BUFFALO, NY – Football is back! And what could go wrong in the world because the NFL is back?! With pre-season under way it’s time for my NFL Training Camp: 3 Teams to Watch!
Atlanta Falcons: One could argue that the Atlanta Falcons have the best offense in the history of the game. With the newest member of the $100 million club under center (Matt Ryan) and Roddy White, Julio Jones, future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez and perennial 1,000-yard back Steven Jackson surrounding the signal caller, the Falcons have the best offense in the NFL. Atlanta’s defense could hold them back a little bit after they let a lot of defensive backs walk (a la Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson) but this offense is potent enough to average at least 35 points a week. It’ll be fun to see how this defense comes together as the season progresses. The Falcons are my early Super Bowl pick.
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens are coming off of their first championship since 2000 so it’s obvious that all eyes will be on them. In the off-season the Ravens gave Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco a huge new contract, putting all of their faith in his hands. What’s funny about this championship team, is that the 2012 roster will look completely different than the 2013 roster. Ray Lewis, gone. Ed Reed, gone. Matt Birk, gone. Anquan Boldin, gone. I think you get the point. After bringing in fresh blood, the roster will be new and improved on both sides of the ball. Players like Elvis Dumervil and Chris Canty should pay off nicely for the champs. The player to watch on this team is Torrey Smith. It’s time for Smith to step it up in a bigger role in this offense.
New England Patriots: You cannot deny that the Patriots are the least bit in trouble. Not only do they have the whole Aaron Hernandez case casting a shadow over this season, but they signed Tim Tebow in the off-season to make matters worse. With the subtractions of Wes Welker, Hernandez, Brandon Lloyd, and Rob Gronkowski in shambles the Patriots offense is not what it use to be. Yes I understand that Tom Brady is still under center, but an elite quarterback still needs quality players to throw the ball to. Do you know who Lavelle Hawkins is? Yeah neither do I, but he’s New England’s second most veteran receiver on their roster. As far as the running game goes, it goes when the passing game goes. Brady spreads out defenses with the aerial attack which opens up the running lanes. Without a passing game the running game is nothing. And their defense… It’s average at best. New England allows a ton of yards but forces a timely turnover. That won’t work forever.
Come back tomorrow for, Fake Sandy Alderson.