Saturday, December 27, 2014

NFC Northern Division Finale: Bears - Vikings Square Off In Minneapolis



Questions
The NFC Northern Division Finale just got more interesting! Jay Cutler now has a reprieve of sorts, after being named the starter for the Chicago Bears again following Jimmy Clausen's concussion. There are some questions about whether the Chicago Bears can keep Cutler up right? Can Kyle Long block aggressive players like Everson Griffin and Shariff Floyd?

Secondary
The Minnesota Vikings are simply having trouble closing out games. Any fan will notice in this NFL Week 17 matchup that Josh Robinson could definitely have some trouble defending Alshon Jeffrey, if Jeffery ends up lining up against Robinson most of the time. The Minnesota Vikings are going to stick Xavier Rhodes on Jeffrey, in order to watch him closely with their best young corner in Rhodes.

The Bears have been known to make a number of mistakes as well, remember
Week 15 Chicago Bears lost against the Saints in their home field. Ryan Mundy is a decent, floating free safety, but he can also make a number of costly mistakes and ruin a good coverage scheme. Jarius Wright has definitely been able to set up a good working relationship with Teddy Bridgewater as the Vikings main deep threat, but Bridgewater did throw a few errant passes when the Vikings played the Bears at Soldier Field, earlier in the year.

Safey Net
The Vikings have a somewhat unpredictable running game with Matt Asiata, Ben Tate and Joe Banyard. Teddy Bridgewater needs a safety net at the tight end position in order to complete certain short yardage plays. Chase Ford probably has to be the answer for the Vikings in this case, Kyle Rudolph is likely going to be out of the game or at least limited with an injury.

Contributions
Is there another wide out that can pick up the pace for the Bears? Josh Morgan and any contribution that he would make to their offensive scheme would be a welcome sight. Jordan Mills has struggled with the swim move this season, as defensive linemen have been able to solve the blocking schemes of the Chicago Bears. Mills may be questioning whether his time at Louisiana Tech truly got him ready for the NFL.

Outcome
Ultimately, the Bears may have more to prove here. Their roster probably has more guys fighting for their jobs going into next year.
The Bears could win this one by a 17-14 score. You know Jared Allen is going to come out there, motivated and ready to go as he wants to put on a show against the Minnesota fans that would root for him every Sunday, during his time with the Vikings

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2014 NFL Team Previews: Tampa Bay Buccaneers



Key Additions

QB Josh McCown, TE Brandon Myers, OT Anthony Collins, G/OT Oniel Cousins, C/G Evan Dietrich-Smith, DE Michael Johnson, DT Clinton McDonald, ILB Dane Fletcher, CB Alterraun Verner, CB Mike Jenkins, S Major Wright, WR Mike Evans (draft), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (draft), RB Charles Sims (draft), G Kadeem Edwards (draft)


Key Losses

FB Erik Lorig, WR Mike Williams, OT Donald Penn, G Davin Joseph, G Gabe Carimi, C Jeremy Zuttah, OLB Dekoda Watson, CB Darrelle Revis.


Team Analysis

The Bucs are one of the most improved teams this season, and are a real dark horse candidate to contend for a playoff spot. The talent is there on both sides of the ball, though the defense could still use some help. However, adding Smith as head coach should be a big help for the defense itself. On offense, they have a solid line, a team of monstrous receivers, and a stud running back with great depth behind him. The only question? Quarterback. They made a great move bringing in McCown, and if he can preform like he did in Chicago, Tampa could easily win even more games than I am projecting. However, I just can't see him playing at that elite level for a whole season. The other quarterback option, Mike Glennon, isn't anything special either. If one of them can prove to be a strong quarterback, the Bucs should have their best season in a while. However, if the situation stays a bit cloudy under center, they may fall just short of the postseason.

Projected Wins Range

7-9

2014 NFL Team Previews: Atlanta Falcons



Key Additions

QB T.J. Yates, TE Bear Pascoe, G Jon Asamoah, G/T Gabe Carimi, DE/DT Tyson Jackson, DT Paul Soliai, CB Josh Wilson, CB Javier Arenas, S Dwight Lowery, KR Devin Hester, OT Jake Matthews (drafT), DE/DT Ra'Shede Hageman (draft), RB Devonta Freeman (draft), DE/OLB Prince Shembo (draft)


Key Losses

RB Jason Snelling, TE Tony Gonzalez, G Garrett Reynolds, OLB Stephen Nicholas, ILB Akeem Dent, CB Asante Samuel, S Thomas DeCoud


Team Analysis

Like the Texans, the Falcons played way below their talent level last season. Between that and a large amount of key injuries, the team looked like it just gave up at the end of the year. The Falcons certainly will not be picking in the top 6 again this season (barring an even bigger wave of injuries). With improved protection and his number one weapon back, Matt Ryan should have a nice bounce back season, despite losing a hall of fame tight end. The defense, however, is still a question mark. They made drastic improvements on the line, but the linebacking corps and the secondary is a bit of a question mark for me. I think Atlanta will definitely be a lot better this year and will compete for a wild card spot at the very least, though I think New Orleans is a clear favorite for the division tittle.

Projected Wins Range

8-10

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 NFL Team Previews: Oakland Raiders



Key Additions

QB Matt Schaub, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, WR James Jones, OT Donald Penn, OT Austin Howard, G Keith Boothe, DE Justin Tuck, DE/OLB LaMarr Woodley, CB Carlos Rogers, CB Tarell Brown DE/OLB Khalil Mack (draft), QB Derek Carr (draft), G Gabe Jackson (draft), NT Justin Ellis (draft), CB Keith McGill (draft)


Key Losses

RB Rashad Jennings, WR Jacoby Ford, OT Jared Veldheer, G Mike Brisiel, DE Lamarr Houston, DT Vance Walker, CB Tracy Porter, CB Philip Adam.


Team Analysis

Oakland went on a veteran signing spree this off season, and certainly found more veteran talent than they've had in many years. However, there just isn't enough young talent to supplement it. Their biggest issue, however, is at quarterback. Schaub was absolutely terrible last season, and will need a major rebound to be a passable starter. The alternative to Schaub would be Carr. While he was one of my favorite QBs in the 2014 draft class, he just isn't ready to start. He has a hell of an arm, but needs some molding to become a professional quarterback. Overall, I think the raiders will be far more competitive than they have been due to some nice veteran additions, but they still won't be contenders.

Projected Wins Range

5-7