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Monday, August 9, 2010

NFL Season Win Totals: AFC Teams to Stay Away From...

  • New England Patriots 9.5 Wins

  • 2009 6 tough matchups: 3-3 record
  • 2010 9 tough , 2 challenging 
Normally I would take NE over 9.5 wins.  This is not a normal year for the Patriots.   Brady has suddenly aged over night.   Now approaching his mid-30s and a major knee surgery on his resume,  protecting him becomes even more important.   NE has issues on the offensive line and the surrounding cast are not what they used to be.  Moss is also getting up in age, Welker will not be the same as last year, and the running backs are anonymously by committee.   Adding insult to injury is a supremely difficult schedule and big questions on the defensive side.   I am never in the business of betting against Brady and Belichick, but this year the chips are stacked too high against them.  Prediction: Flip a coin.

  •  Houston Texans 8 Wins
  • 2009 5 tough matchups: 1-4 record
  • 2010 6 tough , 2 challenging
First and foremost, losing Dunta Robinson is not good when you are in a division with Peyton Manning.   First round pick Kareem Jackson will be tested early and often in the opener versus the Colts.   If they cannot stop them, they should be able to score with them.   One of the best passing attacks in the league will have to bring their 'A' game because their schedule is nothing to scoff at.   One of these years HOU will challenge for the division crown, but it won't be in 2010.   They could finish with seven to nine wins depending how a few key games play out in the fourth quarter.   Prediction: Flip a coin.

  • Oakland Raiders 6 Wins
  • 2009 irrelevant
  • 2010 4 tough , challenging - the rest
I could probably just say the name Al Davis and that would be sufficient analysis enough, but the Raiders actually went out and found themselves a quarterback that has proved he can be average in this league.  That is a significant upgrade for this organization.   Having said that, no one on the planet knows if Campbell can make a difference, if they can stop the run, or if Cable will be efficient.   5-11 was probably an over-achievement if you go back and take a closer look at their games.  They do have some pieces in place at running back and on defense to compliment a winnable schedule, but anyone willing to bet either direction of 6 wins is braver than me.   Prediction: Flip a coin.

  • Kansas City Chiefs 6.5 Wins
  • 2009 7 tough matchups: 1-6 record
  • 2010 3 tough , 3 challenging
 The beta version of the New England Patriots have many people optimistic about 7+ wins this year.  Pioli, Crennel, Weis, and Cassel are surely sending royalties to Belichick for their subsequent opportunities.    A relatively soft schedule is a significant factor driving the OVER trend but I do not see enough from this team to warrant a play either way.   For me, Cassel is not going to lead any team anywhere.   He needs a wealth of talent around him and that is something he does not have.  J Charles is a bright spot, there are a lot of touted prospects, but at the end of the day seven wins seems very unlikely.  Prediction: leaning UNDER.

  • Cleveland Browns 5.5 Wins
  • 2009 irrelevant
  • 2010 8 tough , 3 challenging 
 It was a rough summer if you are a Cleveland sports fan, and the start of the NFL season is not going to make things any easier.   The quarterback merry-go-round continued as Delhomme took over the reins for a drowning franchise.  If the Browns lived in a cardboard box, bringing in Jake would be like cutting a hole in the top and calling it a sunroof.  For me he is only a stop-gap measure as they begin their rebuilding plan.  The same can be said for additions such as Fujita and Brown. Harrison and Cribbs are bright lights, but it is pretty dark everywhere else.   If you are a pessimist, do not look at their 2010 schedule either.   Holmgren and Heckart are two solid additions that should give this organization a map, but where it leads to this season is anyone's guess.  Prediction: leaning UNDER.
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