Welcome to The 3-4, a website dedicated to NFL analysis, predictions and recent events. We are nearly finished with our 32 team previews and will be writing about all things football. We will be scouting players off game tape, evaluating them, predicting NFL and NCAA games, and much more! If you would like us to write about something in particular, let us know!

In addition, we recently began a feature called "Clip of the Day", "Pic of the Day," and "NFL Stat of the Day," where we will post a football video that true fans of the game will appreciate.
Showing newest 8 of 40 posts from August 2010. Show older posts
Showing newest 8 of 40 posts from August 2010. Show older posts

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Atlanta Falcons 2010: Preview and Predictions

Last Years Record: 9-7

Wins: Dolphins, Panthers, 49ers, Bears, Redskins, Buccaneers (2x), Jets, Bills

Losses: Patriots, Cowboys, Saints (2x), Panthers, Giants, Eagles,

Biggest Playmaker: Roddy White

WR, UAB, Drafted #27, six years

White is probably the most underrated receiver in the NFL. Some how he has quietly put up three years of 1000+ yards receiving and 24 TDs is those three years. His numbers have been very comparable to Brandon Marshall, Anquan Boldin, and Chad Ochocinco in the last three years, yet he has not gotten nearly the same amount of attention.

Impact Player: Tony Gonzalez

TE, California, Drafted #13, 14 years

At 34 years old, Gonzalez does not look like he has lost a step and he continues to put up big numbers. Gonzalez is a big target and nice security blanket for young QB Matt Ryan. Look for him to have another 70+ reception, 800+ yards and 5-8 TDs again this year.

Biggest Off-season Addition: Dunta Robinson

CB, South Carolina, Drafted #10, seven years

Last year the Falcons were 28th in the NFL in pass defense letting up 242 yards per game. They made a huge splash by signing Robinson for 57 million. Robinson was clearly the best cornerback available in free agency and has proved he can be a great cover corner and a guy that is not afraid to help out in the run game. Robinson should be a big addition to the Falcons defense.

Biggest Offseason Loss: None

There was not a lot of movement this offseason for the Falcons. They lost some defensive backs, and back up players and traded away offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka, but did not really lose any major parts.

Biggest Draft Steal: Kerry Meier

WR, Kansas, Drafted #165, Rookie

Meier recently went down with a season-ending knee injury but was a good pick up for the Falcons. He is 6’2” 220 lbs. and was reportedly catching everything. He could have been a valuable asset for the Falcons this year. Hopefully he can come in and make an impact next year.

Biggest Draft Mistake: Not Addressing DE

The one area that I thought the Falcons would address in the draft was the defensive end position. Their starting defensive ends last year put up a total of 6 sacks. Jamaal Anderson, the former 8th pick overall in the 2007 draft, has not been the player that they thought he would (2.5 career sacks and he will be playing some DT this year) and John Abraham is 32 and had one of his worst years in 2009. Adding Dunta Robinson will help out the secondary, but having some guys that can constantly pressure the QB may have helped more.

Offseason Grade: B+

Picking up a true #1 corner in Dunta Robinson was obviously huge, and I thought drafting Sean Weatherspoon was a great pick. Weatherspoon is a gamer, who will be a big help in the run game and is one of those guys that will probably be a leader in the locker room by the end of the year.

X-Factor: Michael Turner

RB, Northern Illinois, Drafted #154, seven years

Turner had an unbelievable year in 2008 rushing for 1699 yards and 17 TDs. Last year was off to a good start averaging 4.9 yards per carry but he only played 11 games because he was bother with an ankle injury. If Turner can stay healthy for the whole year the Falcons offense should be very good.

Name You Should Know: Mike Peterson

LB, Florida, Drafted #36, 12 years

Peterson may be 34 but is still very good against the run. He has put up some terrific numbers in his career (1109 tackles, 20.5 sacks and 16 Interceptions) and will be a great first and second down linebacker for the Falcons.

Rising Star: Curtis Lofton

MLB, Oklahoma, Drafted #37, three years

In only two years, Lofton has established himself as one of the best players on the Falcons defense. Lofton made 133 tackles last year and seems to be in every play; many believed he was snubbed in the pro bowl voting last year. With another good year, he could establish himself as a top linebacker in the NFL.

Offensive Outlook: A-

Matt Ryan certainly has the ability to have a breakout year, especially with playmakers like Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez around him. Add in a healthy Michael turner and you are looking at a very good offense.

Defensive Outlook: B-

The defense is still very young so it will be hard to tell exactly what the Falcons will be getting out of them this year. You would have to think that the defense will be a better than last year, which statistically was in the bottom of the league. The biggest question still is their defensive ends, if John Abraham can bounce back from a tough year and they can get some production out of Jamaal Anderson, they should have a very solid defense.

Special Teams Outlook: C

Kick and punt returner Eric Weems is OK in the return game. K Matt Bryant is decent. P Michael Koenen is a solid punter and great kick off specialist.

Projected 2010 Record: 11-5

The Falcons should have a very balanced attack on offense that will be hard for any team to match up against. If their defense can play up to its potential they should have no problem winning 11 games. They are fortunate to have a pretty easy schedule. The biggest match-ups have to be the games against the Packers, Bengals, Ravens and two games against the super bowl champions Saints. Other than that, they have some very winnable games.

Clip of the Day - John Henderson and "Joe"

This is a classic video that was originally shown to me by a couple of friends (The 3-4 Writer Keith McGonigle, Chris Crowell and Jake Meyer).  The video is awesome.

I love football for the passion and excitement that players bring to the game, and watching former Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson getting pumped up by being slapped across the face, telling his trainer it was too soft and asking for another just does it for me.

Quote of the Day
"Some men see things as they are and say 'why?'  Others dream things that never were and say, 'why not?'" - George Bernard

Monday, August 30, 2010

College Football 2000s

This is incredible.

Jacksonville Jaguars 2010 Preview and Prediction

Last Years Record            7-9
Wins:  Texans (x2), Titans, Rams, Chiefs, Jets, Bills,
Losses:  Colts (x2), Cardinals, Seahawks, Titans, 49ers, Dolphins, Patriots, Browns
Biggest Playmaker            Maurice Jones-Drew
RB, UCLA, Drafted #60, 5th Year
MJD is coming off a pro bowl year when he ran for 1,391 yards and 15 touchdowns.  He is the workhorse for the Jaguars, carrying the ball 312 times a year ago and has only missed one game in his first four seasons.  In addition, he is also a very adept receiver out of the backfield, averaging 50 catches his first four years.
Impact Player            Kirk Morrison
MLB, San Diego State, Drafted #78, 6th Year
Kirk Morrison was traded to the Jaguars this offseason from the Raiders.  The Raiders received a 4th round pick while the Jags got a 5th rounder and Kirk Morrison.  The Jaguars got a great deal and a great player who will immediately start and improve the Jaguars’ defense.  Morrison racked up 133 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 forced fumbles a year ago.
Biggest Offseason Addition            Kassim Osgood
WR, San Diego State, Undrafted, 8th Year
You may be asking why a wide receiver with seven years in the league and 33 career catches could be a big offseason addition and it’s not because I think he is going to have a breakout year.  Osgood has been to three of the last four pro bowls as a special teamer and is involved in pretty much every play on special teams.
Biggest Offseason Loss            Torry Holt
WR, NC State, Drafted #6, 12th Year
In 2009, Mike Sims-Walker emerged as a go-to receiver but Torry Holt was still a valuable presence, catching 55 balls as the number two target.  Mike Thomas caught 48 balls a year ago and is likely the second wide receiver, but the Jaguars’ receiving core lacks depth.
Biggest Draft Steal            Austen Lane
DE, Murray State, Drafted #153, Rookie
Austen Lane was a small-school talent who was projected to be picked around the third round.  The Jaguars picked him up with the Raiders 5th round pick.  Lane is a hustler who plays with a high motor.  He was recently quoted saying, “I don’t have a goal for sacks, but I have a goal for putting people in the hospital.”  Lane is expected to contribute early in his career.
Biggest Draft Reach            D’Anthony Smith
DT, Lousiana Tech, Drafted #74, Rookie
Many people say that the Jaguars drafting Tyson Alualu with the 10th overall pick was the reach of the draft, but how about the fact that they picked a another defensive tackle with their next pick?  Picking Smith in the early third round was a bit of reach, regardless of the fact they just reached on another player of the same position.   I’m not sure why they couldn’t have kept John Henderson and used one or both of these picks to address other needs.
Offseason Grade            B-
The trade with the Raiders for Kirk Morrison and the pick that the Jags used to select Austen Lane was a very valuable one.  They also added DE Aaron Kampan who hopes to get back to top form when he moves back to a 4-3 end.  However, their draft was far less than superb.
X-Factor            2nd/3rd Wide Receivers
With the departure of veteran WR Torry Holt, the Jaguars need some inexperienced wide receivers to show up and make plays to help QB David Garrard.  Mike Thomas will be the #2 receiver, with Jarrett Dillard and Tiquan Underwood pushing to be the third receiver.
Name You Should Know            David Garrard
QB, East Carolina, Drafted #108, 9th Year
David Garrard was probably the least known quarterback in the pro bowl in 2009.   However, he was the 8th quarterback chosen for the AFC team as five other players withdrew.  Garrard and the Jaguars are excited about the young talent at wide receiver, but Garrard needs to play consistently well or could see himself out of a starting job. 
Rising Star            Mike Sims-Walker
WR, Central Florida, Drafted #79, 4th Year
Mike Sims-Walker emerged as a number one receiver last year, tallying 63 catches for 869 yards and seven touchdowns in his first year as a starter.  Sims-Walker will have to prove he can repeat his success, and with young receivers developing around him his numbers could increase this year. 
Offensive Outlook            C+
The Jaguars have a franchise running back in Maurice Jones-Drew, but if he were to ever go down they are in trouble.  They have a very inexperienced receiving core and their offensive line is very shaky.  They allowed 126 quarterback hits last year, the most in the league (by 20!).  David Garrard needs to be consistent, but the amount he is pressured is tough to overcome.
Defensive Outlook            C
The addition and resurgence of DE Aaron Kampman will hopefully bolster the Jaguars’ miserable pass rush of 2009, but they are very young on the inside.  Kirk Morrison leads a fairly strong linebacker committee that includes Daryl Smith and Justin Durant.  The secondary is very weak.
Special Teams Outlook            B-
Josh Scobee is coming off a very forgettable year in which he connected on just 18 of 28 field goal attempts, while punter Adam Podlesh averaged just under 42 yards per punt, but did managed 23 kicks inside the 20 to just five touchbacks.  Montell Owens may have been the AFC Special Teams representative in the pro bowl last year if it weren't for current teammate Kassim Osgood.  The Jaguars will likely look to rookies in the return game.  Running back Deji Karim and cornerback Scotty McGee already have kick returns over 45 yards through the first two games of the preseason.  
Projected 2010 Record            4-12

The Jaguars currently have the 5th hardest schedule in NFL, based on 2009 team records.  They play in a very strong division with the Titans, Texans and Colts.  During their 7-9 campaign in 2009, their non-divisional games included the Rams, Chiefs, Bills, Seahawks, 49ers and Browns, and they only won two games by seven or more points (won games by three [overtime], three, two, three and five).  The Jaguars are very inexperienced and have too many weaknesses to challenge in the AFC South.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks about the proposed 18-game schedule, the potential lockout and more.

Friday, August 27, 2010

2010 Carolina Panthers Preview and Prediction

Last Years Record: 8-8
Wins: Redskins, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Falcons, Buccaneers, Vikings, Giants, Saints
Losses: Eagles, Falcons, Cowboys, Bills, Saints, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots
Biggest Playmaker: DeAngelo Williams/ Jonathan Stewart
RB, Memphis, Drafted #27, five years / RB, Oregon, Drafted #13, three years
Williams and Stewart combined for 2250 yards rushing, 17 TDs and an average of 5.1 yards per carry. The Panthers did not have a reliable quarterback all of last year, so Stewart and Williams had to carry the team in most games. They produced even while constantly facing 7-8 guys in the box because no one respected their passing game, which ranked second to last in the NFC.
Impact Player: Steve Smith
WR, Utah, Drafted #74, ten years
Smith had an off year with only 65 receptions but still had 982 yards receiving and 7 TDs. Smith has been frustrated the past few years because he is often double-teamed and the Panthers have not had a great number two receiver to take the pressure off. Things may be even tougher for Smith now without WR Mushin Muhammed who recently retired.
Biggest Offseason Addition: Jimmy Clausen
QB, Norte Dame, Drafted #48, Rookie
Clausen was a guy that almost everyone thought would go top ten and worst case fall to someone in the top 20. Amazingly he fell to the Panthers at 48. At worst Clausen will compete with starter Matt Moore and make him a better quarterback. I believe Clausen will go on to be the best quarterback in the 2010 draft so this was a huge steal for the Panthers, they got a first round talented player with a mid second round pick.
Biggest Offseason Loss: Julius Peppers
DE, UNC, Drafted #2, 9 years
Peppers began his career in Carolina and racked up 81 sacks 30 forced in his eight years with the Panthers. He is an unbelievable athlete that was a nightmare for offenses. The Panthers are losing the two faces of their franchise in Peppers and Jake Delhomme.
Biggest Draft Steal: Greg Hardy
DE, Mississippi, Drafted #175, Rookie
The Panthers draft class was filled with draft steals, Clausen, Pike, Norwood, LaFell, but Hardy may have been the biggest steal. Hardy has the size and athleticism of a first rounder, yet the Panthers were able to grab him in the sixth round. Hardy was athletic enough t o play basketball and some receiver at the college level, and dominated his sophomore year with 18.5 TFL and 10 sacks. If he can get healthy and regain his form he could be a special player.
Biggest Draft Mistake: None
I think that the Panthers had one of the best drafts in the NFL. They got a lot of athletes and players that have a lot of upside. Picking up Armanti Edwards in the third round may have been a little bit of a reach, but he is a player that could end up running the wild cat or being like a Antwaan Randel El at receiver.
Offseason Grade: B+
The Panthers had an excellent draft and had a lot of good value picks. It was the right decision to let Jake Delhomme walk. The two mistakes I think that they made were not trading Pepper’s last year, and not trying to acquire another receiver through trades. The Panthers knew that Pepper was going to walk after this year, so might as well trade him and get some value for him right? Peppers eventually walked in free agency and the Panthers are left with nothing (other than a probable third round compensations pick, which is not much.) The Panthers picked up some receivers in the draft, but they were also a lot of chances for them to grab proven receivers via trade. A lot of big name receivers were traded: Anquan Boldin, Brandon Marshall, and Santonio Holmes, but the Panthers were not able to land any of them. Look for the Panthers to get in the Vincent Jackson trade rumors.
X-Factor: Dwayne Jarrett
WR, USC, Drafted #45, four years
Jarrett has always had the talent to become a number one receiver. He is a big receiver at 6’4”, has great hands and proved that he could be a playmaker when he was in college. Jarrett has not lived up to the hype; he has only 33 receptions and 1 TD in his three years. Things would be a lot easier for QB Matt Moore/ Jimmy Clausen if Jarrett emerges as the playmaker he once.
Name You Should Know: Jordan Gross
OT, Utah, Drafted # 8, eight years
Gross had been one of the most consistent starters for the Panthers before he broke his tibia last year starting every game but one since his rookie year. It should be interesting to see how Gross, who is one of the best tackles in the game, recovers from his first major injury.
Rising Star: Jon Beason
LB, U of Miami, Drafted #25, four years
To say that Beason is a rising star may be a bit of a misnomer. He has been a pro bowler the last two years, averaged 140 tackles a year, and now he will be without question the best player on the Panther’s defense.
Offensive Outlook: B
With DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart carrying the ball 400+ times you have to like your chances as an offense. The only problem is if the Panthers get down they are going to have to rely on an inexperienced QB who will not have anyone to really throw to other Steve Smith.
Defensive Outlook: B-
The defense obviously took a major step backwards after losing Julius Peppers. The defensive line will be the biggest question mark for the Panthers and younger guys like Everette Brown and Charles Johnson are going to have to step it up. The linebacker crew is very good with Beason and secondary is pretty solid with Richard Marshall and Chris Gamble.
Special Teams Outlook: C+
Captain Munnerlyn ended up being a 7th round steal who did a good job last year in punt returns, Tyrell Sutton is OK in the kick return game. At 40 years old, John Kasey is still very consistent kicker and Jason Baker does a good job of pinning the ball inside the 20.
Projected 2010 Record: 6-10
The Panthers are going to have to rely heavily on their running game this year. Matt Moore looked good last year, but he has only started 8 games in his career, and does not have a lot of proven weapons on the offensive side of the ball. The Panthers had a great draft and I think they are moving in the right direction for the next few years, but it would be hard to imagine the Panthers improving on their 8-8 record last year especially going against the Falcons and Saints twice.

Indianapolis Colts 2010 Preview and Prediction

Last Years Record            14-2
Wins:  Jaguars (x2), Dolphins, Cardinals, Seahawks, Titans (x2), Rams, 49ers, Texans (x2), Patriots, Ravens, Broncos
Losses: Jets, Bills
Biggest Playmaker            Peyton Manning
QB, Tennessee, Drafted #1, 13th Year
Quite simply, Peyton Manning has had a ridiculous career.  A sure hall of famer and three time NFL MVP, I think Peyton Manning could even get the Rams close to the playoffs this year.  He has plenty of weapons surrounding him including WRs Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and TE Dallas Clark, his favorite target.
Impact Player            Dwight Freeney
DE, Syracuse, Drafted #11, 9th Year
Freeney is coming off two straight pro bowl seasons in which he recorded 24 sacks.  Freeney is looking to lead a Colts’ defense that dropped from 11th to 18th in yards per game from 2008 to 2009.  Dwight’s ankle should be fully recovered after playing through some pain in the Super Bowl a year ago. 
Biggest Offseason Addition            Deshea Townsend
CB, Alabama, Drafted #117, 13th Year
The Colts did not make a lot of offseason acquisitions because, quite frankly, they didn’t need to.  They are coming off a year in which they could have gone 16-0 if they chose to try to win their last two games.  Townsend brings 12 years of experience to the Colts secondary and will likely be their nickel back.
Biggest Offseason Loss            Ryan Lilja
Guard, Kansas State, Undrafted, 7th Year
Ryan Lilja is the only starter from the Colts’ offensive line not back from a year ago.  Lilja has been a part of a great offensive line protecting Peyton Manning but has had some injury problems the last few years.
Biggest Draft Steal            Kavell Conner
LB, Clemson, Drafted #240, Rookie
Kavell Conner was projected by many to be a fifth round pick but he fell to the Colts in the seventh round.  Conner is very good against the run but struggles a bit in pass coverage and should contribute to the Colts’ defense down the road, as he has impressed his coaches thus far in the preseason. 
Biggest Draft Reach            Brody Eldridge
TE, Oklahoma, Drafted #162, Rookie
Eldridge was considered by most to be the best blocking tight end in the draft after starting games at both center and guard for Oklahoma during his senior year.  However, his receiving skills are very questionable and he is an inexperienced pass catcher, making only 13 grabs in his four years at OU.  He also has durability concerns as an ankle injury caused him to miss three games his junior year and a neck injury ended his senior season. 
Offseason Grade            B+
The Colts drafted a very solid pass rusher in DE Jerry Hughes from TCU with the 31st overall pick, a spot that needed some depth.  The only players that the Colts are not returning (besides Lilja) are role players who can be replaced.  The Townsend pickup was a good one, and truth be told, the Colts didn’t need to make an awful lot of moves…they were one interception for a touchdown away from winning the Super Bowl, and could have finished the regular season at 16-0.
X-Factor            Run Game
In 2009 the Colts offense ran for just 1,294 yards (81 yards per game) and 3.5 yards per carry.  The Colts obviously had a very strong passing attack with Manning at the helm.  If the offensive line can produce more in the run game and Joseph Addai or Donald Brown steps up the Colts could have an unstoppable offense.
Name You Should Know            Antoine Bethea
FS, Howard, Drafted #207, 5th Year
Bethea is hardly a household name but this four-year veteran from Howard has been to two pro bowls already.  Bethea had to step up last year as his fellow safety Bob Sanders was injured, and he should only be more productive with Sanders back in the lineup.
Rising Star            Pierre Garcon
WR, Mount Union, Drafted #205, 3rd Year
Pierre Garcon came out of nowhere last year stepping up for the injured WR Anthony Gonzalez and caught 47 balls for 765 yards and four touchdowns.  I expect Garcon’s numbers to increase this year after a year working with Peyton Manning. 
Offensive Outlook            B+
With Peyton Manning in charge of the offense it’s hard to bet against them.  He has had very solid pass protection in front of him throughout his career but the run game is a concern.  Donald Brown has shown potential.  The Colts saw a lot of young receivers step up last year and they expect Anthony Gonzalez to contribute as he is back from injury.  Dallas Clark is one of Manning’s favorite targets and is coming off a pro bowl year.
Defensive Outlook            B+
The Colts defense ranked 8th in points allowed a year ago, and their biggest playmaker on that side of the ball, Bob Sanders is returning after missing most of the 2009 season with a torn biceps.  The Colts secondary was strengthened by the addition of veteran CB Deshea Townsend.  Gary Brackett leads a solid linebacking core while Freeney and Robert Mathis look to improve on thei 22 combine sacks from a year ago. 
Special Teams Outlook            B
Kicker Adam Vinatieri is back this season after missing almost all of 2009 with a knee injury and punter Pat McAfee dropped 21 punts inside the 20 to only six touchbacks, in addition to handling kickoffs.  The Colts have been missing an explosive return man so they used a seventh round pick on Indiana’s Ray Fisher to hopefully fill that need.
Projected 2010 Record            14-2
After flirting with a perfect season a year ago and a Super Bowl victory the Colts are looking to repeat their early successes.  It’s hard to bet against Manning, especially with a lot of talent around him, but I don’t see the Colts vying for a perfect record again.  There are simply too many things that can go wrong.  However, the Colts will be hungry after the Super Bowl defeat and will have a great year. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Six Reasons an 18 Game NFL Schedule is a Bad Idea

The NFL owners met yesterday and approved the sale of the St. Louis Rams to Stan Kroenke, but the hottest topic of the meetings was the advancement towards an "enhanced" schedule.  
This schedule, which the owners are shooting to have in place as early as 2012, would eliminate two preseason games in favor of two more regular season games.
The owners obviously would like to see this change to increase revenues, as fans are more likely to pay to see their team's meaningful games.  
However, this is a very big change to enact and must be thought through completely by the owners and the players' union.  
Here are five reasons that this schedule change is a bad idea.  There are reasons for the change of schedule, so feel free to leave comments about that, as well as additional reasons against the change.

6.  The Record Books

The format of the NFL schedule has not been changed for 32 years.  Statistical records are a staple of the NFL.  Individual and team records have been set, broken and broken again.
The process of a professional athlete breaking a record is one of the most captivating events for the American public.  Think back to Mark McGwire's chase for the home run crown.  Or the Patriots hunt for a perfect 19-0 season.  It was as if everyone who had ever heard of athletics was paying attention!
Now consider adding two games for players to accumulate stats.  A running back would have to average only 55.6 yards per game to break 1,000 yards.  This milestone is essentially rendered meaningless.  
In 2009, we saw Chris Johnson of the Titans set a record for yards from scrimmage in a season while becoming the sixth player in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards.  During the 2005 and 2006 seasons, if players were to continue their yards per game average there would have been four players reach the legendary 2,000 yard plateau.
5. Meaningless Games

The NFL owners claim that they are doing this for the fans.  They want the fans to be happy, and two more meaningful games will fuel their competitive spirit and keep them entertained.
What if exchanging two preseason games for regular seasons games didn't correspond with the addition of meaningful games?
Last season, the Colts got off to an incredible 14-0 start.  Then they threw in the towel.  Peyton Manning played one half in the last two games, the Colts lost to the Bills and the Jets, and the AFC playoff picture changed, as the Jets snuck in.
Now let's say in 2012 the Colts get off to the game start, while the Texans are at 9-5, the Jaguars are 8-6 and the Titans are looking at a 6-8 start.  What is the incentive for the Colts to play their starters?  They could lose the last four games by 100 points each and still win the division.  
Sure, they would likely play for home field advantage, but imagine if the rest of the league was very balanced that year with no other dominant teams in the AFC (every other team has five or more losses).  This is a very possible scenario, and Colts fans would certainly not be thrilled watching Curtis Painter lead the troops for a month.
4.  Evaluating Players

NFL General Managers and player personnel departments already have a difficult job in finding the best players for their team.  Now the owners want to only give young players two preseason games to showcase their talents?
Before every training camp begins there are players who know that they are on the roster bubble.  The general managers and coaches know who these players are as well.  Now imagine one of these players is buried on the depth chart, and for whatever reason does not get many snaps in the two preseason games.  
What if this player were to make a huge impact in the fourth preseason game and go on to be a special teams captain?  Or fill in for an injured player and have a great season?
The reality is, the personnel departments' jobs will be much more difficult, and there will be many more mistakes made.  Teams will be far less likely to put together their best roster, and the quality of play in the NFL could take a hit.

3.  Revenue Complications

NFL players are currently earning 60% of the revenue that NFL organizations earn.  This is one of the divisive points of the ongoing CBA talks.  The players are very happy with this umber, while the owners would like to see it decrease.
That's not too much to ask, is it?  I'm sure the players union and the owners could work something out.
Wait a minute, now the owners are asking the players to take a smaller cut AND play more games?  This is getting a bit unreasonable.
Sure, the owners could pay them higher salaries, but it just seems that they are getting greedy. 
It makes much more sense to me to stick with a 16 game season for the time being, at least until they can extend the CBA.
2.  Player Safety

In the last decade we have seen a number of rules to keep the players safe.  Such rules include numerous additions to the "roughing the passer" penalty, and the inability to attack a "defenseless" receiver.
Have the owners thought about safety concerns when instituting an 18-game schedule?  If players are required to play more games there is obviously a greater chance of a player getting injured.  
More important than the chances of a twisted ankle or even a torn ACL is the constant bashing of heads that goes on in the NFL.  With the advances of technology we are becoming more aware and more cautious in regards to concussions, which is a good first step.  Helmets are become more concussion-proof, but concussions still happen.  
Most recently, a Boston University study found a connection between head trauma and the onset of Lou Gherig's Disease.  
Former NFL players are experiencing all sorts of mental issues in their later years (and some times even in their forty's and fifty's).  Simply put, increase the schedule to 18 important games does absolutely nothing to improve players' safety, it only exacerbates the issues.
1.  "If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix it!"

And finally, the most obvious reason.
Forbes.com published a slide show with the most valuable sports franchises in the world.  Of the top 30, 23 are NFL teams.  Twenty three!  
Why in the world do the owners need to expand the schedule for more revenue?
Last year's Super Bowl was the most watched television program EVER!  It was estimated that around 106.5 million people tuned in.
The NFL is full of history and continues to grow.  Why change the most popular sport in the United States?  
There is just so little to gain and too much to lose.