Quick: Name the most dangerous non-playoff team from 2008 headed into the 2009 season. Okay, now stop being a homer, and who is the first non-Chicago team you think of? The 11-5 Patriots maybe? The Cowboys? The Saints?
I'm going to put my top-4 most dangerous non-playoff teams from 2008 together:
1- Patriots: Tom Brady should be healthy. They excel in all 3 phases of the game.
2- Bears: Need I explain this one?
3- Saints: Drew Brees is a winner, and they helped out their defense in the draft.
4- Cowboys: Every year, folks talk about their potential. They have the talent to win, despite their head coach.
So, there is a quickly put together list of who I think are the most dangerous non-playoff teams from 2008. It took me all of about 6 minutes to think about it, and type it out. Sure, there's not a lot of analysis, but is a fairly simple thing to do. Right?
After the jump, take a look at who Jamie Dukes thinks are the most dangerous foursome to look out for in 2009.
Cincinnati Bengals — WR Chad Ochocinco has something to prove, and so does his QB, Carson Palmer. There are a lot of whispers about the six-year veteran regaining his Pro Bowl form. On defense, Mike Zimmer has added some nice pieces in preparation for his second year as coordinator. And it goes without saying that coach Marvin Lewis’ job is on the line. His contract runs through 2010. That is something the frugal Bengals organization can swallow if things don’t go well this season.
Seattle Seahawks -– QB Matt Hasselbeck will have a monster season, Jim Mora has taken the helm and the defense should be improved. DE Patrick Kerney is at a pivotal point in his career and needs to step up and produce. WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a great addition, and I have the sneaking suspicion that WR Deion Branch finally will have the season that Seahawks fans have wanted. He can’t get hurt again, though.
Oakland Raiders –- They have a great chance to make some waves this season. However, much of that potential isn’t due to Oakland’s efforts but rather the implosion of the AFC West rival Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. Although the San Diego Chargers remain the class of the division, the Raiders should be able to sweep the Chiefs and Broncos. Everyone is under the illusion that the ball will be in the court of QB JaMarcus Russell, but nothing could be further from the truth. Oakland will run the football and play good defense. The Raiders will allow Russell to continue developing at a gingerly pace.
San Francisco 49ers -– Quarterback remains the biggest weakness for this team. Shaun Hill is a good custodian of the offense, but the 49ers need a real playmaker at the position to help take some of the pressure off RB Frank Gore. Too bad Eddie DeBartolo isn’t still with the organization because he would have the guts to sign Michael Vick once he is reinstated. The defense will be good, and while the offense will not be spectacular, it should be consistent.
Oh boy. When I first read the title of his article, I thought, "okay, this could be fun." But as I read through his list, I really had a hard time understanding what in the world he was doing. So, I re-read the title, "Most dangerous 2008 non-playoff teams for 2009", and re-read his criteria:
We all know that anything can happen in the NFL, and last season, the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons were among the league’s surprise teams. With that in mind, here are the most dangerous 2008 non-playoff teams that will make noise in 2009, and some might even find their way into the postseason:
So, I did understand him correctly. He thinks the Bengals, Seahawks, Raiders, and 49ers are all more dangerous than any team on my list. And, two of his teams are from the NFC West! Seriously? The Bengals do have a chance to play spoilers this season... they should be better than 2008. They might even win a few games that they aren't supposed to. But does that make them one of the 4 most dangerous non-playoff teams?
Maybe Jamie Dukes had a deadline to meet for this story, or maybe he wanted to create page hits on his blog. Maybe he is mad at his bosses for something, and decided to put out some nonsense to get back at them. Whatever the case is, he missed badly on this one. He missed badly enough to almost make me sign up for an account and tell him about it in the comments section of his blog. But instead, I'll just post this here at Windy City Gridiron, and hope he somehow runs across this article.