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Old 02-21-2010, 11:31 PM    (permalink
Morton
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Default Early Forecast: 5 Playoff Exits

The other thread on this board dealt with the roughly 5 *new* teams to play in the playoffs next year. How about a thread discussing teams who played in the playoffs last year but stand a strong chance to miss the playoffs next year?

Here are mine, in descending order of likelihood:

- Arizona Cardinals: Kurt Warner retires. Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle, and Anquan Boldin are probably on their way out. This team was already a marginal playoff contender to begin with; their one major strength was the triumvirate of Hall of Fame quarterback Warner, Pro Bowl reciever Fitzgerald, and reliable wideout Boldin. Next year you'll have Matt Leinart throwing to just Fitzgerald. Can he fill Warner's shoes? I have my doubts in spades.

- Cincinnati Bengals: Carson Palmer has shown signs of being in serious physical decline. There are rumors swirling around of perennial malcontent and locker-room virus Terrell Owens coming to the Bengals. They were probably the weakest team in the 2009 playoffs already, and next year I don't see any big upgrades being made to the team. I think 2010 will prove that the 2009 playoff appearance for the Bengals was a bit of a fluke.

- Minnesota Vikings: This pick is mostly dependent upon the identity of the quarterback of the Vikings in the 2010 season. If Brett Favre comes back, AND he puts up numbers similar to his 2009 numbers, I will forecast a playoff appearance without hesitation. But if Favre comes back and age finally does take its toll (he's going to be 41, for crying out loud!), they could easily miss the playoffs. If they're forced to start Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels for a whole season, again, I'm going to have to pencil in a different team in this playoff spot, especially with a strong contender for the division crown in long-time rival Green Bay Packers.

- Philadelphia Eagles: Is McNabb coming back or are they going to start Kolb? Can they fix their porous defense with some much-needed upgrades at the free safety and linebacker positions? How strong is the competition going to be in the toughest division in the NFC? It's not that I think the Eagles will be awful next year, it's just that I think the competition in their division is going to be really tough. The Redskins will no longer be a pushover with a competent coach at the helm, the Giants can't possibly be worse than they were this year, and the Cowboys are beginning to emerge as the clear-cut favorite to win the NFC East. Tough sledding ahead for the Eagles if they want to make their 3rd consecutive playoff appearance in 4 years.

- Indianapolis Colts: We know they are a perennial playoff contender for the past decade... but can they defy the laws of the football universe and beat the curse of the Super Bowl loser?
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:35 AM    (permalink
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- Arizona Cardinals: Kurt Warner retires. Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle, and Anquan Boldin are probably on their way out. This team was already a marginal playoff contender to begin with; their one major strength was the triumvirate of Hall of Fame quarterback Warner, Pro Bowl reciever Fitzgerald, and reliable wideout Boldin. Next year you'll have Matt Leinart throwing to just Fitzgerald. Can he fill Warner's shoes? I have my doubts in spades.
This makes sad :( considering we went to the superbowl and then followed it up with a playoff victory this year. Unless you meant winning the division which we did pretty easily both years. Still can't really argue with your reasoning for us not making it though.

My 5:

- Bengals
- Cardinals
- Vikings
- Ravens
- Eagles
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:52 AM    (permalink
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Arizona and Cincinnati are the only two teams I'd be iffy about missing the postseason. Especially Arizona for obvious reasons. If Pittsburgh rebounds, and I think they will, then I don't see the Bengals making it.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:55 AM    (permalink
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how were we a marginal playoff contender
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:05 AM    (permalink
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The one thing that the Cardinals have going for them is that they are in such a weak division and that their only competition for that spot should be the 49ers.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:40 PM    (permalink
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Leinart is going to hold that team back so much. Losing Quan is another kick in the nuts to the bread and butter of that team.

I like the defense, it is underrated, but it won't win them 10 games.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:45 PM    (permalink
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it wouldn't shock me if the saints struggle to make the playoffs next year. the defense relied heavily on turnovers this year, and the division should be a lot tougher. however, brees + today's NFL rules probably doesn't let them get any lower than 10 wins...
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:01 PM    (permalink
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Hmm...this one is harder for me to guess than which 5 new teams will come into the playoffs. Especially before the draft.

Off the top of my head I'd say: NYJ, NE, CIN, PHI, and either MIN or ARI.

Miami's winning the AFCE next year. I believe in Henne magic.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:42 PM    (permalink
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I think Cincinnati was the weakest play off team this year and we definitely have a tough division to battle it out. However, I think we're moving in the right direction and I don't think it would be to extreme to think we could get back to the play offs if we have a good off season. I believe we were a legit team last year, just a weak one.

We had some flukes, both in our favor and against us but we also showed some consistency on defense and in the running game. I'd like to think we at least have a foundation built for the next couple of years assuming we don't mess it up with a bad draft or terrible free agent signing.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:45 PM    (permalink
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I think Cincinnati was the weakest play off team this year and we definitely have a tough division to battle it out. However, I think we're moving in the right direction and I don't think it would be to extreme to think we could get back to the play offs if we have a good off season. I believe we were a legit team last year, just a weak one.

We had some flukes, both in our favor and against us but we also showed some consistency on defense and in the running game. I'd like to think we at least have a foundation built for the next couple of years assuming we don't mess it up with a bad draft or terrible free agent signing.
I'd be more worried about Terrell Owens coming and infecting your locker room more than anything else.

T.O. and Ochochico on one team? Yikes. Palmer's gonna blow his brains out.
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:49 PM    (permalink
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Indianapolis Colts (As I've said some time ago, they'll get ****ed. Maybe last place in the division.)
New York Jets (one-year luck?)
Philadelphia Eagles (they'll likely lose McNabb, so this will be a new era there)
Arizona Cardinals (same thing, but Leinart is more experienced. Still, they'll have problems)
Minnesota Vikings (good luck starting T-Jax/Rosenfels/JD Booty/Tebow/Pike/Skelton/whatever)
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:59 PM    (permalink
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Cincinnati, Arizona, Philadelphia, New England, Minnesota

Cincy and Zona I don't think warrant an explanation... Philadelphia may lose McNabb (though I like Kolb starting a new QB usually comes with a few headaches...plus loaded division)
New England is in a tough division. I really like Miami and the Jets next year, plus the AFC should have lots of quality wild card contending teams (Houston, Tennessee, Jets/Phins, Ravens/Steelers etc).
And Minnesota...because if they lose Favre it is easy to place them on this list.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:28 AM    (permalink
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Leinart is going to hold that team back so much. Losing Quan is another kick in the nuts to the bread and butter of that team.

I like the defense, it is underrated, but it won't win them 10 games.
Meh it's not like he is guaranteed to be gone. Plus I am fairly optimistic about what Doucet can bring, he is pretty much Boldin-lite. Cards are also something like 5-2 without Boldin the last couple of years (two of those wins in the playoffs).
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:31 AM    (permalink
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You know what. The Vikings went 8-8 with Jackson at the helm, and 10-6 with Frerotte at the helm. You can't tell me that the Vikings can't get at least 11 wins with one of them. Oh yeah, and Sage Rosenfels showed us that he can at least manage games in the preseason this year. That's really all we need, is a guy who can manage the game, and not make costly turnovers. Sage has upside, he just hasn't been given a legit chance to play yet.

The Vikings will make the playoffs with or without Favre. And if Gus Frerotte can lead the team to 10 wins in one season, then so can Sage Rosenfels and Tavaris Jackson.

Oh and don't forget, that FAVRE only made a two game win difference this year from last year. All the starters are coming back (except maybe FatPat), and the young guys just keep getting better and better. This Vikings team wasn't good because of Favre...Favre just had the right tools surrounding him.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:42 AM    (permalink
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You know what. The Vikings went 8-8 with Jackson at the helm, and 10-6 with Frerotte at the helm. You can't tell me that the Vikings can't get at least 11 wins with one of them. Oh yeah, and Sage Rosenfels showed us that he can at least manage games in the preseason this year. That's really all we need, is a guy who can manage the game, and not make costly turnovers. Sage has upside, he just hasn't been given a legit chance to play yet.

The Vikings will make the playoffs with or without Favre. And if Gus Frerotte can lead the team to 10 wins in one season, then so can Sage Rosenfels and Tavaris Jackson.

Oh and don't forget, that FAVRE only made a two game win difference this year from last year. All the starters are coming back (except maybe FatPat), and the young guys just keep getting better and better. This Vikings team wasn't good because of Favre...Favre just had the right tools surrounding him.
Definitely. If you'd been living under a rock for the past 5 years, you'd think that the Vikings were the worst team in the NFL and Favre took them from a worst to first finish. Looking back, the Vikings helped Favre more than Favre helped the Vikings.

They really just need to put Favre behind them and draft Donovan. He'll have the best running game + the best group of receivers he's ever had to work with. They really can't afford to waste the primes of AD, Rice, and Harvin.
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:18 PM    (permalink
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5 that might be out

Cardinals-no warner, perhaps no playoffs

Eagles-depending on how the Donovan thing shakes down

Jets-Might be a case of a team that is better allaround but their record doesn't indicate it.

Bengals-I can't see their defense playing as well as they did last year

Ravens-There defense is no longer as fearsome as it was and the more they get away from the running game the more Flacco will struggle
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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5 that might be out

Cardinals-no warner, perhaps no playoffs

Eagles-depending on how the Donovan thing shakes down

Jets-Might be a case of a team that is better allaround but their record doesn't indicate it.

Bengals-I can't see their defense playing as well as they did last year

Ravens-There defense is no longer as fearsome as it was and the more they get away from the running game the more Flacco will struggle
Completely agree. You've gotta take a step back to take two forward.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:04 PM    (permalink
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Meh it's not like he is guaranteed to be gone. Plus I am fairly optimistic about what Doucet can bring, he is pretty much Boldin-lite. Cards are also something like 5-2 without Boldin the last couple of years (two of those wins in the playoffs).
Losing Warner is what's going to do it for them. If they lose Boldin then Fitzgerald is going to be like Andre Johnson or Calvin Johnson were a few years ago. An awesome receiver on a team with a poor passing game because his quarterback can't throw half the routes he runs, and the defense won't be spread out stopping other receivers and the running game, just Fitz. Arizona still has receivers (Doucet is a fine player) but the defense is going to key on Fitz and their offense will have to run through Leinart, Doucet, and Wells, which is no recipe for the playoffs.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:39 AM    (permalink
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Well, I got three out of five correct, and the other two (Colts and Eagles) look increasingly like classic one-and-done teams.
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:46 PM    (permalink
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Don't pat yourself on the back too much, 3/5 of those teams you listed were starting a new starting qb, and another team has Brett favre. Not exactly miss Cleo worthy to guess those teams wouldn't make the playoffs. Guess you deserve some credit for the bengals pick, but majority of people could have seen the flaws to that team.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:06 PM    (permalink
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Don't pat yourself on the back too much, 3/5 of those teams you listed were starting a new starting qb, and another team has Brett favre. Not exactly miss Cleo worthy to guess those teams wouldn't make the playoffs. Guess you deserve some credit for the bengals pick, but majority of people could have seen the flaws to that team.
True, but there was a shocking number of people disagreeing with me on Minnesota.

Everyone I talked to was like, "well, there's so much talent on that team that even without Favre, they're easily a 10 win team!"
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