Mostly agree with your rankings; with the optimism bias from being a cardinals fan personally, I'd argue you could make a 1 star increase at each position, but their current rankings are also fair. I very much disagree with the 1 star ranking at special teams however, as we have a pro bowl gunner in Justin Bethel being joined by some high upside athletes in the kick coverage team and kick return game. Probably the best coverage unit in the game, which coupled with a punter who is below average (don't think he's as bad as stats show- his hangtime is rediculous, and it seems the staff went with him for this reason. I'd choose a distance leg with our coverage team, butI digress). In short, I'd say 3 stars is fair. A perfectly average special teams unit, whose only limitation really seems to be Drew Butler's distance and the uncertainty of a new long snapper (but both seem pretty reliable this far)
My Thoughts During the 2010 NFL Kickoff Game - Live Updates
What is this? I'll be posting my thoughts during the Saints-Vikings game here. That will include everything from the actual game, to the TV personalities, to the commercials, etc. Anything goes. Emmitt Smith, Herm Edwards, Bob Griese and Kevin Reilly may even join me as special guests! This page will be updated every five minutes or so, so I hope you join me for the first real NFL game in seven months!
7:50: Just flipped on NBC. What's this crappy music? Make it stop! Oh God, make it stop!
7:51: This isn't Taylor Swift is it? She has nice legs, but I am confused. If she's Stromile Swift's daugther, why is she white? Stromile Swift was black. It's an NFL Kickoff miracle!
7:54: What is this encouraging kids to exercise crap? Let's encourage them to sit online and visit football Web sites like mine. I want to start a foundation for that.
7:55: Brad Pitt's not doing a good acting job here. He's just not selling it.
8:00: I'd give Drew Brees $1,000 right now if he stood up and yelled, "F*** you, Tony Dungy!"
8:01: Booooo I want to see more of Stromile Swift's white daughter.
8:03: Did Rodney Harrison just say (the first time), "His productions was off the charts?"
8:05: I'm eating a Primo's Italian hoagie right now. NOM NOM NOM NOM.
If you're not from Philly, you need to try Primo's if you ever visit. Best hoagies of all time. So good. NOM NOM NOM NOM.
8:07: Ugh, if they're going to play bad music, could they at least get a hot girl to do it again?
8:09: What the hell is this garbage!? I can't even understand a word this Dave Matthews guy is saying.
8:10: Look I can make music too: "Mbow rghsd mbow wrighro mbow wguwr beee deee beee deee beee deee beee deee mbow ya ya ya ya ya mbow mbow."
8:11: And on that note, the NFL just sent me an e-mail asking me if I can perform before next year's kickoff game!
8:13: I hate this stupid Visa pizza commercial because they make pizza look so crappy. Who wants leaves on their pizza? I just want the cheese, sauce and dough. Maybe pepperoni if I'm in the mood. No dumb leaves. Hey, I take pizza very seriously.
8:15: Touchdown Mississippi State! Sorry, I'm a degenerate gambler and I bet on some kids I wouldn't recognize if they walked into my office right now.
8:16: The one thing I've noticed about Al Michaels is that he looks a year older at the start of every season.
8:18: Minnesota's mistake: designing a play for Bernard Berrian. "Hey, let's go to our worst player! They'll never expect it!"
8:21: Mark Sanchez and Drew Brees in the same commercial? I guess this guy wants to watch one quarterback throw five touchdowns and another one toss five picks?
8:22: I've actually often wondered if Coca-Cola and Pepsi delivery guys actually drink their products. One of the mysteries of life.
8:23: Oh no, not more Dave Matthews. Someone shoot me now. After I finish this hoagie though.
8:24: "Mbow awdada waw waw waw rawrrr rawwrrr waw waw waw mbow mbow why I am why I am why I am awdada."
8:25: Is that Manny Ramirez playing the drums?
8:26: Forum member Sitisfit just said Taylor Swift has a weird face. How dare he insult the daughter of Stromile Swift?
8:27: Dave Mathews is over. Thank God. Don't worry, they will be a Jerk of the Week soon.
8:31: Real football is about to start. At least not until Harry Connick Jr. stops drunkenly signing and yelling.
8:36: I love the Thursday kickoff opener, but the one annoying thing about it is that a lot of survivor/pick-em leagues have a Thursday deadline. Our survivor pool doesn't; you can sign up until Sunday morning.
8:37: Follow Andrea Kremer on Twitter! As if we didn't have to deal with enough sideline reporting.
8:38: Come on Brett, take out your earplugs during the national anthem.
8:40: Great post by VBSiena: "Percy Harvin already has a migraine."
8:41: Real NFL football has begun!
8:42: Drew Brees to Marques Colston to midfield!
8:43: Lance Moore has returned. Eleven-yard reception.
8:45: Touchdown, Drew Brees to Devery Henderson!
Saints 7, Vikings 0
8:47: I still can't get over this Drew Brees-Mark Sanchez commercial. Couldn't they find a better matchup?
8:50: Wow, Saints just swallowed up Adrian Peterson in the backfield. Vikings go three-and-out. So much for getting revenge.
8:53: If all Brad Childress wanted to do was run non-stop, why even go through all the Brett Favre drama?
8:54: Lance Moore with his second catch. Hope you got him late in your PPR leagues. He's back.
8:55: Stop throwing to Devery Henderson. No one has him on their fantasy team!
8:57: From NFL.com Game Center:
saints fans think there good and all. really, i think they just get lucky all the time. im an eagles fan. and, i got 2 go with vikings with this game. saints fans, another hurricane is rockin ur city, and it's the vikings
Saints fans, you've been served.
8:59: Wow, great job by Adrian Peterson to get the first down. He was stuffed at the line but pushed his way through.
9:00: Peterson with a run of 17 yards, but holding negates it. Vikings in a hole at 2nd-and-20.
9:02: A big wang can't help you with these penalties, Shiancoe.
9:04: Vikings pin the Saints inside the 5-yard line.
9:06: Can't wait to watch The Event even though crappy NBC will cancel it by Halloween.
9:07: Drew Brees fumbles the snap, avoids a safety, and finds Robert Meachem for 25 yards. Wow.
9:09: Just finished my hoagie. Yes, it took me more than an hour to eat it. I can eat a lot, but I'm the slowest eater in the world. When I was a little kid, my mom actually used to fall asleep when she was waiting for me to finish dinner.
9:12: Unless I'm mistaken, Pierre Thomas hasn't touched the ball yet. Not good for Thomas owners.
9:14: Brees is sacked. Third-and-long.
9:15: Saints are down to Minnesota's 40 and have a 4th-and-8. Punt coming up, but you never know with Sean Payton.
9:17: Can't wait to see Devil. I might just be the only M. Night Shyamalan fan left in the world. Hey, I may have a horrible taste in movies, but I liked The Village and The Happening, and I'm not afraid to admit it.
9:19: NBC News alert: Three people have been shot at the Kraft Facilities in Northeast Philadelphia. Wow, that's like 10 minutes away from me. Gotta love the craptastic city of Philadelphia.
9:21: I looked at Adrian Peterson's stats on NFL.com's Game Center, but I just noticed - the Saints only have one rushing attempt thus far!
9:22: Jeff Dugan! One half of Brad Childress' two-headed fullback monster.
9:23: Forum member Injured Reserve just texted me: "Jeff Dugan package!"
9:25: Dual face masks. NBC Breaking News: A female suspect is in the Kraft Facilities office. SWAT teams have her surrounded. I don't know what's more exciting, the start of football, or this shooting situation 10 minutes away from here. I just hope she doesn't escape and break into my house. Unless she's hot, of course.
9:26: This Vikings drive has now lasted seven minutes.
9:28: Funny Game Center quote:
"PETERSON CAUGHT 40-SUMTHIN BALLS LAST YEAR" NOT COUNTING THE TWO HE LIKES TO CATCH IN HIS MOUTH
9:31: "Buy Playstation Move. We copied the Wii, and we're more expensive."
9:32: Bernard Berrian drops the ball to bring up fourth down. Shocker.
9:33: Field goal, Vikings.
Saints 7, Vikings 3
9:35: " Chase a new series on NBC. Forget that we copied off 24 and replaced the awesome Jack Bauer with a lesbian chick. Oh, and we're gonna cancel it by Halloween. Only on NBC."
9:36: This Playstation Move is so stupid. All the casual gamers bought the Wii already. They're not going to spend more money on a more expensive version. Fail, Sony, fail.
9:38: Pierre Thomas has a 9-yard reception wiped out by a holding call. That was Thomas' first touch, and there's five minutes remaining in the half.
9:39: Saints still only have one rushing attempt. You have to run the ball once in a while, right?
Andy Reid's thoughts on this: "NOM NOM NOM NOM what do you mean you have to run the ball NOM NOM NOM NOM?"
9:40: Ugh, there are potato chip crumbs all over my chair. Not only am I a slow eater; I'm very sloppy too.
9:41: Asher Allen drops an interception. Saints go three-and-out.
9:42: How many times can Bernard Berrian screw up before the Vikings stop using him!? He sucks!
9:45: Brett Favre interception! Favre tried to make something out of nothing, and tossed an ugly pick.
9:47: In all seriousness, 10 years after Favre retires, I'm going to remember two things: his prima donna attitude during the offseason and all the dumb picks he's thrown in big games. I'm not hating on the guy; this is just what'll come to my mind when I think of his playing days.
9:49: NBC News update: The female shooter at the Kraft Facilities is now in custody. Stupid SWAT a-holes. I was counting on her showing up at my house naked.
9:50: Garrett Hartley wide left! Meh, at least he hits the big kicks.
9:53: Favre to Shiancoe, 33 yards!
9:55: Favre to Shiancoe, touchdown!
9:56: Extra point is blocked. Ryan Longwell owners are now slitting their wrists.
Vikings 9, Saints 7
9:58: What sucks about that blocked extra point is that a Saints touchdown will make the margin four. If they go for two (to make it a two-field goal game) and are successful, the margin will be six - which will be a push.
My name is Walter, and I have a gambling problem.
9:59: Halftime. Vikings up 9-7. The Under looks great right now.
10:03: The Saints have just as many punts as rushing attempts. Pierre Thomas has two carries for one yard. Visanthe Shiancoe has more than double the receiving yards than anyone in this game. Pretty crazy.
10:04: Tom Brady is now making $19 million a year. Still not as much as Elton Brand. Think the NBA's going to have a lockout?
10:09: Game Center comment at halftime:
its hard to run when you in a sack
10:10: I heard this Opportunity song so much this past month while watching every single preseason game. it's engraved into my skull. Argh.
10:11: Before the third quarter, let's go to Bob Griese. Bob, what can the Saints do to win this game?
"The Saints are losing this football game because they haven't scored as many points as the Vikings!"
10:15: Favre almost picked off on an attempt to Bernard Berrian. Stop using this guy, he sucks!
10:17: Dumb DirecTV commercial. NFL Red Zone kicks a**. It's like watching football on cocaine.
10:18: Wow, look what happens when you run the ball!
10:21: Non-stop Pierre Thomas. The Thomas owners who didn't commit suicide at halftime must be thrilled right now.
10:24: First-and-goal for the Saints.
10:25: Saints down to the one!
10:26: Touchdown, Pierre Thomas! One-yard run.
Saints 14, Vikings 9
10:28: Commercial-kickoff-commercial. FML.
10:31: Favre picked off by Malcolm Jenkins - but out of bounds. Favre just threw that one up for grabs. I sense a pick-six coming.
10:32: Vikings go three-and-out. Momentum has completely shifted toward New Orleans.
10:34: Funny post by Puppy Puncher: "Malcolm Jenkins did the Luigi jump from Super Mario Bros. 2 at the end of that play."
10:35: Why does Drew Brees' son look younger than he did after the Super Bowl? Is this a Benjamin Button situation?
10:36: How is Brett Favre a grandfather at 40? At this rate, he'll be a great-great grandfather at 80.
10:37: Nice tackle by Ben Leber. Forced the Saints into a three-and-out.
10:41: Vikings go three-and-out. Percy Harvin screwed up on the route. He has just one catch for 12 yards.
10:45: Wow, this Viking safety has gone a whole month without food and water. I can't even go two hours without food or water.
10:46: Saints go three-and-out. I think we can call the Under 49.5 a lock now.
10:48: Penalty on Bernard Berrian. I am absolutely shocked.
10:49: Mississippi State is about to lose. Too many sloppy turnovers for them in the first half.
10:51: A Mississippi State receiver drops the ball at the 15-yard line! Noooooo!!!
10:52: Mississippi State loses. The receiver had the ball in his hands at the 15-yard line and it popped out. That would have set up a short field goal at the very least. Ugh.
10:53: Brad Childress with a stupid challenge. On the bright side, the extra couple of minutes will allow Childress to design more plays for Jeff Dugan and Naufahu Tahi.
10:55: Love Childress' reaction: "What!?" It's surprising that he's surprised that he did something stupid.
10:56: In all fairness to Childress, I would have ruled that complete. I just like to make fun of him.
10:57: Bryant McKinnie carted off. Not good.
11:00: Saints down to the 16. The Vikings are really getting screwed by this officiating; should have been offensive pass interference.
11:02: Robert Meachem drops a touchdown pass. Would have been a tough catch, but he still should have had it.
11:03: Garrett Hartley missed from 32! Thanks for having money on the Vikings +6, Hartley!
11:04: And this, by the way, is one of the many reasons you don't draft kickers before the penultimate round.
11:05: Visanthe Shiancoe drops a pass at midfield.
11:06: Did Bryant McKinnie really need to be carted off with a finger injury?
11:07: Brett Favre just completed his first pass of the second half after seven misfires - and there are nine minutes remaining in the game.
11:08: Favre to Greg Camarillo down to the Saints 45!
11:09: Nice quote by STR8CashHomie: "Freakin Clueless needs to start Camarillo and put that Metro Fag Berrian on waivers."
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
11:11: Vikings are punting. Saints pinned at their own 12. Hopefully they don't have a long gain to give them a front door cover.
11:12: More anti-Berrianism on the forums from Descendency: "Bernard Berrian is a Randy Moss kind of player and by that I mean he's black."
11:14: Saints convert a first down. Four minutes and two Minnesota timeouts remaining.
11:16: Brad Childress is talking to himself. He looks like he should be locked up in a mental hospital.
11:17: Saints convert another first down. Two minutes, five seconds, and one timeout left.
11:19: Two-minute warning. I'm sweating out this Vikings +6 bet.
11:21: I'm hoping the Saints convert a first down so Brett Favre doesn't get the ball back and throw the inevitable pick-six.
11:22: Pierre Thomas, first down! Game over.
11:23: And Brad Childress takes a senseless timeout. The Saints can just kneel down to end it. Why call a timeout there, Mr. Clueless?
11:24: Hmm... maybe Favre should have, I don't know, shown up to training camp.
11:35: And that's it. Vikings fail to get their revenge. Saints pull through, 14-9.
Bob Griese, what happened to Minnesota's offense in the second half?
"The Vikings receivers didn't catch the ball that much because they couldn't get the ball into their hands."
Thanks, Bob. And Emmitt, what did you think about the game?
"Brett Favre tried to get avenge against the New Orleans Saint, but he did not get avenge. It's like the old saying go, 'Success is the biggest avenge, and sometimes the best avenge.' The Saints got the success and they avenged their win in the NFC Championship Super Bowl."
11:36: Thanks for reading my nonsensical thoughts! And thank you Garrett Hartley for helping me start 1-0 this season!
This site will have tons of NFL coverage this weekend, as well as a big Sunday Live In-Games Thread. Look for the usual next week - Week 2 NFL Picks, Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings, a 2011 NFL Mock Draft, and perhaps a 2012 NFL Mock Draft if I have the time.