Surprising results in the 2009 NFL season

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By Daniel Torres / Asst. Sports Editor

By Daniel Torres / Asst. Sports Editor

As we head into week seven of this NFL season, several teams have already began to catch our eye.
The Tennessee Titans for one, started out strong last year winning their first 10 games and finishing a league best 13-3.

This year, they find themselves struggling to even win one. They lost one of their best defensive players, Albert Haynesworth, to free agency this past offseason and their quarterback seems to have forgotten how to play the game.

As shocking as this, we have to be more surprised at the teams that are playing well, especially some of the undefeated teams.

If you’ve been watching football the past couple of years, at this point of the season you would easily expect to see the Patriots, Steelers or Cardinals on the undefeated list.

This is not any regular season though; this is a season of Cinderellas, where several average and below teams have risen to take the top spots.

The teams no one gave a chance to at the beginning of the season are the teams we’re all raving about now.

These three teams are the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings and most surprisingly, the Denver Broncos.

These teams have surpassed all our expectations and now stand as the elite in the National Football League.

The New Orleans Saints, have been the most impressive of the group with huge wins against the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Jets, and most recently, the 48-27 blowout of the New York Giants.

Quarterback Drew Brees is leading a high powered offense who is scoring a league high 38 points per game and another league high 430 yards per game.

Brees, who has been admired for his exceptional passing abilities, has only excelled now that tight-end Jeremy Shockey is back at full health. Shockey stuck it to his former team, the Giants, by scoring a touchdown early in the game.

It’s not just the pass game that’s made the Saints the team they are today. Their run game has vastly improved.

With the passing game being what it is for the Saints, defenders are ignoring the likes of running backs Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas, who are running up season high numbers for themselves on a team that ranks fourth in league rushing yards.         

The next surprise team would have to be the Minnesota Vikings, but mostly, the play of veteran of veterans, Brett Favre.

After his second non-retirement, many fans were left wondering if he still had anything left. He left the Jets in disappointment throwing 22 touchdowns, along with 22 interceptions as they became a second half flop.

A new season though, means a new Favre. This year, Favre, whether fueled by revenge against an old team, or the thought of being able to shoot some more Wrangler Jeans commercials, has been looking like the Favre of the 90’s. Let’s hope it’s the former.

Favre has been playing a lot more loosely coming off surgery in the offseason, already throwing 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions. His offensive line is giving him plenty of time to make smart decisions, and having the best running back in the league (Adrian Peterson) only gives him extra support.

The Vikings were anticipated to be one of those teams to make the playoffs, but not do much afterwards. Now, the way they’re playing, they’re looked at as a definite contender for the conference title.

Remember, Favre is the key to their success. They were booted out of last year’s playoffs in the first round by the Eagles. So if Favre can make it through the next three months and not falter after week 12 like he did just last season, you shouldn’t count this team out.
The most surprising of the group would be the Denver Broncos. The fact that they’ve won all their games, some against the elite teams in the league, despite all the issues they had in the offseason, makes this team Cinderella worthy.

During the offseason, former Broncos’ quarterback Jay Cutler threw one of the most embarrassing hissy fits we’ve seen in sports when he ranted about Denver being in possible trade talks for him.

After consistently demanding a trade, he was sent to Chicago for quarterback Kyle Orton and a few draft picks. Denver was criticized for trading their franchise quarterback for another quarterback who has yet to prove anything in this league.

Denver also added a new coach to replace aging hall of fame coach Mike Shanahan. The new coach, 32-year-old Josh McDaniels, is one of the youngest coaches in the modern era. The team was also highly criticized for this move. Denver was expected to be one of this year’s worst. 

Denver now stands at 6-0 with Orton looking like a superstar and Cutler, now in Chicago, stands at 3-2 and has yet to play his new rival, Favre and the Vikings.

Denver made themselves standout with big wins against the Patriots and the Chargers in San Diego, a place they’ve always struggled to come out victorious.

They still have much to prove with big games against the Steelers, Giants and the Indianapolis Colts.

Whether these teams make it to the top of the totem, or crash land to not even make the playoffs, the matter of the fact is that right now, these teams have flabbergasted us all.
They’ve wowed us with their terrific comebacks and crushing blows to the teams we thought we knew as the NFL’s best.

We don’t know what the future holds for these teams, what we do know is that only one of these Cinderella’s can truly have a happily ever after.

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