Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again. With the preseason nearly complete, it’s time for the fifth annual “Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl” column. Book a flight to Las Vegas immediately and bet the farm – this is why your favorite football franchise won’t get it done this year.
Arizona Cardinals – Matt Leinart can’t beat out Kurt Warner. Kurt Warner can’t beat anyone but Matt Leinart.
Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons named rookie quarterback Matt Ryan their starter, guaranteeing no more than five wins in 2008. Sadly, that would be an improvement over last year’s four-win effort. I’d say more, but I don’t want to sound like I’m picking on the autistic kid.
Baltimore Ravens – Is Kyle Boller still on the Ravens? Nuff’ said.
Buffalo Bills – Oh how tortured Bills fans long for the days of choking in the Super Bowl. Buffalo is going to be so disappointing this season that they’re openly trying to deport themselves to Canada.
Carolina Panthers – Nevermind wide out Steve Smith sucker-punching teammates during practice – how do you expect me to take your franchise seriously when you draft Jon Stewart to play running back?
Chicago Bears – Talk to me when Devin Hester learns to play quarterback too.
Cincinnati Bengals – Other than collect convicted felons, what exactly have the Cincinnati Bengals done well since head coach Marvin Lewis came to town?
Cleveland Browns – Because they’re the Browns.
Dallas Cowboys – Terrell Owens. Pacman Jones. Tank Johnson. It’s nothing short of hysterical that on a team full of assholes and screw-ups the biggest name keeping them from winning a playoff game is Jessica Simpson.
Denver Broncos – The Broncos are only one hit away from having their playoff fate rest in the hands of Patrick Ramsey.
Detroit Lions – Matt Millen.
Green Bay Packers – Forget about running the biggest name to ever play for Green Bay out of town. The Packers won’t win this year because Brett Favre is wearing their jersey on the cover of Madden ’09.
Houston Texans – Let’s see them post a winning record at least once in franchise history before we invite the Texans to join us at the grown-ups’ table.
Indianapolis Colts – Because let’s face it, Eli is the clutch Manning.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor-Groin are great for fantasy football, but with Jerry Porter recovering from a hamstring injury, Reggie Williams recovering from a knee problem and Matt Jones recovering from a coke problem there are still too many question marks on this offense.
Kansas City Chiefs – Herm Edwards might provide enjoyable quotes, but he’s not much of a head coach. And since “we play to win the game,” well … you can see where this is going.
Miami Dolphins – Thanks to a knee injury Ronnie Brown is damaged goods, which would be an upgrade to the status of Ricky Williams. Just one question for those Dolphins fans who want Ricky to be the starting running back – is he still living in a tent for eight dollars a day?
Minnesota Vikings – As division opponents and rivals, I know the Vikings see plenty of the Bears, but did they really have to try and follow the Chicago blueprint of building a great team with no quarterback to lead them?
New England Patriots – If the Patriots couldn’t get it done last year when they were 18-0, then there’s zero chance they can do it this year.
New Orleans Saints – Let’s be honest, Reggie Bush has done as much to contribute to the Saints as girlfriend Kim Kardashian has contributed to society.
New York Giants – Jeremy Shockey, Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora are out, leaving Eli Manning and … well … Eli Manning left to defend their championship.
New York Jets – Eric Mangini is 37. Brett Favre is 38. The last time a team had a head coach and quarterback the same age was Joe Gibbs and Mark Brunell. Ask Redskins fans how that worked out.
Oakland Raiders – If Javon Walker couldn’t break free from coverage in Las Vegas during the offseason, then there’s no chance the Raiders top offensive threat will get it done against NFL defenses.
Philadelphia Eagles – You know it’s bad when Mormons stop protesting HBO’s Big Love and start protesting your head coach and his dysfunctional family.
Pittsburgh Steelers – How is it mathematically possible for running back Willie Parker to rush for more than 1,300 yards last season and never actually find the endzone?
San Diego Chargers – Studies have shown that long-term steroid use can break down a body and increase the chance of injury. In an unrelated story, Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman has two torn ligaments in his knee and has been told by doctors that he could suffer a career-ending injury if he attempts to play without having surgery.
San Francisco 49ers – Quarterback Alex Smith is a former number one overall pick who will make a reported $10 million this season to ride the bench as someone named J.T. O’Sullivan (with a career QB rating of 48.2) starts in his place.
Seattle Seahawks – Julius Jones was let go from Dallas after questions about his heart and commitment surfaced. So naturally, after Seattle let running back Shaun Alexander go for similar reasons, they swooped in and replaced him with Jones.
St. Louis Rams – Marc Bulger is old. Torry Holt is older. Steven Jackson is only 25, but he’s coming off of a series of injuries and a lengthy holdout. That means the Rams will be lucky to sniff .500.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs currently have more than $28 million available in salary cap room. Why? Because this isn’t 2002 and no one wants to play there.
Tennessee Titans – Quarterback Vince Young and running back LenDale White might have gotten it done at the college level, but has either player truly shown he has what it takes to be one of the best at his position in the NFL?
Washington Redskins – What exactly did rookie head coach Jim Zorn show team management during those 15 days he was the team’s offensive coordinator? That NFL teams can score more than 14 points a game?
Brian Murphy is an award-winning sportswriter who also goes by the name Homer McFanboy. Contact him at email@example.com.