A few days ago I took a look at the 49ers and the Raiders, and whether or not their offense would be Super Bowl worthy. Just for fun, note this is not a serious blog post nor should you insinuate that I have insinuated that the two teams should form up Voltron style - just a fun little look as we approach the season.
In the poll, 55% voted that no, the offense that the 49ers and Raiders both fielded together would not be Super Bowl-worthy. I'm still on the fence about it, as I think the 49ers offense alone is a playoff contender, adding in a few pieces should only increase that. Still, I'm thinking this defense is quite a bit more likely. The 49ers already field a top ten/top five defense, and the Raiders' defensive unit has been underrated for a couple seasons now.
Let's see what we get after the jump, shall we?
Defensive Line- Justin Smith, Aubrayo Franklin, Richard Seymour
What a defensive line. I thought the 49ers unit was great because of Smith and Franklin, but now you throw Seymour into the mix? This has to be one of the best lines in football with Smith's never-ending motor, Franklin's fantastic play last year and Seymour's all-around awesomeness.
Linebackers- Patrick Willis, Rolando McClain, Kamerion Wimbley, Manny Lawson, Takeo Spikes
Another very strong unit. I'm going completely on projected greatness with McClain and having him play next to Patrick Willis, but I did list Takeo Spikes because he is unquestionably what you want in a TED linebacker. (This defense is obviously a 3-4) A tandem of Willis and McClain looks scary. It's a toss-up between Wimbley and 49ers Parys Harlason, but I gave it to Wimbley. Manny Lawson provides a lot to the defense and hey, if it so happens that Al Davis is involved - Willis and Lawson are ridiculously fast.
Cornerbacks- Nnamdi Asomugha, Nate Clements, Shawntae Spencer, Chris Johnson
This was hard to rate who gets second, and then after that, who gets third. Asomugha is a top-two cornerback in the league, and then after that it's unclear of whether or not it should be Clements or Spencer from the 49ers. I went with Clements because he has shown more over the years and seemed to just have a down one last year with an injury to boot. Spencer had his best year last year and is the nickel corner, while Johnson is a (Starting capable) backup on this team. Very strong position at this point.
Safeties- Dashon Goldson, Tyvon Branch
Another surprisingly strong position. Goldson is a bundle of potential who had a great year and Branch is a very solid starter. This should be a rather explosive tandem, with Goldson set to do whatever he wants on blitzing and power hits with strong corners to depend on. Huff and Lewis are both arguably good enough to be playoff-worthy players at their respective positions, as well.
So that's a look at the defense, next will be special teams and I already can't wait for the punter argument to heat up. Unlike the offense, I think this defense is a clear cut YES as far as being a Super Bowl-worthy defense. I'll include a poll so you can vote on it. Nobody will be able to run on that line, and those linebackers will shut down everything with their intelligence and speed, as well as providing a good pass rush. Nnamdi will take away a teams best receiver while Branch and another corner handles the rest. Manny Lawson/Willis are set for tight ends and Dashon Goldson will be thrown around the field with reckless abandon.