Report Card: 2017 Win Total Primer
Back on 7 September 2017, mere hours before the NFL season kicked off, I published my Win Total Primer as a user guide to each team in the NFL. That SportsIntel.net maiden voyage was a 2,336 word behemoth that saw me making willy nilly predictions for all 32 NFL teams and slinging hot takes all over the place for an audience that didn’t even know we existed. Now that we have the regular season behind us, let’s go back and see just how horribly we did!
Arizona Cardinals, 8 wins (last year 7-8-1)
OVER. Four division games against the Rams and 49ers combined with favorable matchups against the AFC South will help the Cardinals win total climb. Both their national TV primetime matchups are at home so look for them to stun either Dallas or Seattle in one of those big spots.
ACTUAL: 8-8 (push); Brad was wrong I underestimated the Rams for sure, but one could easily argue that a full season of Carson Palmer and David Johnson would have given the Cards a chance to win one more game than they did. Johnson was lost for the year before the Cards even made it through four quarters and Palmer got hurt in the team’s 7th game of the year. I said they would get a prime time home win, but that didn’t happen either.
Atlanta Falcons, 9.5 wins (LY: 11-5)
UNDER. The whole division is going to be better and history dictates that the NFC South winner must underperform the following season. Combine that with what might be the worst SuperBowl hangover in history and you’re looking at a Falcons team that will struggle to “get right.” Atlanta is going to be on national TV a lot this season, but a mid-October trip to Foxborough for Sunday Night Football is of particular interest. Unfortunately, the Falcons are going to get throttled in that highly anticipated matchup.
ACTUAL: 10-6 (over); Brad was wrong The Falcons took a step back in this difficult division and struggled to get it together early in the season. As forecasted they got absolutely manhandled by New England, but I think this is a team you don’t want to see in the playoffs as they really found their mojo going 6-2 in the second half of the season. I feel like Vegas really played me with his number as the Falcons only hit the over in Week 17.
Baltimore Ravens, 9 wins (LY: 8-8)
UNDER. 8-8 feels about right for a Ravens team that doesn’t know whether its franchise QB is healthy. The schedule is relatively kind other than a trip to jolly old England to play the Jags.
ACTUAL: 9-7 (push); Brad was wrong The Ravens loaded up on cupcakes this year and only registered one win over a quality opponent, a home beating of Detroit in Week 13. Flacco ended up making every start this year which was a surprise based on the news that was out there before the season started. I still wouldn’t have picked this team to go over 9 wins had I known that though. Quality coaching job by the better Harbaugh brother.
Buffalo Bills, 6 wins (LY: 7-9)
OVER. I have nothing to back up this pick. A new coach, a shaky QB, and a strange off-season trade of its most talented wide receiver are not factors amounting to stability, but they get to play the Jets twice! A scheduling quirk has them playing Miami twice in the last three weeks of the season with a Christmas Eve beat down at New England in between.
ACTUAL: 9-7; Brad was right Buffalo was an enigma all year. They benched Tyrod only to have Nathan Peterman play one of the worst games ever and give the job right back. When they won it wasn’t pretty, but I think you have to hand it to the defense which just kept bouncing back from adversity. Home field was critical for this team as they went 6-2 at Orchard Park, but they ended the league’s longest playoff drought with a critical road win in Miami in Week 17.
Carolina Panthers, 8.5 wins (LY: 6-10)
OVER. Carolina will have better luck this year and Cam will simply play better. Thanks to a league leading number of 1pm kickoffs (13), the Panthers will stay under the radar as they return to the playoffs and challenge for the division title.
ACTUAL: 11-5; Brad was right I don’t remember why I thought Carolina would be good, but it turns out I was right about them. They didn’t really miss a beat after trading their best WR, Cam’s performances were all over the place, and McCaffrey was just ok, but the Panthers did just exactly what I said they would in getting back to the playoffs. Check out this outstanding article about the evolution of Carolina’s run game from Danny Kelly at TheRinger.
Chicago Bears, 5.5 wins (LY: 3-13)
UNDER. The Bears are in rebuilding mode and aren’t doing a good job of it. Other than Jordan Howard, there is very little to be excited about in Chicago. Zero wins in division is a very real possibility with the rest of the NFC North all in the mix for playoff spots.
ACTUAL: 5-11; Brad was right The Bears won zero division games as predicted, but I have to hand it to the Bears. They didn’t win often, but they beat some very good teams (Steelers, Ravens, Panthers)! I’ve been saying all year that Trubisky looks like Blake Bortles to me, and I did so as a slight to Trubisky, however I think Bortles is the one who would take offense to that at this point.
Cincinnati Bengals 8.5 wins (LY: 6-9-1)
UNDER. I don’t understand this number at all. In fact 5-11 might be the ceiling for a team that is in definite decline. Here’s a bold prediction: the Bengals will be the last team to win a game this season when they knock off Indy at home on 29 October to narrowly avoid going 0-fer before Halloween.
ACTUAL: 7-9; Brad was right The Bengals did indeed beat Indy on the 29th of October, but that was their third win of the season, not their first. When they got to 3-4 that day, I definitely thought this pick was in trouble, but the team lost a string of close games and the season began to circle the drain. Just when it looked like they had completely quit on their coach, they went into spoiler mode the last two weeks of the season, played a little looser, and saved Marvin Lewis’ job in a surprising turn of events.
Cleveland Browns, 4.5 wins (LY: 1-15)
OVER! Winning four more games than you won the prior year is tough in the NFL, but I think Cleveland is actually building something (despite the puzzling decision to get rid of Joe Hayden). Giving up a home game to go play in London isn’t ideal, but they weren’t going to beat Minnesota anyway.
ACTUAL: 0-16 (under); Brad was so so so wrong Not much to say here. Hue Jackson still has a job despite overseeing the worst 32 game stretch in NFL history. The continued futility got the GM fired, but the problems go so much deeper than that. Deshone Kizer became a turnover machine. Joe Thomas missed the first snaps of his entire professional career. How about a silver lining though? Josh Gordon returned to football and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. Here’s to hoping he can stay clean.
Dallas Cowboys, 9.5 wins (LY: 13-3)
OVER. Dallas takes a little step back this year, but is still the best team in the NFC East and 10 wins feels exactly right. With only two early Sunday kickoffs the entire season, the NFL and its broadcasting partners have decided we’re all going to watch the Cowboys whether we like it or not. (Don’t forget that Fox and CBS both employ a former Dallas QB as their #1 color analyst now)
ACTUAL: 9-7 (under); Brad was wrong I’m no Cowboy sympathizer, but there was a lot working against Dallas in 2017. Aside from the obvious distractions associated with their star running back, the line underperformed, Dak struggled, and the defense lost a lot when Sean Lee missed games. There have been plenty of years where 9-7 was good enough for a playoff spot, but this wasn’t one with the NFC turning over practically all of its playoff participants (only the Falcons made it back this year).
Denver Broncos, 8.5 wins (LY: 9-7)
UNDER. This is going to be another rugged year in the AFC West and 8 wins feels like the ceiling for a team that still has more questions than answers at QB. Losing Wade Phillips likely means the defense will continue to slide as well.
ACTUAL: 5-11; Brad was right After a 3-0 start this team completely fell to pieces. The offense sucked and couldn’t figure out the QB position which led to the defense phoning in large portions of the season. Even so, this defense led the league in yards allowed and is still an elite unit. Elway needs to get back to the drawing board and a PHENOMENAL late season performance from Brock Osweiler in relief only muddied the waters. The RBs and WRs are talented, which makes me think this team might just be a QB away from something big.
Detroit Lions, 8 wins (LY: 9-7)
UNDER. The Lions play the NFL’s 6th toughest schedule this year despite the pleasure of hammering the woeful Bears twice. Stafford got paid—in part because so many of the comeback wins from last year are memorable—, but it’s impossible to imagine a Jim Caldwell coached team continuing to have that kind of late game success.
ACTUAL: 9-7 (over); Brad was wrong According to the O/U number here, Detroit actually exceeded expectations, but, as we covered with the Cowboys, this was a tough year to make the playoffs. However, a winning record is no consolation for missing the playoffs, as I’m sure the five teams who finished 9-7 and out of the postseason will undoubtedly agree. The difference from this year to last was simply a decrease in close game luck, which benefited the Lions greatly last year (and I correctly predicted that would end). The failures ultimately cost Jim Caldwell his job despite having the highest winning percentage of any coach in franchise history.
Green Bay Packers, 10 wins (LY: 10-6)
PUSH. Death, taxes, and Rogers getting to 10 wins (7 of 9 years as a pro he’s reached at least 10). The defense is going to be . . . good enough. Circle your calendar now for Thanksgiving weekend when the Pack travel to Pittsburgh for Sunday Night Football. The term “possible SuperBowl preview” is going to be thrown around like crazy.
ACTUAL: 7-9 (under); Brad was wrong As we all know, Aaron Rodgers missed multiple games this year with an injury and Green Bay looked like a completely different team without him. Brett Hundley was unspeakably bad in relief and, in my opinion, the lack of anything resembling a competent backup was at least partially responsible for the shake up that the Packer front office began on New Year’s Day. On the bright side, I think Green Bay probably feels good about the running backs it discovered and there were several reasons to think that the defense has some potential, beginning with Pro Bowl snub Blake Martinez.
Houston Texans, 8.5 wins (LY: 9-7)
OVER. The QB play is going to be better no matter who plays and the defense is going to be elite again with Clowney actually showing some signs of life. The schedule sets up nicely with their two toughest road games coming after longer than usual rest (@ New England on 10 days’ rest; @ Seattle after a bye week). The Texans get to 10 wins and wrap up another AFC South title.
ACTUAL: 4-12 (under); Brad was wrong This prediction was a mixed bag as Savage was terrible, but Watson was phenomenal. The thing no one could have foreseen (besides the Jags morphing into the 1985 Bears for stretches) was the bevy of injuries that befell the Texans. No team could lose the amount of star power, leadership, and sheer talent that Houston sent to IR this year and expect to succeed. I’m still excited about the 2018 Houston Texans as long as they get healthy in the offseason.
Indianapolis Colts, 9 wins (LY: 8-8)
UNDER. The team has announced that Andrew Luck will not dress in Week 1 and “no timetable exists” for his return to action. No matter how much goes right for Indy, this team is going nowhere without its franchise QB.
ACTUAL: 4-12 (under); Brad was right Not much to say here as everything I wrote in the preseason played out precisely. Another terrible season cost Coach Pagano his job, but I really felt like Indy played hard all year long. If health keeps Andrew Luck from ever making a full return to action, we have to start talking about the first round of the 2012 draft as one of the worst ever for skill position talent: #1- Luck, #2- RG3, #3- Trent Richardson, #5- Justin Blackmon. Ouch
Jacksonville Jaguars, 6.5 wins (LY: 3-13)
UNDER. Much like their division rival Colts, the Jags have no clue what is going on with the QB position. Fournette is intriguing at RB, but he will run against stacked boxes all season long resulting mostly in frustration. This team is so bad and uninteresting that it will not appear in a single prime time game the entire season. Not even Thursday Night Football, guys. Seriously.
Actual: 10-6 (over); Brad was wrong The Jags hit their over on November freaking 5th, the earliest in the league by two weeks. There is some witchcraft that exists between Tom Coughlin and this franchise and it took the league by storm in 2017. Every team in the division had to battle through adversity at the QB position except Blake Bortles and the defensive juggernaut Jags (which may be the strangest thing I have ever written on SportsIntel). By the numbers, the Jacksonville defense was on pace to rate with the greatest of all time until they ran into the Jimmy Garoppolo buzzsaw in Week 16, but they still won the AFC South and had some of the most impressive wins of the season (30-9 at Pittsburgh, 44-7 over the Ravens in London). They held their opponents under 10 points in 7 of 16 games and the casual fan probably can’t name more than two starters on that defense. On behalf of pretty much everyone, sorry we underestimated you, Jags.
Kansas City Chiefs, 9 wins (LY: 12-4)
OVER. Andy Reid coached Chiefs teams usually win 11 games and this year is no different. The defense may be the NFL’s best and Kareem Hunt will be a breakout star making everyone forget about Spencer Ware. Opening the season on Thursday night against the Patriots is a bad spot, but the team will rebound nicely after its 0-1 start.
ACTUAL: 10-6 ; Brad was right What a roller coaster of a season for KC! The middle of the season saw them go through a stretch where they lost six of seven and looked atrocious, but they get things together and finished strong to wrap up an AFC West title. Headed into the playoffs we know the ceiling for the Chiefs is high. They were the only team to defeat both top seeds (Iggles and Pats), but the problem is those games took place back in September. The defense showed some glaring holes from time to time, but the offense finished 6th in scoring behind Alex Smith’s solid play and rookie rushing champion Kareem Hunt’s prolific production out of the backfield.
Los Angeles Chargers, 7.5 wins (LY: 5-11)
UNDER. F%$& this team. I hope they never once sell out the little soccer stadium they are playing in this year (although selling out is an organizational competency). I hope the Spanos family goes broke and that nothing works out in LA at all. HOWEVER, God bless you, Philip Rivers. You’re a good man.
Actual: 9-7 (over); Brad was wrong Not to give my self a pass here, but I was obviously blinded by sheer anger and hatred when I wrote this prediction. When they started the season 0-4 I looked like I would be right, but then they settled down their kicking problems and starting coming through when it mattered. Keenan Allen finally stayed healthy and the defense made a quantum leap under first year head coach Anthony Lynn.
Los Angeles Rams, 5.5 wins (LY: 4-12)
UNDER. The defense is going to be sneaky good, but there isn’t much on the offensive side of the ball aside from Gurley. Six wins just feels too high for Jared Goff at this point. Starting last season 3-1 is a distant memory.
Actual: 11-5 (over); Brad was wrong Late in the season former coach Jeff Fisher attempted to take some credit for the massive turnaround the Rams experienced this season, or at least for the roster that 31 year old first time head coach Sean McVay converted from the worst offense in football to the best. Jared Goff scarcely resembled the quarterback from the 2016 campaign, Todd Gurley went all Hershel Walker all over everybody’s ass, and Aaron Donald established himself as the most dominant defensive presence in the game. Yes, those players were on the team when Fisher was in charge, but isn’t that even more of an indictment on the coaching job it took to lose 11 of 12 down the stretch last year? Congratulations to the Rams and I apologize for underestimating you. (I still won’t cheer for you because you’re in LA though)
Miami Dolphins, 7.5 wins (LY: 10-6)
UNDER. With Hurricane Irma inbound, the NFL has chosen to make Miami take its bye in Week 1. This means that they will have to play 16 consecutive weeks, something that never happens in the NFL. Silver lining: Jay Cutler gets an extra week to get ready? Yikes. This may be a lost season for the ‘Phins and it hasn’t even started.
Actual: 6-10; Brad was right Jay Cutler played some good games and some really bad games. Miami got off to a decent start moving to 4-2 after scoring wins over two playoff teams (Titans and Falcons), but the season cratered from there beginning with a 40-0 bloodbath at Baltimore on Thursday Night Football. If there is any silver lining from this season for the Dolphin faithful, it has to be Week 14’s Monday Night ass-whooping of the hated New England Patriots on national TV. In fact I think a lot of fans outside of Miami enjoyed that too.
Minnesota Vikings, 8.5 wins (LY: 8-8)
OVER. The organization is turning the page on the AD years and it feels like a collectively sigh of relief. Dalvin Cook might be the Offensive Rookie of the Year and Sam Bradford will be solid. This feels like nine wins and a wild card spot for the Vikes. Also I have to mention that they play a game at Twickenham Stadium in London because Twickenham is a fun word.
Actual: 13-3; Brad was right The Vikings notched their 9th win on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit making this one of the most comfortable overs of the year. Having said that, the season really didn’t go like I expected. Dalvin Cook and Sam Bradford missed most of the season with injuries, but Case Keenum stepped in and played out of his mind. Adam Thielen made the jump from solid receiver to bona fide star and the defense was just plain nasty. The Vikings certainly benefited from some stinky QB play in their division (especially after Anthony Barr crushed Aaron Rodgers’ collar bone) but the Vikes were one of the league’s most consistent teams in 2017 and have a real shot at being the first team to ever play a Super Bowl on their home field.
New England Patriots, 12.5 wins (LY: 14-2)
UNDER. Assuming 13 wins is a lot even for the Golden Boy and Belli-cheat and you can win this bet with a 12-4 Pats team so that’s still pretty damn good. The cliff is closer for the Patriots than you think and when it happens, we’re all going to look around and realize that the signs were there but we chose to ignore them. That said, it was a hell of a run and I might be eating a big plate of crow in four months.
Actual: 13-3 (over); Brad was wrong It came down to the last week, but the Pats hit their over despite starting out 2-2 with home losses to the Chiefs and Panthers. The defense looked awful through the first four games, but, once the course was corrected, the Patriots didn’t have much trouble winning 11 of 12 en route to the AFC’s top seed for the playoffs. New England found itself on the positive end of three of the most controversial calls of the entire season, so hopefully they’ve used up all of their luck for 2017.
New Orleans Saints, 8 wins (LY: 7-9)
UNDER. After three straight years at 7-9, I don’t see any reason for the win total to go up. Brees is terrific, but the aforementioned cliff is close for him too. Two of the Saints’ first four games are in strange time slots with a Monday opener at 7:10PM and a 9:30AM game in London. The lack of familiarity contributes to the strong possibility of heading into the bye week at 0-4.
Actual: 11-5 (over); Brad was wrong New Orleans was a pleasant surprise in the ultra-competitive NFC South this season, largely thanks to a tremendous draft. Rookies contributed in all phases of the game and should receive plenty of votes when the ROY balloting takes place. While the Saints were the league’s 4th highest scoring offense, it wasn’t the pass-heavy attack that we’ve become accustomed to in the Drew Brees era. Instead New Orleans used balance on offense deploying a prolific rushing attack that only really got going after HOF running back Adrian Peterson was released. In a wide open NFC, the Saints might just have a chance.
New York Giants, 9 wins (LY: 11-5)
PUSH. Winning 11 games last year was a tremendous coup and a feat that the Giants will not be able to repeat as they face the NFL’s third toughest schedule in 2017. There is no running game to speak of which places too much pressure on an aging Eli Manning. They swept Dallas last year and looked to have a leg up in their Week 1 matchup until news dropped that Ezekiel Elliott will somehow be eligible for that game before his six game suspension starts. Bad luck for Big Blue.
Actual: 3-13 (under); Brad was wrong At least I didn’t say over! When I said they wouldn’t repeat their 11 win season from 2016, that was a major overstatement. OBJ got hurt early and that was just the beginning of the issues for the Giants. The greatest symptom of the trouble they faced was the mid-season firing of Ben McAdoo who ended the longest active starting streak among QBs when he benched the face of the franchise in Week 13. Three wins was the lowest total by this proud franchise since they finished 3-12-1 in 1983.
New York Jets, 4.5 wins (LY: 5-11)
UNDER. This looks like a 2-3 win team at best. Advanced metrics are projecting this team to be the NFL’s worst on offense and special teams while being the second worst on defense. That is an unprecedented and unthinkable level of suck. Let the Sam Darnold Sweepstakes begin!
Actual: 5-11 (over); Brad was wrong A lot of credit goes to Todd Bowles for this 2017 edition of the Jets who played hard every week and outperformed expectations. The 3-2 start to the season was definitely a mirage, but the Jets found some things to build on along the way. Some analysts have the Jets pursuing Kirk Cousins in the offseason while others think they will draft a QB with the 6th overall picks, but it seems like the McCown days are over either way.
Oakland Raiders, 10 wins (LY: 12-4)
OVER. The Carr injury at the end of last season was cruel, but he will be back. Khalil Mack is every bit as good as advertised and at just 26 years old, he might actually be getting better. There is a certain amount of chaos that comes with a franchise relocating, but the Raiders take after their hard-nosed head coach and will be fine. In what may be the best game ever pledged to the NFL’s International Series, the Raiders “host” the defending champs at the legendary Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on 19 November.
Actual: 6-10 (under); Brad was wrong The Raiders finished the season on a four game losing streak and fired their head coach before the games were over in Week 17 to pave the way for a Jon Gruden return. The offense finished in the bottom ten of the league as Amari Cooper had his least productive year as a pro and David Carr just seemed a little off. The roster is talented so don’t be surprised if the Raiders get back to the other side of .500 next season.
Philadelphia Eagles, 8 wins (LY: 7-9)
UNDER. There are no easy games in division and Wentz still has a lot to learn. I love the Donnel Pumphrey draft pick though. Despite being just 5’9 and 170 lbs. the guy broke all Marshall Faulk’s records at San Diego State. And us Aztecs gotta stick together! Schedule wise, the Eagles drew the short straw starting the year with two road games then finishing with games on Christmas day and New Year’s Eve.
Actual: 13-3 (over); Brad was wrong If not for a Week 14 injury to Carson Wentz, we’d likely be talking about a 14-2 Eagles team favored to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson’s second year at the helm was a smashing success and this young roster looks set to compete for titles the foreseeable future. Their +162 scoring differential was tied with New England for the best in the league and that’s after losing to Dallas 6-0 in Week 17 with Nick Foles at QB.
Pittsburgh Steelers, 10.5 wins (LY: 11-5)
OVER. This one is suspicious because it seems too easy, but I like the Steelers to win 11-12 games and maintain control of the AFC North. The rest of the division is way behind and the schedule is rather kind. Pittsburgh plays in prime time four straight weeks in November/December so get ready for the Killer B’s to take over your living room for a month.
Actual: 13-3; Brad was right The Steelers did exactly what we expected in winning the AFC North—including going 6-0 in division—and finishing in the top ten in the NFL in offense and defense. Although they occasionally played down to the competition, Pittsburgh demonstrated a penchant for pulling out wins when it mattered. If not for a controversial ruling that went against them in Week 15 at home against the Patriots, Big Ben and the boys would have home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and you can bet they’re hoping for a shot at revenge in the conference title game.
San Francisco 49ers, 4.5 wins (LY: 2-14)
OVER. This next statement may cost me all my credibility, but I kinda like this team with Brian Hoyer at QB. The division is tough, however John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan are going to be a great GM/HC combo and will have the ship righted sooner than most people think. The schedule isn’t overly tough, but the harder games do come earlier in the season so getting to 5-6 wins won’t happen until December.
Actual: 6-10; Brad was right Ok Hoyer was lousy and the team looked better with CJ Beathard at QB, but no one is talking about anything other than Jimmy GQ in San Francisco right now. The mid-season acquisition of Tom Brady’s backup has breathed life into the last place team in the NFC West and has people excited for what’s next. Thanks in large part to the new QB, the Niners finished the season on a five game winning streak and got that late over just like I called for back in September.
Seattle Seahawks, 10.5 wins (LY: 10-5-1)
OVER. This is one of the tougher numbers on the board, but the Seahawks benefit from a very easy schedule. They also have a realistic shot at being top 5 in offense and defense with Russell Wilson healthy again. A Christmas Eve date in Dallas is the NFL’s gift to us. It would only be better if Tony Romo had to call the game instead of Troy Aikman.
Actual: 9-7 (under); Brad was wrong The 2017 Seahawks suffered a lot of key injuries and couldn’t ever find a formula for consistency. They lost an unthinkable four home games and Wilson spent the season running for his life but still managed to lead the league in TD passes (34) despite absorbing a whopping 43 sacks. Offense will likely be the offseason focus as there was no 1,000 yard receiver, Wilson was the leading rusher with no RB going over 300 yards on the ground, and the line was unreliable.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8.5 wins (LY: 9-7)
OVER. Pass the Hard Knocks Koolaid! Jameis is a moron, but he’s primed for a terrific year with Mike Evans and Desean Jackson. Also Gerald McCoy is my new favorite NFL player and should get some sort of Father of the Year award. Nine or ten wins feels right even though the division is going to be tough. The Hurricane Irma reschedule sucks, but it will galvanize this up and coming team.
Actual: 5-11 (under); Brad was wrong Everyone’s preseason dark horse went into full collapse mode after starting out 2-1. Famous Jameis missed some time with a bad shoulder, but the failures in Tampa weren’t really about that this season. I would chalk this up to poor leadership, more specifically a lack of accountability. The running game never materialized, the supposedly great WR duo underperformed massively, and the same must be said for Gerald McCoy and the entire defense which tallied the lowest sack total in the NFL. Late in the season talk began to swirl about a Jon Gruden return to the sideline which can’t be a good thing for second year coach Dirk Koetter.
Tennessee Titans, 8.5 wins (LY: 9-7)
UNDER. The Titan bandwagon is really gaining momentum with 2017’s second easiest schedule as well as players on that offense that are easy to like. The hype just doesn’t make sense for a Mike Mularkey coached team and a QB coming off a major injury.
Actual: 9-7 (over); Brad was wrong The Titans slipped by the Jags in Week 17 to narrowly clinch their over as well as a wild card in the AFC. Mariota scuffled all year as he dealt with nagging injuries and Tennessee’s results were all over the map. Headed int the playoffs I still don’t think we know who this team is, but I expect an early exit.
Washington Redskins, 7.5 wins (LY: 8-7-1)
OVER. This is an eight win team again despite the loss of Desean Jackson and the idiotic situation with the franchise QB. Kirk Cousins is getting used to playing “contract year football” and will put up even better numbers with Pryor and Doctson than he did with Garcon and Jackson. The schedule is the toughest in the NFL for 2017, but I have to live among these fans so I am taking the over.
Actual: 7-9 (under); Brad was wrong A Week 17 win over the woeful Giants separated me from the over here, and, while it hurt my feelings, I think the real damage took place within the Redskins organization. The disappointing season didn’t cost Jay Gruden his job, but it may be the final straw for Kirk Cousins. You can’t say Washington was a bad team as they notched some quality wins (at the Rams, at the Seahawks), but an overall lack of consistency was killer. Doctson and Pryor never really got it together, no primary RB could be identified, and injuries plagued the entire campaign.
Brad’s final stats: 11 right (6 overs), 21 wrong (10 overs, 9 unders, 2 pushes)
Teams vs. their Vegas number: 16 over, 14 under, 2 push
Obviously I was too optimistic tending to err slightly more on the overs. You’ll notice that Vegas split it pretty close to right down the middle meaning that, overall, they once again demonstrated that they have their fingers on the pulse of these teams. If you’d like to congratulate me for some spot-on analysis or mock me for some howlingly bad forecasts, leave me a comment!