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Old 06-13-2007, 09:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory

Originally Posted by ncoolong View Post
"Sorry, not buying the theory"
Of course you aren't! You didn't read it. We'll start with your mark against San Diego. I left off the coaching part largely because I was running over 10,000 words at one point. However, look at the Theory as explained: A first year of amassing talent on a young team - they just missed the playoffs after going 10-6. A second year of breaking out to a high level, but falling short, all the while gaining the experience and anger to take it all in a third year. Does this NOT sound like the San Diego Chargers? C'mon now...and if you disagree, take a look at the current Super Bowl favorites.
Sorry, but I did read it, and I'm still not buying it. Yes, I agree that does sound like San Diego, but the fact remains that the very abrupt coaching change is not factored in at all, and that is a HUGE factor to leave out. San Diego can go either way, IMO - either Turner royally screws things up, or he's the catalyst to get a very good team built by someone else over the hump, ala John Gruden.

Another big determinant in a team's fortunes over a season are injuries - if the injury bug bites a highly-touted team particularly hard (like the Panthers a few years back), that team's season can very easily die a quick death. However, to be fair, this one's a factor that can't really be accounted for by any theory, because it's a wildcard. Although I feel your 3-year theory does have its merits, there are important factors not considered by the theory that can throw a huge monkeywrench into that 3-year timetable.

As far as SB favorites are concerned, from what I've seen in the media it's either the Patriots (overwhelmingly) or the Colts who have been predicted to be the AFC representative in SB XLII.

Originally Posted by ncoolong View Post
Chicago has done nothing to suggest they can stay at the level they were last year. I refuse to ever give a team the benefit of the doubt because they lost a big game the previous year (not a peep from you, Living). They won't have their versatile LB not named Urlacher, they lost their defensive coordinator (their new one was the first coach I covered...a Pittsburgh guy, too! More on Bob Babich in a later column), and basically did nothing but anger their fans and players for an entire off-season. As long as No. 8 is under center...can you give this team Year 3 status?
I think the loss of Henry for 1/2 a season is going to hurt Cincy a lot deeper than people think. Their offense was definitely noticeably affected by his absence in the games he was suspended for last season. Their D will be improved, but I don't think a unit that is as defensively-deficient (particularly against the run) as the Bengals' D has been can be turned from a liability into an asset in one offseason. Can I personally give the Bears (or any other NFC team for that matter - more on that later) year 3 status by your scale? No, not really. But I don't see anything from Cincy that suggests they should be ranked a year 3 team on your scale, either.

Originally Posted by ncoolong View Post
Much is made out of teams that don't make the playoffs following a Super Bowl win. What about the team that lose the Super Bowl? Seattle eeked in a horrible NFC and should have lost in the first round, Philadelphia didn't make the playoffs, Carolina didn't make the playoffs (I don't think).
And all those teams are from the NFC - no surprise there. The fact is, the NFC is now the weak sister the AFC used to be when NFC teams were rolling off 13 straight SB wins in a row, usually in blowouts. As it stands now, 8 of the last 10 teams to win the SB have been the AFC representative. Sure, the 2003 Raiders tanked, but that was an extremely old team that was built to win then and there and to hell with the future. The only other AFC SB-losing team in the last 10 years was Tennessee, and they went 13-3 the year after losing the SB to the Rams, losing to the eventual SB champion Ravens in the divisional round.
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