Cardinals own top spot in first NFC projections of 2016

Nathan Jahnke projects the 2016 records for every NFC team, with Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals at No. 1.

| 6 months ago
(AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

(AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

Cardinals own top spot in first NFC projections of 2016


Much has changed across the NFL landscape since Super Bowl 50. Between free agency, the draft, and time off for healing, there are plenty of reasons to believe some teams will improve on their 2015 campaigns, while some will take a step backwards next season. More can certainly change between now and the start of the 2016 season, but it’s never too early to project how teams will fare. Here are the 16 teams in the NFC ranked by how they are expected to perform next season.

1. Arizona Cardinals (projected record: 12-4)

The Cardinals once again exceeded expectations in 2015, and had it not been for their best defensive player getting hurt—and Carson Palmer having his worst game at the worst time—Arizona could have been in the Super Bowl. While some of the NFC’s elite rosters remained mostly intact or had some players leave, the Cardinals were actually able to improve over the course of the offseason. On offense, they let go of several underperforming linemen and brought in the third-highest-graded guard from last year, Evan Mathis. On defense, they improved their pass-rush with Chandler Jones and rookie Robert Nkemdiche.

2. Seattle Seahawks (12-4)

Some might argue that Seattle should be ahead of Arizona, but this Seahawks’ team doesn’t look as strong as it once did. The majority of their superstars outside of Marshawn Lynch are still on the roster, but the depth isn’t quite there. Their offensive line isn’t as strong as it used to be—incredibly, seeing as it ranked 30th in the NFL last season—and their pass-rush won’t be as strong without Bruce Irvin (now with Oakland). Their superstars on defense have stayed remarkably healthy over the years, and all it would take is an injury or two for this team to come crashing down. Despite all of those negatives, there are plenty of NFL franchises that wish they could have half of the All-Pro-caliber players the Seahawks have rostered.

3. Carolina Panthers (11-5)

The defending NFC champions have an offense that should be better than ever, with everyone who had 500 or more snaps returning, along with wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (injured for all of 2015). The biggest reason for the fall to No. 3 on this list was the loss of Josh Norman, the 11th best player from 2015, according to our Top 101. Along with Norman, the Panthers lost Jared Allen, Charles Tillman, Cortland Finnegan, and Roman Harper—all players who were past their prime, but still performed at an average level for Carolina last year. The defense still has Kawann Short and Luke Kuechly, so they will remain one of the better teams next season, but will no longer be the most-likely team to win the NFC.

4. Green Bay Packers (11-5)

The Packers’ offense is expected to take a step forward after moving in the wrong direction in 2015. In 2014, when Jordy Nelson was targeted, Aaron Rodgers recorded an NFL passer rating of 128.2, the second-best mark for a wide receiver; in 2015, Rodgers was without his favorite target. The offense also added Jared Cook, who had a down 2015 season, but in 2014, produced a yards per route run of 1.60. The only tight end in the Aaron Rodgers-era to top that number was Jermichael Finley in his best two seasons. The Packers’ defense is one on the rise, thanks to the emergence of players like Mike Daniels, Morgan Burnett, and Quinten Rollins. The team still has some of the same holes, and a few of the Packers’ stars are getting up there in age, preventing them from breaking into the top three on this list.

5. Minnesota Vikings (10-6)

The Vikings were a playoff team last year, and it’s more likely they get better, rather than worse, in 2016. The defense could have the exact same starting lineup, and ideally, their stars of Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr, and Harrison Smith stay healthier during the late-season stretch. On offense, John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt return after missing last season, and Alex Boone and Andre Smith were brought in to help the line, as well. If this were 2012, the Vikings could have the best line in the league, but even if one or two of them return to their old form, the line will be improved compared to last year. Adrian Peterson’s age, the Vikings’ lack of depth at wide receiver, and uncertainty on the offensive line are all reason’s for concern, which prevents the Vikings from rising any higher on this list.

6. Dallas Cowboys (9-7)

The Cowboys are the highest risers in the NFC for some obvious—and some not-so-obvious—reasons. On offense, they bring back a healthy Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, as well as rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott. In 2014, when things were running smoothly, Bryant had a yards per route run of 2.67, fifth-best among wide receivers. In 2015, that fell to a below-average 1.36. The less-obvious reason is that they should improve on defense as well, even without Greg Hardy. Their top cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, is also returning from injury. In 2014, he was one of four cornerbacks with zero touchdowns allowed, at least two interceptions, and at least five passes defended. The team also added Cedric Thornton to play defensive tackle—he instantly becomes their best run-defender at the position, with a PFF grade of 81.1 in that regard last year.

7. Washington (9-7)

In 2015, Washington somewhat overachieved, considering their roster. While they added CB Josh Norman from Carolina, which should be a big help to their defensive backfield, they also lost talent on defense. Terrance Knighton was one of their best run-defenders, and Jason Hatcher was one of their best pass-rushers, and neither remain on the roster. On offense, Alfred Morris was their highest-graded running back, and he was also lost over the offseason (signed with Dallas). Others in the division improved at more positions, which will make it difficult for Washington to repeat as NFC East champs.

8. Chicago Bears (8-8)

After a 6-10 season, the Bears should be one of the most-improved teams, thanks to a completely revamped front-seven. After adding Eddie Goldman and Pernell McPhee a year ago, they completed the renovation with inside linebackers Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan, defensive ends Akiem Hicks and rookie Johnathan Bullard, and rookie outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. On offense, they have WR Kevin White returning from injury. The downside is that they lost Matt Forte (signed with the Jets), the league’s highest-graded running back from Week 12 and on, as well as long-time tight end Martellus Bennett (now with the Patriots). Kyle Long is the only projected O-line starter who played above a replacement level in 2015. Put that all together, and you might only have baby steps in the right direction, but Chicago is trending upwards.

9. New York Giants (8-8)

The Giants brought in some of the biggest names in free agency with Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, and Janoris Jenkins. The problem is that, last season they had needs at offensive tackle, linebacker, and safety—and none of those needs were strongly addressed over the offseason. Last year, left tackle Ereck Flowers allowed 69 pressures, the most in the league, and right tackle Marshall Newhouse was tied for 11th, at 51 pressures allowed. Both will remain starters in 2016. In recent years, plenty of elite quarterbacks have played well into their mid and late 30s, but Eli Manning is 35 and coming off of his lowest-graded season of the PFF era (since 2007). This Giants should be somewhat improved over last year, but maybe not enough for one more Manning Super-Bowl run.

10. Atlanta Falcons (8-8)

On the bright side for Atlanta, they landed former Browns O-lineman Alex Mack, who, at his best, is among the top centers in the league. On defense, they added Derrick Shelby, who should help their front-seven. The former Dolphin had 25 run stops last year, tied for fourth-most among 4-3 defensive ends. The rest of the Falcons’ free-agent additions, as well as most of their draft picks, were players Atlanta liked more than PFF did, however. They also let three of their highest-graded front-seven players go in Kroy Biermann, Paul Soliai, and Nathan Stupar. If they had trouble winning with the talented roster they had last year, they will likely have those same issues in 2016.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (6-10)

For every great player the Eagles have on the team, they also have a questionable starter. The NFL is becoming more and more of a passing game, yet there is a lot of uncertainty as to who will start at cornerback in Philly, and how the snaps will be distributed at wide receiver behind Jordan Matthews. Matthews is the only player with more than 800 yards in the slot each of the last two seasons, and in 2016, he will likely get more opportunities on the outside. If everything goes right for the team, they have the talent to make a playoff run; if everything goes wrong and the off-field distractions impact their play, they could end up giving Cleveland a very high draft pick next year.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)

The Buccaneers were tied for the third-worst record in the NFC in 2015. While they made some improvements to the roster, it might not be enough to concoct a playoff run. On defense, they added Robert Ayers at defensive end and Brent Grimes at cornerback, but both are in their early 30s and potentially past their prime. They doubled up at those positions with defensive end Noah Spence and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III in the draft. The Bucs need all four to make an impact for the defense to be even above average. On offense, their only big change was moving from Logan Mankins to J.R. Sweezy at left guard. The Buccaneers have the skill players to put a successful attack on the field, but the O-line will likely hold them back.

13. New Orleans Saints (5-11)

While the Saints have a handful of solid players on offense, the only players on that side of the ball with an overall PFF grade above 81.0 last year were quarterback Drew Brees and left tackle Terron Armstead. At 37 years old, Brees is bound to decline eventually. On defense, their DTs were among the most-improved units in the league this offseason, but they still lack depth on the defensive line, have question marks at cornerback after Delvin Breaux, and their linebackers have graded out poorly. On the bright side, Breaux should continue to improve. He recorded 15 passes defended in 2015, tied for third-most at the position.

14. Los Angeles Rams (4-12)

On offense, the Rams could be somewhat improved from last year, but all of their improvements are rookies that might need time to develop. Their only likely starters on offense with a projected PFF grade above 61.0 are running back Todd Gurley, wide receiver Kenny Britt, and right tackle Rob Havenstein, so the rookies won’t have as much help around them as they’d like. On defense, they lost two of their best non-linemen in Janoris Jenkins and Rodney McLeod, and didn’t find replacements for them to be excited about. They still have an amazing defensive line, led by the best player in 2015, Aaron Donald, but a great D-line can only get a team so far.

15. Detroit Lions (4-12)

On offense, the Lions lost most of their highly-graded players. While some might consider 2015 a down year for Calvin Johnson, he still graded in the top-10 for wide receivers, at 89.4. The Lions also let running back Joique Bell and offensive linemen Manuel Ramirez leave. Ramirez had the highest grade among the Lions’ O-linemen in 2015. The defense should improve with the return of DeAndre Levy. His run-stop percentage of 14.1 led all 4-3 outside linebackers in 2014. They will miss retired cornerback Rashean Mathis, who only allowed seven touchdowns in his three years with the Lions. Detroit is a team that is now missing their star power, and they’ll hope new stars develop in their absence.

16. San Francisco 49ers (4-12)

The 49ers had the second-worst record in the NFC last year, and followed that up by having one of the quietest offseasons. While DeForest Buckner should have an instant impact on the defensive line, losing players like Anquan Boldin and Alex Boone can’t help the offense. Unless Chip Kelly can get the best out of his players immediately, it will be a season of rebuilding in San Francisco.

| Director of Analytics

Nathan has been with Pro Football Focus since 2010. He is the Director of Analytics, an NFL analyst, and a fantasy writer.

  • Nick Cortez

    The rhetoric that Brees is likely to decline at some point is not a good reason to expect the Saints to go down in wins by 2 from last year’s total after just bragging on how they turned their biggest weakness on the team into a strength.. If you said the Saints would be 7-9 next year, I’d think there is enough precedent for that. I just can’t get on the wagon of the Saints got worse this off-season. They will likely be competing for a playoff spot in weeks 16 and 17, which is not indicative of a 5-11 team.

    • Craig W.

      Drink the Kool-Aid buddy. Do they make gold or black Kool-Aid?

      • Joe

        Name one position group where they are worse off this year than last….Only one I can even think of is Guard, but Jahri was pretty much washed up last year. They added 3 average to above average LBs. Last year they were starting James Anderson, whoever that is, and a bunch of other talentless JAGs. Between fixing the LB situation and adding some actual talent at DT, Saints will be at least 8-8 – 10-6.

      • Nick Cortez

        I appreciate the comment. For a site that touts numbers and analytics, though, I’d expect some to support a case that a team will do substantially worse than the previous season. Especially after suggesting that they improved many parts of the team as this writer just did.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Brees will continue to put up the impressive numbers but that defense is so bad that you couldn’t coax them to take a bounty on a cheerleader.

      • Nick Cortez

        I have a hard time believing that the defense got worse. With that said, they went 7-9 last year and improved in some key positions. Brees got hurt in a game against Tampa Bay that cost them that game and they nearly beat Carolina the next week with McCown. I just don’t think that 5-11 is reasonable unless Brees misses >3 games next year. I could be wrong. I am not being confrontational or overly argumentative…just pointing out that saying their team has improved from last year and had a pretty good offseason doesn’t lead me to believe that they will win 2 less games than the year before. I’m not predicting super bowl or anything, but I’d guess 7-9 thru 10-6 is pretty reasonable.

        • crosseyedlemon

          The projection on the Saints looks pretty good to me. Considering how terrible their defense was last season it’s actually a credit to the coaching staff that they won as many as 7 games last year.

  • pobodysnerfect

    Offensively Green Bay had a season from hell last year and STILL made the divisional round. That offensive output is not happening again. With Jordy back, Lacy fit, Cook at TE, and better depth at OL and WR, their offense is going to score 550+. The pass D is fantastic. Pass rush will be average or better. Run D is the only question on the team. Winning the NFCN is not even a question mark. IF Minny makes the playoffs, it’ll be as a wild card – and even then, they’ll be a quick out again. They can’t throw the ball – and that won’t change as long as Teddy is around. I do think the Bears can challenge them for 2nd in the division.

    Carolina had a perfect season last year – other than Benjamin going down. They’re not going to repeat that performance – especially with Norman gone and Davis another year older. Arizona is a paper tiger.

    GB and SEA fighting for the top spot in the NFC. That December game at Lambeau is going to be HUGE!

    • Andre

      I like GB’s chances.

      But, objectively, Jordy is 31 and coming of an ACL – so by no means is his arrow pointing up. And with Lacey, it’s a familiar song and dance, I hope he has a big season, but I’m skeptical until I see it.

      • pobodysnerfect

        I guess regarding Lacy. The fact that he’s already lost 20 lbs and was heavier than he currently is in 2014 bodes well for his 2016 production.

        Jordy just turned 30. Not 31. And ACL injuries – especially if there was no other ligament damage – are fairly routine surgeries now. I bet Jordy will as good as he’s been for the next 3-4 years.

        • Paul Bunyon

          Nelson was born in 1985, that would make him 31.

        • Andre

          Google is telling me Jordy was born in May of 85. Regardless, your point about being able to bounce back from ACLs these days stands.

          • pobodysnerfect

            I stand corrected. Thanks.

    • Matt

      You know only 5 teams in history have scored 550+ points, right?

      • pobodysnerfect

        And?

        They scored 560 in 2011. And that was with no running game.

        They scored 486 in 2014. And that was with ARod sitting out the equivalent of 2 full games because so many were blowouts. And no TE.

        This offense will be better than both of those offenses. It has a running game, a TE, and a very good OL to go with the passing fireworks of both those units.

    • Roland

      There was more wrong in GB last year than just missing Jordy. For years people have been saying Rodgers could turn any WR into a star. He got a chance to prove it last year and it was ugly. They were a bogus facemask + miracle hail mary from missing the playoffs.

      Packers are clearly regressing, and McCarthys days are numbered.

      • pobodysnerfect

        This has to be a Vikings fan. Son – just because you WANT it to happen doesn’t mean it IS happening. GB is one of the youngest and deepest teams in the NFL this year. Again. And their QB has several years of his prime left.

        • Sean Curtis

          Just because somebody doesn’t think that Green Bay will be the best team of all time and score a million points doesn’t make them a Viking fan. You can WANT them to just get right back to being the top offense cuz they get a “31” year old receiver back but that doesn’t mean it will happen. I expect Green Bay to have a good season but there definitely is a chance Minnesota wins the division.

          • pobodysnerfect

            A small chance. IF Teddy gets to be an average NFL passer and IF AP gets 1200 or more yards and 10+ TDs and IF that OL holds up. Then yes, they can compete with GB. But that’s a lot of “ifs”. The plain fact is that GB has a more talented, deeper, and younger team.

          • ANonnaMoose

            Or if they continue to field one of the NFL’s best defenses. Which they will. Of course, I’m sure Green Bay fans will tell us they’re better defensively than the Vikings, too, because reasons.

            The Vikings were the best team in the NFC North last year with Bridgewater being average and their OL being horrible. No reason to expect a change at the top this season barring a rash of injuries.

          • pobodysnerfect

            The Vikings were the best team in the NFCN last year by a nose. On a clear outlier of an offensive season by the Packers. That’s not going to repeat itself. Truth hurts doesn’t it?

          • ANonnaMoose

            The “truth” is that the Packers are no longer the amazing, dominant force that their fans apparently think they are, and their fans are apparently having issues dealing with that.

            Nobody is scared of or impressed by the Packers anymore. There’s a reason for that.

          • pobodysnerfect

            Unless mine eyes deceive me, Vegas (who has long been the synthesis of the national perception of sports teams), has GB winning the division again. Tied for the best predicted record in the NFL again.

            So, by nobody, you must mean trolls, haters and Vikings/Bears fans right?

          • ANonnaMoose

            At this time last year, Vegas also projected the Vikings to be a sub-.500 team. I hope a lot of people were smart enough to take advantage of that stupidity (like I did). Seriously, the money doesn’t come a whole lot easier than that.

            Personally, I know the Vikings were the best team in the NFC North in 2015, regardless of what your excuses are, and that they certainly haven’t gotten worse over the past few months.

            But I understand this is how Green Bay fans think. “Only the Packers ever improve from one season to the next.” “All the Packers have to do to win the NFC North in 2016 is just show up.” Same garbage fans ran their garbage mouths all last offseason with the same predictable garbage. It’s what they do best.

          • pobodysnerfect

            Meh. The Vikings improved on the OL I’m sure. (They couldn’t be any worse so it was pretty easy). And they improved at WR. But they have an over 30 RB and a QB. Who. Is. Not. Good.

            Seriously, in today’s NFL, does anything else matter? If you have a terrible QB, you’d better have a defense stacked with all pros and HOPE you get lucky in the postseason. The Vikings D has 3 really good players and 3 or 4 solid players. It’s a good unit. But they’re not Denver good.

            I’ve already very clearly stated why I think last year was a fluke, and further, why GB improved at OL, WR, RB, DT and ILB.

            You don’t buy it. That’s fine. You’re going to be the one crying in your beer in the Fall. I’ll make sure to remind you of Vikings’ fans annual “we’re gonna be great” BS then…

          • ANonnaMoose

            Quarterback is fine. This very site has pointed that out on numerous occasions, citing his accuracy despite the fact he’s spent much of his first two seasons running for his life. The opinion of Green Bay fans on the matter really doesn’t mean anything. He’s going to continue to get better.

            The list of defenses in the NFL that are better than Minnesota’s is short. That list doesn’t currently contain (nor will it contain) any of their NFC North contemporaries.

            It helps that the Vikings are the best-coached team in the NFC North, too. Can’t understate the importance of that.

          • pobodysnerfect

            meh

      • Brian Dugan

        You’re right; there was much more wrong in Green Bay than just missing Jordy.

        1) You mean like the offensive line experiencing multiple injuries throughout the season, causing things like Don Barclay and Josh Walker BOTH playing at the same time? Also Josh Sitton having to play LT?
        2) You mean like Eddie Lacy playing overweight and having several nagging injuries all season?
        3) You mean like Randall Cobb being injured from the preseason and never fully recovering?
        4) You mean like the depth being tested beyond belief when WR3 Davante Adams got injured repeatedly and with WR4 Ty Montgomery being lost for the season right when he started to come on?
        5) At times last year, the Packers skill position players on the field were James Jones, Jared Abbrederis, Justin Perillo, Richard Rodgers, and John Kuhn. Not great.

        Even with all that, Aaron Rodgers went 31 TDs vs 8 INT and single-handedly pushed the mighty Cardinals to OT in Arizona in the Divisional Round. If I were a betting man, I’d take last season as an outlier, but if I were a Packer hater (or disliker), which you clearly are, I’d be trying to play the regression card, as well.

    • Bill Doerr

      AZ a paper tiger??? LoL Arizona is better than SEA both Defensively & especially offense & AZ is easily FAR better than the Green Bay Packers …. The NFCCG will only be played at Lambeu in your dreams this year. SEA will be a Wild Card playoff team and the NFC-CG will be held in Glendale against SEA

      • pobodysnerfect

        LOL. Ok Carson’s mom. I mean, this HAS to be you right Mrs. Palmer? No one else would be so blind about her son’s inability to win in big games. PS: Nice heimlich maneuver on your son after last year’s NFC CG. That was such a bad choke, I’m sure Carson would have died without your help.

      • eYeDEF

        Especially offense eh? Even though Seattle finished ahead of Arizona in offensive DVOA last season both adjusted and non-adjusted in spite of Marshawn having already having stepped a foot into retirement and their truly horrific offensive line? You might not want to get ahead of yourself there until your offense can actually demonstrate it actually is better. Arizona should be a formidable team, before you can start talking about challenging SEA or GB supremacy they actually have to prove they are instead of choking down the stretch like they have pretty much every season this decade. And that assumes Carson can stay healthy again, the odds of which I’d place at no better than a coin flip.

      • Brian Dugan

        You mean the same Cardinals team that could barely beat Green Bay in the playoffs AT HOME and needed OT vs. probably the worst (and injury-riddled) Packers team in 7-8 years?

        • crosseyedlemon

          I think he means the same Cardinals team that could barely squeak out a 38-8 win against the Packers in week 16.

          • Brian Dugan

            That’s definitely the more meaningful result from last year crosseyed; it’s definitely one everyone will remember way more than the classic divisional playoff game! A regular season game where both of the Packers starting offensive tackles got injured (in addition to the rest of their already crippling skill position injuries).

    • crosseyedlemon

      Arizona is a paper tiger? That’s probably the dumbest comment uttered since Aaron Rodgers said God was a Packer fan.

      • Brian Dugan

        You do realize Rodgers was playing Russell Wilson when he said “I guess god was a Packers fan tonight” right? It was 0% serious.

    • Brian Dugan

      I agree completely po, everyone is down on the Packers, but won’t take a critical look into the nightmare scenario the offense went through last year. Literally, everything aside from Rodgers getting a major injury went wrong. EVERYTHING. However, the defense was stellar. If the Packers can stay relatively healthy this year, I think they may have the best roster in football.

    • Bill Doerr

      AZ is a paper tiger??? Then GB must be a paper house cat considering AZ has a far more loaded Elite offense and far, far, far better elite defense compared to GBs offense n defense, the Packer defense is nowhere near as good as AZs. To say AZ is a Paper Tiger is not only moronic but is ignoring reality.

      • pobodysnerfect

        Are you basing this on ONE season? Because AZ was FAR from great before last year. And even then, in GBs single worst offensive season in 25 years, they ALMOST beat AZ. With their top FOUR WRs out.

  • Jeffrey Hannah

    If Tomsula can win 5 games, I am sure Coach Kelly can win 7 games. Yes I know someone here is going to say that SF has the hardest schedule in 2016 but they also had the 4th hardest schedule last season and weaseled out 5 wins with a make-shift coach. Everyone also will mention the QB situation but we have seen what Chip can do with average QBs, and I am sure he can get the most out of Kap or be it Gabbert. I think PFF among many other pundits and fans are really underestimating how bad Tomsula was and I will say that he was dreadful. One other thing to consider is that once all those guys retired, the team that was left was awfully young and inexperienced and left to a staff who cannot groom or develop players. SF has made some upgrades to it’s OL, DL/passrush, and most importantly upgraded the coaching staff so I really do not think they will win less than 5 wins from last year.

  • Adam Hubble

    What a Hack. Detroit was plagued by a crap OC and old players. The team finished 6-2 the second half after that firing. Their schedule is easier than last year….. AND the 2015 shitty team was a hail mary away from sweeping the pack… and still finished 3-3- in the division. Hope the author likes crow.

    • crosseyedlemon

      So are you saying you expect the Lions to maintain that 75% win ratio this season? I suggest you shift allegiance to the Michigan Wolverines to avoid being disappointed.

      • Adam Hubble

        Is that more or less absurd than suggesting that winning percentage drops to 25%?

        • crosseyedlemon

          I just don’t see where these extra Lion wins your expecting are going to come from. Every team in their division looks better this season so I’ll be surprised if they go 3-3 there again.

    • Zach

      I do see the Lions doing better than 4-12, I think they will be better than the Bears, but I don’t see them winning more than 8 games when they really haven’t done much to improve in free agency and with the Packers and Vikings looking like they will be better this year.

      • Royce Jackson

        They picked up the top free agent receiver to help the loss of Calvin Johnson.

        • eYeDEF

          Still a net loss. Marvin’s no Calvin.

          • Royce Jackson

            Absolutely. I’m just pointing out that’s a free agent pick up that has potential to help cover that loss. It will be a team effort on offense. No one player can replace a legend.

  • crosseyedlemon

    I think the Bucs kicker would have to win 5 games by himself just to justify his being drafted in the second round.

    • Lord Father

      how many second round picks win 5 games by themselves?

      • mary9632

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      • crosseyedlemon

        You completely missed the point. If a GM is going to use a 2nd round pick to go on a flyer he should at least go after a Devin Hester type guy who has the potential to hit some home runs. Leading the league in forced touchbacks won’t get the Bucs any closer to the playoffs.

    • Football

      Aguayo is definitely worth a second round pick… He can easily make kicks from 60 yards out… And win games basically all by himself… The importance of this elite kicker will be seen for years, and cause teams who passed on him to be kicking themselves…

      • jewell1221

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      • eYeDEF

        Say what? The guy was 50% from beyond 40 yards last year. Who said anything about 60 yards? Lots of guys can kick 60 yards in practice. He’s got to prove he can consistently kick 40 in game conditions before you start talking 60 yards. He’s got a lot to prove to justify that pick.

        • crosseyedlemon

          The odds of a kicker ever being asked to kick a 60 yard FG are infinitesimal. It would only occur in the final seconds of a game with the outcome on the line and in a domed stadium where wind and temperature would not be a factor. Most coaches would opt for a Hail Mary play in that situation.

  • #Rise Up Red Sea

    I think the Cardinals could have more than 13 wins this season. They are probably the most complete team this especially since Brady’s suspended the 1st 4 games of the season.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I’m just happy our Bears don’t have to face Larry Fitzgerald again….he absolutely killed us last season.

      • Andrew Maples

        He did… I was watching that game live thinking to myself… man if only Larry could get in a time machine and go back to his former self… then, next thing I know… boom

    • Bill Doerr

      The Author is saying 12 win is their floor. AZ is absolutely STACKED , loaded w/ both an Elite top 3 offense that is arguably the leagues best offense & most loaded , and that offense is paired with an Elite top 3 defense that has both a Elite Defensive front 7 with incredible rotational depth up front along the D-Line w./ guys like one of the best DEs in the NFL in 3-4 DE 6″8 Calais Campbell ( who sack totals are about to sky rocket now that teams cant double team EVERY SINGLE play w/ the addition of Elite OLB/DE Teams will only single cov him & he destroys 1 on 1 matchups. He should easily have 10+ sacks) & getting excellent pass rushing DT/NT 6″3 1/2/305PD Corey Peters back 100% healthy who is a very good pass rushing NT/DT n gets a ton of pocket penetration/pressure which allows 2nd year 3-4 DE 6″5/305PD Rodney Gunter who posses elite length (35in long arms), elite athleticism & speed/quickness with a very fast first step. He can now play his natural position as a pass rushing DE ( After as a rookie for the 1st time every playing NT all year & exceling at it ranking 20th of 82 DT/NTs as a rookie grading positively both rushing n stopping run) & Gunter is a extremely talented pass rusher who should have no issue putting up 7-8 sacks in year 2 at DE, he has Pro Bowl level talent/potential. AZ also excellent interior pass rusher 6″4/295pd DE Frostee Rucker who is an excellent pass rushing DE who should have 5-7 sacks easily. He was banged up all last year playing with a calf tear and still brought a lot of pressure.
      Then you have 6″4/296pd 3-4DE (DT n our 4-3 fronts) Robert Nkimdiche who is an absolute monster pass rusher w/ incredible explosivness & length w/34in long arms , elite power & elite speed & first step quickness w/ unheard of hand speed (is a almost 300pd man who runs a 4.79 40)and a arsenal of pass rush moves. He has the inside quickness & explosivness of Aaronald Donald but is much bigger & much more powerful. He has been extremely impressive in Summer Camp beating anyone he lines up across. Nkimdiche is an Elite Potential All-Pro Talent & the great part is he wont be double-triple team every play like in College & NFL OGs just don’t have the speed, quickness or hand speed quickness to deal with this guy, he should have no problem putting up 10+ Sacks annually. Dudes a beast. Nkimdiche also brings the versatility to play any position along the D-Line. Then You have Excellent Run Stopping DE’s who bring a ton of value starting with 6″5/310PD Ed Stinson who brings exceptional length as well w/ 35in arms & Big 6″6/310pd DE Josh Mauro who is very good, very valuable and can also get after the QB. AZ has an Elite Defensive Line & with excellent rotational depth that will pair off big time in the 3rd-4th when the opponents O-Line is worn down.
      AZs Elite front 7 paired with one of the NFLs Best Elite Secondarys if not the best secondary in the NFL easily again gives one of the NFLs Elite top 3 defenses to boot.

      • crosseyedlemon

        I think Bill just set the record for using “elite” in a comment (13x by my count). I wonder if he would accept a thesaurus instead of a trophy.

      • Brandon

        It’s funny crosseyedlemon beat me to it. You use the word “elite” way to much. In fact I challenge you to name one elite RATED player via PFF from now in the last 5 years. The only players I remember actually worthy of the word “elite’ were all steeper players. Brown, Bell and Ben.

  • Mike J.

    Tampa Bay beat Atlanta twice last year and clobbered the Eagles in Philly, but, as usual, no respect.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The Bucs were in control of their own destiny in the second half of last season and should have secured a wild-card spot. Instead they crumbled against the lowly Saints, Rams and Bears. It’s difficult to earn respect when you do that.

  • Eric O. Nelson, III

    Given that bell, Ramirez and Mathis were part time contributors, it is quite a stretch to say 4 wins for the lions. Ruddock, Tate and Stafford provide loads of production. Perhaps you missed that detail, production over star power. Sounds like the patriots model.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Yeah, the Lions are always being mistaken for the Patriots….lol.

    • Royce Jackson

      I agree. This prediction is WAY off base imo especially because it only focuses on the loss of Megatron, an aging corner, and Ramirez who absolutely was not going to start anyway. Don’t forget Joique Bell, who is a solid player but has been injured and ineffective in recent seasons. No mention of the likely improvement of Ameer Abdullah, the signing of underrated Marvin Jones, or the continued development of the talented Eric Ebron. Golden Tate has proven that he can produce big numbers when Johnson has been out with injury, and Jones will only help to make up for those lost targets. The Lions underachieved last year under the offense of Joe Lombardi and flourished under Bob Cooter when he took over. Stafford looked as good as ever in this offense and now will have a whole offseason to perfect things. Not to mention… the Lions have a pretty soft schedule year(as things look now). Yes the Lions lost a potential Hall of Fame player on offense but predicting 4 wins for a team with Matt Stafford and and this talented roster with almost the entire coaching staff coming back is nonsense.

    • Mike

      Uhhhh nope, he’s dead on. You have dopey Cladwell leading the way with a subpar team around him, 4 wins might be generous. The Lions suck and will continue to suck. As a Lions fan aren’t you sick of being sold a bill of goods? They’re the worst franchise in the history of the NFL, yet every year they make yet another excuse for another failed season. I’m sick of it and you should be too. This “team” they’re putting out there looks like the Patriots practice squad. That’s the only time you should ever see the Lions and Patriots in the same story let alone the same paragraph. You’re drinking that Kool-aid, Patriots? LMFAO.

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    • CapnFatback

      4 is too many, huh?

  • Jason Williams

    At 8-8 the Bears would be in the conversation for a playoff spot and I would take that.

    Call me crazy but I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the year pull a 2001/2005 season out of their butts where for no particularly good reason they go some absurd record like 13-3. And you won’t point to gaudy stats by any one player or group but they will win like Bears teams of old on defense and special teams.

    And no, I don’t have ANYTHING to back that up.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Always nice to hear from you Jason. I think the projection on the Bears of 8 wins seems about right. The team will definitely be better on the field but that might not be translated to the standings as both the Vikings and Packers should have solid seasons. Playing the AFC South should provide a chance for a few extra wins though.

      • Jason Williams

        but doesn’t this feel like the same kind of team that came out of nowhere in 2001 and 2005?

        • crosseyedlemon

          The coaching staff is only in it’s second year so they will need at least another year before the Bears are playoff ready. I’m a bit concerned whether they can replace Forte adequately because if they can’t then the team has to rely on Cutler and that has never worked out particularly well in the past.

          • Jason Williams

            2001 = Jauron’s second season, 2005 = Lovie’s second season.

            Let’s go Bears.

          • kevin

            but john fox aint no lovie.

          • Jason Williams

            I think he is EXACTLY both of those guys.

          • eYeDEF

            Ok, but still … jay cutler.

          • Jason Williams

            the success of the season will depend on making Jay throw 25 times a game or less.

          • eYeDEF

            And the workhorse back you envision will afford him that luxury will be … ?

          • Jason Williams

            That fifth rounder has to emerge as the workhorse back or none of this works.

          • crosseyedlemon

            I love your optimism Jason but do you have any idea what the Vegas odds would be of a 5th rounder leading the Bears to 13 wins?

          • Jason Williams

            About as likely as the 2001 and 2005 teams.

          • eYeDEF

            lol. Well I’m glad to see you hadn’t gone off the rails in thinking Jeremy Langford was going to be your workhorse. I like Howard, I think the Bears picked up a solid back with the upside to be a tackle breaking workhorse.

            But still … jay cutler.

            What makes you think he’d have the discipline or temperament to defer to handing off to the rookie 25 times a game? Jay’s about the most undisciplined starting signal caller I’ve seen. He’s like Favre without the grit to win. And his long term job security most likely means he’ll remain undisciplined.

          • Jason Williams

            yah… i know… a guy can dream right?

          • crosseyedlemon

            That long term job security is a myth. The Bears and Cutler will part ways long before 2021 when he’s due to become a free agent. The owners are getting a bit tired of having to provide a new OC for Cutler each season.

          • eYeDEF

            When I say ‘long term job security’ in the NFL it’s all relative to dead money and was in no way trying to imply that meant he would play out his contract to completion. What I mean is that there was no likely chance he’d be cut until his dead money charge comes down, which gave him job security over his first 4 seasons with 2017 the first year it’s feasible. And with no successor in sight, he’s got at least a few more years.

          • crosseyedlemon

            There’s always a chance Cutler loses his job to Brian Hoyer (who actually has the better career win percentage).

          • eYeDEF

            lol. A better career winning percentage using one fifth the sample size of games started doesn’t really say much. I suppose it is possible, I just find that likelihood pretty remote. Hoyer’s pretty terrible.

          • crosseyedlemon

            If the plan was for Cutler to pass that infrequently the owners probably wouldn’t have paid him a kings ransom or placed the franchise tag on Jeffrey. There have only been 5 games in the past 3 seasons where Jay has attempted less than 25 passes and the Bears lost 4 of those.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Unfortunately the days when we could look to Devin Hester to make a game changing return are over.

      • Jason Williams

        Devin was not on the 2001 or 2005 teams 😉

    • Brian Dugan

      Packers fan here and I’m actually pretty high on the Bears coming into this year. The main concerns with the Bears are the offensive line and if Gase leaving leads to any decrease in production from Cutler.

      I’m actually one of the few people that think the NFC North will go:
      1) Packers 2) Bears 3) Vikings 4) Lions, with both the Bears and Vikings vying for a wild care spot. Don’t let the Vikings fans hear that; they’ve apparently already won the Super Bowl this year.

      • Jason Williams

        what offensive line? lol…

        • Brian Dugan

          Lol. You have Kyle Long back at Guard? So that’s good. Cody Whitehair was a great value in the 2nd. The OT situation could be a little rough tho.

  • Matt Brown

    Jason Hatcher didn’t play down the stretch when Redskins clinched the division but that is a “big” loss for them but gaining Galette who will be their best pass rusher wasn’t mentioned – seems unfair. Redskins improved at Safety, CB, Pass Rush, WR, TE. Got worse at Run D and RB. Overall slight improvement on roster but many young players such as Breeland, Scherff, Moses, Jones and Cousins should all significantly improve.

  • enai D

    Lol, there’s a 0% chance the Packers finish higher than the Vikings this year.

    • Bill Doerr

      He is saying 10-6 is the Vikes Floor …. Which is why he predicted they could get even better this year. I think they win between 10-11 games n win their division

      • enai D

        Its not a projection for the floor of each team, its a projection for their (actual) record for the upcoming season. And there’s an obvious incongruity between explicitly stating that they will probably get better, while nevertheless projecting them to actually get worse.

        • crosseyedlemon

          There is no incongruity. A team could post the same record several times during a decade but that doesn’t mean all those teams were equally talented. A team can improve from one season to the next but if everyone else in their division is also improved then the achievement doesn’t show up in the standings.

          • enai D

            Sure, it’d be possible in theory. But none of those conditions apply in this case- the NFC North did not get significantly stronger (the Packers had their typical stand-pat offseason, the Lions lost a HoF’er and made marginal additions elsewhere, the Bears likely improved but not hugely), and the Vikings schedule is much, much easier this year as opposed to last year. So, the team improved, and everything else is more or less equal (at worst), and yet the writer predicts a worse record. The incongruity is obvious, whether one cares to admit it or not.

          • crosseyedlemon

            I don’t think the objective was to provide a list that was dead accurate in terms of wins. You have to grant a margin of error of at least one game plus or minus to be fair. The projection is that the Vikings and Packers will have a close battle for division supremacy and both will have playoff quality teams. That seems very probable to me.

          • Nick Cortez

            Using this logic and the above comments, you expect the Saints to be between 4 and 6 wins next season. Man, I tell ya what. I’d take 2-1 odds and put a large sum of money on the Saints winning 7 or more games next year.

  • Brad Barber

    How are the giants projected to go be the third team in the divison. We have a legit top 5 offense even with a crappy right side of oline and a consostemt run game. Which unless your a giants fan you probably didn’t know when rashad jennings was used as our sole number one back with four weeks left to go he actually led the league in yards for a rb. Our run game wasn’t that good because we used a committee approach which clearly didn’t work. Our defense has been upgraded. Damon harrison makes everyone better by taking double teams every play making the dline always getting singular blocked and leaving one maybe two guys to block the lbs making our secondary not have to cover as long. Hankins is healthy and can also take double teams. Harrison and hankins remind me of when jags had marcus stroud and john Henderson. Who knows if jpp can tackle as good as before but he can still put pressure on qbs. When jpp came back after week 8 it helped ayers get 6.5 of his 9.5 sacks. Vernon is better then ayers. Jpp also had 32 qb pressures putting him in top 10 in that 8 game span. Owa odigizuwa is back but obviously is an unknown. Our lbs are guna be made better because of our two stout dts. But they actually don’t seem too bad to me, just a few unknowns. Brinkley is a monster run defender with four forced fumbles and multiple run stops, he is just extremely horrible in the passion game making him a solid two down run stopper. Keenan robinson can’t shed blocks to save his life but is extremely athletic and is now in a 4-3 with our beast dts so blockers wont be able to get to him as much. Kennard is a beast when he is healthy. Goodson was a top ten mlb in college in his only season of starting. Jt thomas and casillas aren’t that good but both are athletic. Kelvin sheppard had over 100 tackles last year giving him experience. DRC is a top 10 cb. Jenkins is a ballhawk. Eli apple is an unknown because he will be playing the nickel which he has never played. Landon collins is now guna be playing ss instead of fs which in my opinion he will have a breakout year because of it. Darian thompson is another ballhawk. We need time to gel but last year our defense, not oline was the problem. We lost about 8-9 games aftr leading towards the end of fourth quarter. We only got blown out twice by eagles and panthers so every other game we were actually in it because of our offense, who now has sterling shepard instead of just obj. I’m not guna mention cruz because we don’tknow if he is the same player but he ddefinitely will be back. Our weakness: defense. And we added vernon, harrison, robinson, goodson, jenkins, apple, thompson. Jpp, odiguzuwa, hankins, kennard, are all back healthy as of right now.

    • eYeDEF

      Wow, that’s a ton of kool-aid you’re swilling to talk up what was arguably the worst defense in the league last year. I’m not contesting they’re improved, it’d be hard not to after blowing a 100 mil wad like that in free agency. But your safeties still suck, and that’s not a good thing when you’ve got two starting corners now susceptible to the big play. And seriously, legit top-5 offense? LOLOLOL. The last time the Giants even had a top 10 offense was 2012 when Eli had more than one go to receiver and could spread the ball around to Victor Cruz in his prime, Hakeem Nicks, and a sure handed Martellus Bennett while getting 12 healthy games out of Ahmad Bradshaw. He also had a halfway decent Beatty and pro bowl guard Chris Snee protecting him. No, the Cardinals have a legit top 5 offense, as do the Packers and Patriots. What’s Eli got now outside of Beckham and a bag of chips? Flowers and Newhouse is what he’s got, a recipe for disaster. Nuff said.

      • Brad Barber

        They were ranked 6th last year. With only Odell as oir threat. Now we have a heathy cruz and sheppard. And will tye hadclose to 500 yardslast year and ddidn’t start till around week 8. Our safetys suck? The only one you ever seen play in nfl is collins and that was as a coverage fs which isn’t him. Moving him to ss will be alot better.

        • eYeDEF

          In whose fantasy land did the Giants have the 6th ranked offense last year? Certainly not on planet reality when looking at the only offensive rankings measured by advanced statistics that matters; Football Outsider’s offensive efficiency rankings. Giants were 19th last year with a -1.8% offensive DVOA, 16th in weighted offense, 18th in pass offense, 23rd in rush offense, with a ridiculous 12.3% variance that ranked 3rd worst and the 6th easiest schedule in the league. Can’t really say that’s very impressive.

          • Brad Barber

            I’m talking about yardage wise. I don’t really get into all this analytics crap. Eli had one of his best seasons with odell as his only good target. Paul perkins is a devonta freeman clone

          • eYeDEF

            Well you are on an advanced stat site. But even going by total offensive yards by the team’s offense, they were not 6th but 8th. You understand why judging a QB by total yards thrown for alone is a woefully incomplete picture of how well a QB performed right? That’s why better metrics have been created that offer a more balanced and complete summary of how well a QB performed like QB rating or ESPN’s QBR. Going by total yards thrown for alone to judge a QB’s play is cherry picking to the max.

            Anyway, I’m not sure this upcoming season is going to bode well for Odell because he’s got the Kardashian curse now. Until he’s willing to break from that distraction it’s going to take away from his game and there’s a long line of pro athlete casualties to demonstrate this phenomenon. Kardashian booty and everything that goes along with it has a chilling effect on pro careers. It is known.

      • Brad Barber

        Not to mention we literally had one of if not the worst pass rush last year. Our secondary was left to cover for 10 seconds

        • eYeDEF

          Which means your record this year lives and dies by Vernon and your hope that he can put in more than a half season of work. Unless JPP can figure out how to wrap up his tackles, he’s kind of one a one dimensional rush linebacker who needs safety help if he’s only good for hurries.

    • crosseyedlemon

      I don’t see an 8 win projection for the Giants as being negative. They are in transition with a new coach and many new players that will need time to get on the same page. The projection on the Cowboys probably should have been a bit lower. They certainly won’t post a 9 win season if they have the league’s worst turnover ratio again.

  • KWS13

    Hard to ignore the negativity with SEA after the glowing report on ARI. Saying the o-line WILL be worse seems quite presumptuous, as long as Justin Britt isn’t starting SEA is expected to be better at LG, C, RG and probably RT, with LT a fair question mark, but as a whole PFFs recent negativity on SEA seems strongly driven by pick of Germain Ifedi in 1st round when they assumed he’d be a tackle when SEA even said he’d play RG, his better position and profile. And assuming pass rush WILL be worse without Bruce Irvin is contrary to what is generally hoped/believed by SEA followers, with Frank Clark taking over his pass rushing role as arguably just as good of an athlete for his size and better profile fit for that position on the defense. Tying into that, with SEAs strong end to the year corresponding to Cary Williams benching who was not grading well here and was the ire of every SEA fan, and this being the first year since 2013 that SEA didn’t lose a starting CB, hope remains high that with no surgeries for Thomas, Lane and Simon, no lingering injuries for Chancellor Sherman and no Chancellor holdout that continuity and cohesion will return them to their top form early instead of slugging through early struggles

    • crosseyedlemon

      Maybe I’m missing something but everything I’ve read indicates the PFF staff have a very favorable opinion of the Seahawks. Just because they aren’t being projected as champions again doesn’t mean the staff has gone negative on them.

      • KWS13

        I guess I just don’t get the assessment- all negative in their offseason grades (tied for worst grade here) and in this article it’s really negative… But they expect 2 more wins than last year. For a team they expect to be worse this is very odd

    • Andrew Maples

      Do you even get what you said and how maniacal it is…??

      You don’t ever, and I repeat ever, draft a right guard in the first round. PERIOD!

      They lost Lynch and immediately lost their barrings and started reaching for RBs…

      Did I fail to mention they had a top Center and traded him for a superb TE who is going to take atleast 18-24 months to get back to where he was pre-injury?

      And yet you are still sitting here justifying drafting a RG in the top-30 picks of a draft… WTF bro?

      • KWS13

        You’re a little late to the party, but for fun I’ll bite on this

        -RG in the 1st round is a no-no? Zack Martin. Advantage me

        -Lost Lynch/reaching for RBs? Both Prosise and Collins considered decent value and fill very specific needs as 3rd down back to replace/upgrade on/get cheaper than Fred Jackson, and hard nosed compliment to Rawls/spot starter if ankle doesn’t hold up/replace Michael as full time backup. Brooks is a 7th round athlete flier

        -Top center for TE with 18-24 month recovery? They HAD a top center, but he kept getting injured and wasn’t as good when healthy as in 2012, though to be fair still better than what they rolled out early last year. Graham was injured 7 months ago and is running and will possibly be ready be for training camp at 8 month point, so your claim is he’ll need another 10-16 months just to get back into the groove of things because Victor Cruz tore his calf and has taken forever to get back

        -I sure as heck will justify picking Ifedi in 1st round because it means, as stated above, SEA is expected/hopefully better at LG, C, RG and maybe RT compared to where they were at to begin last year. Ifedi also gives them RT insurance if Webb doesn’t pan out. Improvement is improvement, LT might be worse but what else could they have done at their draft slot? Everyone else had question marks/not as much upside, so what gives? If SEA doesn’t go o-line in round 1, especially knowing in retrospect that Jarran Reed would slip to them in round 2, they would’ve been lambasted. Jason Spriggs might’ve been the only other option, but Ifedi gives them more options, upside, and a clear path to playing time right away.

  • Royce Jackson

    So the Lions are set to have the same record as the Niners who have Kap and a new coach bringing in a whole new philosophy…..and the Rams who are going to be starting a rookie QB. WOW the disrespect….. lol.

    • eYeDEF

      The Rams have that ferocious front 4. Maybe if Detroit still hadn’t lost Suh … but they did. But on the niners, I would have to agree you are more than justified in taking umbrage.

      • Royce Jackson

        I expect the Lions defense to be ferocious as well. After a slow start last year(much like the offense) they played very well. Ziggy Ansah has emerged as one of the best DE’s in the league and Ngata looked good last year and is healthier than he has been. One of my sleepers is DE Devin Taylor who had a semi-breakout year in 2015 and is expected to start alongside Ziggy. I think A’shawn Robinson will be a good player but I don’t expect him to play a whole lot this year.

    • crosseyedlemon

      In horse racing the morning line doesn’t try to separate all the ‘no chance’ entries instead giving them all the same 50-1 odds. The Lions, Niners and Rams are basically getting that same treatment here.

      • Royce Jackson

        This is not horse racing! lol

        • crosseyedlemon

          But it could be if the Broncos and Colts were part of the discussion.

          • Nick Cortez

            That made me laugh

  • Nick Perry

    I’m curious WHO is going to be blocking for Russell Wilson in Seattle. That O-Line is a bigger mess than last year. Like the author wrote, they’ve been really lucky on the injury front, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Seattle’s still a good team but not the 2nd best in the NFC.

    • Bill Doerr

      I agree, that O Line is one of if not thee worst offensive line in the NFL. AZs defense which now has an Elite pass rush is going to absolutely destroy Wilson and that line , The Rams D-Line will as well.

  • Christiano

    GI ants are way better they addressed there issue at safety Collins n Thompson Thompson is going to be a solid young player and if jt thomas the third can stay healthy n Kennard can stay healthy n brinkley plays hard the Giants don’t have terrible linebackers they need a guard n a running back gianrs can win 11 games this year this kid sheppard at wide reciever with Cruz n O’Dell healthy can be a giant force beware of the blue

  • Zack

    Washington who?

  • Joe Doe

    Hmmm… The Seahawks were 9-7 last year (I refuse to accept they beat the Lions), have what is largely heralded as a bad offseason by not adequately addressing their offense line and drafting an interior designer, but will potentially be fighting for the top spot in the NFC? I’m struggling with this one.

  • tmkelley1

    God forbid I should disagree with a Director of Analytics, but I’m thinking the ‘Skins notch 10 or 11 wins this coming year. They may have the best receiving corps in the NFL, Cousins is now firmly entrenched, and that continuous soap opera the media created over RGIII is completely gone. No more distractions.

    • Bill Doerr

      The Skins DO NOT have the best core of WRs in the NFL…. I would take AZs WR Core any day over Washington’s w/ AZ having 3 Elite top 3 WRs in one of the best ever coming off a 110rec/1215/9TD season in Fitzgerald, 6″2 1/2 /220pd Elite WR Michael Floyd possessing elite athleticism/hands n 4.41 speed is primed to blow up this season. Had Floyd not of hurt his hand badly in training camp requiring surgery which caused him not to be able to catch balls for the 1st 3 weeks of the season ( he played in the first 3 games but played as a pure decoy, its why he caught only 1 pass those first 3 games) due to his hand injury, he still put up 860yds/6TDs but would of easily put up well over 1100+/8-10TDs if not for that hand injury , he will easily top that number this year. Floyds targets are also limited compared to other #1 WRs given all the mouths to feed in AZs offense. AZs other outside WR 5″11/190PD Speedster Elite WR John Brown Is coming off his first 1,000+YD/7TD season in just his 2nd year , he will just continue getting better n is nowhere near his ceiling. John Brown reminds me a ton of Marvin Harrison, he is like a clone of Harrison.
      2015 Rookie WR 5″11/180PD JJ Nelson who posses world class 4.25 40 track speed & elite athleticism, in few oppurtunities he was a LETHAL DEEP THREAT AVG 27.5YDs Per Reception putting up 300yds/4TDs as rookie but over the off season has gotten 100X Times better as a route runner , is extremely polished route runner & now that he has a full complete understanding of the offense , is playing MUCH, MUCH Faster & that’s absolutely scary when you have his kind of speed. Nelson is going to play a MUCH, MUCH Bigger role in the offense likely paired up with speedster John Brown , AZ Hit a home run drafting Nelson getting yet another draft steal…AZs 6″3/210pd w/4.39 speed in WR Juron Brown is a #2 WR on most other teams its just AZ is so loaded he hasn’t got a chance but he is very good , he has 1,000+YD type talent and is very good.
      2 of AZs top 3 RBs also excels as receivers/route runners with Elite speed as well in dual threat RBs 6″2/225pd RB David Johnson who posses elite 4.41 speed who is quickly becoming one of the NFLs best elite RBs as well as 5″11/205pd Andre Ellington with his 4.39 speed, both excel as pass catchers n can lineup both out of the backfield or in the slot or outwide. I haven’t even mentioned AZs very good pass catching receiving TEs. The Skins do not have the best WR Unit in the NFL, Sorry.

  • Backinmd

    Cousins had a great year and got better every game … I know he’s not a franchise QB but his potential is great … Two of the draft choices : Crowder -WR- and the LG had great second halfs ..and came on strong at WR and so did their rookie LG , Scherff-.. First time Jordon Reed wasn’t injured …Best of all, the Rdskins finally have a true GM .And Josh Norman was a steal as a free agent …He’ll go up against Dez Brtyant and Mr. Hair, Odell Beckman twice and will dominate both this year .Nothing personal but think Tony Romeo won’t play a full year for Dallas – will get injured again ..BTW, Knighton was a great pass rushers for the Skins but he would run out of gas by the 4th quarter against most teams …I say 9-7 , maybe 10-6, 11-5 a slight reach but not out of the question . With the rookie Go Redskins ! ! .. Can’t wait until NFL starts …And with Josh Doctson, skins will have a dynomite receiving corps …

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  • MosesZD

    The 49ers had the second-worst record in the NFC last year, and followed that up by having one of the quietest offseasons.

    And still drafted 7th… Which means they had the 7th worst record in the NFL. And even as you say they won same games they shouldn’t of, they lost a couple that way too. And they did it with the three stooges as coaches and the off-season from hell.

    losing players like Anquan Boldin and Alex Boone can’t help the offense.

    Actually it can. All things considered, the rushing attack up the middle was quite probably the worst in the NFL. So I’m not exactly so sure why losing Boone, who was part of the problem, is such a big deal. Especially as Beadles was a pro-bowler in a zone blocking scheme in Denver and only under-performed his contract in Jacksonville when he went to a gap-blocking scheme. Plus, it’s very unlikely Boone would be a good fit for the zone-blocking scheme we’re using this year.

    And losing Boldin, and your thinking it was a big deal, is a joke. Don’t even pretend he was all that and a bag of chips. The guy, already slow when drafted, was glacial last year. His YAC was sub-standard. He struggled to get open and was, in more than one game, owned by nickle-and-dime backs of little skill.

    Unless Chip Kelly can get the best out of his players immediately, it will be a season of rebuilding in San Francisco.

    Considering how well he did last year with players not particularly better, I don’t see how this is an issue. Hyde is better than Murray, whose problem was lack of blocking (which you’ve documented on this site) then getting hurt. Torrey Smith spent the year being ignored, but was FO’s #14 DVOA WR all while having two QBs who couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn if it were 10-yards past the LOS.

    So I just don’t see the automatic crapping on the 49ers. Especially as your ‘grades’ really are far more subjective than you act.

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  • Nick Perry

    Interesting, you suggest the Packers have a “Few Players” getting up there in age yet don’t mention the same thing for Arizona or other teams. The Packers are one of the youngest teams in the NFL year in and year out.

  • http://www.nra.org Arthur Tweedie

    You have the Lions with two wins too many. They’ll be fighting the Browns and 49ers for the Myles Garrett/Deshaun Watson/Brad Kaaya sweepstakes as the worst teams in the NFL.