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Biggest questionmarks facing our AFC foes

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by drakesta101, Aug 18, 2007.

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  1. drakesta101

    drakesta101 On the Game Day Roster

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    We do enough analyzing of our own team - lets see what problems our competition has.

    Jets - After a surprise winning season in 06, can this team sustain their success in 07? Many believe this team was a product of their "cupcake" schedule. Their QB has what I like to call a "wet noodle" for an arm, which certainly limits the playbook. Kendall is unhappy and wants a new contract after signing one last March - is it any coincidence he fumbled some snaps playing Center the other night? Other than that they look solid all-around.

    Dolphins- Cam Cameron's first year as a HC in the NFL won't be as easy as it is being an offensive coordinator with LT on the roster. Under Trent Green, the offense should improve, but by all accounts Green has been looking less than stellar in TC, struggling to pick up the offense as quickly as CC would have hoped. The defense should be strong - but that offense could have some problems.

    Bills- A first year runningback being thrown right in to the fire in Marshawn Lynch. JP Losman looked like he was finally taking control of his career last year, but can he sustain his success for more than half a season? The Bills lost a sure tackler in London Fletcher and a lockdown corner in Clements - which should surely have an effect on an already average defense.

    Colts- The defending superbowl champs have lost quite a lot this offseason. As much as I dislike him, Bill Polian seems like a good judge of talent so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now. But it's a large task to overcome the losses of Booger McFarland, Cato June, super bowl stud Dominic Rhodes, their 2 starting corners, along with starting safety Mike Doss, and pro bowl talent LT Tarik Glenn. Rookie Ugoh is being called on to defend Manning's blindside, which leads me to believe 2005 won't be the only line Peyton will throw under the bus.

    Jaguars- This team did not have many glaring losses on defense besides S Donavan Darius. But offense is another story as Byron Leftwich, who by all accounts has lost some weight, has recently gone public about his not so positive feelings about the way the QB situation was handled in 2006. Byron should be more worried about who he is going to throw the ball to, as his Wide Receivers are lacking in what I like to call talent. Del Rio is feeling the heat as his seat will be very hot.

    Titans- Pacman Jones - A stud cornerback and a world class idiot. His offseason fortunes could be very similar to the Titans regular season, as they decided to ignore glaring needs at WR and RB, putting the honus of winning games squarely on the shoulders of one Vincent Young. Sure - hes super talented, but I really doubt it's enough to overcome such a deficiency in skill players. Plus hes on the Madden cover, the kiss of death to an NFL season.

    Texans- The Texans are going to rely on first year starting QB Matt Schaub. He has looked good when he has played, but thats sparingly. They signed an old man to run the ball for them this year in Ahman Green and decided to once again completely ignore their horrid offensive line. A year after deciding to draft DE Mike Williams instead of Vince Young or Reggie Bush, they went and drafted Amobi Okeye, a DT that was passed over by his own former HC in college, and it was certainly not because of needs, as Petrino decided to draft Jamal Williams at DE. So many have decided Okeye will be a certain bust. Their defense has holes and division teams like the Colts and Jaguars will love playing them on Sundays.

    Broncos - After a nightmare offseason in which they tragically lost 2 teammates, the Broncos look like they are primed to come back and charge in to the playoffs under HC Shanahan. But Questions remain in their horrid defensive line, and whether 2nd year QB Jay Cutler will suffer from a sophomore slump.

    Chargers- The Chargers are a talented group and return MVP RB LT. But the replacement of a head coach who was beloved by his players,and the loss of both their offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator are not something that can be taken lightly, as we all know, coaching is very important in the NFL. Philip Rivers has zero respectable WRs, one of which helped us out immensely during the playoff game last year(Eric Parker). The defense will be strong and the Chargers will likely roll in to the playoffs, but expect Norv Turner to screw up something along the way.

    Chiefs- A year after finding there way to the playoffs, the Chiefs are faced with a QB battle and the disappearance of a star running back. These are not 2 problems a playoff team likes to deal with - especially when the team already has a subpar WR core and a defense that has more holes than a pair of jeans at Abercrombie. I think this team overachieved in 06 and don't expect much from these guys.

    Raiders- A year after finishing with the worst record in the NFL - the Raiders are not capitalizing on their first overall pick, failing to sign QB Jamarcus Russel to a contract. Although they have an underrated defense, this team will be the laughing stock of the league once again in 07.

    Steelers- The Steelers look to rebound in 07, but are challenged by the fact that they are being led by first year head coach Mike Tomlin. I think Coach Cowher will be dearly missed in Pittsburgh and was undervalued there as a HC. Ben Roethlisberger is being given more control of the offense this year, whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is yet to be determined.

    Ravens - After a great 06 campaign, the Ravens look to be very much the same team they have been. They're only glaring loss was a guy we know well, pro bowler Adalius Thomas. They should have a great defense again, but their offense is another story. I don't like Steve McNair at all, I believe he is well passed his prime and this was painfully obvious when they played in the Colts in the playoffs last year.

    Bengals - Once again the Cincinnati Inmates have loaded up on their prison sentences and league suspensions in the offseason. All kidding aside, the Bengals offense will be cookin in 07 - but Rudi Johnson rushed for an alarmlingly low YPC in 06 and their defense cant stop anybody, which will be a huge hindrance in their quest for a Lombardi trophy.

    Browns - I wish Romeo well in 07 and I'm sure he will need it. Sure the Browns have some talented players on offense, but Jamal Lewis at RB, who knows at QB, and an offensive defensive raises some issues. This team will have another struggle in 07.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  2. drakesta101

    drakesta101 On the Game Day Roster

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    Thoughts? Did I leave Anything out? Corrections?
     
  3. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, here's a little something about Ginn down in Miami that you might want to include:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/855/story/207413.html

    Aqua must be crying in his cereal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  4. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Apparently, the only deficiency you can see in the chargers is that they (in thier own mind) upgraded their coaching staff.`
     
  5. BoltsFan

    BoltsFan On the Game Day Roster

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    I'm not going to dispute this analysis too much other than to say that I think people are overestimating the impact of the coaching change.

    None of SD's schemes on offense or defense have changed. Norv understands the offense the Bolts run better than Cam Cameron did. Ted Cottrell understands the defense the Bolts run at least as well if not better than Wade Phillips understood it. The Bolts made the changes they did for a reason and it was valid. The chemistry between Norv and AJ Smith is overwhelmingly better than it was between AJ and Marty. That matters.

    Everyone understands Norv is a question mark. No doubt. But there have been other question mark coaches in history who've gone on to achieve great things. As I'm sure you're all aware. ;)

    Time will tell if your analysis is spot on...
     
  6. drakesta101

    drakesta101 On the Game Day Roster

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    True- That remains to be seen - I don't think it's necessarilly a given that they upgraded or downgraded, they just had a 14-2 season - I don't think it was a great idea to revamp the coaching staff. Norv Turner is not exactly a great HC either.

    Do you have more in mind?
     
  7. drakesta101

    drakesta101 On the Game Day Roster

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    BTW - I am not claiming to be an NFL analyst - these are my own opinions which are suposed to spur debate.
     
  8. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Very thorough and long analysis. The one area that needs correcting is that the Steelers haven't changed their defensive system one iota. Dick LeBeau is still the DC, as he has been since 2004, and Tomlin has confirmed this role and set about using LeBeau as a mentor. Be aware that while the Steelers may have problems on offense, their defense is still a strength with coaching and player continuity. Joey Porter is gone, and likely won't be missed.
     
  9. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Phillips is a far better coordinator than Cottrell is, and this will probably be a big loss for the Chargers.
     
  10. drakesta101

    drakesta101 On the Game Day Roster

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    I was under the impression that he was installing the 4-3 gradually.
     
  11. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Here's a link that will shed some light on what's going to happen with the Steelers' defense:

    http://kdka.com/steelers/local_story_078231049.html

    "One change Tomlin won't make immediately: switching to the 4-3 defense and Tampa 2 coverage scheme he prefers.

    While he is expected to incorporate some elements of the 4-3 defense he used last season as Minnesota's defensive coordinator, a total overhaul isn't feasible with the players and the system currently in place.

    The Steelers signaled that recently by re-signing defensive end Aaron Smith.

    He is ideal for the 3-4 scheme they have played since the early 1980s but not so well-suited for the 4-3, especially if he had to move inside and play tackle.

    Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has a number of key players who fit into the 3-4 much better than they would a 4-3 - linebackers Clark Haggans, James Farrior and James Harrison and defensive end Brett Keisel among them.

    So any changes made now, in the spring minicamps and preseason training camp, are likely to be subtle."

    If you watched the Steelers vs. Redskins Saturday night, the 3-4 was evident. Not as flexible as the Pats, the Steelers occasionally switch alignments, but their defensive personnel is better suited for the 3-4 at this time. They've been successful with it, and if it ain't broke, why fix it? Especially with LeBeau in place along with the players who make it go.
     
  12. drakesta101

    drakesta101 On the Game Day Roster

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    Thanks for the info - I think this obviously benefits the Steelers. I have them pegged to win the North.
     
  13. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    As stated, the Steelers should still be a force defensively. It's the offense where I believe they'll be most challenged.

    In the AFC North, the Ravens are still the team to beat. The question marks are the Bengals and the Steelers. Can the Bengals stand up to the division and the conference defensively? Can the Steelers score enough to keep pace with the Bengals and overcome the Ravens strong defense? The Steelers have a new OC who is familiar with the system. The real wild card is Rothlisberger. If he's on, they could be 11-5, if not, 9-7 or worse. If I were betting:
    1) Ravens (11-5)
    2) Steelers (9-7)
    3) Bengals (9-7)
    4) Browns (5-11)

    In this scenario, neither the Steelers nor the Bengals make the playoffs. Course, this is so much hot air at this time of year, but it makes it fun to pass the time. We'll see how close this is when the ammunition is live.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  14. slash83

    slash83 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I still am not convinced the jets should be running a 3-4, they just dont have the d-line for it and itl show this year just like it did last season.
     
  15. drakesta101

    drakesta101 On the Game Day Roster

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    I agree - the Ravens will still be a force, but I have no faith in McNair and I think that his abilities or lack there of will stick out this season.
     
  16. BoltsFan

    BoltsFan On the Game Day Roster

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    I think I understand that. :icon_smil
     
  17. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Understood, but when the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV, they had no offense to speak of yet beat the Giants 34-7. Defense wins games, which is why I can't count out the 2007 Steelers completely.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2007
  18. DisgruntledTunaFan

    DisgruntledTunaFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Saw the Denver/Dallas game tonight.

    Yeah-Shanahan all but evaluates talent, and nothing more during preseason, but they nonetheless looked BAD tonight, especially on D.

    Dallas played much of the first half w/o Owens and Glenn(and their 2 starting OTs), but they nonetheless torched the Broncos in the air AND on the ground(if it weren't for a couple of drops and a fumble by Sam Hurd, it would have been a lot worse)-and not to mention too that the Broncos played their starters the entire half to boot. And on O, the Broncos didn't look any better.(Yeah, Wade did some stunts and blitzing, but they were very ordinary, nothing special).

    It's hard to say still, but the Broncos may have alot of trouble this year.
     
  19. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I'd go with your first statement about Denver. They're going to be a force this season. Just like the Pats, they are playing situations to get their team ready and to see how players fit. Nothing more, nothing less, and nothing long lasting can ever be gleaned from these games at this stage.
     
  20. italia44

    italia44 In the Starting Line-Up

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    per ESPN:Eckuban is out for the year with
    a ruptured achilles tendon.
     
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