2014 NFL Thrills and Chills (AFC)

2014 NFL Thrills and Chills, Part II (AFC)
By Glenn Guzzo
            Here’s a brief summary of the highlights and lowlights of Strat-O-Matic’s new football ratings:
Oh Yeah!             “See-Ya” Forsett card, the only runner with LG Right … Deep-threat receivers led by Max LP for WR Torrey Smith … Both guards (7,6); 7 pass block at RT
Oh No!             1-4 Rec&QB Fumble
Oh Yeah!          Excellent vs run … RILB Smith (65), LOLB Suggs (46) + (3*)12 pass rush … sub OLBs can bring it on pass rush: Dumervil (8*)12, McPhee 11
Oh No!            Poor vs pass, especially the possible 19+ LGs on LP 0 Men, no pass rush up front
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           KR TD … 24 deep KO chances … P Koch (50-73yds 2-6) + strong PR coverage … top FG: 2-10 at 32 yd line; 2-6,12 at 38
Oh No!             High penalty frequency for Ravens, foes
Oh Yeah!           Probably QB Orton’s best card … LT Glenn (7,5)
Oh No!             RB fumbles (2-7 Right) … 0 run block at both guards, RT
Oh Yeah!          Excellent vs pass (top INT card) / Good vs run (forces fumbles) … Eight 5s and 6s vs pass, 9 vs run … LE Mario Williams (6) and (4*)12 pass rush leads DL with three 6s, three pass rushers at 11 or better
Oh No!             Susceptible to LG with FS out of zone
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           Spiller KR TD on #4 … PR TD … superb KR, PR coverage … 2-7 FG from 41yd line
Oh No!             -3 penalty differential
Oh Yeah!           LT Whitworth (7,6) leads strong run/pass block team … HB Hill gets tough yards, breaks long runs (85, 62, 60) … HB Bernard’s FP, +89 on ER Wrong … WR Green’s max SP, LP w/11 LG Wrong chances of LG or better
Oh No!             Coaches will ask QB Dalton, “Whose side are you on?”
Oh Yeah!           FS Nelson (65)
Oh No!             Average to Poor vs run (two 0s, three 4s in front 7) … LE Dunlap (9) only pass rush better than 4 – all LBs are 0
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           Even without TDs, Pacman Jones dangerous as KR/PR … P Huber (50+ yds 2-7)
Oh No!             Only 9 deep KO chances … LG on punt coverage
Oh Yeah!           LT Thomas (7,6), LG Bitonio (7,5) … Minimum RB fumbles … TE Cameron’s LG chances or better: FP-4, SP-6, LP-9
Oh No!             C McDonald (0,0), RT Schwartz (4,0) … Passing/Receiving is a mess
Oh Yeah!           Good vs pass w/high takeways (INT+fumbles) … LOLB Kruger (5*)12 pass rush … Three 6s (Haden, Gipson, Dansby), two 5s vs pass
Oh No!             Average to poor vs run (SG on #7,8 OT, even at #7 on Linebuck w/1 LB) with 4-0-0 on DL
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!            Solid punting w/excellent coverage
Oh No!             -4 penalty differential … No kick return more than +39
Oh Yeah!           QB Manning seldom misses (completes Wrong: SP-24, LP-14) … Elite WR D. Thomas has max receptions (FP, SP, LP), WR Sanders has max FP, SP and nearly max LP … HB Anderson’s FP, Wrong running makes him valuable complement … OL has four 7 pass blockers … Both Team Pass Block, Rec&QB Fumbles are blank w/minimum RB fumbles
Oh No!             What’s to complain about?
Oh Yeah!           Excellent vs run, stingy with yards … LLB Miller (56) with (4*)12 pass rush … RE Ware (6) with 10 pass rush … twin 6s at CB
Oh No!             Average to Poor vs pass despite CBs (only blanks: SP 3 Men at #12, LP 0 Men at #11, 12) … Miller/Ware only pass rushers better than 4
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           Solid punting, placekicking
Oh No!             LG on PR coverage … high penalty rate
Oh Yeah!           LT Brown (7,6), RG Brooks (7,6), C Myers (5,6) … HB Foster’s FP, all-around running … WR Hopkins’ max LP
Oh No!             Typical inconsistent QB Fitzpatrick: Can lead a TD drive and throw it away … Only Hopkins offers receiver LGs
Oh Yeah!           Good vs run … RE Watt: (6) with (9*)12 pass rush … LCB Jackson (6)
Oh No!             Average to Poor vs pass (LGs everywhere but #12 on LP 0 Men)
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           2-6, 12 FG from 38 yd line
Oh No!             Blocked punt … Very weak kick returns
Oh Yeah!           Four pass-blocking 7s … LT Castonzo (7,5) … QB Luck’s 13 LP Wrong completes and very strong receiver corps … HB Bradshaw’s max FP, YAC-A; his best-in-set SP makes him attractive TD target … WR Hilton’s max SP, LP … Twin TE receiving threats Fleener, Allen
Oh No!             RB fumbles: 2-7, 11,12 Right … Lead HB Richardson’s 3.3 average
Oh Yeah!           Average to Good vs run; forces fumbles … RCB Davis (6), SS Adams (64)
Oh No!             Average to Poor vs pass w/few INTs, LCB 0; lots of yards vs run … no double-digit pass rushers (4-0-3 on DL)
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           P McAfee: 50+ yds 2-6 and PR coverage (+1,2,6) … 24 deep KO chances … 2-6 FG from 37 yd line
Oh No!
Oh Yeah!           QB Bortles a decent passer Wrong, and is dangerous runner (23 SG or better ER Wrong; MR of +34, +29, +21, +15, +11) … Rookie RG Linder (5 run block) … Minimum RB fumbles
Oh No!             Bortles’ disastrous INTs Right and he’s by far the team’s best runner … RT Pasztor (0,0), LT Joeckel (2,0) … 3 is best in pass block
Oh Yeah!          Good at forcing fumbles … LE Bryant (6), LT Marks (5) with (1*)12 pass rush
Oh No!             Poor vs pass w/rare INTs, three 0s and a 4 in secondary … Run D: SGs across the board at #7 w/0 LB
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           Solid placekicking, kickoffs, kick coverage … 2-6 FG from 37 yd line
Oh No!             Blocked punt … -4 penalty differential
Oh Yeah!           QB Smith’s FP, SP … HB Charles’ LG on #4 ER Wrong (with +63 on #2, +39 on #12) … Sherman tank: 7,6 FB … HB/FL Thomas’ SG-filled OT/ER Wrong
Oh No!             No receiver has a LG … Both guards 0 run block … No OL pass blocker better than 4
Oh Yeah!           Can’t get better: LOLB Houston (66) with (12*)12 pass rush … More 6s: NT Poe, RCB Smith, ROLB Hali (64), FS Abdullah (64) … Better LP w/0Men than most, especially w/FS Abdullah home
Oh No!             Average to Poor vs. run: SG on #7,8 OT w/O LB; even #7 Linebuck w/1 LB … Both ILB 0 vs run … LCB Gaines (0)
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           TDs on KR, PR … Solid punting w/excellent coverage (+2, +5, +4)
Oh No!             Only 10 deep kickoff chances
Oh Yeah!           QB Tannehill’s FP, running … HB Miller’s FP, +97 on ER Wrong, 30 chances of SG or better Wrong across his card … LT Albert (7,5)
Oh No!             LG, RT both 3,0 blockers … WR Wallace the only deep threat … No WR, TE better than YAC-C
Oh Yeah!           LE Wake (6) w/(2*)12 pass rush … LCB Grimes (6), SS Jones (56)
Oh No!             Average to Poor vs. run w/SG across the board at #7 w/0 LB … 0 at LT … LLB Wheeler (04) w/0 pass rush
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           2-6 FG from 37 yd line … +4 penalty differential
Oh No!             Blocked punt blemishes Fields’ booming punts … LG on KR coverage
Oh Yeah!           QB Brady’s perfect FP Wrong, 26 completes SP Wrong … TE Gronkowski is a beast w/max FP, SP, big plays and YAC-B … Pass block: three 7s (both tackles), four 5s … Blank Rec&QB Fumble, minimum RB fumbles … HB Vereen’s all-purpose receiving, YAC-A
Oh No!             No elite WR or RB
Oh Yeah!           Six men have at least one 6 in rating: LT Wilfork (6), LLB Hightower (66) w/9 pass rush, RLB Collins (56), LCB Revis (6), FS McCourty (66), SS Chung (46)
Oh No!             Average to Poor vs pass w/dangerous LP 0Men … MLB Ayers (04) after unrated Mayo lost for year
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           PR TD … Good kick coverage … FG 2-10 from 32 yd line
Oh No!             Blocked punt, -3 penalty differential
Oh Yeah!           C Mangold (7,6) … HB Ivory gets tough yards, has +71 OT Wrong
Oh No!             LG Aboushi (0,4), RG Colon (5,0) … Geno is a coward: QB Smith has more MR than SP+LP completes Wrong, more INT than LP completes Right … WR Decker the only receiver worth double-coverage
Oh Yeah!           All 6s on the DL of this 3-4 D
Oh No!             Very Poor vs pass – No kidding! There are NO blanks for SP 3 Men, few INTs, 0s at both CB
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           2-6 FG from 38 yd line … Good kick coverage
Oh No!             Blocked punt … Only 11 deep KO chances
Oh Yeah!           LT Penn (7,5) one of four starters w/7 pass block … HB Murray’s +90 ER Wrong
Oh No!             2-7 RB Fumbles Right … 1-4 Rec&QB Fumble … What a lead HB w/3.4 average looks like: McFadden’s ER Wrong has 0, 0, -1, +1, +1, +2, +2
Oh Yeah!           Rookie LLB Mack’s promising debut (46) w/team-best 7 pass rush
Oh No!             Very Poor vs pass / Average to Poor vs run … Raider D plays honest = unlikely pass thefts, forced fumbles … Invisible Man MLB Burris: (00) w/0 pass rush … Nothing better than 4 in coverage, nothing better than 7 pass rush
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           Big Foot Janikowski: 2-10 FG from 32 yd line, 2-6 from 40 … 23 deep kickoff chances
Oh No!             Can’t KO deep enough for this coverage: +52, +50, +36 … LG on PR
Oh Yeah!           QB Roethlisberger completes Wrong: FP-25, SP-22, LP-12 w/minimum INTs … Man crushes for HB Bell’s running (tough yards, LG and +81 OT Wrong, LG and +53 ER Wrong) and receiving (max FP, YAC-A, 18 catch chances SP Wrong) … WR Brown’s max FP, SP … WR Bryant’s LG or better chances Wrong: FP-6, SP-9, LP-16 (with +94, +80 in LP) … C Pouncey (7,6), LT Beachum (7,5)
Oh No!             Worst about this elite offense are the two 4,4 guards (picky, picky)
Oh Yeah!           Good vs run w/help from SS Polamalu (46), RILB Timmons (5,6)
Oh No!             Choose your poison with this Very Poor D vs pass: LG on #4 SP 3Men, LG-filled LP 0Men, w/few INTs … RCB McCain (0)
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           PR TD … Nice PR coverage (+7, +8, +3) … 2-10 FG from 32 yd line
Oh No!             Blocked punt … LG on KR coverage
Oh Yeah!          QB Rivers’ completes Wrong: FP-25, SP-22, LP-13 … LT Dunlap (7,5) … Blank                         Rec&QB Fumble … Minimum RB fumbles … TE Gates’ max FP, SP and 15 catch chances LP Wrong … HBs Oliver, D. Brown’s max FP w/YAC-A,B
Oh No!             0 run block at TE, RG, C, LG … Cliff drop for WR Allen, TE Green’s yards
Oh Yeah!           FS Weddle (66)
Oh No!             Poor vs pass / Average to Poor vs run … Few INTs; no pass rush higher than 7; 0 coverage at RILB, RCB, SS … SG on #7,8 OT w/0 LB, even on #7 Linebuck w/1 LB
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           +4 penalty differential … 2-6 FG from 37 yd line
Oh No!             Blocked punt … Worst KO team: NO -8/-9 kicks
Oh Yeah!           TE Walker: 6 block and consistent catch threat with +68, +61, LG in LP Wrong … Minimum RB fumbles … Variety of LP receiving threats
Oh No!             None of 3 QBs have winning cards … RT Oher (3,0) … No YAC higher than C
Oh Yeah!           Best to offer is LOLB Morgan (54) w/10 pass rush and the 5s at LE, RE
Oh No!             Poor vs run and pass … No forced fumbles, few INTs … SG on #7,8 OT w/0 LB, even on #7 Linebuck w/1 LB … Two 0s, two 4s in secondary coverage
Special Teams:
Oh Yeah!           PR coverage (+9, +5, +3)
Oh No!             Yikes: -6 penalty differential … Blocked punt … KO coverage (+37, +31, LG)