Super Bowl XLIV Prediction

If you consider the entire history of the Super Bowl, most of the games have been duds and have not lived up to their hype.  This past decade, however, we have seen some of the most exciting, closely contested games in the marquee matchup in American sports. 

Super Bowl XLIII promises to be one of the best.  Whether it lives up to that hype remains to be seen.  But with the New Orleans Saints versus the Indianapolis Colts you have one of the most exciting matchups ever. 

First, you have the two best teams in the regular season from the AFC and NFC in the game.  That does not happen very often.  Second, you have two of the best quarterbacks in the league with a number of excellent receivers to throw to.  Drew Brees has been fabulous this season, and Peyton Manning as played as well this season as any quarterback I have ever seen in my lifetime. 

Third, with those outstanding quarterbacks you have two of the most prolific offenses in the league.  And fourth,  need I say, you have two defenses that are better than they have been in the past, but are mid-tier NFL defenses that are vulnerable?  It could be one of the highest scoring games in Super Bowl history if these two offenses start sprinting up and down the field on each other.

So picking a winner is very hard.  Will the Saints get to Peyton Manning and batter him like they did Brett Favre in their NFC Championship win over the Minnesota Vikings?  The Colts offense line has played well this year, but they have been known for lapses in the playoffs against aggressive teams like the Greg Williams run Saints. 

Will Dwight Freeney, the pass rushing machine of the Colts be healthy enough to get pressure on Drew Brees, and if he is ineffective, will the rest of the defensive line be effective without his presence?  The Colts have a vulnerable secondary that has been protected by the great offense of the Colts, able to play with leads and play the pass.

It really is a tough game to call.  They are both great teams, the best in the league.

But at the end of the day who am I picking?  Peyton Manning has been a magician this year.  He has avoided the annual choke job the Colts often put up in the playoffs.  I’m going with the best quarterback in the league against the second best quarterback in the league, with vulnerable defenses behind them.

The Colts will win the Super Bowl 42-34.

2009 NFL Season: AFC & NFC Championship Games

Indianapolis Colts over New York Jets, 30-17

You have to hand it to the New York Jets for their nice run in the playoffs. They embarrassed the Cincinnati Bengals (well, the Bengals embarrassed themselves) and I gave them no chance against the hot San Diego Chargers but they pulled off an impressive win. Despite the final score, I thought the Jets played a fine game against the Colts.

The Jets got the big passing plays they needed for scores in the first half to go ahead and stay in the game. And their defense did a great job of taking away Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. The problem was Peyton Manning finally figured out how to move the ball effectively against the Jets defense, and Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie stepped up to the plate with big plays. Once the Colts got a quick score to end the first half, they became too much to handle for the Jets in the second half. The Jets never did make great adjustments and eschewed the blitz to play coverage. But Garcon, especially, came up big for the Colts when it counted.

And once the Jets got behind, their offense just isn’t built right now to come back from a deficit. The Colts with the lead could play to stop the pass and the Jets passing game just simply isn’t dynamic enough to compensate.

So in the end this game turned out about how I expected it to, with Colts finding ways to score against a solid defense, and a Jets offense just not able to keep up.

MVP: Pierre Garcon, WR

New Orleans Saints over Minnesota Vikings, 31-28 OT

This was a very entertaining game and completely lived up to its billing. The Vikings basically outplayed the Saints but turnovers matter in all NFL games and the Vikings fumbled their way out of a Super Bowl birth. It was a closely contest with the offenses moving up and down the field, but the Vikings had an edge on offense that they negated with turnovers and negative plays.

Near the end of regulation, as Minnesota was driving into field goal range, I kept thinking I would be writing what an unbelievably courageous performance by Brett Favre in a win. He was battered as badly as I have ever seen any quarterback battered in a game, but he kept getting out there and fighting back. Instead Favre, as he has done so many times in the past in the playoffs, he threw and idiotic interception instead of stumbling forward for a few yards to give his kicker a chance to win the game. Of course the Vikings had already blundred on that series with too many men in the huddle for a five yard penalty, an egregious mental error at that part of the game. But it was still Favre cementing his legacy, for me at least, as a choke artist in the playoffs, that was the saddest part of the game. Maybe the kicker misses the long field goal, but Favre took his out of any chance to win it in regulation with his terribly ill advised pass late over the middle.

The game then goes to overtime, the Saints get a great kick return by Pierre Thomas for great field position, and win the game on a 40-yard field goal.

Don’t get me wrong though. It was an unbelievably courageous performance by Favre. And it certainly was not Favre’s fault they lost the game. Stupid penalties and fumbles, especially by Adrian Peterson, helped doom them. But why does Favre insist on making the dumbest of throws in the most crucial of situations?

That is what I will remember in this game, as much as anything else.

MVP: Jonathan Vilma, LB

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Offensive Player: Pierre Garcon, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Defensive Player: Jonathan Vilma, LB, New Orleans Saints
Offensive Lineman: Jeff Saturday, C, Indianapolis Colts
Special Teams: Garrett Hartley, K, New Orleans Saints

Brett Favre Blunders Again

Doug Baker’s NFL All Decade Team 2000’s: Offense

Following is the definitive offensive team of the decade for the years 2000-2009. In some cases I name two players when it was particularly close call and the second player deserved a prominent mention on the team. Mostly I name one player for each position.

I only use statistics where needed when players are fairly close and it helps differentiate between contenders for key spots.

Fact checking was done using the following:  NFL.com, 2009 NFL Record and Fact Book, Pro-Football-Reference.com, and Wikipedia.com.

Quarterback: Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Quarterback: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts

There will be a never ending debate over who was the better quarterback in their careers, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. Peyton sycophants will trot up all kinds of statistics that will show that Peyton Manning is the best regular season quarterback in this decade. I am not going to debate that.

But on the biggest stage and in the playoffs, Tom Brady has dominated the league in the 2000’s. He has been to four Super Bowls and won three of them, more than any quarterback this decade. And he engineered one of the greatest offensive performances in league history with 50 touchdown passes and a perfect 16-0 regular season record in 2007.

Meanwhile Peyton Manning’s teams have underperformed in the playoffs and have been to one Super Bowl, which they won.

Add to that Peyton Manning has had stability at wide receiver with Marvin Harrison and now Reggie Wayne, while Tom Brady had to work in average receivers in a lineup that changed frequently over the years.

To me, especially at the quarterback position, championships matter, so my nod goes to Tom Brady as the best quarterback of the decade.

Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan are the most likely young quarterbacks to define the next decade, but they are unlikely to duplicate the success of these two.

Running Back: LaDanian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers

Tomlinson is really the only running back that can be mentioned as the tailback of the decade. He has defined excellence at this position since he entered the league in 2001, reeling off eight straight 1,000 plus yard seasons. He has already amassed 12,489 yards rushing with 138 touchdowns, and 3,938 yards receiving with 15 touchdowns (stats as of 2009 week 16). He ranks 8th on the all time rushing list.

His best season was 2006 when he rushed for 1,815 yards and scored 28 touchdowns to lead the league in scoring.

Will Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans or Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings show up on this list in 2020?

FB: Lorenzo Neal, San Diego Chargers

Lorenzo Neal played for 17 years before being cut by the Carolina Panthers this year. From 2003 to 2007 he was the lead blocker for the best running back of the decade, LaDanian Tomlinson. I list him as a San Diego Charger even though he also played for the Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, and most recently the Baltimore Ravens in this decade. It was his five year stint with the Chargers where his performance earned him this award.

Will La’Ron McClain of the Baltimore Ravens take up the mantle at this position in 2010’s?

Center: Kevin Mawae, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans

Kevin Mawae has been an anchor on the offensive line this decade for both the New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans. No other center comes close to matching his excellence at this position over so many years. He is a seven time Pro Bowl participant.

Guard: Alan Faneca, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets
Guard: Will Shields, Kansas City Chiefs
Guard: Steve Hutchinson, Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings

This decade Alan Faneca has been the most consistent performer at the guard position. He has made the Pro Bowl nine times in his 12 year career.

Will Shields is a forgotten player, maybe because he has been out of the league for a few years, but to me he was one of the most consistent and solid guards this decade. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1993 to 2006. He went to 12 Pro Bowls in his 14 year career, making it every year from 1995 to 2006, when he retired. He blocked for the likes of Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes, and Larry Johnson. He was also an iron man starting in every game except one his entire career.

I could not in good conscious leave Steve Hutchinson off of this list. He has made the Pro Bowl seven times in his nine year career with the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings and is perennial regarded as one of the most outstanding guards in the league.

Tackle: Jonathan Ogden, Baltimore Ravens
Tackle: Walter Jones, Seattle Seahawks

Jonathan Ogden was the best offensive lineman in the league during his prime and is a shoe in for the Hall of Fame at left tackle. He made the Pro Bowl 11 times in his 12 year career with the Baltimore Ravens spanning the 1996 to 2007 seasons. A toe injury forced him to retire in 2007.

Walter Jones is the other dominant left tackle in the 2000’s, playing for the Seattle Seahawks from 1997 to 2008. He is currently on injured reserve. He has made nine Pro Bowls and has been recognized nearly every year he played, along with Ogden, as the best left tackle of the league.

Others that deserve mentions as being outstanding in their primes are Willie Roaf (1993-2005) who played with the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. And, believe it or not, Orlando Pace who is now a washed up shell of himself in Chicago, was one of the best tackles of the decade in his prime with the St. Louis Rams.

Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons
Tight End: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers

Tony Gonzalez is best tight end of the decade, making a huge impact both blocking and receiving. He has 996 receptions for 11,777 yards and 82 touchdowns from 1997 to 2009 (with one game to go in the regular season). He currently is the career leader for tight ends in receptions and reception yards. He also has the single season reception record for tight ends with 102 catches in 2004.

With all due respect to Dallas Clark and Jason Witten, Antonio Gates has been the other dominant tight end this decade. From 2003 to 2009 he has 478 receptions, 6,211 yards receiving, and 58 touchdowns. He has been an integral cog in the Chargers offense during his career.

Wide Receiver: Randy Moss, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, and New England Patriots
Wide Receiver: Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis Colts

Randy Moss burst into the league in 1998 with the Minnesota Vikings and has been one of the most feared receivers in the league since. Despite less stellar years, by his standards, with the Oakland Raiders (and one with the Vikings) he has really been the face of the wide receiver position in the 2000’s. He currently has 921 receptions for 14,390 yards and 148 touchdowns. He is 10th all time in career receptions, 6th all time in career receiving yards, and second only to Jerry Rice in career receiving touchdowns. He also holds the NFL record for touchdown receptions in a season with 23 in 2007.

Marvin Harrison has been the most consistent wide receiver in this decade until a knee injury shut him down in 2007. He played for the Colts from 1996-2008 with 1,102 receptions, 14,580 yards, and 128 touchdowns. His best years were from 1999 to 2006 when he had multiple 100 plus catch seasons and was always over 1,000 yards receiving. In 2002 he set the single season receptions record with an amazing 143 catches for 1,722 yards and 11 touchdowns. He currently ranks second, only to Jerry Rice, on the all time receptions list.

Terrell Owens has statistics that rival Moss and Harrison, and some would even say surpass them with 1,002 receptions, 14,886 yards, and 143 touchdowns, but his divisiveness has literally blown up one team (the Philadelphia Eagles) and hurt two others (San Francisco 49’ers and Dallas Cowboys).

Tory Holt, who played for the St. Louis Rams from 1999 to 2008 (and is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars in a career that appears to be winding down) also deserves a mention. He was the key offensive threat during the Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf era from 1999 to 2001. He currently has 920 receptions for 13,382 yards and 74 touchdowns. He currently ranks 11th in all time receptions (one behind Randy Moss), and 10th in reception yards.

Kicker: Adam Vinatieri, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts

Who else? Adam Vinatieri may not be the best pure kicker in the 2000’s but he may be the best clutch kicker of all time. He has made the most dramatic field goals in the most pressure packed situations than any kicker this decade. He kicked game winning field goals with little time on the clock in two Super Bowls and has four Super Bowl rings (three with the Patriots and one with the Colts).

But the most dramatic moment in Vinatieri ‘s career came in a playoff game against the Oakland Raiders in 2001. In a driving blizzard he kicked a game tying 45 yard field goal to send the game into overtime at 13-13. Some have called this the greatest kick of all time, and it probably was. He then kicked a 23 yarder in overtime to win the game which launched the Patriots on their way to their first Super Bowl championship where Vinatieri kicked the game winning field goal with no time left on the clock. What a year for a kicker!

Kick Returner: Dante Hall, Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams
Kick Returner: Joshua Cribbs, Cleveland Browns

From 2000 to 2008 Dante Hall had 10,136 yards on kickoff returns with six touchdowns, to go along with 2,261 punt return yards and six touchdowns. He was referred to as a human joystick with his ability to run around like a madman to break free for a long return, but mostly he went straight up the gut and followed his blockers, which he said is the key to success in returning kicks. Hall ranks 5th in combined kickoff and punt return yardage with 12,397 yards. He just barelyekes out Joshua Cribbs for the top spot only because he also had six career punt returns for touchdowns (which is tied for fifth most held by several players) and has complied return yardage that currently puts him among the top returners of all time.

Joshua Cribbs has played for the Cleveland Browns from 2005 to present. While there are many good kick returners in the league today, Cribbs is on a record breaking pace for kickoff yards and touchdowns. With 7,009 kickoff returns for a 26.7 average and eight touchdowns, he has already set the career record for kickoffs returned for a touchdown in a career, and he ranks 9th all time in career yardage. He also has 100 punt returns for 1,123 yards and two touchdowns. His 11.2 yard per return average ranks right up there with the best punt returners in the league now (DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles and Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears).

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE DECADE: TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Three Lombardi Trophies.
Four Super Bowl appearances.
Two Super Bowl MVP awards.

That’s what it’s all about.

Tom Brady, NFL Offensive Player of the Decade

Doug Baker’s 2009 NFL All Pro Team: Offense

Now at the end of the season is time to name the definitive NFL All Pro Teams.

In the end of season all pro list, I only name starters and then who else was considered. I don’t pick backups. There’s only one ultimate prize for each position.


2009 ALL PRO TEAM OFFENSE

QB: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts

Drew Brees of New Orleans and Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers were the only two quarters also considered.

Peyton pulls it out because his team is no 14-0 and he’s pulled out some amazing performances against Miami and Jacksonville.

Rivers started off a little slower, at least his team did.

Brees is very close and is playing extremely well, but Peyton edges him out.


RB: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

Chris Johnson my end up being the sixth player in NFL history to break the 2,000 yard rushing mark. He has clearly supplanted Adrian Peterson as the best back in the game this year. Peterson dropped off the All Pro team, more because of Johnson’s performance than his own, although he has been slowed somewhat recently and fumbles too often.

Johnson’s speed, ability run inside and outside, make huge catches, and ability to score from anywhere on the field make him the most dangerous back in the league by a wide margin.

He is also the primary reason, not Vince Young, that the Titans had a chance to keep their playoff hopes alive until their loss against San Diego.


FB: Leonard Weaver, Philadelphia Eagles

Leonard Weaver had really come on as a solid blocker, running, and pass catcher this season. It seem his load on offense has increased since Brian Westbrook has been out.

Le’Ron McClain of the Baltimore Ravens also has a lot of ability but the Ravens seem to have mostly forgotten him as an offensive weapon the later part of the season.

WR: Andre Johnson, Houston Texans

WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals

Receivers are always tricky to evaluate and Johnson didn’t even make my midseason team simply because others had better statistics at the time. Currently he is the leading receiver yardage wise with 1,433 yards and has had two back to back monster games.

Larry Fitzgerald is simply amazing on the field, even when he’s double teamed.

Vincent Jackson of San Diego, Brandon Marshall of Denver, Reggie Wayne of Indianapolis, and the slot machine, Wes Welker were also under consideration. They are all great receivers.

Roddy White of Atlanta, Marques Colston of New Orleans dropped off from midseason. White was slowed with the injury to Atlanta quarterback Mat Ryan, an Colston because the Saints have so many weapons.


TE: Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts

Dallas Clark is putting up crazy numbers as a pass catching tight end and has been the go to receiver for Peyton Manning in several games, including the incredible offensive performance against the Miami Dolphins.

Antonio Gates of San Diego has come on as a key offensive weapon for San Diego the second half of the season.

Tony Gonzalez continues to defy father time and is having another outstanding season for Atlanta.

Finally, I’ve been impressed, as always, with Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys.

Vernon Davis of San Francisco and Brent Celek of the Philadelphia Eagles have also had very solid years.


C: Jake Grove, Miami Dolphins            

Even with Ronnie Brown out, the Dolphins running game continued to roll, and young quarterback Chad Henne had time to develop and not get killed by opposing defenders, because of Miami’s offensive line. Grove, in the games I’ve witnessed, as played the position extremely well.

This is a really tough call at center with great play by Matt Birk in Baltimore coming closest to supplanting Grove as the starting center. Nick Manigold of the New York Jets, Kevin Mawae of the Tennessee Titans, and Jeff Saturday of the Indianapolis Colts are also in the mix.

G: Leonard Davis, Dallas Cowboys

G: Carl Nicks, New Orleans Saints

The guard position is also a tough one with Leonard Davis of Dallas taking over the top spot. He has had a great season, especially the second half. He stands out even when you are not watching the offensive line play. He has been an anchor on an often struggling offensive line.

Carl Nicks of New Orleans keeps his spot on the All Pro squad. He often has to make up for a sometimes struggling, but improving left tackle, Jermon Bushrod.

If there were going to be a third guard on this squad it would be Kris Dielman of San Diego who has played extremely well this year, and seems to have really stepped it up in the Charger’s 9-0 run.

I hate to see Steve Hutchinson of Minnesota get booted off the team. He has had a great year as well and it was a very tough call.

Chris Snee has been a bit more inconsistent the second half of the year but remains on of the best guards in the league.

Alan Faneca, who made the midseason team, has played poorly the last few times I’ve witnessed Jets games.


T: Ryan Clady, Denver Broncos

T: Bryant McKinnie, Minnesota Vikings

I’ve seen more bad play than good at the tackle spot but Ryan Clady of Denver stands out, as does Bryant McKinney of Minnesota.

Honorable mentions go to Joe Thomas of Cleveland, rookie Michael Oher, a very promising rookie tackle for Baltimore, and Levi Brown of the Cardinals

Willie Colon of the Steelers got booted off the team.

Dishonorable mention goes to Flozell Adams of the Dallas Cowboys who can only block by holding, tripping, fighting, and dirty play.


K: Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots

No kicker really stands out to me so I am sticking with Gostkowski who has been consistent and plays in worse weather than some other kickers.

Nate Keading of San Diego would be the other pick.

Kick Returner: Joshua Cribbs, Cleveland Browns

Since Percy Harvin as been out a few weeks and Joshua Cribbs is the only offense that Cleveland has, and has had some great games returning kicks, I’m going with the veteran at this position.

Percy Harvin of Minnesota and DeSean Jackson of Philadelphia also deserve mentions.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

Tough call with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers having great years at quarterback but Johnson has been such a standout at his position and maybe hit the 2,000 yard mark rushing.

OFFENSIVE ROOKIE: Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings

With Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets now playing like the rookie he is, I have to go with wide receiver Percy Harvin as offensive rookie of the year, despite missing a few weeks because of migraines. He has been a very dynamic kick returner for the Vikings and is a speedy and mostly reliable receiver. He has great upside and should be a stellar performer for years to come barring injury.

Titans running back Chris Johnson Guns for 2,000 Yards

Doug Baker’s 2009 NFL Midseason Awards

Now it’s time for me to present the midseason awards. I am sure every player has been anxiously waiting to see if they end up on my list and where.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts

I know there will be a lot of grousing and second guessing from my distinguished fellow football fans on this one. I’ve already heard carping about my picking Manning over Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints, as Offensive Player of the Year on my Midseason All Pro Team. But really, you could flip a coin between the two for this award. They are both having great seasons.

My main reason for choosing Manning is I think he has had a slightly better season and has lead a slightly less talented team than the Saints to a 6-0 record. Brees has chunked up some interceptions and almost lost against the Dolphins. While Manning struggled a bit against the 49’ers last week, his game against Miami scoring 27 points with less than 15 minutes of possession left me a little mesmerized.

Drew Brees and Chris Johnson were in the running.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings

Right now Jared Allen is the best defensive player in the league and is absolutely a beast. He’s almost unblockable one-on-one and sometimes even when he is double or tripled teamed. He has a motor that never stops and he never quits on a play. He has owned Green Bay this year as much as Brett Favre has.

Other players in the running included Darren Sharper, FS, New Orleans Saints who leads the league in interceptions on a much improved Saints offense.

Elvis Dumervil, OLB, Denver Broncos leads the AFC in sacks with 10 and has been a key reason, along with SS Brian Dawkins, for Denver’s turnaround on defense.

OFFENSIVE ROOKIE: Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets

While he walks, talks, acts, and plays like a rookie at times, Sanchez has had a decent rookie season at quarterback, the most difficult and important position in professional football.

I will also call out Percy Harvin, KR/WR, Minnesota Vikings for making an impact on his team, especially in the return game and Michael Oher, RT, Baltimore Ravens, who has had an excellent rookie season on the line of scrimmage. (Note there is a made for TV movie about Michael Oher’s story coming out soon).

DEFENSIVE ROOKIE: Jairus Byrd, S, Buffalo Bills

Byrd has been a turnover machine the past few weeks and has made a clear impact for the Bills on the defensive side of the ball. It makes me feel like the Patriots picked the wrong Oregon defensive back in Patrick Chung.

The only other player considered for this illustrious midseason honor was Brian Cushing, the USC linebacker now playing for the Houston Texans who leads all rookies in tackles.

Favre

Brett Favre Throws Pass Against Green Bay

LEAGUE MVP: Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota Vikings

I have to admit I have been rather sick of the Brett Favre retirement saga but what to say? He is the main difference personnel wise on the talented Vikings team and has completely turned this team into an elite squad. The difference he has made can be seen not only in their 7-1 record but the players’ attitudes on and off the field. Only time will tell if he can keep it up. And this is clear evidence of how important the quarterback position is in today’s NFL.

HEAD COACH: Josh McDaniels, Denver Broncos

I was one of those piling on the abuse of both Josh McDaniels and Jay Cutler in the seemingly chaotic offseason the Denver Broncos had. So far McDaniels has had the last laugh, completely turning around the Broncos into, at this stage, one of the elite teams in the league. And he’s done it with Kyle Orton as quarterback instead of Jay Cutler. Meanwhile the Bears are struggling with Cutler at the helm. Go figure!

COMEBACK PLAYER: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

After suffering a season ending ACL injury last year, Brady has come back and played well this year. While he might not look like the Brady of old quite yet, he certainly is progressing in that direction as the season unfolds.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Denver Broncos

The Broncos were basically a mediocre to even poor team by the end of last season and their defense was one of the worst in the league. This year they have started out 6-1 and have an efficient offense that can score and one of the best defenses in the league. After the chaotic offseason where the team seemed in disarray I thought the Broncos would be lucky to have an 8-8 record this year. I guess I have been proven wrong and I am certainly surprised.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Tennessee Titans

How does a team go from Super Bowl contender to one of the worst teams in the league so quickly? I know the Titans have suffered injuries and lost players but that still does not explain the complete collapse of the team. Worse yet, the players look like they quit in some games. And what is really shocking is this is a Jeff Fisher coached team, one of the most respected coaches in the league. If the Titans think Vince Young is going to lead them out of this slump they are in for a huge disappointment.

GOAT: Jake Delhomme, QB, Carolina Panthers

Jake Delhomme picked up right where he left off last year, where he threw five interceptions in an atrocious performance in the playoffs. He has already thrown 13 interceptions in the first seven games of the season and is playing so poorly that I do not understand why the Panthers are so reluctant to start Matt Moore. Jake Delhomme has obviously seen his better days so if Matt Moore is not the future of the franchise, the Panthers better start finding somebody who is.

PUNK: Larry Johnson, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Larry Johnson has a history of abusing women which makes him a super punk. This year he is once again showing what a punk he is by trashing his coach and using gay slurs in public, leading to a suspension. He has wanted out of Kansas City for a few years now so maybe this is just a ploy to accomplish that. But who would want a washed up, bad attitude running back who is a me first player who doesn’t care about his team or his teammates? Maybe the Raiders.

Others in the running are Roy Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys, who is pulling a TO and punking his QB Tony Romo. When will Dallas ever find a top flight receiver who is not a me first player who cares more about winning games than piling up statistics?

Clinton Portis, RB, Washington Redskins, also was considered for calling out his offensive line and causing trouble in the locker room with fullback Mike Sellers. This is the second or maybe even third season in a row Portis has publically criticized his teammates and offensive line. While part of his complaints are true, maybe he also needs to look in the mirror.

Jerry Porter is a loudmouth punk. I can’t stand him. Shut up already.