Hindsight: NFC West Offseason Grades

Finishing up the NFC West grades, I’ll address the offseason performance of the top teams in the NFL’s most competitive division. Before I start, I’ll take a minute to comment on the year-long suspension of Cardinals ILB Daryl Washington. When on the field, he is one of the best players in the league at his position, so it goes without saying that this is a massive loss for the Cardinals. It irks me quite a bit that this suspension is due to multiple failed drug tests for marijuana, while other players face no suspensions for behaviors such as assault and street racing. However, the NFLPA negotiated the terms of the current CBA, so they really have no one to blame for this but themselves. This is not the fault of the Cardinals, so it will not factor into their grade.

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Offseason GM: NFC West

Time to wrap up this mini-series. The initial thrill of free agency seems to have died down, with close to half the market being signed at this point, at least when considering the major free agents. Once the majority of the starting level players have been signed, I’ll do a piece on this years free agency, evaluating decisions league-wide.

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The Transition from Michael Vick to Nick Foles

In 196 attempts Nick Foles has solidified himself as the Eagles starter, likely for the long term. His bulk numbers are at a level that no second year quarterback has done in 29 years. Beyond the 19 touchdowns to no interceptions what is more impressive about Foles season is forcing Chip Kelly’s hand with Vick. Vick was having a fairly good year throwing and added a very good dimension to the rush offense. What Foles has lacked in rushing he has made up for in passing.

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Seattle’s ‘Cover 3Hawk’

The NFL at time can be a very complex game that has many moving parts that seem to be constantly changing. We used to have John Madden giving us a very profound “BOOM” when evaluating offensive linemen and Jaws would take over a Monday Night Football broadcast by breaking down the intricacies of quarterback play. We got a taste of the zone read last year and it lead to a lot of conversation on how to stop it. The NFL is always changing and evolving.

Pete Carroll’s defensive philosophy does not have this same evolving belief. The Seahawks playoff run last year opened many eyes to cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman has found a home with fellow CB Brandon Browner and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. They play in what I’m referring to(with props to our EIC Nath) as the ‘Cover 3Hawk.’

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Week 4 NFL Line Predictions

While we are all big NFL fans here, let’s be honest: One of the most fun things about following the NFL is attempting to overcome its unpredictability and predict the future. Whether you’re trying to make a buck, will your team to victory, or simply looking for bragging rights, NFL betting is extremely exciting. I’ve always enjoyed analyzing potential NFL outcomes, and I’d like to put my recommendations out there. I’ll do my best to touch upon all factors I find important, but if you feel I’ve left something out, feel free to leave a comment. So without further ado, I present to all of you the first of what will be a weekly column for this blog.

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Four More Teams, Part 3

I started this column by picking four teams whose drafts I wanted to critique, just as in the last two posts, but as I began writing, I started to include off-season moves and recent drafts for context, and I began to notice that these organizations all seem to have some systemic problems.

I try to examine why. Not surprisingly, I think in many cases it goes back to the owners. Poor owners make poor hiring decisions, either because they don’t evaluate front-office talent well or because good front-office talent doesn’t want to work with them because of the owners’ flaws, from stinginess to excessive meddling to general incompetence.

Let’s look at how the recent moves these teams made fit into a chain of bad decision-making– and, in one case, how they could be signs of an end of an era of it. This one’s a fair bit longer than the last two…

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