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Old 06-11-2013, 08:18 PM    (permalink
bigbuc
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Default Teams looking to take the next step

So I'm going to give you two teams that are in the same place. Better than they have been, but looking to make that playoff push. Which one do you think will be better in 2013? And why? Maybe you think both? Or maybe you think one will tank. Let it be known!!!! Ok first up.......

BUCS vs RAMS
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:40 PM    (permalink
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I go with the Rams for a couple reasons.
First, I take Bradford over Freeman.
Also, I like the Rams defense and the fact that they were undefeated vs the super Niners last year.... that impresses me.

Tampa Bay has a chance too, but more impressed by the Rams chances.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:09 AM    (permalink
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I'll go the opposite and go with the Buccaneers.

Here you have a QB who's only 25 years old and started the season really well. He had some really good games, as well as some really bad games. It's too be expected with a 24 year old QB. This guy was lights out from October 14th thru November 11th. He declined towards the end of the season, which I relate to poor mechanics and footwork under pressure. It also seemed like some confusion between Freeman and the WRs, although I can't really verify any of this other than what I saw on film. From what I saw, a lot of the interceptions were intended for Dallas Clark also, who seemed lost a lot of the time.

On offense, you've got the returning players like Vincent Jackson, and Mike Williams. You're going to have a much improved line with Nicks and Joseph back. You've got Martin who's a beast at RB, and Leonard who may play some FB and provide a nice receiving option out of the backfield.

Defense should be much improved, and we've got an enthusiastic head coach with a year under his belt.

To me, the Bradford vs Freeman thing is interesting, I'd take Free.

I think with the division the Buccaneers can pull out some wins.

There's concern over the RB situation in St. Louis and as good as the pass rush and CBs are, I'm a little concerned about the safety situation.

Ultimately, I'm expecting Fisher to disappoint just as he did in Tennessee for years. When Fisher is on, he's on. Rejuvenated with a new team he came in and impressed everyone, but will he do the same this season? I'm not so sure yet
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:53 AM    (permalink
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For me, Detroit is the team quite capable of taking the next step, they simply put, have the better QB among these teams, a prerequisite if you want to become a winner from the doormat stage.

They had the toughest schedule in the NFL last year and it set them back, but a more reasonable schedule this year should see them make the jump into a solid playoff team.

Between St. Louis and the Bucs, I like the Rams, Fisher never had the resources in Tennessee to compete but in St. Louis, the money should be there for a realistic run and I fully expect Bradford to take the next step.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:05 AM    (permalink
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Rams have a really good shot. The defense is great, but everything depends on Bradford. The team goes as he does.

Unfortunately, I see the Bengals really stepping up. They are already a playoff team, but I think Dalton takes a step forward and they become one of the better AFC teams. They have a lot of talent and the #2 WR in the league.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:44 AM    (permalink
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Both the Bucs and Rams are strong contenders to secure NFC wildcard berths in 2013.

Freeman and Bradford both have similar issues, they need to be more consistent signal callers for their respective franchises. Schiano isn't really in love with Freeman and I think the HC is ballsy(crazy) enough to bench Freeman for Mike Glennon this season, which would be a huge disaster.

Both the Rams and Bucs play in super-tough divisions, however the Bucs won't be facing the same caliber of defenses that St. Louis will have to overcome in the NFCW.

Bucs RB Doug Martin is the best RB from the 2012 class IMO and my pick to lead the league in rushing this fall. If Freeman can focus on moving the chains and not turning the ball over, the Bucs defense with an 80-85% Revi is going to be tough to beat.

The Rams need Bradford to play like a 1/1 pick in order for St. Louis to take that next step. I would not be surprised at all if the Rams finished second in the division, but it all ends and begins with Bradford and the Rams oline.

If you give the Rams a double digit lead heading into the 4th quarter, I don't think many teams can touch them.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:26 AM    (permalink
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For me, Detroit is the team quite capable of taking the next step, they simply put, have the better QB among these teams, a prerequisite if you want to become a winner from the doormat stage.
Is Matthew Stafford better than Bradford or Freeman though? He has the big arm and he has put up big yardage statistics through the air the last two seasons, but I feel people get caught up too much in what they think Stafford can be rather than what he is actually doing on the field.

Freeman and Bradford are both stepping into situations where they have the necessary pieces to be successful offensively, and it will likely be a make or break year from both quarterbacks. The difference between the two teams, and where I think St. Louis has a considerable advantage, is the defensive units. Tampa has upgraded in the secondary but their line lacks quality depth and I question their ability to put pressure on the opposing quarterback.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:49 AM    (permalink
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Is Matthew Stafford better than Bradford or Freeman though? He has the big arm and he has put up big yardage statistics through the air the last two seasons, but I feel people get caught up too much in what they think Stafford can be rather than what he is actually doing on the field.

Freeman and Bradford are both stepping into situations where they have the necessary pieces to be successful offensively, and it will likely be a make or break year from both quarterbacks. The difference between the two teams, and where I think St. Louis has a considerable advantage, is the defensive units. Tampa has upgraded in the secondary but their line lacks quality depth and I question their ability to put pressure on the opposing quarterback.
Great point, Detroit has consistently been in the gunslinger mode with Stafford under center. I really don't think there's much separating these 3 QBs in terms of where they are at as players. Stafford has just been in the offense thats going to get the most stats
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:16 PM    (permalink
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I don't think either team do much. The top teams in their division are too good and they both have inconsistent QB play. Plus they're in the NFC and it's almost impossible to do anything without first or second tier QB play (unless you have AD going bonkers). Both teams are young and talented but until one of the young QB's break out of mediocrity they'll middle of the pack at best.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:33 PM    (permalink
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Stafford's been in an offense that's great for stats? They weren't putting up great stats before he arrived and they still can't run the ball.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:38 PM    (permalink
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Stafford's been in an offense that's great for stats? They weren't putting up great stats before he arrived and they still can't run the ball.
The Lions offense has allowed him to put up big numbers yardage-wise, yes.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:17 PM    (permalink
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Stafford's been in an offense that's great for stats? They weren't putting up great stats before he arrived and they still can't run the ball.
He throws the ball more than anybody else and has Megatron bring them down. That's pretty conducive to putting up big numbers.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:31 PM    (permalink
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Stafford's been in an offense that's great for stats? They weren't putting up great stats before he arrived and they still can't run the ball.
I think this has already been covered. But, yes, when you've had the most attempts in the NFL in each of the past two seasons, and your team was 3rd the previous season (Stafford was injured so was a combo of he, hill and stanton) you play in an offense that produces large stats.

The inability to run the ball only helps Staffords stats more!
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:40 PM    (permalink
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Rams > Lions > Bucs

Stafford > Bradford > Freeman > Glennon

Martin > Bush > Richardson/Pead/Ganaway (although I really like Terrance) > Leshoure

Rams D > Tampa Bay D > Detroit D
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:13 PM    (permalink
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I think this has already been covered. But, yes, when you've had the most attempts in the NFL in each of the past two seasons, and your team was 3rd the previous season (Stafford was injured so was a combo of he, hill and stanton) you play in an offense that produces large stats.

The inability to run the ball only helps Staffords stats more!
Funny how this same exact thing is used to pump up Luck's year last year but is a knock against Stafford.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:03 PM    (permalink
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I like my Bucs... I know homer right? But this is why.

The Bucs have talent everywhere on this football team. Best CB in the league, Top 5 RB right now, Top 5-7 WR combo. Safety combo is going to be nasty. Top 5 DT, OLB that played like a pro bowler last year.

The biggest part is it's year two of them knowing the systems. The Bucs last year were learning on the fly. It take years for players to get to know systems in place. Look at the great football teams... Are they changing year to year? Nope.

I'll give you a team that fits this. Saints last year. Same players on D from 2011 to 2012. They gave up over 110 more points last year. Why? New System. On Offense they scored over 80 points less from 2011 to 2012. Why. New Play Calling. Missing the Head Coach.

Last year the Bucs were 13th in scoring O. That with a rookie RB, New Top WR. A fill in TE. No 3rd WR. No reason they can't be top 10 in scoring O this year.

And on D... Take away those huge pass plays... HUGE pass plays and this D gives up 50-80 less points in a season.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:59 PM    (permalink
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I would say neither out of those 2. The Buccaneers put all their eggs in one basket hoping Revis is still Revis and they have no pass rusher on defense that can stay healthy plus they still have Freeman as their QB which failed to step up last year when gave him a lot weapons and I see the same thing from him this year. Rams will fail to step up because they are taking too many chance on character guys and have seen a few teams have that blown up in their face ie Bengals and Lions and they really did not upgrade their O-line that much. They went out and signed a declining and injury prone Jake Long and did nothing to fix the inside of the OL. Both teams will be middle of the pack team or worse.

The team I could see stepping up this year is Miami. I know teams that go out and spend a bunch on money in FA usually fail, but they play in a ****** division which should have 2 of the worst teams in football in Buffalo and NY Jets plus their schedule on paper does not look that bad.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:38 AM    (permalink
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I'm going with the Buccaneers. I still believe in Josh Freeman. He needs to have more success on his intermediate throws apparently, which is where he really struggles I heard. I haven't seen every Buccaneers game, but that is the main criticism I've heard about. Doug Martin is a stud, Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are suitable receivers, and they really upgraded the secondary. The main worry I'd have is their pass rush. If they can't get to the quarterback their secondary is going to have problems. Especially in the NFC South. Even with Revis (still have to see how he rebounds from injury) and Goldson on the backside. On offense it's the uncertainty of Freeman. Their schedule isn't the easiest, as they play the NFC West, but so does the rest of the division. Along with the AFC East.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:59 PM    (permalink
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For me, Detroit is the team quite capable of taking the next step, they simply put, have the better QB among these teams, a prerequisite if you want to become a winner from the doormat stage.

They had the toughest schedule in the NFL last year and it set them back, but a more reasonable schedule this year should see them make the jump into a solid playoff team.

Between St. Louis and the Bucs, I like the Rams, Fisher never had the resources in Tennessee to compete but in St. Louis, the money should be there for a realistic run and I fully expect Bradford to take the next step.
Agreed on that. Detroit went through a nightmare scenario last year with turnovers, unexpected bad DE play(was good in 2010/2011) and weapon injuries (Best(16), Burleson(7), Broyles(5), Young insanity(6), Pettigrew(4)) all at same time, secondary injuries(Houston (2), Bentley,Delmas, Carey,Spievey (playing backup safeties all year) and concentrated bad special teams (cost them 2 games they should have won to start 6-2).

Stafford/Calvin kept them really competitve despite only have 4 short fields all year and no defensive TD help.

If this returns to normal(77 points and 126 points previous 2 years) and Lions reduce the turnovers by 10, the wins will come with Detroit's offense. An offense that added Reggie Bush and healthy Burleson/Broyles. Pettigrew can also play better and Calvin can get more than 5 TDs.

Can't wait to see what Detroit can do in 2013. They have their questionmarks with new tackles and new DEs(fit scheme better now and more talented IMO) but Stafford can win them games by himself (see 3-3 finish in 2011 to make playoffs).

Last edited by Maybe This Year Mayhew : 06-13-2013 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:59 PM    (permalink
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Fisher never had the resources in Tennessee to compete but in St. Louis, the money should be there for a realistic run and I fully expect Bradford to take the next step.
Uh, the guy had plenty of resources and made a good run, but there was so much inconsistency as well
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:36 PM    (permalink
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Uh, the guy had plenty of resources and made a good run, but there was so much inconsistency as well
He had an owner with a HUGE alternative agenda. There never was the kind of synergy there that they have in St. Louis now.
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:51 PM    (permalink
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The Rams are definitely on their way up, and I see them as a fringe-playoff team this year. I can even see them making the playoffs and possibly pulling off a win. But I don't see them being a true contender until 2014.

Sam Bradford will have a breakout year this year, and that is somewhat of a variable. However, while he finally has a lot of talent at WR, and probably one of the top 5 WR corps in the league as far as talent level goes, there is a lot of inexperience there. I think they make leaps and bounds in the passing game this year, but not enough to become a well-oiled machine.

In the running game, I think Zach Stacy emerges as a workhorse, something in the mold of a poor man's Alfred Morris or the Law Firm. He won't tear off many long runs, but I think he will become an old reliable to fill the void where Steven Jackson once was. I expect something like 800/6 from him. Pead will also have a lot more production, maybe 500/4 and 40/325/2 in the passing game. I don't expect a lot from Richardson moving forward.

The offensive line is slowly becoming a strength of this team, and I think this year will showed marked improvement. The building of this line has been through a blend of free agent veteran signings (the most recent being LT Jake Long) and the drafting of middle-round lunchpailers. It has gone from downright horrible to somewhat respectable, and I see it taking another step this year. While I don't see it achieving dominant level, I think it is a strong group that has something we haven't seen in a long time here...depth.

The defense is on its way to becoming stellar. I will put our defensive line group up with any in the league, and our secondary isn't far behind, at least as far as corners go. We could certainly use improvement at safety, but drafting McDonald was a step in the right direction. It would be really great if we can find a way to bring back Mikell, even if for just a 1-year deal.

Our linebacker group is going to be most improved this year, especially on the outside with Ogletree. I think he will fluorish in Fisher's system.

All in all, I see the Rams finishing at 9-7, maybe 10-6. In contention at the end of the regular season, but who knows who gets in when it comes to a tight race. I think they are a tough team, but this is really a building block year. They are a season's worth of experience and one more draft away from really being a loaded team.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:25 PM    (permalink
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Chiefs > Rams > Lions > Bucs

Smith > Stafford > Bradford > Freeman > Glennon

Charles > Martin > Bush > Richardson/Pead/Ganaway (although I really like Terrance) > Leshoure

Chiefs D > Rams D > Tampa Bay D > Detroit D
Fixed it for you!
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