MR N’s 2014 #NFL Pre-season Power Poll


NFL Power Rankings

 

Neal’s Preseason Power Poll

1. Seattle Seahawks: 13-3 – If they simply roll with O and D they could be 16-0. People will be gunning for them and things happen so I think 13-3 is reasonable.

2. Indianapolis Colts: 13-3 – This schedule is laid out nicely for them. Without much effort they will cruise to a 13-3 record and should be battling for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

3. Denver Broncos: 12-4 – Not a super hard schedule, I see them reaching 12-4 in not much effort. If the D clicks then maybe 14 or even 15 wins, a D stumble might be 10 but I still believe 12-4.

4. New Orleans Saints: 12-4 – This is a pretty easy schedule and the Saints could be 13-3 as they have a pushover division and a bunch of easy games. Let’s just say somehow the Falcons win one so the Saints go 12-4.

5. Chicago Bears: 11-5 – The schedule isn’t too hard and this team can outscore most. I see the high bar being an incredible 13-3. I think they will be no worse than 11-5.

6. Arizona Cardinals: 11-5 – The schedule is tougher later so this team needs to roll in the early section. I think they could shock the world, win 11 and take the card. I am standing on that.

7. New England Patriots: 11-5 – They have a tougher first 8 games so don’t be surprised to see them close to .500 but they should roll the last half and I believe 11-5/12-4 is reasonable for the ol’ Pats.

8. San Francisco 49ers: 10-6 – This team isn’t going to be what they were with the defensive issues but they have a push schedule and I think 10-6 is reasonable, they may win 11.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: 10-6 – Another challenging schedule but if they get it going then 10-6 looks likely, outside shot at 11 and if they stumble they may only win 9.

10. Green Bay Packers: 9-7 – If they do amazing and the D and O click they could win 10. I think they will win 9 and lose 7 and watch the playoffs on TV.

11. Philadelphia Eagles: 9-7 – This schedule also is tough (they all play the powerful NFC West) but they may be the only team in the division that wins more than they lose and I think 9-7 gets them the division ‘sham-pionship’.

12. Kansas City Chiefs: 9-7 – If they are lucky and can beat San Diego in San Diego they can be 9-7 but this is a tough schedule and I fear this team may crash back to earth so don’t be shocked at 7-9 or 6-10 if it starts to collapse early.

13. St. Louis Rams: 8-8 – If things go great for them then 9-7 is possible. I believe this tough sked will give them 8-8 if they do well against bad teams.

14. Miami Dolphins: 8-8 – I think this team could surprise slightly if things break right. They could be 8-8 but they could also be 6-10. I seem them 2nd best in their division and they might sneak a 9th win if Tannehill improves.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7-9 – A schedule that will challenge them and we will see how they take playing a good team/bad team alternatively for much of the sked. I think 7-9 is likely. If they win a road division game they can be .500 and if they stumble out of conference on the road they could be 5-11.

16. San Diego Chargers: 7-9 – This is a good news, bad news schedule. They start with 2 tough games and probably are 0-2 but then they take control and should be 7-3 one week after their bye! Unfortunately they have 6 more games and I can’t see them winning any of them so 7-9 is their year. It will not be McCoy’s fault if they lose the last 6 but I bet he still gets canned for it.

17. Baltimore Ravens: 7-9 – I think they project to a 7-9, it’s a pretty tough middle 8 games for this team. Whatever gains they get from their bye they lose by going to New Orleans. If they win 9 it will be a great year for them and if they stumble on the road in their division they might only win 6.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: 7-9 – Their second half schedule is brutal. They ‘could’ jump out to a 5-2 record but I think 4-3 is more likely and that is followed by possibly losing all 5 after the bye. If they start fast they may win 8, if they start slow and stumble to their bye then 6-10 is possible.

19. Washington Redskins: 7-9 – Same deal here, tough schedule and they can win some but will lose more than they win. I think 7-9 and second place is the likely finish. They upset Philly in either and they could win the division but I doubt it.

20. Tennessee Titans: 7-9 – A schedule that isn’t that hard for this team and 7-9 is likely but 6-10 could happen. I don’t see 8-8 in the cards.

21. Atlanta Falcons: 6-10 – This could be a bookend 6-10 team in the division. They just aren’t good enough to win against their schedule. If it all somehow works they could win 9 but they could also collapse again and win 4.

22. Carolina Panthers: 6-10 – I think the schedule starts out very tough and gets easy post bye but they then it could be too late. I think 6-10 is likely but they could win 8 or win 5.

23. Dallas Cowboys: 6-10 – This team has a brutal post bye schedule. My worst case for them is 4-12 and that could happen if they stumble in the division. Best case might be 8 but I see 6-10 and a new coach and QB in Dallas in 2015.

24. New York Giants: 6-10 – A tough schedule here too and a team that may not be able to deal with the tough games. There are many in a row that could strip this team of spirit and send them into a tailspin. 4-12 here isn’t out of the question. If they get a couple of lucky bounces I see them 6-10 too.

25. Detroit Lions: 6-10 – If they excel against their own division they might win 8 but I see a 6-10 year for the Lions.

26. NY Jets: 6-10 – This is a pretty tough schedule for a team that isn’t the strongest one in the league. I think 6-10 would be a great year for them, 4-12 or 5-11 isn’t out of the question.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-11 – Going to be an uphill battle for this young team and they will have growing pains with this schedule. If they stumble 3-13 is possible. I see them outperforming Houston and 5-11 is likely. Winning 6 would be huge for them.

28. Houston Texans: 4-12 – I am staggered by how badly this team appears to be going into training camp. Unless a lot falls into place and their O makes an impact and their D is stalwart they could get another high pick because 4-12 isn’t out of the question. 6 wins would be amazing for this mess of a team.

29. Minnesota Vikings: 4-12 – This could be a long year for Vikings Fans. I think it could be 3-13 without much effort. They probably start 0-5 for sure. I will be kind and suggest 4-12.

30. Buffalo Bills: 4-12 – A pretty tough schedule that could get this team beaten to a point they lose their mojo. 4-12 is likely. A good year would be 6 wins and I think if they win 8 it would be equal to a Superbowl for this young team.

31. Cleveland Browns: 2-14 – I think this team is going to have another very high draft pick no matter who is under center. It would not surprise me to see them 2-14 but they could excel and win 5.

32. Oakland Raiders: 2-14 – um, this is my definition of a brutal sked. There is an outside shot the Raiders could lose them all. They could maybe beat Cleveland on the road week 7 and Buffalo at home week 16 but that means 2-14. They have a section in the second half that goes: @Sea, Den, @SD, KC, @STL, SF, @KC. If they aren’t blown away in all 7 of those, consider that a victory. I will be kind and say 2-14.

MR N The BEARS Fan

There you have it! As always I welcome thoughts, comments, arguments, agreements…money…preferably tens and twenties!

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MR N’s #NFL NFC West Preview‏


nfc west

 

NFL Preview 2014
Division: NFC West
Team: Seattle Seahawks
Coach: Pete Carroll
QB: Russell Wilson

Offensive outlook: The effectiveness of this O stems from the strength of the line and the mobility and ingenuity of their QB…Harvin healthy could be a ‘game changer’ for this team and Lynch is beastmode but he has had a lot of carries so at any time could suddenly disappear. They will score enough with their D.

Defensive outlook: Despite losing a few players due to the inevitable free agency the Legion of Boom is largely intact. The new ‘rules’ about illegal contact (the Seattle rule) will not hurt the Seahawks if indeed they are allowed to bump in the first 5 yards. The Hawks are the only team that successfully plays press coverage. They will shut down nearly everyone they face.

Schedule projection: If they simply roll with O and D they could be 16-0. People will be gunning for them and things happen so I think 13-3 is reasonable.

Division: NFC West
Team: San Franciso 49ers
Coach: Jim Harbaugh
QB: Colin Kaepernick

Offensive outlook: The 9ers are built to score points with depth at RB, a good group of receivers and a young talented QB. I believe this unit will be fine as the season goes on.

Defensive outlook: Unfortunately this team strength seems to be tied to Navarro Bowman and he’s gone at least the first 8 weeks. This unit looks like a shell of what it was and can’t seem to do anything and this is going to impact their ability to be successful this year.

Schedule projection: This team isn’t going to be what they were with the defensive issues but they have a push schedule and I think 10-6 is reasonable, they may win 11.

Division: NFC West
Team: Arizona Cardinals
Coach: Bruce Arians
QB: Carson Palmer

Offensive outlook: Carson isn’t getting younger and I think they still need depth at receiver and consistency at RB but their Line is greatly improved and that will make this unit much more effective.

Defensive outlook: Losing Darnell Dockett hurts. Adding Cromartie at DB helps. This team’s D is going to be a force. The secondary is going to rival the LOB. A powerful D.

Schedule projection: The schedule is tougher later so this team needs to roll in the early section. I think they could shock the world, win 11 and take the card. I am standing on that.

Division: NFC West
Team: St. Louis Rams
Coach: Jeff Fisher
QB: Sam Bradford

Offensive outlook: They haven’t fully decided if Bradford is the answer. He is only healthy about 50% of the time. They need him healthy, he needs receivers to catch the ball and the O line has to stand up for him and the running game. They could score lots but I somehow doubt they will.

Defensive outlook: A superb front 7, possibly the best in the league next to the Panthers. The secondary could be better. A tough D that can win a game or two itself.

Schedule projection: If things go great for them then 9-7 is possible. I believe this tough sked will give them 8-8 if they do well against bad teams.

AFC West projected:

Seattle Seahawks: 13-3
Arizona Cardinals: 11-5
San Francisco 49s: 10-6
St. Louis Rams : 8-8

MR N’s #NFL NFC South Preview‏


NFC South 

NFL Preview 2014

Division: NFC South
Team: New Orleans Saints
Coach: Sean Payton
QB: Drew Brees

Offensive outlook: Brees, although getting older, can still make any receiver look deadly. He gets big help with young Brandin Cooks and has Super TE Graham but his WR are nothing special. It is time for Mark Ingram to be a solid RB (I have him in fantasy because he’s OVER due) and their O line is decent to solid. I think for one more year this will be the Saints O everyone recognizes.

Defensive outlook: The Saints D has a couple of great pass rushers but the secondary is not without issues. Their D isn’t quite what it was just a few years back but good enough to win lots of games for them.

Schedule projection: This is a pretty easy schedule and the Saints could be 13-3 as they have a pushover division and a bunch of easy games. Let’s just say somehow the Falcons win one so the Saints go 12-4.

Division: NFC South
Team: Carolina Panthers
Coach: Ron Rivera
QB: Cam Newton

Offensive outlook: Cam has to be healthy and that will give them one weapon. They have Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams at RB but sadly it’s not 2009. They have a draftee at WR and a lot of nothing anywhere else. If they can score 14 that will be an accomplishment each game.

Defensive outlook: The Panthers have arguably the best front 7 in football and with tackling machine Luke Kuechly they are a formidable group. Alas their secondary is not very good and they need to stop the run and disrupt the pass because most attempted passes will be completed against them. Lucky for them their D can win some games for them.

Schedule projection: I think the schedule starts out very tough and gets easy post bye but they then it could be too late. I think 6-10 is likely but they could win 8 or win 5.

Division: NFC South
Team: Atlanta Falcons
Coach: Mike Smith
QB: Matt Ryan

Offensive outlook: Ryan is a decent QB who has many old weapons and his best weapon (Julio Jones) is coming off major injury that could linger. I don’t see much production out of Steven Jackson and he will likely be surpassed by Quizz. Roddy White is very well paid for what he has done as he is getting way old. Their best TE retired and their line is weak in spots. They may not score much.

Defensive outlook: The D is counting on older players bouncing back and they are more hopeful than counting on any sort of capable play from the secondary. This team could allow a lot of points too if it doesn’t have career years out of people.

Schedule projection: This could be a bookend 6-10 team in the division. They just aren’t good enough to win against their schedule. If it all somehow works they could win 9 but they could also collapse again and win 4.

Division: NFC South
Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Coach: Lovie Smith
QB: Josh McCown/Mike Glennon

Offensive outlook: They brought in McCown for no reason I can understand and they expect to have much more running production with a healthy return by both James and Martin. They have Vincent Jackson and Rookie Mike Evans and a decent line. I don’t know how productive McCown wil be i the long run (Glennon should be their franchise QB) but they have some weapons and can score some points.

Defensive outlook: Lovie is returning them to the Tampa 2 and this team’s D is their best asset. They have solid pass rushers, good linebackers and a secondary who can cover. They can keep it close for their O to have a shot.

Schedule projection: A schedule that will challenge them and we will see how they take playing a good team/bad team alternatively for much of the sked. I think 7-9 is likely. If they win a road division game they can be .500 and if they stumble out of conference on the road they could be 5-11.

AFC South projected:

New Orleans Saints 12-4
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-9
Atlanta Falcons 6-10
Carolina Panthers 6-10

MR N the BEARS Fan

MR N’s #NFL NFC North Preview‏


NFC north

NFL Preview 2014

Division: NFC North
Team: Chicago Bears
Coach: Jim Trestman
QB: Jay Cutler

Offensive outlook: This is an offense set to explode. Cutler has a myriad of weapons with in my view the best WR pair in football, Forte and a great young rookie RB and solid TE and a vastly improved line. They will put up points like Trestman did in the CFL.

Defensive outlook: The D has improved with free agency pickups and draft picks. They have a strong pass rush, solid LB with depth and an improving secondary. They will get better as the season goes on.

Schedule projection: The schedule isn’t too hard and this team can outscore most. I see the high bar being an incredible 13-3. I think they will be no worse than 11-5.

Division: NFC North
Team: Detroit Lions
Coach: Jim Caldwell
QB: Matthew Stafford

Offensive outlook: Stafford can toss the rock with the best of them and he has Megatron. They have issues at RB but have improved TE. It remains to be seen if Golden Tate is a worthy #2 WR. They will do alright but expect mistakes.

Defensive outlook: Others really like this D, I don’t. I see continued lack of control, discipline and poor LB and secondary play expected. They will not do well.

Schedule projection: If they excel against their own division they might win 8 but I see a 6-10 year for the Lions.

Division: NFC North
Team: Green Bay Packers
Coach: Mike McCarthy
QB: Aaron Rodgers

Offensive outlook: Rodgers is amazing, Lacy is coming on as a great RB, they have solid WR (Rodgers makes almost anyone look good at receiving) but their line must be improved to keep Rodgers healthy. They will score but sometimes they will stumble.

Defensive outlook: The Packers D is a lot of reputation and they need a big year from vets and they need immediate help from youngsters in the poor secondary. I think they will be a bit better but still beatable more often than they want.

Schedule projection: If they do amazing and the D and O click they could win 10. I think they will win 9 and lose 7 and watch the playoffs on TV.

Division: NFC North
Team: Minnesota Vikings
Coach: Mike Zimmer
QB: Teddy Bridgewater/Matt Cassel

Offensive outlook: If they start Bridgewater right away they will have issues but gain great experience. If Cassel is the QB they will have issues and circle the bowl. AP is their only weapon and that doesn’t win many games in an outdoor stadium.

Defensive outlook: The Vikings are hoping the big draft picks of the last few years are ready to roll. Hunter Smith is a star at Safety but the Vikes are lacking much star power now and will be pushed around.

Schedule projection: This could be a long year for Vikings Fans. I think it could be 3-13 without much effort. They probably start 0-5 for sure. I will be kind and suggest 4-12.

NFC North projected:

Chicago Bears 11-5
Green Bay Packers 9-7
Detroit Lions 6-10
Minnesota Vikings 4-12

Next up the NFC South!

MR N the BEARS Fan

MR N’s #NFL NFC East Preview‏


NFC East

 

NFL Preview 2014
Division: NFC East
Team: Dallas Cowboys
Coach: Jason Garrett (or also known as ‘the guy who must have naked pictures of Jerry Jones otherwise how has he not been fired already’)
QB: Tony Romo

Offensive outlook: This team should be able to score lots of points BUT Romo is older and coming off back surgery, DeMarco Murray is an injury waiting to happen and although Dez is a super star the remainder of the receivers are either old or unproven to the most part. Brandon Weeden doesn’t make me think this team is ready to have Romo out for any period of time.

Defensive outlook: The loss of Sean Lee gutted the heart and soul of the D. Not having Ware rushing will hurt too. A bit of a patchwork D that needs a lot of young guys to step up and the wiley vets to have another gear to call on. It could roll south fast if they don’t come together.

Schedule projection: This team has a brutal post bye schedule. My worst case for them is 4-12 and that could happen if they stumble in the division. Best case might be 8 but I see 6-10 and a new coach and QB in Dallas in 2015.

 

Division: NFC East
Team: New York Giants
Coach: Tom Coughlin
QB: Eli Manning

Offensive outlook: At first blush one has to think they can’t be as bad as last year. Eli can’t be picked off that much again, the line has to be stouter and they have a healthy RB option. I think they will likely be better and score more and only a small chance has Eli imploding and going down for the last time.

Defensive outlook: This is a work in progress. Their success is hinged on older vets having one more good year and I don’t care for that flavor of football soup. I think their secondary will be less scorched but they will be pushed around a lot.

Schedule projection: A tough schedule here too and a team that may not be able to deal with the tough games. There are many in a row that could strip this team of spirit and send them into a tailspin. 4-12 here isn’t out of the question. If they get a couple of lucky bounces I see them 6-10 too.

 

Division: NFC East
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
Coach: Chip Kelly
QB: Nick Foles

Offensive outlook: They have a hot young QB, superb RBs, depth at TE and a decent line but some questions as to the effectiveness of a denuded WR corps. They should still score often.

Defensive outlook: A more effective D then they get credit for, they have been building quietly and have a good pass rush and some up and coming secondary men.

Schedule projection: This schedule also is tough (they all play the powerful NFC West) but they may be the only team in the division that wins more than they lose and I think 9-7 gets them the division ‘sham-pionship’.

 

Division: NFC East
Team: Washington Redskins
Coach: Jay Gruden
QB: Robert Griffin III

Offensive outlook: A solid O with RGIII healthy and possibly solid if Cousins is leading them too. I think with DeSean and Peter Waiter and Morris and company they could be explosive.

Defensive outlook: I think the downfall here is that the D has a couple of playmakers and a bunch of non-entities. I think they will be in many shootouts and will be hard pressed to score more than this D lets in.

Schedule projection: Same deal here, tough schedule and they can win some but will lose more than they win. I think 7-9 and second place is the likely finish. They upset Philly in either and they could win the division but I doubt it.

 

NFC East projected:

Philadelphia 9-7
Washington 7-9
Dallas 6-10
New York Giants 6-10

 

Post-script: I sincerely believe that this division is so bad they don’t deserve a playoff slot for winning it and the playoff spot should just go to the 2nd best in the NFC West.

MR N the BEARS Fan

MR N’s #NFL AFC WEST Preview‏


AFCWest
Division: AFC West
Team: Denver Broncos
Coach: John Fox
QB: Peyton Manning

Offensive outlook: What can you say about this team? They have Manning, a solid O line and at least 4 great receivers. They do need Ball to step up at RB to give them a running game. Even if they have to throw every down they are still going to rack up a ton of points.

Defensive outlook: After being embarrassed by their lack of D prowess the Broncs went heavy in free agency and landed DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib and goon of the week candidate TJ Ward. Adding this group to their existing roster should make them a better D. It is dicey to just add new pieces. When the Eagles did it with their DBs it took more than a year for the egos to gel. Will be interesting.

Schedule projection: Not a super hard schedule, I see them reaching 12-4 in not much effort. If the D clicks then maybe 14 or even 15 wins, a D stumble might be 10 but I still believe 12-4.

Division: AFC West
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Coach: Andy Reid
QB: Alex Smith

Offensive outlook: The Chiefs managed to end the Charles camp hold out almost before it started so that bodes better for them. It is not a super offense. They have a decent QB, a great RB, one decent if aging WR and a lot of hope. They can score some but not enough to win most shootouts.

Defensive outlook: The Chief D is the strong suit of this team but, as last year showed, when they don’t show up the Chiefs lose badly. They have a strong front 7 and one of the better safeties in the game. They need more consistency from a solid unit to have it become a great one.

Schedule projection: If they are lucky and can beat San Diego in San Diego they can be 9-7 but this is a tough schedule and I fear this team may crash back to earth so don’t be shocked at 7-9 or 6-10 if it starts to collapse early.

Division: AFC West
Team: Oakland Raiders
Coach: Dennis Allen
QB: Matt Schaub/David Carr

Offensive outlook: I can’t sugar coat this. Schaub is a pick 6 away from complete meltdown and being finished in the NFL and it will happen. They have 2 RBs who are mega injury prone and the only hope can be that MJD and RUNDMC are healthy 8 games each and not the ones the other is. There appears to be no tight end at all, I can’t say the WRs make me or any DBs scared. This could be bad.

Defensive outlook: The D looks much stronger and Khalil Mack is a great pick. They have strong potential pass rush, older but talented DBs. I think this is a better D but I also see them getting wore out playing 40 or so minutes a game.

Schedule projection: um, this is my definition of a brutal sked. There is an outside shot the Raiders could lose them all. They could maybe beat Cleveland on the road week 7 and Buffalo at home week 16 but that means 2-14. They have a section in the second half that goes: @Sea, Den, @SD, KC, @STL, SF, @KC. If they aren’t blown away in all 7 of those, consider that a victory. I will be kind and say 2-14.

Division: AFC West
Team: San Diego Chargers
Coach: Mike McCoy
QB: Philip Rivers

Offensive outlook: A good little offense with lots of moving parts and they have a solid #2 in both RB and TE. This team will surprise people by how well they move the ball on the ground and in the air.

Defensive outlook: The Bolts are building a nice little D. They have always been comers and sometimes near elite and if the front 7 steps up this D could be very solid. Brandon Flowers is a great addition to starting corner.

Schedule projection: This is a good news, bad news schedule. They start with 2 tough games and probably are 0-2 but then they take control and should be 7-3 one week after their bye! Unfortunately they have 6 more games and I can’t see them winning any of them so 7-9 is their year. It will not be McCoy’s fault if they lose the last 6 but I bet he still gets canned for it.

AFC West projected:

Denver Broncos: 12-4
Kansas City Chiefs: 9-7
San Diego Chargers: 7-9
Oakland Raiders: 2-14

MR N the BEARS Fan