If you had to pick a word to describe the 2008 NFL – predictable wouldn’t be in the running. In fact, it probably wouldn’t be in the Top 10. The 2008 season as seen superiors teams like the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts and Dallas fall to the depths of mediocrity, while watching as teams such as the Tennessee Titans rise to the cream of the crop. While there is still a lot of football to go – 7 games to be exact, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the season’s best and some of the season’s worst. Here we go:
Tennesse Titans – Have to start here, as this team is perfect through Week 10. Not flashy, this team is disciplined and has taken on the personality of their coach – Jeff Fisher. Is there any question that Fisher may be the most underrated coach in the NFL? Similar to the 1972 Dolphins team that went perfect, this team starts with their defense. Offense will probably need to win a game or 2 in the last 7 games, but this team has to be the favorite for the Super Bowl.
Matt Ryan – When the Falcons took Ryan with the #3 in the 2008 NFL Draft, most experts saw that as the Falcons’ first big step to move away from the Michael Vick era and the beginning of a long rebuilding process. But Ryan has stepped in and with the benefit of having a good runnning back (Michael Turner), has been better then advertised. Through Week 10, Ryan has led the Falcons to a 6-3 record and throwing for 1,900+ yards and 11 TDs. People in Atlanta have forgotten about Michael Vick very quickly.
New York Giants – Yes, this one makes me throw up in my mouth, but what can’t you say about the defending….gulp champs? They are 8-1 and have survived a mid-season meltdown by Plaxico Burress. Quick question for Giants fans – If the Giants win another Super Bowl, can you see Plaxico Burress being released? This team is firing on all cylinders and as long as they stay healthy, we could be seeing a Giants-Titans Super Bowl..
Kurt Warner and Arizona Cardinals – This was bound to happen right? You have that many high draft picks, you are bound to become a good team at some point. Right Tampa Rays? Well who knew that leading the charge would be Kurt Warner and not Playboy Leinart? The gloves are a little ridiculous, but they are winning and their wide receiver core may be the best in the NFL.
Drew Brees – When this guy came into the league, wasn’t there questions about whether he would even make it? Well San Diego had a tough call letting him go and he is continuing the shine in New Orleans, putting up MVP numbers. The Saints are 4-5, but where would this team be without him? Especially since the Saints don’t have Reggie Bush.
Steven Jackson – Memo to the rest of the NFL. If you hold out in training camp for a bigger contract, you had better come in and earn it. Outside of his 163 yard game against the Dallas Cowboys, he hasn’t done much else. Considering that the Rams are as bad as it is – Jackson should be taking this team on his shoulders. He is doing anything but.
Dallas Cowboys – Starts with Wade Phillips and goes all the way down the line. This team is the complete opposite of the Titans and is completely undisciplined. At times this season, the team looks unprepared and unmotivated. Players talk about how they like playing for a coach with a relaxed style, but how times has that style won a Super Bowl? The Bill Cowher watch has begun in Dallas.
Derek Anderson – Had the big year last year, got his big contract extension, making the Cleveland Browns the sexy pick this year. Week 10 is here, the Browns look like their old selves and Brady Quinn is starting. In fact Quinn looked pretty good in his first start and may remain the starter for the rest of the season which would make Anderson – expendable..
JaMarcus Russell – From this point on, college quarterbacks entering the NFL should look at 2 examples – Matt Ryan and JaMarcus Russell. Ryan signed before camp started, was in early, learned the offense and is part of a resurging Falcons team. Russell held out until almost the end of training camp, pretty much guaranteeing that he wouldn’t play his rookie year. In his sophomore year, his growth looks stunted, and appears to be clueless in leading the Raiders’ offense. Now Al Davis is calling the plays for the offense. This could get worse for Russell. While all of the blame can’t be put on his shoulders, he hasn’t done anything to help the situation.