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NFL Preview

(last updated on 8/15/2011)
Last Updated: 9/14/2011 11:53 AM ET

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The Predictalator has already played the 2011 NFL season 50,000 times before it's actually played. The Green Bay Packers repeat as Super Bowl champions, winning it all league-high 13.0% of the time. In the most likely Super Bowl, Green Bay defeats the San Diego Chargers 57.0% of the time and by an average score of 26-23. San Diego, the AFC's top-seed, wins the Super Bowl 10.5% of the time. The Philadelphia Eagles (10.3%), Pittsburgh Steelers (9.7%) and New England Patriots (9.4%) follow the Packers and Chargers in Super Bowl likelihood.

Below, we explain How This Works and breakdown every team division-by-division. In each team's preview, the "Most Important" players are those whose play is most critical to the team's success. Typically, they will be young, injury-prone or inconsistent players who could just as likely play well and help the team as play poorly or miss games to hurt the team. For instance, free agent acquisition, Nnamdi Asomugha, clearly makes a big difference in the Philadelphia Eagles' secondary. He is already the best defensive player on the team. However, with a revamped defensive line of strong players and one of the best defensive backfields in the league, the onus is now on rookie middle linebacker Casey Matthews to hold together a linebacker corps that is the weakest position on the defense. Also, the Offensive and Defensive Rankings are based on the how many points a team would score (offense) or allow (defense) if each team played the same, league-average schedule.

See: How This Works, Season Summary and Division Previews: AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, AFC South, NFC East, NFC North, NFC West and NFC South

How This Works
Just as the Predictalator plays each individual NFL game 50,000 times before it's actually played, it can also play the entire NFL season 50,000 times before it's actually played. The actual 2011 regular season and playoff schedules have been played 50,000 times, allowing us to compute average records and likelihoods of each team making their playoffs, winning the division and bringing home the Super Bowl trophy.

The Predictalator's technology is built to handle such a demanding task. Making sure that we have the best possible inputs for players' statistics, progression over time and age, roles, health and playing time as well as teams' coaching styles and weather are keys to the accuracy of the output.

In general, we apply strength-of-schedule-adjusted, relevant statistics from the player's most recent 64 professional games (~4 seasons of data that are weighted more heavily on the most recent 16 games) to a fairly traditional player development curve that considers age and previous playing time. Not only does this development curve help to set average inputs, it combines with health history to dictate the variance ("boom or bust" potential) of a player's inputs.

Playing time estimation is more of an art than a science for all players who are expected to see significant starting time in 2011. That being said, gaps have been filled in by our best approximations of average bench and role players on teams. This has a very minor impact on average results.

Once that math and statistical analysis is evaluated, importing a schedule and running the games 50,000 times each is simple.

See: How This Works, Season Summary and Division Previews: AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, AFC South, NFC East, NFC North, NFC West and NFC South

Season Summary
A difficult schedule and early-season injury issues kept the Green Bay Packers from dominating during the regular season in 2010. Once the playoffs started though, everything clicked for the team that was our preseason NFC representative in the Super Bowl (we had Green Bay losing to the AFC Conference Championship participant New York Jets in our original projected Super Bowl). This season, with just about everyone back, including players like Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley who missed most of last season, the Packers look like the clear favorites in the NFL. Green Bay wins a league-high 11.4 games to take the NFC North, which has four teams projected to win 7.9 or more wins, 59.0% of the time, ultimately making the playoffs an NFL-best 79.3%. The Packers go on to make the Super Bowl 21.8%, winning it 13.0% of the time.

Had the San Diego Chargers sneaked into the playoffs last season, we may have seen a similar, meteoric rise through the conference playoffs and into the Super Bowl. Even with holdouts from and injuries to some of the most important players on the team, San Diego out-gained opponents by a remarkable 1.3 yards-per-play. Special teams issues and a lot of bad luck (including seeing Kansas City face one of the easiest schedules we have seen) combined with injury and off-field issues to keep the Chargers out of the playoffs despite consistently ranking in the top five of our Power Rankings. Do not expect to see San Diego miss the post-season again this season. The Chargers, with an easier 2011 schedule, win the AFC West an NFL-high 66.8% of the time, earning the conference's top seed with an average of 11.1 wins. The Chargers take advantage of that homefield advantage to make the Super Bowl 18.5%, winning it 10.5% of the time.

The Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers and Houston Texans - replacing Chicago, Seattle, Kansas City and Indianapolis respectively - represent new teams in our most likely playoffs that did not make last year's post-season. Most notably Houston ends the Colts' nine-season postseason streak by winning the AFC South. The reason is one of the most interesting we have ever seen. A Week 10 matchup at Jacksonville in 2010 that ended in a Hail Mary touchdown by the Jaguars not only squashed Houston's playoff hopes, taking the Texans under .500 after starting 3-1, it meant the difference in division standings between the Jaguars and Texans. Had Houston won that game (and nothing else changed), the Texans would have to face other second-place AFC teams in San Diego and the New York Jets. Instead, Houston gets Oakland and Miami on its 2011 slate. That's the 17th and 24th ranked teams in our preseason Power Rankings as opposed to having to take on third and sixth ranked teams. Since the Texans win the division by less than 0.1 games over Indianapolis, that quirk in the schedule is a significant difference.

Looking at the results, downfield passing offenses reign in 2011. The Packers and Chargers are second and third in our passing efficiency rankings, while eight of the top ten passing teams make our most likely playoffs. No team ranking in the bottom 15 of these rankings wins more than 8.2 games on average.

Based on the analysis, here is the projected NFL 2011 Playoff bracket. It should be noted however, that this exact bracket only occurred 301 of the 50,000 seasons played by the Predictalator:

AFC

Wild Card Round
#6 Baltimore 21 @ #3 New England 27
#5 New York Jets 25 @ #4 Houston 22

Divisional Round
#3 New England 22 @ #2 Pittsburgh 23
#5 New York Jets 17 @ #1 San Diego 23

AFC Championship
#2 Pittsburgh 19 @ #1 San Diego 21

NFC

Wild Card Round

#6 Dallas 23 @ #3 New Orleans 26
#5 Atlanta 27@ #4 Arizona 21

Divisional Round
#5 Atlanta 19 @ #1 Green Bay 27
#3 New Orleans 17 @ #2 Philadelphia 24

NFC Championship
#2 Philadelphia 21 @ #1 Green Bay 24

Super Bowl
Green Bay 26 over San Diego 23

Other Info:
Teams that should surprise (good): San Diego Chargers, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals
Teams that should surprise (bad): Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs
Most Important Player (AFC): Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Most Important Player (NFC):
Casey Matthews, LB, Philadelphia Eagles
Most Important Rookie (AFC):
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Most Important Rookie (NFC):
Casey Matthews, LB, Philadelphia Eagles

To view, breakdowns on every team and conference, please Sign Up for FREE today. To see projected stats and rankings for over 350 players, check out our Fantasy Football Preview.

See: How This Works, Season Summary and Division Previews: AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, AFC South, NFC East, NFC North, NFC West and NFC South

AFC East Preview

New England Patriots
Power Rank: 5
Offensive Rank:
1
Defensive Rank:
15
Division Standing:
1
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 10.7 - 5.3
Biggest Strength: Braintrust of Brady and Belichick
Greatest Weakness: Pass Defense
Most Important Offensive Player: Tom Brady
Most Important Defensive Player: Devin McCourty
Fantasy Stud: Tom Brady
Fantasy Dud: Chad Ochocinco
Fantasy Sleeper: Shane Vereen

New York Jets
Power Rank: 6
Offensive Rank:
16
Defensive Rank:
4
Division Standing:
2
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 9.3 - 6.7
Biggest Strength: Overall Defense
Greatest Weakness: Kicking Game
Most Important Offensive Player: Mark Sanchez
Most Important Defensive Player: Antonio Cromartie
Fantasy Stud: Santonio Holmes
Fantasy Dud: Plaxico Burress
Fantasy Sleeper: Mark Sanchez

Miami Dolphins
Power Rank: 17
Offensive Rank:
29
Defensive Rank:
2
Division Standing:
3
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 8
Projected Record: 7.3 - 8.7
Biggest Strength: Defense
Greatest Weakness: Offense
Most Important Offensive Player: Chad Henne
Most Important Defensive Player: Paul Soliai
Fantasy Stud: Brandon Marshall
Fantasy Dud: Brian Hartline
Fantasy Sleeper: Daniel Thomas

Buffalo Bills
Power Rank: 22
Offensive Rank:
30
Defensive Rank:
21
Division Standing:
4
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected Record: 6.3 - 9.7
Biggest Strength: Pass Defense
Greatest Weakness: Scoring Points (Especially in Brutal Division)
Most Important Offensive Player: Steve Johnson
Most Important Defensive Player: Kyle Williams
Fantasy Stud: Steve Johnson
Fantasy Dud: Scott Chandler
Fantasy Sleeper: C.J. Spiller

See: How This Works, Season Summary and Division Previews: AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, AFC South, NFC East, NFC North, NFC West and NFC South

AFC North Preview

Pittsburgh Steelers
Power Rank: 4
Offensive Rank:
15
Defensive Rank:
1
Division Standing:
1
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 11.1 - 4.9
Biggest Strength: Elite, Experienced Defense
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Line
Most Important Offensive Player: Willie Colon
Most Important Defensive Player: Troy Polamalu
Fantasy Stud: Defense
Fantasy Dud: Hines Ward
Fantasy Sleeper: Isaac Redman

Baltimore Ravens
Power Rank: 7
Offensive Rank:
14
Defensive Rank:
6
Division Standing:
2
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 9.9 - 6.1
Biggest Strength: Elite, Experienced Defense
Greatest Weakness: Inexperience in Passing Game (Including Line)
Most Important Offensive Player: Michael Oher
Most Important Defensive Player: Ed Reed
Fantasy Stud: Ray Rice
Fantasy Dud: Ricky Williams
Fantasy Sleeper: Dennis Pitta

Cleveland Browns
Power Rank: 20
Offensive Rank:
25
Defensive Rank:
14
Division Standing:
3
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 7.7 - 8.3
Biggest Strength: Special Teams and Running Game
Greatest Weakness: Defensive Turnover (Five new starters plus coordinator and change to 4-3 from 3-4)
Most Important Offensive Player: Joshua Cribbs
Most Important Defensive Player: Phil Taylor
Fantasy Stud: Peyton Hillis
Fantasy Dud: Mohamed Massaquoi
Fantasy Sleeper: Greg Little

Cincinnati Bengals
Power Rank: 31
Offensive Rank:
31
Defensive Rank:
19
Division Standing:
4
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 5.9 - 10.1
Biggest Strength: Youth and Athleticism
Greatest Weakness: Youth and Inexperience
Most Important Offensive Player: Andy Dalton
Most Important Defensive Player: Nate Clements
Fantasy Stud: Cedric Benson
Fantasy Dud: Jerome Simpson
Fantasy Sleeper: Jordan Shipley

See: How This Works, Season Summary and Division Previews: AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, AFC South, NFC East, NFC North, NFC West and NFC South

AFC South Preview

Houston Texans
Power Rank: 16
Offensive Rank:
2
Defensive Rank:
28
Division Standing:
1
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 4
Projected Record: 9.3 - 6.7
Biggest Strength: Scoring Points
Greatest Weakness: Passing Defense
Most Important Offensive Player: Duane Brown
Most Important Defensive Player: Jonathan Joseph
Fantasy Stud: Arian Foster
Fantasy Dud: Defense
Fantasy Sleeper: Dorin Dickerson

Indianapolis Colts
Power Rank: 14
Offensive Rank:
7
Defensive Rank:
17
Division Standing:
2
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected Record: 9.3 - 6.7
Biggest Strength: Peyton Manning
Greatest Weakness: Tough Schedule (Much More Difficult Than Houston)
Most Important Offensive Player: Peyton Manning (obvious, but health is concern)
Most Important Defensive Player: Kavell Conner
Fantasy Stud: Peyton Manning
Fantasy Dud: Joseph Addai
Fantasy Sleeper: Delone Carter

Tennessee Titans
Power Rank: 27
Offensive Rank:
28
Defensive Rank:
32
Division Standing:
3
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 6.4 - 9.6
Biggest Strength: Dynamic Rushing Attack
Greatest Weakness: Overall Defense
Most Important Offensive Player: Chris Johnson
Most Important Defensive Player: Cortland Finnegan
Fantasy Stud: Chris Johnson
Fantasy Dud: Matt Hasselbeck
Fantasy Sleeper: Jared Cook

Jacksonville Jaguars
Power Rank: 32
Offensive Rank:
27
Defensive Rank:
26
Division Standing:
4
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 8
Projected Record: 4.4 - 11.6
Biggest Strength: Maurice Jones-Drew
Greatest Weakness: Defense (Worst Against Run and Pass)
Most Important Offensive Player: Jason Spitz
Most Important Defensive Player: Aaron Kampman
Fantasy Stud: Maurice Jones-Drew
Fantasy Dud: Everyone Else
Fantasy Sleeper: Rashad Jennings

See: How This Works, Season Summary and Division Previews: AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, AFC South, NFC East, NFC North, NFC West and NFC South

AFC West Preview

San Diego Chargers
Power Rank: 3
Offensive Rank:
4
Defensive Rank:
5
Division Standing:
1
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 4
Projected Record: 11.1 - 4.9
Biggest Strength: Downfield Pass Offense
Greatest Weakness: Run Offense and Special Teams
Most Important Offensive Player: Antonio Gates
Most Important Defensive Player: Donald Butler
Fantasy Stud: Philip Rivers
Fantasy Dud: Mike Tolbert
Fantasy Sleeper: Jordan Todman

Kansas City Chiefs
Power Rank: 18
Offensive Rank:
12
Defensive Rank:
22
Division Standing:
2
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 7.1 - 8.9
Biggest Strength: Run Offense
Greatest Weakness: Significantly More Difficult Schedule
Most Important Offensive Player: Branden Albert
Most Important Defensive Player: Kelly Gregg
Fantasy Stud: Jamaal Charles
Fantasy Dud: Jonathan Baldwin
Fantasy Sleeper: Dexter McCluster

Oakland Raiders
Power Rank: 24
Offensive Rank:
13
Defensive Rank:
31
Division Standing:
3
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 6 - 10.0
Biggest Strength: Run Offense
Greatest Weakness: Overall Defense
Most Important Offensive Player: Darren McFadden
Most Important Defensive Player: Chris Johnson
Fantasy Stud: Darren McFadden
Fantasy Dud: Defense
Fantasy Sleeper: Jacoby Ford

Denver Broncos
Power Rank: 28
Offensive Rank:
20
Defensive Rank:
29
Division Standing:
4
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected Record: 5.5 - 10.5
Biggest Strength: Downfield Pass Offense (with Kyle Orton)
Greatest Weakness: Rebuilding (Especially if that includes Tim Tebow)
Most Important Offensive Player: Kyle Orton
Most Important Defensive Player: Elvis Dumervil
Fantasy Stud: Brandon Lloyd
Fantasy Dud: Daniel Fells/Dante Rosario
Fantasy Sleeper: Eric Decker

See: How This Works, Season Summary and Division Previews: AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, AFC South, NFC East, NFC North, NFC West and NFC South

NFC East Preview

Philadelphia Eagles
Power Rank: 2
Offensive Rank:
3
Defensive Rank:
11
Division Standing:
1
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 11.3 - 4.7
Biggest Strength: Having A Dream Team
Greatest Weakness: Inexperience on Offensive Line and at Linebacker
Most Important Offensive Player: Michael Vick
Most Important Defensive Player: Casey Matthews
Fantasy Stud: Michael Vick
Fantasy Dud: Ronnie Brown
Fantasy Sleeper: Alex Henery

Dallas Cowboys
Power Rank: 9
Offensive Rank:
8
Defensive Rank:
13
Division Standing:
2
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected Record: 9.1 - 6.9
Biggest Strength: Explosive Offensive Playmakers
Greatest Weakness: Health and Instability
Most Important Offensive Player: Felix Jones
Most Important Defensive Player: Gerald Sensabaugh
Fantasy Stud: Jason Witten
Fantasy Dud: Tashard Choice
Fantasy Sleeper: Tony Romo

New York Giants
Power Rank: 12
Offensive Rank:
11
Defensive Rank:
12
Division Standing:
3
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 9
Projected Record: 8.5 - 7.5
Biggest Strength: Physicality at the Line of Scrimmage
Greatest Weakness: Special Teams and Turnovers
Most Important Offensive Player: William Beatty
Most Important Defensive Player: Jason Pierre-Paul
Fantasy Stud: Ahmad Bradshaw
Fantasy Dud: Lawrewnce Tynes
Fantasy Sleeper: Travis Beckum

Washington Redskins
Power Rank: 25
Offensive Rank:
21
Defensive Rank:
27
Division Standing:
4
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected Record: 6 - 10.0
Biggest Strength: Well Balanced
Greatest Weakness: Lacking Playmakers In Any Facet
Most Important Offensive Player: Rex Grossman/John Beck
Most Important Defensive Player: O.J. Atogwe
Fantasy Stud: Santana Moss
Fantasy Dud: Everyone Else
Fantasy Sleeper: Roy Helu

See: How This Works, Season Summary and Division Previews: AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, AFC South, NFC East, NFC North, NFC West and NFC South

NFC North Preview

Green Bay Packers
Power Rank: 1
Offensive Rank:
5
Defensive Rank:
3
Division Standing:
1
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 3
Projected Record: 11.4 - 4.6
Biggest Strength: Aggression (in Every Phase of the Game)
Greatest Weakness: Run Defense and Special Teams
Most Important Offensive Player: T.J. Lang
Most Important Defensive Player: B.J. Raji
Fantasy Stud: Aaron Rodgers
Fantasy Dud: Donald Driver
Fantasy Sleeper: Ryan Grant

Chicago Bears
Power Rank: 11
Offensive Rank:
22
Defensive Rank:
8
Division Standing:
2
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 8.2 - 7.8
Biggest Strength: Balanced, Experienced Defense
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Line
Most Important Offensive Player: J'Marcus Webb
Most Important Defensive Player: Nick Roach
Fantasy Stud: Matt Forte
Fantasy Dud: Johnny Knox
Fantasy Sleeper: Roy Williams

Minnesota Vikings
Power Rank: 15
Offensive Rank:
19
Defensive Rank:
10
Division Standing:
3
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 8
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 8 - 8.0
Biggest Strength: Rushing (Offense and Defense)
Greatest Weakness: Downfield Passing Game
Most Important Offensive Player: Charlie Johnson
Most Important Defensive Player: Brian Robison
Fantasy Stud: Adrian Peterson
Fantasy Dud: Bernard Berrian
Fantasy Sleeper: Kyle Rudolph

Detroit Lions
Power Rank: 13
Offensive Rank:
10
Defensive Rank:
20
Division Standing:
4
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected Record: 7.9 - 8.1
Biggest Strength: Defensive Balance (Upgraded At Every Level in Jim Schwartz Era)
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Uncertainty/Health
Most Important Offensive Player: Jahvid Best
Most Important Defensive Player: Nick Fairley
Fantasy Stud: Calvin Johnson
Fantasy Dud: Jerome Harrison
Fantasy Sleeper: Jahvid Best

See: How This Works, Season Summary and Division Previews: AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, AFC South, NFC East, NFC North, NFC West and NFC South

NFC South Preview

New Orleans Saints
Power Rank: 8
Offensive Rank:
9
Defensive Rank:
7
Division Standing:
1
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 4
Projected Record: 10.1 - 5.9
Biggest Strength: Braintrust of Brees and Payton
Greatest Weakness: Special Teams
Most Important Offensive Player: Jermon Bushrod
Most Important Defensive Player: Malcolm Jenkins
Fantasy Stud: Drew Brees
Fantasy Dud: Pierre Thomas
Fantasy Sleeper: Jimmy Graham

Atlanta Falcons
Power Rank: 10
Offensive Rank:
6
Defensive Rank:
9
Division Standing:
2
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected Record: 9.4 - 6.6
Biggest Strength: Balance - No Glaring Weaknesses
Greatest Weakness: Very Lucky in 2010/Capable Of Giving Up Big Plays
Most Important Offensive Player: Garrett Reynolds
Most Important Defensive Player: Brent Grimes
Fantasy Stud: Roddy White
Fantasy Dud: Jason Snelling
Fantasy Sleeper: Julio Jones

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Power Rank: 19
Offensive Rank:
23
Defensive Rank:
18
Division Standing:
3
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected Record: 7 - 9.0
Biggest Strength: Emerging Young Playmakers
Greatest Weakness: Very Lucky in 2010/Not There Yet With Tough Schedule
Most Important Offensive Player: LeGarrette Blount
Most Important Defensive Player: Mason Foster
Fantasy Stud: Kellen Winslow
Fantasy Dud: Connor Barth
Fantasy Sleeper: Dezmon Briscoe

Carolina Panthers
Power Rank: 30
Offensive Rank:
32
Defensive Rank:
16
Division Standing:
4
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected Record: 5.2 - 10.8
Biggest Strength: Offensive Line
Greatest Weakness: Passing Game
Most Important Offensive Player: Cam Newton
Most Important Defensive Player: Corey Irvin
Fantasy Stud: Steve Smith
Fantasy Dud: Cam Newton
Fantasy Sleeper: Legedu Naanee

See: How This Works, Season Summary and Division Previews: AFC East, AFC North, AFC West, AFC South, NFC East, NFC North, NFC West and NFC South

NFC West Preview

Arizona Cardinals
Power Rank: 23
Offensive Rank:
18
Defensive Rank:
23
Division Standing:
1
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 4
Projected Record: 7.2 - 8.8
Biggest Strength: Explosive Playmakers
Greatest Weakness: Player Turnover/Inexperience
Most Important Offensive Player: Kevin Kolb
Most Important Defensive Player: Patrick Peterson
Fantasy Stud: Larry Fitzgerald
Fantasy Dud: Early Doucet
Fantasy Sleeper: Andre Roberts

St. Louis Rams
Power Rank: 21
Offensive Rank:
17
Defensive Rank:
25
Division Standing:
2
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 8
Projected Record: 6.8 - 9.2
Biggest Strength: Light At the End of the Tunnel (Tremendous Talent Upgrade since '09)
Greatest Weakness: Likely A Year Away (Like Lions Last Season, But In Easier Division)
Most Important Offensive Player: Sam Bradford
Most Important Defensive Player: All of Them
Fantasy Stud: Steven Jackson
Fantasy Dud: Cadillac Williams
Fantasy Sleeper: Lance Kendricks

San Francisco 49ers
Power Rank: 26
Offensive Rank:
26
Defensive Rank:
24
Division Standing:
3
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 6
Projected Record: 6.7 - 9.3
Biggest Strength: Run Defense
Greatest Weakness: Offensive Chemistry
Most Important Offensive Player: Alex Smith
Most Important Defensive Player: Carlos Rogers
Fantasy Stud: Vernon Davis
Fantasy Dud: Alex Smith
Fantasy Sleeper: Anthony Dixon

Seattle Seahawks
Power Rank: 29
Offensive Rank:
24
Defensive Rank:
30
Division Standing:
4
2010 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 5
Projected 2011 Playoff Teams on Schedule: 7
Projected Record: 5.8 - 10.2
Biggest Strength: Special Teams
Greatest Weakness: First Place Schedule
Most Important Offensive Player: Russell Okung
Most Important Defensive Player: Aaron Curry
Fantasy Stud: Zach Miller (if anyone qualifies)
Fantasy Dud: Justin Forsett
Fantasy Sleeper: Defense

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