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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback It’s almost impossible to find something talking about the 2014 Buccaneers without hearing about the Buccaneers’ “basketball offense” (and I guess now that I mentioned it, this isn’t the outlier). You hear it so much you’d think the Buccaneers were an NBA team. They talk about how they added Mike Evans (6-5 231) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6-5 262) in the...
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7 hours ago  |  Discuss

Carolina Panthers 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Panthers had a breakout year last year, finally getting over their issues in close games (2-12 in the first two years of the Cam Newton era, 5-2 last season) and overall improving in terms of talent and level of play. They finished 12-4, winning the NFC South and getting the NFC’s #2 seed and a first round bye, before losing their first playoff game at home in a...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

New Orleans Saints 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Saints once again had an explosive offense last season. They ranked 10th in points per game allowed, but they were better than that, finishing 3rd in rate of moving the chains, moving the chains at a 76.98% rate. That’s nothing new as they are a consistently top level offense, ranking #1, #1, #11, #2, and #3 in points per game in 2008-2012 respectively. However...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Washington Redskins 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Redskins declined significantly in 2013, going from 10-6 and in the playoffs to 3-13 and the 2nd worst team in the league last season. To make matters worse, they didn’t have their own first round pick this year, thanks to the RG3 trade made in 2012, so they don’t have the luxury of adding a top caliber talent to this team. Why did they decline last season? Well...
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4 days ago  |  Discuss

New York Giants 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Giants started last season 0-6, but they were able to finish the season 7-3 and end up at 7-9. A big part of that was that their turnover margin went from -16 in their first 6 games to +1 in their last 10 games. They still finished the season at -15 though, thanks to a 45.10% rate of recovering fumbles, in addition to a few other things. Fortunately, that type of...
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9 days ago  |  Discuss

Dallas Cowboys 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback Cowboys fans must be sick of going 8-8, after the last 3 seasons ended in the same way, with the team finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs after losing essentially a divisional play-in game week 17. The good news is that the Cowboys could be pretty bad this season, so Cowboy fans won’t have to worry about the monotony. This team was a lot worse than their 8-8 record...
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10 days ago  |  Discuss

Philadelphia Eagles 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Eagles made the head coaching splash of last off-season, hiring supposed offensive mastermind Chip Kelly from the University of Oregon. There was no doubt that Kelly’s offenses were explosive and revolutionary on the collegiate level, but it still remained to be seen whether or not that could translate to the NFL level. Things started out sluggish, but that was...
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13 days ago  |  Discuss

Minnesota Vikings 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Vikings went 10-6 in 2012 and made a surprise run to the playoffs, after going 3-13 the year before. A team going from 5 wins or fewer to the playoffs isn’t as uncommon as it sounds, as at least one team does so almost every season, but the same is true of the opposite and the Vikings seemed like the most likely team to do so going into 2013. They weren’t the...
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16 days ago  |  Discuss

Chicago Bears 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Bears fired Lovie Smith after the 2012 season after years of disappointing offensive performances, replacing him with Marc Trestman, a well-regarded offensive mind, who had previously been a quarterback guru, a Super Bowl winning offensive coordinator, and a successful Head Coach in Canada. It clearly made a significant impact on their offense as they moved the chains...
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18 days ago  |  Discuss

Green Bay Packers 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Packers have been killed by injuries over the past few seasons. They had the 3rd most adjusted games lost in 2013, the most adjusted games lost in 2012, and the most adjusted games lost in 2010. They’ve still had success in spite of that, going 11-5 in 2012, going 10-6 and winning the Super Bowl in 2010. In 2011, when they had an average amount of injuries (16th...
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22 days ago  |  Discuss

Detroit Lions 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Lions went 4-12 in 2012, but they were much better than their record suggested. They went 3-8 in games decided by a touchdown in 2012 and had a Pythagorean Expectation of 6.5 wins, coming from their -65 point differential. That point differential would have been much better if they hadn’t allowed 10 return touchdowns, while scoring none for themselves. If that was...
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23 days ago  |  Discuss

Jacksonville Jaguars 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Jaguars have the smallest win total over/under in the NFL at 4.5, which suggests that the odds makers think they are the worst team in the NFL. However, teams with win totals of 6 or lower go over the total about 2/3rds of the time in that situation, as it’s very hard to be really bad for a long time. The Jaguars are a popular “sleeper” team and are popularly...
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26 days ago  |  Discuss

Tennessee Titans 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Titans were the definition of nondescript last season in every facet of the game. They moved the chains at a 71.66% rate, 17th in the NFL, while their opponents moved the chains at a 71.71% rate, 19th in the NFL. Their -0.05% rate of moving the chains differential was not only the closest rate to zero in the NFL, it also ranked 16th in the NFL, right in the middle...
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27 days ago  |  Discuss

Houston Texans 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Texans went from 12-4 in 2012 to 2-14 in 2013. What happened? Well, for one, the Texans weren’t as good as that 12-4 record suggested in 2012. They finished 11th in DVOA in 2012, as they faced a schedule that was 26th in the NFL in terms of DVOA. They went 5-0 in games decided by a touchdown or less and had about 10.2 Pythagorean Wins. They also finished 3rd in...
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29 days ago  |  Discuss

Indianapolis Colts 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback In 2 seasons in the league, Andrew Luck is 14-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less, 15-2 if you include a one point comeback home win over the Chiefs in last year’s playoffs, before the Colts got demolished in Foxboro the following week. The Colts have won 22 regular season games over the past 2 seasons. 14 of them have come by 7 points or fewer. That’s not sustainable...
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June 29, 2014  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Steelers were one of the just three teams to finish in the top-15 in rate of moving the chains differential last season and not make the playoffs, in a rare year where everyone who made the playoffs actually deserved it. The Steelers could have easily made the playoffs, and not just if the refs had made the right call in San Diego/Kansas City week 17. The Steelers...
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June 28, 2014  |  Discuss

Cleveland Browns 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback Last season, the Browns had more All-Pros than wins, going 4-12, but having 5 players make either the All-Pro 1st or 2nd team, tied with the 49ers for most in the NFL. That might sound absurd, but it’s not. Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Josh Gordon, Joe Haden, and TJ Ward were all among the best in the NFL at their respective positions. In 2012, the Chiefs had 6 Pro-Bowlers...
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June 26, 2014  |  Discuss

Baltimore Ravens 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Ravens made a post-season run in 2012 and won the Super Bowl, but they were still a flawed team, something that really showed in the regular season, when they went 10-6, tied for the worst record among playoff qualifiers. They finished the regular season 13th in offensive DVOA and 19th defensive DVOA. That was why I wasn’t concerned that they went through such a...
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June 26, 2014  |  Discuss

San Diego Chargers sign CB Brandon Flowers

The Chiefs cut Brandon Flowers earlier this month in order to save 7.5 million in cash, after he had a rough 2013 season in which he graded out 87th out of 110 eligible cornerbacks on Pro Football Focus. He was especially bad in coverage, grading out 96th in pure coverage grade, allowing 64 completions on 96 attempts (66.7%) for 846 yards (8.81 YPA), 4 touchdowns, and an interception...
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June 24, 2014  |  Discuss

Cincinnati Bengals 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback I thought the Bengals were one of the best teams in the NFL going into the playoffs last season and were a good sleeper candidate to make a Super Bowl run (though their season long inability to win on the road was concerning). They finished the regular season 3rd in the NFL in rate of moving the chains differential at 7.81%, behind only Denver and New Orleans, thanks...
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June 24, 2014  |  Discuss

New York Jets 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Jets obviously needed to make some changes going into 2013, after an embarrassing 6-10 season in which the focus revolved around the mismanaged quarterback situation with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. Tebow was let go in the off-season and the Jets used a 2nd round pick on Geno Smith to compete with Mark Sanchez for the starting job. Sanchez ended up injuring his shoulder...
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June 21, 2014  |  Discuss

Miami Dolphins 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Dolphins had high expectations going into last season, with Ryan Tannehill, the 8th overall pick in 2012, going into the 2nd season of his career, and after a big off-season, in which they were anointed the off-season winners because they spent the most money. However, the Dolphins just improved by 1 game, going from 7-9 to 8-8, and collapsing down the stretch, losing...
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June 20, 2014  |  Discuss

Buffalo Bills 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback The Bills drafted EJ Manuel in the first round in 2013, the only team in the league that decided that a quarterback was worth going in the first round in that weak draft class. It was a surprise pick as Geno Smith seemed like the most likely quarterback to be first off the board and it looked like there might not even be a quarterback drafted in the first round, but the...
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June 16, 2014  |  Discuss

Seattle Seahawks sign DT Kevin Williams

I mentioned that Kevin Williams and the Seahawks could be a match in my post last month, “Remaining NFL Free Agents Who Could Have An Impact.” Williams came in 2nd on that list. Believe it or not, the Seahawks still needed depth on their defensive line, after losing Clinton McDonald to the Buccaneers this off-season. Before signing Williams, they would have been counting on Jordan...
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June 12, 2014  |  Discuss

New England Patriots 2014 NFL Season Preview

Quarterback Tom Brady arguably had the worst statistical season of his career last season, completing 60.5% of his passes (lowest since 2003), for an average of 6.92 YPA (lowest since 2003), 25 touchdowns (lowest in a full season since 2006), and 11 interceptions, a QB rating of 87.3. That QB rating was the 4th worst of his career and the lowest since 2003, when the NFL’s rules...
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June 12, 2014  |  Discuss
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