Welcome to the preseason edition of the Gambling Gurus, where Brooke and I make totally meaningless predictions of how the divisions will shake out this year. At the end of the article is a list of the Super Bowl odds by team. That’s fun.
Stefan: Philly spent their money wisely and I think their gamble on Vick will pay off at a few pivotal moments. Just think about the time wasted by opposing teams anticipating his 4 or 5 plays per game. Dallas is Dallas and will win plenty but not big. Meanwhile the Giants will take a step backwards as Eli gets comfortable with his enormous salary and their lack of a wide receiver continues to plague them in a division that’s gotten even better. Washington will be better than their record, and would dominate the NFC West, but remain in the basement.
Brooke: The Eagles will feel the loss of Jim Johnson, Brian Dawkins, and Stewart Bradley on defense, but their offense will be superb for the stretches of the season Westbrook is on the field. There is little to pick between the Boys and Gints but I give NY the slight nod because they have the track record and the front four may be ready to dominate again. The Redskins will be a competitive 8-8.
Green Bay (6-10)
Stefan: Brett Favre will get tired by Thanksgiving and Aaron Rogers will do just enough to let the new, fast and happy Green Bay defense own the division. Jay Cutler will take a year to get the feeling of the Chicago receivers while their D loses a step. Sadly, Detroit will probably win 4 or 5 games, but a guy can dream, can’t he?
Brooke: I was way ready to get behind Minny this year, and then they went out and signed the guy who makes T.O. look like a deaf mute altar boy. I sat down at the roulette wheel not to long ago and watched a guy hit his color eight times in a row doubling his money with every twirl of the wheel. Then he missed and that is what Favre has left at this stage in his game. A 50/50 whirl of the wheel. Rogers is a 60/40 and Cutler on is a young Favre at 65/35. Detroit on a whole will go 5/11. I will be betting big that GB sweeps Minny this year.
Tampa Bay (9-7)
New Orleans (8-8)
Stefan:This is an off year for Carolina (look it up) so that leaves Atlanta (now with Tony Gonzalez) as the only balanced team in the division. New Orleans will play enough Overs to sneak into second just ahead of Carolina. Hard to see a good year ahead for Tampa, which probably means they’ll win the Super Bowl.
Brooke: This is a good division and in classic NFC South style the rich shall be poor and the poor shall be rich. N.O. is going to the Super Bowl this year, and Drew Brees will continue his move up into the ranks of all time greats. Tampa slides down a peg as it reloads and Atlanta and Carolina battle for the last Wild Card.
Stefan: Oy, this division. Let’s say that Frank Gore finally gets his just desserts with an improved passing offense taking the pressure off, while Seattle returns to some semblance of form. Meanwhile, Arizona suffers a horrible combination of complacence and broken heartedness, leaving them so weak and confused they only beat up on St. Louis.
Brooke: Jim Mora Jr. takes Seattle back to the top of this garbage heap and T.J. Houshmanzada makes some smart fantasy owners really happy. Zona does not fall off the map, as Warner to Fitz is too sweet to stay gone for long. SF climbs back on to the map with some Singletary defense, but this team is short their Crabtree and someone to throw the unsigned draft pick the ball. StL is waiting for the waters to rise and Stephen Jackson to score.
New England (11-5)
Stefan: The Patriots will win the division. Miami will do well enough for a while but Chad Pennington will suffer a season ending injury around the third week of November, sending them reeling. The Jets are loaded but won’t be able to aim until later in the season, raising hopes for 2010. Unfortunately for Brooke, the Bills are looking at 6-10, maybe 8-8, which is sure to make TO whine like a dog in a thunderstorm.
Brooke: The Patriots are no longer a very good defensive team, but their offense this year might be better than ever. The one thing Pat’s fans have not fully come to grips with is their line play on both sides of the ball has fallen off. We have been hearing for decades that the Jets are finally ready to do Weeb proud, and this time they might be right. The main problem for them is their unproven positions are coach and QB. Combine an average group of receivers and you might be looking at a lot of 14-17 losses. Miami was a one hit wonder last year and the Bills badly need a coach not named Jauron.
Stefan: Baltimore rules as their newly rising O meets their still dominant D on its way down. Pitt suffers the slings and arrows of having won the Super Bowl, and loses those squeakers against B’mere that they won last year, while Cincy and Cleveland fight for a distant last.
Brooke: This really is a division of haves and have-nots. Pitt and Balt have and have lots. Pitt will not fall off, and really should be better than last year. Balt on the other hand lost more talent on D and their D coach. Flacco should improve, and that might lead to something great in B-Town a few years from now. All I know is both of these teams from Ohio make me happy to be a Bills fan.
Stefan: Not to put too much on one player, but the Titans fielded a far less impressive D without Haynesworth last year. This year he’s out for the season (having been traded to the Skins) so they’ll slip behind the Colts. Take away Indy’s early losses last year while PM was getting his groove back, and the picture would have been different in December. I know everybody likes Houston, but I think they’re still a year away for this division, while Jax is going to disappoint again.
Brooke: Tenn should be an angry team, and Jeff Fischer is a good enough coach to take advantage of that anger. Indy on the other hand has reason to be worried. Losing Dungy cannot be a good thing, and losing to S.D. and in the first round again has to have them doubting, and then deep down inside they all know they already won their Super Bowl. Without Fred Taylor MJD is just Maurice and a more composed pocket passer than Garrard is needed to get the most of still very good Torry Holt, but this year has to be better than last year’s implosion doesn’t it? Houston should light up the scoreboard, but they also tend to get lit up. Their secondary is still second to most others.
San Diego (8-8)
Stefan: San Diego does better than 8 and 8 this year, which ought to be enough to win the division. Oakland goes .500 to come in second, a display of raw talent overcoming horrible coaching and criminal ownership. Denver disappoints and falls off the map, and ties with KC at 4 wins (assuming Matt Cassel isn’t ruined – it’s unclear as of this writing).
Brooke: This is the conference of unproven and/or bad coaches. SD was 14-2 three years ago, then 11-5, and last year 8-8. What happened to this dynasty in waiting? Norv Turner is what happened and that is what will happen again this year. SD has traded away the NFC’s best passer and second best runner and STILL has the most talented team in the league. Norv can’t stop them from winning this horrid division but he will try. Oakland vs Denver is hereby deemed the Bad Karma Bowl. I don’t feel that bad. These franchises have a combined 5 Super Bowl wins and 6 S.B. Loses between them. They can stand a couple more decades of this. KC on the other hand can’t. Go Chiefs.
Incidentally, if you’re a betting man or woman, there’s still time to make your Superbowl pick. Outrageous that Atlanta is favored over Baltimore, but it’s a divisional thing. Laying down $100 for $800 on Philly looks like the only bargain to me, and really, this isn’t the place to waste your money, we’ll have all sorts of regular season suggestions for you where you can do that.
New England Patriots $385
Pittsburgh Steelers $750
New York Giants $800
Philadelphia Eagles $800
San Diego Chargers $900
Dallas Cowboys $1,200
Indianapolis Colts $1,200
Minnesota Vikings $1,400
Carolina Panthers $1,800
Atlanta Falcons $1,900
Baltimore Ravens $1,900
Chicago Bears $1,900
Tennessee Titans $1,900
Arizona Cardinals $2,000
Green Bay Packers $2,000
New Orleans Saints $2,000
Washington Redskins $2,500
Houston Texans $2,800
Buffalo Bills $3,000
Miami Dolphins $3,000
Seattle Seahawks $3,400
New York Jets $3,500
Jacksonville Jaguars $3,600
San Francisco 49ers $4,000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers $4,800
Denver Broncos $5,300
Cincinnati Bengals $5,700
Cleveland Browns $6,000
Kansas City Chiefs $7,000
Oakland Raiders $7,000
St. Louis Rams $8,000
Detroit Lions $12,000
Wow its sound very nice, i really wanna join this, in this kinda field i really like it.
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