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Anaylzing Potential Win Totals, Part 2
by Bryan Leonard - 07/27/2007
This is part two of a look at NFL future lines for projected win totals. Letâ€™s take a peak at some offseason moves and if there is some betting value with respect to future win totals.
Eagles: over/under 9 wins: Winning and stability start at the top, and the Eagles have been one of the best in the NFC from the top down. The Eagles went to four straight NFC title games, fell apart in 2005 because of injuries, but rebounded in style in 2006, winning the division despite missing QB Donovan McNabb for half the season. Andy Reid has rebuilt the offensive and defensive lines and has a healthy McNabb back with a chip on his shoulder (he was shocked they drafted QB Kevin Kolb).
McNabb is still one of the best QBs in the league and doesnâ€™t need extra motivation. The Eagles added WRs Kevin Curtis and Bethel Johnson, brought in defensive depth through the draft with DE Victor Abiamiri (Notre Dame) and LB Stewart Bradley (Nebraska) and got some help from Brian Westbrook with Penn State RB Tony Hunt. In a division where the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins all have flaws, the Eagles look solid all around: Over 9 wins.
Giants: over/under 8 wins: One of the Eagles competitors will be the Giants, and boy have they regressed. Bringing back Tom Coughlin after everyone in the world thought heâ€™d be fired during a 2-6 finish was a head scratcher. This has been a balanced offense, but the retirement of stud RB Tiki Barber and his 1,662 yards changes that dynamic completely.
QB Eli Manning has been turnover prone (24 TDs, 18 picks last fall) despite tons of talented targets. Now without Barber to balance the offense, how much more erratic will he be? They traded for running back Reuben Droughns, which wonâ€™t help much. The offensive line is suspect and there are holes all over the defense. The signing of MLB Kawika Mitchell was out of necessity, rather than getting an impact player. Under 8 wins is more likely.
Dolphins over/under 7 wins: Nick Saban is gone after two years and he left the Dolphins much worse than when he arrived. Miami fans greeted new coach Cam Cameron with a chorus of boos on draft day as he announced (pleaded with them?) No. 1 pick Ted Ginn, the speedy Ohio State WR. Ginn was never polished as a wideout, dropping too many passes, and one wonders if Miami didnâ€™t spend a first round pick on a potentially strong special teams weapon.
Regardless, QB Daunte Culpepper has been a bust with continuing knee troubles, which leaves him battling with QBs Cleo Lemon and rookie John Beck. The defense is aging and newcomer linebacker Joey Porter isnâ€™t the answer. Playing the Patriots and Jets twice, plus battles with the Cowboys, Eagles, Steelers, Bengals and Ravens will make it tough on the new coach. After a 6-10 2006, under 7 wins for 2007 seems more likely.