Every year, off season darling teams emerge with lots of optimism around them. So why not tear them down? What are the fatal flaws in these offseason darlings? Last year – for the Titans, it was coaching, for the Buccaneers, it was defense and for the Raiders, it was a complete collapse of an offense. There is something wrong with every off season darling and it almost always leads to their demise, so let’s explore some of the problems for off season darlings this year.
Denver Broncos: Case Keenum. Listen – a lot of Broncos fans are very excited about Keenum and I am not going to take away from what he did last year, but can he repeat it? Denver is not Minnesota – the roster on offense is comprised of two aging wide receivers who have been unable to consistently produce the last 4 seasons. You could blame that on Quarterbacking but Trevor Siemian was a leauge average NFL QB his first year and then when Demaryius Thomas stopped getting open and started dropping balls he faltered. Case Keenum thrived last year behind a great offensive line with high quality receivers. The Broncos have major holes at left tackle as Menelik Watson was a turnstile last year allowing 7 sacks and at safety as well. Justin Simmons and Will Parks were average at best down the stretch last year. There is a lot of promise on this roster but if Keenum can’t stay protected and devolves to the QB he has been most of his career, this could be 2017 all over again for the Broncos.
New England Patriots: The Patriots still have a major problem on defense. Yes, they improved their defensive line but the secondary is made up of unproven, average players. Their best corner may be Duke Dawson and he is a third round rookie. The secondary is a major problem. Not to mention that their linebacking cores were one of the worst last year and they are only getting Dont’a Hightower back. Hightower’s production has declined over the past three seasons and the Patriots lack a true pass rushing linebacker. Bonus: Tom Brady is 40. Listen I’m not doubting Brady but it is fair to ask if he keeps this up at 40 for an entire season. Luckily no one else in the division is good enough to keep up with the Patriots but it would not shock me one bit if New England found themselves playing on wild card Saturday as a 3 or a 4 seed this year.
San Fransisco 49ers: Defense. Defensive line aside, the fact of the matter is the Niners core on defense is in flux. Their best linebacker Reuben Foster was good last year but is still a young inexperienced player who is a total head case off the field. The Niners best corner is Greg Mabin and they have no depth at that position. Offensive line could also be a major issue for the Niners as the only Center they have on their roster is currently Allan Knott, a rookie. Jimmy G can make up for a lot of things but not the O line and the defense – no QB can.
Chicago Bears: Mitchell Trubisky. Alright let’s praise the bears for adding 2 weapons – a new head coach and a superb defense. Ok now that we have done that lets ask, is Mitchell Trubisky actually good? The main knock on him out of college was that there just wasn’t enough tape on the guy, we have never seen Trubisky preform at a high level, even in college. I went to go watch Trubisky’s best game of the year on Game pass against the Packers in week 10 and nothing popped off the screen. At best he looked like a passable QB. The other thing people have conveniently forgotten is that the Bears offensive line was absoloutely atrocious last year and besides taking one high O lineman they really did nothing to improve it. Trubisky looked his best in the Packers game when he had time to throw and that was rarely.