Thoughts for the postseason on all the non-playoff teams.
TENNESSEE TITANS (9-7): This is a better record than I expected, and the bonus is they don’t really have to pull the Jake Locker trigger yet. There were plenty of question marks, they lost both their best pass-catching threat and their sack leader from a season ago, had a rookie head coach…things could have gone much, much worse. Kudos to Mike Munchak and his staff.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-8): 8-8 makes sense but how they got there hardly seems to. Would’ve thought Kevin Kolb would make more of a contribution. Or a difference.
CHICAGO BEARS (8-8): Reiterating my only point about the Bears for the past two years: protect thy quarterback.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (8-8): (Exasperated look. Raps fingers on desk.) Well? What are you waiting for?
OAKLAND RAIDERS (8-8): That was certainly interesting. And I suppose in light of what someone may pay for Andrew Luck or RGIII, the two #1′s Oakland gave up for Carson Palmer might look reasonable. But, damn. How was there no better succession plan than simply, “let the head coach handle it?” The whole season befuddled me. I have no idea what to expect. Other than Darren McFadden’s annual injury, of course.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-8): Finished strong, and I don’t think a single NFC playoff team didn’t sigh in relief when they were eliminated. They’ll be back. As will Andy.
NEW YORK JETS (8-8): It seems most have given up on the Sanchize by now. Not I. His OL had him beaten to a pulp much of the year, the run game and defense were both sporadic, and his best receiver was apparently quitting on him. Consistency and decision-making must improve significantly in 2012. Perhaps a new offensive coordinator will clean things up? Rumors abound of Brian Schottenheimer’s demise. Better not ignore that defense in the draft, either.
DALLAS COWBOYS (8-8): Where to begin? Well, if it’s me, I’d begin in the secondary. Romo is fine. Yes, he scares me every time. But he’s fine, and it’s not as though better guys grow on trees, now is it? I believe Jerry’s votes of confidence in both Romo and Coach Garrett are sincere. But I believe the Garrett one is probably limited to 2012.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (7-9): The highlight of my season may have been the HawkBlogger doing legit major sports radio and taking phone calls this past December. Meanwhile, Tavaris Jackson didn’t kill them and there was a ton to like about the defense. This is a team I’m watching closely this offseason. Time to strike.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (7-9): I can understand the Romeo Crennel affection, and I keep hearing about Scott Pioli wanting to re-create a Patriots-ish staff with former New England assistants. You know, because nobody’s tried that yet.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-10): Another team that should be fascinating to watch over the free agency, new coach and draft seasons. I don’t think I’d blow it all up. Maybe just me.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-10): What a difference a quarterback makes. Now get him somebody across from Steve Smith and make people pick their poison.
BUFFALO BILLS (6-10): Nice start, rough finish. Plenty to learn and grow from. But at least CJ Spiller looks like the real deal. Depth was a problem. Must draft well.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (5-11): Sooner or later, this dude is gonna make a move fror a quarterback.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (5-11): Evidently, Maurice Jones-Drew is not quite finished. Huge congratulations to a fellow Bruin on his monster, rushing title-winning year. Let’s ask him about the quarterback situation!
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-12): As it turns out, there is such a thing as being too youngry.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-12): Stop me if you’ve heard this before: they need a quarterback.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (3-13): I sincerely hope you’re happy, Brad Childress and Leslie Frazier. THAT is why you should’ve been giving the ball to Adrian Peterson as much as possible. Because those things happen, and now you’ve likely wasted his optimum window with your horse*&$# playcalling and babying of one of the greatest monsters to ever tote a pigskin. And yes, he was on my fantasy team. But the point stands.
ST. LOUIS RAMS (2-14): See: Bears, Chicago. Oh, and try not to put four states worth of cornerbacks on IR next year. Thanks.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (2-14): You’ve got a once-in-a-generation quarterback prospect coming out of Stanford, and he’s all yours. Try not to screw it up this time.