Can Donovan McNabb turn the Washington Redskins into a title contender?

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The Philadelphia Eagles or any professional sports franchise in Philly can be very difficult to play for as there is a lot pressure put on the superstar players.

Obviously, pressure on professional athletes is nothing new, but in Philadelphia it can be extremely harsh as winning is the only thing this passionate city will except as Philly has arguably the most unruly fans in the country.

With that being said and the face that NFL football is arguably the most popular professional sports in the country, the fans can be absolutely brutal to the face of the Eagles franchise. The face of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL franchise over the last 11 years has been none other than six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Even though McNabb has been able to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl appearance, the fans in Philly have always pointed the finger at the superstar quarterback for the Eagles not being able to win a Super Bowl.

Obviously, that is bit harsh to say the least as the Philadelphia Eagles wouldn’t have experienced the kind of success they had over the past decade or so without him behind center.

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Well, now both the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles have drastically changed the outlook of their NFL franchises moving forwards as Philly will try and compete without their Pro Bowl quarterback and the Skins will look to make their team relevant in the NFC once again with franchise caliber player at the helm.

Personally, even though the Philadelphia Eagles have Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick to take McNabb’s place, I believe the Washington Redskins really came out on top in this deal as they will without doubt be a much better team with the Pro Bowler taking the snaps from now on.

The Redskins still have a lot of moves to make in order to be force to be reckoned with in the NFC Conference, but adding McNabb was without a doubt a step in the right direction as he will be a much needed stability to the struggling Washington offense.

Even though the Redskins need at least one or two more Pro Bowl caliber wide receivers to give McNabb some much needed targets, Washington does have two solid players at tight end in Chris Cooley and Fred Davis and a talented trio at running back in Larry Johnson, Clinton Portis and Willie Parker.

There is no doubt in my mind that this team can compete in the NFC this season, but they are a definitely a few more pieces to the puzzle away from becoming a serious force to be reckoned with or a possible Super Bowl title contender.

The NFL regular season is still two months away and anything can happen from here on out in terms of moves being made by the Washington Redskins, but they will definitely have to address McNabb’s lack of wide receiver options in the offense.

Sidney Rice should be ready for next season despite hip injury

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Last season the Minnesota Vikings burst onto the scene and quickly became one of the best teams in the league after future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre decided to get some revenge against his former team in the Green Bay Packers by putting on the once hated purple jersey and having arguably the best season of his NFL career.

Not only were the Minnesota Vikings an extremely talented football team on the defensive side of the pigskin before Favre decided to make his comeback, but they also had arguably the best running game in the league with the combination of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor in the backfield. Along with having one of the best running backs in the game in Peterson, the Vikings also had a wide receiver that literally came out of nowhere and quickly became one of the top wideouts in the league.

Obviously, any wide receiver or tight end that has Brett Favre behind center will instantly get more involved in the offense, but last season unknown wideout Sidney Rice went from a nobody to a possible perennial Pro Bowler.

With 83 receptions, 1,312 receiving yards and eight touchdowns Sidney Rice quickly became Brett Favre’s favorite target in the Minnesota Vikings offense last season as the two connected on big plays all season long. Not only did Favre turn Rice into another primetime receiver in this league, but they were arguably the most dynamic quarterback/wide receiver duo in the NFL last season and will look to continue their success heading into the upcoming season.

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The future of Sidney Rice leans heavily on the return of Brett Favre, which is still uncertain, but with reports of the Pro Bowl quarterback already throwing passes to high school players in Mississippi; his return looks highly likely once again. With Favre back behind center, the Minnesota Vikings will be legitimate Super Bowl title contenders once again in the NFC Conference and Rice could have yet another career year.

Even though everything in Minnesota seems to be leading towards another successful season for the Vikings with a possible Super Bowl appearance on the horizon, Pro Bowl wide receiver Sidney Rice is still suffering from a an ailing hip injury that he sustained during the playoffs last season.

Despite Rice’s injury being an obvious concern for the Minnesota Vikings, as they could quite possibly contend for a Super Bowl title next season, reportedly the injury isn’t something that will keep him off the gridiron to start the upcoming season.

Sidney Rice’s agent Drew Rosenhaus recently tweeted about his client’s injury saying that his hip injury will not require surgery and he is hopeful that Rice will be on the receiving ends of Brett Favre’s passes to start the season against the New Orleans Saints.

Ironically enough, the Minnesota Vikings last game was in the NFC championship against Drew Brees and company. This will be without a doubt the most anticipated game in week one, but if Rice can’t go, it will drastically change the outcome of this NFC battle.

Is Chris Johnson the new best running back in the NFL?

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There are a lot of debates that go on throughout an NFL season about what teams can contend for a title, which players are on the downside of their careers and what players are amongst the best at their position.

The one debate that has really started to get a lot of attention over the past couple of seasons has been which running back is the best in the league. A few years ago, there was an easy answer to this question as the San Diego Chargers Pro Bowler LaDainian Tomlinson was without a doubt the best player out of the backfield.

With an NFL MVP award, multiple Pro Bowl appearances and the ability to do almost anything on the offensive side of the football field (run, catch and pass), LT wasn’t only the best back in the league, but he was the best all around player hands down.

Well, a lot has changed since the days of LT’s dominance in San Diego as his numbers have really started to decline and the Chargers recently released their former best all around player. Fortunately, LT didn’t stay unemployed for long as the New York Jets decided to make him their starter out of the backfield.

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As for the which player is now the best running back in the league, the debate rages on, but there are only two legitimate candidates for the distinction of the best NFL running back. This upcoming season might determine which back comes out on top as the Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson and the Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson will battle it out.

Last season both the Tennessee Titans and the Minnesota Vikings had pretty successful years. Obviously, the Vikings had a much better season than the Titans as they were able to make it all the way to the NFC championship and come just short of playing in the Super Bowl. The Titans on the other hand struggled early on in the season, but rebounded nicely with an impressive run in the second half of the year.

Even though the Vikings were without a doubt the better team with a lot more to show for their impressive performance in 2009, the battle between the league’s two best running backs was much different as Chris Johnson was without a doubt the best rusher in the league.

With 2,006 rushing yards, 503 receiving yards, 16 total touchdowns (14 rushing, 2 receiving) and just three lost fumbles, Chris Johnson was by far the best back in the league last season. The Tennessee Titans may have just missed the playoffs in the AFC Conference, but they definitely have a promising future with Johnson coming out of the backfield.

The Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on the other hand dominated last season in terms of touchdowns with a total of 18, all rushing, but his Achilles heel has turned out to be his tendency to commit multiple costly turnovers. Even though AP finished with 1,819 total yards (1,383 rushing, 436 receiving), 18 touchdowns and the possibility of playing in a Super Bowl, Chris Johnson may have taken over as the league’s best back with the ability to torch opposing defenses with his ability to destroy secondarys in the ground game.

It will be interesting to say the least how these two extremely talented running backs do next season, but in my opinion, the Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson has officially become the best running back in the NFL.

Where will Albert Haynesworth be heading?

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The Washington Redskins have gone through some drastic changes over the last season and throughout this offseason with a new starting quarterback and head coach being their biggest moves, but they aren’t done yet as they have might have to get rid of their $100 million dollar man via trade.

Before last season, the Redskins made a bold move to upgrade their struggling defense by signing arguably the best defensive player in the league in defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. No one knew whether or not the Tennessee Titans would be able to match the offer made by the Washington Redskins, but fortunately they didn’t as Haynesworth went to Washington and had a very disappointing season.

Along with having a very disappointing season with his new team, Haynesworth hasn’t become fan favorite or a good teammate as he is probably the most unpopular player in Washington right now. Not only did he have a very poor season as the Redskins only won a total of four games last year, but he has only been a distraction to the team ever since as he has demanded a trade only shortly after getting a $21 million dollar bonus from the team.

Reportedly, the former Pro Bowler is upset about the new defensive scheme that new head coach Mike Shanahan is implementing in Washington as he will no longer be a pivotal part of the defensive front line. As a result, Haynesworth has said that he wants to get traded and with this very selfish act of a “me first” mentality, the Washington Redskins would love to grant his request, but they would like the $21 million dollars given to the defensive superstar back before making a deal.

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Apparently, there are quite teams interested in retaining Albert Haynesworth’s services, but the Washington Redskins are really second guessing shipping their $100 million dollar man elsewhere. As of right now, the Redskins are still fielding offers for their defensive beast, but no trade is on the horizon just yet.

The three teams that have consistently been mentioned as possible destinations for Haynesworth have been the Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Titans.

Personally, the best fit for Haynesworth in my opinion would be to return to Tennessee where he made a name for himself. By returning to the Titans he would be able to get his old job back and turn the Tennessee defense back into the dominant force it was a couple of years ago. Even though that is an ideal situation, it is uncertain how serious the Titans would be about getting him back.

The one team of the three that seemed pretty serious about going after the Pro Bowler was the Detroit Lions. It is no secret that the Lions are in desperate need of some upgrades on defense, but recently it was reported that are no longer interested as they are not willing to take on his bad attitude as they try and turn around their franchise.

So at this point in time, Haynesworth’s future is still very much up in the air, but I won’t be surprised to see Shanahan unload the big fella before next season.

AFC South: Tennessee Titans give the Indianapolis Colts a run for their money

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The Indianapolis Colts are coming off a somewhat disappointing ending to last season as Peyton Manning and company looked like they could possibly win their second Super Bowl title in three years, but ended up dropping the ball in the big game and letting the New Orleans Saints win their first title in franchise history.

Even Peyton Manning would like to take back that interception he threw in the Super Bowl, the Colts and the three-time NFL MVP have move forward and look towards the upcoming NFL regular season.

As of right now, the Indianapolis Colts have the same team relatively intact and will be looking to have a repeat performance of last season and personally, this time I think they could win it all!

Here is a rundown of the AFC South heading into next season:

Houston Texans (last season: 9-7)
The Houston Texans have always seemed to be a talented team, but they could just never get it together or create any kind of team chemistry to work off of, but next season they might surprise some people as they could have an offense that rivals the New Orleans Saints.

There is no doubting that the Texans have a potent offense as they have arguably the best all wide receiver in the game in Andre Johnson and one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Matt Schaub, but their running game is nonexistent.

If the Texans can get the ground game going early in the season and have some much needed defense to back up their potent offense, this team could be a serious threat in the AFC.

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Jacksonville Jaguars (last season: 7-9)
Even though the Jacksonville Jaguars have one of the best running backs in the league in Maurice Jones-Drew, this forgotten team from Florida really doesn’t have anything else to compete with the best of the best in the league or in their division for that matter.
Jacksonville could surprise people next season, but I doubted as I think we will see the same weak team we always see and another last place finish in the AFC South.

Tennessee Titans (last season: 8-8)
Last season was a resurgence of sorts for the struggling Tennessee Titans. Coming into the season they had high hopes of competing for a Super Bowl title, but ended up losing the first seven games of the season and being dubbed the worst team in the NFL at one point.

Fortunately, head coach Jeff Fisher decided to make a drastic change by benching veteran quarterback Kerry Collins in favor of the former face of the franchise in Vince Young. Even though Young struggled early, he really started to come into his own once again and helped lead this team to an 8-8 record after losing the entire first half of the season.

Another reason for the Titans second half success was running Chris Johnson. Most people believe that Adrian Peterson is the best back in the NFL today, but after last year’s impressive performance, Johnson may have taken over as the league’s best out of the backfield.

If Young and Johnson can keep up their Pro Bowl performances next season, they could threaten Peyton’s Colts in the AFC South division.

Indianapolis Colts (last season: 14-2, division title)
Anytime the Indianapolis Colts have Peyton Manning starting behind center, the team has a chance to the go distance and win it all. I am betting that last season’s loss to the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl really started to sting once the offseason got going and that might have been enough to motivate Peyton to bring it next season.

The Colts are never an easy team to bring down in their division, but with the Titans and Texans improving with every passing season and Manning not getting any older, a passing of the torch might happen sooner rather than later.

Our AFC South title prediction: Indianapolis Colts

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