Who was the worst jeopardy player ever
Thrifty Seattle - Hope in Dallas
With the Divisional Round, the season ended for four other teams, only the Falcons, Packers, Patriots and Steelers are still in the running. But what is left for the four who recently failed? With the Seattle Seahawks, the construction site is more than obvious, while with Houston, the quarterback problem dominates. Hope reigns supreme with the Dallas Cowboys, and Kansas City has an honest question to ask.
Disclaimer: Most of the NFL teams now focus on planning for the coming season. These teams have already been dealt with in detail at SPOX in the past few weeks:
Part I: Arizona, Carolina, Cincinnati and Co .: How did it come to this?
Part II: Denver, Indianapolis, Minnesota and Co .: Why is the champ out?
Part III: The wildcard round losers: upheavals, construction sites and the Eli question
The 2016 season: A season shaped by three things: First of all, the problems in the offensive line, which had been constant for years, became too glaring this season for the first time. Russell Wilson was under constant pressure, against the Falcons he received pressure with 19 (!) Dropbacks. A personal playoff high. That's why he played for several weeks, but above all the running game never got rolling - the second defining element.
Number three was simply bad luck: Earl Thomas' unfortunate injury ensured that the Seahawks never got to their hoped-for level defensively. In Seattle's Cover-3, Thomas is the player who holds the whole structure together. With his anticipation and his explosiveness, he closes all the gaps and allows the cornerbacks to orientate themselves more on the sidelines. In addition, Seattles Defense only reaches its dreaded speed with Thomas, as it is he who fills any gaps that may arise.
It was unquestionably of little help that Richard Sherman apparently completed large parts of the season in poor shape. In view of the disappointing season of the Arizona Cardinals it was enough for the early division title, and in the wildcard round the Seahawks were able to cover up their weaknesses against Detroit. But that ended in Atlanta - and impressively.
What are the problems? Hardly any other team is as clear as the Seahawks: The offensive line urgently needs to be reinforced with players who can help the team quickly. Seattle's O-Line charged the cap in 2016 with $ 6.5 million, by far the lowest value (league average: 22.7 million). The Giants are in 31st place, their O-Line was $ 13.6 million in 2016.
This became clear several times in the regular season and also had its part in the fact that Seattle was far from being as dominant as in previous years. And in the playoffs it got even more blatant: Wilson was not only under pressure with 19 dropbacks, his passer rating also fell from 96.9 without pressure to 46.3 with pressure.
The Seahawks allowed 42 sacks and 111 QB hits in the regular season, Football Outsiders lists the line in pass protection and run blocking in the league-wide lower third.
What will happen in the future? It is clear to everyone what should happen: The Seahawks have cleverly equipped their service providers with new contracts over the last few years, so that Cap Space is definitely there - it should now flow into the O-Line if possible.
But will that also happen? Coach Pete Carroll said on Monday KIRO-AMthat his focus is more on further developing his current O-Liners: "This group has the chance to become very solid."
Aside from the line, Seattle could also invest in its secondary: Currently, it can be assumed that DeShawn Shead will not be at 100 percent by the start of the coming season due to his cruciate ligament rupture.
The 2016 season: 2016 was a true rollercoaster ride for Texans fans - although the highs and lows were sooner or later clear and predictable: While Houston ultimately dominated the division (five wins, one bankruptcy) and won all critical duels, was against strong opponents like New England (0:27), Minnesota (13:31) or Denver (9:27) mostly simply nothing.
On the one hand, this was due to the fact that the offense, which was so spectacularly reinforced in the offseason, never even began to live up to the high expectations: Brock Osweiler never found his way in the new offense and also revealed fundamental errors, while top pick Will Fuller his drop -Brought problems from college. The only real bright spot: Running back Lamar Miller, who was signed up from Miami.
On the other hand, the defense was massively weakened early on, since the season for J.J. Watt ended in September due to an injury. And yet it was enough to win a playoff - although the one against the Oakland Raiders came without Derek Carr. Against the Patriots on Saturday, despite the weak first half of the Pats, it was clearly the final destination.
What are the problems? The front has presented itself brilliantly with the strongly positive developments of Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus even without watts - with the superstar back Houston can dominate here in the coming season and with A.J. Bouye, whose contract is expiring, has also found a new service provider in the secondary.
Instead, the problems are clearly in the offense, and it starts with Osweiler. The Texans have a huge construction site in their most important position: Osweiler obviously has problems with the - not exactly simple - offense, but too often does the fundamental things wrong too often.
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This starts with reading standard defenses, continues with inaccurate throws on passes over 5.6.7 yards, and continues seamlessly with dire decisions that result in interceptions. In addition, he was one of the statistically worst quarterbacks on long passes.
Another problem area are Osweiler's pass catchers. Apart from DeAndre Hopkins, drops were a persistent obstacle, Osweiler felt much more comfortable when he was allowed to throw short passes to the tight ends.
What will happen in the future? So what to do with Osweiler? Contractually, the Texans can hardly afford to dismiss him after one season - but coach Bill O'Brien did not want to confess to him at the beginning of the week. There should be an internal duel between Osweiler, Tom Savage and possibly a third (rookie?) Quarterback over the entire summer.
The 2017 season stands or falls for Houston with this construction site. The Texans can help their quarterback, whoever it will, by strengthening the right side of the O-Line and the receiving corps.
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