Dallas Cowboys (O/U 10 Wins)
This number jumped out to me immediately. I get it…the Cowboys woefully underperformed last year, and are an extremely talented team. Their offense gets an additional jolt of excitement as they drafted WR CeeDee Lamb in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft. But there are some issues here to discuss. Losing All-Pro Travis Frederick is a big deal. Cowboys supporters will point to the fact that they drafted Tyler Biadasz as a potential replacement. A couple rebuttals to that points—1) Frederick was a 1st round pick and an All-Pro talent, 2) to expect a 3rd day selection to perform to those levels is bit foolhardy…and the play of Tyler Biadasz fell off a cliff last season, so I’m not sure what player you’re getting here. Also, the Cowboys defense takes a step back this year as CB Byron Jones and DE Robert Quinn signed elsewhere in Free Agency. Again, the Cowboys are a very talented roster, albeit a flawed one. 10 wins is just too high for me to sign off on.
PREDICTION: UNDER 10
Philadelphia Eagles (O/U 9.5 Wins)
The Eagles feel like a team on the upswing. So many things went wrong for them a year ago, and they still grinded out a 9-7 season. DeSean Jackson was brought back into the fold to be the field-stretcher for the Eagles, and it was a huge success…for one week. D-Jax was injured prior to Week #2 and just like that the 2019 season was lost. The offense was depleted of its play-makers and speed. The Birds addressed their largest weakness by piling on the speed in the draft. They are bringing DeSean Jackson back. They drafted Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins. The Eagles will not be lacking for speed in 2020. The additions of Darius Slay and Javon Hargrave are big moves that should bolster their defense. Outside of yet another injury to QB Carson Wentz—it is hard to see this team underperforming in 2020.
PREDICTION: OVER 9.5
New York Giants (O/U 6.5 Wins)
Is Daniel Jones the answer in New York? That is what the 2020 season will boil down to. The Giants can bolster their offensive line with Andrew Thomas and put stars like Saquon Barkley around him—but if Jones isn’t the answer, none of it matters. We saw glimpses in 2019, there is something there. I question the defensive side of the ball, a rookie Head Coach, and a management under Dave Gettlemen that you simply cannot trust. I do believe the Giants will be improved, but 6.5 is quite a leap, one I’m not willing to take.
PREDICTION: UNDER 6.5
Washington Football Team (O/U 5 Wins)
Similarly to their NFC East rival New York Giants, the largest question for the Washington Football Team is whether their young signal-caller is the answer at the position? I, like many, have their doubts. Dwayne Haskins looked very shaky in 2019, and there are lingering leadership questions, which is never a good thing. I believe the Washington defense has Top 10 potential, adding #2 overall pick Chase Young to a defensive line that is an embarrassment of riches. Unfortunately for Washington fans, I believe they may one of the worst offenses in the entire league. Terry McLaurin is an absolute stud, but if you can take him away, what do they have? A small step forward is possible, but over 5 wins? Don’t count on it.
PREDICTION: UNDER 5
Green Bay Packers (O/U 9 Wins)
The Green Bay Packers have had one of the strangest NFL off-seasons of any team in the league. The NFL Draft the Packers had took on a life of it’s own with back to back Jordan Love and A.J. Dillon selections in the 1st and 2nd rounds. The Packers are also set for some serious regression. This team was never as good as their 13-3 record a season ago would suggest. That being said, a line at 9 seems very reasonable, even if there is some regression. You are getting a VERY motivated Aaron Rodgers with a defense that has outstanding pass rushers and cover man—which is always going to work well in the modern NFL. I believe the consensus is to take the under, but I’m going to stay the course with the Pack and go over 9.
PREDICTION: OVER 9
Minnesota Vikings (O/U 9 Wins)
The Minnesota Vikings were one of the most consistent teams in the league in 2020. Many things went right for them and the game script was ideal in most cases. Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison gave this team the power rushing attack that Mike Zimmer has been aching for. The question is—can they perform in a similar way in 2020? I believe the loss of Stefon Diggs is going to hurt this team in a big way. I know they drafted Justin Jefferson in the 1st round as the Diggs replacement, but they are such different players. I also question the Vikings defense for the first time that I can remember. I know Zimmer is the defensive back guru, but you can only take so many hits to your defensive backfield before it becomes an issue on the field. 9 feels like a perfect line, the Vikings certainly have that 9-7 feel. If pressed to make a pick here, I will say that too many personnel losses cause a slide in 2020.
PREDICTION: UNDER 9
Chicago Bears (O/U 8 Wins)
The Chicago Bears were everyone’s 2018 darling that many of us had predicted, would come crashing down to earth in 2019—and it played out that way. The Bears are really interesting in that they never really moved the needle, they got horrific play at the QB position, and yet, the made it to .500 at 8-8. The line here at 8 is also spot on. I will fall back on this, the old adage, when you have two Quarterbacks, you have none. I’m simply not putting my money on the combination of Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles to over-perform expectations.
PREDICTION: UNDER 8
Detroit Lions (O/U 6.5 Wins)
Getting a healthy Matthew Stafford back at the Quarterback position is certainly cause for optimism. The Lions offense was actually really good under Stafford prior to his injury. I am expecting TE T.J. Hockenson to take a large step forward, and love the addition of 2nd round rookie RB De’Andre Swift. The Lions offense should be as explosive and multifaceted as it has ever been! Conversely, the Lions defense looks horrendous. I am anticipating the Lions being on the wrong end of a lot of shootouts. Doubling their win total from 2019? No thanks!
PREDICTION: UNDER 6.5