With the NFL season all wrapped and the draft as well as free agency still some time away from this point, I wanted to take a look at the newest quarterback, who got paid. Jimmy Garoppolo was traded to San Francisco for a second-round pick in the middle of the 2017 season and completely turned the franchise around, helping a 1-10 team win their next five games. That resulted in the front office making him the highest-paid player in NFL history, by giving him a five-year, 137.5 million dollar contract. After just seven career starts, it is fair to question if he is worth all that money. Therefore, I watched every snap of his time with the 49ers to offer an analysis on the young QB. I looked at his two games with New England as well, but decided to leave those out for now, since I’m judging him based on the system he will be a part of going forward, with Kyle Shahan signing a six-year contract himself, just a year ago. Let’s dive into the tape:
After talking about the weak-spots for each team on the NFC side, I’m switching to the other conference. Once again, I’m going to start discussing each team’s starting line-ups and what moves they have made so far in the offseason before coming to the conclusion of what their biggest need is. I didn’t use this article to discuss depth or future plans, it’s just about starters for this upcoming season. Oh, and no quarterbacks. NFL people talk about them enough already.
Two weeks ago I talked about newly formed position groups that aren’t talked about enough. Now I want to look at one spot for each team that has to be improved. This article is not about adding depth or planning for the future, but rather where a team needs help this upcoming season. You could make a case for multiple teams having to upgrade their quarterback play, but there aren’t many solutions out there. That’s why I focused on other positions.
I wanted to give an overview on each team and discuss why they need to improve at that specific spot. This week I talk about the NFC teams.
Through the offseason all 32 NFL teams have looked at their roster and tried to improve it, whether that is through free agency or the draft. That has resulted in some much improved position groups in combination with the pieces those teams already had. I want to point out six of those newly formed units, who I think will be a strength this season and help their respective teams win football games after hurting them to some degree last year. Here they are:
This week I want to give some love to the big guys. We always talk about the skill players and try to rank, so I thought I’d rank the best O-lines in the NFL right now.
Defenses run the table right now. Other than Pittsburgh’s and Atlanta’s high-powered offenses it’s the defensive units that have carried the premier teams over the first five weeks. Sure those team’s offenses make the critical plays and Tom Brady will be the main figure in New England from now on, but the top defenses have made the winningest teams go. The criteria for what makes those units elite has changed over the past decade or two, since the focus has shifted more to being able to lock down receivers and mix coverages well, but I feel like being able to make offenses one-dimensional by shutting down the run has a lot of value.
Every NFL season brings new surprising underdog-stories and disappointments. After three weeks the standings look a lot different to how analysts predicted them to be and there have been a bunch of things going on around the league that not a lot of people saw coming. Here are some of them: