2018-19 NFL Season Thread

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South Pender
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Note. I'm starting this thread with my last post in the 2017-18 NFL Season Thread, since we're now squarely into the 2018 NFL season.

Your observations about the Seahawks are right on the mark, Robbie. Things could get even worse if either Thomas (in particular) or Chancellor don't return. They've also lost Sheldon Richardson, who was a beast inside on the D-line last reason. So the defense is, at the moment, completely depleted, and so far, the guys they've picked up have been mediocre. Unless things change, it's hard to see the Seahawks being competitive in the 2018 season. Their defense was their strength, and now it appears to be average at best. This could change, of course, in the next months.

On offense, they've lost Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson and currently look weak at RB. Mike Davis will be back, and evidently Chris Carson is completely healed from his leg injury. The O-line will have Duane Brown back at LT, so that's a positive, but the rest of the O-line (except for Justin Britt at C) looks mediocre. If they can't establish a running game (which is Pete Carroll's top priority), then it will all fall on Russell Wilson and a depleted receiving corps (at the moment), and that just isn't a reliable strategy to win consistently in the NFL. So the Seahawks need to upgrade the offense. Finding a true feature running back will be a high priority, and we might see them pick one in the draft. As always (it seems), the O-line will need help. Second-year man and 2017 2nd-round draft pick Ethan Pocic is projected to be a possible starter at LG, where he played a little last season. The right side of the line looks weak, though, at this point.

There's still a lot of time, of course, for things to happen before training camp and the beginning of the regular season, and Pete Carroll and John Schneider are among the very best at their jobs in the NFL. There's also the almost complete turnover in the coaching ranks to consider, with changes at the coordinator positions: O--Brian Schottenheimer (replacing Darrell Bevell), and D--Ken Norton Jr. back and replacing Kris Richard. One change that looks like an upgrade is new O-line coach Mike Solari replacing the frequently-praised, but generally-unsuccessful Tom Cable. Solari will replace Cable's largely-ineffective zone-blocking schemes with more traditional man-up drive-blocking schemes. If Thomas and Chancellor return to the 'Hawks, and they can find a good shut-down corner to play opposite Shaquill Griffin, the secondary could be fine, and they continue to be strong at LB, with Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. If they can pick up a couple of competent pass rushers, their defense could still be strong. One big question mark for the Seahawks will be the health status of former top 2017 draft pick (picked 3rd in Rnd. 2) Malik McDowell. There has been no news about his recovery from his pre-2017-season accident. If he were to be back to 100%, this would be very good news for the 'Hawks, as he had been projected to be a D-line starter before he was injured.

Unfortunately, all things considered, I fear that the Seahawks are on the decline (possibly a pretty steep decline). With what's happening now with the Rams and 49ers, it seems at this point that the 'Hawks will be lucky to end up third in the NFC-W unless Carroll and Schneider have some yet-unseen magic up their sleeves. They are close to cap hell, with much less cap space than most other teams, and trading and drafting back to strength will be a very tall order.

The NFC-W team that has done the best so far in the off-season is the LA Rams (who had ended the 2017 season already looking very strong). They've just added Ndamukong Suh to an already scary-good defense, so their D-line, with Suh lined up alongside Aaron Donald (who many regard as the best D-lineman in the NFL), will just terrorize O-lines around the league. They've also added two top-end corners in Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. They have a good young QB and elite RB, along with solid receivers and a good O-line. Word is that they may be in the running for Odell Beckham Jr., although I think that remains a long-shot at this point.

The 49ers ended the 2017 season on a high note and now appear to have their franchise QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, signed to a long-term contract. They've also made some good acquisitions in the off-season, with the signing of Richard Sherman perhaps being the most obvious.

In the NFC-W, only the Arizona Cardinals seem to be in the same state of disrepair as the Seahawks. As a result many football writers are seeing the NFC-W as essentially a contest between the Rams and 49ers. Of those two, the Rams look stronger, and may turn out to be one of two or three truly elite NFC teams in 2018--along with the Eagles and Vikings, although the Packers and Falcons could end up on that list as well.

The 2018 power structure in the NFC--at this (very early) point--looks like (a) West: Rams, 49ers; (b) North: Vikings, Packers; (c) East: Eagles, Cowboys(?); (d) South: Falcons, Panthers.

More on the AFC at some later time.


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Robbie
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The first and only NFL question that I have at this point, but cannot be answered September 6, 2018 at the Philadelphia Eagles season opener against the Atlanta Falcons: Nick Foles or Carson Wentz, who starts at QB?

The sentimental decision would be to start Foles as a reward for his Super Bowl MVP performance , at the expense of Wentz' FedEx Air Player of the Year. Sentimental because we can all agree that a great playoff performance will always outweigh and be more memorable over any good regular season performance.
Last edited by Robbie on Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:02 am, edited 3 times in total.


祝加拿大加式足球聯賽不列颠哥伦比亚卑詩雄獅隊今年贏格雷杯冠軍。此外祝溫哥華加人隊贏總統獎座·卡雲斯·甘保杯·史丹利盃。還每年祝溫哥華白頭浪隊贏美國足球大联盟杯。不要忘記每年祝溫哥華巨人贏西部冰球聯盟冠軍。
改建後的卑詩體育館於二十十一年九月三十日重新對外開放,首場體育活動為同日舉行的加拿大足球聯賽賽事,由主場的卑詩雄獅隊以三十三比二十四擊敗愛民頓愛斯基摩人隊。
祝你老鼠年行大運。
恭喜西雅图海鹰直到第四十八屆超級盃最終四十三比八大勝曾拿下兩次超級盃冠軍的丹佛野馬拿下隊史第一個超級盃冠軍。
Dusty
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As a Lions Season Ticket holder, putting myself in the headspace of an Eagles Season Ticket holder, I would like the chance to cheer the Super Bowl players as they take to the field for their first scrimmage. That would be Foles as starting QB.... at least for that game.... If during the TC and pre-season, Wentz emerges as the #1, he could enter the game after a quarter or sooner, but starting Foles would be a way for the fans, most of whom would not have been at the Super Bowl game, to recognize their winning players on their field, in their stadium.....


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Robbie
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Lots of NFL preseason games today. Defending champions Eagles lose 31-14 to the Steelers and not too surprisingly, neither Foles nor Wentz played as the team wants to see who win the 3rd string quarterback. We will have to wait until at least the next game to see who wins the starting QB job.


祝加拿大加式足球聯賽不列颠哥伦比亚卑詩雄獅隊今年贏格雷杯冠軍。此外祝溫哥華加人隊贏總統獎座·卡雲斯·甘保杯·史丹利盃。還每年祝溫哥華白頭浪隊贏美國足球大联盟杯。不要忘記每年祝溫哥華巨人贏西部冰球聯盟冠軍。
改建後的卑詩體育館於二十十一年九月三十日重新對外開放,首場體育活動為同日舉行的加拿大足球聯賽賽事,由主場的卑詩雄獅隊以三十三比二十四擊敗愛民頓愛斯基摩人隊。
祝你老鼠年行大運。
恭喜西雅图海鹰直到第四十八屆超級盃最終四十三比八大勝曾拿下兩次超級盃冠軍的丹佛野馬拿下隊史第一個超級盃冠軍。
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Gridiron Ernie
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Here's a recent smartly-written article I quite enjoyed with some interest -- on the subject of the "football data/analytics revolution" -- using the new technologically-advanced Minnesota Vikings facility as example and focus. Of course this all is not limited to the Vikings, or the NFL. There's the inevitable ripple effect, where it can be afforded...

Note: Forum Moderator: I wasn't sure where to plant this post. Move it elsewhere if 'NFL Season Thread' is not quite appropriate. Please and thanks.

https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2018/8/15 ... lman-draft


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Robbie
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It's too bad that the Seahawks must say goodbye to yet another veteran, this time Canadian punter Jon Ryan as the team has elected to go with a rookie punter to save money.



While punters may not get as much fame as other position players, would Jon Ryan be considered best Canadian to ever play for the Seahawks....if not in the NFL?


祝加拿大加式足球聯賽不列颠哥伦比亚卑詩雄獅隊今年贏格雷杯冠軍。此外祝溫哥華加人隊贏總統獎座·卡雲斯·甘保杯·史丹利盃。還每年祝溫哥華白頭浪隊贏美國足球大联盟杯。不要忘記每年祝溫哥華巨人贏西部冰球聯盟冠軍。
改建後的卑詩體育館於二十十一年九月三十日重新對外開放,首場體育活動為同日舉行的加拿大足球聯賽賽事,由主場的卑詩雄獅隊以三十三比二十四擊敗愛民頓愛斯基摩人隊。
祝你老鼠年行大運。
恭喜西雅图海鹰直到第四十八屆超級盃最終四十三比八大勝曾拿下兩次超級盃冠軍的丹佛野馬拿下隊史第一個超級盃冠軍。
Ballistic Bob
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Cant quite understand the excitement of their preseason 4 ,5 sometimes 6 games before the regular season. PT Barnum got it right


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South Pender
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2018 Season Prospects for the Seattle Seahawks

Well, the Seahawks begin their 2018 season at Denver (favored by 3) next Sunday. Here's my brief prediction of their 2018 season. I'll add some more detail as the season unfolds.

Coaching

Many changes here--O- and D-coordinators, O-line coach, along with lesser position coaches. Hard to say whether, overall, this area has been strengthened; only time will tell.

Offense

(a) TEs and receivers: Losses: TE Jimmy Graham and WR Paul Richardson. Gains: Receivers Jaron Brown, Brandon Marshall, and David Moore. I'd say that this an improvement over the 2017 stable of receivers. The new TEs are here for their blocking, rather than pass-catching, abilities--part of Pete Carroll's desire to get back to being a run-first offense.

(b) Running backs: Losses: Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy, neither of whom showed anything at all in 2017. Gains: Chris Carson back from injury, Rashaad Penny (230-lb. 4.46 first round pick). Returning from 2017: C.J. Prosise, Mike Davis, and J.D. McKissic (out for 8 games with injury). If Carson and Penny can stay healthy, they should be a huge improvement over Rawls and Lacy.

(c) Offensive Line. This position group looks stronger with the return of LT Duane Brown (an all-pro with a training camp under his belt now), LG Ethan Pocic, center Justin Britt, RG the enormous D.J. Fluker, at 6-5, 345 lbs., and RT Germain Ifedi. Ifedi is the weak link in this line. The return of Brown, Pocic, and Britt should anchor a decent left side, and the addition of the huge Fluker at RG should help the run game.

Overall, I'd say the 2018 Seahawks offense is an improvement over the 2017 edition.

Defense

No question that the 'Hawks' defense has taken a big hit. Gone are Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Sheldon Richardson, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, and possibly Earl Thomas (currently holding out). So the pass rush is greatly diminished, and the secondary (the "Legion of Boom") has been completely blown up. Unfortunately, we can expect far poorer pass defense--what was once the team's strength.

About all that remains strong is the linebacking corps, with the fascinating one-handed Shaquem Griffin in for K. J. Wright at weakside backer in the opener. If Shaquem's twin brother, second-year Shaquill, can play decently at left corner, Sherman's loss may be less acute, but they are weak at right corner and the safeties. Of course, if Earl Thomas decides to come back, they will be strong at FS, and Bradley McDougald at SS seems serviceable, even if no Kam Chancellor. Justin Coleman returns at nickle corner, and he played well last season.

I'm afraid that Seahawks opponents will be able to score points, and the question is whether the 'Hawks' offense can score more.

Wrap

I've seen season projections ranging from 4-12 to 10-6 for the 2018 Seahawks, and I've seen them ranked all the way from 11th (Pro Football Talk) to 27th (USA Today) in the season-opening power rankings. Of course, much can happen over the course of a season--injuries to key players, opponents' key players, etc.--and the games will have to be played. My own fearless (and likely completely incorrect) prediction is an 8-8 season for the Seahawks. They won't win the NFC West, and may end up third in that division, behind the Rams (who are by far the class of the division and should go 12-4 to 14-2) and the 49ers, who may be slightly over-rated at this point. I think second place could be a close battle between the 'Hawks and 49ers.

Unfortunately, the 12s will have to adjust their expectations in 2018. This is no longer an elite team--more like a middle-of-the-pack squad. It will be interesting to see whether they can rebuild back into a powerhouse over the next 2-3 years.
Last edited by South Pender on Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:14 pm, edited 6 times in total.


South Pender
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Well, one piece of good news arrived for the Seahawks today: FS Earl Thomas appears to have ended his holdout and is reporting to the team. This doesn't mean that a trade won't happen during the early part of the season; it could, with the Cowboys chafing at the bit to get Thomas as they are weak at the safety positions. Nonetheless, if Thomas stays with the 'Hawks, their secondary will be 100% stronger than if he's absent.


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Robbie
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Robbie wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 2:54 pm
The first and only NFL question that I have at this point, but cannot be answered September 6, 2018 at the Philadelphia Eagles season opener against the Atlanta Falcons: Nick Foles or Carson Wentz, who starts at QB?

The sentimental decision would be to start Foles as a reward for his Super Bowl MVP performance , at the expense of Wentz' FedEx Air Player of the Year. Sentimental because we can all agree that a great playoff performance will always outweigh and be more memorable over any good regular season performance.
The NFL regular season starts tonight and it looks like after several months, we now know the answer that I posed shortly after Super Bowl LII - Nick Foles will start. But I concede that the answer didn't really fully answer the debate as to who should start because in the end, it came down to injuries and not who was simply the better QB. Carson Wentz still recovering from his knee injury from last December, so that's why Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will start. We will never know who would have started if both QB's were 100% healthy.


祝加拿大加式足球聯賽不列颠哥伦比亚卑詩雄獅隊今年贏格雷杯冠軍。此外祝溫哥華加人隊贏總統獎座·卡雲斯·甘保杯·史丹利盃。還每年祝溫哥華白頭浪隊贏美國足球大联盟杯。不要忘記每年祝溫哥華巨人贏西部冰球聯盟冠軍。
改建後的卑詩體育館於二十十一年九月三十日重新對外開放,首場體育活動為同日舉行的加拿大足球聯賽賽事,由主場的卑詩雄獅隊以三十三比二十四擊敗愛民頓愛斯基摩人隊。
祝你老鼠年行大運。
恭喜西雅图海鹰直到第四十八屆超級盃最終四十三比八大勝曾拿下兩次超級盃冠軍的丹佛野馬拿下隊史第一個超級盃冠軍。
South Pender
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Robbie wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:03 am
The NFL regular season starts tonight and it looks like after several months, we now know the answer that I posed shortly after Super Bowl LII - Nick Foles will start. But I concede that the answer didn't really fully answer the debate as to who should start because in the end, it came down to injuries and not who was simply the better QB. Carson Wentz still recovering from his knee injury from last December, so that's why Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will start. We will never know who would have started if both QB's were 100% healthy.
I don't think that there's much question about who will be the Eagles' starter at QB once Wentz has fully recovered from his knee surgery. The Eagles are taking it cautiously with respect to his recovery, and that's absolutely the right thing to do, but I'd guess that by about Game 4 or 5 (maybe sooner), it will be Wentz starting. Nick Foles is a very nice bit of insurance for the Eagles should anything happen again to Wentz.

Tonight's opener should--at least on paper--be a good game. Two highly-ranked teams: PFT has the Eagles ranked #1 and the Falcons #4 among NFC teams. The Eagles and Falcons are given even odds in this game. Of course, things often go wrong in the first game of the season, a consequence largely of the starters not having played much together at all in the preseason. There have been many instances of a team losing their first game and then going on to a great season.


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Robbie
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Talk about deja vu in that Nick Foles just caught a pass after two handoffs. Still though, the Eagles have only produced 3 points so far.


祝加拿大加式足球聯賽不列颠哥伦比亚卑詩雄獅隊今年贏格雷杯冠軍。此外祝溫哥華加人隊贏總統獎座·卡雲斯·甘保杯·史丹利盃。還每年祝溫哥華白頭浪隊贏美國足球大联盟杯。不要忘記每年祝溫哥華巨人贏西部冰球聯盟冠軍。
改建後的卑詩體育館於二十十一年九月三十日重新對外開放,首場體育活動為同日舉行的加拿大足球聯賽賽事,由主場的卑詩雄獅隊以三十三比二十四擊敗愛民頓愛斯基摩人隊。
祝你老鼠年行大運。
恭喜西雅图海鹰直到第四十八屆超級盃最終四十三比八大勝曾拿下兩次超級盃冠軍的丹佛野馬拿下隊史第一個超級盃冠軍。
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Robbie
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That trick play inspired the Eagles offence into a TD. 10-6 lead for the Eagles now.


祝加拿大加式足球聯賽不列颠哥伦比亚卑詩雄獅隊今年贏格雷杯冠軍。此外祝溫哥華加人隊贏總統獎座·卡雲斯·甘保杯·史丹利盃。還每年祝溫哥華白頭浪隊贏美國足球大联盟杯。不要忘記每年祝溫哥華巨人贏西部冰球聯盟冠軍。
改建後的卑詩體育館於二十十一年九月三十日重新對外開放,首場體育活動為同日舉行的加拿大足球聯賽賽事,由主場的卑詩雄獅隊以三十三比二十四擊敗愛民頓愛斯基摩人隊。
祝你老鼠年行大運。
恭喜西雅图海鹰直到第四十八屆超級盃最終四十三比八大勝曾拿下兩次超級盃冠軍的丹佛野馬拿下隊史第一個超級盃冠軍。
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Robbie wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:16 pm
That trick play inspired the Eagles offence into a TD. 10-6 lead for the Eagles now.
Yeah, Robbie--the Philly Philly! The same play--almost--as the Philly Special from last year's Super Bowl, but with a slight personnel change.

This was a really sloppy game, although still somewhat entertaining. A pretty typical first game of the season, I guess, with the defenses ahead of the offenses and way too many penalties, along with a couple of questionable calls by the refs. The quarterbacks weren't really sharp, with the normally high-percentage Matt Ryan completing only 49% of his passes for the game. Foles did a little better percentage-wise (56%) but for far fewer yards. The Eagles' run game really won it for them. Julio Jones was huge again, but--eerily--just as with last season's NFC divisional playoff game, the Ryan-to-Jones connection at the goal line as time expired failed. The Falcons' red zone woes continue.

I have to say that the Philadelphia fans surprise me. They might be the toughest fans in all of sports. They were actually booing last night when their team was struggling to get some offense going--this booing coming at a team that were very much in it all the way and are 10-1 at home since the beginning of last season.


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Today's Seahawks-Broncos game was a disappointment for us Seahawks fans, but the 'Hawks were certainly in it to the end. So some bright spots, but not enough consistency. I thought Russell Wilson looked "off" a lot of the time, but he was facing a pretty fierce pass rush, and RT Germain Ifedi was just eaten alive by Von Miller. Ifedi will continue, I fear, to be very beatable.

I hope you guys watched the evening game between the Packers and Bears. That is the most-played rivalry in the NFL, with 198 meetings between the two teams since 1921. The Packers have a slight lead in the series which is 98 wins for GB (including tonight's game), 94 for the Bears and 6 ties.

Tonight's game--24-23 Packers, coming back from 20-0--was just incredible. Aaron Rodgers showed why he is the best QB in the NFL and did it on only one leg in the second half. How he was able to fire strikes with only his arm and no lower-body leverage was astounding.


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