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  1. #1
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    Teams Most Likely To Improve/Decline

    Reading this article on ESPN and found it pretty interesting. They go into detail on 5 teams they believe will improve and 5 who will decline.

    Team improved: Jags, Cards, Eagles, Browns, Chargers

    Team to decline: Cowboys, Raiders, Texans, Dolphins, Giants

    Thoughts? Agree, disagree?

    http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/2...an-expectation

  2. #2
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    Jags and Chargers both are on some dumb most improved team every year and every single year they suck as bad or worse than they did the year before.

    Browns and Eagles are improved id say, Browns because they have nowhere else to go and if Wentz can progress I think they do as well. I actually think the Pats are somehow a very improved team as well, as depressing as that is.

    For Decline I think those seem ok, I disagree on the Giants.

  3. #3
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    I've only read the arguments for the Giants' decline, and in my opinion, they're rather dumb. Arguably the biggest point they make is that it's unreasonable to expect that their defensive core will be as healthy as they were in 2016. That's kind of silly. Granted, it's not a stretch to imagine they'll lose a few players to injuries for a while along the way (both Vernon and JPP were among the 4-3 DEs with the most snaps played last year if I remember correctly, and it's not like there's been an effort to add depth behind them), but that's not really much of an argument as it is a hypothetical. They could very well be even healthier. Both DRC and Apple were banged up for a while, and the FS position had to be filled when they lost Thompson. Now he's presumed healthy, and since there were many reports predicting a strong performance from him since early last year in the camp, it's reasonable to expect he'll be an instant upgrade over Adams.

    Offensive side of the ball hasn't changed much. They have a shot at establishing a featured back in Perkins, if he takes the next step. Shepard is in his second year, now, and would likely only continue to grow. Engram is only a rookie, and it's true rookie TEs rarely do much, but still it's hard to deny he's got very solid potential. Even if it's true that Marshall's days are past him, he's very likely still a better option than Cruz was last year. At the very least, he's a more physical presence, which they kind of lacked. Only negative I see is that basically nothing has been done to fix the OL. Which is a downside and a concern, sure. But there are about as many arguments to be made that this team can very well perform even better than last year, than there are pointing to the contrary. I was one of those that argued their record didn't accurately reflect their play last year, and still I wouldn't bet on a decline from them.

  4. #4
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    This writer needs to keep the Raiders name out his mouth.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveZissou View Post
    This writer needs to keep the Raiders name out his mouth.
    Pretty much any team that had double digit wins and/or won a lot of close games is an easy target to see a decline. They were 8-1 in games decided by 7 or less points which is pretty ridiculous. My Panthers were 6-1 in such games in 2015, then in 2016 we went something like 2-6 in close games. That flip is the difference between us being 6-10 and 10-6. Those are both extremes, but nonetheless most teams aren't gonna survive that many close games and be nearly undefeated.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDish87 View Post
    Reading this article on ESPN and found it pretty interesting. They go into detail on 5 teams they believe will improve and 5 who will decline.

    Team improved: Jags, Cards, Eagles, Browns, Chargers

    Team to decline: Cowboys, Raiders, Texans, Dolphins, Giants

    Thoughts? Agree, disagree?

    http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/2...an-expectation
    You'd have thought they'd have learned their lesson on those 2 after last year... or the year before... or the year before... or the year before

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by manbearchef View Post
    Pretty much any team that had double digit wins and/or won a lot of close games is an easy target to see a decline. They were 8-1 in games decided by 7 or less points which is pretty ridiculous. My Panthers were 6-1 in such games in 2015, then in 2016 we went something like 2-6 in close games. That flip is the difference between us being 6-10 and 10-6. Those are both extremes, but nonetheless most teams aren't gonna survive that many close games and be nearly undefeated.
    This. Basically any team that had a good record last year has a good chance of decline this year. The Cowboys lose three more games than last year and they'll still win 10 but it's a big decline. They did well in close games last year too so if they go like 4-4 in close games instead of 6-2 there is decline right there. Still an interesting read though.

    Sent from my Classic using Tapatalk

  8. #8
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    I agree with some, disagree with some.

    I definitely see the Jags, Eagles, and Browns all improving this season.
    As for declining teams I cannot put the Giants in that category. I feel like barring major injuries, they are an improved team. I can see the Dolphins and Cowboys winning maybe a game or two less than last year, but no major notable decline.

  9. #9
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    idk why people are so bothered that they said a 3 win team and 5 win team won't improve.

    I think if you don't but they'll win more than 3 games you're a fool. They're not calling them a freaking super bowl dark horse ffs.

    Same deal with Chargers...should be 2-3 better.

  10. #10
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    I don't see a problem with the list.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by valade16 View Post
    You'd have thought they'd have learned their lesson on those 2 after last year... or the year before... or the year before... or the year before
    Martingale system.... You keep betting on the same thing happening and eventually you will be right.


    Marcus Mariota

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by manbearchef View Post
    pretty much any team that had double digit wins and/or won a lot of close games is an easy target to see a decline. They were 8-1 in games decided by 7 or less points which is pretty ridiculous. My panthers were 6-1 in such games in 2015, then in 2016 we went something like 2-6 in close games. That flip is the difference between us being 6-10 and 10-6. Those are both extremes, but nonetheless most teams aren't gonna survive that many close games and be nearly undefeated.
    I guess it depends on how you define decline. If you're basing a teams decline off W-L I can see the Raiders declining. 12-4 is tough to match. With that being said, I can see the Raiders winning a division title and carrying some momentum into the playoffs. To me, thats a bigger win and an increase, even with a worse W-L record than 2016. Good teams find ways to win tight games. Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by slvr&blck760; 08-02-2017 at 04:36 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDish87 View Post
    Team improved: Jags, Cards, Eagles, Browns, Chargers

    Team to decline: Cowboys, Raiders, Texans, Dolphins, Giants

    Thoughts? Agree, disagree?
    Will be interesting to see the "I hate stats" group come out against this, given that this is based on the "Pythagorean Expectation" advanced stat.

    Here's the article from last year: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/page...diego-chargers

    Improve: Chargers, Titans, Seahawks, Giants, Jaguars
    Decline: Panthers, Broncos, Colts, Vikings, 49ers

    Bolded ones were correct. So he has a decent track record with this.

    All of that being said, it basically looks at point differential to find teams that had a lot of close wins, and predicts that they won't win more than half of those games next year (or vice versa). Regression towards the mean is usually a thing.

    Thoughts on each:
    - Jaguars - with only 3 wins last year, it would be hard not to improve. This is a safe bet even if the Jaguars keep being terrible.
    - Cardinals - underachievers last year that the author of this blog expected to make the playoffs/win the division. With a soft division outside of the Seahawks and an easier schedule, would expect them to improve.
    - Eagles - seems to be a reaction to listing the Cowboys and Giants on the other side of this. If those two teams don't perform as well, someone has to pick up the difference.
    - Browns - like the Jaguars, they really can't do much worse. If they win 2 games they improved. Whoohoo.
    Chargers - perennial underperformer due to injuries. A safe bet to improve, especially with the Raiders decline listed on the other side.

    - Cowboys - winning 13 games is hard. Harder with a rookie QB. Chances are they win fewer games this year. Still will be a great team.
    - Raiders - Carr's outlier year regresses to the mean.
    - Texans - only way I see this happening is because the Titans get better.
    - Dolphins - fluke team last year that made good use of a soft schedule to get above their means. With possibly losing their top RB to injury in camp, it becomes even more likely they go under 0.500.
    - Giants - same as Cowboys, kind of. Winning 11 games is hard. Eli has up and down years with INTs. Chances are they end up closer to 9 wins than 11, just based on pure averages and chance, despite keeping the same team in place.


    "Hater" is a term used by weak minded people in the face of legitimate criticism.
    -Scott van Pelt

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei00 View Post
    I've only read the arguments for the Giants' decline, and in my opinion, they're rather dumb. Arguably the biggest point they make is that it's unreasonable to expect that their defensive core will be as healthy as they were in 2016. That's kind of silly.
    The Giants were the most injured team in the league in 2013, 2014 and 2015 according to Football Outsiders.

    They were the 7th least injured team last year.

    It is likely that the Giants will have more injuries in 2017 than 2016.


    "Hater" is a term used by weak minded people in the face of legitimate criticism.
    -Scott van Pelt

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by valade16 View Post
    You'd have thought they'd have learned their lesson on those 2 after last year... or the year before... or the year before... or the year before
    The Chargers improved from 2015 to 2016. The Jaguars did not.

    Both were predicted to improve by the same guy last year, so he's 50-50 on it. Will likely go at least 50-50 on it this year.


    "Hater" is a term used by weak minded people in the face of legitimate criticism.
    -Scott van Pelt

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