No matter what you expect the NFL team you ride with to accomplish throughout the course of a season, things never go according to script. Last season's worse acting performance by the Giants defense came during their rash of false injuries against the Rams defense to stop the clock but it's a whole new season. On Wednesday afternoon, SB Nation asked its Twitter followers to compare each NFL franchise to a Hollywood film. While some of them were creative, here is an original comprehensive list including more accurate explanations for how each NFC team's central storyline heading into the 2012 season translates to a Hollywood blockbuster.
San Francisco 49ers- Hancock
Will Smith's tale of a cantankerous, reluctant immortal and his attitude adjustment bears a strong resemblance to Randy Moss' journey back to the NFL as a 35-year-old San Francisco 49er. Reportedly, Moss' superhuman athleticism remains intact but by all accounts he is a humbler version of the diva that was waived by the Patriots and Vikings in 2010. Reportedly, at the age of 34, he ran a 4.4 40 for the New Orleans Saints. Sunday was a perfect example of his new ways. After catching a touchdown against the Packers in 2005, Moss mooned the Packers fans.
Arizona Cardinals- I Am Legend
The NFC West should be the Will Smith division. I Am Legend's Robert Neville remains behind on the desolate island of Manhattan as the last remaining human survivor. Conversely, Larry Fitzgerald is the last remaining leader from a former offensive juggernaut. While Neville frantically searches for a cure, Fitzgerald and Ken Whisenhunt have spent three seasons searching for a consistently, accurate quarterback.
St. Louis Rams- Saving Private Ryan
During the Normandy invasion, Captain John H. Miller, commander of Charlie Company, 2nd Ranger Batallion received a mission from Washington D.C. They are told to find Private First Class James Francis Ryan, whose only three brothers have been killed in action, so that he may return home. The fate of the Rams season rests on how well their offensive line can protect Sam Bradford through the season's end. Bradford's injury woes have followed him from college but it's not all his fault. Last season, before suffering a high ankle sprain in the sixth game, Bradford was on pace to be sacked an NFL-record 122 times. To put it in perspective, the third-most single season sacks allowed is 78. The main culprit was left tackle Rodger Saffold who allowed a sack at a higher rate than any tackle in the league. Bradford doesn't have any brothers in the league but he is the only Oklahoma Sooner quarterback to throw a regular season pass in the last 20 years.
Seattle Seahawks- Little Man
The Wayans Brothers' comedy stars Marlon as a diminutive thief with a disproportionate head who infiltrates the home of a couple by pretending to be a toddler for a couple that desperately seeks a child of their own.
In his third season as Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll believed he'd found his quarterback for the future in Matt Flynn until mini-QB Russell Wilson and his large dome entered the fray after a five-year college stint, in which he was allowed to transfer because of good behavior graduation.
Chicago Bears- You've Got Mail
In 1990 Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan co-starred as romantic interests in Joe Versus The Volcano. In 1993, Hanks and Ryan played lovers for the second time in the romantic comedy Sleepless In Seattle.
Five years later, they reunited as New York City romantic interests for the final time in You've Got Mail.
This season the Bears expect to see their passing game flourish thanks to the reunion of former Denver teammates Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall in addition to their former offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. Marshall already saw the feature film potential in their reunion.
"We had a core group of guys there that had everything to win and to see some of those pieces come back together, some big pieces like Jay and I and Jeremy, it's unheard of," Marshall told the NFL Network July 26. "Honestly, it just doesn't happen in sports where you see a franchise quarterback you know traded. Top receiver traded. Offensive coordinator fired."
"I think when it's all said and done there may be a book or a movie written about it." Marshall added. Lovie Smith has been tasked with directing Chicago's Super Bowl-ready roster and in game one, Cutler connected with Marshall for nine catches and 119 yards on 15 targets.
Detroit Lions- The Incredible Hulk
The Lions are a team of dual personalities. They are talented, young, but are extremely volatile on and off the gridiron. This off-season, their unruliness spilled onto the streets and resulted in the release of cornerback Aaron Berry.
However, All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh epitomizes the Bruce Banner-Hulk dichotomy of these Lions more than any one else. Soft spoken off the filed, he morphs into an overly aggressive, defensive black hole and penalty machine between the hash marks. The Lions must control the monsters within themselves if they want to take the next step as a unit.
Green Bay Packers- Green Lantern
Like Hal Jordan, Aaron Rodgers is only the latest legend in a great lineage. While Rodgers isn't a pilot, he is a young quarterback, leading an elite aerial attack who inherited an iconic franchise from a retiring signal caller with one ring on his resume.
Minnesota Vikings- Max Keeble's Big Move
After years of rumors, the Vikings appeared all set to settle into new digs in Los Angeles. However, this May at the 11th hour after the Vikings stadium deal expired, the Minnesota State Senate gave final approval on a $975 million stadium deal.
Atlanta Falcons- The Skulls
In 2000, The Skulls was a box office flop about a young Yale student from humble beginnings, who gets entangled with the rich and powerful after he is invited to join the secretive but prestigious Skull and Bones society.
Similarly, the Atlanta Falcons are a franchise with a modest history that is now attempting to make the leap into a Super Bowl-contending franchise. If rthur Blanks's Home Depot crew are going to complete their initiation into the elite franchises, Matt Ryan's evolution as a passer will be the difference between progression or a stagnant season.
New Orleans Saints- WANTED
This 2008 comic book adaption told the story of Wesley Gibson, who is recruited to join a secret society of assassins. Led by Sloan (played by Morgan Freeman), the assassins are responsible for taking out targets that the Loom of Fate, gives them through binary code hidden in woven fabric.
Their NFL counterparts will take the field minus head coach Sean Payton after they were discovered to have operated a fund that paid bonuses to defensive players for inflicting injuries or taking out opposing players.
Ultimately, Sloan met a similar fate as Bountygate ringleader/defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and Payton.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
While Willy Wonka was busy searching for a child with The Golden Ticket to be his heir, the Buccaneers have been just as willing to hand the keys of their franchise to college coaches and youngins.
In 1996, Steve Spurrier nearly accepted the Bucs head coaching gig and after firing Jon Gruden, the third youngest Super Bowl-winning head coach, the Buccaneers replaced him with 31-year-old ex-Gruden assistant Raheem Morris.
After a disappointing campaign, Morris was fired by the Buccanneers and rumors swirled around Oregon Ducks offensive guru, Chip Kelly bringing his acumen to the Bucs sideline. Although, Kelly is a well-seasoned 48-year old head coach, his only experience involves pimply high school recruits and college athletes who still celebrate their birthdays at Six Flags. Ultimately Kelly turned down the job, which led Tampa Bay to offer their vacant position to Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano.
Bucs management is now banking on Schiano becoming their Charlie Buckets. Sunday 's win over Cam Newton's Panthers was a good start.
Newton is a seemingly invincible 6-foot-5, 245-pound quarterback with the size, speed, arm and mental preparedness that has never been seen before. Likewise, audiences have yet to see next summer's Zach Snyder-directed adaption of The Man of Tomorrow.
However, if anybody knows what to expect, it's the teammate he's closest to on the field, literally-his center Ryan Kalil, who took out a full page newspaper ad predicting a Super Bowl victory. The Man of Steel version of Clark Kent won't start out as a Daily Planet reporter. Instead, he'll begin as a lost young man before becoming Lois Lane's punching bag.
Clark Kent's father, Jor-El is portrayed in the recent trailer and previous Superman incarnations as a benelovent spirit that guides Clark Kent and realizes his destiny before Kent does. Newton has yet to truly master his super skillset of size, power, speed and arm strength but as the season progresses he should begin approaching his potential.
Dallas Cowboys- In Time
In Time stars charismatic R&B star turned actor Justin Timberlake plays the protagonist in a dystopian future, in which genetic alterations have allowed humans to stop the aging process at 25. Unfortunately, after that age, humans are forced to work for 'living time' instead of wages to prolong their lives. When the clock implanted on people's arms reaches zero, they die. The difference between the haves and have-nots widens as the rich live forever while the less fortunate live abbreviated lives.
Conversely, according to billionaire Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and visionary of Dallas' futuristic stadium, the championship window is closing on the current Cowboys nucleus. Those words ring especially true for quarterback turned part-time golfer Tony Romo. Jones has all the time in the world, however, if the Cowboys don't resemble a championship contender this season their 32-year-old quarterback will watch his Cowboys career come to a premature end this season.
One is the savior of a world, the other is the savior of a city's fallen football franchise. Much like Aang, the young adolescent prophesized Airbender who has mastered all four elements, Robert Griffin III has the unique combination of being able to throw spiraling footballs with velocity and flies past defenders with Olympic-caliber quickness.
The NFC East represents the three kingdoms consisting of Air, Earth and Water. Although there is no tyrannical fire kingdom for Griffin to topple, finishing ahead of America's Team will do for Skins fans. In his debut, Griffin became the first rookie to win Offensive Player of The Week in his debut after throwing for 320 yards and twin touchdowns.
Philadelphia Eagles- Inception
Christopher Nolan's original screenplay about thieves tasked with breaching the dreams of its targets and extracting information or planting ideas while inside.
Last summer, backup quarterback Vince Young planted a seed within the minds of Eagles players, the media and opposing teams after referring to the Eagles upgraded roster as a Dream Team.
The idea sprouted and helped derail the Eagles season. Last season's disappointing campaign is behind the Eagles, Michael Vick's pre-season dynasty comments revived the Dream Team comparisons while many experts believe the mercurial quarterback has too many advisors giving him conflicted morsels of advice. Eagles fans, welcome to the second layer of the dream.
New York Giants- Book of Eli
Both Eli's are deceptively dangerous on the road. In a post-apocalyptic world, Denzel Washington's Eli has spent thirty years traveling treacherous roads by foot to deliver a mysterious book to a city on the West Coast.
In his first seven seasons, Eli Manning has gone 5-1 in road playoff games en route to delivering a pair of Lombardi Trophies to the Big Apple. Many outsiders have questioned Manning's place in the quarterback hierarchy while Denzel Washington's character cut down any potential threats with some swashbuckling swordsmanship.784141