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Number 10
09-07-2008, 11:39 AM
Sorry I got this up a couple days late.

NFC WEST

1 – San Francisco 49ers (9-7) (4-2) (7-5)

I have the Niners winning the division basically by default. The NFC West is an incredibly weak division, probably the worst in football. That aside, there are a few things I really like about this Niners team. First of all, I think their pass rush is going to be very much improved with the emergence of Manny Lawson and the consistency of Justin Smith. Their new defensive scheme looks a bit complicated, perhaps too complicated, but it should be good enough to make things happen. They need to take more chances on that side of the ball and it looks like they are going to make an all out effort to confuse opposing offenses. I really like JT O’Sullivan in this offense. There is something about him that makes me think he’s going to throw 25 TDs with a low INT total. He is a smart, grounded thrower that understands how to take what the defense gives him. Who will he be throwing all of those touchdowns to? Jason Hill and Vernon Davis are going to have big years in my book. Hill reminds me of a young Isaac Bruce, and who better to have around than Bruce himself? Davis has had the bust label thrown at him unfairly in my opinion. He hasn’t been used correctly and he has had some rough luck with injuries. Martz needs to send him vertical more because he is very impressive downfield, he can make a big impact on the deep passing game. Frank Gore will go as far as the offensive line takes him and while I am not completely sold on how good they can be, they looked pretty strong this preseason.

Breakout Player: Parys Haralson – LB

I’m not sure how much playing time the Niners are planning on giving Haralson early on, but he should and will see plenty of action as the year progresses. He has natural pass rushing ability and it’s tough to keep guys like that off the field. Haralson has an excellent burst, arguably better than Lawson, off the edge and really knows how to use his hands. He could end up leading the Niners in sacks if he gets enough time.

2 – St. Louis Rams (8-8) (3-3) (7-5)

The Rams have a lot of potential to be the surprise team of the NFL. Teams with a big time offense can usually hinder a weak defense throughout a 16 game schedule. Marc Bulger and the Rams offense was a complete joke in 2007, but that was very much due to one of the worst injury lists in the NFL. A healthy offensive line and Steven Jackson should allow that unit to put up a good amount of points considering the soft defensive schedule they will be up against. The question, as it seems to always be with the Rams, revolves around the defense. Up front they have a solid, young core that will be tough to beat. Adam Carriker really turned some heads as the year went on and you have to think Chris Long will have a big impact in his rookie season just because of the kind of player he is. Will Witherspoon remains one of the most underrated ‘backers in the game and if the line keeps blockers off him, he’ll have his name thrown into pro bowl discussion. The secondary however is what scares me and it will be this team’s Achilles heel. If they can get Tye Hill and Jonathan Wade to take their games to the next level along with a strong rookie campaign from Justin King, they could end up being the difference in a couple games and ultimately, the season.

Breakout Player: Brian Leonard – RB

I was a huge fan of Leonard’s leading into the 2007 draft but was disappointed whenever I had the opportunity to watch him last year. However you have to look at the offensive line and realize he had no room to run. He is not a back that escapes trouble but if he gets a seam, he is going to be an outstanding power back that breaks tackles and falls forward. He is an all around threat that should have a huge impact on that offense with healthy bodies around him.


3 – Seattle Seahawks (7-9) (2-4) (5-7)

Almost every time I watch the Seahawks play, I’m simply unimpressed. I know they have been winning that division with ease the past few years, but can anyone honestly debate the level of competition? Now that the division rivals have been getting stronger via the draft, the Seahawks are going to start getting exposed. Matt Hasselbeck is still a fine QB that fits in perfectly with their system, but without a running game, an aging offensive line, and mediocre targets, he could struggle to match his production he has put up in the past. And without their scoring, I’m not so sure their defense will be able to hold the fort. The LB core is the best in the NFL in my opinion and their defensive line is deep and dynamic. However Julian Peterson and Patrick Kearney aren’t going to match their production from a year ago and I don’t see anyone filling the void. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still strong players that could total close to 20 sacks this year, but both played out of their minds last season and I don’t see them staying there considering they’re both on the wrong side of 40. The secondary is very beatable unless Kelly Jennings ends up being a lot better than I think. On top of all that, I’m not in love with the depth the Seahawks have pretty much all over the roster. I think they’re one of the thinnest teams in the NFL and I always assume at least a few injuries when making preseason predictions especially with a veteran team like Seattle, and I don’t think they have the backups to keep them at a high level.

Breakout Player: Brandon Mebane – DT

When Mebane took over for Darby last year, I made sure I put the eyeball on him. I was very impressed with, as a rookie, how he handled the strength of the game right away. He really knows how to use his hands and leverage to his advantage and can be a disruptive force in the middle. He is quick enough to be a 5+ sack pass rusher and stout enough to stuff the run.

4 – Arizona Cardinals (6-10) (3-3) (6-6)

Don’t let the record deceive you. The Cardinals are right there with each team in this division, but there are just a few concerns that I think will lead them to the cellar of the division. They are in a transition year on defense with a lot of unknowns. Will Rolle finally live up to his physical potential now that he is playing a position that hinders his limitations? Tough to figure, but I assume there are going to be growing pains there. How about Cromartie’s rookie impact? He has the tools to be a playmaker just like his cousin, but again like his cousin he’ll need time and patience before he can handle every down duty in the NFL at a high level. The problem is, he may be forced into more action than he is ready for because the players in front of him leave a lot to be deisired. Are they going to get enough of a pass rush in their hybrid? Travis LaBoy and Chike Okeafor are disruptive players but they don’t strike any fear when it comes to rushing the passer. Neither of them are the edge talent that the departed Calvin Pace is. I know this though, their run defense is going to be one of the best in the NFC. Big bodies that can move along with Dansby roaming the middle will be tough to get by. The offense is again loaded with talent but without a true signal caller at the helm, their offense will be limited. Edgerrin James just doesn’t seem to have it anymore and there is nothing behind him to give them a strong 1-2 punch. The offensive line is headed in the right direction but will still hurt them more often than help.

Breakout Player: Ben Patrick – TE

Leonard Pope is a big time threat in the red zone, but I think Patrick is their overall best tight end. He is a superb blocker that has really improved as a pass catching threat. He is much more dynamic than Pope and should win the job from him if it isn’t won already. In an offense with Boldin and Fitzgerald, Patrick is going to find a ton of seams in the middle and could easily end up with 60+ catches.




NFC South

1 – New Orleans Saints (13-3) (6-0) (7-1)

As you can see, I like the Saint this season, a lot. Many forget this team finished the 2007 season 8-4 and while you are dying to point to their lack of talent on defense, remember they won those eight games in 12 weeks with a worse defense than what they currently have. Jonathan Vilma is an absolute monster in a 4-3 defense, he simply couldn’t hack in the physical 3-4. He has all the range in the world and doesn’t miss tackles, period. The other acquisition that is being overlooked by too many is Bob McCray. With him, Charles Grant, and Will Smith the Saints appear ready to follow suit of the Giants in putting three ends and their top pass rushing tackle in at the same time in passing situations. McCray won’t ever be a top edge talent, but he is good enough to start on a lot of teams in this league right now. Sedrick Ellis should have a good year because unlike some other rookie DTs of the past, he won’t be relied upon to play every down as the Saints have solid depth behind him. The secondary still stinks, yes. But with an improved pass rush and the emergence of Roman Harper, they should be able to put a cap on the amount of deep balls they fell suspect to in 2007. Offensively this unit is as close to the Patriots as there is in the league. I am expecting huge years out of Jeremy Shockey and Marques Colston. Shockey had his best years when Sean Payton was calling the shots because he knows how to use a pass catching tight end. Now that he has one to play with, Colston will see less double teams and imagine what he’ll do now that he will have less focus on him. The running game needs to get going for Brees to be as effective as he can be, and that lies not with Reggie Bush but with the big boys up front. They have dominated on enough occasions for me to believe they can get the job done, meaning that offense is going to be near unstoppable.

Breakout Player: Robert Meachem-WR

This is a bit of a cliché pick but I had to go with it, simply makes too much sense. While the Saints to a good job of spreading the ball around, Meachem is going to develop into the downfield threat in an offense that will have so much of the opposing defense’s attention on Shockey, Bush, and Colston. Meachem will see plenty of one on one matchups and with his speed, height, and ability to go up and get the ball, those chances downfield are going to result in a ton of big plays.

2 – Carolina Panthers (9-7) (3-3) (5-7)

The Panthers have the potential to be a 10 win team, and I really mean that. I’ve learned to appreciate what Jake Delhomme can do as a quarterback and with an improved group up front and a dangerous rushing attack, that offense could really soar. I’m liking the Stewart-Williams duo, but I question if they can stay healthy. Both seem like injury prone backs but with one spelling the other, it could lessen the possibility of a messy injury situation. Carolina has one of the most underrated lines in the league, perhaps THE most underrated line. Jordan Gross pretty much moves positions every year (I think Otah is the long term LT before all is said and done) yet he continues to play at a high level no matter where he’s at. I think Otah will have the same kind of impact that Marcus McNeill and Tony Ugoh had in year one. I understand he is playing on the right side where as the other two were on the left, but he’ll show the same kind of dominance those two did at an early stage. Defensively it revolves around one player, Julius Peppers. Many here think that he is far down my list in terms of defensive end rankings because of the whole Osi ordeal (patting myself on the back). Well it’s not true, I think Peppers can still be a top 5 end in this league and now that he has been humbled quite a bit, I think we can expect to see him post a big year. Noone has ever denied him of his physical ability, it’s just his lack of consistency and lack of technique that kept him from being the elite of the elite. I expect him to play with hunger all year long. Their LB core is probably the deepest in football and that is huge because that is a position that always seems to pop up on the injury list hard and fast. The secondary is improved and their top three CBs simply had an off year in 2007. Maybe it was the scheme, maybe it was the coaching, but I think they will bounce back strong.

Breakout Player: Damione Lewis – DT

The Panthers overall defensive attack should be a lot more balanced than it was a year ago. Thomas Davis is capable of putting pressure on the passer as a blitzer, Peppers is primed for a big year, and John Fox is a defensive mastermind. Lewis has all the tools around him to set him up for a big year. While he is not one of those unstoppable forces, he knows how to rush the passer and with all of the one on one matchups he’ll be seeing, he could really help collapse that pocket and end up with a lot of Peppers-Davis forced sacks.

3 – Atlanta Falcons (5-11) (2-4) (3-9)

With Matt Ryan likely being the starter for the entire season, Atlanta is going to struggle to win those close games. You can point to Big Ben, but he had a top notch defense and a top notch running game to work with and Ryan has neither. I like his potential and I think the Falcons got off to a fantastic start under the new regime when you consider their draft class, but there is still a long way to go. The offensive line appears to be improved on paper and Michael Turner is an outstanding back. However there will be issue with consistency and the depth in the trenches looks awful right now. If someone goes down on that line, Matt Ryan is going to have a ton of trouble headed his way. If he has the time however, he has some interesting options in the passing game. I am a believer in Roddy White as I think he is going to match the production he put out in 2007 for years to come. Defensively I think the Falcons are going to have a tough time against the run, I just don’t like their line. Jamaal Anderson had a terrible rookie campaign and while I’m not ready to give up on him, I just don’t see the high ceiling there. John Abraham is mediocre against the run, thus the DTs are going to have a ton of pressure on them. Can they step up? Not from what I see. The linebacker unit is top notch and believe it or not, Curtis Lofton was the 12th rated player on my 2008 draft board. With Brooking and Boley flying around next to him, they could make up for the major deficiencies in front of them. However as the season takes a toll on their bodies, it’s going to be easy to run on them. Behind them there is a group of defensive backs that can impress you depending on the day you watch them, however it is going to come down to the consistency of Williams and Houston if they are going to make up for their terrible 2007.

Breakout Player: Justin Blalock – OL

Blalock looked lost at times last year but what impressed me was how he bounced back after a rough week. He can be as dominant as a run blocker can be in this game and I have noticed that year two is, more often than not, head and shoulders better than their rookie year. If he can stay in those dominant flashes he showed last year, the Falcons running game could end up being a major force.

4 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) (1-5) (3-9)

From division winner to the division cellar, this will be a surprise to some. I think the Bucs overachieved last year to the fullest extent and were fortunate that their NFC South opponents all had down years at the same time. The only part of this team I really like is their starting group on the offensive line, however their depth there leaves a lot to be desired. Can Earnest Graham repeat his 2007? I’d be shocked and what’s there behind him should he hit a wall? The passing game doesn’t scare anyone, especially when your top two players are very close to the end of their careers (Garcia, Galloway). I see them really struggling to put up points, especially late in the year where the depth usually needs to step up. Defensively they will still be solid but again I question how strong they are behind their gray bearded veterans. Derrick Brooks looked like a different player to me last season, almost a non factor. The pass rush is going to rely on Gaines Adams and he is a guy I have never been impressed with, dating back to his days at Clemson. He just lacks the explosion to consistently beat tackles to the edge and he has never been a power rushing threat. Just an average defensive end to me. The secondary is a strength, and I think Aqib Talib is going to have a very good rookie campaign. He fits in perfectly with the scheme and has probably the best tutor in Ronde Barber, another veteran who is clearly on the decline, to teach him the way that position needs to be played. All in all, the Bucs are going to have a tough schedule on their hands and I simply don’t think they have the guns to combat it.

Breakout Player: Alex Smith – TE

Picking a tight end within this offensive scheme is a bit risky, but I see the Bucs relying on Smith a lot more this year. Ike Hillard and Joey Galloway both peaked last season and I don’t see them reaching that point again. The passes are going to need to go elsewhere and Smith, with his reliable hands, is going to be looked to often.





NFC North

1 – Minnesota Vikings (11-5) (3-3) (8-4)

Many are ready to throw Minnesota home field advantage after the offseason they had, but they still have some serious concerns before they can be labeled a big time winner. With that said, they have the recipe for success. Have a strong running game and stuff your opponent’s running game. One of the best run defenses in the NFL from a year ago added perhaps the top run defending defensive end in the NFL while returning the top defensive tackle tandem in the NFL. Their overlooked linebackers can do it all when it comes to pursuit and attacking downhill. You put all of that together and teams simply won’t be able to run on them. The secondary was atrocious last season because of a lack of a pass rush and development at the corner spots. Both areas have been vastly upgraded and you have to think they can, at the very least, finish in the middle of the pack there. Offensively I understand their passing game is going to be inconsistent, but when you have the Adrian Peterson backed by Chestor Taylor running through lanes created by a mauling offensive line that gets a boost when McKinnie returns, there is very little pressure on how a team can throw the ball. The recipe is simple for this smashmouth team and they have some of the top ingredients to cook it. Plain and simple.

Breakout Player: Ray Edwards – DE

There is going to be so much attention thrown on the likes of Kevin Williams and Jared Allen that teams are going to look past one impressive physical specimen in Edwards. He needed a lot of work on technique and what not, but Edwards is ready for a big year. He is and will never be a dominant player, but I see him having one of those12 sack seasons that comes out of nowhere.

2 – Green Bay Packers (10-6) (6-0) (9-3)

The Packers match up with their NFC North opponents very well. Those are the games that Aaron Rodgers will not have trouble with but when they are matched up against a team with a strong secondary and a team that can out up a lot of points, they’re going to struggle. Too much is put into the change at QB when evaluating this team because they Packers run a QB friendly system with a strong group of reliable receivers and a potent rushing attack. However with that said, Rodgers lacks the it factor and I’m not sold on his ability to bring his team downfield and win games in the finals minutes. The defense lost arguably the best player on Corey Williams but the depth on that defensive front is some of the best I have seen, and they will be able to use a healthy rotation to create matchup problems for offensive lines. The LB core is still intact and you have to throw their name into the discussion of the best in the league, especially if AJ Hawk takes yet another step up in his progression. The thing that worries me the most is the CB tandem that the Packers defense has depended on more than most know. Al Harris and Charles Woodson both seemed to drop off late in the 2007 season like a lot of veteran defensive backs do, thus they need players around them to really step up. That is where I see them losing to their out of division opponents.

Breakout Player: Aaron Rouse – S

I was so impressed with Rouse when he got on the field last year and it caught me off guard, as I thought he wasn’t quick enough for a reaction based defense. But Rouse has more than enough athletic ability and I think it is too much to keep him on the sidelines for too long. He could evolve into a poor man’s Sean Taylor in that he is a decent to good cover safety, but an absolute force against the run and owning the middle of the field.

3 – Chicago Bears (6-10) (1-5) (4-8)

The Bears had an outstanding 2008 draft and they are headed towards a great future, especially if Chris Williams’ back holds up. But, Kyle Orton? I understand he protects the ball better than Grossman which has killed the Bears in the past, but with nobody to throw to and I mean nobody, that passing game is going to struggle big time. That means the rushing attack needs to be elite for this team to compete and that’s not gonna happen with a Forte-Jones duo. Both are hard runners that fit in well with their smashmouth style, but running behind that offensive line is going to be atrocious. Not only does the starting front five look weak, but their backups are bottom tier backups. In the end that offensive line is going to kill that offense before it even gets off the ground. The defense will again have to carry the load and I don’t think they are capable of being an elite unit anymore. Brian Urlacher just doesn’t seem like the same physical freak to me anymore and while he does have solid talent on either side, he is still the most important player in that scheme. The defensive line is still solid, and could be their saving grace should Chicago compete down the stratch as it is a very diverse and deep group. The secondary has me a bit worried. Tillman seems to have lost a step and while that is not a major issue in that Cover 2, he is going to get beat more often than what Bears fans are used to seeing. The safety help over the top leaves a lot to be desired, however that may not be a big deal if the pass rush can take off. I can see the Bears being in the race for 8-9 weeks, but that final stretch is brutal and it will in the end kill them.

Breakout Player: Anthony Adams – DT

Adams is a very feisty player, and I like that in a DT. He is going to help that run defense out a ton because he holds his ground consistently and is strong and quick enough to get off blocks and make a play himself. I’m not sure he’ll make a impact against the pass, but the potential is there considering the talent around him.

4 – Detroit Lions (5-11) (2-4) (5-7)

With the NFC North pretty strong at the top, the Lions will have a tough time competing late in the season for a playoff spot. However every time I watch them play, which has been pretty often the past two years, I see something different that I like. I would safe one of the safer assumptions in the NFL is that they will be in the playoffs over the course of the next three years. They are finally starting to get some good players in the trenches, something they ignored for far too long and it messed up their contention window. Now that Shaun Rogers and his inconsistent motor and weight issues are out of town, that defense can put their full attention on all eleven players attacking downhill. Ernie Sims should have another big year and the leader of a defense that can force turnovers in the blink of an eye every play. I love the trade for Leigh Bodden, a corner that is made for the Tampa 2 scheme. There is very little depth to speak of in the already suspect secondary which can be hindered by a pass rush that has the potential to be good, not great, but effective enough. Is Jon Kitna really as bad as some make him out to be? I don’t think so. He has an accurate arm and knows how to read a defense like Kurt Warner but he has never, and I stress never, had an offensive line that could ever even be considered in the top half of the league. On top of that, his running games have been some of the most inconsistent in the NFL over his tenure in Detroit and both of those elements seem to be on the rise. Once that unit has proper balance, his year could finally arrive. It will be a question if he holds on long enough.

Breakout Player: Daniel Bullocks – S

Before long, Bullocks is going to be seeing a lot of playing time at safety. I understand there is a bit of a logjam at the position right now but I think Bullocks is the most talented player they have in the secondary not named Leigh Bodden. He has all the tools in the world to be a Kerry Rhodes type impact player.




NFC EAST

1 – Dallas Cowboys (12-4) (4-2) (9-3)

There isn’t any question in my mind the Cowboys are going to be in the 12-14 win range by regular season’s end. The postseason will be another story I think, but this team has far too much talent to lose more than 3-4 times over the course of 16 games. Their defense is getting overlooked because of Tony Romo and company, unfairly so. With Osi Umenyiora out, there is no debate that the best defensive player in the division resides in Dallas. DeMarcus Ware is already one of the best defensive threats in the game but the thing is he seems to get better every season. This kid’s ceiling is absolutely through the roof and one of these years he is going to notch 18+ sacks. The secondary is near impossible to throw on and with their depth of cover corners, the options they have on getting to the passer are far too many to even think of. The only weakness I see is up the middle because Tank Johnson is not your traditional space eater and their group of inside linebackers are not exactly top notch run stuffers. Offensively the Cowboys will again be a machine that creates more matchup problems than teams will be able to count. Witten, Owens, Barber…that is as good as it gets in the NFL today and when you have a perfect QB for the system they run in Romo playing behind a big, mean offensive line, they should have no problem scoring points.

Breakout Player: Miles Austin – WR

The physical talent Austin has is something a lot of people outside of Dallas know nothing about. He has the size, speed, strength, and agility to compete with anyone in this league. Once he gets healthy, it looks like the Cowboys are going to be looking for a WR to fill a void. He’ll get his shot, and I think he will grab hold of it.

2 – Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) (3-3) (6-6)

It seems like the national media is finally starting to catch on to the fact that you simply can never overlook the Eagles. They still have one of the best coaching staffs in football and they still have an All-Pro caliber QB that is healthy for the first time in a couple years. Don’t like the receivers he has to throw to? Well let’s not forget what McNabb did with the likes of Freddie Mitchell and Todd Pinkston as his receiving duo. On top of that, Brian Westbrook is currently the best player in the division and he seems to be on the healthy track as well. I expect big years from both of them and maybe even a bigger year out of their Jim Johnson-led defense. The secondary is absolutely stacked from top to bottom and if their offense can get them an early lead to work with, they are going to be incredibly difficult to come back on. I had initial concerns with Asante Samuel in a man based scheme coming from the CB friendly Belichick scheme, but after reading and listening to reports, I think he will remain at his Pro-Bowl level. San Diego is the only team that I can think of that has a CB trio that even compares to the Eagles. Up Bradley and Chris Gocong have not convinced me yet and that scheme is very reliant on their linebackers.

Breakout Player: Brodrick Bunkley – DT

Bunkley was the 5th rated player on my draft board a few years back and I must say, he has not gotten off to the start I was thinking he would. That said, he has flashed enormous signs of ability the past few times I have seen him play and with talented defensive line around him, he should be able to bring a Corey Simon-type level of play to the table.

3 – New York Giants (8-8) (3-3) (5-7)

With the lack of depth on the defensive side of the ball and the tough schedule down the stretch, the Giants may be in for the collapse of 2008. I can see this team getting off to a hot start because of their balance on offense and evolving defensive unit, but the depth isn’t there that was during the magical run last season. Eli Manning has taken that next step and should keep this unit near the top for most of the year. He has a deep, divers running game behind him and a receiving core that can create and take advantage of matchup problems all over the place. The offensive line has stapled themselves into a top five unit in the NFL because they have been together now for 3+ years and they host three pro bowl altnernates, David Diehl is not the pass protecter you want on the blind side but his ability to maul defensive ends out of the way in the run game makes up for it. Defensively the issue does not lie within their starting unit, but behind them. A lot is going to be put on the shoulders of Jerome McDougle, Renaldo Wynn, rookies Bryan Kehl and Kenny Phillips….and you can’t just assume that can sustain the level of play like last year’s replacements. If this team stays healthy they are as good as anybody, but once the injury bug bites, the Giants could be in a world of trouble.

Breakout Player: Sinorice Moss – WR

The Giants are so deep at WR, that any of the backups could be hard pressed to find any serious time. But Moss has the most speed out of any of the receivers and his game has been taken to another level over this past preseason. He is catching a lot better, running more efficient routes, and taking advantage of his ability to change direction on a dime. Eli loves the deep ball and Moss, other than Plax, is the top deep ball threat.

4 – Washington Redskins (5-11) (2-4) (4-8)

I don’t see very much promise with this Redskins team. They are too many points of weakness and not enough strengths to offset them. The struggles of Jason Campbell in this new scheme have been well documented so I won’t dive too deeply into that, but I will say that I don’t think it’s the right fit for him. His release is too slow and his accuracy is way too inconsistent, two things Colt Brennan does not struggle with in the least. Clinton Portis will get his just like he does every year, but the years of him possibly breaking into the 1600 yard region are over in my opinion. He is now more of a grinder than a big play guy and I’ll be curious to see if he can stay healthy all year. That offense without him has no promise whatsoever. Their offensive line used to be the strength of the team but they don’t seem to be anywhere close to what they were a couple years ago. Even Chris Samuels appears to be slowing down on the edge and he doesn’t deleiver that initial punch the way he used to. I give the Redskins froint office props for trying to beef up the pass rush by acquiring Jayson Taylor because they sorely needed to upgrade that area, but I don’t think he ids going to bring much to the table. If he can take away some double teams off of Andre Carter then you could say the move was a success, but thinking he will reach double digit sacks is far fetched in my eyes. Their LB core again has a couple of players that are noticeably starting to show their age in Marcus Washington and London Fletcher. Both are serviceable, but I think the Skins were hoping Rocky McIntosh would be further along than he is because the slack left by his Washington-Fletcher is not being picked up. The secondary can be a unit of strength but they don’t make things happen as well as I would like. Carlos Rogers is an excellent cover man but he reminds me of Will Allen in that he can’t catch a cold.

Breakout Player: Carlos Rogers – CB

As I just said, Rogers can stick with his man with the best of them. He has that deep catch up speed and the ability to change direction on a dime. He knows how to put himself into position to make a play on the ball, now it’s only a matter of holding onto the rock. Should that never happen, he can still be an effective player because of his ability to blanket a player.

NFC Playoffs

Wild Card

Eagles @ Vikings – Vikings
Packers @ Niners – Packers

Divisional

Packers @ Saints – Saints
Vikings @ Cowboys – Vikings

NFC Championship

Vikings @ Saints – Saints

Super Bowl

Saints vs. Patriots – Saints

NFC MVP – Drew Brees – QB – Saints
NFC Defensive Player of the Year – DeMarcus Ware – OLB – Cowboys
NFC Rookie of the Year – DeSean Jackson – WR - Eagles

Caddy
09-07-2008, 11:42 AM
I like how everyone is sleeping on the Buccaneers this year. But then again, whats changed.

Yatta!
09-07-2008, 11:47 AM
Reasonable assessment of the Packers, I think that's the concensus opinion. Couple of surprising picks elsewhere though...

Bruce Banner
09-07-2008, 11:52 AM
4-12 for Tampa?

"Come on"
http://users.planetmadtv.com/elscorcho/characters/marvin.jpg

Gay Ork Wang
09-07-2008, 11:53 AM
I doubt Anthony Adams breaks out. I could see Dusty breaking out finally.

And i dont understand where u got from that Urlacher doesnt bring it anymore

TitleTown088
09-07-2008, 11:55 AM
Corey Williams was the Packers best defensive player? Depth on the D-line? The Packers have three DT's on the roster right now.

Sniper
09-07-2008, 12:00 PM
2 – Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) (3-3) (6-6)

that scheme is very reliant on their linebackers.



The scheme is not very reliant on linebackers. If it were, we would actually pick LBs high in the draft. The scheme is reliant on a dominant DL and a good secondary

Bruce Banner
09-07-2008, 12:04 PM
The scheme is not very reliant on linebackers. If it were, we would actually pick LBs high in the draft. The scheme is reliant on a dominant DL and a good secondary

Over/Under six factual errors in this?

Sniper
09-07-2008, 12:11 PM
Over/Under six factual errors in this?

In mine????

Bruce Banner
09-07-2008, 12:54 PM
In mine????

The OP, not yours.

SeanTaylorRIP
09-07-2008, 02:39 PM
No disagreement here for the Skins other than London Fletcher. He is as strong as ever, and a still a top linebacker in the NFL who has been robbed his entire career having never made a pro bowl team ,what a shame. He still swallows everything up that comes near him. He was the only player who could tackle or was even willing to tackle Jacobs. Washington is so poor against the run and Rocky's knee at this point has taken away that range that was so terrific last season prior to the injury. Personally I think we will go 7-9, but yeah playoffs is pretty much out of the question. Jason Campbell will never reach his full potential in this system but this first year especially could be painful. I do look for Portis though to have a 1400+ yard rushing season.

Bucs147
09-07-2008, 04:00 PM
As you can see, I like the Saint this season, a lot. Many forget this team finished the 2007 season 8-4 and while you are dying to point to their lack of talent on defense, remember they won those eight games in 12 weeks with a worse defense than what they currently have.

Considering they finished the 2007 season with a 7-9 record, I hardly agree with you here. :p

BlindSite
09-07-2008, 04:44 PM
Brilliant Panthers comments, absolutely perfect.

Prince 561
09-07-2008, 04:47 PM
Brilliant Panthers comments, absolutely perfect.

You're agreeing with pro-Carolina comments? How surprising!

saintsfan912
09-07-2008, 05:08 PM
Considering they finished the 2007 season with a 7-9 record, I hardly agree with you here. :p

After an 0-4 start, they went 7-5 which was pretty damn good. They sure did look good today against your Bucs.

Bruce Banner
09-07-2008, 05:12 PM
After an 0-4 start, they went 7-5 which was pretty damn good. They sure did look good today against your Bucs.

So did the refs.

abaddon41_80
09-07-2008, 05:23 PM
Good call on Parys Haralson. 2.5 sacks already

BlindSite
09-07-2008, 06:26 PM
You're agreeing with pro-Carolina comments? How surprising!

At this stage I guess I was wrong huh.

nrk
09-07-2008, 06:29 PM
After an 0-4 start, they went 7-5 which was pretty damn good. They sure did look good today against your Bucs.

Also after that 0-4 start, you played 2 good teams and beat 1 playoff team. The schedule got extremely easy.

Bucs147
09-07-2008, 06:31 PM
After an 0-4 start, they went 7-5 which was pretty damn good. They sure did look good today against your Bucs.

Did I say anything against the Saints ? I just wanted to correct him.

Bucs147
09-07-2008, 06:33 PM
Also after that 0-4 start, you played 2 good teams and beat 1 playoff team. The schedule got extremely easy.

Yeah, it's easy to say that it was just a bad starting month for the Saints, but the fact that they faced 3 playoff teams in the first 3 weeks is probably why they started the 2007 season with a 0-4 record.

saintsfan912
09-07-2008, 06:47 PM
So did the refs.

The refs? The Saints had way more penalties than the Bucs did.

Smooth Criminal
09-07-2008, 07:00 PM
I agreed with you AFC calls much more.

I actually have Arizona to win their division.

I have to admit, I fully expected you to have the Giants winning the East. Props for that.

Bruce Banner
09-07-2008, 07:22 PM
The refs? The Saints had way more penalties than the Bucs did.

They missed the biggest call of the game.

saintsfan912
09-07-2008, 07:42 PM
They missed the biggest call of the game.

Or the 4-5 PI calls they missed against the Bucs. Oh well, too late now.

Bruce Banner
09-07-2008, 07:52 PM
Or the 4-5 PI calls they missed against the Bucs. Oh well, too late now.

When Ike gets back you will have hell to pay.

saintsfan912
09-07-2008, 07:52 PM
Ike? (10Char)

Bruce Banner
09-07-2008, 07:54 PM
Ike? (10Char)

Hilliard. He the only receiver of ours that can catch third down passes against you guys.

Its like an ongoing joke in Bucs land. He's old, slow, and should be cut every year but manages to keep a roster spot and become our #2 by years end.

BlindSite
09-07-2008, 07:55 PM
Hilliard like Toomer is one of the most consistent but unheralded guys in the NFL.

Bruce Banner
09-07-2008, 07:58 PM
Hilliard like Toomer is one of the most consistent but unheralded guys in the NFL.
He's our Rick Proehl (Circa Carolina), if you will.

saintsfan912
09-07-2008, 07:58 PM
Yea, I don't get that at all. For some reason he always seems to play big against us. Happened when he was at Florida too with LSU. I hate that guy, always have and always will.

Ike played today by the way.

Bruce Banner
09-07-2008, 08:01 PM
Yea, I don't get that at all. For some reason he always seems to play big against us. Happened when he was at Florida too with LSU. I hate that guy, always have and always will.

Ike played today by the way.

I meant to say when you come to Tampa.