Every football season a team rises out of the abyss and begins to run roughshot through the league. This year that saying couldn't be truer about the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills. What these two teams are proving is that you can build a team through the draft and you don't have to pay crazy money to guys just to get them to come to your city and ball.
The rise of these teams has led to the demise of some quality teams that almost everyone expects to win games. So far this season quite a few teams have been underperforming to say the least. Some of the teams were expected to do bad so they will not be mentioned but others have been far less than what we expected at the beginning of the 2011 season.
Indianapolis Colts - Injuries have hindered the progress of the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts can withstand many injuries but they lost their leader in Peyton Manning and it is obvious that they could easily be 3 - 1 with a healthy Manning in the lineup. The Colts have serious issues at the quarterback position. They went out and signed a retired Kerry Collins and that didn't quite work out. Now they are settling for Curtis "Sunshine" Painter to lead them to the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
Dallas Cowboys - Every year as of late, the Cowboys fall under this category. They start the season with high expectations and then they fall into a lull that makes you wonder will they ever be great with this personell. The injury bug has bitten the defense and the offense has been far from the threat we expected coming into the season. The team has also been vicitimized by Good Romo vs. Bad Romo. However until the Cowboys get back to running the ball like they did last season, this season will not get any better.
Philadelphia Eagles - Expectations for this team went through the roof after they made the free agent aquisitions and trades this pre season. The additions of all of the quality athletes had everyone thinking Philadelphia would be the Miami Heat of the NFL. Well if you think about it, they are. The Heat started slowly and when it clicked it led them all the way to the NBA finals. Maybe the Eagles figure it out and maybe not. But if they can't figure out a way to stop the run they are in some serious trouble this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Has age finally caught up with the Steelers. They have set the bar for excellence for the past 5 years. It seems as if the Steelers are always in contention. This year expectations are still high and week to week they look like a totally different team. One week they look old and lethargic and the next week they play young and vibrant. One thing is for sure, in the past when the game was big, they always seem to pick it up. This year that hasn't been the case. In the two biggest games of the year against the Ravens and the Texans, the Steelers have looked like a team on the demise. It could just be a case of we will turn it on when we have too or maybe they have lost their identity too, moving from a run first team to a pass first team.
New York Jets - The Jets come into this season with high expectations. Their coach is the main reason why expectations are so high but the Jets have also fallen victim of the pass happy league that has taken over offenses in the NFL. The Jets were built to run. But they have been determined to prove that they can be a wide open offense. Too bad though because all of their success has been predicated on their ability to run the rock. Unless they get back to their original ways, the Jets are headed to mediocrity.
Although all of these teams are on red alert, none of them are out of it just yet. If you are a fan of any of these teams, you know as well as I do that the same streaks can turn in your favor and winning ways are contagious. Hopefully they get it on track and provide us all with excitement to finish this season.
Stay Breezy ~ I'm Out!