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5 Teams That Will Take A Step Back In 2013...guess Whos On The List


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1. Ravens -

The cap-strapped Baltimore Ravens went all out for a Lombardi Trophy in 2012, and it worked. I'd imagine they wouldn't change a thing.

Nonetheless, Baltimore has felt the wrath of cap constraints this offseason.

The Ravens lost defensive starters Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard and Cary Williams in free agency and Ray Lewis to retirement. And on offense, their most productive receiver, Anquan Boldin, is also gone.

It's hard to argue that this team didn't get worse in the offseason, and now they'll be going to work with a Super Bowl-sized target on their backs. They play the league's fifth-hardest schedule within a strong division (the young Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals are only going to get better).

By no means should we expect the Ravens to be bad or necessarily mediocre, but this team looks a lot less special now than it did in January and February. And keep in mind that it's been nearly a decade since a team defended its title in this highly competitive league.

2012 record: 10-6

Projected 2013 record: 8-8

2. Steelers-

USA TODAY Sports

The good news for the Baltimore Ravens is that their top division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, could be joining them in a 2013 slide. The Steelers were already one of the oldest teams in the league last year, and now they've suffered through an offseason of purging that has left the roster in flux.

Starters James Harrison, Willie Colon, Mike Wallace, Max Starks, Rashard Mendenhall and Keenan Lewis are all gone, which does make them younger but also raises questions in regard to talent.

Top pick Jarvis Jones is one of several talented but unproven players who will be counted on to contribute from the get-go. There's no telling what sort of growing pains might impact Jones, Mike Adams, David DeCastro and Le'Veon Bell, all of whom are under the age of 24.

As we mentioned, the Bengals and Browns might be gaining steam just as Baltimore and Pittsburgh lose some. Cincinnati was a shock-the-world candidate last week, and that young Cleveland team made some positive tweaks to the roster this offseason. That won't help Pittsburgh's cause.

Sure, the Steelers' schedule isn't supposed to be as tough because they finished third in the AFC North last season, but look how much they struggled with the sixth-easiest schedule in football in 2012.

2012 record: 8-8

Projected 2013 record: 6-10

3.Giants

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

We're not ready to predict that the New York Giants will fall off the face of the earth, because the NFC East is once again expected to be very tight. What's more, the G-Men haven't finished with a losing record since 2004, Tom Coughlin's first year as head coach.

But there are some clues that New York could be on the verge of a disappointing season in 2013. For starters, the divisional-rival Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles should be better, as we noted last week, and the defending-champion Washington Redskins are only going to keep improving so long as Robert Griffin III's recovery stays on track.

Based on numbers provided by The Dallas Morning News, the Giants were by far the healthiest team in the division last year when it came to starter games missed due to injury. Even if they don't get hit any harder this year, expect some of the NFC East to make up ground in that area.

Also consider that the cap-strapped Giants lost a slew of key veteran contributors in the offseason. Some were replaceable, but there's no guarantee second-year player David Wilson can take over cleanly for Ahmad Bradshaw. Brandon Myers doesn't appear to have the blocking ability Martellus Bennett possesses, and it's hard to find guys who can step in for star-level players like Osi Umenyiora and Kenny Phillips.

Essentially, it looks as though the Giants have lost some ground.

Of course, every time somebody writes something like that about Big Blue, they wind up making that somebody look rather stupid.

2012 record: 9-7

Projected 2013 record: 7-9

4.FALCONS

The Atlanta Falcons are still a very, very good football team, and they probably possess more talent than anyone on this list. But it wasn't a good offseason for Atlanta, and the rest of the NFC South appeared to gain ground.

At this point, I don't know if you can call replacing Michael Turner with Steven Jackson and John Abraham with Osi Umenyiora a net loss or net gain. But with Brent Grimes, Dunta Robinson and Tyson Clabo all gone, the Falcons will be relying on unproven youngsters like Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford and Lamar Holmes to fill those holes.

So while this is a playoff team that won its division by a ridiculous six games in 2012, expect that gap to close in 2013. The explosive New Orleans Saints have their coach back and have put the bounty scandal in the rear-view mirror, while the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both had solid offseasons.

Plus, the Falcons had the easiest schedule in the NFL last year. This year, based solely on what happened in 2012, they have a middle-of-the-pack schedule. They also had decent luck in the health department, according to Football Outsiders, despite being one of the oldest teams in football. In fact, ESPN.com's Mike Sando projects that the Falcons will have the second-oldest group of starters in the league, which is a little concerning.

Atlanta should return to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, but expect a bumpier road to January this time around.

2012 record: 13-3

Projected 2013 record: 10-6

6.Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are our wild-card entry here, mainly because, on paper, there's little reason to believe they'll take a step backward in 2013. Adrian Peterson is one of the most dominant players in the game, and that defense is superb.

But it's possible the Vikes were simply in the right place at the right time in 2012. The NFC North-ruling Green Bay Packers were ravaged by injuries, while the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions failed to compete for various reasons despite talented rosters.

The Vikings still have the worst quarterback in the division, and while Christian Ponder had his moments late last year, the game's top running back often bailed him out. The odds don't favor Peterson rushing for 2,000-plus yards again, though, and they probably don't favor Minnesota going 4-2 within that division again, either.

The Vikings made the playoffs last year despite scoring only 31 more points than they allowed, primarily because they won five of their six one-score games. It's possible they were just extremely clutch, but it's also possible that luck was on their side.

It wouldn't surprise us to see the Vikes finish with a losing record in 2013.

2012 record: 10-6

Projected 2013 record: 6-10

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Anyone suprised the falcons are on this list?

LINK

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1654512-5-nfl-teams-that-could-take-a-step-backwards-in-2013#/articles/1654512-5-nfl-teams-that-could-take-a-step-backwards-in-2013/page/5

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This is kind of bullish. We went 13-3 of course the odds say we wont win that many this year. What a lazy *** article from this guy. Every other team on this list has a losing record. Why you throw the Falcons in with them is beyond me. Lazy Lazy Lazy

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I don't really care as long as we're in the playoffs. We have to get there to have a shot. I do strongly disagree with our having a bad off season though. It wasn't great but it wasn't bad. Losing Brent and Dunta was not that big of deal. Brent hasn't played for Atlanta in quite some time and we did fine without him. Dunta was pretty easy to replace.

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Anything less than 10-6 will be a disappointing season.

10-6 is a disappointing season IMO.....

I have HIGH expectations for this team. We are much to talented to have anything less then 11 wins If we want to be a elite team we need to be able to beat ANYONE. You think packers, 49ers, patriots etc fans are thinking 10-6 as being acceptable?

Edited by BrandonDell_
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Can't say I am surprised at being on the list. As a longtime Falcons fan you kind of expect the half-baked commentary that we have in this article.

First off if you can't see the difference between DUI, fatboy Turner and Work out warrior, team captain type SJax then you shouldn't be writing articles about NFL teams. Second, wasn't Abe ticketed for public intoxication last year? Osi has no such baggage. I also noticed Osi has a history of folllowing up a mediocre season with a stellar season. Im expecting Osi to make us all forget about Abe. We faced eleven pro bowl QB's last year. How is that a weak schedule?

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I can see a step back happening, but also a step forward or even status quo, seem within the realm of possibility.

Bold prediction there bro. So pretty much anything can happen. Go back , go forward , or stay the same. lol

I said 12-4 a month or so ago in one of those way to early threads , and I will stick with it until after preseason. Doesn't mean a thing till then anyways.

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Bold prediction there bro. So pretty much anything can happen. Go back , go forward , or stay the same. lol

I said 12-4 a month or so ago in one of those way to early threads , and I will stick with it until after preseason. Doesn't mean a thing till then anyways.

For me personally anything short of getting to SB is taking a step back. To borrow words from TD and MS, there is no status quo in the NFL. You either get better or worse.

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For me personally anything short of getting to SB is taking a step back. To borrow words from TD and MS, there is no status quo in the NFL. You either get better or worse.

I can easily agree with that. Although 12-4 is only taking the regular season into account obviously. I do think as far as preseason goes , making the Superbowl is a must , winning it will probably give me a heart attack.

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I can easily agree with that. Although 12-4 is only taking the regular season into account obviously. I do think as far as preseason goes , making the Superbowl is a must , winning it will probably give me a heart attack.

Yeah, I am going to SB if falcons get there. LOL, I have been saving money in SB fund for a while now.

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Yeah, I am going to SB if falcons get there. LOL, I have been saving money in SB fund for a while now.

That sounds nice. I might , depends. It would probably have to come out of my fishing budget and I don't think I am strong enough to do that. lol

( just realized I said preseason but of course meant post season )

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That sounds nice. I might , depends. It would probably have to come out of my fishing budget and I don't think I am strong enough to do that. lol

( just realized I said preseason but of course meant post season )

One advantage of falcons not winning the SB for few years. LOL. I might actually go there to see it when they win.

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Bold prediction there bro. So pretty much anything can happen. Go back , go forward , or stay the same. lol

I said 12-4 a month or so ago in one of those way to early threads , and I will stick with it until after preseason. Doesn't mean a thing till then anyways.

Smitty is so good getting a team ready every week, it's hard to find 6 sure losses on the schedule. They drop that far it's because of an injury etc. The offense will be too **** good.

I said 12-4 when the schedule came out too, I'll stick by that. Doubt any other team in the South gets to 10 wins.

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1. Ravens -

The cap-strapped Baltimore Ravens went all out for a Lombardi Trophy in 2012, and it worked. I'd imagine they wouldn't change a thing.

Nonetheless, Baltimore has felt the wrath of cap constraints this offseason.

The Ravens lost defensive starters Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard and Cary Williams in free agency and Ray Lewis to retirement. And on offense, their most productive receiver, Anquan Boldin, is also gone.

It's hard to argue that this team didn't get worse in the offseason, and now they'll be going to work with a Super Bowl-sized target on their backs. They play the league's fifth-hardest schedule within a strong division (the young Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals are only going to get better).

By no means should we expect the Ravens to be bad or necessarily mediocre, but this team looks a lot less special now than it did in January and February. And keep in mind that it's been nearly a decade since a team defended its title in this highly competitive league.

2012 record: 10-6

Projected 2013 record: 8-8

2. Steelers-

USA TODAY Sports

The good news for the Baltimore Ravens is that their top division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, could be joining them in a 2013 slide. The Steelers were already one of the oldest teams in the league last year, and now they've suffered through an offseason of purging that has left the roster in flux.

Starters James Harrison, Willie Colon, Mike Wallace, Max Starks, Rashard Mendenhall and Keenan Lewis are all gone, which does make them younger but also raises questions in regard to talent.

Top pick Jarvis Jones is one of several talented but unproven players who will be counted on to contribute from the get-go. There's no telling what sort of growing pains might impact Jones, Mike Adams, David DeCastro and Le'Veon Bell, all of whom are under the age of 24.

As we mentioned, the Bengals and Browns might be gaining steam just as Baltimore and Pittsburgh lose some. Cincinnati was a shock-the-world candidate last week, and that young Cleveland team made some positive tweaks to the roster this offseason. That won't help Pittsburgh's cause.

Sure, the Steelers' schedule isn't supposed to be as tough because they finished third in the AFC North last season, but look how much they struggled with the sixth-easiest schedule in football in 2012.

2012 record: 8-8

Projected 2013 record: 6-10

3.Giants

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

We're not ready to predict that the New York Giants will fall off the face of the earth, because the NFC East is once again expected to be very tight. What's more, the G-Men haven't finished with a losing record since 2004, Tom Coughlin's first year as head coach.

But there are some clues that New York could be on the verge of a disappointing season in 2013. For starters, the divisional-rival Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles should be better, as we noted last week, and the defending-champion Washington Redskins are only going to keep improving so long as Robert Griffin III's recovery stays on track.

Based on numbers provided by The Dallas Morning News, the Giants were by far the healthiest team in the division last year when it came to starter games missed due to injury. Even if they don't get hit any harder this year, expect some of the NFC East to make up ground in that area.

Also consider that the cap-strapped Giants lost a slew of key veteran contributors in the offseason. Some were replaceable, but there's no guarantee second-year player David Wilson can take over cleanly for Ahmad Bradshaw. Brandon Myers doesn't appear to have the blocking ability Martellus Bennett possesses, and it's hard to find guys who can step in for star-level players like Osi Umenyiora and Kenny Phillips.

Essentially, it looks as though the Giants have lost some ground.

Of course, every time somebody writes something like that about Big Blue, they wind up making that somebody look rather stupid.

2012 record: 9-7

Projected 2013 record: 7-9

4.FALCONS

The Atlanta Falcons are still a very, very good football team, and they probably possess more talent than anyone on this list. But it wasn't a good offseason for Atlanta, and the rest of the NFC South appeared to gain ground.

At this point, I don't know if you can call replacing Michael Turner with Steven Jackson and John Abraham with Osi Umenyiora a net loss or net gain. But with Brent Grimes, Dunta Robinson and Tyson Clabo all gone, the Falcons will be relying on unproven youngsters like Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford and Lamar Holmes to fill those holes.

So while this is a playoff team that won its division by a ridiculous six games in 2012, expect that gap to close in 2013. The explosive New Orleans Saints have their coach back and have put the bounty scandal in the rear-view mirror, while the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both had solid offseasons.

Plus, the Falcons had the easiest schedule in the NFL last year. This year, based solely on what happened in 2012, they have a middle-of-the-pack schedule. They also had decent luck in the health department, according to Football Outsiders, despite being one of the oldest teams in football. In fact, ESPN.com's Mike Sando projects that the Falcons will have the second-oldest group of starters in the league, which is a little concerning.

Atlanta should return to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, but expect a bumpier road to January this time around.

2012 record: 13-3

Projected 2013 record: 10-6

6.Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are our wild-card entry here, mainly because, on paper, there's little reason to believe they'll take a step backward in 2013. Adrian Peterson is one of the most dominant players in the game, and that defense is superb.

But it's possible the Vikes were simply in the right place at the right time in 2012. The NFC North-ruling Green Bay Packers were ravaged by injuries, while the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions failed to compete for various reasons despite talented rosters.

The Vikings still have the worst quarterback in the division, and while Christian Ponder had his moments late last year, the game's top running back often bailed him out. The odds don't favor Peterson rushing for 2,000-plus yards again, though, and they probably don't favor Minnesota going 4-2 within that division again, either.

The Vikings made the playoffs last year despite scoring only 31 more points than they allowed, primarily because they won five of their six one-score games. It's possible they were just extremely clutch, but it's also possible that luck was on their side.

It wouldn't surprise us to see the Vikes finish with a losing record in 2013.

2012 record: 10-6

Projected 2013 record: 6-10

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Anyone suprised the falcons are on this list?

LINK

http://bleacherrepor...-in-2013/page/5

Of course it came from Bleacher Report... what a stupid ******* list. Not only are all the records on here complete BS (except possibly the Giants).... but the Falcons have gotten MUCH better imo in the offseason. Crappy writing, crappy article.

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No offense to Abe because I still think he is a viable player, but Turner and Abe are still unemployed. That doesn't mean we automatically upgraded but it somewhat be a strong case that we did.

I wouldn't call Osi an upgrade over Abe for the 2013 season.

The 2015 season yes but next year I don't know think we upgraded.

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