Hello fellow Sharks! From now right up through Week 17, we’ll be giving
our insight as to which games are the ‘games to watch’ each week. This is a
heavy burden, as we know a lot of you have Sunday Ticket, too much free time,
and an addiction to premium brews like Natty Lite or Yuengling. A lot of you
know us from our weekly podcast on this site (the Fantasy PRE-Wind podcast),
and our “Sine Lines” sport-toon (every Mon, Wed, Fri), or maybe one of our
posts in the Tank. We’re just like you, though – we love a good football game,
no matter who’s playing.
All times Eastern:
Well, we’ve come to the end of another satisfying NFL regular season. Oh, there is still plenty of football left to
enjoy – including all the major college bowl games over the next week or so,
coupled with this last weekend of the NFL regular season. Then we have the NFL playoffs, and eventually
the SuperBowl to keep football fans still interested and watching over the next
nine weeks or so.
Sure, we could have picked three final games out of the hat – there are still
some exciting races and teams struggling to make the playoffs, but honestly –
you all know who those teams are and you’d be watching regardless of our
recommendations for this final Sunday of the regular season. So we’ve decided to do something a little
different this year, and end with our New Year’s Resolutions for each and every
team in the NFL. While lots of people
make resolutions, most have difficulty sticking to them. We’re sure that will
hold true for most of our suggested resolutions, too. But, heck… you can’t blame a couple of rabid
football fans for trying…
Buffalo Bills – The Bills should
resolve to start their *best* running back next season, rather than the one who
cashes the biggest paycheck. After
watching this season, is there any doubt that Fred Jackson should be getting
the nod over Marshawn Lynch every week?
Miami Dolphins – The ‘Fins should
resolve to doing whatever makes Ricky Williams happy, even if that means
finding some plant-grow lights for his personal ‘garden’. If Chris Johnson can come back from injury,
he and Williams would make a scary running tandem. If Johnson doesn’t come back 100%, Williams
proved he can still be a stud in the NFL, even after taking a few years off to
Patriots – The Patriots should resolve
to return to their winning ways in games decided by a TD or less. Every single Pats loss was in a tight game,
except for the New Orleans
blow-out. In previous years, the Pats
put themselves atop the NFL heap by winning those types of games, and Tom Brady
needs to find ways to win the close ones in 2010.
Jets – The Jets should resolve to continue
to help Mark Sanchez grow into his role as an NFL signal-caller. The Jets D was one of the better squads in
the NFL, and their rushing game was tops in the league – the only thing missing
was a consistent passing threat. That
will come in time with Sanchez, provided the New York
media can keep themselves from ripping him to shreds first.
Ravens – The Ravens should resolve to
revamp their passing offense. Face it,
the Ravens still had a solid D, and their running game looked more than solid
with Ray Rice toting the rock – but Joe Flacco needs to have more passing yards
in the big games, and he’s not going to be able to do that consistently when
you trot out Derrick Mason as your #1 WR.
Cincinatti Bengals – The Bengals
should resolve to make a statement in the next few weeks in the playoffs. While winning it all would be great for their
fans, it’s not likely. But if the
Bengals can get a playoff win or two under their belt, it would go a looong way
to helping them repeat a trip to the playoffs next season.
Browns – Where to start… where to
start? The Browns have so many problems
on both offense and defense that there is absolutely NO chance they suddenly
become competitive next season. We’ll
say the Browns should resolve to get Josh Cribs involved as much as possible in
the offense next year. Honestly, he’s
the only player on this team that is remotely scary to opposing defenses right
Steelers – The Steelers D got exposed
this year. With Troy Polamalu only
healthy for five games this year, the Steeltown corners showed how easily they
can be beat without help from Troy. Ranking 16th in pass defense
simply isn’t good enough to get you to the playoffs in the NFL. The Steelers need to resolve to not be forced
to rely so heavily on a single player on defense.
Texans – The Texans need to resolve to
STOP letting playoff chances slip away from them. They have the talent to be a playoff team,
especially with talents like Andre Johnson and Matt Scaub headlining their
offense. But 5 losses of one-score or
less, and the Texans are in danger of missing the playoffs again this
year. It’s time for this team to step up
and at least get into the playoffs, if they don’t it’ll be more of the same for
the foreseeable future.
Colts – The Colts should only have one
single resolution for 2010 – win the SuperBowl.
They proved that winning an NFL Championship is more important to them
than an undefeated record (a lesson New England learned
the hard way). With Payton Manning
looking like he’s at the top of his game this season and the D stepping up, the
Colts have the talent to win it all.
Anything less than an AFC Championship would be a total failure, and
even coming away a SuperBowl loser would be a huge letdown for both the team
and their fans.
Jaguars – The Jags need to resolve to
get better at pass defense. Seriously,
27th in pass defense in the NFL typically means a horrible, horrible
year. The Jags avoided being out of the
race only because they have one of the top offensive talents in the entire game
on their team, Maurice Jones-Drew. But
lack of at least a decent pass defense will haunt them this year (and next) if
they don’t get it fixed… fast.
Titans – The Titans should resolve to
give Coach Jeff Fisher a chance to turn things around in Tennessee
before they do anything crazy. After
starting out with six straight losses, that fact that Fisher kept these guys
from completely quitting, and could end up with a .500 record is a testament to
his leadership abilities.
Broncos – The Broncs need to resolve to
win on Sunday and then pray for help to get themselves into the playoffs. It’s quite an accomplishment for a rookie NFL
head coach to start out 6-0. But that
means nothing when you follow it up with losing 7 of their last 9. Missing the playoffs after their hot start
would be a huge step backwards for Coach Josh McDaniels and the Broncos.
Chiefs – The Chiefs need lots of help
on both sides of the ball, but they should resolve to improve their offensive
line. The offensive line has been an issue
now for the past few seasons for the Chiefs, and things are getting worse
instead of better. If they don’t turn
that trend around and really draft and work the free agent market for
O-linemen, they’ll be hard pressed to get 4 wins next year.
Raiders – The Raiders should resolve
to slip deadly Nightshade into Al Davis’ coffee. Honestly, Al Davis is soooo fixated on
picking players who run a fast 40-yard dash, regardless of their position, that
he will continue to prevent this team from being competitive in the
slightest. It’s just sad at this point.
Chargers – The Chargers need to
resolve to come up big in this year’s playoffs.
Phillip Rivers is having an MVP-type year, Vincent Jackson is playing
solidly, and Antonio Gates isn’t getting any younger. Coach Norv Turner is no spring chicken,
either. The Chanrgers are one of the
hottest teams in the NFL right now, so if they can continue this momentum, the
sky is the limit.