Who Has Had the Worst Start; Mourinho, Moyes or Pellegrini?


At the beginning of the 2013/14 season, the unusual situation of the top three teams in England starting the season with a new manager.  Not that it is unusual to see Man City and Chelsea change their manager, but Man Utd for the first time since the 1986/87 season and the first time ever in the Premier League would start with a manager that wasn’t called Sir Alex Ferguson.

There was always going to be growing pains for each manager, but most people wouldn’t have thought the growing pains would be quite as severe as they actually have been, with each manager struggling in his new role (or old role if your Mourinho).  This begs the question, which manager has started the season the worse?

The way of calculating how well each manager has done is fairly simple; the question will be asked what were the minimum expectations of points from each game that they have managed compared to the points they actually achieved.  So in alphabetical order here we go.



Chelsea currently sit on 11 points and are therefore 1 and 4 points clear of City and Utd respectively.  However what is the minimum points they actually be on?

Chelsea started the season with home wins against Hull and Villa, then followed it up with a draw away to Man Utd.  They then lost away to Everton, before beating Fulham at home and drawing at Spurs.  Through those six games they achieved 11 points, and the only dropped points that would have been considered poor was not drawing away to Everton.  So it is fair to say that Mourinho has only not gained 1 point that he shouldn’t have.  Essentially Chelsea should be on a minimum of 12 points.

If you look at the cup competitions (Super Cup excluded), Chelsea lost to Basel at home and beat Swindon away.  Obviously the Basel result was a shocker and is an obvious 3 points that Chelsea and Mourinho should have picked up.



Utd currently sit on a very disappointing 7 points and are therefore 3 and 4 points behind City and Chelsea respectively.  However what are the minimum points should they be on?

Utd started the season with a win away to Swansea, and a draw at home to Chelsea.  This was followed up by a loss at Liverpool, a win at home to Palace and an embarrassing loss away to Man City.  However the most embarrassing result for Utd so far was the loss at home to West Brom.  So in those six games Utd have only been able to achieve 7 points.  It would be fair to say that Utd gained 2 points away to Swansea, however dropped 1 point away to Liverpool and City as well as 3 points at home to West Brom.  Therefore Moyes has dropped 3 points more than Utd’s minimum expectations.  Essentially Utd should be on a minimum of 10 points.

Utd have however won both of their cup games (Charity Shield excluded) with wins at home to Liverpool and Bayer Leverkusen, so there are no poor results there.



City currently sit on 10 points and are therefore 3 ahead of Utd and 1 behind Chelsea.  However what are the minimum points they should be on?

City started the season with a win at home to Newcastle, before being beaten away to Cardiff.  This was followed by a win at home to Hull, a draw away to Stoke and a convincing win against arch rivals Man Utd.  However City then lost once again away to Aston Villa, one of the worst home teams in the league.  So in those six games City have managed to achieve 10 points.  It would be fair to say that City gained 2 points above minimum expectation by beating Utd, however they would have expected to win against Stoke, Villa and Cardiff, yet only managed to achieve 1 point.  Therefore Pellegrini has dropped 6 points more than City’s minimum expectations.  Essentially City should be on a minimum of 16 points.

City have won both of their cup games with wins over Plzen away and Wigan at home, so there are no bad results there.



Overall Mourinho has had the best league start of the three managers with only 1 point below minimum expectation, that is in comparison to Moyes who is 3 points below minimum expectation and Pellegrini who is 6 points below minimum expectation.

If you take it as an overall points dropped then Moyes would come out on top (with 3 compared to Mourinho’s 4), however despite Mourinho having an embarrassing result against Basel, it isn’t as big a deal because of how easy Chelsea’s Champions’ League group is, and they can still afford to drop those points and qualify easily.  Therefore they can’t be categorised on the same level as Utd losing to West Brom or City losing to Cardiff.

Moyes’ start to the season has been very poor in the league (worst Utd start in Premier League), however as has been shown by the fact that Utd are only 3 points below what would be considered their minimum expectation, Utd have had by far the hardest schedule of the top three clubs, although it still is a very poor start.

Pellegrini’s start is however by far the worst of the three.  Despite an excellent result against City’s least favourite team, where they totally outplayed their opponents, City have had three very poor away results (still haven’t won an away game this season) and with a very easy fixture list to start the season, being on 10 points isn’t acceptable for Pellegrini and City.

Therefore Pellegrini has had by far the worst start to the season of the three new managers, however all three will have to shape up pretty quickly if they have desires of winning the Premier League in their first season of their new job.


So what did you think of the outcome of the minimum expectation point totaliser?  Were you surprised with who came out on top, or who came out on bottom?  Let me know and leave a comment.  Also feel free to follow BM23reviews on twitter or like BM23reviews on Facebook, they are both at the top right of the page.  Thanks for reading.


The Premier League Positional Top 5.


This is going to be a pretty simple list where I will name the players who I believe are at the top 5 of each position in the Premier League.  This is a list of the elite players at each position.



  1. David De Gea     (Man Utd)
  2. Asmir Begovic     (Stoke)
  3. Hugo Lloris     (Spurs)
  4. Petr Cech     (Chelsea)
  5. Michel Vorm     (Swansea)

I think that De Gea is not only the best keeper in the league; I also think that he has them most upside of any keeper in the league.  If you consider that De Gea is only 22 and the next oldest on this list is 26 (Begovic & Lloris), you wonder how good he may get.  The major omission on this list is Joe Hart, and that is because he hasn’t played at an elite level for well over a year.


Right Back

  1. Rafael     (Man Utd)
  2. Pablo Zabaleta     (Man City)
  3. Branislav Ivanovic     (Chelsea)
  4. Glen Johnson     (Liverpool)
  5. Seamus Coleman     (Everton)

A close contest between the top 3, but I think that Rafael edges it because of his superior attacking skills (he also has more upside that the other two as well).  Ivanovic (who is really a centre back) and Zabaleta are both better defenders than Rafael but for me if I were to pick a team right now I would have Rafael in there first.


Left Back

  1. Leighton Baines     (Everton)
  2. Jose Enrique     (Liverpool)
  3. Patrice Evra     (Man Utd)
  4. Ashley Cole     (Chelsea)
  5. Luke Shaw     (Southampton)

Baines is easily the best left back in the league.  There isn’t a massive gap between the next three but Cole (one of the most overrated players in the league) is the worst of them.  Luke Shaw gets the fifth spot because he is a top prospect and there isn’t another stand out left back in the league, Ben Davies at Swansea would’ve been another option.


Centre Back

  1. Vincent Kompany     (Man City)
  2. Nemanja Vidic     (Man Utd)
  3. Younes Kaboul     (Spurs)
  4. Rio Ferdinand     (Man Utd)
  5. Jan Vertonghen     (Spurs)

Oddly enough the five top centre backs in the league have all recently been injury prone.  Kompany and Vidic are the two best in the league, with Kompany edging it because he has been fitter recently.  If you had told me that Rio Ferdinand would be on this list two years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you but his play over the past year has been vastly improved.  Mamadou Sakho would be my man to watch for the future that got edged out because he hasn’t actually played a game yet.


Right Midfield

  1. Jesus Navas     (Man City)
  2. Theo Walcott     (Arsenal)
  3. Kevin Mirallas     (Everton)
  4. Antonio Valencia     (Man Utd)
  5. Victor Moses     (Liverpool)

Wow there is a distinct lack of right midfielders/wingers in the Premier League.  I was scraping the bottom of the barrel here, with players like Valencia getting in because there wasn’t much else to offer.  I wouldn’t say that any of these players were elite on the world stage, which really tells you that the Premier League is seriously lacking in quality.


Left Midfield

  1. Andre Schurlle     (Chelsea)
  2. Hatem Ben Arfa     (Newcastle)
  3. Ashley Young     (Man Utd)
  4. Willian     (Chelsea)
  5. Pablo Hernandez     (Swansea)

Basically the exact same as right midfield, a distinct lack of actual quality.  It says a lot when three out of five of these guys didn’t even play in the league last year, which says a lot.  Bring back Bale!


Defensive Midfield

  1. Yaya Toure     (Man City)
  2. Sandro     (Spurs)
  3. Morgan Schneiderlin     (Southampton)
  4. Leroy Fer     (Norwich)
  5. Victor Wanyama     (Southampton)

At the top end of the game there does seem to be a lack of holding midfielders, with many teams either not utilising one, or using a player that doesn’t actually fit the position.  Southampton have two excellent young defensive midfielders, both of whom have bright futures in my opinion, as does Fer.


Central Midfield

  1. Michael Carrick     (Man Utd)
  2. Marouane Fellaini     (Man Utd)
  3. Paulinho     (Spurs)
  4. Ramires     (Chelsea)
  5. Jack Wilshere     (Arsenal)

Odd to think that Utd have the two best central midfielders in the league, yet they don’t have a great central midfield.  To be fair Fellaini hasn’t really played yet, and the drop off to the next central midfielder would be quite large.  Unlike the defensive midfielders, the central midfield is dominated by players from top teams.


Attacking Midfield

  1. Juan Mata     (Chelsea)
  2. David Silva     (Man City)
  3. Mesut Ozil     (Arsenal)
  4. Santi Cazorla     (Arsenal)
  5. Eden Hazard     (Chelsea)

Both Arsenal and Chelsea have two top attacking midfielders (Chelsea have more than two), and you can see the quality of attacking midfielders in the Premier League when guys like Kagawa (play da man!), Eriksen, Oscar and Coutinho can’t get on the list.



  1. Robin van Persie     (Man Utd)
  2. Sergio Aguero     (Man City)
  3. Luis Suarez     (Liverpool)
  4. Wayne Rooney     (Man Utd)
  5. Christian Benteke     (Villa)

RVP is by far the class of the strikers in the Premier League, the next three are also quality strikers and Benteke is one of the brightest young talents in world football (where are all these Belgian’s coming from!).



Overall there were 11 Man Utd players, 6 Man City players, 8 Chelsea players, 4 Arsenal players, 5 Spurs players, 4 Liverpool players, 3 Everton players, 3 Southampton players, 2 Swansea players, 1 Newcastle player, 1 Villa player, 1 Stoke player & 1 Norwich player.

Based on those figures you wouldn’t be discarded for thinking that Man Utd has by far the best squad in the Premier League, however it is probably because Utd are stacked at certain positions (multiple players in top 5) and also because of the lack of quality wide men in the league (allowing Young and Valencia to push up numbers, despite not being that great).  The other numbers aren’t overly shockingly high or low for what you would expect from each team (maybe City could’ve been higher but that’s about it).

One of the things that became blatantly clear to me whilst picking the top 5 players at each position was the distinct lack of good wide players in the Premier League.  It is odd because if you were to describe the style of play of English football, you would talk about high paced counter attacking wide play, yet it seems like the Premier League has moved into a more attacking midfielder based league, surely concerning for an England national side that has lost its identity and doesn’t know what way to turn.

There were only 10 English players in the entire list (three of whom were left backs, and one of whom is retired).  In comparison there were 7 Spaniard’s, 5 French, 6 Belgian’s & 4 Brazilian’s, if you consider further that these nationalities have players playing all across Europe it becomes even more stark for England who’s players only play in England.  There is clearly a lack of quality English players playing at the current moment, and only two made it to the top of their positional rankings (ironically neither starts for the international team…..go figure).


Premier League Best 11

GK-  David De Gea

RB-  Rafael

LB-  Leighton Baines

CB-  Vincent Kompany

CB-  Nemanja Vidic

RM-  Jesus Navas

LM-  Andre Schurlle

CDM-  Yaya Toure

CM-  Michael Carrick

CAM-  Juan Mata

ST-  Robin van Persie

If you’re counting that’s 5 Utd players, 3 City players, 2 Chelsea players & 1 Everton player.  Maybe you disagree with the team (I imagine many will) but if I were to pick my perfect Premier League starting 11 this would be it.

For fun here’s a bench:

Subs-  Asmir Begovic, Branislav Ivanovic, Theo Walcott, Marouane Fellaini, Paulinho, David Silva & Sergio Aguero.


So there you have it the Premier League Positional Top 5, what did you think?  Did you love it and couldn’t have written a better list yourself?  Or more likely did you hate it and will send me hate comments about how I hate every single team in the league and how dare I leave John Terry out?  Either way leave a comment and send your love!  Also like bm23reviews on Facebook and follow bm23reviews on Twitter.

Is Sebastian Vettel Bad for Formula 1?


The picture that so many Formula 1 fans have become accustomed to seeing through the years happened again this weekend at Monza; Sebastian Vettel from pole position lead the entire race (excluding a few laps where Fernando Alonso was out of synch with pit stops) and never looked like losing in any way at all.  It is becoming a pattern that most fans will recognise, and many fans will despise.  Vettel going from pole to the top step of the podium is not a new pattern for Sebastian Vettel; Monza was the 22nd occurrence of this happening in his fairly short career.  However there is a new pattern emerging for Sebastian Vettel (especially in Europe), one where he finds himself on the podium and is royally booed by the attending crowd, much to his own dismay.

Why are so many people starting to turn against Vettel?  You could comment that he was booed at Monza because he beat Alonso in the Ferrari, however why then was he booed at Spa, Silverstone, Canada and Australia?  The booing of Sebastian Vettel is one of those things that cannot be ignored or dismissed with a simple explanation like this; there are greater issues at the heart of the Sebastian Vettel hate that is going around Formula 1 at the current moment.

First off let me say that Sebastian Vettel is one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers ever (three world championships, with a fourth pending), and I know that a lot of people will vehemently disagree with this but at the age of 26, Vettel is already the (tied) fourth highest most winning Formula 1 driver ever.  I do think these numbers should be taken into context, because Vettel has spent the majority of his career (the past five seasons) in a car that is the best on the grid, obviously there are more races now than there was in the 60’s, reliability it at an all-time high and the chances of fatality are at an all-time low, essentially Vettel is driving in a time that allows him to set these incredible feats.  However the best comparison to Vettel is Lewis Hamilton, because both started around the same time and both have mainly raced in a top car (Hamilton with a couple seasons in a top car more than Vettel), and Vettel has ten more wins.  People say that Vettel can only win from the front and can’t overtake, although this is clearly not true because Vettel has won ten races after not being on pole, and at Toro Rosso (as well as at Red Bull) he showed he is excellent at overtaking.  Is Vettel brilliant at taking the lead and holding onto it for an entire race?  Yes, he is clearly the best at it on the grid but that doesn’t mean the man can’t overtake, because he can.

The easiest comparison that somebody could create for Sebastian Vettel is Michael Schumacher.  Not only are they both German, they both upset Formula 1 fans, they are both perennial winners and they both drove in the best cars on the grid.  In many ways the comparison seems lazy, but Vettel will openly tell you that he emulates Schumacher and that he is his hero.  When Vettel wins he jumps onto the top step ala Schumacher, Vettel has had some (let’s say) questionable incidents ala Schumacher and Vettel dominates his opposition ala Schumacher.  There are serious comparisons between the two, almost to the extent that Vettel is the second coming of Schumacher.

Sport is about competition, it is about unpredictability and it is about excitement.  When one person dominates a sport, it makes it less entertaining and people are more likely to tune out than in.  Would people watch the Premier League if a team won every single game they played?  No, they wouldn’t.  I’m not saying that Vettel wins every single race, but only once this season (British GP, retirement) has Vettel finished outside of fourth, and only once has he qualified lower than third (9th at Chinese GP); hardly exciting nail biting stuff.  It is to Vettel’s credit that he is very consistent but people want to watch the front runners battle it out for first, not the middle pack battling it out for tenth, and when Vettel leads this doesn’t happen.  Monza was a great example of how boring Formula 1 can be, at no point did it look like Vettel wouldn’t win, and the battles for positions up to sixth were a total non-event.  Formula 1 has been a bit like this in all of Vettel’s championship winning seasons (2011 being by far the worst) and 2013 feels like just another version of this in the Sebastian Vettel book of winning world championships.  So is it the way the Vettel consistently wins that makes people boo him?  I honestly don’t think it helps him, but I don’t think it is the root of the problem.  It is frustrating though to sit down and watch a sport only for the same result to happen at the end of the season, it isn’t Vettel’s fault (because why shouldn’t he try and win every year) but for the viewer it is not what you want to see.

I don’t think that his perceived boring driving style or his domination of the sport over the past four years help Sebastian Vettel in people’s minds, but I also don’t think that they are enough for people to boo him.  In my opinion the reason Vettel jumps from disliked to booed is his treatment of the drivers around him and his general arrogance.  There is no doubt that Vettel thinks that he is the best driver on the grid (which is highly questionable) and I am sure that this rubs a lot of people up the wrong way.  When Vettel throws up his one finger salute, you can almost hear the entire Formula 1 audience cringe.  Even the drivers have made derogatory comments about the Vettel salute (in particular Jenson Button).

It is however Vettel’s disregard for his fellow drivers that makes people hate Sebastian Vettel.  There are two examples that best exemplify this to me, and they both include Vettel’s fellow Red Bull teammate Mark Webber (the man who has been most at the brunt of Vettel’s selfishness).  The first example of this was in Turkey in 2010 when both Webber and Vettel were battling for the World Championship.  Webber was just in front of Vettel (and a number of others) in a tight race, where the team told both drivers to not do anything stupid.  Vettel obliged by attempting to overtake Webber, getting half his car in front before inexplicably turning into Webber’s car and causing the two of them to crash (forcing Vettel to retire).  Not only did it cost Webber the race (finished 3rd) but it was more Vettel’s reaction after the race where he thoroughly blamed Webber for an incident that was clearly his fault.  However the greatest moment of them all, the moment where it became apparent that Sebastian Vettel was a total dick and only cared about number one (also the very moment that I myself began to dislike him) was this year (2013) in Malaysia.  With Webber in first after a nice race and Vettel sitting in second, Red Bull told both drivers to turn their engines down and stay in formation.  Webber obliged because he is a good team man, whereas Vettel decided that he was above the team orders and with total disregard for his teammate forcefully passed him despite being told over the radio that he had to stop doing what he was doing.  It is made even worse when you consider that Mercedes forced Nico Rosberg to sit behind Lewis Hamilton despite being faster, for the entire race, showing not all Germans don’t listen to team commands.  Surely after the race Red Bull would punish Vettel, however not unsurprisingly nothing happened.  It is at this very moment that I think the Formula 1 universe turned against Sebastian Vettel, and it is the reason that so many people are now booing him.

For all the people that say that Vettel is the superior driver to Webber, don’t forget that Vettel gets all the upgrades before Webber, he gets the preferential treatment from the team and he gets preferential treatment in regards to race day tactics.  I’m not saying that Vettel isn’t the better driver, because he is but the gap isn’t as big as the point’s differential would show because of the reasons above.  If you watched the pre-podium footage at Monza you can clearly see how strained (being nice) the relationship between Webber and Vettel is.  Webber deliberately stood with his back towards Vettel, excluding him from the conversation he was having with Alonso.  This is Mark Webber, one of the nicest guys in Formula 1, yet Vettel has pushed him so far that he is blatantly excluding him from a conversation.

Monza was just the first of many, and you have to wonder how he is going to be received outside of Europe where it is more likely he will receive generous welcomes.  However the question of the post was is Sebastian Vettel bad for Formula 1?  I have to say yes, because of his arrogance, his unsportsmanlike conduct and his domination for the sport.  The first two are just part of his personality and will likely never change, and in many ways sport is at its best when there is someone that you can root against.  It is however his (and Red Bull’s) dominance that is ruining Formula 1.  It isn’t fun tuning in to watch the same man win a race or win a championship every time, for a sport to be great it needs parity, and currently Formula 1 doesn’t have parity.  Things don’t look like they are getting better either with Mark Webber retiring (most likely because of how he has been treated throughout by Red Bull in regards to Vettel) and is being replaced by the fairly inexperienced Daniel Ricciardo (who will very much play second fiddle to Vettel).  Teams likes Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes are going to have to step it up because it seems just now that Red Bull are well ahead of each team when it comes to developing a car that can win a championship.  I am certain that Vettel will win his fourth Formula 1 World Championship this season, but for the good of Formula win he can’t win a fifth one in 2014.


What do you think of Sebastian Vettel?  Do you disagree that he is bad for Formula 1?  How do you think the rest of the season will go, and do you think someone could catch him?  Let me know and leave a comment.  Also you can like BM23reviews Facebook page or follow BM23reviews on Twitter by clicking on the links.  Thanks for reading.

Thoughts on Scotland vs Belgium.


I wouldn’t usually write about an individual game and especially about one that quite frankly was meaningless to Scotland (other than pride we always have our pride).  However I was at the game and thought that I would share my thoughts on how the game went and the experience in general.

  • Useless SFA
    • I had no intentions on going to this game because I was working, however I got the night off and thought it would be nice to go and see the resurgent Scotland take on a glamorous Belgian side, so I only bought my ticket on Thursday and had to collect it at the stadium.  Now anyone who did the same as I did (which based on the queue was many) will know what a disgrace this was.  I showed up at 7.15 p.m. (45 minutes prior to kick-off) naturally thinking that how long can it take to pick up a ticket?  However I soon found out that apparently it takes forever.  It is bad enough having to stand in a line that runs for about 500 yards (and that’s when I joined it, and there were many behind me) but then imagine standing in it for 1 hour and 10 minutes as it rains the entire time, not what I’d call an enjoyable experience.  Now the arithmetic savvy of you will have also noticed that I showed up 45 minutes before kick-off, yet was in the line for 1h 10 minutes, so yes I missed the first 25 minutes of the game, not really ideal after you have paid £35 for a ticket.  It’s frustrating in so many ways because one of the best parts of going to a home international match is the pre-match atmosphere and anthems, because it doesn’t matter how you play afterwards it is still enjoyable, naturally I got to hear Flower of Scotland from outside the stadium, not quite the same experience.  So finally I get up to the portacabin (along with a number of angry and frustrated fans) to see that there were more people outside directing the line of spectator than there was in the actual portacabin giving out tickets.  Now I have sympathies for those in the portacabin because it isn’t their fault, but the SFA must have known how many people would be collecting tickets, yet they still managed to allow around 5000+ people miss the start of the game (to the extent I would wonder if those at the very back of the line would have seen the first half at all).  So I am sure you can imagine my general displeasure after finally receiving my ticket and hurdling some horse shit as I rushed to my gate cold, wet and late, despite leaving plenty of time.  Disgraceful from the SFA, showing a total lack of respect to their loyal fans.
    • As a side note, some wee fanny jumped the line by offering some guys a few places in front of me a fiver (they rejected the money but let him skip anyway, idiots).  So again you are annoyed by this and then you hear this absolute dick’s amazing story about how he battled the police after he was caught pissing in the street and handed a £30 on the spot fine.  He was an intelligent man and said ‘bit whit if a doan’t pay it the noo?’, the police told him it was a £60 fine, but this intelligent man of the Glasgow area then said ‘bit whit if a doan’t pay that, whit ya gonna dae?’ and the police told him we’ll put you in jail (which I’m sure he’s used to).  In the end our brave hero decided that paying the £30 fine was in his best interests, but sadly not in the best interests of the people of Scotland.  It turns out that the very intelligent young man hadn’t actually bought a ticket yet and was in the wrong line……so he and his equally dim-witted friend shuffled off to the correct line that had nobody at it at all.  You can only wonder how long he had stood in the line before he figured this out, I imagine pretty long.  The future of Scotland looking bright once again….
  • The match
    • I thought we played pretty well, but not great (similar to against England).  Belgium is clearly a better side than us and after they went up 1-0 they very much controlled the game and we never looked like getting back into it.
    • The first half (or what I saw of it) was better than the second half, where both teams seemed to be rather lethargic at times.
    • I thought that Marshall, Brown, Mulgrew and Anya (when he came on) were the bright sparks for Scotland.  Whereas Maloney, Griffiths, Snodgrass, Whittaker, Hanley and Forrest were all very poor.
    • For Belgium I thought defensively they were solid, Fellaini and Witsel dominated the midfield and Mirallas was almost unplayable once he came on.  Was very disappointed with Benteke and de Bruyne’s performances.
    • 2-0 was a fair result (Belgium never looked under pressure and were always in control), although 1-0 would probably have been a bit fairer after a gutsy performance from Scotland.
  • Frustrations
    • We managed to get good width throughout the game, yet were never able to put in a good ball because there was nobody in the middle to play it to.  Griffiths cannot play as the lone striker in this system, and we showed how much we missed Steven Fletcher tonight.
    • How many times did Scotland players get into positions to cross first time yet cut back or took a touch too many?  Too often.  The same could be said about the play in the middle of the pitch, where we were often taking to many touches rather than just having a pop from outside the box.
    • Someone needs to tell the fullbacks that they shouldn’t be diving into tackles and missing; I don’t know how many times Chadli and de Bruyne got past Whittaker and Hutton, and when Mirallas came on he gutted Whittaker at least three times.  Hanley also needs to stop diving in and missing tackles, very much at fault for their second goal.
  • Lack of goals
    • It is really concerning that of the players that are still eligible for Scotland; Darren Fletcher is the top scorer with 5 goals.  Fletcher is long term injured and who knows if he will ever play again (hopefully he will).  In that case our highest scorer is Jordan Rhodes and James Morrison, both of whom have 3 goals apiece.  3 goals, is not good for your top scorer in your squad.  This game was a good example of Scotland’s blatant lack of goals throughout the squad, and it is a major concern going forward.
  • Scotland’s progress
    • It is incredible the difference between Scotland under Strachan and Scotland under Levein.  We have just had three matches in a row where we have beaten Croatia away, just been beaten by England away and then beaten in a good contest against in my opinion the third best team in Europe.  The squad seems to have a lot of confidence which I would attribute to Strachan, and are now beginning to put in very respectable performances against top teams.  We are heading in the right direction, and the future under Strachan is looking really bright.
  • Tartan Army
    • A really good attendance considering that this was essentially a meaningless fixture for Scotland, good to see the people are still showing up and supporting the team.
  • Belgian Support
    • The Belgian support was raucous throughout the match and really seems to be enjoying this golden era of Belgian football (rightly so).
    • There were also a large number of Belgian fans in the Scotland end, to the extent that at times I was wondering if I was in the right section.
    • Apparently there were 7000 fans that made the trip from Belgium, but it felt like more.
    • Excellent away crowd that really added to the atmosphere of the match.
  • Fanny’s in the crowd
    • Why do people think it is funny to shout stupid things out during a football match?  It isn’t funny, it is just really annoying.  You know when you can hear his mates telling him to shut up, that he is a total fud.


Overall I enjoyed my night; I got soaked before the game and missed the start, enjoyed the game despite the result because I thought Scotland put in a respectable performance and then got soaked again after the game, typical Scotland.  I think the future looks bright for Euro 2016, but we still need the wins to get a better seeding and the first step towards that is a win against Macedonia on Tuesday, here’s hoping.

As far as Belgium are concerned, I think they have a bright future ahead of them and could have a real outside chance of winning the World Cup in Brazil.  I think they are the third best team in Europe just now (behind Germany and Spain), which is a real achievement for a country of Belgium’s size and should be something the Scotland should be trying to emulate for the future.  You know you have a good squad when your subs are a starter at Spurs, a starter at Everton and a starter at Hannover.  You also know that you have a good squad when you lose arguably your two best players (Kompany and Hazard, plus Vermaelen) and you barely miss a beat.  The only thing holding Belgium back is inexperience, and personally I’d love to see them lift the World Cup, although I doubt it will happen.


Leave a comment on what you thought of the game and whether you think that Scotland are on an upward swing that will finally see us qualify for our first tournament since France 1998.  Thanks for reading.

The NFL Season Preview


ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!?!?!?  Yes it is finally here, no longer do we need to sit and wonder about training camp battles, who our team is going to draft or wonder what the point of pre-season is, no business is about to start and it’s about to get nasty.

2012 was the season of the inexperienced young quarterback, as names like Wilson, Kaepernick and Griffin took the league by storm on their way to the playoffs.  However in the end it was won by team of old duffers called the Baltimore Ravens, go figure.

Anyway, because of the way the NFL operates nothing really stands still, and the rosters that battled it out over last season are not recognisable to what we seen last year.  With trades, the draft and good ol’ free agency every team will line up with new stars that are looking to make a positive impact on this year’s NFL.  So let’s get it going.


AFC East

New England Patriots

The Patriots had a bad off-season when their once enviable tight end duo was split up for differing reasons.  Firstly Aaron Hernandez was jailed (yet to be convicted although highly likely) on murder charges, and then possibly the best tight end in the league Rob Gronkowski cannot stay fit (four on his left forearm, among others) and you have to wonder if he will ever become the dominant force he once was (which is the Patriots fault for rushing him back too often when he wasn’t fully fit, short term thinking that will hurt the player and the team in the long term).

Honestly if it weren’t for the fact that I know better, I would be predicting that the Pats are going to have a bad season, they have an average (at best) defence, no players to catch passes (lost Welker) and have questions over their offensive live.  However they do have some pretty boy called Tom Brady and some ugly guy called Bill Belichick, who are both pretty damn good.  It also helps the Pats that they just happen to play in the weakest division in football.  Pretty much the Pats will once again win the AFC East, unless something unseen happens like Brady out for the season in week 1, although it is very unlikely (Brady don’t take no hits!)

Record prediction:  11-5 —–playoffs


Miami Dolphins

I think the Dolphins may be one of the most over rated teams in the NFL, because not only is Tannehill a sophomore QB that has shown glimpses but nothing truly special, but they also don’t have any skill position players.  Who is going to catch the ball?  Who is going to run the ball?  Exactly nobody, Mike Wallace has major questions over whether he is actually a good receiver or was just in a perfect fit system, behind him is absolutely no one (Hartline? Seriously?).  They signed Keller from the Jets, who could have been a really nice pick-up and flourished under the system, but he is out for the season and the Dolphins don’t have any other tight ends to speak of.  The running back situation is even worse with no established name on the roster at all, to the extent that of the four RB’s none of them has rushed for 1000 yards in their career never mind in a season.  So nobody to run the ball, and nobody to catch the ball, with an inexperienced QB….sounds like a long season.

‘Yea but their defence is gnarly!’  Is it?  Look at the roster and it really isn’t.  They have a very strong D-line and the addition of Ellerbe to the linebacking core is a nice pick up, but they have a paper thin defensive backfield.  When your best D-back is Brent Grimes (who can’t stay fit for a full season) you have to start worrying about whether you are realistically going to be able to defend the pass.  This is a team that will play Tom Brady twice this season, and I imagine in both games they will be ripped for big numbers.  If you also look at their schedule it is pretty rough as well, I think they are really going to struggle this year.

Record prediction:  5-11


New York Jets

The Jets have a lot of young potential talent on their books; the problem is more that they don’t have many players who are currently playing at their peak.  After last years (and the one before) debacle, the Jets have stripped out a lot of their old players and have decided that youth is the future (who knew).

When you look at the Jets you know they are going to have a good defence; Rex Ryan is a defensive genius and will make even an average roster better with his scheming.  Now Ryan is taking over the defensive play-calling for the first time in two years, so expect the Jets defence to improve dramatically.  The Jets are going to have one of the best and youngest D-Lines in the league and also possess one of the best cornerback corps in the league.  The biggest issue for the Jets defensively is that they lack competent safety starters, with only Dawan Landry having previous extensive starting experience.  The linebacking corps also aren’t the best and once the surface is scratched there isn’t much behind.  However I imagine that Ryan will be able to scheme out of this dilemma because he is an excellent defensive coach.

The Jets have major problems with their offence; they have two new starters in their offensive line (both at guard); there is no established running back (nobody with a 1000 yard season), questions at tight end (can Winslow stay fit?  Is Cumberland good enough?), without Santonio Homes (who has his own questions) the Jets have a very inexperienced WR corps and there is something I’m missing…..oh yeah have you seen their quarterbacks?   Geno Smith is not ready to start, but is being forced into because of the injury to Mark Sanchez, and the team will go as Geno goes.  The Jets have a fairly easy schedule and if they resonate the Colts of 2012, then they have a chance of playoffs (highly unlikely) but it’s more likely they will follow in the footsteps of the Jaguars (in any season, pick your favourite).

Record prediction: 6-10


Buffalo Bills

The Bills are worse than both the Jets and the Dolphins; quite frankly they suck and are going to have a bad season.  They are going to have an even worse season because EJ Manuel is starting and he isn’t anywhere near NFL ready, it is going to be worse than a train wreck, mixed with a car wreck which hit a puppy sanctuary; essentially it is going to be pretty bad.

Record prediction: 3-13


AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

I know I’m going to upset a lot of Ravens fans by writing this but you aren’t making the playoffs this season.  It seems odd because after all they just won the Super Bowl, but that team was at its maximum and can’t go much further than it did there; if you then add to that the fact that the Ravens have lost a number of key players from that team (Ellerbe, Lewis, and Boldin) it isn’t looking good.

Joe Flacco is possibly the most over rated QB in the league, he is paid like he is elite and is talked about like he is elite, but in no way is this man elite.  Yes he played well in the playoffs and yes the Ravens needed to resign him but he got paid way too much all because there is a lack of quality QB’s in the league and Flacco’s agent had them by the scrotum.  When you waste so much money on an average player, the whole team suffers and this is what has happened to the Ravens.

Record prediction: 7-9


Cincinnati Bengals

I really like the Bengals and think they could be outsiders for the Super Bowl, but I do mean outsiders.  I like what I see in Andy Dalton, it also helps that he is throwing the ball to AJ Green (my pick for top receiving yards) but also when you have a really strong tight end corps.  I think we will see the Bengals put up some big scores as they get pass happy and will be an exciting team to watch this year.

If having a good defence wasn’t enough to wet you appetite, then how about an under rated defence?  Well the Bengals have one of those with an excellent D-line and in my opinion the best D-backs in the league.  There are depth issues at linebacker but their starters are very solid and there isn’t a team in the league that doesn’t have any depth issues at every position.

Record prediction: 11-5———playoffs


Pittsburgh Steelers

Much like the Ravens, I think the Steelers are going to have a tough year.  Obviously Big Ben will always give them a chance to win, but who is going to catch the ball?  The receiving corps are paper thin (Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown are your 1-2, not a good sign) and the tight ends are lacking a quality pass catcher (Miller is past his best).  It doesn’t look good at RB either and the Steelers will be hoping that one of their RB by committee will step up and take the reins.  It isn’t helped further by an O-line that has some talent (Pouncey, De Castro) but has a lot of holes that are worrying.

Defensively it is a bad sign for the Steelers as well, with very few of the players being reliable.  On paper the Steelers have a good group of players on defence, but in reality this is an old group that is beginning to creak and crack.  Too many of the Steelers stars on D are past their best (Polamalu, Woodley, Foote, Timmons, Clark, Gay, Taylor) and a slow defence is a bad defence.  A young fast team could rip this group to shreds, and really they are going to need a defensive masterpiece (which Dick LeBeau is more than capable of) to not have a bad season.  One thing the Steelers have got going for them is a softish schedule and this is an experienced group, so could play above the quality of their roster.

Record prediction: 9-7——playoffs


Cleveland Browns

I can hardly remember the last time the Browns were actually good (Derek Anderson/Kellen Winslow/Braylon Edwards year, so very long ago), and this year is going to be no different.  The Browns just suck, simple as that.  They have a good linebacking corps and Trent Richardson may show flashes of why he was drafted so highly but beyond that it is another bad season for the Browns.

Record prediction: 2-14


AFC South

Houston Texans

The Texans have become one of those teams that make the playoffs every year and are expected to do so every year as well.  I think the Texans are a good team, and have a number of star players like Watt, Foster, Johnson and Cushing (to name a few), but the Texans do have an aging roster, and with aging rosters come a greater chance of injuries.  The age of the roster is my biggest concern about the Texans, because I don’t have a doubt they will make the playoffs but I think when it comes to the business end of the season I think that they will be too gassed to really make a major impact.

Record prediction: 11-5——-playoffs


Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are a young team which surprised many (myself included) when they made the playoffs last year with such an inexperienced starting unit.  When you break the Colts offence down into individual talent, there isn’t really that much there; it is a group of has beens and never weres.  The one exception in this list is Andrew Luck, and to be honest the Colts will go as he goes; if he builds on his excellent rookie season then this is a play-off team, if he has the dreaded sophomore slump then a losing record could be on the cards.  There isn’t that much of a running game and the receivers aren’t that much better either; although last season despite the lack of an outstanding running game the Colts still played very well.  The biggest question for the Colts offence is whether Reggie Wayne will be able to replicate last season’s form (after looking done the year prior) and whether the team will be able to get the most out of their young receivers (especially Heyward-Bey).

The defence is another greater than the sum of its parts and really has no star player on the list (players like Mathis are well past their best).  You don’t look at the Colts defence and say ‘whoa watch out for this guy’; it isn’t really built in that manner.  However when you are in a tight game, sometimes you need that star player that will step up and make the big play that changes or wins the game, and I don’t think the Colts have that.

Record prediction: 9-7——-playoffs


Tennessee Titans

The Titans are a weird team, when you look at their talent positionally; they are actually quite a talented group of players.  They have an excellent O-line (Roos, Stewart, Levitre, and Warmack), they have experienced and proven depth in the backfield (Greene, Chris Johnson) and their receiving corps isn’t too shabby either (Walker [TE], Britt, Washington).  There is one major problem, and something that the Titans are seriously missing on offence, and no it isn’t that CJ2K hasn’t been the same since his 2000 yard season (which is very true) but rather their QB situation is a total mess.  When your options at QB are Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick (the same guy that wasn’t good enough for the Bills, THE BILLS!), you know you are going to struggle to throw the ball.  You can have all the talent in the world, but if you can’t get them the ball then it is a waste of time (look at Larry Fitzgerald), that is how I see the Titans offence, a good offence on paper with a bad QB, and in the NFL that gets you nowhere.

Record prediction: 4-12


Jacksonville Jaguars

The worst team in the league by quite a distance, the Jaguars know that they are in a rebuilding mode after being taken over recently by Shahid Khan.  The Jags are a total mess; they don’t have a QB and the defence is average at best.  They do have bright sparks in MJD (but who knows if his body or mind will be in the right place this season), Cecil Shorts (concussion problems), Mercedes Lewis and a good O-line, but if nobody can get the ball to the skill players then it doesn’t matter.  The Jags are heading for the first pick in the draft, and more worryingly could be heading for a 0-16 season.  It will be interesting to see how long it is until the Jags begin plans to move to London (which I assume will happen eventually), the owner Shahid Khan buying Fulham FC (a London team) sent out further signs that he may have serious interest in creating the first Atlantic based NFL team.  Let’s be honest Jacksonville shouldn’t have a team in the first place, when cities like LA don’t have one.

Record prediction: 1-15


AFC West

Denver Broncos

It is pretty simple when it comes to the Denver Broncos; they have a high scoring offence and a low conceding defence, so not too shabby then.  If there is one concern about the Broncos, it would be the health of Peyton Manning.  Even the most adamant of Peyton fans surely would agree that towards the end of the season and in the playoffs Peyton had lost some zip off of his passes and definitely had tired from what he saw from the start of the season.  It is harsh because Peyton had just come off of major surgeries on his neck and hadn’t played competitive football in almost two years.  This can only be two things; he was a little rusty and lacked game fitness which if this is the case he should be better this season, or he is getting old and is no longer the Peyton Manning of a few years ago which would be seriously concerning for the Broncos if they have the goal of winning the Super Bowl (and why wouldn’t they?)  The Broncos will be in the playoffs because they have a weak division and they are a good team but one has to question if they can be a force in the playoffs.  Currently there are still question marks.

Record prediction: 14-2——playoffs


San Diego Chargers

The Chargers just aren’t that great a team anymore and never seem to have recovered from losing LT (which is odd because he was past his best).  When you look at the roster no name jumps out at you as being elite; Rivers was once elite but has slowed down dramatically in recent years and has become a major turnover machine.  Maybe it is unfair on Rivers because the players around him aren’t really helping his cause and he is clearly carrying the team on his shoulders and trying to drag them up the rankings.  San Diego is a team in transition, and this season they should be looking to build for future seasons.

Record prediction: 7-9


Oakland Raiders

It is hard to talk about the Raiders because they are so unpredictable in terms of either how awful they are or how ok they are.  The one thing that the Raiders don’t really do is make the playoffs, and that about them is consistent.  You know you don’t have a talented side when your best player is a kicker (which isn’t meant as a slight at Janikowski).  Realistically the Raiders aren’t going to do anything; they don’t have any skill players outside of Darren McFadden, who seems to be made out of glass.  Another tough season for Raiders fan I’m afraid.

Record prediction: 3-13


Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have a very talented roster and their best addition this off-season Alex Smith because the Chiefs have for too long been held back by terrible QB play.  The roster was better than 2-14 last year, and they have brought in Andy Reid to try and correct this, the Chiefs could be an outside chance of making the playoffs.  The major issue for me about the Chiefs is that this team was way too good to be 2-14 last season, yet they were 2-14 last season.  I know that they have a new coach, QB and more star players but I can help but think that when you put so many egos together, the outcome isn’t always positive.  This season will be a real test and show whether or not Alex Smith actually has the ability to be a franchise quarterback, it’s put up or shut up time.

Record prediction: 8-8


NFC East

Washington Redskins

With RG III, anything is possible for the Redskins.  Not the greatest roster in the league, but with one very special player, and with that one very special player the Redskins will win or lose.  It does sound harsh to call the Redskins a one man team, because they are better than that, with Alfred Morris and a very strong linebacker corps.  However it is hard to not think that if RG III does struggle with his knee issues (which he is not over yet and will play this season wearing a knee brace, which will hamper his mobility and therefore his game) then the Redskins as a team will struggle as well.  There is no doubt that RG III can run and throw the ball to a high level, the question is if his ability to run is lowered will that affect his ability to throw because defences will know he is less likely to scramble?  It will be interesting to find out and see how RG III is able to mature into a more passing QB than he was last season.

Record prediction: 10-6


New York Giants

The Giants have this weird tendency to bounce in and out of the playoffs despite having a solid roster almost every year.  When you have Eli Manning under centre you are always going to have a chance of winning.  On top of Eli the Giants have good young players at the skill positions that will keep defences up at night (Wilson, Cruz), and as always one of the best D-lines in the league.  A major area of concern for the Giants must be the lack of depth and quality at the linebacker positions (an issue for a number of years), which in a league that is moving more towards passing miss-matching tight ends is not ideal at all.

Record prediction: 10-6——playoffs


Dallas Cowboys

It is tough for the Cowboys, not only do they play in what is consistently a very competitive division but they are also their own worst enemies.  Dallas always have a talented side but too often they find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.  The talent is there, the mind-set is not.  Jason Garrett has shown that he is not a strong head coach and isn’t willing to take those hard decisions when it really matters, which isn’t ideal when you are playing so many close games within your own division.  It also doesn’t help that your QB, Tony Romo is a notorious choker when it comes down to the nitty gritty.  It’s just how it is for the Cowboys, a talented roster that just hasn’t got the bottle to win the big one.

Record prediction: 8-8


Philadelphia Eagles

Possibly the most intriguing team this season in the NFL is the Philadelphia Eagles, thanks to the hiring of Chip Kelly from Oregon.  Kelly couldn’t have walked into a better team in the NFL to suit his high paced quick time offence than the Eagles, because the Eagles offence is already built totally towards speed.  Vick, Jackson and McCoy are all lightning fast and will flourish in the Chip Kelly system.  The biggest issue for the Eagles (like it is for many teams) is can they keep their QB Michael Vick fit?  In four seasons with the Eagles Vick hasn’t managed to paly sixteen games in a single season, so it is fair to assume that he is highly likely to miss some playing time at least.  The Eagles aren’t totally reliant on Vick but Barkley and Foles aren’t ready to step up and be a starting QB yet.

Record prediction: 10-6——playoffs


NFC North

Green Bay Packers

The Packers don’t have a running game, they have a leaky O-line and their defence isn’t that great at stopping teams moving the ball, sounds like they shouldn’t be a good team, yet they have a guy called Aaron Rodgers that makes them one of the best.  You know that the Packers are going to be there at the end of the season because their passing attack is too prolific and their defence creates turnovers for fun.  They play in a tough division (most teams in the NFC do) and the competition for the wildcards in the NFC are highly competitive, so the division games for the Packers are going to be vital.

Record prediction: 11-5——playoffs


Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are that weird occurrence of a team that doesn’t solely rely on their QB, but rather solely rely on their RB.  Adrian Peterson ran for over 2000 yards last season and dragged the Vikings almost single handedly into the playoffs against all the odds.  As great as AP is, I just can’t see him being able to repeat his feat of the previous season because it has never been done before and there must be a drop off of some kind in his production.  The Vikings have a lot of young talent (Kalil, Harrison Smith, Rudolph) and the experience of making it to the playoffs will have been a huge benefit to them, but like many teams the Vikings just don’t have a QB and sadly for them I think it will cost them dearly.

Record prediction: 6-10


Chicago Bears

The Bears have a great defence (they always seem to as well); they also have a franchise calibre QB who likes to throw the ball to his favourite target the elite WR Brandon Marshall.  It all sounds pretty good on paper, but there all also the questions about will the O-line protect Cutler?  Who is going to run the ball?  Who is going to take advantage of the Marshall double team and find themselves open?  In these questions lies the answer to how well the Bears’ season will go, could be playoffs could be nothing.

Record prediction: 9-7


Detroit Lions

The Lions are an interesting case because last year when Calvin Johnson was tearing the league up and breaking records, the team managed to go 4-12 (go figure).  There is no doubt that there is talent on the offensive side of the ball of the Lions, with Stafford, Johnson and the one two punch of Leshoure and Reggie Bush.  The Lions have a strong D-line but lack much else defensively; there are also questions of the ability of the O-line to protect Stafford from the oncoming rush.  The Lions fall victim to the fact that they play in a tough division and also that they play in the NFC, playoffs aren’t beyond this talent pool but their inconsistencies in previous seasons make me doubt them doing very much.

Record prediction: 7-9


NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have so many offensive weapons to utilise that it is hard to not see them making the playoffs.  The passing attack is one of the most deadly in the NFL, with Ryan being able to throw to quality receivers in Julio Jones and Roddy White as well as the legendary (and still elite) tight end Tony Gonzalez.  There isn’t an out and out clear favourite to take the running back role, but Steven Jackson could flourish in a pass happy team which will allow him to see more seven man fronts.  Defensively the Falcons have a nice front seven, but look a little bit thin at defensive back (not a great thing in a league built on passing).

Record prediction: 10-6


Carolina Panthers

It is pretty simple with the Panthers; it all depends on how Cam Newton has developed.  Newton was excellent in his rookie year, but wow did he have a huge drop off in his second year.  Clearly teams learned how to play against him, and he didn’t have the composure to deal with it.  If Newton has matured and has improved his throwing then the Panthers as a team will improve along with him, if he hasn’t then this team are back to the drawing board and is rebuilding once again.  Sadly for the Panthers, I think it is more likely to be the latter of the two.

Record prediction: 5-11


New Orleans Saints

Last season was a disaster for the Saints; after the bounty scandal led to the suspensions of a number of players and more seriously of head coach Sean Payton who missed the entire season.  The preseason for the Saints last season was less than ideal; in fact it was a disaster.  It didn’t matter how talented Brees is, the Saints were never going to have a good season last year, and 7-9 was quite an achievement.

As far as this season is concerned, it should be back to normalcy for the Saints and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a massive chip on their shoulder for the unfair treatment they feel they received.  I don’t actually think that the Saints have that great a team but what they do have is an impressive passing attack with Coulston, Lance Moore, the returning Meacham and Jimmy Graham.  They also have one of the best collections of RB’s in the league (Pierre Thomas, Sproles, and Ingram).  The problem is that they don’t have anything particularly impressive to talk about defensively; in fact their defence looks really weak.  I think because of their chip on their shoulder the Saints will play above their ability just to stick it to the rest of the NFL and will head onto the playoffs.

Record prediction: 11-5—–playoffs


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs have teased to take the next step to the playoffs since Josh Freeman (the forgotten man of the 2009 draft QB’s) was handed the starting role.  Each year it seems that the Bucs show enough potential to make you think that next year they could be contenders but then ultimately don’t follow through.  The Bucs added the nice pick up of Darelle Revis (the best corner in the league) for a cheap price, but there are questions about Revis’ fitness and ability to return to previous form after a serious ACL injury.  With Revis the Bucs have one of the best defensive backfields in the league, mixed with a solid D-line it could make the Bucs defence tough to play against.  On offence they have the electric Doug Martin as well as Vincent Jackson who once again showed what a weapon he is last season.  So will Josh Freeman finally step up and take the team by the reigns and finally lead them into the playoffs?  I doubt it, but there will be improvement on last year.

Record prediction: 9-7


NFC West

San Francisco 49ers

Quite simply the most stacked roster in the NFL and the best team in the NFL as well.  It doesn’t seem fair that one team should possess so much talent, but the 49ers do.  If the 49ers don’t make the playoffs I will eat my face (I won’t but I’m still pretty sure they will make the playoffs).  I don’t think I really need to explain why the 49ers are so good, just look at their roster where they have elite talent all over the place.  Very good chance of winning the Super Bowl this year after last year’s near miss.

Record prediction: 14-2——-playoffs


Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are in the unlucky position of being one of the best teams in football who just happen to find themselves in the same division as the best team in football, gutted.  The Seahawks have everything; a young talented QB who will be better this year with more experience (imagine that), they have Marshawn ‘the beast’ Lynch (not a nickname given lightly), a good WR corps, nice TE’s, a good O-line, a sack hungry D-line and the best defensive backfield in the league.  The only thing you could criticise the Seahawks is they don’t have the best linebackers but it is a small gripe.  If it weren’t for the 49ers being so good, we could be talking about the Seahawks being the best team in football.

Record prediction: 12-4—–playoffs


St. Louis Rams

Sam Bradford hasn’t really been able to fulfil the hype that he received before entering the league (not really his fault, the Rams suck).  It will be interesting to see how Bradford and the Rams utilise their new weapons in Jared Cook and Tavon Austin, both of whom could add an extra couple of dimensions to the offence.  I think in most other division the Rams would be a playoff calibre team, however they play in a division with two of the best teams in the league.  Essentially you expect them to lose four games to the Hawks and 49ers, so they need to win at least 10/12 games which is highly unlikely.  It’s a shame because the Rams have a good overall team and will be better than a lot of the teams that will make it to the playoffs (especially on the AFC side).

Record prediction: 8-8


Arizona Cardinals

The QB situation at the Cardinals last season was a total mess, this season they signed Carson Palmer who was to put it politely well past his best at Oakland last year, an improvement but not by much.  They don’t have a great O-line, or a great RB, they have good receivers but they don’t get them the ball enough (poor Fitzgerald, talent is being wasted); the Cardinals have a good front seven and a decent defensive backfield.  The problem overall is that the Cardinals are distinctly average and just happen to find themselves in what is the most talented division in football, not exactly ideal.

Record prediction: 4-12



Realistically I don’t think that it is likely that all of my predictions of records and who will make the playoffs will be totally correct, because there is usually a total shocker from a good team and an out of nowhere from a team that is perceived to be poor.  It also doesn’t help that when I counted up the win records I got 255-257, which is obviously a mistake, although I’m surprised it is as close as that because I just looked at the games I thought they would win on their schedule, so not too bad.

Anyway here are the teams I have making the playoffs and the seeding’s they have as well.


  1. Broncos
  2. Texans
  3. Patriots
  4. Bengals
  5. Colts
  6. Steelers


  1. 49ers
  2. Packers
  3. Saints
  4. Giants
  5. Seahawks
  6. Eagles


I’m not going to break it down much further than that because I get the feeling I would be wasting my time because so much will change during the regular season.  However at the moment I think the Super Bowl is setting up to be:


Bengals v Seahawks


I really like both teams and I think they are both set for big years.  If I were to pick a winner I’d go Bengals.  If I were to pick my second favourite it would naturally be the Broncos and the 49ers at the current moment because both teams are the best in their respective conference.


So leave me a comment about what you thought about the post, or what your predictions are for the upcoming NFL season.  I feel it is going to be a long one for myself (being a Jets fan), but I’m hoping they might surprise a few people and be this year’s Colts (doubtful but you can only hope).  Thanks for reading.