Who will fare better -- or worse -- than expected?
Posted on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 06:51:26 AM EDT
I generally try to stay away from a lot of the useless off-season lists you see at this time of year. Tuesday, however, Las Vegas Sportsbooks released its over/under rankings for each NFL team this season, and that's worth spending some time on.
The over/under for the Giants is 8 which, of course, would put them exactly where they were last year. It's a pretty fair number for the Giants with the retirement of Tiki Barber and the myriad of other questions surrounding the team.
I am an optimist, though, and I am taking the over. Despite all the uncertainty, I think there is enough talent on the roster for the Giants to win 9 or 10 games.
What do you guys think?
Here's a look at the over/under for the rest of the teams around the league, starting with our NFC East rivals.
Dallas Cowboys. Over/under 9. A tough number. Sorry, though, Cowboys fans. I will believe Wade Phillips can coach a winner when I see it. I say under.
Philadelphia Eagles. Over/under 9. Assuming Donovan McNabb is healthy, take the over.
Washington Redskins. Over/under 7½. Jason Campbell might turn out to be very good, but now he's just very inexperienced. And Joe Gibbs was once a great coach, but now he's just an old guy struggling to figure out the league. Under.
Now let's look at the rest of the league.
Arizona Cardinals. Over/under 7. They should be better than this, but that's what everybody says every year. Again, I'll believe it when I see it. Under.
Atlanta Falcons. Over/under 7½. Michael Vick has now been indicted on dog-fighting charges. Whether he plays or not, this will be a rocky season in Atlanta. Under.
Baltimore Ravens. Over/under 9. An aging though still good defense, an aging quarterback. Under.
Buffalo Bills. Over/under 6. J.P. Losman is improving, Marshawn Lynch will help the running game, Paul Pozluzsny will help the defense. To me, you have to like this team. Over.
Carolina Panthers. Over/under 9. Another one of those teams everyone seems to like to pick, but that has disappointed lately. That won't change. Under.
Chicago Bears. Over/under 10. They get to play Green Bay, Minnesota and Detroit twice each. That's six wins right there. Over.
Cincinnati Bengals. Over/under 9. Are we talking wins here, or players in jail? Under.
Cleveland Browns. Over/under 6. I like Romeo Crennel. I really do. He has shown no sign, though, of being able to turn the Browns into a winner. Under.
Denver Broncos. Over/under 9½. These half-numbers kill me. Over, because I think Jay Cutler will be the real deal.
Detroit Lions. Over/under 6. Quarterback Jon Kitna says the Lions will win at least 10 games. I don't know about that, but Detroit should be better than they have been recently. Over.
Green Bay Packers. Over/under 7½. Why does Brett Favre keep coming back? The Pack is back, actually in the back -- way, way, way in the back. Under.
Houston Texans. Over/under 6½. Under. They're the Texans, for crying out loud. What did you expect?
Indianapolis Colts. Over/under 10½. The defending Super Bowl champs might not repeat, but they are still very good. Over.
Jacksonville Jaguars. Over/under 9. Nine? Nah! They have two quarterbacks, which really means they have none. Under.
Kansas City Chiefs. Over/under 7½. That high? Really? They haven't had a defense in a long time, and with Trent Green gone now they don't have a quarterback, either. Larry Johnson can't win that many games alone. Under.
Miami Dolphins. Over/under 8. New coach Cam Cameron was treated roughly by Miami fans after passing on Brady Quinn in the draft. He can redeem himself by topping this number, but he won't. Under.
Minnesota Vikings. Over/under 6½. Cut that number in half. Some think the Vikings will be the league's worst team this season. Under.
New England Patriots. Over/under 11½. The Patriots loaded up for a Super Bowl with several acquisitions this offseason. On paper, they are easily the best team in football. Twelve or 13 wins is not out of the question. Over.
New Orleans Saints. Over/under 9. Did you watch the Saints last season? This is a developing team, and that number is too low. Over.
New York Jets. Over/under 8. Another interesting number. I think, though, that Eric Mangini has the team moving in the right direction. Over.
Oakland Raiders. Over/under 5. The Raiders have a new coach (Lane Kiffin) and got rid of one headache (Randy Moss), but they still don't have much talent. Under.
Pittsburgh Steelers. Over/under 9. A big comeback year for Ben Roethlisberger. Over.
San Diego Chargers. Over/under 10½. The Chargers were terrific during the regular season last year, and could be that way again. Over.
San Francisco 49ers. Over/under 8. The 49ers brought in a lot of talent this off-season, but the key will be the continued maturation of Alex Smith. As an aside, I wonder if the 49ers would trade Smith straight up for Eli Manning. Over.
Seattle Seahawks. Over/under 9. This line, again, is right where it should be. I will take the over.
St. Louis Rams. Over/under 7½. The Rams still have a ton of talent on offense. Over.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over/under 7. Are you kidding me? Jon Gruden seems to have no real plan and no real idea who he wants to play quarterback. Under.
Tennessee Titans. Over/under 7. Can Vince Young get this team to .500? Probably. Over.