22 August 2008

NFL Preview & Predictions!

Today we're going to be looking at the NFL, with team-by-team predictions, and fast-fowarding to Superbowl match-up and winner.

I'll be back next week for a detailed preview of my favorite team: The Denver Broncos


Buffalo Bills

8-8; Show me something before I believe.

Miami Dolphins

6-10; A much improved club under Big Bill's leadership and solid QB play from Pennington

New England Patriots

13-3; I don't see New England coming 'back to the field' too much, although the age on defense can't escape AFC offenses this year. Even under the mad-genius' schemes. Great record is due impart to an unbelievably weak schedule.

New York Jets

8-8; I don't see much improvement with Brett Favre changing uniforms. It's an 8-8 league, and this team will be a decent 8-8. Winning a couple on Favre's arm, and losing a couple on him slinging it around carelessly like in the NFC Championship game...


Dallas Cowboys

11-5; A very solid 11-5, however I can see this team reading a bit too many of its' summer press-clippings in a very tough NFC East

New York Giants

7-9; This team is more ripe for a Superbowl hangover than any past champion I can remember. They've lost key personnel and I just don't see them getting it done in their own division, let alone the conference.

Philadelphia Eagles

11-5; Wildcard team, with excellent all around season. They will rebound. Great organization.

Washington Redskins

8-8; A decent team, with good pieces will also have really solid coaching. QB play is everything in this league, and I just don't see Jason Campbell getting it done.


Baltimore Ravens

4-12; I just don't see anything to write home about here. In fact, I would close the team offices and give everything back to the City of Cleveland.

Cincinnati Bengals

8-8; Same story, different year. Marv Lewis leaves at the end of the year. Bungals are back.

Cleveland Browns

8-8; Not buying all of the hype. Tough schedule, but benefit of having to travel the least number of miles in the NFL. I just don't think Anderson is the long term answer at QB. In this division, limiting turnovers and being able to run the ball is everything.

Pittsburgh Steelers

12-4; Which brings us to the team that will do that best. Look for a great year in Pittsburgh from QB, both tailbacks, and the defense.


Chicago Bears

3-13; Fresno St. will have better QB play this year. Disaster in waiting. I would burn my equipment, throw it in Lake Michigan and quit.

Detroit Lions

6-10; They're the Lions. What more needs to be said. The teams' logo should be "6&10". Gross.

Green Bay Packers

10-6; I feel Aaron Rogers gets it done in caretaker form at QB, and the depth of the roster comes through time & again this year.

Minnesota Vikings

11-5; Adrian Peterson scares me. Tavaris Jackson does not. Running the ball and stopping the run still works. This team will be very good.


Houston Texans

10-6; In the best division in football, a very well coached, great pass-rush and very solid run game with a caretaker at QB, this team would runaway with any NFC division besides the East. Thing is, they're in the AFC and the South. Brutal schedule. With 19 former Broncos in the organization, "Denver South" will miss the playoffs. Barely.

Indianapolis Colts

11-5; Slow start will be overcome by Peyton being Peyton once he's fully healthy.

Jacksonville Jaguars

11-5; Solid, solid football team. I don't think Garrard has ever thrown an interception. Even if he does this year, they're still winning 11 games.

Tennessee Titans

4-12; Vince Young will be out of a job by week 9. Total sham.


Atlanta Falcons

3-10; They would be 3-13, but they will probably quit like their coward coach Bobby Petrino did last year. Poor Matt Ryan.

Carolina Panthers

8-8; Average team that never plays average football. They play really good, and surprisingly bad.

New Orleans Saints

11-5; Good football team. Defense will be much improved with Ced Ellis. QB play will be amazing, and maybe, just maybe, Reggie Bush will average more than 3.8 yards per carry

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

9-7; Love Garcia, but last year was more of an aberration for this team.


Denver Broncos

11-5; Run defense will return to its' top-5 form that is has held for all of this century until last year's Jim Bates debacle. Look for a franchise year from Jay Cutler. (at least 30 TD's and 4,000 yards). No, Selvin Young will not have 2,000 yards, but the Broncos RB's will have more than 2,300 yards--which means they are a playoff team.

Kansas City Chiefs

8-8; Well coached. Good talent. It's an 8-8 league. Young team will play 8-8 ball.

Oakland Raiders

5-11; They're the Raiders. Napolean Kaufman...err, Darren McFadden will win them five games, Jamarcus the fat, will lose them 5 games. The other 6 will be lost by penalty and turnovers.

San Diego Chargers

13-3; The best team in the AFC. As much as it pains me to say it. Man, I wish Marty was still there to jack something up in the post-season. Maybe LT will pout or the jackass Phillip Rivers will start a bar fight in week 12.


Arizona Cardinals

10-6; Seriously, I do believe this will be the year that the good drafts and personnel finally come together under Whisenhunt. This team has the talent on both sides of the ball to get it done, and Leinart, though not my vote for most mature QB, will mature enough on the field to lead this team to the division title.

Cardinals update!

Well, that’s the NFL!

One week after Leinart seemed to have the QB position locked-up in Arizona, he goes out and vomits a 2.8 QB rtg,and loses his job.

Oh well, I’ve always liked Warner and feel he can lead them to the same record—he just doesn’t have the salary-cap, draft position, age and frailty working in his favor.

(Really says something about how bad Leinart had to play to lose that job)

St. Louis Rams

9-7; Never sure what to make of this team. Now that Stephen Jackson got paid, will he rush for 2,000 yards, or pull a hamstring in week 4.

San Francisco 49ers

6-10; Whoa, again, Fresno St will have better QB play this year.

Seattle Seahawks

8-8; I respect Holmgren, but this team missed its window. The Dallas Mavericks of the NFL, people still think they're better than they are, and they royally blew their one championship opportunity

The only thing that matters in this years' playoffs is that the Broncos will be back. They will lose their second game to San Diego and I will cry for 6 months.

So, I wont bore myself (or you the loyal reader) with week-by-week predictions or playoffs scenarios; I'll fast-forward to the end:

Chargers over Cowboys in Superbowl XLIII.

20 August 2008

Some more thoughts on the Church & men

Being that sanctification is God’s way of extracting from us, a more Christ-like heart, producing an evermore Christ-like life, I think we should expect it to look much different for us all as believers. If we agree on that, I think we can agree that masculinity and femininity, combined with personality and sanctification, will look different for people within the constructs of God’s genders.

I think people are right about Mark Driscoll communicating masculinity narrowly sometimes. I’ve never watched a UFC fight and don’t like fight scenes in movies, so some of his stuff is lost on me. But in general, I guess I just “get him”. I served in combat with all sorts of men around. I love my “band of brothers” and am by nature a very ‘fraternal’ type of guy. I also cry with my girls and my wife…so my masculinity might not look like everyone’s either.

However, I also think that the Church has defined or laid out an expectation of masculinity that is just as narrow as many would see more traditionalists to be. I feel there’s a large segment of the Church and Church academia, that has an expectation of its own values of masculinity. That men are to be only meek, that they are to be only forgiving and never fighting, that men are to be only turn the other cheek and not defend or pre-empt. I hope you get my heart when I say, I “get” what some of these men are preaching. I don’t feel the problems in the Church and our families and our culture is that men are too strong. I think many men are way too weak, passive, indecisive, non-confrontational and accepting…and hide under post-modern cloaks of tolerance and acceptance.

I understand why people have taken offense to some things that Mark Driscoll has said. I do. Some of the things were offensive!

I listen to him, Matt Chandler (our pastor at The Village Church), John Piper, Tim Keller, Tommy Nelson and others, having respect for them because they're a great Bible teachers & preachers. I love their faithfulness to the Word. But they're just men. I loved Ted Haggard for his preaching, teaching and what I perceived of his marriage to Gayle, for years as well. I mean, I love my Dad with all of the love that a son could ever muster, but I don’t idolize him either…far from it. I hold him in reverence and respect, as the loving father & earthly, male head of my life. But...he’s just another sinful, fallen man. When he’s done with his race, if I am given the grace of God to outlive him, or view it from Heaven, I hope that both my Dad and these pastors have run great, beautiful races. But until then, I understand that in even expecting godliness from a man admire, I may be let down as with Ted Haggard. But I digress...I want to talk more about The Church.

(This is not really to be a post on in some defense of Driscoll the preacher & teacher. But I feel his teaching is so faithful to scripture and the movement (Mars Hill, Acts 29, the Resurgence) is so important, I hate to see the Church get caught up in shooting its own. And my thoughts jump around here. Hope that makes sense.)

Frankly, for quite a while now I’ve been increasingly bothered by the “teams” that develop in Christianity, that you can almost depend on to hammer on one guy and love another. You’ve got the missional, emergent crowds, the staunch fundamental doctrine hounds, each with its heroes and leaders, you’ve got the various Seminaries and denominational affiliations…and painfully obvious allegiances within them. I certainly understand that some of that is doctrinally based. I take issue with certain parts of the Church and certain leaders because of it. But as we steward the Church into an amazing convergence of technology and information (see my friends' Rhett Smith's blog and Matt Singley's blog to stay current on this convergence!) But All of these constructs by the way, are institutions of man, or loosely codified ideas of man. "Teams" and allegiances...of man. We need to be careful not to be too ‘religious’ in our affiliations organizations and keep it all focused and preaching, teaching and living Jesus’ transformative power…through His love and grace.

It may be a little off-topic, but I don’t understand the offense to the Ted Haggard blog. And not to justify by implied association, but I’m not alone in that. I’ve talked to many men and women that say, “yeah, we see it in our Church with men AND women. Pastors and congregation.” He clearly wasn’t talking about Gayle. Clearly not talking about Gayle...I don't understand why the reach there. (Not to mention, Gayle couldn't fit the characterization any less; she's a beautiful woman) It was an observation and judgment about some pastors wives. (With a really bad choice of words, worse timing, and horrible choice of forum in my opinion!) I think many that share the point of view are reticent to share less they run afoul of the sensitivity police. Even in sharing this, I debated internally because I don’t want to appear to be the ‘insensitive jerk’ that’s subconsciously labeled as such and dismissed within Christian circles because I’m not offended…and I am willing to take the risk of sharing my views honestly.

(Although, hopefully the good grammar police among you would be offended by my run-on sentence. Whew...sorry!)

Just some thoughts folks, as God continues to turn my heart towards the study of His word, Church, teachers and the revival that I believe we're at the forefront of.