2009 Preseason Summary and Predictions- Which Teams to Watch; Who's on the Rise.

Brooke McGeeCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 28:  Arnaz Battle #83 of the San Francisco 49ers is tackled by Kevin Kaesviharn #43 and Roman Harper #41 of the New Orleans Saints on September 28 2008 at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Saints defeated the 49ers 31-17.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

              With the NFL Preseason nearing its end, we have been given more than a fair view of the rising and failing talents of the hopeful and elite, cultivating either optimistic expectations of an exhilarating season or a pessimistic cloud of discouragement that one hopes is from the lack of noble ambition in the honestly worthless first four games of the 2009 season. 

                A historical view of this entertaining dress rehearsal will show, as those who are attentive and immersed in this national tradition are already aware, that the ominous performances in this time frame are at best a suggestion as to the execution of the upcoming months.  

             The most remarkable and curious of all is the perplexing display from NFC North’s Detroit Lions in the 2008 preseason.   Preying upon their first four opponents in a merciless attack, they pridefully clawed in four wins, thrilling their loyal fans to the hopeful expectation of at least a fifth championship win, longingly entertaining the idea of a coveted Super Bowl win. 

            In an extraordinary and never-before seen display of deterioration, Detroit continued on to capture the NFL’s first full-failure season, losing the next sixteen straight games and shaming their fan base.  First round draft pick in hand, we can only hope that acquired quarterback Matthew Stafford and new hire head coach Jim Schwartz will provide the much needed invigoration that the team so desperately needs. 

                Under scrutiny this year will be AFC North’s Pittsburgh Steelers, with the world alert as to see if they can contain the iron rod of control that they displayed in last year’s molten performance. Poised to steal their third Super Bowl win in a five year frame, a coveted unicorn of accomplishment which would put them at the top of the food chain as the only team to ever win six Super Bowl championships in NFL history.  

             Third year head coach Mike Tomlin is optimistic, fully confident in his current No. 1 overall defense.  Big Ben Roethlisberger has been looking with confidence at tenacious new defensive tackle Evander Hood and veteran wide receiver Santonio Holmes and tight end Saun McHugh.

                Green Bay Packer’s rising star Aaron Rodgers has been raining fire upon his opponents in the first three preseason games, bringing heat to the chilly blood of the fans of the Frozen Tundra.  With a current quarterback rating of 151.1, an impressive rise in just one short off season, Packers fans are already preparing for an intense year of cheese hats and beer-laden football parties, eager to once again have the electric games that they had grown used to seeing.

Laudable New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is one of the men to watch this year after obtaining the title of 2008 Offensive Player of the Year.   Backed by an offense that fans pray will continue in the regular 2009 season, they have won all three of their preseason games, reverently producing final scores of 38 and 45 in their last two head offs.  

 Coveting their first Super Bowl appearance of all time, this team is one that is on the rise, eager to show the world their ability to persevere despite past shortcomings.

                Minnesota Viking’s top running back Adrian Peterson is anticipated to once again seize the day with his dynamic talent and explosive runs.  2007 Rookie of the Year, he has continued to impress critiques and fans alike. 

             Paired this year in battle with the controversial yet masterful quarterback Brett Favre, this duo appears potentially deadly as they undertake pillaging their opposing defensive lines, provided the partnership is cultivated quickly and efficiently despite the sudden introduction.

                Treasure seekers San Francisco 49ers are in the minds of many from the off season drama of 2009 tenth first round draft pick wide receiver Michael Crabtree, an explosive new talent who continues to sit the bench after pan handling for a contract worth more than the organization is willing to pay as an unproven player. 

               Second year wide receiver Josh Morgan is anticipated to continue to glimmer in Crabtree’s absence, looking to be one of the most promising starters for the upcoming season.   Selected over Alex Smith for the first string quarterback, the No. 1 2005 overall pick Shaun Hill will lead the rush this year to what the members of the Sunshine State hope to be a rich year, with the team fully in position to be NFC playoff contenders. 

                With the opening of the regular season immediately before us, there is only one more preseason game left for the majority of the teams to display their prowess while team coordinators and coaches scramble to make last minute decisions on remaining first string positions.  

          With tickets selling out quickly for teams such as the Vikings and Steelers, those who intend to be within the reverberating cheers of a live game should snap at the chance, as many of the more intense games and teams are guaranteed to be a shut out to those who delay.