Thursday, September 4, 2014



The Good: Chip Kelly is a great innovator. His offense is already changing the game. Adding Jordan Matthews in the draft gives them a chance to have a real long term # receiver. The O-line was one of the leagues best last year. Its already littered with pro bowlers and 2 of these guy's are still young. Shady McCoy is already a game breaker. Adding Darren Sproles to Shady makes this offense doubly explosive. Kelly's health regimen nay be the wave if the future after his team had so few injuries last year, but we need a larger sample size to say its more than luck right now.The duel thrats of Brent celek and Zack Ertz at TE can make a big difference for this team.  Nick Foles was fantastic last year in a offense that he isn't really suited too. I expect the league will catch up to him some , but having a possible young franchise QB is always a plus. If he has another good year ,and ask for more money than Chip wants to pay don't be surprised if Chip trades him and goes after Marcus Mariota in the draft.
The Bad: I still don't like this secondary. There is no one there that looks like a playmaker. Marcus Smith was a huge reach as first round pick. Trent Cole will be 32 this year and he is still the best pass rusher this team has. Unless Kelly is a health genius its unlikely they are remain so healthy for the second year in a row.
Predictions: 10-6 : Division Title

The Good: The offensive line should be excellent  and the offense has a whole has a chance to be elite. Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zach Martin are all potential  perennial pro bowlers. They have a great receiving core and a stud starting running back. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are the most reliable WR/TE duo in the game.Four things need to happen for this offense to reach its potential. Lance Dunbar needs to stay healthy and take some of the load off Murray. They have to be committed to running the ball. Three and four are about health. The O-line needs to stay healthy, and Tony Romo needs to stay healthy. Dan Bailey is the best kicker in the league from 45 yards in. 
The Bad: Jerry Jones is the worst GM and owner ( get a cover safety already !)in all of pro sports. His wish to be in the spotlight and take credit for the teams success are more important to him than winning. The defense was historically bad last season, the amount of injuries to the D-line was staggering,  and the 3 best players on it won't be in the lineup this season. Demarcus Ware was cut , even though he was willing to take a pay cut. Jason Hatcher got overpaid by division rival Washington, and Sedan Lee tore his ACL. Crazy as it sounds I expect them to be a little bit better this season. Rod Marinelli should run a more aggressive scheme than Kiffin for one. Secondly, they have far more depth on defense than they did last year, there were multiple games last year where they were staring guys they signed off the street that week on defense. Murray seems to get hurt every year, but he is a FA this year. Romo has had back-to-back seasons of back surgery and he missed most of the off season and fair amount of camp where they are adjusting their scheme and breaking in anew play caller. There 3 best pass rushers are hurt or coming off serious knee injuries where you don't even know if they will return to form. With DeMarcus Lawrence until at least the second half of the season, and Henry Melton and Anthony Spencer still not %100 for week one I just can't give them much of a chance.
Prediction: 7-9 : This team could go 7-9 if they run the ball, Romo is healthy all year and plays as good as he did last season, but I doubt he even plays 10 games.

The Good: The Redskins had salary cap to fill holes, a good draft, got rid of the Shanahan's, and will probably have a high # 1 pick next season. That's unlike the last 2 seasons. They also have a great receiving core and some running back talent as well. RG3 is healthy, and if he returns to form of his pre-injury rookie year he will be a great one. If they feed Alfred Morris the rock and then let RG3 work off play action to throw it to Garcon, Jackson, and Reed it should go well for them on offense.
The D-line and rush backers are very good, but Orapko needs to stay healthy for them to make the playoffs.
The Bad: Is RG3 the elite talent with the big smile we all loved at first, or is he the guy who seems kind of spoiled lately. I have never seen so many fans have their dreams come true, and then turn on the same player in so short a time. Griffin needs a good year and no bad press to regain Washington fans love. The secondary is scary as well. It's a mixture of past their prime guys who commit too many stupid penalties and unproven youngsters.
Prediction: 6-10: Griffin still doesn't look comfortable. A new O-line, blocking scheme, and offense make this look like a transition year to me.

The Good: The defense was actually pretty good last year , but now their leader ( Justin Tuck) is gone. JPP hasn't been the same since back surgery , but he needs to return to form this year. On offense the giants added some new young weapons in Odell Beckham and Andre Williams, and a possible center if the future in Weston Richburg . They also have Victor Cruz and 2103 #1 pick Justin Pugh played better in the second half.
The Bad: Eli was terrible last year and so was the O-line. While there is probably some correlation there I still don't expect Eli to be much better this year. Chris Snee was the best lineman the G-men have had in the last decade but he retired. Even if Geoff Schwartz and Weston Richburg are starters I expect this to be only an average line . His new offense should limit LEi mistakes, but he did not look at all comfortable in it in the pre-season. Eli is NOT Peyton. He won't spend 16 hours day practicing and watching film, That is what is needed to learn a new offense. I just feel like he isn't interested in being he best he can be. He's got his rings and his money already. I have a feeling the giants will move on from him after this season unless that drastically changes.
Prediction: 5-11 : It's a rebuilding year for the offense to me. I don't trust Eli to work hard enough to bring them up to par, and the defense will be hurt by spending to much time on the field.


The Good: Aaron Rodgers is an elite QB and he is healthy again. He has a ton of a talent a the skill positions too. Between Nelson, Cobb, Lacy, Boykins, and rookies Devante Adams and Richard Rogers this offense is loaded . If Julius Peepers and Clay Matthews stay healthy then the inability to double team both will pay huge dividends. The packer also have the only good secondary in the NFC north. Combining them with the pass rush improvement makes me think they will force a lot of turnovers. The pack has a good coach and front office so they are always  a talented roster as a whole.
The Bad: The one play the pack hasn't had much luck in the draft is the O-line. First round tackles Derek Sherrod & Bryan Bulaga have been a bust , although Bulaga has been good on those rare occasions when he is healthy. After losing Evan Deitrich-Smith in free agency the pack turned to JC Tretter at center, but he git hurt. Now 5th round rookie Corey Linsley is being counted on to start right away. He is a tough, smart guy, but that's asking a lot. TJ Lang is OK, while left guard Josh Sitton is as good as they come. 2013 fourth rounder David Bakhtiari played alright when forced into action last year, but he needs to add strength to become a quality starter, and it he didn't look any stringer in the pre-season this year. The middle linebackers are nothing special and they could use an upgrade at both positions. Nose tackle is also a weakness , but injured NT BJ Raji had an off year last season anyway. If I was the pack I would definitely try Datone Jones on the nose . He absolutely wrecked USC in college playing a Jay Ratliff type shaded nose.
Prediction:11-5: Division Title;  The Pack has the best QB and secondary in the division hands down. If the O-line can get and stay healthy Green Bay could be back in the Superbowl.

The Good: The Vikings made the bold and brilliant decision to trade up for and draft Teddy Bridgewater, after his unearned draft day fall . The fact that they were also the team to finally make Mike Zimmer defensive genius a head coach makes me think the front office is a long term asset as well . He in turn hired offensive genius Norv Turner and once Bridgewater finally takes over I expect this team to be fierce. They reloaded this off season with young talent, Not only is the draft with Bridgewater and Anthony Barr , but throughout the whole draft they took players that produced at the college level. They also signed and resigned some young veterans , and jettisoned some older high priced vets. Throw in weapons like Adrian Peterson, Cordarelle Patterson, and Kyle Rudolph and this team looks like they are set up to be Superbowl contenders pretty soon.
The Bad: Matt Cassell is a mart solid back up QB, and he should be a boon to Bridgewater as he grows up in the league. However, he shouldn't be a starter. I would have picked the Vikes to go to the playoffs if they had started Teddy from day 1, but they didn't. Peterson also has a huge contract for a RB , will be 30 next year,  and recently had a major knee injury. Even a freak of nature like Adrian can go downhill quick, and he knows it. That' s probably why he was trying to get sucker Jerry Jones to trade for him.  Jerry just might be flattered enough to probably overpay Peterson after he was no longer the player he has been.
Prediction: 8-8: Not starting Bridgewater out of the gate might cost them a few games and they could miss the playoffs because of it ,  Although long term they are set up to be a beast.

The Good: Jay Cutler played his best ball last year and he has some big strong receivers to go get the ball. In fact his I will take the 1-2 punch of Marshall and Jeffrey over any teams top 2 wide receivers this season. The O-line was a big plus last year and there is no reason to believe they won't be even better this year. Matt Forte is a complete back that can be leaned on to close out a game when you have a lead. Bringing in Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Will Sutton, and Ego Ferguson all in the same year shows that the bears knew they had a problem on the D-Line , and wanted to make it a weakness into a strength
The Bad: The defense was crap last season, but they did have a fair amount if injuries that made it much worse. The once great Charles Tillman tore his ACL last year and is 33 this season, so I see why they drafted a corner high. While I was a big Kyle Fuller fan in the draft they need a safety. 4th rounder Brock Vereen may help, but even if he does they need another safety to go with him. I thought they might be moving Peanut or Fuller to safety but they said no. At linebacker future HOFer Lance Briggs is still a good player but time and injuries have taken their toll on him. They don't have another LB on the roster that should be starting this year. DJ Williams might be a stopgap, but moving Mcellin to LB makes no sense to me. Not to mention that I wouldn't want to depend on Jon Bostic or James Anderson after last year. Mark Trestman got the most out his QB's last year, but Josh McCown did outplay Cutler when he was on the field .
Prediction: 8-8 : The bears are very similar to Dallas. They have a talented QB who lacks much postseason success and who probably won't play a full season , a backup QB who was a former high draft pick who was given up on quickly,a good young O-line, they refuse to spend a lot of money or a high draft pick on safety, and a bad overall defense. The difference is the bears spent more money and draft picks to upgrade their D-line so I say they win one more game.

The Good: New offensive coordinator Joe Lombatdi should call a more balanced offense than Scott Linehan did, although last year he finally tried to call more runs. They have 3 well rounded backs every down backs to pull it off if the are healthy. Fantasy football stud Matthew Stafford has elite talent. He is still young, but his history of poor mechanics and bad decisions have kept him from being a stud in real football. He is still a plus though, even though these guys dropped balls like it was a religion last season. . Calvin Johnson is a singular talent whose skills can't be matched. The front seven on this defense is very good. Suh is an elite player , and Ziggy Ansah has the talent to be one as well. The addition of sure handed Golden Tate to play opposite Megatron is a smart decision. Throw in the drafting of Eric Ebron at TE and a healthy Ryan Broyles, and Stafford will be the envy of most QB's. The O-line is above average , with 3 young players (Larry Warford , Reilly Reiff , and Corey Hilliard) looking like long term fits. Veteran Rob Sims is solid and center Dominick Raiola had his best season last year.
The Bad: Matthew Stafford. Yep , he is on both lists . The hope in bringing in Lomabardi from New Orleans( he was the QB coach there) is that he can tighten up Matty's mechanics and improve his decision making. The old Stafford put up big numbers but he wasn't the kind of QB who will lead a team to a Super bowl. The secondary, especially the corners is a question mark. The do have a lot young high drafted corners, so all hope is not lost. Nick Fairley is a pro bowl caliber player of he wants to be , but all signs point to him not caring enough to maintain that level of play. He was demoted last year, came to camp out of shape, and the Lions didn't pick up his option.
Prediction: 8-8 : New coaches and scheme's take a while to adjust to. If Stafford's makes the jump up a notch and they stay healthy they are a playoff team, but his division is tough one and its more likely they beat each other up and only the division champ makes the playoffs.


The Good: Drew Brees and Sean Payton are as good as it gets as a QB, leaders, play caller, and head coach. Jimmy Graham is probably one of the 5 best offensive weapons in football. Adding Brandon Cooks to this offense should be illegal and the teams that passed on him to allow it to happen will rue the day they did so. He will be part Darren Sproles and part Steve Smith  for this team, and open up the field even more for this offense. Adding Jairus Byrd to a healthy Vaccaro at safety gives Rob Ryan all kind of options on defense. Guards Ben Grubbs and Jahri Evans are still good enough to keep the pocket clean most of the time and the young tackles are on the way up.  Veteran center Jonathan Goodwin is still a plus. Junior Gallette and Cameron Jordan can both be long term elite defenders up front as well. The decision to basically play nickel as a base could be a league wide trend much sooner than you might think. Keenan Lewis added to Byrd, and Vaccaro gives them a potential trio of backend playmakers few can match.
The Bad: Much like Denver the middle linebackers are a question mark. Curtis Lofton is a negative in the pass game. He is a solid run defender between the tackles, but his range is limited . If Pierre Thomas could ever stay healthy he could be a pro bowler, but I doubt that happens. Darren Sproles was the biggest playmaker on the whole team, not just as a RB. He will be missed. Mark Ingram needs to finally be the guy they drafted or this will be his last year as a saint. The corner opposite Lewis is a weakness right now, and I bet they hope 2nd rounder Jean-Baptiste grows into the role quick. A down lineman besides Cam Jordan needs to make a difference. It doesn't even have to be in the same phase of the game. If one could be good against the pass and one could be good against the run they could probably still make it work.
Predictions: 12-4 : Division Title: In the Superbowl: The NFC is so close to me. It's between Seattle, the 49ers , and the saints. I think this will be a down year for the saints division and they will end up with home field advantage becuase of it. That advantage makes them my pick to go to the Superbowl in the NFC.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS-8-8The Good: Lovie Smith is not only a proven winner as a coach, but players also like playing for him. I get the idea behund bringing on Josh McCown as your starting QB and trying to recreate the same circumstances that made him great last year. If your going to try to make McCown your franchise QB then giving him an even larger basketball team as a receiving core is a good idea. Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins are all giants as far as NFL recivers go. Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David are both elite players on defense. They have spent a lot of money and first round pick on the safety position . Hopefully Lovie can get Barron and Goldson to play like it. Hopefully Michael Johnson can give McCoy help.
The Bad: This O-line is a big question mark. Ahnthony Collins is an upgrade over Donald Penn at left tackle, and Demar Dotson took a big step up last year, even though he is far from a proven commodity. The  Logan Mankins trade was huge, although it would be better if they had traded for him earlier. Evan Dietrich Smith played very well last year, but Jeremy Zuttah was no sloch at center anyway. RG Garrett Gilkey lacks the strength to push people around inside, but he is still young. Alteraun Verner is an excellent fit in this defense, but all the rest of the corners are still question marks. Actually until Lovey gets an extra year to get players in here to fit his sytem this defense could struggle a bit.
Prediction: 7-9 : Unless this O-line comes through I can't see them as a playoff team this year, but I have a feeling they will not be a team you want to play late in the season.

The Good: Bringing in Jake Matthews and Jon Asamoah should really help this team in many ways. The passing , running , and games are obvious but the ability to control the clock will help the defense a ton too. Matt Ryan was lucky to survive last season behind that line, but he is still a top 10 QB  in this league. If healthy Julio Jones and Roddy White are one of the leagues better wide receiver duos, and Harry Douglas is a good #3.  Mike Nolan  is taking over a bad defense that lacks playmakers in the front seven, but since he will be running both odd and even fronts he should be able to get the most out of what he has. Steven Jackson is a future HOFer , but he finally looked like he was aging during an injury riddles 2013. If he is on the decline then 4th round pick ( one of the steals of the whole draft) should join with the underused Jacquizz Rogers to give the run game a boost. Young corners Desmod Trufants and Robert Alford played well last year. Added to solid safety William Moore they combine for the makings of a good secondary.
The Bad: Sean Weatherspoon was probably the best player on this defense and he is out for the year. The defense as a whole looks to be missing a pass rush , and you can only blitz so much. Unless a edge rusher steps up I expect the Falcons to playing a lot of high scoring games. Tony Gonzalez retired and Levine Toilolo is only a short are target. Teams had to game plan for Gonzalez and he opened up the field for the rest of the offense.
Prediction: 7-9 : This team lacks depth and impact players on defense, You can only outscore so many people. Unless they are relatively injury free I don't see them going to the playoffs this year.

The Good: Cam Newton is the perfect physical specimen as a QB, but he is still a tad raw as a passer. One of the things that has hampered him from being even better is a lack of wide receivers. While Steve Smith will be missed his lack of tact probably didn't help Cam's growth. With a whole new group of receivers, especially #1 pick Kelvin Benjamin , at least he should have supportive guys in the pattern. Carolinas defense was great last year and the front seven still can be. Luke Kuechly and a healthy Thomas Davis give the Panthers one of the leagues better linebackers duos. The front four od Charles Jhonson , Greg Hardy, Kawann Short, and Star Lotulelei is the best in the league. Center Ryan Kalil and TE Greg Olsen are also returning veterans who play at a high level.
The Bad: Jettisoning most if your secondary after you finally broke out ot defense doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but the Panthers did it. However, that's not even the worst part of the team. Standout long time left tackle and guard Jordan Gross and Travelle Wharton just up and retired on them. Their plan to move Byron Bell to the left side smacks of desperation to me. Their other option is converted former TE /DT Nate Chandler. He is a great athlete , but they are counting on him to make a Jason Peters-like jump up this year.  Maybe they are right and both will work out but I doubt it. Neither Fernando Velasco or Amini Silatolu has ever done enough in the NFL to make me think they will be quality starters this year. I would be surprised if Cam Newton plays all 16 games behind this line. Their stable if highly paid running backs seem to always be injured. Mike Tolbert is #3 on the depth chart and he is the most reliable runner they have besides Newton of course.
Prediction: 6-10: This team lost too much personnel and didn't replace what they lost with enough to have optimism. Unless they try to run a conservative ball control offense , avoid turnovers, and let the defense win games for them I see this being a season to forget.Even if they went that route too many things have to go right for them to be a likely playoff team.


The Good: The Superbowl champs have the best home field advantage in football, a coach who gets the most out of his players , and a lot of young excellent talent.  QB Russell Wilson, RB Marshawn Lynch, safety Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor ,Brandon Mebane, Michael Bennett, and corner back Richard Sherman are all among the leagues best at their positions.  Max Unger, Russel Okung, Steven Hauschka, Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, Cliff Avril , Percy Harvin, and KJ wright are just a notch below them. That is a LOT of really good players at key positions , and most of them are pretty young. I may not like some of their high draft picks but this coaching staffs ability o develop later draft picks is the best in the league.
The Bad: They were one of the deepest teams in the league last season , but the curse of victory means that everybody wants your players and the ones you keep want to get paid. Even if the ones you choose to pay in this salary cap era play up to their contract you have very short window with a great bunch of talent, So unless they keep hitting and developing draft picks the team will only get thinner in the future. The O-line is not a strength and I would recommend replacing all of them except the Unger and Okung. Rookie right tackle Justin Briitt has a chance to be a good starter but he was so injury prone in college that I think the second round was a reach.  The hawks also lost some key players to free agency and the cap.
Prediction : 11-5: Division Champion: Being the best team in the best division in football doesn't mean Superbowl. In fact they are very possibly hurt by all the tough games they will play in the regular season. without home field advantage I expect the Seahwaks miss the Superbowl this year.

The Good: The deepest team in football has a loaded roster from top to bottom. Adding Stevie Johnson and Bruce Ellington to Crabtree, Boldin, and Davis make this receiving core something special. Frank Gore is a warrior at running back and adding Cralos Hyde give them another everydown  bruiser to grind out games. That's  bot even counting Marcus Lattimore who  could return later in the season. if he is anywhere close the same running back the niners will have the best stable of backs in the league. This O-line is perennially one of the leagues best and even with injuries  and holdouts that depth I was just talking about makes it likely they will just keep on being great. The defense has playmakers and pro bowlers on each level , Justin Smith and Patrick Willis, are still among the leagues best at their positions, and all that talent makes their special teams a force.
The Bad: Aldon Smith and Navarro Bowman are 2 of the leagues elite players, but both are going to miss at least the first half of the season. without those 2 players the defense is compromised. The loss to the pass rush and in pass coverage is significant. Throw in that all their corners are suspect and this defense is not the elite unit is has been in years past. QB Colin Kaeperneck is generally a  plus as a whole but his inability to read defenses, his propensity for staring downs receivers, and predilection for forcing balls is the reason Seattle beat them last year. It's also the reason I expect the hawks to win the division this year. Jim Harbaugh's war with the front office makes this very possibly his last season, That could very easily have a negative effect on the team if things don't go
as well as they should, and at the very least its a distraction.
Prediction: 10-6: Wildcard: This team has as good s chance as any to make the Superbowl. I think the games they lose while they wait for players to come back from suspension & injury, added to the questionable  corner-back situation makes me think they won't win the division. I have to go with home field advantage when its this close.

The Good: Bruce Arians is a excellent coach and GM Steve Keim has had back-to-back excellent drafts. The receiving core of Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd,and John Brown has looked really good in the pre-season. The signing of Jared Veldheer has to be an upgrade after years of really bad left tackle play. I don't know why Bobby Massie was demoted last year after finishing his rookie year strong, but he looked like he was back in form so far this pre-season. The  line as a whole should be improved, which should help Carson Palmer's happy feet and accuracy. Andre Ellington can be a focal point if this offense if he can stay healthy, but he has strong backups in Stepfan Taylor and Johnathan Dwyer. If they stay committed to the run game and throw deep off play action the way Arians wants to this offense can make a big jump. Calais Campbell, Patrick Petersen, and the honey badger are all difirence makers if healrthy on the defensive side of the ball.
The Bad: Losing both Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington is a big blow to this defense. Even if Larry Foote and Kevin Minter play to their potential they won't be as good the last years duo. They could possibly match them in the run game, but it won't even be close against the pass, and this is a passing league now. The injury to 2013 # 1 pick Jonaathan Cooper just keeps on giving. Cooper hasn't looked anyway near %100 so far in camp or the pre-season. They drafted a guard with the 6th pick and now he doesn't look like the same player! That is scary. They can hope he returns to form and is the player they drafted eventually, but they were counting on him to anchor the interior of their O-line for about a decade before he got hurt. Last but not least is Larry Fitzgerald contract situation  . He has been the face of this franchise for about a decade. Lacking the great QB who can regularly get him the ball since Kurt Warner retired has hurt his numbers. Fitz draws the double team and others get open, but the cards don't want to pay him like a # 1 receiver after this year. He has been payed a lot by them already , but trying to push Michael Floyd over him in hopes getting Fitz to stay for less is a stupid strategy, if that's what they are doing, and I think it is. If he is going to take less he should go play with an elite accurate QB who can fit the ball into him. He still has the best hands in the game. Fitz isn't the guy to publicly complain, but if they do this it will become a story , and it could blow up in the Arizona managements face.
Prediction:10-6 : Wildcard:  If they were in a weaker division they would be a lock playoff team if they didn't suffer any key injuries. In the toughest division in football I think they finish 3rd, but still squeak in with a wildcard.

The Good: The addition of Aaron Donald gives the rams a chance to enter the conversation of best front four in the league along with  Carolina, Buffalo, Seattle ,and frisco. Being on the same side as Robert Quinn alone should help both players wreak havoc. The return of Jake Long and the addition of # 2 overall pick Greg Robinson should improve the O-line, but especially in the run game. the fact that Robinson isn't starting right now is straight up shocking to me. The defense as a whole could  be strong if the offense doesn't strand them on the field too much. Tavon Austin, Zac Stacy, and Tre mason are all potential big time play makers if the rams can find someone to get them the ball, Kenny Britt and Jared Cook can also light it up but they have to want it enough to make it happen. Kicker Greg Zuerlein has one of the best legs in the league as well. 
he Bradford got hurt again.Yep, and they didnt even draft a QB until the sixth round. I 'm not saynig they should have used one of their 2 first rounders on a QB, but maybe an AJ McCarron Or Zach Mettenburger in the 4th? Nope 6th round project , and Texas failure Garret Gilbert was their guy. Thats not the only time the rams didn't use the ton of draft picks they got in the RG3  haul well. Their is a lot of talent on this team. On pure talent they are top 8 in the NFL. They should be at least top 3 after all the high draft ;picks they have had in the lst 3 years. Throw in  the ultra, stone-age,  predictable offense that OC Brian Schottenheimer likes to run, and it's another wasyed season in St. Louis.
Prediction: 7-9:  They had a chance to be a playoff team in site of themselves, but the Sam Bradford injury probably means that even a .500 record is  out of reach. 

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