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Well, it’s that time of year.  The kick-off of the 2007 NFL Season is upon us.  That means that it’s time for me to publish my fourth annual NFL Preview, complete with picks and predictions on how your favorite teams will fare.  Are they destined for Super Bowl rings or the first draft choice in next year’s draft?  I’ll tell you.  Will your favorite player be the NFL’s MVP, or your Head Coach the first one fired?  I’ll tell you.   Let’s dive in, shall we?

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So, how do I do it?  Last season people were standing around the water-coolers at their office scratching their heads.  Naming the NFL MVP; naming the first coach fired; naming the Super Bowl Champions – and all of this before the first game of the regular season even kicked-off.  Calling the Madden Curse; predicting the Super Bowl storylines; and naming many of the season’s newsmakers – and all this before the opening whistle.  Then, I followed it up with a weekly prognosticating average of better than 75% over the season – people want insights.  Okay, I’m willing.

First of all, I’m all about patterns.  For example, the Patriots of the Bill Belichick era are competitive no matter who comes and goes on their roster.  Look for that to continue.  The Texans play like an expansion team, no matter how many seasons they have under their belt.  Look for that to continue.  There are always division winners who have gone from worst to first.  Count on it.  The ‘sexy picks’ every year wind up being busts (just ask the Arizona Cardinals of 2006).  Stay away from them.  And so on.

Secondly, drama follows drama-queens and real heroism follows real heroes.  And, closely akin to that: stories in the NFL don’t go away until they go away.  So, be sure that there will be clouds of drama surrounding everything T.O. or Clinton Portis does.  Be sure that there will be a magnificent story to be told involving Warrick Dunn or Derrick Brooks.  Know that the fireworks will continue around Tom Coughlin, and that beginning with his first regular season snap, every Packer game will include speculation that this may be Brett Favre’s last season.

Finally, if you really want to amaze your friends with your own prognosticating prowess – and this is my best advice – let me do the work for you.  Read my TBO/Pigskin Preacher Blog on a weekly basis and let me give you the insights and observations that will make you the water-cooler quarterback in your neck of the woods.

Here goes the 2007 Season Preview.  Take notes.