In today’s NFL, what does it mean to be a contender?

I just read an article on CBS Sports that said: “Dez Bryant reportedly only interested in signing with a contender next season.” The headline alone got me wondering: “How the fuck does Dez Bryant know who the contenders are?”

Think about last season, and who was considered a contender in the preseason. Do you see a Blake Bortles led Jaguars team? That team was a contender last season. Did you predict a Jared Goff led Rams team would host a playoff game? The parody of the NFL has proven that lots of teams have the talent to be a contender given the right breaks.

The flipside of that coin is just how quickly you can go from contender to a non-combatant with an injury, just ask the Houston Texans who looked poised for a playoff run until DeSean Watson tore his ACL. The Eagles fans thought a dream season was over when Carson Wentz went down, lucky for them Big Dick Nick Foles was their backup.

The Browns went 0-16 last season but guess what? I can’t write them off as a contender as much as I may want to. They have a veteran QB and a #1 overall draft pick. One of those guys could lead this team to the playoffs, it’s not out of the question.

The Bears were trash last season but they absolutely have a roster to compete with anyone going into 2018. The 49ers have been a joke, but are you telling me they can’t compete this season with Jimmy G? Teams go from worst to first all the time in the NFL.

Every season some so-called expert pick the Packers to go to the Super Bowl, but if Aaron Rodgers gets hurt like he tends to do, that pick becomes trash. The Patriots seem to be the only team that is bad luck proof. They contend every single year. Tom Brady misses an entire season and they go 11-5 with Matt Cassell. Unless the only team on Dez’s list is New England, I just don’t get what he’s doing.

If I am Dez, I don’t worry about who I think is a “competitor” I do worry about going to a team with a decent QB. But in this day and age, most teams have a decent QB going into the season. Nobody has had the chance to get hurt. Pick a team Dez.

This isn’t the NBA, it’s easy to pick out the “competitors” in the NBA, right now that’s about two teams. In the NFL it’s easier to pick out the non-competitors, but even that can be tricky. I’m sure a lot of people had the Jaguars on their list of non-competitors going into last year.

I’m going to attempt to give 8 teams that I don’t think will compete, but I bet I’m wrong about at least one.

  1. Tampa Bay. I see this team as the obvious worst team in the NFC South.
  2. Miami Dolphins. Another Florida team that I have very little faith in.
  3. Arizona Cardinals. This pick is based on Sam Bradford being the QB, if Rosen takes the job, then I may reconsider but this is probably the last place team in the NFC West this year.
  4. Buffalo Bills. This team was in the playoffs last season, I don’t see them coming back.
  5. Dallas Cowboys. I think Dallas is trash. They have a great O-Line and Running Back, but their fucking coach is a moron who wants to throw it all the time. I can’t believe I’m saying this but John Fox should be coaching this team, he could get them to the playoffs just by handing it off. This team needs a change in leadership bad.
  6.  Cincinnati Bengals. Another team with a coach who has been there too long. Dalton is now probably the worst starting QB in the AFC North, this team needs a rebuild. This season will prove that.
  7. Washington Redskins. I have this team missing the playoffs, I think the Giants will be better and the Eagles will stay the class of the division.
  8. Oakland Raiders. Nothing Gruden does make sense to me. I have this team finishing last in the division. Carr could stay healthy and maybe this team is ok, but I see glaring deficiencies on defense. Khalil Mack can’t do it all.

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