announcements

 2015 NFL Thrills and Chills, Part I

 
By Glenn Guzzo
 
            Here’s a brief summary of the highlights and lowlights of Strat-O-Matic’s new football ratings:
 
ARIZONA
Offense:            
Oh Yeah!             QB Palmer deadly Wrong … Possession WR Fitzgerald has 2-Tmd catches; WR John Brown is big-time deep threat  … HBs D. Johnson (YAC-A), Ellington add to receiver targets … LG Iupati (7,6), LT Veldeheer (7,5)
Oh No!             Keep ‘em guessing – otherwise, turnovers Right will be an issue
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!           Excellent Run D … FS Mathieu (66), LCB Peterson (6), LE Campbell (6) … sub depth: five 4s
Oh No!             RCB Powers (0)
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           Sensational +7 penalty differential … KR TD
Oh No!             Punt block and XP miss 11-12
 
 
ATLANTA
Offense:
Oh Yeah!           WR Jones: Max catches, 2-Tmd catches, YAC-B … 73-catch HB Freeman (YAC-B) and HB Coleman (16 SG or better ER Wrong) … Twin 7 pass blockers at tackle; FB DiMarco (7,6)
Oh No!             QB Ryan’s INTs and RB fumbles (2-7, 12 Right) … C Person (3,0)
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!            SP 3 Men LG on 12 – we’ve seen much worse pass yardage
Oh No!             Average-to-Poor Run (lots of yards) and Pass D … No 6s, few 5s and the pass rush is worse:  Four 0s, a 2, a 4 and a 5
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!            25 chances for very deep KOs … Perfect XP … 54-yd FG good 2-6
Oh No!              Punt block … weak kick coverage
 
 
CAROLINA
Offense:
Oh Yeah!           Newton’s 15 MR chances yield +47, +23, +11, +10 … TE Olson: max catches FP/SP, 2-Tmd catches, YAC-B … WR Ginn goes a long way – if he catches it …Prime beef: 6 run block at C, both G; RG Turner, C Kalil each 7,6
Oh No!             Newton’s 15 MR chances limit completions … OT pass blocking: 2 and 4
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!            Excellent vs. Pass; Good vs. Run (high fumbles) … MLB Kuechly (66), RLB Davis (65), RT Short (6) and 12(1*), RCB Norman (6), three other 5s
Oh No!             What the Charles, Johnson? (DLE pass rush 2) … Only Short, Davis likely to get to the QB
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!            Solid KO, punts, punt coverage will win field position
Oh No!              LG on KR coverage
 
 
CHICAGO
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             QB Cutler’ devastating FP Wrong, solid all-around card … Strong targets at WR (Jeffery), TE (Miller), HB … Pass block: Two 7s, four 5s will allow Cutler to throw downfield
Oh No!             HBs Forte, Langford more dangerous out of backfield than running
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!             Sack sandwich: Both OLB are 11s
Oh No!              Poor Pass D; Average to Poor Run D … Nearly a dozen donut holes: Both DE are 0, both ILB are run 0, both CB are 0 … Can’t get worse than LILB McClellin: 00 with 0 pass rush
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!            55-yd FG: good 2-7,12
Oh No!              LG on both KR, PR coverage … punt block
 
DALLAS
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             The OL: RG Martin, LT Smith (both 7,6) and C Frederick (5,6) … HB McFadden: LG on #11 ER-Wrong and YAC-A … WR Butler’s 9 chances of LG or better LP-Wrong
Oh No!             Pick your poison: Romo’s high-complete/high-INT or Cassel’s low-yard/low-INT … TE Witten no longer a 6 blocker (4) or LG receiver
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!           Though low INTs, secondary ratings, catch D is very good … RLB Lee (65)
Oh No!             Maybe this D thought “turnovers” meant pastries. ‘Boys won’t be convicted of theft … Poor Run D (no fumbles, SG at #7 across the board w/0LB) …LT Hayden (0,0); both DTs are 0 … Secondary: Two 0s and a 4
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           24 chances of very deep KOs … +2/+6/+8 punt coverage …54-yd FG good 2-6, 11,12
Oh No!             LG on KR coverage
 
DETROIT
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             QB Stafford can sling it (esp. fab FP) … WR Johnson retires with max SP/LP, 2-Tmd catches … Good YAC team: an A, three Bs … LT Reiff (7,5)
Oh No!             RB fumbles: 2-7 Right … C Swanson (2,0), RT Ola (4,0)
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!             LCB Slay (6)
Oh No!             The rest of the secondary: Two 0s and a 4 vs. pass … Very Poor Pass D hopeless vs. SP (LG on #4, all complete except low INT on #9)
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!             Abdullah 99 KR … Punt coverage +1/4/5 … FG: 2-10 through 49 yds, 2-6-11,12 up to 59 yds
Oh No!               Missed XP 11-12
 
GREEN BAY
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             Good-not-great Rodgers’ low INTs and MR of at least +10 through #7 … WR Jones’ 13 LG or better on LP-Wrong … LG Sitton (7,6)
Oh No!             Rodgers on the run: pressure outside (both OT = 3 pass block) and inside (C = 2)… WR Cobb’s disappointing season shows (Rodgers really missed Jordy Nelson)
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!            Good Pass D … LB Matthews (56 with 9 pass rush ILB and OLB)
Oh No!             Average to Poor Run D’s SG-heavy cards … NT Raji (1, 0) on DL with 0, 1, 4 pass rushers
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!             +4 penalty differential … Perfect XP … +1/2/3 punt coverage
Oh No!              +32/35/30 KO coverage … Own PR long is 16
 
MINNESOTA
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             Rushing leader Peterson’s LG Right across the card and +80 on both OT, ER Wrong … QB Bridgewater’s FP card … A 6 (C Berger), three 5s to run block for Peterson
Oh No!             Bridgewater’s LP card (2/8 complete) … Only sub-par WR Wright has a LG receiving … RT Clemmings (2,0) worst of a bad pass block bunch
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!             LLB Barr (65), FS Smith (56), LT Joseph (6)
Oh No!              Average to Poor Pass D: 16 possible LG on LP 0Men … The rest of D ratings: Meh
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!             KR and PR TDs … +4 penalty differential … +1/2/3 punt coverage … 54-yd FG good 2-7
Oh No!               XP miss 11-12
 
NEW ORLEANS
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             QB Brees still looks elite Wrong: Completes = FP full, SP 21, LP 11 … No RB fumbles … WR Cooks max catches, good yardage SP/LP … LT Armstead (7,6) among with three pass-block 7s, four run blockers 5 or 6
Oh No!             Schizo LG Lelito: (2,6)
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!             RE Jordan (5 with 10 pass rush); newcomer LCB Breaux (5)
Oh No!              Very Poor Pass D on merit: Hopeless SP, fearful LP; LB/DB: Three 0s, three 4s… Jordan Island: on line with 1, 1, 0 pass-rushing teammates … Yards galore on Poor Run D, too
                                               
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!             PR TD … Strong P Morstead: 45 yd at #9
Oh No!              Wide left – and right: Forbath’s shaky FG 
 
NEW YORK GIANTS
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             Scariest WR Beckham: Max catches everywhere, +87, +84, +67 LP, 2-Tmd catches, YAC-B … QB Manning’s solid passing at all depths … 7,5 blockers at RG-C-LG
Oh No!              Uninspiring RBs behind 0-block TE, 0 run block at both OT
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!              Run D can force fumbles … MLB Brinkley (6 vs. run, but 0 vs. pass) … Both CBs are 5s
Oh No!             Very Poor Pass D with painful yardage (LG on #4 SP 0Men) and worse ratings: Six defenders with at least one 0 … Six of seven starting pass rushers: 3, 3, 1, 0, 0, 0
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!            Harris KR TD on #3; he has PR TD, too … 54-yd FG good 2-6
Oh No!              LG on KR coverage
 
 
PHILADELPHIA
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             LT Peters still a 7,6 rock on OL that sunk like a stone … Deep-threat TE Ertz …YAC backs: A, B, B
Oh No!             Bradford/Sanchez INTs … HB Murray neither steady nor explosive runner           
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!             FS Jenkins (66), LE Cox (6 w/9 pass rush)
Oh No!             Rest of secondary: 4s vs pass in Poor Pass D vulnerable to LGs           
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!            PR TD on #3 … +1/2/3 PR coverage
Oh No!              Blocked punt
 
ST. LOUIS
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             HB Gurley is The Man w/tough yards, explosive runs (e.g. OT Wrong: +55 on #2, +30 on #3, LG on #4, +48 on #12) … Secret weapon WR/HB Austin can explode on LP, OT, ER and with YAC-A … WR Britt: Max LP catches … Three pass- block 7s (RT, RG, LG)
Oh No!             Three run-block 0s (RG, C, LT) … QBs looking for some touch: Foles Wrong – FP miss on #7, 13 completes SP Wrong, 8 LP Wrong … Keenum better only on SP
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!             LT Donald (6) with 12(1*) pass rush on DL with three other 5s … Three 5s in secondary … Good Run D can force fumbles
Oh No!             Shed a tear for the sad fall of MLB Laurinaitis (40)
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!             PR TD, 99-yd KR … 61-yd FG good 2-6
Oh No!             Bring it back: -5 penalty differential … XP Miss on 11 … LG on PR coverage
 
SAN FRANCISCO
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             No RB fumbles … FB Miller can catch LPs, has YAC-B … WR Smith’s hands are rocks, but feet roll w/explosive yards … LT Staley (5,6)
Oh No!             Serve your QBs scrambled: C Martin (2,0), RT Pears (3,0) on OL with 3-2-2-3-5 pass block
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!            Cheers for RILB Bowman’s comeback (56) … 10 pass rushers at both OLB
Oh No!             0-2-3 pass rushers on 3-man DL in Average to Poor Pass D w/19 possible LG chances on LP 0 Men … Average to Poor Run D can’t force fumbles
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           +2/4/7 punt coverage … 54-yd FG good 2-6
Oh No!             XP Miss on 11 … Longest KR or PR is 40
 
 
SEATTLE
Offense:
Oh Yeah!            QB Wilson again a pass/run threat … No RB fumbles … HB Rawls replaces Lynch with a +69 OT, 17 chances of SG or better ER-Wrong … WR Baldwin, TE Graham give Wilson two quality deep targets (both 12/18 LP catches)           
Oh No!             RT Gilliam (2,0) worst of bad bunch; TE Graham’s 0 block doesn’t help
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!             LE Bennett (6 with 10 pass rush), MLB Wagner (66), RLB Wright (65), LCB Sherman (6), SS Chancellor (46), FS Thomas (66) – Boom! … Excellent Run D with stingy yards on rolls 6-8
Oh No!             Both DTs are 4s with 2 pass rush
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!             Lockett KR, PR TDs … 54-yd FG good 2-7
Oh No!             LG on KR, PR coverage … XP Miss on 11-12
 
 
TAMPA BAY
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             HB Martin explodes with LG on #3 Wrong both OT, ER and +84, +58, +56, +49
Good-catch, big-run-gain HB Sims complements as ideal 3rd-down back… Rookie RG Marpet (5,5) on OL with two 7s, two 5s to pass block, pair of 5 run- blocking guards
Oh No!             QB Winston’s INTs … The Bay has its own rarely sighted monster, C Hawley (7,0) … WR Jackson with drops, no LGs, YAC-E – not what we’re used to
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!             LT McCoy (5 with 10 pass rush)
Oh No!             Go Left, opposing offenses: five 0s include RE, RT, RCB … No 6s, two 5s …Poor Pass D, but one of best LP 0Men cards (15 incomplete chances)
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!             +1/2/3 punt coverage … 58-yd FG good 2-6, 12
Oh No!             Atrocious -7 penalty differential … 40-yd FG good 2-6, 12 … XP Miss on 11-12 … Longest KR return: 38
 
WASHINGTON
Offense:
Oh Yeah!             QB Cousins w/full completions FP Wrong, 21 SP Wrong … WR Jackson’s LG-  heavy card and max LP catches … TD-making TE Reed has 2-Tmd catches … LT Williams (7,6), RT Moses (7,5)
Oh No!              C LeRibeus (3,0)
 
Defense:
Oh Yeah!             Most forced fumbles in NFC … ROLB Kerrigan (45) and 12(1*)
Oh No!             Very Poor Pass D: High-catch, high-yard, low-INT. ‘Skins have it all … Leave FS home unless you like your DBs toasty (20 possible LG chances w/0Men -- worst LP card) … Mostly 4-of-a-kind D would be better for poker than SOM Football
 
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!             KR TD … +11/16/13 KR coverage
Oh No!            Longest PR: 16 … blocked punt and LG on PR coverage