View Full Version : 04 Ups and Downs

12-29-2004, 12:22 PM
Analysis made by SI's Peter King:


Kansas City Chiefs

Raise your hands: How many of you picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West? To go to the Super Bowl? To win it all? Thought so. The Chiefs ranked 32nd and 29th in the last two years in NFL team defense, and they made one substantive change this year -- at defensive coordinator. As I said in August, Gunther Cunningham can't put on the pads, boys.


Atlanta tight end Alge Crumpler

Just watch the Atlanta Falcons play. Watch how, when Mike Vick goes back to pass, if he doesn't flee the pocket he always looks for his security blanket. Crumpler's the most complete tight end in an increasingly tight-end-mad league -- a tough blocker when he needs to be, fast, soft-handed, a three-down player. The Falcons have a terrific young player at a position they'll use prominently as long as Vick's there.


The continuing self-promotion of great players

Yes, this makes me seem like I'm 74, not 47. But Terrell Owens grabbing a naked Nicollette Sheridan on a Monday night lead-in, Chad Johnson yakking so much on the field that his own teammates consider it a distraction, player after playing doing look-at-me stuff after the simple act of making a first down. ... Guys, we're just not impressed with the crappola anymore.


Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning

A predictable choice, sure -- but the true meaning of the MVP award is determining how many fewer wins a team would have if said player weren't there. Peyton Manning, Jim Sorgi. Sorgi, Manning. Hmmm. Get the point? When a guy averages more than 3.5 touchdown passes a game, the numbers, and value, are going to be downright ridiculous.


The ascent of Drew Brees

Week after week, Brees was still humble, even with the unproven Philip Rivers hanging over his shoulder. Even when the Chargers were 10-3, a playoff lock, and Brees was the AFC's second-best quarterback. Before the Chargers traveled to the inept Browns in Week 15, Brees did what he always does: came in on Monday to get a two-day head start on reviewing film and the gameplan. "It’s Victory Monday," he said, "but I like to be pretty prepared when I come in on Wednesday, having watched a lot of film and getting an idea for what I think the game plan is going to be and who we’ll try to attack."


The comeback of Buffalo running back Willis McGahee

Everyone who saw the gruesome knee injury McGahee suffered in the college football national championship game two years ago likely thought he might never be able to come back as a great player. Halfway through the 2004 season, he was the centerpiece of the Buffalo offense, the one player teams had to find an antidote for or lose. He's strong, quick and fast -- and the scary thing, according to teammates, is that he won't be completely recovered from his injury until 2005.


The fate of young quarterbacks league-wide

Will Eli Manning be the stud the Giants thought him last April, or the dud he played like as a rookie? Will Philip Rivers get a chance to play -- in San Diego or elsewhere? Will the woebegone 49ers lure Heisman winner Matt Leinart out of school and into the first slot of the NFL draft? Stay tuned. It's going to be an interesting year for the passers.

12-29-2004, 08:57 PM
My most overrated team is the Ravens.

My most underrated team is a tie between the Steelers and Chargers, both teams came out of nowhere.

Most annoying thing is NFC teams under .500 still in playoff contention

MVP- Since everyone is going with Peyton Manning I'll go with Michael Vick who showed how much he means to the Falcons. Healthy Vick, Falcons are 3-1 last year and 11-3 this year, 2-10 without Vick last year. I'm not sure any one player means more to his team then Vick

Breakthrough performance- Brees (of course) but also Willis McGahee who has bounced back from that horrible knee injury with a vengence!

Coach of the Year- Shottenheimer AFC John Fox NFC
Schottenheimer is self explanatory and John Fox for never allowing his guys to give up when they could of easily thrown in the towel

Rookies of the Year - Offense- Michael Clayton-Bucs John Vilma- Jets

Uplifting- Again McGahee, I didn't think he would be back from that knee injury, let alone one of the best young backs in the league!