Dallas Cowboys: O/U 8.5 Wins
Last year was a roller coaster of a season for the Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliott was in the spotlight for a majority of the year for the wrong reasons. Dak Prescotts play suffered as well due in part to the star running backs absence. And yet somehow they managed to win nine games.
Zeke is back this season but they’ve lost C Travis Frederick for an undisclosed amount of time after he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre disease (taking football out of the picture, lets hope he gets healthy again). Jason Witten and Dez Bryant are gone. In are receivers Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup along with Geoff Swaim who has all of nine career catches. The Cowboys have done as little as possible to give Dak weapons to work with. I assume they’ll try and get back to their 2016 ways but it’s hard for me to see much of an improvement.
Defensively they have one of the better lines in football, especially when David Irving returns from his four game suspension. Combine that with Jaylon Smith, who looks closer and closer to his Notre Dame self, and the ageless Sean Lee, the Cowboys have an above average front seven. That’s going to be especially helpful because of their bad to very bad secondary. Byron Jones moved to corner opposite of Chidobe Awuzie which leaves their safeties in a bad spot. Maybe they make the move for Earl Thomas to sure up that back end?
Not having Witten is going to hurt a great deal. There are too many issues in that secondary and not enough offensive firepower to convince me that this Cowboys team makes a bunch of noise this season.
Under 8.5 Wins
New York Giants: O/U 7 Wins
Thank you for drafting a running back with the number two pick while still having a 37 year old as your quarterback. Barkley is going to be fun to watch. Odell Beckham, Jr. is going to be fun to watch. Other than that, I don’t see the Giants being a good football team.
Last year they were plagued by injuries after making the playoffs in 2016, so I can sort of understanding taking Barkley. Looking at the Giants in a vacuum of 2018, they’re an average team. The offensive line was revamped in the offseason but still isn’t phenomenal, the offensive is going to have to be carried by Barkley and OBJ and their secondary is relying on Eli Apple to be a starting caliber corner. They shipped JPP off to Tampa Bay and if Olivier Vernon’s injury lingers, their pass rush is Jet-esque.
Best case scenario, they are a fun eight to nine win team. I’m taking the under.
Under 7 Wins
Philadelphia Eagles: O/U 10 Wins
The defending Super Bowl champs have a big question mark at the most important position. Carson Wentz hasn’t even been cleared for contact yet and Nick Foles has come back to Earth this preseason after that magical playoff run last season.
They have done a great job of building a team that isn’t just around for a season. They have a great offensive line and good weapons for whoever is under center. Their defense line got better with Michael Bennett but they’re still thin at linebacker and corner with the departure of Patrick Robinson. Having a championship pedigree and mostly all of their key pieces from last years Super Bowl run will help them through difficult times. Doug Pederson is a phenomenal head coach who has fully embraced analytics and put them into practice. The result? A Super Bowl championship.
If Foles is starting under center, all he has to do is be a glorified game manager and this team will be fine until Wentz returns. I feel confident in taking the over with the Eagles.
Over 10 Wins
Washington Redskins: O/U 7 Wins
Everything we’ve heard about the Redskins this offseason is that they’re excited about Alex Smith and their offense will be much better. Smith has looked good in this Washington offense during the preseason but he will still be Alex Smith. What exactly is your ceiling when you have a worse team than the Chiefs?
They lost Breshaud Breeland and one of the best nickel corners in Kendall Fuller. Their defensive line has a great deal of potential in Jonathen Allen and Da’Ron Payne. Ryan Kerrigan is still a monster. They still gave up just over 24 points a game last season and with a worse secondary that could go up. Losing Derrius Guice is not great and getting Adrian Peterson is cool but how much does he have left? He showed not much of anything outside of two good games last season.
Alex Smith doesn’t have nearly as good of weapons in Washington as he did in Kansas City. The NFC is loaded with great, young teams and they are on the outside looking in. I still think this team figures something out with Smith at quarterback behind a good offensive line. I’m not taking the push so I’ll slot them at 8-8.
Over 7 Wins