While it remains to be seen what kind of value these four teams have in the NFL odds, knowing that all have very good defensive lineups, let's take a look at the offensive side of the football for each of these teams and see what they've been up to this offseason.
The Niners have been very busy this offseason, and if it wasn't for one very unfortunate offseason injury, the Niners might be looked at as one of the best offensive teams in the NFL. Now that Michael Crabtree is likely out for the duration of the regular season, newly signed Anquan Boldin will have to fill the void at the X receiver. They have been rumored to names like Austin Collie as well, but the true question here is, can Boldin fill the void left by Crabtree? We already know about this team's running game. San Francisco was fourth in the NFL in rushing last season at over 155 yards per game. However the reason they were so successful last season was that Crabtree and Vernon Davis demanded so much attention. With that element gone in their offense, I am reluctant to give them an ‘A’ even though they have done the work.
My Grade: B
I’ve been getting a lot of flack from Seahawks fans telling me that “I don't know what I'm talking about,” and that “I should quit my day job,” because I've been so hard on the Seahawks this offseason. It's not that I've been hard on the team more so than I've been hard on the NFL odds makers giving them exorbitant prices. Well Seahawks fans, your moment has come, because Seattle has had a brilliant offseason on offense. They were’t far away last season in Russell Wilson's rookie season. However they were missing one key component, and that was a dominant and diverse receiver. They got one in Percy Harvin, as they gave up their first round pick for him before the draft. I expect Harvin to dominate alongside Marshawn Lynch and Wilson. I loved the pick of RB Christine Michael in the 2nd round as well, as Lynch is entering his 8th season at age 27, and will hit the 1500 career carries mark by Week 2. Those two moves alone are enough for an ‘A.’
My Grade: A
The Rams may be the only team in the division that is lost more than they have gained this offseason, especially on offense. They lost Danny Amendola, Steven Jackson and Brandon Gibson to free agency. Those three guys accounted for half of the Rams’ offense in 2012. They were able to sign Jared Cook, and if he can produce from the TE slot, they at the very least have a capable weapon for Sam Bradford to throw to. Other than that, the Rams through no real fault of their own have gotten a lot worse on offense this season. The Cook signing and the drafting of WR Tavon Austin are the only thing keeping the Rams from a failing grade.
My Grade: C
Arizona has spent the majority of their offseason upgrading their offense, and it should have a great deal of effect considering what we saw just a season ago in the desert. The Cardinals ranked 28th in the NFL in passing yards per game last season and dead last in the NFL in rushing yards. The Cardinals only averaged 75 rushing yards per game and less than 200 yards passing per game. Enter Bruce Arians, and the show has changed. They added Rashard Mendenhall to help man the rushing duties with Ryan Williams. They brought in Carson Palmer to actually get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, and they drafted two offensive lineman. It hasn’t been perfect by any means, but it should be five times better than last season.
My Grade: B-
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