Impart your NFL wisdom on me

LaOsLaOs SaskatoonRegistered User regular
edited July 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Hello sportsfans!

First, what I am doing:
I am planning to join a small, friendly NFL pool with my roomie and her family for the upcoming season. We'll be picking winners for each of the games each week and assigning point values to the games. We have from one to four points to "wager" on each game and there are certain rules about how many points can be wagered on which teams and how often/frequently you can bet on a certain team, etc. I'm not all that clear on the details, but that's not really what I need help with.

What I need:
General information about the NFL, such as basic rules, scores, penalties, and the divisions. I do know some, but will get into that in the next section. Also, I have never really followed the NFL before, so I am completely unfamiliar with the teams, coaches, players, and standings. I really don't know if the Bears should have beaten the Colts or if the Jaguars are expected to take the season this year (as examples--basically, I have no bias nor opinions on any of the teams). So, any general information about the teams is also what I am mainly looking for. I may want to gamble and pick a long-shot victory, but I'd also like to have some idea of who I'm betting on to win.

What I know:
I live in Canada and am a pretty big CFL fan. I understand the CFL rules and that is the base from which I will be watching the NFL this year. I understand there are differences, both in number of downs, field sizes, endzones and location of the uprights, etc. I know some of the rules, like there is no one-yard cushion for each play, there's something about fair catch (which I don't fully understand), and there is no rouge.

I am entering a competition to pick the winners, but I'm also going to be watching more NFL this year as a result of the pool, and so would like to have a better understanding of the game I'm watching. I'm basically looking for a general introduction to it that can build off of what I know from the CFL (and maybe compare/contrast a bit for greater understanding). If I have specific questions, I can ask more here.

Thanks for your help.

LaOs on

Posts

  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Shit man -- wiki should help you a lot, at least with the rules, as far as predicting the powerhouses? That's tough as shit. It's all about match-ups in the NFL, so it's really hard to say unless you know exactly which two teams you might be wagering on.

    Still -- Baltimore, New England, Indianapolis, and San Diego are the early powerhouse teams on my radar (the AFC is much better than the NFC right now -- any inter-Conference games go AFC almost as a rule).

    Shit -- I dunno, that question is broad as shit man.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
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  • DynagripDynagrip destroy everything you touch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    If you follow CFL I'd think you'd be able to pick it up pretty well. The downs are a bit different. Typically NFL teams do not use their 4th down to advance the ball but instead punt it if they are outside scoring range.

    A fair catch is a signal made by a special teams player that he's just going to catch the ball where he is and not take off running, so the defense can't tee off on him. It's used for Punts and Kickoffs.

    A touchdown is 6 points, a standard point after attempt is worth 1 point, a 2 pt conversion is worth you guessed it, 2.

    Field goals are worth 3 pts.

    Safeties are worth 2 points. A safety is when the offensive ball carrier is tackled in their own endzone or the ball goes out of bounds back there.

    Ugh, I can answer more.

    Dynagrip on
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  • Crazy LarryCrazy Larry Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    If nothing else, bet on the home team. Seriously. Bet on the home team. I'd have to look up the exact stat, but home teams win more often than not. Obviously there are times when you'll want to go against this rule, such as when there is a large mismatch between the two teams, but in general this will get you ahead in games where one team isn't clearly superior to the other.

    Crazy Larry on
  • an_altan_alt Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Get Sunday Ticket. You're in Canada, so your carrier will almost surely offer it. The more you watch, the quicker you'll pick it up. Being a CFL fan, it really won't be too difficult to pick up.

    an_alt on
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  • LaOsLaOs SaskatoonRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I'm not too concerned with the exact rules. Football is football, so I expect them to be fairly similar. The fair catch rule was just an unknown. So there's no buffer zone for returners on punt/kick returns like there is in the CFL? I'll more than likely hit up Wiki for specifics, but I was thinking that if a fan of both the C and the N was around and could provide a quick comparison, that would be sweet. Not necessary, though... just cool.

    As for the hometeam betting and those powerhouses, thanks. That is the kind of stuff that I'm looking for, as I don't even know who the generally powerhouse teams are. Thanks.

    As for watching the games, my roomie and another friend of ours are planning to hit up the Shark Club (the one here in Saskatoon was named Best Sports Bar in Canada for 2007 by SportsNet) to watch most of the games on Sundays, and then we get lots of games on our cable feed at home. Thanks though.

    LaOs on
  • Crazy LarryCrazy Larry Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    LaOs wrote: »
    As for the hometeam betting and those powerhouses, thanks. That is the kind of stuff that I'm looking for, as I don't even know who the generally powerhouse teams are. Thanks.
    As far as figuring out how teams go as far as power rankings, there are a lot of sites that will do just that sort of thing as the season gets nearer. I'm not sure how it is compared to the CFL, but compared to the other major US sports league's the NFL has by far the most parity, meaning that it's more likely for a bad team to become good the next year, and vice versa. Despite that though, last year's standings are still a good place to start. While it's likely that some teams will surprise us with their performance next year, there haven't been any huge changes for most teams, meaning that most of them should hover around the same point they were at last year.

    Crazy Larry on
  • mugginnsmugginns Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    LaOs wrote: »
    I'm not too concerned with the exact rules. Football is football, so I expect them to be fairly similar. The fair catch rule was just an unknown. So there's no buffer zone for returners on punt/kick returns like there is in the CFL? I'll more than likely hit up Wiki for specifics, but I was thinking that if a fan of both the C and the N was around and could provide a quick comparison, that would be sweet. Not necessary, though... just cool.

    As for the hometeam betting and those powerhouses, thanks. That is the kind of stuff that I'm looking for, as I don't even know who the generally powerhouse teams are. Thanks.

    As for watching the games, my roomie and another friend of ours are planning to hit up the Shark Club (the one here in Saskatoon was named Best Sports Bar in Canada for 2007 by SportsNet) to watch most of the games on Sundays, and then we get lots of games on our cable feed at home. Thanks though.

    Home team thing is good

    Also look at the standings from last year:
    http://www.nfl.com/standings

    Also realize in the last few weeks of the year teams that have clinched playoff births may lose games because they aren't trying as hard if they have homefield already

    Homefield in the playoffs is even more huge(R!)

    Sure bets as stated above:
    New England
    Baltimore
    Indy
    SD


    Man, as said above the NFC is kind of a crapshoot.

    mugginns on
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  • Crazy LarryCrazy Larry Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I was feeling kind of bored, so I decided to write up my own power rankings to help give a general feel for how the teams match up this season. Now, I don't claim to be an expert, but I think this is a fairly objective ranking, giving a fairly accurate estimate of the general sentiment regarding all of the teams heading into this season. Note that these aren't necessarily reflective of what each teams record will end up being, but rather how they would match up if every team played each other. This is because scheduling differences, with some teams getting to play a much easier schedule than other teams. The NFL is divided into two 16 team conferences, which are further sub-divided into four four team divisions. Each team will play the other 3 teams in their division twice, for 6 games. They will also play 6 other teams from their conference, as well as the 4 teams from a division in the other conference. As has been said, the AFC is much stronger than the NFC now. In fact, last year, in games that involved an AFC team playing an NFC team, the AFC team won 70% of the time (that's a higher winning percentage than home team wins.) Thus, even if an NFC team has the same, or even a better, record as an AFC team, the AFC team will usually be regarded as better.


    Tier 1 - Surefire Super Bowl Contenders

    New England (12-4) AFC - This is the closest thing to a dynasty in the NFL in the last decade, having won three of the last six Super Bowls. They still have the core group of players that made them great last year, and they added Randy Moss, potentially the best wide receiver in football. He's also got his share of character issues though. If everything clicks this years team could be better than any of the three New England teams that won the Super Bowl.

    Indianapolis (12-4) AFC - Last years Super Bowl Champions. While they've lost a few good players, they haven't lost anyone major. While the odds are against them repeating, they're still clearly one of the top three teams in the league.

    San Diego (14-2) AFC - This team had a great season last year, and they should only get better. That's because last year was the first year that their quarterback started, and he should be even better this year. Still 14-2 is an amazing record, and even if they're better this year they probably won't win that many games.

    Tier 2 - Teams that should make the playoffs, and would not be surprised if they made the Super Bowl

    Baltimore (13-3) AFC - They had a great season last year, but I have a feeling they won't be as good this year. 13-3 is probably the best case scenario for this team, but due to the whimsical nature of the NFL, in addition to an aging and increasingly injury prone quarterback, there should be at least some drop off this year.

    Cincinnati (8-8) AFC - This is a team that has tons of offensive firepower, but a porous at best defense. If the defense could even muster up the capability to be average this would be on of the top 5 teams in the league without a doubt. Last year their quarterback was coming off of a very harsh injury, and with another offseason of rehabilitation he should be even better, and look for the team as a whole to be improved this year.

    New York Jets (10-6) AFC - This was one of the more surprising teams from last year, with a first year head coach and a quarterback coming off of a major injury. Although they probably don't have the potential to be much better than this, they're a very solid team that should be a lock to win at least 8 or 9 games.

    Pittsburgh (8-8) AFC - This is a team that took a relatively big step backwards last year after winning the Super Bowl the year before. Part of that was because of their quarterback injured himself before last season. He should be more fully recovered this year. They do have a new head coach though, but despite that they look to be better this year than last.

    Philadelphia (10-6) NFC - Along with New England and Indianapolis, this has been by far one of the most consistently good teams of the last five years. The amazing thing is that even after losing their Pro Bowl quarterback to a season ending injury they're still just as good (some might even argue better). At this point there's little reason to believe that they'll make the jump from good to great, but it'll be a shocker if they don't win at least nine games.

    Chicago (13-3) NFC - Despite the great record, and even having made the Super Bowl, this is not a great team. That's because they're a very one-sided team, with a great defense and a mediocre offense. That setup can still work, and even win the Super Bowl, if you have a consistent quarterback who doesn't make many mistakes, but unfortunately Chicago's quarterback is the exact opposite of that. For that reason it's unlikely that they'll repeat last seasons success, although with their defense they'll still remain one of the better teams in a weak division.

    New Orleans (10-6) NFC - This another surprise team from last year. With the addition of a new quarterback and a few big name rookies they made a huge jump last year, and they should at least remain at the same level, if not improve, this year.

    Tier 3 - Playoff contenders, but longshots to go much further than that

    Seattle (9-7) NFC - Although only two seasons removed from playing in the Super Bowl, this is a team that doesn't really strike me as being all that good. They have one of the best running backs in the league though, and play in a perennially weak division, so 9 or 10 wins is a pretty good prediction.

    Denver (9-7) AFC - This is a team whose rise and fall will depend upon the performance of their quarterback. He started five games last year, in his rookie season, and played decently, but not great. If he improves they could be a better team this year, although their record might not show it.

    Tennessee (8-8) AFC - This is a team that's hard to judge. They started off slow last year, but had an incredible second half behind the lead of a rookie quarterback. They have the potential to make the playoffs, but it's also possible that last year was a flash in the pan and that there will be some falloff this year.

    Jacksonville (8-8) AFC - Consistently mediocre pretty much sums up Jacksonville's entire span of existance in the NFL. There's not much reason to believe that they'll be any better or worse this year than last.

    Kansas City (9-7) AFC - Kansas City is much like Cincinnati, in that they have a good offense with a weak defense (they actually predate Cincinnati in this). They dropped off some last year, and it's likely this trend will continue. They also trading away their starting quarterback, although the guy who is replacing him played well for half of last year, but doesn't have a proven track record to show that he'll continue to perform at the same level.

    Dallas (9-7) NFC - This is a good team with a mediocre quarterback. However, they play in the weak NFC, and someone has to win the games they play.

    Tier 4 - Outside shot of the playoffs, but should be happy to make it to .500.

    Carolina (8-8) NFC - This is a team that could be much better, depending on if their defense shows up. They have one of the most talented defenses in the league, but whether that's enough to make them good will remain to be seen.

    New York Giants (8-8) NFC - Another mediocre NFC team. Likely to be worse this year than last, due to the retirement of their best player.

    Miami (6-10) AFC - While they've made moves to acquire a couple of big name changes this offseason, but whether that translates to on the field improvement remains to be seen. They should be slightly better this year, just due to their new quarterback.

    Houston (6-10) AFC - This team is something of a wildcard. They've picked up a new, very talented quarterback this year, along with a new head coach. However, the quarterback doesn't have much playing experience, and this is the coach's first time as a head coach, so these changes could fall flat.

    Washington (5-11) NFC - Yet another NFC team. They could end up winning 9 games just because, hey, someone has to win them.

    Atlanta (7-9) NFC - This is a team that could become much, much worse before the season starts. That's because their starting quarterback, Mike Vick, is at the center of an investigation into a dog fighting ring. If he's in anyway indicted for it, then that might completely destroy the team's season. That said, even if no charges come forwarded and he remains with the team, they're an average team at best.

    San Francisco (7-9) NFC - A young up and coming team. Last year was somewhat surprising, as I think most people expected them to be bad last year and have their breakout year this year. I can't see them making much improvement this year, but I don't expect them to become any worse either.

    St. Louis (8-8) NFC - Another average at best team blessed by playing in a weak conference.

    Buffalo Bills (7-9) AFC - Meh, another mediocre team that didn't make any big changes. Probably will play worse this year, but surprises can happen.

    Green Bay (8-8) NFC - While they put up a good record last year, they play in the weakest division in the NFL, padding their stats some. Also, their quarterback is on the downslide of the career, and likely will play worse and worse with every season that he hangs on.

    Minnesota (6-10) NFC - Well, they're guaranteed two wins just for playing Detroit twice a year. Other than that they have a new, completely unproven starting quarterback and no other big name players, so they could be even worse this year.

    Tampa Bay (4-12) NFC - Meh, they picked up an experienced, reliable quarterback over the summer, but he's not yet the starter, and even if he is he can't improve the team too much. But, again, they play in the NFC, so they could end up winning a few extra games.

    Arizona (5-11) NFC - This team has been a mirage over the past few years, having the potential to have a breakout year but never actually doing so. They have a young, talented quarterback, one of the best receiving corps in the league, and an Pro Bowl caliber, but aging, running back. That said, I expect this year to be like every other year, where they lurch to 5 or 6 wins at best.

    Tier 5 - They're lucky to still be in the NFL.

    Cleveland (4-12) AFC - It's Cleveland. I mean, come on. What more needs to be said?

    Detroit (3-13) NFC - Here's how bad Detroit is - There have been signs held up supporting the firing of Detroit's G.M. (the guy who picks the team's roster and coaches) at baseball games. In Colorado. That didn't involve a Detroit baseball team.

    Oakland (2-14) AFC - If they were in the CFL, they'd still suck.

    Crazy Larry on
  • joshuadewaaljoshuadewaal Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    here is that quick comparison you were looking for.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Canadian_and_American_football

    pretty interesting, i love how the uprights are before the end zone like Rugby, makes me always think about how often they get run into. :)

    joshuadewaal on
  • LaOsLaOs SaskatoonRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Hey guys, thanks a whole bunch. That's exactly the kind of advice I was looking for here. I really appreciate it.

    LaOs on
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