A flashy draft, or a functional draft? Which proves more useful?

John Errico HeartNSkol Podcast Blitzed Football Blog

By John Errico // @MikeZimmersEars

(Editors note: A few times a year we have guest contributors add to our website. Please enjoy.) 

There have been many debates over the years. Waffles or pancakes? Chocolate or peanut butter? Tastes great or less filling? Allow me to add one more related to the NFL draft: Best available or fill needs?

I decided to dig into which strategy works better by researching ten years of drafts from 2009 through 2019. I chose the best team in each NFL division based on the overall record from that same period. I first looked at statistics for each season for these eight teams.

Items such as points scored and allowed, offensive and defensive rankings in each season, sacks allowed and recorded, and depth issues formed the baseline for what I saw as team needs for each draft. Any player chosen that would help improve the team in any of these areas was seen as a need pick, not a best available. Here are the teams and my analysis:

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Packers playoff victory over the Seahawks features defense

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Green Bay Packers 28 – 23 Seattle Seahawks

I’ll start off by saying that once the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Minnesota Vikings, all I could think was “We might get to see Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch on the same field again!”  Yeah, I know, different teams, but still… those Seahawks teams were really fun to watch and even a bit of that nostalgia makes me happy.  But it was not to be.

These two teams know each other very well. Their playoff battles have been some of the best around the league. And this year was no exception. The Packers wound up victorious, however, and will move on to face the 49ers in Santa Clara for the NFC Championship while the Seahawks and their fans will have to just sit back and watch.

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Seattle at Green Bay: Divisional Preview

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

This weekend, the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs will commence. The game on Sunday at 6:40 pm EST (tv: FOX) where the Green Bay Packers (13-3) will host the Seattle Seahawks (11-5) will feature two top-rated quarterbacks. A showdown between Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson is always thrilling.

Odd-makers have the Packers giving up four points. Typically the home team gets a three-point advantage but since the Seahawks have been just stellar on the road this year, I’m surprised it’s not a closer margin.

And they have the over/under at 47. Hmmm. Do I think this will be a shootout so I bet the over? Or am I predicting some great defensive plays which keep it a low scoring game? Hmmm again.

Ultimately it comes down to one simple question: Are Rodgers and Wilson the two most important players in this game? The “Keys,” if you will. Or will the outcome hinge on someone else?

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NFC Wild Card wrap up: Seahawks vs. Eagles

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

Seattle Seahawks      17
Philadelphia Eagles   9

It was a long season for both teams. Both the Eagles and the Seahawks had been injured throughout the season. The Eagles, however, despite inconsistent play earlier in the season, were able to put together a strong run at the end of the season to make it to the playoffs.

The Seahawks, despite injuries as well, we’re able to put together a strong season behind quarterback Russell Wilson. They also had a very late-season addition to the team in running back Marshawn Lynch to help bolster a running back corps that was depleted due to injury.

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NFL Wildcard Preview

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

This year’s NFC Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs will start on Sunday, January 5th.

The first matchup will feature the New Orleans Saints (13-3) hosting the Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at 1:05pm EST.

Then, we’ll have the Seattle Seahawks (11-5) heading to Philadelphia to face the Eagles (9-7) at 4:40pm EST. Frankly, I’m still not sure how the Eagles get home-field for this game but that’s how it worked out.

 

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The bright future of the NFC West quarterbacks

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West / AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Lets just put this out there before we even begin. The NFC West is one of, if not THE best division in football. In fact, I can’t think of a single division that is as competitive top to bottom as the NFCW.

Yes, I realize that that the Arizona Cardinals have had a bit of a slump as of late, but if we try to peer into the future just a bit, the West could steal the name “Black and Blue Division” from the NFC North. A lot of this success, past, present and probable future, is due to the quarterbacks. Let’s take a look at the four signal-callers, and why they will be leading their teams for years to come.

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NFC West: Most important players for each team going forward

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West / AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

One of the most common things I see on social media are arguments between fans about who is the most important player on a team. Is it the franchise quarterback? Is it the leader on defense? Is it the coach? It seems only fitting that with today being Russell Wilson‘s birthday, that we should take a look at this question inside the NFC West.

Going into week 13, two teams stand heads and tails above the other two, and above most teams in the NFC. When looking at all four franchises, there seem obvious answers to the question I posed above, but is it really so cut and dry? I’m not so sure.

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The true NFC West rivalry returns

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The NFC West is a very competitive division almost every year. While the top spot switches regularly, its usually true that there is a heated battle every year for that spot. This breeds strong rivalries between the teams, but there is one rivalry that has been the most fierce. Seattle and San Francisco.

While the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals have done their fair share of winning within the division, it hasn’t fostered the same level of disdain that the Seahawks and 49ers have for each other. Fanbases, teams, front offices…it goes deep. And come next Monday night, the rivalry will again be on full display for everyone to see when these teams face each other on Monday Night Football.

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Who Will Win in Week 2: NFC West

 

Wanda Wiedman,
NFL Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

There was a ton of excitement from these division teams last week including one team ended with a tie to break in the season. But even though the underdogs of this division lost, they proved that they can give the opposing team a run for their money.

Each of the NFC West games this week may not be so concrete as who will win their matchup.

LA Rams vs Saints/Sunday, 4:25pm ET

Why not start Week 2 with an exciting game as it will be a rematch of the controversial game from last season’s playoffs. Remember, it was the bad pass interference call that cost the Saints the game and sent the Rams to the Super Bowl. But now with the new rule change of reviewing pass interference calls, let’s see if the game can stay clean with these two teams.

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Seahawks GM John Schneider may be a magician

 

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
AFC and NFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

You are going to see a lot of articles over the next few days about the impact Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will make on his new team. You’ll also see a lot of talk about players fighting for what they want. All are worthy subjects and I look forward to reading about it. But I’m here today to talk about something else.

Seattle Seahawks General Manager John Schneider might be a magician. A wizard even. It may be the only explanation for what he has managed to pull off in his career.

Now I’m not downplaying the role head coach Pete Carroll has had in all of this because we all know Carroll is essential to it all, but man… give Schneider a wand and a Hogwarts letter because he’s a master.

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