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  • Broncos # 1 on the list

    Eight NFL team s that got much worse during the offseason


    Now that the NFL Draft and the majority of free agency is in the rear-view mirror, most teams are pretty much set heading into the summer months.

    There might be a few eye-opening moves between now and the start of training camp, but we can logically draw a conclusion about where each team stands heading into 2016.

    Are the defending champion Denver Broncos primed to take back seat to stiffer competition in the AFC West next season? Can the Detroit Lions rebound from losing future Hall of Fame receiver Calvin Johnson to retirement?

    What about the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West? Are they going to continue to play second fiddle to the Arizona Cardinals?

    These are among the eight teams that have gotten much worse over the past few months, one in each division.

    Check below for the rest.

    1. Denver Broncos

    The defending champs’ quarterback situation was so mediocre last season that it’s hard to conclude the Broncos are not up to par with that they threw out there in 2015.

    After all, the combination of Brock Osweiler and Peyton Manning threw 19 touchdowns compared to 23 interceptions.

    However, the idea of a defending champion starting Mark Sanchez simply can’t inspire confidence in them repeating what we saw a season ago. If it’s not Sanchez under center, Denver will have to go with a raw rookie first-round pick in Paxton Lynch. That’s not ideal for anyone involved.

    More so than the quarterback situation, Denver lost a ton of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive end Malik Jackson and linebacker Danny Trevathan both moved on to lucrative free-agent contracts with other teams.

    The bread-and-butter of Denver’s success last season was its defense. Any sort of regression there, and improved competition in the AFC West could be ready to pounce on the defending champions.

    This brings us to our final point here. As you will see throughout the article, certain teams got much worse simply because those within their division improved. To an extent, this is the case with Denver in the AFC West.

    Coming off a surprising seven-win season, the Oakland Raiders picked up improvements on all levels of the defense, including starting linebacker Bruce Irvin and top-end corner Sean Smith.

    With Oakland’s elite-level young talent on offense, this is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

    Meanwhile, both the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers look to be healthy after injury-plagued 2015 campaigns.

    Both have proven they can contend in the west with their current cast of characters.

    Add in reinforcements here and there, and there’s no reason to believe they can’t give Denver a run for its money.
    - Go Broncos 2017 and Beyond! -

    Super Bowl 50 CHAMPIONS!

  • #2
    2. Seattle Seahawks

    While Marshawn Lynch missed the vast majority of his final season in Seattle, his mere presence on the roster provided the team with that toughness that it might be missing in 2016.

    And while Thomas Rawls performed well in his stead as a rookie, we have no idea if he’s going to be able to return to form after suffering a serious leg injury late last season.

    After picking up three running backs in the 2016 NFL Draft, this has to be an area of concern for a Seahawks offense that has in the past relied a great deal on the run game.

    The larger issue here, however, is Seattle’s offensive line in protection of Russell Wilson.

    The team lost its two-best offensive linemen from a lackluster group a season ago in the form of left tackle Russell Okung and guard J.R. Sweezy.

    Usually losing your two-best offensive linemen on a unit that was among the worst in the NFL isn’t a bad thing.

    This is until we realize that Seattle will likely be rolling out former college tight end Garry Gilliam at left tackle and a combination of J’Marcus Webb as well as Bradley Sowell at the other tackle position.

    Add in former tackle/guard Justin Britt potentially getting snaps at center, and there’s a whole heck of a lot of issues along the offensive line.

    Defensively, Seattle regressed to an extent a season ago. Kam Chancellor was no longer the dominant strong safety we had seen in the past. And in reality, Richard Sherman found himself beat a couple times throughout the season. Both are Pro Bowl level players, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

    Instead, the question here is along the interior of the defensive line and at depth positions on the EDGE. Ahtyba Rubin will be one of the team’s primary defensive tackles with rookie second-round pick Jarran Reed backing him up.

    Meanwhile, Seattle will be asking Jordan Hill to up his game at the other defensive tackle position. There’s definitely talent there, but it’s not the same dominating unit we had seen in the past.

    It’s also going to be interesting to see who backs up aging veterans Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett at defensive end. Can Frank Clark make that transition to solid rotational player in his second season? If not, is depth going to be an issue here?

    With the Arizona Cardinals looking like one of the few elite teams in the NFL and coming off a NFC West title, the expectation here has to be that Seattle will take a back set to Bruce Arians and Co. once again.

    The good news here is that neither Los Angeles or San Francisco is ready to contend for that second spot in the division.
    - Go Broncos 2017 and Beyond! -

    Super Bowl 50 CHAMPIONS!

    Comment


    • #3
      3. Detroit Lions
      -
      Any time you lose your best player to retirement, it’s going to have a major impact on your team. Just ask the 2015 San Francisco 49ers about this after Patrick Willis called it quits. When that position is wide receiver, this is magnified even further.

      Detroit did add former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Marvin Jones to replace Calvin Johnson, but he’s nowhere near the level of player that the departed Megatron was.

      Can Golden Tate be that true No. 1 receiver without the threat of Johnson opposite him? Is Jones anything more than a decent level secondary receiver? As it is, Detroit simply doesn’t have a whole lot of elite-level weaponry in the passing game.

      This coupled with continued questions about a running game that ranked dead last in the NFL last season has us wondering how Detroit’s offensive is going to perform.

      Heck, this doesn’t even take into account what will likely be a large-scale regression from Matthew Stafford without Johnson in the mix.

      Defense also has to be somewhat of a concern here. Detroit finished second in total defense back in 2014 before seeing this unit drop to the middle of the pack last season.

      The loss of Ndamukong Suh in free agency surely hurt, but there were other factors involved here.

      Detroit racked up the seventh-most sacks in the NFL last season. Despite this excellent play from the team’s defensive front, the secondary still yielded a 100.9 quarterback rating.

      Is Darius Slay ever going to take that next step to above-average status? Who will step up behind him at the other corner spot and in the slot? Was last year’s safety play more of an outlier after the team’s solid performance in that area in 2014?

      These are major questions. These are also questions the Lions don’t seem to have answers to right
      - Go Broncos 2017 and Beyond! -

      Super Bowl 50 CHAMPIONS!

      Comment


      • #4
        4. Miami Dolphins

        Losing Lamar Miller in free agency while failing to replace him with anyone of substance hurts big time in Miami. Simply put, Ryan Tannehill needs a good running game to act the part of an above-average quarterback.

        Jay Ajayi might be that guy, but we are talking about a running back that dropped leaps and bounds during the 2015 NFL Draft due to alarming knee issues. Can he be relied on moving forward?

        Despite boasting a talented young group of receivers, Miami’s offense doesn’t have the look of anything special. Maybe that’s Tannehill’s lack of progression under center. It could have also had to do with Miami’s coaching staff a season ago.

        Either way, this means the team’s defense needs to step it up big time. Unfortunately, the Dolphins let their top corner from the past several seasons in Brent Grimes walk back in March.

        Adding former Philadelphia Eagles free-agent bust Byron Maxwell to replace him really shouldn’t inspire much confidence in Miami’s ability to defend the boundaries.

        We also need to see just how well Suh and Mario Williams will work together. There’s a ton of talent here, but both have had their issues with taking plays off and rubbing their coaching staffs the wrong way.

        Heck, Suh’s absence from Miami’s initial off-season activities under new head coach Adam Gase raised some read flags.

        Without strong linebacker play and missing their top corner from a season ago, the Dolphins need their defensive line to be dominant. If that doesn’t happen, this is going to be a majorly disappointing season in South Beach
        - Go Broncos 2017 and Beyond! -

        Super Bowl 50 CHAMPIONS!

        Comment


        • #5
          5. Philadelphia Eagles
          -
          Sam Bradford is not happy.The team selected a Division-2 quarterback second overall after trading a ton of future assets to move up to that slot. DeMarco Murray is gone, only to be replaced by the injury-prone Ryan Mathews, who also might not be with the team to open the 2016 season.

          Philadelphia’s top receiver, Jordan Matthews, led all players at his position in drop rate last season. Oh, and the Eagles are implementing an entirely new scheme on both sides of the ball under first-year head coach Doug Pederson.

          Defensively, it doesn’t get a whole lot better. Sure, Byron Maxwell was an absolute disaster in his only season with the Eagles.

          This doesn’t mean that free-agent acquisitions Ron Brooks and Leodis McKelvin are going to be any better in his stead.

          Philadelphia will also now be relying on Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham to apply pressure from the EDGE positions in their new base 4-3 defensive set. The two combined for 13.5 sacks from their original stand-up linebacker positions next season. How’s that transition going to work out?

          At linebacker, Philadelphia will be relying in Nigel Bradham to play an important role on the strong side. After bombing out in Buffalo, can he prove his worth in coverage? We can’t be too sure of this.

          The Eagles did well to rid themselves of the bad moves Chip Kelly made in his only season as the team’s general manager. Unfortunately, Philadelphia regressed from a talent standpoint. That’s the major issue here.
          - Go Broncos 2017 and Beyond! -

          Super Bowl 50 CHAMPIONS!

          Comment


          • #6
            6. . Indianapolis Colts

            It’s not as much that Indianapolis didn’t improve during the offseason. The return of Andrew Luck from injury will make the team better in and of itself. It’s more about how much other teams in the AFC South improved over the past few months.

            Already facing a small margin for error, the Colts are going to face stiff competition from a vastly improved Houston Texans team that boasts an entirely new backfield duo of quarterback Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller.

            Meanwhile, the Jacksonville Jaguars improved a great deal on the defensive side of the ball in both free agency and the draft.

            With one of the most-talented offenses in the NFL, this could lead to contention in the division for Gus Bradley and Co.

            While both of those teams were improving a great deal, Indy was left to look through the scrapheap for leftovers in free agency.

            The team will now have to rely on former first-round bust Patrick Robinson opposite Vontae Davis at corner after he was signed away from the San Diego Chargers.

            Meanwhile, the likes of Clayton Geathers, Winston Guy and rookie T.J. Green will be vying for the all-important starting free safety spot. That’s half the team’s starting secondary Indy will likely see filled with question marks.

            This wouldn’t normally be a huge deal if the Colts had some sort of a pass rush upfront. Unfortunately, general manager Ryan Grigson and Co. didn’t address this deficiency.

            Instead, Erik Walden will continue to see substantial action as a stand-up pass-rusher in the team’s 3-4 scheme. With 12 sacks in three seasons since joining the Colts, that’s a less-than-ideal scenario for everyone involved.

            Offensively, Indianapolis will again be relying on a running back in Frank Gore that could hit that inevitable wall any time now. Gore, 33, is coming off his first sub 1,000-yard season in a full 16-game schedule in his Hall of Fame-worthy career. If Gore does hit that wall, there’s no one on the roster to pick up the slack.

            This could cause some relatively big issues for a quarterback in Andrew Luck that’s coming off an injury-plagued 2015 campaign. Without much in terms of pass protection, Luck needs that running game to create balance on offense.

            While Indy could very well improve off its pedestrian eight-win 2015 campaign, there’s no reason to believe this team is going to run away with the AFC South. This assumption takes into account a fully healthy roster, something we didn’t see last season.
            - Go Broncos 2017 and Beyond! -

            Super Bowl 50 CHAMPIONS!

            Comment


            • #7
              7. New Orleans Saints

              Coming off a 2015 campaign that saw New Orleans finish 31st in total defense, 32nd in scoring defense and 31st against the pass, this is a unit that needed to be upgraded big time.

              Unfortunately, an unhealthy cap situation made this nearly impossible in free agency.

              The Saints will be running out a top-three corner group of P.J. Williams, Delvin Breaux and Keenan Lewis. That’s not an ideal scenario for a Saints secondary that yielded an absurd 116.2 quarterback rating a season ago.

              The team was able to add a couple solid youngsters in defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and safety Vonn Bell in the draft. That’s definitely a good sign for the team’s future, but it’s not going to help from a pass-rush standpoint, at least when it comes to the edge.

              New Orleans racked up 31 sacks a season ago, 10 of which came from all-everything defensive end Cameron Jordan.

              Outside of that, not a single member of this defense put up more than five sacks. Without a secondary pass-rush threat behind Jordan, the Saints’ pass defense will continue to be impacted.

              We definitely like what New Orleans did on offense, adding tight end Coby Fleener and rookie wide receiver Michael Thomas to an already talent-laden group.

              However, it’s going to be too much to ask an aging Drew Brees to overcome what promises to be another disastrous season from this defense. That’s only going to be magnified in what is a vastly improved NFC South.
              - Go Broncos 2017 and Beyond! -

              Super Bowl 50 CHAMPIONS!

              Comment


              • #8
                8. Cleveland Browns

                Robert Griffin III will be competing with rookie Cody Kessler and presumably veteran Josh McCown for the starting quarterback job.

                He will be doing so on a Browns offense that’s missing last year’s top receiver Travis Benjamin, who signed with the San Diego Chargers in free agency. He will also likely be doing so without 2014 leading receiver Josh Gordon, who remains suspended indefinitely.

                Now add in the fact that Cleveland lost two of its best offensive linemen in center Alex Mack and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, and it’s not hard to conclude that Cleveland’s offensive is going to be a mess.

                While new head coach Hue Jackson has proven himself to be an offensive whiz in the past, he simply doesn’t have the necessary talent to help this unit improve. Selecting a half dozen pass catchers in the draft doesn’t necessarily change this. It just adds bodies and some potential upside to the mix.

                We don’t even need to get into Cleveland’s issues on defense in order to draw a conclusion that this is going to be another cellar-dwelling season for the club. Even if the Browns’ defense takes that next step, there’s simply not enough on offense for this team to contend.
                - Go Broncos 2017 and Beyond! -

                Super Bowl 50 CHAMPIONS!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Who are the elite level offensive young talent on the Raiders?
                  What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?
                  I don't know and I don't care

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Denver lost almost nobody on defense. Malik and Danny were not top 5 players on that unit. We kept everyone else. These people don't have a clue.

                    Our qb play was terrible last year. So was the oline. Neither will be as bad this season.
                    :lombardi:2019 Adopt-A-Bronco: Dr. Dre'Mont Jones
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What’s in store for the Oakland Raiders’ 2016 season? How many touchdown passes will quarterback Derek Carr throw in his third year under center?
                      -
                      With a full year in the rear view and some new additions, the offensive firepower should remain lit throughout the 2016 season.
                      -
                      The Raiders field a big physical group in the trenches, which bodes well for quarterback Derek Carr’s time in the pocket and the backfield.

                      Similar to center Rodney Hudson in the previous season, the Raiders brought in another top-notch offensive lineman to dominate at the line of scrimmage. General manager Reggie McKenzie acquired offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele via free agency; his presence at right guard should open wide lanes for running backs Latavius Murray and rookie DeAndre Washington.

                      Washington’s versatility as a ball-carrier and pass-catcher will spell Murray through the grueling season. As McKenzie said in his post-draft press conference on the Raiders’ official website, the team can’t sustain an effective ground attack with one guy taking all the hits.

                      Wideouts Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Seth Roberts all return for another year in offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s offense.

                      Despite an earlier ATV incident, tight end Clive Walford will likely participate in training camp, per FOX Sports reporters Mike Garafolo and Peter Schrager.

                      -
                      2015

                      QB Derek Carr - 32 Td's - 13 INT's 3,987 yards/
                      -
                      RB Latavius Murray - 1,066 Rushing yards, 6 TDs
                      -
                      RB DeAndre Washington - Drafted Rookie
                      -
                      WR Amari Cooper - 72 catches, 1070 yards. 6 TDs
                      -
                      WR Michael Crabtree - 85 catches, 922 yards, 9 TD's
                      -
                      WR Seth Roberts - 32 catches, 480 yards, 5 TDs
                      -
                      TE Clive Walford - 28 catches, 329 yards, 3 TDs
                      -
                      - Go Broncos 2017 and Beyond! -

                      Super Bowl 50 CHAMPIONS!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The author was just being provocative trying to strike a nerve-- don't be naive and take the bait.
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's the national perspective.
                          I don't think he is being provocative...
                          I think he REALLY expects the Raiders to beat us..
                          for Denver to show that last year was a lucky fluke.
                          -
                          They fully expect Denver to stumble...
                          because of their East Coast regional arrogance.
                          -
                          Denver is perpetually overlooked,
                          even when the evidence points to continued success.
                          - Go Broncos 2017 and Beyond! -

                          Super Bowl 50 CHAMPIONS!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Much worse than when they said the Broncos had no chance to beat the Steelers? Much worse than when they said the Broncos D was soft and couldn't possibly match up with all of the weapons in New England? Much worse than when they said the Broncos couldn't possibly even play with the greatest offense in NFL history in Carolina?....

                            Some context is needed.

                            If they mean much worse than a team ready to win the Super Bowl right now, they're 100% correct, because there are NO TEAMS currently ready to win the Super Bowl. It takes an entire season of practices, wins, some losses, some key successes, some big mistakes, learning from those mistakes and then rising up, before a team is ready to win the Super Bowl.

                            It's great that they're putting out all sorts of useless articles now, but the reality is that this year some of the teams they think will be great (Oakland) won't be and will fall horribly short of expectations. Some teams that aren't being pushed as contenders and are assumed to be bad will rise up and be a big surprise. Some teams will drop off, others will stay the same. But until they start playing the games, it's all just speculation to get clicks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PAINTERDAVE View Post
                              It's the national perspective.
                              I don't think he is being provocative...
                              I think he REALLY expects the Raiders to beat us..
                              for Denver to show that last year was a lucky fluke.
                              -
                              They fully expect Denver to stumble...
                              because of their East Coast regional arrogance.
                              -
                              Denver is perpetually overlooked,
                              even when the evidence points to continued success.

                              If it was East Coast bias they wouldn't be talking about the Raiders rising up, it would be the Chefs taking the crown. It's just them trying to get out front because they think Oakland is going to be really good. Of course 5 weeks into the season when Oakland is 1-4 and Carr is struggling, the "second best defensive player in the NFL" turns out to be a guy who got hot for 4 games and recorded more than half of his career sacks in that 4 game stretch and not a dominant force, and a them winning free agency amounts to nothing, they'll pretend like they never said it.

                              Comment

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