That’s all for now.
I must apologize for those who have been following my season review series. I obviously haven’t kept up with it for a while (due to general busyness and a little laziness recently), but here is the next installment.
After finishing at 13-3 in 2008, good for best in the NFL, the Tennessee Titans started out a with a shocking six straight losses in 2009. By their week 7 Bye Week, their season appeared to be over, and owner Bud Adams had seen enough of Kerry Collins. With that, Vince Young got his chance to take back the starting QB position, and he didn’t disappoint. With Young starting, the Titans won their next five games, and 7 of the next 8 before a Week 16 loss to the Chargers finished off their playoff hopes. Despite the disappointing 8-8 record, the team and their fans must feel pretty good about Young’s development and maturity after the concerns from his behavior in 2008. With that said, let’s take a look at how the Titans performed with respect to their competition’s season averages.
After starting out 5-0 in the 2009 season, the New York Giants looked to be the class of the NFC East. It appeared that they had put the Plaxico Burress saga far behind them. But a four game losing streak and just 3 more wins the rest of the season left them a disappointing 8-8. This was a big surprise after they followed up their Super Bowl XLII win with a 12-4 2008. So, what went wrong in 2009 for them to struggle after such a great start? In the next of my 2009 NFL Season Reviews, I will try to answer just that question as well as determine what their draft needs might be. Since Free Agency has begun, I will also look at any key signings or losses that they have had.
Following a tumultuous offseason featuring what sports pundits were calling “McJaygate,” the Denver Broncos were the surprise team of the NFL, starting out 6-0. In the post that I just linked, I reviewed their 6-0 start, I thought they were for real. Sure they had beaten the Bengals on a fluke play, but their improvement on defense appeared to be very legitimate, especially when one considers that they were shutting down such high powered offenses as the Patriots, Cowboys, and Bengals. Unfortunately, following that great start against some of the better teams in the NFL, they went 2-8 for the rest of the season. So, what happened? Where were the greatest breakdowns? Hopefully, this next post in my 2009 NFL Season Reviews series will help answer those questions.
At first glance, it really looks like Head Coach Mike Singletary has the San Francisco 49ers on the right track. After replacing Mike Nolan (18-37) in 2008, Singletary has led the 49ers to a 13-12 record. Although an 8-8 record in 2009 is certainly not going to satisfy Singletary, it is the most wins they have had since 2002 (10 wins) in Steve Mariucci’s last season. This season started out strong for the 49ers. They started 3-1, but then hit a rough patch where they lost 4 straight. At 3-5, they looked to be out of the playoff hunt, but they kept fighting and finished 5-3 in their last eight games. To me this should give 49ers fans hope for the future. Coach Singletary kept them playing to win when they might have given up on the season. The next question is where do they need the most help. In this continuation of my 2009 NFL Season Reviews, I hope to provide insight into the answer.
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.
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.