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Before I destroy the hopes of your favorite AFC team, lets examine an email I received from Kevin in Jersey after last weeks NFC column: “You are way off with your Giants analysis.  Yes, we lost Tiki but Brandon Jacobs and Reuben Droughns will fill in nicely.  Plaxico and Shockey are still great weapons and won’t be a distraction, Eli is due for a breakout season and we still have one of the best defensive end combos in the league.  The sooner you realize this the faster you’ll stop sounding like a moron.”
Duly noted Kev, duly noted.  I won’t disagree with your defensive end argument but you’re reaching with the other points.  Here’s a little math lesson for you; 1518 + 1860 + 1662 divided by 3 = 1680.  You feel comfortable stating that a Jacobs/Droughns combo will produce that yardage? Yeeeeaaaah.  You better pray that Eli is due for a breakout year because big brother didn’t do him any favors by winning the Super Bowl.  This team still lacks a true leader in the locker room and the cancer twins don’t qualify.
Now back to the business at hand.
Oddly enough, eliminating teams in the AFC was more difficult than the NFC.  You would think the inferiority of the NFC would call for more teams to be considered for a title run but the overall quality of the AFC contenders made this tougher than anticipated.  So start writing that hate mail, the following AFC teams have ZERO chance of making it to Arizona: 
New York Jets – Why not start with the team that screwed me last year?  They didn’t just stay out of the AFC East cellar, they finished 10-6 AND made the postseason.  They overcame the Chad Pennington drama, Curtis Martin’s health issues and a boy wonder rookie coach.  The only problem is…I still think it was a fluke.  This is not a case of me being stubborn, I swear.  They caught a break with the schedule and somehow avoided another Pennington wrist/calf/rotator cuff injury.  Take a look at the ’07 schedule and you’ll agree the honeymoon is over.
Buffalo Bills – The Bills moniker for the last two seasons: One-step forward, two steps back.  They finished last year nicely then lose Willis McGahee, Takeo Spikes and Nate Clements.  J.P Losman reportedly looks phenomenal in mini-camp sessions but they can’t find Darwin Walker who is AWOL.  I could criticize Marv Levy and Ralph Wilson like everybody else, but my parents taught me to have respect for my elders…and it truly applies in this case.
Miami Dolphins – I honestly feel bad for the Dolphins.  Check out the timelines of the individuals responsible for turning the organization around:
  • Dan Marino hired as senior vice president of football operations.  Tenure- Three weeks
  • Nick Saban hired as new head coach.  Tenure- Two seasons
  • Ricky Williams returns to the NFL.  Tenure- Four bong hits
  • Daunte Culpepper becomes quarterback of the future.  Tenure- One season
They eventually turned the page and now have a rookie head coach, an old quarterback, a controversial draft pick, a ticked-off fanbase and an older defense.
Cleveland Browns – They are becoming one of the trendy picks in the AFC.  You won’t catch me sipping that Kool-Aid.
Tennessee Titans – The Titans front office followed the exact same game plan as the Packers this offseason.  There’s only one problem.  THE PACKERS ARE REBUILDING WHILE THE TITANS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE RISE!!!  Here’s a sample of the discussions taking place in the Titans war room: “Alright men, we just saw Vince single-handedly carry a bunch of scrubs on his back to a very respectable record.  We knew we didn’t have any talent, the league knew it too.  Instead of giving him some professional weapons, lets see if he can do it again!!”  If you don’t believe me, check out this priceless quote from two-year receiver Brandon Jones:  “I’m in the middle of the pack. I haven’t done anything, just like the rest of the guys. We’ve got a lot of young guys who haven’t done much.”  2007 HERE WE COME!!!
Jacksonville Jaguars – I’ve been calling out the Jags now for three years.  They give the Colts some fits and all of a sudden everyone thinks they’re a contender.  Sorry, I never bought it.  There seems to be a rift between Jack Del Rio and Byron Sand-wich and all of their wide receivers do the same thing.  This team is nothing more than a tweener.
Kansas City Chiefs – Herm Edwards is one of the classiest guys in the league.  It’s too bad he’s not an elite coach.  I’m worried they’re asking Larry Johnson to do too much.  They lost Will Shields to go along with Willie Roaf and for the 900th consecutive season, there are no receivers to complement Tony Gonzalez.  To top things off, Edwards is resurrecting HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”  Do you remember what happened to the last team who granted that access?
Denver Broncos – This one may surprise you.  I know everyone loves Jay Cutler and for good reason.  I know they have offensive weapons and one of the top secondaries in the league but something just isn’t right.  Maybe it’s the arrogance of Mike Shanahan and his running game.  Maybe it’s the makeshift defensive line they throw together every season.  Maybe it’s the fact that since Elway left, they never peak in the postseason.  Until they win another championship, there is nothing that can convince me they aren’t anything more than the ultimate bridesmaid.
Oakland Raiders – Do I really need to waste our time?
You may notice that I left the Pittsburgh Steelers off my list.  All Ravens hate mail may be directed to [email protected]     
Last Week: Lights out for these NFC Teams 

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Shan Shariff

About Shan Shariff

Shan Shariff is a Sports Talk host and Program Director for Delmarva's ESPN Radio 1240 in Cambridge, MD.  He is recognized for his interviewing skills and ability to attack a subject from a number of different angles.  He has interviewed the likes of Jim Brown, John Wooden, Red Aurebach, Oscar Robertson, Brooks Robinson and Earl Weaver.  Shan is a native of Maryland and attended college at American University in Washington, DC.  While there, he interned for the George Michael Sports Machine and traveled back and forth to Salisbury, MD for television experience at WMDT Channel 47.  After graduating, Shan did play-by-play and color for the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association. Shan gets made fun of constantly for winning a state tennis championship in mixed doubles although he openly admits to not being good enough to win one by himself.  If you want to harass Shan regarding his love for the Redskins and Lakers, tune in Monday-Friday from 10am-1pm on Delmarva's ESPN Radio AM 1240. More from Shan Shariff


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