These NFL Previews Are Not Rated: NFC South.

One more to go after this one. I’m not linking to the previous this time — just follow the tags. I’m realizing well into this that maybe I should have just done these all with women, but I aim to be equal opportunity on the eye candy at times.

1. New Orleans Saints (Daniel Craig) – Came out with a bullet in the last Bond movie (although those of us who had watched Layer Cake knew that he was due to make it big time), and now everyone’s waiting to see if he can follow it up with whatever movie’s he’s got going with Nicole Kidman. The Saints were a pleasant surprise with a loaded offense that got them to the NFC Championship game, and now we’re all waiting to see if they can do it again, although the defensive secondary still doesn’t inspire a hell of a lot of confidence.

2. Carolina Panthers (Clive Owen) – Steady and reliable, the Panthers are almost always a pick to go deep into the playoffs, but either they don’t go far or don’t quite get there. Owen had that problem at times, but Closer and Children of Men have elevated his game. Now, the Panthers need to do the same, and they’re willing to make a change if it doesn’t happen quickly — David Carr is waiting in the wings if Jake Delhomme continues to suck, and Steve Smith is always a feared threat. I’ve always liked DeAngelo Williams, and think this is the year he takes over the job and makes a feature back out of himself. Any defense with Julius Peppers on it is dangerous, but last year, it had a tendency to cough up leads.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jason Statham) – Made big noise by reaching the top, but has kind of sunk back to the level they’ve started at. Too many quarterbacks on the roster, too much fucking around by Gruden. At least he has a starter right now in Jeff Garcia, but whether Carnell Williams can be Cadillac again is under question after last season. At least they’ve been adding pieces on defense with Cato June, but I don’t sense this is a playoff team as it’s currently constructed.

4. Atlanta Falcons (Jude Law) – Has this guy fallen off the planet? Seems like it, and that’s what may happen to the Atlanta Falcons without Michael Vick. The element of surprise in running for however-many-yards at a time is gone, and Joey Harrington, while I suspect he will be a bit more successful than everyone thinks, won’t be able to shake his old rep. Joe Horn won’t be able to improve that receiving corps on his own, and while Atlanta has had decent defenses, they’ll be on the field a lot this season.


One Response

  1. Here’s one division where the actors are actually more interesting to me than the football teams.

    1. The Daniel Craig / Nicole Kidman project is yet another Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake, where to judge from the trailers, Kidman gets to run around looking harried for two hours. She’s kinda been falling into that niche ever since The Others in 2001. It looks dreadful, but then I didn’t really enjoy the first remake, and Kidman hasn’t really overcome being in Batman Forever yet in my head.

    2. Everybody expecting good things from the Panthers has their heads stuck in 2001 or 2002. Frankly they only ever had one killer app on offense — throw the ball to Steve Smith — and DeShaun Foster is about average as a back, certainly no Stephen Davis, and that’s not enough to keep teams from doubling up on Stevonne and keeping him under wraps until Delhomme gets sacked. Their defense is a sad shadow of their glory days (I’m especially bitter because I had them as a fantasy defense the year they went from outstanding to average). Quite frankly, in my estimation the Carolina Panthers are over.

    3. Admittedly the Transporter movies weren’t as entertaining as the Guy Ritchie crime dramedies that broke Jason Statham out, but I gotta say I’m still sort of jazzed about seeing War. Jet Li has been on a pretty good roll lately; both Fearless and Unleashed were excellent films (especially the latter).

    4. Jude Law was really good in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, one of my favorite sci-fi films of recent years. Looks like he took a couple years off afterward, before popping up in Sean Penn’s biopic of Huey Long and a couple of smaller films in ’06. So he’s still around, but he seems to be one of those guys who takes roles based on how “interesting” they are rather than their capacity to bring him fame. A run like AI: Artificial Intelligence, Road to Perdition, Cold Mountain, I Heart Huckabees and Sky Captain can’t go on forever.

    — Ajax.

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