The Cardinals got their off season acquisition in Kevin Kolb. Larry
Fitzgerald finally becomes a true deep threat as he has a quarterback
that won't be afraid to take shots down the field. Kolb also has
threats in newly acquired Todd Heap, new draftee Ryan Williams RB from
V-Tech, and the combination of Andre Roberts and Early Doucet split
Ranked 29th overall in defense, the Cardinals have to get better this
season. Losing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Eagles, the
addition of CB Patrick Patterson should be a nice fit. That being
said, pressure on the quarterback and better play from the safeties is
pivotal to the Cardinals success.
With games at Washington, Seattle, home versus Pittsburgh and then
straight to Baltimore the Cardinals have a tough schedule to deal
with. Additionally, Kolb has to go back to Philly to play Vick and
the Birds, and also play the Cowboys towards the end of the season.
Tough hand to deal with.
Sleeper: Andre Roberts WR
ST. LOUIS RAMS
Last Season: 7-9
It is always worth mentioning when quarterbacks have to learn new
offenses, and Sam Bradford in his second year has to do that. Josh
McDaniels takes over as the new OC for the Rams and his goal is to be
more aggressive and more pass oriented. I think this will be a great
fit for Bradford and the Rams. Mike Sims-Walker was a great sign for
St. Louis, and the pass oriented offense will lighten the load for
Steven Jackson. Don't expect Amendola to get 85 receptions this year,
but i still see him playing a key role as a possession receiver for
Defensively, Chris Long is not overrated and his value will be largely
on display this season. James Laurinaitis is an absolute beast for
the Rams line backing core and he will be surely counted on to have a
big season. The Rams know they have the pieces on the offensive end
of the ball, so they drafted DE Robert Quinn out of UNC in the first
round of this year's draft. I love the pick. Quinn will fit in great
with this young defense, and he will be hungry for sacks.
The Rams schedule is tough; games on the road against the Giants,
Packers, Cowboys, Browns, and Steelers as far as out of the division
goes. This will be a tough season, but I think the Rams have the
right pieces to remain competitive.
Sleeper: Danario Alexander WR
San Francisco 49ers
Last Season: 6-10
Jim Harbaugh is in as head coach and he immediately let the public
know the Alex Smith will be his guy at quarterback. I highly dispute
this decision, but I am certainly not qualified to be a NFL head
coach. That being said, Smith better show up for Harbaugh as 8 or 9
wins could easily make the playoffs in the NFC West.
Frank Gore will be a beast coming out of the backfield as long as he
and the 49ers get on the same page and get this contract in tact. I
think it will get done. Adding Braylon Edwards will be a nice fit to
go hand in hand with Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree. I just don't
trust Smith to get it done and be CONSIST for 16 games in this league.
Defensively the 49ers took Aldon Smith, OLB from Missouri, with their
first pick and he will be a nice player to go along side with a very
strong line backing group in San Francisco. However, when you go 1-7
on the road clearly the defense needs to step it up. With road games
against Philly, Detroit, Washington, and Baltimore the 49ers will have
to unify early in the season.
Sleeper: Josh Morgan
Last Season: 7-9
Pete Carroll got it done in Seattle last season and he won a playoff
game against the Saints. What a crazy season.
With Matt Hassellbeck gone, I am very nervous for the Seahawks and who
the quarterback is. As of now it looks like Tarvaris Jackson, but
consistency will be an issue there and we may see Whitehurst earlier
than we all think.
Marshawn Lynch had a heck of a touchdown run in that playoff victory
over New Orleans, but with a weak passing attack this season, I can
see defenses stack the box on Seattle. So, can newly acquired Sidney
Rice live up to his huge contract and put up quality numbers while
remaining healthy? Its going to be tough for the Seahawks, but Rice
will get plenty of targets to have a big season.
Defensively Earl Thomas will be crucial to the Seahawks success. The
kid is a beast and I think he will have another stellar season. But
games on the road against Dallas, Pittsburgh, Giants, and the Bears I
do think the Seahawks are in for a tough fight. I don't like Seattle
Sleeper: Ben Obomanu WR
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