Pure Football
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by fuego

  1. Video. Didn't know how to embed this. http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=19472000
  2. Guess who's missing...? Matt Bowen, NFL writer: The Patriots should create the most issues for opposing defenses this season with a healthy Rob Gronkowski and the addition of wide receiver Brandin Cooks in coordinator Josh McDaniels' offense. Cooks has the electric ability to produce explosive plays on high-percentage throws from Tom Brady. On defense, give me the Seahawks. Getting Earl Thomas back is the key to Seattle's core Cover 3 scheme. This unit wins with the perfect mix of rush and coverage. Dan Graziano, NFL Insider: Offense has to be the Patriots after adding Cooks and bringing in a new crew of RBs that should make the running game much more dynamic. Assuming Brady plays all 16 games (which he didn't last year), you have to imagine New England stays on top. Defensively, give me Denver, which might have come down a bit from its ridiculous 2015 heights but is still a unit that can win games on its own, even without top-end quarterback play. Mike Sando, senior NFL writer: Green Bay will push New England after restoring the tight end position, but I agree that the Patriots should have the best offense with Cooks in the equation and Brady playing 16 games instead of 12. On defense, I'll go with the Giants edging out Denver and Seattle. They found a way to re-sign Jason Pierre-Paul, despite giving Olivier Vernon a big contract last offseason. Aaron Schatz, editor of Football Outsiders: Football Outsiders' projections have Pittsburgh as the best offense going into next season, but I don't think it will end up that way. The Steelers have the game's best receiver and best running back but almost no depth. New England is much better built to survive the inevitable injuries that strike every NFL team during the season. On defense, I have to go with Seattle. The Seahawks' pass defense should return to greatness with Thomas back on the field, and they have a strong run defense as well. Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer: The Steelers have the NFL's best offense when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le'Veon Bell and receiver Antonio Brown are on the field together. Injuries have derailed that assertion in the past. Defensively, I still love the Broncos from a pure talent perspective and think they'll add a new dimension of aggressiveness under first-year coach Vance Joseph. Field Yates, NFL Insider: The Patriots were shut out in a game last year and played without Brady for a quarter of a season yet still finished third in scoring. Oh, and Gronk missed significant time because of injury too. Yeah, a healthy Gronk, the addition of Cooks and a multidimensional backfield fits the bill of a top offense. Defensively, I'll go with the Giants as a narrow winner. They kept Pierre-Paul and figure to be better in the secondary with the further development of Eli Apple, who came on strong during his rookie season. Insider article so link might not work. http://www.espn.com/nfl/insider/story/_/page/NFLInsidersPredictx170523/espn-nfl-insiders-make-early-2017-season-predictions
  3. Oookay... NFC South Carolina Panthers: 9-7 (9.1 mean wins, SOS: 28) Atlanta Falcons: 9-7 (8.5 mean wins, SOS: 15) New Orleans Saints: 7-9 (7.0 mean wins, SOS: 19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7-9 (6.8 mean wins, SOS: 17) Carolina's projection is pretty simple: a bit of rebound on both sides of the ball combined with an easy schedule. (It helps, for example, to play San Francisco instead of one of the other three NFC West teams.) The Panthers will have a close race with the Falcons, whose late-season defensive improvement is likely to continue in 2017. However, we're also expecting some regression from the Atlanta offense, particularly because of the loss of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Tampa Bay has a lot of young, developing offensive talent, plus the addition of DeSean Jackson, so I think there's a better chance of the Buccaneers taking a step forward than an average projection of 7-9 indicates. However, there's a strong sign for regression on defense: the Bucs were second in the league in defensive turnovers per drive last year, ending 15.6 percent of possessions with a takeaway. That number is likely to be lower in 2017. New Orleans got rid of its best wide receiver and once again projects to have the worst defense in the league. Full NFC standings 1. Seattle 2. Green Bay 3. Dallas 4. Carolina 5. Arizona* 6. Atlanta* 7. Los Angeles Rams 8. Detroit 9. New York Giants 10. Washington 11. Philadelphia 12. New Orleans 13. Tampa Bay 14. Chicago 15. Minnesota 16. San Francisco *Projected wild-card team ESPN Insider link: http://www.espn.com/nfl/insider/story/_/id/19364923/football-outsiders-post-draft-2017-nfl-projections
  4. Dan Graziano ESPN Staff Writer How confident are you in your team's quarterback situation? Wait. Before you answer that, let's get a couple of things straight. Although this is the time of year for unbridled NFL optimism -- post-draft, pre-minicamp, very few injuries so far -- it's important not to confuse optimism with confidence. If you are, say, a Bears fan, you can talk yourself into feeling very good about a situation that involves Mike Glennon's latest shot to be a starter combined with the future of Mitchell Trubisky. But that's a hopeful feeling. Confidence has to wait for some evidence -- real confidence does, at least. Also, note the phrase above: "quarterback situation." That means that although you might like your team's starter better than some other teams' starters, to answer our question, you must ask a few more questions. How confident are you that your starter can play all 16 games? How much longer can he play? How good do you feel about the backup if he has to play? These are the factors that go into our occasional feature called the "QB Confidence Index." Here, we examine each of the 32 NFL teams' quarterback pictures, throw them into tiers and rank them based on how confident each team is right now. This list changes throughout the year, and again, it's intended as something more than just a ranking of starting quarterbacks. Keep that in mind before you get mad about where your guy is sitting. Let's start with the top tier: COMPLETELY CONFIDENT 1. New England Patriots If there's any cause for worry here, it's that Tom Brady turns 40 in August and there isn't a lot of history of quarterbacks who thrived after doing that. But Brady seems impervious to time, having just thrown 28 touchdowns and two interceptions in 12 regular-season games and won a Super Bowl at age 39. Besides, the Patriots have covered their bases by holding on to backup Jimmy Garoppolo, who drew heavy interest on the trade market from teams that were told repeatedly that he wasn't available. Patriots officials will tell you that they feel completely confident that they can win if Garoppolo has to play, and they also like third-stringer Jacoby Brissett. This is the clear No. 1 quarterback situation in the league. 2. Green Bay Packers At halftime of the NFC Championship Game in Atlanta, I encountered a Falcons front-office official and asked how he was doing. "I'll be better in an hour and a half," he said. "That No. 12, he's not human." At the time, the Falcons led the Packers 24-0. "That No. 12" is Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who didn't have enough that day to bring Green Bay back but obviously strikes more fear in opponents' hearts than anyone else on this list. Rodgers hasn't missed a game since 2013, which means backup Brett Hundleyhasn't seen any real action. But Hundley's preseason work -- combined with the high regard the rest of the teams around the league have for the Packers' coaching staff's work with quarterbacks -- makes him a respected backup and possible 2018 offseason trade target. 3. Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan is the reigning MVP. Backup Matt Schaub, who knows this Kyle Shanahan-designed offense as well as any quarterback in the league, stuck around instead of following Shanahan to San Francisco. There might be some concerns about the transition to Steve Sarkisian as coordinator and playcaller, but there's nothing but confidence in the men taking the snaps. Ryan has missed a grand total of two games in his nine-year career, is coming off his best season and has Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman and an array of weapons around him to help keep things humming in Atlanta. 4. Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford hasn't missed a game since 2010. Although he doesn't chuck it as much as he used to, people around the Lions rave about the way he and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter have connected. Stafford is enjoying his role at the helm of Cooter's offense, which relies more on shorter, quicker throws than the offenses Stafford used to operate. It would be a big drop-off to backup Jake Rudock, but sixth-round pick Brad Kaaya offers interesting possibilities if he can develop quickly into the No. 2. CONFIDENT ... FOR NOW... 5. Pittsburgh Steelers When Ben Roethlisberger is on the field with Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell, there's no team more confident about the high-end potential of its offense. But Roethlisberger is 35, flirted openly with retirement this offseason and has played 16 regular-season games only three times in his 13-year career. This is not a player on whom Steelers fans can rely the way fans of teams in the first tier can rely on their starters. Landry Jones is what he is as a backup -- a guy you hope doesn't have to play more than a game or two. Fourth-round pick Joshua Dobbs is an intriguing long-term prospect. If you're going to have a young quarterback in a position where he needs to spend some time learning, it's nice to have as qualified a student as Dobbs. The Steelers like their quarterback situation, but it comes with enough questions to keep it in the second tier. 6. New Orleans Saints Like the Patriots, Packers and Steelers, the Saints boast a surefire Hall of Famer at quarterback. Drew Brees just posted his fifth career 5,000-yard passing season (the rest of the known universe has combined for four -- ever), and he has missed a grand total of two games in 11 years with the Saints. The Saints are here instead of higher because Brees is 38 years old and not signed beyond 2017. Surprisingly, the Saints did not draft a quarterback this year, though they did bring in Chase Daniel as a free-agent backup option they like a lot. Former third-round pick Garrett Grayson remains as a potential developmental prospect... http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/19404168/quarterback-confidence-index-rating-all-32-nfl-teams-2017-post-draft-offseason-rankings
  5. Even Rodgers indirectly criticizes him.
  6. And there's Freeman again whiffing on that block. Doesn't even see Hightower until he's right beside him. Never even looks that way or he gets that block. I still don't think I'll ever comprehend that loss after being up 28-3. My mind just won't process it.
  7. There was another against the Rams. The GB one might have been his best pass of the year. Electric.
  8. Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Two-time Pro Bowler Devonta Freeman has a new offensive coordinator in Steve Sarkisian, but the Atlanta Falcons running back reason already has a comfort level as if he's been around Sarkisian for years. "Definitely a players' coach," Freeman said of Sarkisian. "The thing I like about him is he's very flexible with every guy on the team -- the whole coaching staff is. If it's something that we have a problem running, we can go to him and talk to him about it and explain [it]. And I believe that if it's a good enough reason, he'll let us do it our way. ... I definitely think he's going to put us in the best situation to have success." The Falcons brought in the 43-year-old Sarkisian, with no previous NFL coordinator experience, to replace new San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. The Falcons plan to maintain the same offensive system coming off a season where Matt Ryan was named the MVP and the offense led the league with 33.8 points per game. The biggest offensive change is expected to be a new starting right guard following the retirement of veteran Chris Chester, with Wes Schweitzer, Ben Garland, and perhaps rookie Sean Harlow competing for the spot. The Falcons will maintain the outside-zone blocking scheme Shanahan implemented, a system that relies on offensive linemen who can get out and run to pave holes for Freeman and the running backs. "I think it's going to be pretty much the same thing," Freeman said of the offense under Sarkisian. "A few tweaks here and there, but the majority of the same play calls, the same offense." Last season, the Falcons lined up in 11 personnel (one back, one tight end, three wide receivers) for 437 snaps, an alignment likely to be utilized most once again this coming season. Since not much is expected to change schematically, the biggest thing to watch is Sarkisian's play-calling and how aggressive he might be in certain situations. Being aggressive didn't work so much in the Falcons' favor the last time out. It certainly helps to have a smart quarterback in Ryan, who has the ability to change a play call and the freedom to call the shots in the two-minute drill. http://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/27001/devonta-freeman-already-bonding-with-flexible-oc-steve-sarkisian
  9. Yeah, when Freeman says 'definitely a player's coach' about Sark, it's a direct shot at Shanny.
  10. Yeah, wasn't it in the GB playoff game where we were backed against the end zone, and I expected us to run and Shanny has Matt coming out firing down the field all the way. I think it was like 7 plays for a TD and not one run. I liked that aggressiveness. At least in that situation. When you're up 28-3 you can tone it down a little bit. : )
  11. Can anybody tell what game that was from?
  12. 4 posts. A troll. Saints or Carolina fan?
  13. Mark Bradley's take on the prediction: Football Outsiders: Falcons to go 9-7 (whoa!) and grab a wild card Frequenters of this space know I enjoy a good prediction. I even enjoy bad predictions. Without the question, “So who’s going to win?” there would be no sports worth following. But the predictions I track most closely are those made by Football Outsiders, which uses its data to cut through the noise. And, regarding the Atlanta Falcons, Football Outsiders has been pretty close over the years. A recap: — In 2013, F.O. had the Falcons — who were coming off a 13-3 season and a narrow loss in the NFC Championship game — plunging to 7.6 mean wins and finishing last in the NFC South. (They were 4-12 and tied Tampa Bay for last.) — In 2014, the site forecast a rise from the four wins of 2013 to 7.3 mean wins. (The Falcons finished 6-10.) — In 2015, Football Outsiders had the Falcons surging from 6-10 to 10-6 and making the playoffs. (They finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs, but had to slip from 6-1 to manage that.) — In 2016 … well, here’s one F.O. didn’t see coming. It had the Falcons going 7-9, which sounded reasonable — a team coming off 8-8 and a bad schedule had to face the NFL’s co-toughest slate this time around. The Falcons finished 11-5 and nearly won the Super Bowl. (For the record, F.O. picked the Patriots to beat the Falcons in Houston, which looked wrong until it wound up right.) Enough history. In 2017, Football Outsiders has the Falcons going 9-7, finishing second to Carolina in the NFC South and taking a wild card. It has the them as the NFC’s sixth-best team, behind Seattle, Green Bay, Dallas, Carolina and Arizona. That’s surely lower than most every projection you have or will read. In a post for ESPN Insider, F.O. founder/editor Aaron Schatz writes: “Carolina’s projection is pretty simple: a bit of rebound on both sides of the ball combined with an easy schedule. … The Panthers will have a close race with the Falcons, whose late-season defensive improvement is likely to continue in 2017. However, we’re also expecting some regression from the Atlanta offense, particularly because of the loss of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.” As noted, I like reading Football Outsiders because I learn something every time I click on the site. Numbers-based discussions differ from the usual sports blather — “Matt Ryan: Is he elite? Kind of elite? Elite but not sweet? — in what I consider a better way. And I do think the Falcons will suffer from the loss of Shanahan, who — until those final eight minutes in NRG Stadium — had the greatest play-calling season I’ve ever witnessed. If you ask me the single biggest reason the Falcons went from 8-8 to the Super Bowl, I wouldn’t say Ryan (although he was immense) or Julio Jones (ditto) or the improving defense (although it definitely improved). I’d say Kyle Shanahan. And he’s gone. And Steve Sarkisian, for all the latest round of Flowery Branch happy talk, isn’t Kyle Shanahan. I believe the Falcons have built well and should be really good for a nice long while. I also believe Shanahan is irreplaceable. I do think 9-7 sounds a bit low — but not ridiculously low. Nothing Football Outsiders writes is ridiculous. http://markbradley.blog.myajc.com/2017/05/16/football-outsiders-falcons-to-go-9-7-whoa-and-grab-a-wild-card/
  14. Actually it's "Rise UP and Embrace the Suck."
  15. We'll beat the crap out of them and Skip will still have some excuse for the 'Boys rather than give us props.
  16. Yeah, it's hilarious how they basically always judge teams on their past and continue project that rather than how they really are currently.
  17. Just in case you were down and needed a good laugh. http://saintsreport.com/forums/f2/pick-nfc-south-standings-reasoning-368203/#.WRE-grGZNE5
  18. This from another article posted here: If not for New England's stunning comeback in Super Bowl LI, we would have spent the past few months praising Jones for the most dominant postseason run since Larry Fitzgerald's "fantastic four" in 2008.
  19. Well, we survived when he was out some this past season. But I would hate to lose him for the playoffs. He played out of his mind in the post season.
  20. What could have been. <sigh>
  21. Safety Keanu Neal 10 OF 10 RICK SCUTERI/Associated Press Keanu Neal should be given as an example why NFL draft grades make no sense mere days after the event concludes. A year ago, the Atlanta Falcons were ridiculed for their first-round selection of the Florida product. He was a reach, and the organization could have drafted him later in the process, many exclaimed. These proclamations were made without taking full account of how Neal fit into the Falcons' defensive plans. The team couldn't have found a more perfect strong safety for its system. In his first season with the Falcons, Neal finished second on the squad with 106 tackles and five forced fumbles. He graded as the NFL's best rookie safety, per Pro Football Focus. The 21-year-old isn't just a box safety flying up to defend the run or underneath routes. He received the second-highest pass-coverage grade among safeties from PFF, behind New England's Devin McCourty. He's only going to improve in his second year, too. "Going through the defense is like night and day," Neal said Tuesday, per the Falcons Twitter account. "Now, I'm going through the smaller details; I'm a lot more comfortable." The 211-pound safety quickly developed into the tone-setter for the entire Falcons defense. Vic Beasley must be accounted for on a down-by-down basis and Desmond Trufant will return this season after a devastating shoulder injury, but Neal is the physical presence opposing offenses must avoid. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2708614-rising-nfl-stars-to-keep-an-eye-on-in-2017?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=nfl
  22. I know it's not Falcon news, but tragic since we all 'know' him. ___________ Kathy Berman, the wife of longtime ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, died Tuesday in a car accident in rural Connecticut. Kathy Berman was killed in a two-car crash near Woodbury, Connecticut. Berman, a teacher, was married to Chris for more than 33 years and had two children, Meredith and Douglas. She was 67. "This is a devastating tragedy and difficult to comprehend," John Skipper, president of ESPN, said in a statement. "Chris is beloved by all his ESPN colleagues and for good reason: He has a huge heart and has given so much to so many over the years. We know how much his family means to him and all we can do at a moment like this is give him the love and support he will surely need at this hour. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris, Meredith, Doug and the entire family." The driver of the other car, Edward Bertulis, of Waterbury, Connecticut, also died in the accident. He was 87. Chris Berman joined ESPN in 1979. He married Kathy four years later. Several NFL teams and players sent out condolences via social media... http://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/19349242/kathy-berman-wife-espn-icon-chris-berman-dies-car-accident