CAN YOU HANDLE IT?
Picture the scene, 1 minute 37 seconds on the clock and Jamaal Charles goes over from 2 yards out. Chiefs 21 Vikings 17. Coach Pastinator has to defend for a little over a minute and Kansas City will be the champs in their first full SML season. Then, from the Vikes 48 yard line Ponder drops back and goes deep - the incredible KC secondary pick a real bad time to botch coverage and Vince Jackson puts one of his moves more akin with Michael Jackson out wide and blam, the Chiefs season goes down the pipes and Minnesota live up to their SB favourites tag in the blink of an eye, with barely enough time left on the clock for a return!
This is pressure people, and although i've just described the last 1:37 of Superbowl IV to you (sorry Pastinator) its the reason why we all play this fantastic game! There are many contests that end similarly during the regular season just like this, which proves that the mighty SML Europe is THE place to be for your virtual gridiron action.
Congratulations to the Eder led Minnesota Vikings, and bad luck to the Kansas City 'Turnover Supavona' Chiefs and Coach Pastinator. Rumours abound that the defensive error by Eric and the gang could lead to Mr Berry being shown the door - i doubt that but you know the old saying "no smoke without fire"!
Ok then, no time for the Vikes to bask in the glory of 2 rings in 3 seasons - week 1 is upon us and the road to SB V starts right here with lovable old Scoop! Can the Vikings do it again, did they draft well enough to stay ahead of the Pack? (pun intended) Will AP's injuries have an effect? Lets take a look at each division and see who Minnesota's challengers really are.
Last year this was a scrap between the Patriots and Bills, but this season sees fresh blood come into the fray as Coaches Musevenyyy and Uslafc join up and make this division really interesting. The Bills have been saving up for 3 seasons and made a big FA splash by signing the impressive Steve Smith and the old, slow but still a bit impressive Reggie Wayne. Buffalo were one of the toughest D's in the AFC last season but their inconsistency will need addressing on offense if they want to make the playoffs, and keep CJ Spiller healthy.
The Patriots did the opposite of Buffalo regarding cash and spent every penny last season and only just about scraped enough cents together to make the minimum roster requirement. At one point even the magical Tom Brady had his ass on the block (shame it wasn't Gisele's)! However, the Pats won the division and with the Brady and Murphy show still on line wont give up their crown lightly - add to that the explosive (but weak as a kitten) HB Rodman Brooks in a trade involving Mr Trade Rapist himself (Bishbosh) and the Pats, for all their cash worries will still light up the scoreboards.
The New York Jets have a new coach and new enthusiasm as this powerful roster boasting Revis, Mangold, Coop, and a dozen other stars attempt to add results that reflect contract size! A weakness they had was addressed by drafting a DE and i can see the Jets making a big impact in the East. Watch out for Santonio Holmes and Matt Forte, although dont be surprised if Coach Uslafc delves into FA for a Safety.
The Miami Dolphins have the freshness of new Coach Musevenyyy to lead Cobie Ross, Cameron Wake and co to a winning season. I think the 'Fins will likely focus on the ground game and do it the old fashioned way of relying on the defense to put them in game winning situations. Make no mistake NFC East, Miami has a very strong roster AND Cobie Ross!
The North has only 1 owner at time of print but there is a possibility the Bengals may be getting themselves an owner in the next 24 hours - watch this space. That one owner is AfroDizzyMac, the capable, likeable spend-thrift from Baltimore actually did ONE trade in the off-season - i assume the docs have given him the all clear for the campaign! A lot of talk around the league during the off-season centred on HB Ray Rice who appears to have drawn the wrath of Afro with his massive salary and reducing powers - and therefore can use some of his dollar bills to make his seat on the bench more comfortable as tradee Akeem Tate gets the nod at HB. Oh how the mighty (mouse) has fallen! Still, the Ravens have a brutal defense and know how to win games. Should be a lock for the playoffs and if they hit form at the right time could go deep.
The Titans and Texans - sound familiar? Old foes LT and Lujer will once again be battling it out for the South's bragging rights which LT currently holds. The Titans drafted starters at DT and LB whilst the Texans took the best rookie Guard in Case Post to strengthen their sack leaking O line. Who has the edge? - neither, its going to be the same stars facing off but if there is an advantage to be had its likely to be achieved by the Coach who has no fear - game on!
The Chargers narrowly missed the playoffs last season and will likely be there this time around. The only discernable weakness was addressed by signing one of the few top players in the draft - SS Stephen O'Neal. This guy is an athlete, my advice for WR's, TE's and HB's on dealing with O'Neal would be - DONT! Run somewhere else! The Bolts will need to acquire a QB back-up to the leagues most gifted deep passer Phil Rivers or face a nightmare scenario if he got injured and we all know how the Madden Gods love drama!
The Raiders started winning games last season and at one point had a shot at the playoffs. After making wise moves in the off-season by trading picks the already strong roster got better and now have a legitimate QB in Michael Vick courtesy of a trade with Philadelphia. 4 wins will be bettered this season no doubt once OSS and the gang get to grips with the 6 cpu teams they will face. Its a big ask to make the playoffs in a division boasting the current AFC champion Chiefs and San Diego - but not impossible for the rapidly improving silver and black.
Kansas City did virtually everything right last season but came up just one play short of a title so dont expect any big changes here. They acquired a big powerback in the draft in Easton McDonald (6'2" and over 250 lbs) to back up Jamaal and keep him fresh and the system they run down Kansas way makes it very hard for teams to abuse. KC do not have the toughest schedule and will be a lock for post season action - their biggest worry is whether the big boys have figured out the D? Time will tell.