A lot is going wrong in the NFL his year. Depending on what team you root for it’s either a blessing, same old or “we’ll get ‘em next year.” For these teams, there’s something wrong. Yet some of them still have playoff shots at the halfway point of the season.
Dallas Cowboys (1-6)
The pressure started on these guys when Cowboys Stadium was selected to host Super Bowl XLV. Coach Wade Phillips doesn’t have the leadership to mold this team, Tony Romo no longer dates Jessica Simpson (and he got hurt) while receiver Miles Austin no longer dates Kim Kardashian. I’d feel like losing too if I no longer dated those girls.
Washington Redskins (4-4)
New coach Mike Shanahan bullied lineman Albert Haynesworth during training camp, forcing the bruising defender to try to pass a conditioning test (which the massive Haynesworth failed repeatedly) before getting on the field. Haynesworth is an All-Pro player. Why would you do this? The team itself has been mediocre, but the most questionable move came this week when starting quarterback Donovan McNabb was benched for lack of conditioning and his inability to master the two-minute offense.
Guess who worked out for the Redskins this week? Jamarcus Russell, the former Raiders oaf, arguably one of the laziest players to ever put on an NFL uniform. This tub of lard is going to help? The Raiders have average quarterbacks now and technically, they’re in playoff contention.
Arizona Cardinals (3-4)
My friends always give me grief for saying quarterback Matt Leinart could have led this team. Well, he was never given a full season’s chance, outplaying Derek Anderson for the starting job and still getting released. Coach Ken Whisenhunt had his mind made up long before the preseason finished and now he has been rewarded with a season of mediocrity. Anderson, who has been OK his entire career and undrafted rookie Max Hall from BYU lead this team. The Cardinals still have a chance since they play in the awful NFC West, perhaps the worst division in the history of the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers (2-6)
I don’t know how to explain this one. The way the Niners have played the past couple of years this was a gimme. In a division with lowly Seattle, Arizona minus Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin and the always pathetic St. Louis Rams, San Francisco should win this division by default. Yet the team started 0-5. The 49ers can still win the division since the Seahawks are 4-3 and coach Pete Carroll had more talent at USC than Seattle.
Minnesota Vikings (2-5)
Brett Favre came back after holding the team, football fans and ESPN hostage. But receiver Sidney Rice got hurt early on, the Vikings got behind early and then superstar and super diva Randy Moss was brought in. Moss didn’t pan out as he was released this week. He had a bad attitude (what a surprise) and he might be an impact player for another team assuming he doesn’t wear out his welcome after a month. Minnesota’s defense is still good and running back Adrian Peterson is a stud, but losing close games has put the team in a hole. It doesn’t look good the rest of the way. To make the playoffs, the Vikings would have to finish 8-1 or 7-2 and that’s extremely unlikely.
Carolina Panthers (1-6)
Carolina still has a team? Who plays for them? Seriously, I can’t name any impact players for this team. I know they drafted Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame. That’s about it though. When you don’t have any players that the casual fan is aware of, you know the team is in bad shape.
Buffalo Bills (0-7)
The Bills’ major problem is that Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Bruce Smith don’t play for them anymore. The current Bills stink. Like the Panthers, they have no impact players. Nobody has a fantasy team loaded with Buffalo players. Nobody in their right mind would go to Las Vegas and bet that these Buffalo Bills will go to four straight Super Bowls.
Denver Broncos (2-6) John Elway doesn’t play for these guys. Neither does running back Terrell Davis. And Shanahan doesn’t coach here. At least with Shanahan the team had a system in which it could still be successful. Now, the Broncos are so bad they lost to the previously downtrodden Raiders, 59-14. Are you kidding me, 59 points? The NFL record is 62 points. No teams ever score that much. Maybe former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow can play defense. It can’t hurt, right?
San Diego Chargers (3-5)
This is all you need to know about the Chargers’ demise: they are coached by Norv Turner and he is a proven loser. He coached Washington and he coached the Oakland. Both of those teams sucked. San Diego probably would have at least gone to a Super Bowl with former coach Marty Schottenheimer. He was fired after going 14-2 and losing in the AFC divisional playoff game. The geniuses in the San Diego front office replaced him with Turner and the Chargers have underachieved since.
Cincinnati Bengals (2-5)
Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco is a recipe for disaster. Pair these guys up with Moss and you’ll be guaranteed an 0-16 season. The team would probably be so dysfunctional, the Bengals would cease to exist and fans wouldn’t even be given a refund for games they don’t get to attend. On paper, the team looked strong and like Minnesota, has lost close games. But this is the NFL. You win two close ones, you’re in playoff contention. You lose them and you end up on this list. Cleveland Browns (2-5) The Cleveland Browns will suck forever. When are they ever good? Who plays for them? Does Tim Couch still play quarterback? Ever watch “The Drew Carey Show” and just get baffled at the “Cleveland Rocks” song? Who likes the Indians? Browns? Cavaliers? Hell, LeBron James loved the Cavaliers so much he took his talents to South Beach. Cleveland is playing for another top three pick in the draft and judging by its sorriness, will “earn” that pick yet again.