The NFL's Biggest Surprises in 2008

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The NFL's Biggest Surprises in 2008

For football fans, 2008 has been a wild year.

After the Giants knocked off the mighty New England Patriots in Super Bowl XVII, many fans thought that the weirdness was over. That we, as a nation, would go back to the same league landscape we had seen for years.

Boy, were they wrong.

This has been a bizarre season. For proof, one only has to look at the emerging playoff picture. One of the best teams in the entire league, the Carolina Panthers, didn't make the playoffs last season. The Tennessee Titans went one-and-done last year.

The Falcons? They didn't even have a proper head coach this time last season.

Then there is the shift in power. For years, the Patriots, Colts and Chargers were near locks to make the postseason. Now the Colts, Super Bowl champs only two short years ago, didn't even win their division.

And the Pats and Chargers? Both are struggling simply to make the playoffs.

Then again, some things never change. Like the Lions. In an ever-changing league filled with salary caps and free agency, the Lions have been a model of consistency. Too bad they're consistently awful.

The year had its ups and downs. Take the Bills and Redskins, for example. Both teams started hot, but are now missing in action. Redskins' rookie head coach recently called himself "the worst coach in the league," and Bills coach Dick Jauron is likely going to be out of a job soon.

But in a season full of surprises, some things happened that none of us saw coming. From injured superstars and new coaches to impact rookies and surprise trades, this season has had arguably more intrigue than any in recent memory.

As we count the days until the New Year, now is the perfect time to reflect on what made this year in the National Football League so memorable.

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