NFL 2022- NFC East Preview

Arguably the WORST division in the NFL yet again? The Cowboys HAVE to win it by a mile this year right? We don’t have the answers here honestly. If you’re expecting some magical prediction for this division we ain’t got it. Expect a little bit more of last year but hopefully that Cowboys nation doesn’t have to suffer yet again (Sarcasm is great right?).

Here is a quick preview of the 2022 NFC East Division!

Dallas Cowboys

  • Key Additions: WR – Jalen Tolbert, RT – Terence Steele, G – Tyler Smith
  • Key losses: WR – Amari Cooper, TE – Blake Jarwin
  • Starting Quarterback: Dak Prescott
  • Last season: 12-5

    2022 Outlook

    What more can we add besides the fact that Dallas SHOULD be winning this division? The short answer is yes. A 12-5 record and a season removed from Prescott’s ankle injury is promising to follow up on. We love the fact that Dak seems to adjust well to the pocket passing which is doing wonders for the CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz of the world. In 2021 Dak had 596 passing attempts which tied his carer high in 2019. He’s running the ball less as he finished 14th overall in rushing attempts versus other QBs last season. Positives for Dallas are that their offense could be back to its peak finally. Ezekiel Elliot will play healthy, Dak is healthy, and Lamb looks to be trending as a top 5 WR in the league. New to the offense are some O-Line updates with Terence Steele at RT and drafting G Tyler Smith.

    What Dallas is built of will come early in the season. They face Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, and the defending champions, Los Angeles Rams within the first five weeks. However, the Cowboys can breathe as Weeks 6-8 sees the Eagles, Lions, and Bears before a Week 9 Bye Week. Division winners for sure but a contending team? That remains to be determined closer to the end of the season but nonetheless. At this rate, the Cowboys can’t regress unless their talent does (or becomes injured). Let’s face it, the elephant in the room is nobody trusts Dallas ever. Track their dominance over inferior teams before joining the hype train that the Cowboys are going to be a contender. For now another year of pretenders.

New York Giants

  • Key additions: WR – Wan’Dale Robinson, TE – Ricky Seals-Jones, TE – Jordan Akins, G Mark Glowinski, C Jon Feliciano, OT Evan Neal
  • Key losses: TE – Evan Engram, TE – Kyle Rudolph
  • Starting Quarterback: Daniel Jones
  • Last season: 4-13

    2022 Outlook

    Enter the era of Brian Daboll. One of the highly sought coaches this offseason finds himself in New York but still with a bit of a lackluster roster compared to his last team. If you’re lost, Daboll has been the Offensive Coordinator in Buffalo since 2018. His praise stems from turning the Bills into one of the most effective offenses in the league. Can he do the same with Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Kadarius Toney, and Kenny Golladay? Probably not but those are some of the best names you’ll hear around a Giants practice.

    It’s not like the Giants went out and upgraded for Daniel Jones either. The team declined the 5th year on the QB and it just feels like a season where Tyrod Taylor is in the shadows ready to give Daboll some experimenting time with a rather more mobile QB. They let some veteran Tight Ends go and Ricky Seals-Jones is the next best target behind Golladay and Toney. At what cost will the Giants experiment with their existing talent? All signs point to a similar 4-5 win season. Bottom of the barrel yet again in the NFC East.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Key additions: WR – AJ Brown
  • Key losses: RB – Jordan Howard
  • Starting Quarterback: Jalen Hurts
  • Last season: 9-8

    2022 Outlook:

    If there is any support an NFL team is giving its young QB the Eagles are one of them. Here comes AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith lined up with football’s mobile QB scoring machine (from the ground). Are the Eagles going to be an overnight success this season? Meaning should we start to worry about them let’s say Week 7, that the Cowboys yet again are failing to separate themselves from a 4-3 Eagles team?

    Last season, Kenneth Gainwell shared the backfield with Miles Sanders but watched his role. Boston Scott and Jordan Howard took snaps at one point during the season when Sanders was hurt. Howard is still a Free Agent and Scott is back on a 1-year deal. This RB trio is set to share touches in the backfield all season long. The question now lies with Brown and Smith hopefully strengthening a WR core, will Nick Sirianni go back to a more balanced offense instead of a run-heavy offense like in 2021? This could see the Eagles running it back to a 9-8 or at best 10-7 record in 2022.

Washington Commanders

  • Key additions: QB – Carson Wentz
  • Key losses: TE – Ricky Seals-Jones 
  • Starting Quarterback: Carson Wentz
  • Last season: 7-10

    2022 Outlook:

    Well, the Taylor Heinicke era was short-lived and here we are. A somewhat clear upgrade over Heinicke but nonetheless Wentz finds a new team for the third year straight. Not only is the QB new and shiny in D.C. but the NAME, the UNIFORMS, IT’S ALL A NEW ERA! COMMANDERS! Alright, just making everyone ready to embrace the new name and not be shocked when you see Commanders roll across the news ticker. This roster is one of the more turnaround stories than last year’s roster. Wentz will be accompanied by the usual Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson, and they get Curtis Samuel back from injury.

    To Wentz, this could be a downgrade given that Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor are best comparing the supporting cast between his last team and now. Ron Rivera returns as Head Coach and Chase Young is coming back healthy. The division usually becomes a competition of the NFC’s worse battling it out. The ceiling for this team is to start strong. Detroit and Jacksonville are the first two weeks before having to see division rivals Philadelphia in Week 3. This is a huge time to push themselves into possibly one of the bottom seeds of the playoffs if they overachieve.

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NFL 2022- AFC East Preview

There should be no questioning the definite division winner if you’re here for that tea. Let’s face it the AFC East is for the Bills to lose this season. This division goes from Tom Brady‘s dominance to Josh Allen‘s very quickly. I know you’re probably thinking, hold up, the Miami Dolphins look a little more serious now with Tyreek Hill? Our 2022 AFC East Preview comes in partnership with all of our Baseline Times contributor analyses.

Here is a quick preview of the 2022 AFC East Division!

Buffalo Bills

  • Key Additions: RB – James Cook, WR – Jamison Crowder, TE – O.J. Howard
  • Key losses: WR – Cole Beasley, WR – Emmanuel Sanders
  • Starting Quarterback: Josh Allen
  • Last season: 11-6

    2022 Outlook

    Expect more of a division dominance this year and hopefully, the Bills appear as a serious threat to take over the AFC entirely. They’ve been a great regular season team but the Playoffs are another story. The receiving core looks slightly different with Gabriel Davis, Jamison Crowder, and Isaiah McKenzie. Allen and Stefon Diggs should continue to be a dynamic duo so don’t expect too many targets to go elsewhere. Finishing up their season with a 4-game win streak last season and the dramatic 42-36 loss in OT to the Chiefs of the Conference Semifinals was heartbreak. The offense will see lead RB Devin Singletary take most snaps but expectations can be for James Cook to play a significant role at some point next to Singletary.

    Buffalo’s defense shouldn’t have an issue retaining its top-tier ranking this season. With no major losses through the time of this article, it’s a defense that also needs to keep pace against Derrick Henry, Cooper Kupp, Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and the Patriots offense. Just a few names this season we can check down the road and see if the defense holds because ultimately the Bills are a top-ranking offensive team that can do some damage. Overall, the Bills shouldn’t have an issue winning the division but can easily lose a tie-breaking scenario to Miami or New England if their season finds a strange losing streak.

Miami Dolphins

  • Key additions: WR – Tyreek Hill, RB – Chase Edmonds, RB – Raheem Mostert, RB – Sony Michel, QB – Teddy Bridgewater, WR – Cedrick Wilson Jr., LT – Terron Armstead
  • Key losses: QB – Jacoby Brissett, WR – DeVante Parker
  • Starting Quarterback: QB – Tua Tagovailoa
  • Last season: 9-8

    2022 Outlook

    Could this be one of the BIGGEST turnarounds this season? Miami’s Quarterbacking takes a full dive into Tua Tagovailoa‘s career even more. Sure, the Dolphins brought in Teddy Bridgewater as a backup but let’s face it, the offense is a complete upgrade from 2021. Just look at the list of new WR and RB above and it’s enough to convince you right? Tua will have all the options whether it’s in front of him or behind him. The Running Back room could arguably become one of the best if not best in the NFL in 2022. Maybe it’s security if Tua struggles to adapt quickly to perfecting his precision against great defenses? Head Coach Mike McDaniels steps in to man this operation. He was originally in San Fransisco to improve their rushing attack and was later promoted to offensive coordinator before coming to Miami. See Deebo Samuel‘s rushing ability? McDaniels was the man behind the scenes but Tyreek Hill now adds more flavor for him.

    A lot weighs on Tua’s adaptability with his new weapons but the defense also has a test this season to improve. Early on should the Miami offense takes some time to figure itself out, the defense could be called upon to keep them in games. Amongst all key defensive statistics, the Dolphins’ defense came across as average. That will have to take a huge leap if they expect a Super Bowl contending season.

New England Patriots

  • Key additions: WR – DeVante Parker
  • Key losses: RB – Brandon Bolden, G – Shaq Mason
  • Starting Quarterback: Mac Jones
  • Last season: 10-7

    2022 Outlook:

    In 2021, we told you that there should be NO SURPRISE if the Patriots somehow find their way knocking at the door of the Bills for the division. Well, 11-6 from Buffalo vs 10-7 from New England sounds about right. The hype of Mac Jones continues on as his coach chimes in that there is “dramatic improvement”. Are you feeling this weird strange thing since Jones was drafted by the Patriots that this fit is just a match made in heaven? It’s becoming to look that way but the Patriots continue their under-the-radar low profile approach. In 2021, the Patriots spent more money on the defense rather than the offense. A 10-7 record with a Rookie QB proved something is worth waiting for in 2022.

    There is something missing in Boston this year and that is Josh McDaniels who is now the Head Coach in Las Vegas. How that impacts Jones is yet to be seen. The Patriots will stay put with the majority of last year’s team beyond adding veteran WR DeVante Parker from Miami. Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne return as the primary targets for Jones. The backfield will be Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. Veteran James White recently announced his retirement from the NFL. Likewise the Bills preview, we’ll say it again this year, the Patriots can very well sneak into the playoffs as division winners should the cards fall right.

New York Jets

  • Key additions: RB – Breece Hall, TE – C.J. Uzomah, TE – Tyler Conklin
  • Key losses: WR – Jamison Crowder
  • Starting Quarterback: QB – Zach Wilson
  • Last season: 4-13

    2022 Outlook:

    Oh, this one just got a little hot off the press. You’re getting the preview as Zach Wilson now has a torn meniscus and is set to be out 2-4 weeks from Mid-August. How does this impact the Jets? Well, Joe Flacco seems to believe he can still start in the NFL and he’ll get his wish. A veteran QB that has some young talent around him isn’t such a bad thing. The Jets return with WR Corey Davis, WR Elijah Moore, and newly drafted RB Breece Hall. They’ll downgrade RB Michael Carter as Hall seems to be the preferred option in the backfield.

    A couple of new veterans at Tight End with C.J. Uzomah (from CIN) and Tyler Conklin (from MIN) help Flacco and the Jets early on in the season find some upgrades. Overall, the Jets are poised to be the underdogs in almost every game this season. In their first 10 weeks, they will face the Bengals, Packers, Dolphins, Bills, and Patriots twice. That sounds like a recipe for another 4 wins or less season.

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New Orleans Saints 2017 Season Preview

The New Orleans Saints have failed to qualify for the postseason in three consecutive years, and it’s clear the team is desperate to make one final run with future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. In a move that firmly illustrated the urgency the Saints organization is feeling, the team went out and signed veteran running back Adrian Peterson in free-agency, hoping the former Viking can re-establish himself as one of the top runners in the sport after several injury plagued campaigns. It remains to be seen how well the experiment will work, or how successful New Orleans can be in a difficult NFC South, but the team should no doubt be more interesting to watch than they were a year ago.

2016 Record: 7-9

Notable Additions: WR Ted Ginn Jr., RB Adrian Peterson, G Larry Warford, LB Manti Te’o, QB Chase Daniel, LB A.J. Klein

Notable Subtractions: WR Brandin Cooks, S Jairus Byrd, OL Tim Lelito, RB Tim Hightower, DL John Jenks

Notable Rookies: CB Marshon Lattimore, OT Ryan Ramczyk, S Marcus Williams

Analysis: Longtime Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees led the NFL with 5,208 passing yards last season while his  37 touchdown passes finished behind only Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan, and as mentioned above, New Orleans is cognizant that they are running out of time to win with their leader. The addition of Adrian Peterson is a low-risk/potentially high-reward answer at running back for an offense that will severely miss departed wide receiver, Brandin Cooks. The defense will determine just how good the Saints can be. For far too long Brees has had to attempt to win shootouts time and time again. The additions of linebackers Manti Te’o and A.J. Klein should help, especially against the run, and the team is counting on first round pick Marshon Lattimore to bring stability to the secondary.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Season Preview

The Tampa Bay Bucs have been a young team on an upward trajectory since the day they drafted Jameis Winston number one overall, and after barely missing crashing the postseason party a year ago, the squad in southwest Florida believes the upcoming campaign will be a breakthrough season for them. Already armed with an elite wide receiver in Mike Evans, Winston has been given more toys to play with by Tampa Bay GM Jason Licht, with speed burner DeSean Jackson added on a free-agent pact, and Alabama tight end O.J. Howard selected in the first round of the draft.

2016 Record: 9-7

Notable Additions: WR DeSean Jackson, T.J. Ward

Notable Subtractions: QB Mike Glennon

Notable Rookies: TE O.J. Howard, S Justin Evans, WR Chris Goodwin

Analysis: The Bucs are a popular pick to take the next step in their ascension and seriously compete for a playoff spot in 2017, and whether they make it or not, they should be one of the more fun teams to watch. Adding DeSean Jackson makes this offense drastically more difficult to defend, as if opposing defense’s choose to try to take Mike Evans away, Winston has a legitimate deep threat that will be one on one against the other team’s number two corner. O.J. Howard was a matchup nightmare in college and his skill set as a big bodied tight end should make him a dangerous red zone target, while incumbent tight end Cameron Brate scored eight touchdowns in ’16. Doug Martin struggled last season and will miss the first game of the year due to a drug suspension, and for this team to go where they want to in the year ahead they’ll need him to rebound and provide a consistent running game. Gerald McCoy leads a bend-but-doesn’t-break defensive unit that shouldn’t have to try to win games on their own like Bucs’ teams of old, as this offense should in theory put up a lot of points.

Atlanta Falcons 2017 Season Preview

If you are the Atlanta Falcons, how do you pick up the pieces from last year’s Super Bowl? It’s been discussed more times than you can count: The Dirty Birds found a way to completely collapse in the 4th quarter and hand New England yet another Lombardi Trophy. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will lead a still stacked Falcons roster into training camp, but it remains to be seen if the hangover from last year’s disappointing conclusion will leave any lasting impact.

2016 Record: 11-5

Notable Additions: DE Jack Crawford, Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian, DT Dontari Poe,

Notable Subtractions: Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan, DE Dwight Freeney, FB Patrick DiMarco

Notable Rookies: DE Takkarist McKinley, LB Duke Riley, G Sean Harlow

Analysis: When analyzing the Atlanta Falcons and their chances in the upcoming season, it isn’t even necessarily the physical talent you are assessing. If you’re going solely on that, you’d love this team, as QB Matt Ryan just won MVP, Julio Jones is the best wide receiver alive, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman form a lethal backfield combination, and their defense is better than you’d think. Two things stand out as potential hiccups for the Falcons. With Kyle Shanahan taking the reins in San Francisco, it remains to be seen how a change in offensive coordinator will affect the team. It won’t be apparent until the 2017 season really gets going that we’ll know just how much of a difference not having him here will be, but it certainly will not help in any way. In addition, will there be a mental after-effect of being so close to a Super Bowl title before letting Tom Brady and New England snatch it away? The Super Bowl disappointment will be a whole different animal, as while any athlete will tell you they are solely focused on the task at hand, it’s understood that the vast majority of football players never get to play for a Lombardi Trophy let alone win one. To control a game of that magnitude for three and a half quarters and let it slip away is something that will remain with these players for the rest of their lives.

Carolina Panthers 2017 Season Preview

Following a dominant 2015 regular season that ultimately ended in a Super Bowl appearance, the Carolina Panthers were feeling pretty good about themselves this time last year. Unfortunately for Ron Rivera, Cam Newton and company, over the course of the next four months the Panthers accumulated only six wins, finishing dead last in the NFC South, and while their arch rivals in Atlanta were cruising through the NFC playoffs, Carolina was left wondering where it all went wrong. On paper Carolina’s talent is undeniable and more than one Panther has boasted confidence they can turn in a strong bounce back season. However, wins in this league aren’t easy to come by, and talk can only get you so far.

2016 Record: 6-10

Notable Additions: LB Julius Peppers

Notable Subtractions: Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott, S Tre Boston, WR Philly Brown, WR Ted Ginn

Notable Rookies: RB Christian McCaffrey, OL Taylor Morton, WR Curtis Samuel

Analysis: If the Panthers are going to turn in the type of rebound campaign they believe they are capable of, they’ll need a serious bounce back from star quarterback Cam Newton, who struggled a year ago after winning the MVP award the prior season. In an effort to give the face of their franchise every opportunity to succeed, Carolina drafted dynamic playmaker Christian McAffrey in the first round, a speed burner from Stanford who can line up everywhere on offense, and should be a match-up nightmare for opposing teams. For the most part the Panthers’ defense remained intact over the offseason, but they did add a familiar face: pass rusher Julius Peppers, who enjoyed the best years of his career during his first stint in Charlotte.  

San Francisco 49ers 2017 Season Preview

The once-proud San Francisco 49ers franchise was literally the worst team in the NFC in 2016, but with new men steering the ship, the organization feels they are not far from returning to respectability. Kyle Shanahan has been a successful coordinator in this league for several years, and he was finally given his first opportunity to run his own team immediately following the Falcons’ loss in last February’s Super Bowl. Former Pro Bowl safety John Lynch also joined San Francisco as the new GM. Together, the two men with immense football lineage will set their sights on turning the tide in the Bay Area.

2016 Record: 2-14

Notable Additions: GM John Lynch, Head Coach Kyle Shanahan, WR Pierre Garcon, LB Brock Coyle, RB Kapri Bibbs, QB Matt Barkley, OT Garry Gilliam, WR Marquise Goodwin, TE Logan Paulson, WR Aldrick Robinson, DT Earl Mitchell, RB Tim Hightower, K Robbie Gould, FB Kyle Juszczyk, LB Malcolm Smith, QB Brian Hoyer

Notable Subtractions: GM Trent Baalke, Head Coach Chip Kelly, S Antoine Bethea, CB Tramaine Brock, RB Shaun Draughn, QB Colin Kaepernick, K Phil Dawson, OL Marcus Martin, WR Torrey Smith, WR Quinton Patton, LB Gerald Hodges

Notable Rookies: DL Solomon Adams, LB Reuben Foster, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, QB C.J. Beathard, RB Joe Williams, TE George Kittle, WR Trent Taylor

Analysis: While the 49ers’ 2016 campaign was an unmitigated disaster, most would agree the organization had a tremendous offseason. The new GM/Head coach combination of John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan brings instant credibility to this franchise, and you have to give the pair credit for what they were able to accomplish in just a few short months. Starting with a brilliant draft day trade with the Bears to slide down just one pick, while acquiring several future selections, and still getting the man they wanted (defensive lineman Solomon Adams), Lynch and Shanahan have set this team up to be much better moving forward. Like Adams, second round pick Reuben Foster is believed to be a cornerstone defensive player that can be a perennial pro bowler. Shanahan had wide receiver Pierre Garcon in Washington and was thrilled to bring the playmaker west, while Malcolm Smith and Earl Mitchell will join the rookies on defense to in all likelihood make that unit the strength of this team. The one thing missing from San Francisco’s offseason was a legit quarterback, as the Niners are set to go with a combination of Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley behind center. That could have been strategic, though, as Redskins’ QB Kirk Cousins is set to hit free-agency this offseason. Given his ties to both Shanahan and Garcon, it would make sense to assume San Francisco is planning to make a run at the former Michigan State Spartan.

Seattle Seahawks 2017 Season Preview

Last season the majority of outsiders viewed the Seattle Seahawks as “good, but not as good as they used to be,” which was probably a fair assessment. Despite a slow start, and thanks in large part to playing in a relatively easy division, the Seahawks were able to reach double digits in wins and even win a playoff contest with the Lions. Seattle enters the 2017 campaign, again, not as frightening as they once were. However, playing in an NFC West than includes both the Rams and 49ers, they have to be the favorite to take home yet another division crown.

2016 Record: 10-5-1

Notable Additions: RB Eddie Lacy, DE David Bass, OT Oday Aboushi, LB Arthur Brown, RB Mike Davis, OT Luke Joeckel, DE Dion Jordan, S Bradley McDougald, K Blair Walsh

Notable Subtractions: LB Brock Coyle, K Steven Hauschka, RT John Jenkins, TE Brandon Williams, OT Garry Gilliam, RB Marshawn Lynch’s rights

Notable Rookies: DT Malik McDowell, OL Ethan Pocic, CB Shaquill Griffin, S Delano Hill

Analysis: The thing that stands out most about the Seahawks’ offseason is the addition of former Packer Eddie Lacy, who will allow Seattle to play the smash mouth type of football they were able to utilize when Marshawn Lynch was taking handoffs from Russell Wilson. Speaking of Wilson, his ability to be a prolific dual threat quarterback will always create problems for opposing defenses. While he’s proven over and over again he can beat you with his legs, his arm can be just as lethal, with weapons like Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin at his disposal. The Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” secondary is not as terrifying as it was when they made it to back to back Super Bowl – there were even rumors of Richard Sherman potentially being traded leading up to the draft – Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor will continue providing this team with a strong defensive backfield. Linebacker Bobby Wagner led the NFL in tackles last season, and led by defensive end Michael Bennett, Seattle’s front four should be able to get pressure on the opposing quarterback.

Arizona Cardinals 2017 Season Preview

After winning the NFC West in 2015, the Arizona Cardinals were a popular pick to return to the postseason a year ago, but that was just not in the cards (pun intended). Bruce Arians’ team struggled through a 7-8-1 campaign, although with a +56 point differential you could make a case for them being unlucky. Led by star running back David Johnson and future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona’s offense should continue to put up points. That, combined with a defense loaded with playmakers, this team could be in line for a significant rebound in 2017.

2016 Record: 7-8-1

Notable Additions: S Antoine Bethea, OLB Jarvis Jones, LB Karlos Dansby, K Phil Dawson, QB Blaine Gabbert

Notable Subtractions: DE Calais Campbell, S Tony Jefferson, TE Darren Fells, LB Alex Okafor, S D.J. Swearinger, LB Daryl Washington, G Earl Watford, LB Kevin Minter

Notable Rookies: LB Haasan Reddick, S Budda Baker, WR Chad Williams, G Dorian Johnson

Analysis: The Cardinals believe they have the capability to compete with the Seahawks for the NFC West division crown in the upcoming season, and they have good reason for their confidence. Quarterback Carson Palmer is still a competent gunslinger, and multi-purpose back David Johnson is a match-up nightmare both running the ball and catching it out of the backfield. Arizona’s defense will miss Calais Campbell, D.J. Swearinger, and Tony Jefferson tremendously, but Tyrann Mathieu and Deone Bucannon give them two elite defenders at premium positions. Veteran kicker Phil Dawson is one of the more successful specialists in NFL history, and his addition should help improve a special teams unit that left something to be desired a year ago.

Los Angeles Rams 2017 Season Preview

The Rams much hyped return to Los Angeles got off to a strong start but by year’s end, head coach Jeff Fisher had been fired, number one overall pick Jared Goff had disappointed, and GM Les Snead was left wondering what had gone wrong. New coach Sean McVay brings with him a strong offensive reputation, and much of the Rams’ future success will depend on whether or not the former Redskins’ coordinator can bring out the best in the aforementioned Goff, a particularly interesting dynamic given he did not draft the former University of California QB.

2016 Record: 4-12

Notable Additions: WR Sammy Watkins, RB Lance Dunbar, DE Connor Barwin, CB Nikell Robey-Coleman, DT Tyrunn Walker, QB Aaron Murray, C John Sullivan, CB Kayvon Webster, OT Andrew Whitworth, WR Robert Woods

Notable Subtractions: WR Kenny Britt, C Tim Barnes, DE Eugene Sims, S T.J. McDonald

Notable Rookies: TE Gerald Everett, WR Cooper Kupp, S John Johnson, WR Josh Reynolds

Analysis: The Rams’ return to Los Angeles was much celebrated in southern California, but it didn’t take all that long for fans to turn on the team, particularly the aforementioned Goff. Los Angeles traded a boatload of picks during the 2016 draft to select the local boy, who quite frankly turned out to be the least successful of a deep quarterback class. The addition of former Bills’ speed burner Sammy Watkins should give Goff a dynamic downfield weapon, while top pick Gerald Everett will attempt to create mismatches in the middle of the field. Running back Todd Gurley regressed last season after a dominant rookie year in ’15, but if this team can prove they can get the ball downfield in the passing game, it should help open up running lanes. Veterans Nikell Robey-Coleman and Connor Barwin should, in theory, bring leadership and stability to a defensive unit that struggled for much of last season. While the Rams are unlikely to seriously compete for a playoff spot in the year ahead, they should be markedly better than they were a year ago.