Teams Declining

By Zack Cimini

As the NFL season kicks off tonight there are already
coaches afraid for their lives. There are so many
average teams in the league this year that the playoff
scenarios will be considered silly. Who would have
thought that the Houston Texans, Cincinnati Bengals,
and the Seattle Seahawks would be serious playoff
threats a few years ago? Nobody, but because they
built up with young inexperienced players they are now
ready to challenge the rest of the league.

There are other teams though that look like they are
going to be in for a long year. Let?s take a look at
those teams.

1. Miami
There isn?t another team in the NFL that went from a
serious threat to a lottery draft pick than Miami.
Here is a team that can?t get anything right whether
it?s in the front office or on the field. On the
defensive side of the ball they lost Jamar Fletcher
for David Boston who is out for the year. That?ll hurt
them big time because Fletcher was actually making
improvements last season. With the NFL?s big time
receivers it is going to be hard for just Madison and
Surtain to shut down opposing teams. In fact, last
year Madison was an average cornerback on any given
Sunday. They Dolphins also lost Ogunleye for Marty
Booker, which makes no sense at all. Add to the fact
that Miami just lost the third round pick they
acquired in that trade for the rights to former St.
Louis running back Lamar Gordon.

You would think if Miami seriously wanted another
running back they would have pulled off this trade a
week or two after Ricky Williams declared that he was
retiring. It?ll probably take Gordon two to three
weeks to get use to Miami?s system and it?s going to
make this offense look horrendous on the field. They
struggled throughout the entire preseason on offense,
and Dave Wannstedt was forced to rename Jay Fiedler as
a starter. It?s almost sad to see what is happening to
this team in Miami, because they?ve been a serious
threat since Dan Marino came to the team. A lot of the
defensive veterans aren?t too happy with the direction
of this team, and unless something changes quickly I
don?t think Wayne Huizenga will be either.

2. New York Giants
The Giants are another team that have been contenders
over the years but can never put it together. Now
they?ve brought in Kurt Warner who came alive in the
final preseason game to earn the starting job. Who
knows maybe Warner can stay focused on the field and
stop being jittery. He knows that he is auditioning
for another team, because as soon as the Giants aren?t
playing well he is going to be out for Eli Manning.
This team is just getting older and older. They?ve had
the same nucleus of players for a long time now that
just haven?t produced enough. Amani Toomer and Ike
Hilliard have been the Giants top two receivers for
years now, and it might be time to shuffle a new guy
in there. And we all know what happened with Thunder
and Lightning.

3. Atlanta Falcons
It seems that everyone has keyed on Michael Vick in
the preseason, as his play has been sub par. He just
hasn?t seemed comfortable as a pocket passer. I think
he may have been told information similar to what Jake
Plummer was when he was younger in the league. Plummer
had the tendency of scrambling too much, so his
coaches exemplified looking for the pass more. As he
started to do that more and more mistakes started
happening because he was concentrating too much on
finding the open receiver. In Vick?s case though he
needs to erase those thoughts and just take off
whenever. There were too many times in the preseason
games that he had open lanes to run in but didn?t
utilize the situation. The Falcons should win six to
eight games, but they?re a year or two away from
making it back to the playoffs.

4. Arizona Cardinals
Who knows why Dennis Green decided to declare that the
Cardinals would be a playoff team. There is no way on
Earth they are going to win more than six or seven
games. They have a backfield that has already failed
two years ago as a tandem in Emmitt Smith and Troy
Hambrick. Add to that they have a new starting
quarterback that hasn?t had a chance to mature with
his receivers because they?ve been hurt the entire
preseason. This all adds up to a horrific start to the
year, unless of course Dennis Green actually does have
them prepared. But from the way they played in the
preseason that isn?t a realization.

5. Tampa Bay
This team actually won the Super Bowl not too long
ago, but they could be non existent when it comes to
the playoffs two years later. They have a star wide
receiver holding out, and another in Joey Galloway
that has had his ups and downs in the league. Their
offense has never been flashy and their defense isn?t
going to be able to hold them up like it did in the
past. They?re still a solid all around team that will
battle for a wild card, but their days on top are
quickly winding down.


You must be logged in to post a comment.