Sunday, January 26, 2014

2013 - teams built to win - results

Reviewing an earlier post on teams built to win for the 2013 season I wanted to review results of the 7 teams that were viewed as teams built to win and their results for the 2013 season.

Notable teams that have 8 or more players with $6+ mil contracts:

DAL  - another disappointing underachieving season with an 8-8 record. Until management comes around to a major change, they appear to be heading toward futility.

PHI   - won their division with a 10-6 record, loss in the wild card round, 1st week of the playoffs at home to NO. Still they will be viewed as being on the plus side of the ledger for the 2013 season.

CHI  - another disappointing underachieving season with an 8-8 record. Some will view this as a good start, but does anyone remember they fired Lovie Smith for a 10-6 record? To me, this team, this staff, is still searching for itself, are they an offensive team? a defensive team? and they also declined with their ST play as well. We'll wait for the draft to form a stronger opinion, but as of right now. They are still chasing GB and DET may have already eclipsed them with their firing of HC Schwartz and hiring of HC Caldwell. MIN will definitely be much better on D with their new hire of HC Zimmer.

ATL  - a highly underachieving season with a 4-12 record. Is ATL personnel decision on the decline? They did bring in Scott Piolo this off season who worked with their current GM. ATL letting go Abraham (who thrived at ARI) and Grimes (who solidified MIA secondary) were the two key cuts from their team last year which will be be viewed as highly questionable. Think of it as the remaining cast of personnel not being up to snuff without these two and you really wonder about player evaluation by staff. Who's responsible and who's making recommendations? They don't seem to have the requisite insight into players and playing at the NFL level of competition. 

TB  - their disappointing season with a 4-12 record resulted in the firing of HC Schiano, with reports this off season coming from players of tuning out their HC during the season (though this could be surmised from media reports during the season). Their new hire of HC Lovie Smith points towards an uptick for this team at least defensively in the near future. Their offense will need to be seen to be believed in, so we'll reserve judgement for later on.

SEA  - a 13-3 record, two playoff wins and seeking their third win in SB 48 this team is on the rise. Their's even talk of a dynasty, but media speculation may have jumped the gun. They first need to win a Super Bowl first, then win another Super Bowl in two of the next 3 years, before 'dynasty' talk will be relevant.

SF  - a 12-4 record, two playoff wins and a disappointing 4th quarter performance (3 turn overs - fumble, two interceptions) in the NFC Conference Championships at their division rivals (SEA) home stadium. Seems 'finishing' consistently well is their only problem, which points to their QB Kaepernick. SF window may have closed, they'll likely be in the playoffs again, but Super Bowl talk should wait until their offense can gain more consistency from the QB position. The injuries to Iupati and Bowman may hamper SF this upcoming 2014 season. Maybe SF HC Harbaugh gave up on QB Alex Smith too soon, we'll see if KC does well next year as they also suffered from injuries in their playoff game.

So overall, only 3 teams reached the playoffs, PHI, SEA, SF and the rest (DAL, CHI, ATL, TB) are still saddled with high 'debt' and nothing to show for it. I guess we'll see more purging of players from the 'disappointed' teams, but will it change anything? Constructing a teams seems to be more art than science or the main ingredients for team success are unknown and the owner needs to find another recipe since the current one isn't working and not likely to succeed.

Their is hope with TB, CHI still has a year or two to get better. ATL is on the down slope and DAL is just lost in their own self glorification, that they can't see their own selves and their bumps and warts to make the right decision.

You don't need all those high salaries to win, most notably NE a very young team and IND this year stuck out as having great support staffs that coached like no one else. So those teams with a lot of high salary players may be 'built to win', but not all can win and thus we'll always note the disappointing teams and their underachievements. If it works, the teams will try to keep the players and coaching staff together, if it doesn't I expect a purge of players and staff.

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