This list was done from the perspective of how the outcome of the questions posed affect the team's number of wins and losses or how far they go in the playoffs. I based these on the number of questions as well as the magnitude of each. I even threw in a curveball honorable mention.
Whatever you do, try not to put a finger through your computer screen. A simple "He did not just say that!" will suffice.
Nonetheless, I look forward to a great debate with you all.
Any time you have questions concerning a quarterback, it's huge. Just when you feel like the guy has started to glue himself to a "Franchise QB" tag, Vince Young's off the field antics wouldn't surprise me if they had an affect on his grip on the reins of the Tennessee Titans offense.
Should the distraction carry over, Young has shown us in the past that his character is fragile with talks of suicide and shaky confidence.
Hopefully he can bounce back because if the offense becomes one dimensional, CJ can forget about 2K.
Nonetheless, this team showed flashes of an uncanny ability to completely fall apart in a 59-0 loss to the New England Patriots. Young rebounded well, but is he in a position where he could fall back into a slump?
LeGarrette Blount looks like he could be an upgrade over Lendale White, as demonstrated by maintaining his weight at 240 pounds and breathing.
The Cowboys have a different kind of question mark than most teams on this list. They have shuffled around all positions while keeping high levels of talent. All positions, that is, except one.
The Cowboys have a lot of pieces in place to be a Super Bowl contender, and you can beat around the bush all day about personnel changes and such.
I think that discounting the ability of the Cowboys to reach the playoffs this season is a foolish move.
The biggest question for the Cowboys is Tony Romo's ability to perform under pressure in the playoffs. The Cowboys were favored to beat the Vikings in the playoffs last year, but the outcome was so bad that the flags at the Texas capital were probably flying half staff.
Brett Favre looked like he was deer hunting on a wildlife reserve picking apart their secondary. Meanwhile Romo was unable to respond when a stout Vikings defense forced him to beat them through the air.
I feel bad for them because the Cowboys are one of the most solid teams in the NFL when you weigh the strengths at each position and add them up. It just so happens that their weakness is the most critical one.
Dare I say that in the feuding triangle of Jason Witten, Terrell Owens, and Tony Romo, that Jerry Jones canned the wrong guy.
You heard it here first, I think the Cowboys will be drafting a QB in the first round within the next two years. Write that down!
The Denver Broncos would have scratched their name off this list had they followed up their decision to let Brandon Marshall depart for Miami by holding their draft pick and using it on Dez Bryant, but they didn't. Here they are.
With Kyle Orton being named the starter, perhaps the biggest question mark concerning trading down in the 1st round to draft Tim Tebow is can their receiving corps afford the move? I'm not sure, but Demaryius Thomas will have to prove to me that he can pull the weight alone rather than doing so without Dez Bryant sharing.
Josh McCandless came out on the right side of the Jay Cutler trade against the majority's opinion, so I'm willing to see him through on it.
So let me get this straight: because you drafted a running back with the 12th overall selection that means he is going to bring back the Ladainian Tomlinson days of old?
Vincent Jackson is already suspended for the first few games and will potentially work his way onto the trading block. It's always nice to see your star WR pull one of those after the draft.
If he goes, do the Chargers sign Terrell Owens?
I think at this point, you get the point that the Chargers' ability to balance their offense is resting squarely on the shoulders of Ryan Matthews and Vincent Jackson performing as expected. If that doesn't happen, things could get interesting in San Diego.
Donovan McNabb is a proven capable veteran who leaves little to be desired at the QB position; however, we have yet to see how he handles a complete change of scenery. McNabb has enjoyed extreme continuity throughout his 11 years in Philadelphia.
Albert Haynesworth has expressed his displeasure with the switch to a 3-4 defense, and personally I don't think that he will struggle there. However, I'm sure it's crossed Mike Shanahan's mind that he wouldn't mind locking Haynesworth in a room wall papered with "There's No 'I' in TEAM" with Mike Singletary for a week.
Haynesworth is among the worst in the league at handling his frustration±—although he has a pretty impressive sad puppy face for a man of his size.
Aside from acquiring a backfield by committee, the Redskins roster has relatively not changed much. They only had one draft pick in the first two days, and many feel that they erred in selecting Trent Williams over Russell Okung, but I will leave that one alone.
The team could also be in for a pleasant surprise with seventh-round selection Selvish Capers, who many projected to come off the board on day two of the draft. It will be interesting to see how these two tackles fill in for the retired all-pro Chris Samuels and departed Jammal Brown.
Washington had a lot of personnel transactions this offseason, but aside from the aforementioned, none seem to be a significant upgrade or downgrade of talent.
The Redskins have a numerically low number of question marks, but the offense's seeming upgrade with McNabb is a big one.
Adewale Ogunleye led the 2009 team with 6.5 sacks, and the team posted an unimpressive 34 sacks. In comes Julius Peppers, and the problem is solved! The Bears will have more than 40 sacks next year, write that down!
Last year, Jay Cutler posted a career high in interceptions. Will Chester Taylor's undeniable ability to catch the ball out of the backfield coupled with the likewise from Matt Forte help him out? Indications say yes, but this one has to be answered on the field.
Chester Taylor's acquisition poses the biggest question to be answered for the Bears on the field in my mind. It came as a surprise to me that the Bears didn't make a move to bolster their receiving corps. Have the Bears provided Cutler with enough receiving weapons for him to replicate his play in Chicago?
Could Chicago be a potential late landing spot for Terrell Owens? The Bears don't strike me as a team to shy away from cocky players.
The bottom line here is that Jay Cutler's play could decide which side of the dash mark eight or more games go on this year, and I expect some inconsistency to carry over from last year.
I think the biggest swirling question in Miami is will the acquisition of Brandon Marshall help further develop QB Chad Henne into a more mature, trusted QB with the football. The Dolphins invested a lot of time in Ronnie Brown and a draft pick in Pat White for players who can support a variety of trick plays.
The Dolphins have too often run a trickery style of offense and I think Tony Sparano has wisely realised that the playbook which one keeps "up his sleeve" will only get you so far.
I think this is a good move for the club, Marshall is arguably the current best receiver in football both at making catches and gaining yards after them. I would caution Sparano to crush Marshall and let him know he means business the first time he gets out of line. If that means suspending the superstar for a game, so be it.
However, I doubt it will happen that way. With the frustrations of developing a young QB, Marshall may yet head down the same road that Terrell Owens did at this point in his career, Sparano should recognize that, and recognize that he needs to be that iron fist coach that Owens never had.
The Dolphins have a formidable threat in the backfield, but both are prone to miss games. Brown has an injury history and Ricky Williams is entering his 11th NFL season.
The weakness on the defensive line was addressed well in the Draft, but the on-field production of Jared Odrick and Koa Misi remains to be seen.
If few or none of these things work out well for the Dolphins, it could be a really bad year for them.
Surprised to see Alex Smith's face on this slide? Well, you shouldn't be. Of the teams on this list, the 49ers have perhaps the fewest number of question marks; however, the questions are huge ones.
My first question is can this team win on the road outside of a weak division? Last year they were a Brett Favre miracle and a halfback passing for a TD against the colts away from knocking 2 of the conference championship teams on the road. The level of play doesn't need to elevate that much to get this done.
My second question is, will Singletary and Raye remember balance? Last year they were seemingly shifting to the spread offense as a last resort. The draft reflected that reluctance when they selected more beef at every offensive position except quarterback and receiver than Omaha Steaks ships out in a week.
The team scored more passing touchdowns than rushing last year, and every reason for that is as strong or stronger coming into this season. They must not abandon the pass and lose balance!
The biggest swirling question is the QB Position. Alex Smith has shown a significant amount of flashes of what it takes to get it done, as well as a significant amout of what doesn't hack it.
Five NFL seasons is an awful long time to develop a number one overall draft pick, however it's also an awful long time for a QB to not have all of the pieces in place around him to be successful.
Last year, Alex Smith got it done on several occasions and got a true taste of good game management. The evident emergence of Vernon Davis, raw production of Michael Crabtree now coupled with an offseason under his belt, and reported improvement of Josh Morgan in camp equates to the best receiving corps he's ever had by a long shot. Mix in the addition of speedsters Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn Jr. could significantly change the scenery amounts to an arsenal of weapons that is 3 times better than anything Alex Smith has ever had to work with.
Other swirling questions in San Francisco are the emergence of a feared pass rusher at the OLB position, and can Nate Clements step it up and live up to his alter ego, "Lockdown".
Also on the docket is did we create/draft a reliable backup and change of pace back for Frank Gore, who is prone to miss a game or two per season.
How fast, wither it be by injury or by performance, can Taylor Mays work his way into the starting lineup? His physical ability, hitting, and closing speed will present an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses when he can align it with NFL level awareness and playbook comprehension. Michael Lewis, although a strong run supporter, is possibly one concussion away from retirement.
With Ted Ginn Jr, Kyle Williams, and Leroy Vann to work with and chose from, it would seem that the 49ers return game will feature one of the best players it has had since the days of Dexter Carter and John Taylor, a key stat considering the 49ers showed a better potential to score once inside the red zone than ability to sustain a long drive to get there.
None of these, however, hold a candle to the final year of the Alex Smith experiment.
When Donovan McNabb headed to Washington, The Eagles were extremely confident that Kevin Colb would be able to assume the offense on his shoulders. So confident that... Wait a minute! Why is Michael Vick's face on this slide?! Wait you're right, the Eagle's offense was built on a dual threat quarterback.
The Eagles this year have perhaps the biggest self induced quarterback question mark of the last decade. Whoever ends up taking the lead here will have big shoes to fill. Personally, I like Vick to cement his name on this franchise over the next 2 years.
None the less, the Eagles could find themselves in for some serious growing pains. Shady McCoy and Brian Westbrook are both good running backs, however they are complete opposites and I think the Eagles will miss what Westbrook brought to the field.
The Eagles had a lot of draft picks this year, and seem to have used them wisely. Brandon Graham and Nate Allen should crack the starting lineup early, but their contributions won't hold a candle to the importance of what happens at quarterback for the team.
While the entire NFC west was thrown into a shake up by the retirement of Kurt Warner and the by-default promotion of Matt Leinert to starter, I think that it was expected.
Matt Leinert, like Alex Smith but to a lesser degree, has shown flashes that he understands what it takes to get the job done, but for the Cardinals it doesn't stop there.
Arizona lost a laundry list of good players, and although they brought in several other good players, they did not make up for the loss of Anquan Boldin. They can hope that the tandem of Steve Breaston and Early Doucet helps ease the loss, but I think that's all they'll do. Each one of these players and their respective replacement poses their own separate question, but the big question here is to what degree will the Cardinals miss Warner and Boldin?
The second question is will the power running game be a success with Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower?
As far as the draft goes, Dan Williams will make an instant impact beside Darnell Dockett, and Daryl Washington will provide immediately capable depth. Aside from that, the team loaded itself down with possible 3rd string depth and practice squad.
Without a doubt this is a rebuilding year for Arizona, to what degree remains to be seen.
Maybe Pete Carroll's third time is the charm? That's a pretty good size question to be entering a NFL season with. When you couple Pete Carroll and staff taking over with the health and age question mark of Matt Hasselbeck, it almost takes the cake for #1.
If I was to make a slide show of the top 10 draft picks in 2009 who didn't live up to expectations, Aaron Curry's name would probably be right below Darrius Heyward-Bey. Can Ken Norton Jr speed up his learning curve to effectively use his physical gifts to benefit the Seahawks?
The Seahawks wisely spent both first round draft picks I must say. Russell Okung was a no brainer choice considering the goal of keeping pass rusher's hands off of an aging Matt Hasselbeck. A lot of people are high on Earl Thomas, I would submit to you that I think a degree of his success benefitted from the quality of the defense around him. Good player? Absolutely. Capable starter? Yea I can't deny him that, but to plug this guy in and now our secondary's transformed... THAT will be answered on the field.
Like a lot of teams on this list, most changes that have been made to the Seahawks personnel project as positive ones, but can Pete Carroll bring it all together well enough to challenge a power running team with Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona, and a 49ers team that is up and rising in almost all areas remains to be seen.
In case the 3rd time around is not the charm for Carroll, I depict proof for you that it's not the first time he's been caught looking like a deer in the headlights.
To me, the 2009 Raiders made the least sense of any team in the League. By strength of fallen opponents, the Oakland Raiders may have been the best 5-11 team in NFL history.
By the quality of opponent they showed us the capability of beating, They showed us flashes of 11-5 potential and posted a 5-11 record.
In the offseason, the Raiders cut perhaps the biggest draft bust in NFL History in Jamarcus Russell. They followed up possibly the worst draft in team history in 2009 with arguably the best draft in team history in 2010. In the draft process, they acquired experienced veteran Jason Campbell, who comes to an Oakland system which fits his style of play much better than his former system in Washington.
Oakland is set in the backfield with McFadden and Bush, with the exception that they couldn't pass consistently enough to take the focus off of them. Reports indicate that Darrius Heyward-Bey is impressing in camp, meanwhile Louis Murphy didn't even take a full season to show the Raiders fans they struck gold using a 4th round pick on him.
The Raiders top my list because there is too much change, most of which seemingly positive, to predict what will pan out and what will not. If the Raiders post a 10-6 record in 2010, nobody will be able to say in retrospect that they didn't see signs of this brewing. If they post 5-11, they will at least show consistency in their ability to confuse.
Bruce Gradkowski proved that the pieces are in place to defeat playoff contenders with a capable QB under center, and the label "capable" is an understatement for dual threat QB Jason Campbell, but how well will he adjust to a new system?