NINEster wrote:loafoftatupu wrote:It's no great prognostication to say the Hawks don't win the 2014 title. It is difficult to do for anyone, but with the consistency of the roster and staff it should be easier to win it for the Hawks than a team that hasn't proven they can do it.
Talking about losing players? Who didn't lose players? What is important to note is that every area hit by the loss of a player is a position that can absorb it. The D line uses a rotation and a spot was back filled with talent, Thurmond and Browner? The Hawks already played a bunch of games without those guys. Same goes for Giaco and McQ. The only real concern I have is the change a PR. Losing Tate at WR isn't a problem to me, losing Tate the PR could be, but as long as the replacement isn't dropping kicks, the loss can be mitigated.
It isn't like the Ravens, who relied on a large number of expensive, veteran players or the Giants who consistently scraped into the playoffs and got Eli on his best for Playoff runs. The Hawks are not erratic, they have been a tough out since 2011.
The schedule? Not much different than the 49ers. The two games that are different are comparable. Would you rather play the Panthers or the Saints? Bears or Packers at home?
Whatever happens to the Hawks, they will remain in the conversation of a title until the core of the team cannot play well. Obviously this is a big deal to Niner fans because it has been a "us or them" thing. Just like the Niners are a big deal to us.
I think the loss of players has much more to do with big game showdowns in the playoffs than the ability to win 10-13 games in the regular season. Anyone who suggests that the Seahawks will become an 8 win team because of these losses is silly. But it could be the tipping point in games that are decided with 1 possession late.
The Niners have been here before with the Cowboys in the '90s. '92 the 49ers were outmatched in the trenches by Dallas, but had a bit more firepower to hide the real issues. '93 it came out more, and in the playoffs it was ugly, esp. on defense.
So the resolve in the '94 offseason was to admit the 49ers had some real issues and they would have to address them in free agency. They systematically hit all the areas of weakness and became world champions (barely).
Now I was addressing 49er additions, and not so much Cowboy subtractions. But you can look at it in similar ways if Seattle loses certain key guys that caused problems for SF -- particularly Red Bryant on defense, and Golden Tate on offense/special teams.
I've always expressed a bigger concern for the Seattle run defense more than the pass defense, as a 49er ground game that puts down 4.0+ YPC is a very tough team to beat. So if I could weaken the Seattle run defense further in the front 7 at the expense of you guys retaining Browner or Thurmond, I'd be for it.
As far as Tate is concerned he was an issue. I forget at what point of the NFCC it was when the Niners got a big score and Tate had a big return immediately after. I remember seeing similar breaking points against the Giants with David Wilson and Jacoby Jones with Baltimore.
I know Seahawks fans will spin it the other way, but I like the loss of Bryant and Tate going forward for critical matchups against the 49ers.
Meanwhile SF bolsters their WR corps, and appears to improve their running game. It very much feels like the '94 offseason where we're admitting we have to be more aggressive towards our rival.
As far as the schedule is concerned, I do feel the 49ers have a more favorable schedule as far as opponents and locations of games. Green Bay is clearly better than Chicago (or more consistently good in big games), and the Saints in their stadium is still a team that needs to be respected (we've yet to see these Seahawks play there yet). I think they still were a better home team than the Panthers were.
I like having the Chargers and Chiefs in Santa Clara while you get Denver and Oakland at home. You "waste" a home game versus Oakland, and possibly another against Denver. If SF beats Denver and Oakland on the road, they have it easier against the other two at home.
Looking at it historically, it's hard and pretty rare to go 4-0 against an intraconference division. Yes, Denver is the best team in that division but that only means over the course of a season not any one particular game. We're also assuming these teams stay the same from last year.
As far as the NFC East, SF goes to Dallas and to NYG, host Philly and Washington; you get the opposite. If we assume these teams stay the same from a year ago, I like that. The former two teams hardly have any home field advantage, and the Niners are assured warm weather games against the other two teams.
When I look at the Seahawks schedule overall, I see that they host a lot of very good teams. Depending on how you look at it, you can see that as a pro/con. Pro in that it gives the Seahawks a better chance to win, but Con in that the home schedule is noticeably tougher than last year's.
Can Seattle keep going 7-1 or 8-0 at home each year, while keeping up a 6-2 road record. That will be tough.
It's all about winning the NFC West for supremacy of the NFC IMHO. Based on the offseason transactions and schedule this year (and a little bit of homerism), I like SF.
I will admit that the secondary is a big question mark, and will continue to be until they prove themselves.
That big return was Baldwin, not Tate. Like the niners all you want and enjoy the freefall with them.