By Brian Murphy
Arizona Cardinals – Brenda Warner.
Atlanta Falcons – Until Mexico’s own Mike Vick can consistently complete a pass downfield, defenses will be all over him faster than a mutant strain of herpes.
Baltimore Ravens – Let’s recap – it’s okay when former NFL players like Michael Irvin and Bill Romanowski go to prison to remake the film The Longest Yard. It’s not okay when your star running back, Jamal Lewis, serves a four-month prison term on a federal drug conviction.
Buffalo Bills – Talk about setting the bar low – during their “glory days” the best this team could do was consistently lose Super Bowls. Their fans can’t even hope for that, as long as their relying on a nobody quarterback named J.P. Losman.
Carolina Panthers – Two years ago the Panthers organization realized that no one would take them serious as long as they continue to wear light blue uniforms. So they decided to do something about it. Unfortunately, it involved several players (including a punter) using steroids. Seriously, why would a punter go on the juice?!?
Chicago Bears – Last year, nice guys Craig Krenzel (with his degree in Molecular Genetics) and Jonathan Quinn (Medicine Woman) “ran” Lovie Smith’s offense. With Rex Grossman out for several months, look for the Bears to improve on last year’s horrible quarterback situation by not having one and simply using 10 players on offense.
Cincinnati Bengals – Marvin Lewis was called a genius as a defensive coordinator in the NFL. So what’s happened since he became a head coach? The Bengals have ranked 25th (in 2003) and 26th (in 2004) against the run. Who moved his cheese?
Cleveland Browns – When one of your biggest offseason additions is 33-year-old Trent Dilfer, you know it’s going to be a while before the Dawg Pound has something to drool over. And I didn’t even mention Kellen Winslow’s motorcycle. At least they have a competent head coach now in Romeo Crennel.
Dallas Cowboys – Let’s go back in time to 1998 – QB Drew Bledsoe is a premiere passer and WR Me-Shawn Johnson is a top-tier wide out. Hell, owner Jerry Jones still looked like a normal human being. Too bad that was seven years ago. I wonder if they have any more of those Jap plays left … no offense.
Denver Broncos – Call it addition by subtraction, now that Jerry Rice and Maurice Clarett out of the picture. The Broncos would be good to go, if Jake Plummer would stick to throwing passes with only one hand.
Detroit Lions – Matt Millen has drafted a wide receiver with the Lions first round pick three years in a row (the delicate Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams). Is he convinced the rest of his team is flawless? Does he think he’s running a fantasy football team? We need answers.
Green Bay Packers – With RB Ahman Green having a down year, the Packers turned to icon Brett Favre and WR Javon Walker to put points on the board. So naturally those two have bickered all offseason about Walker’s desire for a new contract.
Houston Texans – Note to the Texans: if you want to be considered a legitimate playoff contender, you’re going to have to get rid of QB Tony Banks. Oh … and learn to play defense.
Indianapolis Colts – If head coach Tony Dungy is creative enough to come up with a reason why it’s “acceptable” for Randy Moss to wipe his ass on the goalpost after a touchdown, why can’t he use that same creativity to find a way to beat New England?
Jacksonville Jaguars – The only way to get Jacksonville involved in a Super Bowl was to make it the host city and invite two other teams to come play there. The locals didn’t seem to mind though – for once an NFL game in Jacksonville wasn’t subject to a black out. At least Fragile Fred Taylor was kind enough to start the season with his annual injury … no sense waiting on that one.
Kansas City Chiefs – With Priest Holmes sidelined last year, the only noteworthy highlight was when head coach Dick Vermeil told young RB Larry Johnson to “take off his diaper.” You know things are bad when a 68-year-old cry baby says you’re the one in Pampers.
Miami Dolphins – In one of the team’s first practices of their 2005 training camp, head coach Nick Saban made rookie Manuel Wright cry after he showed up in the wrong uniform. Hopefully with the enigmatic Ricky Williams back, he can give Saban some sort of substance to mellow him out a bit.
Minnesota Vikings – Onterrio Smith. Whizzinator. Sometimes these things just write themselves.
New England Patriots – It’s been an unusually tough offseason for master motivator Bill Belichick. Team leader Teddy Bruschi will miss the season after having a stroke. Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis and Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel have both moved on. Hell, even Belichick’s wife left him. So forgive the Pats if they have a down year.
New Orleans Saints – Everyone knows quarterback Aaron Brooks looks like comedian Martin Lawrence. But with Brooks having such an off year, do you think that there was some sort of secret swap-out going on (like in the movie Dave) and that it was actually Lawrence who suited up last year? That sure would explain a lot.
New York Giants – Heading into training camp, you had Eli Manning, who is the Frank Stallone of the Manning family, as the starting quarterback. Behind him was Jesse Palmer (a.k.a. – The Bachelor) and Tim Hasselbeck (whose wife was on Survivor). Sadly, they have a better chance of landing their own reality TV show than a playoff spot.
New York Jets – When Laveraneus Coles left for a big pay day in Washington two years ago, the Jets said “he was good, but he wasn’t that good. We won’t miss him.” Now he’s back and Santana Moss is gone and damn if the Jets didn’t say the same thing about Moss and pretend nothing ever happened with Coles.
Oakland Raiders – The most unstable owner, Al Davis, and the most unstable fans, the Raider Nation, now have the league’s most unstable wide out, Randy Moss. What happens when he takes a few plays off or leaves the field early? Find out this season on CSI: Oakland.
Philadelphia Eagles – How’s that Terrell Owens working out for you these days? At this point, Donovan McNabb would rather have a receiver who is afraid to go across the middle (see: Pinkston, Todd) than T.O. What a difference a year makes. At least we have another season of Donovan’s mom selling soup to look forward to.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Is Duce Staley collecting a salary from the Steelers or directly from his health care provider? With Staley heading into the NFL season already injured, the Steelers will have to pray Jerome Bettis’ 33-year-old body can hold up and that QB Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t hit the sophomore slump.
San Diego Chargers – Drew Brees, LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates were the feel good story of the year last season. But there’s a reason that Hollywood never made a Rudy 2 – underdogs don’t get to sneak up on the world twice.
San Francisco 49ers – Things have gotten so bad for this once-proud franchise that they’ve given up on professional football and moved into the movie making business. Unfortunately, their debut film – which featured racial jokes, lesbian porn and a trio of buxom, topless blondes frolicking with team public relations director Kirk Reynolds – opened to mixed reviews.
Seattle Seahawks – Their best player, running back Shaun Alexander, closed out the season one yard shy of the NFL rushing title. He then accused head coach Mike Holmgren of sabotaging him in his quest to lead the league in rushing and then moved on to a bitter contract dispute in which the team tried to give him away for a third-round pick. Should make for a lovely season, huh?
St. Louis Rams – Looks like the “Greatest Show on Turf” should plan for a season of reruns – it would be less painful than watching their current defense try to stop anyone.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Since they won the Super Bowl three seasons ago, the Buccaneers have gone 12-20 and signed every “hasbeen” and “never was” available in free agency. I guess the honeymoon is over for the people of Tampa Bay and Coach Chucky.
Tennessee Titans – The only way Steve McNair is making it through a season un-injured is if we pull a Robocop and turn him into half man, half-machine. Come to think about it – this would actually give people a reason to tune into Titans game this year. Let’s make this happen.
Washington Redskins – After failing to generate any offense at all last season, the Redskins vowed to do anything necessary to turn things around. The team then brought in new receivers and talked about installing the shotgun to help put points on the board. Everything looked great … until safety Sean Taylor grabbed that shotgun and pointed it at neighbors down in Florida.
Brian Murphy enjoys long walks on the bench – and watching the Eagles lose. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org