Puskarich NFL Report
Washington Redskins Sign Big Name Players, But Egos Will Keep Them from Superbowl WinBy John G. Puskarich
This is the official MIT NFL classroom edition of my soon-to-be wildly popular column. It is suitable for just about anything such as vomiting on, reading during your 18.02 lecture, or using at the end of you stay at one of the Port-a-Johns located around campus. Enjoy!
Seeing that the first two weeks of the 2000 NFL season are complete, I found it fitting to provide an expert analysis on the top teams in the league. Caution: This year’s Superbowl winner will be revealed in this column.
I must start off by saying that there is no way in hell that the Washington Redskins will win the Superbowl this year. Why? One word: “ego.” With the additions of cornerback “Neon” Deion Sanders and linebacker “Superstar” LaVar Arrington, there is no question that the Skins have loaded up on players whose philosophy is that the overall team is secondary to the individual. This philosophy does not win you a championship.
The often flamboyant personalities of Washington’s stars (including Deion Sanders, who thinks that since he redefined the cornerback position that it should be titled “Deion”) will most likely cause some conflict amongst the players. Enough conflict to distract the team from its main goal of winning. Through the draft and free agency Washington has skillfully assembled one of the greatest sets of pure talent and ability on the defensive side of the ball that has ever been seen in the NFL. Cornerbacks Darrell Greene, Deion Sanders and Champ Bailey will make opposing teams’ passing games nonexistent.
But due to Arrington’s slow adjustment to the NFL that supplements the rest of the Skins’ lackluster linebacking core, Washington’s run defense is extremely subpar, and will not receive help from the tackling ability of its cornerbacks, namely Deion Sanders. All in all, Washington has the talent to go “all the way,” but the question is: will they mesh as a team in time to make a run at the Superbowl? My answer to that: very unlikely.
Moving on to the team that will win the Superbowl ... The St. Louis Rams have picked up from where they left off at the end of last season. With the healthy return of most of their starting lineup, the Rams are my surefire pick to win this year’s NFL Championship. The intangible characteristic of the Rams is that they play extremely well as a team. They do not have the overall talent that Washington has, but they play extremely well together, which makes them simply unstoppable.
The Rams’ high-powered offense featuring MVP quarterback Kurt Warner, running back Marshall Faulk, wide receivers Isaac Bruce, Az-Zahir Hakim, and Tory Holt can win in the proverbial “shoot-out” and is a tremendous “big play” threat.
Even though the Rams’ offense may get the headlines, their defense can hold their own. Last year the defense held 10 teams to less than 14 points. Not too shabby, eh?
This year’s major challenger to the St. Louis Rams is the Indianapolis Colts. The continued development of the triple threat offensive machine featuring QB Peyton Manning, RB Edgerrin James, and WR Marvin Harrison has truly made the Colts a force to be reckoned with over the past two years. The only “kink in the armor” of the Colts is their mediocre defense which ranked fifteenth in the NFL last season.
The special teams of the Colts is an excellent strong point and has the manpower to make the “big play.” Kicker Mike Vanderjagt, an often overlooked weapon returns this year (after topping the NFL with 145 points last season) along with WR Terrence Wilkins, an explosive return man.
Unlike most notable sports columnists, I do not have a “sleeper pick” that might win this year’s championship. The “sleeper pick” is for overrated, inept sports columnists and television color analysts like Bob Ryan and Lee Corso.
I provide you with honest, well thought-out, expert facts. The Rams will win the Superbowl. If they do not, the Colts will win it. And if the Colts do not win it, then either the Tennessee Titans or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will. How you like me now?