Yes, we can hope the preseason is just that. We can hope that in a normal week with game planning, we'll be better suited to attack an opponent due to hightened preparation. We can also hope that Hudson and Co. come up with that OL lineup that they've missed on thus far. (you know, the one WITHOUT McKinney at C, but WITH Hadnot at C and Middleton at RG) We can also put our trust in the staff to get Ronnie Brown ready to roll without Ricky for a bit to kick things off come Sept. 11th. But just remember, OTHER teams don't necessarily game plan in the preseason either, but you bet they will starting September - and they KNOW about our QB/OL woes too. (read: we'll see steady pressure on our QBs all year)

So when you factor all of that in and look at the schedule below, who do we honestly beat, even if some of the things above happen for us?

Denver
@ N.Y. Jets
Carolina
BYE
@ Buffalo
@ Tampa Bay
Kansas City
@ New Orleans
Atlanta
New England
@ Cleveland
@ Oakland
Buffalo
@ San Diego
N.Y. Jets
Tennessee
@ New England

Cleveland, Tennessee and Tampa Bay seem like the easiest games that we could win. Oakland and KC were bad last year, but look to be improved for '05 so I don't know about our chances there and the division games are always murder. At least in the division there's familiarity there plus a need for us to get a little payback that might get us a couple of wins if things go right. Plus you've got the Denver game at home to open things where I suspect we'll come out trying to show that last year and this preseason are behind us. So here's the prediction, game by game. Feel free to chime in...

W - Denver (I have a good feeling about opening day)
L - @ N.Y. Jets (but it gets worse after that!)
L - Carolina
W - BYE (kidding folks, kidding!)
L - @ Buffalo
W - @ Tampa Bay
L - Kansas City
L @ New Orleans
L - Atlanta
W - New England (2 years in a row baby!)
W - @ Cleveland
L - @ Oakland
W - Buffalo
L - @ San Diego
L - N.Y. Jets
W - Tennessee
L - @ New England

I have us 6-10 overall, with Nick having some decisions to make as far as our upgrades go. QB, OL, CB will be priorities and DT also if the feeling is that Wright and Vickerson aren't the future for us. It's a work in progress folks, but remember last year when we lost week after week while You-Know-Who was here early? Well, this year you won't sense that the team has given up at all, even after two or three losses in a row. I think it'll be a team that bounces back some and wins even when you think they won't sometimes. A few more drafts and some free agents and it'll start to happen....but just not in '05.