We continue the series looking at the season win totals for each NFL Team. Today I take a look at the Giants, Jets, Oakland, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
New York Giants Total 9 2012 Record 9-7
The Giants missed the playoffs last year for the 2nd time in the last 3 seasons. But the year they did make it they won it all. Eli Manning has shown a knack for playing big in the big game, especially in the 2 minute drill. But the regular seasons for the Giants have never been great. Even in their 2 Super Bowl seasons they were lucky just to get into the playoffs. This year the oddsmakers have the Giants total right where it was a season ago. They are favored in the NFC East but the team that wins that division is generally right around 10 wins. So getting to 10 is never easy. The Giants have averaged 9.625 wins in the Manning era and finished under 9 just twice winning 8 in ’06 and ’09. Last season the Giants finished 9th overall in the rankings ahead of Washington who won the division. The Giants were certainly good enough offensively but the defense lagged behind ranked just 17th. When the Giants win it is because they are getting a pass rush. In 2012 they missed Pierre-Paul for 12 weeks. If he is healthy this year it could give a boost to that mediocre defense. The schedule outside of the division is light having to play the weak AFC West. Lean over 9.
New York Jets Total 6.5 2012 Record 6-10
The Jets are as close to first place today as they will be the rest of the season. The comedy continues as fans of every team in the AFC East enjoy watching Rex Ryan do his thing each week. This time Rex decided to play Mark Sanchez late in the 4th quarter against the Giants with the 2nd and 3rd string unit. Sanchez was being hit hard on every snap until he finally injured his shoulder. Seeing as Geno Smith looked awful and not ready to start an NFL game it is unclear what Rex was thinking. But generally that is how it goes in Jet camp. Only Rex knows what he is thinking. The Jets defense should be improved however. Despite losing Revis there is some talent on the defensive side of the ball. The problem is they will not be able to score without a QB. The offense was 28th last season and count on that being about their number this year. The schedule has very few cupcakes on it. The Jets will be a dog in all but 3 games. I have a hard time finding 7 wins. Take the Jets under the 6.5.
Oakland Raiders Total 5.5 2012 Record 4-12
In order for the Raiders to beat the number they will have to get production from their QB position. The question is who will that QB be. Terrel Pryor has looked good in the preseason while Matt Flynn has not. It looked like it was Flynn’s job to lose going into camp and he very well may have done that. Last season Carson Palmer played well for the Raiders. They ranked 9th in passing. The problem on offense is keeping McFadden healthy. Run DMC has not played more than 13 games in any season. No reason to think this season will be different. The defense was one of the worst in the league ranked 29. I do not see the improvement on that side of the ball to make a case for this team improving. The schedule shows they may be favored 3 times this year. You need to win those and 3 more to get the over. It will not be this season for the Raiders. Under the 5.5.
Philadelphia Eagles Total 7 2012 Record 4-12
I am not sure if there is a collective offensive unit that is more careless with the ball then the Eagles. It seems all of their star players like to carry the ball low and as a result they were -24 in turnovers last season. That really was the major reason they had just 4 wins. Vick looks to be the starting QB once again for new Head Coach Chip Kelly. It will be interesting to see how Kelly runs his offense and if it is similar to the up tempo he ran in Oregon. That tempo is great for the offense but it does weaken the defense. We saw an offense in San Francisco change its approach at the expense of the defense last season. (see my Super Bowl analysis from last season). That defense was strong this one is not. Eagle games could be very high scoring this season. The schedule this year is always going to be tough in division. Out of the division they do get a break with the AFC West. In the NFC they get a tough NFC Central. This team will be improved this season. 7 looks to be a good number. Tough call on either side.
Pittsburgh Steelers Total 9 2012 Record 8-8
Well are the Steelers better than they were a year ago? That is the question to answer when looking at this total. Big Ben is back at the helm and when healthy we know he can win games for the Steelers. The question is can he be healthy. The Steelers did what they do in the offseason which is replace aging players and contracts with younger cheaper additions. Pittsburgh was 5th in defense last season but the offense was a dismal 22. They should improve there if Ben plays 16 games but will the defense be as good. The schedule has them playing the NFC North which won’t be easy but the AFC East, whom they also play, may give them a couple of wins. They also benefit from a 3rd place finish getting Tennessee and Oakland on the schedule. Getting to 10 wins will not be easy and if they do it may be good enough to win this division. I can see this team right at the 9 so I will pass on the Steelers.
Next up San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa Bay
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