Hey guys. I'm an adopted Falcons fan. Chase Coffman married into a family that I did as well so I like to just come on here and just look but don't participate. I do an AFC and NFC preview every year and thought I could post my thoughts here. Hope you enjoy.
This division gets so much press. The Cowboys are America's Team. RGIII is American's Man. Chip Kelley and the Eagles are bringing a new American Football. And New York is America's heartbeat. But no one is talking about the Giants. That's just how Coughlin likes it too. Under the radar. The team has talent all over the field on offense. They will score more points than anyone in this division, but can they play defense? I think the thing you have to look is that it seemed that almost across the board everyone had a down year and this team still won 9 games. If they can find a way to find that pass rush again, that will right a lot of wrongs.
Can I say Redskins? Apparently that’s not cool anymore. Maybe just call it the RGIIIs since that’s apparently all this team needs. I can’t tell you how many text messages I got from ESPN that gave me an update every time RGIII saw the inside of a doctor’s office. The guy is good, no question, but his ability to run will probably not be what it was last year, and especially not in the first several weeks. Alfred Morris is a special player and will have to be with the lack of other offensive weapons on this team. The defense has talent here and there but a lot of things have to fall into place for the Redskins for them to really make a deep playoff run.
The Cowboys remind of me Taylor Swift. Really hot and talented, but freakin crazy. Can't hold it together long enough to get a win, or keep a boyfriend. If Romo was still single, I'm sure he would be all over that. Way to much talent on this team to do this every year, but they are missing key pieces like a decent OL and healthy RBs. The defense has a lot of talent in the secondary and some pass rush, but they can’t seem to bring it all together to be as dominating as they should be. Can they put it all together and dominate this division? Without question, but until they can prove that they can, they are going to be a middle of the road team.
One of the best tweets that I saw last year was someone said that Vick's full name should be, Michael Hits As He Throws Vick. I don't care if Chip Kelly plans on bringing in the aliens from Space Jam to this team, this offense still has huge holes. The biggest being the offensive line, couple with the fact that you still have Vick as your QB. Maclin going down was hard since they need all the help they can get. DeSean Jackson needs to step up, which isn't really his thing. I'm not sure what Kelly's plan for McCoy is but it needs to be get him the ball a lot. The defense lacks a lot of playmakers and in this division which is very pass happy, that could pose a big problem.
Superbowl pick alert! Yep, I'm taking the Packers. Why? Because it’s always the team that you don't really think is going to get there that does. The Packers have some offensive line struggles, I get that. This offense though has always ran well even with Rodgers getting sacked a league high 51 times last year. He still had a 108 passer rating, so I think he'll be alright. They get Lacy in the backfield which will give them a least a short yardage / goal line runner. This defense is better than people think too. This team knows how to get to the QB which will cause more turnovers than this secondary probably deserves.
Management is really standing a stand against, something. I’m not really sure what it is. Getting rid of Lovie Smith as coach and then deciding that they didn’t want to resign Brian Urlacher. The Bears just like any team just want to win but I’m not sure that they can with Cutler with their QB. He’s a poor man’s Tony Romo. Ouch. But it’s pretty much true. I saw a drive in preseason that was perfect for Cutler. He drove down the field beautifully. His nemesis Aaron Rodgers couldn’t have done it better himself. The only problem…he threw an interception on 2nd and goal from the 5 yard line. I mean it couldn’t have been more to the other team if he tried. Look this team still has talent on both sides of the ball and the defense is still good enough to keep you in most games. Can they keep it together long enough to make the playoffs is the question.
What do you think the sales pitch to Reggie Bush was? "Hey Reggie we need a RB." Reggie "Well I don't really like to run the ball." "Great! We don't like running the ball." Perfect! But do I have to live in Detroit though? "Hell no." This defense though is such a boom or bust group the term shootouts won’t do it justice. Honestly there might be a game the Lions score 50 points in a game...and lose. Calvin Johnson though if he has something to say about any of it will score half of those points. I think they have chance to get to the playoffs, but they have to at least find a consistent pass rush since they really can’t cover anyone for more than 2 seconds, and that might be being a bit too generous.
Is any team that made the playoffs last year and added a great piece like Greg Jennings more pushed aside then the Vikings. Probably for good reason since I trust Ponder as much as I trust Bob Sanders to play an entire season (Every year I make a Bob Sanders reference). AP is the best back, probably ever. He will have to do what he did last year and maybe even more, but the good news is that the defense, thanks to a good draft, is actually really good. They have a great OL and add a good secondary and this team actually has that potential for lightening to strike twice
If I were rebuilding a team, I would copy what the Falcons have done. Take a QB high, get some playmakers around him and fill the holes through free agency or late draft picks. I think the fact that the rest of the division is better than last year actually helps this team. Look at the latest Superbowl winners. Teams that had to grind their way through the year and it made them better in the playoffs. The Saints will challenge and the schedule is not easy having to play New England, Seattle, Green Bay and San Francisco, Atlanta will have to be on their A game. The defense has pieces but they need to find a pass rush. They took a necessary chance on Osi Umenyiora which might help. If not though they put a lot of pressure on this offense.
The Goodell Haters get their coach back and should be right back where they were a couple of years ago. This team obviously will throw the ball around, but they also have a trio of RBs that will at least keep the opponent’s defense honest. Now for the defense. What got this team in trouble in the first place. Not like a lot of teams that are changing to the 3-4 and just squeezing a square peg in a round hole with the Saints it’s more like why not? They actually have a few pieces to make this work so we will see if it improves at all, but they don’t need that many stops to make it work. I usually don’t say how many wins a team will get but I’m pretty confident they will win 9-10 games this year.
There probably isn’t a more frustrated QB right now then Cam Newton. Been in the league now 3 years and still have to lean on the same supporting cast that he had as a rookie, which isn’t really like throwing to Packers WRs. It’s Steve Smith and then everyone else. I think he has plenty of faults, one of which is that he can’t seem to find ways to win, but how can you judge when he has no help. DeAngelo Williams is the worst starting RB in the league, so that doesn’t really help either. On the defensive side, the front 7 is really good. The problem is what is behind them is less then to be desired. They have a lot to prove and right now it seems to be the weak link on the defense. The Panthers need to find Newton some help like yesterday if they want to start moving up in this division.
The Miami Dolphins of the NFC. Probably going all in a little too soon. I don’t think they have any chance to win this division and a wildcard doesn’t look likely either. This is it for Josh Freeman. He’s been given every opportunity and plenty of weapons but it just hasn’t been the same since 2010. Its’ not like Freeman is a bad QB, he just finds ways to make critical mistakes that puts his team in a bad spot. For instance, he threw 9 INTs in the last 3 games. The story of course in the offseason is getting Revis. Fitting he brings his island to Florida but I don’t think it will be enough to make this team a contender. This offense needs to be fantastic for this team to need to take the next step and I just don’t see them being able to do it.
They are the "it" team right now. They have the sexy quarterback. They play defense like no one else does in the league. They have a great OL, maybe even the best, but something is missing from this team. I don’t know if I can put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the fact that they have no WR help and that Vernon Davis was not utilized at all when Kaepernick came in. This team needs another playmaker on offense to step up and help their QB. If they can, this team will cruise and probably be in the Superbowl. If they don’t find it, they still have so much talent on this team, just might not be the walk in the park.
Talk about going all in real fast. From the first sign that Russell Wilson was a good QB and they started getting pieces around him. They could have gone the Atlanta Falcons route of developing talent around Ryan gradually, but Seattle decided to strike while the iron was hot. Unfortunately the Seahawks got some damaged goods getting Harvin. I think he can come back but they need Tate or Rice to step up and help Wilson. What is really interesting to me though is how good this defense is without a real threat of a pass rush. They are just so solid and it starts with possibly the best secondary in the league, couple that with a solid LB group and the defense is right there with the 49ers.
How dumb do you think Carson Palmer feels? He doesn't want to stay in Cincinnati where they go to now 2 playoffs in a row, threatens to retire, gets traded to the Raiders, who almost, almost kill an another QB career and then gets traded to Arizona. The Cardinals needed a reason for Fitzgerald to stay around and they got one. Bring in a guy who throws the ball a thousand times a game. It won't necessarily be to your team, but hey at least it's a start. The defense is ok on this team. They are the worst in the division, but when you have as good of a division as this one, you might want to go against the grain. If this offensive line can keep Palmer upright long enough they will score some points.
I’m just really buying into this team. They have a nonexistent running game, to go along with Sam Bradford still not showing me enough to think he is the real deal. The best move was to definitely get rookie Tavon Austin. That will at least give Bradford enough of a weapon to put some points on the board. Also getting LT Jake Long will keep Bradford up a little longer. The defensive line boast a good duo of DEs that will at least keep games interesting but I would say they a probably not likely to improve from the 7 wins from last year.