1.) Detroit: Can someone explain how a team with Calvin Johnson and the league’s No. 2 defense can’t win a playoff game? Seriously, where’s the obvious flaw on this team? If you’re beginning to believe Matt Stafford is the problem, I’m inclined to think you’re right.
2.) Carolina: I’m a big intangibles guy, and believe they make up more than 50 percent of the win/loss equation. The Panthers were the champion of the worst division in football in 2014 with a sub .500 record. They’ve released (allegedly) the No. 1 running back in franchise history. They don’t have a leader on offense, and they may not take positive step forward while the rest of the division does.
3.) Arizona: Bruce Arians is a top three coach in the league today, and the most underrated by no small margin. Yet, there’s one position where a team cannot afford uncertainty – under center. With Carson Palmer’s health prospects always uncertain and me taking the snaps in the interim, can you blame the doubt?
4.) Pittsburgh: This list has become an annual radio show tradition of mine. There’s always that one team you have a hard time arguing against, and this year it’s Pittsburgh. they really seem to have righted the ship, don’t they? I’ve got to pick five teams, and one unfortunate outfit will certainly succumb to a rash of unforeseen injuries. Why not “Steel City?” Why not now?
5.) Cincinnati – Andy Dalton is 0-4 in the playoffs. His roster is supremely talented. With that roster, Andy Dalton can’t figure out how to win when it matters most. A lot of fans are done with him, and Cincy will be too — with both he and Marvin Lewis after 2015.
The history books tell us this will in fact take place, opening the door to these five fresh playoff faces next season.
Next: Fly Eagles, Fly