02 September 2013
NFL Roundtable: 2013 AFC Win Totals
It's time for another Round Table discussion. The topic is NFL season win totals. Your panelists include... JoeSpeaker, Derek, Pauly, StB, and Buffalo66.
Win Totals courtesy of LVH...
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: 11.5 (u -210)
JoeSpeaker: UNDER - No Welkah, no Hah-nahn-dahz (I'm sure that's not phonetically correct, but fun to write and say!), hard to count on "Sick Note" Gronkowski. I foresee a lot of receivers making incorrect reads and getting a Tommy Brady tongue-lashing.
Derek: UNDER - Welker and Hernandez are gone and Gronk is recovering from another surgery, but the Pats will still win the AFC East. Even with the drama of Tebow-mania and Hernandez's arrest for murder, the Pats are in good shape and won't be challenged for the division crown. Only a Tom Brady injury can derail their season. They'll win 11 games at most.
Pauly: UNDER - The Pats clinch the AFC East, but fall short of 11.5. Bellicheat/Brady can pull off another double digit win season, but it'll be tough to win 12 with their schedule. Sucks that you'll have to lay -210 though.
DENVER BRONCOS: 11.5 (u -115)
StB: UNDER - Von Miller is out and the schedule is pretty rough right out of the gate. Sure Peyton Manning can perform miracles but can he get over that choke in last year's playoffs?
Derek: UNDER – John Elway loses Elvis Dumervil because of a fax machine debacle than the inability to re-sign the guy. Von Miller gets suspended for failing a drug test. Again. Even Peyton Manning can't will this team to more than 11 wins.
Pauly: UNDER - Peyton Manning's neck exceeded expectations last year, but this year we'll see a slight defensive regression. The Broncos will finish up 11-5 and end up in the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning has multiple deadly targets with the WR-trio (Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and Wes Welker) and TE-duo (Tamme/Dreessen). Their biggest weakness on offense? Peyton's neck struggling to hold off those EBTKSB (Everything But The Kitchen Sink Blitzes).
HOUSTON TEXANS: 10 (o -120)
StB: OVER - But it won't be easy. Sure Indy will be better but they get Jacksonville and Tennessee twice but rest of the schedule will be painful.
Derek: OVER – I only like the over if Arian Foster is healthy and plays at least 14 games.
Pauly: PUSH - Can JJ Watt have a better season that last year? Will Matt Schaub fizzle out down the stretch? Does Arian Foster have another career year, or will this be the start of his decline? Will any other WRs step up and take some of the pressure off Andre Johnson? Houston won't win 12 games like last season, but they should lock up at least 10 wins... so long as Foster stays healthy (he has a nagging back injury) The Texans will be tested early on: Week 3 @ Baltimore, Week 4 vs. Seattle, and Week 5 @ San Francisco.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS: 9 (o -150)
Buffalo66: UNDER - This team has a huge question mark at RB and Big Ben isn't getting any younger. They will struggle against Baltimore and Cincy.
StB: UNDER - Because experts likes to say that the fans think the Steelers are dead and done with... but they never are. Well, yes, they are. I think they come in third place at 7-9.
Derek: OVER – Never count out the Steelers. I see them squeaking their way to 10 wins.
Pauly: UNDER - The AFC North is smashmouth football and a war of attrition. Who is Banged-Up Ben Roethlisberger's main target with Mike Wallace gone and Heath Miller dinged up? The Steel Curtain D is a year older and a half-step slower. The Steelers' running game was horrible last year. They were hoping Rookie Le'von Bell would become the Steelers' next workhorse... until he got hurt. Redman/Dwyer (both suffering from fumblitis) were not impressive, so the Steelers traded for Felix Jones. Yeah, it's going to be a long 8-8 season.
CINCY BENGALS: 8.5 (o -140)
StB: OVER - Ah, Iggy and his Bungals. Maybe one of the best teams you could care less about. Cincy fans go into shock when they make the playoffs. Again.
Derek: OVER – The Bengals have a good team even though you should never trust a redhead. They're not Super Bowl ready. but they'll beat the over easily especially with their defense, AJ Green and Andy Dalton.
Pauly: OVER - These are not Iggy's Bungles anymore, but a formidable playoff contender. Four of Ciny's first five games come against excellent opponents. Cincy could easily start 1-4. However, second half of schedule is a breeze. Cincy's defense is stingy. AJ Green is a lethal weapon and they're trying out a two TE set. Fear Andy Dalton. Everyone knows Gingers have no soul because they are the devil's offspring. A 9-7 record and division title is within reach.
BALTIMORE RAVENS: 8.5 (o -120)
JoeSpeaker: OVER - Fuck these guys. They should have been out in the first round of the playoffs. Instead, they just created a new offensive style (Flacco flings the ball high in the air, Boldin out-muscles/jumps eight defenders to catch it) and somehow won the Super Bowl. 8.5 doesn't seem a difficult number.
StB: UNDER - Who takes the under on the Super Bowl champs? I do! Unlike the Giants, the Ravens underperform after overachieving. Plus, didn't they lose half of their defense to the senior circuit?
Derek: UNDER – Joe Flacco is overrated. Yeah, that's right. The Super Bowl champs stumble to 8-8 in their first season post Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Haloti Ngata is a beast though. So is Elvis Dumervil.
Pauly: UNDER - The Super Bowl champs got hot at the right time in the playoffs, but unfortunately they shot their load. The Ravens' D in the post-Ray Lewis era is in flux. Their offense still has Flacco and RB tandem of Ray Rice/Bernie Pierce, yet they lost their main aerial weapon when Boldin bolted to SF. Ravens finish 8-8 and don't make the playoffs after losing a heartbreaker to Cincy in Week 17.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: 8.5 (o -110)
JoeSpeaker: UNDER - Andrew Luck had tons of it last year (this I'm pretty sure of; I think Bill Barnwell mentioned it a million times) so I'll take the under/falling back to earth. Unless Pagano's cancer comes back.
StB: OVER - Andrew Luck is the real deal. I think the will be fun to watch.
Derek: OVER – I like the over but barely. I see the Colts winning 9 games. If "Heath Ledger is the new Matt Damon" than Andrew Luck is the new Peyton Manning. I expect Luck's career to last longer than Ledger's. Yes, I went there. Is it still too soon for Heath Ledger jokes?
Pauly: OVER - Fluke 2012. The Colts were inspired by Chuck Pagano battle with Leukemia, but rookie Andrew Luck played out of his tits. In the offseason, the Colts wisely invested heavily in protecting Luck by drafting premier O-lineman and acquiring Ahmad Bradshaw -- a minor headcase, but a helluva blocker -- to the backfield. Can the Colts execute their hybrid 3-4 defense this season? This is the same scheme that let Mark Sanchez and the Jets torch them 35-9 in Week 6. The Colts got luck of the draw and play a weak schedule. The AFC South is a joke, so 9-7 seems about right.
MIAMI DOLPHINS: 7.5 (o -145)
StB: OVER - The Dolphins may be one of those sleeper teams people talk about, along with the Chiefs. I think they will surprise some people this year and squeak out an 8-8 record.
Derek: UNDER – I smell another 7-9 season. Where's Dan Marino and Ray Finkel when you need them? Say hello to Captain Winky and Mr. Knish!
Pauly: UNDER - The Fish went 7-9 in 3 out of the last 4 seasons. Another one is coming. Mike Wallace is a nifty addition, so long as the QB Ryan Tannehill gets the ball to him, which won't be an easy task considering Miami's O-line is a disgusting mess. Their zone defense was problematic last year (too many holes), so who knows if the new additions on D can learn Kevin Coyle's system before they face Andrew Luck, Matty Ice, Drew Brees, and Joey Flacco in four consecutive games starting Week 2.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: 7.5 (o -110)
StB: UNDER - Rivers always manages to derail this team. The under is a safe bet.
Derek: UNDER - Rivers sucked last year. This franchise missed their window when LT left the team.
Pauly: UNDER - Rivers had a terrible season and it didn't help that his O-line was as porous as the U.S./Mexico border. Norv Turner got the pink slip. New head coach Mike McCoy tweaked the passing scheme this season (one-back set with an emphasis on stretching out the D with quick passes), which should benefit Rivers and cover up for their liabilities -- unreliable O-line and lackluster running game. Rivers has solid targets like WR Malcolm Floyd and TE Antonio Gates. Does Gates have one standout season left in the tank? Or will the Chargers be haunted by the Ghost of Gates? The Chargers' D will be their downfall in a 6-10 nightmarish season featuring multiple Rivers' meltdowns.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: 7 (o -135)
StB: UNDER - I have already heard too many comments about how the Chiefs are THE sleeper team this year. I won't buy it until I see it with my own eyes. UNDER all the way.
Derek: OVER - Andy Reid will work his magic. He's got some help in Alex Smith, Jamal Charles and Dwayne Bowe. Expect this team to be in a surprising hunt for a playoff spot.
Pauly: UNDER - If Andy Reid is your savior, you might want to take up a new religion. Like Hare Krishna or something in which you shave your head and wear flowing robes. Alex Smith is a huge step up from Matt Cassell/Mighty Quinn goofball platoon. Smith will protect the ball for the CHEFS, who served up the worst turnover differential in the league last year. KC had decent weapons in Jamal Charles and Dwayne Bowe, plus a few standouts on defense like Derrick Johnson. The Chiefs won't be a pushover like the last two seasons, but they'll struggle to finish 6-10.
NEW YORK J-E-T-S: 6.5 (u -145)
StB: OVER - Let's go over. Just for shits and giggles.
Derek: OVER – Am I the only one that still likes Rex Ryan? Let's go Jets!!!
Pauly: UNDER - Every coach and suit got fired...except Rex Ryan. They traded Revis, but kept Mark Sanchez. They let Tebow walk, but they drafted Geno Smith (after his draft stock plummeted). This is Sanchize's last chance as a starter. If he doesn't turn it around ASAP, he's dunzo and relegated to third-string status for the rest of his career in Arizona (where all washed-up USC QBs end up and carry the clipboard for a couple years before they're put out to pasture). West Coast offense guru Marty Mornhinweig is tasked with mentoring Sanchize and Geno Smith. With Sanchez nursing a bad shoulder, rookie Geno Smith guides the Jets to a 5-11 season.
BUFFALO BILLS: 6.5 (u -135)
Buffalo66: OVER - New coach Doug Marrone makes this team 3 wins better. Assuming they stay healthy at QB & WR I would expect 7-8 wins. Could compete for the division if something happens to Brady.
StB: OVER - Call me crazy but I like the over. The Bills did enough to be competitive this year and challenge some teams, squeaking out a victory or two that no one expected. Like one against the Patriots.
Derek: OVER – I like the EJ Manuel pick. I think the Bills win at least 7 games this year.
Pauly: UNDER - I keep looking at the Bills schedule and think they'll beat the Jets twice, but where will the other wins come from? They tapped a new coach, Doug Marrone (from down the road at Syracuse), and drafted EJ Manuel at QB. But they have decent crop of young WRs and also have CJ Spiller, who is a fantasy stud this season according to many pundits. They hired Mikey Pettine (ex-Jets' D coordinator), but they're thin on effective troops. Expect another cold winter of discontent in Buffalo with a 5-11 record.
TENNESSEE TITANS: 6.5 (o -110)
StB: UNDER - A team you like to see on your schedule. I think Chris Johnson is overworked and Locker blows.
Derek: UNDER – Jeff Fisher got out at the right time.
Pauly: UNDER - Every year that has to be one team that is the doormat of the league. My vote goes to the Titans. It'll be a torturous season with an anemic 3-13 or 4-12 record. They gifted Shonne Greene a fat contract, who couldn't hold his mud with the Jets, so I feel bad for Titans fans who got fleeced for millions. Sheer robbery! Maybe Delaine Walker will help out on offense, but unless their secondary miraculously turn into Pro Bowlers overnight, the Titans are toast.
CLEVELAND BROWNS: 6 (o -150)
StB: UNDER - Taking the Browns to go to the Super Bowl! Oh wait, I thought we were talking bowel movements for a second. Under. Flush it!
Derek: UNDER – I feel bad for their fans. There's been way too many changes with leadership over the last few years. No continuity and a bad roster.
Pauly: OVER - The Browns drafted the coolest name in football -- Barkevious Mingo -- which sounds less like a linebacker like a character from a Tom Robbins novel. Maybe Norv Turner can get the best out of Brandon Weedon and Josh Gordon? The Browns can eek out a 7-9 season if they catch a couple of division foes sleepwalking. I'm bearish on Baltimore and Pittsburgh, so maybe the Browns can steal a couple of wins?
OAKLAND RAIDERS: 5.5 (u -125)
Buffalo66: UNDER - They have the worst offensive line in the league. If they get to 6 wins it will be solely on the foot of Sebastian Janikowski (pun intended).
JoeSpeaker: OVER - I love what's happening in Oakland. It's a renaissance. It's a reversion. It's a return to glory! Eventually. This year is the first step.
Derek: UNDER – I got nothing. And so do the Raiders.
StB: OVER - The Raiders are not the worst team in the AFC West anymore.
Pauly: OVER - GM Reggie McKenzie got rid of the deadweight and took a huge cap hit for the season. Now he's pulling a Billy Beane and trying field a competitive team with a shoestring budget. The Raiders even took a flier on Matt Flynn, who lost his starting job to Russell Wilson last year. Behold... the Mighty Flynn... who is a definite upgrade compared to Carson Palmer. Lets' gamble here... the Raiders will exceed their low-rate expectations with 6-10 season.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: 5 (o -120)
StB: UNDER - They still have a football team in Jacksonville?
Derek: UNDER – Worst team in the NFL is right. I can't name a player on this team besides MJD.
Pauly: UNDER - They Jags suck, but they'll play a little better defense than people expect. They'll double last year's win output, but that will only give them 4 wins. They start the season with 4 road games in 5 weeks and a "home game" in London against the Niners. The smartest thing the Jags did in the offseason? The avoided trading for Tim Tebow and they added Seattle's D-coordinator, Gus Bradley, to the coaching staff.
Stay tuned for the NFC Win Totals.