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SmootSmack 07-07-2007 03:01 PM

2007 Worst to First?
In 2006, three teams (Philly, Baltimore, and New Orleans) all went from worst to first. So, as we look forward to 2007 which team is most likely to win their division after finishing last in 2006.

For the purposes of this discussion, the Washington Redskins are not an option:

[B]AFC East: Miami[/B]

Miami finished 6-10 in 2006. Nick Saban bolted for Alabama after season's end. Now former Chargers OC Cam Cameron gets his shot as an NFL head coach. On the big field, the big change will be the addition of veteran Trent Green lining up as QB. Cam and Green have experience working together from their days back with the Redskins. The Dolphins surprised just about everyone by selecting Ohio St. WR Ted Ginn with their fist round pick in the NFL draft.

[B]AFC North: Cleveland[/B]

The Browns ended 2006 with a 4-12 record, dropping their final four games of the year. Cleveland took immediate steps in free agency to shore up perhaps their weakest link, the offensive line, signing OG Eric Steinbach to a mega contract and adding C Seth McKinney. Additionally, the Browns signed RB Jamal Lewis, and DE Robaire Smith. On draft day, Cleveland selected OT Joe Thomas from Wisconsin. They wrapped up day one by maneuvering to select Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn who had fallen to the bottom of the first round.

[B]AFC South: Houston [/B]

The Texans bounced back from a 2-14 season in 2005 to finish 6-10 in 2006 under first year head coach Gary Kubiak. Houston selected teen phenom Amobi Okoye with their first pick in the 2007 draft. But the big news out of Houston this spring was the change at QB. David Carr, the first pick ever by the franchise, was shown the door as the Texans made a major trade for Atlanta's backup QB Matt Schaub. Texans hope the addition of free-agent RB Ahman Green will also help the offense.

[B]AFC West: Oakland[/B]

After finishing 2-14 in 2006 the Oakland Raiders and head coach Art Shell parted ways (again). The fate of the Raiders now hinges on rookie head coach Lane Kiffin, a 33-year old former offensive coordinator from USC. With the first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Raiders selected LSU QB JaMarcus Russell. Neither Russell nor Kiffin will have to get the ball to Randy Moss, as the mercurial wide-receiver was sent packing to the Pats.

[B]NFC North: Detroit [/B]

The Detroit Lions, snakebit for years by bad WR draft choices, ignored the bites and selected WR Calvin Johnson from Georgia Tech. The Lions hope CJ, plus the addition of RB Tatum Bell in a trade and free-agent RB TJ Duckett can help them improve on their 3-13 record in 2006. Defensively, Detroit looks to improve on its pass rushing game by signing unrestricted free agent DE Dewayne White

[B]NFC South: Tampa Bay[/B]

Following a 4-12 2006 record, the Bucs identify their problem and worked to solve it by signing 20 new QBs (ok, slight exaggeration). QB Jeff Garcia was signed as a free agent from Philly on the same day Tampa traded for former Broncos QB Jake Plummer. Meanwhile, 2006 opening day starter Chris Simms works to recover from spleen surgery and reclaim his job. Defensively, the Bucs signed free agent LB Cato June from Colts;and sought Simeon Rice's eventual replacement by selecting DE Gaines Adams in the draft.

[B]NFC West: Arizona[/B]

After disappointing all the pundits with a 5-11 season in 2006, the Cardinals turned to Pittsburgh for leadership. Arizona hopes the addition of new head coach Ken Whisenhunt along with Russ Grimm can help the development of second-year QB Matt Leinart. Having already worked in previous years to acquire skill players, Arizona went into the trenches on draft day by selecting OL Levi Brown from Penn St. and DT Alan Branch from Michigan with their first two picks.

backrow 07-07-2007 03:30 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
Where is "None of the Above"?

SmootSmack 07-07-2007 03:35 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
[QUOTE=backrow;325501]Where is "None of the Above"?[/QUOTE]

It's not an option. Would you rather the question be "Least Unlikely"

12thMan 07-07-2007 03:37 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
I like Tampa. As I mentioned, Gruden is taking no prisoners in this year's training camp. The additions, plus you get Caddy Williams back. I like Tampa.

In fact, let me go on the record and make this prediction:
[B]NFC Championship. Washington vs. Tampa Bay. [/B]

Yes, the game will be played in Tampa, what were you thinking?

GusFrerotte 07-07-2007 06:02 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
I voted for Oakland, but the Lions probably have the best chance of pulling off the totally improbable feat. Thing is well, they are the Lions and will get crushed by the Bears and Vikes, and maybe even lose to GB once.

70Chip 07-07-2007 08:46 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
If history is a guide, then it will happen, but none of these teams really moves me that much. I picked Tampa on the strength of their coaching and Garcia's play late for Philly last season, but that was only because Arizona winning is such a bizarre concept that I couldn't pull that trigger. We may be the only team to do it this year.

backrow 07-07-2007 10:19 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
[QUOTE=SmootSmack;325502]It's not an option. Would you rather the question be "Least Unlikely"[/QUOTE]

I think the B&G will be there before any of the above!

SmootSmack 07-07-2007 10:22 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
[QUOTE=backrow;325547]I think the B&G will be there before any of the above![/QUOTE]

Well, I'm sure a lot of us think (or at least hope) that. I definitely think we have the best shot. But if I included them, there wouldn't be much discussion

Of the seven choices listed, I would say Cleveland or Tampa is the most likely. Both their divisions could be won with 9-7 records.

GTripp0012 07-08-2007 12:12 AM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
The candidates are the teams who have young guns at QB who are more than bound to come into their own and post pro bowl seasons. That's pretty much Houston and Arizona.

Houston's problem is that even if they find a way to steal two games from the Colts, the Jaguars are still a better team. Arizona's competition is pretty much the Rams, and the field. If the Rams defense doesn't improve immensely this season (I believe it will), It's hard to see Arizona NOT taking that division.

Luxorreb 07-08-2007 04:55 AM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
Arizona could, but they could also be right back at the bottom.

djnemo65 07-08-2007 05:10 AM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
I'm surprised to see so many people taking Tampa Bay. They strike me as a very flawed team.

hooskins 07-08-2007 04:07 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
I realize the Cards have a chance but the Fins are in a pretty bad division too.

mooby 07-08-2007 05:10 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
I think the Cards have a shot, provided their offense comes together like it's supposed to. They have a decent defense.

Paintrain 07-08-2007 05:25 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
[QUOTE=hooskins;325716]I realize the Cards have a chance but the Fins are in a pretty bad division too.[/QUOTE]

The Dolphins? They have the Pats (best team in the NFL), the Jets ('06 playoff team who lost nothing in the offseason) and the Bills who will be bad but not terrible.. The Dolphins are a BAD football team with many many holes..

The Cards are in the best position to do so..

12thMan 07-08-2007 06:32 PM

Re: 2007 Worst to First?
[quote=djnemo65;325645]I'm surprised to see so many people taking Tampa Bay. They strike me as a very flawed team.[/quote]

Flawed, maybe. But they still have talent, that's for sure. And they still have Gruden and one of the best defensive coordinators in the game, Monte Kiffin.

Throw Caddy Williams, Garcia, and some good draft picks into that equation, yeah, I would say they can make some noise this year.

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