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

Friday, July 25, 2014

2014 NFL Team Previews: Cleveland Browns



Key Additions

RB Ben Tate, WR Andrew Hawkins, WR Miles Austin, WR Nate Burleson, S Donte Whitner, CB Justin Gilbert (draft), QB Johnny Manziel (draft), OT/G Joel Bitonio (draft), ILB Christian Kirksey (draft), RB Terrance West (draft), CB Pierre Desir (draft)


Key Losses

QB Brandon Weeden, QB Jason Campbell, WR Davone Bess, G Shawn Lauvao, ILB D'Qwell Jackson, S T.J. Ward


Team Analysis

Has the sports world ever been this focused on Cleveland? Between the return of the King and the arrival of Johnny Football, ESPN might have to set up a studio in the area. While Lebron James is a seasoned vet who can handle the spotlight, how will Johnny Manziel handle an even higher level of stardom than he had in college? He's already shown his love for the celebrity lifestyle, so we'll have to see how well he can handle the NFL side of life as well. In my opinion, Manziel (along with the team in general) isn't ready for this spotlight and they aren't ready to win. They really but Manziel in a situation to fail with pretty poor receiving talent. With Gordon probably gone for most of the season, Johnny is left with a collection of supporting receivers but no primary targets. The defense has improved, but it's still not strong enough to stop a strong offense. The Browns are heading in the right direction with some young pieces and a lot of future picks, but I wouldn't count on much improvement right away.

Projected Wins Range

4-6