Making A Run

By Zack Cimini

Every year there are teams that start off a season horribly and end up turning it around. It?s interesting how it unfolds, and they often end up making the playoffs as a ?hot? wildcard team. Here we?ll try to break down which teams have the best chance at doing that this year.

1. Pittsburgh
The Steelers can probably get away with losing seven games and still win this division. They?ll all probably end up bunched up together and it should come down to the last week of the season to determine the division winner. Bill Cowher always gets his team to adjust by mid season and then starts rolling off wins and once their defense starts playing well, they should be fine. Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress will be the scariest set of receivers to stop in the playoffs.

2. NY Giants
This team is just too good to not make a run. Unless the Cowboys fold, a division title is likely out of the question, but a wild card is still a possibility. The problem hasn?t been their defense; it has been turnovers on offense. Kerry Collins is just not getting enough protection, and they?ve also lost a lot of close games. Once their offense starts clicking they should be a fun team to watch.

3. NY Jets
Chad Pennington took over this team in the same predicament last year, and turned the whole year around. A win this week at Philadelphia would bring them to 3-4, and in a solid situation for a run. Lamont Jordan has been running the ball well, and Santana Moss is revitalizing their passing attack. They are always a scary team and even if they don?t make the playoffs they should win around seven or eight games.

4. New Orleans
The Saints have played absolutely horrible, but miraculously have three wins. If Carolina folds like they have in the past, than the Saints could end up winning the division. Tampa Bay has been shaky this year, and just doesn?t scare teams with their offense. Aaron Brooks is the most dangerous quarterback in the league when he is on, and Deuce McAllister has quietly had a great start to the season.

5. Oakland
Oakland is likely done, but with Rich Gannon likely out for a couple of weeks it might give Marques Tuiasosopo a chance to show he should be the starter. The Raiders have a bye this week, but Tuiasosopo would get a chance a week later. Gannon is getting up there in age, and could be the reason why the Raiders have faltered. A team just doesn?t go from the Super Bowl to nothing with the same exact players. A change in chemistry could spark this team, but with five losses a playoff berth is likely out of consideration.


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