ONE MORE DAY! After months of previewing, speculation and preseason games, week 1 of the NFL season is finally upon us. I just got back from covering a Bucks County, PA High School football game between Council Rock South and Central Bucks East. After attending the Temple Owls football game this past Thursday, I’m going for the trifecta. Tomorrow is the main course of an action packed football weekend.
I always like to compare current NFL teams to some of the great teams of the past. When you look at it in a timeline, the Patriots the last decade are looking a lot like the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990’s. In a 4 year span, Dallas won 3 Super Bowls in 4 years from 1993-1996. In 1995, Dallas lost to San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game. New England won 3 Super Bowls in 4 years from 2001-2004. New England lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII in 2007.
Now is where the trends get interesting. Troy Aikman retired from the NFL in 2000, so let’s take a look at those Cowboys teams from 1997-2000. The 1997 team went just 6-10 and the 1998 team lost in the Wild Card round of the NFC Playoffs to Arizona. The 1999 team once again lost in the Wildcard Round to Minnesota, and in Aikman’s final season the team went just 5-11. Let’s get back to New England. In 2008, Brady went down in week 1 with a torn ACL and missed the entire season. They did not qualify for the postseason. Last season, New England lost to Baltimore in the AFC Wild Card Round. So, if you believe in trends and the timeline, the Patriots are looking like a 8-10 win team. Then again, you can always break a trend.
The Bengals/Patriots game is the most unpredictable NFL game of the weekend; at least in my opinion. New England is a huge mystery to me. They possess, arguably, the best offense in the AFC. On the flip side, they possess, arguably, the worst defense in the AFC. New England’s offense has to take the pressure off of the defense and score early and often. It makes the opposing offense a bit more predicatable. It helps the defense. In their Wild Card loss to Baltimore last season, Baltimore got up 24-0 after the 1st quarter. When a bad defense doesn’t know whether or not a run or pass is coming, you’re in trouble.
Cincinnati has clicked offensively in the preseason. Carson Palmer and the newly acquired Terrell Owens seem to be in sync. Running back Cedric Benson looks good running behind a solid run-blocking offensive line. If they can mix the run and pass equally, they should be able to move the football successfully.
When you look at New England offense pitting up against Cincinnati’s defense, you immediately look at the Pats wide receivers matched up against the Bengals cornerbacks. I’m curious to see if the Bengals elect to put Jonathan Joseph in the slot to cover Wes Welker. Welker is the wild card in this ball game. The juicy 1 on 1 matchup on the outside is Randy Moss going up against Leon Hall.
Prediction- 34-27 NE
I think Wes Welker has a big game and New England wins in a shootout at home. Something just tells me that Brady is determined this season. Many experts are predicting the Jets to take the AFC East. Brady has other plans.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!