5 NFL Teams Headed for Disappointment in 2012

Yahoo Contributor Network

Prior to the start of each NFL season, all teams have limitless potential, and most fans are filled with hope. For some, their dreams will come true with raucous victories and celebrations. And yet for other teams, and their fans, the season will fall short of what they anticipated. They will grumble, and growl, as they wonder what went wrong, discussing where the blame is to be cast. Here are five teams that may very well find themselves troubled with disappointment in 2012:

Pittsburgh Steelers - Nobody becomes disgruntled faster than Steelers fans when things begin to go downhill, and it seems there may some boisterous booing in the Steel City this year. Ben Roethlisberger turned 30 this spring and though that isn't old for most quarterbacks, Roethlisberger's best days may be behind him. Lately Big Ben - who is indeed a bit more portly than most QBs - has been prone to injury. He had a persistent ankle injury last season and has already missed practice this season due to his ankle again. The Steelers hit hard so teams love to hit Big Ben hard in return. It could be a bruising season for Roethlisberger.

Dallas Cowboys - Though it is important for every player on the team to do their job in order to achieve success, there is no player more important than the quarterback. You can't win the Super Bowl without a great, or at a minimum really good, quarterback. Tony Romo is a decent quarterback - maybe even a good quarterback. But Romo isn't REALLY good, and is by no stretch of the imagination great. Until the Cowboys recognize this and bring in new talent at this key position, the team will continue to disappoint fans.

New Orleans Saints - Having lived in New Orleans during my childhood and stood by the hapless Saints - or as they were known then, the 'Aints - I would love to be wrong about this one. Yet the fact is that coach Sean Payton is a key piece of the Saints puzzle and due to his suspension the team will be without him all year. The Saints and their fans have a great attitude and likely won't have a horrible season - there will be some moments to cheer - but they will fall short of greatness until Payton returns.

New England Patriots - Tom Brady has to be frustrated. Not only did he lead his team to losses in their last two Super Bowl appearances against the New York Giants, but his wife's loony tune comments seem to be getting just as much attention as his game play. Brady recently turned 35 and is already talking about how he would "like to play for a long time." Brady may very well be grasping for a final beacon of glory to end his career on a sweet note, but there are younger, tougher quarterbacks out there who want it more.

Denver Broncos - It's hard not to like Peyton Manning - he is definitely one of the good guys. However Manning sat out the entire 2011 season - his arm is weak and he is not physically the same Peyton Manning he was before the nerve injury to his neck. During the Broncos first scrimmage Manning overthrew Demaryius Thomas and had two three-and-outs before driving downfield. This was against the Broncos' own defense that was not going full force. It has been over a year since Peyton Manning has felt the power of a true NFL hit, and it will be likely be a rude awakening for the aging QB when he is truly in the throes of competition again.

Chris Adamski, "Ben Roethlisberger's ankle keeps him out of relocated Steelers' practice," cbssports.com

Associated Press, "Tom Brady Hopes to Play Past 40," ESPN Boston

Arnie Stapleton, "Broncos Summer Scrimmage 2012: Peyton Manning Gives Big Crowd Some Thrills," huffingtonpost.com

Lisa Stewart is a married mother of two living in the suburbs of Cincinnati. Lisa is a die-hard Bengals fan and has faith the team's best days are ahead. Lisa looks forward to some day seeing the Bengals finally win it all.

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