- 11/17/2011, 01:38PM ET
J-Business said 11/17, 01:38 PM
Nine games into the season and.....................
Biggest positive surprise
The Bengals were predicted by many to be the absolute worse team in the league.
Their starting quarterback decided to quit, rather than continue to play.
Top receiver Chad Ocho left during the offseason
Running back was Cedric Benson was expected to miss games because of jail time and court
Rumors swirled around that Marvin Lewis must have had pictures of the owner in a compromising position to keep his job.
So what happens?
The Bengals are 6-3 and in position to make the playoffs and possibly win their division
The Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles brought in 2 all-pro cornerbacks
Micheal Vick was a year into the system and ready to let loose
The Eagles snagged Steve Smith from the hated Giants
They were widely believe to easily win the NFC East and be a Super Bowl contender
So what happens?
The Eagles are 3-6
Vick is playing horribly
The Eagles defense is a mess
Andy Reid might lose his job
The Eagles will most likely miss the playoffs and the season is an epic fail
Note: Who ever takes this, use 2 different teams
OJ Simpson said 11/17, 02:13 PM
SF 49ers at 8-1
It's been 9 years since they won more than 8 games. This is virtually the same identical team that finished with 6 wins last year, 8, 7 and 5 wins the years before that.
Smith isn't losing them any games with bad passing, their defense has been lights out against the run and servicable against the pass. It never has been until this year.
ATL Falcons at 5-4
The reason I think they are worse off than the Eagles, is because of their pasts.
The Eagles were great on paper but they never accomplished anything. They just threw a bunch of random stars together and expected success out of the gate. It doesn't work that way in the NFL. You need a team, not individual stars. Diva WR like Jackon don't help either.
The Falcons went 13-3 last year. After 9 games this year, they've already lost more games than they did all year in 2010. Matty Ice started out 18-1 at home over his career. He's lost more home games this year than he did in his previous 19 starts!
With all the weapons they have (Turner, Jones, White, etc...) this team shouldn't be so inconsistent.
J-Business said 11/17, 04:30 PM
The 49ers are a bit of a surprise.
Not many people expected them to be 7-1 at this point
However, many analysts felt that Harbaugh was the right coach to bring the best out of
a team regularly chosen to take the lead in the weak NFC West and now they're doing it
The Bengals on the other hand is shocking!
No one expected them to do anything
Unlike the 49ers, the Bengals are doing it in the toughest division in the NFL.
They don't have an easy conference game between Pittsburgh, Baltimore and instate rival Cleveland
They're holding their own and no one in their right mind picked them to make the playoffs
The Eagles were a top 5 team in most preseason rankings and picked to win it all
Contrary to what you mentioned, the Eagles have had just as much success the past few seasons and went to the playoffs 4 out of 5 seasons and actually won games
Atlanta hasn't won a playoff game since Micheal Vick and although they win games during the season, they're not viewed as a real post season threat
The Eagles signed some of the biggest FA and actually have the players to compete
The story of the Eagles losing is almost bigger than if they were winning
OJ Simpson said 11/17, 05:25 PM
The way you lump Cincy in with the "playoff teams" in their division is a bit misleading. You say they don't have easy games with the elite teams in their division... but their record has little to do with that so far.
They've had a very easy schedule so far. Their opponents:
Browns, Indy, Jags, Denver, Seattle, Titans and Bills. Their only games against elite teams (49ers & Pitt), they lost. Yes we all thought Cincy would be terrible, but their fluffy schedule is more of a factor than elite play.
The Eagles went 10-6 last year and right or wrong, almost ALL the credit went to Mike Vick and his MVP calibre season. The team wasn't heralded as superb, Mike Vick was "the reason" for their success.
Just because fans in Philly think they have a Superbowl team and some "experts" in the media are quick to jump on the bandwagon, doesn't mean that the team is destined for greatness. Vince Young is the one that coined them the "Dreamteam" when they really weren't even close to such a thing. Keep those three 4th quarter blown leads and they sit 6-3.
Vick is always an injury waiting to happen and is hurt currently. He also has a passer rating below 80.
J-Business said 11/18, 12:59 PM
It wasn't just Philly and media hype.
The Eagles main problem last year was stopping the pass. Hence they went out and got two of the best cornerbacks in the league.
The fact that many people thought they were destined for greatness and now they've fallen on their faces makes it a big disappointment
Atlanta on the other hand is still very much alive.
Their 13-3 record last year was special and not many people thought they'd repeat
In fact, they're second in the NFC South and still very much alive for the playoffs. I don't even see how they're considered to be a disappointment
Cincinnati vs San Francisco is purely subjective
What's more surprising: A team expected to be the worse in the NFL and making the playoffs or a team expected to be average and doing very well?
No one saw Cincinnati coming and schedule or not, they're winning games that they weren't expected to win.
San Francisco has largely underachieved the past few seasons. They have a decent running back, good wide receivers and tight end. A top draft pick QB
Their defense has always been decent
With a good coach they're reaching their potential
OJ Simpson said 11/18, 02:48 PM
Another thing to look at Cincy:
They were mediocre with "stars" like Ocho Cinco and T.O. and those 2 didn't do a thing when they were together. Palmer played well at times, but it's been a while since Cincy had a bonafied team and not just players playing behind the massive egos of the guys I just mentione. It's hard to play when you have these giant heads blocking your view.
Substract 3 malconents and add in two dynamic rookies and you won't be that worse off. People overblown the situation with these guys leaving and didn't focus on what Dalton and Green could bring to the table.
As sum1 pointed out in the comments, my math even short changed the point I made about the Eagles and the record they COULD have right now with just a small tweak to their game. A potential 8-1 start if but for a few mistakes.
I wouldn't say they've fallen on their faces, they just haven't dominated. They are only getting 3.5 quarters of solid play. Looking multiple 4th quarter lead after 4th quarter lead is mostly mental to me. If they can stop teams for 3 quarters, why not 4? It can't be talent, it has to be attitude and desire.
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