NFL Betting Systems: The Definitive Guide to Top Strategies

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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) -
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I created a series of 5 videos named "Intro to Power Ratings". These videos help introduce basic concepts when it comes to building and maintaining power rating systems. Might not be a bad idea to build out your own systems during this downtime.

During this period of downtime with no sports it might not be a bad idea to build out frameworks of power ratings for the future so that when sports come back you are ready. If you have no idea how to build power rating systems to help plug into models to guide your bets I have a series of 5 videos that I have made over the past month that help introduce basic concepts when it comes to building out power ratings.
Here is a link to the playlist:
In these videos I use the NFL since its limited number of games made it easier to work with for an educational video. However the concepts outlined in these videos can be applied to any sport. Please keep in mind these videos are intended to teach CONCEPTS. In other words, they are not HOW TO videos on how to build power ratings. Don't watch these videos expecting me to build out a power rating system for you. While I do go into some detail on the coding/programming, I also include links to the spreadsheet and macros featured in the videos so you can skip the videos and just play around with the files/code if you want.
VIDEO 1: ELO SYSTEM - This video teaches the viewer the concepts of the most basic power rating system, ELO. In this video basic excel macro programming is covered and the viewer learns how to convert wins and losses into raw and adjusted win percentages, which can then be used to make win probability predictions. Home/Away advantages and league averages are also covered.
VIDEO 2: PURE POINTS SYSTEM - This video teaches the viewer the concepts of the PURE POINTS rating system. Like with the ELO video, it uses one stat, which is scoring margin as opposed to win percentage. The viewer learns how to calculate raw per game and adjusted per game scoring differential, which can then be used to make predicted margin of victory predictions.
VIDEO 3: OFFENSE/DEFENSE BREAKOUT + MODULAR INFINITE ADAPTABILITY - This video is the first to use multiple statistics and how to operate with multiple inputs. This video uses adjusted points for and adjusted points against. However the real important aspect of this video is the modular and infinite adaptability concepts introduced. When building out a power rating system its best to put in a little extra effort on the front end to make your life easier on the back end. With a modular, infinitely adaptable setup, you can easily plug and play more stats into your system in the future without having to write any new code.
VIDEO 4: PYTHAGOREAN EXPECTATION AND LOG5 WIN PERCENTAGE - This video teaches the concepts of pythagorean win expectation and log 5 win percentage. It also teaches how to find the right exponent for a pythagorean expectation calculation. With pythagorean expectation, you can calculate both predicted margin AND expected win percentage with just one system(as opposed to having to break it out by ELO and PURE POINTS)
VIDEO 5: MULTIPLE STATISTICS, NORMALIZATION, AND LINEALOGISTIC REGRESSION - This final video shows how to incorporate an endless number of stats into your ratings even if they don't relate directly to win/loss or scoring margin, a method that can be used to pick which stats to use in your ratings, how to normalize stats with standard deviation so that they can be combined into one single offensive and defensive rating and then finally one single overall rating. It also touches upon the concepts of linear and logistic regression to predict margin and win probability respectively.
Please keep in mind this is an INTRO to power ratings series. Keyword, INTRO. It's meant to teach basic concepts to get a beginner started. Obviously for those of you like me who are data scientists by profession there are more complex and sophisticated ways to do things, but these videos are not intended for the advanced user.
I think that spending some time to build out some systems right now when nothing is going on is a better use of time than betting on some random sports video game simulation or a 3rd world soccer match.
submitted by wcincedarrapids to sportsbook [link] [comments]

I created a series of 5 videos named "Intro to Power Ratings". These videos help introduce basic concepts when it comes to building and maintaining power rating systems.

During this period of downtime with no sports it might not be a bad idea to build out frameworks of power ratings for the future so that when sports come back you are ready. If you have no idea how to build power rating systems to help plug into models to guide your bets I have a series of 5 videos that I have made over the past month that help introduce basic concepts when it comes to building out power ratings.
Here is a link to the playlist:
In these videos I use the NFL since its limited number of games made it easier to work with for an educational video. However the concepts outlined in these videos can be applied to any sport. Please keep in mind these videos are intended to teach CONCEPTS. In other words, they are not HOW TO videos on how to build power ratings. Don't watch these videos expecting me to build out a power rating system for you. While I do go into some detail on the coding/programming, I also include links to the spreadsheet and macros featured in the videos so you can skip the videos and just play around with the files/code if you want.
VIDEO 1: ELO SYSTEM - This video teaches the viewer the concepts of the most basic power rating system, ELO. In this video basic excel macro programming is covered and the viewer learns how to convert wins and losses into raw and adjusted win percentages, which can then be used to make win probability predictions. Home/Away advantages and league averages are also covered.
VIDEO 2: PURE POINTS SYSTEM - This video teaches the viewer the concepts of the PURE POINTS rating system. Like with the ELO video, it uses one stat, which is scoring margin as opposed to win percentage. The viewer learns how to calculate raw per game and adjusted per game scoring differential, which can then be used to make predicted margin of victory predictions.
VIDEO 3: OFFENSE/DEFENSE BREAKOUT + MODULAR INFINITE ADAPTABILITY - This video is the first to use multiple statistics and how to operate with multiple inputs. This video uses adjusted points for and adjusted points against. However the real important aspect of this video is the modular and infinite adaptability concepts introduced. When building out a power rating system its best to put in a little extra effort on the front end to make your life easier on the back end. With a modular, infinitely adaptable setup, you can easily plug and play more stats into your system in the future without having to write any new code.
VIDEO 4: PYTHAGOREAN EXPECTATION AND LOG5 WIN PERCENTAGE - This video teaches the concepts of pythagorean win expectation and log 5 win percentage. It also teaches how to find the right exponent for a pythagorean expectation calculation. With pythagorean expectation, you can calculate both predicted margin AND expected win percentage with just one system(as opposed to having to break it out by ELO and PURE POINTS)
VIDEO 5: MULTIPLE STATISTICS, NORMALIZATION, AND LINEALOGISTIC REGRESSION - This final video shows how to incorporate an endless number of stats into your ratings even if they don't relate directly to win/loss or scoring margin, a method that can be used to pick which stats to use in your ratings, how to normalize stats with standard deviation so that they can be combined into one single offensive and defensive rating and then finally one single overall rating. It also touches upon the concepts of linear and logistic regression to predict margin and win probability respectively.
Please keep in mind this is an INTRO to power ratings series. Keyword, INTRO. It's meant to teach basic concepts to get a beginner started. Obviously for those of you like me who are data scientists by profession there are more complex and sophisticated ways to do things, but these videos are not intended for the advanced user.
I think that spending some time to build out some systems right now when nothing is going on is a better use of time than betting on some random sports video game simulation or a 3rd world soccer match.
submitted by wcincedarrapids to CFBAnalysis [link] [comments]

Do the Jews really control the media and the world's wealth? Are these statistics anti semitic? 11.6% of the world’s billionaires are Jewish, despite Jews accounting for 0.2% of the world’s population. Jews are over 100 times more likely to be billionaires than everyone else on earth. More inside

Wealth is disproportionately concentrated in the hands of global Jewry. Depending on the year in question, the percentage of the Forbes 400 for the four hundred wealthiest Americans is usually around one-third or more despite comprising just 1.5% of the US’s population. In 1987, Nathaniel Weyl found 23% of American billionaires were Jewish, whereas for the last decade, the number has settled in at around 35%. In both 2009 and 2013, for example, Jews represented 35% of the list. 11.6% of the world’s billionaires are Jewish, despite Jews accounting for 0.2% of the world’s population. Jews are over 100 times more likely to be billionaires than everyone else on earth. Five of the top seven wealthiest Aussies are Jewish, despite accounting for less than 0.5% of the nation’s population. 20% of Britain’s “Super Rich” are Jewish—and most of them are immigrants. All of Monaco’s billionaires are Jewish. Jews are 25% of Canada’s billionaires (at roughly 1% of the population), 13% of Brazil’s (at 0.5% of the population), and 43% of the Ukraine’s (at roughly 1% of the population). Jews are roughly 17 times more likely per capita to make the Forbes 400 than is the rest of the American population. 46% of Jews earn more than $100,000 a year, compared to 19% among all Americans. IQ differential alone is not enough to explain this disparity; the overrepresentation is too dramatic.
Jews, by the way, are 26.4% of South Africa’s wealthiest individuals whilst representing an absurdly small .014% of the population. They have profited enormously from the diamond trade. Things are clearly going well for the Jews in South Africa, but for whites it is a different story. Per Henk van de Graaf: “The farmers live in fear, because being a farmer in South Africa is the most dangerous occupation in the world. The average murder ratio per 100,000 for the population in the world is nine, I believe. In South Africa, it is 54. But for the farming community it is 138, which is the highest for any occupation in the world” (Chicago is 28 per 100,000 and St. Louis is 35.3 per 100,000 residents as a point of reference). Whites are less than 9% of the South African population but are 40% of all murder victims. South Africa has a 95% black-on-white murder rate and the world’s highest rape rate. There are government-sanctioned policies to seize land from white farmers and re-distribute it to markedly less productive blacks. It should be noted here that the virulently anti-white Economic Freedom Fighters Party, helmed by Julius Malema, derives its funding from Jewish-Swazi billionaire Nathan Kirsh.
The music industry is, as with all forms of media, dominated by Jews, and its control has become increasingly centralized, another trend we’ve seen irrespective of the industry in question. In December 1998, with the PolyGram-Universal merger, the music industry’s Big Six became its Big Five, in control of 77.4% of a market estimated to be between $30 and $40 billion; 2004 saw another merger, this time of Sony and BMG, to create a Big Four. Coupled with the shrinking of independent labels, the Big Four were in control of a whopping 88% of the market by 2011. In December 2011, EMI was absorbed by the Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, though in Europe regulators forced Universal Music to sell off its EMI assets which became the Parlophone Label Group, and was then promptly acquired by the third member of the Big Three, Warner Music Group. In 2012, the Big Three represented 88.6% of the market.
A snapshot of the leadership of the Big Three proves illustrative; this overview from December 2019 reveals an obscene overrepresentation of Jews including Michael Lynton, Chairman of the Board for the Warner Music Group and its Vice Chairman, Len Blavatnik; of the nine other members of the Board, Noreena Hertz, Ynon Kreiz, Thomas H. Lee, and Alex Blavatnik (Len’s brother) are Jewish. Mathias Dopfner is a Gentile, but is also a self-described “non-Jewish Zionist.” The rest, such as Stephen F. Cooper—also the CEO, replacing the Jewish Edgar Bronfman, Jr.—are either contested or I could not definitively find out. Co-Chair and CEO of Warner Records, Aaron Bay-Schuck, has Jewish ancestry, and other prominent Jews in management include the COO of subsidiary Atlantic Records Group Julie Greenwald and its CEO Craig Kallman. Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge is Jewish, as are: Chairman and CEO of the Universal Music Publishing Group’s global publishing division, Jody Gerson; Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK and Ireland, David Joseph; and Executive Vice President of Marketing Andrew Kronfeld. Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer is Jewish, as is its COO Kevin Kelleher, Executive Vice President and General Counsel Julie Swidler, and President of Global Digital Business and US Sales Dennis Kooker. In other words, all three major record labels are headed by Jews and their corporate governance is dominated by Jews as well. The rest, like RCA Records CEO Peter Edge, are “well-liked Gentiles.”
Just four conglomerates control 90% of the entire US media market today, which includes television, films, telecommunications, and more: Comcast (including NBCUniversal), Disney, ViacomCBS (controlled by National Amusements), and AT&T (including WarnerMedia). These conglomerates are, in fact, almost entirely Jewish-controlled. Jews are overrepresented at places like CNN (a WarnerMedia subsidiary) by a factor of twenty-five and are over-represented among senior executive positions at the major television broadcast networks, cable networks, and movie production companies by a factor of 44.5! With positions current as of December 2019, we see that Bob Bakish, President and CEO of ViacomCBS, is Jewish as are:
submitted by Yaakov117 to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Which coaches should be fired? The Firing Squad zeroes in on the AFC North / South

Typically, 5-6 coaches get fired every offseason cycle. There are reports that number may swell to as many as 8-10 this season.
The question here isn't: what coaches will be fired, but rather: which coaches deserve to be fired?
I'm going to run through the league with a FIRING SQUAD SERIES to make those determinations and potential executions. In the interest of length, we're breaking this up into divisions, with the AFC East, NFC East, and NFC South already in the books. Today, we'll be able to run through two separate divisions as well.
The "Bill Belichick Law" states that coaches who are OBVIOUS keepers will not go to trial. An overzealous prosector may go after John Harbaugh, but that feels like a bit of a stretch. Given the prosecution's struggles so far, we won't push that. Thus, Harbaugh (and Mike Tomlin) get a pass today.
the defendant: Marvin Lewis, 5-9 record, 123-112-3 all time with the team
the prosecution
After the failures of my predecessor, I intend to bring a whole new approach to this prosecutor's office. I'm going to leave the politics aside, and focus on the matters at hand. After all, I'm a humble southerner who enjoys the simple pleasures in life: a cold beer in my hand, and an incompetent coach roasting on the open fire.
Which brings me to Marvin Lewis. There was a time, perhaps, when we would have praised and appreciated Mr. Lewis for stabilizing the Cincinnati organization. Of course, there was a time when I appreciated my AOL dial-up connection as well. But there was only so many times that sucker would crash out on me before I realized that I needed to upgrade. In that same vein, there's only so many times this Bengals team can crap out before we all have to admit that an upgrade is necessary.
More than anything, we've come to realize that Mr. Lewis benefited greatly from some excellent coordinators around him. He initially struggled in Cincy (1 winning season in his first 6 years) before eventually being buoyed by two studs in Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer. Since they've left, the team has predictably and slowly sunken back into the depths of the AFC once again. The rapid decline in point differential is the most troubling of all – from +140 in 2015, to +10 in 2016, to -72 in 2017. There's a hole in this ship about 100 points a year wide, and the Bengals can't wait any longer to plug it up.
the defense
As mentioned by the prosecution, Marvin Lewis deserves credit for stabilizing this franchise over the years. Before his hiring in 2002, the Bengals were mired in a 55-137 stretch that saw them win an average of 4.6 games over a twelve-year period. He's completely reshaped the front office, the scouting department, and the organization as a whole. Aside from Green Bay, no team in the NFL sustains itself on homegrown draft picks more.
If Lewis erred lately, it was trusting that system too much. He thought R1-R2 pick offensive tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher would be ready to start by this, their third season. They weren't. He thought in-house OC Ken Zampese would improve in this, his second season on the job. He didn't. Lewis can learn from those mistakes and add some fresh blood and fresh talent around him. This team still has the talent to be a playoff contender with a few tweaks, and with Lewis at the helm.
the verdict
We the jury agree with the defense that fresh blood is needed, but more blood than he lets on. With all apologies and due respect to Marvin Lewis, we instruct the squad to raise their muskets and FIRE AWAY.
the defendant: Hue Jackson, 0-14 record, 1-29 all time with the team
the prosecution
Sports fans are savvy these days. Like Sting on a hot date, they don't mind exercising patience and delayed gratification. Essentially, they "trust the process," so long as they trust the leadership behind that process at the same time.
The Cleveland Browns' latest rebuild clearly didn't meet that criterion. Sure, Hue Jackson got saddled with a huge task and a huge rebuild, but there's nothing in his resume so far that suggests that he's capable of leading this team out of the muck and mire.
Worse yet, his biggest blind spot happens to be the most important one: his handling of the QB position. Every move the team has made lately has suggested that they have no clue how to elevate or develop QBs. DeShone Kizer may have been worth a boom/bust flier in R2, but the team took that flier and that lottery ticket and promptly wiped their ass with it: allowing him to take punishment (31 sacks in 430 pass attempts), and ruining his confidence by toggling him in and out of the lineup.
Afterwards, Mr. Jackson shifted the blame to Kizer, as he always does. If this coach has mastered anything, it's deflation and scapegoating. He puts his foot in his mouth so many times that Rex Ryan masturbates to clips of his press conferences. He's become an embarrassment to an organization that's suffered too much embarrassment already. Please, make it stop.
the defense
If your goal as a franchise is to establish stability, the worst way to do that would be fire another head coach. Call it the Curse of Bill Belichick if you like, because after the team (albeit a different version of the "Browns") axed him prematurely, Cleveland hasn't found any sense of continuity on a staff yet. They've had a total of 9 head coaches -- 7 of whom got fired in two seasons or less.
If you're going to commit to a rebuild and "trust the process," then you're going to have to tolerate some ugly losses and some embarrassment along the way. That's part of the "process." But at the end of the day, the foundation still looks fertile here. After all, what would you prefer from Hue Jackson? A Jets-like season, and a spirited 5-6 wins that won't mean anything at all? Or another clunker, which results in another # 1 pick (in addition to the Houston pick, which currently lands at # 4)?
We can't judge Hue Jackson or this latest rebuild yet. Let's give him one more year and his first stab at an actual franchise QB before we do.
the verdict
We the jury have decided (with the urging of Josh Rosen and his agent) to execute Hue Jackson before he gets his hands on another young QB. FIRE AWAY.
There's only one coach in this division who gets the Bill Belichick Law pass: Doug Marrone, who's surprisingly led the Jaguars to a breakout year.
the defendant: Chuck Pagano, 3-11 record, 52-42 all time with the team
the prosecution
Originally, we planned on stockpiling a whale ton of evidence for this case. We had our plucky office intern Danny compile exhibits of every single one of Chuck Pagano's bungles (including that infamous fake punt.) Poor little fella dropped dead from exhaustion. RIP Danny.
What's harder to find is evidence of Mr. Pagano's virtues as a head coach. His specialty is the defensive side of the ball, but despite six offseasons to reshape his roster, that defense is still quite mediocre. In fact, they've totaled 22 sacks on the season so far, 2nd worst in the entire NFL.
You'd think that Mr. Pagano would be able to come up with ideas on how to pressure the QB by watching his opponents. After all, they have racked up 53 sacks on the year, MOST in the NFL. Part of that is Jacoby Brissett's slow release, but this is also a team that allowed Andrew Luck to take 41 sacks himself the year prior.
Now, I'm no offensive guru (nor is Mr. Pagano), but you'd think that either of us would realize that protecting a generational franchise QB would be a paramount part of his job description. Instead, he's allowed his offenses to take deep shots, and allowed his QB to take the defense's best shots. This is no laughing matter, because it makes you wonder how much of Luck’s durability issues are the direct result of this lawed approach. Hopefully Luck comes back for 2018; hopefully, Mr. Pagano does not.
the defense
No doubt, it's unfortunate that Andrew Luck got injured. Immediately, it doomed the entire 2017 season. Unless you're Bill Belichick, no coach in the NFL is going to make the playoffs with a depth chart that leads off with the name "Scott Tolzien." As a result, the team needed to rush in Jacoby Brissett. And hey, they did a serviceable job of getting Brissett ready to go on such short notice. The Colts started 2-3 and had some nice moments and some flashes from Brissett.
Given the expectations, Pagano's 3-11 record is understandable. In fact, that record (coupled with his 8-8 record when Luck missed a lot of time in 2015, speaks to Pagano's "virtue" as an NFL coach. His team still competes and fights for him, even when the odds are stacked against them. He hasn't lost that locker room yet, and therefore he shouldn't lose his job yet.
the verdict
We the jury have seen enough to make a ruling – and have seen too much of Chuck Pagano to wait any longer. We give the order to the squad to FIRE AWAY.
the defendant: Bill O'Brien, 4-10 record, 31-31 all time with the team
the prosecution
Bill O'Brien is a brilliant coach and a true QB guru; if you don't believe me, just ask him yourself. Through his entire Houston Texans tenure, he's made a habit of skimping on his offensive staff. Like Hue Jackson, he's decided that he doesn't need an offensive coordinator to help him. He's got all the answers himself.
Unfortunately for him, the results tell a different story. Through four seasons on the job, he's opened with four different quarterbacks -- Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2014, Brian Hoyer in 2015, Brock Osweiler in 2016, and Tom Savage in 2017. Notice I didn't mention "Deshaun Watson" there, because Mr. O'Brien thought that Savage was his better bet to open Week 1. Considering he'd been coaching Savage for two seasons already, you'd think a "QB Guru" would be able to gauge the two a little better than that.
It's also fair to question how beneficial his system truly is -- or whether there's much of a "system" at all. The best coaches (like Billy Boy's former bosses in New England) manufacture mismatches for their stars and get them open spaces. Mr. O'Brien's top plays include: 1) throwing a contested catch to DeAndre Hopkins and hoping he can battle his way to the ball and miraculously toe tap onto the sidelines, and 2) running Lamar Miller into a brick wall. That speedster of a running back has 1 carry of 20+ yards, in 220 attempts. That "system" sure isn't helping him much.
You may think Mr. O'Brien's had success in Houston -- with three 9-7 seasons prior -- but that doesn't tell the whole story. In fact, his point differentials have been in steady decline (+65 to +26 to -49 to -61). That coincides with some injuries to his superstar J.J. Watt, who has bailed out this team time and time again. Sadly, Mr. O'Brien may not be able to count on that happening again; there's no telling if All-Pro J.J. Watt will be walking through that building. If he isn't the dominant force that he used to be, O'Brien's flaws will be on full display.
the defense
The 2017 Houston Texans struggled. Shocker. This is a team that lost a Hall of Famer in J.J. Watt and a potential rookie of the year in Deshaun Watson. It's no wonder that the team couldn't rebound from there.
You may criticize Bill O'Brien for not starting Deshaun Watson from Week 1, but that’s irrelevant now. O'Brien wanted to show some patience and make sure that Watson would be able to hit the ground running (so he wouldn't lose confidence like Kizer). Turns out Watson did that quicker than he anticipated -- that's a good sign, not a bad one. Going forward, Watson should be healthy and ready to fire away to DeAndre Hopkins, who's regained his mojo and his status as a top 3 WR.
The defense took a step back this year, but should be better next season regardless of whether J.J. Watt is a DPOY candidate anymore or not. There are other good young pieces on that side of the ball, including Jadeveon Clowney and their rising star DC Mike Vrabel. If the offense and defense can click at the same time, this team still looks like a true threat for the playoffs for many years to come. O'Brien constructed a program that's built to last here, and needs to stick around to shepherd it through.
the verdict
We the jury find in favor of Bill O'Brien (no matter what the media may suggest) and look forward to seeing him and a healthier Watson back together in 2018. KEEP HIM.
the defendant: Mike Mularkey, 8-6 record, 19-20 all time with the team
the prosecution
If Marvin Lewis feels like an outdated AOL dial-up, the Tennessee Titans feels like communicating with smoke signals. Mike Mularkey's staff values experience, perhaps too much so. In fact, he currently employs the oldest defensive coordinator in the league (Dick LeBeau, 80) and the oldest offensive coordinator in the league (Terry Robiskie, 63) at the same time.
We won't dare to disrespect LeBeau, especially because the ageless wonder's unit is actually playing solid defense this year. However, the offensive issues of this team are a bigger concern and a bigger reason to move on from this coach.
Mr. Mularkey intended to bring back "smashmouth" football to the league behind a good offensive line and two power backs. That worked initially, but has started to yield diminishing returns. In fact, his franchise QB Marcus Mariota has started to regress to troubling degrees. At the moment, Mariota has thrown for 12 TDs against 14 ints, with a 62.9% completion percentage and a 79.7 QB rating that trails well behind most of the NFL. To make matters worse, he's only rushed for 228 yards on the ground.
Essentially, Mr. Mularkey's old school staff has managed to turn back the clock on the NFL and their quarterback at the same time. They've taken one of the most exciting young QB talents to come around in years and turned him into one of the worst starters in the league. 8-6 record or not, no one fears these Titans. No one respects these Titans. Heck, Vegas made them an underdog against a 3-10 San Francisco team, and the Titans promptly proved them right by dropping that game. The retro look was fun while it lasted, but now it's time for this team to take a clear step forward.
the defense
Mike Mularkey's gotten a lot of flak for his comments about "exotic smashmouth" football, but the Titans are well aware that phase was never meant to last. In fact, they drafted a WR in Corey Davis with the # 5 overall pick, intending to open up this offense and allow Marcus Mariota to start slinging it around the field more.
That plan hasn't worked out yet because Corey Davis hasn't been fully healthy yet. However, that doesn't mean it'll never happen. The defense cites Exhibit F, the rookie years of other superstar receivers. As rookies, neither Calvin Johnson nor Julio Jones cracked 1000 yards (logging 756 and 959 yards, respectively). If Corey Davis can take that famous sophomore leap, then he can provide the team with the improved passing game it needs. Davis has that type of potential; after all, this is a kid who logged 1400+ yards and 12+ TDs in college for three years in a row. Let's wait to judge this offense until Davis can get healthy first.
They may have been blinded by the aura of Jimmy G., but this is a playoff team now that should only get better from here.
the verdict
We the jury appreciate Corey Davis’ upside and all, but we're not betting an entire franchise on him. Marcus Mariota is still an exciting talent, which makes this potential job opening an appealing one. Let's see what the kid can do with a new coach in his corner. Sorry, Mike Mularkey, it's time to FIRE AWAY.
scheduling update
We’re going to take a break in order for all this gun smoke to clear. With games this weekend and the holidays, we probably won’t return with this series until Wednesday or Thursday. We’ll come back with some new writers/prosecutors to finish up strong before the end of the season.
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nfl [link] [comments]

Overwatch League Fantasy: Should you start players in sweeps? - Breaking down the impact of relative opponent strength

In fantasy football, team match-ups play a huge role in deciding when to start and bench players — fantasy owners usually starting wide-receivers against the Jets (who allowed an average of 28.5 fantasy points per game to WR in 2018), but tended to sit anyone who wasn't a superstar against the Jaguars (who allowed just 16.8 points per game to WR in 2018, best in the NFL). Overwatch Fantasy is little different — fantasy owners should pay close attention to who teams are playing against — team strength can play a huge role in your fantasy points.
Should you start a player even when you think their team will get curb-stomped? How about when you think your team will do the curb-stomping? What about betting on a crucial fifth map, where players can boost their play time with some extra minutes? Here's your guide to figuring out who/when to start in the Overwatch League based on how you think team units will play.
A brief note on terminology

Part One: Establishing Baselines

To determine when you should be starting and sitting players in matchups, we'll first need to establish baselines for fantasy play. We'll use OWL Stats from 2018's regular season with HighNoon.GG's fantasy scoring system. It is of note that these stats represent fantasy stats from a 2/2/2 meta as opposed to a GOATS meta, but much of the same principles hold true as we are generally looking at the view from 20,000 feet as opposed to breaking these stats down by hero-choice or role.
We'll first calculate the average number of fantasy points accumulated per game. In Overwatch League stage play in 2018, the league recorded collectively the following values:
Total Damage Total Elims Total Heals
130,285,657.71 212,440 48,777,512.61
HighNoon.GG's scoring system uses the following scoring system based off of these metrics:
The breakdown of fantasy points recorded leaguewide in each category is as follows:
Damage Fantasy Points Eliminations Fantasy Points Healing Fantasy Points
130,285.66 106,220.00 48,777.51
Thus, a total of 285,283.17 fantasy points were recorded by OWL players in 2018. The Overwatch League had 250 matches during stage play and a total of 12 players were fielded by both teams at any given time — thus, the average fantasy points per player-slot per match was 95.09 fantasy points. Thus, 95.09 is our total baseline for comparison. The breakdown of average points per category per match per player-slot is as follows:
Damage Fantasy Points Eliminations Fantasy Points Healing Fantasy Points
43.43 35.41 16.26

Part Two: Winners and Losers

One of the considerations in terms of starting/sitting might be who is expected to win and lose a game. On average, winning teams recorded an average of 101.76 fantasy points per match per role slot, and losing teams recorded 88.42 fantasy points per match per role slot. This revelation is patently obvious — fantasy points generally measure positive objectives, and a team will reach these objectives frequently en route to winning.
However, it is of note that this differential comes almost entirely from eliminations.
Damage Fantasy Points Eliminations Fantasy Points Healing Fantasy Points
Average 43.43 35.41 16.26
Losing Teams 42.04 30.19 16.19
Winning Teams 44.82 40.62 16.33
There is almost a ten-point spread in eliminations between winning and losing teams, but only a two-point spread in damage and less than 0.2-point spread in healing. This result suggests that main-supports whose value largely comes from healing, such as Unkoe, Gido, and Revenge, do not necessarily need to have the outcome of the match factored into the decision to start or sit those players.
A quick check of last year's fantasy point totals confirms this. The following players had the smallest differential in fantasy point totals between wins and losses among players with at least 300 minutes played in both wins and losses, with % of Points from healing representing that player's rate stat across both wins and losses:
Player Points/Game in Wins Points/Game in Losses Differential % of Points from Healing
Closer 47.00 55.33 -8.33 77.2%
Mistakes 89.56 95.13 -5.56 5.1%
Bani 45.09 50.63 -5.53 91.1%
sinatraa 81.27 85.40 -4.13 4.6%
Libero 89.92 93.75 -3.83 1.4%
Kellex 66.37 67.53 -1.16 82.2%
Hydration 79.00 80.13 -1.13 5.2%
Moth 62.08 62.08 0.00 81.9%
Gesture 86.64 86.12 0.52 0.2%
Coolmatt 89.77 89.16 0.61 0.1%
And the following players had the largest differentials:
Player Points/Game in Wins Points/Game in Losses Differential % of Points from Eliminations
ShaDowBurn 110.00 73.78 36.22 44.5%
Eqo 112.19 79.33 32.85 40.4%
Asher 79.93 47.40 32.53 48.7%
Seagull 115.90 85.67 30.23 39.1%
Agilities 100.60 73.62 26.98 37.9%
Envy 130.09 103.33 26.76 47.8%
Carpe 112.86 88.25 24.61 47.1%
NotE 117.23 92.83 24.40 44.5%
Boombox 132.54 108.69 23.85 25.8%
FLETA 105.05 81.50 23.55 41.3%
Again, it is not unreasonable to expect players to perform poorly against better opponents, but this information confirms that it is more difficult for players — especially elim-heavy fantasy players — to rack up more fantasy points in losses than wins.
This information indicates that expected match outcome is a non-factor in determining whether or not to start a main-support player, yet it may be worthwhile to bench a DPS player who relies on eliminations for points should you anticipate that they may be walking into a potential loss for an inferior DPS player playing for a team who expects to win, depending on the degree to which you expect the performance of either DPS player to differ.

Part Three: Expected Map Differential and Fantasy Points

There are a number of different lines of thinking in starting fantasy players when taking into team strength into consideration. We will define three different rationalizations, and then objectively examine them. Please do not read too much into my characterizations of each team — the point is not how I evaluate each team, rather, they are names ascribed to examples of teams of fictional strength.
Example A: Curb Stomping
A fantasy owner owns Meko, a player for the notable powerhouse NYXL. NYXL's only match this week is against the Florida Mayhem, a fairly poor team that NYXL is expected to sweep with ease. The fantasy manager starts Meko on the grounds that Meko will pick up many points in an easy victory over an inferior Mayhem team. However, should this manager consider that these games may be over more quickly, thus robbing Meko of the chance to pick up more fantasy points?
Example B: Getting Curb-Stomped
A fantasy owner owns Geguri, a player for the fairly weak Shanghai Dragons. The Dragons' only match this week is against the Philadelphia Fusion, the runner-ups from the Overwatch League championships in 2018 and a very strong team this season, and are overwhelmingly favored. The fantasy manager starts Geguri on the basis that she is an excellent flex-tank. However, will Geguri's production struggle given that she is playing against a superior team and that, in a sweep, the games may be over more quickly?
Example C: The Even Match
A fantasy owner owns Shadowburn, a player for the middle-of-the-road Paris Eternal. The Eternal play the Atlanta Reign in their only match this week, and it is expected to be a close and tight game. Despite the fact that Shadowburn may be receiving a healthy degree of competition, the owner starts Shadowburn on the basis that the games will be long and drawn out, thus giving Shadowburn more time to accumulate fantasy points.
Which of these lines of thinking are logical? Let's examine how many fantasy points players in different map spreads tend to receive.
There are a number of map-differentials that teams might encounter. A clean sweep represents a 4-0, a somewhat closer match would result in a 3-1 win, and a tied match after four maps means that one team will be walking away with a 3-2 win. There is also the possibility for draws, meaning that 3-0 and 2-1 outcomes are possible.
From 2018, here are the average points per match per player slot for teams in these different situations:
Map Differential Outcome Points/Game
3 to 2 Winner 115.30
2 to 1 Winner 113.13
3 to 2 Loser 109.09
3 to 0 Winner 106.53
2 to 1 Loser 101.76
3 to 1 Winner 95.07
4 to 0 Winner 94.57
3 to 0 Loser 93.92
3 to 1 Loser 83.56
4 to 0 Loser 72.99
In general, 3-2 matches tend to be the most productive in terms of fantasy outcomes for both teams, winners and losers — indicating that scenario C represents the greatest potential for fantasy points in a vacuum. It is also apparent that 3-2 wins and losses are dragging the averages for wins and losses overall upwards.
Starting a player in a game where the team is expected to win 3-1 or 4-0 represents an average fantasy opportunity, with both values appreciably close to the overall average for fantasy points per game per player slot. However, starting a player in a game that they might be expected to lose 4-0 means that they might stand to finish in excess of twenty points below average — a significant handicap.
However, evenly matched games present the greatest fantasy opportunity and we shall return our discussion to them. A match which goes to a fifth map represents an opportunity for about fifteen additional points for players on both sides. These kinds of match-ups should be targeted — given two players of identical caliber, the correct play is to start the player in the match that would be more evenly matched.
What about the risk of losing a 3-1 in an evenly matched game? The 3-1 loss datapoint likely exaggerates the actual difference in terms of the fantasy penalty for a team losing 3-1 to an evenly matched opponent, as the 3-1 loss category includes many more teams who faced off against a much stronger opponent yet managed to take a map off of them, but even if we assume the penalty to be consistent across all teams as a worst-case scenario, the expected value in terms of fantasy points relative to the league average is as follows for a game between two evenly matched teams (such that for any given map, P(Team A wins) = P(Team B wins) = 0.50):
Team A loses 0-4 Team A loses 3-1 Team A loses 3-2 Team A wins 3-2 Team A wins 3-1 Team A wins 4-0 Expected Value
Odds of Map Differential 6% 25% 19% 19% 25% 6% 100%
Fantasy Points Above Average -22.1 -11.53 14 20.21 -0.2 -0.52 N/A
Expected Value -1.38 -2.88 2.63 3.79 -0.05 -0.03 2.07
By a back-of-the-napkin calculation, it certainly appears as though starting players in evenly matched games is worth the risk of the 3-1 or 4-0 as our expected gain in terms of average points is positive (+2.07).
Why might players stand to gain so much from playing in close 3-2 matches? It certainly appears to be match-time. 3-2 matches do, by virtue of that fifth map, record significantly more play-time than other match differentials.
Map Differential Average Match Length (Min)
3 to 2 63.63
2 to 1 58.13
3 to 0 55.92
3 to 1 49.93
4 to 0 47.33
However, we should not discount the possibility of the strength of competition driving point totals as well. In terms of rate stats, it appears as though evenly matched teams post average point differentials against each other, whereas teams curb-stomping opponents generate a high degree of points-per-ten minutes (league average of 17.79 points per 10 minutes).
Map Differential Outcome Fantasy Points Per Slot Per 10 Min
4 to 0 Winner 20.03
2 to 1 Winner 19.47
3 to 0 Winner 19.05
3 to 1 Winner 19.04
3 to 2 Winner 18.12
2 to 1 Loser 17.51
3 to 2 Loser 17.15
3 to 0 Loser 16.80
3 to 1 Loser 16.76
4 to 0 Loser 15.42
Yet, as demonstrated above, the difference in rates of accumulation does not compensate for the brevity of four-map games.
It is also of note that games with drawn-maps also tend to display longer times and similar points-per-ten — indicating that these games are quite close as well. However, map draws are fairly rare and unpredictable enough that I have felt comfortable not including them in the larger discussion of this analysis.

Conclusion: Notes on Synergy and Impact

There is a natural question of, "The chicken or the egg": do fantasy teams truly post high totals by virtue of winning, or do they simply accumulate these high totals en route to winning, and we are mistaking the disease for the symptom? It is obvious that evenly matched teams present an opportunity for additional points by virtue of the fifth map, yet teams who win tend to simply have better players overall, and this is what is ultimately measured by fantasy points, not simply wins.
The answer is, it is probably both the chicken and the egg. In baseball, it is rather easy for a good player to have an excellent performance in a losing effort — like Mike Trout going 2-3 with two doubles and a walk in an 8-2 loss — but it is more difficult to accomplish that feat in Overwatch, especially in a GOATs meta where getting the first kill tends to result in the rest of the team dying or running away. It is obvious that winning is a function of player skill, yet it is also the function of multiple players' skills, and the other players on the team ultimately affect each others' fantasy point totals. Janus was not an awful fantasy player with NYXL, but watching him falter against his former teammates while playing on a much weaker team on Saturday was a reminder that team strength plays an important role in fantasy, as does the quality of opponent. Both of these factors are factored into the discussion of winning/losing and map-differential.
In that respect, consider these statistics to be overstated, but only to a degree. Yes, good fantasy players play for good teams, and teams tend to put up more points in fantasy wins. But at the same time, expectations regarding winning/losing can help predict fantasy stats. And by recognizing the potential for a 3-2 match, you might pick up some bonus points with ease.
submitted by Metlover to Competitiveoverwatch [link] [comments]

[OC] 20 Candidates to be the N.Y. Giants next QB

New York Giants fans have gotten used to bickering back and forth with the rest of the country, debating the merits of Eli Manning. It's a battle that will rage on, long after we're all dead and buried in the Great Alien War of 2087.
But right now, we may be coming to a temporary detente. Because right now? It seems obvious that Eli Manning's days as a viable NFL starter are coming to an end. The offensive line hasn't helped, to be sure, but he's in a noted statistical decline (and a decline based on the "eye test") for the last several years now. Manning may be able to finish the season, but he'll be 38 come 2019, and not someone that you'd bank on going forward.
So with that in mind, let's take a look at 20 possible candidates to replace him.
next man up
Kyle Lauletta, N.Y. Giants, 22 years old
Around this time last year, we all thought that R3 pick Davis Webb may fill this role as the possible heir to the throne. Webb certainly looked the part of an NFL QB, with a 6'5" frame and a strong arm. Ben McAdoo's decision never to give him a chance (even after benching Eli) makes a little more sense in hindsight, seeing as how Webb couldn't even crack the roster in 2018.
In his place, we have this year's rookie, R4 pick Kyle Lauletta. The Richmond QB got some buzz during the draft process, mostly when word got out that the Patriots liked him. Clearly, that team knows what they're doing with quarterbacks. Still, Lauletta's prospects as a starting QB are marginal. He's a smart player with some athleticism, but not ideal arm talent. I'd like to see Lauletta get some chance toward the end of the year if things keep going south, but this would be more of a 5% chance of success than anything you would bank on. More likely, he'll be a high-level backup.
soon-to-be free agents
(1) Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans, 25 years old.
Saints fans may be up in arms about this, because they're likely penciling Teddy Bridgewater in as Drew Brees' replacement and the man to lead them to the Super Bowl in 2029 and 2030.
And certainly, New Orleans is a great situation for the former R1 pick. He needed to rehab his health and his confidence, and soaking up knowledge from Drew Brees and Sean Payton is an ideal venue for that. In theory, Bridgewater should be able to slide right under center whenever Brees decides to hang it up.
But the "trouble" is -- Drew Brees is playing too well to plan around his decline. Hell, he may win MVP this year. So the question that Bridgewater will face is: do you want to stick around as a backup for another year? Another 2 years? Maybe even 3? That's harder to do when there are possible suitors (like the Giants) who can offer you a starting job and (low-end) starter money.
From the Giants' perspective, the "fit" makes a lot of sense, although it does come with some risks as well. Bridgewater previously played under Pat Shurmur in Minnesota, so he should have a leg up on the offensive playbook. He also thrives in the short and intermediate range. From a negative standpoint, you worry about Bridgewater's deep arm, and also his durability; he has a thin frame and a nasty injury history already. By all accounts, Bridgewater is a great teammate and hard worker, so that should bode well for Shurmur's interest in him.
I'd say this is the "most likely" free agent match, but it's no slam dunk. And note: for everyone who wants to point out that Bridgewater already signed an extension with New Orleans, keep in mind that was more of a salary cap maneuver than an actual extension. If there's a will (from both Bridgewater and the Giants) to make this happen, then it will happen.
(2) Nick Foles, Philadelphia, 29 years old
Similarly, Nick Foles recently signed an "extension" with the Eagles, although that amounts to salary cap calculus than anything else. Foles should be available to move on, if he can find the right role and the right fit elsewhere.
For Foles, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or more accurately, beauty is in the eye of the Super Bowl viewer. There, he looked like a stud. For the rest of his career, he's been an average (at best) starter. In some ways, Foles is the personification of QB limbo; he's overqualified to be a backup, but perhaps not good enough to be a long-term bet as a starting QB.
That said, he makes a lot of sense as a "bridge" QB for a team like the Giants. You take a mid-sized bet on him now and hope it works, but if it doesn't, then you're not hamstringing your future. It would be similar to the theory behind the Broncos signing Case Keenum last year (although hopefully without the massive price tag.)
(3) Sam Bradford, Arizona, 30 years old
Hey, I never said it was a great free agent class. Sam Bradford signed a $20 million contract with the Cardinals, and promptly shit the bed. He'll almost certainly be cut this offseason and eligible to enter free agency again.
Based on his limp play this year, you may theorize that his career would be over. But you never know. As mentioned, Bradford is only 30. He also has a long history with Pat Shumur: Shurmur was his OC during his first days with the Rams, again with the Eagles, and once again with the Vikings (having some success together in 2017). Given that familiarity, Bradford could serve the role of a "bridge" QB, if only for a year. That type of modest band-aid makes some sense for the Giants, particularly if they draft a raw rookie that they want to develop for a short time.
For Bradford, the question will be about whether or not he wants that type of journeyman - bridge - backup life. He's already made a TON of money in the NFL, and taken a TON of hits.
(4) Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland, 29 years old
Tyrod Taylor is also firmly in the "bridge" stage of his career, merely used as a seat warmer for the next QB to come along. He may play that role again next year.
In terms of talent and skill, Taylor may be higher than a guy like Sam Bradford. The only reason I'd rank him lower here is a matter of "fit." Bradford is the typical Shurmur QB (and has played under him plenty of times), whereas Taylor would represent a different skill set.
(5) Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay, 36 years old
Again, I'd say Ryan Fitzpatrick is a better QB than this ranking suggests. His Cinderella start in 2018 was bound to turn into a pumpkin at some point, but he's still one of the best backups in the league. He can certainly fill the role of a "bridge" QB.
The reason I have this listed a little lower is because Fitzpatrick is 36 right now, only a year younger than Eli Manning. If Manning's ego is up to the task, he can serve the "bridge" role himself. If Manning refuses to accept that (either retiring or chasing a job with Jacksonville or wherever else) then Fitzpatrick can easily fill in as a stopgap starter. You can say the same about Josh McCown (NYJ) as well, although McCown's probably happy as the backup / pseudo QB coach with the Jets right now.
Two more sleeper free agents to keep an eye on. Sean Mannion (LAR) and Brett Hundley (SEA). Neither have shown much in the NFL so far, but they have intriguing physical talent and some success in college. I'd be curious to see if a team like the Giants would take a flier on them as a developmental project.
the trade market
(1) Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay, 24 years old
It'll be fascinating to watch how the rest of the Tampa Bay Bucs season plays out, because there's such a huge boom/bust potential.
After this recent bye, Jameis Winston will return to the starting job this weekend. He's also re-inheriting a loaded offense, featuring a great supply of playmakers. There's a real chance he hits the ground running again and makes a "leap" statistically. The Bucs' defense is bad, but the offense can help keep the boat afloat and perhaps even chase the playoffs.
Of course, there's also a possibility that the boat crashes into the rocks, and swallows coach Dirk Koetter, DC Mike Smith, and even Jameis Winston with it. The organization's patience with Winston is waning, so he needs to produce in order to keep the faith.
If the Bucs stumble to a 6-10 year and decide to wash their hands of the whole operation, then a Winston trade makes some sense. And no doubt, he'd still be a valuable trade chip, given his pedigree and his age. I can see a scenario where the veterans on the Giants (Odell Beckham Jr. specifically) push hard for a Winston trade rather than select a rookie QB who will need years of development.
In terms of compensation, it may not be as extreme as you may imagine. In this scenario (one where the Bucs have stumbled to 6-10 and decided to trade Winston), then his value may only be in the pick 20-40 range.
(2) Joe Flacco, Baltimore, 33 years old
Baltimore's decision to select Lamar Jackson at the tail-end of R1 certainly turned the heat up on Joe Flacco, and he's responded as you'd want him to (thanks in part to actual receivers.) These Ravens are even better than their 3-2 record, as their +55 point differential suggests. They're a genuine sleeper in the AFC.
But let's say this goes bad... let's say the Ravens take a turn and stumble down into that 7-9 range to close out the season. In that case, it's very realistic to start debating Flacco trades. He still has another year left on his mammoth extension, so it becomes a difficult calculus to make work. However, if the Giants remove Eli Manning from the equation, they should have the money to do it.
In terms of compensation, you would be looking at around a R2 pick; Flacco's age and contract aren't the most appealing.
(3) Case Keenum, Denver, 30 years old
I'm only listing this one in case people ask about it. In some ways, Case Keenum makes sense as a stopgap/bridge starter for the Giants. He has experience (and success) with Shurmur.
The biggest problem here isn't so much Keenum's skill (although that's an issue) but his contract. The Broncos effectively gave him a strong two-year guaranteed deal, making his salary for 2019 an exorbitant and overpriced one. I imagine they'll be stuck with him.
(4) Nathan Peterman, Buffalo, 24 years old
This one isn't serious, but I can't miss the chance to make fun of Nathan Peterman or the fact that there's an actual Nathan Peterman swag store. Don't all go rush out and buy it at once, people. Pace yourselves.
the NFL Draft
(1) Justin Herbert, Oregon, junior
Now at 1-5 (and with a 10+ loss season appearing likely), the Giants should be in a great position to land a top QB in the draft.
At the moment, that top QB appears to be Oregon's Justin Herbert. He's a massive dude at 6'6" 230, with the type of arm strength you'd expect. He's also an underrated athlete with some wheels. Athletically, you could compare him to someone like Josh Allen.
What you like even more is that Herbert has actually been productive in college to boot (albeit in a QB-friendly system.) Right now, he's logging 10+ yards/attempt and playing like one of the best QBs in the country. His game against Stanford is a great resume for a potential top 5 (or even # 1 pick.)
There's some rumblings that Herbert may stay in school for another year to play with his incoming brother, or simply to polish up his game. Still, it's hard to pass on the chance to be a top 3 pick, in a big market no less.
(2) Ryan Finley, North Carolina State, senior
College veteran Ryan Finley doesn't pop off the screen in the same way that Justin Herbert does. He's a lanky 6'4" without great arm strength.
Still, when you watch Finley play, you can't help but think he's a true NFL starter. He's accurate (69.5% completion this year) and polished. He reminds you of the classic and traditional NFL QB; if he can gain some weight and strength, it's not ridiculous to see him as a Matt Ryan type.
Right now, Finley is considered more in that back-end R1 range, so it's possible the Giants could select him at the top of R2. However, if he continues to lead the Wolfpack (now 5-0) on a major winning streak, then his stock may rise. Next weekend's marquee matchup against # 4 Clemson will be his biggest test of the season.
(3) Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State, sophomore
Based on the current momentum, Dwayne Haskins wouldn't be the # 3 QB; he may be the # 3 overall pick. The 6'3" redshirt sophomore is dominating college football for Ohio State right now, completing 71.7% of his passes for 25 TDs (and only 4 interceptions.) He's in the mix for the Heisman and chasing the national championship. Haskins doesn't have great wheels, but he has loads of natural arm talent and accuracy. He absolutely has the chance to be a franchise QB.
That said, he's a little lower on my rankings right now because I need to see more from him before I anoint him. Taking a first-year starter always terrifies me, so in an ideal world, Haskins would stick around in 2019 and solidify his stock. But as mentioned with Justin Herbert, that's hard to do when you're in that R1 discussion.
Among other prospects, Drew Lock (Missouri) is the most commonly touted. He's a physically talented kid with some inconsistent play.
In terms of other QBs with size/upside, we have to keep an eye on Daniel Jones (Duke), Nate Stanley (Iowa), and Clayton Thorson (Northwestern). They're all prospects with size (6'4"+) and a pro(ish) style offense. I can see them all rising with a hot finish.
Meanwhile, Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) and Will Grier (West Virginia) are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. They're both smaller than you'd like (6'2") and don't have the cannons. However, they're very productive in their QB-friendly spread systems. Normally, that'd be a red flag, but the NFL is embracing more of those principles in their offense. I'm particularly intrigued by Stidham; he comes across as a very smart and charismatic kid.
Overall, this QB class isn't as high-profile as the one last year, but should have enough interesting pieces in it. I imagine most will bust, but one of these diamonds will emerge from the rough. I don't have much faith that I can separate them, but hopefully for the Giants' sake, Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur can. There's no doubt that the draft is the most likely source of their next QB.
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nfl [link] [comments]

NFL Offseason Review Series - Day 19: Buffalo Bills (late entry)

Buffalo Bills

AFC East
Huge shout out to the shmuck who offered to write this and then decided to fall off the face of the earth! Fuck you, pal!
2017 Season Review
Hello again, friends! jiggs_ here again to write about my favorite football team. I was planning on sitting this one out but that clearly didn’t go as planned since the guy who signed up never did it. So, lucky for you all, I still have no life outside of waiting for football to start so here we go again with another write-up! I want to say the 2017 season was magical. I want to talk about how the roster dominated on defense and ran the ball down the throats of opposing teams, but the truth is that neither of those things really happened. Many fans would say we “finally had luck on our side” this year or that “the referees forgot to screw us over” but neither of those things are true either. The truth of the matter is that, despite boasting the 29th ranked offense, a mid-season QB controversy that led to literally the worst half of football ever played by a quarterback in NFL history, and a defensive line holier than The Mask after a shootout, the Buffalo Bills were really, really good at winning on turnover differential. Hell, the only games we won all year had a differential of at least 1. This style of play that Sean McDermott called “mistake-free football” was not a new concept, and it is utilized by plenty of successful coaches (including the Grinch himself). That being said, it was the 2017 motto for the bills, and it ultimately led to the conclusion of a 17-year playoff drought! In spectacular fashion, the Bills secured a playoff berth on the back of a 4th and long touchdown pass by Andy Dalton in a seemingly meaningless game. If you want footage here is the show that aired on Buffalo news about a month later showing the city almost implode at the shock of it all.

Coaching Changes

This offseason began with plenty of questions as to coaching decisions, and most of those questions revolved around the fate of Bills OC Rick Dennison. Throughout the season, many were quick to point out the Bills blatant lack of rushing production in the first few games in which Dennison’s Zone-Blocking Scheme was adopted. He later adopted a different approach based more around power-running, as that played better toward the Bills strengths on offensive line and in the backfield, but that crucial change was made much too late, costing the Bills some close games. Even after the change was implemented, the offense still continued to struggle scoring.
While various reporters would point out Tyrod’s clear statistical regression as the reason behind the lack of scoring, others felt as though Dennison never gave the 8-year vet a chance. Dennison’s West Coast passing offense utilized quick crossing routes and timing throws meant to move the ball short to medium yardage quickly. While Tyrod had been above-average in the short field, he constantly struggled to read defenses quickly (or even correctly) throughout the season. Due to the lack of football IQ under center, Dennison should have flushed Tyrod out of the pocket and utilized play action passing. This would effectively give him a smaller field to read, more time to throw, and the ability to use his legs to his advantage. Rather than playing to his quarterback’s strengths, he instead forced Tyrod to try to adapt. Due to Tyrod’s clear difficulty in running the offense, the Bills coaching staff (and, by extension, Rick Dennison) eventually benched Taylor, opting instead for the raw and inexperienced backup QB Nathan Peterman. This move was most likely made due to the lack of production from Taylor, and due to Dennison’s eagerness to get his offense the strong-armed pocket passer it needed. Regardless of who is at fault for Tyrod’s regression, Peterman’s disastrous debut, and/or the struggles of the offensive line, the Bills opted to fire OC Rick Dennison on Jan 12.
Dennison was replaced by Brian Daboll, who was formerly working as the OC for 2017 NCAA National Champions Alabama. He never talked to the media, answered no questions regarding scheme, refused to discuss his favorite QB in the draft, and was ultimately a ghost for the first 4 months after signing on as OC. I personally LOVE this about the guy. He wants to keep his cards close to the vest as much as possible and I think that is exactly the type of OC you should be looking for at this time.
That being said, he has spoken recently in regards to the general theme of his offense, but he did not give much away. In fact, he basically said nothing besides the fact that the offense needs to be “ever-changing”. He wants the offense to evolve as the players do and to change based on the opponents they are facing. To me, this sounds extremely similar to New England, and this theory is supported by various players who claim that the playbook is very extensive and outlines different matchups that can change how plays are run. It makes sense that he would mirror the Pats considering he coached there during each and every one of their super bowl wins. (in fact, they only ever seem to win it while he is coaching. Coincidence? I think not!). All in all, Daboll is quiet and calculated in the media, but don’t let that fool you about his actual mannerisms. In practice he is a nutcase who demands high football IQ and mental fortitude in each and every one of his players.

Free Agency

For most players they will just get a line in the table below, but let’s get the blockbuster trade out of the way first.
Tyrod Taylor, QB:
Traded to the Browns for the first pick in the third round. Regardless of your thoughts on if Tyrod deserved to be traded, the Bills were absolutely certain that they did not want him on the roster for the 2018 season. No matter what circumstances occurred in the offseason, the Bills were always going to get rid of Tyrod Taylor. Because of this, I was absolutely ecstatic at the deal made by Brandon Beane.
Here is the situation: it is March 10th, and Tyrod is due to get a bonus of $6mil on March 16th. Brandon Beane has a dilemma. Should he just cut Tyrod now to avoid paying this bonus? The money could be used to sign role players, so it makes sense to try to avoid paying it. Maybe he should ask for less than he is worth so that other teams will take him off his hands and pay him the bonus instead? No option seems perfect at the moment, plenty of downside for all of them. Suddenly, the phone rings. The Browns are calling and offering the first pick in the third round for a quarterback that Beane was considering cutting in a few days…. Do you now see why I am so ecstatic? The Bills had no leverage and were on the brink of cutting a player with plenty of value, but instead were able to somehow swing a third rounder into the deal (by the way, that third rounder was part of the deal made to secure Tremaine Edmunds, so thanks again Browns!). This was an objectively great deal, regardless of how Tyrod performs in Cleveland. He didn’t have a place here, so the Bills got good value out of him while simultaneously making sure his career could continue with a team that wanted him.
Other Players lost/cut
Player Position New Team Notes
Eric Wood C Retired It is very sad that he wasn’t able to retire on his own terms. That being said, the Bills were prepared for this contingency, having capable backup in the form of Ryan Groy.
Richie Incognito G Retired?? Hard to replace, even harder to understand why he left in the first place.
Mike Tolbert RB Free Agent Badly utilized, hated by many fans. Has some value in the right situation, most likely will retire.
Jordan Matthews WR Free Agent Couldn’t stay healthy. The “Dalton Line” for wide receivers, just about average in every category. If he can stay healthy he will find a team.
Deonte Thompson WR Dallas Cowboys He’s always been a journeyman. Fans overblow his contribution, but he was technically one of our top targets last season.
Cordy Glenn T Cincinnati Bengals If he stays healthy he is a pro bowler. The Bills already have a replacement in sophomore Dion Dawkins, so no need to keep him around.
Preston Brown MLB Cincinnati Bengals Led the NFL in tackles last year. Has trouble in coverage. Not a good scheme fit.

Biggest losses: Taylor, Wood, Incognito, Matthews.

Major Additions
Player Position Former Team Notes
Star Lotulelei DT Carolina Panthers Arguably the top DT on the market. Will immediately start as one-technique DT. Will not make headlines but will provide better matchups for other players.
AJ McCarron QB Cincinnati Bengals Bridge, stop-gap, game manager, take your pick. AJ will not wow anyone with athleticism, but will probably be serviceable until Allen can play.
Trent Murphy DE Washington Redskins Pass rush specialist two years ago, coming off ACL injury. Will be used as three-down end this year, major upgrade to the pass rush that was lacking last year.
Vontae Davis CB Indianapolis Colts Good value. Low price, high ceiling. Fits the scheme well. I said the same thing about Jordan Poyer last year, and he turned out great.
Chris Ivory RB Jacksonville Jaguars Some think he was utilized poorly in Jacksonville, and let’s hope that is the case; otherwise, Beane may get some flak for the big money spent on this guy.
Jeremy Kerley WR New York J-E-T-E Speedy slot receiver, fits the offense. Special teams contributor.
Marshall Newhouse G Oakland Raiders Depth and competition.
Russell Bodine C Cincinnati Bengals Depth and competition.
Phillip Gaines CB Kansas City Chiefs May not even beat out rookie Taron Johnson for the slot corner position. Since slot corner is vital in the NFL, putting a rookie there is a death sentence. Let’s hope Gaines can beat him out, otherwise we will see plenty of PI calls this season on Johnson.
Rafael Bush S New Orleans Saints Depth and competition.
Corey Coleman WR Cleveland Browns Brandon Beane is a wizard. Traded a 2020 7th rounder for a first-round talent! I get that he has shown inconsistency, but there is no way he was worth that little. Fantastic move from the Bills FO to finally secure some speed on this WR corps.

Biggest Additions: Lotulelei, McCarron, Murphy, Davis

I was going to make a table, but I have too much to say about the early picks. Here comes another big-ass segment that we will call jiggs_ gets his hopes up!
Round 1, pick 7: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
“Stats are for nerds” – Mel Kiper
Believe that motto or not, it was exactly what was running through the heads of the Bills front office when they picked Josh Allen, and that is a fact. You may say that I have no way of knowing this for sure, but I KNOW the Bills don’t give a damn about stats simply because if they DID care about them, they would have taken a gander at that stat paper and put a 5th round rank on Josh Allen like many other GMs. They didn’t do that. Neither did the Cardinals. Neither did plenty of analysts. What does that tell you about Josh Allen? Let’s discuss the two schools of thought below.
  1. I am Rob Lowe and I trust the Bills front office: Since I trust Brandon Beane’s judgement, I understand that regardless of the opinions of draft pundits, there is something special about Josh Allen. I notice that in press conferences, Beane harps on intangibles. He mentions that Josh Allen has mental fortitude and that he knows how to rally a team. I take Beane’s word for it and decide “Fuck me, I made a mistake in thinking that [insert QB here] was the better option, Josh Allen must really be a special kid with the tools needed to succeed.”
  2. And I am draft super-draft-expert Rob Lowe and I think the Bills are morons: Josh Allen can’t make routine passes, struggles to read the field properly, and has poor mechanics under pressure. I look at his stats and wonder how someone so bad could be considered such a high-level prospect. Rocket arm QBs are almost always busts and Mel Kiper’s opinion means nothing to me because I know 4 other experts who say the exact opposite. Brandon Beane is busy talking about Josh Allen’s mindset while I’m sitting here watching him regularly miss easy throws. Mental fortitude be damned, the guy can’t play!
I think I am pretty fair in discussing both sides of the issue, and I think both sides have a point. All I am trying to help you understand here is that, as a supporter of Brandon Beane’s previous roster moves, I find it hard to believe that he did not go through the opinions of the draft pundits just as much (if not more) than we did. I do not think they were mesmerized by how good he looks in shorts (as others seem to think) and I genuinely think that this kid must be something truly special. Hell, his own teammates say so in plenty of interviews. There is just something different about Josh Allen that stats don’t seem to capture.
Round 1, Pick 16 Tremaine Edmunds, MLB, Virigina Tech
“In two years Tremaine Edmunds will be one of NFL's best players“ – LeSean McCoy
Oh baby was I jumping up and down when this pick came through. To see us make moves up the board (for the second time!) to secure a guy that made everyone at the ESPN table go “what a great move by Buffalo” made me so happy. I’m not saying that validation from those shmucks was the main reason for the excitement, but I will concede that it helped. The true excitement came from how big an impact I know this kid will make not only in Buffalo but in the NFL.
I know the gravity of the sentence I am about to type: Tremaine Edmunds has the tools to change how the game of football is played. My choice of words is deliberate here in that I am not saying Tremaine will be the GOAT. Hell, the kid could tear an ACL and be out of the league in five years. But, I can say with absolute certainty that he is an absolute Freak. Of. Nature. He is the biggest man on the field at 6’5” with an 83” wingspan. And guess what? He ran a 4.5 at the combine. He ran faster than some defensive backs! He is so fast that Tech often didn’t even bother masking his coverage. They would match him up man to man against top receivers without a care in the world because they knew he could keep up. This man is a nightmare for offenses, and in order to stop him from running all over the field teams are going to be forced to scheme specifically around his skill set.
Tremaine is very talented, but he fell to 16 because he is raw. At 20 years old he is much younger than most others coming out of the draft. He also has mechanical and mental issues in processing where the ball is, sometimes getting tricked by even simple play action. Because of this, the Bills will need to coach him to keep his eye more closely on the ball. I think Sean McDermott, the coach behind the development of Luke Kuechly, will have no issues in getting Tremaine up to speed. He will be the centerpiece of this defense and I look for him to make waves in the NFL for years to come.
The rest of the picks:
Draft Pick Player Position School Notes
96 Harrison Phillips DT Stanford Already called Kyle Williams 2.0, Horrible Harry will beat you with hand placement and footwork instead of size and athleticism. McDermott loves former wrestlers (and literally wrestled with Phillips at their first meeting), so not many surprised by the pick.
121 Taron Johnson CB Weber State Most know him as the guy who got hit in the face with a football at the combine, but Taron is talented. He is undersized but he might win the slot corner job anyways. Tough to play slot without size, but we’ll see how he does…
154 Siran Neal CB Jacksonville State Pretty much a non-factor in TC right now. He will probably just be a special teamer that can step in for injured guys.
166 Wyatt Teller G Virginia Tech Another guy who fell much lower than anticipated. We need talent at Guard, and Teller is pro-ready, but has a lower ceiling than lots of guys picked before him. He may beat out Vlad for a starting slot simply because Vlad is just not that talented.
187 Ray-Ray McCloud WR Clemson Most wanted us to pick a WR earlier. Ray-Ray will help on special teams, but he isn’t really much in terms of talent at WR.
255 Austin Proehl WR North Carolina He was my sleeper to make the top 4 WRs before the season began because I really liked his route running in college. In mini-camp it looked like I was right, but he has cooled down considerably in TC. Issues getting separation due to his small frame.


Bills get Buccaneers Get
7, 255 12, 53, 56
Bills Get Ravens Get
16, 154 22, 65


A Draft Grade from me means nothing, because I just don’t know enough about the rest of the players that the Bills passed on. Overall, I think the Bills did everything they wanted to do. They got the QB of their dreams, picked up an LB that they thought would get selected in the top 10, drafted polished, pro-ready replacements for Marcell Dareus and Richie Incognito, and got some raw talent at CB and WR. I would have liked a higher WR pick, but the truth is that I think the Bills just picked their BPA throughout just about all of this draft. You can see that based on the talented options that were still available at WR at the time they pick Phillips, Johnson, and Neal. If they were truly drafting for need, that is the time to grab a wideout. But, they weren’t. They liked the other guys more and jumped on them instead of trying to add subpar talent to positions of need. That gets an A in my book (but truth be told this section was always going to be an A).
Projected Starting Lineups
QB: AJ McCarron
HB: LeSean McCoy
FB: Pat DiMarco
WR: Kelvin Benjamin
WR: Jeremy Kerley
TE: Charles Clay
LT: Dion Dawkins
LG: Vlad Ducasse
C: Ryan Groy
RG: John Miller
RT: Jordan Mills
DE: Jerry Hughes
DT: Kyle Williams
DT: Star Lotulelei
DE: Trent Murphy
WLB: Matt Milano
MLB: Tremaine Edmunds
SLB: Lorenzo Alexander
CB: Tre’Davious White
CB: Vontae Davis
FS: Micah Hyde
SS: Jordan Poyer
Position Groups Strengths and Weaknesses


This is a competition, plain and simple. McDermott has said countless time that the best guy will play no matter what. Anyone saying “Allen needs to sit” or “Allen should start” needs to sit the fuck down and let it play out. The coach is fielding the best possible team regardless of draft position, so if Allen wins he’ll start. Otherwise he won’t. AJ McCarron is winning as of August 2nd and I don’t see him being dethroned unless Peterman somehow shows more life or Allen’s erratic throws magically become more accurate. McCarron is the safe bet, and I will place my unstable, fragile heart in his hands until he inevitably stabs it with a fork in the final minutes of a regular season game.
Brian Daboll’s scheme seems to be extensive in that the play calls change based on the opponent we are facing. Let’s hope this strategy can also change based on the quarterback that is in the game on our team because we have three guys who are all vastly different in terms of style. I do not envy Daboll’s position at the moment because he will essentially be a turd polisher until Allen gets on the field.
Experience. AJ McCarron is the “veteran” QB on the roster and he has never played more than a few games in a season. At this point the Bills just need to give these kids a chance to get in the game and take some hits. Until then, our QB depth chart may as well list 3 rookies.
Offensive Line
Arguably the worst unit in the NFL. On paper we have guys who are either inexperienced or just downright bad. If everyone on this line performs exactly the same as they did last year, we are at best somewhere between the 27th and 32nd offensive lines in the league. Since I can’t bear to be negative for this long I will just try to envision some sort of best case scenario for this unit where we aren’t awful (it is possible that only a few of these, if any, actually happen this season).
  1. John Miller was a wrecking ball in 2016 but fell off the next year, barely making the team due to issues in the new blocking scheme. Well, the scheme is back to using power run concepts, so the first hope is that 2016 Miller can return.
  2. Dion Dawkins does not take the backstep that many second-year Tackles tend to take. [insert “sophomore slump” pun here]
  3. Wyatt Teller beats out Vlad Ducasse for the LG spot. As of now this dream looks almost dead, but I still have hope because Vlad Ducasse is just a terrible Guard.
  4. Ryan Groy is the next Eric Wood. Groy came in when Wood was injured for a season and played admirably so he may actually be the 2nd best player on this line (which is saying something considering he hasn’t started since 2016)
  5. Jordan Mills gets cybernetic enhancements. This is the only thing that could possibly make this player anything more than a revolving door this year. I am genuinely concerned for the safety of our QB every time this Jordan Mills steps on the field. Maybe we can get Miller to play RG and RT this year and just use the RT slot as another WR or something.
Uhh…. Dion Dawkins was like the 3rd best rookie last year so does he count?
Tough to find anything that isn’t a weakness to be honest. Maybe Jordan Mills? To be fair it is very, very hard to replace one pro bowl level OL, and the Bills lost TWO of them.
Pass Catchers
Again, this is a weak point in its current status, but there are bright lights in certain areas. Kelvin Benjamin was the 28th overall pick in 2014 and for good reason. The guy has the talent to be a #1 receiver but hasn’t really shown it over the last couple years. Our other receiver options are either inexperienced or less-than-ideal. Jeremy Kerley was OK on the Jests in a limited role, but we’ll see if he can do well for the Bills when given more responsibility. Zay Jones had lots of drops but I doubt that trend continues. He was my pick to be the most improved Bills player this year until he decided to go fight for Jesus. He then tweaked his knee a few weeks later, requiring minor surgery that is still keeping him off the field at TC.
Charles Clay is a solid TE, and I still consider him top 10 in the league when healthy. Kelvin Benjamin was apparently dealing with a torn meniscus last season which led to his limited contribution, so we will see if the surgery can make him show some more signs of life.
Quantity over Quality. We have about 9 or 10 WRs listed on the roster at the moment but none of them are spectacular. Considering we have to release at least 3 or 4 of them, I wouldn’t consider this a strength.


Defensive Line
“When rebuilding a defense, you start up front” – Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane on multiple occasions. This is the most improved group of the list and I think it’s a fearsome squad.
Kyle Williams is back, baby! Our fearless leader continues to lead the troops into battle, now accompanied by Star Lotulelei and Trent Murphy, two very talented FA signings that will provide new talent that was not present last year. I will mention Jerry Hughes as a strength, but I am hesitant. He certainly isn’t a weakness but he has not been producing recently. Now that Star is going to demand more double teams, we should see more of Hughes, but who knows.
Pass rush. On paper we are improved, but I won’t believe it until I see it because they say that every year. Affecting the quarterback is the basis of any defense in the NFL today, and over the past few years we just haven’t done that regardless of who we sign/draft.
This group played above their paygrade last season, and the Bills will have to look for more of that as they let Preston Brown walk in free agency.
Coverage. While Lorenzo Alexander is not a very good coverage linebacker, I do not see him being on the field as much this year (the Bills love playing in nickel sets), and I think the rest of the linebacking corps is rangy. Tremaine is fast as hell, and Matt Milano already flashed his coverage ability in a few games last year.
Depth. Last year McDermott only had downhill linebackers in a scheme that needed range. This year, he has dumped most of those guys in favor of a leaner roster with tons of range. He gutted the linebacking corps and has thus sacrificed his depth for players with the correct archetype. Without injuries, this group is a force. But, when was the last time you saw a team without injuries?
No one can tell me that our unit is not top-5 in the NFL right now. Tre White, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer and a healthy Vontae Davis is an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses and I can’t wait to see them perform.
Turnovers. This unit creates good field position opportunities for a poor offense on many occasions. On a team with an offense as bad as ours, the field position battle is everything. Teams have to plan specifically for the game sense that Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer seem to possess, and their skill makes up for lots of the holes that seemed to appear in zone coverages.
Nickel/Slot Corner. Phillip Gaines, Taron Johnson, Siran Neal, and co. will be competing to be in this place, but for now I think it will be Phillip Gaines. He is not a great corner, and to be honest I wish we just resigned the guy we had (Leonard Johnson). Regardless, this is by far the weakest spot in the secondary and that is where the QBs will continue to throw the ball.
Schedule Predictions
I have no final record in mind, I will be taking this game-by-game.
Week 1 @ Baltimore Ravens: WIN
The better team will not win this one. On offense, the RPO scheme will create opportunities for McCarron to release the ball quickly and make some long drives that will inevitably turn to field goals. In fact, I don’t think the Bills score more than one touchdown. But, they’ll kick 4 field goals for the grand total of 19 points. That should be enough to beat the Ravens, right? The D-line of Baltimore just isn’t very formidable except for him, so if we can stop Suggs from affecting the QB, then I think we can win this game. It actually reminds me of last year’s game against the Raiders and Khalil Mack. In that game, the Bills help Mack to one QB pressure all game. We will do that again and secure a win, outscoring the Ravens 19-17.
Week 2 vs. Los Angeles Chargers: WIN
That Chargers are a better team than the Bills, plain and simple. That being said, they will lose. Our quarterback is going to get absolutely slaughtered, but we are going to win. I don’t see us stopping Bosa and Ingram from affecting the quarterback on just about every play, to be honest. BUT, we are going to absolutely run all over these guys. They were ranked 31st last year in run defense, and did nothing to stop the bleeding. I can see Shady breaking 100 this game for sure, and if the defense can force a turnover or two, it is the perfect situation for the Bills, who can run out the clock with Shady and win a low scoring contest 14-10.
Week 3 @ Minnesota Vikings: LOSS
I would look for a monster game from the backfield of Minnesota in this one. Cook/Murray are great players and not sure if the Bills will be able to stop them. Not to mention they were the top defense last year and will probably still somehow be better this year. This may not be a pretty one, but I’ll be there rooting for the Bills all the same. 34-6, Vikings win.
Week 4 @ Green Bay Packers: LOSS
Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau? You know I’ll be there in person. Will I be celebrating a win? No way, Jose. Can’t wait to see Rodgers in person for the first time, but I’d be lying if I said I was expecting a win here. Their defense is lackluster, but our offense is as well. 27-13
Week 5 vs. Tennessee Titans: LOSS
The Titans were much, much more talented than they seemed on paper. Up in Buffalo, we knew what it meant to be coached by Mike Mularkey, and it ain’t pretty. Now that he is gone, they are my dark horse to win the division this year. I don’t see them losing in Buffalo, but it may be close considering they’ll have trouble stopping Shady. 24-21, Titans.
Week 6 @ Houston Texans: WIN
This game relies on the status of Deshaun Watson and his overall performance. LOTS of people say he is going to be a terror in the NFL but I can see the Bills using their experienced secondary to trick him into throwing lots of picks. Call me crazy, but I think this one is a win, and I don’t think it will be close. 24-10 Bills.
Week 7 @ Indianapolis Colts: LOSS
I think the Colts are a bad team. If they didn’t have Luck they would be the worst in the NFL in my eyes. Even with Luck, it will be tough to see them getting more than 4 wins this year. We will be one of those wins. I think Luck will be healthy, and he will throw the ball down our throats. 27-17 Colts.
Week 8 vs. New England Patriots: LOSS
We have a bad habit of losing terrible games in primetime. This Monday Night Football showcase is an absolute joke. We aren’t even remotely close to the talent level here but we still have to trot our guys out on national TV to get smacked. Again. Why can’t they give us a more interesting contest here? The Ravens as a “revenge of the playoff spot” showcase could have been fun. A rematch against the Jaguars could be interesting. Hell, put us against the Jets late in the season for a Darnold vs. Allen showdown! I get that anything can happen in sports but good lord am I tired of seeing us get slaughtered while the whole world watches. The only way we come close to winning is if Tom Brady is injured, and I’m not going to sit here and hope for an injury. Bring the dildos for this one, boys. It’s gonna be an ugly one. 45-20 Pats.
Week 9 vs. Chicago Bears: WIN
I look at this as a surprise win here, regardless of how they performed last season. I think they will improve and I actually like Trubisky a lot. That being said, he does not protect the ball well, and we will win the turnover battle to bring us the win. 13-7 Bills.
Week 10 @ New York Jete: WIN
We split with the Jets last year, and I can see that happening again. They may still have McCown in at this point, so I can see them being reasonably efficient. The Jets are not going to be a good team, and neither are the Bills. Talent matches up reasonably well, so I look for a well-balanced, mistake-free game on both ends. At the end the Bills edge the victory. 23-14 Buffalo.
Week 12 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: LOSS
The REVENGE game! This one should be primetime because I think it’ll be a slugfest. It will be a DIRTY one with lots of running and plenty of scuffles because I don’t think the two teams got along very well last year. In a low-scoring, ground-and-pound battle, the Jags will win 10-3 (same score as last time).
Week 13 @ Miami Dolphins: LOSS
This SHOULD be the Josh Allen debut but I think McDermott gets stubborn, instead opting to continue trotting AJ McCarron until we are mathematically out of it (no one wants the Nate Peterman situation to happen again). We will all hate him on the outside but deep down understand that Josh Allen simply isn’t ready yet. AJ will perform no better than usual and lead us to another disappointing loss.
Week 14 vs. New York Jete: WIN
The moment we all had been waiting for, Josh Allen trots out on the field to start the game. He will come in, throw the ball deep downfield, and it’ll get picked off. First pass in the NFL will be an interception. After that pick is out of the way, the offense looks completely different, with plenty of deep throws and more 5-wide sets. Josh Allen’s stats will reflect his college ones, but I think it will be clear to all that it was worth the wait to see him in his element. In his NFL debut Josh Allen leads the Bills to a 27-17 victory against his friend Sam Darnold and the Jets.
Week 15 vs. Detroit Lions: LOSS
Do not sleep on the Detroit Lions. They will edge out the Vikings to grab the Wild Card, forever sealing the fanbase in Minnesota to wonder if getting rid of Keenum was actually the correct thing to do. But that is a hot take for a different thread. In this game, there isn’t much to discuss. There are too many variables to know exactly how this game swings, but considering we are now in the Josh Allen timeline, and long passes won’t work against the Lions defense, we lose this one. 21-6 Lions.
Week 16 @ New England Patriots: WIN
Hear me out here. We have no business winning this game. We are in enemy territory, we have a QB with a cannon but not much talent around him to make it worthwhile. Our line is in shambles, our defense isn’t clicking. Hell, we are 6-8 coming into this game. It means nothing. But for some reason, the Patriots are going to lose. Call me a homer, tell me I’m insane, but the Pats sometimes lose late season bouts to divisional bad teams (Dolphins last year, Jets in 2015). Let’s make it happen this year. Kyle Williams’ pregame speech will be echoed in Buffalo bars for the rest of the year, Josh Allen rips off his football pants halfway through the game, showing a pair of bright blue shorts. He proceeds to laser passes through the hands of defenders, lodging them into the cages of the receivers’ helmets, who are then pushed back 40 yards from the force of it, falling into the endzone. The entire city of Buffalo breaks records for tables broken and hard liquor consumed, and downtown Buffalo is flooded with dildos as far as the eye can see. The season ends here as the city of Buffalo spontaneously combusts at the sheer excitement of it all.
Week 17 vs. Miami Dolphins: WIN
Obviously, Buffalo will still be standing, and I think we will finish strong. This game will be meaningless for both teams, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dolphins are gunning for the first pick in the draft to get a new QB. Bills will win 17-14.
Training Camp Battles to watch
Quarterback depth chart
Obviously, this is still something to watch, but it seems AJ McCarron has edged out as the leader so most say he will be the final starter. Not surprised at all about this, but definitely a bit disappointed because I love Josh Allen. I think Nate Peterman is pretty much a non-factor at this point and actually wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills end up cutting him to be honest. I’m not saying they should but I just don’t see a reason for 3 QBs on the depth chart and I’m sure a different team would love to grab him as a backup.
Wide Receiver
This will be interesting. Kelvin Benjamin will definitely be the #1 receiver but who will be #2 now that we acquired Coleman from the Browns? Many said it could be Kerley or Zay Jones but ultimately I think it will go to Corey Coleman. The team wants Zay and Kerley in the slot where they belong, and Coleman is a talented, speedy player who can stretch the field for us better than the other two options. Other than these 4, there is still controversy on who will actually make the roster here. Andre Holmes, Malachi Dupre, Rod Streater, Kaelin Clay, and Brandon Reilly are all in the mix along with rookies Ray-Ray McCloud and Austin Proehl. Personally, I think the Bills keep Holmes, Reilly and McCloud on the roster for a grand total of 7 receivers. Proehl is not performing well, Dupre and Streater have been ok but inconsistent, but truthfully it is tough to keep Streater off the roster. Andre Holmes is a safe bet to be the #4 receiving option as he has been on the first team when healthy. Reilly has also been solid, but has not spent as much time with the ones unless there are injuries. Ray-Ray has not been spectacular, but since he is a rookie and also a great special teamer, I think the Bills keep him around. If the Bills want 6 receivers instead of 7 I think Ray-Ray will edge out Reilly simply because of his special teams impact, but I don't think they will send Reilly back to the practice squad this year barring a major slump in training camp performance.
The Offensive Line
The only player who has a clear spot on this line is Dion Dawkins. The rest are up for grabs. In fact, the Bills just put undrafted free agent Ike Boettger into their first team offense yesterday and he played surprisingly well. It is a contest that will continue for the next couple preseason games, and I can see careers being made in the wake of the competition. I think the line will be Dawkins, Ducasse, Groy, Miller, Mills, but that could change, especially if guys like Boettger keep getting called up.
Offensive and Defensive Schemes
Daboll runs the Erhardt-Perkins so lots of his offense is based on matchups and option routes that change depending on coverage. Expect to see a man in motion on just about every single play in order for the offense to judge the type of coverage on the defensive side of the ball. They can then use this coverage to decide the types of routes being run. I also expect Daboll to run a different portion of the playbook depending on each team that he plays against. It is a highly variable playcalling system that is often changed week-to-week and the players have praised him for that. The Patriots have been doing this for years so it will be nice to finally upgrade our offense to be more like the ones seen this century. The key word for the offence this season is Variance.
McDermott has always run a 4-3 scheme with zone blitz concepts that relies heavily on rangy linebackers who can crowd the A-gap but still snap back into coverage without losing a step on the receivers. While this recipe has worked, it looks like there may be some more emphasis on man coverage this year as well. I think McDermott is tired of having experienced QBs pick apart his zone, and he finally has the talent to make use of man-to-man. This defense is going to be dominant this year if it can stay healthy, but that is only if Tremaine Edmunds can be the leader he needs to be. The keyword I would use for the defense this year is Maturity. I understand this is a bit ironic due to the age of our players, but age is only a number. The mental age of these young guys has been off the charts, let's hope it stays that way. We will need this unit to stay healthy and productive if we want to win games this year because the offense simply won't be enough.
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Hi all, Im planning to kick off a paper trail of a system for betting on the NFL. The system is called point differential, and it looks at the strength of schedule of teams played for each match up, in an attempt to forecast a point spread. For example, a team who is averaging 20 points scored pe... The NFL Point Differential Betting system is the most popular. It takes quite a bit of time for players to do, but it is the most accurate, helping players to gauge the offensive and defensive strength of the team that they’re planning to bet on. How the NFL Point Differential Betting System Works Point Differential NFL Betting System: Steps 9-12. By now, the majority of the time consuming work is done, but we still have more work to do. This section will show how the actual game predictions are calculated for the point differential NFL betting system. While the results are not surprising, a yardage differential can be used to analyse matches between two teams. There is a simple rule that is used by sharp bettors that enables them to use the NFL yardage differential to calculate a betting advantage – each 0.15 yards per play is worth 1 point on the handicap market. Don't take Calgary because there's only a 2.5 point difference between the predicted margin of victory and the point spread. As an experiment, I'm taking Montreal -14, Winnipeg -4, and

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