NFL Preview; Rankings 25-20

“Photo via raisingzona.com”
  1. Cincinnati Bengals

This team got surprisingly worse over the offseason. Coming off a disappointing 6-9-1 season you’d assume the front office would attempt to make noise but they did quite the opposite.

Losing multiple defensive players and more importantly half their offensive line, the Bengals started the offseason on the wrong foot. What dumbfounds me is that they did little to none to fill their huge holes on the roster.

They went mainly offense in the draft taking John Ross and Joe Mixon (who beat the shit out of a girl but Marvin Lewis is out here complaining that TD celebrations are a bad influence on the youth, take a seat Marvin). So, after losing Whitworth and Zietler, they don’t replace them and are now relying on young players who I don’t have a lot of faith in.

We are also just getting word that the front office turned down a second round pick for BACKUP A.J. Mccarron (Bleacher Report). It’s safe to say that no one knows what to do in Cincinnati.

I wouldn’t be taken off guard if this team had a losing record once again and Lewis could be on the hot seat by seasons end.

  1. Buffalo Bills

The Bills let go of the failure that was the Ryan brothers and brought in Sean Mcdermott. Mcdermott should help out an already solid defense, the question will be the offense. Tyrod Taylor and Lesean McCoy are a solid duo in the backfield. The main question is if everyone can stay healthy

They made interesting deals by sending Ronald Darby and Sammy Watkins away and getting picks in return. Obviously these means they’re going into a bit of a rebuild so it could very well be an off year for the team

Regardless, the defense shouldn’t be a worry and if Mcdermott and newly appointed OC Rick Dennison can get the offense rolling, this team could be in the hunt.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles

This off-season the Eagles made some much needed moves bringing in weapons on both sides of the ball. Carson Wentz finally has multiple options with the signings of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. They also brought in vets Chris Long and Timmy Jernnigan to help the defense.

They thrived in the draft taking an explosive end in Derrick Barnett and what I thought was a huge steal in Sidney Jones. We’ll have to wait and see how he plays off the injury.

They made a great trade with the Bills, sending Jordan Mathews in a pick to get corner Ronald Darby. Darby brings incredible speed to the secondary and should help the defense immensely.

What’s important of course is the progression of Carson Wentz. Wentz showed great splashes of what could be for the young QB, now with great weapons and a solid O-line Wentz has all he needs to have a terrific sophomore season.

  1. New Orleans Saints

The reason I put the Saints above the Eagles on this list is because of Drew Brees. He’s thrown for 5k yards in four of the last six seasons and I see no slowing down.

Micheal Thomas proved last season that he could be a force to reckon with and Brees and Thomas seemed to have great Chemistry. The addition of Adrian Peterson was peculiar at the least but he will help the offense no question. I don’t care how old he is. They did lose Brandin Cooks but he shouldn’t be missed too much as they replaced him with a similar wide-out in Ted Ginn.

The biggest problem last year was the defense and the front office did a good job of assessing the problem. Adding the top Corner in the draft with Marcus Lattimore and grabbing Marcus Williams in the second round (who by the way is showing nice potential in camp). They also added veteran Linebackers to bolster their attack.

If the D-Line can stay healthy and the team finds a decent defense this team could be much improved from last year.

  1. Arizona Cardinals

This season Cardinals could go one way or the other. They had moderate losses in Tony Jefferson and Calais Campbell but they replaced them with solid vets and used the draft well. One thing the Cards do have is David Johnson who may just be the most all around offensive player in the league. It will be interesting to see how Carson Palmer can play as we’ve seen his talent diminish year by year.

The addition of Hassan Reddick and Budda Baker in the Draft allows the defense to be solid as they have been in recent years. They still have Nkemdiche who should show his massive talent.

If Palmer doesn’t blow it (the season and his knee) then this team can go back to the contender it was in 2015. If not they’ll be forced to find a new QB and the team will be in a flux.

  1. L.A. Chargers

The Chargers took an atomic bomb sized blow right away. Losing their first two picks in Mike Williams for probably the year and Forrest Lamp for definitely the year. Heartbreaking losses for a team that was hoping both rookies would make a great impact.

This team really isn’t that bad on paper, they lost many close games last year where it could’ve turned out well for them if one or two plays go differently. Even without Williams, Rivers will still have a crop to throw too. Keenan Allen missed all of last year and says he’s back to 100%. If he can stay healthy throughout the year, expect him to be a stud for the Chargers. Don’t forget, in 2015 Allen was on pace for huge numbers.

They had a bit of a roster turnover losing King Dunlap, DJ Fluker and Brandon Flowers. These losses shouldn’t affect the team as much as you would think. Newly Appointed head coach Anthony Lynn should provide excitement for the team. The biggest issue for the Chargers is the distraction of L.A.