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Old 05-28-2012, 08:30 PM    (permalink
niel89
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Originally Posted by Sloopy View Post
I think you have to go Texans here.

A healthy Schaub and that team might have run train right through the playoffs.
I'm with you. I love the Texans this year. They have top top defense although losing Ryans hurts to a smaller extent. If Schaub didn't get hurt they are the easy AFC favorites entering the playoffs.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:35 PM    (permalink
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I don't think there is.

In likelihood of reaching the Super Bowl from the AFC I'd go..

1. Patriots
2. Steelers; I like their draft picks and they kept Mike Wallace, which was vital.
3. Texans; Schaub is likely the 4th best QB in the conference and they have an elite running attack and potentially elite D. Then again, Schaub is only the 4th best in the conference and only arguably top 10 in the NFL.
4. Baltimore; I worry a bit about that defense, age and injury wise. Letting Jarret Johnson go was a mistake. But they should have been there last year if not for the most unclutch drop in a long time.

I don't see any other team having a legit shot. The Chargers used to be the most talented, underachieving team but their talent level has really dropped and they have some huge holes. Maybe they'll turn into the overachieving team? Doubtful.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:36 AM    (permalink
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It will be New England again unless injuries derail them. I cannot see another team in the AFC challenging them next year. They are going to be improved on both ends of the ball and their schedule is a cakewalk.
Schwab simply isn't good enough to get past NE. Pittsburgh looks to be rebuilding for a season, although they will be dangerous.
In todays game, you must have a great QB to get to the Super Bowl and the AFC is limited to 2. Rivers should be counted as 3 but his HC is useless eliminating him from contention. Peyton is old and will need time to recover even if he hasn't lost any skill with age.
The best QB's outside of Brady and Roethlisberger, reside in the NFL so the NFL will continue to win most Super Bowls.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:17 AM    (permalink
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I think the Texans have a shot, but there are some holes on the O-Line and still no real threat opposite Andre. I think they are the biggest threat after New England with Pittsburgh behind Houston. I also love what the Titans have done lately and fully trust Locker to lead them to the playoffs in a year or two. Same with the Chiefs if they ever get a real QB. The Bengals look like an up and coming team as well.

Right now I rank the teams like this:
1. Patriots
2. Texans
3. Steelers
4. Ravens

Give it 2-4 years:
1. Texans
2. Titans(these two teams will become so much fun to watch going head-to-head twice a year)
3. Patriots(as long as Bill is there they are golden, plus Mallett is being groomed to take over for Brady when that day comes)
4. Bengals(still some holes to fill and a coach that I hate, but a lot of young talent with tons of potential)
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:22 AM    (permalink
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It's probably going to be the Steelers. I think they can squeeze another year out of that defense, and Ben is money in the playoffs. Plus that WR core is very good and now they bolstered the oline.

it's hard making the SB twice in a row, so for that reason I'm giving Pittsburgh the edge.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:26 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
It's probably going to be the Steelers. I think they can squeeze another year out of that defense, and Ben is money in the playoffs. Plus that WR core is very good and now they bolstered the oline.

it's hard making the SB twice in a row, so for that reason I'm giving Pittsburgh the edge.
Pittsburgh is always a scary team for this one reason: "Ben is money in the playoffs". An Elite QB, especially one who is as clutch as Ben can always make your team a threatening playoff team, but that Defense just doesn't seem like a Super Bowl D to me, but hey look at that Giants D this year and how well they did with a simple scheme change and when they had an elite QB with elite WRs. I think New England and Houston have a better shot now at making the Super Bowl, but it would not surprise me one bit if Pitt made it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:31 AM    (permalink
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Yeah there aren't many qbs i rather have over Ben in the playoffs. And in a weak AFC, he can definitely take advantage.

The Steelers are kind of built like the Giants. Great qb, great 3 WR set, mediocre OL (although pittsburgh really bolstered theirs), very good defense (although Pittsburgh's is old), mediocre run game.

And most importantly a clutch qb who gets it done in the playoffs. I wouldn't sleep on Pittsburgh.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:37 AM    (permalink
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Yeah there aren't many qbs i rather have over Ben in the playoffs. And in a weak AFC, he can definitely take advantage.

The Steelers are kind of built like the Giants. Great qb, great 3 WR set, mediocre OL (although pittsburgh really bolstered theirs), very good defense (although Pittsburgh's is old), mediocre run game.

And most importantly a clutch qb who gets it done in the playoffs. I wouldn't sleep on Pittsburgh.
I agree with everything you said, Pittsburgh is not a team to sleep on. If they make the playoffs you can never count them out.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:53 PM    (permalink
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Steelers and Patriots will always been considered contenders in my mind as long as they have their QBs. Safe to say the Colts arent. I'd say there's about a 50-50 chance it's the Pats/Steelers again or someone like Houston or Baltimore. Denvers the only other team that I think could make a run, never know what Manning is gonna do to that team.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:32 PM    (permalink
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I would put the rest of the Conference:

1) Texans



2) Ravens
3-5) Chiefs, Chargers and Titans.

I would go about 2-1 on Houston out right, with the Pats 3-1.

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Old 05-30-2012, 06:13 AM    (permalink
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Every year I look at the Ravens' roster and I think, "Man, that team is loaded!" And then I watch them a few times and I always walk away thinking, "They just can't get that offense into a rhythm!"

So I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say Cincinnati. Just cuz.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:06 PM    (permalink
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Broncos are my pick for the AFC.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:51 PM    (permalink
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Homerism aside Im gonna have to say Patriots.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:21 PM    (permalink
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If Peyton can return to form the Broncos should be the right up there with New England, Baltimore and Houston. I'd place Denver 3rd/4th with Houston on their odds to make it from the AFC. It all just depends on how Manning and Schaub bounce back and if they can stay healthy.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:28 PM    (permalink
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I dont see Denver. Their defense is good, but not outstanding. Peyton Manning has a whole roster to adjust to and a new offense to learn, and dont forget he's 36 years old. I would put them 3rd in the division.

Kansas City will go as far as an elite defense and ground game can take them, given that Matt Cassel is driving. San Diego still has a fantastic roster, though IMO it was better in 2010 when they first missed the playoffs. They will go as far as their coaching staff can take them. Denver is next, then Oakland.

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Old 05-30-2012, 08:41 PM    (permalink
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I dont see Denver. Their defense is good, but not outstanding. Peyton Manning has a whole roster to adjust to and a new offense to learn, and dont forget he's 36 years old. I would put them 3rd in the division.

Kansas City will go as far as an elite defense and ground game can take them, given that Matt Cassel is driving. San Diego still has a fantastic roster, though IMO it was better in 2010 when they first missed the playoffs. They will go as far as their coaching staff can take them. Denver is next, then Oakland.

J
But... Norv Turner...
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:13 AM    (permalink
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I dont see Denver. Their defense is good, but not outstanding. Peyton Manning has a whole roster to adjust to and a new offense to learn, and dont forget he's 36 years old. I would put them 3rd in the division.

Kansas City will go as far as an elite defense and ground game can take them, given that Matt Cassel is driving. San Diego still has a fantastic roster, though IMO it was better in 2010 when they first missed the playoffs. They will go as far as their coaching staff can take them. Denver is next, then Oakland.

J
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But... Norv Turner...
I think I covered that.

I would rather have Cassel/Quinn/Stanzi than Norv.

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Old 05-31-2012, 07:26 AM    (permalink
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I've said it before and I'll say it again.

The Ravens are never going to the Superbowl with Cam Cameron as their OC. Hiring another ultra conservative DC in Dean Pees won't help either.

Last year was their best shot. Take away Suggs, leave the ****** coordinators, add in the Ray Rice contract situation (even if he doesn't miss any games, guys sitting out the entire offseason generally come back in worse condition and more prone to injuries) AND throw in the fact that I don't think Joe Flacco is ever taking that next step.....and nope.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:33 AM    (permalink
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It's really more Joe Flacco than anything else. The bottom line is if you want to be a SB team, you need a stud qb. Look at the past 12 years. Literally 10 out of those 12 years the SB winning qb was a stud.

Flacco isn't that guy. And he might not ever be that guy.

As awful as Pees is, the Ravens defense is great no matter who calls the plays. The defense won't be as good, but will still be fine. But offensively, it really depends on Flacco. Time to step up. I know Cameron is not the best, but he needs to make plays. The talent is there. Flacco has to step it up.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:42 AM    (permalink
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It's really more Joe Flacco than anything else. The bottom line is if you want to be a SB team, you need a stud qb. Look at the past 12 years. Literally 10 out of those 12 years the SB winning qb was a stud.

Flacco isn't that guy. And he might not ever be that guy.

As awful as Pees is, the Ravens defense is great no matter who calls the plays. The defense won't be as good, but will still be fine. But offensively, it really depends on Flacco. Time to step up. I know Cameron is not the best, but he needs to make plays. The talent is there. Flacco has to step it up.
To your first point, you can even look at the last 10 teams to play in a Superbowl. The QBs go: Eli, Brady, Rodgers, Ben, Brees, Peyton, Ben, Warner, Eli, Brady.

Every guy on that list either already has or is well on their way to having a hall of fame resume.

Throw on top of Flacco the fact that his OC sucks, his stud RB is holding out and most of his pass catchers suck, and you've got a serious problem.

Also, further compounding things on defense even beyond Pees conservatism is that Suggs is out. One of the few proven guys they have who can get pressure on the QB no matter what.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:24 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
LeBeau needs some DBs though. That Pittsburgh defense is traditionally built on a sick front 7 but with the passing game becoming so prevalent, they need to invest in some corners.

That Cover 2 shell they use can only do so much.
Carnell Lake has worked magic with the young DBs....Ike and Troy are old but still playing well, Keenan Lewis has come a long way, they are in love with cortez allen and curtis brown (i think brown replaces *** and allen ultimately replaces clark at FS)

Ike had one bad game at the worst time but was brilliant all year long (probably easily top 5 stat wise....he allowed 3 WRs over 50 yards and gave up 3 TDs and one of those were in garbage time against the jags)

The steelers defense is getting much younger with aaron smith and farrior out, casey hampton on his way out and guys like heyward, taamu, mcclendon, hood, timmons, woodley becoming the core of the defense
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:45 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by stlouisfan37 View Post
Every year I look at the Ravens' roster and I think, "Man, that team is loaded!" And then I watch them a few times and I always walk away thinking, "They just can't get that offense into a rhythm!"

So I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say Cincinnati. Just cuz.
His name is Joe Flacco. He's not a good QB but gets weird hype that makes him sound fairly decent, but the reality is he just isn't good. Whenever I watch him play I understand how that offense can't take off even when it has weapons; he's such a slow, plodding decision maker with horrible accuracy issues inside the markers.

And I am in such agreement about elite QBs. For so long the AFC reigned supreme with them but now the NFC is just flat out superior. Rodgers, Brees, Eli, Stafford, with a couple others being conceivably in that field after next year (most notably Cam and Vick if he bounces back to 2010 form.) Who does the AFC have that has a legit shot at getting into the elite tier in the next two years? Brady, Ben and Manning if he's recovered. It's really kind of mind boggling.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:39 PM    (permalink
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This may be the homer in me talking, but you will all nibble on your words about Joe Flacco.(wanted to say eat but I only see him getting marginally better)

He's the best quarterback we've had and I know that's not saying much with our track record at QB but he is not a bad QB. Not elite but he can get the job done like he almost did last year if the season breaks our way. So far with the Suggs thing its not looking good, but it is possible and I will stick with my Qb til the end.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:39 PM    (permalink
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I admit there are some things that the Ravens need to do to maximize Flacco's effectiveness.

1. I think Flacco is at his best when he can throw it downfield. An Air Coryell offense is perfect for him, and Cameron's offense is built to be as such. However, if you're going to run that offense, get some fast WRs! The only speed WR they have was a rookie who only knew how to run a go route. And he was their best WR.

Get some more speed at WR and let him wing it downfield.

2. Run the ball more. Ray Rice is pretty good.

However, whenever you evaluate a player, the key is to isolate the player. You hear scouts say it all the time. Isolate the player.

Flacco struggles to make reads, he goes through his progressions very slowly, he has a horrible blind side, he has poor pocket presence, and he struggles to read defenses. He also lacks accuracy on intermediate throws.

My biggest problems are his pocket presence, and his slow progressions. Those 2 things are difficult to fix at this point in his career. And you can only go so far as a qb when you have those issues.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:43 PM    (permalink
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To add to my statement about running the ball more, I have to be careful on how I state that.

Yes they do have to run the ball more, but you can't just run the ball more with Ray Rice. It's simple to say, but you have to be aware of his touches. Think about it, we ***** about him not touching the ball enough, the man had 291 carries this year. That's a lot of carries. And that doesn't even count how many passes he caught.

Needless to say he got a ton of plays his way on offense. So to say they need to feed it to him more is not really accurate. That's fan talk. He got the ball plenty of times.

But they do need to run it more. Which means they need a 2nd RB who can spell Rice and deliver quality results. I don't know if they currently have that guy on the roster, if they do, use him. If they don't, they should have gotten a guy.
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