Greg Armstrong continues his NFL over/unders for 2018…
Atlanta Falcons: O/U 9 Wins
The Falcons have had their season end in horrific fashion two years in a row with the Super Bowl in 2017 and having the ball, first and goal in Philly and ultimately not converting. If I were an owner I would probably sell the franchise after those two things.
But I’m not the owner and (probably) will never be an owner. Yet I’m as high on the Falcons as if I did own the team. I wouldn’t say they’re loaded on both ends but they are very good at very key positions. They have a good edge rusher, they have a good secondary, the offense I think gets back to somewhat 2017 Falcons offense. Maybe Julio Jones starts catching touchdowns this year?
Their hardest stretch is Weeks 12-14 where they travel to New Orleans, home for Baltimore and then travel to Green Bay. By that point, as you’ll see with our next team, it’ll be a two team race in the South. Give me the over on them.
Over 9 Wins
Carolina Panthers: O/U 9 Wins
Feeling bad for Cam Newton is something I don’t usually do but he’s going to get killed this year. Carolinas offensive line is atrocious, which is a shame because the Panthers offense actually has some weapons. Christian McCaffrey, Devin Funchess and drafting DJ Moore have me excited for this rendition of Cam but, unfortunately, we won’t get to see the full potential of it due to the offensive line troubles and it being the first year under new OC Norv Turner.
Carolina went 7-1 in one score games last season, which is simply not sustainable. Their defense is going to be without Thomas Davis for the first four weeks (Cowboys, Falcons, Bengals, Giants) which is a huge blow for a defense that is getting old and has lost key players. Having a new offensive coordinator means at least a year or two of getting acclimated to the system.
They have a pretty tough schedule and they close out the season against the Saints and Falcons before traveling to New Orleans for the end of the year. It’s going to be a bloodbath like last season but I think this is a two team race. I’m taking the under for Carolina.
Under 9 Wins
New Orleans Saints: O/U 9.5 Wins
The Saints have a legitimate shot at making the Super Bowl this season. I thought they would have beaten the Eagles had they not lost to the Vikings. Having a more balanced offense for the second straight year with Drew Brees still not showing any sort of decline is a scary sight for the NFC. Michael Thomas emerged as a top tier receiver and I don’t Alvin Kamara to have a sophomore slump.
The young staples of their defense, Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Williams, are a year older after monstrous rookie seasons. If the Saints can get any sort of somewhat consistent production from Marcus Davenport, who was still a project when they traded up to draft him, that’ll make this defense go from good to great. Demario Davis is coming off of his best season as a pro and has an even better defense than in New York.
This division is going to come down to the Falcons and Saints. Post bye week, they have a gauntlet of a schedule. First six games post bye: at Ravens, at Vikings, vs. Rams, at Bengals, vs. Eagles and vs. Falcons. They’re good enough to come out of that 4-2 or even 5-1. I’m taking the over.
Over 9.5 Wins
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: O/U 6.5 Wins
This is the year that Dirk Koetter finally gets fired right? Koetter is 14-18 in his two years in Tampa and the writing is on the wall. Jameis Winston has shown nothing that makes us believe he’s going to turn into the guy the Buccaneers envisioned when they took him first overall.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is starting the first three games, where they’re at New Orleans, home for the Eagles and home for the Steelers. If they go 0-3 with Winston coming back, who’s to say they don’t just blow this up? It doesn’t seem like anyone wants to play for Koetter and guys might be on their last straw with Winston.
The Bucs weren’t good last season and this season seems like an already sinking ship (I’ll work on my jokes more throughout the season). I see them starting out of the gate slow and everything going to hell from there. I feel very confident in the under.
Under 6.5 Wins