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Another just get through July thread - Keys to making the playoffs

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Posted

Not sure if this has been discussed as its own thread but wanted to see if we could come up with list of key things that need to happen for this team to make a strong playoff run. Aside from the obvious, which is to score more than your opponent, here are two offensive improvements that I think will help dramatically.

1. Fewer interceptions: This is the one area that Cam will be able to make huge strides in. I think this was the most glaring consequence of the lack of an off-season program during the lockout last year. With the full season under his belt and a full off season in the system I think this will improve.

2. Establish a strong #2 threat opposite Steve Smith: If this happens an already dangerous pass attack becomes a nightmare for defensive coordinators given the rest of this offense.

I have a list of 10 or so but figured I would leave it open for conversation. Hope this helps fill the void

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Posted

I think staying healthy is paramount to any postseason berth, especially in areas we're thin at. Defensive line and corner come to mind.

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Posted

I think our defense's ability to hold leads is the most vital key. I expect an upgrade (not overhaul) of the defense with a year of experience, Rivera's input, and Kuechly. We would've won at least 2, 3 games had we not lost a lead.

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Posted

I think staying healthy is paramount to any postseason berth, especially in areas we're thin at. Defensive line and corner come to mind.

Total agreement. Can't avoid injury but it seemed to be over the top last year. Improving number 2 corner back saves quite a few drives and scores.

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Posted

1. Cam healthy and being Cam

2. Good D

3. Good ST

= playoffs

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Posted

I don't think anything offensive should even be visible from the top of a list of our keys to the playoffs.

Like any offense ours had areas where it could certainly improve (and likely will with an offseason behind them) but I can't think of a single offensive improvement that could have the overall impact of a defensive improvement of similar magnitude.

To me the number one thing that will lead to a playoff run is out of our control almost entirely: staying healthy. But if we need to list something that we can make some progress on or feel like the team has some control over? The middle of our defense (LB corps and and DTs) need to be...better. It's tied closely to being healthy but, even if there are some injuries, the backups need to be better prepared. With a proper offseason I think they will be.

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Posted

The key is to be able to score last. I know that sounds trite but the biggest issue we had last year was giving up late scores and then not being able to score in return. That includes both stopping the other team as well as scoring ourselves. In games decided by 7 points or less we were 1-6. If we win half of those losses, we end up 9-7 and at least in the conversation.

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Posted

1. Cam healthy and being Cam

2. Better D

3. Better ST

= playoffs

:cam: effect

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Posted

1) win division

2) beat other NFC teams on schedule

= playoffs

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Posted

Cam and the offense needs to be a part of the game in the third and fourth quarters.

Special Teams needs to improve at least to average, although I'd personally prefer them to be a top unit.

Defense. what can be said that hasn't already been said all off season?

nothing new.

Got to have an proved pass rush. Got to be able to stop the run.

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Posted

more specifically...

on offense, do what they did, but better. finish better. no more mopey-head QB. that guy that walks/flies into the arena needs to be doing that on his way out. head needs to stay high throughout. when the other team comes back (because you know they'll have to if next year is anything like last year) then take the lead right back. own it.

on defense...stay healthy. be quick getting to the ball/passer. get off the field. force 3 and outs.

on special teams...just don't suck.

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Posted

To echo similar sentiments I think it comes down to:

1) maintain offense

2) health of defense

3) competent ST play

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