EAST COAST NFL FOCUS: BAD SEASONS LOOM FOR THESE 5 NFL TEAMS
Once again sports analysts, sports bloggers, media and all the talking heads from the major networks are anticipating the NFL season, with their predictions of where each team will end up. Sadly what constitutes a good season to some in all actuality may equate to a season of unmet expectations. By my reasonably high standards the end result is a bad season, with worn down players and pissed off fan bases. So let’s take a look at a few east coast teams from where I stand that will be sorely disappointed by season’s end.
NEW YORK JETS: This is an easy one to call, but I’ve yet to identify what’s a reasonable expectation this season. An 8-8 record? A Wild Card birth? A division champion? Despite the off season acquisitions of Chris Johnson, and Eric Decker this team still has many glaring issues. Jets fan, let’s be honest, you’re tired of your team stinking it up and getting whipped by your big brother the New England Patriots. It runs all over you, and worse there is no end in sight. You are still not even close to your divisional rivals, and you have a healthy QB controversy brewing. Yes Geno Smith will be your week 1 starter, but we all know winning now requires Vick calling the plays and at the first sign of trouble the New York media will be all over Rex Ryan about when Vick will get his shot, a distraction you don’t need. It stinks playing for second in the division, but that’s reality Jet fan and 9 wins will be a miracle. Another bad season is just around the corner.
MIAMI DOLPHINS: Every time I see that Dolphins team from 1972 that had the perfect season celebrating with champagne after the last undefeated team gets beaten, it makes me happy how terrible the dolphins have been since Dan Marino retired. This is no quick fix as the O-line is terrible, the running game is unproven, and Ryan Tannehill has been pedestrian since entering the league. Combine that with the fact that Kanye and Kim have better chemistry than #1 target Mike Wallace and Tannehill and that spells trouble all around for this team. The good news Dolphin fan is that nobody expects much out of you this season, and if you can manage to make it through the season without anybody getting bullied that would be your biggest win this season. A good defense is wasted on this terrible offense and another bad season should be expected.
NEW YORK GIANTS: A loyal fan base with perennially high expectations is set for a major let down this season. The Giants sustained too many losses on defense, and their running game lacks depth. Rashard Jennings can be a beast, but are you prepared to hang your hat on a Liberty University graduate who lacked consistency on two bad teams? (Jaguars & Raiders) Eli Manning is running out of targets and Tom Coughlin probably wishes he retired when he had the chance. Giants’ fans make sure to say your prayers for those Cowboys, because if it wasn’t for them, you would be the clear cut basement dwellers in the NFC East. This is going to be an embarrassingly long season and a bad one at that.
ATLANTA FALCONS: As quick as you can, name the Atlanta Falcons backfield. That’s what I thought. I spoke with a few Falcons fans recently that couldn’t do the same either. So what Falcon fan do you really think Julio Jones and a healthy Roddy White are going lead this team to the top of a division that has Carolina, New Orleans and a much improved Tampa Bay team? So it’s been established, there’s no running game, Tony Gonzalez will be laughing at you from the FOX game day booth, and your quarterback is an interception machine. Defenses will lock down the Falcons unlike any season in recent memory and sitting in I-75 morning traffic will be more entertaining than watching this team play. The unwarranted high expectations will not be met this season, and one could only conclude that a failure to make the playoffs translates to a bad season indeed.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Is it humanly possible that the most successful franchise in the last 14 years will have a bad season? I say yes, and here’s how. The equation is simple really. They will win their division and secure a first round bye in the playoffs. They will dominate teams all season long, and a resurgent Tom Brady will look unstoppable partnered with a 4-headed power running game. Unfortunately the season doesn’t end there, and the only end play to speak of, is one that involves a trip to the Super Bowl. If that’s the goal, and I don’t think they have it this year, than only one conclusion can be drawn. This will be a bad season by the Patriots. What will make this pill extra hard to swallow, is that Peyton Manning will inch just a little closer to the accolades achieved by Tom Brady and Patriot fans for another year will get blasted by Patriot haters for not winning a Super Bowl since they were caught cheating. An argument that is played out no doubt, but is well deserved and comes with merit.
If you are a fan of one of these respective teams, don’t stop cheering. Fight the good fight, even if the hurtful truth makes that difficult to do. Football is still a game and it must be played. Anything can happen and this is merely my opinion, but you can never say I didn’t tell you the hard things in life – something a true friend always does.