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2009 NFL Dark Horses

    Checkout the 2010 NFL Dark Horses!

    Last year it was the Cinderella Arizona Cardinals that shocked the world and made it to the Super bowl.  This is not new to the NFL.  The modern free agent market has allowed dark horse teams to surprise every season.  The Cardinals stood out last year since they made the big game but they were not alone as the Dolphins shocked the league by rebounding off a horrible season and stunned other teams in the league.  This year it will happen again and a group of teams will surprise the league.  Here are four teams that may be fitted for the glass slipper in the 2009 season.

    Cincinnati Bengals: Odds to Win Superbowl: 45 to 1 Checkout the current odds at Bookmaker - The Bengals had a disastrous campaign in 2008 finishing the year with just four wins.  They did finish the year on a bright note and finished with several solid defensive efforts.  In the offseason they were hit hard by a loss of long time Bengals T.J. Houshmandez as well as some hits on the offensive line, but they countered with a solid draft and some free agent acquisitions.  The biggest return will be Carson Palmer at quarterback because he is the heart and soul of that offense.  Chris Henry will get a chance to shine and the Bengals signed Laveranues Coles and since it is a contract year Ocho Cinco should perform.  The running game started to come around last season with the resurrection of Cedric Benson and this offense should be able to put up some numbers.  The already improving defense got stronger with free agent pickups in Roy Williams and Tank Johnson.  The steady balance of offense and defense and a top notch draft will make the Bengals a team to watch in 2009.

    St. Louis Rams: Odds to Win Superbowl: 76 to 1 Checkout the current odds at Bookmaker -The Rams are off one of the worst years in franchise history so to pick them to do better is not a surprise.  They almost have to do better this year but I believe they will be in the running for a playoff spot.  Steve Spagnola is just what the Rams needed.  He will give the team a true makeover and they will go from run-n-shoot to playing a run and defense type of football.  Look for the game to be in the hands of Steven Jackson as the Rams will run more and look to control the clock.  This will give QB Marc Bulger better passing opportunities and better protection.  This will keep him healthy throughout the season for a change.  In free agency they went after a center and a fullback and this should tell you the game plan they have.  Spags is all about defense and will build upon what Chris Long brought to the team last year.  The Rams will need some help from a good draft and a young core of players but they are in a perfect division to excel this year. 

    Buffalo Bills: Odds to Win Superbowl: 45 to 1 Checkout the current odds at BetDSI - The Bills have already made plenty of noise in the off-season with free agents and look for that to translate to noise on the field in the 2009 season.  It was well documented that the Bills picked up often troubled wide out Terrell Owens in the off-season.  Many Bill fans worry that he will hurt the team but I believe he is the perfect fit for this Bills club.  Fred Jackson will get some time to prove himself as running back and he will be a force and get some yards with extra attention on T.O. Last year the defense played well but lost plenty of close games because the offense could not produce and that will change this year.  This much improved team has a shot at the wildcard.

    Kansas City Chiefs: Odds to Win Superbowl: 75 to 1 Checkout the current odds at BetDSI - The Chiefs decided it was time for some wholesale changes if they wanted to compete in 2009.  They started by grabbing Matt Cassel from the New England Patriots and now have a new leader at the helm that can lead an offense.  They continued to grab from the Patriot cupboard and nabbed veteran Mike Vrabel in the same deal.  While his best years are behind him, his defensive mind and leadership will help to groom young players drafted on the defensive side of the ball this year.  The additions to offense will help the Chiefs do better than last year and should keep Larry Johnson happy for a few games.  The young defense will take some time to get adjusted but they play in the easy AFC West.  One of the toughest home venues in the NFL just got tougher and the Chiefs should surprise this year.