With everyone worried about our offensive line and our linebacking core, I thought I'd make a quick points on how they will be much better than people are expecting. This is just an opinion piece to generate some discussion, not a detailed analysis that I copied and pasted from Footabll Outsiders.
The linebacking core will be outstanding in pass coverage. I don't have to prove to you guys with stats that tight ends have torn us up the last few seasons. I remember a game against Tampa Bay maybe two years ago where we easily beat them but Kellen Winslow had close to 125 receiving yards. Matthews and Chaney are outstanding in pass coverage already. They have a combined two regular season starts between them and will continue to great better and better over the next five seasons before the reach their primes. When you have 3 stud CB's and two pretty decent safeties that makes it very hard to move the ball thru the air but when you combine that with a very good set of coverage LB's as well, New Orleans and Green Bay doesn't sound so scary anymore. Remember, we contained a hot Green Bay team last year without good coverage LB's, Patterson at RCB and no pass rush. All that will dramitcally change this season.
Our O-line will be a work in progress, but it will be one of the best by the end of the regular season if they can stay healthy. Jason Peters will be great as long as he is healthy, enough said. Evan Mathis can hold his own and has a nice nasty streak. The guy never looks happy and that is a good thing for a guy in the trenches. Jason Kelce is a good athletic center that Howard Mudd really likes, but he isn't a high draft pick. Cue that obvious Jeff Saturday reference. Danny Watkins is learning a new position four years after learning a new sport. He will have his rookie woes but will improve as the season goes along. Todd Herremans is at his natural position. Worst case scenario he stinks and we plug in King Dunlap he did well in two preseason starts or we put in last year's start Winston Justice once he is 100%. Best case scenrio we will have once of the best tackles combos in the league. Playing in a division with two outstanding edge rushers in DeMarcus Ware and Brian Orakpo will be easier with a more atlhetic line than our old we're bigger than your are line.
The key to a Super Bowl run is for a team to be clicking at the right time. Both units will get better and better each week. Think of where they could be by the playoffs.