Kevin Kolb won’t save the Arizona Cardinals.
Kolb will obviously be a huge upgrade compared to last season’s committee of quarterbacks (Max Hall and John Skelton), but they have done nothing to address their flat out, awful defense. The Cards ranked 29th in the league in total defense giving up a flopping 27 points per game, this defense also just traded away their Pro-Bowl CB Domnique Rodgers-Cromartie. Things aren’t looking so good when you have no defense and running game (last). How long before Ryan Williams takes over for Beanie Wells?
Secondly, I am not totally sold on Kolb and think the idea of giving him the reigns wasn’t the best idea. He hasn’t impressed me at all with his 3-4 record as a starter, not to mention his 11TDs: 14INTs and 7 fumbles. He also ran a totally different offense in Philly that was loaded with playmakers. The Cardinals need a veteran quarterback, kind of like the time they went with vet Warner over Leinart. I just don’t see Kolb coming in and making this team a playoff contender right away. Let’s see how the Cards pay off with this gutsy move.
The Cincinnati Bengals will be the worst team in football.
It doesn’t help when you have one of the, if not, worst owner in pro football. The Bengals has had only two winning seasons since 91’ and their losing woes will continue into 2011. Their young defense has had its moments, but the offense enters the seasons with huge question marks. With owner Mike Brown having an ego battle with Carson Palmer, the Bengals will be forced to use Jordan Palmer or 1st round pick Andy Dalton. Both quarterbacks are inexperienced and will need all the help they can get. The Bengals drafted A.J. Green, who will turn out to be a stud, but besides that, there isn’t much help for Palmer/Dalton. Simpson and Shipley had their moments, but the Bengals will need a veteran somewhere along their skill players. Resigning Cedric Benson will not be the answer.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinch a Wild Card spot.
This young Tampa squad surprised us all last season when they made a run for the Wild Card. They also turned more heads with the great draft they had in April as well. With budding stars Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount, and Mike Williams, this Tampa team can only get better. People tend to forget what this Buccaneers team achieved last season despite all of their injuries. They only lost the big tank Gerald McCoy, receiver Aurrelious Benn, safety Cody Grimm, and linebacker Quincy Black. Not only that, safety Tanard Jackson was suspended for the year due to a substance violation. With the addition of their draftees (Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers), the Buccaneers could really improve on the defensive side of the ball. Expect them to contend for the NFC South.
Donovan McNabb will resurrect his career in Minnesota.
After rocky season in Washington, McNabb will be looking for redemption. Even at 34 years of age, McNabb still has a little left in the tank. If some people don’t remember he only threw for 426 yards against the Texans, 357 against the Packers, and 376 against the Titan, so don’t tell me he still can’t sling the pigskin. In Minnesota, McNabb won’t have to carry the load as they have arguably the best running back in the league. With opposing teams having to stop the run, it should give McNabb some openings in the play-action game when teams stack eight in the box. He has never had the chance to play with an elite running back and it will make a difference. With Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, and Visanthe Shiancoe, he should be able to make some plays. Out of all of the quarterback moves, McNabb is put in the best situation to succeed. The Vikings still have a pretty good defense. The addition of Donovan makes the Vikings around a 9 win team, which could possibly be a Wild Card contender.
Ray Rice will lead the NFL in rushing yards and receiving yards for running backs.
The Baltimore Ravens decided not bring back Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain, which could only mean one thing: Expect a lot of Ray Rice. With these two no longer stealing carries from Ray Ray, he looks to control the show. In his first 2 seasons as the starter, he showed promise rushing for 1,339 and 1,220 yards. Now with the addition of FB Vonta Leach, look for more gaps for Rice to run through. Leach has been one of the top lead blockers when he was in Houston and this will not change here. Rice is also another receiver in the backfield, therefore is a threat at all times. The Ravens’ offense is expecting big things this season and it all starts with Rice.