4 Downs with William Russell
The start of football season is upon us and we couldn’t think of a better guest for the blog than one of the biggest fans of the Seattle Seahawks. He is known for his incredible prognostication skills when it comes to football and all other sports actually. He has multiple close encounters with super villain Ali “the Cat” Armeni in book 2 of the Ali Armeni series.
Jeffrey Belanger: You must be happy with Seattle Seahawks as defending champions . Who are you predicting to win the Super Bowl in 2015?
William Russell: The Seahawks, of course. We lost a few key players for the defense and the “Beast” has had . . . well, let’s just say an interesting offseason, but this team won with its depth last year and that is still there.
JB: All right, figures you would pick the Seahawks. Who is the second best team in the NFL then?
WR: I hate to say it, but it is probably the team the Hawks hate the most the 49ers. They have been close the past three years. The Giants somehow beat them with that freak fumbled punt. They lose in the all-Harbaugh Super Bowl, even though the lights going out helped their cause. Then of course last year, they lose when Kaepernick goes for it all on 1st and 10 from the Hawks 18 yard line with 30 seconds to go and two timeouts . . . down six! It would take a bunch of injuries and possibly the Super Bowl hangover for the Hawks to not repeat, but it just might be the Niners’ turn.
JB: I am a fan of the New York football Giants. What are your predictions for them this year?
WR: Ahh, the G-Men! Rough season last year for Big Blue and Eli Manning. I think you might be happier this year. I think they slightly edge out the Eagles for the NFC East title this year. I like their improvement on defense. They upgraded the secondary, the linebackers are the best they have had in years, and their D-Line is always one of the tops in the league. New offensive coordinator for Eli is saying he will complete 70% of his passes. He probably won’t hit that mark, but if he even comes close to that mark, their offense will rebound nicely.
JB: Eli did complete 70% of his passes last year, if you count all those passes the other teams caught. Enough of the NFC . . . who are the teams to beat in the AFC?
WR: The Patriots will be there as always because their division is terrible as usual. They are guaranteed double digit wins every year in that AFC LE AST. Only team with a chance of more than 8 wins is the Dolphins, and that’s a stretch.
The Lucky Horseshoes a.k.a. the Colts, believe it or not, might be in a worse division than the Patriots, but they have the best quarterback in Andrew Luck. He better watch himself when he plays Houston; they are downright scary with Clowney and Watt.
The Broncos are a top team as long as Peyton stays healthy. That is a lot to ask of a quarterback in his late 30s with all his neck problems. If he stays upright, they are a tough team that addressed all their weaknesses the Seahawks exposed in New York back in February. If Peyton misses any extended time, they are pedestrian at best.
JB: Fourth and Long, or perhaps I should say Fourth and Dead. What are your playoff teams for 2015?
WR: AFC Division Winners Patriots, Bengals, Colts, Denver. Wild Cards Steelers and Chargers.
NFC Division Winners Giants, Packers, Saints and Seahawks. Wild Cards 49ers and Falcons.
AFC Championship game: Patriots and Broncos
NFC Championship game: 49ers and Seahawks
Super Bowl: Seahawks over the Patriots. Although it could be the 49ers over the Patriots.