What is different now compared to the first 7 games last season?

I thought I'd watch those first seven games again of last season to see what's left of that and I thought like "what is our current state compared to what made us good back then?" Here are my thoughts (and for you to remember, "same" is good. 🙂 )

Dak: Well, Dak is Dak. But, he's probably fully healed and confident again. I still don't believe he is a top 5 QB and a difference maker, but he was definately in control of that offense during the first 7 games even though the box collapsed every now and then. I think he can be at least as good. Verdict: Same (0)

WR: Coop's gone, that's definately a big one. He drew the attention to him and definately opened up space for Lamb and the others. But Lamb did make alot of stellar plays and his quick understanding of what's happening around him should have improved even more. But now he will have to create room for the others and still get open. Can he do that as good as Coop? Probably not. But his whole game after the catch was and is just stellar. So he has to build on that. But if we don't pick up another good name I'd still say we won't be as good as last year during the first 7. Verdict: worse (-1)

O line: Damn, they really clicked during those two months. Created so many holes for Zeke and Tony, that was impressive. Plus, the one trouble maker (read penalty collector) is gone. Can the rookies fill the wholes though? I really don't know. Verdict: Can't say, it's the second biggest question mark. (0)

Running game: Zeke should be healthy again, Pollard at least as good as last year, if not better. Alot depends on the O line, sure, but I still think both can get back what they had last September and October. Verdict: Same (0)

Offensive Coordinator: He will be the focal point (biggest question mark) and the difference maker. People say opponents learned his game and he couldn't adapt during the second half of the season or at least against contenders. In my opinion the kid won't find the philosophers' stone until season starts, but what he can and should do is be more creative again. His playbook was so versatile during those first games, it was so much fun to watch. Pollard made the most yards when he was used as receiver or went outside. Lamb came out of the backfield. Options wherever you went. Awesome. This is what he can do in my opinion. Verdict: Little worse (-0.5)

Defense: Our D-Line isn't exactly a gem, but as a whole our D should be at least as good if not better. Micah will be Micah, only with the experience of one full season under his belt. Diggs should be able to cover better, find the golden middle between still being a ball hawk but covering his ground. LVE slowly working back to his rookie year performance? Verdict: Better (1)

Defense coordinator: Probably better. He knows his guys now and added guys he wanted. Verdict: better (1)

Coach: Meh… Verdict: Same (0)

Opponents: Well, our schedule has us facing 3 contenders within our first 7 games. Most people would say this is a disadvangate when comparing us to what they got out of last years first seven games. BUT: its not about a stellar regular season. Its about reaching the play offs somehow and THEN put up the big show. So I don't care if they start the season 4-3 or even 3-4. But HOW they play against contenders will be important. Cant they beat TB, the Bengals or the Rams? They should be able to beat at least one of them. Which would be prove that we're on. So in my opinion? This is an advantage. Verdict: Better for us. (1)

FO: Hmm, once the season has started, its all about the team and what they do on the pitch. But I think IF it becomes obvious, that we are in desperate need of another WR for example, they will act. Other than that I'm expecting the same clown show as every year. Verdict: Same (0)

So, whats the outcome? +1.5. In my opinion they should be able to get back what they had during that awesome streak last year. Which doesn't mean they have to go 6-1. BUT they have to give the contenders a run for they money and show us that they can compete. The personell is missing one key player, other than that the Boys are back in town. Plus more experienced and healed. Just do it.

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