(photo by Brian Murphy)
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the ninth-annual “Why your team won’t win the Super Bowl” column. So head to Las Vegas and put money on it – this is why your favorite football franchise won’t get it done this year.
Arizona Cardinals – A wise man once said, “If you have two starting quarterbacks, you don’t have one.”
Atlanta Falcons – No team loves to go for it on 4th-and-short more than Atlanta. In related news, no team fails to convert on 4th-and-short more than Atlanta.
Baltimore Ravens – Linebacker Terrell Suggs was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year in ’11 after posting a career-high 14 sacks. How did he celebrate? By tearing his Achilles tendon playing basketball.
Buffalo Bills – Talk about bang for your buck: no quarterback has thrown more interceptions (23) than Ryan Fitzpatrick since he signed his six-year, $59 million contract.
Carolina Panthers – With DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert in the mix, the Panthers are loaded at running back. So naturally, their go-to play involves the quarterback keeping the ball and running it himself.
Chicago Bears – Over the last five seasons, receiver Brandon Marshall has proven to be a consistent producer in two categories – 1,000-yard seasons and off-the-field drama. Tough to decide which stat sheet is more impressive.
Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals haven’t posted back-to-back winning seasons since 1981-82. Why change now?
Cleveland Browns – While the idea of a 28-year-old rookie quarterback is wonderful for the plot to a Disney movie, it’s terrifying in real life.
Dallas Cowboys – Can someone clarify if receiver Dez Bryant’s personal babysitter counts against the team’s 53-man roster or not? I’ve heard it both ways.
Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning is Denver’s best quarterback since John Elway. Sadly, at this point, Elway has the healthier neck between the two Hall of Famers.
Detroit Lions – Jim Schwartz can’t even get through a handshake with another coach without dicking it up.
Green Bay Packers – Last season, Aaron Rodgers threw for 4,643 yards, which would probably be more impressive if Green Bay’s defense didn’t allow 4,924 passing yards – the most in NFL history.
Houston Texans – Running back Arian Foster signed a five-year, $43.5 million deal to stay in Houston, but he probably should have taken a few less dollars if it meant the team could have kept an offensive line together to … you know … block for him.
Indianapolis Colts – Feel free to call this year two of the “Suck for Luck” era.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 1,600 yards in 2011 and the Jaguars still only won five games. Does anyone really think they’ll be better this year after MJD spent his offseason in a 38-day holdout?
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs could go 15-1 this year and Romeo Crennel still wouldn’t have a winning record as an NFL head coach. Seriously, look it up.
Miami Dolphins – Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill doesn’t even know which NFL teams play in which divisions. Call me crazy, but it’s kinda hard to win a division when you don’t even know who you’re competing against.
Minnesota Vikings – At least the Vikings were entertaining back when Brett Favre was texting chicks dong pics or Fred Smoot was hosting sex cruises. Now all Minnesota is good for is bad football.
New England Patriots – I don’t care how much of a genius Bill Belichick thinks he is – his dream offense involving Tom Brady and 10 tight ends is a terrible idea.
New Orleans Saints – How many Super Bowls have the Saints won without Gregg Williams?
New York Giants – Once every four years, the Giants beat New England in the Super Bowl. Mercifully, we’ve got another three years until we’re “treated” to that matchup once again.
New York Jets – Tim Tebow believes last season showed he’s capable of being a productive NFL quarterback, which is clearly why the Jets traded for him and now use him as something called a “personal protector” on punt returns.
Oakland Raiders – It’s been a decade since the Raiders even finished a season with a winning record. Considering they gave up 4,000 passing yards AND 2,000 rushing yards last season, it’s probably going to be a while before that changes.
Philadelphia Eagles – Mike Vick has played in all 16 games just once in his nine NFL seasons and has a career QB rating of 80.9. Does anyone know if LeSean McCoy can play quarterback too?
Pittsburgh Steelers – Dear Mike Wallace, feel free to ask Tennessee running back Chris Johnson if his holdout possibly hampered his production a little bit last season.
San Diego Chargers – Norv Turner.
San Francisco 49ers – By the end of ‘11, it was clear to anyone watching the 49ers that the passing game was in shambles. So the front office responded by re-signing erratic Alex Smith and bringing in over-the-hill Randy Moss to save the day. Good luck with that.
Seattle Seahawks – It’s surprising the Seahawks haven’t been better under head coach Pete Carroll. Maybe his budget to spend on players is less in Seattle than it was at USC.
St. Louis Rams – Since 2007, the Rams have won just 15 out of 60 games. So let’s give Jeff Fisher’s mustache a little bit of time before we start expecting any miracles.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – After finishing ’11 with a 10-game losing streak, the Buccaneers hired Greg Schiano to be the new head coach. Because, you know, his 68-67 record at Rutgers over the last 11 seasons is clearly what this franchise needs to become relevant once again.
Tennessee Titans – Receiver Kenny Britt is great … when he’s not getting hurt or driving drunk.
Washington Redskins – The Redskins named tight end Fred Davis the team’s offensive MVP in 2011, which is noteworthy because he was suspended four games for violating the substance abuse policy. If they can’t even take themselves seriously, why should we?