Greg Trott/Associated Press
Die Hard with straight cash, homey: Randy Moss
I never thought it would be possible for Moss to actually play in the NFL and be invisible, yet this year he was. I guarantee you half the people who tuned into the Super Bowl had no idea he was still in the league. The biggest headline he made was at Super Bowl XLVII Media Day when he proclaimed himself the best wide receiver ever. I was sort of hoping for a "I just want to continue my career. I'll even play special teams," but he's proven that even when you're at the end of the road, some will continue to drive on the dirt and through lawns and backyards. And then drive a limo into the truck that Theo's trying to escape in.
Ed Zurga/Associated Press
Die Hard, then come back, then Die Hard again, then come back: Darren McFadden
How many times this offseason do we need to have the "if Darren McFadden could just stay healthy" discussion? I'm officially done. He is who he is: a tantalizing talent who never had to carry the load anywhere he's been. Asking him to suddenly do it in the NFL is just asking for him to get hurt. Honestly, if you could pair him with another running back in this non-traditional time share, he'd be terrific. He's effective when you can keep giving him the ball exclusively. So play him for the first 1 1/2 quarters, and then give it over to a change-of-pace guy until late in the third, and then bring McFadden back again. In fact, I know the perfect guy ...
Kevin Terrell/Associated Press
Die easier than anyone expected: Ryan Mathews
... So then Mathews plays from middle of the second quarter through the end of the third, and then sits for the fourth quarter. Between Mathews and McFadden, you have one complete player. Seriously, his best-case scenario to stay relevant is to tell a team, "Look, don't pay me a lot, don't play me a lot, and you'll get everything I have. And I hopefully won't fumble." And don't give all the detonators to Karl's brother.
James D. Smith/Associated Press
Die Hard but be expected to live every season: Tony Romo
Romo's got no ceiling left. He's someone who's overachieved beyond what anyone expected of him, but as it is with any overachiever, you can only get so much. The general public has smoothly transitioned from "this year Shaq has to start making his free throws" to "this year Romo has to step up." Forget it. It's not going to happen. If I had a dollar for everyone who said they expect more from Romo in the upcoming season, I'd be able to buy him out of his contract with the Cowboys. Or at least buy Mark Sanchez out in New York. Or at least be able to sit on a beach and earn 20 percent.
Bill Wippert/Associated Press
Die Hard when you should have died two years ago: The Ground and Pound
Thankfully, Rex Ryan was finally hit over the head with a playbook that told him his way of running an offense is as outdated as "The Sims". But if my head coach needed that to realize he needed to change, how good of a head coach is he really? I can't tell you how many times I go back and forth from "boy, Rex is a good head coach" to "boy, I don't know if I'd trust Rex to get my car washed"? Did you get that?
David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Die Hard, but slowly still believing you'll live: The Patriots dynasty
I still think Britney Spears is pretty hot. But go back and take a look at pictures of her from 2000. Then look at some from 2001, then 2002, and from every year up until now. Not that much of a difference right? Then go back and look at 2000 again. Then jump straight to 2012. See what I mean? That's the New England Patriots. Make fists with your feet, Patriots fans. You'll feel better.
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
Die Hard, but be so close to living: Houston Texans
In 10 years, the first line of the Wikipedia entry of the team will be this: The Houston Texans are a team in the National Football League, who enjoyed their greatest success from 2010-2014. However their inability to advance to a Super Bowl despite such a loaded roster will doom them to forever be compared with the 1980s San Diego Chargers. Click here to jump to "Playoff Failures." Click here to jump to "T.J. Yates." Click here to jump to "Years of Decline." How they were unable to stop Arian Foster from aging, or to stop Ellis from telling Hans how he can deliver McClane to him.
Wade Payne/Associated Press
Die Hard dancing into the hole and falling down: Chris Johnson
Silly me. I thought he'd be the No. 1 overall RB in yards in 2012. I believed in the bounce-back season. Yeah, not so much. But he's been exposed as a one-dimensional Keanu Reeves/Sandra Bullock running back. When teams figured out the angles to cut him off and keep him inside, that was it. Sure, he'll still thrill you once in awhile, but that's the norm for him now. Hey, I used to be able to stay up until 3 a.m. every night. Now that I'm in my 40s? I can do it maybe twice a year. Just like Special Agent Johnson. No, the other one.
Tony Dejak/Associated Press
Die Hard, no for real this time, we won't: The Browns found a quarterback
The Browns have changed quarterbacks 22 times in the past nine years. Four times alone to Derek Anderson. Tim Couch isn't even on this list. The Browns burned a first-round draft selection for Brandon Weeden last year and now he's no guarantee to even start in 2013. Good luck, Geno Smith! Just don't try to run across a floor of shattered glass in bare feet.
More Photo Essays:
- 16 for '16: College football's most freakish athletes
- Mind-blowing stats for the Top 100 Players of 2016: 70-61
- 16 for '16: Offensive players who will be NFL stars
- All-X-Men Team
- 16 for '16: Defenders who will be NFL stars
- Top 30 undrafted players in NFL history
- 16 for '16: Impact transfers
- Mind-blowing stats for the Top 100 Players of 2016: 71-80
- Eleven NBA-NFL player comparisons