So ESPN’s SportsNation has these “What Now?” polls up for each team in the NFL. The polls are meant to reflect where the teams stand after free agency and the draft as they head into minicamps and OTAs. And I’m not going to lie: the headline question on each poll is not making a whole lot of sense to me: “What’s the best case scenario for Team X?”
Here, for example, is the one for the Redskins as of Wednesday afternoon:
Let’s detour for a moment and review the Arizona Cardinals’ 2008 NFL season, shall we? Coming off an 8-8 year, the Cardinals finished only 9-7 while playing in a weak division. Their recent first-round quarterback was benched in preseason in favor of an aging also-ran whose best years were thought to be behind him. Their defense finished the regular season ranked 28th in the league in points allowed. They’re a historically lousy franchise with criminally low expectations almost every year. And yet they were just a few breaks away from winning the Super Bowl.
I’m not going to rehash every surprise team story from the last decade (1999 Rams! 2000 Ravens! 2001Patriots!) or even every surprise from last season (Tyler Thigpen! Matt Cassel! Kerry Collins!), but really. At this point in the season, how is “Win Super Bowl” not the best-case scenario for every single franchise in the NFL? And, for that matter, when is “Miss playoffs” EVER the best a team can hope for.
And yet, despite this being a ridiculously dumb question, 39% of respondents don’t even aspire to more than a “Deep playoff run” for the Skins. Bizarre.
There is some good news in these polls, though.
Leaving aside the Jason Campbell question — seriously, just for a day, trying to leave it aside — 80% of respondents think the Redskins have improved this offseason, and almost 90% think Brian Orakpo is going to be a legitimate sack threat.
Does it matter? Of course not. It’s idle offseason speculation about players who won’t be involved in meaningful games for more than four months, but it’s a step up from the strange pessimism of the responses to the first poll question.
(Oh, and those Arizona Cardinals? The ones who nearly shocked the world in the Super Bowl last year? Only 21% think their best-case scenario for this year is to win it all. Maybe I’m just not understanding the question.)
Tags: dump polls, DumpPolls, ESPN, Media, offseason speculation, OffseasonSpeculation
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