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Season 44 Preview!

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What's up HSTL?  Draft is over, season 43 is winding to a close and it's time to see what season 44 looks like!  Let's break down the divisions and make some bold analysis!  Let's start with the AFC Central!


Cincinnati Bengals

Owner: Darth Rockman

Record: 8-8


Darth takes over my former squad in what is going to be a very tough division.  TecmoBo and Stall are elite players and the addition of Tundra brings a new dynamic to this group for season 44.  Dan the Man has Givins as his primary go to and will stretch the field with the laser cannon.  WR Michael Irvin will play second fiddle to Givins this year but will get his share of catches as teams double up on Givins.  Woodside is just enough on the ground to keep the defense honest.  Marino will have some problems with a below average line to block for him.  Against some of the better defensive lines and linebackers he'll be getting smashed in the face.  Let's hope Givins can create separation quickly!


Defensively it will be the Tim Harris show.  Combined with Joyner they should be able to keep the running game in check.  However without any impact defensive backs this team will struggle vs above average QB/WR combos.  This defense will struggle to get stops and turnovers leaving the burden on their star QB to score on every possession.  No one is perfect, mistakes will be made and when they happen this team will lose games.  Love ya Darthy but I don't predict much different than last season's 8-8 talley.  Prove me wrong and GL!



Cleveland Browns

Owner: TecmoBo

Record: 11-5


Bo had his playoff dreams cut short by the Warren Moon led Oilers this past season.  Bo has managed to recreate the OG Rom Broncos offense with a small downgrade in MeggeTRON but speed upgrades in Ingram and Reed.  Factor in a decent OL Elway will have plenty of time to scramble and make plays.  The return game will do well with a 50ms OL but they lack that 88/94 HP returner to maximize it.  This offense will move the ball barring errant throws by Elway or forgetting that 50int will JJ pick him in regular conditions.


The defense has a couple of bright spots but overall will struggle stopping other good offenses.  Sneakily the DL, which may not be fast, is anchored by two 69HP guys.  Against weak OLs they will make it much harder to run the ball and also put constant pressure on opposing QBs to force throws.  Pepper Johnson at LB4 will stop all the power running shenanigans and not MANable but impactful LB Gary Plummer 44/69 at the LB1 spot will take advantage of other owners "hiding" their weak OL4.  Don't be surprised to see these guys in the backfield every play against average or weak OL combos.  In the secondary Everson Walls will try and cover the whole field because his supporting cast is both slow and lacking INT power.  In my experience guys like Walls are just slow enough to let up big plays but in the right spot at the right time can make a difference.  If Bo can predict that hot route or sense the QB being pressured by his DL he can cheat short and get picks.  We'll see what happens but I predict Bo will challenge once again for the division, at least a wildcard spot.  GL!



Houston Oilers

Owner:  Stalltak

Record: 13-3


Stall owned the AFC last season (with the minor exception of the Bengals) and is super bowl bound.  GL in the big game!  He wasted no time this draft securing a high powered passing attack with QB Jim Everett, WRs A-CART and Curtis Duncan, and possession wide out Richard Johnson.  Getting stops against this squad will be few and far between so be prepared to match score for score if you want to have a chance.  RB Herschel Walker will keep you from exclusively calling pass on defense and can haul it in outside the backfield.


The defense is on the other hand... DL is trash, LBs Merriweather and Reasons have some INT but are slow, and Carl Lee has no supporting cast in the secondary.  Unless Stall is planning on manning Reasons all season I don't see them stopping anyone.  Even if he MANs Reasons I still don't see them making stops.  That being said Stall is an elite player so I have faith that he will somehow make this work and sit atop the division once again.  GL!



Pittsburgh Steelers

Owner: Tundrayeti

Record: 2-14


Like Darth, Tundra is a new face in this monster division and will have his work cut out for him.  I kind of feel that this team started off with a monster value pick of Barry and Cofer but then stumbled down a dark tunnel and couldn't figure out what it wanted to do.  QB Dave Kreig is a finicky animal but he has Barry to take the pressure off the passing game.  I have a feeling it will be pound pound pound with Barry and then chuck and duck to Clayton on the deep routes.  This can be effective when executed properly but can it be pulled off?  Metcalf at WR2 will be a nuisance to deal with defensively on those R3 sweeps.  That said, this team goes as Barry goes.  He's a home run hitter and he will not be denied.


This defense has a ton gaping black holes, most notably in the defensive backfield.  Lott is a stud and he will cover up some of the warts but the rest of them are pretty shitty.  Lott leads them with 50INT and that's all you need to know.  Division rivals HOU and CIN are going to chomp at the bit tearing up this secondary.  LB Mike Cofer was a great value add in drafting Sanders but if it were me I would have procured another LB to help stop the running game in lieu of taking Dave Kreig.  He's the only usable LB and will be limited on what he can contribute.  Barry is worth 5 wins the rest is up to Tundra.  GL!


Coming soon...AFC West stay tuned!  Also if anyone wants to tackle the NFC that makes my job easier!

Edited by tadaos

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AFC West


Denver Broncos

Owner: Randywags

Record: 9-7


Randywags heads to the west coast to GM the Broncos this season.  At a glance he seems to have the most balanced team on paper I've reviewed so far.  QB Ken O'Brien has a couple of weapons at his disposal, mainly WR Haywood Jeffries and RB Dalton Hilliard.  Randy definitely had some good value picks to really give his team playmakers on both sides of the ball.  Johnson/Jeffries and Hilliard/Johnson brought him enough on both sides to have a lot of draft flexibility.  Muster will do double duty at KR but the $60,000 question is will be play TE or move out to WR?  JJ Birden is meh but at least he's not 25ms.


Dent, Armstrong, and the Fridge anchor the DL that will give OLs with 38 or 44 hp guys some major issues.  The rest of the defense is a tire fire except for RJ who is very effective on the OG Rom because he has Childress at LB4 to shut down the runs that blow up DB1.  Unfortunately Vaughn Johnson doesn't have the wheels to fill that role.  The other DBs are slow but at least they're all 50 INT to break up some passes and get a surprise pick once in a while.  I think this defense will get knocked around by some of the power running teams in this division like KC, RAI, & SEA.  It's tough to pick anyone other than Gats to win this division but Denver will definitely compete and will be on the playoff bubble.  GL!



Kansas City Chiefs

Owner: Joeygats

Record: 10-5-1


The gatsman found himself in a divisional war with division champ Zuir last season and ultimately came up one game short of taking the division crown.  Gats challenged himself last season to try to win it all with Mike Elkins and an unspeakable backup QB.  It's a testament to his skill level that he made it to the playoffs before being knocked out by TecmoBo and the magical Gary Reasons.  Joey has gone all in on the power running game and has an offense that mimics the OG Rom Bears.  Fourcade at QB is an upgrade of Tomzak but the problem is Neal Anderson is still the best RB or WR on the team.  Unless gats is planning on lining neal up at WR and playing conditions with 2 44ms backups, this passing attack is pretty god awful.  Neal will open things up and gats is more than capable of finding the open man on every play but needs to be careful against the elite DBs of the world.

The defense is Deon, Wet Percy and a giant dumpster fire.  DBs Waters and Cecil are HUGE liabilities on defense and will be the equivalent of yellow practice cones.  Percy is useful but what will he be able to do by himself in the linebacker position?  DL avg speed is 31ms.  LB avg speed is 42.5ms and it's only that high because of Snow.  DB avg speed is also 42.5ms including Deon.  Avg team speed is 39.45ms including Deon and Snow, not including those two it's 33.66ms.  Conclusion?  Deon is the whole team, and if you can get by him in the running game it's going to be 6.  This team will not stop the power running game and it will not stop good QB/WR combos.  But gats is the man until proven other wise so I'll pick him to win the division.


San Diego Chargers

Owner: Gamehigh

Record: 2-14


Gamehigh was in the basement last season but every season hope springs eternal.  SD has the best QB in the division in Jim Kelly and also has a couple of nice targets in Eric Martin and Stephone Paige.  These combos will feast on a lot of bad secondaries this season.  Carter will start at RB and will play the condition game with Doug Lloyd and try to keep the defenses from calling pass.  Jim Kelly has Thurman Thomas and an elite OL in the OG Rom... here his running game is significantly reduced and his OL is awful.  IF Carter can get some blocking and IF Kelly has time they can be effective.  I see a lot of tackles in the backfield, sacks, and CCs in his future.


I like the LB tandem of Millen and Childress who will do some work stopping the running game.  White is the best DB who can be MAN'd or possible have Millen/Childress drop back into coverage.  The good news is that there are no awful DBs.  Lewis is solid and Cook/Prior are a tad slow but at least are not horrifyingly bad.  This team's success will ride on Kelly's arm and Kelly is worth at least 5 wins...the rest is up to Gamehigh.  If all else fails just bomb it to Paige.  GL!



Seattle Seahawks

Owner: Drake

Record: 7-9


Whenever the draft is over there is always a team that when you look at them you start to say, "wow how did he manage to put that together?" and when I say that it's in the very good way.  RB Butts is the heart and soul of the offense but what I like is Drake trying to mimic the OG Raiders offense.  Yeah Butts is not Jackson but who is?  Schroeder has the speedy Gault and sure handed John Taylor to make you pay for picking run defense.  Unlike the OG Raiders, this team has a very weak OL.  Butts is going to need to do a lot of dancing to get past the line of scrimmage.  Another issue that the OG Raiders always have is Schroeder's accuracy issues, drops, and easy jump picks by mediocre DBs.  He better make it work because you don't want McMahon coming off the bench!


This defense however is what I am talking about!  What a great collection of speed all over the defense.  8 of 11 defenders are at least 50ms and 5 of them are 56ms.  This is one of the fastest defenses in the league and the dronez will be swarming!  The front 7 is amazing with LB's O'Neal, Offerdahl, and Lockhart will be beasts in stopping the run.  McDonald is the best DB to MAN but McDaniel can be utilized on certain plays.  The INT ratings aren't high so I don't expect many turnovers but they will swarm and make tackles.  Offerdahl can take his 31in and play the nickel position for added pass defense if needed.  There is no substitute for speed in this game and there is plenty of it on this defense.  Breaking away with a RB or WR is going to be tough.  Well done drake!  I see good things for this team and I expect them to challenge for the division and make the playoffs.  GL!



Los Angeles Raiders

Owner: tadaos

Record: 10-6


New division for me after coming off the RiceKreig season I look forward to playing my new division mates!  It's always hard rating your own team because you always think you made the right choice at every stage of the draft.  I'll try to be objective but I truly like the team I've put together this season.  RB Johny Bailey will be carrying the load this season behind an elite OL and FB Ironhead Heyward that will open up some holes.  I modeled this offense after the SD OG Rom team with a fast RB to open it up for BJs 81ps.  Bailiey is not quite what Butts is but he's close enough.  WR Mark Carrier was an extra added bonus in picking up Wayne Haddix in round 1 and combined with Eddie Brown they can haul in the lazer beams (PEW PEW PEW!) without (hopefully) too many drops.  Obviously Tolliver doesn't win games by himself and is a pick waiting to happen if he doesn't execute.  TE Holohan is slow as molasses but I've never throw to the TEs deep much so as long as he can catch the damn ball I'm happy with that.  I might have picked up an decent DL this draft if I wasn't forced to pick an OL so god damn early.  God I HATE YOU PEOPLE SOMETIMES!


Swilling at LB1, Singletary at LB4, good luck running the ball.  Bad OL at OL4?  Oops too bad.  Fastest OL at OL5?  I hope he has more than 50hp.  Haddix of course is the beast on this defense and will cover the whole field.  Bussey and Newsome are good drones, the only really bad spot in the secondary is Billups.  Haddix will have to cover up for his slowness so they will be playing on the same side of the field.  Haddix can JJ pick every QB in my division except for Kelly so I am confident I will get turnovers this season.  All in all I think I'll challenge for the division and make the playoffs.  I welcome your evaluation of my squad as well because as I mentioned before it am a little biased towards my team.  GL!


That's it for now stay tuned for AFC East later today or tomorrow morning!  Happy Scrims!


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