Tuesday, August 23, 2016

NFL Preview for 2016

NFL Quick Notes:
       Last season I predicted 0 of the best teams correctly and 3 of the worst teams, out of ten total teams. All in all, I think I will keep this year's predictions a little bit more conventional. My "locks" for teams going under went 3-3, overs were 0-4, and lean plays were 4-3. The average miss for each team was 2.78 games, comparatively Vegas was at 2.23, and the flip of a coin at 2.5. There a few decent hits on my part, but for the most part the predictions were a major fail. My playoff predictions were meant to be humorous and they did end up being so, I had Atlanta vs San Diego. Washington did manage to go from worst in the division to first in the division (not that I predicted it or anything, it was just something that I thought had a possibility of happening).       
       I either forgot or never heard that Calvin Johnson retired. And Percy Harvin. And Marshawn Lynch. While the NFL did have some roster movement, compared to other major sports it's somewhat funny how little roster movement there is. Also, apparently Coach Coughlin is gone and Coach McAdoo is in. Last year Brandon Marshall had 1500+ yards and 14 touchdowns, he was the receiving touchdowns co-leader and went to the pro bowl. I expected this though, and I wonder why he was so lowly regarded. 
       My intake of sports via the web has really gone down the last year. Around three years ago ESPN changed the format of their articles, making them fairly unreadable, and then last year Grantland went down for the count. Since then I still have not found a reliably good website which posts good sports articles. Furthermore, I do not currently have a favorite NFL team, so I have been trying to figure that out as well. I think Tebow is out of the league for good, so I suppose I should move on. Since he's been out of the league I have been around 35% less interested in the NFL and probably watched around 30% less games.
       My favorite team has not yet been determined, but I am down to selecting between four teams, the Eagles, Washington, the Browns, and the Titans. I am very slightly leaning towards the Titans followed by Washington. A few rough changes from last season in regards to win totals: Chargers 4.3, Titans 3.5, Cowboys 3.3, Giants 2.5, Jaguars 2, Seahawks 1.7, Browns 1.5, and Ravens 1.2, & on the other side Panthers -5.5, Broncos -3.5, Colts -1.9, 49ers -1.5, Cards - 1.5, Bengals -1, and Vikings -1.

AFC East
New England Patriots 4.2 (overall rating on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best)
Additions: Chris Hogan, Clay Harbor, Nate Washington, Ramon Humber, Chris Long, Martellus Bennett
Losses: Dane Fletcher, Brian Tyms, Akeem Hicks, Chandler Jones, Brandon LaFell
Possibly the only hurdle for the Patriots to clear this season is to try for .500 or better during Brady's suspension.

Miami Dolphins 2.5
Additions: Daniel Thomas, Isaiah Pead, Griff Whalen, Andre Branch, Mario Wiliams, Kiko Alonso, Byron Maxwell, Adam Gase HC
Losses: Lamar Miller, Brandon Williams, Kelvin Sheppard, Greg Jennings, Quinton Coples
The Dolphins have shown signs of life the last few seasons, but outside of being competitive have shown little else.  I vastly overestimated the Dolphins abilities last year.

New York Jets 3.3
Additions: Matt Forte, Khiry Robinson, Jarvis Jenkins, Bruce Carter
Losses: Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley, Antonio Allen, Jeff Cumberland, Jeremy Kerley
Chan Gailey OC
The Jets have a quality offense, a quality defense, and additionally a fair portion of the roster is fairly young.

Buffalo Bills 3.1
Additions: Zach Brown, Sterling Moore, Robert Blanton
Losses: MarQueis Gray, Stefan Charles, Nigel Bradham, Mario Williams
The Bills have some decent offensive firepower.

Cincinnati Bengals 3.8
Additions: Brandon LaFell, Karlos Dansby, Taylor Mays
Losses: Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Reggie Nelson
The Bengals have one of the best defenses in the league and a quality offense to boot.

Pittsburgh Steelers 3.5
Additions: Ladarius Green, Ryan Harris, Donald Washington
Losses: Cam Thomas, Sean Spence, Antwon Blake, Brandon Boykin, Jacoby Jones
Quietly the Steelers had one of the best offenses in the league.

Cleveland Browns 2.4
Additions: Robert Griffin the Third, Alvin Bailey, Rahim Moore, Hue Jackson HC
Losses: Travis Benjamin, Alex Mack, Craig Robertson, Johnny Manziel, Karlos Dansby, Mike Pettine HC
The Browns were one of the worst teams last season and also one of the youngest.  I definitely overestimated the Browns' chances last year, I wonder if it will happen again. Wow, the Browns had a bad rushing attack last year, and a bad passing attack, okay, really the Browns were pretty much bad at everything related to football.

Baltimore Ravens 2.7
Additions: Trent Richardson, Benjamin Watson, Mike Wallace, Eric Weddle
Losses: Matt Schaub, Courtney Upshaw
Benjamin Watson is probably their strong point on offense, but even he is a bit weak to be a focal point.  The defense should improve, but not tremendously so.  Wow.  The Ravens had a ton of one-score games last season, 16 to be precise.  14 if you drop the preseason. (And by one score games I mean that the game was decided by 8 points or fewer.)

Indianapolis Colts 2.7
Additions: Scott Tolzien, Robert Turbin, Patrick Robinson, Greg Manusky DC
Losses: Matt Hasselbeck, Coby Fleener, Dwight Lowery, Andre Johnson
The Colts were a below average team last season and it will take a return to elite Andrew Luck for their hopes to improve.

Houston Texans 3.2
Additions: Brock Osweiler, Lamar Miller, Jeff Allen
Losses: Nate Washington, Brandon Brooks, Jared Crick, Rahim Moore, Arian Foster
Depending on Brock Osweiler's success, the Texans could take a step forward this season.  The defense is one of the best in the league and the offense has a few decent pieces.  The Texans did manage to beat the Bengals on the road, outside of that, however, they should be glad they play in the AFC South.

Tennessee Titans 2.4
Additions: Matt Cassel, Jerome Cunningham, Rishard Matthews, Curtis Grant, DeMarco Murray, Terry Robiskie OC, Dick LeBeau DC
Losses: Joe Looney, Zach Brown
Mike Mularkey has a record of 18-39.  I expect the Titans to take a decent step forward this year.

Jacksonville Jaguars 2.3
Additions: Kelvin Beachum, Patrick Omameh, Prince Amukamara, Brad Nortman, Todd Wash DC
Losses: Clay Harbor, Andre Branch, Bryan Anger, Toby Gerhart, Chris Clemons
Gus Bradley is 12-36 during his three years as HC. The Jaguars actually have shown some signs of life on offense, but it is unlikely that will continue. Meanwhile, the defensive side of the ball will likely remain very weak.

Kansas City Chiefs 3.5
Additions: Rod Streater, Mike Wiliams, Andy Mulumba, Brad Childress & Matt Nagy co-offensive coordinators
Losses: Chase Daniel, Jeff Allen, Tyvon Branch
The Chiefs had one of the best defenses last year and a quality offense to boot.

Denver Broncos 3.4
Additions: Russell Okung, Jared Crick
Losses: Brock Osweiler, Vernon Davis, Andre Caldwell, Evan Mathis, Peyton Manning, Owen Daniels
Last season the Broncos had the best defense in the league and a below average offense.  This season should bring more of the same, except the offense will likely be worse and the defense should regress to the mean a bit.  Are the Broncos really going to go into the season expecting success with Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback?  I guess so, but I do not understand why.  Outside of two quality wide receivers the Broncos lack firepower.  

San Diego Chargers 2.7
Additions: Zach Mettenberger, Jeff Cumberland, Matt Slauson, Casey Hayward, Ken Whisenhunt OC
Losses: Ladarius Green, David Johnson, Eric Weddle, Patrick Robinson, Donald Buttler, Frank Reich OC
Despite having a somewhat quality offense the Chargers ended up being one of the worst teams of 2015.  I greatly overestimated the Chargers in 2015, I might be falling into the same trap.

Oakland Raiders 2.7
Additions: Bruce Irvin, Sean Smith, Reggie Nelson
Losses: Jeremy Ross, Rod Streater, Taylor Mays, Curtis Lofton
The Raiders are a fairly average team across the board.

NFC East
Philadelphia Eagles 2.7
Additions: Chase Daniel, Chris Givens, Aaron Grymes, Rueben Randle, Brandon Brooks, Nigel Bradham, Doug Pederson HC
Losses: Thaddeus Lewis, Mark Sanchez, DeMarco Murray, Kiko Alonso, Byron Maxwell, Riley Cooper, Chip Kelly HC
The Eagles had a bit of a restructuring of their team and their coaching staff over the offseason.

Dallas Cowboys 3
Additions: Alfred Morris, Joe Looney, Isaiah Frey
Losses: Matt Cassel, Robert Turbin, Brandon McGee
Tony Romo may have been drafted thirteen years ago, but he is still the glue that holds this team together.  The Cowboys had a revolving door of quarterbacks last season.  One of the quarterbacks whom they did not try out, though, was Tim Tebow.  But it makes sense since Tebow would have helped them to actually win games and they were mostly trying to tank due to Romo's injury.

Washington 3
Additions: Vernon Davis, Josh Norman
Losses: Alfred Morris, Frank Kearse, Trenton Robbinson, Robert Griffin, Andre Roberts
Washington has a few decent pieces.  It will be interesting to see Cousin's development.

New York Giants 2.8
Additions: Anthony Dable, B.J. Daniels, Jeremy Ross, Ryan Seymour, Ben McAdoo HC
Losses: Rueben Randle, Robert Ayers, Prince Amukamara, Tom Coughlin HC
The Giants should be able to take a step forward in the new McAdoo era.

Detroit Lions 2.7
Additions: Stevan Ridley, Matthew Mulligan, Andre Caldwell, Marvin Jones, Jeremy Kerley, Andre Roberts
Losses: Travis Lewis, Jason Jones, Joique Bell, Calvin Johnson
Stafford still slings the ball as well as anyone, but he is about the only bright spot on the team.  The NFC North was my best division last year, I missed the Vikings by 2 games, the Lions by a game, and then the Packers and Bears were both spot on.  It will be interesting to see if the Lions are more like the 1st half version of their 2015 counterparts, or the 2nd half version.

Chicago Bears 2.6
Additions: Brian Hoyer, Nate Chandler, Ted Larsen, Akiem Hicks, Aaron Brewer
Losses: Matt Forte, Jarvis Jenkins, Martellus Bennett
Outside of Alshon Jeffrey, the Bears lack offensive firepower currently.  

Green Bay Packers 3.6
Additions: Jared Cook
Losses: Scott Tolzein, Casey Hayward
Jordy Nelson is back!  The Packers' offense should improve upon their mediocre 2015 standards.

Minnesota Vikings 3.3
Additions: Andre Smith, Travis Lewis
Losses: Josh Robinson, Mike Wallace
Norv Turner is their OC.  The Vikings were an oddly good team last season.  Will they be able to continue their impressive play?

New Orleans Saints 2.7
Additions: Coby Fleener, Nick Fairley, James Laurinaitis, Roman Harper
Losses: Benjamin Watson, Rafael Bush, Marques Colston, Josh Scobee
The Saints should be able to take a step forward this season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2.5
Additions: Dan LeFevour, Storm Johnson, J.R. Sweezy, Russel Shepard, Bryan Anger, Dirk Koetter HC
Losses: Bobby Rainey, Sterling Moore, Bruce Carter, Logan Mankins, Lovie Smith HC
The Buccaneers have been mired in mediocrity and worse for how long now?

Carolina Panthers 3.7
Additions: Trenton Robinson
Losses: Roman Harper, Brad Nortman, Jared Allen, Nate Chandler
The Panthers managed to score half a thousand points and field a top 10 defense while lacking star offensive playmakers, besides Cam Newton that is.  To say that I underestimated the Panthers last year would be the understatement of the day.

Atlanta Falcons 3.1
Additions: Matt Schaub, Mohamed Sanu, Sean Weatherspoon, Courtney Upshaw 
Losses: Gino Gradkowski
Despite having some good pieces, the Falcon's offense was very pedestrian last season.  Even with the Falcons easy schedule last year they were a somewhat poor team.

Los Angeles Rams 2.4
Additions: Dylan Thompson, Quinton Coples
Losses: Nick Fairley, Janoris Jenkins, Jared Cook, James Laurinaitis, Chris Long
Jeff Fisher hasn't produced a winning record in seven years. Hard Knocks is featuring the Rams.  What exactly is the Rams' long-term plan?   Remain mired in the cellar?

San Francisco 49ers 2.4
Additions: Thaddeus Lewis, Zane Beadles, Chip Kelly HC
Losses: Alex Boone, Dylan Thompson, Jim Tomsula HC
The 49ers scored less than a quarter of a thousand points last season.  Now they are expecting Blaine Gabbert to lead their offense?  Where is the disconnect occurring?  With that said, though, it would be very hard for their offense to be inept as it was last year, especially with Chip Kelly as HC.

Seattle Seahawks 4.2
Additions: Brandon WIlliams, Chris Clemons, Brandon Browner
Losses: Russell Okung, Alvin Bailey, Bruce Irvin, Marshawn Lynch
The Seahawks had a top 5 offense and likely the best defense in the league.  Despite all this they only flukely managed to beat Minnesota by a point in the playoffs?  Odd.  I wonder how well the team will relace Marshawn Lynch.  

Arizona Cardinals 4.1
Additions: Evan Mathis 
Losses: Sean Weatherspoon, Rasah Johnson
Bruce Arians has one of the highest winning percentages of all time.  I was fairly surprised to see the Cardinals had the best or second best offense of last season.  I completely missed on the Cardinals last season, I think this it was around the third year in a row where I underestimated them.  Palmer played extremely well last season and the Cardinals were dominant.

First to Worst
Can HappenPanthers, Vikings, Washington
Will Not HappenPatriots, Bengals, Texans, Broncos, Cardinals

Worst to First
Can HappenTitans, Chargers, Cowboys
Will Not HappenDolphins, Browns, Bears, Buccaneers, 49ers

Vegas LinesMy Vegas LinesDifference Between the Two Vegas LinesProjected % ChanceDifference for % Chance and VegasMy Record to VegasCombined

TeamPlayoff %Top 2 Reg STop 4 PTop 2 PSBASBW

Poor Preseason Playoff Prognostications
SD 4NE 1NE 1
KC 5Cin 6KC 5SB Champion
Green Bay 2
Ten 3Pit 2
Cin 6KC 5NE 1
GB 2
Dal 4Sea 1Sea 1
Ari 5Ari 5GB 2
Atl 3GB 2
NYG 6Atl 3

Tim Tebow would be ranked as the 10th best QB in the NFL, by the way.  Also, it is somewhat odd how there is such a connection between a team's power ranking and where their quarterback is ranked in the league.  It is almost like quarterback play influences how good a team is more than any other factor.  What a strange thought.
TeamOverall RecordPower RankingQB Ranking (somewhat volatile)1st Selection of Games2nd Selection of GamesChange from
previous season
O/UGood Plays"Locks"
For the "Locks" I would be happy with a 7-3 record.

Last season's college football Over/Unders
Overs: 4-2 
Unders: 2-3 
Overall: 6-5
So I squeaked by with a winning record, and then after the juice it was pretty much a wash.

This season's college football Over/Unders
Under: Baylor 9.5,  NC State 6
Over: Louisville 9, Maryland 4.5, Texas 6.5, Virginia 4.5 
And I barely did any research into these, so I would be surprised if I even manage a 4-2 record.  

Thanks for reading.