Listing NFL teams from 1-32 isn’t my thing, and, back in the day I was forced to do them, I wouldn’t usually budge them all that much from week to week based on the past weekend’s outcomes, because I saw them more like my lens in the league and what I anticipated it to look like January.
So, when Jacksonville beat Buffalo in early September or whatever on a random missed chip shot field objective, and I still listed Buffalo at, like, place 28, and Jacksonville at place 29, well, you can imagine the outrage and backlash. https://muffino.com Silly, I’m. Somehow I was still of the mind that one of those terribly flawed teams would still pick one or two spots after the other comes the draft of the previous year.
In fact, I suppose the strategy I took was to try to sort teams by levels, with the top eight of 32 clubs that I really thought could win big, and the bottom eightteams that would likely fight for a top five pick when all was said and done, and half of the league jumbled up in the center where one injury or one fumble or one coaching blunder could be the distinction between bei
Because that’s what the NFL is becoming, more years than not. That’s the parity truth. There is a group of haves and a group of has-nots, and everyone else is fighting for a wild card, or, in AFC South’s case, a division title for more years than not. In the average NFL season, the distinction between 7-9 and 9-7 can be quite small, and health and excellent luck can swing stuff one way or the other more than anything else.
Having now taken in half of the pre-season timetable, had the opportunity to collect a little data and evaluate some rosters ‘ growth… I’m not yet going to do a complete breakdown of how I expect the whole league to play out. I’m not trying to delve deep into the NFL society’s turbulent middle class. But in a league of 32 teams, I have a feeling of which quarter of the league I think is best ready to win it all, and which eight teams I’m expecting to jostle for top draft place will come in January.
1. New season for New England Patriots, the same expectations. Fantastic bowl or bust. Change their identity week after week. Will have better pass options to catch than expected a few months ago, and it will matter to lose Gronk, but not enough to prevent another run at least to the AFC Championship Game.
2. New Orleans Saints Any reason to expect that in the NFC they will again be right in the thick. Combination of all-time coach / QB. On 2019, all-in. A year ago, he should have been in the Super Bowl.
3. Philadelphia Eagles Perhaps the greatest football roster. Always adding parts to a profound and talented group at the front office. Employees with forward thinking. Carson Wentz will be talking to the MVP.
4. Kansas City Chiefs Wouldn’t have appeared before the draft because of the security issues, in all probability. But the NFL’s decision on Tyreek Hill and the addition of even more velocity and game-breaking capacity implies that this offense can overcome the ball’s other side if necessary.
5. I’ll confess to Los Angeles Chargers that I waver on my quasi-annual feeling that this might be a Super Bowl team. Damn accidents are a constant that can undermine progress if this Derwin James setback is followed by a few more.
6. Carolina Panthers I enjoy what they’ve accomplished this offseason to strengthen OL and get through the rush. When I was there, Cam Newton looked fantastic at the camp. There are lots of velocity upgrades across the board.
7. In the spring, Pittsburgh Steelers I was a skeptic, obsessed with A.B’s loss. And Bell’s Le’Veon. I went back from my camp visits certain that the offense will be uber-productive again and there has been some addition by subtraction in terms of chemistry and cohesion, and the defense will also be gaining 8. Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson takes you to the playoffs fairly much. It’s demonstrated that much. And I like this group better than the last few around him. If Brian Schottenheimer stops running the offense as he still coaches Mark Sanchez, this squad might be able to take off. QB and coach’s playoff pedigree lands them in the top division.
As for those clubs I expect to have already focused on Thanksgiving’s draft.
It was a enormous blow to lose Jim Caldwell. Bringing the OL coach to camp a week is a disturbing sign. It seems quite strange to refuse to just go to Team Rosen. If they were able to move quickly to 2021, they should.
Will Kyler Murray do it behind that offensive line for half a season, much less a whole season? Can they play a defense lick? Add injuries and the suspension of Patrick Peterson and a hard division, and it may be soon late.
In this chapter you will see a lot of statements about porous lines. But with the depth and starting talent already compromised way before the season starts, this is the worst scenario of all. I have a sense of rookie quarterback Ryan Finley plays way ahead of anyone in the spring, and if Mike Brown wants to mid-season trim large payroll and rebuild he has no shortage of trade alternatives (A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, Geno Atkins).
The fiasco of Trent Williams is the recent indication that this franchise refuses to leave its own way. There could be more than violent offensive line. Probably Dwayne Haskins will play earlier than he should. Special teams in the pre-season looked very poor. I love the defense, but it doesn’t matter.
Scrambling to trade a third-round pick in August for a man who was a third-down back, working without a GM and being in a standoff with your franchise-tagged superstar with the approaching season are signs of less than encouraging. It seems irrational at best to fail to land a proven left tackle to safeguard your top young QB. This offense has been mismanaged for years by the analytics community would inform you.
The QB fiasco will be a weekly problem. The condition of the receiver provides me a break. In this soccer age, a stud running back can only bring a franchise so far. Not sure they hit the bottom of the rock yet.
They’re going to be better than last year… But I don’t believe I’m improving enough to get out of the top 10 picks at this stage. This A.B. Circus has gone on for too long already. Not sure that “Hard Knocks” in this bunch will bring out the best. Massive climbing mountain on the ball’s defensive side.