetroit will win the Super Bowl this year. Trust me.

NotCoach on August 31, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Dang! Messed up! What is up the violence?

terryannonline on August 31, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Yep. If found guilty this guy will never play again.

“Added detail on McDonald from @newsdamian: Alleged victim is pregnant. Goodell cited pregnant victims as criteria for harsher punishment.
8:33 AM – 31 Aug 2014″

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 3:39 PM

“Added detail on McDonald from @newsdamian: Alleged victim is pregnant. Goodell cited pregnant victims as criteria for harsher punishment.
8:33 AM – 31 Aug 2014″

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Creep.

terryannonline on August 31, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I’m wagering the Chicago Crackheads will beat the Detroit Carjackers for the NBA title…..

viking01 on August 31, 2014 at 3:45 PM

I am an Eagles fan. However, there is a part of me that wants the Redskins to make the playoffs just to torture the broadcast networks.

goflyers on August 31, 2014 at 3:47 PM

… after upsetting the New Orleans Whorenets, of course.

viking01 on August 31, 2014 at 3:47 PM

This just in……you guys are down another one.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24689383/ers-dl-ray-mcdonald-charged-with-felony-domestic-violence

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Smh. If true, this guy deserves not to play.

GOPRanknFile on August 31, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Who does Ray McDonald think he is ?

A Florida State quarterback?

viking01 on August 31, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Smh. If true, this guy deserves not to play.

GOPRanknFile on August 31, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Right. If true, he should be too old to play anyway once he gets out of prison.

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 3:52 PM

No matter what, I love the Dolphins. Good or bad.

Which, of course, means I hate the Jets.

dolfan on August 31, 2014 at 4:04 PM

No matter what, I love the Dolphins. Good or bad.

Which, of course, means I hate the Jets.

dolfan on August 31, 2014 at 4:04 PM

And the pats. As a small lad I grew up in Miami and got to meet about half of the undefeated team.

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 4:10 PM

I grew up in South Florida too and started following the Dolphins before Shula. Then years later we get to have season ticket s to see Marino, Duper and Clayton.

dolfan on August 31, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Redskins vs Packers would be fun just to see how the liberal college cheeseheads in Madison would react.

Uh…go Chargers? :D

WestVirginiaRebel on August 31, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Patriots!
This year Brady has someone to throw the ball to. Plus an improved defense.
Too bad about the clown car that is the Jets organization. Loved suspending a gut for a pre-season game because he skipped a pre-season game. Hilarious!
I could play CB for the Jets this season.

philw1776 on August 31, 2014 at 4:22 PM

I grew up in South Florida too and started following the Dolphins before Shula. Then years later we get to have season ticket s to see Marino, Duper and Clayton.

dolfan on August 31, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Awesome. I went to see Marino and the gang play in AZ. Took my oldest son when he was about 10 years old. Best memory of the day was he and I laughing about the stadium playing “Dolphins make me cry” by Hootie and the Blowfish as the Fins killed the cards.

VegasRick on August 31, 2014 at 4:24 PM

REDSKINS……REDSKINS……REDSKINS

Realdemocrat1 on August 31, 2014 at 4:30 PM

A far, far, far too long period of darkness without NFL football, where we were stuck with only baseball, basketball or hockey.

IMO, no two professional sports should be allowed to have play-offs at the same time. Which, of course, would be a problem for Hockey which is pretty much a 52-week sport when you add in the playoff season.

Oh! and REDSKINS, REDSKINS, REDSKINS…!

Happy Nomad on August 31, 2014 at 4:59 PM

It just goes to show that if you’re on the east coast that you pay little if any attention to the west coast teams, especially the Seahawks. Get ready, fans, because the ‘Hawks are better than last year and the 49ers aren’t. We’re better at every position either due to experience or replacement, but I got just one name that is going to strike FEAR into the hearts of the NFL: Percy Harvin. We’re looking for not only a repeat this year in Seattle, but a perfect season to knock those filthy Dolphins off of their pedestal. Go ‘Hawks!

HiJack on August 31, 2014 at 5:07 PM

I’m a Seahawks fan but agree with your comments about the 49ers. This could be their year.

cat_owner on August 31, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Barcelona and Pistolero win La Liga, Chelsea and Cesc win Barclays, Galaxy and Donovan win their fifth.

Christien on August 31, 2014 at 6:24 PM

I would love to agree with Ed and see my beloved Steelers win the Super Bowl this year, but as long as that moron Todd Haley is calling the offense, it’s not going to happen without the defense carrying the team.

ButterflyDragon on August 31, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Go Bears!! I hope we have a defense this year.

Bitter Clinger on August 31, 2014 at 6:34 PM

In a sure sign that the Chargers will win the Super Bowl this year, no one picked them to be the team.

Baggi on August 31, 2014 at 2:42 PM

I’m surprised you didn’t insert the Raiders in there.

majorzot on August 31, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Two words:

Steelers.

bigmacdaddy on August 31, 2014 at 7:29 PM

How easily they overlook the obvious choice – The Colts. Can’t stop the shoes.

tommyboy on August 31, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Well at least I won’t have to keep hearing about the St. Louis Sams anymore now that the guy was cut. Good grief what a circus.

Oh and…

‘Skins!

Stray Cat on August 31, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Two words:

Steelers.

bigmacdaddy on August 31, 2014 at 7:29 PM

+

Joe Biden goes by bigmacdaddy?

CW on August 31, 2014 at 8:54 PM

The Pittsburgh Steelers are subterranean blow pigs.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on August 31, 2014 at 9:32 PM

With all “due” respect to Ed and Jazz, seriously? The Jets? The Steelers? The last time I looked there was no Bradshaw or Namath in these line-ups…………only dreamers.

Rovin on August 31, 2014 at 10:03 PM

A far, far, far too long period of darkness without NFL football, where we were stuck with only baseball, basketball or hockey.

While I agree with Jazz occasionally, I couldn’t agree more with this statement. My only reprieve has been the Orioles amazing play lately, making them fun to watch, but I’m strictly a fair weather fan with baseball. Except when the home team is doing great, the game’s a bore. With the Ravens, however, and football in general, totally different story. What a great game — the best athletes, the best strategies, the depth of the game itself! So looking forward to the season.

Christian Conservative on August 31, 2014 at 10:12 PM

You heard it here first: the ONLY New York State team will win it all this year! Go Buffalo Bills!!!

Logic on August 31, 2014 at 10:23 PM

This off season wasn’t too good for my beloved Niners, but if you are counting them out because of who we won’t have on the field then you don’t know what our bench looks like. HarBaalke have been building a team incredibly deep with talent. I expect Lemonier/Skuta to fill in nicely for Smith. Carradine/Dial to step up for Ray Mac and Wilhoite to hold down the fort for my man Bowman. I have tickets to the first game against the Cowgirls.

Go Niners!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAGonzo on August 31, 2014 at 11:58 PM

GO PATS!

I’ve worn the laundry since ’74. Been through the good years and the horrible years, but always stayed true to the team.

Having said that, as much as I’m a New England Patriots homer, I still love football and have no problem giving props where do to great players. I love the game. It’s so interesting on so many levels. Football truly has become America’s Game, as it represents us as a society. I am so amped for the season to start. :)

TKindred on September 1, 2014 at 3:07 AM

Jazz: The NFC picture is a bit more cloudy.

You obviously didn’t see any of the Seahawks’ preseason games. It’s clear as a bell from this upper left corner of the country.

Thursday’s game will be crazy. If they show the unveiling of the Super Bowl banner on TV, you will hear the 12th Man loud and proud. I’ve been getting my voice in shape, and I am so ready for kick-off.

It’s all Seahawks. Every other team is playing for second place.

Mallard T. Drake on September 1, 2014 at 4:18 AM

Go Pack!

Mr. D on September 1, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Team records set by the 2013 Fluffia Eagles’ offense:

Single-Season Records – Team

Points – 442 (previous record was 439 in 2010)

Total Net Yards – 6676, (previous record was 6386 in 2011)

Touchdowns – 53, (previous record was 50 set in 1948)

Passing Yards – 4406 (previous record was 4380 set in 2009)

Fewest Turnovers – 19 (previous record was 22 set in 2003 and 2004)

Single-Season Records – Individual

Rushing Yards – 1,607 by LeSean McCoy (previous record was 1,512 by Wilbert Montgomery in 1979)

Scrimmage Yards – 2,146 by LeSean McCoy (previous record was 2,104 by Brian Westbrook in 2007)

QB Rating – 119.2 by Nick Foles (previous record was 104.7 by Donovan McNabb in 2004)

Completion % – 64.04 by Nick Foles (previous record was 63.96 by Donovan McNabb in 2004)

INT% – 0.63 by Nick Foles (previous record was 1.5% by Donovan McNabb in 2007)

Punts downed inside the 20 – 33 by Donnie Jones (previous record was 31 by Jeff Feagles in 1993)

Net Punting Average – 40.5 by Donnie Jones (previous record was 39.0 by Sav Rocca in 2010)

Single-Game Eagles Records

Passing touchdowns – 7 by Nick Foles on 11/3 at Oak. (tied an Eagles and NFL record)

QB rating – 158.3 by Nick Foles on 11/3 at Oak.

Completion percentage – 84% (21 of 25) by Nick Foles on 12/22 vs. Chi.

Rushing yards – 217 by LeSean McCoy on 12/8 vs. Det.

And the defense has gotten better.

Akzed on September 1, 2014 at 9:10 AM

I used to enjoy watching NFL. To bad because like almost everything else out there, it has become way to wussified for my tastes.

I can remember a day not so long ago when you could actually watch a good game on TV. None of the crappy regional games they show now. None of the bs pay to watch NFL network. None of the overpaid show boating hot dogs doing their latest victory gig in the end zone, etc.

Like many things of the past, it was nice while it lasted.

Luthier on September 1, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Seahawks as long as they stay healthy.

Read it an weep guys. Just like you did last year.

exliberal on September 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Seahawks are very very good. My Bears looked like crap against them. Got a feeling that’s going to be a recurring theme this year for both teams.

Jaibones on September 1, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Real Americans are Steelers fans.
In fact, there are no other NFL team fans, only robots built by Paul Tagliabue running Windows 3.1. If you don’t believe me, there’s always the Voigt-Kampf test to prove it.

frost_ on September 1, 2014 at 7:57 PM