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Geo's Ten NFL Truths

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  • Geo's Ten NFL Truths

    Ten NFL Truths

    10. Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson is quietly but surely building one of the best defenses in the NFC. I’m not sold on the Packers making the playoffs though. Their schedule doesn’t look good for them at all, and I would be wary about Al Harris and Charles Woodson staying healthy for all 16 games - with little in the way of depth behind them. The offense doesn’t have a running game to take the ball out of Brett Favre’s hands, which means too much is on him and the career interceptions record is impending. Opponents know they just have to put their best corner on Donald Driver or double him. Mike McCarthy isn’t anything special as a head coach or offensive mind, let’s be real. Despite a superb front seven that includes the best starting LB core in the league, I think a tough year awaits the Pack in 2007 though the future is bright afterwards.

    9. Champ Bailey will not repeat his career season of 2006. Everything went right for Bailey last year - being healthy, breaking down film, having great practices, being tested, making great decisions, footballs and bounces going his way, etcetera - but Bailey won’t repeat one of the best seasons we’ve seen from a cornerback in the last decade for a consecutive year.

    8. The two most exciting teams will be the Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams have offenses that can score on anybody and both have defenses that can’t stop anybody. The Bengals and Cardinals will do a respectable job against the run, but neither can generate a pass rush to help protect porous young secondaries. Russ Grimm is the best addition the Cardinals made this past off-season, given the improvement he will engineer in the offensive line that will benefit both the running game and the passing game - where the Cardinals have stellar skill position players. Both teams could make a run at the wild card in their respective conferences, and I surprisingly favor Cincinnati in that regard despite playing in the superior AFC.

    7. The NFC South is intriguing.

    a. The New Orleans Saints team looks like a great pick to be the first repeat division champ since realignment in 2002. The Saints have one of the best offenses in football helmed by Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and Reggie Bush, and while the defense overachieved last year, the additions they made in the offseason help alleviate their woes (though not solve them). Don’t overlook the acquisition of Olindo Mare, kicking indoors should help his accuracy and should only help his great kickoff capability. Although the Jacksonville Jaguars will bully the Saints in Week 9, look at the Saints’ schedule thereafter: versus St. Louis, at Houston, at Carolina, Tampa Bay, at Atlanta (Monday), Arizona, Philadelphia, @ Chicago. Excellent matchups and dome games abound except for the season finale at Soldier Field, but it’s likely the Bears will have locked up their seeding by then and will sit their starters for a considerable amount of time (as was the case last year), benefiting the Saints a great deal. If the Saints are to travel to Solder Field in the postseason however, that is not a game they will win.

    b. On the other hand, any other team in the division can put together a great year and manage to win the division crown. Too much was made about Jeff Garcia this offseason, but he definitely gives the Bucs a semblance of a competent quarterback that they haven’t had in a good while. With an improved offensive line, that means Cadillac Williams will have the chance to succeed and the offense can move the chains after the abortion of a season in 2006. Still not sold on the defense, however.

    c. The Atlanta Falcons could put together a regular season like the Saints last year, IF they can create and execute great gameplans, overachieve defensively, stay healthy, and have balls bounce their way as the 2006 Saints did. It is possible, but not likely. Joey Harrington has received a worse rap than he should, in fact I’ve liked the guy and for what it’s worth now he has the best offensive line and overall receiving core yet in his career; not to mention he’s a better fit for Bobby Petrino’s offense, a system which props up quarterbacks better than they actually are. But the Falcons desperately need the front four to put together career years in disruption and effectiveness, because of how poor that secondary currently is. If new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer dares to blitz, he should hope that the pressure reaches the quarterback else the coverage (or lack thereof) will further be exposed. When the best defensive back in coverage on the roster is horribly overrated twerp DeAngelo Hall, trepidation is assuredly nigh.

    6. With regards the Denver Broncos, I would hold on drinking the Colorado Kool-Aid. Coach Teflon made big changes this past off-season in hopes of improving both the offense and the defense, including the hire of Jim Bates as the Broncos’ defensive coordinator which is a great move. Although it will take time for the defense to fully implement his defense as envisioned, especially the young players the team recently drafted who the Broncos need making plays as soon as possible. The offensive line is old and not what it once was, some of the changes to the defensive line are more cosmetic than anything, and the team as a whole could be faster. Not only do I not expect the Broncos to be the AFC favorite they were made out to be in the offseason, in the wake of their acquisitions, I also think it’s very possible that they miss out on the tournament for a consecutive year.

    5. Expect to see the passing of the torch and the dawn of new eras at the quarterback position this year.

    a. The Browns’ long-overdue franchise quarterback Brady Quinn will take the reins after the Week 6 home contest against the Dolphins, as the team enters their Week 7 bye. Quinn returned for his senior year of college ball and was overanalyzed and unfairly criticized, as is the ridiculous case nowadays, but he’s by far the best quarterback on the Browns roster. Moreover, head coach Romeo Crennel needs his offense to score as many points as possible given a porous defense that isn’t stout up front or in the back, plus starting Quinn also gives him his best chance at another year. Bill Cowher‘s name may come up, but he will be announced as the Washington Redskins‘ new head coach less than a year from now.

    b. The perennially underachieving Carolina Panthers will bench Jake Delhomme for the superior quarterback in David Carr, most likely in time of their road trip to Tennessee in Week 9, in hopes of turning the season around and making the playoffs. You can’t ever accuse Delhomme of not caring, but reality is, he’s not a good enough passer to make up for his gunslinging mistakes nor is he efficient enough to competently manage the game. As much as any starting quarterback in the league, Delhomme needs a strong running game to carry him and mask his faults, but the Panthers lack that as they have for the last few years. To be fair to Delhomme, the offensive line even when healthy could be much better and there isn’t a legitimate receiving option (who isn’t a runningback) not named Steve Smith. I don’t expect much at all from Dwayne Jarrett in the pros.

    c. The aforementioned Green Bay Packers finally begin the Aaron Rodgers era, as the young signal caller will take over by the team’s Week 14 home contest against the Oakland Raiders. (That is, of course, if Brett Favre stays healthy by then. It’s not a definite.) Favre will continue his compiling ways of the last number of years and break the records - and I’d emphatically point out the career interceptions record in tandem with the other records - but with the Pack out of playoff contention and the franchise moving on, Rodgers takes over and won’t look too bad doing it in the final quarter of the season.

    d. Two situations not mentioned are the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets. I’ve never been a big fan of Brodie Croyle and think talk of him as a franchise quarterback is wishful thinking; Damon Huard by far gives a rebuilding Chiefs team their best chance to win. Thus, Croyle will sit on the bench for most of the 2007 season. As for the Jets, I’ve been equally convinced that Kellen Clemens is undoubtedly the best quarterback prospect on the roster since he was drafted, but Chad Pennington is an experienced veteran who will likely hold him off for 2007. The Jets won’t fluke their way into the playoffs this season, as they did in 2006, and the stage will be set in the offseason for Clemens to take the starting role.

    4. Too much is being made about the roster turnover the Colts have incurred this offseason. Quite honestly, it is more of a story made for story’s sake. The Colts have been amongst the most active and successful teams of the last 5 years in roster turnover, in fact. In every case, the team has an extremely talented and younger player ready to play in place of the departed or injured player, and with exception to Tony Ugoh and Ed Johnson have upgraded from before. Statistically the run defense will improve (hah) and the pass defense will worsen, but the defense itself that the Colts will field is actually better than a year ago. The team still has the best offense in all of football, thanks to Peyton Manning who is the engine to it all. The challenging 2006 regular season schedule helped prepare the Colts for the postseason, whereas the opposite was true in 2005, and the 2007 regular season schedule looks to do the same. Most notably, the challenging stretch after the Week 6 bye: at Jacksonville (Monday), at Carolina, New England, at San Diego, Kansas City, at Atlanta (Thursday/Thanksgiving), Jacksonville, and at Baltimore in Week 14.

    3. Don’t overlook homefield advantage for the playoffs. Come January there isn’t a team in the league that can beat the Bill Belichick-led New England Patriots in Foxboro, regardless of the overrated addition of Randy Moss, but the Indianapolis Colts can potentially wear down anyone in a 60-minute span if they can secure playoff matchups in the RCA Dome for one last postseason. As for the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins have the best chance of beating the Chicago Bears on Soldier Field.

    2. The San Diego Chargers aren‘t as good as they were last season. The Chargers have the best offensive line, the best runningback, and the best tight end in all of football, which translates to regular success. Yet the receiving core leaves far too much to be desired, which cripples the team come the postseason when they have to make tough third down conversions. The Chargers pass rush will regress some from the phenomenal 2006 season, allowing the secondary to be exposed for what it truly is - as was the case in 2004 and 2005. The loss of Donnie Edwards may not look much on paper, but he was by far the best pass coverage linebacker on the team and replacing him with an unproven player further hurts the defense’s third down efficiency nevermind sorely needed veteran leadership in the linebacker core. And most importantly, the team has replaced Marty Schottenheimer with a horrible head coach in Norv Turner, a greater liability come the postseason and the biggest reason why the number of penalties the Chargers will commit this season will increase. The Chargers will win their division by virtue of being the best team by a healthy margin and featuring great talent, but the team will continue their early postseason ineptitude come January.

    1. Scoring won’t go down this season. Touched on earlier in a few cases, don’t expect overall scoring to decrease thanks to the lacking secondaries and the pass-rushing capabilities being fielded across the league, despite the league-wide state of quarterbacks also being poor. Teams like the Houston Texans feature a superb player like Dunta Robinson who is better than the rest of the secondary combined, and the front seven while solid can‘t generate a consistent pass rush to save its life. Whether because talent is being diluted across 32 teams, rules that favor the offense in some spots, and/or other factors, scoreboards will be lighting up just as much if not more so (which is likely I think).
    Last edited by Geo; 08-29-2007, 11:06 AM.
    Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.

  • #2
    I got to hand it to you. Me and BBD agree way too much, finally something I can disagree with! I have to do something right now so I will get around to a true reply soon enough.

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    • #3
      I partially agree with 10
      I do agree with 5a and 5b, but too bench Favre is like smacking the pope, plus week 14 GB should still be in the hunt.
      On another note a reason for so many of Favre's INTs is all the passes (especially the last 2 years) that hes had to throw, 2nd all-time in att's, 1st in comp's.



      Sig thanks to Bonekrusher

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      • #4
        I love these threads. The Bengals Dline has actually been very effective at generating a pass rush this preseason (Ahmad Brooks is a very good blitzer as well). With out 11 sacks we're 2nd in the preseason. Getting Johnathan Joseph back is a big help in the secondary.

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        • #5
          Ok if you think our gm is building an great defense in the NFC whats with the negatives in the post? no depth. We are not going to be a top 5 defense but I wouldn't rule out top 10.

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          • #6
            Looking forward to it, Shiv. I like that you and BBD talked up the Redskins, which I did two months or so ago in my NFC East write-up and said that they would make the playoffs as a wild card team.

            The Packers talk ruffled some feathers, I see. As for them being in the hunt around Week 14, 3-9 or 4-8 isn't in the hunt in my eyes. As for the point about no depth at cornerback: Harris (who was a Top 5 CB in 2006) and Woodson were one of the best corner tandems last season, and more importantly, their man coverage ability helps mask the pass coverage deficiencies of the Packers safeties. If Green Bay loses either one, they are in trouble. And as much as I like the front seven of the Packers, they will wear down thanks to time of possession and big plays given up by the aforementioned secondary.

            About the Bengals pass defense: their ends are better suited for the run than the pass, and their talented young corners (I like both) are gaining valuable experience. Good for them for putting up sacks in the preseason, although I'm left wondering how many are valid in terms of consideration, but we'll see come the regular season, I suppose.

            It just occured to me that I forgot to mention a major point I meant to address in this write-up. Hmm.
            Last edited by Geo; 08-29-2007, 01:24 AM.
            Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Geo View Post
              Looking forward to it, Shiv. I like that you and BBD talked up the Redskins, which I did two months or so ago in my NFC East write-up and said that they would make the playoffs as a wild card team.

              The Packers talk ruffled some feathers, I see. As for them being in the hunt around Week 14, 3-9 or 4-8 isn't in the hunt in my eyes. As for the point about no depth at cornerback: Harris (who was a Top 5 CB in 2006) and Woodson were one of the best corner tandems last season, and more importantly, their man coverage ability helps mask the pass coverage deficiencies of the Packers safeties. If Green Bay loses either one, they are in trouble. And as much as I like the front seven of the Packers, they will wear down thanks to time of possession and big plays given up by the aforementioned secondary.

              About the Bengals pass defense: their ends are better suited for the run than the pass, and their talented young corners (I like both) are gaining valuable experience. Good for them for putting up sacks in the preseason, although I'm left wondering how many are valid in terms of consideration, but we'll see come the regular season, I suppose.

              It just occured to me that I forgot to mention a major point I meant to address in this write-up. Hmm.
              3-9, 4-8? I don't really agree with any of this post. Having a .500 record by week 14 isn't a crazy idea at all. With basically the same young team from last year having gotten one year older, it isn't crazy to say we've improved from last year. Our schedule, though it isn't as easy as last year, shouldn't be much of a problem this year. I agree with the fact that the safeties cause problems in pass coverage, but Nick Collins is a good, young FS with speed, and Manuel, who was a big problem last year, has been replaced by Bigby. The front seven wearing down made me laugh.

              Hitman D

              "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." - Henry David Thoreau

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              • #8
                I can't disagree enough with the schedule "shouldn't be much of a problem this year" for the Green Bay Packers.

                Quite honestly, I'll be surprised if the Packers are better than 1-5 going into their Week 7 bye. Their first six oppponents: Philly, at NY Giants, San Diego, at Minny, Chicago, and Washington. They play better at home, but consider the opponents involved.

                Weeks 8 through 13: at Denver (Monday Night Football), at Kansas City, Minny, Carolina, at Detroit (Thursday/Thanksgiving), and at Dallas (Thursday). That's 4 tough (for the Packers) road games in less than 6 full weeks.

                Something to consider about the Packers, that I had in one of my initial drafts of this write-up: they were +9 in turnovers in their eight wins and -9 in turnovers in their eight losses last season.
                Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.

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                • #9
                  Philly- Finally we are at home, they lost there man in the middle and we could have an easy running day. If we stop Westbrook we have a shot at winning this game
                  NY Giants- If we lose this game, I will never again think that this team has a shoot at the playoffs this year. We get tested vs the pass and we are more able to send in a blitz vs a weak oline.
                  San Diego- I don't except a win, I would like a fight till the end.
                  Minny- Minny has some rebuilding to do in the offense and our defense might take over that game.
                  Chicago- I hope Grossman has a pretty or thinking of going to a pretty during this game
                  Washington- Manny might think this game should be our win but I don't think it will, Portis, Moss, Bettis, Cooley, Llyod, Randell. I hope our defense is up for the challenge.

                  We could be a 5-1 team or a 4-3 team.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Geo View Post
                    I can't disagree enough with the schedule "shouldn't be much of a problem this year" for the Green Bay Packers.

                    Quite honestly, I'll be surprised if the Packers are better than 1-5 going into their Week 7 bye. Their first six oppponents: Philly, at NY Giants, San Diego, at Minny, Chicago, and Washington. They play better at home, but consider the opponents involved.

                    Weeks 8 through 13: at Denver (Monday Night Football), at Kansas City, Minny, Carolina, at Detroit (Thursday/Thanksgiving), and at Dallas (Thursday). That's 4 tough (for the Packers) road games in less than 6 full weeks.

                    Something to consider about the Packers, that I had in one of my initial drafts of this write-up: they were +9 in turnovers in their eight wins and -9 in turnovers in their eight losses last season.
                    Let me rephrase that. Everybody is making the Packers out to be a 3-13, 4-12 team this year due to the overwhelming schedule we have. But when you look at it, it's not that bad. Sure there's a couple, 1 or 2, games that we really have no chance of winning, but other than that, we have a good chance in every other game we play. I think the Packers will surprise people this year. That is, if we establish a legitimate running game.

                    Hitman D

                    "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." - Henry David Thoreau

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                    • #11
                      Man you could've avoided wasting a lot of typing time and just posted.

                      PANTEHRS SUKC

                      For a start, Delhomme's stats were down last year for a couple of reasons.
                      a) The Panthers were missing our left tackle
                      b) The Panthers were missing the starting centre
                      c) The Panthers missed Steve Smith for 2 games
                      d) Jake Delhomme had a hand injury and missed three games

                      You're talking about a team here missing two key cogs for an entire year on the offensive line. Despite that the running game managed just over 1400 yards for the season, which isn't good at all, but not altogether disheartening since we had an inept offensive coordinator who's since been fired.

                      So lets look at the cause of Delhomme's failures:
                      Poor pass protection
                      Poor Running game
                      injuries
                      Poor play calling

                      Pass protection, all healthy on the offensive line and two fold improvements with the addition of Ryan Kalil, the best centre prospect in the draft and the return of two starting players.

                      Poor running game, experience now added to DeAngelo williams, better play calling, zone blocking system, which suits both the linemen and backs better

                      Injuries, he's now healthy

                      Play Calling, Jeff Davidson has now come to carolina and has overhauled the running game and how he's getting receivers involved.


                      AS for the comments about the saints. You mentioned the Panthers as an easy target, in case you missed the last few matchups, maybe you should check history.

                      Besides which we're geared to stop them. Strong defensive line for good pressure and a stout run defense.

                      Fast, tackling linebackers who've been drafted for their coverage ability.

                      Stable nickel cornerbacks.

                      The only negative on the Panthers defense is that we've got a weak safety spot.

                      Don't count the team out, because you can't do your research before you write.

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                      • #12
                        I honestly can't see the Cardinals being one of the most exciting teams in the NFL. Sure Fitzy and Boldin are great, and Leinart is maturing, the line is going to deny them offensive excitement. Maybe in a year or 2.

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                        • #13
                          I'm saying that the Carolina Panthers are a better team with David Carr as the starting QB, and that the sooner they install Carr as the quarterback, the better their playoff chances. I didn't call for them to finish with the worst record in the league and the first overall pick. In fact, I consider(ed) them to make a run at the division crown as I hinted at in my bit about the NFC South (although I didn't mention them specifically there).

                          Delhomme is stuck between gunslinger and game manager but can't do either well, and ultimately it's holding the team back. They don't have a mauling offensive line and a power back as they did a few years ago, they need to move the chains and wear opponents down so DeShaun Foster and Deangelo Williams can slice and dice in the second halves of games. If the Panthers want to build a passing game with a bunch of servicable roster guys and Steve Smith, than they need a more efficient and accurate quarterback who can spread the ball around.

                          I'm not sold that the offensive line will automatically turn into one of the league's elite units now that they are healthy, given the schematic change they are trying to enact (ZBS). There will be some struggles in the first half of the season, but the line might come together and likely play better in the second half.

                          The Panthers have one of the best front fours in the league, and the only team that I can recall that has spent a 1st round picks on all of their starting LBs: Dan Morgan, Thomas Davis, and Jon Beason. I don't like them replacing Rod Perry with Tim Lewis as their defensive backs coach at all (though as a Colts fan I'm ecstatic they could replace Leslie Frazier with Rod Perry), and as you noted the staring safety duo of Chris Harris and Deke Cooper (?) leaves the most to be desired of that defensive unit. Hence why I think their front four needs to be as disruptive as possible else the pass defense might give up some plays throughtout the year.

                          Notice how I never once said that John Fox would be fired in my write-up. Personally I think he should, but he won't - even if the Panthers fall just short of the playoffs.
                          Last edited by Geo; 08-29-2007, 11:37 AM.
                          Pugnacity, testosterone, truculence, and belligerence.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PACKmanN View Post
                            Philly- Finally we are at home, they lost there man in the middle and we could have an easy running day. If we stop Westbrook we have a shot at winning this game
                            NY Giants- If we lose this game, I will never again think that this team has a shoot at the playoffs this year. We get tested vs the pass and we are more able to send in a blitz vs a weak oline.
                            San Diego- I don't except a win, I would like a fight till the end.
                            Minny- Minny has some rebuilding to do in the offense and our defense might take over that game.
                            Chicago- I hope Grossman has a pretty or thinking of going to a pretty during this game
                            Washington- Manny might think this game should be our win but I don't think it will, Portis, Moss, Bettis, Cooley, Llyod, Randell. I hope our defense is up for the challenge.

                            We could be a 5-1 team or a 4-3 team.
                            the Giants have a weak Oline? this is news to me...
                            We ALL bleed scarlet
                            New York Giants Super Bowl 46 Champs
                            UNITED: I actually attend the college I root for
                            Originally posted by PalmerToCJ
                            BTW, if it's 3rd and 97... I'm throwing a screen pass to Brian Leonard and he will convert.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by scottyboy View Post
                              the Giants have a weak Oline? this is news to me...
                              Maybe he means LT......

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