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Post by Scoop_McLeak on Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:38 am

When Planet Earth is attacked by inter-galactic swarms, armed to the teeth with superior technological weaponry and devices of mass destruction beyond human perception, it will not matter, we can sleep easily because we can just send Coach Eder and his incredible Minnesota Vikings out to meet them head on!

What a Coach, what a team, what a shame no-one can figure out a way to stop them in the SML!

You'd think the Bears, Lions and Packers would at least have a clue playing twice a season, since time began it seems. The 9ers with their linebackers should be able to stop AP. All 3-4 defenses with OLB's who have good speed should also be able to at least limit the Vikings superstar running back. Gentlemen, i've said it a thousand times but i'll say it again - DEFENSE wins trophies.
There is a weak rumour around SML headquarters that if you stop AP, or he gets hurt, the Vikings become average - all i can say to that is poppycock! The mighty Minnesota are so much more than just Adrian Peterson, the stats also prove that the purple people eaters have a most formidable pass attack too. So, the Hall Of Fame already has a reservation for Coach Eder as he has been the outstanding coach in SML history - even with an average team OVR he has been nothing short of phenomenal. Now, you other HC's - SORT IT OUT and at the very least give him something to think about!

Ok, lets move on to the 'who comes 2nd' question - what can we expect in the exciting upcoming season?

So far we have had FA scandals, trade fights, under & over evaluations of players, wheeling and dealing in the rookie draft - and thats just in Chicago!
Anyways, lets get to the interesting stuff - who can challenge the unstoppable Vikings and who is destined for tantrums and tears:-

AFC East:
Looks like a fun division now TottenhamDan has took over in New York to challenge the Superbowl Bills and explosive Patriots, at least the Miami Dolphins will be an attractive proposition for a new owner with next seasons No1 draft pick! 3 experienced Madden coaches and with so much talent here i suspect this will go down to game 16 - and possibly 3 representatives in the playoffs (although the AFC South runner-up may disagree). CJ Spiller lived up to his potential last season and under the wing of power offense afficionado Coach Infemous will be even better this season. But i wonder whether the young crop of CB's may be a season or 2 away from being able to shut down the big boys passing attacks coming their way.
New England came up short in the post season, but if they stay healthy and Reggie Bush can complement a mediocre WR group they will go far again. No obvious weakness on D apart from the safeties, so expect them to be attacked right down the middle especially as the pass rush can be inconsistent.
New HC TottenhamDan takes over the big egos and even bigger salaries at the Jets. Lets be frank, this will be a work in progress season as Dan moulds a team capable of going all the way in season 8, bu tthis season SS and HB are worrying areas for gang green, but hey, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou TD's.

AFC North:
The Ravens and Browns will be battling it out for top spot and it will be close. Coach Afro had a fairly easy route to the playoffs, but with GBDawgs upstarts I suspect this will be one of the more interesting 2 horse divisional races. The Ravens will welcome the Suggster back and the man coverage of Webb and Smithy will again be formidable, but Baltimore failed to address a glaring need through the draft at both safety positions and I go on record here – will definitely not make the SB without a serious upgrade at safety. On O the effervescent Ray Rice and deep threat of Torrey Smith will put up points, but will they score more than is scored against those safeties? Expect to see the quint-essential hairdo bouncing up and down on the sidelines a little more than usual this season.
The Browns are an interesting bunch – unpredictable and capable. Rumours abound that monster DE Rico Olaniyan is up for trade (as the cpu selected him), I have to ask why? The defense has some weaknesses Olaniyan could help cover up but if they do trade him those weaknesses will be exploited. Is Trent Richardson up to the task without top line zip under his cleats? Can Greg Little make clutch plays? I doubt it, but I get the feeling these guys will add something to the league this season.

AFC West:
Raverwolf takes over down in Kansas City and has work to do on defense. The addition of Tony Romo is wise as KC have a bevvy of wideouts and a running game that is so strong Peyton Hillis is back-up to the fabulous Jamaal Charles. Defensively though, I have concerns about a legit pass rush, the D line is not going to generate any real pressure and a decent pass attack could victimise a good, but not super-human secondary. Mr Berry will need to be at the top of the picks list this season – good thing he is up to it then!
OSS's Raiders made the playoffs last season and will be pushing KC all the way and one of the seasons big questions will unfold as Kurt Warner leads the offense. Lamarr Houston is a real handful and with Winslow and Scheffler at TE if the Raiders can engineer a short passing game they could be in the post season again.

Houston versus Tennessee – the perennial AFC battle! The Texans have North Highland calling the shots now and is very active wheeling and dealing to turn a depleted roster into a contender. There are holes that need filling on offense in particular but Tim Jennings being added to one of the fastest secondaries in the league I expect Houstons D to carry the O all the way to the playoffs. LT's Titans are always a headache for opposing defenses with CJ, Britt and Wright – but the center of the offensive line may come under severe pressure and QB Jake Locker will need to get rid of the ball quicker than usual. However, with CJ running hard the Titans will be there or there abouts for sure – but the trade of safety Michael Griffin will hurt them too much to get a ring.

NFC East:
Wow – should be renamed the NFC Feast! What talent, what tradition, WTF are the Coaches doing! JPP up for trade? Bruce Carter NOT up for trade? Philly NOT having a great draft? And Washington NOT running RGIII enough? Cant wait to see how this develops, way too much talent here. I'm going to toss a coin to see who wins the East, and I say Cowboys. Or maybe Eagles, Skins or G-men – it really is hard to call. But I will say the team with the best rush attack will come up trumps and take the title. NY's lack of a MLB will hurt, Not convinced by Phillys D line or the Dallas secondary and the Skins, well, just let RGIII run wild.

NFC West:
Here's my big call of the year – Scouses Cardinals to take the division! What a lot of HC's haven't realised is that Arizona have one of the best playbooks around, and a nicely balanced offense too. With the addition of HB Banks after some draft day drama the aerial attack will be stronger this season. Sure, you can score on these guys – but can you stop them?
The 9ers are currently in shock at losing Aldon Smith for the season, and may need to go against Coach Pastinators long held belief of building from within. If I were him I'd be asking Giants HC Jimmety out for a meal and crowbar in a bit of Tuck. San Fran will be strong, but is Gore going to be as explosive? I doubt Crabtree will have the same stats as last season – but, and this is a big but, they do have the single most coveted defender in the league – and its appropriate he's named Willis (see Bruce for definition of tough). They will be there, just may not arrive as quickly as usual.
Jensua and his Rams will be rebuilding for a 2nd season and I think the development of Bradfords relationship with rookie WR Somerfield will dictate how the season pans out. With Action Jacksons goggles bouncing off linebackers the Rams will have their usual grind'em down mentality. I predict a playoff spot.

NFC South:
Bendis versus King Morchel again. The Kings Panthers edged it last season but I take New Orleans this year. Why? Because Devery Henderson will leave scorch marks around the dome thats why! The Saints secondary lacks speed, but has plenty of experience and that will help. The Panthers over-achieved last season by making the divisional round of the playoffs – so respect to Coach Morchel. I expect Steve Smith and Cams relationship to grow this season as the Panthers fully utilise Newtons skill set, can they repeat, I say no.

NFC North:
Never has a one word preview been appropriate - until now.


Enjoy the season and play hard guys – and remember, its only a game. (Yeah, right)

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Post by Pastinator on Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:13 am

Brilliant write up Scoop - you've nailed the NFC West - its going to be really competitive with Scouses drafted talent and also Jens shiny new WR!

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Post by trulyinfemous on Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:24 pm

The big question in the AFC East is whether rookie QB Rijo for the Bills, who is the lowest OVR starter in the SML can replicate Tavaris' success last year.

The defense has lost key contributors in Nick Barnett, George Wilson and Kirk Morrison and have benched last seasons starter Mark Anderson at RE, all in favour of rookies or 2nd year players.

This is a youth movement in Buffalo that should hopefully bring longterm success, however, will they be able to maintain winning form in a now tough division?

I doubt it and pip the Romeo led Jets and Brady led Patriots to get through. The Bills benefitted from a forgiving schedule and an experienced but untalented QB doing just enough to take the Bills to the Superbowl.

After an embarrassing loss where Tavaris Jackson threw more passes into the turf than within 5 yards of his open receivers the Bills targeted a QB early in the draft. They missed out on stud prospect Daniel Romeo and are paying the consequences.

They will also be dealing with very limited cap space after cutting Ryan Fitzpatrick. A move many pundits has said will hamstring this team in their progression, his 15mil cap hit being spread over the next 2 years instead of just this season caught the Bills brass by surprise. It seems it will be a draft only approach to team building from here on out.

Many say that this Bills team is talented enough now to contend still, however it is entirely dependent on QB play. You may be able to run the ball but if you cannot pass it you cannot win championships.

This season will truly be a test of Coach Infemous' ability to adjust his team to the new talent.

Rijo was quoted as saying "I was lucky to get drafted. The fact Coach Infemous saw something in me to warrant a pick, let alone the starting job over a proven vet like JC (Jason Campbell) shows me he knows what he's doing and is confident in that. It is up to me to repay that faith and show that I can be an even more unprobable story than division rival Tom Brady."

Tom Brady was picked in the 6th round. Rijo was the second to last pick in the entire draft. If Coach Infemous can lead the Bills to another winning season and another AFC Championship then owner Ralph Wilson will know he has something special here and will hope that it will be more fruitful than the 4 consecutive AFC Championship winning Bills of the 90s.

As is the old adage, "Superbowl or bust".

Coach Infemous will be hoping another old adage; "Strong running game and great defense wins championships" 'rings' true. We'll see though, as the league is now strictly a passing league and this is undoubtedly the most notable weakness the Bills have.

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Post by AfroDizzyMac on Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:29 pm

Another brilliant write-up. The Ravens can handle being the under-dogs, despite the "Safety" situation and I am confident the D can once again dominate proceedings Smile

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Post by scousebronco on Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:52 pm

pale I hope i can live up to the hype.

But TBH i don't see me getting more than 8wins Sad

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Post by Bishbosh1985 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:54 pm

Come on Scouse, stop trying to play down all that talent Wink

Nice write up from the Bills there - i tried to do a Bears preview but all i got from my players was "where's Johhny Knox gone, we love Johnny, we love Johnny".

How to win the dressing room over huh!

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