Throughout the season, we’ll be updating this, and adding the “obituary” section as well for those teams whose seasons are pretty much over. We got the first installment on record back in June, pre free agency. We’ll do one every week of the season, but since all the 3rd preseason games (the dress rehearsals) are in the books, I figured we’d update prior to the start of the actual season. Here we go:
Panthers – NKOTB.
They kept their best free agents (DeAngelo Williams, Charles Johnson, and Ryan Kalil), and hung onto Steve Smith. It looks like Cam Newton is the starter from Day 1, as he should be. Let the kid take his lumps. And you know what? He’s going to make a lot of plays. This team won’t be anywhere close to as bad as they were in 2010, but they still won’t be good.
Can anybody name a major strength on this team?
I can’t. It looked like the Seahawks were going to be able to create mismatches with their size in the passing game:
- Sidney Rice – 6’4, 202
- Mike Williams – 6’6, 235
- Zach Miller – 6’5, 255
- John Carlson – 6’5, 251
Unfortunately, they lost John Carlson for the season with a torn labrum. Even more unfortunately, their QB this season is Tarvaris Jackson. Don’t get me wrong – I like Tarvaris Jackson. I just like him as a backup. When in doubt, throw it high, Tarvaris.
By the way, the NFC West has 3 weeks to produce a winning record. If they’re all 1-2 or worse after Week 3, I’m not even going to waste my time (or yours) with them – They’ll all be lumped together.
Redskins – Defense will be waaaay better.
I count 5 upgrades, 6 if you factor in that Brian Orakpo keeps getting better. I’m kinda bullish on the Skins lately.
|LDE||Adam Carriker||Adam Carriker|
|DT||Ma’ake Kemoeatu||Barry Cofield|
|RDE||Kedric Golston||Stephen Bowen|
|LOLB||Lorenzo Alexander||Ryan Kerrigan|
|LILB||London Fletcher||London Fletcher|
|RILB||Rocky McIntosh||Rocky McIntosh|
|ROLB||Brian Orakpo||Brian Orakpo|
|LCB||DeAngelo Hall||DeAngelo Hall|
|SS||LaRon Landry||LaRon Landry|
|FS||Kareem Moore||OJ Atogwe|
|RCB||Carlos Rogers||Josh Wilson|
But still… John Beck.
Rams – The blind love for Sam Bradford is already getting annoying.
Sam Bradford’s rookie season can be broken up into 3 different stretches – Early struggles, excellent progression, and disappointing finish. Here’s what I mean:
It’s been so long since there’s been a great rookie QB that legitimately played really well for a full season, and I think some people go a little overboard in proclaiming a guy “the next great QB” as so many have done with Sam Bradford. Bradford is no doubt on the right track. I like his arm, I like his intangibles, he seems to be a good kid, yada yada yada. Most importantly, he’s shown unmistakable flashes of great QB play… But is it premature to have him earmarked as a sure-fire Top 5 QB someday? Very. Matt Ryan already has an completely (and comically) undeserved nickname that he didn’t bring upon himself, but is now scoffed for. Don’t do the same to Sam Bradford – Let the kid play and see how he pans out before creating ridiculous expectations.