NFL

NFL Team Questions for 2011

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Today is the last day of regular season NFL games and the year was filled with no shortage of surprises.

While some of you still have a dog in the fight there are plenty of you who will be left watching the playoffs, rooting against a team you hate. Whether or not your team still has a chance, this past season has prompted many questions for franchises going into next year. The biggest NFL question for franchises (and fans) going into next season is whether or not there will even be a season. With the excitement of the pending playoffs you aren't hearing much about the labor issues at the moment, but it won't be long before you are tuning into Xtra Point Football to read about the details on the progress of NFL labor negotiations.

Assuming there is a season next year, there are an extraordinary number of NFL teams that will have coaching changes either at head coach and or at the coordinator level. While much of the coaching turnover is predictable, some of the movement we find will be a surprise to many. Just yesterday for example after the Florida Gators beat the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Outback Bowl, Charlie Weis, the offensive coordinator of the AFC West Division winning Kansas City Chiefs accepted the University of Florida offensive coordinator job. Whoa!

Oftentimes it seems that national sports outlets don't know the ins and outs of the local team as well as the team's fans do. In fact, there are certain issues that only fans of the team can understand completely. For this reason, I've compiled a list of questions I have for each team's fanbase. Each question is something about which I am legitimately curious; I am not being facetious or suggesting an answer to any of these questions. If you have a favorite NFL team, please use the comments section, my email, or Twitter to answer my question to the best of your ability, so I can gain a better understanding of the dynamics of each team.

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NFC West

St. Louis Rams - Does this team really have a solid foundation for competing for the division title year in and year out, or has St. Louis benefited from a very weak division?

Arizona Cardinals - Have any of the Cardinals' quarterbacks looked like they could be the focal building block of the team?

San Francisco 49ers - In what ways has Mike Singletary been responsible for the 49ers' failure to live up to expectations?

Seattle Seahawks - Is Matt Hasselbeck good enough to take the team to the playoffs if he gets a good supporting cast?

AFC West

San Diego Chargers - Is Ryan Matthews' underwhelming rookie season the result of his performance, or the offense that he plays in?

Oakland Raiders - Is a top-tier receiver all this offense needs to become great?

Denver Broncos - In a season where nearly anything that could go wrong did go wrong, what are some of the positives of this season?

Kansas City Chiefs - Would this defense's personnel be better-suited for an aggressive 4-3 scheme?

NFC East

New York Giants - Does Tom Coughlin deserve to be on the hot seat three years after winning one of the most dramatic Super Bowls ever?

Philadelphia Eagles - Is DeSean Jackson as much of a headache as he is portrayed in the national media?

Dallas Cowboys - Does the Cowboys' improvement under interim head coach Jason Garrett make it seem like Garrett wasn't maximizing the offense's talents until after Wade Phillips was fired?

Washington Redskins - Is Mike Shanahan in the wrong for his handling of Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb?

AFC East

New England Patriots - Is the team better because Randy Moss is gone, or because Deion Branch is back?

Miami Dolphins - Has the Wildcat formation been used frequently enough and/or creatively enough?

New York Jets - Is the team's bravado under Rex Ryan viewed as arrogance, or swagger?

Buffalo Bills - Is Ryan Fitzpatrick the quarterback who can lead this team back to competitiveness?

NFC North

Minnesota Vikings - Do Vikings fans resent Brett Favre for the way this season turned out?

Green Bay Packers - If the Packers make it to the playoffs, who do they match up well against?

Detroit Lions - Is Matthew Stafford too injury-prone to rely on as the franchise quarterback for years to come?

Chicago Bears - What's been the main catalyst that has caused the Bears' offense to improve over the course of the season?

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers - Do the Steelers' constant complaints of referee bias seem accurate?

Baltimore Ravens - Is the Ravens' receiving corps being underused because of the Ravens' strong rushing attack, or because weaknesses in Joe Flacco's game limit them?

Cincinnati Bengals - Was last season's division-winning performance a fluke, or did the Bengals severely underachieve this year?

Cleveland Browns - Is Colt McCoy the long-term answer at quarterback, or a temporary solution?

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Are the Buccaneers this good, or just lucky that they had a weak schedule?

Atlanta Falcons - If the Falcons face the Eagles in the playoffs, will the city of Atlanta rally around the Falcons, or around Michael Vick?

Carolina Panthers - Is Jimmy Clausen performing poorly because he has no help, or does it look like the organization needs to draft a quarterback early?

New Orleans Saints - As defending Super Bowl champions, have the Saints lost the "underdog" mentality that fueled them last year?

AFC South

Houston Texans - Does it seem sometimes the Texans are content with just not being bad?

Jacksonville Jaguars - Is the Jaguars' poor attendance a thing of the past, or will it return if the Jaguars are less interesting next year?

Indianapolis Colts - Is Peyton Manning starting to show just the tiniest bit of rust?

Tennessee Titans - If you were Bud Adams, would you get rid of Vince Young, Jeff Fisher, or both?

Hank Koebler, IV is a sports journalist attending the University of Missouri's school of journalism.

Email Hank at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at HankKoebler

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