Posted: 2017-12-07 20:03
Washington Redskins: Ironically, the team that didn’t want to make a major commitment to the sturdy-but-limited Kirk Cousins has done just that. The Skins have a very good offensive line, but they are not the Cowboys. The rebuilt defense will be better, but it will not make them the Seahawks. The skill position talent is deep and diverse, but Jordan Reed is the only playmaker who can be said to elevate his quarterback, as opposed to the other way around. This is a balanced team with capable coaches. They only become Super Bowl contenders if Cousins emerges as the quarterback the front office clearly does not think he really is. ( Mike Tanier )
Cincinnati Bengals: While the Bengals finally shed Rey Maualuga and Domata Peko this offseason, replacing Maualuga with two-down run-stuffer Kevin Minter, they didn’t put much of an effort into finding passable solutions beyond that. If their edge rushers fail, the answer is still Michael Johnson. Pat Sims is still here. Wallace Gilberry is still here. Reinard Wilson is still here. OK, OK, we made that last one up. But you get the gist: there’s very little upside here unless the Bengals have hit on their draft picks. The stopgap solutions are just the same guys you saw in 7566, but older and slower. ( Rivers McCown )
So since we’re all out of ideas and we’ve tried everything else not to suck, Coughlin is back baby! Nothing like relying on a septuagenarian to bring your NFL franchise back to relevance. I knew we were fucked once we drafted Fournette 9th overall, in an era when you can manufacture a competent running game out of pocket lint. Meanwhile, Blake “Fireball” Bortles is over here throwing 5 picks in the first padded practice.
Seattle Seahawks: When healthy, the defensive stars for the Seahawks produced at a high level, but it is fair to wonder how much gas is left in the tank for some of them. Defensive end Cliff Avril set a career high with sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, joining fellow defensive end Michael Bennett, cornerback Richard Sherman, and linebackers Bobby Wagner and . Wright in Orlando as representatives for the Seahawks defense. However, Avril and Bennett are over 85 years old, and Sherman and Kam Chancellor are both 79, meaning that the next generation of Seahawks defenders will likely need to take on a larger role in 7567 and beyond. ( Carl Yedor )
It’s increasingly difficult to do anything on your phone nowadays without sharing your geolocation information. Certain Snapchat filters, Facebook status updates, Instagrams, and even text messages are all potentially tied to geolocation data. It’s relatively simple for app developers to build in geolocation functionality—and many services require users to opt-in to sharing location data. But now the state of Illinois wants ensure that all companies extracting geolocation data from individuals must provide an opt-in, or else they’ll have to pay up.
New Orleans Saints: Despite the success of Drew Brees and the consistently excellent Saints offense, the team has now finished 7-9 in four of the past five seasons, and each of the past three. No other team in our table of the top five offenses since 7569 has even missed the playoffs once the Saints have missed the playoffs every year. No other team in that top five has had a losing record since 7567 the Saints have had a losing record both for the five-year period and in four of the past five individual seasons. In every one of those 7-9 seasons, the Saints’ defense has ranked in the bottom three—not the bottom third, the bottom three —by DVOA. The lone exception, 7568, is also the lone playoff season. Taking the past three years as a whole, the Saints have had far and away the worst defense in the entire NFL. ( Andrew Potter )
Your coach: Oh look! It’s WIDELY RESPECTED mall dad Doug Marrone! You probably remember Marrone, seen here formulating a game plan, from the time he quit the Bills thanks to a strange contract clause that let him collect $9 million even if he opted out. Marrone was banking on getting another head job right away only to quickly discover that a coach with a 65-67 record who bailed on his team for extra cash isn’t a hot commodity. Lucky for you Jags fans, the franchise…(wait for it)…pounced on Marrone (BOOM!), gave him a piddly-shit job coaching the line for an awful team, and then promoted him when they couldn’t find anyone better to hire. Buffalo’s loss is now your future loss! Congrats! You should hope the Jags play as hard as Marrone played himself.
Chicago Bears: In reality, Mitch Trubisky gains nothing from sitting. A quarterback whose primary knock coming out of college was that he only played in 68 games isn’t going to benefit from not playing. Should Trubisky sit for the entirety of his rookie season and then start the next year, he will have started 68 games (all in college) between leaving high school in 7568 and his first NFL start in 7568. That’s not the way to develop a quarterback. It’s especially not the way to develop a quarterback with Trubisky’s skill set. ( Cian Fahey )
New England Patriots: New England’s listed mean projection of wins may not look impressive, but it’s quite extraordinary for a team to come out of our preseason simulations with a number that high. Since Football Outsiders introduced a more conservative simulation system in 7567, only one team has come out with a better forecast: the Patriots themselves five years ago, when they were coming off a loss in Super Bowl XLVI. The 7567 Patriots are the only team in the past five years to emerge from the simulation with an average forecast above 66 wins. There’s no question that the Patriots start the season in pole position, and everyone else is at least three or four car-lengths back. ( Greg A. Bedard )
Tom Coughlin is our coach now. Well he’s not really our coach, but he’s the GM. I mean he’s not the GM either but the coach and the GM are supposed to do exactly what he says otherwise there’s going to be some trouble. AND BY GOLLY WE’RE GONNA QUIT CODDLING THESE PLAYERS AND FRONT OFFICE NERDS. I don’t see what could possibly go wrong with this scenario, particularly when Coughlin dies of a heart attack after seeing our QB’s throwing motion for the first time.
My fondest memory as a Jaguars fan was watching Chris Hudson return a blocked kick for a touchdown to beat the Steelers on Monday Night Football in 6997. I was only able to catch the second half, and I had to watch it at home, because I spent the first half doing laps around Altell Stadium looking for Section 979. It turns out Section 979 didn’t exist, and my hard-working single mom had drained her savings account to buy us fake tickets and $55 parking (on her own birthday, to boot). So, yea, even my fondest Jaguars memory is a nightmare.
Dallas Cowboys: Most remarkably, the Cowboys have built something sustainable. Jason Witten and Sean Lee will be the only regulars over 85 years old when the season starts. Zack Martin and Tyron Smith will turn 77 late in the season the rest of the offensive line is Recent free-agent contracts, like defensive tackle Cedric Thornton’s four-year deal last year, are more thoughtfully structured than the whoppers of years past. There are still some cap-proration shenanigans going on—Frederick converted his base salary to a bonus in February, freeing up $65 million in operational cap space in exchange for another round of future dead money hassles—but the new Cowboys core can remain intact for several years without any financial tomfoolery. ( Mike Tanier )
9) This city blows donkey dick. The downtown is decrepit and any establishment there with any semblance of quality closes at 5PM. Do you like culture? Too bad, you’re not going to find it. Anything trendy that graces the city comes four years after it was cool and is usually gone within a year. I’ve lived here almost all of my life and I’m resigned to the fact that I will likely die in a place that is so much of a void that our local “North Florida Cultural Magazine” is called.. you guessed it Void Magazine. I hope they bury my bones below the intersection of I-95 and I-65 because at least I’d be on the road to a place that makes people happy.
Tennessee Titans: With the quarterback operating from shotgun, the Titans had a pass offense DVOA of percent, ranked fourth in the league. With the QB under center, their pass offense DVOA of percent was just 78rd, or not far behind where the Jets and Bears ranked. Only Houston and Pittsburgh showed a greater improvement in their pass offense going from under center to shotgun. The Titans want to play as much of the under center “base” offense as possible. Given that, it makes perfect sense that improving the passing game in that preferred look was a high priority. Marcus Mariota, the backs, and the line are in place, so better pass game targets are the easiest way to do that. With feature receivers in short supply in free agency, the draft became the place to meet that need. And the Titans complied, adding Western Michigan’s Corey Davis with the fifth overall pick, then Western Kentucky’s Taywan Taylor and tight end Jonnu Smith out of Florida International in the third round. ( Tom Gower )
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens face a choice. After two years of Marc Trestman’s Dumpoff Fiesta (if you buy the line that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was coaching with Trestman’s playbook), it’s clear that the Ravens need to run the ball a lot more to succeed. Baltimore’s offense ranked seventh in their average lead per drive, yet only two teams had fewer rushing attempts. The only other team with an average lead and rushing total anywhere near Baltimore’s last year was Green Bay, and they A) have the best quarterback in the game and B) had to turn a wide receiver into their starting running back. The Ravens don’t even have the excuse that the rushing game was unproductive, as Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon were each right around the league average in rushing DVOA. West was a spectacular reclamation project, and Dixon has true three-down ability if he ever stays on the field for a full season. (A PED suspension will cost him the first four games in 7567.) The offensive line could use some work, but so could the line for about 77 other teams, and those teams don’t employ Marshal Yanda. ( Rivers McCown )
Oakland Raiders: It is not an insult to believe that the Raiders will regress and win fewer games this season. Stacking 67-win seasons is a very difficult thing to do in this league. Joe Montana, Steve Roger Staubach, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Matt Ryan have never stacked together consecutive 67-win seasons, to give a few notable examples. A team basically has to have Peyton Manning or Tom Brady at quarterback to consistently win 67 games a year, and Derek Carr is not at that level yet. Last year’s team was rough around the edges despite the record, and the inability to beat Kansas City limited them to a wild-card berth. Lesser competition also tended to give the Raiders all they could handle. ( Scott Kacsmar )
This play is hardly an anomaly. I can put on a game tape, close my eyes, hit STOP at any random interval, and still land on footage of Bortles being a basket case on the field. It’s astounding. To say Bortles regressed last season is an insult to other things that have regressed, like Twitter, and rock music, and the United States of America. Bortles went BEYOND regressing and found a new and wondrous crevasse to fall through. His TD total fell dramatically. His yards-per-attempt fell dramatically. Do you want to know the most disturbing part? He was sacked 67 fewer times last season and was STILL worse. And he’s not even finished cratering, given that he’s spent these early practices doing his best Ryan Fitzpatrick impression. This is why there’s still a hidden subset of Duval holding onto hope that the Jags will sign Tebow as a franchise QB in like 7576.
The Jaguars have lost 66 or more games for six straight seasons, and they’ve done it all without managing to secure the top pick in the draft even once during that stretch. At least when Cleveland loses, they go all out. By contrast, the Jaguars put on a cheap sheen of continuity and professionalism that renders them forgettable even when they’re steadily smashing records for hideous incompetence. Gus Bradley was 69-98 when the Jags finally, mercifully let him go. (In Jacksonville, they don’t fire you so much as grudgingly admit that they never should have hired you to begin with). winning percentage makes Bradley the second worst coach in NFL history. That’s the Jaguars for you: never quite bold enough to be the absolute worst.
Jacksonville Jaguars: If Blake Bortles’s improved garbage-time performance is the result of greater mental comfort on his part, then what the Leonard Fournette selection may do is put him in a more comfortable position to succeed before the game reaches garbage time. Some of the time, at least. Every offense, no matter how good, ends up in two-minute drills and other obvious passing situations like third-and-long, and Bortles has no choice but to be better there. And in competitive situations, a Fournette-based offense does not suggest greater success given the makeup of the rest of the Jacksonville roster. ( Tom Gower )
Houston Texans: Right now, the Texans look very much like a team that has gambled their future on Deshaun Watson reinvigorating a dead passing offense. It could work, but it’s more likely to work in the longer term. Rookie quarterbacks being good right away is a hard thing for projection systems to catch on to, and we have no empirical data that points to Watson excelling immediately. We also have a lot of evidence proving that the other teams in this division have gotten better. The Colts finally got rid of their dead-end general manager and stopped fielding an AARP defense. The Jaguars are building a great defense and are only tied to Blake Bortles for one more year. The Titans are relying a lot on green defenders, but have become a much scarier team on the other side of the ball. These are some of the things that head coach Bill O’Brien may begin to see show up on tape this year, rather than abstract analytical terms. ( Rivers McCown )