It's 888 Miles to Chicago...
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  Here's the deal...you're sitting there after your team played (or didn't play) this past weekend...either bummed that they lost, or excited about their victory...but you know there is something that they need to get them to Miami, or at least close to Miami...the state of Florida at least.  And you're sitting there thinking things through, and you open a bottle of Coors...the official Beer of the NFL...and out pops a Genie in officially licensed NFL apparel. 

And he simple states, "You have 1 wish that you make for your team"

"I wish all the other teams were coached by Denny Green."

"It has to be about your team...sorry those are the rules."

So what would you do hotshot?  What would you do?  We'll this in an orderly fashion, from worst to best in terms of records....

Arizona

"We don't need a wish, we should be 5-3.  I mean, this league is what we thought it is.  Just go ahead and crown them!"

Strangely, the only Cards "fan" that would talk to me was Denny Green.  Everyone else just sort of mumbled, "Same old Cards" and walked away.  Here's what this team needs...a new Coach, a new O-Line, and time.  They need to get rid of Denny now, before he does anymore damage to Leinart, and then find the right coach for this team after the season is over.  Then, they need to ignore the desire to get more skill players, and focus all efforts on drafting, signing and developing a good offensive line.

As for this season, they're done.  Be safe out there, and don't get hurt guys.

Detroit

"I wish Matt Millen would fire himself."

The world would be a much better and saner place if this happened.  Once Millen is gone, a good GM could come in here, and straighten this thing out pretty quickly...they could hire a monkey that just sits there and plays with himself, and they would be better off.  A close 2nd on the wish list was, "I wish we could have do overs on the 3 WR 1st round picks."  But in the end, Millen is the root cause.

Miami

"I wish Daunte would regain his 2004 form"

So much for the Dolphins making the leap this year.  Same people that were saying the Cards were going to be tough this year...and the year before.  Culpepper was a big splash of a pickup, but everyone forgot 2 things...his knee wasn't all the way healthy and before he got injured, he was having the worst season of his career.  In fact since Moss isn't out there catching his passes, Daunte has been terrible.  And now he's sunk so low, that Joey Harrington is starting in front of him.  Yep, the Joey that was drafted by Millen...and the Joey who's best talent as a QB is that he's a hell of a piano player.

Houston

"I wish we could have a do over with the draft...please?"

The 2006 draft is going to be the bane of the Texans existence.  Sort of like the Bowie over Jordan thing....but on a much grander scale since there was no hint of logic to this one.  Plus, there are at least 3 different players that the Texans should of taken...Bush (the consensus), Young (the howetown hero) or Leinart (the Carr Replacement).  Every draft looks weird in hindsight...the problem here is this looked weird when it happened, and with each passing day, more proof is added to the argument.  Ah well, at least David Carr is having a breakout season...what?  He was benched?  Um, hey, you have a team, that's something.

San Francisco

"I wish we had a defense, any defense...we're not asking for the Steel Curtain or the '85 Bears...just an average defense."

The 49ers are one of the worst defenses in the league.  Their pass defense is swiss cheese.  Their run defense isn't as bad...but that's mainly because you can throw at will on them.  Isn't Mike Nolan supposed to be a defensive minded coach?  So, where's the D?  I have this feeling a Juco team could score on these guys.

Washington

"I wish Daniel Snyder would stop trading away draft picks, because our team is just old."

And man, have they looked old the last couple weeks.  That's what happens when you don't draft anyone and you cash in your draft picks to overpay aging vets...most of which weren't all that good to begin with.  I think Snyder has realized that he can't buy a championship, but that if he makes a splash every off season, he can increase season ticket sales every year...and in the end, making money is all that matters.  So he's decided to win the off season, and forget the regular season.

Tampa Bay

"I wish the Gradkowski magic will last all year!"

And this is one of the reasons I love following sports...because every year, someone comes out of no where, and succeeds against all the odds.  I mean here's a guy who was the 364th pick of the draft, from Toledo, and his name is Gradkowski...I know it's been said...but if he was an O-lineman, people would expect it...but a QB...no.  While the rest of the Bucs starts to resemble the population of Tampa...old...Bruce the Great, is giving everyone a little excitement.

Pittsburgh

"I wish we could play the Chiefs every week"

If things keep going like they have so far, the Chiefs game is going to be the highlight of the season for the defending champs.  But hey, they played really well that game.  But Big Ben seems a little out of it, and there just doesn't seem to be any urgency from these guys.  Can a team miss an overweight short yardage back this much?  Or is there some other kind of trouble in the Steel City?  I've only seen them in their moment of glory against the Chiefs; I haven't seen them in their floundering games....so your guess is as good as mine.

Oakland

"I wish the offense was playing like the defense...and it would be nice if there was a sign of life from Art."

The Raiders D has gotten better every week, which isn't surprising since there's a Ryan involved.  Rob Ryan, son of Buddy, has got the D kicking it into high gear...and he has the horses as well.  But the offense is floundering, and the main issue is the O-Line.  No running game and Andrew Walter is looking better every week, but can't do much when people are in his face all the time.  I will say, that any team that has John Shoop involved in the offense (he's the TE coach)...is just asking for trouble.

Buffalo

"I wish Dick Jauron was replaced with a 1990's vintage Marv Levy."

At least then, the Bills wouldn't choke until the Super Bowl.  And they would be well coached every Sunday.  A close second was "I wish JP Losman could channel just a little Jim Kelly."  And a distant 3rd was, "I wish OJ was back."

Cleveland

"I wish we had Bernie Kosar back...damn, did I say that out loud?  Crap, that's not my wish..."

Seriously, is there anyone else in the last 20 years of Browns football that was a bigger name?  Bernie is their "big" star...is there really anyone on this present team that could surpass Bernie?  I really don't think so, and that is really sad.  This team is just boring with a capital B.  I just don't want to waste any more time here.

Tennessee

"I wish that Jeff Fisher weathers the storm"

The tide is starting to turn in Titan-land...Vince Young is the real deal...and the offense is starting to respond to him.  And the team seems to be slowly reshaping after years of purging bloated salaries for talented youth.  The only hope, is that Jeff Fisher, one of the NFL good guys in coaching, stays through this.  He's been to the mountain top, and he's weathered the storm in the valley...now that the team is starting to climb back up, it would be a shame to see him out on his rear.  He might chose to leave of his own accord, but I hope he doesn't.  Jeff Fisher, stick around, enjoy the Vince Young years...they should be a blast.

Green Bay

"I wish Brett Favre would crap or get off the pot."

Here's the thing, Brett Favre is a first ballot hall of famer, but he's on a go no where team, and he's on the downside of  his amazing career.  Brett, just come out this week and say it's your last hurrah.  Take the victory lap around the league, and hang them up...trust me, it will be hard, but it's for the best.

Carolina

"I wish that Steve Smith's hammys stay healthy all year"

Here's the worst kept secret in football, the Panthers offense goes as far as Steve Smith can take it.  Yeah, they have some issues with RB health (as always) and their DBs aren't playing great, but this team is well coached, has a good D and an amazing playmaker on Offense...the only WR in the league that can single-handedly win a game.  Note to the rest of the league...HIT THIS GUY IN THE LEGS!!!

Philadelphia

"I wish McNabb would stop talking like Denny Green"

If I was a Philly fan...and I heard McNabb's statements last week, and then watched them lose another close game...well, my heart would be on the floor.  The season is over, these guys might limp into the playoffs, but McNabb...unless he really turns it around...and stops talking like Denny Green...he'll always be the bridesmaid, and never the bride...maybe, and this is going to sound so wrong...TO was right.

NY Jets

"I wish Curtis Martin the best, and hope he enjoys retirement."

This is another team that is on the rise, and has things coming together.  Eric Mangini is coaching his brains out, and this team is playing hard for him.  Now Curtis, just hang them up...you've had a fantastic career...time to ride off into the sunset.

St. Louis

"I wish the Seahawks were back in the AFC West"

Without the Hawks, the Rams could walk away with this division.  Instead, they've lost their home game to the Hawks, and now have a tough round to the playoffs.  Both the Hawks and Rams should win their other division games, but it will likely come down to the Rams beating the Hawks in Seattle...which probably won't happen.

Kansas City

"I wish our D didn't play with it's hands around it's throat."

I watched the whole Chiefs-Hawks game, and the 3 things I took away...wow, LJ is good when he gets some blocking...Damon Huard doesn't need a groin to play...and the Chiefs D really wanted to lose that game.  I've never been impressed with Herm Edwards as a coach, and his late game management is terrible.  I have a feeling it's going to bite him a few times this year.  But Chiefs fans, look at it this way...LJ is really good.

Cincinnati

"I wish we could actually stop the run...damn, or that all our players would stop getting arrested...nah, stopping the run is more important....let's got with that."

Here's a quick lesson...when there is a guy running with the ball...stop him.  Second lesson, when a guy is trying to tackle your Pro-Bowl QB...block him.  Final lesson, when you break the law, you goto jail.  If the Bengals can figure all those things out, then things are looking good.  If not, it will be a long offseason in solitary confinement.

Seattle

"I wish we had won the Super Bowl last year."

Seriously, that's the only wish every Hawks fan has...this season is not over, they need to get healthy, they need to block better, and they need to figure out why the D is playing poorly.  I think those 3 things are all related.  Alexander and the O-line are a D's best firend...and without them the D is out on the field too long.  As long as they get healthy and the line comes together, they'll be right in the think of things come playoff time.  If not, it will be another bitter offseason...and a lot of "I wish we won the Super Bowl..."

Minnesota

"I wish Brad Johnson was 10 years younger."

The Pats made Brad look silly...outside of that, this team looks solid.  They'll get a wildcard spot and they'll make a little noise in the playoffs, but this team is going to be limited by the fact that Brad is on his last legs, and they have NO playmakers on O, outside of Chester Taylor.

Dallas

"I wish the Big Tuna would start coaching like its 1986"

The 1986 Big Tuna would have this team firing on all cylinders, and roaring towards the playoffs.  The 1986 Big Tuna would of just belt whipped TO on the first day of training camp and been done with it.  The 1986 Big Tuna would never have gone into the season with Drew Bledsoe as his starting QB.  The 1986 Big Tuna would never punt on 4th and 2, on the opponents 42, in the waning minutes of the 3rd quarter when his team is trailing.  The 1986 Big Tuna is dead...replaced but the much fatter, grumpier, and miserable 2006 version.

Jacksonville

"I wish Byron Leftwich's "injured" ankle stays that way for the rest of the season"

I think it's time we admit that while Byron has got an amazing amount of heart, he's not a top line starter in the NFL.  He's not a terrible QB, and you could win with him, if you had a grind it out running game, and WRs that can run after the catch.  But that's not the O they have in Jacksonville...so it's time to let David Garrard do his thing, and see what happens.

Baltimore

"I wish that Steve McNair stays free of his normal injuries"

Baltimore fans, I hate to say this out loud, but you know it's true...at some point this season, McNair is going to break down.  And he's going to miss several games.  It's just a fact of life in the later years of Air McNair.   And when that happens, are you prepared to go into battle with Kyle Boeller?  Didn't think so.

San Diego

"I wish Marty would grow a pair of testicles and play to win"

Will someone tell Marty that he has the potential to have a super high octane offense, and an attacking D that can just slaughter people?  And if he would just take his foot off the pedal, and play to win, this team would be inline for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  But it's not going to happen, cause Marty is what he is...and he'll always play not to lose.

Denver

"I wish we could beat the Colts"

It's that simple.  They can beat everyone else...but the Colts have their number.  If they can't figure it out, they'll be bridesmaids to the Colts bridesmaids every year.

Atlanta

"I wish that Vick continues to pass like a real NFL QB"

Everyone knew Vick could run.  Hell, everyone knew the Falcons could run.  We also all knew that Vick could not be a dropback passer.  And he still isn't.  But Atlanta has found a way to put his feet and arm to good use, and are running a textbox High school offense...and the results have been awesome so far.  Now if that D could just shape up a little, so they don't have to get into all these shootouts...

NY Giants

"I wish our D would show up and play every game."

They'll let up 42 to the Hawks, then hold down the Falcons.  The offense is always chuggin' along, scoring points with Tiki, Eli and co...but this team will only get as far as the defense can take them...cause I got news, Mannings don't do well when they are under pressure.

New Orleans

"I wish that the good karma we have lasts for the whole season"

What a story that would be, Saints in the Super Bowl.  It's not going to happen, but just the thought of it is awe inspiring.  My hope for the season, they continue this magical run, get to the playoffs, knock off the Vikings in the Wild Card game, and then get killed by the Bears in Chicago.  It's more than anyone would of guessed could of happened when the season started.

New England

"I wish that nothing happens to Tom Brady"

As long as Tom Brady is behind center, this team will always be in the hunt.  And they just keep getting better.  If anyone is wondering when the Bears will get their first loss...the game that has me scared...and the game that will be the biggest measuring stick is going into Foxborro....that will be a big one.

Indianapolis

"I wish...hmmm...need a DT, got MacFarland...running game is going okay...How about, I wish Peyton could win a big game in the playoffs?"

Listen, we know the Colts are awesome in the regular season.  And as long as they play the Broncos, they are awesome in the Playoffs as well...but this team will never scare anyone till they win that big playoff game.  Until then, Peyton is just Dan Marino.

Chicago

"I wish that Rex Grossman watch game film of Brady, Montana, Favre, Unitas...and figure out how to perform when the team needs you"

Rex, here's the deal, you won't need to win many for this team, but there will be a cold day in Chicago, or a warm day in Miami, where some good team is going to make you beat them.  And I don't want to see another Arizona mess.  You can do it Rex, I know you can.

And that's a team by team review of the season so far, and a little look into what's ahead.  Remember, still a lot of football to play, and lots of injuries to happen.  Pray your team stays healthy, and that John Shoop isn't involved...and then at least, it can't be all bad.

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