Monday, September 3, 2007

The Answer Might Surprise You- #19-15

I continue to condense a month's worth of preseason action into a neat little countdown of how the NFL teams performed this August, from 32nd thru numero uno.
So far:
#32 Rams
#31 Packers
#30 Chiefs
#29 Patriots
#28 Falcons
#27 Dolphins
#26 Jets
#25 Redskins
#24 Raiders
#23 Colts
#22 Eagles
#21 Cardinals
#20 Giants
Record 1-3
Offense: Rushing 6th, Passing 24th
Defense: Rushing 17th, Passing 12th
Turnover Margin: 31st

You have to like that even without Frank Gore carrying the ball once, the Niners still were 6th in the league in yards per carry. You can also ignore that 31st in turnover margin, because most of that is due to 3rd string QB Shaun Hill throwing 4 picks. First round LB Patrick Willis is going to be a good one. He led the Niners with 21 tackles. What's a little troubling is that QB Alex Smith is still not looking like he's an asset, he'll need to better than a 77.1 passer rating.


Record 1-3
Offense: Rushing 20th, Passing 21st
Defense: Rushing 2nd, Passing 32nd
Turnover Margin: 7th

I can guarantee you the Bengals won't rank in the 20s in passing offense (unless Carson Palmer gets hurt). However, they did rank in the 20s in rushing last year, and it looks like that trend may continue. It didn't help that 2nd round RB Kenny Irons was lost for the year either, he was supposed to be the #2 running back. I'm also not liking that the Bengals ranked 31st in the league in pass defense last year, and 32nd this preseason. It doesn't look like the Bengals fixed any of the problem areas from 2006, when they missed the playoffs, and if you are looking for a team that is really going to disappoint this year (and why wouldn't you be?) I think these may be your guys.


Record 2-2
Offense: Rushing 25th, Passing 6th
Defense: Rushing 20th, Passing 23rd
Turnover Margin: 8th

The Bills had 2 rookies shine this preseason, and neither of them were Marshawn Lynch. Lynch, the rookie RB from Cal who was the 12th overall pick in the draft, averaged 1.7 yards on 22 carries this preseason. Now let me invoke these 2 names...JJ Arrington and Kyle Boller. Marshawn Lynch, you are Kyle Boller to me until you prove otherwise. The rookies who did impress were QB Trent Edwards, who completed 75.4% of his pass attempts, and LB Paul Posluzny, who won a starting job.

Record 3-1
Offense: Rushing 7th, Passing 8th
Defense: Rushing 24th, Passing 20th
Turnover Margin: 22nd

The Bucs offense was terrible last year, but it was very good this preseason. What's interesting is that the most impressive QBs were not either Jeff Garcia or Chris Simms (although Garcia was not bad), but Luke McCown (113.2 rating) and Bruce Gradkowski (106.1). The defense as a whole struggled, but first round DE Gaines Adams had a pair of sacks, and the Bucs have to be happy with him. How about TE Jerramy "Hammerhands" Stevens scoring 4 TDs?


Record 1-3
Offense: Rushing 10th, Passing 9th
Defense: Rushing 11th, Passing 18th
Turnover Margin: 32nd

That turnover margin ranking tells you why the Panthers went 1-3. As for every other area, it was at the B+ level we've come to expect from Carolina. I will go ahead and guarantee you right now that this team will not go to the Super Bowl. I liked them better when Rae Carruth was hanging out in the trunks of cars eating Baby Ruths.

I'm back in front of a computer all day tomorrow, so we'll knock out the rest of the countdown then. Wednesday I lay my cards on the table and give my 2007 Vegas over/under on wins picks, and give ya my playoff and Super Bowl picks. Thursday I preview Colts/Saints. When the weekend comes, I'll be rubbing my nipples and looking at Week 1 from all angles. You'll love it.

No comments: