San Fransisco 49ers
The big thing for the 49ers is that Jimmy G will be back under center and that should solve a lot of last year’s problems. In the backfield, the 49ers offense returns Jerick McKinnon, who was also lost to injury. He’ll team up with Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida, which gives the 49ers one of the most potent backfields in the NFL and will make this Niners offense one of the most diverse in the entire league. Rookie wideouts Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd deepen an underappreciated depth chart there too, and give Jimmy G many more weapons through the air. Don’t forget George Kittle who may be able to take over the mantle as the best receiving Tight End in the NFL now that Gronk has retired.
On defense, the improvements may be even more dramatic for the 49ers. Kwon Alexander has had health issues lately, but he fits this Niners defense perfectly. Throw in Dee Ford with No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa to form what could be one of the NFL’s best pressure-creating tandems in the NFL and you have the makings of a very good defense up front.
Division wise I think a lot of questions surround the rest of the NFC West. Seattle has Russell Wilson, but seem to lose more around him every year than they gain. Arizona looks to be a mess and the Rams have questions at QB and also questions about the health of running back Todd Gurley.
The Bengals have a talented offense skill position wise with Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and emerging star Joe Mixon at running back. The biggest question in this possible turn around will be on defense and mainly at Linebacker.
Linebacker is a weak point for the Bengals, but they are solid everywhere else. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap head up a big-time pass rush deepened with names like Carl Lawson and Sam Hubbard. The secondary still has outside corner shutdown potential with William Jackson, and we’d be talking about Jessie Bates as the best rookie safety from the 2018 class were it not for Derwin James. Bates was off the charts as a rookie last year, so in the end, everything for the Bengals will hinge on the play they get from the Linebacker position.
When looking at the division the Ravens are Quarterbacked by Lamar Jackson and that will lead to the Raven’s downfall. The Steelers have lost a lot and are led by an aging Quarterback. The Browns are just over-hyped.
The biggest thing here will be can Quarterback Matthew Stafford bounce back from an average year? Offensively the weapons that were added in the offseason have to give Lions fans hope. Start off with the addition of Danny Amendola now helping to keep the chains moving. First-round pick T.J. Hockenson was the draft’s most well-rounded Tight End, which has to have Matthew Stafford excited also. The biggest key to this turnaround could be running back Kerryon Johnson who I believe the Lions could turn into a workhorse back. Combine Johnson with a solid passing game and the Lions could make some noise this season.
The Lions on defense should have one of the most dominant front sevens in all of football with new addition Trey Flowers and with key returners Damon Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson, and Da’Shawn Hand. If Linebacker Jarrad Davis keeps improving the Lions could be a very dangerous team in 2019.
Divisionally Kirk Cousins is the Vikings Quarterback, the Packers have a new head coach and the Bears have to drop off, don’t they?