NFL: Ryan Lipton’s Week 13 picks against spread (63% in 2016)

Seattle Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner (Photo via Getty Images)

After hitting on 63 percent (34/54) of his picks during the 2016 NFL regular season, The JR Report and Ryan Lipton are back with their top 5 picks against the spread for Week 13.

After a tough mid-season stretch, Ryan Lipton promises to get back on track and get back in the winning column to finish the year.

Ryan Lipton’s NFL Week 13 picks against the spread!

Continue reading “NFL: Ryan Lipton’s Week 13 picks against spread (63% in 2016)”

NFL: Ryan Lipton’s Week 12 picks against spread (63% in 2016)

Photo via Brad Rempel - USA Today Sports

After hitting on 63 percent (34/54) of his picks during the 2016 NFL regular season, The JR Report and Ryan Lipton are back with their top 5 picks against the spread for Week 12.

After a tough mid-season stretch, Ryan Lipton promises to get back on track and get back in the winning column to finish the year.

Ryan Lipton’s NFL Week 12 picks against the spread!

Continue reading “NFL: Ryan Lipton’s Week 12 picks against spread (63% in 2016)”

NFL: Rob Werner’s Week 10 picks against spread

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (Photo via John G. Mabanglo/ European Pressphoto Agency)

The JR Report’s Rob Werner has hit on 51.2% of his picks (20-19) of his picks this season.

Here are Werner’s picks against ESPN’s spread for Week 10 of the NFL regular season.

Rob Werner’s NFL Week 10 picks against the spread!

Seattle Seahawks (-6) at Arizona Cardinals

New Orleans Saints at Buffalo Bills (+3)  

Green Bay Packers (+5.5) at Chicago Bears

Minnesota Vikings (-1.5) at Washington Redskins

New England Patriots (-7.5) at Denver Broncos

Continue reading “NFL: Rob Werner’s Week 10 picks against spread”

NFL: Ryan Lipton’s Week 5 picks against spread (63% in 2016)

Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (Photo via Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

After hitting on 63 percent (34/54) of his picks during the 2016 NFL regular season, The JR Report and Ryan Lipton are back with their top 5 picks against the spread for Week 5.

So far, Ryan Lipton has hit on 52.4 percent (11/21) of his picks during the 2017 NFL season.

Ryan Lipton’s NFL Week 5 picks against the spread!

Continue reading “NFL: Ryan Lipton’s Week 5 picks against spread (63% in 2016)”

NFL: Rob Werner’s Week 4 picks against spread

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (Photo via Jeff Hanisch/USA Today)

The JR Report’s Rob Werner has had an impressive start to the season hitting on 60% (6-4) of his picks. Here are his picks against ESPN’s spread for Week 4 of the NFL regular season.

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Week 4 picks against the spread!

Green Bay Packers (-7) vs. Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals (-3) at Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Baltimore Ravens

Tennessee Titans (-1.5) at Houston Texans

Philadelphia Eagles (+1.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

*** The lines are taken from ESPN’s scoreboard***

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For Ryan Lipton’s picks (9/16), 56.3% in 2016, click here. 

Rob Werner is a contributing writer for The JR Report. For more news follow him on twitter @robwerner28.

NFL: 6 main takeaways after crazy Week 3

Week 3 of the 2017 NFL regular season may have been the wildest week in NFL history. It seemed that every morning game finished within five minutes of each other and there were nine upsets on the day.

Even the teams that were favored had to win in nail-biting fashion, including the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.

That afternoon and night, more of the same continued with the Cincinnati Bengals almost winning, the Tennessee Titans beating the Legion of Boom, and the Oakland Raiders getting manhandled by the Washington Redskins.

With the wild weekend in the rearview mirror, here are the main takeaways from Sunday’s action.

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Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (Photo via Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Seattle’s O-Line too much to overcome

The Seattle Seahawks began the season with a 1-1 start and needed to grab a win. As such, the Legion of Boom would have been expected to come out fierce and will the Seahawks to a tough victory.

Instead, quarterback Russell Wilson was left to carry the team on his own as the running game was nonexistent and the defense gave up 33 points to the Titans, an offense that mustered just 16 in Week 1 against the Raiders.

Seattle possesses an elite quarterback entering his prime but doesn’t have an offensive line to protect him, along with zero weapons on offense, and an aging defense whose window is closing.

The addition of defensive end Sheldon Richardson should have reignited the defense, however, the front seven aside from linebacker Bobby Wagner has been subpar, shown by the Titans’ 195 yards on the ground.

The Seahawks need to overhaul their offense and build an offensive line around Wilson. Until they do, Seattle will be wasting Wilson’s best years and be out of Super Bowl contention.

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Kansas City Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt scores touchdown vs. Patriots (Photo via Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Chiefs are doing the hunting

Some thought the Kansas City Chiefs’ time was running out. It seemed like quarterback Alex Smith was on his way out since they drafted quarterback Patrick Mahomes and that 2017 could be a slight down year.

Instead, Smith is having one of the best seasons of his career, throwing seven touchdowns without an interception through the first three weeks.

Coach Andy Reid is also showing us why he is a future first-ballot Hall of Fame head coach after victories over the Patriots, Chargers and Eagles, three teams many thought would make a playoff push before the season started.

The Chiefs also have an unstoppable weapon out of the backfield in running back Kareem Hunt, which could create a dangerous duo for the next half-decade of him and Smith. Hunt, in just three games, has 538 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill has continued improving after his impressive 2016 rookie campaign tallying 277 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns already.

Kansas City has it all. An elite head coach, good quarterback, stout defense and a plethora of offensive weapons. They might be the best and most complete team in the NFL.

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Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports)

Cam isn’t Super Cam

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s start to the 2017 NFL regular season has not been pretty. The one-time MVP has thrown for 566 yards with just two touchdowns to four interceptions. Not great numbers for a franchise quarterback.

Losing top target and tight end Greg Olsen along with wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin often being injured, Newton does not have much room for error. He has never been the most accurate quarterback, shown by his career completion percentage of 58.5%, and will be without elite pass catchers who can help catch a few errantly thrown balls here and there.

As such, it doesn’t look like it will get much better for the Panthers and Newton. They will need to go back to using a strong power running game, playing tough defense, and using Newton’s big arm to stretch the field when the opportunity presents itself.

Newton is a good quarterback, who can make incredible plays, but he isn’t good enough to win his team games each and every Sunday.

The next three games will be telling for Newton as they have New England (away), Detroit (away) and Philadelphia coming up.

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Photo via USA Today Sports

Brady back to being the GOAT

Midway through Week 3, the Patriots were staring a 1-2 start in the face. Was it the beginning of the end for New England if they lost to the Houston Texans and Chiefs at home?

No, it was quite the opposite. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady led an amazing eight play, 75-yard drive to take the lead with just 23 seconds left in the game.

The drive might have been lucky as there were a dropped interception and a fumble recovery, yet Brady still drove down the field in incredible fashion, throwing strikes while getting blasted.

The defense might be a little weaker in 2017, but Brady, despite the Week 1 outlier, is as good as ever at 40-years of age.

Remember, Brady didn’t have tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Brandin Cooks in 2016. Consequently, the former Wolverine will only look better as the season progresses.

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Photo via Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Falcons are Super Bowl Contenders

Admittedly, I was a major skeptic of the Atlanta Falcons coming into this season. They had an incredible 2016 season with an improving defense and one of the best offenses in NFL history.

However, I expected that the loss of coach Kyle Shanahan would hurt quarterback Matt Ryan’s performance. They would still be very good, but not historic. Moreover, I thought Ryan’s year was an arbitration.

So far in 2017, Ryan has thrown for just under 900 yards and has led this team to an impressive 29 points per game. The offensive numbers are not as astounding as last season, but their defense has improved, surrendering just 22 points per game so far, making them as good if not better than last season.

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Ravens QB Joe Flacco after loss to Jaguars in London (Photo via Logan Bowles/NFL)

The AFC North is not good

The AFC North has two winless teams in the Bengals and Cleveland Browns. The two teams with winning records, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, couldn’t look worse.

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore lost to a Blake Bortles led Jacksonville Jaguars team by 37 points. Quarterback Joe Flacco and this offense are nowhere near playoff caliber.

After playing three poor teams, who have a combined two wins, the Ravens have mustered just 17 points per game. In addition, Flacco is only averaging 122 yards per game through the air.

The big Flacco payday is finally catching up with the team in a debilitating fashion.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite having a winning record, the Steelers have looked quite bad to this point on the road. Their home victory against the Minnesota Vikings was nice, but then again quarterback Sam Bradford didn’t play.

On the road, Pittsburgh has lost to the Chicago Bears, a flat-out bad team, and played the winless Browns close.

The Steelers are still a good team and will easily win the division, but need to fix their woes on the road and get running back LeVeon Bell and the running game in gear if they want to seriously contend for a Lombardi Trophy in February.

Ryan Lipton is the founder of The JR Report. For more news and The JR Report updates follow him on twitter @rytime98.

NFL: Rob Werner’s Week 3 picks against spread

Denver Broncos QB Trevor Siemian (Photo via Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The JR Report’s Rob Werner had an impressive Week 2, going 4-1. Here are his picks against ESPN’s spread for Week 3 of the NFL regular season.

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Week 3 picks against the spread!

San Francisco 49ers (+2.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams

Baltimore Ravens (+3.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Denver Broncos (-3) at Buffalo Bills

Indianapolis Colts (+1) vs. Cleveland Browns

Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) at Tennessee Titans

[irp posts=”13304″ name=”Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch embracing true self is what Oakland wants and needs”]

Monday Night Football Bonus Pick:

Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Arizona Cardinals

For Ryan Lipton’s picks (8/11, 72.7% in 2016), click here. 

Rob Werner is a contributing writer for The JR Report. For more news follow him on twitter @robwerner28.

Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch embracing true self is what Oakland wants and needs

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, just one year removed from his NFL retirement, is back to being his crazy, even chaotic self. And that’s not a bad thing.

Lynch now on the Raiders is having a great time. He’s living the good life as Kanye West would say.

This seemed abundantly clear on Sunday when he was dancing all around the Oakland sideline in the fourth quarter of a blowout win against the New York Jets.

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(Photo via AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The Oakland Coliseum was behind Lynch completely, roaring in agreement with the 31-year-old running back. He appeared as happy as a teenager that hears his favorite song on the radio and wants to just smile and dance.

What else could Lynch be happy about?

The Raiders are now 2-0 and look as dominant as ever after recording convincing wins over the Tennessee Titans and the Jets.

Lynch, hasn’t been a bystander but a catalyst to the aforementioned success. He’s had 121 yards on the ground on 30 attempts with one touchdown.

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(Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

He hasn’t been all-worldly but the Oakland native is averaging over 4 yards per carry and his energy has seemed infectious to the team. A major reason why the diehard fans were making the stadium so loud on Sunday.

In Week 1, Lynch flipped off the Titans on the field. The one thing he has publicly admitted he is trying to avoid occurred.

“I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Lynch famously said during the Super Bowl media day in 2015.

Lynch was fined $12,000 ($6,000 for each finger) but that didn’t seem to impact his attitude against New York.

Lynch has strong ties to the Bay Area as he attended Oakland Technical High School and proceeded to wear the Blue and Gold playing in the city right next to his birthplace at the University of California, Berkeley.

After moving on from Cal, the Buffalo Bills drafted the Oakland native. He then moved on to the Seattle Seahawks after three seasons in Buffalo. After the move, he finally became the elite running back he was projected to become.

The former Cal Bear rushed for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in four consecutive seasons from 2011-2014, capped off by a championship victory in Super Bowl XLVIII.

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(Photo: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

After stepping away from the game after the 2015 season, Lynch decided he wanted to lace up his cleats one more time, but this time he wanted to do it in his hometown.

He requested a trade from Seattle and eventually got his way. The Seahawks got the Raiders’ 2018 fifth-round pick for Lynch and a sixth-round pick in 2018.

With the franchise set to move from its roots in Oakland to Las Vegas, Lynch embracing the great Oakland culture seems perfectly timed.

Will Lynch have an all-pro year?

Probably not. But that’s not the point. Lynch is exciting Oakland and the Raider Nation and is someone for kids to recognize and look up to. The Bay Area youth can see the way he takes on the persona that is Oakland in a positive and happy light.

In a time when the Golden State Warriors are leaving the East Bay, the Oakland Athletics are relocating to a different part of the city and the Raiders will soon be leaving for Vegas, saying Oakland lacks stability is a complete understatement.

Lynch is more than just football. He is a special role model and represents hope and excitement for not only the city of Oakland but the entire Bay Area.

Rob Werner is a contributing writer for The JR Report. For more news follow him on twitter @robwerner28.

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Why Saints QB Drew Brees should request a trade

Saints QB Drew Brees (photo via Getty Images)

The New Orleans Saints have won seven games for the past three seasons. After Monday night’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings, it seems 2017 will be more of the same.

The horrendous defense is too much for future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees to overcome.

Brees should flex his muscles and ask to be traded. Realistically, Brees would never turn his back on the city of New Orleans, but it would actually make a lot of sense for the rest of his career and maybe even the Saints’ future.

[irp posts=”13217″ name=”NFL overreaction Monday: What’s right and wrong”]

Photo via David Grunfeld, / The Times-Picayune

The Saints’ defense couldn’t be worse

During Brees’ 12 seasons in New Orleans, the team has only had a scoring defense ranked better than No. 20 three times. The Saints have had the No. 31, 32, and 28 scoring defense in the past three seasons respectively.

No matter who Brees is facing, he knows he will have to display turnover free football and light it up in the passing game if he just wants to keep the game close.

On Monday night, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns while completing 84.3 % of his passes. At best, Bradford is an average quarterback. But against the New Orleans’ defense, Bradford looked to be a top 5 quarterback in the league.

Moreover, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who never played a down in the NFL until Monday night, had 137 yards from scrimmage and averaged over 5.7 yards per carry. It doesn’t matter who the Saints are playing, they find a way to make the opposing offense look like all-pros.

Even with the No. 2 ranked scoring offense from 2016, the Saints could only win seven games. Brees is doing everything he can, but a poor defensive group makes it impossible for him to ever dream of making the postseason again in New Orleans.

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Photo via David Grunfeld, | The Times-Picayune

GM Mickey Loomis can’t get it right

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has not been able to do anything right since New Orleans won their first Super Bowl in 2010.

As mentioned above, the Saints’ defense has been pathetic. Even on offense, Loomis sent away the talented pieces that they drafted around Brees.

The lack of talent and success surrounding Brees falls squarely on the shoulders of Loomis. As such, here are the two main moves that display Loomis’ failures.

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Photo via Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Trading away Jimmy Graham

In 2015, New Orleans traded their star tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth round pick to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for center Max Unger and a first round pick in the 2015 NFL draft (No. 31 overall).

At the time, Graham and Brees were arguably the best quarterback-receiving duo in all of football. For example, Graham had 86 receptions for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2013.

Despite the incredible success, Loomis thought it’d be smart to trade Graham away for Unger and the first-round pick.

Unger has been a solid player at center, but if the rest of the offensive line isn’t up to par, it doesn’t matter how good the center play is. All in all, Unger was a nice addition but was nowhere near as important to the team as Graham.

Unfortunately, that No. 31 overall selection turned in to linebacker Stephone Anthony who has just 128 tackles, one sack and one interception during his NFL career. He also acquired horrible Pro Football Focus player grades of 42.2 and 44.8 in his two seasons.

Overall, the trade did not do any favors for Brees and the Saints’ organization.

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Photo via Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Brandin Cooks

New Orleans did acquire a lot of picks including a first and third round selection by sending wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the New England Patriots.

Cooks was a dominant weapon with Brees hauling in 162 receptions for 2,311 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons in New Orleans, however, they decided to trade away Brees’ No. 1 target again.

The Saints have shown a trend to trade away their best homegrown talent. Unfortunately, they haven’t been the best drafting team. Therefore, they should hold on to the great pieces they do get instead of trading their talent away for future draft picks that the front office will probably end up missing on.

Consequently, New Orleans now has a franchise quarterback surrounded by a historically bad defense, a poor offensive line and a lack of weapons at the skill positions. Not a sound recipe for playoff success.

It was great to get tackle Ryan Ramczyk as he will help solidify the left tackle position, but third round pick Trey Hendrickson will need to become a starter before the trade can claim to be a win.

Even if the trade turns out to be good for the Saints, they still have a poor precedent of moving their own talent. The best teams draft well and re-sign those draft picks to keep them in town for many years.

If Brees doesn’t request a change in New Orleans or a trade out of the Big Easy, then many more seven win seasons will be on the horizon.

Ryan Lipton is the founder of The JR Report. For more news and The JR Report updates follow him on twitter @rytime98.

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NFC West preview: Can anyone challenge the Seahawks?

Photo via Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports

College football has begun which means we are only one week away from the start of the 2017 NFL regular season. The best of the best will be playing three days a week. Those Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays can’t come soon enough.

With the great days ahead, The JR Report thought will break down each division going into 2017. Let’s begin out west with the NFC West.   

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Photo via Getty Images

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks look like the easy choice to win the division as they’ve played into the postseason every year since 2012, with three division crowns in that span.

Seattle’s biggest questions will come with their offensive line that had a tough time protecting quarterback Russell Wilson a year ago. Wilson was sacked 41 times in 2016 and it’ll be interesting to see if the offseason additions of Luke Joeckel (former No. 2 overall pick) and 2017 second-rounder Ethan Pocic (NFL draft) will help Wilson and Co. get back on track offensively.

The team has a new bruising running back to replace Marshawn Lynch in Eddie Lacy. The former Packer has been given new weight incentives to keep his weight down and his speed up. The defense looks to improve upon last season as Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are both healthy and will be as ferocious as ever.

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Photo via AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Arizona Cardinals

After a great 2015 season in which the Arizona Cardinals made it to the NFC Championship game only to lose to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, the team took a step back last season finishing 7-8-1. 

David Johnson had the best year of his career last season and will look to duplicate his success starting Sunday on the road against the Detroit Lions.

Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald should still be a feared duo as long as Palmer throws it up to one of the best wide receivers in NFL history.

After Tyrann Mathieu tore his ACL in 2015, a shoulder injury forced him to be shut down after 10 games in 2016. He’s finally back and healthy alongside Patrick Peterson, where the Cardinals hope to reestablish their top-notch secondary.

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Photo via Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams had a miserable season in 2016. First-round pick Jared Goff looked downright awful in the games he did play in (7) and threw more interceptions than he did touchdowns (7 to 5). Head coach Jeff Fisher was finally fired after he set the record for most losses of any head coach in NFL history.

On the other hand, the 2017 season should provide a little more hope for the team playing by Hollywood.

Sean McVay, one of the brightest offensive minds in football, was hired to replace Fisher. McVay was the offensive coordinator who helped turn Kirk Cousins into an elite quarterback and Rams fans are hoping McVay does the same to Goff.

Todd Gurley is primed for a rebound season after his disappointing sophomore slump. Sammy Watkins was added via trade and should be the top target that Goff needs to feel confident in throwing the ball deep.

Look out for Cooper Kupp to be a sneaky wide out that Goff throws to a lot since Kupp looks to be comfortable in McVay’s new offense. 

After a 4-12 season, the Rams look like they might be finally getting on the right track as long as Aaron Donald ends his holdout. 

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Photo via Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers had a laughable year in 2016. Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick were the two quarterbacks for a 2-14 team that looked just horrendous all season long. 

Chip Kelly was fired and now the team has a brand new head coach in Kyle Shanahan as well as new general manager John Lynch.

Shanahan came to the West Coast after being the offensive coordinator of the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons. He will look to get started right away with Brian Hoyer, who he coached back in Cleveland in 2014.

Lynch and Shanahan both wanted to redefine the franchise and have made that evident as the team cut Ahmad Brooks, Quinton Dial, and Jeremy Kerley. The Niners offense has two new starting receivers, Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garçon, as well as rookie tight end George Kittle.

The defensive line looks like it will get back on track as DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Tank Carradine, and Solomon Thomas will try to put the fear in opposing offensives’ quarterbacks.

Shanahan and Lynch appear to know what they’re doing but the team is still years away from competing. 

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Photo via Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images


Division Champion: Seattle Seahawks

The  Seahawks will take the NFC West in 2017. Wilson is too great of a quarterback to lose enough games to rip Seattle out of contention. 

Will the Seahawks win the Super Bowl? Probably not, but the team appears destined for another NFC West title, especially with the defense regaining health.

Any team that has Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett and now Sheldon Richardson on defense is going to be ruthless.

Oh and that’s not to mention Doug Baldwin and the beast Jimmy Graham on offense. If the offensive line can step up, and Eddie Lacy can be productive (both big if’s), this team could make a very deep run in January. 

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Photo via Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images

Dark Horse: Los Angeles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams are my dark horse to win the NFC West in 2017. Before you squint or think I’m crazy, my logic comes in believing in Sean McVay. He took a backup quarterback in Kirk Cousins and made the former fourth-rounder into one of the game’s premier quarterbacks.

When Cousins becomes a free agent next summer, tons of teams will come calling and McVay is a big reason why.

Also, Jared Goff has shown flashes of brilliance before. I could see him completing 65 percent of his passes along with 25 touchdowns in 2017. 

Moreover, Gurley has the pure talent to get back to being one of the game’s best running backs and Watkins is waiting to finally have the monster-type year that has been expected.

In a relatively weak division, don’t be shocked if the Rams win a few surprise games and challenge the Seahawks for the crown.

Rob Werner is a contributing writer for The JR Report. For more news follow him on twitter @robwerner28.

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