|08-01-2008, 01:49 PM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Where the buffalo roam....
Three teams could make run at 0-16
How 'bout them Chefs!!! Named one of 3 teams to go winless.
Three teams could make run at 0-16by Peter Schrager
Peter Schrager is a frequent contributor for FOXSports.com. You can e-mail him at PeterSchrager@gmail.com
Updated: July 31, 2008, 3:18 PM EST 261 comments add this RSS blog email print Say what you want about David Tyree's heroic fourth-quarter Super Bowl helmet grab, Antonio Cromartie's 108-yard interception return for a touchdown, or any of Adrian Peterson's spell-binding touchdown runs, but no single play from the 2007 season was more exciting than Cleo Lemon's 64-yard, game-winning touchdown pass to Greg Camarillo.
From the get-go, the Dolphins season was doomed. It started with head coach Cam Cameron getting unceremoniously booed at the team-hosted/fan-attended draft party, then saw their starting quarterback knocked out for the year with concussions, their starting running back sidelined with a season-ending knee injury, and their top wideout traded away mid-season for next to nothing.
Along the way, their big off-season acquisition on defense was spotted "jumping" another player on a Vegas casino surveillance camera, three players were arrested, and various reserves were flat-out released. Adding insult to injury, Wes Welker, a do-everything glue guy and fan favorite traded in the offseason for a pair of non-first-round picks, went on to tie for the league lead in receptions for the AFC East-rival Patriots.
The Dolphins were a miraculous 64-yard touchdown pass from a non-drafted quarterback to a non-drafted receiver away from becoming an eyesore in NFL history. They barely escaped eternal infamy.
Well, it's not likely. But if I had to put my money on three possibilities, here are the leading contenders:
Rebuilding: Kansas City Chiefs
Though Carl Peterson's Chiefs have won seven or more games in four of the last five seasons and have been to the playoffs twice since 2003, the truth was inevitable after last year's disastrous 4-12 campaign: It was time to rebuild.
Fortunately for Chiefs fans, K.C. started the process off with a bang in April, downright cleaning up at the draft, earning rare unanimous rave reviews from the pundits for their haul of 12 legitimate NFL prospects. With top pick Glenn Dorsey agreeing to a deal on Saturday, every one of the Chiefs' 2008 selections has signed a contract. Both Dorsey and 15th overall selection Branden Albert could be starting right away, and second-round pick Brandon Flowers and fourth-round selection Will Franklin might as well.
Long term, a widely praised draft class in which multiple picks will start right away is obviously fantastic news. Short term, having to rely on various rookies at key spots on the field is seldom a good thing even if the 2007 Giants did exactly that en route to a Super Bowl victory.
Rest assured, though, the 2008 Chiefs are not the 2007 Giants. There's no Strahan or Pierce on this squad.
Kansas City's roster reeks of youth and inexperience; you can practically smell the diapers. Though veterans Tony Gonzalez and Donnie Edwards will still demand locker room poise and professionalism, and Larry Johnson is a former Pro Bowl running back -- the offensive and defensive lines are simply too untested to give Kansas City much of a shot at anything this season. And then there's that defensive backfield. Oh boy. Coach Herm Edwards, a former defensive back, himself, may not sleep with the cornerback foursome of Flowers-Surtain-Breckenridge-Patterson trying to shut down AFC passing games.
The Chiefs have a long history of winning football. Last year was undoubtedly a low point. Though I may be wrong, I think Chiefs fans are in for an ever lower one in '08.
Schrager Projection: 4-12.
The Clean Slate: Atlanta Falcons
Few have ever suffered a worse 18 months than what the Falcons fans endured recently. After what was a well-regarded draft and the signing of a top-notch, "offensive mastermind" coach from the college ranks, several pundits tabbed the Falcons as the AFC South favorites in the spring of '07.
Then came the downward spiral.
Michael Vick and the dog fighting, the unpopular waiving of Grady Jackson, the DeAngelo Hall meltdown in the Carolina game, the Leftwich signing, the quarterback musical chairs, and finally -- the cherry on the manure sundae -- the infamous late night Bobby Petrino introductory press conference in Fayetteville, Ark.
Sure enough, the 2008 Falcons are green from top to bottom. There's a first-year general manager, a first-year head coach, and, in Matt Ryan, an eventual first-year starting quarterback. Most of the key veterans that anchored the 2006 and 2007 Falcon squads are no longer with the team. Warrick Dunn? Gone. Former Pro-Bowler Alge Crumpler? Gone. Former Pro Bowler Rod Coleman? Gone. Wayne Gandy? Him, too. Leftwich? Yep. Marcus Wilkins, Lewis Sanders, and Jamin Elliot were all given their walking papers, too. Hall, the flamboyant corner, was shown the door as well, sent to Oakland in an off-season deal.
What's left? Well, longtime Falcon Keith Brooking, up-and-coming receiver Roddy White, free-agent pickup Michael Turner, and a whole bunch of young faces. Ryan should be starting by mid-season, and fellow first-year guys Sam Baker and Curtis Lofton may very well be starting even sooner.
Gone is the stigma of a team in ruins. That funeral parlor odor that the Falcons had toward the end of last season is a thing of the past. Insert the scent of a baby's nursery, instead.
Yes, there's hope, excitement, and pride in Flowery Branch this summer. No one's doubting that.
Atlanta may just need to survive its very worst season yet to enjoy the good times on the horizon.
Schrager Projection: 2-14.
Here We Go Again: Miami Dolphins
Breathe easy, Dolphins fans. History's kinda/sorta on your side. The last three teams to finish with 1-15 records all bounced back by winning at least five games the following year. In the case of the '97 Jets, New York rebounded from a 1-15 campaign to win nine games and finish in second place in the AFC East. The '02 Carolina Panthers won seven games after a disastrous season and were playing in the Super Bowl by '03. San Diego followed its forgettable 2000 season (The Moses Moreno Era, folks) with five wins in '01 and the Chargers were a .500 ball club in '02.
That said, the 2008 Miami Dolphins are in no way a shoo-in for five wins; they'll be fortunate to pull off such a feat. Aside from a bare-bones roster that's got more questions than an SAT, there's a new front office, new coaching staff and new offensive and defensive systems to install and master.
For the first time in 11 years, neither Jason Taylor nor Zach Thomas will be a part of the Dolphins squad. The AP noted this week that more than 30 new players are in Dolphins camp this summer. How faceless is this squad? Billboards around South Florida boast the slogan "A New Beginning" and feature the faces of the team's coach, GM and VP of football operations. Yep, three middle-aged white men. Your 2008 Dolphins, folks!
The team's most recognizable player -- running back Ronnie Brown -- is coming off a season-ending knee injury. Who knows what he'll be behind a relatively unproven offensive line and a mixed bag of quarterbacks? Other notable players -- Jake Long and Ted Ginn Jr. -- are likely still too young to be elite players this season.
It should be another long year for Dolphins fans. Once they get to know all the new faces, they'll have to deal with the losses. Again.
Of course, there is a bright side. Greg Camarillo's still on the roster.
Schrager Projection: 2-14.
Last edited by ColoradoBuff; 08-01-2008 at 01:52 PM..
|08-01-2008, 01:51 PM||#2|
Join Date: Nov 2002
I'll take Atlanta as most likely to go winless out of that group.
|08-01-2008, 02:27 PM||#3|
Self Appointed Expert
Join Date: Aug 2003
He could have saved everyone alot of time and wiped out everything but this gem.
"Kansas City's roster reeks"
|08-01-2008, 02:28 PM||#4|
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: America's Finest City
I think Miami is going to surprise a lot of people this year. No playoffs or anything crazy like that but I can see them putting up 5 wins.
I think the Chiefs have the best shot but they'll probably eek out a win or two somewhere. They do have the luxury of playing the Raiders twice.
|08-01-2008, 02:34 PM||#5|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Sep 2004
And the sparkies twice. What if the mullets beat up on the sparkies once this year? I think that woiuld be hilarious.....
|08-01-2008, 02:57 PM||#6|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jun 2006
I think KC will be around six wins this year. Larry Johnson was elite only a year ago, and he'll have a couple good blockers this year in Waters and Albert. Croyle or Thigpen or whoever has some good options with Bowe and Gonzalez. They have some young, talented guys on the D line. They are still full of holes, obviously, but I don't think they are 4-win bad. Miami and Atlanta I could definitely see going for the O'fer.