After struggling, injury ridden season - just at the right time this team now seems ready for big games. 1. Front 7 Front 7 was/is seen as the biggest or the only liability of this team. Going into playoffs one could argue that is no longer the case. One guy this unit could heavily lean on throughout the season is Lawrence Guy. A few weeks ago he was joined by healthy, fresh and highly motivated Brown who never looked better. They are now a strong pair upfront to anchor this unit. RJF was brought twice from the street to fill in but he looks good every time he lines up. Branch should reportedly be available as well and while he struggled to come to form all year and is not likely to contribute in last year's capacity he can possibly still offer some strong snaps in certain situations. Adam Butler continues to be disruptive inside piece on 3rd downs. Edge is getting even bigger boost going to playoffs: Trey Flowers is another top guy coming back from injury just at the right time in good condition and coming back to his form. Harrison looked every bit like the last piece of puzzle this unit needed to rise to the playoff level. He showed that he can play more than just a few situational snaps (47% of D snaps), that he has the strength, the tools and the motor for 3 big games, that he can be powerful edge setter and pass rusher and very importantly - also helps rotation keeping young guys fresh and concentrate on limited tasks they can handle. [email protected] sent Harrison for a couple of sacks late in the game just to put it on film. Now teams will have to game plan for mad rusher Harris which will relief most of all Flowers but also other guys incl. interior to have more space to make plays. Wise and Lee should benefit on a reduced number of snaps. Wise is gradually making less mistakes, holds position better, Lee bounced back nicely after two tough games playing through injury. He still has problems setting the edge so going on as situational player will help him and the team as we could see on Sunday. LB unit was a revolving door all year but again - just at the right time the pieces are coming together. Biggest boost here is the return of KVN (that will help also the edge) but the emergence of M.Flowers should not be underestimated. Not only is he making play after play both on D and ST but adds two things this unit (even with healthy Hightower and KVN) missed most: speed and coverage. He is a very solid tackler, knows how to disguise his plays (blitzing, spying, robbing, covering) so big gain not only for LB unit but all different D looks in nickel and dime. E.Roberts is a soldier, a missile that hits and misses - and also in his case, the addition of KVN will help him to play to his strength in a more situational role Looking at this very provisional illustration suddenly doesn't look so bad: (bold players new or returning recently, probably): KVN - T.Flowers - Guy - Brown - Harris // Wise, Lee, RJF, A.Butler / Branch Chung - KVN/Roberts/M.Flowers // Richards (Harris) 2. Secondary No need to waste too many words here. After early communication struggles this unit fell together nicely. Gilmore and Butler can have their ups and downs but overall this is a very solid CB pair like expected. D-Mac, Chung and Harmon are doing excellent job all year in the box, outside or back. Rowe adds another dimension/option for different formations. I still think JJ is a better player overall at the moment but Rowe is bigger and better in coverage over the middle, also better potential outside vs big receivers so his value going forward is substantial - esp. going against Ju-Ju and possibly helping with Kelce.. 3. OL It was nice to see slow but steady progress of Solder. Having a very solid LT again after early struggles is huge for this offence. Mason and Andrews are having career years. Thuney started to struggle mid season like last year but looks like he is bouncing back again. The weakest position not only of this unit but the whole team is RT. Fleming is trying to do a decent job and with some help he keeps his side at least fairly honest but having Cannon here would make this O unstoppable. Waddle was better before injury so hopefully he can come back in similar capacity. If there is a weak link on this team its this one esp. because they can't really upgrade it - they can just distribute some help over but that affects the skill positions. The “good“ news is this position also can't get worse since hobbled Waddle, Fleming and young Croston offer similar level IMO. 4. Skill It looks like as long as Gronk and Lewis are healthy, TB and McD will find a way to move the ball. The fact that this unit can add up to 5 more starting caliber/super-bowl experienced players in Hogan, Mitchell, Burkhead, White and Gillislee is almost unfair. 5. ST This is one of the best units in football right now. Ghost is in a zone, Allen is peaking, Pats are best in starting drive position and opponents starting position, they never allow a big play and have (among) the fewest penalties. Let the games begin..