New Orleans Saints
Projected Record: 11-5
What Needs to Happen: Robert Meachem needs to step it up, or UFA’s like Todd Blythe will be taking his job. Reggie Bush needs to not play scared.
What Needs to Not: They can’t have another bad start like last year, and their emotions need to be held in check.
Tampa Bay Bucs
Projected Record: 9-7
What Needs to Happen: Cadillac Williams needs to get a tune-up and some new tires. Earnest Graham is a nice story, but he can’t change gears like Williams.
What Needs to Not: Jeff Garcia and Joey Galloway can’t show their age. Michael Clayton needs to show his.
Projected Record: 7-9
What Needs to Happen: They need to be picked to finish 4-12 and have someone say they have the worst defense in the history of the world. Something needs to rile up Julius Peppers.
What Needs to Not: These perennial under-achievers need to get out of their funk by not buying into pre-season expectations.
Projected Record: 3-13
What Needs to Happen: The Falcons need a miracle here, in that Matt Ryan needs to develop into a top-tier QB in just a few weeks.
What Needs to Not: There can’t be any distractions this year, and without Mike Vick and Bobby Petrino around, that might actually happen.