PDA

View Full Version : My Pre-Season Thoughts


Shiver
08-20-2008, 02:56 PM
Well, well, well, it has been a long and eventful year for me. However, like the sirens in the Odyssey, this site lures me back. I have a lot of things that I have kept to myself; except for you know, family and friends who are tired of my football rantings. Anyway, without further ado:

The Cleveland Browns are destined to disappoint.


These guys are the trendy pick in the AFC North. Do not count on me jumping on that bandwagon anytime soon. I think there are three reasons not to trust the Cleveland Browns:
1. Last year the Browns offense relied on the surprising emergence of Derek Anderson and the rebirth of Jamal Lewis as a competent RB. I think that it is entirely possible that either, or both, could regress back to what we thought of them. Jamal Lewis' has a history of injuries and he is only getting older. Derek Anderson actually showed signs of regression last year when he finished the season with a 12/10 TD/INT ratio in the last eight games, and his completion percentage is well below average as is. Any bad performances and the fanbase clamors for Brady Quinn, and the ensuing QB controversy would distrubt team unity.
2. A defense that still has question marks. Yes I know they signed a few big 'name' players on the D-Line, but I question how much they will help. Shaun Rogers' girth didn't help the Lions run defense, which happened to be in the bottom half of the league. Rogers' endurance and stamina were big question marks and he wasn't even playing the nose tackle in a 3-4. He has the potential, sure, but I think skepticism is in order.
3. The hardest schedule in the league. They have a murderers' row of a schedule, drawing the AFC South and NFC East. Even if the Browns are a better overall team in '08 it will be very, very difficult to equal last year's ten wins.The Texans surpass the Jaguars, Titans, challenge the Colts.


The Texans went 8-8 last year; not exactly the most impressive record. If you look closer at the team you will find it more impressive. They didn't have the best WR for most of the season, even though he was putting up Owens/Moss like numbers when he did play, Matt Schaub missed a lot of time with injuries, and they had a young and inconsistent defense. This year Schaub and Johnson are back and the defense should only improve as players like Amobi Okoye and Fred Bennett improve. I thought Houston would be a team on the rise last year, this year I like them even more. I think they can be a legitimate contender.

Minnesota could be 00' Baltimore reborn.


In 2000 the Ravens rode a great defense, a steady running game to a championship. I think this year's Vikings could do the same thing, especially in a very weak division. They have on paper the best D-Line in a long time, with Jared Allen adding a dominant pass rush presence and he is a very good run defender as well. They will dominate opposing offenses up front, freeing up an underrated LB corp. and covering up holes in their secondary. On offense I actually like this unit in comparison with the '00 Ravens. I think Tarvaris Jackson is not terrible, which is all he really has to do, and he will do better with Rice and Berrian. Any improvement in the passing game will allow Peterson and Taylor to steamroll opponents. And finally I think they can rack up easy wins against the Bears, Lions, and maybe even the Packers, and lock up home field advantage while the NFC East teams beat eachother up.

Mark October 12 on your calendars.


This will be the season's biggest showdown between arguably the best two teams in the league: New England @ San Diego. This will be a rematch of the AFCCG, except this time it will be in San Diego and (presumably) LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, and Philip Rivers will be 100%. It would send a big message if San Diego wins this game, especially since they don't have any other daunting matchups until November 23 against Indianapolis. San Diego has been on the precipice of a Super Bowl twice before, with only New England standing in their way, I think this game could be where they rise up and show that they can beat the big bully.

Watch out for Carolina.


The NFC South always has surprises. Usually one of the teams makes unheralded moves and goes under the radar and wins the division the next year. I like the Panthers to be that team this year. They added a big, stout RT in Jeff Otah, and big power back in Jonathan Stewart, and a few key role plays to round things out. Jake Delhomme is back, and if he doesn't perform Matt Moore has shown promise. The offense should be much better than the putrid one that they had last year. On defense it is predicated on Julius Peppers: if he returns to his 'best in the league' form the unit as a whole will perform better. With a new contract on the line, and buzz from training camp, I wouldn't be surprised for him to bounce back.

The rest of the South has issues. New Orleans still does not have a power running game to compliment Bush, and their Defense has had injury issues and Jason David, Mike McKenzie, Usama Young, Randall ***, do not frighten any QB. Tampa Bay is ancient, Atlanta is too young. Because of that I think that there is an opening for Carolina.


Eli Manning is still the same guy.


A championship can change people's perspective of you in a hurry. Those same fans who thought he "sucked," those same analysts who thought he was a disappointment at the end of the '07 regular season, were the same ones singing his praises four games later. It was impressive, and I certainly thought it was surprising; however, I do not think that it necessarily translates to the next season. Eli Manning's regular season career has been consistent: fast start, fades in the last half of the year. I am not ready to anoint him as a great, or even very good, QB until he plays consistently for an entire season. He did have twenty interceptions last year after all.

CC.SD
08-20-2008, 03:05 PM
yay Shiver!

I agree wholeheartedly that Bolts/Pats is the biggest regular season matchup.

I like the Vikes a lot, but I don't quite see the 00 Ravens.

Browns...well my expectations of them personally weren't very high to begin with, but your points are very accurate.

As for the AFC South...I think Charger fans more than maybe anyone respect what the TN defense can do when it is pissed. With a guy like Vince Young, he could take that "next step" tomorrow, or the next day, or never. You have to hope Alge Crumpler gives him a steady target and that's an iffy bet, but I still see the Titans out-toughing a whole lot of teams.

I'd say if the Texans leapfrog anyone it's the Jags because frankly we don't know what we're going to get out of a D-line with two rookies at the bookends and a guy who hasn't started a full season next to Big John (plus no aerial threat on offense), but I don't think it will happen regardless.

And yeah, Eli will probably be hearing the boo birds again before the season is out.

Rjspartan
08-20-2008, 03:05 PM
finally some one believes in Carolina!

Shiver
08-20-2008, 03:07 PM
A Falcons fan of all people... Don't worry, we will win the South in '09. Tis how the NFC South works.

keylime_5
08-20-2008, 03:08 PM
wow, people sure are making a lot out of a fluke game in New York. Sure they played terrible, but 100 yards in penalties, a blocked punt and a KR TD allowed, and then a fumble at the goalline followed by 4 key players getting hurt to top it off all in about a quarter and a half is pretty flukey. It's just a preseason game and I'm not worried at all about our offense or the fact that our defense will be improved. I'm more worried about people getting hurt, if injuries build up then we will have a bad season like the Saints last year.

They looked pretty bad in New York, looked pretty good in week 1, especially on offense. It's just a silly game that doesn't count with vanilla coverages in defense and basic plays on offense.

Shiver
08-20-2008, 03:09 PM
wow, people sure are making a lot out of a fluke game in New York. Sure they played terrible, but 100 yards in penalties, a blocked punt and a KR TD allowed, and then a fumble at the goalline followed by 4 key players getting hurt to top it off all in about a quarter and a half is pretty flukey. It's just a preseason game and I'm not worried at all about our offense or the fact that our defense will be improved. I'm more worried about people getting hurt, if injuries build up then we will have a bad season like the Saints last year.


I have thought this well before the New York game, believe me.

keylime_5
08-20-2008, 03:11 PM
Well they don't have to win ten this year to get into the playoffs, just win the division and I think with Pittsburgh's even tougher schedule and the fact that it is a fairly even matchup that will decide if the Browns get into the playoffs more than anything else.

diabsoule
08-20-2008, 03:56 PM
The only problem with Minnesota is their passing game and the '00 Ravens had a much better receiving corps than the '08 Vikings.

Baltimore had Dilfer, Shannon Sharpe, Brandon Stokely, and Qadry Ismael.
Minnesota has Tavaris Jackson, Sidney Rice, and Bernard Berrian.

I'd take Baltimore in a heartbeat over that.

Shiver
08-20-2008, 04:00 PM
I'm not so sure about that. Jackson wasn't that bad in the last half of the season, and that was without Berrian. Any modest increase in performance in his second year as starter will be enough to push them over the top.

CC.SD
08-20-2008, 04:05 PM
I'm not so sure about that. Jackson wasn't that bad in the last half of the season, and that was without Berrian. Any modest increase in performance in his second year as starter will be enough to push them over the top.

His numbers might look a little different without Troy Williamson's frightening long bomb drops, too.

Shiver
08-20-2008, 04:07 PM
What worries me about Jackson is his durability. You can't make strides as a passer if you cannot stay on the field.

CC.SD
08-20-2008, 04:16 PM
I'd be more worried about AD being injury prone than Jackson. They should start Frerotte IMO, get a veteran in there and release some uncertainty, start the kid when you DON'T have a team that could dominate the NFC with just a little QB consistency.

Jughead10
08-20-2008, 04:47 PM
Giants Stadium is possibly the hardest stadium in the NFL to play in for a QB. That has a ton to do with Eli's late season struggles. Playing 3 games on the road before the Super Bowl was a blessing in disguise. This year I'm happy our last three road games are Arizona, Dallas, and Minnesota. Three nice condition road games which should be a pleasant change from Giants Stadium. I continue to wonder if the new Giants Stadium will be different. The current field basically runs perfectly east to west or vice versa. From seeing the frame work of the new stadium in person it seems the field will run from northwest to south east. That could possibly change the wind patterns.

TitanHope
08-20-2008, 05:02 PM
As a Titans fan, I'm more worried about Rosenfels than Schaub when playing the Texans. Andre Johnson is a Top 5 WR when healthy, so having him back will help the offense - it was thriving when both Schaub and Johnson were healthy. But, Schaub was a statue and, in my opinion, got rattled too easily when we played them. Albert Haynesworth knocked Schaub out of the game @Houston, but Rosenfels came in and executed that offense much better. He would have led them back from a huge deficit and beaten us had it not been for some late game heroics.

I guess my point is that their best players are injury prone, their starting QB isn't much better than the backup, and the improvement of young players is likely. But, you also must assume that the other teams either got worse or stayed the same. I don't think Houston did enough immediate upgrades, nor did the other teams stay stagnant or get worse.

LonghornsLegend
08-20-2008, 05:30 PM
The only problem with Minnesota is their passing game and the '00 Ravens had a much better receiving corps than the '08 Vikings.

Baltimore had Dilfer, Shannon Sharpe, Brandon Stokely, and Qadry Ismael.
Minnesota has Tavaris Jackson, Sidney Rice, and Bernard Berrian.

I'd take Baltimore in a heartbeat over that.

The season hasn't played out yet, but Sidney Rice could easily surpass 10+ TD's this year, he has the type of talent to break out, and he could excell in the redzone which has always been a strength of his...He was extremely raw last year and performed well, I think he is looking at taking the next step.


And Shiver I completely agree with you about Carolina, I think they are the surprise team to make the playoffs, they certainly have the talent on their roster to get there.

IceKubes
08-20-2008, 05:43 PM
As a Titans fan, I'm more worried about Rosenfels than Schaub when playing the Texans. Andre Johnson is a Top 5 WR when healthy, so having him back will help the offense - it was thriving when both Schaub and Johnson were healthy. But, Schaub was a statue and, in my opinion, got rattled too easily when we played them. Albert Haynesworth knocked Schaub out of the game @Houston, but Rosenfels came in and executed that offense much better. He would have led them back from a huge deficit and beaten us had it not been for some late game heroics.

I guess my point is that their best players are injury prone, their starting QB isn't much better than the backup, and the improvement of young players is likely. But, you also must assume that the other teams either got worse or stayed the same. I don't think Houston did enough immediate upgrades, nor did the other teams stay stagnant or get worse.

As a Texan fan i'll admit that Rosenfels definitely played better against the Titans than Schaub did but most people that watched the team for the whole year realize that Schaub has a lot more talent and should make a very nice jump in his second year in the offense. David Carr used to have great games against the Jags for some reason but I doubt you'll get much of an argument from their fans that he is a better option than Schaub. After watching the way Schaub has been playing recently I can't help but be encouraged that he will have a very fine season this year. Overall I expect the Texans to be extremely competitive against both the Jaguars and Titans and maybe against the Colts during our home game. The offense will surprise people but the D might be a year or so away although if Williams and Okoye really stand out this year it wouldn't be out of the question to see a nice jump there.

bigbluedefense
08-20-2008, 06:02 PM
As much as I love Minny's dline, I don't see how its better than ours. And i obviously disagree with the Eli Manning assessment, but i agree with almost everything else.


I think the Giants might be the least respected Super Bowl champion in recent memory.

CC.SD
08-20-2008, 06:16 PM
[QUOTE=bigbluedefense;1180527]As much as I love Minny's dline, I don't see how its better than ours. QUOTE]

Even with Strahan that would have been a tough argument to make. The Williams' Boys plus Jared Allen will definitely be the gold standard in the league this year. Any of them would simply wreak havoc if single-blocked, and as good as Osi is, and as good as Tuck and the gang might be, they're not on the same level.

keylime_5
08-20-2008, 06:26 PM
I think New York's line will be better at pressuring the QB with Tuck and Umenyiora....but Minny will be better against the run and will be good at the pass rush but not as good.

Bengalsrocket
08-20-2008, 06:30 PM
Its like arguing if Peyton or Brady is better, who cares? There are 30 other teams in the league who would be glad to have either of them.

Shiver
08-20-2008, 07:08 PM
I think New York's line will be better at pressuring the QB with Tuck and Umenyiora....but Minny will be better against the run and will be good at the pass rush but not as good.

It is simple: they had the best defensive tackles in the league, by a large margin, and added one of the three best defensive ends in the game to go with them. The Giants are good at pass rushing, but when it comes to run defense the Vikings blow them out of the water. I'll take 40 sacks and allowing 70 yards per game on the ground over 50 sacks and 100 yards per game.

comahan
08-20-2008, 07:40 PM
As a Titans fan, I'm more worried about Rosenfels than Schaub when playing the Texans. Andre Johnson is a Top 5 WR when healthy, so having him back will help the offense - it was thriving when both Schaub and Johnson were healthy. But, Schaub was a statue and, in my opinion, got rattled too easily when we played them. Albert Haynesworth knocked Schaub out of the game @Houston, but Rosenfels came in and executed that offense much better. He would have led them back from a huge deficit and beaten us had it not been for some late game heroics.

I guess my point is that their best players are injury prone, their starting QB isn't much better than the backup, and the improvement of young players is likely. But, you also must assume that the other teams either got worse or stayed the same. I don't think Houston did enough immediate upgrades, nor did the other teams stay stagnant or get worse.

Schaub is lightyears better than Rosenfels, and one injury doesnt make a player injury prone.

Rosenfels had the pleasure of most of his starts coming when Andre was healthy. Schaub and Andre were only healthy at the same time last year for about 3 games.

Splat
08-20-2008, 07:42 PM
People say every year that Carolina will turn it on and play like they did the year they went to the SB but they never do they just always look good on paper.

bigbluedefense
08-20-2008, 07:55 PM
I think the Giants dline will be very solid against the run this year. My main concern was the play of our DTs, and so far they look lightyears better than last year with a year under their belt with the new scheme, and getting their bodies in shape to accustom the new scheme. The reason why our run D was top 13ish last year instead of top 5 like some other defenses was bc of our DTs, and Kiwi's adjustment at SAM. If they play the way i expect them to play this year, along with how good Kiwi looks, i expect a dramatic improvement. If you compare how this defense looks against the run this year to how it did against the run the same time last year, its a day and night difference.


I also feel that Jared Allen's addition to Minny is being overrated. Its a great acquisition, but its also being overrated. Once teams figure out that all they have to do is double Allen and run bootleg in Pat Williams direction, forcing him to be the disruptor who needs to seal the edge, Minny is gonna have a problem. Especially since they have a questionable secondary.


Furthermore, the Giants dline is infinitely more versatile. We can drop any of our 4 guys in zone coverage at any time, and can move them around in different positions, and can stunt and twist better than any line in the league easily. We're without question better at rushing the passer, and i think we'll surprise some ppl with our run stuffing this year as well.

Don't get me wrong, Id take either dline any day of the week, I just feel that our dline is the best in the league bar none. Just a personal opinion.

I also feel that ppl are sleeping on the Bear's dline, and that the Bear's dline is on par with the Vikings.

Ppl forget that the role of our DTs are strictly run thumpers for 2 downs. They play that role well, and will play it even better this year knowing what that role is.

Another overlooked point is that Pat Williams isn't a 3 down player anymore and is getting older and older. That dline is great for 2 downs, but on 3rd and long they are probably top 8 at rushing the passer.

Their pass rush is being exaggerated.

Shiver
08-20-2008, 08:14 PM
The Giants are probably more versatile, and probably better at rushing the passer, but not by much. The Vikings' run defense will be spectacular, they gave up 70 YPG at 3.1 YPC and they might be better this year. As I said I would rather have 3.1 YPC against and 70 YPG than having ten or twelve more sacks and only having an above average run defense.

Besides, I disagree that 'all you have to do is double Allen.' Those did not stop him in Kansas City, where he racked up more than a sack per game with zero help from anyone else. Kevin Williams has ten sack potential at DT. Pat Williams is "only a two down player," but that's all they need from him.

Splat
08-20-2008, 08:22 PM
If you want to bootleg you should bootleg to Jared Allen's side he is so fast off the snap that he over runs the play he has got alot better vs the run since his rookie year but he still can't stop the boot.

To me Jared Allen only has two down sides (On The Field) the bootleg and running out of steam late in games he is pretty much a ghost in the 4th quarter.

The man just goes balls to the wall every snap and he just doesn't have any thing left late in a game that being said he has never had much next to him so he had to fight off double teams the whole game.

bigbluedefense
08-20-2008, 08:23 PM
Doubling Allen on a bootleg is very different from doubling him on a standard drop back.

I think their pass rush is being over exaggerated honestly. Allen is one of the best DEs in the game, but he's not going to get 40 sacks by himself. Williams is a DT at the end of the day, he's looking at 9 sacks if he's lucky. Chances are he's looking more along the lines of 6. They have 1.5 pass rushers on that line. I don't see where all the sacks are gonna come from. I know you reference the Baltimore dline of 2000, remember they weren't dominant at rushing the passer either.

They don't have a single CB to hang their hat on either. We weren't exactly the Raiders in coverage ourselves, but we at least had Ross who we could trust on an island. The Vikings have bigger question marks in the secondary than we did last year. you can gameplan around the Vikings dline a lot easier than ours.

I do not question their dominance against the run though. They are the best in that regards. I just think as an overall package though, the Giants edge them out.

Caddy
08-20-2008, 08:35 PM
Tampa Bay is ancient

I really think because of Garcia, Galloway, Brooks and Barber get a reputation for being an old football team, but they do have a lot of youth on offense on defense. The whole offensive line is extremely young with none starting longer than 3 years except Jeff Faine. BJ Askew and Earnest Graham both have plenty of tread left on their wheels and Alex Smith, Michael Clayton, Maurice Stovall, Antonio Bryant and Dexter Jackson have all flirted with us by showcasing their potential.

Combine that with Aqib Talib, Tanard Jackson, Jermaine Phillips, Barrett Ruud, Cato June, Phillip Buchanon, Greg White, Jovan Haye and Gaines A dams who are all pretty much starters on defense and are all sub 30.

I just don't think Tampa are as ancient as people are giving them credit for. Other than Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber, Jeff Garcia and Joey Galloway (Who all still better than many of the young players in the league) Tampa just doesn't have a lot of other old players.

TJacobs41
08-20-2008, 08:44 PM
People say every year that Carolina will turn it on and play like they did the year they went to the SB but they never do they just always look good on paper.

Agreed....

I always say, football isn't played on paper... unless you are playing paper football, but that is really just playing WITH paper...

bigbluedefense
08-20-2008, 08:45 PM
Carolina isn't a paper champ. If anything theyre the opposite.

I agree with him. Carolina has a great LB core, underrated secondary, and if Peppers can come back to form a good enough pass rush.

Offensively, theyll be good enough as long as they stay committed to the run and Dellhomme is healthy.

TJacobs41
08-20-2008, 08:47 PM
Carolina isn't a paper champ. If anything theyre the opposite.

I agree with him. Carolina has a great LB core, underrated secondary, and if Peppers can come back to form a good enough pass rush.

Offensively, theyll be good enough as long as they stay committed to the run and Dellhomme is healthy.

Now that I think about it, Delhomme did miss pretty much the whole season... he has always been one of my favorite quarterbacks and if he can inspire this team and stay healthy they might be able to make a playoff run...

Splat
08-20-2008, 08:54 PM
Carolina isn't a paper champ. If anything theyre the opposite.

I agree with him. Carolina has a great LB core, underrated secondary, and if Peppers can come back to form a good enough pass rush.

Offensively, theyll be good enough as long as they stay committed to the run and Dellhomme is healthy.

I'm not saying they can't be a good team but fact is they have only made it back to the playoffs once since their SB year I won't believe it till I see it.

Rjspartan
08-20-2008, 08:54 PM
Carolina isn't a paper champ. If anything theyre the opposite.

I agree with him. Carolina has a great LB core, underrated secondary, and if Peppers can come back to form a good enough pass rush.

Offensively, theyll be good enough as long as they stay committed to the run and Dellhomme is healthy.

we saw that when healthy carolina can be one of the best teams in the NFC. Dellhomme in only 3 games last year had 8 TDs and 1 INT. Last year Deangelo Williams had 5 yards per carry. and we went 7-9 last year with no good QB play. so yes Carolina is the most underachieving team in the NFL but when healthy and focus they are really good!

Shiver
08-20-2008, 09:57 PM
I think their pass rush is being over exaggerated honestly. Allen is one of the best DEs in the game, but he's not going to get 40 sacks by himself. Williams is a DT at the end of the day, he's looking at 9 sacks if he's lucky. Chances are he's looking more along the lines of 6. They have 1.5 pass rushers on that line. I don't see where all the sacks are gonna come from. I know you reference the Baltimore dline of 2000, remember they weren't dominant at rushing the passer either.


They had 38 sacks last year, without Allen....

Dr. Gonzo
08-20-2008, 10:36 PM
Doubling Allen on a bootleg is very different from doubling him on a standard drop back.

I think their pass rush is being over exaggerated honestly. Allen is one of the best DEs in the game, but he's not going to get 40 sacks by himself. Williams is a DT at the end of the day, he's looking at 9 sacks if he's lucky. Chances are he's looking more along the lines of 6. They have 1.5 pass rushers on that line. I don't see where all the sacks are gonna come from. I know you reference the Baltimore dline of 2000, remember they weren't dominant at rushing the passer either.

They don't have a single CB to hang their hat on either. We weren't exactly the Raiders in coverage ourselves, but we at least had Ross who we could trust on an island. The Vikings have bigger question marks in the secondary than we did last year. you can gameplan around the Vikings dline a lot easier than ours.

I do not question their dominance against the run though. They are the best in that regards. I just think as an overall package though, the Giants edge them out.

In his first two years Kevin Williams had 10.5 and 11.5 sacks. Now sure he stats have dropped off the past few years but that is because he is doubled constantly. Teams will not be able to double both Williams and Jared Allen and that is why he is addition to the team will so extremly impactful. Our DT's are far and away the best in the league and people underated Ray Edwards a whole lot.

As for the secondary I believe we also get incredibly underated there. A lot of our problems last year stemmed from Dwight Smith. He is old and slow and his presence at Safett required Darren Sharper to do a whole lot more then he should have been. This year we will have Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams. Two young Safeties who can bring speed back to the position and allow Shaper to do what he does best, make plays. As for our CB's I am completly confident in both Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin. They may not be top flight cover corners but they play the game hard and are tackling machines. Cedric Griffin should benifit from another year in the system and Antoine Winfield should one again be able to be counted on to ge a great CB. As far as depth we have Marcus McCauley who was a steal when we drafted him and will no doubt be much improved and the incredibly underated Charles Gordon who was steadily improved his whole career. Add that to the fact that much of the problems from our secondary came from no pass rush which is the worst problem a team can have in the Tampa 2 and now that problem is fixed. I think our D is strong all around and will be a force to be reckoned with next year. The Giants have a great D but I believe Minnesota's D will be special.

djp
08-20-2008, 10:40 PM
Doubling Allen on a bootleg is very different from doubling him on a standard drop back.

I think their pass rush is being over exaggerated honestly. Allen is one of the best DEs in the game, but he's not going to get 40 sacks by himself. Williams is a DT at the end of the day, he's looking at 9 sacks if he's lucky. Chances are he's looking more along the lines of 6. They have 1.5 pass rushers on that line. I don't see where all the sacks are gonna come from. I know you reference the Baltimore dline of 2000, remember they weren't dominant at rushing the passer either.

They don't have a single CB to hang their hat on either. We weren't exactly the Raiders in coverage ourselves, but we at least had Ross who we could trust on an island. The Vikings have bigger question marks in the secondary than we did last year. you can gameplan around the Vikings dline a lot easier than ours.

I do not question their dominance against the run though. They are the best in that regards. I just think as an overall package though, the Giants edge them out.

I'll take Antoine Winfield over any corner on the Giants.. the depth is where we fall short.

Burns336
08-20-2008, 11:43 PM
[QUOTE=bigbluedefense;1180527]As much as I love Minny's dline, I don't see how its better than ours. QUOTE]

Even with Strahan that would have been a tough argument to make. The Williams' Boys plus Jared Allen will definitely be the gold standard in the league this year. Any of them would simply wreak havoc if single-blocked, and as good as Osi is, and as good as Tuck and the gang might be, they're not on the same level.

You speak as if it is that simple. I could very easily argue that Tuck is the best out of all of them. Plus you can push Tuck inside and drop Kiwi back down to DE and I think you get much more pressure off the edge than Minny does.

With Strahan, and the rotation they had, I would say they are easily better than Minny.

Where is minny's depth? No where near what the Giants were working with last year.

I still don't know why the Giants are so disrespected. People need to get it through their heads that they came in and stopped the 3 best offenses in the league, not to mention they were 3 of the highest scoring offenses in the last number of years. They beat 2 teams that were 13-3 and another team that was undefeated.

BlindSite
08-21-2008, 12:00 AM
Giants have the capability of executing successful game plans their coaches have set out, and that alone makes them a dangerous team.

Their scheme defensively is predicated on pressure and no team in the NFL is better built to exert that.

Their offense's quick strike ability which is well documented means that if they can get points on the board first they'll be a difficult team to stop.

Paranoidmoonduck
08-21-2008, 12:18 AM
Overall, everything looks great Shiver.

The Minnesota dicussion is an interesting one. Assuming that all three of their potential starters don't completely hamstring that offense and Adrian Peterson can stay on the field into the playoffs (far from certain), the real question is how big a jump that defense can make. There is potential. Adding a disruptive force like Allen will force teams to approach that defense differently and I expect him to function at a high level on that Tampa 2 D. However, we're going to have to see improvement from the rest of that unit, and there's only so much Allen and Kevin Williams can do. I think they'll generate enough pass rush, but their secondary is going to have to make passing the ball more unnattractive than Allen can make it by himself.

I see potential for the jump from average team to deep playoff contender. That said, I'm not sure it happens this year. If Peterson is healthy, that defense would have to be excellent. If Peterson isn't healthy, they need to be as dominant as Baltimore in 2000 and as opportunistic as Tampa Bay in 2002 (at the very least). I just don't think they ultimately have the talent to do that.

kalbears13
08-21-2008, 12:47 AM
The Cleveland Browns are destined to disappoint.


These guys are the trendy pick in the AFC North. Do not count on me jumping on that bandwagon anytime soon. I think there are three reasons not to trust the Cleveland Browns:
1. Last year the Browns offense relied on the surprising emergence of Derek Anderson and the rebirth of Jamal Lewis as a competent RB. I think that it is entirely possible that either, or both, could regress back to what we thought of them. Jamal Lewis' has a history of injuries and he is only getting older. Derek Anderson actually showed signs of regression last year when he finished the season with a 12/10 TD/INT ratio in the last eight games, and his completion percentage is well below average as is. Any bad performances and the fanbase clamors for Brady Quinn, and the ensuing QB controversy would distrubt team unity.
2. A defense that still has question marks. Yes I know they signed a few big 'name' players on the D-Line, but I question how much they will help. Shaun Rogers' girth didn't help the Lions run defense, which happened to be in the bottom half of the league. Rogers' endurance and stamina were big question marks and he wasn't even playing the nose tackle in a 3-4. He has the potential, sure, but I think skepticism is in order.
3. The hardest schedule in the league. They have a murderers' row of a schedule, drawing the AFC South and NFC East. Even if the Browns are a better overall team in '08 it will be very, very difficult to equal last year's ten wins.

The Emergence/Rebirth of Anderson/Lewis was probably mostly from the OLine. I doubt they put up the same numbers they did last year because this year (which brings me to #3) their schedule is one of the harder schedules. They will be playing some of the best defenses in the League so their numbers will most likely go down accordingly. Their strength of schedule is a 3 way tie for 7th. The Steelers (what seems to be the biggest contender for the division title) have the most difficult schedule. Baltimore has the 4th toughest (3 way tie) and Cincinnati is tied with Cleveland. And for #2, barring injuries, Shaun rogers is in a 4 man rotation so hopefully he gets some rest. For the Browns to have a successful season this year, they don't have to win 10 games. With the AFC North's schedule, 8 or 9 wins might be enough to make the playoffs and I believe 10 wins and no playoffs is more disappointing than 8 or 9 wins and the playoffs. But I agree with you that their offense might not be the crazy awesomeness you saw last year.

Dam8610
08-21-2008, 01:52 AM
I couldn't disagree more about the Browns. Remember Tony Romo last year? That's what Derek Anderson is this year. He could prove himself, and if he doesn't, they have the QB they planned to be the face of their franchise waiting in the wings. I'll give you Jamal Lewis and Shaun Rogers are potential concerns, but Rogers is in a position more suited to his playing style now, and he still has the ability to dominate a game. As for schedule, while I agree that they're playing the two toughest divisions in the NFL, strength of schedule in the preseason means close to nothing.

Minnesota riding their D and ground game to a championship? That'd be rough if they came up against any of the top 3 teams in the AFC, provided they made it to the Super Bowl. Manning and Brady would still probably pick their pass defense apart, and The Chargers would force that game into Tarvaris Jackson's hands. I can see them winning about 11 games and maybe the NFC North this year, but their QB play isn't even going to be at Trent Dilfer's level unless Jackson improves (which is sad).

Patriots @ Chargers the marquee matchup of the year? Well, I guess that means:

Radar

______________________

Colts

which I'm perfectly fine with.

The Carolina Panthers as a surprise team? I've seen that prediction too many times the past few years, I'll believe it when I see it.

Eli is still the same QB? I completely disagree. For one, he's got a worthwhile #2 receiver and a TE who's actually going to concentrate on the game. Better yet, he developed a chemistry with both of them in the postseason. Combine that with Plaxico actually being healthy and he'll have a full compliment of weapons. His decision making skills vastly improved during the postseason run, and with all of the players that helped him improve returning, I don't see how he'd regress to his former self.

Shiver
08-24-2008, 01:05 AM
I saw this post, but I have been too busy to appropriately respond. On to the point-by-point rebuttal.

I couldn't disagree more about the Browns. Remember Tony Romo last year? That's what Derek Anderson is this year. He could prove himself, and if he doesn't, they have the QB they planned to be the face of their franchise waiting in the wings. I'll give you Jamal Lewis and Shaun Rogers are potential concerns, but Rogers is in a position more suited to his playing style now, and he still has the ability to dominate a game. As for schedule, while I agree that they're playing the two toughest divisions in the NFL, strength of schedule in the preseason means close to nothing.

Last year the Browns beat the:

Bengals
Ravens
Dolphins
Rams
Seahawks
Texans
Jets
Bills
49ers

I would say that, with exception to the Seahawks, they didn't beat any good teams. Even if preseason schedules have a margin of error, and they do, I would say that playing the AFC South and NFC East is most likely going to be drastically challenging for the Browns. I could be wrong, and maybe those divisions won't be very good, but I doubt it.

Anderson is this year's Romo? Perhaps, I just think that his peak performances last year were no where close to Romo's breakout season. And Romo was always more accurate, albeit careless with the football at times.

Minnesota riding their D and ground game to a championship? That'd be rough if they came up against any of the top 3 teams in the AFC, provided they made it to the Super Bowl. Manning and Brady would still probably pick their pass defense apart, and The Chargers would force that game into Tarvaris Jackson's hands. I can see them winning about 11 games and maybe the NFC North this year, but their QB play isn't even going to be at Trent Dilfer's level unless Jackson improves (which is sad).Not quite "championship," don't get me wrong. I think the Vikings may ride their ground game and defense to home field advantage in the playoffs and a good shot at grinding out an NFC championship. I don't like to predict Super Bowl winners. Too much comes down to who gets hot at the right time and that is impossible to determine now.

Patriots @ Chargers the marquee matchup of the year? Well, I guess that means:

Radar

______________________

Colts

which I'm perfectly fine with.Peyton, Marvin, Dwight all have injuries clouds hovering over the team. That is the only reason I elevate this game to the top. The Colts always seem to be in it though so we will see.

The Carolina Panthers as a surprise team? I've seen that prediction too many times the past few years, I'll believe it when I see it.Not from me you haven't.

Eli is still the same QB? I completely disagree. For one, he's got a worthwhile #2 receiver and a TE who's actually going to concentrate on the game. Better yet, he developed a chemistry with both of them in the postseason. Combine that with Plaxico actually being healthy and he'll have a full compliment of weapons. His decision making skills vastly improved during the postseason run, and with all of the players that helped him improve returning, I don't see how he'd regress to his former self.I don't care how annoying Shockey could be, there is no way that Kevin Boss can come close to his level of performance. And I wouldn't count on Plaxico Burress either. His contract season could take the pep out of his step. He is one of 'those guys' after all.

I just do not buy into the idea that one play, one game, one stretch of performances can fundamentally change who you are as a player five years into your career. His "former self" isn't necessarily bad either, the Giants have made the playoffs every season where he has been the starter. I just do not see him becoming an "elite" QB that's all.

Race for the Heisman
08-24-2008, 10:27 AM
The '08 Vikings remind me of the '06 Bears.

As for Eli Manning, he's just Rex Grossman, with a little more consistency and a better supporting cast.

toonsterwu
08-24-2008, 11:29 PM
Eh, haven't been following preseason all that much. My stab at guessing the season with full right to change my mind if I get around to following the NFL soon:

NFC East

1. Dallas - Arguably the most talented team in the entire league.
2. Washington - I can see 2-4 in any older. If the old guys on Washington stay healthy, though, they could be good.
3. New York Giants - Even before Osi, I wasn't sure (there was an irc chat a few months back where I said that as well). I'm less certain now, and I wonder if their OL can repeat their top performance from a year ago.
4. Philadelphia - 2 months ago, I really loved this team. Thought it was ready to take a step forward. Just not sure anymore, but as stated, could see 2-4 in any order.

NFC North

1. Minnesota - I actually don't love this team - but Aaron Rodgers has to show me something first for me to buy the Packers repeating. Add in the fact that they added key players at key spots ... sorta hard not to pick them. Won't be surprised if they don't win, though.
2. Detroit - I think this team will be more Rod Marinelli than Tampa 2. It'll be more physical. If there was an impact DL talent, a guy to force attention, I might buy them winning the division.
3. Green Bay - They have a good enough core to carry a young QB, although there are definitely some questions, primarily on the DL. It'll come down to Rodgers, though. I can see 1-3 in any order.
4. Chicago - The OL won't be horrible, but it won't be good. Kyle Orton won't be horrible, but will he be good? There's a sliver of possibility that the Bears put it together, but the defense has to step up, and a lot, a lot of things have to go right.

NFC South.

1. New Orleans Saints - On paper, just nasty. If Dallas isn't the most talented team in the league, then it just might be the Saints (although certainly, several AFC teams would challenge that - and talent only goes so far). Depth at DL should help big time, the defense SHOULD be better. If Payton gets an effective run game, they'll be tough to beat.
2. Carolina Panthers - I don't know why. I like the Buccaneers team better, but I'm going with the Panthers for some reason that I am not real sure on.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - I like this team, but I just wonder. See above. I like the young OL, I like the talent on defense. Dunno ... I can see 2 and 3 flipped.
4. Atlanta Falcons - Rebuilding.

NFC West

1. Seattle Seahawks - I really don't want to pick them ... but really, who else?
2. Arizona Cardinals - Was leaning towards putting them lower if they had Leinart (geesh, I thought Leinart might be Trent Dilfer - it seems debatable if he'll even be that) in there. I like Warner. So ... this is a young team huh? Warner/James? Good enough to push, but enough issues to hold them back, I think.
3. St. Louis Rams - I really like the feel on this team, but I think 2009-2010 is a more realistic push year ... if Linehan survives. Another year, and Avery/Burton are more acclimated, the OL may have more definite answers.
4. San Francisco 49ers - Color me not sold on the JT O'Sullivan train. I can see 3/4 flipped.

NFC Playoffs:

As of now, I'm going

1. New Orleans Saints 2. Dallas Cowboys 3. Minnesota Vikings 4. Seattle Seahawks 5. Washington Redskins 6. Detroit Lions

Round 1: QB Play makes a difference

6. Detroit over 3. Minnesota
4. Seattle over 5. Washington

Round 2: All about Pressure - Dallas wins! Dallas wins!

1. New Orleans over 6. Detroit
2. Dallas over 4. Seattle

Round 3: It's my life ... it's now or never - no idea on a title

1. New Orleans over 2. Dallas

AFC EAst

1. New England Patriots - They won't be 16-0, but they will be good.
2. New York Jets - Favre has some Montana magic in him, and he's on a better team than given credit for.
3. Buffalo Bills - Young guns need another year.
4. Miami Dolphins - I actually think they may be intriguing, but it should be another year.

AFC North

1. Cincinnati Bengals - I feel like I'm on something, as I really like this team. HEalth is everything in the NFL, but if healthy, here's a solid OL with a lot of receiving options. I like Zimmer on D. I know ... Bengals?
2. Cleveland Browns - Like Minnesota, I just wonder about this squad. DOn't love the D ... wonder about consistency on O.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers - Part of me says division champs. Let me rethink this.
4. Baltimore Ravens - Another year for Flacco to settle in.

AFC South

1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Everything feels right.
2. Indianapolis Colts - One of these days, I'll finally get it right - the year that the Colts are dethroned. Is it this year? I do like this Colts squad a lot.
3. Tennessee Titans - Is Vince ready to take a step forward?
4. Houston Texans - Tough division to be in.

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers - Okay, losing Merriman would hurt. This is still a ridiculously talented team, though.
2. Denver Broncos - I really want to pick the Cutlers, but I think they are another year away.
3. Oakland Raiders - I think Lane Kiffin needs time that he won't get (although I think he'll be happy about not getting it). I like the feel of this team if Lane has time.
4. Kansas City Chiefs - Once upon a time in IRC, I said I thought the Chiefs might win 6 games. I don't buy that.

AFC Playoffs:

1. New England Patriots
2. San Diego Chargers
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
4. Cincinnati Bengals
5. Indianapolis Colts
6. New York Jets

AFC Playoffs: The Experience Factor

6. New York Jets over 3. Jacksonville Jaguars
5. Indianaplis Colts over 4. Cincinnati Bengals

AFC Round 2: About those QB's

1. New England Patriots over 6. New York Jets
5. Indianapolis Colts over 2. San Diego Chargers

AFC Title Game: Again???

1. New England Patriots over 5. Indianapolis Colts

The "This is so not happening" Super Bowl for now:

1. New Orleans Saints over 1. New England Patriots

Dam8610
08-25-2008, 12:29 AM
I saw this post, but I have been too busy to appropriately respond. On to the point-by-point rebuttal.



Last year the Browns beat the:

Bengals
Ravens
Dolphins
Rams
Seahawks
Texans
Jets
Bills
49ers

I would say that, with exception to the Seahawks, they didn't beat any good teams. Even if preseason schedules have a margin of error, and they do, I would say that playing the AFC South and NFC East is most likely going to be drastically challenging for the Browns. I could be wrong, and maybe those divisions won't be very good, but I doubt it.

Last year, the Browns had a defense you could run all over. I don't see that happening again.

Anderson is this year's Romo? Perhaps, I just think that his peak performances last year were no where close to Romo's breakout season. And Romo was always more accurate, albeit careless with the football at times.

Romo was a breakout QB in 2006 that people didn't know what to make of in 2007, that is the comparison I was trying to draw. Since this post, he's had a concussion, so Brady Quinn could end up getting his shot come week 1. Regardless of who ends up being their QB this year, I think they're going to get good QB play, because either Anderson comes back and lights it up, or Anderson comes back, struggles, and gets pulled for Quinn.

Not quite "championship," don't get me wrong. I think the Vikings may ride their ground game and defense to home field advantage in the playoffs and a good shot at grinding out an NFC championship. I don't like to predict Super Bowl winners. Too much comes down to who gets hot at the right time and that is impossible to determine now.

Completely agree about the postseason, I was kind of looking for a clarification there.

Peyton, Marvin, Dwight all have injuries clouds hovering over the team. That is the only reason I elevate this game to the top. The Colts always seem to be in it though so we will see.

Freeney played tonight, Marvin has played every preseason game except the HOF game, and Manning walked with no noticeable limp tonight. Right now, I'd be a lot more concerned about Shawne Merriman than any of these three.

Not from me you haven't.

I'm not saying you've said it, I'm just saying the Panthers have been thought of as an immensely talented team for a while now, yet they keep having records around 8-8.

I don't care how annoying Shockey could be, there is no way that Kevin Boss can come close to his level of performance. And I wouldn't count on Plaxico Burress either. His contract season could take the pep out of his step. He is one of 'those guys' after all.

I just do not buy into the idea that one play, one game, one stretch of performances can fundamentally change who you are as a player five years into your career. His "former self" isn't necessarily bad either, the Giants have made the playoffs every season where he has been the starter. I just do not see him becoming an "elite" QB that's all.

People who have the time/get paid to do this type of research have actually done a study that shows that almost every player sees a big jump in production in a contract year. As for Eli, He did better down the stretch, I think that will build his confidence, and IMO the difference between Boss and Shockey (slight downgrade) isn't as big as the difference in his receiving corps (big upgrade) coming into this season. Steve Smith looks like he can get open in a phone booth, and either Sinorice Moss or Amani Toomer will be his slot receiver. At the very least, I think he's going to see a big jump in production this year. Maybe not to "elite" status, but definitely out of the type of performance that has Giants fans calling for his head.

Shiver
08-25-2008, 01:15 AM
Freeney played tonight, Marvin has played every preseason game except the HOF game, and Manning walked with no noticeable limp tonight. Right now, I'd be a lot more concerned about Shawne Merriman than any of these three.

As am I. That hurts them big time. What's the deal with Peyton Manning anyway? I have heard about eighteen different things about his status, and I figure you would know better than most.

Dam8610
08-25-2008, 01:20 AM
As am I. That hurts them big time. What's the deal with Peyton Manning anyway? I have heard about eighteen different things about his status, and I figure you would know better than most.

Well, he walked out of the stadium with no noticeable limp, and the most optimistic timelines I've seen have him back this week. He's right on schedule according to every source on the team, and he still has two weeks to the opener. I think it's going to take actual Colts pulling against him full force to keep him from extending his consecutive games started streak and starting the first meaningful game in what is basically his stadium.

BlindSite
08-25-2008, 01:47 AM
I'm not saying you've said it, I'm just saying the Panthers have been thought of as an immensely talented team for a while now, yet they keep having records around 8-8.


In 03 the team made the super bowl
In 04 there were 22 players on IR
In 05 the team made the NFCCG
In 06 there was no Steve Smith for the first two games, Jake Delhomme missed 3. The offense had a snap count all season of one and the offense grew completely stale as an old guard was cut and released and hacked away.
In 07 the team was assembled (more or less) and Delhomme went down for the year.

This team has changed vastly from the 06 unit but its improved across the board, Delhomme missed a season and the team still went 7-9.

I don't know how anyone can say that his loss for an entire season, the arrival of John Stewart, Mushin Muhummad, DJ Hackett, Otah, and Beason getting his first full season, can only equate to one more win. All the while the team has an easier schedule.

Shiver
08-25-2008, 02:20 AM
And it isn't as if they have a lot of competition.

Shiver
08-25-2008, 02:27 AM
An interesting thought I have had is that the AFC East is going to be much better than people think. The Jets and Bills have both made a bunch of additions and have young prospects on the rise. The Dolphins have Pennington now and they can't be worse than they were, quite frankly. The Patriots will still win the division, but it won't be the cakewalk it was last year. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the AFC East leapfrogs the AFC North and West.

Shiver
08-25-2008, 01:02 PM
Something I want to make clear before the season, so people do not jump to conclusions: I actually think Reggie Bush will have a 'rebound' season. I don't think he will ever live up to the hype of '06, but I think he will have his best season as a pro this year. I expect:

700 yards rushing
4.1 YPC
500 yards receiving

Flyboy
08-25-2008, 01:55 PM
Something I want to make clear before the season, so people do not jump to conclusions: I actually think Reggie Bush will have a 'rebound' season. I don't think he will ever live up to the hype of '06, but I think he will have his best season as a pro this year. I expect:

700 yards rushing
4.1 YPC
500 yards receiving

I know that was painful for you to admit.

Dam8610
08-25-2008, 02:01 PM
2. Indianapolis Colts - One of these days, I'll finally get it right - the year that the Colts are dethroned. Is it this year? I do like this Colts squad a lot.

That day will come when Peyton Manning retires, I think.

Shiver
08-25-2008, 02:37 PM
I know that was painful for you to admit.

1. He's on my fantasy team so I have to like him, kinda.

2. Mario Williams > Reggie Bush

SchizophrenicBatman
08-25-2008, 04:47 PM
People say every year that Carolina will turn it on and play like they did the year they went to the SB but they never do they just always look good on paper.

What people havent realized is that theyre doing the same thing with the Saints. With that said, the only thing I can be certain of about the NFC South is that the Falcons wont come in last place this season.

Also, 08 Browns = 07 Jets

awfullyquiet
08-25-2008, 05:17 PM
What people havent realized is that theyre doing the same thing with the Saints. With that said, the only thing I can be certain of about the NFC South is that the Falcons wont come in last place this season.

Also, 08 Browns = 07 Jets

08 browns oline > 07 jets oline
that right there makes the inequality true

Shiver
08-25-2008, 09:37 PM
Also, 08 Browns = 07 Jets

I think they are more like the '06 Jaguars. http://draftcountdown.com/forum/images/icons/icon10.gif

ShutDwn
08-25-2008, 09:57 PM
I'm not saying they can't be a good team but fact is they have only made it back to the playoffs once since their SB year I won't believe it till I see it.

You talk like people have predicted them to get to the superbowl every year since 2003. But that has really only happened once and that was in 2006. No one is talking about them this year either, even when they put up 47 points.

The Panthers are a solid team across the board right now. But they need to stay healthy and the lines need to come together. The first two games will be tough without Smith, but it finally seems that someone else (Williams and Stewart) will be able to carry the torch sometimes.

I don't know how good they will be, I think if they are healthy they will make the playoffs. Of course they could just lose a few crucial players like always and just drift to an 7-9 record.