View Full Version : 5 things learned from pre-season

09-04-2005, 10:26 PM
Trying to learn something from preseason NFL football isn’t easy. Otherwise, we’d all agree that the Indianapolis Colts really stink and have no shot this year. Nonetheless, we’ve come up with ... Five things we think we’ve learned from the preseason:


Forget the 0-5 preseason record. The Colts moved a step closer to securing home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs -- a must with New England sharing the conference -- when they signed former Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl defensive tackle Corey Simon on Thursday.

The Colts have taken some heat for sinking all of their money into an offense that includes Peyton Manning (above), Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James. But with the reported five-year, $30 million deal for Simon, the Colts have one of the best defensive line duos in the NFL in Simon and end Dwight Freeney, who had 16 sacks a year ago.

Simon, who was released by the Eagles after refusing to sign his one-year franchise tender, has 32 sacks since he was drafted sixth overall in 2000.


This one is an especially dangerous assumption. But here goes: Jake Plummer will have an outstanding year in Denver. (Boy that one could hurt in February.)

Anyway, his play this season actually could push the Broncos out of a rut they've been in the past two seasons.

Although coach Mike Shanahan has led the Broncos to back-to-back 10-6 seasons, he also has gotten clobbered by the Colts in the first round of the playoffs (41-10 and 49-24) in each of those seasons.

Some have begun referring to Shanahan as "Coach Teflon," since he's still Denver's head coach despite the fact he hasn't won a playoff game since Super Bowl XXXIII seven seasons ago.

Yes, Plummer is a career 56.8 percent passer. And he has more career interceptions (141) than touchdown passes (132).

But we just think Jake the Snake will shine in his third season in Denver. In the preseason he had a Peytonesque 123.6 passer rating, a 65.7 percent completion percentage, three touchdowns and no interceptions.


Unlike most of the early bandwagon jumpers, we weren't convinced the Vikings were the best team in their division. We just assumed that one of the other teams could step up after the Vikings traded their best player (Randy Moss).

Well, after a tour of Green Bay, Detroit and Chicago, we decided it ain't happening for any of those teams this year.

The Vikings aren't an elite team. The running game is a huge question mark. And the defense and special teams still have to prove themselves.

But the other teams' weaknesses, coupled with Daunte Culpepper in his prime, makes the Vikings the team to beat.

Everyone bashes Green Bay's defense. But after watching last week's 27-3 preseason loss to New England it seems this defense, which isn't that good, is also put in bad spots too often because of poor special teams or Brett Favre's terrible decisions (There, we said it. Let the lightning bolts rain down upon us.)

Detroit is a year away, at least.

Joey Harrington might actually be good this year. But he isn't the only concern for the Lions. Keep an eye on how many big plays new starting free safety Terrence Holt gives up this year.

Chicago is, well, Chicago. General Manager Jerry Angelo sat on his hands when it came time to sign a veteran backup for Rex Grossman, whose injury was the most predictable in the league. So now the Bears will pay the price with Kyle Orton, a rookie fourth-round draft pick, learning on the job this year.


So Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens aren't talking (at least as this edition went to press). Big deal.

On their first preseason play together, Owens beat a defensive back, and McNabb hit him in stride for a 64-yard touchdown. It was the first play of a 27-17 victory over Cincinnati.

In one half of play, Owens caught five passes for 131 yards (26.2).

"It was business as usual," McNabb said after the game.

T.O. pouting and leaving the team down the stretch is a definite concern. But whether or not he exchanges high fives and butt pats with McNabb on the field isn't.


If Randy Moss is going to return the Raiders to their long-ball glory days, we suggest Kerry Collins take a few more peaks at the Super Freak.

Yes, they hooked up for touchdowns of 40 and 36 yards this preseason, but the 40-yarder against Arizona looked more like blown coverage than anything.

More often than not, Collins was too quick to look away from Moss. Moss had seven catches for 116 yards in four preseason games.

But it's early. The Raiders have a complex offense that coach Norv Turner is too smart to unveil this early.

After all, it is the preseason.

09-04-2005, 10:35 PM
Why cant the critics just admit that the vikings are gonna be good this year? They always make it sound like we are gonna win the NFC north by default because the other teams suck, not because the vikings are good tho right? Pisses me off. I hope we win the NFC championship to shove it in all of the critics faces.

09-04-2005, 10:38 PM
Actually I agree wholeheartedly with that assesment. We haven't seen much from the defense, running game or special teams this preseason.

09-04-2005, 10:40 PM
Hey, at least he acknowledged that Favre is not God. I also like that Collins isn't throwing to Moss much.

09-04-2005, 10:48 PM
Sounds acurate.

09-04-2005, 11:19 PM
Sounds pretty accurate...go's to show you though that even the media is scared to say anything bad about the precious favre....

09-04-2005, 11:20 PM
"southern_yankee" wrote:

Hey, at least he acknowledged that Favre is not God. I also like that Collins isn't throwing to Moss much.


09-04-2005, 11:24 PM
DAMNIT! I'm tired of hearing that we'll win by default! We're a good team, and we could win any other division in the NFL. No goddamned respect.

09-05-2005, 03:32 AM
The guy nailed it IMO. Till the Vikes prove otherwise in the regular season.

09-05-2005, 04:11 AM
Everyone is a genius at this point, wait until they actually step on the field. I have a good feeling about our defense.

09-05-2005, 05:01 PM
nothing that the article said is wrong. our running game has been non existent except against the chiefs. our d either gets a 3 and out or the other team usually runs down the field like nobody was there. special teams has looked about the same, except maybe our FG unit, looks like Edinger is going to be good this season, and hopefully that new kicker we got will bring back a sense of not having terror in punting the ball. despite what it says on paper, the packers are still the defending NFC champs 'til they get knocked off or have an absolutely terrible year (hopefully that's this year) we NEED to dominate the NFC north in order to not just win it by default.

09-05-2005, 05:05 PM
Yah I absolutley agree too.. The run game is horrible.. It has to do a little with our line up front.. But it's terrible never the less.. Our special teams is making adjustments.. And our D needs to gel..

Atleast they ripped on Favre :)

09-05-2005, 05:13 PM
"ltrey33" wrote:

DAMNIT! I'm tired of hearing that we'll win by default! We're a good team, and we could win any other division in the NFL. No goddamned respect. yeah, however we will prove the otherwise when were holding the lombardi in february!

09-05-2005, 05:22 PM
I want to see how the line holds up against a mean passrush. If the line can give Duante time, then ON TO GLORY!

09-05-2005, 06:34 PM
also daunte can give himself his own time through his legs.

09-05-2005, 06:39 PM
"Lotzapurple119" wrote:

also daunte can give himself his own time through his legs.
that's what impressed me a lot last season, him avoiding the pass rush and still keeping his head up to be able to throw the ball. you couldn't keep track of how many times he broke out of a sack, or threw the ball while a defending was trying to tackle him.

09-05-2005, 07:50 PM
I'm not ready to host the Lombardi trophy just yet. Our special teams are anything but special. How many times can Dante drive the team 80-90 yds? The defense hold after a big return? We have to improve in this area to win the big one. Playoff games are usually so close that a glaring weakness like this is gotta hurt our chances until it gets fixed.

One good thing is most of our division games aren't until later in the year, so hopefully the D will be jelling by then, to help the O carry the unspecial teams. I hope we bring Chris Walsh back as an assistant coach like we did at the end of last year.