5 NFL Teams That Could Take a Step Back In 2010
I know what opinions are like. Everyone tells me that just because you think something is going to happen does not mean that it necessarily will.
But I think that we all know in football that if we did not speculate and assume about the possibilities of an off-season, or what could be for the next, then football might start to get kind of boring.
Especially during the off-season.
All this talk about the draft and who should take who is just pure speculation. I think about 5 percent of what is speculated by professional analysts actually happens. (OK, maybe a little more.)
I do not know of anyone that has pick the draft correctly or nailed down where all the free agents will go in any given year. It just does not happen like that.
So my speculation centers around five teams that should take a step back this year. Teams that had good seasons for the most part but are just not looking like they can repeat that success again.
After all when one team moves up in the NFL it is only natural that another team moves down the ladder a little to help take their place.
I know there will be some that disagree with the teams on this list and might feel like I have gone off the deep end, but again this is all speculation.
Long live football.
Alright Matt Leinart. It is your time to shine.
If I were a Cardinals fan Kurt Warner's retirement would have scared me to death. It means that the highly productive offense of Arizona that helped lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2009 is about to be put into neutral.
Leinart was drafted to be the teams quarterback of the future but has yet to show he was worthy of a high first round pick. Playing 8 games in 2009, one of which he started, Leinart tallied 0 TD's and 3 int's.
He barely has over a 50% completion rating and you would think with four years under his belt he would have learned the offese similar to the way Aaron Rodgers did in Green Bay.
Do the Cardinals need another veteran quarterback while they search for another rookie solution?
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers need to get more production from their running game in general this season in order to advance in the playoffs and keep pace with the Colts and Jets next season.
Oops. The Chargers are releasing LaDanianTomlison and Darren Sproles into free agency leaving only Michael Bennett as the lone running back on the roster for now.
There will be some veterans in free agency that the Chargers could look to acquire and Antonio Cromartie is still being shopped around in hopes of acquiring a running back from another team.
No success with that scenario as of yet.
The draft is deep enough that if the Chargers want they could draft a quality running back. Jahvid Best, Toby Gearheart, and LeGarrette Blount are all possible choices for San Diego when they pick at No. 28.
C.J. Spiller remains in the picture, but San Diego will most likely have to trade up to acquire him.
The Chargers need balance on offense. They were one of the top five offenses in the league with the second worst running game. They fix that and they may be unstoppable.
If they don't they will still make the playoffs, but make yet another early exit.
This one is easy.
The Vikings could not win a playoff game in 2008 with Tarvaris Jackson despite all the talent on the team.
They bring in Brett Favre and they are next to unstoppable.
Everyone thinks the Saints are unbeatable. The Saints needed seven turnovers and overtime to beat this team. New Orleans was lucky to win the Super Bowl this year.
The Vikings will still need to find a replacement for Favre soon and his name is not Tarvaris Jackson.
The draft will have options but I would not want to be the one responsible for pulling the trigger on a quarterback in this draft. None of them are throwing at the combine and several are some are coming of injury.
Good luck with that.
So now we know two things.
One. The Vikings, not the Saints, are the team to beat in 2010.
Two. The Vikings can throw everything I just said out the window if they fail to get Favre back for another season.
So the Ravens have finally found their niche on offense with Ray Rice and an extremely talented offensive line in front of him. Throw in Joe Flacco at quarterback with a defense, led by Ray Lewis, that still plays well enough to get it done and you have all the ingredients for success.
Wait a minute. Then why would this team possibly be taking a step back?
Well it is simple really. The Ravens have great starters but no depth behind them. Top that off with receivers that only had eight total catches in two playoff games and you have suddenly created a problem.
Ray Rice alone against the Colts had nine catches.
A great quarterback who has no receivers. Sounds like Philadelphia a few years ago. Didn't Harbaugh learn anything?
Mason may still retire, Donte Stallworth was signed to a one year deal, and rumors swirl about the team trying to acquire T.O. or trade for Brandon Marshall.
Obviously there is still the draft. Dez Bryant and Arrelious Benn are obviously the "catch" of this draft if you pardon the expression. Whether they will be available or not when the Ravens pick remains to be seen.
The depth issue means your team is one serious injury away from not being able to compete with another teams starters. The Ravens need serious depth behind an aging defensive front seven along with more depth in their secondary.
New England Patriots
New England was once the best team in the NFL.
They dominated teams with their lightining quick ability to score and defense that never quit.
Oh well. All good things must come to an end right.
After Crushing losses to Indianapolis, New Orleans, and Baltimore many were left to wonder how New England could falter so badly so suddenly.
Answer. Teddy Bruschi retired, Asante Samuel, and Ellis Hobbs left, and suddenly it seems as if no one in the organization except Tom Brady likes playing for Bill Belichick.
The defense never replaced the talent they lost in the secondary and re-signing Junior Seau apperas to be an every year thing. Add to that the fact that Richard Seymour was traded to the Raiders for an aging Derrick Burgess and suddenly your pash rush has taken a hit.
Belichick plans on taking over the responsibilities of defensive play calling in 2010 which many in the organiaztion seem happy about.
I don't believe it is the play calling so much as it is lack of talent compared to what the Patriots had during their Super Bowl runs.
However, the one thing that I have learned about Belichick is to never underestimate him.
Even after Adalius Thomas and the coach seemed to have a falling out that left Thomas on the bench for a few games Belichick says the organization has no plans on releasing him.
Not what I thought was going to happen during this off-season.
How do the Patriots plan on upgrading the defense and get the team back on track. Don't know, but one thing you can be sure of is Belichick will load up on draft picks and take in as much youth and talent as he can to find one player who could be the next great player in the game.