Yasin Jama, Staff Writer

The 2009 NFL season has been a tremendous start for some teams and a disastrous start for others. Unlike last season, there are more bad teams than recent years.

There are five 1-win teams in the league and still one winless team. There are also three teams with only two wins so far. Here are the surprises and disappointments for the 2009 season:


New Orleans Saints:
The Saints are one of two undefeated teams in the NFL at the season midpoint. They are averaging nearly 40 points a game. Quarterback Drew Brees has so far been the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, throwing touchdowns to five different receivers and anchoring an offense that is number one in the league.

Add to that an improved defense led by new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the Saints could possibly be the team to beat in the NFC.

Indianapolis Colts:
The Colts have a new head coach and offensive coordinator. However, that has not changed the chemistry of the team.

Led by future-Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, the Colts are off to a 6-0 start for the third time in five years. The Colts are fourth in the league in scoring, but they find ways to win in almost every aspect.

Last week against the 49ers, the Colts’ offense struggled. Manning overthrew most of his receivers and did not throw a touchdown.

The offense came together in the fourth quarter when running back Joseph Addai threw a touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne. The Colts are bound to make another Super Bowl run.

Cincinnati Bengals:
Quarterback Carson Palmer has been plagued with injuries for the past couple of seasons. Palmer’s last healthy season was in 2005, the last time the Bengals made the playoffs.

Now, Palmer is finally healthy, and the Bengals are poised to clinch its first playoff berth since then. With Palmer at the helm, the Bengals are a better team as a whole.

Their five wins came against three divisional opponents, including road victories against the Browns and the Ravens.

They even won their home game against the Steelers. Should Palmer stay healthy, the Bengals could be playing in January.

Denver Broncos:
The Broncos are also a surprising 6-1 team that faced heavy criticism for their part on trading Jay Cutler in the off- season, but winning football games cures all the negative publicity, and Denver fans have a reason to be very optimistic.

Denver’s defense, which ranked last in 2008, is now number one in the league, including being ranked second in points allowed.

Kyle Orton is so far the comeback player of the season in Denver. However, in Denver’s final nine games, five of them will be at home.

They will face teams like Pittsburgh, New York Giants, Indianapolis, San Diego and Philadelphia. We will then find out whether Denver can keep its lead in the AFC West.


Cleveland Browns:
The Browns thought they had a new era in the making with Head Coach Eric Mangini and General Manager George Kokhis.

However, the Browns are 1-7 and have questions in every position, and the fan base is starting to voice their opinion.

Owner Randy Lerner did mention this week that big changes are coming for next season.

Kokhis has been let go by the organization, and whether Mangini keep his job beyond this season is still to be determined.

Washington Redskins:
While the Rams, Lions, Chiefs and Buccaneers have reasons for their bad starts due to their team rebuilding, the Washington Redskins do not have that excuse.

After starting the season with six straight games against winless teams, the Redskins lost three of them, and in the games they won, they scored fewer than 17 points.

The offense is ineffective in every position. The Redskins are 2-5 and fans are putting the blame on Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, who hired Jim Zorn to be the head coach and brought in some new, high-priced players as well.

Also, the Redskins have one of the toughest second-half season schedules in the league.

Therefore, the Redskins, who spent nearly $200 million on free agents in the offseason, could end the regular season with only two or three more victories.