Bills head NFLcomeback list

Jul 26, 2005 6:08 AM

Frustration and failure can prove an excellent motivating factor in sports. Quality teams get beaten badly all the time in one game, then bounce back the next with a terrific performance, an easy win and cover.

Here are some NFL teams with something to prove in 2005.

Bills:Coach Mike Mularkey got off to a rough 0-4 start in 2004. The Bills caught fire going 8-2 SU, 9-1 ATS. A 29-24 home loss to the 15-1 Steelers in the finale ended any playoff chances. With the No. 2 defense in the NFL for the last two years, plus RB Willis McGahee and QB J.P. Losman, there is excitement.

Cowboys: Bill Parcells has a way of bouncing back after a bad season. After a 3-12-1 campaign in his first year with the Giants in 1983, they made the playoffs the next season. After a 6-10 season at New England, Parcells took the Patriots to the Super Bowl in 1997. Dallas flopped to 6-10 last year, but has a revamped defense and QB Drew Bledsoe.

Panthers: From NFC champs to a sputtering 7-9 season, head coach John Fox and the Panthers have a lot to prove. Injuries were a big part of the story, but Carolina carries a 6-2 SU and 6-1-1 ATS run into the new season.

Bengals: Marvin Lewis made a point of changing the "losing culture" he found when taking over this franchise two years ago. Cincy has a chance to take the next step.

Saints: The pressure is on coach Jim Haslett, especially when the owner links your play to that of a high school team. Last season the Saints were 5-2 SU, 6-1 ATS as an away dog, but 1-4 SU/ATS as a home dog. New Orleans (8-8) ended the 2004 season on a 4-0 SU/ATS run.

Vikings: Minnesota has started 6-0 SU/ATS and 5-1 SU/4-2 ATS in each of the last two seasons, only to flame out in the second half. The heat is on Mike Tice, though he did get his team to the playoffs despite a 3-7 SU/ATS regular season finish. The offense has rookie WR Troy Williamson, replacing Randy Moss.

Packers: QB Brett Favre is still solid at age 36 (30 TDs, 17 INTs in 2004). However, the Packers flamed out and missed the NFL playoffs. Is the Lambeau mystique gone? Favre and Packers were 4-5 SU and 2-7 ATS at home last season.

Broncos: Mike Shanahan is taking some heat in Denver. The Broncos went 10-6 and were bounced again by the Colts in the playoffs, 49-24. Over the last four seasons, the Broncos are 4-12 SU and 5-10-1 ATS as an underdog.