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Beef

Why we're a top 5 team in 2010

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1. Indianapolis

2. NY Jets

3. Baltimore

4. Atlanta

5. New Orleans

6. Green Bay

7. Dallas

8. San Francisco

9. Minnesota

10. San Diego

This is who I think will round out the top 10.

And to all you negative nancy nay sayers, #4 is NOT too high. We are much deeper than anyone gives us credit for, including many of you on these forums. 12-4 or even 13-3 is VERY possible & here is why:

-We have an EXTREMELY favorable schedule. Really, it doesn't get much better than this. Week 8 bye, 8 teams that didn't have winning records last year, Pittsburgh, Arizona, & Philadelphia all with mediocre QB's & key pieces missing from last year, zero cold weather games, & other than the Eagles & the away Saints game we play every other winning record team at HOME. And I don't have to tell you what advantage that means.

-Ryan is in his 3rd year & history has shown this is typically the breakout year for tier 1 QB's, especially if they have the weapons, protection, & talent around them, & Ryan most certainly does.

-We have 7 starters & a great punter in a contract year. Statistics show that players in their contract year always have a greater increase in production over other years. This is a much bigger deal than most realize.

-Gonzo is "possibly" playing the last year of his career in the NFL. He REALLY wants, needs, & deserves a ring to go with his incredible hall of fame career. He's going to play with a bit of extra motivation & effort & I believe the team is going to be a little more motivated to help him fulfill this conquest.

-We have more quality depth at virtually every position than we've ever had. As a result, we have at least 7, and maybe upwards of 10 positions that are actually in competition for who will start over whom. Also, even if we do suffer some injuries, & we always do, we won't have massive dropoffs in production like years past because the talent pool is much deeper.

-Our trio of RB's, if they stay healthy, could EASILY be the #1 rushing corps in the league by a fair margin.

-HD is back, White is a pro bowler on verge of 100 reception season, Gonzo is Gonzo, Jenkins has a contract to play for & competition to keep his job (and he looked outstanding in minicamp), & we have some of the most telented rookie receivers with great FBI who don't drop the ball that I've ever seen in one place at the same time. A receiving corps can't really look much better than this. Add to that the likelihood of a top ranked rushing game which will help the receiving game tremendously, & the sky is the limit for this offense.

-With Robinson, Grimes, Owens, Williams, Jackson, Franks, DeCoud, Moore, Nicholas, & Spoon, our pass coverage could very well break into the top 10 or better. There's crazy competition there along with outstanding depth. The speed, skill, & talent factor has easily tripled over last year.

-Our trenches are stacked with above average to exceptional talent from starters to depth. There's no gaping holes or giant weaknesses in any starters & there's very little production dropoff behind the majority of them. Again, 3 of our 5 starting OL's are in contract years which is extra motivation to perform well. In addition, with the much improved pass coverage & good depth at the inside DT position finally, our pass rush should be significantly improved. Heck, even JA98 may become productive with the added 20lbs & new role at DT(or we can at least hope).

-In the last 7 games of the season we lead the league in stuffing the run & in the last 3 games our secondary ranked in top 10 for 3 weeks straight. And we've improved both of those facets significantly this year. So top 10 overall defense is very possible.

-We went 9-7 in a year where 6 starters on offense & 3 starters on defense missed a portion, most, or even all of the season. In addition, we had by far the toughest schedule ever concieved, playing 4 winning teams coming off their bye weeks, our bye was week 4 so we had 12 games straight with no rest(7 of which were away & 2 were bone-chilling cold weather), we played 6 games vs. playoff teams 2 of which were the SB champs, & 6 of our other 10 games against teams with 7 or 8 wins. And we did all that with huge holes in the secondary, DL, running game & half our second string starting. Not to mention our franchise QB missing 3.5 games. Seriously, we won 9 games in that rediculous scenerio & some people (here) think we'll be lucky to win 10 this year?!?!

If we can stay somewhat healthy, there's no reason we won't have a top 5 offense & top 10 defense this year taking everything above into consideration. Being ranked #4 is by no means a stretch. It might very well not be high enough.

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My ONLY concern is defensive tackle. WOW !!! just one concern. Lookin so bright I gotta wear shades. B)

(0h hail, the dt concern leads to a bit of de concern.) But it's

still lookin real goooooood !!

GO FALCONS !!!

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If everything lines up, we should be good. I feel like we have very solid depth, more so than starters. One elite DE, one 2 WR, and one mauler RT should be all that's required to make this an outstanding team. That's just 3 pieces, so with good scheming, we should be able to cover those up.

I think you made a good post. I think top 10-15 D and top 5 O should be what they're aiming for. This is the best depth I've seen on one of our teams in awhile, so most minor injuries shouldn't slow down the team too much. They're building a solid roster top to bottom.

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RIGHT NOW, WE CAN CREATE TOP TEN LIST. BUT REALITY SAYS THAT THE TOP

TEN WILL BE THE TEN WHO CAN IMPOSE THEIR WILL ON MOST OF THEIR OPPONENTS.

UNTIL THAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED, TOP TEN LIST STILL COME UNDER THE CATEGORY

OF FANTASY FOOTBALL. TO BE IN THE TOP TEN ... "YOU GOT TO BEAT-UP SOME PEOPLE."

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you underestimate the Patriots my friend. They are gonna be back especially with all those rookies in the secondary becoming second year players.

Yeah it was really a toss up between NE, SD, & Minn for me. If Farve doesn't come back, you can drop Minn out of the top 12 IMO.

Right now NE are the Atlanta Braves of football IMO though. Aging vets with the been there done that mentality, average talent in the middle & at depth, under-developed young talent not far enough along just yet. In 2 years they'll be back to normal form... unless Brady starts showing his age & slowing down.

And I agree Rev, top 10 lists are a bit over-the-top at this early stage, but it's just for fun. No harm done, was really just trying to make more of a point about where OUR TEAM stands among the others. And I stopped playing ffb several years ago & I hate Madden, so I have no agenda here.

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Love this post everything you said is more than a legit agruement that you can make to any bonehead naysayer.

And why the love for the pats? This isnt the 2000's anymore... Mark my words that dynasty is DONE ... bunch of cheating ********.

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Our team is impressive looking but Babs is the only DT that has proven himself to be good. JA is showing promise but...

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I think we play 4 teams with a losing record

4 teams, 5 games. And 3 games vs. 8-8 records. And like I said, 3 games against winning record teams who lost their QB's & some other key players & won't be nearly as competitive. That's 11 games alone vs. teams that won't have near the talent we have & we SHOULD beat. AND, 3 of the other 5 games vs. winning record teams are at home. I don't care who it is, this year you have to give us the advantage at home. That's 14 games right there where I think we have the clear advantage.

Here's my breakdown:

1. @ Pittsburgh: 9-7 - but again they won't have Restroomburgler & have some other holes on offense. (likely W)

2. Arizona: 10-6 - they too won't have their pro bowl QB & also lost Boldin & several key defensive players. (likely W)

3. @ New Orleans: 13-3 - we lost this game by only 8 last year. (giving this an L to be realistic but it's not a guaranteed loss)

4. San Francisco: 8-8 - blowout last year away, they will be better this year but it's at home. (challenging W)

5. @ Cleveland: 5-11 - they will be bad again. (likely W)

6. @ Philadelphia: 11-5 - they too will have QB issues & lost a couple other key people. (very challenging W)

7. Cincinati: 10-6 - home game & I see us just matching up better & having more firepower. (challenging W)

8. bye

9. Tampa Bay: 3-13 - home game coming off bye week vs. a bad team. (definite W)

10. Baltimore: 9-7 - home game but Baltimore is in same position as us, this will be our 2nd toughest game IMO (possible L)

11. @ St. Louis: 1-15 - even with new QB, they are terrible. (definite W)

12. Green Bay: 11-5 - home game & it's going to be rough but we have more talent & the dome advantage. (very challenging W)

13. @ Tampa Bay: 3-13 - away or not, they are a bad team. (very likely W)

14. @ Carolina: 8-8 - could be a tough away game but if we are healthy at this point, we have better players. (challenging W)

15. @ Seattle: 5-11 - they need 2 more years before they're good. (likely W)

16. New Orleans: 13-3 - this is where we put NO in their place & clinch the division. (big fat W)

17. Carolina: 8-8 - home game but with division clinched, possibly playing all backups. (possible L) - HOWEVER, if still playing for division or playoffs, we play usual starters & get the W.

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DT position is better off this year than last year, Jerry is coming back, we drafted a 3rd round talent, Walker is in his second year. Trey Lewis is coming into his 2nd year removed from his two knee injuries. Jerry will come along slowly but Anderson has beef up to play the DT position. I think we will be okay at that position this year.

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As a long suffering falcons fan It seems strange to say this, but the falcons are going to be favored in several games this year.

Just as strange- the falcons will be the better team on the field many weeks. I've been saying 12-4 for weeks now-birds finally have quality depth. This is going to be a fun year.

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4 teams, 5 games. And 3 games vs. 8-8 records. And like I said, 3 games against winning record teams who lost their QB's & some other key players & won't be nearly as competitive. That's 11 games alone vs. teams that won't have near the talent we have & we SHOULD beat. AND, 3 of the other 5 games vs. winning record teams are at home. I don't care who it is, this year you have to give us the advantage at home. That's 14 games right there where I think we have the clear advantage.

Here's my breakdown:

1. @ Pittsburgh: 9-7 - but again they won't have Restroomburgler & have some other holes on offense. (likely W)

2. Arizona: 10-6 - they too won't have their pro bowl QB & also lost Boldin & several key defensive players. (likely W)

3. @ New Orleans: 13-3 - we lost this game by only 8 last year. (giving this an L to be realistic but it's not a guaranteed loss)

4. San Francisco: 8-8 - blowout last year away, they will be better this year but it's at home. (challenging W)

5. @ Cleveland: 5-11 - they will be bad again. (likely W)

6. @ Philadelphia: 11-5 - they too will have QB issues & lost a couple other key people. (very challenging W)

7. Cincinati: 10-6 - home game & I see us just matching up better & having more firepower. (challenging W)

8. bye

9. Tampa Bay: 3-13 - home game coming off bye week vs. a bad team. (definite W)

10. Baltimore: 9-7 - home game but Baltimore is in same position as us, this will be our 2nd toughest game IMO (possible L)

11. @ St. Louis: 1-15 - even with new QB, they are terrible. (definite W)

12. Green Bay: 11-5 - home game & it's going to be rough but we have more talent & the dome advantage. (very challenging W)

13. @ Tampa Bay: 3-13 - away or not, they are a bad team. (very likely W)

14. @ Carolina: 8-8 - could be a tough away game but if we are healthy at this point, we have better players. (challenging W)

15. @ Seattle: 5-11 - they need 2 more years before they're good. (likely W)

16. New Orleans: 13-3 - this is where we put NO in their place & clinch the division. (big fat W)

17. Carolina: 8-8 - home game but with division clinched, possibly playing all backups. (possible L) - HOWEVER, if still playing for division or playoffs, we play usual starters & get the W.

Nice breakdown. While I never underestimate a Division opponent - especially in their house - it would be sweet to sweep 2 of them - and amazing to sweep all 3 (ha - one can dream, right?)

I always give us the edge in our house - because that team is just magical in the Dome. I don't know what it is about the dome - but they come to play at home!

That being said - I would be thrilled if we won 12 games this year.

The games I feel will be toughest are: Saints at superdome, Pittsburgh - just one of those teams we play hard and generally lose to (but I hope we don't!), Philly - even without McNabb - they have a heckuva defense and some real power on that offense, Baltimore - loaded with talent and a D that is amazing, Cincinnati - depends on Carson Palmer frankly and finally - GB - they are a tough team with an extremely talented QB.

Of those toughest games, I still think we take 2 or 3 of the 5. I wouldn't even dream of predicting a Division game because they can really go either way - but if we take 2 from NO this year - I will consider that Christmas, Birthday and any other present I may ever receive!!

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1. Indianapolis

2. NY Jets

3. Baltimore

4. Atlanta

5. New Orleans

6. Green Bay

7. Dallas

8. San Francisco

9. Minnesota

10. San Diego

This is who I think will round out the top 10.

And to all you negative nancy nay sayers, #4 is NOT too high. We are much deeper than anyone gives us credit for, including many of you on these forums. 12-4 or even 13-3 is VERY possible & here is why:

-We have an EXTREMELY favorable schedule. Really, it doesn't get much better than this. Week 8 bye, 8 teams that didn't have winning records last year, Pittsburgh, Arizona, & Philadelphia all with mediocre QB's & key pieces missing from last year, zero cold weather games, & other than the Eagles & the away Saints game we play every other winning record team at HOME. And I don't have to tell you what advantage that means.

-Ryan is in his 3rd year & history has shown this is typically the breakout year for tier 1 QB's, especially if they have the weapons, protection, & talent around them, & Ryan most certainly does.

-We have 7 starters & a great punter in a contract year. Statistics show that players in their contract year always have a greater increase in production over other years. This is a much bigger deal than most realize.

-Gonzo is "possibly" playing the last year of his career in the NFL. He REALLY wants, needs, & deserves a ring to go with his incredible hall of fame career. He's going to play with a bit of extra motivation & effort & I believe the team is going to be a little more motivated to help him fulfill this conquest.

-We have more quality depth at virtually every position than we've ever had. As a result, we have at least 7, and maybe upwards of 10 positions that are actually in competition for who will start over whom. Also, even if we do suffer some injuries, & we always do, we won't have massive dropoffs in production like years past because the talent pool is much deeper.

-Our trio of RB's, if they stay healthy, could EASILY be the #1 rushing corps in the league by a fair margin.

-HD is back, White is a pro bowler on verge of 100 reception season, Gonzo is Gonzo, Jenkins has a contract to play for & competition to keep his job (and he looked outstanding in minicamp), & we have some of the most telented rookie receivers with great FBI who don't drop the ball that I've ever seen in one place at the same time. A receiving corps can't really look much better than this. Add to that the likelihood of a top ranked rushing game which will help the receiving game tremendously, & the sky is the limit for this offense.

-With Robinson, Grimes, Owens, Williams, Jackson, Franks, DeCoud, Moore, Nicholas, & Spoon, our pass coverage could very well break into the top 10 or better. There's crazy competition there along with outstanding depth. The speed, skill, & talent factor has easily tripled over last year.

-Our trenches are stacked with above average to exceptional talent from starters to depth. There's no gaping holes or giant weaknesses in any starters & there's very little production dropoff behind the majority of them. Again, 3 of our 5 starting OL's are in contract years which is extra motivation to perform well. In addition, with the much improved pass coverage & good depth at the inside DT position finally, our pass rush should be significantly improved. Heck, even JA98 may become productive with the added 20lbs & new role at DT(or we can at least hope).

-In the last 7 games of the season we lead the league in stuffing the run & in the last 3 games our secondary ranked in top 10 for 3 weeks straight. And we've improved both of those facets significantly this year. So top 10 overall defense is very possible.

-We went 9-7 in a year where 6 starters on offense & 3 starters on defense missed a portion, most, or even all of the season. In addition, we had by far the toughest schedule ever concieved, playing 4 winning teams coming off their bye weeks, our bye was week 4 so we had 12 games straight with no rest(7 of which were away & 2 were bone-chilling cold weather), we played 6 games vs. playoff teams 2 of which were the SB champs, & 6 of our other 10 games against teams with 7 or 8 wins. And we did all that with huge holes in the secondary, DL, running game & half our second string starting. Not to mention our franchise QB missing 3.5 games. Seriously, we won 9 games in that rediculous scenerio & some people (here) think we'll be lucky to win 10 this year?!?!

If we can stay somewhat healthy, there's no reason we won't have a top 5 offense & top 10 defense this year taking everything above into consideration. Being ranked #4 is by no means a stretch. It might very well not be high enough.

Hey that was a great post Beef...your #s are spot on. I, too, saw the improvements that the Falcons made towards the end of last season...and they have major schedule advantages, unlike last year. Their defense should improve drastically...and yes, I see the Falcon's running game being top 5. WR Jenkins DID look terrific in minicamp, to the surprise of many. There's just alot looking up for Atlanta. I'm sensing the same things you are...

If I chose a top 10, I would guess Indy, New Orleans, Baltimore, San Diego, Minnesota, Green Bay, Atlanta, New England, Dallas, San Francisco or Cincinnati. I'll cautiously put the Falcons 7th in the top 10--although I think they have better potential to be higher and not lower.

The Jets are VASTLY overrated. I think Sanchez will have a sophomore slump and the Jets fall to third place in their division. The Patriots need more love here. The Ravens should be the class of the AFC. The Chargers and Colts will dominate their respective divisions, too.

Over in the NFC there should be 2 weak and 2 strong divisions: Atlanta and New Orleans should compete for the division title in the tough NFC South--the winner will finish 12-4 or even 13-3 and the 2nd place team will finish 1 game behind and be a wildcard. The other strong division? The NFC Norris...with a titanic battle for the division takes place between Green Bay and Minnesota (the Bears stay in it for most of the season, too).

The NFC East division will be surprisingly weaker compared to previous years. The Redskins will give the Cowboys a run for their money, with the Eagles and Giants being worse than expected. The NFC West should be the weakest--with the 9ers eking out the title by a game over both Arizona and Seattle.

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4 teams, 5 games. And 3 games vs. 8-8 records. And like I said, 3 games against winning record teams who lost their QB's & some other key players & won't be nearly as competitive. That's 11 games alone vs. teams that won't have near the talent we have & we SHOULD beat. AND, 3 of the other 5 games vs. winning record teams are at home. I don't care who it is, this year you have to give us the advantage at home. That's 14 games right there where I think we have the clear advantage.

Here's my breakdown:

1. @ Pittsburgh: 9-7 - but again they won't have Restroomburgler & have some other holes on offense. (likely W)

2. Arizona: 10-6 - they too won't have their pro bowl QB & also lost Boldin & several key defensive players. (likely W)

3. @ New Orleans: 13-3 - we lost this game by only 8 last year. (giving this an L to be realistic but it's not a guaranteed loss)

4. San Francisco: 8-8 - blowout last year away, they will be better this year but it's at home. (challenging W)

5. @ Cleveland: 5-11 - they will be bad again. (likely W)

6. @ Philadelphia: 11-5 - they too will have QB issues & lost a couple other key people. (very challenging W)

7. Cincinati: 10-6 - home game & I see us just matching up better & having more firepower. (challenging W)

8. bye

9. Tampa Bay: 3-13 - home game coming off bye week vs. a bad team. (definite W)

10. Baltimore: 9-7 - home game but Baltimore is in same position as us, this will be our 2nd toughest game IMO (possible L)

11. @ St. Louis: 1-15 - even with new QB, they are terrible. (definite W)

12. Green Bay: 11-5 - home game & it's going to be rough but we have more talent & the dome advantage. (very challenging W)

13. @ Tampa Bay: 3-13 - away or not, they are a bad team. (very likely W)

14. @ Carolina: 8-8 - could be a tough away game but if we are healthy at this point, we have better players. (challenging W)

15. @ Seattle: 5-11 - they need 2 more years before they're good. (likely W)

16. New Orleans: 13-3 - this is where we put NO in their place & clinch the division. (big fat W)

17. Carolina: 8-8 - home game but with division clinched, possibly playing all backups. (possible L) - HOWEVER, if still playing for division or playoffs, we play usual starters & get the W.

Yep. yep....YEP.

I also have Atlanta starting the season off 7-1, losing only to New Orleans in Week 3 (I think we'll be 2-0 when we play NO that week and they'll be 1-1). They'll we'll lose to Baltimore in WK 10 but rebound for a win the next week against St. Louis. In my mind, they'll probably lose 2 more games--I think it'll be against Green Bay at home in Week 12 and at Carolina in Week 14. But I agree that we WILL beat New Orleans in Week 16. We'll either match the Saints with identical 12-4 records (with the division title going to the team with the tie-breaker--and who knows who that'll be) OR one of the 2 teams gets beaten in another game and finishes 11-5.

More predictions:

We'll finish 3-1 against the AFC North.

We'll finish 4-2 in our division, losing only to New Orleans and Carolina on the road. We'll sweep one division opponent, and this year I think it'll be the Bucs.

We'll go back and forth with the Saints all year for the division lead. In fact, I think the Vikings will beat the Saints in Week 1 and we'll be in first place (at least tied) in the division the entire first half of the season.

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