Prior to the 2009 season, one of the biggest issues facing the Miami Dolphins was the tremendous increase in their strength of schedule from 2008 to 2009. In this article, John Clayton predicted that they were likely to end up around .500 for the season, just based on the increase in schedule difficulty. Turns out he was right, as they finished 7-9 a year after winning the AFC East at 11-5. The Dolphins stumbled out of the gate at 0-3, and when Chad Pennington was knocked out of the third game of the season, things looked bad. But they went 7-6 the rest of the way, and Chad Henne had a respectable first season at the helm after replacing Pennington. So, although the season may have been somewhat disappointing, Miami fans must be pleased with Henne’s development and his prospects for the future. With that said, we are continuing my 2009 NFL Season Reviews with the Dolphins. Let’s get started with the numbers.
Archive for February, 2010
Coming into the 2009 NFL season, the big story for the Chicago Bears was Jay Cutler. For the first time in decades, da Bears had a franchise caliber quarterback, and they hoped that he would lead them back to glory. There are certainly signs that he will be the franchise player that they hope for. He had 27 TD passes, just two shy of the franchise record for a single season. He also threw for the second most single season passing yards in franchise history. Unfortunately, he also had the second most interceptions in a single season in franchise history. So, while Cutler had his issues, there is reason for hope going forward from the QB position. What about the rest of the team? This post will look at how the team as a whole performed when compared with their opponents’ season average on a per game basis.
In some ways, the 2009 season was a rebound year for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Following a playoff appearance in 2007, they fell to 5-11 in 2008, and Jack del Rio was rumored to be on the hot seat heading into the 2009 season. Although the Jags started the season 3-3, winning 3 of their next four games showed that they seemed to be headed in the right direction with a 6-4 record. Unfortunately, they dropped 5 of the last 6 to finish 7-9. In my continuing series on 2009 NFL Season Reviews, we’ll try to determine what aspects of the team led to that downfall. We’ll also discuss what positions the Jags may want to target to improve for next season.
The 2009 Buffalo Bills almost started off the season with a bang by beating their hated rivals, the New England Patriots. They led by 11 points with just over 2 minute left when Tom Brady’s TD pass was followed up by a Bills fumbled KR and another TD pass to pull out the Pats win. Still, the fact that they played so well against the Pats until that KR fumble gave hope that Dick Jauron would finally get above 7 wins and perhaps make the playoffs. It was not to be, as the Bills won only 6 games this season, leading to Jauron’s firing and changes in the front office. What areas will the new regime target as highest priorities? This post hopes to give some indication of the answer to that question.
The 2009 NFL Season Reviews roll on with a look at the Oakland Raiders. In the first game of the 2009 season, the Raiders hung tough against a heavily favored Chargers team. When they followed that up with a win over Kansas City, it looked like this might be the year that they turned the corner. Sadly, for Raider fans, it was not to be, as Oakland won only 5 games. The team may have been distracted by Head Coach Tom Cable’s off the field issues, but for whatever reason, they failed to improve on last season’s win total. However, there were some reasons for hope, which we’ll get into with this piece.
Since I am planning to write a season review of every NFL team, I finally wised up and decided to put together an informational post for this series. As I’ve already said, these posts will follow a pretty much set formula. So, instead of writing that formula in every post, I will put it down here and link to this post from now on. For any of you who are interested in multiple teams, this will remove some of the redundance from each post.
As we all now know, the New Orleans Saints won their first title in franchise history by beating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV. In a game of twists and turns that seemed like it could very easily be a Colts blow-out early on, New Orleans made some bold calls and had a very timely defensive TD to secure their first Lombardi trophy. Reviewing the box score, this really was an evenly played game until near the very end. Although the Colts outgained the Saints by 100 yards, 81 of those yards came on the final drive following Tracy Porter’s 74 yard interception return for a touchdown. So, those 81 were at a point when the game was pretty much decided. Certainly, there are tons of game recaps out there, but in this post I just wanted to take a look at the numbers and throw out some thoughts based on those numbers.
The 2009 season started well for the Seattle Seahawks, with a shutout win against the hapless Rams. Unfortunately for Seahawks fans, and Jim Mora, it was pretty much downhill from there. They would win only four more games last year, to finish with a 5-11 record. With Jim Mora taking over for Mike Holmgren, there was hope that some new blood would re-invigorate the team that had made 5 straight playoff appearances in the middle of the decade. The problem seemed to be that new blood was needed in more places than just the HC position. Walter Jones and Matt Hasselbeck had both been battling injuries in recent years, and neither were up to their former standards this year either. Certainly, there were other issues as well, as the defense did not perform particularly well last season. But, that is the purpose of this post. The Seahawks are next in my series of 2009 NFL Season Reviews.
With the 7th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns are the next team in my 2009 NFL Season Reviews. This past year, the Browns started out horribly, costing GM George Kokinis his job, and nearly leading to wholesale change in the front office and coaching staff. New team president Mike Holmgren has decided to keep head coach Eric Mangini on, probably in large part due to the four game winning streak to end the season. After a disastrous 1-11 start, the Browns appeared to improve down the stretch. This post will review Cleveland’s performance with respect to their opponents’ averages for the season in an attempt to show where their strengths and weaknesses lie.