Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Answer Might Surprise You- NFL Preseasons #29-20


So yesterday I told you that the team who, according to my hoity toity ranking system, had the 4th worst preseason in the league, would shock and awe you. Now I deliver. Would you believe....


#29 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (Score 101)

Record: 2-2

OFFENSE: 21st Rushing, 18th Passing

DEFENSE: 31st Rushing, 10th Passing

TURNOVER MARGIN: 21st


See, I told you. Look, this whole feature may just be a waste of time and not have any validity at all, and this may be proof of that, but I find this interesting. The Pats' splurged in the free agent market this offseason, most expensively on LB Adalius Thomas and most notably on WR Randy Moss. That's not like them. Was that a sign of the organization not having confidence in its existing talent? And now, Rodney Harrison is going to miss the first four games due to an HGH suspension. If anybody remembers a couple years ago how bad the NE defense was when Harrison was hurt, you'll know that's cause for some HGH sized concern.


#28 ATLANTA FALCONS (Score 100)
Record: 3-1

OFFENSE: 26th Rushing, 17th Passing
DEFENSE: 16th Rushing, 21st Passing
TURNOVER MARGIN: 20th


I was surprised the Falcons ranked this low. What is really shocking is that a team that traditionally has been one of the best rushing teams in the league ranked 26th in yards per carry this preseason. Warrick Dunn carried only 6 times, so Jerrious Norwood got a chance to be featured, and he was bad. Norwood averaged only 2.7 yards on 24 carries. Joey Harrington played really well, posting a 92.5 passer rating, but if the Falcons are still ineffective on the ground when the season starts, he's in trouble. Keep an eye on 1st round DE Jamaal Anderson, he had a promising August.


#27 MIAMI DOLPHINS (Score 98)

Record: 2-2

OFFENSE: 14th Rushing, 28th Passing

DEFENSE: 6th Rushing, 25th Passing

TURNOVER MARGIN: 25th


This Trent Green thing isn't going to work out for the Dolphins. He's been bad the last few years in KC, and he'll be worse with the Dolphins. Check out the 47.9 passer rating he had this preseason. It's also not encouraging that Ronnie Brown averaged 3.1 yards on 27 carries. If he doesn't play this year like the second overall draft pick he was in 2005, he's officially a bust. The Dolphins want first round pick Ted Ginn to make a Devin Hester type impact on kick returns this year, but his average (18.7 yards per), was the lowest out of the 5 guys that returned a kickoff for the Dolphins.


#26 NY JETS (Score 96)
Record: 3-1

OFFENSE: 18th Rushing, 19th Passing
DEFENSE: 30th Rushing, 6th Passing
TURNOVER MARGIN: 23rd


For the Jets, this preseason will be remembered as the one where the Kellen Clemens/Chad Pennington QB controversy was born. Clemens was great (112.2 rating), Pennington was pretty bad (51.6). The Jets have every intention of making Clemens their starter one day, and that day may be rapidly approaching. The run defense was brutal, most notably getting torched by Adrian Peterson.


#25 WASHINGTON REDSKINS (Score 95)

Record: 2-2

OFFENSE: 31st Rushing, 26th Passing

DEFENSE: 5th Rushing, 14th Passing

TURNOVER MARGIN: 19th


This one may be a little misleading. Jason Campbell was great (102.9 rating), and that's very important for the Redskins. The running game was terrible. Clinton Portis sat the preseason out, and Ladell Betts averaged only 2.1 per on 14 carries. The defense looks much improved, particularly against the run. The Skins ranked 27th against the run in 06, but were 5th in yards per carry against in this preseason.


#24 OAKLAND RAIDERS (Score 95)

Record: 2-2
OFFENSE: 15th Rushing, 23rd Passing
DEFENSE: 27th Rushing, 13th Passing
TURNOVER MARGIN: 17th


I'm starting to think Lane Kiffin may have been a good hire. The offense actually showed some life, and if the Raiders can just have a decent offense, and maintain what they did on defense last year, they'll win more games than people think. LaMont Jordan averaged a healthy 4.5 yards on 28 carries, and Daunte Culpepper threw 4 TD passes against 1 INT and posted a 95.0 rating. Kiffin still hasn't named Culpepper his Week 1 starter, but I don't see any reason why he wouldn't be.


#23 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (Score 94)
Record: 1-3

OFFENSE: 29th Rushing, 14th Passing

DEFENSE: 1st Rushing, 26th Passing

TURNOVER MARGIN: 24th


That's right, the Colts' notoriously terrible run defense was the best in the league this August in yards per carry. That tells me that they really emphasized it, and they accomplished what they set out to do this preseason. The only real area of concern is that the running game struggled. DeDe Dorsey got a lot of carries, twice as much as Joseph Addai, and averaged only 2.7 yards, and today he was a very surprising cut. It may be fair to say the Colts have no depth at running back and if Addai gets hurt, they are in huge trouble. It's worth noting that Peyton Manning completed 31 of 40 passes, and had a 126.1 passer rating.


#22 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Score 93)

Record: 1-3
OFFENSE: 30th Rushing, 12th Passing
DEFENSE: 23rd Rushing, 15th Passing
TURNOVER MARGIN: 13th


This preseason was the Kevin Kolb show for the Eagles. He had 106 pass attempts, while Donovan McNabb had only 20. Kolb showed promise, completing 66% of his passes and posting an 87.7 rating. 2nd round DE Victor Abiamiri had a very good preseason, with 2 sacks and 13 tackles.


#21 ARIZONA CARDINALS (Score 92)

Record: 0-4

OFFENSE: 2nd Rushing, 13th Passing

DEFENSE: 21st Rushing, 28th Passing

TURNOVER MARGIN: 28th


The Cards were winless, but the running game bears no resemblance to the shambolic unit of last season, and that is huge. What's also huge is that the defense couldn't stop anybody or anything. There's always something very very wrong with this team. Now it looks like its the defense.


#20 NY GIANTS (Score 92)
Record: 1-3
OFFENSE: 1st Rushing, 31st Passing
DEFENSE: 18th Rushing, 30th Passing
TURNOVER MARGIN: 12th


The Michael Strahan holdout was a sideshow looming over everything the Giants did this August, but that's over now. Eli Manning posted a 107.1 rating, and rookie receiver Steve Smith caught 8 passes for 78 yards and a TD. The running game led the league in yards per carry, but that wasn't because of starting RB Brandon Jacobs, who averaged 3.5 yards per carry. Rather, it was rookie Ahmad Bradshaw who averaged a untenable 6.8 yards on 26 carries who really impressed. The pass defense ranked 28th in the league in 06, and looks like it still sucks.


Tomorrow, we go over #19-10, including a few teams who look like they may be on the upswing.




3 comments:

Patrick N said...

Nick, Cowboys O Co Wade Wilson got suspended for doing HGH. He said he needed it for his diabetes. I'm not a doctor, so I know shit, but that seems like it's alright to do (maybe he should have gone through a doctor though haha). What do you think?

Nick Pomazak said...

Funny you should mention that..I saw that story yesterday and asked my fiancee, who is a nutritionist, if she has ever heard of HGH being used as a treatment for diabetes..she's all like.."No...there is no way that HGH would do anything for diabetes"...what a loser..not only did he coach Rex Grossman last year, answering the question of "is anybody doing anything to coach this asshole?", but he's trying to be cool like the players and take HGH...I remember when Wade Wilson played for the Vikings..suck...

dook!e said...

I think Wade was hiding the HGH for his portly friend, a Mr. Grossman. "Gros" in french means fat.

Its really the NFL keeping it such that there aren't 2 coaches on the same team named "Wade".