Six teams that won't return to NFL playoffs in '10
Friday, Jun. 18, 2010 - 11:25 a.m. ET
Earlier this week, I assumed that recent history will hold firm in 2010, and that half of the NFL teams that made it to the postseason in 2009 won't make it back this year.
New York Jets
All-Star teams generate a lot of buzz, but they rarely accomplish anything when it counts.
In New York, the already enhanced expectations from a 9-7 season that ended with a berth to the AFC title game went through the roof of their roofless new stadium via the collection of big-name players like LaDainian Tomlinson, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, and Jason Taylor.
Apart from the fact the Jets will be wearing a gigantic bull's-eye in every game, discontent among players who believe the team promised to "take care" of them could conspire to "take care" of the team's chances in 2010.
New England Patriots
Yes, the Patriots will be contenders for as long as quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick are in New England. But that doesn't mean they'll make it to the playoffs every year.
A vague sense has developed that the team's run of greatness is much closer to the end than to the beginning. Brady has been vocal regarding problems with work ethic and responsiveness to coaching, and his message may not be heeded by teammates given his decision to stay in L.A. for much of the offseason.
While the team has enough talent to excel, the rest of the league has caught up with the Pats — and this could be only the third time since 2001 that they failed to punch through to the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints