Discussion in 'Hard Knocks' started by Zikry, Jul 29, 2014.
Top rookies to look out for:
Greg Robinson LG: 83 OVR with the 3rd highest RBK for LGs in the game. Pencil him in as the anchor of that line for the next decade.
Aaron Donald DT: Add the fastest DT in madden to an already stacked DL? Cards may need to start Logan Thomas because QBs will be running for their life vs the Rams. Donald won't put up gaudy stats with how many mouths this team has to feed, but he will step right into a starting roll and contribute next to 3 other emerging stars.
Deone Bucannon S: A safety known for his hard hitting, sounds like a NFC West pick all right. He will try and fill into an already stacked Cardinals young secondary, and will look to slow down the power running attacks of the 9ers/Seahawks. No doubt this pick was made to combat the other teams in the division. Bucannon should be among the team leaders in tackles.
Paul Richardson WR : 6'0 and runs a 4.33 40 yard dash. RW isn't shy about throwing the deep ball and Richardson should be able to contribute right away with his straight line speed. I will go out on a limb and predict him to be the number 2 WR behind Percy Harvin. I expect 700 yards, 5 TDs, and a few big time plays out of Richardson..
Carlos Hyde RB: There are already rumblings out of SF that Hyde could be the workhorse out of a stacked backfield, with other RBs being dangled on the trade market. As long as Hyde can stay healthy mark him down for a thousand yard rookie campaign.
1. Seattle Seahawks - tough to start the division anywhere else other than the Pacific North-West. Danthraxxx takes over a Superbowl winning team that has superstars everywhere you look. On offense the Seahawks will have Russell Wilson and his $600k contract commanding the team, and based off of his overall, I doubt there will be a bigger bargain in the entire league than with RW. The team will also have a healthy Percy Harvin along with rookie Paul Robinson who can both beat opposing secondaries with their scary down-the-field speed. Oh yea, did I forgot to mention the Candy Man in the backfield Marshawn Lynch. Opposing linebackers will have to be sound with their tackling or else they will be added to the long "taste my rainbow" list of opponents left on their butts on the turf as Lynch breaks away from their tackle. Wait...I haven't even talked about the defense yet? Well, what more can I say about the team that hasn't already been said by the national media. With arguably the best secondary in the game, and with top 5 rated players in their position like Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman along with Bobby Wagner manning the middle at the MLB spot, I pity the fool who tries to go air-raid against these guys. With a stacked roster and being the defending champs, the Seahawks will come in at #1 in the division until they are knocked off their perch. Prediction: Percy Harvin does not play all 16 games first season
2. San Francisco 49ers - Many say that the real SuperBowl was won in Seattle when Sherman was able to deny Michael 'average' Crabtree from making a play for the ball in the dying seconds of the NFC Championship game. These two teams have quite a rivalry going and its the 49ers, who have been to three straight NFC Championship games, who find themselves at #2 on this list. Any defensive minded coach would have wet dreams just thinking about what they could do with the linebackers on this team. Coming in as the top TWO at their position, both Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman will make the middle of the field their own "no fly zone" as they will look to crush any running backs, wide receivers or tight ends who think they can make a play in the middle of the field. Add in Aldon Smith to the equation and its tough to find better linebackers on any team in the league. With Kaepernick signing a new deal and adding a new toy to the offense in Stevie Johnson to go along with Anquain Boldin, Crabtree and Vernon Davis, and with Carlos Hyde coming in to help out Frank Gore in the backfield, it's tough to find any weaknesses on this team. It will be SuperBowl or bust again this season for the 9ers and look for xxkimura to try and lead them to the Promised Land. Prediction: Carlos Hyde is named the starter for the team by week 9.
3. Arizona Cardinals - Whenever you can bring in a guy like Antonio Cromartie to be your #2 corner, you are doing something right. With Cromartie opposite of newly-paid Patrick Peterson the Cardinals boast one of the league's best CB-duo. Add in the Honey Badger at safety and sprinkle in some Daryl Washington and Darnell Dockett and its easy to see why this defense consistently ranked in the top 10 last season. The team was left disappointed at missing the playoffs with their 10-6 record, but in order to improve they must start winning their division games. The team has only 3 wins in division in the past 2 seasons (12 games) and that just won't cut it in this cut-throat division. Whether Carson Palmer still has something left in the tank remains to be seen, but with Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald he has the weapons to get it done. Look for RB Andre Ellington to be the key player for the team as smlVICTORIES53 will be dangerous if they can get their running game going. Prediction: Michael Floyd will beat out Larry Flitzgerald in WR stats this season.
4. St. Louis Rams - Coming in last for this preview are the Rams. Off a 7-9 season in which Bradford missed 10 games, the Rams were able to address some of their weaknesses in the offseason as they look to finally make a push and have a winning season for the first time since 2003. Bringing in Greg Robinson and Aaron Donald continues with the persona that the team is trying to build in getting tougher, and with Donald in specific the team now boasts 4 1st round picks on their defensive line as Donald will join Michael Brockers in trying to create a push in the middle for Chris Long and Robert Quinn to capitalize on from the outside. Alec Ogletree and James Laurinaitis round up a pretty solid front 7 for the team, with Ray Ray Armstrong and Jo-Lunn Dubar competing for that final linebacker spot. The question mark for the team will be the secondary with Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson manning the top two corner spots both players must improve on their showing from last season. The offense will be led by Sam Bradford who was given a few new weapons to play with in WR Kenny Britt and RB Tre Mason. Look for Mason and Zac Stacy to share the carries in the first season while Kenny Britt will be slotted in as the #1 with the ex-Titan having a lot to prove in this "show-me" year for him. Chris Givens, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Brian Quick round up a young WR group who all have a lot to prove coming into their 2nd or 3rd years into the league. Prediction: Rams lead the league in sacks this year.
I love those old Ram uniforms , might bust out those 80's jerseys of my own too. I think this division is going to be brutal and we might beat up on each other a good bit.
I expect a clump of 6-9 win teams, with the division coming down to week 17
Who will lead the NFC West in sacks? Smart money has to be on these 2 superstars.
Couple guys further north might have a thing or two to say about that
Cards have named Andre Ellington their starter at HB.
Trade block rumors:
MLB Daryl Washington was rumored to be available for trade but the cards front office has decided otherwise.
QB Carson Palmer has been put up for trade.
Shake up in the Bay
Niners have traded Michael Crabtree and rookie safety Jimmie Ward to the Oakland Raiders for Denaruis Moore and DJ Hayden.
In a interview with CSN Moore said he is excited to join a team with a winning tradition and prove he is a elite WR in this league. The front office believes Moore adds a missing eliminate to the offense with his ability to stretch the field. Crabtree was great for this orginization, but with his lack of interest in signing as a FA we thought it was in our best interest to move on and get great value back for him.
DJ will look to strengthen the corner back position that is considered the weak spot of the SF roster.
Rams bring in TWO new Wide Receivers to help struggling group
St. Louis, Missouri
After a close week 1 loss to the Vikings the Rams decided that it was time to address their biggest need; their wide receivers. Out went their future picks (3rd and 6th rounds) and in came two players who have already claimed the top 2 spots at WR. Reggie Wayne at 35 years old is seen as a one year rental, but his attributes were too good for the price he was being shopped for so the Rams sent out their 6th round pick to acquire the man who had previously spent his entire career with the Colts. The trade for Jarrett Boykin was one that fit both teams well. The Packers were looking to get their rookie WR in at the slot position, and with Randall Cobb and Nelson locking down the top two positions, Boykin was seen as expendable for the cheese heads from Green Bay. The Rams were looking to get a WR who still had youth on his side but who was better than what the team currently had to offer, so the trade for a 3rd round pick in next year's draft was one that was completed without a fuss. Now with Reggie Wayne and Jarrett Boykin the team hopes that they have the weapons in the passing game to compliment the run-first style the team is trying to implement.
Both WRs have already found the endzone in two games with the Rams so far. Boykin was able to score in the blowout loss to the Buccs in Tampa, while Reggie Wayne got his touchdown, and the go-ahead score, in the recent home game against the Cowboys.
5 weeks in the 49ers are 4-1, lets recognize some of the top performers who helped them get there:
Aldui-on Smith - The pass rush specialist.
8 TFL 5 QB Sacks 1 FF.
A offseason trade acquisition DJ Hayden has lead the niners secondary.
3 INT 3 PD 2 defensive TDs
p52 - The run stopping play maker.
38 tackles 6 TFL 1FF 1 Defensive TD
Carlos HydeYoKids - Him and Gore have both had exactly 56 carries each
299 Uard 5.3 YPC 2 TD 62 yards after 1st hit
New starting QB for the Rams moving forward
The niners have traded their 2015 3rd round pick to the Bengals for defensive linemen Margus Hunt. Hunt has always been a madden man crush for GM Kimura, and he will fit nicely at DT in the niners 4-3 scheme.
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