Authored by Rodney Southern in American Football
Published on 09-08-2009
Every season there is at least one NFL football team that surprises us and jumps into the playoffs. In some cases, like the Cardinals in 2008, they make it all the way to the Super Bowl. NFL football fans across America all hope it will be their team that makes the leap each year. Going into the 2009 NFL football season, who are the teams that are in position to do just that? What teams are going to make the jump from bad to good, or good to great? Here is a look at three teams that are contenders this year for this distinction:
The Texans have been fighting for a winning season since they first entered the league. Finally in 2009 they should get there. As a matter of fact, they just might even make the playoffs. They have all the pieces in place to make a splash this season. They have a good quarterback in Schaub. They have a fantastic running back in Steve Slaton, and they have arguably the best receiving corp in the league. Andre Johnson is certainly among the best in the NFL, and can carry the team in stretches. On the defensive side, they are solid if not spectacular. Does this scenario seem familiar? It should, as the Texans are very similar to the 2008 Cardinals.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints almost seem as though they should not be in consideration for this. They seem like they are a winning football team. The truth is, for all their offensive firepower, they have not been winning in years. Reggie Bush, Drew Brees and Marques Colston would seem to be enough for the Saints to have made the playoffs, but it has not happened. The truth is, their offense is good enough and always has been. They simply have not had the defense. This season could be different with a renewed focus on the defensive side of the ball. The Saints are ready to make a move if they can get by the rest of the powerful NFC South.
Like the Saints above, the Vikings should be winning but are not in recent years. Not where it matters anyway. The Vikings are filled to the brim at every position. There is no reason to think that they can not win the whole thing. They have added Brett Favre at the one position that has held them back for years. At a minimum, the Vikings should go to the playoffs in 2009. If they do not, then it is a problem in the leadership. They have too much talent to not win in 2009.
If you notice, each of these teams have alot in common. They all have a strong running back and wide receiver. They all have upgraded the defense to some degree. They all have a quarterback that has shown they can win in the past. This seems to be the recipe for success in the NFL these days. Certainly it is the reason that teams can go from worst to first so quickly. The Cardinals literally came from nowhere to nearly win the Super Bowl last year. This is not the case most years, but it certainly can happen.