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Paydirt Football League Articles

What a Difference a Year Makes
By Bryan Nevin
Special to paydirtfootball.com

Things can change a lot in a year. 53% of the league(17 teams) already has as many wins or losses(or more) this season as they had all of last season.
Here are the teams in no particular order.

More losses this year
1. Cinncinatti Bengals--2007(9-7) 2008 (2-9) On defense, they lost CB Hall. They got rid of Carson Palmer, and replaced him with Sam Bradford. They sure do miss those two.

2. San Diego Chargers--2007(9-7) 2008 (1-9) This is pretty much the same exact team as last season. I guess the players have quit playing for their coach. Expect some changes in the offseason.

3. Chicago Bears--2007 (9-7) 2008 (2-9) Pretty much the same team as last season. The big difference is that they lost a lot of production by losing Houshmanzadah who had 62 catches, 874 yards, and 3 TD's. That shouldn't have caused the collapse of this magnitude.

4. Atlanta Falcons--2007(10-6) 2008 (4-7) The Falcons lost Tony Gonzalez(62 catches, 724 yards, 1 TD) and OLB Mike Peterson(39 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 tfl, and 6 dfl). These numbers don't translate into the losses that the Falcons have experienced.

5. New York Giants--2007(11-4-1) 2008 (4-6) The Giants had a major loss of production in the middle of their defense. MLB Keith Bullock put up All Pro numbers last year with 121 tackles, 5 picks, 14 TFL, 2 sacks, and 17 passes defended. They also lost DT Rocky Bernard who also put up decent numbers. They haven't been able to replace those numbers, and the defense has been hurt as a result.

6. Green Bay Packers--2007(9-6-1) 2008 (4-7) The Packers secondary was totally depleted this year. They lost Woodson, Harris, and Bigby. On offense, they lost Ryan Grant and Moon hasn't lived up to expectations. Donald Driver is also gone, but Jernigan has replaced him nicely. However, with so many losses, you can expect a rebuilding year.

7. Denver Broncos--2007(13-3) 2008 (5-5) This is pretty much the same team as last year. They did lose Demaryius Thomas at WR and replaced him with Fitzgerald, and his numbers are down from Thomas's from a year ago, but not by that much. The team is getting a little older with Champ Bailey and Jamal Williams declining. There is still time to turn things around and make the playoffs.

8. Miami Dolphins--2007(15-1) 2008(8-2) The Dolphins are just as good. When you only lose 1 game in an entire season, it's easy to match the losses. They did lose Brett Favre in favor of Hatzis, which was a big loss.

9. Buffalo Bills--2007(8-8) 2008(1-9) They lost 2 of their starting LB's. They upgraded their LT, so it's pretty much the same team. Now, they have a solid new coach who should be able to turn the ship around quickly.

More wins this year
1. Detroit Lions--2007 (5-11) 2008 (8-3) They lost ROLB Peterson and added LOLB Briggs. They lost RE Vanden Bosch. They did upgrade their OL by adding Kalil and Britton. That must have done the trick, as the Lions currently lead the NFC North after a poor year last year.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars--2007(7-9) 2008(7-4) Not many teams made more offseason moves than the Jags(about 13 new starters). They lost their entire secondary, MLB Morrison, DE Kampman, their RG and RT, Jones-Drew(who is currently leading the league in rushing for the 49ers), their starting TE, and both starting WR's. Their replacements, including Tom Brady, have done a fine job, and the coach, who took over mid season last year, has turned this ship around.

3. Philadelphia Eagles--2007(2-14) 2008(5-5) They lost Asante Samuel, Akeem Jordan, Mike Patterson on defense, and traded DeSean Jackson for Brandon Marshall on offense. The big difference, however is at QB, where the Eagles got rid of Vick, who single handled destroyed the team, and traded the first overall pick for Drew Brees. The difference couldn't be any clearer.

4. Cleveland Browns--2007(3-12-1) 2008(4-6) The Browns are still struggling, but they did improve. They added CB Samuel, LOLB Smith, and DT Hampton. On offense, they added RT Light. They did lose backup RB Willie Parker. They will improve with a solid new coach taking over.

5. Tennessee Titans--2007(4-12) 2008(5-5) On defense, they lost DT Jason Jones and added DT Terdell Sands. They also lost MLB Stephen Tulloch, but that wasn't a big loss. On offense, the Titans are the same. So, what's the difference? QB Pat Devlin. In 2007, he had a QB rating of just 64.0. This year, he is one of the most efficient QB's in the league with a rating of 91.0. Another year in Retter's system has done wonders for him.

6. Kansas City Chiefs--2007(7-9) 2008(10-1) On defense, they added CB Pete Nixon and DT Sedrick Ellis. On offense, they added RT Pathos and lost C Weigman. They added WR Shields and lost RB Thomas Jones. Not many major changes here to warrant such an increase in wins, but the Chiefs are a different team. I think that they may have had a coaching change last season, as they did finish the season strong winning 3 of their final 4 and 4 of their final 6.

7. St. Louis Rams--2007(2-14) 2008(5-5) On defense, the Rams lost CB Brown and DE Hall and added OLB Carpenter. On offense, they added 2 rookies, RB Walt Hitchcock who has been great along with QB Derek Baird who is a huge upgrade over Troy Smith, even though he's only a rookie.

8. Arizona Cardinals--2007(8-8) 2008(8-2) Like the Jags, the Cardinals made a ton of changes from 2007. The Cards have 13 new starters this year which has helped them to a strong start.

Why so many changes? In many cases, it's a change that the team has made, but in others, there really is no reason. Is it just parody in the league? We'll see in the final 6 weeks of the season if this teams continue to struggle/thrive, or they play more like their team from last season. What do you think?
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