Part 3 on the NFL Win Totals series I will analyze Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville
Detroit Lions Total 7.5 2012 Record 4-12
Detroit was a team whose record was a lot worse than their performance. Detroit finished 17th overall which should have been closer to or 8 win season. Detroit has the premiere WR in the game in Calvin Johnson. He can put up big numbers anywhere. Stafford, when healthy, is up in the top 10 QB’s in the league. Last season he had 8 300 yard games but the Lions do throw it a ton. They ranked 5th overall in offense but just 23rd in rushing offense. The offense was carried by the number 1 ranked passing attack. When you pass like they do it puts pressure on the defense and it showed. The defense was 26th Overall. This year they bring in two defensive players in the first two rounds of the draft in DE Ansah and CB Slay. Both are expected to help this defense out. Reggie Bush comes in as well to help out on the offensive side of the ball. He could be very interesting as it gives another dimension to this offense. But at the end of the day the Lions will need to stop people to win. The schedule is not favorable. When I look at it I am not sure where the 8 wins come from to get the over. I think the public likes this team to bounce back and possibly make the playoffs. I think this team improves but not enough. 6 or 7 wins at most this season. Under 7.5
Green Bay Packers Total 10 2012 Record 11-5
When you have one of the best QB’s in the league you will always be a contender. Aaron Rodgers is relied upon to win games and he is capable of doing just that. They lose Jennings so Cobb will have to step up and be the number one WR they feel he can be. Rookie RB Eddie Lacy should get the bulk of the carries. They finished 5th overall in the power rankings. The area needed to improve the most was defense ranked 10. The addition of Dante Jones at DE may help. The Packers get the division winners schedule. Tough road games at San Francisco, Cincinnati, Baltimore, NY Giants, Dallas. At home they get Washington, Atlanta. From the looks of it they could be very good at home winning 6 or 7. They will struggle to be .500 on the road however. Which puts us right around that 10 win number. I am leaning under but not enough for a play.
Houston Texans Total 10 2012 Record 12-4
This team was everyone’s darling the last couple of seasons but my sense this year is people are down on them. They appeared to be a very weak 12-4 team last year and it showed in the playoffs. They ranked behind Chicago at 7th overall last year. The defense was 8th while the offense 11th. The offense is usually all about Arian Foster. Houston was a middle of the pack passing team and relied on Foster to carry the load. This season Foster comes in with some back issues which can’t make Texans fans feel very good. Ben Tate has proven to be a formidable backup however averaging 4.3 YPR. First round draft pick DeAndre Hopkins looks to compliment Andre Johnson in the passing game. The defense looks to get stronger with the addition of the aging Ed Reed. Hopkins may be the best second option the Texans have ever had. The division is still pretty weak. The Texans should be up at the top all season long. The Texans schedule has them at Baltimore and San Francisco. They get Seattle, New England and Denver at home. Those are the toughest non divisional games they face. They should win 4 divisional games easily. They need to win 3 of those 5 tough games and then get 4 more. It wont be easy. I think 10 is right where they will be.
Indianapolis Colts Total 8.5 2012 Record 11-5
No team was luckier to make the playoff than the Colts last season. Finishing the regular season ranked 23rd puts you in Miami and Cleveland territory. But so many times the ball bounced the Colts way and they were able to steal some wins late in games. Bruce Arians did a great job with this young team as interim coach and now leaves to take over in Arizona. That loss may be significant. The Colts ranked just 27th in total defense last year while the offense was just 19th. With all the excitement over Andrew Luck many fail to realize he threw for a lesser completion percentage than Mark Sanchez last year, 54.1%. The 18 INT’s also need to come down. The schedule has games at San Francisco and Cincinnati. They get Seattle, Denver at home. I want to fade this team but they have a lot of winnable games on the schedule. Like the Texans they should win 4 divisional games. They need a way to win 1 of those 4 toughest games and then win 4 of the following Oakland, Miami, @San Diego, St. Louis, @Arizona, @Kansas City. You can make a strong case for the over. I would lean that way but not going to make a play on it.
Jacksonville Jaguars Total 5 2012 Record 2-14
The Jaguars were the worst team in the league last season. That is becoming a habit in Jacksonville. Gus Bradley comes in as the new head coach to try and turn the ship around for the new ownership. It appears Blaine Gabbert is going to win the job from Chad Henne who actually showed some signs of promise last season. Gabbert has yet to produce consistently in the NFL. The schedule for last place teams tends to be easier but the Jags will be an underdog in almost every game they play. They will win 1 maybe 2 division games. Their best shot at winning at home is Kansas City, Buffalo, San Diego, Arizona. I do not like their chances. Take the under 5.
Tomorrow I will go over Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, New England, New Orleans
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