NFL 2008-09 recap – A season full of surprises
The National Football League (NFL) in the United States is one of the most popular sports in the world. Not just fans in the US but for football lovers the world over watch the NFL games. In spite of the gloom of recession, the 2008 NFL Season, which was the 89th season of the NFL, was held amidst great excitement. NFL merchandise recorded a huge sale over the NFL merchandise online outlets.
Super Bowl XLIII, the league’s championship game was held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on February 1, 2009. The American Football Conference (AFC) champions, Pittsburgh Steelers won against the National Football Conference (NFC) champions, Arizona Cardinals (27–23) to become the 2008 NFL champions. For the Steelers, this was their 6th Super Bowl win. With this victory, the Steelers made a record for the most Super Bowl wins.
Things didn’t go as predicted
Just like the previous seasons, nothing went as predicted in the NFL. It had injuries, upsets, dominance and disappointments.
Even though the Arizona Cardinals were rated as the worst team in their division (NFC West) they did win their division (and their first division title since 1975). According to experts, the Cardinals won it by default. The made 3 straight tough games and won their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.
However, the only thing that went as predicted was the dominance of Pittsburgh Steelers. The team made a playoff appearance in 2007 and was desperate to win the Super Bowl title. The strong defense of the team, their consistence performance made them hot prospects for the title. They were heavily favored as champions and everybody said the Steelers should win. No wonder, the Steelers NFL merchandise were one of the best sellers.
Fans had high expectations for the San Diego Chargers as well. The team has the advantage of being in the underdog in the AFC – the AFC West Division. Because of the poor performance against the Denver Broncos and other teams in the Division, the Chargers won their last 4 games. They became the first team in NFL history to start 4-8 and still make the playoffs.
The NFL 2008-09 was expected to be subpar for the New York Giants, however the team had a great season. Eli Manning led the Giants to a great 11-1 start and had the team at or near the top of the NFL in just about every offensive category. However, the Giants went on to lose 4 of their last 5 games, including their divisional playoff game with the Philadelphia Eagles. Even then team’s performance was considered good.
The New England Patriots were poised to dominate the seasons. However, Tom Brady, one of the league’s most prolific passers, suffered a season ending injury. Not surprisingly, the Patriots didn’t make it out of the first quarter of their first game. The New England made a record of 11-5 which is good. However, the team missed the playoffs and lost all their 5 games against other teams, failing to meet the expectations of fans.
The Indianapolis Colts failed to win their Division title. The team had previously won the title for the last 5 consecutive years since 2003. The Colts started slowly compiling just 3 wins through their first 7 games. Led by MVP Peyton Manning, the team turned it around and won their last 9 games. The Indianapolis Colts became the first in NFL history to win at least 7 consecutive games in 5 consecutive seasons. However, the team took an early exit from the playoffs when they picked up a few key injuries.
NFL 2008-09 – Playoffs
The playoffs for NFL 2008-09 began Wild Card Weekend on January 3–4, 2009. The Divisional Playoffs were played on January 10–11, 2009 while the Conference Championship Games were played on the 18th. The Super Bowl XLIII was played on February 1, between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals. Steelers won their record 6th Super Bowl.
NFL 2008-09 – Playoff seeds
- Seed 1 – Tennessee Titans (South winner)
- Seed 2 – Pittsburgh Steelers (North winner)
- Seed 3 – Miami Dolphins (East winner)
- Seed 4 – San Diego Chargers (West winner)
- Seed 5 – Indianapolis Colts
- Seed 6 – Baltimore Ravens
- Seed 1 – New York Giants (East winner)
- Seed 2 – Carolina Panthers (South winner)
- Seed 3 – Minnesota Vikings (North winner)
- Seed 4 – Arizona Cardinals (West winner)
- Seed 5 – Atlanta Falcons
- Seed 6 – Philadelphia Eagles
NFL merchandise sales
Even in spite of the recession, the sales of NFL merchandise increased. Online sports outlets recorded good sales of NFL merchandise. Some of the best selling NFL merchandise items include jerseys, caps, tailgating merchandise, auto accessories, key chains, wallets, banners and flags. According to reports, Dallas Cowboys merchandise recorded maximum sales among all the NFL teams. The Cowboys were followed by the 2) New York Giants, 3) Pittsburgh Steelers, 4) New York Jets, 5) Chicago Bears, 6) New England Patriots, 7) Washington Redskins, 8) Philadelphia Eagles, 9) Green Bay Packers and 10) Indianapolis Colts.
Sporting NFL merchandise has become a popular way of showing support for the team. With plenty of stylish NFL merchandise on sale, young fans can flaunt the NFL merchandise to make fashion statements at the ground.
NFL 2008-09 – Awards
- Most Valuable Player – Peyton Manning, Quarterback, Indianapolis Colts
- Coach of the Year – Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons
- Offensive Player of the Year – Drew Brees, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints
- Defensive Player of the Year – James Harrison, Linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Offensive Rookie of the Year – Matt Ryan, Quarterback, Atlanta Falcons
- Defensive Rookie of the Year – Jerod Mayo, Linebacker, New England Patriots
- NFL Comeback Player of the Year – Chad Pennington, Quarterback, Miami Dolphins
- Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award – Santonio Holmes, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers