NFL Roundtable; April 21st Edition!

1. Will the Falcons repeat in the NFC South Champs?Matt Ryan

David: So far they have lost C Todd McClure, RB Michael Turner, DE John Abraham and CB Dunta Robinson, plus some bits that don’t matter. The Saints added a top-level coach, the Bucs improved, and the Panthers still need an OC.

So what does that mean? A corner means more in the NFC South than in any other division, but Abraham hurts, not only in effort, but in leadership, the Falcons have the worst front seven in the NFC South, and I’m not sure its close. Unless they get REALLY lucky in the draft, or find some free agents I don’t see, they are looking at third place defense, but could be the best offense. I’ll give them a solid chance to repeat, but no.

Archie: Even though Sean Payton is back in New Orleans. And even though Atlanta was middle of the pack in Defense last season. They are STILL the cream of the crop in that division. It is still their crown until New Orleans or one of the others take it from them, and I don’t see that happening this coming season.

DJ: No. The Falcons lost a lot as free agents walked out the Falcons front door, especially Turner. Turner ran for 800 yards, nearly 60% of Atlanta’s rushing offense. Turner is 31 (the age where most RB’s start to decline) but they replaced him with Steven Jackson. He is 29 and always fighting nagging injuries. Besides, Atlanta threw the ball 615 times last year and ran just 378 times. Both teams throw the ball a lot and should try and run more.

The Saints return a very good coach and Brees will thrive with Payton calling the shots again. I like NO to win the NFC South.

2. Is the Packers window closing?

David: Yes. Sorry Dan, but Rodgers is going to suck up a HUGE cap number, they are getting old, and lets be honest, the draft has been more miss than hit lately. Hate the Favre all you want, but he pulled Free Agents in, and the Pizza Hut man just hasn’t, yet.

Archie. With any team that seems to be aging on the outside, you have to look at the real age of the club. Last year Green Bay’s team was middle of the pack in average age per player at 27.1 years of age. That is not too bad, again they are middle of the pack. Some might choose to use Atlanta’s league worst team age against them in the first topic. So the window on the Packers is still wide open for at least three more seasons IF and only IF Rodgers stays healthy.

DJ: No. The Packers signed Rodgers and Matthews to big deals, but they are still the class of the NFC North. Like Archie pointed out, they aren’t as old as David thinks they are. Not to mention, Woodson is gone so they actually got younger. As long as they have their WR’s and Rodgers, they’ll be a threat.

3. Has the Saints’ window closed?no-saints-helmet

David: No. But its close. Brees could make Archie and I 1000 yards wideouts, but the problem is, 20 years ago Archie and I might be able to start for that defense. If they swapped defenses with LSU, they might be contenders, but the problem is, there are 29 teams pulling talent off that squad, and most of the good ones will be gone before they pick. The GM has failed them, and they may only have 2 years at most to keep trying.

Archie: Afraid I’m gonna have to agree with David on this one. Brees has lost a huge supporting cast in players that fled the ship like rats. Even with the return of Payton at the helm,  I’m not sure they have enough horses left in the corral to muster up a SB run.

DJ: No. Payton is back and they have a couple years left as a serious threat in the NFC.

4. Who is the biggest threat to San Fran?

David: Panthers, of course. Plus the Hawks,  Giants, Packers, Redskins and the Saints. Any team that when down 4 and 2 minutes left, looks at the QB and thinks 100%, this guy is going to make this drive. I’m not saying the Panthers and Skins are threats to win it all, but to win one game at the ‘Stick?

Archie: Not sure if this question pertains to the long haul and the SB NFC representative or just for a one game mano y mano. Going with the first, I would look first to that team with the 12th man sitting up north of the Stick. I have a feeling that the Niners are NOT going to walk away with the west this year. I have a very good feeling that Russell Wilson and company have sights on taking that crown in their game plans. So, for the long haul, I will choose the Seahawks as the number one team the Niners have to look out for this coming season.

DJ: Seattle is a serious threat after bringing in Percy Harvin for the offense and DE Cliff Avril to an already potent defense.

The Packers also aren’t done as long as they have Aaron Rodgers along with James Jones (64 catches, 14 TD’s), Jordy Nelson (49 catches, 15. 2ypc and 7 TD’s) and Randall Cobb (team high 80 receptions).

The 49ers added some very nice free agents, but they’ll be seriously tested. It’s tough to make it back to the Super Bowl.

5. If you were picking 20th in the NFL Draft, and the Cowboys offered you Romo for a 1 and 3, and you needed a QB- (Say your starting QB just blew his leg off at the knee and NEVER was coming back.) Do you take the deal? Lets say Geno is off the board.Tony Romo

David: Hells no. I know if Cam Newton was a goner, Carolina would be looking at challenging the Raiders for the number 1 pick, but Steve Smith isn’t putting up with Romo. I’ll take my chances with Barkley or someone else in round 2.

Archie: Again we are back to what makes Romo good or bad. And again, if you look at stats alone, (Darren) he would be the starter on 28 of the 32 teams. The things that is not in his favor NOW in this point of his career is Age, (32) and his lack of appearances and success in the playoffs. IF I am drafting below the 22 mark and the majority of QB talent has disappeared from the boards then I take the deal. IF I have a shot at Barkley, Smith or Tyler Wilson, I take my chances with the draft.

DJ: Hell yes. This draft is notoriously weak. Romo’s a top 10 QB, despite all the criticism he receives. No player is perfect, but Romo is hardly washed up. He has low mileage on him as he was a backup for the first 2.5 seasons of his career. With just 93 starts (the equivalent of about 6 seasons) he has plenty left in the gas tank.

I realize this is a fantasy situation, but Chicago is picking 20th. Maybe, the Bears should just swap QB’s?

Barkley, Smith or Wilson aren’t a better option than Romo. Not by a long shot.

Challenge the Raiders for the #1 pick? Pleeeeeease. The Raiders may not be that great, but they’ll go 6-10 or 7-9. Reggie McKenzie has made some shrewd free agent pickups and cleared a lot of cap space. Matt Flynn was a good pickup and gives them a better chance to compete than Terrelle Pryor.

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  1. Falcons let some free agents go but they also have 11 draft picks in the draft and an aggressive GM. Repeating will be tough because the NFC South is loaded but I like their chances.

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