With NFL Training Camps set to start in a few days, Inscriber writers Christian Simpson and Mark Wilson decided to get together and come up with 32 questions, one each for every team in the NFL. Mark asked the questions and Christian the answer role.
Let’s check out the burning question for each team starting with the NFC East.
Q. Philadelphia Eagles: Can Jordan Matthews emerge as Pro Bowl player?
A. Yes he can, he’s made tremendous strides and these next few years will be the development of the receivers. There are so many of these young receivers that can, will, have emerged as stars. Odell, Mike Evans is good, Landry in Miami is a good one, Benjamin in Carolina is good I think Jordan Matthews can become a star in our game for years to come.
Q. New York Giants: What can we expect for Eli Manning?
A. When Eli is on, he’s a solid player when he has time to throw the football. He’s as good as any other quarterback in the game. Those interceptions you’ve seen were all frustration throws. I see Eli throwing at least 34 touchdown passes especially with McAdoo as coach as he’s an offensive-minded guy.
Q. Washington Redskins: Will Kirk Cousins be the next Nick Foles?
A. No he won’t, Cousins will simply be himself. He’s in the right system out there.
Q. Dallas Cowboys: Can Tony Romo save the team?
A. Yes he can and here’s why. I truly think the football fan appreciates Tony Romo more and he’s extremely valuable to that team. Look at how poorly the Cowboys played without him. I know they lost Dez early last year, but I feel if Romo had remained healthy, they win the NFC East again in 2015 no questions about it. Romo is at his best when he has balance. Look at his 2014 season, when he’s not throwing the football 50 times a game and it was a good season.
Q. Green Bay Packers: Has Aaron Rodgers led the Pack as far as he can?
A. No he hasn’t, this team is a title contender year in and year out because of him. He’s won the big game before, Rodgers can get on a run when it matters. He is arguably one of the three best quarterbacks in our league today. When the Packers are healthy, they are the best team in the NFC
Q. Chicago Bears: Can the Bears get back to their defensive ways in 2016?
A. It’s definitely possible. They’ve lost their luster on that side of the football as they’ve relied heavily on the takeaways over the years and haven’t been able to do that, but as a defense you can’t always depend on that. I like the moves the Bears made by signing Trevathan, Jerrell Freeman and drafting Leonard Floyd and Vic Fangio wants activity off the edges. Look what he did with Aldon and Justin Smith in San Francisco.
Q. Minnesota Vikings : Is Teddy Bridgewater the real deal?
A. I think he is. Bridgewater made some big time improvements last year and they’ve surrounded him with weapons to complement him. I was pretty big on Stefon Diggs last year, Kyle Rudolph is a mismatch over the middle, you add Treadwell to the mix, and of course having Adrian Peterson helps out a great deal as well.
Q. Detroit Lions: Is it possible to see another 0-16 season?
A. It’s possible, yes, but I don’t think that will happen. The Lions offense for years has been very predictable and that’s because you knew who was going to get the football each week. Without Calvin Johnson in town, you don’t know who’s going to be that top target for Matt Stafford now.
Q. Carolina Panthers: How much on an impact will Kelvin Benjamin have?
A. Well you saw what Cam Newton did without him. Benjamin gives them a big time presence in the red zone. He’s 6’5 and runs his routes with power. It’s almost like a basketball player boxing out the defender to get the rebound. It will be nice for Newton to have his number one receiver.
Q. New Orleans Saints: Can Brees carry the Saints to the playoffs?
A. Yes, he can. I think anytime you have Drew Brees under center you have a good shot at winning football games and he’ll make a receiver well-known. You know what you’ll get from the Saints offense, they can push the ball down the field, but it’s their defense that’s been hurting them.
Q. Atlanta Falcons: Is Matt Ryan on thin ice?
A. On thin ice, yes. He has tremendous upside and I remember hearing a few other analysts compare him to Peyton Manning which I respectfully disagreed with. He’s been in the league for 8 years and still makes silly mistakes as if he’s still developing.
Q. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Do the Bucs have enough to fight for the division?
A. They do and I think they are the biggest threat to Carolina in the NFC South. The Bucs play hard, they’re young, Jameis Winston proved why they took him first overall in the 2015 draft, Doug Martin stayed healthy last year and provided some key balance. The defense can also be good and hiring Mike Smith to run the defense will turn out to be a great choice. I think the Bucs will be in the thick of the Wild Card race in the NFC this season.
Q. Arizona Cardinals: Can they outrun Father Time?
A. Nope, Father Time is undefeated.
Q, Seattle Seahawks: What happened to Jimmy Graham?
A. He’s not in the right system. Seattle’s offense uses more of a traditional tight end, a guy that lines up like an offensive linemen. Luke Wilson is more of a fit to this offense than Jimmy Graham is, what he had in New Orleans was absolutely perfect for him.
Q. Los Angeles Rams: Will a change of scenery change the Rams losing ways?
A. It could now they’re in a much bigger market compared to what they had in St. Louis all those years.
Q. San Francisco 49ers: Should they trust in Chip Kelly?
A. No, I think Chip Kelly fits more of the offensive coordinator type than he does the head coaching ranks.
Q. Miami Dolphins: Can Landry and Tannehill become the next Marino and Clayton?
A. I don’t think we’ll ever see another Dan Marino or any receiver he had the luxury of throwing to but with Adam Gase now running things as the head coach, he’s one of the finest offensive minds in football and he can really help Tannehill develop and take that next step as a quarterback.
Q. New England Patriots: How worried should the Pats be?
A. I wouldn’t be worried but their schedule isn’t easy. The Patriots face Arizona, in Arizona, play the Bengals, the Jets twice, Steelers, Seattle, Baltimore and Denver. That’s a tough slate of games. I don’t think Brady not being there for the first four games will hurt them either because they were able to win games with Matt Cassel as their quarterback in ’08 win they won 11 games. I see a heavy dose of the running game being used and this is a time to see if Jimmy Garoppolo is the heir apparent to Tom Brady or is he worth trading.
Q. Buffalo Bills: Are the Bills all talk?
A. I would say they are and it starts with the head coach. The Bills have so much talent on both sides of the ball, but they have a tough time closing games out and putting teams away when they have the opportunity to do so.
Q. New York Jets: How important is it to have Fitzpatrick over Smith?
A. It’s huge because he gives them a much better shot at winning football games. The Jets won 10 games with Fitzpatrick. With Geno, I don’t think they win 6.
Q. Pittsburgh Steelers: Can D’Angelo Williams duplicate his success from last season?
A. Yes, he knows what his role is. He knows he’s not a starter and a veteran presence on a young offense who stepped it up when Le’Veon Bell went down with his knee injury last season.
Q. Cincinnati Bengals: How many more one and done’s can Marvin Lewis afford?
A. He should’ve been fired 5 years ago. I think he’s on the hot seat entering this year. The Bengals are the Los Angeles Clippers of football. They have all the talent in the world but just can’t seem to get over the hump and I’ll even say this Mark, the last time they won a playoff game was the year I was born (1990)
Q. Baltimore Ravens: What exactly are the Ravens missing to be contenders?
A. A shut down corner! Their secondary has been terrible over the last few years, they double receivers too much and let a guy run right down the field. The defense depends too much on the front seven to get pressure on the quarterback and you look at all the receivers you have to face two times a year in the division. Antonio Brown, AJ Green (who torches the Ravens each year it seems) and Josh Gordon.
Q. Cleveland Browns: Is RG3 being set up to fail?
A. No, he has a head coach now, that will use him correctly.
Q. Broncos: Due to Manning’s terrible season last year do the Broncos have a plug-in win system for any QB?
A. It’s easy to say yes because of that defense and they really carried the entire team.
Q. Chiefs: Have the Chiefs ran Jamaal Charles in the ground like they did Larry Johnson?
A. I wouldn’t go that far, he’s been labeled as injury prone throughout his career but the guy sometimes just can’t catch a break.
Q. Raiders: Is this the year it all come together?
A. Yes it is, with Denver having question marks at quarterback, Kansas City not having Justin Houston for who knows how long and San Diego rebuilding, this is the year the Silver and Black return to the top of the AFC West. I’m high on this team coming into the season.
Q. Chargers: Did Philip Rivers make a mistake by staying?
A. Yes, should’ve left when the opportunity was there.
Q. Jacksonville Jaguars: Does Bortles, Hurns and Robinson have the potential to be the next Manning, Wayne and Harrison?
A. That’s a Hall of Fame trio you listed there. They can be a consistent group for some years to come. Blake has the strong-arm and with those two receivers, we could be seeing something similar to McCardell and Jimmy Smith.
Q, Tennessee Titans: Does Mariota remind you a lot of Mike Vick?
A. There are some flashes, but I see a little Vince Young.
Q. Houston Texans: Now that they have their QB is this a clear sign they are the favorites in the division?
A. No, because we’ve yet to see what Brock can do for a full season. He was overpaid. Can’t wait to see what happens with this.
Q. Indianapolis Colts: Are they putting too much faith in Luck?
A. Nope, he’s shown he’s the real deal as he’s become the face of that franchise and has made a name for himself instead of being that “guy to replace a legend”.