NFC Playoff predictions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And you thought your NFL NFC team had a chance to get to the playoffs this year? You are probably wrong. Here are my NFC Playoff predictions.

Dallas Cowboys

skeeze / Pixabay

NO CHANCE
NFC East
NG Really hard to predict this team but they won’t make the playoffs.
WA QB Smith has less to work with than he did in KC.
NFC North
DT All Stafford has is his arm. No OL, no WRS and a bad D.
CH Heading in the right direction but not sure if they have the right QB
NFC South
CR Cam is a question mark but the D is fine. That is not enough to get them into the playoffs
TB Jameis Winston starts the season with a 3-game suspension in the worst part of the schedule for TB and the D is not good enough to rescue the O.
NFC West
AZ They find out how much they miss Mathieu and fail to make the playoffs.
Teams that are in the playoffs
PH The D will keep PH in the race no matter who is QB
MN Kirk Cousins has much better targets than in WA. He and the D will get it done.
NO Brees and an improving D get NO back into the playoffs
On the bubble
LR Could make it but needed DT Aaron Donald to sign but traded DE Quinn because they had no idea how to use him.
Needs some help
DA The O is fine. If the D comes around and develops a pass rush DA could make it to the playoffs
GB If the OL can keep Rodgers healthy and D figures out how to cover WRS & TES
AT Ryan can score a lot of points but can the D stop anyone? If they can AT can get in.
Very little hope
SE Wilson is wonderful but he can’t play D. Legion of book is dead. So is the D.
SF Garoppolo gives SF fans some hope but the D needs to be better to make the playoffs

NFC South starting lineup grades

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

They are coming out quickly now, getting ready for opening weekend. Here is the NFC South starting lineup grades.

New Orlean Saints

eileenploh / Pixabay

Atlanta Falcons
QB Matt Ryan is often overrated, but mostly gets the job done. Most mistakes come from trying to do too much. His contract extension was sizable but structured well. B+
RB Devonta Freeman Speaking of overrated…though his ceiling tops out well below that of Ryan. How much does Freeman really have in the tank? B-
WR Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and R Calvin Ridley. Drafting Ridley was an odd choice for a team with 2 solid receivers and a lot of defensive issues. Still, this group will help Ryan put points on the board. B+
TE Austin Hooper, Logan Paulsen. Hooper has some potential but makes a lot of critical mistakes. Paulson was a nice veteran FA addition and is a solid blocker. C+
OL LT Jake Matthews LG Andy Levitre C Alex Mack RG Wes Schweitzer RT Ryan Schraeder team is returning all 5 starters, but Brandon Fusco may push Schweitzer for the RG job. Mack is an All Pro. Levitre is an excellent run blocker but is coming off an injury. B-
DL Takkarist McKinley, Terrell McClain, Grady Jarrett, Vic Beasley Letting Dontari Poe leave remains a huge mistake. Claybourn is also gone (NE). Beasley and Jarrett are respectable. McKinley showed good pass rush skills his rookie season, but this group still feels soft. C
LB WLB Duke Riley MLB Deion Jones SLB De’Vondre Campbell. Jones is a Pro Bowler. Campbell is improving and has benefited from the move to SAM in 2017. Riley is behind the rest of the group and there’s not much depth. C
DB CB Robert Alford, Desmond Trufant, Brian Poole. Lack of depth and underperformance in critical situations in this group contributed hugely to the Falcons demise last season. Attempts to bolster CB this offseason with Justin Bethel (Cardinals) and Isaiah Oliver didn’t  impress me much.  FS Keanu Neal, SS Ricardo Allen. Lots of depth in this group. Allen is a true QB of the defense. C+ (safeties B+, CBs C-)
Carolina Panthers 
QB Cam Newton gets an A when it comes to natural talent, but that will never matter unless he finally gets his head screwed on straight. C
RB CJ Anderson, Christian McCaffrey. Anderson was a nice pickup, but the acquisition is getting more attention than it should. McCaffrey is a stellar pass catcher and excels at finding the end zone, but can’t realistically carry the load on the ground. C+
WR Torrey Smith, Devin Funchess, DJ Moore. Underwhelming but functional group. Can Moore be a breakout contributor? Big changes this offseason, but are the really any different in terms of where they rank than the disappointing receiving corps from 2017? C
TE Greg Olsen is among the league’s best. A
OL LT Matt Kalil, LG Amini Silatolu, C Ryan Kalil, RG Trai Turner, RT Taylor Moton. The Panthers have lost 3 starters to injury, all of whom have uncertain timetables. Matt Kalil just had his knee scoped. The depth isn’t good and the term “position catastrophe” has been tossed around by local media. D
DL Julius Peppers, Dontari Poe, Kawann Short, Mario Addison Solid across all 4 spots. Poe was a near perfect replacement for Star Lotulelei. Depth is the only potential issue. A-
LB SLB Shaq Thompson, MLB Luke Kuechly, WLB Thomas Davis. Kuechly is among the league’s best. Davis will start the season serving a four-game suspension. The Panthers have some depth to absorb that, but it’s largely unproven. B+.
DB CB James Bradberry, Kevon Seymour, FS Mike Adams, SS Da’Norris Searcy. Bradberry and Adams are the only returning starters after a season in which this group sank the entire defense. Searcy has experience but will be pushed in camp by younger candidates. Lots of questions about how the lack of depth here will impact play against teams using heavy receiver sets. C-
New Orleans Saints
QB Drew Brees can throw successfully to anyone, against anyone, protected by anyone, and he never gets injured despite advancing age. A
RB Mark Ingram (suspended 4 games PEDs), Alvin Kamara. Ingram was overrated last season and will go right back to being the Ingram we all know and hate now that he’s off the PEDs. Kamara has a ton of talent and can pick up the slack during Ingram’s suspension, but can he stay healthy? B-
WR Ted Ginn Jr., Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith, Cameron Meredith. Unremarkable group? Yes. Does it matter? Not a bit. Brees spreads the ball around better than anyone in football and can make mediocre receivers look good. C+
TE Benjamin Watson, Josh Hill. Watson is a good leader who once had good physical talent, but he’s old and has had multiple head injuries. C
OL LT Terron Armstead, LG Andrus Peat, C Max Unger, RG Larry Warford, RT Ryan Ramczyk. This might be the best OL in the league. They’re not an A in a vacuum, but they sure are when you grade on a bell curve. A
DL Cameron Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, Tyeler Davison, Alex Okafor, R Marcus Davenport. Potentially excellent, especially in terms of depth, but can they continue to develop at the pace they achieved last year? Was drafting Davenport really the right way to go? B-
LB SLB AJ Klein, MLB Manti Te’o WLB Demario Davis. Weakest and most concerning unit on an otherwise up-and-coming, solid defense. Worst LB corps in the division. Klein has good experience as Kuechly’s backup in Carolina, but can he stand on his own? C-
DB CB Ken Crawley, Marshon Lattimore, Patrick Robinson FS Marcus Williams SS Kurt Coleman. Critical youth-driven mistakes cost them dearly in the playoffs last season. That should improve as the group ages and gains experience. B
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Jameis Winston starts the season with a 3-game suspension and can’t stay out of trouble, forcing Fitzpatrick to start for the 3 opening tilts and possibly again if Winston can’t keep it together. On the field, Winston has been decent but seems to have stagnated in terms of career progress, likely a coaching issue. C
RB Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers, Ronald Jones. Hugely concerning unless you’re a big believer in the potential of Ronald Jones. Did it really make sense to release Doug Martin? C-
WR Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson. Evans is as good as it gets, Jackson has lost some flash but still contributes well. Depth is decent but not exceptional. A-
TE OJ Howard, Cameron Brate Howard is well on his way to being a star at the position. A-
OL LT Donovan Smith LG Ali Marpet C Ryan Jensen RG Caleb Benenoch, Demar Dotson. Tons of issues with 80% of starters returning from a disastrous 2017 group, though positions have been rejiggered slightly. This is still a bottom half of the league line. D+
DL Jason Pierre-Paul, Gerald McCoy, Beau Allen (R Vita Vea), Vinny Curry The talent level here is ridiculous, but the group underachieved horrifically last season. We mostly blamed coaching, and unfortunately that doesn’t look like it will change much. The players themselves get a B+
LB SLB Adarius Taylor MLB Kwon Alexander WLB Lavonte Davis. This group underachieved far less than others on this defense last season, and their positional coach was hired away. B+
DB CB Vernon Hargreaves, Brent Grimes, R Carlton Davis, S Chris Conte, Justin Evans. A lot of youth and inexperience in the position group. Hargreaves has had some injury issues, and the safeties concern me. C-
  • Author:
  • Published: Apr 23rd, 2018
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Top 5 Questions facing the NFC South teams

Top 5 Questions facing the NFC South teams

Tags: , , ,

Falcons
The O fell off badly last yr. That put a lot of pressure on the over-rated D. That did not go well.
5 DT Dontari Poe left. Who will be able to stop the run gm?
4 Can the D play better this year as they did last year?
3 Will RB Devonta Freeman be healthy and return to a 1000 y season?
2 Jones had his worst season since he was a rookie. Can the WR group get the O running smoothly again?
1 Can Matt Ryan get back to his level of play in 2016?
 
Panthers
The biggest asset is also the biggest question. The D is solid & will be better in 18 but depends on the O to get to a SB.
5 Will the addition of W Torrey Smith give CR the speed that they lacked last season?
4 Will the rebuilt OL be better than the old version last year?
3 Christian McCaffrey was good in pass gm but not running. Can the Run game survive the loss of Jonathan Stewart?
2 Can the D stay healthy this year?
1 Will Cam Newton stop pouting & get his guts back?
 
Saints
A young D makes mistakes that cost them a NFC title gm. Resigning Brees was a HUGE step to get back.
5 Can TE Ben Watson fill the hole that management created when they traded Jimmy Graham
4 Will the young D continue to develop as fast as they did last year?
3 Will Ingram and Kamara continue to produce like they did last year?
2 Can the LB group stay healthy this year?
1 Can the OL continue to protect Brees & block for the run as well as last year?
 
Buccaneers
TB had a bunch of inj last season. Didn’t do a lot in FA but brought back key players that were UFA’s.
5 Spence was hurt in wk 3. Can the DL generate a pass rush this year?
4 The lack of pass rush hurt Dbackfield the most. Can it survive another no rush season?
3 The run gm did not exist last year. Can TB get a run gm going this year?
2 TB started the season with 3 OL injured. Can the updated OL stay healthy all year?
1 Will Jameis Winston stay healthy & continue to develop?

News, Notes & Rumors on Fridays is about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend.  My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports.  Podcasts can be heard on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits https://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.  Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts.  You can hear the previous shows on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

 

  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 21st, 2017
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Top 5 questions facing NFC South teams

Top 5 questions facing NFC South teams

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

AT       5 Can the run game become a force to balance the O?
4 Can HC Quinn get AT to play more physical FB?
3 Can Matt Ryan have another Super Bowl season?
2 Can Quinn get the D cover anybody or was the SB game an indcation they are overmatched?
1 Can AT mentally  overcome the Super Bowl Loss?
CR      5 After a bad 16, can CR get back to the playoffs this year?
4 Can the CR run game help balance the O with someone other than Newton carrying the load?
3 Will the O line be able to protect Newton better than last year?
2 Will the D get back to playoff level play? Pass D was at the bottom of the league last year.
1 Can HC Ron Rivera get QB Cam Newton‘s head out of his posterior?
NO      5 Did NO do enough to help the pass D by adding CB Marshon Lattimore & S Marcus Williams?
4 Will Brees have anyone to throw to with Cook traded?  Michael Thomas, Willie Snead, Brandon Coleman,
3 Is this the year that RB Peterson rolls over and plays dead?  MN thought so and let him walk.
2 Can NO fix the O line?  C Max Unger is the only solid starter & LT Armstead is out for 4-6 months.
1 Can DC Dennis Allen get the run D back to being competitive again?
TB       5 Is TB a contender for wild card?
4 Will the rebuilt O line be better? Sweezy was hurt, Smith was the only solid T.
3 Will RB Doug Martin be healthy again in 17 or be hurt like 14 & 15?
2 Will TB get the D  competitive again by adding FS J.J. Wilcox & keeping SS Chris Conte?
1 Will QB Jameis Winston continue to turn over the ball (18 picks & 6 lost fumbles)?

NFC Win projections from NNR podcast

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NFC EAST AFC West          
NFC West D N A E T
DA W6 @AT GB 4 3 3 1 11
WA W5 @NO MN 2 2 2 1 7
NY W8 @TB DT 4 2 2 2 10
PH W10 @CR CH 2 2 2 2 8
    12 9 9 6  
NFC North AFC North          
  NFC South D N A E T
GB W8 @DA SE 5 4 3 1 13
MN W9 @WA LR 4 2 2 2 10
DT W7 @NG AZ 3 1 1 0 5
CH W9 @PH SF 0 1 1 1 3
    12 8 7 4  
NFC South AFC East          
  NFC North D N A E T
AT W5 @SE DA 4 3 3 0 10
CR W11 @AZ PH 3 2 2 1 8
NO W5 @LR WA 3 2 2 2 9
TB W11 @SF NG 2 1 2 1 6
    12 8 9 4  
NFC West AFC South          
  NFC East D N A E T
SE W6 @GB AT 4 3 4 1 12
AZ W8 @DT TB 4 2 3 2 11
LR W8 @MN NO 2 2 2 0 6
SF W11 @CH CR 1 0 0 0 1
  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 2nd, 2016
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on NFL Week 8 results

NFL Week 8 results

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DV DC Wade Phillips was hurt by a player running into him. Went to the Hospital but was OK & released.
CR QB Cam Newton is complaining to the NFL about not getting late hit calls.  Good luck with that!
SE DE Michael Bennett will get surgery for a cartilage issue & will miss 2-3 wks
KC QB Smith is in concussion prototcol after taking 2 hits to the head.
KC rb Spencer Ware is in concussion protocol.
KC RB Jamaal Charles will go to a knee specialist to get his knee checked.
DA CB Claiborn sports hernia & S Church broken arm.
AZ S Ty Mathieu shoulder injury MRI today & LT Veldheer needs surgery Tricep
NFL WR Andre Johnson retires after 14 seasons in the NFL.
WA24 CN24 WA missed a 34y FG in the last 2 min to send the game into OT.
4-3-1  3-4-1 RV Dalton lost a fumble in OT but Cousins couldn’t get into scoring position
Dalton 27/42 284 11 FL Hill 20/76 TD Bernard 11/52 TD Green 9c 121  Eifert 9c 102 TD
Cousins 38/56 458 21 Kelley 21/7 TD Crowder 9c 107 TD  Reed 9c 99 TD
NE41 BF25 Brady & Pats served the BF crowd buffalo meat as they sliced up the Bill D.
7-1      4-4 BF D looked confused and got very little pressure on Brady.
NE Brady 22/33 315 40 Blount 18/43 TD Gronk 5c 109 TD
BF Taylor 19/38 183 00 5r 48 TD Gilislee 12/85 TD Powell 3c 59y
AZ20 CR30 LB Davis returned a fumble 46 y for a TD & RB Stewart scored 2 TDs to lead CR over AZ.
3-4-1  2-5 CR D sacked Palmer 8 times & shut down AZ run game. Despite the pressure Palmer threw for 363y.
CR Newton 14/27 212 00 Stewart 25/95 2TDs Gomm 5c 53
AZ Palmer 35/46 363 31 Johnson 10/24 7c 84y
DT13 HO20 Osweiler took advantage of a bad DT Pass D to lead HO to a win.
4-4     5-3 HO Osweiler 20/29 186 11 Miller 17/56 TD Hopkins 4c 44
DT Stafford 27/41 240 10 Riddick 11/56 Ebron 7c 79y
KC30 IN14 KC QB Smith got the win but Nick Foles replaced him for the save.
4-2  3-4 Smith was checked twice & the second time benched for a potential concussion. Foles has the better arm.
KC Smith 9/19 127 10 Foles 16/22 223 20 West 14/52 Kelce 7c 101 TD
IN Luck 19/35 210 21 9r 60y Moncrief 4c 41y TD
SE20 NO25 S Thomas scored on a fumble recovery to start the scoring by SE
4-2-1 3-4 Brees was outstanding & took advantage of an injured SE D backfield.
NO Brees 27/35 265 10 Rush TD Hightower 26/102 Thomas 6c 63y
SE Wilson 22/34 253 01 Michael 10/40 TD Prosise 4c 80y
OK30 TB24 OK set an NFL record for accepted (23) penalties but overcame that to win the game. 5th road win for OK.
6-2 3-4 OK scored the wining TD pass Carr to Roberts 41y with 1:36 left in the OT period
OT OK Carr 40/59 513 40 Murray 11/48 Cooper 12c 173 TD
TB Winston 16/32 180 20 Rodgers 19/69 TD Humphries 3c 58y
DV27 SD19 Rivers should sue SD O line for lack of support. 4 sacks & a ton of hits beat him up.
6-2  3-5 SD couldn’t get an extra point. It was blocked by KC
Seiemian 20/38 276 01 Booker 19/54 TD Thomas 5c 79y
Rivers 20/47 267 23 Gordon 23/111 Inman 4c 72y
GB32 AT33 This was the most offensive (in a good way) game of the day.
4-3  5-3 AT took the lead for the last time with 31 sec left.  Rodgers tried to rally GB but failed on a 4th down throw.
AT Ryan 28/35 288 30 Ward 6/46 Freeman 11/35 TD Sanu 9c 84y TD
GB Rodgers 28/38 246 40 6r 60y Adams 12c 74y
PH23 DA29 Former HC of DT Jim Schwartz has made a HUGE difference on PH D.  It is very solid.
4-3  6-1 PH fell behind 0-10 but then took a 20-10 lead by QB Wentz.
OT DA tied the game at 23 with a late TD which was set up by a fumble by Smallwood deep in PH territory.
In OT, DA won the toss & drove the length of the field for a TD to Whitten.
DA Prescott 19/39 297 21 RTD  Elliott 22/96 Bryant 4c 113y TD
PH Wentz 32/43 202 10 Sporles 16/86 J Matthews 11c 65y TD
MN10  CH20 The Bears controlled the ball and the game.  MN D wore down in the 2nd half.
5-2          2-6 Cutler looked very accurate.  It seemed like the MN O didn’t want to play.  They were slow & uninterested.
MN is not going anywhere unless they can protect Bradford. He was harrassed by a weak pass rush.
Ian Rapport reports HC Fox & his staff are  on the hot seat in Chicago.
NJ31 CL28 It was the best of times (1st half).  It was the worst of times (2nd half).
3-5       0-8 Exhibit A the ball goes off RB Johnson hands to NJ defender, That gave NJ the FG for the winning points.
Fitzpatrick 16/34 228 10 Forte 25/82 2TDs Enunwa 4c 93y TD
McCown 25/49 341 22 Cromwell 11/29 TD Pryor 6c 101y
CL O Nobody but Pryor & Barnidge can catch the ball.
Good 1st drive. Nice to get out front for a change. 3rd & 10  throw 2 Pryor was the key.
Way too many 3rd and long for #Browns.
Pryor is becoming a #1 WR.
3rd & 10 throw for 4 yards will not get the 1st.  McCown predetermined the throw. On his left were 2 rec wide open.
McCown is still using pre-snap read to decide where to go with the ball.  Hawkins was doubled but McC threw it anyway.
Browns, Way too little & way too late.
CL D Davis & company played the run wide well -3
Taylor 3 PD.
Browns have never figured out how to stop the run on the edge. 35y TD run by Powell.
Memo TO #Browns. Man D works better if the S stays in the middle of the field.
Pryor was beating Revis but Marshall beating Haden worse.
Browns D is mailing it in from nowhere special.  Have to fix the D. 20-7 lead gone to 28-20 deficite
coaching Your 0-7 and have a 3rd & 2.  Go for it.  All that can happen is you will lose another game.  #Browns
What is with the wholesale changes in personell. Cost 5 yards for 12 men on the field.
Browns were doing well in man so why change to zone in the 2nd half?
WAY too many drops by WRs.
CL did not make adjustments NJ did on O and D.  How many times have I said that?
Thoughts The O is MUCH better with McCown than RG3 or Kessler. 50% on 3rd down conversions.
The D gets warn out.  On the field for 20 min in 2nd half.  Rookies have hit the wall.
Tackling is HORRIBLE.  4 missed tackles on Enunwa’s TD.
We are not seeing the improvement I expected by the young players.
Kessler is NOT the QB 4 the future. Heart of a lion, Mind of a coach & the Arm of a chicken.

© 2011 FryingPanSports. All Rights Reserved.

This blog is powered by the Wordpress platform and beach rentals.