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Old 06-10-2012, 09:41 PM    (permalink
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There is always a common sleeper that everyone agrees will break out and surprise people. It's only impressive when they do even better than the sleeper expectations. Like WCH said, a lot of people expect them to compete for the playoffs, but if they won it all that would be a shock still and even to those who had them as a "sleeper" pick.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:44 PM    (permalink
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I don't see Houston taking another step forward. The team makes the playoffs once in its existence and all of a sudden they're front-runners for the AFC?

Matt Schaub's never even played in a playoff game.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:48 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by WCH View Post
To be fair, I wasn't saying that they're a sleeper to improve over last season or to win 10+ games. I was saying that they're a sleeper to win the whole damned thing.
Right. Most people view the Bears as a legit contender, as they should. A team that is expected to make the playoffs and challenge for the Super Bowl can't be considered a sleeper.

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Old 06-10-2012, 09:49 PM    (permalink
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The seahawks has been on my radar since last year, they a solid squad out there.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:53 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by nepg View Post
I don't see Houston taking another step forward. The team makes the playoffs once in its existence and all of a sudden they're front-runners for the AFC?

Matt Schaub's never even played in a playoff game.
It was the first time in their existence because theyre a very young franchise who started off with nothing. They have improved every year and have been favorites to breakout for 3 years now and they finally did last year. Even without Schaub, a guy who most people feel will put them over the hump, they won a playoff game too. So yea, improving your team and getting your starting QB back certainly makes you a SB threat. Who's better than them in the AFC? The Pats and who else? Pittsburgh? Maybe. Baltimore? Not really. Any West team? No. So what makes you say they won't do it?
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:54 PM    (permalink
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I think picking the Chiefs or Bucs to make the playoffs is unwise. Obviously any team can make the playoffs but they are terrible bets. Way too many ifs. KC has the worst QB in a rough division and the Bucs defense was atrocious last year and their young QB regressed because of tougher competition. And their division is tough as hell also.

I'd pass on both of those teams fairly quickly.

The Browns upgraded at QB and HUGE at RB, return a solid OL and decent defense (underrated secondary).

The Colts upgraded at the most important position with a guy poised for a monster rookie year. I don't know about their defense but Pagano could make an impact and they at least have a couple of pass rushers.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:56 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Mufasa View Post
Right. Most people view the Bears as a legit contender, as they should. A team that is expected to make the playoffs and challenge for the Super Bowl can't be considered a sleeper.
Everybody who follows the NFC North is sold on the Bears, and so are most of the people on boards like this, where we obsessively talk football for 12 months a year. The vast majority of the football-following world is ready to hand the division to Green Bay, and give a Wild Card spot to the Lions.

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Old 06-10-2012, 10:00 PM    (permalink
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Chiefs and Bucs

Chiefs because they don't have Todd Haley anymore, and Charles is back. Bucs because Freeman worked harder than anyone this season, and the Saints aren't going to be as elite as they used to be. They also stole Nicks from them.

And the Texans aren't a sleeper team. We already know they're going to be good.

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Old 06-10-2012, 10:02 PM    (permalink
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The chiefs have an incredible defense which will improve by getting Berry back and adding Poe. They also improved the OL, added Boss and Hillis and get Charles back. A healthy Cassell is better than Palmer and at the very least is a game manager. The Broncos are the team with bigger "ifs". They need Peyton to stay healthy or else they're screwed and even then they may miss the playoffs. The Raiders are a bottom 10 team this year. The Chargers are always overrated and have a mediocre passing attack with a meh D.

The Bucs have improved their OL by adding Nicks which helps Freeman. They also got him VJax to throw too and got him a better running game by adding Martin and making Schiano the HC. They improved the defense by addressing needs in the secondary finally and giving Clayborne and Bowers another year to develop(along with McCoy/Price) gives them a scary D-Line. The Saints have no HC and Brees isn't with the team right now. The Falcons have disappointed 2 years in a row and struggle against good teams(watch them play teams with winning records and see how overrated they are). The Panthers are too young right now.

Both teams might not be the safest bets, but they're damn good ones. Also you doubting them is what makes them sleepers, so go ahead and doubt, but don't be shocked when you're wrong.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:04 PM    (permalink
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Chiefs and Falcons

Chiefs because they don't have Todd Haley anymore, and Charles is back. Falcons because Freeman worked harder than anyone this season, and the Saints aren't going to be as elite as they used to be. They also stole Nicks from them.

And the Texans aren't a sleeper team. We already know they're going to be good.
the Bucs have Freeman and signed Nicks, not the Falcons. Also, no one said the Texans are a sleeper, in fact that guy said they're overrated.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:06 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by WCH View Post
Everybody who follows the NFC North is sold on the Bears, and so are most of the people on boards like this, where we talk football 12 months a year. The vast majority of the football-following world is ready to hand the division to Green Bay, and give a Wild Card spot to the Lions.
Since when do we dumb ourselves down to the vast majority of the football following world?

In either case though, the Bears can not be called a sleeper. Saying the Bears are a sleeper for the Super Bowl is as bold as saying the Jaguars are a sleeper for the #1 pick. Two years ago the Bears were in the NFC Championship game. If not for injuries they could have found themselves in it again, and at the very least would have made the playoffs. Then in the offseason they go out and finally get a true #1 WR. That in no way fits the definition of a sleeper.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:08 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by OSUGiants17 View Post
The chiefs have an incredible defense which will improve by getting Berry back and adding Poe. They also improved the OL, added Boss and Hillis and get Charles back. A healthy Cassell is better than Palmer and at the very least is a game manager. The Broncos are the team with bigger "ifs". They need Peyton to stay healthy or else they're screwed and even then they may miss the playoffs. The Raiders are a bottom 10 team this year. The Chargers are always overrated and have a mediocre passing attack with a meh D.

The Bucs have improved their OL by adding Nicks which helps Freeman. They also got him VJax to throw too and got him a better running game by adding Martin and making Schiano the HC. They improved the defense by addressing needs in the secondary finally and giving Clayborne and Bowers another year to develop(along with McCoy/Price) gives them a scary D-Line. The Saints have no HC and Brees isn't with the team right now. The Falcons have disappointed 2 years in a row and struggle against good teams(watch them play teams with winning records and see how overrated they are). The Panthers are too young right now.

Both teams might not be the safest bets, but they're damn good ones. Also you doubting them is what makes them sleepers, so go ahead and doubt, but don't be shocked when you're wrong.
Bowers is out for the season, but Clayborn is just as good. They also have Lavonte David and Mark Barron starting on D.

I think everyone forgot about Mike Williams too. He's not going to get much double coverage now that they have VJax.

And yes, major brain fart on my part in the first post.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:11 PM    (permalink
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I think they are being slept on a little. A lot of people forgot about them after last season and have hopped on the Lions bandwagon and everyone still loves the Packers. They aren't a big sleeper and in no way is that a bold prediction, but yea I feel they are being slept on somewhat.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:12 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Docta View Post
Bowers is out for the season, but Clayborn is just as good. They also have Lavonte David and Mark Barron starting on D.

I think everyone forgot about Mike Williams too. He's not going to get much double coverage now that they have VJax.

And yes, major brain fart on my part in the first post.
Forgot about Bowers. He was one of the many who messed up his achillies, right? But yea I agree with everything you said. I love Mike Williams as a fantasy pick this year.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:16 PM    (permalink
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Since when do we dumb ourselves down to the vast majority of the football following world?

In either case though, the Bears can not be called a sleeper. Saying the Bears are a sleeper for the Super Bowl is as bold as saying the Jaguars are a sleeper for the #1 pick. Two years ago the Bears were in the NFC Championship game. If not for injuries they could have found themselves in it again, and at the very least would have made the playoffs. Then in the offseason they go out and finally get a true #1 WR. That in no way fits the definition of a sleeper.
Fair enough; you're right. I've spent the past year in the Tampa area, and people here have completely forgotten about the Bears.

I want to like the Chiefs a lot, but I don't know if they're good enough to overcome their QB situation. To make a run with a guy like Cassel, you have to be really outstanding in other areas.

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Old 06-10-2012, 10:21 PM    (permalink
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Forgot about Bowers. He was one of the many who messed up his achillies, right? But yea I agree with everything you said. I love Mike Williams as a fantasy pick this year.
Yeah. They also signed Dallas Clark to replace Winslow. Don't think he has much left in him though. He's currently listed as the back-up to Luke Stocker.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:23 PM    (permalink
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Yea I don't think he has much left either, but he certainly will help Stocker in his development and can be just as good as Winslow(that is if they planned on making Stocker the starter even if they kept him).
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:22 PM    (permalink
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hi all,
Oh yeah I think they just gotta hope a lot of underclassmen declare and they can get a guy like Smith, Jones or maybe even Barkley
I think they are in playoff contention this year as well as Buffalo. I think in a year or 2 when Locker takes over they will put on some great battles with Houston for the division crown.
See! This guy agrees with me!
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:00 AM    (permalink
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The Eagles defense. Last year they were 8th in yards allowed, 10th in points allowed and 1st in sacks. FootballOutsiders had them ranked as the 7th overall defense in DVOA. It was already a pretty strong unit and it got much better.

How did they get better?
  • For starters Juan Castillo and company now have a full offseason to install the rest of the defense.
  • They already had the best 4-3 defensive line in football and it only got better, the Eagles' second DL unit is better than some team's starting units. They already had Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Derek Landri, Phillip Hunt and Darryl Tapp. Now the Eagles have Brandon Graham at 100%, Antonio Dixon is coming back and they added Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry.
  • The linebackers have been significantly upgraded with the additions of DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks. The Eagles started Jamar Chaney and Moise Fokou at these spots last year. Yikes.
  • The Eagles traded Asante Samuel which allows them to play more press man coverage, which suits Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Asante's presence forced those two to play more zone than they were comfortable with.
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie isn't a nickel corner anymore. He's a spectacular athlete but he's not the sharpest tack in the box, complex run fits and route combinations weren't for him. But when he played on the outside he was absolutely stellar. He took 209 snaps on the outside last year and in those snaps he was targeted only 19 times and he only allowed 8 receptions for 70 yards.
  • And then all the safeties get their first full offseason and Nate Allen is fully healthy this offseason too.

I think this unit is lined up for a big year.

Other than that, I'm really high on the Bears, Seahawks, Panthers and Bills. I think all four of those teams make the playoffs.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:51 AM    (permalink
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Arizona's defense - That defense is scary on paper. I am expecting their young OLBs to wreck havoc.
I'll up you one -

NFC West.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:09 AM    (permalink
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Seahawks - They have the best secondary in the NFL, the Bruce Allen pick could very well end up making Pete Carroll look good and keep the 'Hawks climbing into the elite defenses of the league. The OL is finally healthy and has an off-season to work together, and Marshawn will make the Pro Bowl - not as an alternate. Turbin takes some of the pressure off, and Marshawn is deadly late in games. The three-way QB competition should produce something better at the position than what we had last year, which was a team good enough to beat the Eagles, Ravens and Giants, but lost two nail-biters to the 49ers and laid a couple of eggs against bad teams. They're more mature, Pate Carroll finally has the defensive personell he's wanted, and the offense should be improved. Looks like a team that's going to be making a playoff push.

Arizona - Emerging, young defense with some of the best young players nobody outside of the division knows about. Calais Campbell is becoming one of the best all-around defensive lineman in the game, and he's playing next to Darnell Dockett, another Pro Bowler. Adrian Wilson is in control of the secondary, and they have a young, athletic linebacking corps. Beanie Wells finally looked like a first-round pick last year, while he was healthy, and Ryan Williams will be coming back from injury. With Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, their receivers are scary, and Early Doucet is a very good number three. But much like the Seahawks, it's going to come down to QB, and with all the surrounding talent this is another team that might be a competent quarterback away from serious playoff contention.

San Fransisco 49ers - Everyone heard about them last year. Might have two of the top 5 linebackers in the NFL, their secondary plays solid football, Justin Smith is a ******* terrifying human being, they have a talented, tough offensive line for Frank Gore to run behind and Alex Smith finally looked like he belongs in the NFL. Vernon Davis is one of the best at his position, and I think a lot of people are still holding out hope that Crabtree breaks out for a big year. And oh yeah... they brought in Randy Moss. We'll see how that goes.

Rams - Honestly, I don't really follow the Rams. But they looked ******* terrible last year. I don't know what else to say. Bradford regressed pretty badly last year, they still don't have a number one receiver after losing Brandon Lloyd, they've got hardly anything at tight end and one of the league's better running backs in Steven Jackson. Poor, poor Steven Jackson. I hear the defense is better, but all I know about it is that Howie's kid plays defensive end and supposedly looked pretty good last year. But I sense some optimism here on the board, so as always - we'll see.

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Old 06-11-2012, 07:54 AM    (permalink
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The Eagles defense. Last year they were 8th in yards allowed, 10th in points allowed and 1st in sacks. FootballOutsiders had them ranked as the 7th overall defense in DVOA. It was already a pretty strong unit and it got much better.

How did they get better?
  • For starters Juan Castillo and company now have a full offseason to install the rest of the defense.
  • They already had the best 4-3 defensive line in football and it only got better, the Eagles' second DL unit is better than some team's starting units. They already had Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Derek Landri, Phillip Hunt and Darryl Tapp. Now the Eagles have Brandon Graham at 100%, Antonio Dixon is coming back and they added Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry.
  • The linebackers have been significantly upgraded with the additions of DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks. The Eagles started Jamar Chaney and Moise Fokou at these spots last year. Yikes.
  • The Eagles traded Asante Samuel which allows them to play more press man coverage, which suits Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Asante's presence forced those two to play more zone than they were comfortable with.
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie isn't a nickel corner anymore. He's a spectacular athlete but he's not the sharpest tack in the box, complex run fits and route combinations weren't for him. But when he played on the outside he was absolutely stellar. He took 209 snaps on the outside last year and in those snaps he was targeted only 19 times and he only allowed 8 receptions for 70 yards.
  • And then all the safeties get their first full offseason and Nate Allen is fully healthy this offseason too.

I think this unit is lined up for a big year.

Other than that, I'm really high on the Bears, Seahawks, Panthers and Bills. I think all four of those teams make the playoffs.
The Eagles aren't sleepers. And you guys have a very good dline, but not the best in the league.

My issue with the Eagles defense is it's still tiny. It's a unit full of elves. They need more size on defense, they're eventually going to bump into a team that's gonna come out with 22 personnel and just run it down their throat. And they can't stop it bc they're so tiny their base 4-3 looks like a nickel defense.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:25 AM    (permalink
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I think the Redskins are going to be a lot better than people expect. The defense has been good for a couple years now, it's a unit that has been good enough to keep them in most games and I expect more of the same this year. Obviously, the difference now is that they have a legit QB.

There has been a recent trend of rookie QBs coming into the league and performing at a high level right off the bat, and with the raw talent and intangibles that RG3 has I see him being next in line. He doesn't have a true #1 WR, but the Skins have done a good job of surrounding him with enough playmakers to where that offense can be dangerous. Garcon and Moss give them speed and quick strike ability, Hankerson has a ton of talent and should make strides going from year 1 to year 2, and Fred Davis is one of the more underrated receiving TEs in the league. Sprinkle in a Shanahan running game led by Hightower and Helu, and the ingredients are in place for that offense to be successful.

You couldn't find a better fit for RG3's talents than Shanahan's offense. They're going to utilize his legs on plenty of play-action bootlegs, allowing him to take plenty of down field shots to Garcon and Moss.

If RG3 can adapt as quickly to the NFL game as I think he can, and Shanahan can get that running game going like he always does... the Redskins are going to surprise a lot of people this year.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:33 AM    (permalink
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The Eagles aren't sleepers. And you guys have a very good dline, but not the best in the league...its the best in the history of the world! theyll have to open an entirely new hall of fame building just for the eagles!

My issue with the Eagles defense is it's still tiny. It's a unit full of elves. They need more size on defense, they're eventually going to bump into a team that's gonna come out with 22 personnel and just run it down their throat. And they can't stop it bc they're so tiny their base 4-3 looks like a nickel defense. Im a hater though, I only hope theyre as average/above average as i said so they dont tear the league apart like wet tissue paper!
you left some of your thoughts unfinished so im just helping out, otherwise thumper 3.0 might throw a little tantrum because someone is crashing his eagles knob slobber party.


back on topic, i think arizona is in the same boat as KC: lots of good pieces, but the QB is still a problem. much more so for AZ then KC. i think cassel is the definition of mediocre, but kolb is gunna get wiz fired unless they go with skelton instead. then hes got a shot at staying, though i didnt see enough of skelton to be willing to bank on him a whole lot yet.
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Orton will never be in the same class as the Drew Brees or the Peyton Mannings or the Tom Bradys of the world. Kevin Kolb has the potential to be that kind of player.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:36 AM    (permalink
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The Bears have 6 players that they can not afford to lose, Cutler, Forte, Peppers, Briggs, Urlacher and Gould. These guys make their whole team go and without them they'll fall apart. Other teams have a irreplaceable players but no one that I can think of has as many as the Bears and thus no one is as dependent on good luck with injuries. You look at the Pats, they can afford to lose anyone except for Brady and Wilfork, the Giants can survive anyone but Eli or Phillips, the Packers have only Rodgers and Clay as their irreplaceable, even the Lions only have Stafford and Megatron. So the Bears are may be an excellent team when healthy, they're one of the riskest good teams in the NFL.
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JPP is a better and more productive player than Brandon Graham
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Is Shaun Hill a top 10 QB? Definitely not. Is he a top 20 one? Almost certainly.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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