Breakthrough Teams 2015?

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HardRightEdge

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I think that Mark Sanchez to the Bills makes a lot sense, reuniting him with Rex. I know that it didn't end well with the Jets but at least he didn't mess up a great defense carrying them to two AFC championship games in his first two seasons with the team.
The thought crossed my mind, but there are a few reasons to think it won't happen.

Whether it was a case of regressing or not progressing past his inconsistency and poor decision making, (1) the Ryan Jets benched Sanchez late in 2012 in favor of Greg McElroy, (2) spent the #39 pick in the 2013 draft on Geno Smith to come in and compete, and (3) despite Smith's inauspicious rookie year Sanchez was let go in free agency where the cost was 1 year/$2.25 mil.

A do-over seems implausible to me given the Ryan Jets had deemed him a failure.

If you're going to run a ball control offense and lean on the defense, you're probably looking for a guy less turnover-prone than Sanchez. Despite having the best statistical season of his career filling in for Foles last season, he still tracked at his career 3.7% career interception rate. And then there's the notorious fumbles...50 in 70 career games.

Given the slim pickings, I would not rule out Sanchez in Buffalo, but I think it unlikely.
 

dbain21

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I'll go with Arizona. That may not be a "breakthrough" team since they made the playoffs but I see them winning the NFC West next year, and maybe a playoff game.

I agree with whoever mentioned the Rams. They're like the Bills of the NFC West, only they have a QB in Bradford unlike the Bills, he just needs to stay healthy for once in his life. I still think he has the tools to play in the NFL and that Defense was good as hell last year. The Vikes will be tough. I see them competing for a wild card spot, especially if they get AP back.
 

PackerDNA

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The Rams, Cardinals and Bills could make huge jumps next year. I think that major questions at QB will hold them back, though.
 

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I'll go with Arizona. That may not be a "breakthrough" team since they made the playoffs but I see them winning the NFC West next year, and maybe a playoff game.

I agree with whoever mentioned the Rams. They're like the Bills of the NFC West, only they have a QB in Bradford unlike the Bills, he just needs to stay healthy for once in his life. I still think he has the tools to play in the NFL and that Defense was good as hell last year. The Vikes will be tough. I see them competing for a wild card spot, especially if they get AP back.
I think my Vikings could make a run for the divisions title if they can stay healthy. The big key is do they get Peterson back, and who they draft. If the offensive line isn't as offensive as it was this past year, Teddy will have time to actually throw the ball. The Defense is coming along pretty well. They went from 31 to 14th in Zimmers first year. Next year they should be better.

Buffalo could do it. But with a change at head coach and who knows at QB it will be a challenge. They have a good enough defense if Ryan doesn't screw it up.
 
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HardRightEdge

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Arizona was 6-0 with Palmer, 5-3 with Stanton, 0-2 with Lindley.

If Palmer comes back from the ACL, they're a division contender and hardly a breakout team. With Lindley they'd be lucky to win 3 games.
 

adambr2

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I think Arizona takes a step back and looks more like an 8-8 team this year. I know people were saying that this year, though.
 

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I think the dolphins will be a good team this year. They have a solid defense. They just need a few pieces on offense. They showed flashes last year
 
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Deleted member 6794

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I really don't get all the love for the Vikings. While their record improved they didn't get a single win vs. a quality team (.500 or better) and benefitted from a weak schedule.

I wasn't that impressed with Bridgewater and even if Peterson returns for next season he won't be the 2,000+ yards rusher from some seasons ago.
 
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Deleted member 6794

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The thought crossed my mind, but there are a few reasons to think it won't happen.

Whether it was a case of regressing or not progressing past his inconsistency and poor decision making, (1) the Ryan Jets benched Sanchez late in 2012 in favor of Greg McElroy, (2) spent the #39 pick in the 2013 draft on Geno Smith to come in and compete, and (3) despite Smith's inauspicious rookie year Sanchez was let go in free agency where the cost was 1 year/$2.25 mil.

A do-over seems implausible to me given the Ryan Jets had deemed him a failure.

If you're going to run a ball control offense and lean on the defense, you're probably looking for a guy less turnover-prone than Sanchez. Despite having the best statistical season of his career filling in for Foles last season, he still tracked at his career 3.7% career interception rate. And then there's the notorious fumbles...50 in 70 career games.

Given the slim pickings, I would not rule out Sanchez in Buffalo, but I think it unlikely.

According to various reports Josh McCown is visiting the Bills on Monday. Don´t think he would solve the QB woes though.
 
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HardRightEdge

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According to various reports Josh McCown is visiting the Bills on Monday. Don´t think he would solve the QB woes though.
Yeah, McCown's ball security over his career is on par with Sanchez's.

He's one of those journeyman QBs who hangs around the league because, presumably, he's good in the QB room, has shown a few stretches of good play, and won't cost much.

His 2013 season in relief of Cutler (8 games, 5 starts) was impressive: 13 TDs and 1 INT during the back half/cold weather part of the season (a consideration in Buffalo), including that win over the Packers on Monday night.

That earned him one year as Tampa's starter at $4.75 mil. His dismal season in Tampa has taken the bloom off the 35 year old rose, so his price has likely gone down. While McCown is certainly not the kind of guy who can lift a team in disarray as was the case in Tampa, he might get a team with a good supporting cast to the playoffs. Watkins, Woods and Chandler are pretty decent group.

As an aside, the Bills will need to add another running back to play Ryan's avowed smash mouth style. Jackson has some tread left, Boobie Dixon is a decent big body spot player, however Bryce Brown was unimpressive and runs softer than his size would indicate. Spiller's a FA, has been injury prone, and did not look like his old self after coming back from injury last year, though that may have been a case of coming back early for the playoff push.

It looks like a good draft for running backs down through the second round. Yeldon looks like he might fit if his medicals and workouts are clean at the Combine this week; they might also use that pick for a Hughes replacement and look for a runner in the 3rd. round. They have an awful lot invested in the D-Line already and Hughes will command a decent chunk of dough.
 

Ace

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I really don't get all the love for the Vikings. While their record improved they didn't get a single win vs. a quality team (.500 or better) and benefitted from a weak schedule.

I wasn't that impressed with Bridgewater and even if Peterson returns for next season he won't be the 2,000+ yards rusher from some seasons ago.

I completely agree with this, and I don't get it either.

As far as the Peterson stuff goes, I don't see any reason to think he can't do it though. Will he is a very different question but he didn't miss time due to injury so I could see him being that guy still.
 
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I completely agree with this, and I don't get it either.

As far as the Peterson stuff goes, I don't see any reason to think he can't do it though. Will he is a very different question but he didn't miss time due to injury so I could see him being that guy still.
I think the Vikings defense this year is what really surprised me. Huge improvements. If their defense continues to improve, they could definitely give the Bears/Lions offense a run for their money.
 

tynimiller

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The Rams scare the crap out of me if they ever get their Offense in line. Serviceable and healthy QB led team there is good enough for 10/11 wins and then deadly in playoffs. My other choice will be the Chargers on a whim.
 
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What are your thoughts on next season's breakthrough team's?

I think the Vikings have the potential to give the NFC north a run for their money if Teddy Bridgewater is not figured out by the second half of the season. I also think the Buffalo Bills will give the AFC East a competitive run, especially if they sign a big name RB or CB to compliment Gilmore on the opposite side.
As in many years past, the Vikings will have the talent, but just refuse to put it together. They always end up stubbing their toe in one way or another. They will be better but I'll wait to see what type of drama will rear it's ugly head next season.
 
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HardRightEdge

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I don't know about "breakout", but my dark horse pick for most improved is the Jets.

The Ryan clown car has packed up and left for Buffalo. That's worth a couple of wins right there. Bowles/Gailey will run a low key, no nonsense outfit. Accountability, seemingly lacking in the Ryan repertoire, will be demanded. Guys will be put on notice.

There's a lot of talent in the trenches on both sides of the ball...a foundation to build off of.

There's a decent collection of offensive skill position players...Ivory, Harvin, Decker. Harvin's due $40 mil over the next 4 years, but none of it is guaranteed. He must know that if he sh*ts another locker room he'll never see that kind of money...from anybody. It's put up and shut up time for him.

They need to clean up the pass D (31 TDs, 6 INTs), which would be helped by a bona fide edge rusher and a cover corner.

Like 1/2 the league, the QB position is in serious doubt. Geno Smith is a major question mark. This off season's belle of the ball among FA QBs, Josh McCown, has included the Jets among his suitors as he makes the rounds in preparation for auctioning off his 2013 stat line. Mariota has been dropping to the Jets in some mocks. If they go that route all bets are off the table; it will take him at least a year to learn the pro style game and Gailey didn't make many compromises in his relatively complex offense when Fitzgerald was his guy.

The Jets have plenty of cap to work with...only $105 mil committed so far. A serviceable QB, draft a RB backup to replace CJ0.5K, re-up David Harris. After that, there's still a lot to work with in terms of an edge rusher and a cover corner. Rumor has it they're interested in a Revis redux.
 
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H

HardRightEdge

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Unfortunately Bradford staying healthy is a mighty big if, and that's assuming they can agree on a restructured contract and the Rams don't just move on from him.
While the Ram's D makes them an attractive pick, I see the same problems the Rams have always had since they shot their *** on Bradford...no supporting cast on offense. Here's the Ram's underwhelming collection of offensive talent:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/depth/_/name/stl/st-louis-rams

I believe their most productive receiver season during Bradford's tenure was the year Amandola had 60-some catches. It was Steven Jackson or bust.

Bradford is not a mobile QB. He needs a competent O-Line in order to stand in and throw. While the current unit is better than the 2011 unit that got him pummeled and then injured, it's not good enough to maximize his value.

I like Bradford. He got a bad shake with the lack of supporting cast and bad breaks with the injuries. But looking at this current roster I'd be concerned it will be more of same.

Also, the Rams champing at the bit to get a deal done to move to LA is a major high level distraction from winning football games.
 

Pack12TX

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I agree that the Vikings arrow is pointing up - but it sure pains the heck out of me to say that...
 

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