Browns vs Colts Predictions, Picks, Odds, Preview - Aug 17

Indianapolis Colts Vs. Cleveland Browns 2014: Prediction, Betting Odds, Preview; Hoyer Over Manziel?

Indianapolis Colts Vs. Cleveland Browns 2014: Prediction, Betting Odds, Preview; Hoyer Over Manziel? submitted by rotoreuters to betternews [link] [comments]

r/NFL Top 100 Players of the 2019 Season - #20-11

Welcome to the reveal for players ranked 20-11 for this year’s NFL Top 100 Players for the 2019 Season!

Players whose average rank had them land in places 20-11 are on this portion of the list revealed today. Players are associated with the team they finished 2019 with.
Below you will see write-ups from rankers summarizing the players' 2019 season and why they were among the best in 2019. Stats for each player are from this season and are included below. Additionally, their previous ranks in this long running series are also available for all of you.
Methodology
LINK TO THE HUB POST WITH A MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE METHODOLOGY
  1. A CALL FOR RANKERS just after the Super Bowl.
  2. Rankers for each team nominated players to rank. 10 Games Played Minimum Threshold. Players are associated with the team they finished the 2019 Season with.
  3. The Grind. Utilize ranking threads for individual rankers broken up by positional group. Users were tasked with ranking players within the following tiers based on their evaluation: T-25, T-50, T-100, T-125 based on 2019 regular season only. There were no individual case threads. There were no arbitrary position limit caps. Just questions and rankings.
  4. Users submitted their individual Top 125 list. Ranking out to 125 is new for this year.
  5. User lists were reviewed for outliers by me with assistance from two former rankers. Users were permitted to correct any mistakes found. Once complete, lists were locked.
  6. Reveal the list… right now.
So now, without further ado, here are the players ranked 20-11 in the NFL Top 100 Players of the 2019 Season!

#20 - Danielle Hunter - EDGE - Minnesota Vikings

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R N/R 32
Written By: uggsandstarbux
Khalil Mack. Von Miller. JJ Watt. Those are the names that come up when you mention edge players in the NFL over the last half a decade. Yet none have as many sacks as Danielle Hunter in the last two years. Hunter is continually passed over in the conversation of edge rushers. Even among young edge rushers like the Bosa brothers, TJ Watt, Myles Garrett, and Bradley Chubb, Hunter is forgotten. He only received 4 All Pro votes from AP (of a possible 50). He failed to make PFF’s All Pro team. Is it because he wasn’t a 1st round pick? Is it because the Vikings defense was already dominant before his arrival?
Hunter has improved every year he’s gotten into the league (88 pressures this year vs 67 last year vs 55 in 2016). His first couple years in the league, he rotated in behind Everson Griffen and Brian Robinson. Yet he holds the record for most sacks before his 25th birthday and was one of only a handful of players in 2019 with double digit sacks and 15+ TFLs last season. He earned an 89.0 overall grade from PFF and forced 3 fumbles this year.
Beyond the numbers, Hunter is a unit. He came out of LSU as one of the more raw pass rushers in his draft. However, under the tutelage of the mighty Andre Patterson, Hunter has become one of the most athletic, versatile, technical, dominant edge defenders in the game. He can beat you with a pure bull rush, but he can also beat you with his speed and agility. He’s picked up Everson Griffen’s deadly spin move and has the motor to work through double teams. He can win with an inside move, or he can play pure 3T for an entire game (a la vs NO). He’s got a great understanding of the game and is a force to be reckoned with. If you’re placing bets for DPOY in 2020, don’t waste your money on the big name guys like Aaron Donald (+750) or Khalil Mack (+1100). Don’t spend it on young up and comers, lke Nick Bosa (+1300) or TJ Watt (+1500) either. Place it on Danielle Hunter (+2300). He’s going to continue dominating as he gains more recognition and climbs toward stardom.

#19 - Chris Godwin - Wide Receiver - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R
Written By: MysticTyph00n
At the beginning of the 2019 NFL season Bruce Arians said:
"I think Chris Godwin is going to be close to a 100-catch guy, especially because I think he can play in the slot,"...."He's never coming off the field."
Bucs fans thought this could be very well true in BA's system, especially with the departure of Desean Jackson which only really left Mike Evans as the only other real target on the team.
The 3rd round pick from Penn State showed up big time this year after having two relatively quiet seasons. Through 13.5 games (missing the final 2.5 due to a hamstring injury) he amassed 86 receptions for 1,333 yards, 9 TDs and only one drop(In fact he's only had 2 drops total in 2018 & 2019)He very well could have gone over 100 receptions , 1,500 yards as well as double digit TDs, but that's just projecting right?
According to PFF he was an absolute monster in the slot with an outstanding 96.5 grade, which shows he can line up anywhere on the field and still produce big time for the Buccaneers.
In 2020, I honestly expect Chris Godwin to have close to the same production, and possibly even better with how much he produces from the slot.
Please don't leave us…

#18 - Quenton Nelson - Offensive Guard - Indianapolis Colts

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 70
Written By: Zzyzx8
Selecting a guard 6th overall was a bold movie for second year GM Chris Ballard, even one as highly touted as Quenton Nelson. Casual fans hated it, while draft junkies loved it. Two years later, it’s become clear that the pick was a home run. Nelson’s selection single handedly turned around a unit that was largely responsible for a slew of injuries to Andrew Luck into one of the best units. Nelson’s second year was only better, cementing himself as one of the best guards in the league, a true road grader. He spent the past year terrorizing nfl defensive lineman en route to his second pro bowl and all pro selections. Plus, he pulled off what was by far the best touchdown celebration of the season

#17 - Jamal Adams - Strong Safety - New York Jets

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R 18
Written By: the_fuzzy_stoner robdog1330
I would just like to start with a moment of silence for the fans of the New York Jets after Jamal Adams recently demanded a trade from that inept organization with a dumpster fire of a coach in Adam Gase.
Anyways, after an incredible sophomore season, Adams has kept up with his awesome play in his third season as one of the NFL's best and most versatile defensive players as well as the clear-cut best player on a football team that somehow won seven games. Adams, also known as President 'Mal, recorded an interception (which was returned 61 yards to the house), 7 passes defended, 11 hurries, and 36 stops, but that's not all! Adams also garnered 6.5 sacks (which is amazing for a DB) and forced two fumbles (like this one he returned to the house on my guy Daniel Jones 😔). With his exceptional play, the star safety was named to the 1st Team All-Pro as well as his second Pro Bowl selection (an honor which none of his other Jets teammates got this year).
What makes Adams so special is that he is exceptional against both the running and passing game. Whether he's with Gang Green or another franchise next year, I'd expect another stellar season out of Jamal Adams in 2020 (assuming there is one) and even as a Giants fan who watched him dominate my team this past season, I really appreciate the guy's play.

#16 - Derrick Henry - Running Back - Tennessee Titans

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R N/R
Written By: broccolibush42
DERRRRIIIICK HENRY!!!
This part man part tractor was the plow that turned our barren field into a bountiful wheat field full of Nashville Hot Chicken. This beautiful muscly man with a poop rat tail decimated opponents and General Sherman'd the AFC South. Totaling at 1540 yards and 16 Touchdowns in 15 games, with 6 coming from a slow start in a Mariota lead offense, he caught fire and dragged his nuts all over teams like the Chargers, Chiefs, Jags, Colts, Texans, Raiders and was showing just absolute dominance on the field. (Sadly we arent able to take the playoffs into account otherwise i'd gush over how he embarrassed a couple of scrub one and done teams).
Henry has this certain tenacity and a godlike level of endurance that just makes him an absolute beast in the 2nd half. He is just able to keep going, and going, and going, until finally, players get tired of it and turn into lead blockers for him. He is extremely hard to tackle to. Take a look at this play against the Chiefs in week 10, guys just bounce off him like he's running through toddlers. Derrick Henry is so hard to tackle that, according to PFF, Henry had over 1200 of his 1540 total yards after contact. Like this dude was getting hit at the line of scrimmage and he is just like, fuck this shit, i aint no dion lewis, and keeps going. How is this guy even real???
Another thing about Henry is his speed! Henry is a 6'3" 240 pound dude running 20+ MPH down the field when he breaks the open one. Like look at this speed he gets vs the Browns in week 1. Or this one against the Jags where he outruns guys and stiff arms the ones who barely managed to keep pace. Speaking of stiff arms, Derrick Henry has one of, if not, the BEST Stiff Arm in the league. If I had to pick a way to die, I think I would like Henry to stiff arm me in the face running at me at 21 miles per hour with this face, because there would be no greater honor to a titans fan than death by Henry. That concludes my Henry jerk fest. Here are some more highlights. and here are the real link.

#15 - Travis Kelce - Tight End - Kansas City Chiefs

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/R 84 N/R 28 31 13
Written By: DTSportsNow
Travis Kelce was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft. He wound up missing his rookie season due needing to receive microfracture surgery on his knee over the offseason and dealing with a bone bruise during the season. Since then he's received 4 All-Pro designations and was named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade team. He's also become the 1st TE in NFL history to have 4 straight 1,000+ yard seasons. Not bad considering how his career got started.
In 2019 he finished his 2nd straight season of 1,200+ yards and 3rd straight season leading the league in deep receiving yards by a tight end (274). He finished top 4 in overall TE grade for the 4th straight year (85.1), and was named to his second 2nd-team All-Pro designation. In the Sunday Night Football contest against the Chicago Bears he caught his 500th career reception, becoming the fastest TE in NFL history to reach that mark.
There's no doubt that Kelce is one of the best tight ends in the game, and winding up in the top 20 proves many believe him to be one of the very best players in the league. Since Gronk's decline it's essentially been between him and George Kittle for the top player at the position. He's a key component of what Andy Reid and the Chiefs like to do on offense, even as stacked as the offence is. With a Super Bowl victory and a few records to his name already his legacy will be decided by how long he can keep up his premier play. His partnership with Patrick Mahomes should take him to a locked up Hall of Fame bust.

#14 - Ryan Ramczyk - Offensive Tackle - New Orleans Saints

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 100 74
Written By: Dahki
In 2017, sb nation wrote an article claiming that Ryan Ramczyk wasn't a first round talent at LT. The site went so far as to say he would benefit from a switch to RT. In short, they ended up nailing that on the head. The three-year vet has spent almost the entirety of his career anchoring the right side of the Saints O-line after being picked at 32 overall, and boy, has it worked out for both the team and the Wisconsin alum.
Ram makes the /nfl top 100 list for two reasons. First, he was really good. Second, we really wanted to hammer in the idea that the Saints O-line as a whole was really good. Most notably, Ram exits the 2019 season with his first first-team all pro, and he was more than deserving of it. Similar to teammate Terron Armstead, Ram refused to allow Brees or Teddy to be touched, giving up no sacks on the season. Even better, Ram kept his QBs almost squeaky clean in the pocket, allowing just one hit on the entire season, good for 2nd best in the league among nominated tackles. And Ram didn't just do well in pass pro; he was PFFs top graded OT when run-blocking, showcasing his power and quickness from his spot. In total, Ram spent the 2019 season as the biggest challenge for opposing D-lines to overcome when facing the Saints.

#13 - Julio Jones - Wide Receiver - Atlanta Falcons

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
32 93 23 8 2 21 17
Written By: CokeZ3ro
It's a bird, it’s a plane, no it's Jet Jones! In his 9th season Julio continues to be one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL, and the undisputed best player on the team. He’s a force that defenses must give their full attention, and even then he can explode. Even when he doesn’t get the ball, his influence and abilities still shape the play, and better everyone around him. This past offseason Julio agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $66 million, making him the NFL’s highest paid WR, and extending him to 2023. Even though 2019 was a down year statistically, Julio continued to show why the money is worth it. In a “down year” Julio was 2nd in reception yards, 3rd in Yards/Game, and 1st in Scrimmage Yards/Touch, and made his 6th consecutive Pro-Bowl.
But stats can hardly capture the elite combination of athleticism and skill that makes Julio so great. A combination perfectly captured here where Julio is able to jump over the coverage of CB Leodis McKelvin and then tiptoe to complete the coverage on the way down. Later that same game, with the Falcons against the wall, Julio showed that no man can catch him in a 53-yard burst (shoutout to Jake Matthews for the Pancake Block). Julio utilized his route skills to make CB Pierre Desir eat turf before making a 34-yard reception; which likely would have been much more if Ryan didn’t underthrow it. He’s pretty good at catching too, exhibited as reaches over CB Quincy Wilson and manages to hold onto the ball through tackles from Wilson and SS Clayton Geathers to score. Doesn’t matter who you are, Luke Keuchly, Marshon Lattimore, AJ Bouye; doesn’t matter. bUt hE dOEsn’T gET tOUchDoWnS I hear the Fantasy owners say. Watch this and notice how often in the redzone Julio is serving to support his team (blocks, inside presence, taking double defenders), or is just ignored. He’s open more often people realize.
Even in a disappointing season for the Falcons, Julio continues to shine through as one of the NFL’s premiere combos of athleticism and skill. Julio is and will continue to be an absolute force for the offense.

#12 - Chandler Jones - EDGE - Arizona Cardinals

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/R N/R N/R N/R 60 24 100
Written By: Beehay
In my write up of ChanJo last year, I mentioned that the return to the 3/4 (even if it's under Vance Joseph) will be huge for his stats. And boy howdy was it! At 30 years old and after double digit sack totals for 5 straight years, Jones set a career high of sacks at 19 this year. He had 8 Forced Fumbles, 53 Tackles, and 26 QB hits. Most of his stats improved from 2018, some more drastically than others. His pass coverage marginally improved but why the hell would you really want him to cover guys? (Don't say it Niners fans, DON'T SAY IT)
Chandler Jones is the prototype for edge defenders. He is what all other Defensive Coordinators wish they had. Strong, fast, smart, consistent. Here's a guys opinion and a breakdown. Here's some highlights because not everybody watched all 16 Cardinals games last year and I don't blame them. I think he will rank even higher next year if he stays healthy because he will finally get to settle into a defense again. Even if it's Vance Joseph's.

#11 - Ronnie Stanley - Offensive Tackle - Baltimore Ravens

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R 97
Written By: Letsgomountaineers5
Where to begin with Ronnie Stanley? Oh, how about a nearly minute long clip of him absolutely bullying First Team All Pro and NFC DPOY Chandler Jones. You like that? (Sorry Cards fans, but hey we all know Chandler Jones is a beast). Ronnie Stanley was the best LT in the league. No wait, actually he was the best overall tackle in the league. Actually, Stanley was the best lineman in the league, bar none. I truly believe Stanley was a top 5 player in the NFL last season and even tried (and failed/came to senses) to argue Stanley as a top 2 player. His dominance on the left side of that line was unprecedented.
I know stats don’t paint the entire picture, especially for OL, but I have to start there because his stats were unworldly as a blindside protector facing the best pass rushers the NFL has to offer. Going against the likes of TJ Watt twice a year, Carlos Dunlap twice a year, Myles Garrett, Chandler Jones, Nick Bosa, Shaq Barrett (need I go on), he allowed zero sacks and six pressures on 445 pass blocking snaps. Of tackles with at least 400 pass blocking snaps to allow 6 pressures or less, he was the only one. Wait, the only one? Let’s expand. 10 pressures on 400 snaps? Hmm. Only Ronnie Stanley. 15? Hmm only Ronnie Stanley. 20 and no sacks? Only Ronnie Stanley. Unreal.
So how does he do it? Well for starters, he has an elite pass rusher’s explosion as an offensive lineman. He can pack a pop that will knock the best rushers off line or on their ass without overextending. Just ask Nick Bosa. Refer back to the Chandler Jones lowlight reel for a second and check out how often he simply beats Jones (one of the most explosive and best bending edge rushers in the game) to his spot time and time again. Stanley is out of his stance so fast it looks like he’s false starting and, be it film review/sixth sense/sheer athleticism (my money is on all three), he hits the pass rushers’ marks before they do. Sometimes, he even chips defenders to the ground he doesn’t have a responsibility for. Because of these reasons, he’s basically the only lineman in the game not playing catchup and is tremendously equipped to react to counters. In the run game, he was a driving reason behind that team’s record setting running success. He can be a mauler, but with his speed also can pull like the best guards in the game and lead block for some of the fastest players in the game.
At the end of the day, his dominance in both pass blocking and run blocking makes him a worthy top 15 player, and if not for a tendency to underrate linemen, I believe he should’ve been a shoe-in for the top 10. If you read this far, thank you. Now I need to go puke after that glowing endorsement for a Raven.

LINK TO 2019 POSITIONAL GROUPING TRACKER

LINK TO 2019 RANKER SHEETS

LINK TO HUB

Schedule Change

Unveiling of ranks 10-6 will take place Monday, July 6 instead of Tuesday. Unveiling of ranks 5-1 will take place on Thursday, July 9. Thank you!
submitted by MikeTysonChicken to nfl [link] [comments]

NFL teams most likely to go from worst to first in 2020

We have talked a lot about the draft, biggest remaining needs for every NFL team, some breakout candidates and other stuff, so let’s now get back to more of a big picture and look at some teams from an angle of where could they go next season. In this article, I am analyzing those teams that finished fourth in their division this past year and why they could win it in 2020 or land at the bottom once again, plus an outlook where I actually see them.
Of course much of this is about these eight teams and how much better or worse I feel about them than the general public, but it was heavily dependent on their three division rivals as well. The top half I could certainly see earn a playoff spot and surprise some people if everything goes right. After that a lot of my faith is more built around the lack of great competition and giving some hope to these respective fan bases. As the cliché goes – everybody is 0-0 right now.


https://preview.redd.it/rs90lt6ckf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=3ddfc8945862472b52b5ef8c69076acde904c44c

1. Arizona Cardinals


Why they can win the division:
Let’s just start with the main point here – this Cardinals squad has all the ingredients to make a big jump in 2020. I expect Kyler Murray to enter the superstar conversation in year two, after impressing with his arm talent and ability to extend plays in a (somewhat controversial) Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign. Steve Keim managed to unload a bad David Johnson contract and basically acquire an elite receiver in DeAndre Hopkins for a second-round pick. Kenyan Drake now has a full offseason to learn this offense and make himself a major factor once again, following up an outstanding second half of the season once the Cardinals traded for him with Miami. He perfectly fits into this offense with a lot East-West based rushing from shotgun sets and his involvement in the pass game, including those quick throws as an extension of the rushing attack. Arizona’s defense should be a lot better with run-stoppers being added in the draft that fit their 3-4 base front with Utah’s Leki Fotu and LSU’s Rashard Lawrence, since they can stay in those packages against the other teams in their division running a lot of 12 and 21 personnel probably. Add to that a do-it-all player with ridiculous range and overall athleticism in Isaiah Simmons at eight overall, plus all the other guys being in their second year under DC Vance Joseph. I love Budda Baker as a missile from his safety spot and I think some of the other young guys on that unit will take a step forward, like second-year corner Byron Murphy, who I talked about last week. Now let’s get to rest of the West – every other team in that division has some issues. The 49ers are facing the objects of a potential Super Bowl hangover and some limitations with Jimmy G at the helm. The Seahawks have question marks on the edge on either side of the ball with Cedric Ogbuehi and Brandon Shell fighting for the starting gig at right tackle and Jadeveon Clowney still on the open market, with a bunch of draft picks these last couple of years having to step up. And the Rams had one of the worst O-lines in football last season and they lost some pieces on defense. The Cardinals already gave all these teams issues in 2019 and have now added pieces that were clearly missing when last matching up against each other.

Why they could finish last again:
Most importantly, I am still not completely sold on the Cardinals offensive line, with D.J. Humphries being signed to a rather expensive deal as a below-average left tackle, third-rounder Josh Jones – while earning a late first-round grade from me – still needing an overhaul on his footwork before he can slide in at right tackle and guard Justin Pugh finally having played a full 16 games for the first time since 2015 last season. NFL coaches had a lot of time to study Kliff Kingsbury’s Air-Raid offense, which when you break it down is pretty simplistic in the amount of schemes they run. Yes, he diversified it a little as last season went along, going under center and running some pro-style rushing plays, but at its core, you can learn how to create some issues for all those mesh concepts and spread sets. As far as the Cardinals defense goes, it is more about pieces than proven commodities. Patrick Peterson is seemingly on the decline, they are thin in the secondary and could Chandler Jones follow soon, after he has been one of the most underrated pass-rushers in the league for a while now? You are staring the reigning NFC champs in the eyes, a team that was a few inches away from earning a playoff bye and another squad that went to the Super Bowl just two years ago. This is probably the best division in the entire league.

Bottom line:
I still believe the 49ers have done enough to repeat as division champs, re-tooling for all the losses they have suffered this offseason. However, I’m feeling pretty good about the Cardinals earning a wildcard spot. While I believe in the Seahawks quarterback and the Rams head coach respectively to not allow their teams to not have throwaway seasons, I also see enough issues with those squads to make me believe the Cardinals could have the second-best year of anybody in the West. To me they are pretty clearly the best of these eight teams, because they have a young phenom at quarterback, stars at pretty much every position, a different type of system around them and what I’d like to call “juice” coming into 2020.


https://preview.redd.it/anrr9erfkf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=5655b4452baff2691a0e060e8d70918d58801a4c

2. Detroit Lions


Why they can win the division:
Matt Stafford is back healthy and when he was in the lineup last season, this was a team that defeated the Eagles, Chargers and only didn’t finish the job against the eventual Super Bowl champion Chiefs because of some crazy stuff going on late. The veteran QB stood at 19 touchdowns compared to five picks and was playing at a near-MVP type level. However, Detroit’s identity will be built on the run game with re-investments in the offensive line as well as adding D’Andre Swift to form a dynamic one-two punch with him and Kerryon Johnson. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones may be the most underrated receiving duo to go with Danny Amendola as a tough guy in the slot and T.J. Hockenson coming into year two as a top-ten pick a year ago, having shown flashes when he was healthy. The defense is finally starting to take shape with third-overall Jeffrey Okudah as an elite corner prospect being added to an underrated secondary, Jamie Collins being a chess piece in the front seven after already having worked well with Matt Patricia and some young guys up front trying to prove themselves to go with the versatile Trey Flowers. Maybe more importantly than the Lions themselves – Nobody else got that much better and none of the other three really stand out to me. Other than the Vikings probably – who had the advantage of making a record-breaking 15 selections – the Lions might have had the best draft within the division. Thanks to that last-place schedule, they get to face the Redskins in the East (instead of Eagles & Cowboys) and Cardinals in the West, who I just talked about taking a step forward, but are still a better draw than the reigning conference champions or possibly having to travel to Seattle. I believe that new regime in Detroit has finally built an identity on both sides of the ball with the heavy investments in the run game and back-seven on defense. Winning ten games might earn you a division title, if everybody plays each other tough.

Why they could finish last again:
Can these guys finally stay healthy? Matt Stafford to my surprise played a full 16 games in eight straight years before last season, but a lot of that had to do with his toughness to fight through pain and he had major issues with that shoulder early on in his career before basically breaking his back after putting the team on it for the last decade. Kerryon Johnson has missed 14 of 32 possible starts and he has never carried the ball more than 118 times a season. Their receiving corp has been banged up quite a bit too. More glaring even – how will all these additions of former Patriots players work out? Can Matt Patricia build a New England 2.0 in Michigan or is he just bringing in players he knows will listen to him and the way he wants things to be done? Detroit could also rely on a lot of rookies to be immediate impact players – possibly two new starting guards on offense, running back D’Andre Swift probably sharing the load with Kerryon, Jeffrey Okudah having to immediately become their CB1 and Julian Okwara being asked to become a much more consistent player if they give him major snaps. And I recently talked about how their uncertainty at punter could be an issue for their ball-control, defense-minded style of play. They also have an early bye (week five), which I’m never a big fan of, after facing the Bears, Packers, Cardinals and Saints, which probably includes three playoff teams. If Chicago can get any competent QB play, all these teams should be highly competitive.

Bottom line:
I don’t think any team in this division wins more than ten games. Unfortunately I don’t see the Lions go over that mark themselves either. The Packers won’t come out victorious in so many close games (8-1 in one-possession affairs), the Vikings have lost a few proven commodities and look for young talent to immediately replace those and the Bears still have a quarterback competition going on. So if Detroit can do any better than just split the season series with those three teams, I see them finishing above .500, but ten wins is the ceiling for me. In terms of the competition inside the division, the Lions may be my number one team in this conversation, but I see a much clearer path to things crashing down for Matt Patricia and them having another disappointing season than I do with the Cardinals. No team in this division may finish below that 8-8 mark.


https://preview.redd.it/7ivo914ikf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=d029ddd274b78e78f5bc932d00086b8c697a466e

3. Miami Dolphins


Why they can win the division:
When you ask the general public, the Buffalo Bills right now are the favorites to win the AFC East, but they haven’t done so since 1995 and they still have to prove they really are that team. The Patriots lost several pieces on defense and Tom Brady of course, which probably leads them to starting a quarterback, who over his four career pass attempts has thrown more touchdowns to the opposing team than to his own. The Jets are still building up that roster, with GM Joe Douglas trying to plant seeds on burnt earth, and they face a BRUTAL schedule. So Miami has a lot of things going in their favor for an organization that I believe in what they are trying to build. Depending on what happens at quarterback, you could have a veteran in Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was by far the best inside the division in several key categories last season and/or Tua Tagovailoa, who had one of the most prolific careers we have seen from anybody in the SEC. They added at least two new starters on the O-line, they now have one of the premiere cornerback trios in the league with the all-time highest paid player at the position in Byron Jones and first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene to go with Xavien Howard and with some added beef up front, they are finally looking a lot like what Brian Flores had in New England. DeVante Parker really broke out over the second half of 2019 and Miami should have a much better rushing attack because of the additions up front and two quality committee backs in Jordan Howard and Matt Breida being added. They have two other young pass-catchers ready to break out this upcoming season in tight-end Mike Gesicki and a UDFA receiver from a year ago in Preston Williams. Whenever Tua’s name is called upon, he will be a perfect fit for Chan Gailey’s horizontal passing game.

Why they could finish last again:
As much as I like what I see from this entire organization, it is probably just a year too early for Miami. So many young players could be thrown into the fire and a lot of them I look at as needing that experience – 18th overall pick Austin Jackson (USC) is more of a developmental tackle still with his footwork and hand-placement issues, 30th overall pick Noah Igbinoghene (Auburn) has only played cornerback for two years and was bailed out by his athletic tools at times, third-rounder Brandon Jones has to develop more of a feel in deep coverage and at least one more rookie lineman will likely start for them. Even outside of this year’s draft class, they already had several players on their roster that are still moving towards their prime. Whether you look at last year’s first-rounder Christian Wilkins, a lot of second- and third-year pass-catchers or their young linebackers outside of Kyle Van Noy. The Bills are entering year four of that turn-around under Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane, the Patriots still have the greatest coach of all time and will be a tough matchup solely based on that and the Jets at least have people playing for their jobs, plus a very talented young quarterback I still believe in. As much as I doubt Adam Gase, as long as Sam Darnold doesn’t get mono again, the offense should at least be competent, and the defense could potentially have a top-five player at every level with All-Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams, an 85-million dollar linebacker in C.J. Mosley and my number one prospect in last year’s draft on the interior D-line with Quinnen Williams.

Bottom line:
As I mentioned before, the Bills are the front-runners in this division for me. As much respect as I have for Bill Belichick, I haven’t seen enough from Jarrett Stidham to make me a believer and he shrunk in some big moments at Auburn. The Jets to me could be a lot better than they were in 2019 and still go 6-10 just because of the type of schedule they are up against. So the Dolphins to me could easily finish anywhere from second to fourth, depending on how some of the players on that roster progress. I wouldn’t bet on them actually making the playoffs, but they could absolutely be a pain in the butt for some of the better teams in the AFC and in 2021 they might be the pick here.


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4. Los Angeles Chargers


Why they can win the division:
First and foremost, this Chargers defense is absolutely loaded with no real hole that you can point to. Derwin James is back healthy after a first-team All-Pro rookie campaign, Chris Harris Jr. comes in to make this secondary one the elite units in the NFL to go with two more Pro Bowlers among it and they have some guys I expect to break out like Jerry Tillery, Drue Tranquill and Nasir Adderley. In terms of having matchup pieces and a versatile pass rush to challenge Kansas City, nobody in the league may be on the same level as these guys. Offensively, Ihave talked about how the left tackle spot is concern for L.A. with a battle between Sam Tevi and Trey Pipkins for the starting job, but the other four spots are as good as they have been in a while, acquiring Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner via trade, signing a top five right tackle in Bryan Bulaga and getting Mike Pouncey back healthy. Tyrod Taylor can steer the ship and even if Justin Herbert is thrown into the fire – which I wouldn’t recommend – they have the skill-position players and willingness to run the ball to take pressure off those guys. While the Chiefs return 20 of 22 starters from a year ago, this wouldn’t be the first time we saw a Super Bowl champion have some issues the following season and as much as we want to hype up the Broncos and Raiders, both their quarterbacks (and other players of course as well) have a lot to prove still. Outside of KC, the Chargers likely have the smallest changes to what they do other than moving on from Philip Rivers and we saw that formula work the year prior, when they challenged Kansas City until the very end for the division crown and the conference’s top seed potentially. While they probably would have liked to bring in Tom Brady over the offseason, the fact they decided against signing Cam Newton to a roster that is ready to win right now, shows you the confidence they have in that quarterback room.

Why they could finish last again:
I’m not a huge fan of Derek Carr, but the Chargers will probably have the worst quarterback in the division in 2020. And their starting left tackle could be the worst in the entire league. As good as their defense will probably be, you can not consistently win games in which your offense doesn’t put up 20+ points in the league today – especially when all these teams in their division have spent so much on acquiring offensive firepower these last couple of years. I believe all three of their division rivals got better this offseason and the Chargers spent their top draft pick (sixth overall) on a young quarterback, who might not even help them win games this season. As I already mentioned, Kansas City brings back almost their entire starting lineups and they went 12-4 despite Mahomes seemingly having his knee cap facing the sideline while laying on his back. I have uttered my thoughts on Denver several times now, which you can read up on later. As for Las Vegas’ new team, they did start last season 6-4 and just heavily invested into their two major issues – wide receiver and linebacker. And while I don’t like to talk about it – injuries have been a huge issue for this Chargers team in recent years and I don’t really know what it is even, but I can’t assume that they all of a sudden can stay healthy.

Bottom line:
In terms of talent on the roster outside of the quarterback position, you could make a pretty compelling argument that the Chargers are ahead of all the other teams on this list. That’s the reason they have a pretty high floor of finishing around .500 and if everything works out, they could absolutely be a playoff contender. However, for this exercise in particular, I believe their upside is capped by what they have under center. Tyrod Taylor can be a top-20 quarterback in the NFL this season and in terms of upside, Justin Herbert has all the tools to become a difference-maker once he steps on the field, but they don’t have the explosiveness the Chiefs or the Broncos have for that matter. With so much continuity on a team that has the best player in the entire league, I can’t go against the Chiefs and in the end we are evaluating the chances to actually win the division.


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5. Washington Redskins


Why they can win the division:
These guys are very reminiscent of the 49ers with their defensive line, in terms of having invested a lot of high draft picks into the unit these last couple of years and now with that second overall pick bringing in a true stud from Ohio State – this time in Chase Young. When you look at all those guys up front – with the Bama boys patrolling the middle, Matt Ioannidis capable of moving around the front, Montez Sweat looking to break out in year two and Ryan Kerrigan still being there as a productive veteran – they will wreak some havoc this season. Ron Rivera could finally bring some structure to this organization and help them turn it around on defense with the addition of an old companion in Thomas Davis, plus some high-upside players like Reuben Foster and Fabian Moreau looking to prove themselves. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins had a very underwhelming rookie campaign, but he clearly wasn’t ready to be out there and found himself in a bad situation in terms of the support system around him. I like a lot of their young skill-position players the front office has surrounded him with, when you look at Terry McLaurin trying to become a young star in this league, who produced despite shaky quarterback play last season, Kelvin Harmon and Antonio Gandy-Golden being two big-bodied targets I liked these last two drafts, Derrius Guice hopefully finally being able to stay healthy to lead this backfield and this year’s third-round pick Antonio Gibson being a chess piece that you can manufacture touches for. Somebody I forgot to mention in this discussion recently is Steven Sims Jr., who is a jitterbug with the ball in his hands. New offensive coordinator Scott Turner will implement a system that should make life easier on his second-year signal-caller as well, while relying heavily on the run game.

Why they could finish last again:
Haskins is by far the least proven QB of the bunch, with Daniel Jones even being head and shoulders above him in their respective rookie seasons. No pass-catcher outside of Terry McLaurin had any major production to speak. Counting on a 37-year old Thomas Davis to not only be a leader for them, but also make plays on the field, could create issues, and Washington lost some pieces in the secondary. This offseason is a challenge for any team, that is looking to implement a new system on each side of the ball, but I think especially for a motivator like Rivera, who can give his squad a heartbeat and push them to success, not being there in person with those guys will hurt. Most importantly however, this division to me will be a two-man race between the Eagles and Cowboys – as it has been for a while now. They both will likely have top ten quarterbacks, better receiving corps, better offensive lines and more experienced defenses. The Giants may not blow anybody away coming into 2020, but looking at the two matchups from last year between them and the Redskins, Big Blue beat them 24-3 the first time around, when Daniel Jones threw one touchdown compared to two interceptions and then he diced them up for five TDs and no picks in week 16. The one area Washington would have had the clear upper hand was with their front-four, but New York just invested a lot of draft capital into their O-line to prevent that. Just go through the Redskins’ schedule and show me more than six wins. I dare you.

Bottom line:
These last two sentences really say it all. Even if Philly and Dallas split the season series and Washington can get a game off either one of them, it will be tough to turn around this squad as quickly as this season – with reduced practice time and team activities – to a point where they can finish above both of them. Both of them could easily win double-digit games in 2020 and while I think the Redskins are on the right track if Haskins looks more like the Ohio State version of himself, other than their defensive line, no unit for them is ready to compete for the division quite yet. Just going through their schedule in an objective manner, it is tough to find any lay-ups and say Washington has some baseline of wins they count on. To not have them any lower than this is more due to the respect for Riverboat Ron and how high I was on a lot of the guys they drafted recently.


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6. Jacksonville Jaguars


Why they can win the division:
I was going back and forth between my number six and seven teams, because the Jaguars are projected to pick first overall come next April for a reason – they did lose a lot of pieces. However, to me it came down to the fact that the AFC South might be won at 9-7 or 10-6 and this coaching staff actually has to win to keep their jobs. There is a lot noise about the Colts, but when you go back to last season, Philip Rivers was a turnover machine with serious questions about his arm strength. Bill O’Brien made some very questionable decisions for Houston and Tennessee is counting on a formula that is built on a 250-banger running the ball 25+ times and Ryan Tannehill finally repeating a career year, as they are coming off an AFC title game appearance. As far as Jacksonville goes, Gardner Minshew was the highest-graded rookie quarterback according to PFF and altogether I would have put him second only behind Kyler Murray. D.J. Chark broke out as one of the young star receivers and I had a first-round grade on Colorado’s Laviska Shenault if he can be healthy, because his talent is off the charts. I think the O-line would have benefitted from another tackle to kick Cam Robinson inside to guard, but those guys are some road-graders to make the run game work. Defensively the only real contributor from that Sacksonville group a couple of years ago who actually wants to be there is Myles Jack, but I really like their young duo off the edge in first-rounders Josh Allen last year and now K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU). There are some questions about the back-end, but they were built front-to-back with a lot of zone coverage behind it and depending on the development of ninth overall pick C.J. Henderson, they can roll away from him matching up with the opposing team’s number one receiver. Avoiding some of the better AFC squads altogether is pretty sweet as well, to go with facing no playoff team from last year outside their division until the middle of November.

Why they could finish last again:
I’m just not sure if all of these players are ready to fight for that coaching staff and organization. Two of their remaining veterans (Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue) have openly talked about how they want to be traded, they only have a few actually proven commodities on that entire roster and with the way they have unloaded big cap numbers, they have set themselves up for a true rebuild potentially, as they are expected to be in the Trevor Lawrence-Justin Fields sweepstakes come next April. Even if they can get a few breaks and the division is up for grabs, does this organization even want to win this season? If not for the injury to Jacoby Brissett in the middle of the season, all three other teams in that division would have almost certainly finished above .500 and the Colts are actually the team that improved by far the most among them. That Texans, who have actually won the South four of the last five years, including last season, may be the smallest challenge and still sweep Jacksonville. Vegas rarely misses completely and the Jaguars right now are the odds-on favorite to pick first overall come next April, with an NFL-low OveUnder of 4.5 wins on the season. And as favorable as the early portion of their schedule looks like right, check out this eight-game stretch after their week seven bye – at Chargers, vs. Texans, at Packers, vs. Steelers, vs. Browns, at Vikings, vs. Titans, at Ravens. Ouch. They might go winless over that period.

Bottom line:
The Jaguars to me are a very interesting team, because I believe they have accumulated a bunch of young talent, which gets lost a little when you see all the names that aren’t there anymore. There is a lot to like about this roster, when you look at what these players could develop into, but that doesn’t mean they will have success this year already. The Colts have the best 53 currently in the division (or 55 now), the Texans have the best quarterback and the Titans are coming off an AFC Championship game appearance. Gardner Minshew could make this kind of a tough decision if they end up picking anywhere after first overall and I think some of those other kids will put up pretty good numbers, but they are still pretty clearly fourth in the South as for now.


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7. Carolina Panthers

Why they can win the division:
Nobody knows for sure what Matt Rhule and his new coaching staff will throw at them. Joe Brady gets to work with Teddy Bridgewater once again, who he already coached in New Orleans – so there will be familiarity for him in this system and they already “speak the same language”. That young receiving corp with D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, free agency addition Robby Anderson and even an up-and-coming tight-end in Ian Thomas is pretty underrated actually, plus of course they have one of the truly elite weapons out of the backfield in Christian McCaffrey, who is probably set to break his own RB reception record once again. The Panthers defense-only draft has brought them a monster in the middle in Derrick Brown (Auburn), a really talented edge rusher in Yetur Gross-Matos (Penn State) on the opposite of last year’s rookie stud Brian Burns, a super-rangy safety with linebacker size in Jeremy Chinn (Southern Illinois), what I think is a starting corner in Troy Pride Jr. (Notre Dame) and some other pieces in the secondary. The talent is clearly there and now you bring in a scheme that is probably going to be unique for the NFL level as well, when you look at that 3-3-5 Baylor ran under Rhule and defensive coordinator Phil Snow. As much as we want to praise our legends of the game, the quarterbacks of the two front-runners in this division will be 41 and 43 years old respectively and let’s not forget that Atlanta started out last season 1-7.

Why they could finish last again:
Especially this offseason, without certainty if there will be anything like training camp or even a real preseason, that completely new staff with new systems they are trying to teach will certainly have some growing pains. Bridgewater has been a top-20 starting QB maybe one year of his career and even when he was applauded for the way he filled in for Drew Brees last season, he finished dead-last in intended air yards among quarterbacks with at least 100 pass attempts. How will that mesh with a lot of vertical targets around him? When he has those guys running free on slants and dig routes, the ball will get there, but will he be willing to throw that deep post or give his guys a chance on go-balls? Defensively they are counting on a lot of young players and they have nobody to even come close to replacing Luke Kuechly, as well as making the switch to an unproven scheme possibly, if they actually use some of those 3-3-5 looks coming over from Baylor. When you look at Rhule’s track-record, it always took him until year two to show improvement and then in that third season is when those teams can really make some noise. And that was in the AAC and Big 12 respectively. Now he is in the NFC South with a team that just went 13-3 in the Saints and a Bucs squad that already was 7-9 and lost six of those games by one score, only because despite finishing fifth in takeaways, they ranked in the bottom five in turnover differential due to easily leading the league with 41 giveaways. That should get a lot better with Tom Brady coming in, who has never even quite thrown half of Jameis Winston’s 30 interceptions in any of his 20 years in the league. Even the Falcons – for as poorly as they started last season – went 6-2 after really coming together and making some changes in their bye week last season.

Bottom line:
The Panthers are clearly the most unproven team in this division. While new systems that haven’t been scouted yet certainly have an advantage in terms of game-planning early on, especially in this offseason with heavily limited live reps most likely, that might equal a net minus. You have to root for a guy like Teddy Bridgewater and the way he has worked his way up to a starting spot again, but I just don’t look at him as a surefire franchise signal-caller. The other three teams in the South all have top ten quarterbacks in the league in my opinion and much more continuity around them. Until the Panthers finally get to their bye week at the start of December, I don’t see them winning more than four of those twelve games. At that point they may have their eyes on a different goal already, if Teddy B isn’t the clear answer under center.


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8. Cincinnati Bengals


Why they can win the division:
We’re not that far away from 2015, when the Bengals won the AFC North with a 12-4 record as the fifth year in a row making the playoffs. Since then this is the first time I feel like there really is change happening with this team. Marvin Lewis was replaced by a young Zac Taylor, trying to prove himself to the league, they drafted Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow first overall to replace as average a quarterback as we have had over the last decade in Andy Dalton and the front office finally spent some money in free agency. While you would think a quarterback going first overall usually comes into a situation, where he is devoid of talent around him, Cincinnati suddenly has one of the better group of skill-position players in the entire league, assuming A.J. Green is back healthy. Tyler Boyd is a stud in the slot, who will be Burrow’s version of Justin Jefferson, a 50-50 ball specialist in second-round pick Tee Higgins (Clemson) matches perfectly with Burrow’s expertise of winning with ball-placement and if they get anything from former first-rounder John Ross at least as a decoy with his speed, that’s a plus. I expect Joe Mixon to be among the league leader’s in running back receptions and be more effective in space with those receivers around him as well. The signings the Bengals have made on defense gives them a lot more talent and complements very well what they already had. D.J. Reader is one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league and frees everybody up along the front, they completely overhauled that linebacker group, which was a major issue these last couple of years, they brought in a starting CB2 and nickel from Minnesota to pair up with William Jackson III, who is ready to announce himself as one of the best corners in football, and Von Bell is a great match with the rangy free safety Jessie Bates.

Why they could finish last again:
As talented as all those guys throwing, catching and running the ball may be, it all starts with what’s happening up front and the Bengals offensive line is still in transition. They could have two of the worst starters in the league at both guard spots and right tackle once again, with the prior ones close to reaching that bust status and Bobby Hart still somehow having a starting job. As great as Joe Burrow was last year at LSU and how clean his evaluation was, how much better than Andy Dalton will he be right away, especially going up against those scary defensive fronts inside his division? Defensively they could easily have six new starters, which obviously can be looked at as a positive sign, considering they allowed 20+ points in all but two games last season, but there is also a lack of continuity and reduced time to fit all those pieces together. Cincinnati’s coaching staff hasn’t really proven anything yet and they will be facing a massacre of a schedule, with three occasions of back-to-back road games and while three of their final four games of the season are at home, they will face the Cowboys, Steelers and Ravens, to go with a trip to Houston in-between. If they don’t beat the Chargers in the season-opener, they probably don’t get that first W until week four against the Jaguars and then they have to hope they can sneak out another one until their bye week. Baltimore is tied with Kansas City for the highest projected win total with reigning MVP coming into just his third season, Pittsburgh is favored to make the playoffs with Big Ben back under center and Cleveland was the offseason favorite in 2019, while fielding an even better roster this year.

Bottom line:
I feel bad for putting this team last, because I thought Joe Burrow was the top quarterback and definitely worthy of that number one pick and the Bengals finally spent big money in free agency to retool the defense. To me this is less about them than the Ravens, who just were the number one overall seed in the playoffs at 14-2 and haven’t done anything other than get better themselves, a Steelers team that made a run at the playoffs with the worst quarterback play in the league now getting Ben back and a Browns roster that is among the top ten league-wide in most people’s opinion. Still, there is a lot to like about this team at the skill-positions, which is probably behind only Cleveland in terms all the weapons they have, some young standouts on defense and hope that all of this brings a fresh breath of air.


If you enjoyed this content, I would really appreciate if you could visit the original piece (with video clips) - https://halilsrealfootballtalk.com/2020/06/16/nfl-teams-most-likely-to-go-from-worst-to-first-in-2020/
You can also listen to my breakdown on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9kCcuPobNU
submitted by hallach_halil to nfl [link] [comments]

Will the Green Bay Packers win OVER/UNDER 9 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

Matt LaFleur’s first season as Green Bay’s head coach has to be considered a success. He led the team to a 13-3 record, which secured the NFC North title.

The Packers held off the Seahawks to a 28-23 home win in the first round of the playoffs, but were ousted by the Niners in a brutal 37-20 thumping (a game in which the Packers dugged themselves into an early 27-0 hole).

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Aaron Rodgers will be entering his 16th NFL season. He had another excellent year with a 26-to-4 TD-to-INT ratio and over 4,000 passing yards. He finished as the 7th-best QB in the league according to PFF ratings.

At 36 years old, he is likely to have a few good years left. After all, Drew Brees and Tom Brady posted nice statistics in their late thirties.

Rodgers has been very durable throughout his career, but he’s not invincible either. Tim Boyle was the backup plan last year, and the team needed to upgrade the position while starting to think about the post-Rodgers era.

Still, drafting Jordan Love was the most questionable and talked-about pick in this year’s draft. People expected the Packers to go with a veteran backup QB. Rodgers has mentioned several times he wants to play in his forties; he can still offer a good five years of solid play in the frozen tundra.

Love has possesses great size, throws with velocity and he’s very mobile. The main knock on him is the decision-making and inconsistency.

As a sophomore, he threw 32 TD passes versus 6 interceptions. He regressed a lot last year by posting a mediocre 20:17 TD:INT mark. Granted, his surrounding cast was very weak and he had to go through a coaching change.

Love can throw from many different arm angles; he reminds people of Patrick Mahomes in this regard. He can throw a fastball or a soft touch pass.

Quick note: he almost quit football when he was 14 years old after his dad committed suicide. However, he knew his dad would want him to keep playing, so he did just that.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

Aaron Jones is a top running back in this league. Along with Jamaal Williams, they form a lethal duo.

Including the playoffs, Jones ended up scoring 23 touchdowns in 18 games. His 19 regular season scores were the second most in Packers history. His numbers have increased in each of his first three years as a pro. He is also excellent as a pass catcher.

Despite playing in the shadow of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams still finished as the 17th-best RB based on PFF rankings. He does not seem like a lead back, but he’s a perfect change-of-pace guy. Much like Jones, he can do some damage as a receiver as well.

Williams has been a steady performer thus far in his career. He has rushed for 450-550 yards in each of his three seasons, while catching a minimum of 25 balls. He has 15 total TDs over this three-year span.

If you thought GM Brian Gutekunst made a strange move by drafting QB Jordan Love in the first round, he doubled down with another head scratcher in the 2nd round when he took A.J. Dillon.

Message to Mr. Gutekunst: Aaron Rodgers needed pass catchers, not a third running back! I really don’t get this pick either. I’m not saying Dillon won’t be good in the NFL; only time will tell. However, it clearly wasn’t a position of need for the Packers.

Dillon is a power back who rarely breaks off huge runs. He racked up big numbers in three seasons in Boston College. He’s unlikely to become a three-down starter, especially since he’s not a good pass catcher. He will likely be used sporadically as a rookie.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Davante Adams is one of the best at his position. He had a streak of three straight seasons with at least 10 TD receptions snapped last year, but he still caught 83 passes for 997 yards in 12 games (he missed four games because of a toe injury).

Outside of Adams, all pass catchers appeared lost on the field. None of them developed a good chemistry with Rodgers.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling was a huge disappointment last year. He showed promise as a rookie with over 500 receiving yards. Here’s a jaw-dropping statistic: after Week #7, MVS did not get more than 19 receiving yards in any meeting. That’s awful.

One of the guys benefiting from Valdes-Scantling’s poor play was Jake Kumerow. He got more playing time than expected, but still only caught 12 passes. He is closing in on 30 years of age and is limited as an athlete, so he’s not a long-term answer for sure.

Allen Lazard was also thrown into action far more than expected. He finished second in terms of receiving yards for Green Bay, but let’s face the reality: the undrafted guy remains more of a #3 or #4 WR for any team.

Geronimo Allison was another bust last year. His top performance over the last 12 games (including the playoffs) was a meager 33 receiving yards. He left for another NFC North team, the Detroit Lions.

In other words, the #2 role is wide open. The team hopes newly acquired Devin Funchess can step into that role. The former second rounder had his best season in 2017 with the Panthers with a 63-840-8 stat line. He signed with the Colts last year, but played just one game before breaking a collarbone. He will be 26 years old this season and provides an interesting prospect for the Packers.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

We’re not done talking about 2019 busts. Jimmy Graham was one of them. He clearly looks washed. He received the lowest grades of his 10-year career, and deservedly so. The Packers released him and he signed a few days later with the Bears (a horrible mind-boggling two-year, $16 million contract).

Marcedes Lewis received surprisingly good marks from PFF. If you look into the numbers, the good grade occurred mainly because of efficient run and pass blocking. He’s not much of a pass catcher and he will be 36 years old when the season begins.

Robert Tonyan will also be in the mix, but the guy that has the best chance to break out as a receiver in 2020 only caught three passes last year (all in the playoffs): Jace Sternberger. Taken in the third round of the 2019 draft, Sternberger was a threat at Texas A&M in college. He missed most of the regular season because of injuries, but the door is wide open with Graham’s departure.

We might also see third-round rookie Josiah Deguara. He has a great motor and plays extremely hard. He’s undersized as a tight end, though.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

The Packers had a pretty solid offensive line in 2019. All five starters managed to play at least 84% of the offensive snaps. And they all finished above-average according to PFF ratings!

The bad news, however, is the Bryan Bulaga left for the Chargers. Despite turning over 30 years old, he still played at a high level.

The Packers decided to replace him by signing Rick Wagner, formerly of the Lions. Wagner’s PFF grades from 2016 to 2018 were as follows: 74.0, 75.2 and 71.4. Last year, his play deteriorated a lot and he was tagged with a 59.0 grade. He finished as the #61 tackle among 81 guys.

I like the fact that the team is returning four out of five guys, but replacing Bulaga with Wagner has to be viewed as a downgrade.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

The Packers offense finished in the middle of the pack in points scored per game. Barring major injuries, I expect about the same production in 2020.

The QB and RB situations remain the same.

Adding Funchess is not a huge move, but it won’t hurt. The team clearly needs someone to step up opposite of Davante Adams. At tight end, losing Jimmy Graham means close to nothing since he was so ineffective. Sternberger might bring a nice contribution, but we can hardly expect him to be a game-breaker.

Finally, the OL will take a dip with the loss of Bulaga. I don’t believe Rick Wagner can do better than him.

All in all, I view the additions/departures as a slight negative for Green Bay, but having so many starters returning to the lineup for a second straight season is always a good thing in the NFL. For these reasons, I expect a similar output as 2019 from this unit.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Stable

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

Kenny Clark had a fantastic season! He is one of the best interior rushers in the NFL. He recorded six sacks for the second straight year, and PFF ranked him as the 13th-best interior linemen out of 114 qualifiers.

The same nice comments cannot be made about Dean Lowry. He had the worst season of his four-year career as a pro. He did not post a single sack and wasn’t great against the run either.

Reserve Tyler Lancaster is only there to provide some depth. He isn’t particularly good in any aspect of the game.

The team did not make any move regarding this position during the offseason.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

During the last offseason, the Packers acquired two Smiths: Za’Darius and Preston. They burst onto the scene and got 13.5 and 12 sacks, respectively.

Obviously, both received high marks for their pass rushing abilities, but Preston finished as an average linebacker overall because of mediocre run defense and poor coverage.

Kyler Fackrell was a huge disappointment in 2019. After racking up 10.5 sacks in 2018, he only got one in 2019! He signed a one-year deal with the Giants.

First-round pick Rashan Gary wasn’t necessarily impressive during his rookie season. He played 23% of the snaps, while obtaining two sacks but very pedestrian marks from PFF (an overall 55.8 grade, which is near the bottom among edge defenders).

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Green Bay lost its leader in tackles from the past three years, Blake Martinez. After starting 61 of the last 64 Packers games, Martinez decided to join the New York Giants. He had the second-most tackles in the league last year, but don’t be misled by that number. Martinez still finished slight below-average (52nd out of 89 LBs) because of poor play against the run.

The Packers also lost some depth at the position when B.J. Goodson left for Cleveland.

Green Bay picked up a linebacker from the Browns roster: Christian Kirksey. He was picked in the 3rd round of the 2014 before being involved in all 16 games from his first four seasons in the NFL. However, he has been plagued with injuries over the most recent two years; he played 7 games in 2018 and only 2 games in 2019.

He is also capable of racking up tackles, as shown by his 2016 and 2017 seasons where he obtained 146 and 138. His PFF grades during his first four seasons varied between 61.9 and 69.3. Just to give you a rough idea, a 65.0 rating would have been good for 29th place out of 89 LBs.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Jaire Alexander has done the job as the #1 corner. He has obtained 72.4 and 71.2 marks from PFF during his first two seasons, which is well-above average. He’s so-so defending the run, but his coverage skills are very good.

The number two corner, Kevin King had five interceptions last year after getting just one over his first two years as a pro. He did show some improvement after two rocky years. He finished 2019 as a middle-of-the-pack corner.

Tramon Williams played 74% of the snaps and had a surprisingly good season despite his age. He will be 37 when the 2020 season begins. He is currently a free agent and it remains to be seen if the Packers bring him back or not.

In summary, Alexander and King are both pretty young and could still be improving, but Tramon Williams provided quality play and it’s uncertain if someone else can pick up the slack.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage were the top two guys here.

Along with Za’Darius and Preston Smith, the Adrian Amos was another excellent signing by the Packers during the 2019 offseason. Amos had been a reliable guy in Chicago for four seasons, and he continued to excel in the frozen tundra.

After being selected as the #21 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Darnell Savage did show some flashes as a rookie last year. He finished as the #47 safety among 87 qualifiers, which is very satisfying for a rookie. He earned nice marks in coverage (77.4), but horrible ones against the run (37.7).

Will Redmond will be back as the number three safety. He’s not starter material for sure.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Most of the starters are returning in 2020. That’s the good news.

The team lost their leader in tackles, Blake Martinez, as well as pass rusher Kyler Fackrell and CB Tramon Williams.

The only acquisition worth of note is Christian Kirksey. Him not having played very much during the last two seasons brings some question marks.

The Packers defense struggled against the run last year, and there’s no reason to believe that will change in 2020. Green Bay still finished 9th in points allowed, which was a very acceptable result.

Unfortunately, a decrease in effectiveness is expected and I predict this unit will end 2020 as a middle-of-pack defense (12th – 19th in points allowed).

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Green Bay Packers are expected to win 9 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results (excluding the simulated years where the Pack won exactly 9 games, since in those cases your bet would have tied):

Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 9 WINS 51.4% bwin +115 +10.5%
UNDER 9 WINS 48.6% Heritage Sports +100 -2.8%
Tip: Bet OVER 9 wins
Return On Investment (ROI): +10.5%
Rank: 25th-highest ROI out of 32 teams
Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): -106

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Packers’ 16 regular season games:
HOME: -6 vs ATL, -10 vs CAR, -4.5 vs CHI, -6.5 vs DET, -11.5 vs JAX, -3 vs MIN, -2.5 vs PHI, -3.5 vs TEN.
ROAD: 0 @ CHI, -2 @ DET, 0 @ HOU, +2.5 @ IND, +3 @ MIN, +5.5 @ NO, +6.5 @ SF, +2.5 @ TB.

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

TOMORROW: I'll talk about the team whose ROI is the 24th-highest in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Did you like this write-up? If so, comment below! I'd like to know YOUR opinion on what to expect from the Packers' 2020 season!

Professor MJ
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Will the Chicago Bears win OVER/UNDER 8.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

It was a roller-coaster ride for the Bears last year. They started with a 3-1 record before losing five of their next six meetings. They concluded the season by winning four of the last six games, but it wasn’t enough to qualify for the playoffs.

After a NFC North title in 2018, Da Bears ended with a disappointing 8-8 record last season.

The offense was often criticized (deservedly so), and changes needed to be made.

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Mitchell Trubisky has had an uncharacteristic journey in the NFL thus far. After being selected as the number two overall pick, he had a rookie season where he threw 7 TD passes versus 7 picks. He took a nice leap in his sophomore year with 24 TDs and 12 interceptions, while leading the team to its first division title since 2010.

QBs showing such a nice growth from year 1 to year 2 rarely crash down the following season, but that pretty much describes Trubisky’s third year in the league. He graded as the 30th-best QB in the NFL out of 37 qualifiers based on PFF rankings.

This situation was inexplicable. It’s not like the team had lost many key pieces on offense. What happened to Trubisky?

GM Ryan Pace has set up nicely a good QB battle in camp between Trubisky and newly acquired Nick Foles.

What’s interesting is Foles himself has had ups-and-downs in his career. He was outstanding in 2013 by throwing 27 TDs versus just 2 interceptions! He also led the Eagles to a Super Bowl in the 2017 season, after Carson Wentz went down to an injury. Foles also performed well in 2018.

However, he wasn’t so good in 2014, 2015 and more recently 2019. What type of quarterback will he be in the windy city? Who’s going to get the starting nod?

My own guess is Foles win the job early on. He is already familiar with the head coach, the QB coach and the offensive coordinator. Learning the playbook won’t be as difficult as if these guys had never worked together in the past.

Backup QB Chase Daniel left for a division rival: the Detroit Lions.

Overall, adding Foles over Daniel is clearly an upgrade over 2019, while also keeping in mind the fact that Trubisky may return to his previous form (which is not impossible for a young guy like him).

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

What the heck happened to Tarik Cohen? I have always liked small and fast guys. For this reason, he had become one of my favorite guys to watch. Watching him last year (and the entire offense) was sad.

His yards per rush average went from 4.5 to 3.3. His yards per catch average went from 10.2 to 5.8. He couldn’t get going all season long.

In 2017 and 2018, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen were a great version of the thunder-and-lightning combo. Despite losing Howard, the production wasn’t supposed to drop significantly because of the acquisition of David Montgomery through the draft.

That’s not how things played out. The team went from 11th to 27th place in terms of rushing yards per game (from 2018 to 2019). Montgomery finished the year with a disappointing 3.7 yards per carry average.

Both Montgomery and Cohen will be back in 2020. Perhaps they’ll do better this year, but I don’t expect a huge upgrade either.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Finally a guy that has produced consistent results in this offense: Allen Robinson!

Catching 98 balls for 1,147 yards and 7 TDs despite such bad QB play was phenomenal! You can count on him to generate good numbers again, especially in a contract year.

A former second-round pick, Anthony Miller caught 52 passes last season after catching 33 the year before. The only blemish was the number of TD receptions, which went from 7 to 2.

Miller started the year slowly following an offseason injury that made him miss some time in camp. His role could be increased after the departure of Taylor Gabriel.

The Bears pulled the plug on the Taylor Gabriel experiment. After showing some flashes with the Falcons, he never lived up to expectations in Chicago.

Again, the production from this group may be steady in 2020.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

I’m sorry Bears fans, but one of the worst free agent acquisitions, in my humble opinion, was Jimmy Graham for two years and $16 million. The price paid versus the production doesn’t make sense at all.

If you look at his numbers, you can see a clear decline. His first seven seasons were a success; his lowest mark according to PFF during that time span was 74.7. Then, he received a 66.0 grade in 2017. And then 59.6 in 2018, followed by 58.0 last year. To make matters worse, remember that the last two years were with the Packers, who happen to have a quarterback named Aaron Rodgers (have you heard of him?).

Trey Burton was another huge disappointment last year. After catching 54 passes a couple of years ago, he only caught 14 in eight games. He was released and picked up by the Colts.

The team drafted Cole Kmet in the second round in this year’s draft. He’s a classic tight end who can do a little bit of everything. He provides good run blocking, albeit sometimes a bit inconsistent. He doesn’t have that much experience as a pass catcher since he only started racking up decent stats last year, but he has a big catch radius. He will likely need time to develop into a solid starter.

The Bears also have Adam Shaheen in their roster, a 2nd round pick from the 2017 draft. He has bust written all over him.

As if they didn’t have enough tight ends, Chicago went on to sign Demetrius Harris, formerly of the Browns. He graded as the 66th-best tight end out of 66 qualifiers. Enough said.

This group did very little last year. A bunch of six guys combined for 46 catches. Despite the questionable moves, I expect a small upgrade. Perhaps Graham can magically rejuvenate his career?

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

Four out of five starters are returning: Cody Whitehair, James Daniels, Charles Leno and Bobby Massie. Only Daniels graded as above-average; the others finished in the middle of the pack (or even lower).

Kyle Long announced his retirement, while semi-starter Cornelius Lucas left for Washington. The new starter on the OL will be Germain Ifedi, who made at least 13 starts in each of his first four seasons in the league (all with the Seahawks).

In summary, we have a not-so great starter being replace by a not-so great player. Therefore, we can expect similar results to 2019, which was average play.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

Inconsistency is a recurring theme for many players from this unit: Trubisky, Foles and Cohen.

My final conclusion is a small upgrade over 2019, mainly because of the QB position. The chances are fairly good that either Foles provides a spark, or Trubisky regains his 2018 form. However, don’t expect a MVP-type of season for any one of them.

The rest of the offense should expect similar output. Acquiring Jimmy Graham and Germain Ifedi is nothing to write home about, just as losing Taylor Gabriel isn’t a big loss either.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small upgrade

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

The interior defenders did a fairly good job. Roy Robertson-Harris, Nick Williams and Eddie Goldman all graded as above-average DLs in 2019. Only Bilal Nichols received poor grades, but he played less often.

Nick Williams left for Detroit, but the Bears expect to get Akiem Hicks in 2020. He suited up for just five games last year. He’s been a dominating force for them the previous three years. His return on the field will make a big difference.

So, despite Williams’ departure, this group should do better in 2020 than the year before, mainly because of Hicks’ return.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

Khalil Mack’s sack production went down in 2019 with “only” 8.5. He had recorded 12.5, 10.5, 11 and 15 in its previous four campaigns. Still, Mack finished as the #14 edge defender out of 107 guys. He is constantly disrupting plays from opposing offenses.

The Bears lost Leonard Floyd who went to the Rams, but they quick found a replacement with Robert Quinn, coming over from Dallas. Floyd is two years younger and averaged 4.6 sacks per season, while Quinn has gotten 8.9 sacks per year over his nine-year career. Quinn is a better pass rusher, while Floyd plays the run better.

All in all, I expect similar results as 2019 from this unit.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

One more guy who saw a dip in productivity was Roquan Smith. After receiving a 67.0 grade in his rookie season, he only got 52.4 last year. He played the run well, but his coverage and pass rushing weren’t nearly as good in 2019. I do believe the former #8 pick overall can come back very strong in 2020.

Danny Trevathan missed six games because of an injury, but he played pretty well when he was on the field. I am not worried about him.

Backups Nick Kwiatkoski and Kevin Pierre-Louis both left in free agency. Both played very well while filling in for injured starters. Their losses take a blow to Chicago’s linebacker depth.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara were the clear starters in 2019. Despite finishing as PFF’s number 41 CB out of 112 qualifiers, Amukamara was released by the Bears for cap reasons.

Still, the team needs to replace him. Can Buster Skrine or Kevin Toliver assume that #2 role? I’m not so sure about that…

Chicago hopes to fill the void via the selection of Jaylon Johnson in the 2nd round last April. The number one concern about him is health; he has undergone through three shoulder surgeries over the years.

Johnson’s speed and explosiveness are below average, but he makes up for it with great competitiveness and smart-play.

3.5 Safeties (S)

We are rounding the defensive side of the ball with the safeties. Things were pretty simple in 2019, as both Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Eddie Jackson played 99% of the defensive snaps. They ranked 19th and 46th out of 87 safeties, respectively, according to PFF.

The problem is Clinton-Dix is gone to Dallas. Last year the Bears vacated the vacancy created at the safety position when Adrian Amos left for Green Bay by acquiring Clinton-Dix, but now that he’s also gone they have a glaring hole at the position.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

The Bears allowed the fourth-fewest points in the league last season. Can we expect a similary good 2020 season? I doubt it.

First, the good news. Akiem Hicks is back from an injury that made him miss 11 games and the team acquired steady sack producer Robert Quinn from Dallas.

The bad news? Losing DL Nick Williams, DE Leonard Floyd, LBs Nick Kwiatkoski and Kevin Pierre-Louis, CB Prince Amukamara and S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. That’s a lot of bodies that need to be replaced. We’re talking about at least 4 new starters and some key depth.

Overall, my guess is it takes a moderate blow to the Bears’ defense. Their front seven is likely to remain very good, but the secondaries worry me. I wouldn’t fall off my chair if the team went from 4th-best in points allowed to the 10th-12th range.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Moderate downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Chicago Bears are expected to win 8.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results:

Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 8.5 WINS 38% Pinnacle +148 -5.8%
UNDER 8.5 WINS 62% MyBookie.ag -130 +9.7%

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Bears’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

TOMORROW: I'll talk about the team whose ROI is the 25th-highest in the league, the Green Bay Packers!

I hope you found this article insightful, thanks for reading!

Professor MJ
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Will the Seattle Seahawks win OVER/UNDER 9.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

Upon hiring Pete Carroll as their new head coach back in 2010, the Seahawks had consecutive 7-9 seasons. Since then, the franchise has enjoyed eight winning seasons in a row, compiling an impressive 86-41-1 record (a 67.6% winning percentage).

Last year, Seattle stayed toe to toe with the 49ers atop the NFC West division by winning 10 of the first 12 games. However, the Seahawks lost three of their final four contests, including the season finale against the Niners that was lost by a matter of inches on fourth and goal.

The Seahawks opened the playoffs by traveling to Philadelphia. They took advantage of an early injury to QB Carson Wentz to take the game by a 17-to-9 score.

Seattle’s next stop was at Lambeau Field to face Aaron Rodgers’ squad. The Hawks almost rallied from a 21-to-3 deficit at halftime, but were defeated 28-23.

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Russell Wilson is just a phenomenal quarterback. There are so many good things that could be said about him.

Before diving into the numbers, here’s a stunning fact: he hasn’t missed a single game over his entire 8-year career. That’s incredible considering the number of hits he’s taken and given that he rushes about 90 times per season.

If not for Lamar Jackson’s heroics, Wilson might have won the MVP honor. He had his second-highest completion percentage (66.1%) and passing yards (4,110) of his career. His 31:5 TD:INT mark was exceptional.

All of the numbers above are great, but what makes them even more impressive is Wilson didn’t have a top-10 supporting cast. Keep in mind that he had just lost perhaps his top target, Doug Baldwin, who had decided to hang up his cleats at 31 years old. Wilson can clearly embrace the role of carrying a team on his shoulders.

The backup QB job is still up in the air. Geno Smith has yet to be re-signed, but it’s not impossible that he comes back.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

Chris Carson has now rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, while reaching the end zone nine times in each of those years. His career yards-per-rush average of 4.5 is very respectable as well.

Carson suffered a pretty significant hip injury in the season finale. He avoided surgery during the offseason, but is questionable for training camp.

The second leading rusher in 2019, Rashaad Penny, also had a severe late-season injury. He went down with a brutal torn ACL and he seems unlikely to be ready in time for Week #1. The number 28 overall pick from the 2018 draft rushed for just 370 yards behind Carson last year, but he improved his yards-per-rush average from 4.9 in 2018 up to 5.7 last year.

Considering both Carson and Penny are nicked up, can Travis Homer take advantage? Last year’s sixth-round rookie didn’t do much in 2019. He had touched the ball just three times through the first 15 weeks of the season. He had to step in when the injury bug hit Seattle’s backfield. It’s hard to draw any conclusions from his 18-114-0 rushing stat line.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Tyler Lockett is a very reliable guy. His worst career season has been 41 receptions for 597 yards. Last season he set career-best in receptions (82) and receiving yards (1,057), while also hauling in 8 TD passes.

Much like his signal caller, Lockett is very durable. He has missed just one game in five years.

Rookie D.K. Metcalf stepped up in a nice way to grab the number two role. His 58-900-7 receiving line was a resounding success. He has a great mix of size and speed. He set a new league record with 160 receiving yards as a rookie in a playoff game.

The Patriots finally pulled the plug on the Phillip Dorsett experiment. He packed his bags for Seattle where he’ll be looking to fill a role as a deep threat. He couldn’t get going in New England despite a very thin receiving corps and having Tom Brady throwing the ball his way. It does not bode well for him.

David Moore had the third-most catches among Seattle WRs last year, but 17 receptions isn’t something to get overly excited about. He can be an occasional deep threat, but he makes bad mistakes at times. As a former seventh-rounder, there is not much upside with him.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

Greg Olsen decided to hold off his project to call games on television for at least another year. He signed a $7 million one-year deal to join the Seahawks. He’s clearly not the once-dominant tight end he used to be, but the 35-year-old still caught 52 passes 597 yards despite catching passes from Kyle Allen and Will Grier.

Jacob Hollister led the position in receptions last year with 41, but that’s unlikely to happen again in 2020. He did his best, but keep in mind he was an undrafted guy who had caught just eight passes in two years. He benefited from Will Dissly’s injury and with the lucrative contract awarded to Olsen, it seems obvious that Hollister will get his playing time cut out.

Will Dissly got drafted in the 4th round in 2018. He missed most of his rookie season due to a torn right patellar tendon. This time, he tore his left Achilles’ during the sixth game of the 2019 regular season after a promising start. His athletic abilities could be more limited after sustaining a major injury to both legs.

As for Luke Willson, he will be primarily used as a blocking tight end.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

Right tackle Germain Ifedi left for Chicago during the offseason, but that’s fine from Seattle’s perspective. The 2016 first-round pick has been a bust and clearly struggled throughout his career. The team will replace him with Brandon Shell, formerly of the Jets. He is a small upgrade, but far from a big-time acquisition.

Left tackle Duane Brown continues to provide quality play on Russell Wilson’s blindside, but you have to wonder how much longer he can do the job. Brown will be entering his age-35 campaign. He finished as the 23rd-best tackle out of 81 qualifiers last year, which is a nice accomplishment for a player in his mid-thirties.

The team lost some depth following the departure of their #3 tackle, George Fant, to the Jets. He wasn’t great, but he still represented a good insurance policy.

Center Justin Britt had started either 15 or 16 games in each of his first five seasons in the NFL. His lucky streak ended on a running play in Week #8 where he tore his ACL and missed the remainder of the year. His play has been uneven, and he graded out as a below-average center. The team decided to release him during the offseason.

Backup center Joey Hunt did even worse than Britt when called upon to fill in as the starter. He’s not a long-term solution for sure, but he will compete for the starting gig with B.J. Finney, who was complete dust when he stepped on the field for the Steelers last year.

Guards Mike Iupati and D.J. Fluker received almost identical marks from PFF last year: 60.3 and 59.1 (46th and 48th out of 81 guards).

Iupati is a 10-year veteran whose play has deteriorated since 2017 when injuries started to plague him. As for Fluker, he’s also a player in decline. His first 3-4 years were good, but the last three not so much. Seattle released him and he found a new home two days later in Baltimore.

One potential candidate to replace Fluker is third-round rookie Damien Lewis. He is a great fit for Seattle’s run-oriented offense since he’s great in run blocking; he was seen throwing defenders on the ground many times. However, he’s not nearly as good in pass protection.

Perhaps Ethan Pocic can take advantage of his last shot to play in the NFL. After being picked in the second round of the 2017 draft, he has been bad in all three of his pro years.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

Russell Wilson, Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf and Jacob Hollister are all back for the Seahawks this year.

Add the return of TE Will Dissly from an injury, along with the acquisitions of Greg Olsen and Phillip Dorsett and you have a recipe for another successful season on offense, right?

A major potential problem stems from the offensive line. Replacing Ifedi for Shell is fine. However, Duane Brown and Mike Iupati are getting older (35 and 32 years old, respectively) and the team lost some depth following Fant’s departure to New York. There are big question marks at center and right guard following the release of Britt and Fluker without having clear-cut solutions to replace them.

Russell Wilson has always been great at dealing with suspect offensive lines, but there’s a limit to what he can do. Also, the team’s success relies on the running game quite a bit, so you need guys that will open up holes.

Don’t forget about Carson and Penny both coming back from significant injuries. Also, Russell Wilson is coming off an amazing season in which PFF rated him as the best QB in the league. As much as I love Wilson, it will be difficult to replicate that kind of success.

Seattle’s offense posted the 9th-most points in 2019. For the reasons stated above, I envision a slight downgrade in 2020.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

The interior of the defensive line featured a mix of Quinton Jefferson, Poona Ford, Jarran Reed and Al Woods.

Let’s kick off the analysis with the two guys that left via free agency. Jefferson got drafted in the 5th round and had a slow start to his career. However, he showed nice improvement in each of the past two seasons, even reaching the #27 spot out of 114 DLs based on PFF grades. Seeing him leave for Buffalo wasn’t good news.

Al Woods also jumped off the ship to sign with the Jaguars. He won’t be missed as much as Jefferson, although he had a respectable 2019 season. He was more of a run-stuffer who turned 33 years old.

Poona Ford showed promise in limited time as an undrafted rookie in 2018, especially defending the run. He was an “okay” player last year and might see the field more often in the upcoming season.

Jarran Reed seemed like an up-and-coming star after generating 10.5 sacks in 2018. However, the 2016 second-round pick had a season to forget both on and off the field last year. He was slapped with a six-game suspension for domestic violence before having an ordinary season that included just two sacks.

He just signed a very lucrative contract, so the team is banking on him to rebound to his 2018 form. The talent is there for sure. Let’s see if he can put it together this year.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

The Seahawks were pretty bad last year rushing the passer. They had the second-fewest sacks in the league.

The team’s leader in sacks was Rasheem Green with only 4! The third-round pick from the 2018 draft wasn’t super effective, as shown by his 92nd rank out of 107 edge defenders in the NFL. There’s not much hope he will become a game-changer.

The only guy receiving good grades was Jadeveon Clowney. He’s known for his pass rushing abilities, but he’s an underrated run stuffer. He had his lowest sack output in five years, but he is bound to get rack up more in 2020. The bad news is he left via free agency.

Ezekiel Ansah was a major bust in his first year as a Seahawk. After averaging 8 sacks per year over his first six seasons, he recorded just 2.5 last year. He was also a liability defending the run. An awful year across the board. Now 31 years old, he has yet to sign with any team.

As for Branden Jackson, he is a replacement-level player. He has 3.5 sacks in four years.

The team is attempting to boost the position via a couple of free agent acquisitions: Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa.

Irvin is a nice addition. He is reuniting with the team that selected him in the first round of the 2012 draft. He has 52 career sacks in eight seasons, which amounts to 6.5 on average per year. Not bad!

It’s harder to figure out what to anticipate from Mayowa. He’s playing for a new team for the 5th time in 7 years. After posting just two sacks in his first three seasons, he now has 18 over the last four years. He is coming off a career year in Oakland with seven sacks and three forced fumbles. He is likely to be used as a rotational pass rusher.

Why not attempt to boost a position that underwhelmed last year by adding one more piece through the draft? That’s what the Seahawks did when taking Darrell Taylor in the second round. Based on expert evaluations, he has the toolbox necessary to succeed, but he needs quite a bit of development.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Bobby Wagner led the NFL with 159 tackles last year. He’s never had less than 104 tackles in a season (and that was over 11 games). I think it’s fair to call him a tackling machine.

During his eight-year stint in the NFL, Wagner also has 19.5 sacks, 10 interceptions and five forced fumbles. He can do it all! He will be playing his age-30 campaign.

K.J. Wright had a subpar year. He received his lowest PFF grades of his nine-year career, but still finished in the middle of the pack (46th out of 89 LBs). He missed 11 games in 2018 with lingering knee issues, so you have to wonder if that still affects him.

Mychal Kendricks is gone after spending two uneven seasons in Seattle. He tore is ACL in the season finale and he pleaded guilty to securities fraud accusations.

The Seahawks picked a guy that is likely to play a rotational role in 2020: Jordyn Brooks. Some experts thought he was a reach at the 27th overall selection. He is good chasing running backs and scrambling QBs (he can literally fly and won’t miss many tackles), but he is far from a finished product in coverage.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

After two run-of-the-mill seasons, Shaquill Griffin flipped the switch and performed admirably well last year. His coverage skills improved dramatically and he finished at the #10 spot out of 112 corners in the NFL based on PFF rankings. Can the 2017 third-round pick keep it up?

Tre Flowers received awful marks from PFF after getting burned repeatedly last year. He finished among the worst CBs in the league.

The team felt a need to upgrade the position, and they did so in a big way. Seattle signed Quinton Dunbar, formerly of the Redskins. He is coming off a career year where he picked off four passes and graded as the second-best corner in the NFL.

Still, let’s not get exhilarated too much. Dunbar is an undrafted guy that had four decent, yet unspectacular, seasons. He hasn’t proved he can be a top starter yet, but having him over Flowers is definitely an upgrade!

3.5 Safeties (S)

Quandre Diggs was acquired from the Lions last year to bolster Seattle’s secondary. He did a great job with three picks in just five games! He was a nice get and an upgrade over Tedric Thompson (who is now off the team).

The other starting safety is Bradley McDougald. He’s been fairly solid in each of his six seasons in the NFL. He is not a game changer, however.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Let’s evaluate how the 2020 Seattle defense should fare compared to the 2019 unit.

On the interior of the line, we detect a downgrade following the departure of Quinton Jefferson, and to a lesser degree Al Woods. Granted, there is hope that Jarran Reed might bounce back from his super disappointing 2019 season.

At edge, Clowney and Ansah are out, while Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa are in. What is the net outcome from those moves? I’ll go with a slight loss, in part because Clowney is likely to improve upon his 2019 sack total and he was great against the run.

At linebacker, Wagner and Wright aren’t young fellows anymore, but they’re not old either. Wright had a subpar year and he certainly has a shot to do better in 2020. However, losing Mychal Kendricks isn’t good news (albeit not a devastating blow either!). We’ll see if rookie Jordyn Brooks can fill his shoes.

Plugging Quinton Dunbar opposite Shaquill Griffin is an upgrade for sure since Tre Flowers struggled mightily last year.

At safety, we know what to expect from McDougald: respectable play. Now, having Diggs for a full season instead of Tedric Thompson is a vast improvement.

For all of those reasons, I am pegging Seattle’s defense to stay around the same level as 2019. They finished 22nd in points allowed last year and I expect them to secure a similar spot in 2020.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Stable

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Seahawks are expected to win 9.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results:

Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 9.5 WINS 49.4% William Hill +130 +13.6%
UNDER 9.5 WINS 50.6% Pinnacle -118 -6.5%
Tip: Bet OVER 9.5 wins
Return On Investment (ROI): +13.6%
Rank: 21st-highest ROI out of 32 teams
Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): +102

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Seahawks’ 16 regular season games:
HOME: -7.5 vs ARI, -2.5 vs DAL, -3.5 vs LAR, -3 vs MIN, -4.5 vs NE, -9 vs NYG, -8.5 vs NYJ, 0 vs SF.
ROAD: -2.5 @ ARI, -1.5 @ ATL, +2.5 @ BUF, +1.5 @ LAR, -4 @ MIA, +2 @ PHI, +6.5 @ SF, -6 @ WAS.

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

Tomorrow, we're previewing the Indianapolis Colts 2020 season! Will they win oveunder 8.5 games?

Cheers!

Professor MJ
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Top 10 Worst Browns Losses by Decade (2010's Version)

As promised....
10. 2019, Week 5 @ SF: 49ers 31, Browns 3
9. 2018, Week 7 @ TB: Buccaneers 26, Browns 23 (OT)
8. 2018, Week 2 @ NO: Saints 21, Browns 18
7. 2014, Week 14 vs. IND: Colts 25, Browns 24
6. 2013, Week 14 @ NE: Patriots 27, Browns 26
5. 2017, Week 17 @ PIT: Steelers 28, Browns 24
4. 2017, Week 14 vs. GB: Packers 27, Browns 21
3. 2015, Week 12 vs. BAL: Ravens 33, Browns 27
2. 2019, Week 6 vs. SEA: Seahawks 32, Browns 28
1. 2018, Week 4 @ OAK: Raiders 45, Browns 42 (OT)
Don't kill me plz.
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Will the Indianapolis Colts win OVER/UNDER 8.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

Franchise QB Andrew Luck stunned the NFL world a few weeks before the 2019 season began by announcing his retirement at age 29. I really felt sorry for Colts fans; that had to be a devastating blow. The timing also prevented the team from drafting accordingly.

Indianapolis rolled with Jacoby Brissett and they were right in the thick of the playoff race. They were sitting on a 6-4 record before a four-game losing skid crushed their hopes.

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

After spending 16 seasons with the Chargers (!!!), Philip Rivers will be wearing a Colts uniform in 2020. That’s going to look weird.

Last year, Rivers had his fourth-highest passing yard output with 4,615, but the problem lied with his poor TD-to-INT ratio. Indeed, 20 interceptions represented the second-most of his career, while his 23 TD passes were its lowest in 12 years.

Rivers has never been much of a runner. Now in his late thirties, things are looking even worse. He seems to get bottled up easily. Also, he appeared dead armed at numerous times. We’ll see if a change of scenery will rejuvenate his career, but it seems doubtful at this point.

Jacoby Brissett has to be one of the top backup QB in the league. With Andrew Luck announcing his surprise retirement a few weeks before the 2019 season began, Brissett took over under center.

Brissett didn’t have a great year. Throwing just six interceptions was nice, but racking up just 18 TD passes just won’t cut it in the NFL. Granted, he didn’t have a lot of weapons at his disposal with the Colts lacking a #2 WR and their top wideout T.Y. Hilton missing six games. He still represents a good insurance policy in case the Rivers experiment doesn’t pan out.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

After missing to hit the 1,000 rushing-yard mark by 92, Marlon Mack accomplished the feat in 2019 with 1,091 rushing yards. He’s not much of a receiver, though; he caught just 14 passes last year.

My opinion may not be very popular, but I’m not sold on him. I believe he benefits a lot from the great blocking in front of him. He rarely gets much more than what’s blocked ahead of him. Still, he’ll remain Indy’s top back, while splitting time with a few more guys.

Jordan Wilkins added a bit over 300 rushing yards by posting a nice 6.0 yards-per-rush average. The year before, that average turned out to be 5.6. Those are great numbers, but the team seems reluctant to increase his workload.

Nyheim Hines is mainly used as a pass catcher. He might take on an Austin Ekeler-type role with Rivers this year.

Considering the depth at the position, taking Jonathan Taylor early in the 2nd round of the draft may sound puzzling at first. Perhaps the organization agrees with me about Mack not being as great as he looks. The fact that Mack is set to hit free agency at the end of the year also played a role in the decision as well.

Taylor carried the ball 926 times for the Wisconsin Badgers. He rushed for at least 1,975 yards in each of his three college years, which is unreal! He is a great runner with cement hands; he fumbles the ball too often and doesn’t catch very well out of the backfield.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

T.Y. Hilton had missed just four games during his first seven seasons in the NFL; he missed six matchups in 2019 alone. He ended with career-lows in receptions (45) and receiving yards (501).

He stormed out of the gate with 30 receptions, 306 yards and 5 TDs over the first five games. During the next five: 15 catches, 195 yards and 0 TD. He had an injury-riddled season.

I believe he can revert to his old self. He showed he could still play at a high level early in the season, but injuries got the best of him. We’ll see how his 30-year old body reacts in 2020.

The undrafted receiver from Old Dominion, Zach Pascal, showed some flashes last year. He led the team with 45 receptions and 5 TDs. I don’t believe he can do much better, though.

It’s difficult to evaluate Parris Campbell’s first year as a pro. He had a sore hamstring, a sports hernia, a broken hand and a broken foot in 2019. It’s hard to show off your skills under such circumstances.

The speedy receiver out of Ohio St. will have a chance to prove his worth in the upcoming season. He was selected in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft at the #59 overall spot.

Another candidate to start opposite Hilton is second-round rookie Michael Pittman from USC. The word on him is he’s a hard worker with a good mix of size and speed. He also does a great job with contested catches and he has reliable hands, as shown by his five drops out of 254 targets in college.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

The Colts had a nice combo of pass catching tight ends with Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron. Both finished with similar above-average marks from PFF, but Ebron packed his bags to head to Pittsburgh. His presence will be missed, even though he’s known for his tendency to drop passes.

Doyle’s numbers decreased last year, but they are likely to shoot up following Ebron’s departure. After catching 59 and 80 balls during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, he missed most of the 2018 season before hauling in “just” 43 passes last year. He struggled down the stretch with just 7 receptions in four contests, but the 6’6’’ guy is likely to bounce back.

Mo Alie-Cox could see an increased role in 2020. He has only caught 15 passes in two years, but has received great grades as a blocker.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

This unit has to be one of the strongest in the entire league. They do a great job, both in the running and passing game.

After pondering about the possibility of retiring, left tackle Anthony Castonzo opted to sign a two-year deal. He graded as the seventh-best tackle in the league according to PFF, but he turns 32 very soon. Keep that in mind.

Pro Bowler Quenton Nelson has been a star at left guard. The number six overall pick from the 2018 draft out of Notre Dame has not disappointed. He was rated the second-best guard in the league, only behind Brandon Brooks from the Eagles.

Center Ryan Kelly has been a steady guy during his first four years with the Colts. He’s entering his prime years at age 27. He obtained the #8 spot out of 37 centers based on PFF ratings.

Braden Smith was a second-round pick in the 2018 draft. After receiving a very respectable 71.8 grade in his rookie season, he improved upon those numbers to reach a 79.8 mark last year. All signs point towards him being a smart selection.

Right guard Mark Glowinski seems to be the weakest link of the fortress. He was claimed off waivers in 2018 after the Seahawks released him. He has been an average player in his two-year stint in Indy.

In summary, all five starters are returning which is excellent news for the Colts. Having continuity on the offensive line is critical to success.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

The whole QB position received a lift with the addition of Philip Rivers. Whether he’ll be an adequate starter or not remains to be seen, but having Rivers-Brissett has to be viewed as a better alternative than having Brissett-Hoyer, as was the case in 2019.

The RB and WR positions remain fairly intact with the exceptions of a few backups who won’t be there anymore. The team definitely has good depth in the backfield; the same cannot be said about the receiving corps. However, the WR position is much more likely to see an improvement with Hilton having a clean bill of health and Parris Campbell getting a chance to show what he can do at the pro level (as well as rookie Michael Pittman).

At tight end, losing Ebron represents a deterioration for the team.

Finally, how is the 2020 outlook for the offensive line compared to last year? Even though I love the group, you have to expect a downgrade here. These guys played at a high level, and none of them missed a single game last year. Can you really expect them not to miss any game due to injuries in 2020? That seems highly unlikely.

Therefore, we have an expected upgrade at QB and WR, but a likely downgrade at TE and on the OL. The team finished 16th out of 32 teams in terms of points scored per game. I expect the production to stay approximately the same.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Stable

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

The best player on the interior of the defensive line for the Colts has been Denico Autry. After posting 10.5 sacks over his first four seasons with the Raiders, he exploded with 9 sacks with the Colts in 2018, but a disappointing 3.5 last year.

Still, his level of play has been adequate as he finished as the 32nd-best DL among 114 qualifiers. He was a respectable player in all aspects of the game.

Considering Grover Stewart was a mediocre player, the team reinforced the position by acquiring a couple of 49ers players: DeForest Buckner and Sheldon Day.

The Colts sacrificed the #13 overall pick in the 2020 draft in order to get Buckner. That’s a fair price to pay for one of the best interior defenders in the league who is also entering his prime years. He’s been good both against the run and the pass; he has averaged 7.1 sacks per season. What a huge boost for this unit!

As for Sheldon Day, he’s not nearly as good as Buckner. He’s more of a rotational presence. His PFF grades have been a bit below-average thus far in his four-year career.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

Justin Houston was clearly the most dangerous pass rusher the Colts had in 2019. In his first season with Indy after spending eight years in Kansas City, he led the team with 11 sacks.

Despite missing some games due to injuries during his nine-year career, he has average 9.9 sacks per season. Now on the wrong side of 30, you need to start being concerned about whether his play will tail off or not.

Jabaal Sheard was used on more than 50% of the defensive snaps. He regularly gets 4-5 sacks per season, as was the case last year. However, poor tackling has penalized him in his PFF grades, making him the 81st-best edge defender out of 107 players. He has yet to be signed by any team so far.

Al-Quadin Muhammad played 47% of the snaps and had mitigated success. It was his best season over his three-year career, but nothing spectacular either. He’s not a great athlete and was a former sixth-round pick; he has limited upside.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

I don’t think the Colts regret picking Darius Leonard in the second round of the 2018 draft. As a rookie, he led the league in tackles with 163 (19 more than any other player!). Last year, he picked up 121 tackles in 13 games, on pace for 149.

He is the total package. He’s efficient in run defense, in coverage and as a pass rusher. As a matter of fact, he has recorded 12 sacks during those two years.

That being said, Colts fans have to be concerned about some comments he made last year. He was concussed for three weeks following a big collision with Derrick Henry and he experienced painful headaches for a while. During his absence, he debated his NFL future. If he suffers another concussion, he seems to be thinking already about a potential retirement.

Anthony Walker’s job could be in jeopardy. He played many more snaps than rookie Bobby Okereke, but the latter is definitely breathing down his neck.

Walker graded as an average linebacker with the number 42 spot out of 89 players. His grade took a huge hit because of poor run defense.

Meanwhile, the rookie from Stanford obtained the 9th-highest grade in the league! He was an every-down linebacker in college, and is very likely to get an increase workload in 2020.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Rock Ya-Sin enjoyed a satisfying rookie season. He is an interesting story. After playing three years at a Divison-2 college, he transferred to Temple for his final year. Despite not being particularly fast, his sheer will helped him earn amazing grades. He yielded a meager 53% completion rate and not a single one went above 20 yards. He finished as an average corner in 2019; with one full year of experience under his belt, he is likely to improve this season.

Pierre Desir obtained the second-highest playing time among the team’s cornerbacks. He took a step back after a breakout 2018 campaign and the team decided to release him. The Jets signed him the next day.

It remains to be seen which player will benefit the most from Desir’s departure. The Colts acquired T.J. Carrie and Xavier Rhodes, formerly of the Browns and the Vikings, respectively. Both of them are coming off a very disappointing season.

Rhodes used to be a pretty solid corner, but his play has deteriorated a lot recently. After receiving 73.8 and 72.4 grades from PFF in 2016 and 2017, he earned a disappointing 58.2 mark in 2018 and a dreadful 47.9 last year. Did injuries slow him down, or is he done?

Carrie was pretty ineffective with the Browns last year. After a few fairly good seasons with the Raiders, his play took a dip in each of his two years in Cleveland. I don’t have much faith he can rebound.

Don’t count out Kenny Moore though. He was surprisingly good in the slot last year. We’ll see if he can solidify a starting spot in this now crowded secondary.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Malik Hooker and Khari Willis finished the 2019 season with an identical PFF grade: 69.5. That mark put them in the number 37 spot out of 87 safeties.

Hooker is a former first-round pick out of Ohio State that has picked off at least two passes in each of its first three years as a pro. He has done a fine job and is still very young.

The Colts traded up to select Willis in the 4th round of the 2019 draft. His first season exceeded expectations as he shared time with Clayton Geathers, who has yet to sign a contract.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Will the 2020 defense be superior to the 2019 unit?

I love the fortification on the interior of the line with the big-time acquisition of DeForest Buckner, and to a lesser level Sheldon Day.

The CB position may also see an upgrade with Ya-Sin’s sophomore season coming up and the additions of Rhodes and Carrie (with the hopes that one of them will bounce back after a frustrating 2019 season).

At safety, Hooker and Hillis could also elevate their play because of their young age and added experience.

However, as a whole I see a downgrade in the edge / linebacking corps. Justin Houston is not getting any younger, and Jabaal Sheard could be missed. The team must also cross its fingers that Darius Leonard won’t suffer another concussion.

Overall, I see a small upgrade here. Adding Buckner coupled with young talented guys like Leonard, Ya-Sin and Hooker makes me predict they will finish around the 12th-15th place in terms of points allowed (as opposed to 18th last year).

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small upgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Colts are expected to win 8.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results:

Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 8.5 WINS 66.9% DraftKings -143 +13.7%
UNDER 8.5 WINS 33.1% Sports Interaction +180 -7.3%

Tip: Bet OVER 8.5 wins
Return On Investment (ROI): +13.7%
Rank: 20th-highest ROI out of 32 teams
Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): -202

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Colts’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

Woohoo! You made it through the whole article, thanks for reading my friend! Tomorrow, we'll talk about the Philadelphia Eagles!

Professor MJ
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GM-Driven 3 Round Mock Draft (With Trades)

Hey All,
I've generally had a complaint that mock drafts are blind to GM tendencies, team schemes, and upcoming contracts / need for cap flexibility, so a couple friends and I used quarantine to throw together a three round mock draft (trades inclusive) that tries to pay attention to this. Obviously, we can't know your team's scheme and history as well as you, but we figured it'd be great to share our mock draft anyway and invite any thoughts on it. NFL_Draft can be a little critical, as it should be given we're making guesses that impact the future of your franchise, but we're also big boys so feel free to tear this thing to shreds (or compliment it if you feel so inclined). The thing is far from perfect, so to add to the discussion and educate us a little bit, please feel free to let us know what picks you liked/disliked.
To make this easier to read we broke it out similar to Matt Miller's early mock drafts, with Round 1 up front with short descriptions on each pick followed by Rounds 2 and 3 with no detail. Additionally, we've added in the back a summary of trades as well as a break out by team.
T-5 days until Thursday!

Round 1:
CINCINNATI: Joe Burrow, QB
There's not much to explain here. What doesn't Cincinnati need? That list starts and ends at WR. They could take any number of players here and they would start tomorrow, but when you're building a team from the ground up, you take a QB, and who better than the guy who threw for 60 TDs, 5,671 yards, a 76% completion percentage, won a national championship, and ripped a cigar in the locker room… small hands and all.
WASHINGTON: Chase Young, EDGE
Say what you will about Dan Snyder, and you're probably right, but the guy tends to make the right call in the top 10. Since buying the team in 1999, the Redskins have picked in the top 10 an amazing 9 times, but those picks have been Champ Bailey, LaVar Arrington, Chris Samuels, Sean Taylor, Carlos Rogers, LaRon Landry, Trent Williams, RGIII, and Brandon Scherff. Every single one of those players has been a Pro Bowler. Not much to overthink here. Dan Snyder gets a generational talent and easily the best player in the draft, bringing back the hometown kid.
DETROIT: Jeff Okudah, CB
Patricia's defense is predicated upon a strong secondary playing predominantly press-man coverage, sticking to receivers long enough to create coverage sacks. While Justin Coleman has been vastly underrated for the Lions, there's also no way to play him on the outside, and the Lions will need someone to line up opposite Desmond Trufant with Slay in Philadelphia. Taking a DB in the top 10 is always risky, but so is trading down here. Patricia insists on a versatile defense with no particular scheme, and Okudah's well-rounded skillset including strength as a cover corner, in press-man, in off-man, and zone fits perfectly in Detroit.
NY GIANTS: Tristan Wirfs, OL\*
Gettleman is no stranger to controversy, but his pick here is far from that. Isaiah Simmons is the best player on the Board, but the young cornerstones of this franchise stand behind a line that with the exception of Will Hernandez probably shouldn't be there in four years. Lucky for Gettleman, he gets his pick of OL, four of whom are arguably worth a top 10 pick almost any year. While Judge may want to take the most NFL-ready prospect in Wills, I imagine Gettleman can't pass up on the athleticism and versatility of Wirfs. With his speed in the open field, quickness in getting to the second level and ability to make blocks in the open field, Wirfs can become Saquon's best friend pretty quick, especially on screen plays.
*But honestly, leave it to Gettleman to fool everyone and make a pick out of left field. No, literally, this guy could make a pick from left field and ask Brett Gardner to take NJ Transit down to MetLife on Sundays.
MIAMI: Tua Tagovailoa, QB
Miami refuses to tank and still wins the Tua Sweepstakes. With all that has gone on in 2020, at least there's some good in the world and Brian Flores is about 40% of it. I completely understand that there are injury concerns about Tua that are hard to overlook. But it's also hard to overlook issues with Justin Herbert -- namely just how off target he could be throwing down the field. I'm not doubting his athleticism or the absolute rocket he has attached to his shoulder, but the fact of the matter is his completion percentage, which is already lower than Tua's, is aided by playing weaker defenses in the Pac-12 and the absolutely absurd number of easy bubble screens and dump passes he throws behind the line of scrimmage. Both QBs are phenomenal, but Tua's accuracy, ability to extend plays, willingness to take hits, and ability avoid sacks outweigh the injury risk. If you're lucky, you have a potential Hall of Fame quarterback, and if you're unlucky, Brian Flores will still probably get you to 7-9 with the Goldman Sachs analyst you call a backup QB.
LA CHARGERS: Justin Herbert, QB
I spent most of the last pick talking about why not to pick Justin Herbert, but here's why you should: 6'6", 237 lbs, with easily the best arm in the draft and a Josh Allen-esque ability to move. Oregon's play call didn't give him much of a chance to throw it downfield, but when he did it was brilliant. He's the kind of QB prospect that could have tested like Maurice Claiborne on the Wonderlic and still been drafted 1st overall 10 years ago. However, his inconsistency and inability to leverage his athleticism to feeling comfortable throwing on the run and outside of the pockets relegates him to third on my QB Big Board. I don't know whether I buy that the Chargers are planning on starting Tyrod Taylor this year, but whether Herbert gets his shot this year or next, he has a legitimate chance to be a star.
CAROLINA: Isaiah Simmons, LB
Matt Rhule walks into a full re-build with both ownership and CMC's buy-in. The one thing Carolina doesn't have for the first time in nearly two decades is a Pro Bowl LB. Hurney and company fix that immediately by taking the best athlete in the draft. This isn't Carolina's biggest need -- they have only two DTs that are going to make a roster, so I understand the Derrick Brown arguments -- nor is it typically Rhule's favorite position -- I understand arguments that they may try to continue to add to the line to protect their new franchise QB -- but Simmons is just too talented to pass up. He basically lines up everywhere from safety, to linebacker, to nickel linebacker, and even edge. If you need any more convincing, he ran a 4.39 40 (good enough for 5th best by a WR).
ARIZONA: Derrick Brown, DT
Keim isn't need blind, but historically he has definitely valued talent over need. If you need proof of that, just go back to last year when Keim and Kingsbury determined Kyler Murray was the best player in the draft and (rightfully) gave up on the Josh Rosen experiment. The Cardinals also just so happen to need a 3-tech guy to anchor the interior of their line, and preferably someone with some versatility given Vance Joseph's scheme (Brown played from 0- to 5-tech at Auburn). The biggest knock is his lack of athleticism, but Brown has shiftiness for his size, attacks at the line, uses his hands well, and explodes through his man. I know a lot of people mock a T here, and that makes sense too, but I just don't see Arizona's line as that urgent of a need that Keim will pass up the best player on the Board.
JACKSONVILLE: CJ Henderson, DB
If Dave Caldwell had the remote from Click, I'm pretty sure he'd fast forward to the 2021 draft and grabbing Trevor Lawrence. The 2020 season is going to be an ugly one for Jacksonville, and it's only going to get worse as they explore trading Fournette and Ngakoue. Caldwell won't completely ignore the best player available approach -- see Josh Allen last year -- but he definitely leans toward filling a need, and their secondary is an eye sore. I personally think spending a top 10 pick on a corner with Cam Robinson potentially become a free agent is a mistake, but there's also a mile between Henderson and the next best corner available. I imagine the Jaguars explore a trade down a little bit before taking arguably the best cover corner in the draft.

TRADE:
DENVER - 10
CLEVELAND - 15, 77, 118
Andrew Berry wants Ezra Cleveland, but a top 10 pick is a little rich for him. John Elway wants Henry Ruggs III, but he won't be there at 15. Berry moves back, picking up valuable draft capital to secure rookie contracts for when the bill eventually comes due on the Browns players and they can't afford to extend everyone.

DENVER: Henry Ruggs III, WR
Henry Ruggs III is an OC's dream. The guys finishes every play and does the little things in a way you rarely see on the offensive side of the ball. He's a great route runner with world class speed and endless hustle, whether he's running with the ball after the catch, finishing a block downfield, or making a tackle on special teams. By moving up six picks, Denver leaves Day 1 with suddenly one of the better WR corps in the league. It's amazing it took everyone this long to notice Ruggs III is the top WR in this class, but I guess that's what happens when you play in Tuscaloosa and everyone on the team is an NFL-caliber player.
NY JETS: Jedrick Wills, OL
I've seen a lot of mock drafts put a WR here, but I honestly buy that Gase is not that concerned about his WR corps. Not only that, but the value is going to be there in the second round -- especially for a team that needs a big target that can actually go up and get it in the red zone or on a deep route when Darnold wants to gun it downfield. That leaves offensive line as the biggest need, and in particular LT. Gase prefers lineman who are strongest in pass protection, and one of the most NFL-ready OL and pass blockers is somehow still on the Board at 11. Wills can easily slide over the left side and protect Darnold from getting sacked every few snaps, something only mono has been able to do thus far.
LAS VEGAS: CeeDee Lamb, WR
Numerous outlets have linked Lamb to Las Vegas, and I'm not one to argue. Gruden and Mayock both typically pick their guys and could care less how other people value them. Lamb may be the best true route-runner in this draft class and his toughness is certainly going to translate to the NFL. I've read the criticisms that he has never been forced to play against press-man in college and that he lacks world class speed, but his strengths more than make up for it and at the end of the day he's one of the more high floor WR prospects I've ever seen.
SAN FRANCISCO: Andrew Thomas, OL
Before trading for Emmanuel Sanders, the 49ers were 6-0 with a WR core anchored by Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, and Kendrick Bourne. They obviously need a WR, but they've also shown they can fair just fine without one. What they would struggle much more to replace is Joe Staley in the supposed 50/50 case he retires. If Staley plays another year, Thomas can kick inside or learn behind him. Shanahan prefers offensive linemen athletic enough to block in a zone scheme, and Thomas is not out-of-this-world athletic presenting a potential issue, but he's also high character and high football IQ, which Shanahan also wants in his players. Would I be surprised if Lynch and Shanahan opted to take Jeudy here? No. Do I see them passing on one of the safest bets to replace Joe Staley? Also, no.
TAMPA BAY: Mekhi Becton, OL
There wasn't a ton to overthink here in my book - the Bucs are going to take the best T available at 14, and here it's Becton. Tampa Bay's priority is protecting Tom Brady, and Becton gives them the best chance to do that. In a dream world, they get someone a little more polished and ready to play tomorrow (especially given the likely shortened offseason) but Becton is incredibly mobile for someone his size, able to quickly recover, and strong enough to still get ends outside. He'll need to improve his hands and get better in true dropback pass protection given Brady's tendencies, but he can potentially be a huge piece for a team that needs to re-tool its offensive line.
CLEVELAND: Javon Kinlaw, DT
Cleveland's two biggest needs are LT and FS, but if they were going to take a LT here they would have stayed at 10 and Andrew Berry comes from the Howie Roseman school where you don't pay safeties. Given his analytics background, I imagine he takes best player available, and that's easily Kinlaw. While raw, Kinlaw's talent is undeniable. He's long, strong, and has incredibly active hands. Kinlaw honestly looks like David Irving out there sometimes given his ability to manhandle 300lb offensive linemen, but the Browns wouldn't have to deal with all the off-field issues. The Browns can leave Ogunjobi in on base downs and bring in Kinlaw for 2nd and 3rd down pass rush. Getting Kinlaw also gives Berry the flexibility to make Ogunjobi, Richardson, or Billings cap casualties in future seasons if Kinlaw comes along quicker than expected.
ATLANTA: K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE
If you watched Atlanta play last year you know this is going to be a defense-heavy draft. It's easy to see that Atlanta needs an outside corner, but it's also hard to justify taking one here with Okudah and Henderson off the Board. I know Fowler enters the fold this year, but I still think Chaisson provides value in his ability to both get to the QB and drop back into coverage. To be successful in the NFC South, Atlanta is going to need to get to the QB, and quickly. Chaisson has legitimate speed and power coming off the edge, making him an every down player. The CB is still there for Atlanta, but it can wait until the 2nd round.
DALLAS: Jerry Jeudy, WR
This is a similar message to Atlanta above. Dallas absolutely needs an outside corner, but it's just not there. Safety is also a need and the best guy is still on the Board, but the Cowboys have also not historically valued safeties in drafts, especially this high. Thirty years of Jerry tells me that he'll take best player available at 17, and while WR isn't a high priority position for the Cowboys Jeudy's value here is just too good to pass up. The defense still needs attention, but you can address that Day 2. Besides, how much do you need defense if you can put up 40+ points per game surrounding Dak with Zeke, Cooper, Jeudy, and that line? And with 40+ points per game, that's at least 5+ cuts to Jerry grinning and high-fiving in the owner's box.
MIAMI: Xavier McKinney, S
Brian Flores really started making a name for himself in New England as a safeties coach where the most important piece of a Super Bowl winning defense was Devin McCourty. Miami has plenty of holes, but it also has plenty of picks. The Miami system values versatility and McKinney provides just that as he can play just about anywhere in the secondary. Not only that, but he can provide value as a blitzer as well. The coincidence that this pick was the return for Minkah Fitzpatrick is not lost on me, but another top-tier S from Alabama with a longer runway on his rookie deal is not a bad thing.

TRADE:
NEW ENGLAND - 19
LAS VEGAS - 23, 98
Suggesting the Patriots trade up in any mock draft is a dangerous endeavor, but they also have an absurd number of picks in this year's draft. Giving Las Vegas a compensatory third to move up and get your pick of the draft's top LBs isn't too bad a price to pay.

NEW ENGLAND: Patrick Queen, LB
I'm not going to pretend to know what Belichick is going to do in this draft. It's equally likely that he trades out of the first round as it is he moves up, but I what I do know is the Patriots could use more help at LB. In particular, someone with speed who can blitz up the middle and off the edge. Anyone who watched the CFB Playoffs last year saw the speed Queen had off the edge as well as his ability to cover out of the backfield and underneath. He's equally comfortable dropping into zone as he is speed rushing the edge. High football IQ and athleticism screams Patriot to me and he just so happens to fit a position of need.
JACKSONVILLE: Kenneth Murray, LB
Jacksonville is a little hard to mock for in that they have need at just about every position. However, the defense hasn't been the same since Telvin Smith left. With Joe Schobert joining the fold as an inside linebacker and Myles Jack pushing to the weak side, Murray can work on the strong side. You can make an argument that the usage here isn't worth a first round pick or that Murray can lack football IQ at times, but he also possesses incredible speed and playmaking ability. He can get sideline to sideline and blow up plays in the backfield, and that kind of explosiveness can really help tie a defense together.
PHILADELPHIA: Justin Jefferson, WR
Philadelphia needs a receiver as bad as I need football right now, and after more than a month in my parents' basement I can tell you that's pretty damn bad. It got bad enough last year I thought the team was going to make an Invincible throwback and call up the guy from the viral fire video for a tryout. You can make an argument for any number of WRs, but Jefferson checks the boxes for Eagles fans: fast and with hands not made of bricks. The guy just had a way of getting open in college, and that's something Philadelphia has really missed the past few years.
MINNESOTA: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE
This is a risky pick in a mock draft. Minnesota's front office does not historically take DL early in the draft - the only one Minnesota has taken in the first 2 rounds in the last 10 years was Shariff Floyd - instead opting to fill in the line with late round players. However, Griffen's departure leaves obvious need here, and the idea of a player with Gross-Matos' intangibles is interesting for a 4-3 defense that loves to dial up blitz packages on 3rd down. His speed, length, and power are things you can't teach, and his ability to maneuver around offensive linemen is particularly impressive at his height.
LAS VEGAS: Kris Fulton, DB
Mayock and Gruden trade down from 19 and still grab their next favorite CB prospect along with an additional 3rd round pick. Last year, they demonstrated a desire to fill in team needs with prospects from winning programs. Unless you buy Eli Apple as the outside corner opposite Mullen, this is certainly a position of need. Last year, going after winning players meant a number of Clemson guys. This year, they grab their first National Champion in Fulton. Fulton's ability to stick with his man is why some have him graded as the number 2 CB in this year's class. He's rarely caught out of position, and despite a lack of top-end speed, he shows an incredible ability to recover.

TRADE:
INDIANAPOLIS - 24
NEW ORLEANS - 34, 75, 193
New Orleans really doesn't have a lot of positions of need this year, and make fun of me if you will, but I buy that Sean Payton is okay with Taysom Hill playing QB for at least a season if needbe. That isn't to say the Saints won't draft a QB, just that they won't reach on one at the end of the first and without a second round pick. The Colts on the other hand will - especially if they value Jordan Love as highly as others have speculated in the past month. Indianapolis gets to take advantage of the Saints wanting to trade down and gives up less than they'd ordinarily have to in order to get back into the first round.

INDIANAPOLIS: Jordan Love, QB
Not much to get into here. I don't buy for one second that Jacoby Brissett is the long-term answer in Indianapolis, and there have been a lot of experts suggesting the Colts buy the Jordan Love hype train. The upside here is prototypical size for a NFL QB, strong pocket presence, great arm strength and touch all over the field, and high athleticism. He also comes with a ton of risk, namely his inconsistency, turnovers, dangerous throws across the middle, and his regression last year. I'm not going to sit here and defend the pick too much. I tend not to like QBs who take steps back and throw almost as many interceptions as touchdowns playing in the Mountain West. However, while I personally think there's too much risk for Jordan Love to warrant a Day 1 grade, this isn't a Big Board, it's a Mock Draft, and a lot of people smarter than me have suggested Love is a top 10 caliber talent. If you believe that, then he's certainly worth trading up for and grabbing in the back end of the first round.
MINNESOTA: Jaylon Johnson, DB
After Henderson, it's really a toss-up who you think the next best corner is, but Jaylon Johnson should at least be in the discussion. Utah was quietly one of the best defenses in college football last year and Johnson was certainly a part of that. Johnson is highly instinctive with 4.5 speed and good enough height/length. I'm not sure how much his physicality will translate to the next level given his size, but his ability to read plays and act on them should make him a good cover corner at a minimum. If you need proof, look up his pick sixes on Eason and Huntley last year, where he recognizes the play and makes a change to his coverage and a jump on his ball before it's even thrown. Spielman and Zimmer have shown no aversion to drafting DBs in the first round, and with Rhodes and Waynes departing this off-season Johnson helps the Vikings fill an obvious position of need.
MIAMI: Josh Jones, OL
Miami could frankly use two tackles, but they wait until it makes sense value-wise and take Josh Jones here. Whoever they pick is going to have to be ready day 1, which makes Austin Jackson out of the question. Jones had a stellar senior year and cemented it at the Senior Bowl. Given he blocked for D'Eriq King he should be comfortable outside of traditional pass sets, which could prove useful if Miami picks Tua as this mock draft predicted. Jones has prototypical size and strength to be an NFL tackle and gets right into the shoulder pads of the defense. The Dolphins have a lot of needs, but thankfully spends its first three picks filling the most important ones.
SEATTLE: Julian Okwara, EDGE
Death, taxes, and the Seahawks reaching late in the first round. Even if Clowney chooses to re-sign with Seahawks, the team could use another edge rusher to challenge LJ Collier who put together a whopping two tackles his rookie season. I'm honestly surprised mock draft experts haven't been higher on Okwara. He explodes off the line and uses his length and speed to get around tackles. You need to look no further than his performance vs. Virginia, which he absolutely dominated. His bull-rush is NFL-ready and he has the build and mobility to drop off into coverage as necessary. The criticism will remain given his smaller frame, but the production was clearly there at Notre Dame.
BALTIMORE: Cesar Ruiz, OL
The truth is the Ravens don't have a ton of needs and the top LBs are off the Board at this point. If there's a weakness on the Ravens' offensive line it's at the center position. Ruiz gets out of his stance quickly and stays with defenders throughout the play. Criticism of his athleticism is overblown given he's a center. He's also incredibly young, so there's room for growth.
TENNESSEE: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE
The Titans biggest need is at corner, but given the number that have gone off the Board already the value just isn't there. Instead, Tennessee can address the hole on their defensive line created by Jurrell Casey's departure. Jeffrey Simmons has the size and athleticism to allow for flexibility in how Tennessee constructs its line, and this means Jon Robinson can approach this pick with a little more of a best player available approach. The best defensive lineman on the Board is A.J. Epenesa.
GREEN BAY: Jalen Reagor, WR
Nick Bosa embarrassed the entire city of Green Bay on national television and made clear the need for a new tackle, but I don't think Green Bay addresses that quite yet. Brian Gutekunst comes from the Ron Wolf school of thought about best player available, and the T position is a little drained here. Instead, I think GB chooses to find someone to put opposite Davante Adams. Jalen Reagor's fall into the second round of many mock drafts is hard for me to explain. The production was there in college and the combine only supported what we knew from the tape: Reagor is a superb athlete. I think the biggest knock is drops, which would likely only get worse in the NFL, but pairing him with Adams and Rogers could be absolutely dynamic. His double move is something to behold and he's great after the catch. Putting that next to, and allowing him to learn from, Adams is a match made in heaven.

TRADE:
CLEVELAND - 31, 210
SAN FRANCISCO- 41, 77
San Francisco lacks draft capital given their trades for Dee Ford and Emmanuel Sanders, but has needs. The Browns moved back earlier because Ezra Cleveland is their guy. Berry can't afford to let him go and can get back into the 1st round for a fair price given the Niners need for 2nd and 3rd round picks.

CLEVELAND: Ezra Cleveland, OL
Cleveland trades back into the first round and addresses its biggest position of need by getting somebody to protect Baker Mayfield. If you buy the rumors that Andrew Berry likes Ezra Cleveland, which I do, then it makes sense to grab him here before anyone else can in the early second.
KANSAS CITY: A.J. Terrell, DB
Brett Veach and Andy Reid have always valued cornerbacks, and despite the re-signing of Bashaud Breeland the Chiefs are still thin at the position. Given this, I think the Chiefs could go with the next best corner available in their mind. Terrell measures out well with good speed. I'm pretty sure Terrell still has nightmares about Ja'Marr Chase, but so do a lot of CBs not named Cameron Dantzler. That performance shouldn't erase years of strong tape otherwise.
Round 2:
CINCINNATI: Isaiah Wilson, OL
NEW OLREANS: Zack Baun, LB
DETROIT: Marlon Davidson, DL
NY GIANTS: Josh Uche, EDGE
LA CHARGERS: Austin Jackson, OL
CAROLINA: Neville Gallimore, DL
MIAMI: D'Andre Swift, RB
TRADE:
NY JETS - 40
HOUSTON - 48, 120
NY JETS: Michael Pittman Jr., WR
SAN FRANCISCO: Denzel Mims, WR
JACKSONVILLE: Antoine Winfield Jr., S
CHICAGO: Trevon Diggs, DB
INDIANAPOLIS: Tee Higgins, WR
TRADE:
MIAMI - 45, 173
TAMPA BAY - 56, 154, Future 4th
MIAMI: Brandon Aiyuk, WR
DENVER: Jeff Gladney, DB
ATLANTA: Noah Igbinoghene, DB
HOUSTON: Raekwon Davis, DL
PITTSBURGH: Robert Hunt, OL
CHICAGO: Kyle Dugger, S
DALLAS: Cameron Dantzler, DB
LA RAMS: J.K. Dobbins, RB
PHILADELPHIA: Grant Delpit, S
TRADE:
CINCINNATI - 54, 167
BUFFALO - 65, 107
CINCINNATI: Willie Gay Jr., LB
BALTIMORE: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR
TAMPA BAY: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB
LA RAMS: Netane Muti, OL
TRADE:
LAS VEGAS - 58, 132
MINNESOTA - 80, 81
LAS VEGAS: Jalen Hurts, QB
SEATTLE: Ross Blacklock, DL
BALTIMORE: Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB
TENNESSEE: Damon Arnette, DB
GREEN BAY: Lucas Niang, OL
KANSAS CITY: Terrell Lewis, EDGE
SEATTLE: Ben Bartch, OL

Round 3:
BUFFALO: Curtis Weaver, EDGE
WASHINGTON: Cole Kmet, TE
DETROIT: John Simpson, OL
NY JETS: Jonathan Greenard, EDGE
CAROLINA: Shane Lemieux, OL
MIAMI: Lloyd Cushenberry III, OL
LA CHARGERS: KJ Hamler, WR
ARIZONA: Jonathan Taylor, RB
JACKSONVILLE: Bryan Edwards, WR
CLEVELAND: Ashtyn Davis, S
NEW ORLEANS: Cam Akers, RB
TAMPA BAY: Justin Madubuike, DL
SAN FRANCISCO: Jordan Elliott, DL
ATLANTA: Jake Fromm, QB
NY JETS: Troy Pride Jr., DB
MINNESOTA: Terrell Burgess, S
MINNESOTA: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR
DALLAS: Adam Trautman, TE
DENVER: Prince Tega Wanogho, OL
LA RAMS: Jordyn Brooks, LB
DETROIT: Tyler Johnson, WR
BUFFALO: Zack Moss, RB
NEW ENGLAND: Hunter Bryant, TE
NEW ORLEANS: Bryce Hall, DB
MINNESOTA: Logan Stenberg, OL
HOUSTON: Jeremy Chinn, S
LAS VEGAS: Malik Harrison, LB
BALTIMORE: Anfernee Jennings, EDGE
TRADE:
NEW ENGLAND - 93
TENNESSEE - 100, 195
NEW ENGLAND: James Morgan, QB
GREEN BAY: Jacob Eason, QB
DENVER: Tyler Biadasz, OL
KANSAS CITY: Matt Peart, OL
CLEVELAND: Logan Wilson, LB
LAS VEGAS: Davon Hamilton, LB
NY GIANTS: Matt Hennessy, OL
TENNESSEE: Van Jefferson, WR
SEATTLE: Kenny Willekes, EDGE
PITTSBURGH: Leki Fotu, DL
PHILADELPHIA: Troy Dye, LB
LA RAMS: Amik Robertson, DB
MINNESOTA: Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR
BALTIMORE: K'Von Wallace, S
-------

Trades:
DENVER - 10
CLEVELAND - 15, 77, 118
Andrew Berry wants Ezra Cleveland, but a top 10 pick is a little rich for him. John Elway wants Henry Ruggs III, but he won't be there at 15. Berry moves back, picking up valuable draft capital to secure rookie contracts for when the bill eventually comes due on the Browns players and they can't afford to extend everyone.

NEW ENGLAND - 19
LAS VEGAS - 23, 98
Suggesting the Patriots trade up in any mock draft is a dangerous endeavor, but they also have an absurd number of picks in this year's draft. Giving Las Vegas a compensatory third to move up and get your pick of the draft's top LBs isn't too bad a price to pay.

INDIANAPOLIS - 24
NEW ORLEANS - 34, 75, 193
New Orleans really doesn't have a lot of positions of need this year, and make fun of me if you will, but I buy that Sean Payton is okay with Taysom Hill playing QB for at least a season if need be. That isn't to say the Saints won't draft a QB, just that they won't reach on one at the end of the first and without a second round pick. The Colts on the other hand will - especially if they value Jordan Love as highly as others have speculated in the past month. Indianapolis gets to take advantage of the Saints wanting to trade down and gives up less than they'd ordinarily have to in order to get back into the first round.

CLEVELAND - 31, 210
SAN FRANCISCO- 41, 77
San Francisco lacks draft capital given their trades for Dee Ford and Emmanuel Sanders, but has needs. The Browns moved back earlier because Ezra Cleveland is their guy. Berry can't afford to let him go and can get back into the 1st round for a fair price given the Niners need for 2nd and 3rd round picks.

NY JETS - 40
HOUSTON - 48, 120
WRs haven't fallen off the Board the way many have thought they would at the start of Round 2, but the Niners would be sure to start that trend, potentially with Pittman. As much as Gase likes smaller, fast receivers, the Jets desperately need a big guy who can work with Darnold. Pittman and Darnold have the USC connection already, and it makes sense to move ahead of San Francisco to get him.

MIAMI - 45
TAMPA BAY - 56, 154, 173, Future 4th
With WRs beginning to fly off the Board and Brandon Aiyuk still there due to injury concerns, Miami trades up to get him. Tampa Bay, lacking a ton of immediate needs having already added a T, gets extra draft capital in exchange for moving back to a point where at least one of the top four RBs should remain.

CINCINNATI - 54, 167
BUFFALO - 65, 107
This is a tough one. There are a number of rumors that Cincinnati is enamored with Willie Gay Jr.'s athleticism and ball instincts. If that's true, there could be legitimate fear that the Ravens could take him at 55 or 60 given their needs. The Bills need picks given their trade for Diggs. The Bengals make the call to get ahead of an in division rival for their guy.

LAS VEGAS - 58, 132
MINNESOTA - 80, 81
It's no secret that John Gruden loves his QBs and I think there's a legitimate chance the QB he likes in this draft class that's within reach for him is Jalen Hurts. Getting back into the second round allows him to be the first to take the QBs not projected to go in the first round.

NEW ENGLAND - 93
TENNESSEE - 100, 195
There have been rumors that the Patriots' favorite QB prospect in this draft is James Morgan given his arm and the New England climate. Similarly, he's tied to Green Bay who just so happens to be on the clock at 94. If the rumors are true, Belichick should be willing to pull the trigger to move up and get him.

By Team:
ARIZONA:
1.8 - Derrick Brown
3.72 - Jonathan Taylor

ATLANTA:
1.16 - K'Lavon Chaisson
2.47 - Noah Igbinoghene
3.78 - Jake Fromm

BALTIMORE:
1.28 - Cesar Ruiz
2.55 - Laviska Shenault Jr.
2.60 - Akeem Davis Gaither
3.92 - Anfernee Jennings
3.106 - K'Von Wallace

BUFFALO:
3.65 - Curtis Weaver
3.86 - Zack Moss

CAROLINA:
1.7 - Isaiah Simmons
2.38 - Neville Gallimore
3.69 - Shane Lemieux

CHICAGO:
2.43 - Trevon Diggs
2.50 - Kyle Dugger

CINCINNATI:
1.1 - Joe Burrow
2.33 - Isaiah Wilson
2.54 - Willie Gay Jr.

CLEVELAND:
1.15 - Javon Kinlaw
1.31 - Ezra Cleveland
3.74 - Ashtyn Davis
3.97 - Logan Wilson

DALLAS:
1.17 - Jerry Jeudy
2.51 - Cameron Dantzler
3.82 - Adam Trautman

DENVER:
1.10 - Henry Ruggs III
2.46 - Jeff Gladney
3.83 - Prince Tega Wanogho
3.95 - Tyler Biadasz

DETROIT:
1.3 - Jeff Okudah
2.35 - Marlon Davidson
3.67 - John Simpson
3.85 - Tyler Johnson

GREEN BAY:
1.30 - Jalen Reagor
2.62 - Lucas Niang
3.94 - Jacob Eason

HOUSTON:
2.48 - Netane Muti
3.90 - Jeremy Chinn

INDIANAPOLIS:
1.24 - Jordan Love
2.44 - Tee Higgins

JACKSONVILLE:
1.9 - CJ Henderson
1.20 - Kenneth Murray
2.42 - Antoine Winfield Jr.
3.73 - Bryan Edwards

KANSAS CITY:
1.32 - AJ Terrell
2.63 - Terrell Lewis
3.96 - Matt Peart

LA CHARGERS:
1.6 - Justin Herbert
2.37 - Austin Jackson
3.71 - KJ Hamler

LA RAMS:
2.52 - JK Dobbins
2.57 - Netane Muti
3.84 - Jordyn Brooks
3.104 - Amik Robertson

LAS VEGAS:
1.12 - CeeDee Lamb
1.23 - Kris Fulton
2.58 - Jalen Hurts
3.91 - Malik Harrison
3.98 - Davon Hamilton

MIAMI:
1.5 - Tua Tagovailoa
1.18 - Xavier McKinney
1.26 - Josh Jones
1.39 - D'Andre Swift
1.45 - Brandon Aiyuk
3.70 - Lloyd Cushenberry III

MINNESOTA:
1.22 - Yetur Gross-Matos
1.25 - Jaylon Johnson
3.80 - Terrell Burgess
3.81 - Donovan Peoples-Jones
3.89 - Logan Stenberg
3.105 - Antonio Gandy-Golden

NEW ENGLAND:
1.19 - Patrick Queen
3.87 - Hunter Bryant
3.93 - James Morgan

NEW ORLEANS:
2.34 - Zack Baun
3.75 - Cam Akers
3.88 - Bryce Hall

NY GIANTS:
1.4 - Tristan Wirfs
2.36 - Josh Uche
3.99 - Matt Hennessy

NY JETS:
1.11 - Jedrick Wills Jr.
2.40 - Michael Pittman Jr.
3.68 - Jonathan Greenard
3.79 - Troy Pride Jr.

PHILADELPHIA:
1.21 - Justin Jefferson
2.53 - Grant Delpit
3.103 - Troy Dye

PITTSBURGH:
2.49 - Robert Hunt
3.102 - Leki Fotu

SAN FRANCISCO:
1.13 - Andrew Thomas
2.41 - Denzel Mims
3.77 - Jordan Elliott

SEATTLE:
1.27 - Julian Okwara
2.59 - Ross Blacklock
3.64 - Ben Bartch
3.109 - Kenny Willekes

TAMPA BAY:
1.14 - Mekhi Becton
2.56 - Clyde Edwards-Helaire
3.76 - Justin Madubuike

TENNESSEE:
1.29 - AJ Epenesa
2.61 - Damon Arnette
3.100 - Van Jefferson

WASHINGTON:
1.2 - Chase Young
3.66 - Cole Kmet
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NFL Expert Picks: Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns Browns vs Colts NFL Preseason Week 2 Predictions & Picks  Betting Odds & Lines COLTS vs TITANS NFL 2019 BETTING PICKS NFL - Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks (Betting NFL Football) Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts Free NFL Football Picks and Predictions 9/24/17

Week 5 at Cleveland, 4:25 PM ET: The Colts are 8-1 all-time against the Browns but just 4-5 ATS. Week 6 vs. Cincinnati, 1 PM ET: The Bengals have won four of the past five (3-2 ATS), with the Under only hitting in Indy's 27-0 win in 2014. Week 7 BYE: The Colts are 6-3-1 ATS coming off a bye week over the past 10 seasons. Live betting odds for Indianapolis Colts vs Cleveland Browns - Sunday, October 11, 2020 at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday, October 11, 2020. Up to date offshore betting odds of over 30+ sportsbooks A featherweight matchup between Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige is tops on the card for this mid-week UFC Fight Night. SI's MMA expert Casey Olson runs down his best bets as well as his top DFS plays. Betting Preview for the Cleveland Browns vs Indianapolis Colts NFL Preseason Week 2 Game on August 17, 2019. Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. When: Saturday, August 17, 2019, 4:00 PM ET. Line: Cleveland Browns (Odds) vs. Indianapolis Colts (Odds) – view all 2019 NFL lines. TV Broadcast: ESPN. Betting on the Cleveland Browns (1-0 Preseason) The rest of the Colts’ receiving corps has been a little hit-or-miss but definitely offers good value potential. Zach Pascal ($4,800) is very affordable as the WR2 and is coming off a two-touchdown sim against the Browns that resulted in 26.8 DKFP. He has 12 touchdowns on the sim season and is averaging 3.6 catches for 40.2 yards per contest.

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NFL Expert Picks: Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns

by WagerTalk TV: Sports Picks and Betting Tips. 52:46. Film Study: Jonathan Taylor has TREMENDOUS potential for the Indianapolis Colts ... 2020 Week 5 Preview - Indianapolis Colts vs Cleveland ... Atlanta Falcons vs Indianapolis Colts Predictions, Picks, and Odds for their showdown on Sunday, September 22, 2019, from Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. Direct from Las Vegas, Drew Martin, Teddy ... Colts vs Jets (+8.5, 45) Madden Simulation Betting - Sports Gambling Podcast ... The New York Jets host the Indianapolis Colts in their latest Madden simulation betting game. ... Browns vs Saints ... Scott ran his NFL record to 10-2 yesterday and is back with two more picks from the NFLX and one barking dog from the National League. https://winnersandwhin... Marco D'Angelo & Bryan Leonard from WagerTalk.com break down the matchup between Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns including a free NFL football pick. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to WagerTalk TV ...