Neil's NFL Daily: July 2, 2013
While the overall response to my latest series — “Strength of Starting Units” — was very good, we had a few excellent pieces of feedback which I’ve taken on board in today’s edition (for those who are interested in a copy, paste, and keep deal, I’ve also had yesterday’s Cardinals and Falcons charts reconfigured to match — thanks to resident graphics guru Rick Drummond for his help in all this).
One of the key changes was the definition of the top rated players — I’ve now changed these to read “Elite (Blue Chip)” as the purpose was to highlight the best three to four players at each position, not to say guys rated “High Quality” couldn’t be “Difference Makers”.
Also (although embarrassingly Khaled did warn me in advance), I previously provided a default grade for a rookie which is clearly wrong. I spend enough time berating others for guessing about players so I have to wear the hypocrite t-shirt today. This has now been amended to simply show them as rookies and leave them unrated.
Anyway, enough preambles and on with the next two teams.
Tuesday, July 2nd
Baltimore Ravens (Click to enlarge)
— What to do with Joe Flacco? A player who was so average in the regular season he rated below Carson Palmer and Matthew Stafford, but was brilliant when it mattered. In the end I said, “he turns a corner”, and went “High Quality”.
— Dennis Pitta’s sub-optimal blocking, and hence reduced versatility, kept him to “Above Average”.
— Dumervil hasn’t played really well for a few years now and could go either way. If he exceeds this level we are looking at a very good defensive line.
Buffalo Bills (Click to enlarge)
— I could have gone blue for Spiller but I’d like to see him running more often out of a conventional offense first.
— I was tempted to consider Kolb as average after a good cameo performance in the face of real adversity last year. However, his track record really doesn’t warrant that just yet.
— Mario Williams was given a bit of a mulligan here as (unlike Kolb) his non-2012 form was good.
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