Mike Florio: 6 Teams that won't return to NFL playoffs in '10
Friday, Jun. 18, 2010 - 11:25 a.m. ET
Earlier this week, I assumed that recent history will hold firm in 2010, and that half of the NFL teams that made it to the postseason in 2009 won't make it back this year.
Given that assumption, I listed the six teams most likely to return. So, for Part 2, let's look at the six that are the most likely to play no games beyond the final week of the regular season.
[B]New York Jets
All-Star teams generate a lot of buzz, but they rarely accomplish anything when it counts.
In New York, the already enhanced expectations from a 9-7 season that ended with a berth to the AFC title game went through the roof of their roofless new stadium via the collection of big-name players like LaDainian Tomlinson, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, and Jason Taylor.
Apart from the fact the Jets will be wearing a gigantic bull's-eye in every game, discontent among players who believe the team promised to "take care" of them could conspire to "take care" of the team's chances in 2010.[/B]
New England Patriots
Yes, the Patriots will be contenders for as long as quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick are in New England. But that doesn't mean they'll make it to the playoffs every year.
A vague sense has developed that the team's run of greatness is much closer to the end than to the beginning. Brady has been vocal regarding problems with work ethic and responsiveness to coaching, and his message may not be heeded by teammates given his decision to stay in L.A. for much of the offseason.
While the team has enough talent to excel, the rest of the league has caught up with the Pats — and this could be only the third time since 2001 that they failed to punch through to the playoffs.
The Bengals haven't qualified for the playoffs in two consecutive years since 1981 and 1982. And that was the only time they ever pulled it off.
In 2009, the Bengals caught teams by surprise early, but as the season progressed, the rest of the league figured them out. Cincy limped into the playoffs and then staggered out in round one.
This time around, everyone will be gunning for them — and things won't come easily. Especially with Carson Palmer's accuracy disappearing for long stretches during the latter stages of last year's playoff run.
When the Eagles made Kevin Kolb their first draft pick (at the top of round two) in 2007, they laid the foundation for April's decision to dump long-time starter Donovan McNabb. And while Philly has plenty of faith in Kolb, he'll soon be facing more scrutiny than he ever could have dreamed.
The offensive line has plenty of question marks, and the defense regressed significantly in the first year of the Sean McDermott era. To succeed, the Eagles need to clamp down on opposing offenses and display patience when in possession of the ball.
It won't be easy, especially in a division that includes the Cowboys, the Giants, and McNabb.
New Orleans Saints
Yes, the Saints won the Super Bowl. Yes, most of their key players will be back. Yes, quarterback Drew Brees seems to be determined to build upon a burgeoning Hall of Fame legacy.
But the rest of the league will have had months to break down the things the Saints did to put together that historic run, and the fact they played into February — and partied into April — will make it hard to put together another similar performance.
Then there's the presence of the good-and-improving Falcons, who'll enter the season with a chip on their shoulders after missing the playoffs despite putting together a winning record.
Arizona's prospects plummeted when: 1. Kurt Warner retired; 2. Matt Leinart didn't; 3. Derek Anderson reported for duty; and 4. the Cardinals didn't immediately pounce on Marc Bulger the instant he became available.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals allowed linebacker Karlos Dansby to walk away, and they replaced him with an over-the-hill loudmouth whose bark currently is far more potent than his bite. (We're talking about Joey Porter, for those of you who can't keep straight the various over-the-hill loudmouths.)
Though the presence of coach Ken Whisenhunt arguably counts for a couple of wins, the absence of a quarterback who can take advantage of receiver Larry Fitzgerald — and the absence of an Anquan Boldin who can take advantage of the attention paid to Fitzgerald — will make if very difficult to win the NFC West for a third straight season.
When teams go out and sign a collection of big-name players, they're usually giving them monster deals with the hope that these players will be the major contributers and reason for success.
We already have our core. The team was already in place before these signings. 2 of the players are playing for dollars so expect monster years. And LT and JT are getting paid peanuts and wont be asked to start or put up huge numbers.
Signing these 4 players won't be the reason if we did miss the playoffs. All 4 guys are addition by subraction IMO.
[QUOTE=shuler82;3633897]so.. Florio's picking the Dolphins to win the AFC EAST? :googly:[/QUOTE]
Nothing's impossible, but this is the part of the article that makes it so ridiculous.
The Pats have dominated the division for a decade and still have a top-5 QB. All signs say Welker will take the field before the end of the season. The Jets have a young QB that at least looked to come into his own at the most pivotal time of the season, and all of his targets are returning. They've added four players that were pro-bowlers at one point and should be good for at least one more season.
These two teams will miss the playoffs, but the Miami Dolphins will not only make the postseason but win the division because of the addition of Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby? Marshall with the two questionable hips? Based on what, Florio? Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but don't you have to at least try to support your stance before you have an article published?
It's articles like this that make you jealous (and sickened) of the fact that clowns like this get PAID to do what we do all day, talk football. This cat is so bad I bet his postseason predictions don't even include the Dolphins.
[QUOTE]These two teams will miss the playoffs, but the Miami Dolphins will not only make the postseason but win the division because of the addition of Brandon Marshall and Karlos Dansby? Marshall with the two questionable hips? Based on what, Florio? Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but don't you have to at least try to support your stance before you have an article published?[/QUOTE]
they also have the great chad henne at qb...that right there is why they will win the afc east...lol.. :P
He's got us missing the playoffs. Meh...whatever. He has the Saints missing the playoffs? Huh? Who's winning that division then? Carolina? Tampa? Atlanta is the only other decent team in the NFC South, but they're not close to the Saints. Does he think that Drew Brees is going to suddenly morph into an average QB? His only explanation is "they partied too hard."
Florio has been an idiot for decades. At least he is consistent. :) Never take anything written by Florio seriously. He's just another one of those dime-a-dozen antagonists who makes a name for himself through provocation rather than insightful reporting. IOW, a total hack.
Truthfully, the article isn't crazy. The question is which 6 of last season's 12 playoff teams are least likely to go back - I.e. Its not a prediction of who the 6 will be, just an identification of the teams with the hardest road.
To me, its the Colts (Manning + week division) and Chargers (no divisional competition)
On the next tier I'd place the Saints (primary division comp is Atlanta - decent but not great, + 2 awful teams), Ravens (comp is Bengals and depleted Steelers, addition of Boldin is huge for them), and Cowboys (biggest comp is philly - McNabb - they're the clear class of that division.
No 6 is tougher, so let's look at the teams with the hardest roads:
Jets and Pats - have to compete with each other, + an improved Dolphins team
Bengals - need to worry about the Ravens and Steelers and other wild card contenders in the AFC (since I don't think they have any shot at winning that division)
Philly - lost McNabb; how do they handle the transition
Arizona - Matt Leinart, no Boldin
That's 5, leaving the 2 roughly equivalent NFC north teams to split up, which is hard to do.
If pressed, I take GB (hard to rely on Favre to repeat last year), but its close.
In fact, I think that's why Florio put the Saints where he did - it was easier than splitting the Pack and Vikes