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    • nitey

      Participant
      Post count: 1049

      Good morning.The off season is mostly in the bag so we pretty much know the personnel that each of the teams are going to war with in September, the question is, did we do enough and how did the other's fare?I spent some time this morning looking over the forum boards from the Falcon's, Saint's and Panthers and generally here is what I think they think of themselves and us:Falcon fans: Mostly seem to think last season was an aberration and feel that they have done enough on the offensive line with the return of Jones to be a pretty unstoppable offensive force in the fall. Most seem to think that the Saints are the only real competition in the division and see Carolina above us in terms of strength, but mostly feel that the Panthers and the Bucs will be fighting it out for the basement. Some fans are concerned about their defensive line and the fact that they have a short secondary while the rest of the division has gotten taller at the wide receiver position. General consensus is that McCown is crap, too many rookies on offense but acknowledge that the defense will probably be good. Atlanta fans feel they are probably a 11-13 win team and pretty much count on sweeping Carolina and us while splitting with New Orleans. There is even a thread talking about how Ryan is superior to Brees.Link: http://boards.atlantafalcons.com/forum/45-talk-about-the-falcons/Predicition thread: http://boards.atlantafalcons.com/topic/4004981-2014-forecast/Carolina fans: There is some concern among the fans, but generally they are confident that they can once again win the division. The Carolina fans generally think Atlanta is in the biggest trouble in the division and feel that they (and us) will be fighting it out for last place. The fans that seem be worried are those that are pointing out that the offensive line still hasn't been addressed and that they have a weakness in the secondary but others point out that the secondary was a perceived weakness last season and in the end, the guys that they had played great ball. They all feel that they have the best defense in the division but generally concede the best offense to the Saints. Like the Falcon's, they think the division will come down to them and the Saints. Link: http://www.carolinahuddle.com/boards/forum/7-carolina-panthers/Predition thread: http://www.scribd.com/doc/225521413/2014-PredictionsSaints fans: Saint fans are a very confident lot and appear to think their team is pretty much a playoff shoo-in. Interesting to read the thread on Mike Evans. Basically they see the Falcon's apparently like the Panthers do, but seem to have a bit more respect for the Bucs in general. I don't see anything that indicates that they feel any team in the south is an actual challenge to them, but I do see more comments about the Bucs than the other two division teams. Like the other teams in the division, they feel they have the best offense and generally think that they have the best defense as well. Not too much worry about anything that I can notice. Basically they see themselves as #1 and it doesn't make any difference where the other teams end up at.Link: http://saintsreport.com/forums/f2/Predition thread: http://saintsreport.com/forums/f2/2014-season-predictions-324858/So what to people here think? Generally, it seems to me, most of us do feel that the Saints are the top team this year and opinions are split on Carolina and Atlanta. I don't think any of the teams in the division are going to basically sweep anyone else, even the Saints. Best in-division record I think will be 4-2 and worse will probably be 2-4. I personally don't think the Falcons or the Panthers are any better than us as both teams seem to have as many holes in them as we potentially do. I also don't feel that the Saints are as far above the other teams in the division as they seem to think, but also feel that if a team is going 12-4 or 13-3 in the division, they are the team I'd choose. I'm also of the opinion that McCown will be basically steady in the way Brad Johnson was steady. I'm encouraged because the team coaching staff is at worse NFL competent and at best is excellent which is 100% better than I felt about last season's staff. What are some other posters thoughts?

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1784

      I think we can play with them. We just need the bounces to go our way.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2847

          Understandable that after several years of mediocrity, despite an on-paper great draft and FA period, we are under the NFL radar until our new guys actually DO something as Bucs. It's all "potential" until the real bullets start to fly...

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 6677

      4th place.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 3316

      Until we actually win games consistently?  We’re at the bottom.  I like what is going on with the Bucs but we have questions all around.Cautiously optimistic.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 4274

      Saints: They have the players and scheme on both sides of the ball but I don’t think they are as immortal as their fans believe.Carolina: They are probably the team with the most upside and why they can surprise with a division win again.Atlanta: Fixing their lines makes them more competitive but they really don't have much to stand out in terms of being a top tier offense or defense.  Basically I don't see them being a better offense than the Saints or defensively compared to the Saints and Panthers.Bucs: Big wildcard as the Bucs on paper have the potential to be the top tier defense which means the Bucs offense just needs to be NFL average to compete for divisional title.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 4755

      Offensively we are a completely new football team. New no.2 WR.New no.3 WR. New TE.New no.2 TE.New LT.New C.New RG.New QB.New RB. That is going to translate to 6 new starters at least. On top of that Doug Martin is getting healthy. If you are looking at last years stats and this years schedule you arent going to figure this out. This is a brand new offense. The only pieces remaining frim last year Jackson, Martin, Dotson, Wright are for the most part the best players from last year except for Martin who may be replaced before long. Every other position was arguably upgraded majorly. Even Tim Wright who stood out ladt year may not get many opportunities this year. The scheme is the wild card. Nobody in the world knows if it is going to be great or bollocks. But if you look at the skill positions we are absolutely loaded. With a fairly effective scheme we should field a good enough to win offense this year.Defensively we made a few moves. The big moves were obviously signing Michael Johnson and Verner. Also Major Wright, Jenkins, McDonald, Moore. We upgraded a few key spots on defense in free agency. The biggest shocker was no defense in the draft. Great strategy. But why beat around the bush, lets face it we have great defensive coaches. Leslie Frasier is a phenomenal DC. We have the system and the coaches. There is no reason why we cant compete for this division title but we need to come out firing on all cylinders in order to keep up with Nawlins. The way I see the division.NOTBATLCAR

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2847

          Atlanta w/o Gonzalez is greatly weakened on 3rd down. Their talent at RB is very young, even younger than the Bucs. Bigger questions than us on both lines. I can’t see them getting out of 4th place.     Tampa Bay depends on how quickly our new members adapt to new Bucs schemes. Over the next couple years, I think we pass Carolina for 2nd in the division, but likely a bit short this year. So Bucs 3rd place, long shot for 2nd.    Carolina will hold on for 2nd this year, but probably lose it to the Bucs next year. We've added major talent this year, from GM on down to playmakers all round. Carolina 2nd place.    Saints have been good, and added some solid vets on D and on O to more than make up for FA losses. Unless Brees goes down, they should easily take the division crown.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1385

      I think the article below sums up my thoughts about the Panthers. I’m not positive that the Panthers were as good last season as they appeared. The year we went 10-6 with Morris was kind of like that, everything seemed to go our way and it seemed we were better than we were. Carolina still has a good defense, but they have more questions there that either the Saints or we do IMO. And they have big questions on offense. As much as everyone talks about their receiver issues, their offensive line issues are bigger. I think Carolina will have a tough year.Link: http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Will-the-Panthers-take-a-step-back.htmlI agree with your point about Gonzalez, they are going to miss his leadership and his play on 3rd down. Atlanta did shore up their offensive line with Matthews and Asamoah, so I expect that offensively they will be tough. However, on defense, they are switching to a 3-4 and might have issues with their shorter corners in a division with a lot of tall receivers and they still are mostly 'potential' on the defensive line. All in all, I think Atlanta will be better than last season, just not sure how much.Looking at the Saints, I honestly see little to criticize. If I had to pick something, it might possibly be depth, mostly in the offensive line which isn't real strong after last seasons defections. However, you can't be strong everywhere in the NFL and with their excellent coaching staff, I think they have to be considered the toughest team in the division. As far as us, Goldson has a point. We've potentially improved on both sides of the ball. We all know that Revis wasn't at a 100% last season and I think Verner can play close to his level. What Verner isn't going to do is automatically force quarterbacks to throw away from him like Revis did. However, that should help out Banks on the other side. I like the player depth that was brought in and if we DO get hit by major injuries I think we have 2nd team players that can play pretty well and keep us competitive all season. I think the key for us will be how quickly everything comes together and whom ultimately ends up injured. I think we can challenge the Saints, but not sure we can win the division. One thing I do know, is that the division is going to have a lot harder time with us this season than it did last year. So my prediciton is the same as Goldson, based upon seeing nothing yet and just looking at player depth. NO TB/ATLCAR

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2847

          Newton struggled in the playoffs, so the Panther doom-sayers here could be right. If our young guys come together quickly, we may have a real good shot at 2nd place this year. With serious Captain’s on both sides of the football, we just might pull it off…

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 5572

      TBH, I see us at about 6-10. Maybe 8-8 if injuries are kind and some things go our way. 3-13 at worst. I think we don’t lose the division, but the playoffs aren’t even a consideration this year.NOCARTBATL

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1507

      If Nicks plays and one of our trash heap players at right guard can play even at a mediocre level, we could be very good this year.Jackson, Evans, Wright, and ASJ are going to be an absolute nightmare to defend.

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    • gobucs123

      Participant
      Post count: 569

      If Nicks plays and one of our trash heap players at right guard can play even at a mediocre level, we could be very good this year.Jackson, Evans, Wright, and ASJ are going to be an absolute nightmare to defend.

      Meredith is the king of mediocre.

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    • bigbucsfan

      Participant
      Post count: 82

      I think the Bucs have a chance this year if the other teams sustain some major injuries and the Bucs do not.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 5954

      I think NO is a heavy favorite.  They look like a playoff team to me.  I think the loss of Sproles hurts them more then most are letting on.  Loved the Cooks pick, but his gain does not make up for Darren’s loss in 2014.  Still, it would take significant injuries for that team not to win 10 games.  You can put the other three in a hat.  My Buc’s mendoza line is 8-8 for 2014.  I’m good with that and it would be a perfectly acceptable record to start the Smith era considering what he walked in to.  I could see this team also winning 10 games and being the other South representative in the playoffs.  If we stay decently healthy.  I would say the same thing about the other 2 teams in our division.  I guess I would put Atlanta ahead of us and the Panthers.  Not big, but they are unfortunately a quality franchise right now and made some more good moves in the offseason imo.  They have a massive head start on us in the successful management department.  I’m optimistic ours is starting.  Ownership spent $ and allowed Lovie and his guys to remake the roster tremendously.  If we put up a 6-10 without crushing injuries my optimism will take a hit.  I think the Panthers have the best chance end up a 6-10 team next season.  I think the South will be significantly improved overall.  I will be surprised if any of the South teams win less then 6 games even though 2 missed that mark in 2013.  I like Cam more then most here probably and they have a very solid defense, but more glaring holes offensively then the others.  I am also not yet a Ron Rivera believer.  NO>>>>ATL>TB>CAR I guess. 

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 8983

      As of right now, I see the division like this.1. Saints.Offensively a dynamic team. They will always be that way with brees. However, defensively, when we look at the bucs offense vs. the saints defense, on paper anyways, they aren't going to keep up. Should very much be a nail biter in both games. 2. Bucs.New and improved, the bucs will need time to gel. However, there is a real chance that they improve towards the season's end. The defense should be a top ten this season if you factor lovie's system and the already talented group he was bestowed.  The question for bucs fans is, can the offense hum?3. Atlanta Has newbies, as well as oldies leaving. They may make one last push, but I believe their hayday is over. Too much confusion and major losses to consider playoffs imo.4. Carolina.Someone get these guys a wideout. Seriously, unless they are seeing something good from the ham and eggers, they're in a bind. Their running attack isn't what it once was, and cam will have to work with a amalgamated wr group. Like the bucs, they may have a good defense to stand on. They however, have much bigger question marks on offense.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1128

      I see it being a even year. All four teams finish 8-8.. lol

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    • bigbucsfan

      Participant
      Post count: 82

      Prior to 2009, I would pick the Bucs to win the South almost every year.  However, starting in 2009, I have been predicting the Bucs will finish last in the NFC South.  I’ve been right almost every time.    I am picking them to come in 2nd this year.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2445

      TBH, I see us at about 6-10. Maybe 8-8 if injuries are kind and some things go our way. 3-13 at worst. I think we don't lose the division, but the playoffs aren't even a consideration this year.NOCARTBATL

      6-10 would be a failure in my opinion. We have a completely new team with respected veteran coaches and talent throughout the roster now. As bad as the roster and coaching was last year, they could have easily gone 6-10 if a single play went a different way in a couple of games. 8 wins is what I expect.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 6677

      Tedford isn’t a nfl veteran coach.  We have no idea if his system and play calling is going to pan out.  I have my doubts.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 1385

      Tedford isn't a nfl veteran coach.  We have no idea if his system and play calling is going to pan out.  I have my doubts.

      In fairness, some doubted whether's Kelly's offense would work last season and it did just fine. I'm honestly not worried about Tedford's offense, he's had enough college coaching experience and put too much talent into the NFL, to not be successful. Our offense won't be #1, but it's not going to be #32 again. Remember, two years ago we were a top 10 offense in Sullivan's system when Doug was healthy and the line played well and that was Sully's first year as well. I think we have better talent in most places this year and have a ton of depth at running back. I see no reason why these players can't be a middle of the pack offense this year. JMHO.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 3027

      We were 4th out of 4 last year. We’ve added some pieces but pieces with an unknown quantity to them so we’re 4th until proven otherwise.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 4140

      Until we see something I am going with no better than .500.Imo our new qnd improved dline must produce...  key to success.Oline is a huge ? ...  not confident yet by any stretch.Our division is going to be very entertaining.  NO on paper is the one to beat.I see ATL, CAR and the Bucs all wildcards with no clear advantage up front.Talent wise I see(in order)Defense: CAR, TB, NO, ATLOffense: NO and then everyone else.Coaching: NO, TB, CAR, ATL...  Coaching is going to make one of three of the 'others' a contender.In Lovie I trust.Cautiously Optimistic.  Why else even watch?

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2775

      Will be able to make a better prognostication after the first three games.  I realize that’s a given but coaching is more important in the NFL than it is in any other sport.  I need to see how Tedford fares. 

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 2603

      No team has won back to back division titles in the NFC South so I highly doubt Carolina does it. They could be a wild card though.

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