Merry sunday, readers. I hope you're enjoying your opening NFL weekend as much as I am mine.
On that same note, this seemed like a good time to set myself up for ridicule by announcing the results of my forays into the hazy realm of divination.
Disclaimer: These aren't your typical safe, predictable predictions . What I've done here is go against the grain and pick a possible darkhorse that few are looking at right now, but may draw attention down the line.
NFC MVP: Donovan McNabb. McNabb's ability has never been questioned. He's a top five quarterback if he stays healthy. If the Eagles' quarterback stays on the field long enough, I believe he can put out another season as good as 2004-and if that is the case, he'd be a definite nomination.
Honorable Mentions: Frank Gore, Matt Leinart, Steve Smith.
NFC Defensive Player of the Year: Demarcus Ware. The Phillips 3-4 will benefit many players, Ware most of all. The phenomenal pass rusher was held back too often in the leather-helmet Parcells scheme, and if Ware plays like another Phillips product*- minus the roids, of course- things could get ugly for opposing quarterbacks.
Honorable Mentions: Jevon Kearse, AJ Hawk, Julius Peppers.
AFC MVP: Jay Cutler. It's an enormous longshot, I know. But the one thing I can't get out of my head is the collective voice of draft scouts, who never once stopped lauding the abilities of the Vanderbilt junior. The possibility for a breakout year is definitely there.
Honorable Mentions: Phillip Rivers.
AFC Defensive Player of the Year: Asante Samuel. The franchise tag may not last forever. Samuel's playing for his payday- such motivation, when paired with his undeniable skill, could propell him into the Champ Bailey tier.
Honorable Mentions: Bob Sanders.
NFL Rookie of the Year: LaRon Landry. If the Ed Reed comparisons are accurate, the Redskins will have the most fearsome pair of safeties I've ever seen.
Honorable Mentions: Anthony Spencer, Greg Olsen.
Another order of business: You'll note the NFL power rankings on the sidebar to your right. I'll be updating these on a weekly basis.
*I'm not of the school of thought who believes that Ware is guranteed to be a Merriman, now that he's got Phillips' scheme. In my opinion, people make too much out of their similar draft positions. They're different players-both terrific, but very likely different. I'm simply stating that there's a possibility that Ware breaks out, given the opportunity to do so.
And on a final note... I don't think we'll see a very pretty game tonight. The Cowboys are banged up, the Giants are just bad. But ultimately I think the Cowboys will triumph... 24-20.