Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NFL 2008's Perceptions

Forget what the records say exactly. Forget all of the black-and-white. I like going back and looking at what each team did or didn't accomplish in the 2008 season.

Just a wild season. Yes, the Wild Card loss stings, but to imagine that a team that won one game last year would win 11 games and the championship of a very competitive AFC East.

New England: It's hard to say that a team that went 11-5 could have had their worst season in years. Technically that's the case since the Pats failed to make the playoffs and Tom Brady's career may never be the same.

NY Jets: On the surface, it wasn't a bad season. The Jets were vying for a playoff spot down to the last week of the season. However, the addition of Brett Favre, Kris Jenkins and other free agents led many to believe that this would be a magical season. This team lost 4 of 5 to end the season, the coach fired and Favre not knowing his next move. That's what you signed up for, J-E-T-S!

Buffalo: Bad season. It started so promising even though most of us knew it wouldn't last. I haven't seen a team move from the top of the division to an also ran so quickly.

Well, they are one of eight teams alive. Still, has any other top tier team gotten by on the skin of their teeth more than the Steelers? From Romo's Pick-O-Rama to a controversial TD against the Ravens (and another close one with the Ravens), to squeakers over the Chargers, Browns and Jaguars. It doesn't matter though since they're still here.

Baltimore: No matter who is running things, that defense is just so good. How else can a rookie coach and rookie QB still be around in the Divisional Round of the playoffs? Remember that this team finished last in this division last season.

Cincinnati: Don't get it twisted, this was a horrible year. The Bengals figured to be about an 8-8 team but bottomed to an 1-11-1 start. Next year could have some high hopes as Carson Palmer returns, hopefully Cedric Benson will too and that young defense keeps on improving.

Cleveland: Not to say I told you so, but I wasn't buying into the preseason hype around the Browns. This team surprised everyone in 2007 that people thought it was the start of something wonderful. Well, a tough schedule and infighting led to a last place finish and the firing of Romeo Crennel and GM Savage. However, the worst thing that may have happened was that whole Savage-Winslow deal where another staph infection tainted the Browns.

Who saw this happening? Remember the season started with Vince Young not going back into a game and then, allegedly, going missing for an evening. Insert 67-year old Kerry Collins to not screw things up and watch that awesome defense do their thing. If anyone needs a refresher that building up your trenches could be advantageous, look here.

Indianapolis: Great season that ended too soon. The Colts had their backs against the wall early this year. They needed miracles to beat the Vikings and Texans or else they'd be staring at an 0-4 start. They would win their last nine games and become the scariest team entering the postseason. Amazing that people felt Peyton Manning was done early in the season and then he ends up the league's MVP.

Houston: Not much to say here, only that "hey, the Texas were a decent team this year. Look out next year!" Some things never change.

Jacksonville: One of the most disappointing teams. People figured that the Jags would be the ones to break the Colts stranglehold on this season. Then the Jags imploded with arrests, injuries and an unfortunate incident involving Richard Collier. Hard to know if this is just a bump in the road or a sign of things to come.


No comments: