Jul
03
2014
First and 10
By
161568 views
94 comments

8. Miami Dolphins (8-8 in 2013)

hi-res-458910587-head-coach-joe-philbin-of-the-miami-dolphins-motions_crop_north

Philbin doesn’t inspire any confidence in Miami

Is this the year that someone finally ends the Patriots stranglehold on the AFC East? For those who believe so, the Dolphins are the prime candidate to get it done; after all, the Bills and Jets seem too far away from actually being a threat in the division. But it’s hard to believe in a team that is led by Joe Philbin, a guy who has appeared weak and clueless during his tenure in Miami. Plus, it’s hard to put last year’s finish – when the Dolphins scored seven total points in two games with the playoffs on the line – behind them.


7. Baltimore Ravens (8-8 in 2013)

joe-flacco-again2

Flacco has struggled to carry the Ravens

As one of three teams that missed the playoffs in 2013 by a single game, the Ravens don’t exactly have to improve by leaps and bounds to get back into the postseason, a place they’ve perennially been with John Harbaugh as their head coach. But something just feels off about this season. Perhaps it’s the Ray Rice situation during the offseason. Maybe it’s the misguided hope that Steve Smith is the answer to their offensive weapon woes. But for some reason, Baltimore feels like the team going backwards in the AFC North.


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Comments
  1. Well played! I actually agree on Seattle not making the playoffs. The Rams are going to give them their money’s worth.

    My one disagreement would be Baltimore. Unless the shine has come off of Ozzie Newsome’s gift for evaluating talent (which I doubt), the Ravens will win that AFC North.

        • Denny Crane

          What an asshat! Look at the thugs that are the niners and then whine about a failed test with ADHD meds , REALLY !!!!

      • The Seahawks are going no where and its funny. Seahawks will be crying the blues for another 30+ years. My disagreement would be the Cowboys, I really think this will be their year

        • As a Cowboys fan, i hope you’re correct, Matt. Unfortunately, I’m a realist and I have doubts. I don’t see the Cowboys doing better than mediocre as long as Jackass (Jerry) Jones has his hand in the mix.

        • Pete Repeat

          So you’re taking Dallas over Seattle as the better team this season. I’m not a Seattle fan at all, but that has to be the dumbest statement of the month. Typical Cowboys fan. Moron.

    • I was shocked when Jerryactric Jerry choose Kiffen cs Marinelli .
      After that disaster,marinelli gas a pretty decent young fore to work with
      And the offensive Line will be very good this year. Division title ,
      And deep in the playoffs. Sounds crasy but, barring injuries it will happen.

    • HAwksfan206912

      LMAO are you serious? if you dont think that Seattle is going to make the playoffs you are HIGHLY deluded!!!

      • outlaw485

        Other teams in the division are going to overtake them. Last year was a fluke. TO many players left in the off season. Face the handwriting on the wall.

        • Hawksfan206912

          Which team? please tell me? Rams? no good QB.. Cards? lost both LB and no good QB… Niners? not having bowman for a couple games and more than likely smith is going to be in jail for being a retard, yet again and having a QB that gets that deer in headlights look every single time he comes to Seattle… and please tell me you are banking on the “curse”.. btw 43-8… not a fluke…

          • beltrami.scott

            Hawksfan206912, calm down the playoffs are in your future for2014. However, The cardinals will be there also, the ilb has been solved. Palmer gave you four int’s in Seattle and still won the game. Your coach said this is a different team. They have improved in a lot of positions. We lost to the 49′s because we missed two fg’s, also being solved. The coaching in Arizona has finally got the new system into the teams head the second half of the season six and two. The minds and talent in Arizona have much improved over last year. Watch and see.

    • concretejimmy52

      Buck Stanton is obviously a Steelers fan and an idiot. I’m sure he doesn’t figure the Browns to win the division. Which means another AFCE team or two makes the playoffs. What a dork. The AFCN will get two teams and one won’t be the Steelers. And the AFCW has a tough schedule. I think the AFCE gets two teams in. The Jets.

      • the Jets will not make the playoffs… J.ust E.nd T.he S.easson! Thier vendetta against the Patriots is always thier undoing…. They could if they just concentrated on winning instead…

  2. Safeties will cover 32 they are quicker now, just tell them to look. Let the Line backers DEMOLISH.

  3. 12thmanbrian

    Up to the challenge and I will have the last laugh as I watch the Seahawks trounce the Broncos in Super Bowl 49. It will be great to keep the Forty-Whiners from playing in Super Bowl 49. GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!

    • jeff w ransom

      couldnt agree more the people doing this report are really just hurt there second rate team did not even compete against our hawks.the seahawks are here to stay.go hawks

      • Whiners ? hasn’t your sorry fan base been crying for a good decade about your last super bowl loss ? Your fans are fickle ! your team is great, But we all know if that game is played anywhere else in the world, niners win by 2 scores ! ! Enjoy the championship. They earned it, but lets see you go out and put your money where your fat mouths are. Lets see that team go out and run away with the west. And yes, your punk team was givin more than 1 mulligan during that championship game. Every fan not wearing those god awful jerseys you sport knows that. LMAO !!!! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY EVERYONE !!

        • Rod, Another Butt hurt Whiners fan I see, now your whining about the Hawks Jerseys?? Just jealous I guess…

        • Rod, tell everyone again about the 40whiners five Lombardi’s that were won back in the 20th century. Facts are, since the Hawks rejoined the NFC in 2002, they have: More NFC West titles, more NFC championship appearances, more Super Bowl appearances and more Super Bowl wins than the 40whiners. Enjoy your era in Santa Clara.

    • Darius Deshields

      Denver will not make the playoffs. Neither will San Diego nor Kansas City. The have to play the NFC West this year. I don’t see either of them strong enough to beat any of our teams in the NFC West.

      • RaiderRevival

        Sweet!!! Guess that means the Raiders win the AFC West this year. I like your thinking.

        • John Mayo

          Raiders in the playoffs in? You cannot be serious! The Raiders will struggle to win 5 games this coming season. Winning more than 6 is an impossibility for the Raiders.

        • concretejimmy52

          I’ve heard enough about the NFCW. I bet they don’t win a SB this year. They’ll have their hands full with their schedules also. Seattle will suffer post SB syndrome. Loud-mouthed Sherman will suffer the Madden curse. Seahawks might make the playoffs, but no SB.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah ok then its superbowl 50 but after BRONCOS win I totally get how seecock fans will be seeing superbowl 49 from now until the end of time instead of actual one being played…BRONCOS were totally injured, Franklin & Ramirez were tossed around like rag dolls, no von miller no chjr, no Clady ect ect ect
      good win, but we may get three chances to avenge that beat down…preseason, regular season and yes I hope we repeat SUPERBOWL 50 match up- this time with the proper result

      • Pete Repeat

        I forgot how utterly stupid most football fans are. Did you go to school? Try to complete a sentence. And here’s a tip – have a point, it makes it so much more interesting for the reader. Derrrrrrr we was hurt. Be a man you mouse.

      • Anonymous

        The broncos were demolished the last 3 times they played the Seahawks. Granted, 2 were in preseason but the result looked the same. 43-8, 40-10, 30-10 at mile high. It was the proper result. Maybe the Bronco’s should have kept Tim Tebow? Btw the Hawks played the entire season without the top 2 receivers and a backup offensive line.

  4. I agree with Dan N. This article is well played! Not because you are even close to correct about the Seahawks. It is well played because people will read any article that says the Super Bowl Champs won’t make the playoffs. After all your job is to get people to click on and read your article while being served ad’s that fund the site and pay your salary. Your job is not to be right because we all know that by the time this years season starts no one will remember this article let alone it’s author. Your job is to attract eyeballs. Picking the 2015 Super Bowl favorites to miss the playoffs will do that. I think Vegas knows more than this Hack. Like I said “WELL PLAYED”

  5. Contenders? Don’t make the playoffs? 10? Miami? Dude, take a couple weeks off from writing then give it up all together.

    • concretejimmy52

      You must not watch football. Ozzie killed it this off-season. Ravens will be a dangerous playoff team. You’re as stupid as this writer.

  6. tom podlashes

    C’mon Buck. do some homework. The Bears did not just swap Peppers for Allen. They revamped their entire front for with quality depth, should be one of the better d-lines in football. And what was McNown doing before the Bears brought him in next year? He was out of football! his success was from being part of Trestmen’s system, and the next guy up should do just fine if the situation arises. Phil Emery fixed a horrible o-line in one season, looks like he did the same with the defense this year.

    • Wayne Thompson

      Agree, the Bears look very much improved on paper. Most analysts agree that if the Bears field an average D this year, then the playoffs are almost guaranteed. I think that the Packers have a better chance of missing the playoffs this year, than the Bears. The Packers failed to improve their D, except for the aging Peppers. Sounds like Ha Ha will not even make the starting roster this year.

  7. Jerry Richardson

    @Buck Stanton… If you truly believe the story you have written about the Bears’ chances of making the playoffs, you should find new material to write about such as Depends for Hacks’. Jared Allen may be entering the twillight of his career, but he is still absolutely one of top 3 pass rushers playing today. Now add a solid DT like Ratliff and a very hungry DE like Houston and a very explosive rookie as Fergerson to the mix and suddenly this D-Line looks to be one of top 5 in the NFL. The ball doesn’t stop there either as the Bers’ return a healthy shutdown ball hawking turnover machine in C Tillman, move Jennings into the slot nickel position and place rookie 6 foot CB K Fuller with uncanny ball skills on the outside with all pro LB L Briggs and either a healthy DJ Williams, 2nd year LB hard hitting J Bostic or the sleeper LB who may just surprise the entire NFL S McCellan and rotate in this years steal of the draft on D C Jones….running is not going be a first choice against this D. Then add the additions to the back end of the D in B Veeren, R Mundy, C Conte and A Wilson and this D will also once again be a dominat force that will win close games for the Offense. Speaking of the Offense, how will the rest of the NFL match up against this Bears’ offense, easily one of the best core of WR in the league, and a QB who can make every throw in the game and has the best accuracy on the deep ball in the league and the arm strength to get the ball there on a laser. Add in a 3rd wide reciever over at 6’3″ and 200 plus pounds being schooled by one of the very best (B Marshall) and easily the best RB weapon all around M Forte (with maybe the exception of L McCoy, eagles) and a serious threat at TE in M Bennett and put them to work behind the most improved and stable O line in the nFL last year (all of this entering their 2nd year in the same Offense mind you) and it spells disaster for the rest of the division and creates nightmares for the rest of the league. This offense will possibily be the highest octaine offense yet in the NFL and give that the D only has bend and not break to win….and the Bears will be the team to beat in the NFC North this season. The Bears will sweep Minnesota and Detroit in the division this year and possibly even take both games against GB as they field a pass rush and a defense capable of stopping the run this year. Bet your money on this, the Bears will win the NFC North crown and will contend for homefield advantage in the playoffs. Homefield advantage to the Bears in the playoffs spells certain disaster for every team coming into Chicago in the middle of the winter when the Bears offense is capable of putting up 31 to 41 points per game and has a defense that won’t be the porous non existent shambles it was last year. Bear in mind that should Tucker falter early in the season, his replacement is already on the payroll in P Pasquolini….and a DC change in the middle of the season would not disrupt this team…but could easily raise the bar to a championship caliber for this defense with the change from Tucker to Pasqoulini if called for. Frankly, I think regardless of the job Tucker does this year, if this defense fails to win games and return to at least a top ten D he will be sent packing before the season is over.

    • The Kool-Aid must taste especially good in Chicago this summer as Bear fans seem more delusional than normal.

      • WayneThompson

        I think Vegas agrees with Jerry. The odd makers must be drinking the Chicago Kool-Aid too.

      • The exact comment I was going to say! And Wayne, by Kool Aid, I think he is referring to the OP’s opinion on ranking the Chicago players. Forte best all around RB? Oh, he says maybe L McCoy is better. But someone sounds a little butt hurt that he doesnt include Lynch in that possible exception. Making Forte possibly the 3rd best all around. And with how they talk about A Peterson switching to a 3 down back and practicing the catch and run, he might fall even further down.

        This isnt even mentioning that they succeeded so much last year without Cutler. Cutler is not a Super Bowl winning QB. I dont want to take too much away from him, but he is not flawless.

        As for the D line. Re read the beginning of this article. Because not only do playoff teams tend to miss the playoffs the next season, but defenses seem to go from fantastic to duds every season. Look at the Vikings’ D. Went from being a top 5 D to bottom 5 in a year, and have been clawing themselves back up since.

        Then you have new players. New coaches, new everything. This is just one writer’s opinion based on what he sees.

    • Typical bears fan u have jay cutler as the qb always hurt and cant play through the pain just dont see them making the playoffs this year.

    • You forgot one thing – Cuntler blows! Honestly, he is not very good at all. You’ll never win a ring with him, make the playoffs maybe – but get knocked out in the first round as he chokes. Tillman isn’t shutdown either – he just creates turnovers.

    • Pete Repeat

      Jerry, while I admire your blind loyalty to the Bears, everything you stated about the defense is nothing but pure conjecture. I’ve been a Bears fan for 40+ years and I’ve never seen a worse defense in Chicago – ever! To go from worst to respectable is a long road, especially with a DC that doesn’t know his arse from his elbow. Chris Conte is the league’s worst safety and that isn’t up for debate. Collectively, Conte and Wright were abominable. Now you have new players coming into a system that even the veterans had no idea what they were doing. The defense will suck again, and this team will finish a very frustrating 8-8 at best. Trestman is a joke, proven by the fact he wanted Mel Tucker to be his DC. Maybe he should bring back John Shoop as the OC to round out the worst coordinator tandem in modern NFL history.

      • Pete, you don’t know what you are talking about, The second best offense and we have the worst OC? BS. Second, did you forget the injuries and loss of our MLB, then the loss of his replacement? Fans like you that try to come off as skeptical to look more informed are just blowing hot air. You don’t know how good the DC is because he was only there for one injury ridden year.

        Learn to say “I DON”T KNOW”!

  8. Bill Henry

    I love the Bears, but I agree with Ken. Jerry Richardson must have been drunk. I’ll give him that. The way he rambled and tried to impress us….if I had been sitting next to him in the pub, I would have moved.

  9. Buck: You have some good picks there not to make it. The ones I disagree with you on are Bears, Chargers, and Dolphins.

  10. I suppose every team is a contender in July, but this list should’ve been about three teams long. You got Carolina right. Phil Rivers is probably going to kill you in your sleep. I also like how the close WINS the seahawks had in the regular season when their shredded line couldn’t block a sneeze are somehow a negative. Must’ve been a lot of NFL teams winning games with 3 OL starters sitting on the sidelines.

  11. Morgan Mundane

    I totally disagree with this guy. First, Green Bay backed into the playoffs last year due to the Lions and Bears coughing up choke balls. Those teams, plus the Vikes are going to break out big this year. I have two of those three gettng in, the Packers will have a horrible year – did nada to shore up the O line and the Defense will suck again. Dix can only play one position at a time. Its the other five d backs that will suck the wind out of this sail.
    Seattle? Really? Probably SB contenders again.

    • Yep, they backed in becasue #12 missed most of the season. If you’re counting on him missing most of the upcoming season, you MIGHT have a point, otherwise it’s the Packers division to lose.

  12. wow bear hate continues what a shame….i mean the bears improved on d by at least 50% and with that offense they have they could possibly b the number 1 offense in the league hell if not definitely number 2 ..with marshall jeffries cutler forte bennett and an improved oline this team will put up number only brady’s and peytons teams have accomplished…. but hate i mean i know packer fans r scared to death…last game of the seaosn cutler actually played well vs the packers if it wasnt for a blown play by the bears d gb fans would of cried …they r counting on that luck again arent you packer fans? well this year dont count on it….dont worry bear fans will hold a hanky for you

  13. Take a bet with me. Ravens ARE going to the playoffs in 2014. This defense will be much better than last years and the offense under Gary Kubiak is going to put up lots of points. Guaranteed! You know not of which you speak, or in this case, write.

    • I’m banking on Kubiak to do the same thing he did in Houston. Be predictable. His philosophy is that if you execute correctly the play can’t be stopped whether they know whats coming are not. Well that did not work in Houston maybe its works in Baltimore. Who knows……

  14. David Trier

    Does`nt take much thought to predict Lions to underachieve, they`ve been doing it for 50 plus years. I`ve already bet against them not making playoffs.

  15. Dennis Higgins

    Good teams find a way to win…How many last minute games does Brady win? Lame examples by a second rate sports writer on the Seahawks. You must of lost money picking, the Saints, Whiners, and Broncos.

  16. Greg Felsing

    43-8. Left no doubt! And they’ll be even better this year. Let that sink in for a minute,

  17. I don’t see the 49ers making the playoffs, they just have too much talent, but Kaepernick is a qb that makes stupid mistakes at the end of important games, plus in any other system he wouldn’t flourish

  18. JAlexander

    I agree on most other than the Bears and the Seahawks. The Bears will win a division where Detroit can never get it done and Green Bay will take a step backwards on both sides of the ball. The Seahawks have their team mostly intact, the best homefield in the league, and some fresh young legs via the draft. They might not repeat, but they will make the playoffs.

  19. Let me say this McCown did not Bail the Bears out he played well against the Ravens who were a Top ten Defense in a MUD bowl. McCown Beat the Cowboys who were 32 in Defense and he lost to the Redskins who were 30 and those were his two Best Games. Not one other time did he score above 30 Points. McCown Lost to the Rams 22 in defense. He Beat the Packers without Aaron Rodgers who were ranked 26th on Defense. McCown lost to the Vikings as well who were ranked 28. Yes that was so Glorious on his way to 3 and 3.

    • Pete Repeat

      Hey dimwit, you forgot about the other side of the ball. You know, the fact that the Bears were the worst defense in the league, and the worst against the run in the past 5 years! McCown did bail the Bears out and you will see proof of that once Cutler gets hurt again and the Bears don’t have an answer at backup this year.

      • Pete, was he talking about the defense? Nope. Changing the argument to win it is just sad.

  20. concretejimmy

    Ravens not in the playoffs. This guy is an idiot. Cover 32. Where they don’t know what they’re talking about. Get a real job. The Ravens are the best team in any sport over a short span. Ozzie Newsome is an expert. The guys at cover 32 are shit.

  21. concretejimmy

    The Ravens were 8-8 and improved dramatically. Dickface is saying Steve Smith and Joe Flacco are chumps. Along with the Ravens defense. Get ready to eat your words.

  22. concretejimmy

    Dickface must be a Steelers and Patriots fan. Too bad Tomlin’s dance moves are out of style. And so are Brady’s and Gronkowski’s. Does dickface even watch football.

  23. I love this time of year.. Everyone has all the answers & no clue. (#knowitallasswhipes) You can be sure Seattle will be in post season..

    • I don’t know about you or anyone else, but I’m not sure of anything. maybe we should let them actually play at least the first game of the season before you assume anyone will be in the post season …

  24. World Wide Waco

    Seattle will definitely be in the playoffs whether they get to play an injury riddled BRONCOS team or an improved AND heathy BRONCO Team in the superbowl or not is definitely speculation, but to say they will not even make playoffs…correct or not its a guess.

  25. Finally, proof that monkeys can be trained to type. The Seahawks will go 14-2 and win the Superb Owl again. Bank on it.

  26. This is good. Let the Cowboys fly under the radar. In the end they will still be around and in the playoffs.

    • under the radar?? is it even possible for the Cowboys to, how did you put it, “fly under the radar”?? that team from ownership down is nothing but media attention whores, they will never fly under the radar, they will command as much media attention as humanly possible, then after they finish 8-8 … again … then the ,media will run around asking why the Cowboys went 8-8 … again …

    • Vinnie08

      Hum been 18 years ish annd will contiue until Cowboys get a QB who won’t choke in big games…

      • how about getting a defense that can stop a peewee team from scoring, don’t put everything on Romo, he isn’t the problem in Dallas …

  27. This guy is just talking ancient history with the Bears. The o line is good now so Cutler will be passing to the best wide out tandem in the NFL. This defense is going to surprise many as they kick a#@ and take names all season.

    • Well Nick W., Ken Whisenhunt was a terrible coach in Arizona, Coach Green gave him the players and Without Kurt Warrener As his QB Arizona never makes the SB. The worst beating the cards ever took was under Both Whisenhunt and Horton in Seattle 58-0, so good luck with that. You are in big trouble my friend. Sorry but true, it is an ego problem and not fixable…..and you thought you had troubles before?

  28. Jose Chey

    I love this article but I do believe you missed to include the Philadelphia Eagles. They will not make the playoffs this up coming year.

    • yes they will, that is by far the worst division in the NFL and the Eagles are the best team in that division so they will make the playoffs only because division champs get an automatic playoff spot. what you should say is that Philly will not make it past the wildcard round of the playoffs, which means they don’t belong on this list …

  29. When I read comments like “Plus, losing offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt should leave people wondering if Philip Rivers will regress again”, it is clear you not only don’t know anything about the subject, you haven’t bothered to do any research. Instead, you wandered around the blogosphere and cherry picked a couple of memes, which fit your preconceived notions. Look, I think Whis was a pretty good OC, and he clearly had a lot to do with crafting a scheme to optimize Rivers’ skills and overcome a weak and depleted OL and the loss of his top two receivers. But, in case you forgot, Mike McCoy is the HC and if you think for one second he was not deeply involved in the design of that scheme and the game-to-game offensive plans, then you are lost in space.

  30. Red Rage

    Chiefs will take it all the way to the Super Bowl and bring home the Lombardi Trophy!

  31. Anonymous

    I agree with these choices, the only thing I’m a little confused about is the title of the article. “Ten NFL “contenders” that won’t make the playoffs this season” … can someone please how any team can be a “contender” if they aren’t even going to make the playoffs?? isn’t a “contender” a team that has a legitimate shot at winning a championship, which none of these teams on this list do??

  32. eric the red

    The Bears, Hawks and the rest of the teams listed above will “choke” this season. I agree with this writer- spot on. They are reasonable, logical choices- it just pisses a lot of those fans off, but then the truth does hurt.

  33. Anonymous

    I think the Bears are in a good position to succeed and make the playoffs. It’s hard to not have faith with the new offensive mindset and talent. The defense seems to be improved but on the field is what matters. The first month and a half of the Bear schedule is tough and could determine success vs failure early on. As for the Seahawks, they are talented no doubt as superbowl champs. I think they will make the playoffs but I’m not sold on that offense being capable of leading them to another superbowl. Winning back-to-back is hard enough and russle wilson still has much to prove, although he’s still young and seemingly the sky could be the limit for him. Cowboys will likely do what they normally do and somehow lose enough games to miss the postseason. The Eagles are better and the Giants can;t be as bad as they were last year. It’s going to be tough

  34. I’m totally amazed that we don’t find Cleveland, Jacksonville, or Arizona inside the Top 10. Seattle, Kansas City, and unnamed Buffalo have better odds of making the playoffs in my opinion. And we’ll just have to wait and see with Detroit. Actually, they could turn out to be one of the real turn-arounds of the year… just sayin’. They certainly have all the offensive weapons to get the job done.