The NFL season is about three months away, but already people are throwing out their predictions as well as ideas as to what teams are going to go up or down based on how they played last season.
Today we take our turn, as we give you what five teams that missed the postseason a year ago you have to watch out for in 2012.
5. New York Jets – The loudest team in the NFL missed the postseason with a late collapse, and after an 8-8 year and the addition of wonderboy Tim Tebow, the club seems determined to make an impact in the AFC in 2012. A lot of it will fall into the hands of Mark Sanchez, who has been given a new deal and a shot to be the man again in 2012. The club needs more from its defense, and the run game has to be more consistent this season.
4. Chicago Bears – One of the two teams in the NFC Title game two seasons ago, the Bears were also 8-8 a season ago, and were beat up by injuries, the biggest to QB Jay Cutler. Now he’s back, and the club needs to find a way to make RB Matt Forte happy. The Bears have a lot of good pieces and parts, and if they can put it all together, could make the race in the NFC North interesting with Green Bay and Detroit.
3. Dallas Cowboys – See the trend here, another 8-8 club from 2011. The Cowboys still have Tony Romo under center, and don’t forget they were a win away in the season finale from being the champs in the NFC East. I expect the defense to be better in 2012, and if that offense is a pinch better, this could be a 10-11 win team.
2. Kansas City Chiefs – This team looked awful early in the year in 2011, but then they canned Todd Haley, and Romeo Crennel got things turned around including a win (the only team minus the playoff loss to the Giants) over the Packers. With the return of Jammal Charles, and hopeful better play and a healthy Matt Cassel, the Chiefs will be a team to watch in 2012.
1. Philadelphia Eagles – Two seasons ago this was many peoples Super Bowl pick, but they faltered and then last season again had a rough time before finally wrapping up the year at 8-8. This season the media won’t be duped again, and all that coverage will be on other teams, allowing the Birds to finally settle down and play football. Look for Michael Vick to have a good season, and for the Birds to win 10-11 games.