THE ULTIMATE CASE KEENUM FAQ

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“I’ve watched him be made fun of,

doubted, laughed at, at points

throughout his career and just when

you think he’s beaten, he goes all

Joe Montana on your ass and wins

the unwinnable game.”  – Me

Yep I just quoted myself. It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want. But seriously after I wrote it I realized it is the exact reason why Case Keenum is my favorite football player ever.

There are a lot of questions I get asked as a sports writer and a fan about…you guessed it…Case Keenum. So let’s dig through my mailbag, Twitter account, Facebook posts, and face-to face questions, myths and criticisms I hear about Case Keenum.

And the Keenum uprising is happening again so it’s time I put this out there. Nothing new to me. This happens everywhere Keenum goes and it’s not going to stop until he gets a start at some point. He’s taken his NFL lumps and he’s ready. Next opportunity he’s not giving up that position.

 

 

Hey Kevin, what’s with the Keenum bromance? Why are you so high on this guy?

Because he is capable of being a Hall of Fame QB and winning Super Bowls. I GUARANTEE if given the chance by a coach who will stand by him it will happen. I realize that doesn’t really answer your question because you want to know why I believe those things but you’ll understand as I answer some of the other questions.

But to answer this question I must tell you I am an alumnus of the University of Houston, class of 2004 and I was in the press box, in training with the Houston Chronicle beat writer Michael Murphy, for Case’s first home game as a freshman. I’ve watched him be made fun of, doubted, laughed at, at points throughout his career and just when you think he’s beaten, he goes all Joe Montana on your ass and wins the unwinnable games.

 


I watched every game he played in college and you can call me biased but this is more than college loyalty. It’s about watching a guy that wins when he isn’t supposed to. He’s clutch. He’s Joe Montana and John Elway. If you play against him in a close game and he has time for one more drive you have that feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach because you know he’s coming for your end zone.

Just ask Tulsa.

Or Texas Tech.

 

 

MYTH: Case Keenum is a “system QB.”

Keenum has been doubted his entire career. The “system QB” label on quarterbacks began at the University of Houston in 1989 when Andre Ware won the school’s only Heisman Trophy. The Cougars ran a pass-happy offense called the “run-and-shoot.”

Ware’s passing statistics were so ridiculous that even though UH was on probation at the time and could not be televised, Ware still won the Heisman. Three things happened that the sports media ran with and started the myth of the system QB.

The following year Ware left UH early for the NFL draft. A new QB stepped in for the 1990 season named David Klingler and he crushed Ware’s stats from the previous season. Klingler was a finalist but did not win the Heisman.

Why? Because the sports media decided that two quarterbacks at the same school running the same system, both posting ridiculous numbers had to mean it was gimmicky and had nothing to do with the QB’s talent.

Then something funny happened that no one noticed. In 1991, running the same system, Klingler and the Cougars fell on their faces.

Does that mean the system had a bad year and the players are not responsible just like Klingler was labeled as not responsible for his incredible 1990 stat line that was so much better than Ware’s?

Did the system have a bad year or did Klingler and his teammates who finished 4-7?

Here are some numbers to consider on Houston’s QBs who ran systems that were considered gimmicky. For the system QB theory to hold true all QBs shown here should have similar season stats barring injury.

One especially important statistic is in reference to the media saying the system in Houston was responsible for Keenum’s play and not Keenum himself. Keenum was affiliated with Houston for six seasons.

In 2006 he was red-shirted. In 2007 he was platooned with Blake Joseph for part of the season and was finally named the starter about midway through the year. In 2008 Keenum had a breakout season throwing for over 5,000 yards and getting the Cougars their first bowl game win since 1980. In 2009 Keenum became the first QB ever to post back-to-back 5,000 yard seasons. Then came 2010. Keenum sustained a very serious knee injury in the second game of what should have been his senior season. David Piland, under the same offense and supporting cast, led the Cougars to a 5-7 season. In 2011 Cougar fans were elated as Case was granted a sixth year of eligibility on a medical red-shirt for the 2010 season. Case returned better than ever leading Houston to the best record in school history at 13-1; topped off by a convincing win over Penn State in the Ticket City Bowl and a final ranking of #14.

The very important statistic I mentioned in regards to the supposed system QB theory is this. From 2007-2011 the Cougars were 39-15 with Case Keenum at QB. The offense stayed the same when Tony Levine became Head Coach. So we have a perfect comparison from 2007 to 2015 of 4 Keenum years and four non-Keenum years.

As we said the Cougars were 39-15 with Keenum. Without Keenum the Cougars have gone 26-24. Big difference. The system didn’t work so well without it’s star QB.

Year Player CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT TEAM RANK W L HC DRFT
14 Greg Ward Jr. 177 263 67.3 2010 12 7 N/A 8 5 Levine N/A
13 John O’Korn 259 446 58.1 3117 28 10 N/A 8 5 Levine N/A
12 David Piland 256 448 57.1 2929 16 12 N/A 5 7 Levine N/A
11 Case Keenum 428 603 71 5631 48 5 14TH 13 1 Sumlin NO
10 David Piland 201 345 58.3 2641 24 14 N/A 5 7 Sumlin RET
09 Case Keenum 492 700 70.3 5671 44 14 N/A 10 4 Sumlin NO
08 Case Keenum 397 589 67.4 5020 44 13 N/A 8 5 Sumlin NO
07 Case Keenum 187 273 68.5 2259 14 13 N/A 8 5 Briles NO
06 Kevin Kolb 292 432 67.6 3809 30 4 N/A 10 4 Briles 33
05 Kevin Kolb 254 420 60.5 3258 19 15 N/A 6 6 Briles 33
04 Kevin Kolb 198 353 56.1 2766 11 6 N/A 3 8 Briles 33
03 Kevin Kolb 220 360 61.1 3131 25 6 N/A 7 6 Briles 33
92 Jimmy Klingler 303 504 60.1 3818 32 18 N/A 4 7 Jenkins NO
91 David Klingler 278 497 55.9 3388 29 17 N/A 4 7 Jenkins 6
90 David Klingler 374 643 58.2 5140 54 20 10TH 10 1 Jenkins 6
89 Andre Ware 365 578 63.1 4699 46 15 14TH 9 2 Pardee 7

* Jenkins and Pardee ran the same offense as did Sumlin and Levine

**Red lettering denotes worst in category and green denotes best

Conclusion? Some QBs are not mentally capable of handling being an NFL player and it has nothing to do with size or systems etc. There are no system QBs. Myth busted.

MYTH: Keenum never faced real competition playing in CUSA

I’m not going to sit here and try to convince you that CUSA was a powerhouse. That would be a lie.I do believe it was at that time one of the better non-BCS conferences behind only the WAC and Mountain West depending on the year.

I can tell you that in his career Case was 4-1 against the Top 25 including a 45-35 road win over the #5 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in 2009 and a 70-30 demolishing of #24 Tulsa.

Keenum was 6-3 versus BCS opponents who often would not schedule Houston because of the very real possibility of the embarrassment of losing to a non-BCS team. So most like Texas A&M and the University of Texas opted to play Rice yearly instead. I have a lot of respect for Oklahoma State who in the past decade has lost to the Cougars twice but keep playing them. Same goes for Texas Tech who Houston has recently split two games with.

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Then there is the story of Alabama. It was 2007, and although not ranked the Crimson Tide should have destroyed Houston playing at home. Bama won that game 30-24 but the real story was the ending. Keenum drove the length of the field as a freshman playing in front of 90,000-plus Bama fans and calmly got into their red zone with seconds left and barely missed the winning TD pass in front of 90,000 dead silent people. I will never forget former Houston Chronicle sports writer Michael Murphy telling me how incredible it was to see that many people sitting in total silence as this unknown freshman worked his magic. I truly believe given another year, in the same situation he would have pulled it off, but I can’t fault him for missing one as a freshman QB.

So add Keenum’s record against ranked opponents and BCS teams and what you get is a 10-4 record against formidable opposition. Myth Busted.

If Keenum is so great why didn’t he ever win the Heisman?

Well first go back and read the system QB section. Kevin Kolb had the numbers to be in the top five Heisman candidates in 2006. But he was dubbed a system QB running a gimmicky offense by his old Podunk High School coach who had no business on an NCAA field. I remember Steve Spurrier barely acknowledging Briles after beating him in the Liberty Bowl as if Briles was beneath him.

Then Art Briles recruited a QB to play at Houston named Robert Griffin III. I remember meeting him at an alumni tailgate before a game and him eating with us. Then, Briles of course took the job at Baylor, which by the way, at the time I thought would end his career. Sorry Mr. Briles. You resurrected Baylor. You are a Coaching Ninja.

Briles took RGIII and a few others with him. RGIII has a good year and won the 2011 Heisman on numbers that looked awful in comparison to Keenum’s. Briles ran the same offense the media dubbed “gimmicky” in Houston, at Baylor.

Let’s review. Kevin Kolb had the number to make the Top five Heisman finalists in 2006 but did not because of Art Briles’ offense. RGIII wins the Heisman with similar numbers in Art Briles’ offense. Anyone see the problem here?

Case Keenum owns every major NCAA passing record. But it has been said that he was never Heisman worthy because of Kevin Sumlin’s “gimmicky” offense. Sumlin then went to Texas A&M, ran the same offense and Johnny Manziel won the Heisman with numbers that never touched Keenum’s best years, running the same offense.

And don’t tell me about the level of competition, because we’ve already established Case went 10-4 against the big boys.

 

 

If Case Keenum had played at Baylor for Briles, or at A&M for Sumlin he’d have a Heisman. He did win two Sammy Baugh Trophies for being the best QB in NCAA football. If that were true and it was, why give the Heisman to a QB you just said was not as good as Keenum by naming Keenum the best NCAA QB?

Keenum never won a Heisman because of bias toward CUSA and the University of Houston. If he was the product of a pass-happy offense then so was Manziel and RGIII. Let’s look at the numbers.

For each year I researched I pulled up stats for the Heisman Trophy winner and the Cougar QB for comparison.

Year Player School CMP ATT PCT YDS TDS INTS RANK W L COACH
06 Troy Smith OSU 203 311 65.2 2542 30 6 #2 12 1 Tressel
06 Kevin Kolb UH 292 432 67.5 3809 30 4 N/A 10 4 Briles
07 Tim Tebow UF 234 350 66.8 3286 32 6 #13 9 4 Meyer
07 Case Keenum UH 187 273 68.4 2259 14 10 N/A 8 5 Briles
08 Sam Bradford OU 328 483 67.9 4454 42 4 #5 12 2 Stoopes
08 Case Keenum UH 397 589 67.4 5020 44 13 N/A 8 5 Sumlin
09 Mark Ingram BAMA 271 N/A N/A 1658 17 N/A #1 14 0 Saban
09 Case Keenum UH 492 700 70.3 5671 44 14 #25 10 4 Sumlin
10 Cam Newton AUB 185 280 66 2854 30 7 #1 14 0 Chizik
10 Case Keenum UH MEDRS MEDRS MEDRS MEDRS MEDRS MEDRS N/A 5 7 Sumlin
11 RGIII BAY 291 402 72.3 4293 37 6 #13 10 3 Briles
11 Case Keenum UH 428 603 70.9 5631 48 5 #14 13 1 Sumlin
12 Johnny Manziel TAMU 295 434 67.9 3706 26 9 #5 11 2 Sumlin

Again this completely demolishes the system QB theory.Now as to who should have won the Heisman you can see I posted the numbers comparing the Cougar QB to the Heisman winner. I have no problem with any of the decisions except 2011. That is a travesty as Houston had a far better record, a nearly identical ranking in the polls and there is no comparison in the stats. Case Keenum was robbed of the Heisman in 2011.

But Keenum finished 7th with only 10 first place votes. Why? Because he ran Kevin Sumlin’s offense which inflated his numbers according to voters.

But in 2012, Johnny Manziel couldn’t even inflate his numbers in the same offense with the same coach and still won the Heisman.

Explain that one to me.

If Keenum is so great why didn’t he get drafted?

Because he is 6′ 1″ and that’s too small for a QB according to scouts that care more about size than winning football games. And also it’s been said by NFL media over and over that his numbers were inflated by Sumlin’s offense.

But Manziel stands at 6′ 1″ and came from the very same offense as Keenum. Manziel was drafted 22nd overall while Keenum went undrafted.

If Keenum is so great why did he go 0-8 in 2013?

If Peyton Manning is so great why did he go 2-14 in his rookie year? Get the point?

If Keenum is so great why did O’Brien get rid of him twice?

If he sucks so bad why did Jeff Fisher pick him up twice?

 


He gave O’Brien’s 7-7 team a chance to make the playoffs by winning the last two games for the Texans after being called out of a deer stand in Missouri.

 

 

Oh and since O’Brien has joined the Texans their front office has started to make the worst personnel decisions in the league. He got rid of the face of the Texans, Andre Johnson.He had a chance to speak to Andre Johnson and work out some way to trade him out of the division and get value in return. Instead he let his Hall of Fame Wide Receiver go to the best team in his own division that he hasn’t beaten since 2011, the Colts. And they won’t beat the Colts this year either but they get the added insult of Johnson torching them every chance he gets. And by the way, Andre Johnson said, “Case Keenum is a wide receiver’s dream at QB.” I think Andre knows a good QB when he sees one.

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Case Keenum embodies what Houston football is all about and I’ll never forgive O’Brien for getting rid of the hometown kid, the underdog, the great story.

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Sometimes he loses and loses big but this may be the most important part. He is mentally tough. Remember Matt Schaub having one bad game that snowballed into the end of his career? Remember David Carr never starting for another team after taking a beating with the Texans? That’s lack of the mental toughness required to be a great NFL QB.

Case once thew six interceptions to lose a Bowl Game to Air Force. He came back the next year and dominated. He went 0-8 with the Texans in 2013. He got called back the next year and went 2-0. He’s mentally resiliant

He commands a huddle like Peyton Manning. Every coach I have known him to play for from college to the pros says he is always the first player there and the last to leave. That’s Briles, Sumlin, Kubiak, O’Brien and Fisher.

He’s clutch. He got the “it” factor. When the ball is in his hands you just know something good is going to happen.

If you don’t know him watch his highlights. Players like Case Keenum are what makes football the greatest sport in the world.

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Bombs away Case!

J.J. WATT AND CRACK COCAINE

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I have a friend who runs an awesome blog called the Insane Asylum which you should definitely read. But on his Facebook page, as a New York Giants Fan he was reminiscing about the former freakish dominance that was Lawrence Taylor.

There are a couple of clips that are my favorite of LT so I think this is the appropriate time to share them.

So, no doubt, now matter how messed up this guy was he was a monster on the field. LT is one of the best players of all time and I think crack had something to do with it.

So here’s how the Houston Texans can save their season. Watt already plays at a higher level than LT all natural. J.J. Watt needs to smoke crack. Can you imagine the devastation? He wouldn’t sack QBs, he’d break their necks.

There would be a serious increase in football deaths because the guy is so strong and always on a motor as it is.

The Texans have lost their star running back, traded away their best QB, gave away their best receiver, Watt is going to have to play a lot of positions for this team to win. He needs a boost.

So if the Texans front office is going to insist on letting legends like Andre Johnson go to their arch nemesis, the Colts; desperate times call for desperate measures.

Light it up!

P.S. For those hypersensitive folks out there this is what is called satire. I do not in any way condone drug use as addiction has affected my family like many others. I’d rather laugh about it than cry.

 

 

Proof Women Can Play Major League Baseball

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“Take that Jake! I don’t see you making the effort.”

Did that last video remind you of anyone?


So preseason football bores me to death except for seeing Case Keenum get some playing time and leading his team in passing but that’s next post. What I want to know right now is why out of all professional sports, can’t girls play Major League Baseball?

Let’s look at this sport by sport. I am sorry ladies but it is true that men for the most part are athletically superior. I say for the most part because I am a man and I am certainly not physically superior to any female athlete unless you plug me into a Junior High Girl’s Basketball game and that’s even questionable. But comparing highly conditioned athlete to highly conditioned athlete let’s take a look.

Football

Obviously not a sport that needs both genders. I know there are some big tough gals out there but line one of them up against J.J. Watt and start digging a grave.

Basketball

The only way a woman is going to compete in the NBA is as a three-point specialist like Matt Bullard used to be for the Houston Rockets. And she better hit 80 percent or she’s out of a job. But running the floor at the same speed as the guys? Probably not.

Baseball

For this point I would like to use a great player as an example with all due respect, Ichiro Suzuki. Suzuki made a living as a lead-off hitter and hit a whole ton of singles. Just like the three-point guy in basketball, if you can hit singles 30 percent of the time you are a damned All-Star. If you can do it 40 percent of the time you go to the Hall of Fame. Baseball is a game of hand-eye coordination and you can’t convince me there isn’t one woman out there who can’t slap a single 30 percent of the time and hit lead-off. I’m not expecting homers here. If you can continually get on base above 30 percent of the time off major league pitching, you have a job. There is no difference between a man and woman that keeps her from getting the bat around fast enough. Her speed doesn’t become an issue unless you direct her to steal bases. If you watched the videos above fielding isn’t an issue. In fact had that woman been on the team and Mr. Left Out been the ball boy there would have been an out instead of a foul ball. And that was PROFESSIONAL Baseball my friends. And not low minors, that was Triple A. Almost MLB.

I’ve watched major leaguers take batting practice off softball pitchers and they hate it because the ball comes at such weird angles. But women don’t have near the problems hitting off regular baseball pitchers.

Jennie Finch Strikes Out Albert Pujols

In fact it is ridiculous that they even make the sports different. Even if you segregate by gender why do women need to throw underhand with a ball as big as a melon? Japanese Pro Baseball has women and outside of the US, no one takes their baseball more seriously than Japan.

 

 

So will someone anyone, tell me why a girl can’t play Major League Baseball?

PRESEASON WEEK ONE

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August 9, 2014 Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio

Minnesota 14 Pittsburgh 7

WEEK 1 (Aug. 13-17)

Carolina at Buffalo
Dallas at San Diego
Denver at Seattle
Green Bay at New England
Indianapolis at Philadelphia
Kansas City at Arizona
Miami at Chicago
New Orleans at Baltimore
NY Giants at Cincinnati
NY Jets at Detroit
Pittsburgh at Jacksonville
San Francisco at Houston
St. Louis at Oakland
Tampa Bay at Minnesota
Tennessee at Atlanta
Washington at Cleveland

 

 

SUPER BOWL PREDICTION

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Wild Card Round

Away Home Prediction
Bills Colts Colts
Away Home Prediction
Dolphins Ravens Ravens
Away Home Prediction
Cowboys Eagles Cowboys
Away Home Prediction
Vikings Falcons Vikings

Divisional Round

Away Home Prediction
Colts Broncos Colts
Away Home Prediction
Ravens Patriots Patriots
Away Home Prediction
Cowboys Packers Packers
Away Home Prediction
Vikings Seahawks Vikings

AFC Championship

Away Home Prediction
Colts Patriots Colts

NFC Championship

Away Home Prediction
Vikings Packers Packers

Super Bowl 50

Away Home Prediction
Colts Packers Packers

NFC EAST PREVIEW

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NFC EAST
Win Loss Tie
Eagles 13 3 0
Cowboys 10 6 0
Giants 3 13 0
Redskins 2 14 0

Philadelphia Eagles

This is an odd case as I have the Eagles winning the division at 13-3 but I will tell you right now they are NOT the best team in the NFC East. That distinction belongs to the Dallas Cowboys who apparently made the scheduling gods angry and are going to have to play some Super-Bowl-caliber teams that the Eagles don’t have to play.   But don’t be upset Eagle fan, your team is good too and as long as Bradford is healthy I think he is a good fit in Philly.

Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo’s window of opportunity is closing and he knows it. They are fielding as good a team as they’ve ever had this season but there always seems to be someone better in the NFC. I see the Cowboys making a deeper playoff run than the Eagles but the Super Bowl is either going to include the Packers or the Seahawks.

New York Giants

This team baffles me in the way they can win a Super Bowl and then lose for several years and come back to win another Super Bowl. This prediction is all on paper but again it comes down to which Eli Manning shows up, the Super Bowl MVP Eli, or the 7-9 Eli.

Washington Redskins

See Chicago Bears. If nothing changes then nothing changes. RGIII is known as a great guy, a good teammate and every interaction I’ve had with him personally has been a positive experience. But being a great guy doesn’t translate to being a good player and I think we are learning that maybe he was a bit overhyped going all the way back to the year he won Case Keenum’s Heisman because of big conference bias. Regardless the Redskins didn’t do anything to get better so they’ll have another year of postponing a much needed rebuild.

NFC SOUTH PREVIEW

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NFC SOUTH
Win Loss Tie
Falcons 9 7 0
Saints 9 7 0
Panthers 8 8 0
Buccaneers 2 14 0

Atlanta Falcons

Last year’s NFC South was the worst division in football with the Carolina Panthers winning the division with a 7-9 record. That’s the first time a team with a losing record has won a division in my lifetime. This year won’t see a huge turnaround but it will be a little more competitive. Last year seemed pretty competitive if the prize was to not make the playoffs. The Falcons have no excuse for not pulling away from the pack in a weak division with a good QB and a loaded arsenal of weaponry.

New Orleans Saints

The Saint’s Drew Brees still has a little something left in the tank and isn’t showing many signs of age statistically but they are leaking talent rather than surrounding Brees with the weapons he needs.

Carolina Panthers

I can’t give the Panthers much credit for winning a division last season at 7-9. It was almost like the teams in contention were playing Hot Potato with the division title. I hope they didn’t make hats and t-shirts for that. It was interesting to see Cam Newton speak out on the Confederate flag issue as it this day and age athletes don’t take political stands or believe in much besides money these days. The only problem is the public only listens to the elite athletes and Newton hasn’t been playing like one for the last few seasons. Let’s hope he hasn’t peaked this young.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It seems like Tampa Bay has been rebuilding for about a decade now and here they go again. If Jameis Winston turns out to be the star they drafted him No. 1 overall to be then they may have a bright future in front of them. Personally I would have taken Marcus Mariota, but there’s a reason I write and scouts scout. Either way the Bucs are two or three years away from making any kind of noise in the league.

 

NFC NORTH PREVIEW

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NFC NORTH
Win Loss Tie
Packers 14 2 0
Vikings 12 4 0
Lions 7 9 0
Bears 3 13 0

Green Bay Packers

This team has very few holes and the best QB in the league. Teams like the Pack are what Super Bowls are made of.

Minnesota Vikings

Teddy Bridgewater could have a breakout sophomore season and if so; look out. The Vikings could make a deep playoff run.

Detroit Lions

How the season goes for the Lions has a lot to do with which Matthew Stafford shows up this year. Will it be the 5,000+ yard Stafford or the Stafford that holds on to the ball way to long and gets sacked. That will decide the Lions season.

Chicago Bears

Just when I thought there were was no team in the league making worse personnel decisions than the Houston Texans along comes the Chicago Bears. How on Earth do you stay with Jay Cutler after all the bad play and the criticism you heaped on him, deserved as it was. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Enjoy the cellar Chicago.

AFC EAST PREVIEW

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds up Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
AFC EAST
Win Loss Tie
Patriots 11 5 0
Dolphins 11 5 0
Bills 11 5 0
Jets 9 7 0

New England Patriots

Tom Brady and company will be back to make another playoff run but they are going to have to content with two teams in this division that are going to be surprisingly good. This could very well end up being the best division in football rather than “The Patriots and those other teams.”

Miami Dolphins

Sticking with head coach Joe Philbin is going to pay off and Ryan Tannehill will will really come into his own under a coach that has complete faith in him. On paper this team is as good as anyone. The only team that can stop the Miami Dolphins from rising up is the Miami Dolphins.

Buffalo Bills

Rex Ryan is a good NFL coach that got dealt a bad hand in New York. I understand wanting to have a separate General Manager but the coach should have a lot of input. He prepares the meal, let him pick the ingredients and have the GM go to the store and get them. Now he has a team in Buffalo that if it can just get some decent quarterback play will be back in the hunt.

New York Jets

The Jets are not a bad team by any stretch but they are in a great division. They would probably win the NFC South as many sports writers have the Falcons winning that terrible division at 8-8. This Jets team will give a good account of itself but not good enough to get into the playoff hunt.

AFC WEST PREVIEW

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AFC WEST
Win Loss Tie
Broncos 15 1 0
Chiefs 12 4 0
Chargers 5 11 0
Raiders 2 14 0

Denver Broncos

I was really surprised when I totalled up their record. Most sports writers think the Chiefs are pre-destined to win this division. But I am making my prediction based on paper and on paper the Broncos matchup with every team they play incredibly well. This is a best case scenario for them. Peyton Manning has to show he has something left in the tank but if everything falls into place, barring injuries this team is a dynamo.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are trying not to be one of those teams that puts up great regular season records and then gets knocked off by the second round of the playoffs. They are a lot closer to the Broncos in talent than my predicted records indicate. One injury here or there for the Broncos, Manning has a bad season and the division is the Chief’s for the taking. At worst they easily snag a Wildcard playoff berth.

San Diego Chargers

On paper they just don’t surround Philip Rivers with enough talent to take them to the next step. I admire them because they hang in and get close to the playoffs nearly every year. They are a scrappy team but they are going to take some punishment from the Broncos and Chiefs and I have them splitting with the Raiders. Rivers should take a page from the career of Drew Brees and head for greener pastures.

Oakland Raiders

This used to be a very proud franchise, but now the only thing you can count on is them dwelling in the division cellar again. Derek Carr looks promising showing flashes of brilliance on a bad team. But to make it in this league he is going to have to be mentally tough, unlike his brother David because he has a lot of losing in front of him with the silver and black..