Ranking the NFL divisions


The NFL shield painted on a field

Here’s how I rank each of the eight NFL divisions heading into the 2017 season:

1. AFC West. 1. Oakland Raiders. 2. Kansas City Chiefs. 3 . Denver Broncos. 4. Los Angeles Chargers.

Analysis: Three of the four teams — the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos — will make the playoffs. And the fourth team — the Chargers — will be tough. They underachieved last season because Philip Rivers’ weapons were injured.

2. NFC South. 1. Atlanta Falcons. 2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 3. New Orleans Saints. 4. Carolina Panthers.

Analysis: The Falcons lost assistant coaches, but still have a playoff-caliber roster. The Buccaneers improved this offseason with the addition of DeSean Jackson. And the Saints and Panthers should be around .500.

3. NFC East. 1. New York Giants. 2. Dallas Cowboys. 3. Philadelphia Eagles. 4. Washington Redskins.

Analysis: The Cowboys and Redskins both got worse this offseason, but each team in this division will be competitive.

4. NFC North. 1. Green Bay Packers. 2. Detroit Lions. 3. Minnesota Vikings. 4. Chicago Bears.

Analysis: The Packers are the best team in the NFC. The rest of the teams in this division could finish the season under .500.

5. AFC North. 1. Pittsburgh Steelers. 2. Cincinnati Bengals. 3. Baltimore Ravens. 4. Cleveland Browns.

Analysis: The Steelers have issues on defense and Ben Roethlisberger almost certainly will miss a few games due to injury, but the Steelers will win the division. The Bengals should rebound after a sub-par season in 2016. And the Ravens and Browns are non-factors.

6. AFC East. 1. New England Patriots. 2. Miami Dolphins. 3. Buffalo Bills. 4. New York Jets.

Analysis: The Patriots still are the best team in the NFL. The Dolphins will be lucky to win eight games. The Bills have no chance to make the playoffs. And the Jets are tanking for the first pick in next year’s draft.

7. NFC West: 1. Seattle Seahawks. 2. San Francisco 49ers. 3. Arizona Cardinals. 4. Los Angeles Rams.

Analysis:  The Seahawks have the best home-field advantage in football, but they’re a declining team. The Cardinals won seven games last season and they’re worse now. And the Rams have one good player — Aaron Donald. The 49ers will be surprisingly good because they have one of the easiest schedules — four games against the Cardinals and Rams, and four games against teams from the worst division — the AFC South.

8. AFC South: 1. Tennessee Titans. 2. Indianapolis Colts. 3. Houston Texans. 4. Jacksonville Jaguars.

Analysis: The Titans have a weak defense, the Colts can’t protect Andrew Luck or run the ball, the Texans still don’t have a quarterback and the Jaguars aren’t worth mentioning. The team that wins nine games will win this division.

This article has 238 Comments

  1. Looks about the same as last year as far as the #1s are concerned. The Raiders are good as long as Carr stays healthy. The Niners may be looking at the best season they have had in a long time and if Wilson goes down we could be the division winner. As for the rest who really cares. Of course if you are a fantasy football freak it is all relevant. Hopes and dreams come easy.

  2. Grant

    I would ‘mildly’ disagree on the NFC North…I’d pick Minnesota, Detroit, Green Bay, and Chicago…I feel that Green Bay is going to suffer some injuries (they’re overdue) , and Minnesota has been hiding in the weeds…Detroit is for real….

    1. OR,
      Injuries can happen to any team at any time – hard to predict.
      You have to go with what you have on the roster at the moment.
      And with the 49ers, we just don’t know. They might be the surprise team this year or they may only be slightly better than last year. I see them as a 3rd in our division right now.
      But who knows?

  3. 7. NFC West …
    Yeah, Grant … the SeaChickens.. .. may have
    had the best home field advantage … but .. as
    the old saying goes …
    “All good things come to an end” .. and ..
    I’m hopin’ the Niners put a sock in the collective mouths
    of the 12th man .. and beat the Chickens at the Clink … !

    (Hey… don’t laugh !! … It could happen !)

    1. I agree the Shechickens are falling apart. A lot of me guys now. Kinda of the Niners became during the last 3 years

  4. I think I’d move the East up into the #2 spot. 9 wins for the 49ers sounds like a guy with a middle pair raising before the flop.

  5. I think Carolina will be better this year. They might not make the playoffs, but I see them being 2nd in the NFC South.

    NY ahead of Dallas is a tough call. It could happen if Dak has a sophmore slump. Which will be more embarrassing for Snyder? Finishing in last place or losing to Shanny?

    I’m sticking with my 12-4 SF prediction. Seattle still gets a wild card spot. Shanny has the Hawks number and our O will be practicing against a Seattle style D every day. The Seahawks will have to start drafting based on how to beat us instead of the other way around.

    1. 12-4?? Unless we trade for Kirk Cousins in the next week or so that ain’t happening. Our starters on D with a new scheme look better, but we are incredibly thin at many key positions in the secondary and pass rush should improve but was awful last year. And on offense we still don’t have enough playmakers. As much as I want to be an optimist…12-4?

      Have you bet in Vegas yet as the over/under is 4.5

      1. I don’t bet on things that I have no control over. I think the offense has a lot of weapons. Garcon, Juszczyk, Hyde, Kittle, Kerley, Williams, and Taylor. Hoyer is a decent QB and Shanny is the best play caller in the NFL. The OL is my only concern on offense.

        They front 7 has been vastly improved by roster and scheme. Robinson could develop into a Pro Bowler. I have my fingers crossed on our safties,

        Overall we have a much better roster and coaching staff.

        1. -Three of those “weapons” are rookies and are completely unproven- can’t count on Rookie TE/WR for anything, maybe on Williams but we’ll see.
          -Kerley is now 28 but never had more than 3 TDs in a season and set a Career High with 64 Catches
          -Juszczyk hasn’t topped 5 carries or over 45 catches.

          So other than Garcon whose 30 and a very good possession guy (probably a #2 on most teams in the league) and Hyde who seems to be awful at staying healthy you think thats good enough for 12 wins?

          And our depth on D. And not to mention the transition on both Offense and Defense which will have growing pains.

          I hope youre right, but your projection seems to be asking for everything to come up aces.

          1. Yes, my Niners win/loss predictions are always based on everything going right. I can see them winning between 8 to 12 games this season. I predict 12 because I’m optimistic.

            A pea shooter can become a bazooka in Shanny’s offense. He schemes people open. I expect Garcon to have the most receptions, Juice second most. After that, the ball will be spread around between the players I mentioned earlier.

            1. I don’t bet on things that I have no control over.

              Son, with that approach to betting you’ll either end up in jail or at the bottom of some river.

              1. Very true. I haven’t bet on a game since the 90’s, lost as much as I won. I’m still willing to bet on myself in basketball, video games, and other competitions. No lottery tickets or betting on organized sports.

              2. I am not too much of of a gambling man, having visited in Carson City,and noticing that all the locals were too smart to be frequenting the Casinos.
                However, I might take the over on the Niners season, because I think they will win at least 6.
                The defense has improved a lot with all the FA signings, and the first 3 picks were on the defensive side in the draft. While I am not sold on Saleh, he is light years better than the failed Browns DCs.
                The Niners wisely signed battle tested and battle hardened WRs, and the RB position has solid depth. Kittle may be a steal, especially if he can block. If they can utilize Juszczyk like they did with Roger Craig or Tom Rathman, maybe they can go back to the WCO roots.
                The Niners have improved with Lynch and KS. Finally, some competency. Jed is laying low, which is very smart and exactly what many fans want.
                Still think the Seahawks win the division, because they won last year, and with a healthy Earl Thomas, they might beat the Falcons or whoever is in the playoffs. Cards still have QB questions, although they had a good draft, and the Rams may be a lot better now that Fisher was let go.
                Alas, I do not see the Niners competing in the playoffs this season, but since they were 2-14, I just hope they quadruple their wins. Next season will be the soonest they can vie for a playoff spot, but that is a whole lot better than the previous trajectory.

          2. Are you sure you ar e a Niner fan. You seem to have no faith at all in Coach Shanahan.

        2. #80

          12-4…? I believe that you just pulled me off the pedistal for being so ‘niner-happy’…I was only at 10-6 ! All joking aside, I DO agree with you that we have a much better roster and coaching staff. As for the Oline, I believe that if rotated properly, we have an adequate ‘collection’ of youth and experience to develop over the next 2-3 years…Good call….

    2. The optimists are always happy until the season starts, then reality sets in and they disappear. Don’t disappear #80 you’re a good contributor.

      1. Thanks rocket. I predicted 7-9 last season. After the first Seattle loss, I predicted that we would lose out except for the Rams game. I hope my rose colored glasses don’t get broken in September again.

          1. Madden and NBA2K. I used to bet people I knew in real life or others if someone I knew vouched for them. I don’t have any of the current titles, so I can’t play online anymore. Sometimes I would bet game coins in MUT. The wiinner would put a low cost card on the auction block for 100,000 coins or whatever the bet was. The loser buys it.

            Be careful betting strangers online. There’s no guarantee that you will get paid and people cheat.

            1. Thanks #80, my sons and I enjoy the dynasty feature but we have come across our share of unsavory characters, I enjoy it but I seem to have “two left” thumbs so I may never be the fastest player but I enjoy the collecting of players and playing with the rices and Ronnie lots of the world. Some people make big coin in real life over video games!

              1. By the way my youngest son loves the NBA game and seems to know all the players because of it!

              2. So true about NBA2K. I went from knowing every teams starting 5 and a couple of bench players to knowing all 12 from every team. I get immersed when I play video games.

                My sister had never watched an NFL game, she became a fan after playing Madden on the Sega Genisis. Her son went from being a casual fan to a die hard. We would play together online, he would play the 1st half and I would take over at halftime. Usually I would have our opponent figured out by the time I took over. My nephew liked to run read options and deep passes. I would come in and run a run heavy WCO with short and intermediate passes. I’m sure we had a lot of opponents scratching their heads.

                I almost always had Lott on my MUT teams. The last 3 years I played I had Lott at SS and Ed Reed at FS. I’ve had Rice a few times, but he is always really expensive, same with Young. Young is the ultimate QB in Madden. People drool over Vick, but his accuracy is subpar.

      2. …..and .then there are the naysayers…. incidentally, did you notice that the sky is falling ?

        1. This naysayer has been right on the money the last two years. What you refer to as naysayer I call realist. I see a better future for this team under Shanahan, but it’s not going to happen in year one.

          1. Rocket

            You and I don’t agree on much….but I think that there is going to be a real rennaisance in the Niners team THIS year….it’s not that we’re so much better…it’s just that we were so much worse…and you are wrong as much as you are correct…you’re too full of yourself and your statistics….

            1. Oregon the only time you agree with anyone is if they are praising some element of the team, fondly remembering Alex Smith or dumping on Kaepernick. I’m wrong at times no question, but I’m right a lot more than I’m wrong and it’s not because I’m smarter than anybody else. It’s because I don’t let my feelings for the team dictate my opinion. There are a lot of homer fans on the site who can’t view things through a realistic lens and you lead the way in that area.

  6. Grant, If the Niners win one or both games against the Shechickens we could win the division. Just kidding I think we will be 7-9 or 9-7. But hell we are do to beat the Shechickens.

  7. I do not see more then 6 wins for the Niners. I see a lot of close games but there not winning anymore then 6 with Hoyer. Our Recievers are below average, our RBs are better and our O line is a BIG question mark. Defense will be stout. This team is a QB away from 9-10 wins. Let’s stop with the 10-12 wins that’s laughable. Let’s be realistic.

    1. Agree. The Seahawk practice against a more talented version of our defence almost every day. The Cards and Rams have been scheeming against it intensively vs the Seahawks.

      I’m not expecting Saleh to put out a carb on copy of the Seattle D, but I don’t think we will surprise them a great deal.

  8. I am sticking by my optimist ceiling of a 10 win season and a wild card berth.

    1. Geez, I’m going with 5-8 and sticking with 6. And I thought I was an optimist.

  9. NFC West seems to be the most volitile division. Palmer stays healthy, Seahawks patchwork O line seems to gel… They may have scored big drafting Pocic, moving him to right tackle. Or not.

  10. I agree with some; disagree with others. Obviously too early to predict with confidence but some teams are clearly better than others. I’d rank them like this going into TC:

    AFC West: Agree with Grant’s rankings

    NFC South: Atlanta, TB, Carolina, NO. Saints got worse pretty much everywhere and they weren’t good to begin with.

    NFC East: Giants, Eagles, Cowboys, Skins. Dallas lost it’s entire secondary and doesn’t have a great pass rush. They will fall back a bit this season.

    AFC North: Agree with Grant’s rankings.

    NFC North: Agree with Grant’s rankings

    AFC South: Texans, Titans, Colts, Jags. Texans have the best D by a wide margin and get JJ back this season. This division is going to be really good in the next couple of years and I rate it higher than Grant does right now.

    AFC East: Agree with Grant’s rankings.

    NFC West: Seattle, AZ, LA, SF. I’m torn between the Rams and 9ers for last place in the division, but I give the Rams a slight advantage due to Wade Phillips coaching that defense. They have a lot of talent and Phillips is the best there is.

    1. Rocket, hope you’re right about the Saints. I want that extra 2nd rounder to be a juicy one.

      1. You and me both Brodie. I just don’t see giving up Cook and having little pass rush and depth on the Dline leading them anywhere but the bottom of the division.

        1. Rocket, How good do you think we Thomas be with out cook on the other side?

          1. I think he’ll still have a good season Reb, but without Cook the openings will be a lot tighter. The field tends to shrink when there is no proven deep threat attracting attention.

            1. You are probably right, I am just curious with out cook and the dreaded “sophmore curse” I would be somewhat surprised if he catches over a thousand yards and 10 touch downs. Never wish I’ll on a player but I mimic Brodie to Washington ‘s desire and yours to have that 2nd round pick be “juicy”. I agree with your take they may struggle.

        1. Niners traded away pick number 67 they obtained from the Bears, and the Saints drafted Kamara RB. Niners got the Saints second round pick in 2018.

          1. Guess I forgot about that one. Sounds like Lynch really set up the 49ers with a good 2018 draft. One 1st rounder and two 2nd & 3rd rounders.

    2. Goff could be better this year. He’s got McVay and they drafted Everett, Kupp, and Josh Reynolds. He also has Gurley, who I expect to have a bounce back year. The Rams could be a really good team in a couple of years.

      1. The offense will take awhile to get going I would imagine and it all comes down to the OL. The Rams were awful in both run blocking and pass pro so unless that improves, they will continue to struggle on that side of the ball. I think they will be very good defensively though.

    3. Interesting point about the Cowboys.

      You think Tom Savage will win 9 games?

      1. A combination of Savage and Watson probably. They’ve already shown they can win the division with questionable QB play.

        1. Now they’ve got questionable’s backup and a rookie who isn’t anywhere near ready to play according to the head coach.

            1. I think the Texans pad their stats on defense because they play 6 games against the Titans, Colts and Jags.

    4. AFC North – Cincy too many weapons on offense and an imposing bully type of defense. With Marvin Lewis on the hot seat, Steelers may be in for a taste of their own medicine.

  11. I’m hoping for the Saints to stink so our 2nd round two pick will be a good one, but not counting on it.

    The NFL is taking active steps to reduce the number of underclassmen in the 2018 draft, so a higher 2nd rounder will justify the trade.

  12. 1. AFC West. Oakland Raiders. Kansas City Chiefs. Denver Broncos. Los Angeles Chargers.
    Sell: The Chiefs won the division with a weak year from their offense . The Raiders played the best they ever played, including Carr’s insanely low 1.1% INT rate and still couldn’t take it. And last year, KC was the 5th most efficient team in the NFL (in an offensive down year), the Raiders just 10th. The Raiders make ESPN plays, the Chiefs just grind you into the ground.

    2. NFC South. Atlanta Falcons. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New Orleans Saints. Carolina Panthers.
    Buy: But Falcons are going to regress record wise. But in that division, you’re practically running-away with it at 10-6.

    3. NFC East. New York Giants. Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia Eagles. Washington Redskins.
    Sell: Last year the 49ers were 25th in points-per-drive. The Giants 28th. Yes, the Giants offense is that bad. Their defense was #2 in points surrendered. In the prior five years (most recent & going back)s: 30th, 22nd, 18th, 12th, 25th. I smell a major regression coming as they played so far over their heads last year they probably all had nosebleeds from the altitude. I think the Cowboys, hate them as I do, are still the class of the division.

    4. NFC North. Green Bay Packers. Detroit Lions. Minnesota Vikings. Chicago Bears.
    Buy (but with lolz). The Packers are the best team in the NFC. Sorry, but a team that break-out of the bottom-half of the NFL defensively and had an average Margin of Victory hasn’t shown themselves to be ‘the best team in the NFC by their on-field product. They’re lucky the rest of the division is a pack of bridesmaids.

    5. AFC North. Pittsburgh Steelers. Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland Browns.
    Buy: Bengals are going nowhere under Lovie Smith. The Ravens are a .500 talent team. The Browns are still the Browns.

    6. AFC East. New England Patriots. Miami Dolphins. Buffalo Bills. New York Jets.
    Buy. And it’s obvious.

    7. NFC West: 1. Seattle Seahawks. 2. San Francisco 49ers. 3. Arizona Cardinals. 4. Los Angeles Rams.
    Buy: The Rams are, talent wise, probably more bankrupt than the 49ers. Their entire offense, stem-to-stern, is crap and while the have Donald and a couple of good linebackers, that’s just not enough. The Cardinals seem to be collapsing and have lost some good players this FA I can’t really project an improvement. The 49ers will be interesting. But I don’t know if they’ve got it all fixed enough to be winners. But considering how bad the Rams and Cardinals are becoming, plus the cupcake schedule… Yeah, they could be a weak team that sneaks into second in the division. Or they could go nowhere because there’s a steep learning curve in complex offense and it’ll take time to click.

    8. AFC South: 1. Tennessee Titans. 2. Indianapolis Colts. 3. Houston Texans. 4. Jacksonville Jaguars.
    Buy: Pretty much how I see it, too.

      1. So is Cook enough to elevate the Raiders to 12-4 again, despite being inferior to the Chiefs? Their mediocre defense didn’t get better through FA. They didn’t get the slot WR they need. The did draft a great corner prospect. Other than that it was a Baalke draft.

        But that wan’t my point. My point was the Raiders had a fluke record. Just enough luck to take an average team to an above-average record. Last year the average Raider Margin of Victory was 1.1 points per game last year. That was 15th in the NFL. Right next to them:

        Indianapolis (14th; 8-8),
        New Orleans (16th, 7-9),and
        Washington (17th, 8-7-1).

        As you can see by the company they keep, their MoV was not dominating and is red-flag that indicates there is a significant chance of regression to the mean (8-8) where they actually played as a club.

        The Chiefs were 4th in the NFL with an average MoV of 4.9PPG. That’s actually significant and good indicator that their record was no fluke and is more likely to be repeatable given the vagaries of the NFL (teams can always collapse and regression from 12-4 is the usual path in any case).

        So just based on last year alone, between the two clubs, the Chiefs are have demonstrated more consistency the past few years and are far, far more capable of sustaining their 2016 level of play even if the Raiders did ‘improve.’

        Now, MoV is not perfect. No cumulative stat is when it comes to the NFL. You can have strange results when you have only 16 games and a highly inconsistent team. But the Chiefs have been consistently good and played to their MoV over the past four years . The Raiders were more of a ‘luck team’ to go 12-4 than a good team to go 12-4.

        So did they really improve enough to sustain 12-4 without a bucket of luck? I don’t see it. I don’t think one TE and a rookie CB are enough to sustain 4-games of luck.

        1. You’re forgetting Marshawn Lynch.

          Neither the Raiders nor Chiefs will win 12 games next season.

          1. It’s not lynch of 3 years ago. It’s like when the Colts added Gore. Didn’t make them more dangerous. Soild but not a difference maker. I think the Raiders come back to reality.

              1. I agree with that but if they have a down year, everyone will just label them as the same old Raiders.
                They really need to rid that stigma and win at least one playoff game, maybe 2.

              2. The reality is the three Raider backs, last year, produced a season equal to (and even exceeding in some respects) Lynch’s best years. And that’s something Lynch isn’t likely to do at 31, Peak is 27 and production drops dramatically. By the time a back is 30, his expected production will drop 40% from Age 27.

              3. I think they will consider the season a failure if they don’t win a playoff game Prime.

              4. I agree Moses. Coming off retirement and asked to bolster the running game is a tall order and a considerable amount of pressure on Marshawn Lynch.
                I’m curious to see how they do. They are an exciting and entertaining team to watch.

          2. I’m not forgetting him. I discount him. He’s 31. You know the performance specs on 31-year-old power-backs? They’re not pretty and he wasn’t tearing up when he retired.

            And it’s not like the Raider backs didn’t do a decent enough job:

            The three Raider RBs had 365 carries for 1,746 yards (4.78 YPC). [Murray 4.0 YPC , Richard 5.9 YPC, Washington 5.4 YPC]

            So they’re going to trade in that production for an old, high-milage power- back who averaged 3.8 YPC in his last year? **** me. I don’t think it’s a smart move at all. I think it’s stupid name recognition with a high likelihood of failure, like when Tony Dorsett became a Bronco or OJ Simpson a 49er or Frank Gore a Colt.

        2. You could have just started with MoV is not perfect and skipped the rest. Not only is it not perfect it has little bearing on the team as a whole. 5 of the 12 playoff teams were 15th or lower in this metric. Means absolutely nothing and can be easily influenced by late scores in games with things already decided, or injuries, etc.

          The Raiders are now the most talented team in the division and added two key vets (Lynch, Cook) to an already top 5 caliber offense. Defensively they didn’t add much in FA but in the draft added top CB and S prospects and will also bring back Mario Edwards Jr. who missed most of the season but who was their best DL the previous year (Mack is a hybrid LB/DL). They aren’t deep at LB, but the DL and Secondary will likely improve a lot on last season. They should be better in the return game as well with the addition of Patterson, so overall this Raiders team actually should be better this year than last year, at least on paper.

          1. MOV is quick and dirty tells us something. Seven of the Top-8 MoV teams last year were in the playoffs:

            New England (Division Winner)
            Atlanta (Division Winner)
            Dallas (Division Winner)
            Kansas City (Division Winner)
            Pittsburgh (Division Winner)
            Seattle (Division Winner)
            Green Bay (Division Winner)

            Only one of the bottom (Houston in a really weak division) 8 made the playoffs. Further, the two highest MOV teams last year — Falcons & Pats were in the Superbowl. Which is not terribly uncommon as Super Bowls are well represented by Top-5 MOV teams with every Superbowl having at least one participant in the Top-5 and NONE worse the #9. Which the Raiders weren’t.

            The Bottom-8, except Houston, drafted high (not including trades), these are MOV (worst to best) with their draft slot in parentheses behind them:

            Cleveland (Drafted 1st)
            San Francisco (Drafted 2nd)
            Los Angles Rams ( Drafted 5th)
            NY Jets (Drafted 6th)
            Chicago (Drafted 3rd)
            Jacksonville (Drafted 4th)
            Carolina (Drafted 8th)

            Yeah, MoV tells us nothing. Clearly. I mean the fact that 7 of the Top-8 were division winners and in the playoffs while 7 of the Bottom-8 sucked donkey ****s and drafted high is obviously meaningless because you say so,,, :eyeroll:

            MoV is Margin of VICTORY. High average margins of victory means you’re dominating, not barely squeaking by. The Raiders squeaked by. They weren’t that good but they had just enough luck to out-record their performance.

            And unless they improve significantly on defense, regression to the mean is the most likely prognosis.

            1. It’s one stat out of many that can be manipulated by scoring that has no bearing on the result of a game. Quick and dirty does not mean accurate. Obviously the best teams in the league are likely to have a better MOV than ones who suck, but it doesn’t determine who the playoff teams are going to be (again 5 of the 12 playoff teams were in the bottom half of the rankings) and has no bearing on what to expect the following season. The Raiders have been on a steady rise the past two years and predicting they will now fall back because their MOV was 15th the previous season is lazy and clearly based on your dislike for them and love of Alex Smith.

              1. A good example of why this stat has little bearing on future success: The Panthers were first in 2015 and dropped to 25th last season. The Jets were 8th in 2015 and plummeted to 29th last season. Just another stat that doesn’t mean a lot when looked at in context.

  13. Disagree re AFC West – Broncos will not make playoffs, Chargers will be a legitimate playoff threat – they have quietly assembled a very strong roster.

    1. Of all the teams in the AFC West, Denver, with their defense, may win the division. Oakland needs to improve their defense, and KC has some turmoil with Dorsey being fired, overpaying for Mahomes and RB questions. Chargers with Lynn being very competent and having another good draft, may surprise some folks.

      1. KC has the better team. Their last four, from most recent to oldest, defensive points surrendered rankings: 7th, 3rd, 2nd, 5th. So while Denver has recently had two good years, 4th & 4th, their offense is much poorer than the Chiefs offense.

        1. KC just lost their best WR, and still has RB questions. Denver, with Von Miller, is clearly superior to the KC defense.
          Denver needs better O line play, so they drafted Bolles at number 20. If Siemian has time, he is actually a decent QB.

  14. AFCWest Projected: 39 wins
    Broncos 9
    Chargers 9
    Chiefs 10
    Raiders 11

    NFCSouth Projected: 34 Wins
    Buccaneers 10
    Falcons 11
    Panthers 7
    Saints 6

    NFCEast Projected: 33 Wins
    Dallas 10
    Eagles 7
    Giants 10
    Redskins 6

    NFCNorth Projected: 32 Wins
    Bears 3
    Lions 9
    Packers 13
    Vikings 7

    AFCSouth Projected: 32 Wins
    Colts 9
    Houston 7
    Jaguars 5
    Titans 11

    AFCNorth Projected: 31 Wins
    Bengals 9
    Browns 3
    Ravens 8
    Steelers 11

    NFCWest Projected: 28 Wins
    Cardinals 8
    49ers 7
    Rams 3
    Seahawks 10

    AFCEast Projected: 25 Wins
    Bills 5
    Dolphins 6
    Jets 0
    Patriots 14

        1. I was just joking with you. I’m a retired bean counter and I noticed your total wins were 4 short of the total if no games ended in a tie. Your predictions look as good as anyone’s to me.

          1. I defended myself but my tone was not defensive you just couldn’t hear that in the keystrokes. :)

  15. AFC West. Denver, Oakland and KC have playoff hopes. Chargers keep getting talent in the draft, and Rivers is a solid QB.
    NFC South. Carolina will be back, Saints may have fixed their defense. TB looks solid, and Atlanta is the SB team.
    NFC East. Cowboys and Giants will repeat as playoff teams. Washington and the Eagles will do OK.
    NFC West. Niners will come storming back, and the Seahawks and Cards may be in the playoffs. Seahawks will have a healthy Earl Thomas, and the Cards drafted well. Even the Rams might do better with new coaching and decent O line play. With better O line play, Goff may not gaff. The Rams Defense is legit.
    NFC North. Packers will be in the playoffs, but Vikings may also. Lions and Bears, not so much.
    AFC East. Pats bring up the standings, but Jets will be horrendous. Bills and Dolphins may be .500.
    AFC South. Texans and Titans may do well. Colts and Jags will be below .500.
    AFC North. Steelers have an aging BR. Ravens, Bengals and Browns will have down years. Ravens just lost their TE, Bengals will see Ross not be durable, Mixon may be a cancer, and Cleveland will find a way to lose.

  16. Oakland will go 8-8 & LA Chargers will win 9 games. Oakland D is weak. Question is then could we get to 8 wins or more to piss Raiders fans off?

  17. I agree on the titans. They were my sleeper pick last year. They will win that division this year.

    Sleepers 2017:
    San Diego Chargers (the NFL teams that are in a stadium campaign or a move find success)

    Bold Prediction 2017:
    Minnesota wins their division
    New Orleans wins their division
    Miami Dolphins win the division
    Baltimore wins 9 games

    Super Bowl NY Giants vs Miami Dolphins

    Oakland misses the playoffs

  18. http://ninernoise.com/2017/07/07/49ers-film-kyle-shanahan-red-zone/

    Taylor doesn’t have the best straight-line speed, but his short-area quickness makes him perfect for the shovel pass Shanahan calls near the goal line:

    If he is able to earn a starting role, then the sky is the limit for Kittle’s red-zone production, thanks to a Shanahan offense that relies heavily on tight ends:

    A running back in a contract year couldn’t ask for a better situation. Carlos Hyde will begin the season as the number one back in a red-zone offense that loves to run the ball, and features the running back in the passing game.

    Shanahan’s top running back Freeman scored 13 touchdowns in 2016, after scoring 14 touchdowns the year before. Hyde could be in store for a career year.

    He just needs to stay healthy.

    In 2016, Freeman led all running backs in red-zone targets:

  19. I disagree with one thing Grant.
    The packers are not the meat team in he NFC.
    Best offense yes, but overall nope! That’s all.

  20. Brodie2Washington….I remember listening to Lon Simmons…..”Brodie back to pass. He looks……he looks, he throws……..Washington is out there……………. Incomplete, fourth down”

  21. I think 6-8 W’s is doable for 49ers this season… Friendly schedule, better players, much better coaching.

    How many games did SF lose last season after holding early leads? How many lost in 2H?

    New coaching staff will make adjustments as game goes on, more depth on D means fresher players in 2H.. More weapons on defense… Why shouldn’t they play much better this season? SF doesn’t need Dak Prescott to grab 4-6 more W’s in 2017. (Staying healthy, healthier than last couple seasons, should help a lot). Remember, SF roster isn’t set yet… Final roster cuts from some teams may give SF better depth than they currently have. SF also has assets to trade to pick up more help in areas that are currently thin…

    Should be fun to see how it turns out. First time in 3 seasons there is justified HOPE.
    I’m also guessing part if the deals bringing Shanny and Lynch to SF, besides 6 yr contracts, is 49er ownership staying out if the way, with their mouths shut!

  22. The best team in the NFL is in the AFC East they should be atleast 4th.

  23. These predictions we make now are as harmless as they are vacuous. Teams are better or worse on paper only. The game is played in pads.
    Each year some risers plateau, some Cinderfellas emerge, some powers show chinks in their armor.
    Git yer popcorn an’ one of those Big Orange Sodypops, sit back, and watch it play out.

  24. Kirk Cousins

    “While money should not be a problem for the 49ers, the incoming quarterback class in the 2018 NFL draft is considered to be among the strongest in years. Would it be smarter for the team to find its quarterback of the future there and spend money elsewhere on a roster that will still have holes or should it spend big on Cousins and address those holes with young talent in the draft?”


    1. Gotta take the proven franchise QB. Manning and Favre didn’t change teams until late in their careers. A franchise QB in his prime wants to play here. We have the cap space and a need at QB. We will never have an opportunity like this again.

      1. Cousins is not a franchise QB. He’s had exceptional coaching and decent supporting casts.
        The Niners should continue to draft and develop their own.

        1. I think he is. He would still have exceptional coaching under Shanahan. He would be reuniting with Garcon, he’ll have juice, Kerley is decent. They might bring in Pryor if him and Cousins develop chemistry this year.

          If we don’t have to draft a QB early, we could draft an OT or WR to help the offense. Finding a franchise QB in the draft is difficult. Thankfully, we have a HC that knows exactly what he wants from a QB. If he likes one of the college guys then so be it. But he liked Cousins coming out of college and he likes him as a pro. Given the Shanahan’s picky history, I think Cousins is Plan A.

            1. I don’t like his age either, but he still has another 5 to 8 good seasons in him.

              1. Yes he does still have a few good years.
                But when I think “franchise QB” and with him already being in the league since 2012, he hasn’t won many playoff games and looking at our team, we won’t be playoff bound for at least 2 more seasons. That makes him 30 plus.
                I also don’t like paying a guy that much money when we are not even close to contending.
                The draft and develop philosophy seems more realistic for this organization.

              2. That’s understandable. I think we will be contending this year, competitive at least. Adding Cousins to an already competitive team will make us contenders in 2018, 2020 at the latest. We would still get 3 or more good seasons from Cousins if the rebuild takes a long time. A 3 three year championship window is pretty good in today’s NFL. And it could be a 5+ year window. That’s plenty of time to find and groom Cousins successor.

                Whether we sign him or not, I’ll be happy with Kyle’s decision.

  25. Mike Shanahan knows a thing or two about quarterbacks. “I think he’s a guy that can take your team and win a Super Bowl. And that’s the biggest compliment I can give somebody,” he said. “Does this person have the ability, the ingredients, that if he has the right supporting cast on offense/defense and special teams, can he win you a Super Bowl. And I believe that Kirk Cousins has that ability.”

    1. Oh that’s right, with Cousins and drafting an interior linemen 3rd overall, this team is SB bound just like that!

    2. We debate these kind of things because, well, that’s what you do on a football blog. However, for the first time in a long time I feel like we have a GM/HC that are more than qualified/competent to go after the QB that will lead this team to the superbowl (whether that be Cousins, draft picks or both). Still, there is some luck and alignment of the stars that is needed to make that happen especially for the most important and extremely, high-in-demand position in sports.

      1. Cousins is a good QB. Don’t get me wrong. It’s the timing of getting him that concerns me.
        We are in a rebuild. A complete one at that.
        Getting a 28 year old QB and paying him 20 plus million on a team that’s not ready to win makes no sense to me.

        1. How far away are we really when we have nice pieces on D. Good stable of backs. 100+ mil in cap next off season. A lot of draft capital. You add Cousins to that and we are a 10-6 team all day long. If they don’t get Cousins they have the ammo to get a QB early in a deep 2018 class. Better yet the franchise QB is in our hands already in CJ… A lot to play out this season. This team has the ingredients to make it a quick rebuild. A lot needs to bounce right to make it a quick turnaround. I’m excited to watch it play out.

          1. So until that happens, we see how good or not the 49ers are, it’s completely irrelevant to say Cousins comes in and wins 10 games.

      2. I keep hearing the name CJ Beathard in my head. Hand picked by Shanny. Has been compared to Cousins. I can’t wait to see this guy run the offense in August.

        1. Should prove interesting. I think they’ll want to baptize him in the live fire at some point this season. Seems like they’d want to find out what he’s got that would be encouraging, before the end of the year….

    3. Cousins had a tremendous supporting cast the past two seasons and never made the playoffs.

      1. I like you, Grant, so you’ll have to forgive me if I take Big Shanny’s word over yours.

          1. “There’s no question he is a franchise guy,” Big Shanny told Fox Sports 1’s Colin Cowherd. “You give him a good system, and Kirk Cousins will win you a Super Bowl. There’s no question. He’s got all of the intangibles that you look for. In fact, one of the reasons I’m not at Washington is, you know, we had a conversation relative to Robert or Kirk, but what Kirk did away from the football field . . . I’ve never been around a person that worked that hard, studied that hard. He’s got a great feel, and I think people see [it]. He’s very similar to Drew Brees, to me. When [Brees] was at San Diego, then all of a sudden he went to Miami, he went to New Orleans. [People asked,] ‘Can Drew Brees play?’ And all of a sudden the rest is history. I think Kirk Cousins is that type of guy.” December 22, 2016

            If there’s anyway humanly possible that Full Shanny can sign Captain Kirk in 2018, I fully expect them to do just that. They are proven evaluators at the position, and no, I don’t think they’re wrong….

          2. You’re comment was correct. But I don’t think Cousins is the main reason the Skins missed the playoffs. The D played poorly. Cousins did throw a late pick which knocked them out of a playoff berth. However, he was clutch in the “You Like That” game.

            He’s had a lot of help on offense and he has done really well with all that talent. He’s only started two full seasons. In those two seasons he has thrown for over 9,000 YDs and has a 68.4 completion %, 54 TDs, 23 INTs, 99.4 rating, 7.9 Y/A.

            Beyond all the numerical mumbo jumbo, he has a quick release, adequate arm strength, his mechanics have greatly improved since full Shanny had him. He goes through his progressions and is super accurate with good placement.

            I just read what big Shanny had to say about Kirk in Razor’s comment. Barring Beathard becoming the guy, Kyle will take Cousins in a heartbeat if available.

      2. Cousins numbers show that he took full advantage of having those weapons the past two seasons. Your list had him as the 5th most productive QB over the past 17 games. He’s doing his part, not his fault they’ve missed the playoffs.

        1. Cousins won eight games last season. Derek Carr won 12 games with a bad defense.

          1. Grant Cohn says:
            July 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm
            Cousins won eight games last season. Derek Carr won 12 games with a bad defense.
            Washington’s was worse.
            Yards per drive:
            Oak 17th
            Was 31st

            Oak 2nd
            Was 30th

            3& outs/drive
            Oak 16th
            Was 26th

            Oakland’s defense was much better at getting off the field and letting the offense work. Good way to win games.

            1. The Raiders defense ranked 26th in yards allowed and 20th in points allowed.

              The Redskins defense ranked 28th in yards allowed and 19th in points allowed.

              The Raiders defense gave up more points the Redskins defense.

              1. Yea, the actual difference was .2 points per game. So it terms of points given up they were the same. I highlighted the time of possession difference because it shows that the Raiders defense spent less time on the field which would allow their offense to be on the field more times at the end of the game putting them in position to win.

              2. I don’t know where to find this stat but what would be very interesting to see is how many times did the Raiders have the ball in the 4th quarter versus Washington. I’d be willing to be that on average the Raiders had close to at least one more full possession then Washington did in the 4th. That’s where your difference in wins likely comes from.

            2. If you are comparing Carr and Cousins that should tell you that Cousins is a pretty darn good QB. We can look at every variable that contributed to each teams wins and losses, but the QB’s for both teams obviously overcame bad defenses to put up good numbers and give their teams a chance to win. This is why I can’t understand the resistance to bringing Cousins in if the opportunity arises. He is comparable to many of the top QB’s in the league and yet some on here don’t want him, preferring instead to spin the draft wheel and hope it lands on a franchise QB. Makes no sense to me.

      3. The reason you sign Cousins if he’s available is because he’s a proven player. Whether you think he’s a franchise QB or not, he’s a huge jump from what the Niners have. If you have the chance to add a proven player at the most important position you do it. It’s a nice dream to sit back and say we’ll draft and develop somebody but it’s easier said than done and you can waste a lot of years searching. The 49ers haven’t had a franchise QB in 2 decades and that one was acquired by Bill Walsh. Nothing says you can’t sign Cousins and still draft one either.

        1. My main hesitation with acquiring Cousins has been that he will be over paid. He’s a good QB who will get franchise QB money. But at the end of the day you pay market rate or you muddle along in mediocrity, and yeah rooks are question marks who almost always need time to develop.

        2. “Whether you think he’s a franchise QB or not, he’s a huge jump from what the Niners have”
          You could say that about every position on the 49ers except left tackle.
          The point being you are drafting and developing at every other position so why not QB as well?

          It seems to me that’s what they are doing with having these bridge QB’s in Hoyer and Barkley.

          I say you do what the Cowboys
          did in drafting the triplets. Each year you address key positions and sometimes multiple times.
          Bringing in a guy who’s older, and at 20 plus millions on a team learning just how to be a team, let alone win makes no sense.

          1. Prime,

            It is hard to find a QB period, never mind in the draft. The carousel of QB’s we’ve had since Young should be a clear example of that. It’s nice to say you want to draft triplets like Dallas, but it’s incredibly hard and unlikely to pull off which is why you are still referring to a team that did it more than 25 years ago as your example. The QB position is the most important one on the team, I know you know that, and if you have the chance to sign one who is in his prime, fits the system perfectly and has played at a high level, then there should be no hesitation to do so imo. It doesn’t matter how you get the player; you just have to get him.

            What you aren’t taking into account with your concern over signing Cousins to a bad team is that he automatically makes the bad team better. As soon as a QB is in place you can then build around him and be competitive immediately. Washington was a bad team before Cousins became the full time starter. He has made them a playoff contender the past two years. He would do that in SF as well.

            1. I agree with all that except the fact the situation in San Francisco does not match the theory.
              Paying a guy that much money during a rebuild is counterproductive towards building a team.
              As of the Lynch and Shanny hire, its pretty clear we are a draft and develop team for the next 2 years. The signing of Hoyer and Barkely and the drafting of a 3rd round QB says they are as well.

              My theory is every team should draft a QB every single draft. Wether its an immediate need or not, you draft one and you develop them. And if they don’t develop, you cut them like you would any other position you draft. Its like defensemen in hockey and pitchers in baseball, you can never have enough.

              Besides, Cousins is not that good to begin with. Yes he is better than anything we have but he is not a guy who comes in and makes us a playoff contender instantly with all the other positions needing a major upgrade.

              1. Prime,

                They have over 70 million in cap room that will carry over into next season along with the eventual increase in the cap overall. Paying Cousins is not going to hinder this team in anyway. You sign him to shorten the rebuild and give you a chance to contend which he has done with DC. That is not a good team and they have a terrible defense and average running game, but they are a playoff contender because Cousins is a top ten QB.

                I agree that the plan should be to draft and develop but there are exceptions, and this is one of them. Securing the QB position allows you to then focus on building the rest of the team around him. A QB who is accurate and knows the system makes everyone on offense better.

                As I said earlier, signing Cousins doesn’t stop them from drafting another QB. They can and should continue to look for an heir apparent or even somebody who could take the job, but in the meantime having Cousins as the starter would be a good option

                Your last paragraph is an example of dismissing what is actually happening on the field in favor of a close minded opinion. Cousins has made the Skins a playoff contender with a team not that much more talented than the Niners and probably not as talented defensively. The man has put up two straight years of top level QB play and the Niners HC loves him. If he’s available they will try to sign him so you’d better get used to the idea.

              2. Rocket, you do not spend just to spend because you have the cap space. I guess that’s just business 101.

                Also, the 49ers are not even close to having the talent any other teams in the NFL have. Are you forgetting the 49ers went 2-14 last year? 5 wins the previous year? 4 before that? Not sure but its been awful. One draft and one player wont change any of that.

                This team is 3 years away from being a topic of conversation regarding NFL playoffs.

              3. It wouldn’t be spending for the sake of spending Prime. It would be spending to bring in a top ten QB who would then make the team immediately more competitive. There isn’t a big talent difference overall between the Skins and Niners. The biggest is at the QB position and if the Niners improve that area they will be a playoff contender a lot sooner.

          1. He never has won more than 9 games in a season and he never has led an offense that ranked higher than 10th in points scored.

            1. Makes you wonder what Full Shanny sees in him, and why in the hell they drafted him. Might as well put in the real McCoy or Sudfeld, and see what they can do to jump start their offense….

              1. I’m interested to see how Cousins performs without Jackson and Garcon.

              2. Garcon/Jackson made significant contributions to Captain Kirk throwing for 4,917 yards. One of only 10 quarterbacks in NFL history to eclipse the 4,900-yard mark, and 25 touchdowns while completing 67 percent of his passes and averaging an impressive 8.11 yards per attempt. He finished the season third in total yards, third in yards per attempt, and eighth in completion percentage. Washington finished third in total offense as measured by yards.

                Crowder/Reed will see an increase in opportunities. Crowder’s catch rate was slightly better than Garcon’s, and he had 7 TD’s matching Garcon’s and Jackson’s combined total. He’s an up and comer, primed for more. Reed is the real star though, and he can take over a game. I actually think Doctson/Pryor/Crowder/Reed could be the fearsome foursome of an improved offense. Perine should give them more physicality in the backfield, especially in short yardage situations….

              3. “Washington finished third in total offense as measured by yards.”

                And only 12th in points scored due to major problems in the red zone.

              4. I’d imagine part of the Red Zone decline was due to the injury Reed sustained towards the end of the season.

              5. So Cousins becomes a bad red zone quarterback when he doesn’t have an elite tight end.

              6. In 2015 he was clutch and good in the red zone. 2016 could be considered a down year for Kirk, but he still put up excellent numbers.

              7. Poor play calling, and miscommunication were also contributing factors. Even their kicker cost them points in the Red Zone. You got half of it right though. Kirk Cousins is a bad-ass quarterback….

              8. The kicker had nothing to do with the Redskins’ touchdown rate in the red zone, which ranked 30th.

              9. Yep, it’s all Cousins fault. Like I mentioned earlier, the sooner they put in the real McCoy or Sudfeld, the better their Red Zone efficiency will become.

              10. Not all his fault, but you’d think a so-called top-10 quarterback would improve the offense’s efficiency in the the red zone.

              11. He’s Captain Kirk, not Superman. He’s playing at a high level, but he can’t do it all. He can’t stop the opposing offense on 3rd and long. There’s a number of factors that go into defining the problem, and I’m not going to pretend I know better than Full Shanny. If he says Cousins is the man, I’m in no position to question him. Get your popcorn ready. We’ve got football on the horizon….

              12. The Skins were actually quite a bit better in the red zone the previous season so it’s hard to determine what the reason was for the drop. Overall they scored more points in 2016 than 2015 yet were worse in red zone scoring. Stats don’t always tell a clear story.

  26. So, what to do during the down time before TC….
    Maybe it is time for some idle speculation. In 2014, I just wanted the Niners to get a play off in time, and more mobile pockets. In 2015, I wanted more roll outs, and have the Niners stop being so dunderingly predictable. In 2016, I still wanted the Niners to stop forcing the QB to be only pocket passer, hoped the coaches could make the proper adjustments, and prayed that the defense would not give up 200 yards rushing. In 2016, I saw the GM sit on his hands and do nothing to try and make the team better. Baalke also micromanaged the roster, insisted on playing players out of position, and played his favorites. The animosity and friction hurt the team. and the leaks and smears just showed no class.
    When I think of Devey, I just want to throw up. Baalke even doubled down by re-signing Devey. When I think of Bellore, I just remember a player who not only jumped out of the gap the RB would run through, he also succeeded in blocking his own players. When he did guess right and jumped the gap, he let the RB run past him like he was a statue. The Niners set records in futility.
    One critical thing I think the Niners should do is to realize that the other team will learn from the previous plays, and they will make adjustments. The Niner coaches need to devise a whole new game plan for the second half, and make adjustments to their opponents’ adjustments.
    Last season, they were all about executing plays, and did not think that making adjustments were necessary. Several games, the Niners put up 2 scores, but then were stymied in the second half after the defense made adjustments. The new Niner coaches need to out think their opponents by doing something totally different and unexpected.
    I hope KS will put a man in motion, at times, in a variety of ways. There could be several reasons to do that. A man in motion will help the QB read the defense’s reaction just before the snap. A MIM will be at full speed at the snap of the ball. A MIM could over load a side, giving the offense a decided advantage. A MIM may pinch in the DE and allow the QB to roll out. A MIM will help him avoid the check at the Line of scrimmage. A MIM could be the start of a reverse. A MIM will allow the QB to attack the edges, especially if the other team is stacking the box and daring them to pass.
    I am hopeful. I truly believe that KS will get the Niners back to its WCO roots. Signing Juszczyk was a great move. I hope they line up Hyde deep in the I, with Juszczyk as the lead blocker. Hyde can build up a head of steam before he hits the line of scrimmage, then he has time to select the weakest part of the defense to attack.
    I hope Kittle can supplant Vance, because the Niners cannot afford to have any more drops. I am glad they signed those FA WRs, and a legitimate WR threat will just make the running game more effective.
    KS should take a page out of the Bill Walsh playbook and target players by flooding a zone. Then the QB can just hit the open receiver.
    KS should work on deception. He should never tip off their defense so they know what will be run just by looking at the formation. If he is deceptive enough, the ball carrier could be running through holes untouched. Then, with the defense keying on stopping the run, play action could be used very effectively.
    I am hopeful. The Niners have improved. Too bad the other teams in their division have also improved, but I think all the teams will do a lot better than many are predicting.
    Now, if only they can upgrade the QB position…..

    1. Hoyer can roll out.


      The touchdown Hoyer threw to Eddie Royal against the Lions was trips right, featuring Royal on a crossing route with receiver Cameron Meredith and Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson caught in the middle. This isn’t rocket science, but it doesn’t need to be. It just needs to work. Hoyer simply rolls right until he sees an opening he likes, and he’s got Alshon Jeffery running a crosser to the back of the end zone if that appeals to him.

      Juice will be leading the way for Hyde on inside zone plays and will have plenty of receptions. WCO is back.

      1. And you can play action to little or one of the slot players, I still hope they get a stud receiver in the next couple of years!

      2. Hoyer, with his 5.03 speed, cannot threaten to run, and he is not mobile enough to avoid the pass rush. His lack of deep ball accuracy in the OTAs was alarming.
        I hope Juice can lead block, but also tote the rock at times. I am happy with his pass catching ability, but wonder about how he will do running the ball, another component of the WCO.

        1. Shanahan’s a pretty smart guy (though not nearly as bright as you), he’ll craft plays to match Hoyer’s abilities–a principle which aligns well with your doctrine.

          I’m not too concerned over Hoyer’s straight line speed…I don’t think the HC is either.

          1. Cassie, just your daddy, that is the problem.
            You are not concerned about an immobile QB, even with an O line that ranked last in the league. And then when you do have a mobile QB, you force him to stay in the pocket, where he is beaten like a pinata.
            KS likes mobile QBs. Hoyer is a statue.

            1. KS prefers Hoyer. It’s not ideal but you should support him.
              Kinda like how I had to endure watching a one trick pony QB in Kap the last 4 years!

              1. Prime, unlike you, who hated the starting QB of the San Francisco 49ers, and rooted against him, delighting in all the losses, I have consistently rooted for the Niners to win, no matter who the QB is.
                This aint my first rodeo, and sharply remember the Joe VS Steve imbroglio, and also the Alex VS Kaep controversy. All I want is for the Niners to win, and if Joan in accounting could lead the team to victory, I say suit her up.
                However, I think Barkley will out compete Hoyer, because Grant said that Hoyer was missing wide open receivers, while Barkley zipped it in through tight windows.

        2. Hoyer, with his 5.03 speed, cannot threaten to run, and he is not mobile enough to avoid the pass rush.

          Brady’s 5.28 hasn’t hampered him over his career.

          1. Oh please, do not dare to mention Tom Brady and Hoyer in the same breath. They are light years apart.

            1. Seb, the point is ‘straight line speed’.

              Nice attempt at deflection–you muffed that one badly. How un-Seb like. Good thing you’re not fielding punts…

              1. Cassie, maybe we should wait until Hoyer wins a playoff game before we start comparing him to Tom Brady.

  27. Grant – agree with your comment that SEA is a declining team, although most of that is my bias toward SF except that I believe their poor drafting since 2013 plays a part. Would be interested to see you put together an article outlining your thoughts on the decline.

    1. I think Seattle is doing just fine, even though I wish they would lose every game.
      They did not need to do well in the draft if they can continue to pick up UDFAs and have them start and play well.
      Granted, they are handicapped by having 10 players eating up most of the salary cap, but they got a boatload of draft picks by trading back several times, so they may be set for the future.

    2. Overrated GM and a locker room that despite futile denials is in full implosion mode would be two key reasons for the decline.

  28. CFC:
    I saw no facts cited for WF’s view that Garnett was a 3rd rounder. I recall the networks viewing him as a second rounder.
    The same goes for the comment about Foster and the playbook; did not see that comment any where. In addition the claimed lack of ability to read the playbook didn’t seem to hurt him in college. Frankly; there are only very limited choices for a linebacker; plug this hole, cover this area or this guy; blitz the QB, destroy who ever has the ball.

    While I think the Niner’s will be lucky to win 7-8 games in 2017 I don’t find these points to be relevant and in all likely hood not accurate.

    1. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2017/03/nfl_scouts_reportedly_are_conc.html

      The major concern with Foster for NFL teams, beyond the off-field questions, is his ability to absorb a playbook. Foster has struggled in interviews with teams who ask him to draw concepts with X’s and O’s. “I’ve been working to get better,” Foster says. “Other people learn different, other people have ADHD, or have a learning disorder. X’s and O’s on boards is hard to do for me. I second-guess myself.”

      He performs best when watching film and learning on the field, [Nick] Saban says. “If you put on the film he’ll be able to tell you chapter and verse because that’s how he learned it.”


      1. 80,
        If Foster gets surrounded by a developing defense he will find success.
        Foster should not be counted on to carry the load.
        And while it would benefit him to learn all the nuances of the game, his natural abilities will more than suffice until that time.
        Heck, even great players like Lawrence Taylor and Mike Singletary had a fantastic supporting cast around them.
        If our defense can develop about 4-5 all-pro players in the next few years, Foster will become a perennial all-pro for years to come.
        Having brains is good, but being surrounded by good players is better – just ask Alex Smith.

    2. Walter is keyed into the scouting community. When he throws those things out it’s because he’s heard them from those that are paid by the league to scout these players. He’s not going to cite sources because they never do otherwise they’d never have anyone telling them anything.

    3. Take it all with a grain of salt. WF has a circle of contacts in front offices and mostly within the NFL scouting community. When he hears something it doesn’t mean that it’s a universal belief or thought. It can often be just a single scout or team that thinks that way.

  29. Sounded like the Seahawks wanted him over Ifedi, so the Niners moved up to grab him. I saw that he was ranked 34-46 on some draft boards.
    The problem was, Baalke insisted on playing his only FA pick at LG, which was Garnett’s natural position. If they stop making him play RG, Garnett will play much better at LG.

    1. False narrative. There’s no such thing as a “natural” positional difference between the Guards’ responsibilities. Anyone deemed competent enough to draw an NFL salary at OG is expected to play either side.
      In fact, if one wants to assign skillset preferences between the two sides for OGs, (much more important at OT), it would prioritize agile footwork and quickness for pulls and traps and zones to the outside. That means that a big slow-footed guy like Garnett is better suited for the strong side guard than the weak side guard of course.

          1. When you say the better pass pro needs to be at LG, is that under the assumption that the QB is right handed? Similar to the LT needing to protect a right-handed QBs blind side and therefore often considered to be the premium (highest-paid) position on the offensive line?

        1. Better at the left side? Both sides stunk.
          Last 2 games with Beadles at center and Garnett at LG, the Niners won, and then almost beat a playoff team, only losing by 2 points.

      1. Sorry to disagree, but that would be like saying that a batter should be able to hit the ball both left and right handed equally well.
        Garnett played LG and excelled at Stanford. So much so, he won the Outland Trophy at LG. They should have played to his strength.
        Granted, the whole O line was turrible, just Gawd Awful. Yet Beadles actually was a couple points worse than Garnett, while playing LG. I thought the O line play actually became better once Beadles went to center, and Garnett was put at LG.
        Also, there is something to be said about balancing the line. The left side had 2 veterans, while the right side had a rookie and first year player. Maybe it would have been better to have a veteran help out a younger player, instead of 2 young players with little experience, being left to sink or swim. Sinking was the norm, so maybe they should have put players in the best position to succeed, and stop playing favorites.
        Glad to hear about them playing Garnett at LG in the OTAs and Mini Camp.

        1. So you didn’t play baseball either? Playing OL is nothing at all like batting. Not even a little bit.

          1. Ideally, every player should be flexible enough to play both sides, but facts of life show that a hitter is stronger batting on one side, and weaker on the other side.
            Just like football. An O lineman does not switch from left to right all the time. They have preferences, and the coaches play them supposedly in their strongest position. However, when a team goes 2-14, maybe the coaches did not play them in the correct position.

  30. AFC South is going to surprise some people. Titans & Jags are on the rise. That Jags defense is going to be a top 5 defense next year. They are already the most talented defense in the NFL. Just have to put it together. If the offense can be at least average, then the Jags will win 8-10 games. The Titans are a solid team and will be pretty good if Mariota can stay healthy. If everything falls right both of those teams will make the playoffs. Texans and Colts are on the decline but will be respectable.

    Only other prediction is watch out for the Rams. The biggest offseason signing may have been Wade Phillips. He has an incredible track record of taking over defenses and turning them into outstanding defenses in his first year or 2. I’ve never been a Goff guy so I think their offense will be terrible but that defense will keep games close. Rams finish better than the 49ers and Cardinals this year.

    1. I disagree with the AFC South. Mariota needs to stay healthy, and he has not shown that he can. Bortles on the Jags is on thin ice. Luck needs a lot of luck. Texans do not have a solid QB. Savage will be savaged, and noodle arm Watson should sit, study, and work out to get stronger.
      I agree with you on the Rams. Addition through subtraction. Getting rid of Robinson at LT may not only help Goff, it may help Gurley, too. I have said all along that the Rams defense is legit. They shut down the Seahawks and Cards last season. Obtaining Phillips is a boon.
      I disagree about the Cards. They had a good draft. I mocked Haason Reddick many times, and Budda Baker was a solid pick. Both the Cards and Seahawks should be in the playoff hunt. Of course, that assumes that Palmer stays healthy. They aint goin’ nowheres wit Gabby.

  31. Josh Robinson RB Mississippi St set to join the 49ers. Couple years ago Pagano likened him to a bowling ball of butcher knives….

    1. I think most would agree I’m no kool-aid chugger but with that said there’s no freaking way we end up with the #1 pick next Spring. This is a 5 win minimum, team. Don’t know what slot that will get us but it’ll definitely not be the first one.

      1. Not sure about 5 win minimum, but agree that we won’t have the first pick. That honor will go to the J E T S. I’m still sticking with my ridiculously early draft prediction of Conner Williams, OT, Texas with the 7th overall selection by the 49ers….

        1. 3 of those 5 will come from the division. They’ll get at least two more outside of it.

              1. Florio is a drama Queen. Almost everything he writes now is about how the players need to get more money, how the Redskins name is offensive, insert soap box complaint here. This response by some NFL players to the NBA contracts ignores a couple of big points: The NFL pie is bigger – 6 Billion dollars allocated to players in NFL compared to 3 Billion in NBA – and there are nearly 4 times as many players to pay in the NFL compared to the NBA.

                Players in both leagues are making roughly 50 percent of league generated revenue, with the exception being the NFL doesn’t include some stadium profits in the total revenue model. While it would add more if they included all stadium revenue, it wouldn’t make a huge difference to individual player contracts. The bottom line is the NBA has far fewer players to pay so they are going to more individually. There is no agreement NFL players will get the owners to agree to that will change that.

                I am all for players getting everything they can, and am not pro corporate in any way, but there has to be a reason for owners to do this at the end of the day and they are not going to give up all profits to the players. If anything both the owners and players should be looking at the fans and figuring out a way to make it cheaper for them to go to games. That is the lifeblood of any league and it’s taken for granted.

              2. The NFL needs to adopt the Kansas City season-long price of $200 league wide. It’s called the Bud Light Game Day Pass, and guarantees a ticket to all 10 Chiefs home games at Arrowhead Stadium. Sure they’re nosebleed seats, but for 10 bucks a ticket, you’d be a snowflake to complain about that….

  32. Ranking this site’s Poster Divisions:

    1. Prime, CassieBaalke , Juanhunglo, 49er in the Andes vs. Seb: The 6 are at odds, but only because Seb is odd.

    2. BroTuna, # 80 vs. Seb: BT and Seb slugged it out in Seb’s revision of “As the World Turns,” with Seb’s remake: “As Kap Returns.”

    In the remake, Tuna objects to Kap ever sniffing the 49er roster again, while Seb, sleeping one inch off the property of 4949 Centennial, Santa Clara, due to his numerous arrests for stalking 49er upper mgmt. while on 49er property ridgidly claims he’s got the inside scoop.

    # 80 vs. Seb: Reasoned and well considered posts, but lacking the fireworks of Prime, CassieBalke and BT’s, Juanhunglo and 49erintheAndes ringside events.

    3. Seb vs. Seb: sebnynah says:
    July 3, 2017 at 8:13 am
    Delusional? ……………………………………Sometimes a word (one calling oneself delusional) is worth a thousand pictures.

    4. WhineContry, Wilson’73, Sawbrodie, EastCoast9er — July 3, 2017 at 9:26 am (Like moth to a flame Seb proves Moses’ point! Good job being right again!!…..MosesZD– July 3, 2017 at 4:31 am–Sometimes we become complete delusional like Seby as we obsess and refuse to see the whole of what’s in front of us…

    5. Seb’s Hacked account Seb: sebnynah says:
    July 3, 2017 at 10:02 am

    For those, whose engagements with the Seb were ommitted, it wasn’t willful. This site has a “Review for Moderation” function I’m trying to avoid.

  33. Why PFF ranks 49ers’ passing game near the bottom of the league
    July 7, 2017 at 1:54 PM • 21 comments
    By David Bonilla

    New San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is considered by many to be an offensive genius. However, with a rebuild barely kicking off in San Francisco and so many new faces on the roster, no one is expecting him to work a miracle in 2017. The team may not even have its franchise quarterback in place yet. If third-round draft pick C.J. Beathard out of Iowa does prove his doubters wrong and develops into something special, it may still take some time.

    July is considered to be the dead time of the offseason. It is the time between NFL teams’ offseason programs and the start of training camp. Players tend to scatter from home base and either work out on their own for the upcoming season, relax a bit by traveling, or both. It’s also the time for media outlets to bombard you with rankings.

    Pro Football Focus recently released a ranking of NFL teams based on their passing game. Not surprisingly, the 49ers came in near the bottom of the list at number 30. The only teams that ranked lower were the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Jets.


    1. That wont change from now until the draft unless Beathard shocks the world.

      1. Or unless Snyder shocks the world and lets Captain Kirk sign with the 49ers.

        1. Overall it would be so much better for the team if they get Cousins. Free’s up that first round choice for another position and alleviates the crap shoot of picking the right rookie.

          Cousins is still an unknown in the post-season but he’s shown to be highly productive as an NFL QB which means teamed with the right defense it should be no problem getting him there.

            1. Kirk to Kirk. If we get Cousins it will be Christian Kirk. You were right about King Solomon and I was right behind you with Foster. Maybe we’ll find a way to draft Williams and Kirk.

              1. ;>) Going with your theme, maybe CJ surprises and they draft CJ Sanders. CJ to CJ. I know, I’m a golden dome homer.

          1. CFC,

            Exactly. Cousins would give them a proven QB and allow them to use valuable resources to put talent around him. There seems to be this resistance to paying him big money yet they have a ridiculous amount of cap room and no one to give it to. Unless you are a York family member this shouldn’t even be a consideration.

            1. A couple of other things to ponder:

              In his only playoff appearance he played very well even while getting pressured repeatedly and facing a far superior team. He also throws the ball down the field. There is no dink and dunk with this guy. It’s an aggressive passing game and he creates a lot of big plays.

  34. 49ers to sign RB Josh Robinson, according to Josh Robinson
    The 49ers could add a proverbial bowling ball with legs to their training camp roster.

    by David Fucillo@davidfucillo Jul 10, 2017, 7:44am PDT

    The San Francisco 49ers 90-man roster has been settled for the past month, but it appears we will see a change shortly. Former Mississippi State running back Josh Robinson told a Jackson, Mississippi TV station that he is headed to the Bay Area to sign a free agent deal with the 49ers.
    Robinson rushed for 1,203 yards and caught 28 passes for 370 yards in his final season at MSU. Over the course of his career, he averaged 6.2 yards per carry, and was described as a bowling ball runner.
    Built low to the ground with power trunk and thick bubble. Coils into a ball at contact, making him immune to shoulder and/or forearm blows to tackle. Patient runner.

    Runs with consistent balance and can maintain it through contact. Flashes lateral agility to escape from the side door and bounce a run wide. Steady threat out of the backfield as pass-catcher. Soft hands to secure the throw and is ready to run after catch. Can chop pass rusher down with his cut blocks.

    He stands just under 5’8, and weighed 217 pounds at the NFL Combine. In fact, his nickname is Bowling Ball, and then Colts head coach Chuck Pagano described him as, “a rolling ball of butcher knives.”


  35. Strengths Built low to the ground with power trunk and thick bubble. Coils into a ball at contact, making him immune to shoulder and/or forearm blows to tackle. Patient runner. Runs with consistent balance and can maintain it through contact. Flashes lateral agility to escape from the side door and bounce a run wide. Steady threat out of the backfield as pass-catcher. Soft hands to secure the throw and is ready to run after catch. Can chop pass rusher down with his cut blocks.


    29 3/4″Arm Length


    10 1/8″

    Pro Day Results
    40-yard dash: 4.65 and 4.66 seconds

      1. Sorry, Razor,

        Well, at least there’s some highlights.

        Robinson’s, size, catching ability–(one hander on video) and ability to bounce outside are clear.

        It’s the size I’m intrigued with….This means that Shanahan/Lynch want someone who can take hits throughout a full NFL season, and move the chains.

  36. Seeing that I do not bet on the Niners nor am I seeking a reality check I can with all honesty and up to this point in time state the Niners will go 16-0 this season. I know its the same year in and year out with me…..what can I say.

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