Watched some preseason football this past weekend. Saw a couple of teams that jumped out to me. One’s going to be a good team, one’s going to be bad. One team’s going to slip a bit,
No real surprise here, but Seattle’s going to contend for a Super Bowl. Their defense jumps off the screen, even when watching their backups. Their offense Is respectable, and their special teams are back to being special teams. What’s more, rumors of dissention in their locker room seem to be overblown; at least as of this time. They are going to be a tough out for whomever they meet in the playoffs. Did I mention Michael Bennett, Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman rank as legitimate Hall of Fame candidates?
The team I think is going to be bad is the Los Angeles Chargers. I don’t think Anthony Lynn is going to have much success there. Remember when Lynn prevented Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates from attending Tomlinson’s Hall of Fame presentation? He wanted him to be there for his first practice in Los Angeles. When you’re looking at veterans like Phillip Rivers — your best and most important player — and treating him as if he’s a rookie, you’re headed for trouble. I can’t see a team responding well when you can’t show respect for your veterans right off the bat. Bringing in players like Cardale Jones and giving them roster spots won’t help. He’s a project? He was a project at Ohio State. He also said he was going to Ohio State to play football. At what point does a player get the sport?
I’m watching the Oakland Raiders. A lot of folks are predicting them to go deep into the playoffs. I’m seeing the defense as terrible and not getting good enough to get them to the Super Bowl. I’m watching their draft picks, acquisitions and seeing their efforts to build a Seahawks Jr defense. It’s absurd and it’s failing just like it should. Last night, they made Jared Goff look like a superstar. Like we wrote earlier, Seattle has four potential Hall of Famers on the defensive side of the ball. You can see the Seahawks have defensive players who love football. The Raiders are counting on guys like Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu. These guys went to the beginning of training camp in a struggle over contracts. You know, the pre-slotted contracts where everyone knows how much they are going to get paid. Melifonwu was for a time the only non-1st rounder left unsigned. Once signed, he immediately came up lame.
A lot of Raiders blogs talked about how good Melifonwu — a workout warrior — is going to be. The guy has barely practiced. Gareon Conley has not seen even the practice field since minicamp. The Raiders counted on those two big time. Despite them being my favorite team, I don’t see them as improved over last season, and they have an even more difficult schedule.