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    (Original post by Owen laughing)
    Ravens all the way. Ray lewis will get his second ring and finally retire as the GOAT ILB. Also people will stop saying Flacco is terrible and realise he outplayed Brady in the AFC championship.
    Hell yeah, another Ravens fan (I'm assuming). Couldn't agree more with what you said regarding Flacco. I'm tired of people hating on him. The fact is, he played well enough to win the AFC Championship game and make it to the Super Bowl. If Lee Evans could catch a damn pass they would have been there. That game was not his fault. He flat out wins. What more can you ask from the guy?
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    Chicago win all
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    (Original post by Baltimoron)
    Hell yeah, another Ravens fan (I'm assuming). Couldn't agree more with what you said regarding Flacco. I'm tired of people hating on him. The fact is, he played well enough to win the AFC Championship game and make it to the Super Bowl. If Lee Evans could catch a damn pass they would have been there. That game was not his fault. He flat out wins. What more can you ask from the guy?
    I feel bad for Alex Smith for the same reason, but somehow I can't see him getting the same level of sympathy on these boards.
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    (Original post by shunter7634)
    I feel bad for Alex Smith for the same reason, but somehow I can't see him getting the same level of sympathy on these boards.
    The thing is although both he and Flacco went in the first round of their respective drafts Alex smith was first overall pick and the 49ers took him over Rodgers. But Smith is a game manager he get the completions when needed and rarely turns the ball over. With their running game and Defence they don't need a Manning or Brady to be QB
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    I think the only thing dumber than using wins to rate a quarterback is using almost wins.
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    (Original post by Owen laughing)
    The thing is although both he and Flacco went in the first round of their respective drafts Alex smith was first overall pick and the 49ers took him over Rodgers. But Smith is a game manager he get the completions when needed and rarely turns the ball over. With their running game and Defence they don't need a Manning or Brady to be QB
    Smith has been solid for one year. Before 2011 he was the worst part of that Niners team. He may not have turned over the ball much last year, but I won't even regard him as a good game manager until he can show he can do it in consistent seasons.

    That team needs way more offensive production, and he's got to prove that he can provide it.
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    49ers are a one hit wonder, next year I see Seattle and Arizona finishing ahead of them.
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    (Original post by nevergohalfpace)
    49ers are a one hit wonder, next year I see Seattle and Arizona finishing ahead of them.
    Nah, they're the real deal. Too much talent.
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    (Original post by nevergohalfpace)
    49ers are a one hit wonder, next year I see Seattle and Arizona finishing ahead of them.
    They are stacked on D and have a great TE, good RBs, lots of WRs and an OK QB. Alex Smith is probably the weakest part of their team but there are ways to work around that (run the ball more, only give him short, easy passes etc. essentially make him a game manager a la Trent Dilfer). For the record though, I think he is better than Dilfer, so they can be a little more aggressive in the passing game.

    Will they win a SB though? Probably not. Cant even see them getting there. Packers and Saints obviously in the NFC. If the Eagles can pull together, they undeniably have one of the most talented rosters in the league and fixed their issues at LB. The Lions look good and then you can't discount the Giants or Cowboys. Probably a year too early for the Redskins and Panthers but they could be serious contenders in the future. The AFC is still dominated by Pats, Steelers and Ravens as always and then you can throw in the Texans who have a legitimate shot at going deep into the playoffs with all the talent they have.
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    (Original post by The Patriot)
    Nah, they're the real deal. Too much talent.
    Average QB, RB who has already peaked, mediocre WRs, Average secondary, Good linebackers with one standout. Not enough explosiveness.
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    (Original post by fudgesundae)
    They are stacked on D and have a great TE, good RBs, lots of WRs and an OK QB. Alex Smith is probably the weakest part of their team but there are ways to work around that (run the ball more, only give him short, easy passes etc. essentially make him a game manager a la Trent Dilfer). For the record though, I think he is better than Dilfer, so they can be a little more aggressive in the passing game.

    Will they win a SB though? Probably not. Cant even see them getting there. Packers and Saints obviously in the NFC. If the Eagles can pull together, they undeniably have one of the most talented rosters in the league and fixed their issues at LB. The Lions look good and then you can't discount the Giants or Cowboys. Probably a year too early for the Redskins and Panthers but they could be serious contenders in the future. The AFC is still dominated by Pats, Steelers and Ravens as always and then you can throw in the Texans who have a legitimate shot at going deep into the playoffs with all the talent they have.
    Stacked on D is an overstatement, Patrick Willis is a beast, but Aldon Smith had a freak year, I doubt he will recreate last years performances. I think their secondary is weak. They are weak on offense especially if Smith can't connect with Davis..Crabtree and Moss will be average at best. They got lucky last year (Philly Rb trying to pass whilst getting tackled, 2 ST TD's against Seattle etc.). My Predictoon = 8-8
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    (Original post by nevergohalfpace)
    Average QB, RB who has already peaked, mediocre WRs, Average secondary, Good linebackers with one standout. Not enough explosiveness.

    (Original post by nevergohalfpace)
    Stacked on D is an overstatement, Patrick Willis is a beast, but Aldon Smith had a freak year, I doubt he will recreate last years performances. I think their secondary is weak. They are weak on offense especially if Smith can't connect with Davis..Crabtree and Moss will be average at best. They got lucky last year (Philly Rb trying to pass whilst getting tackled, 2 ST TD's against Seattle etc.). My Predictoon = 8-8


    How about much better than average Secondary. The best LB duo in the league (not sure how you can say that Bowman does not stand out), I would go as far as to say that Bowman was the 2nd best MLB last season. A stud pass rusher in Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and Sopoaga on the interior of the line. Remember this is the team who didn't give up a rushing TD until the end of the season.

    Then on O they have one of the best TEs in the league. Plenty of depth at RB. So even if Gore has peaked he has plenty of guys behind him to form a formidable 3 (or 4) headed rushing attack. They have a great O line, a decent QB and ok WRs (but a lot of them).

    I predict 12-4 or 13-3 but put out in the divisional round of the playoffs.
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    (Original post by fudgesundae)
    How about much better than average Secondary. The best LB duo in the league (not sure how you can say that Bowman does not stand out), I would go as far as to say that Bowman was the 2nd best MLB last season. A stud pass rusher in Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and Sopoaga on the interior of the line. Remember this is the team who didn't give up a rushing TD until the end of the season.

    Then on O they have one of the best TEs in the league. Plenty of depth at RB. So even if Gore has peaked he has plenty of guys behind him to form a formidable 3 (or 4) headed rushing attack. They have a great O line, a decent QB and ok WRs (but a lot of them).

    I predict 12-4 or 13-3 but put out in the divisional round of the playoffs.
    Why I think Seattle are better:
    Went 7-9 with poor QB - Matt Flynn will be an improvement at best
    Lynch is a top 10 RB - scored in 10 straight games was it last year, first RB last year to run it in against 49ers and that was in week 15. The rookie Turbin from USU looks like a beast aswell.
    WRs are average but Sidney Rice should stay healthy this year, Doug Baldwin will get more time on aswell now.
    I have to admit our O-line is shaky due but the amount of injuries to them last year was unreal. Think we never had 2 consecutive games with the same players starting.
    Zach Miller and Kellen Winslow are both great pass catchers, shame Miller had to help out blocking last year cause the O-line was so bad.
    The D-line is great against the pass and now with Irvin on during passing plays the pass rush will improve.
    Average linebackers but have to take into account that apart from Leroy Hill they are young. Especially KJ Wright who was a rookie last year and played very well when Aaron Curry was traded.
    One of the best secondarys in the NFL with Thomas,Chancellor,Sherman,Browne r. They are all first or second year players (Browner did play CFL though before NFL), and they will only improve.
    Improved play calling and time management will definitely help as we lost many close games last eyar.
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    (Original post by nevergohalfpace)
    Why I think Seattle are better:
    Went 7-9 with poor QB - Matt Flynn will be an improvement at best
    Lynch is a top 10 RB - scored in 10 straight games was it last year, first RB last year to run it in against 49ers and that was in week 15. The rookie Turbin from USU looks like a beast aswell.
    WRs are average but Sidney Rice should stay healthy this year, Doug Baldwin will get more time on aswell now.
    I have to admit our O-line is shaky due but the amount of injuries to them last year was unreal. Think we never had 2 consecutive games with the same players starting.
    Zach Miller and Kellen Winslow are both great pass catchers, shame Miller had to help out blocking last year cause the O-line was so bad.
    The D-line is great against the pass and now with Irvin on during passing plays the pass rush will improve.
    Average linebackers but have to take into account that apart from Leroy Hill they are young. Especially KJ Wright who was a rookie last year and played very well when Aaron Curry was traded.
    One of the best secondarys in the NFL with Thomas,Chancellor,Sherman,Browne r. They are all first or second year players (Browner did play CFL though before NFL), and they will only improve.
    Improved play calling and time management will definitely help as we lost many close games last eyar.
    Matt Flynn is completely unproven, I don't think we can argue over whether he will be better than Alex Smith just yet. I'm not a SF fan, but they have the best front 7 in the whole NFL, their secondary is not too much worse than Seattle's. Dashon Goldson and Carlos Rogers are both great players. So a win for SF on D.

    Lynch is the better RB, although Seattle don't have the depth that SF have. San Fran have a better O line by far. Vernon Davis makes up for the Seattle having a better RB by blowing the Seattle TEs out of the water. I would say they are about even at WR. I can see Randy Moss coming back and blowing everyone away (unlikely, but could happen). Manningham and Crabtree are both good enough, and A.J Jenkins is a good prospect.

    Seattle will challenge and may get a wild card but I can't see them dethroning SF atop the NFC West.
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    (Original post by nevergohalfpace)
    Average QB, RB who has already peaked, mediocre WRs, Average secondary, Good linebackers with one standout. Not enough explosiveness.
    Good enough QB. Look at the stats.

    3,144 yards (19th in NFL).
    7.1 yard/attempt (17th in league)
    17 tds (17th in league)
    Only 5 picks (least in the entire league with enough attempts) - shows he is a good game manager.
    90.7 rating (9th in the league) - when he's used, he's clearly effective.
    147 1st downs (19th)

    Alex Smith has indeed faired averagely in most statistical areas, like you said. However, he wasn't used as often as other QB's. When we look at his rating (which tells you how effective he is per play, he is a top 10 QB, and he had a league low in INT's which shows game management skills). If the Ravens and Jets can make the AFC championship with average QB's, as the 49ers did, then just like the Ravens in 2000, an average QB can win it all.

    Very good, bruising RB.

    Yards per carry: 2007: 4.2, 2008: 4.3, 2009: 4.2 2010: 4.2 2011: 4.3

    Here he has been consistently very good.

    Touchdowns: 2007: 5 TDS. 2008: 6 TDS, 2009: 10 TDS, 2010: only 3 TDS, 2011: 8 TDS. That's one bad year in the last 5.

    Fumbles: 2007: 3 2008: 6 2009: 4 2010: 4 2011: 2
    So despite previously having probably too many fumbles, he has had his lowest number for 5 years this year.

    So why people think Frank Gore has peaked is beyond me. Yeah, he's 29 in his 8th year, but he hasn't showed signed of slowing really. He averaged 5.6 for 163 yards on 29 carries in the NFC championship which is great for such a high pressure game.

    They have Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, two elite linebackers. They also have probably the best DE in the league in Justin Smith, as well as the best young DE after JPP in Aldon Smith.

    They also have Vernon Davis, one of the best tight ends in the league, maybe thebest! New draft pick AJ Jenkins, Michael Crabtree and pick ups Randy Moss and Mario Manningham and the occasional (explosive) Ted Ginn make for a potentially very strong unit.

    Weak secondary I will give you, as they came in 29th against the pass last year. However they lots of talent which, if it molds, will be great. Carlos Rodgers, Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner are all studs.


    SF are the real deal. They're absolutely LOADED. A lot of their talent hasn't gelled properly yet, which is scary, seeing as they made it to, and damn nearly won, the NFC Championship.
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    (Original post by The Patriot)
    Good enough QB. Look at the stats.

    3,144 yards (19th in NFL).
    7.1 yard/attempt (17th in league)
    17 tds (17th in league)
    Only 5 picks (least in the entire league with enough attempts) - shows he is a good game manager.
    90.7 rating (9th in the league) - when he's used, he's clearly effective.
    147 1st downs (19th)

    Alex Smith has indeed faired averagely in most statistical areas, like you said. However, he wasn't used as often as other QB's. When we look at his rating (which tells you how effective he is per play, he is a top 10 QB, and he had a league low in INT's which shows game management skills). If the Ravens and Jets can make the AFC championship with average QB's, as the 49ers did, then just like the Ravens in 2000, an average QB can win it all.

    Very good, bruising RB.

    Yards per carry: 2007: 4.2, 2008: 4.3, 2009: 4.2 2010: 4.2 2011: 4.3

    Here he has been consistently very good.

    Touchdowns: 2007: 5 TDS. 2008: 6 TDS, 2009: 10 TDS, 2010: only 3 TDS, 2011: 8 TDS. That's one bad year in the last 5.

    Fumbles: 2007: 3 2008: 6 2009: 4 2010: 4 2011: 2
    So despite previously having probably too many fumbles, he has had his lowest number for 5 years this year.

    So why people think Frank Gore has peaked is beyond me. Yeah, he's 29 in his 8th year, but he hasn't showed signed of slowing really. He averaged 5.6 for 163 yards on 29 carries in the NFC championship which is great for such a high pressure game.

    They have Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, two elite linebackers. They also have probably the best DE in the league in Justin Smith, as well as the best young DE after JPP in Aldon Smith.

    They also have Vernon Davis, one of the best tight ends in the league, maybe thebest! New draft pick AJ Jenkins, Michael Crabtree and pick ups Randy Moss and Mario Manningham and the occasional (explosive) Ted Ginn make for a potentially very strong unit.

    Weak secondary I will give you, as they came in 29th against the pass last year. However they lots of talent which, if it molds, will be great. Carlos Rodgers, Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner are all studs.


    SF are the real deal. They're absolutely LOADED. A lot of their talent hasn't gelled properly yet, which is scary, seeing as they made it to, and damn nearly won, the NFC Championship.
    Now show me Smith's stats from before this season..He's a game manager not a QB.
    Frank Gore is about to become 30, this is when RB's bodies start to feel the effect of all those hits and their effectiveness decreases.
    I'll give you Vernon Davis, he is a beast. But AJ Jenkins turned up to OTAs overweight! Bust in the making. Moss no longer has his speed that made him just a decent deep threat. Mario Manningham is inconsistent. Ted Ginn Jr is actually underrated imo and a great returner as Seattle found out last year in week 1.
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    I think SF are the real deal. There's question marks on some of the talent and even more so on their cohesion as a team, but not enough to detract from the quality they have across the board. It helps that they're in a weak division, but I think right now it's safe to say they're firm favourites to stay on top there.

    The other factor nobody seems to be considering is Jim Harbaugh. He's what turned them around last year; he didn't push Alex Smith out of his comfort zone, and he got the Defense performing like they should. In the NFC West a quality coach can easily be the deciding factor, and Harbaugh is definitely quality.
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    (Original post by nevergohalfpace)
    Now show me Smith's stats from before this season..He's a game manager not a QB.
    He never had consistency before last season. Constantly changing HCs and OCs. Now he has Harbaugh.

    Frank Gore is about to become 30, this is when RB's bodies start to feel the effect of all those hits and their effectiveness decreases.
    Kendall Hunter, Brandon Jacobs, Lamichael James. Plenty of guys to share the load around to.

    I'll give you Vernon Davis, he is a beast. But AJ Jenkins turned up to OTAs overweight! Bust in the making. Moss no longer has his speed that made him just a decent deep threat. Mario Manningham is inconsistent. Ted Ginn Jr is actually underrated imo and a great returner as Seattle found out last year in week 1.
    AJ Jenkins still has potential no denying it, we will see whether he lives up to it. Moss still has his catching ability even if he has lost a yard of pace. Manningham has great hands, again a great possession receiver. Tedd Ginn Jr like you say is actually pretty decent. And then Crabtree is pretty good too. None of these guys are going to be the basis of their passing attack anyway, Davis will probably be his main target and with plenty of sure handed receivers around him, Smith will have some good options. He isn't going to be winning them many games, but he will put them in the position where their defence can win them games.
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    Guys, out of interest, who would you say the best running back in the NFL is?
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    (Original post by rural_boy)
    Guys, out of interest, who would you say the best running back in the NFL is?
    This has actually become a very difficult question, as it depends on what makes them the best.

    Most versatile = Lesean McCoy and most dependable and consistent = Steven Jackson. The best mix is probably MJD in my opinion.

    McCoy is a monster. 17tds rushing and 3 receiving. Can catch as well as most receivers, gets great yards after the catch, has a great average yards per carry in 4.8, only 1 fumble and was 4th in total rushing yards with over 1,300 (which considering of the 3 ahead of him, two were rush-mostly teams - MJD in Jacksonville and Ray Rice in Baltimore, is pretty damn impressive as the eagles spread the ball around, and Mike Vick takes a decent load of the running.)

    Steven Jackson has played on a down right AWFUL team for his whole career. The o-line has been diabolical. His rep is a bruiser, which he is. Gets through tackles, breaks them and motors on. But he can take it the distance too! 4.3 career average and 9093 yards in his 8 years, thats over a thousand yards EVERY year on probably the worst team of the decade (which coincidentally is why he doesn't get the rep he deserves).


    So by most people's standards, it's MJD or possibly AP. But seeing as RBs can be used in a variety of ways, I find two different answers if we split them down into roles.
 
 
 
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