By: Tyrone Montgomery Jr.
Tyrone Montgomery Jr. gives his inside look into the Titans, Eagles, Vikings, Dolphins & Rams. Enjoy!
The Tennessee Titans
Surprises come in all different sizes, shapes, and forms. The Titans put the league on notice last year and I think even QB Ryan Tannehill was surprised by the success he had. The Titans had quite the run last year led by no one other than RB Derrick Henry. Henry is our modern day version of Marshawn Lynch and Jerome Bettis. He’s a matchup nightmare because he’s the size of a LB but has the speed of the average RB if not faster. But who stepped up the most was Ryan Tannehill. He wasn’t asked to do much. He was asked however, to make the plays when they mattered the most and he did just that. What was most impressive was the fact that he doesn’t have the best recieving core in the league but he still was effective and efficient. The Titans managed to beat the Patriots and the Ravens. Their run stopped only to the Super Bowl Champions Chiefs.
Tannehill’s solid play got him Paid in Full this past offseason and that was the biggest surprise of them all. Guys like Cam Newton and Jameis Winston were on the open market but yet, the Tennessee Titans put their trust and faith in Ryan Tannehill. While Tannehill’s play may have been a surprise last season, it won’t be a surprise this season when he struggles and the Titans are back at square one again. There’s a real thing especially in the NFL called “Momentum”. Tannehill along with this Titans team had a nice run off of Momentum. Now don’t get me wrong here. They’re well coached and they are on their way to being where they need to be. But in order to win the big games like the Chiefs did, you have to have elite QB play and unfortunately, Ryan Tannehill isn’t the guy.
The Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have been flying high ever since that 2018 Super Bowl victory over the Tom Brady led New England Patriots. Of course, throughout that span, a lot has happened. The Eagles have managed to have success over the years in the hard fought NFC East. They managed to win the division again last season despite suffering so many injuries all across the board. But what’s so significant about this season? What challenges will arise for this year’s Philadelphia Eagles team? Well, let’s start on the defensive side of things. Bringing in CB Darius Slay was a much needed move. Anyone could pass on that Eagles Defense. But let’s face it, Darius is just one man and he can’t cover everyone. Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones are still there. While talent exist, that talent has to be coached and the problem on the defensive side of the ball has been Jim Schwartz. His defensive schemes are hurting the Eagles. He is not the guy for them and if their defense is as bad as it was last year, expect for him to be without a job in the middle of the season. Now offensively, the Eagles have hope! The emergence of Miles Sanders was just what this team needed. We can expect him to rush well over 1,000 yards this season. Along with him, there’s a core recieving group that consist of Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffrey, Desean Jackson, and Dallas Goedert. All of them has missed games last season. This team has weapons. The only question that arises is health and the man that has to get them the ball is hurt yet again as well. Carson Wentz has what’s being called a Soft Tissue Injury. This doesn’t sound good at all and it sounds like an injury that could linger all throughout the year. Perhaps it was a good decision to draft QB Jalen Hurtz early in this past draft. No matter the case, this Eagles team’s hope relies simply upon health. Despite their defensive struggles last year, they still were a threat. Look for the Eagles to be neck and neck with the Dallas Cowboys for this division crown. But that’s only if the Eagles can keep their star guys healthy.
The Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins finally have their guy! This team has been looking for a franchise QB for quite some time now. They even took a stock in Josh Rosen who everyone had high hopes for. He didn’t work out for them and his NFL Career could soon be behind him before we know it. Despite having their guy in Tua, because of injury concerns, the Dolphins will elect Veteran Journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick as their opening day starter at QB. What a perfect situation here for the rookie Tua Tagovailoa! Tua is a dual threat QB but he can air it out too. But to have the opportunity to learn and be like a sponge to Fitzpatrick who has played for 8 different offenses and had success in them will do wonders for Tua. Now that the Dolphins have stability at the QB position along with depth and options too puts this team on the path to possibly taking over this AFC Division in the next years to come. We can expect the Dolphins to struggle this year early on but to excite the world towards the end of the season once they give the keys to Tua. The future looks bright in Miami.
The Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings may be the sleeper of the whole entire league. This team has no problems scoring. With an underrated and under appreciated QB, along with a Top 5 RB in the league, scoring is the least of the Vikings worries. Kirk Cousins has a lot of options within his weapon department. In fact, there are so many, they managed to let one go in Stefon Diggs. Now he wanted out. He got his wish. But sometimes it may be best to be careful what you wish for. If running the ball works, then keep running the ball. Dalvin Cook is probably one of the most used backs in NFL History after last season. He carried this team to double digit wins. Running the ball actually works out in favor of the passing game and that is part of the reason why Kirk Cousins was so effective last season. Diggs proved he was a “Me-Guy” and the Vikings can do better. They may have gotten the steal of the draft after drafting WR Justin Jefferson who may turn out to be better than Stefon Diggs in the long run. This team is like a loaded baked potato on both sides of the ball. In fact, they upgraded their defensive line by acquiring former Jacksonville Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue at a pretty reasonable rate. Ngakoue lifts this team’s defense even more as he is a former Pro Bowler. With the Packers having relationship issues with Aaron Rodgers, look for the Vikings to take advantage of that and take this division. The Vikings has to be thinking Super Bowl!
The LA Rams
The NFC West is a division in the NFL where you never know what may happen. Each team in this division has been to the Super Bowl at least once within the last 12 years. The Rams are in the midst of something I like to call “Re-Tooling.” After losing in the Super Bowl last year, they find themselves trying to find their identity again. The Todd Gurley Era is officially over and as good as he was for them, this may be a blessing in disguise. The shelf life of a Running Back may be the worst of any position in the NFL. The Rams now turn their attention to their newly acquired Rookie RB via the NFL Draft, Cam Akers. There’s a good chance he may win Offensive Rookie of the Year here. Cam stayed 3 years at Florida State and had over 1,000 Rushing Yards in 2 of them. The Rams rushing attack should be back to top form this season. The year after a Super Bowl loss is always tough. That year is over for the Rams. But now, their division rival, the 49ers, will have to deal with it. The Rams can take advantage of this. The Cardinals are building around Kyler Murray by adding a top 5 WR in DeAndre Hopkins. Despite that addition, the Cards aren’t ready to rule this division just yet. The only threat to the Rams in this division will be the Seattle Seahawks. Speaking of the Seattle Seahawks, DE Jadeveon Clowney is still on the open market. He would be an amazing addition to an already talented Rams defense. Can you imagine Clowney on one side and Aaron Donald on the other? This could be a good bounce back year for the Rams. However, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks definitely won’t make it easy for them.
Tyrone Montgomery Jr.