It's roughly about halfway through the NFL season, give or take a week or 2. I like many teams, but there are 4 that get my unending support...until the play each other, than I'm happy for whoever wins, unless its a crucial game that one needs to win more than the other. However, it seems every year, I have 2 teams that are setting the league on fire and 2 that are in the doghouse. This is not as big an issue this year, but its still there.
Let's take a look shall we?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a pretty solid team.They did have some quartback controversy in the off season and early in in the season, but it seems to have been resolved...for now. Last year early in their season they lost their star running back, Cadillac Williams. Luckily, Ernest Graham stepped in (and saved my fantasy football team). Cadillac was cleared to return this week, so I'm curious to see what impact he will have. Hopefully he'll just make things better. Thank goodness there's no drama around the Bucs, other than rumors that Gruden is coveted by the University of Tennessee.
The Denver Broncos started the season like it was 1998. They were on fire. At times I thought John Elway was back out there. Since then, they have reverted to the Broncos of the past few years. The offense is not a big issue. It is strange that they haven't been able to plug anyone in at running back and they just rip up the league when it comes to rushing yards as they had in years past, though. Rookie Eddie Royal really stepped up while star receiver Brandon Marshall was out. The Broncos problem is the defense. If they can find a way to fix that, they'll be ok, but not safe. The Broncos are still atop the division at the time I'm writing this, but the San Diego Chargers are...well charging. The Broncos need to win every game they can in order to make the playoffs. Hopefully they can get in as AFC West champs, but if they have to go in as a wild card, so be it.
Last year, the Miami Dolphins won only 1 game...barely. In the offseason, they completely overhauled the front office starting by bringing in Bill Parcells as Director of Football Operations (or something like that). Parcells went to work immediately and after getting rid of lame duck coach Cam Cameron, he brought in some of his guys from Dallas. Unfortunately, perennial defensive star Zach Thomas was released and subsequently (possibly ironically) picked up by the Dallas Cowboys. That wasn't the biggest loss of the offseason, though. Parcells didn't seem to care for Jason Taylor's decision to no focus on football in the offseason. Taylor spent the summer on Dancing With the Stars. This didn't sit well with Bill, but the contract was signed before Parcells was hired, so its not like Taylor could do anything. It is believed that this is the reason that he was traded. With the teams best players off to different teams and coming off the worst season in franchise history, many Dol-fans believed that this was going to be an even worse season than last. Not so fast, the Dolphins have set the league on fire with the Wildcat offense and a resurgent Joey Porter have this team 2 games out of the lead in the AFC East and in contention for a wild card spot in the playoffs. I wouldn't be surprised if they make it.
The Dallas Cowboys in recent memory have been synonymous with drama. Before the season started I posted a blog about Jessica Simpson being a curse for Tony Romo. Since then, she hasn't really been seen near him. This may be because she promoting her country suckfest...er...album. More than likely, though, her PR people are keeping her away or out of sight, so that she won't be hated more than she already is. Jessica is the least of Dallas' worries, though. This team started the season out as the clear cut NFC favorite to go to the Super Bowl. Early on they seamed like they were the best team in the league, then something happened and it stopped clicking. Oddly enough, after the first loss, sports writers immediately wrote them off and jumped off the bandwagon saying that it was the beginning of the end for them. I'm not pessimistic like they are, but I will say that something does seem broken. Speaking of broken, the past few weeks while Romo has been healing his broken pinky, I believe us Cowboys fans have been is just as much pain having to watch, what all thought was capable backup in Brad Johnson, a multi year veteran and Super Bowl winning quarterback. It's obvious he's lost it. Just one of the issues that the team faces, along with what will T.O. do, is Wade Phillips on his way out, Adam "Pacman" Jones' legal issues, injuries, and expectations. T.O. has not been himself this season. I'm not sure if its because of his not getting the ball as much as could or if his age is starting to catch up with hims or what, but he just isn't having a productive year. Marion Barber and Jason Witten have been bright spots, as has Felix ones before e got injured. Hopefully Witten's injury won't keep him out of this week's game and that Felix will be back sooner rather than later. Roy William will probably turn out to be a good mid-season pickup, but hasn't had an impact, yet. Of course, this may be due to the Bead Johnson era and his not fully picking up the system yet. Fact is, its hard for receivers to pick up a system if their traded mid-season. Look for his impact to be felt next year. This year, he'll pick it up more and more each week, though.
So, there you have it. None of my teams are below .500, which is something I could not say at this time last year. It is possible all 4 could be in the playoffs, but not likely. I'll just have to see how this all plays out.
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