It was an up and down season once again. Denver made a great recovery and Manning showed he can still play with the best. Eli is a rollar coaster QB who can look different every year. Seattle looks to be a team on the rise if they put a few key positions on D and O in place next year. Green Bay showed their age and the Saints struggled all year without a real coach. The Niners had a great run and they are loaded for next year with a great QB but need a few key positions on defense next year. If they can make it again, when they get to the red zone again so late in the game, they will run instead of throwing to win. I am not sure anyone expected the Ravens to win but having a decent QB helps a defense who is strong at moments but also needs a few positions in the front and secondary filled, expecially as the game continues. They also better fix their defense to get faster players to stop the run on the ends.
The AFC was clearly down with Pitt needing to rebuild a defense and New England also showing their age on both sides of the ball. The Cowboy's may still be called America's team but defense and a QB that struggles to lead and be consistent with several troubled players once again played a role in an average season. Until the owner steps away and a coach draws tight lines, they will have some talent but struggle just to be 9-7. They fired a weak defensive coach only to hire one on social security the last decade. Washington seemed to have a bright future at QB but a coaches decision to listen to a hurt player may have impacted that team's future. Their team improved but they need more than a solid QB to be a real factor in a championship run. The Eagles once again fell apart with some talent and no leadership. Also, having to justify 100 million dollars for Vick who has lost a step and clearly falling apart. He is talented but they will not win a championship with him as QB. The Jets had issues with Tebow and a coach who clearly talks big but clueless how to win or control his team. The Jets QB once again struggled and we heard more about him vs. Tebow than anything else. It was a surprise that the coach was not fired and we get to see a mess again next year, minus Tebow. Tebow may not be a strong QB but as a fullback or TE he could have helped this team. Teams like Cleveland, Bufflao, Tampa Bay, and Cincy once again were the teams we expected to lose and showed little improvement. The Lions were the team to watch coming in but looked as if they forgot how to play defense or finish a game, and was a huge non-factor. Arizona had high hopes but once again had the same issues and same results. The Vikings had the best runner but their defense kept this team from being a real threat and the QB never became consistent. The Bears struggled all year and in the end fired one of the best coaches in the league to fix an issue management created. The Jags were horrible from coaching to players and they need to fire everyone and hold team and coach tryouts.
We saw many coaches fired and new QB's in Seattle and the Niners and both had great runs in the stretch. Oregon's coach played the "I am staying" comment but in the end he left a strong program to get millions and a win now job in the NFL. We even discussed Saban leaving but clearly he has built a dynasty at Bama and makes the same pay as an NFL coach. Trust me, he will be at Bama a long time. The Giants fell apart but many expected them to once again rebound and make a run, never happended. The coach will once again be on the hot seat even though he has two rings and clearly proven he is a top coach in the NFL. Carolina had great hopes for their new QB who struggled just to act like he was an adult when losing. He is talented but clearly needs leadership 101 classes.
Of course, we still talked about steriods, bar fights, drunk driving, drugs and teams that have no self control. Talent only takes you so far, you also need a no-nonsense coach that pushes the players and develops a team with discipline. I am not sure if there is any team we would say every year "they are the team to beat". The Falcons had a great year but once again showed they were built for a season not championship. Pitt had their usual injuries and a QB who once again looked average and lacked any leadership.
I am 29-4 on picking the superbowls, I actually picked the Ravens to win by 3.
In the end, it was a good season and it is wide open with no clear power team standing out for next year. The Niners will just get better and Denver will be a threat. The age clock is ticking at New England and Green Bay. The Saints had allot of talent 2 years ago but now look average with a solid QB but major issues on defense. The Ravens are a team that could be a factor but they could also be 8-8, never know. They do have a great coaching staff who will be ready for every game. What are your thoughts on the NFL season?