After almost seven months away, the NFL is back once again. The preseason action wets the appetite, but the regular season is the real thing. This is the must see television, and people all over are blocking off their Sunday afternoons for the next few months. I’ve always done well with regular season win total plays. In this article I’m going to share my top five NFL win total plays for the 2014-2015 season.
1. New Orleans Saints over 9.5- You’re going to have to pay a lot of juice for this one, but I’m convinced it’s worth it. In fact, New Orleans is my pick to win the Super Bowl this season. Why? Drew Brees is still at the top of his game and now he has another amazing weapon to work with in Brandin Cooks. Cooks was the most electrifying receiver in college football last year, and he fits perfectly into this system. To say that the Saints have a wealth of offensive weapons is a major understatement. In the past, this team had to do it solely by outscoring opponents, but this defense was much better last year. No offense in the league is more dynamic, and the Saints are very capable of winning 12 games. This win total is a great value. Look for very big things from New Orleans this year.
2. Green Bay Packers over 10.5- I like what the Green Bay Packers have going for them. It’s pretty amazing that this team even made it into the playoffs last year with the amount of injuries they had. The Packers are an elite team right away if Aaron Rodgers stays healthy, because in my opinion he is the best quarterback in the NFL. Clay Matthews is the difference maker for the defense, and with him back this year the Packers defense will be much improved. Eddie Lacy provides the team with that element they never used to have. Rodgers doesn’t have to do it all alone anymore. If teams aren’t able to sit back and expect the pass every time, I see Rodgers and this Green Bay passing attack being that much more dangerous. The Packers have a relatively difficult schedule, but I think 11 wins is the minimum for them unless Rodgers gets hurt again.
3. Houston Texans over 7.5- The Houston Texans made some nice moves in the offseason. Houston brought in Bill O’Brien, who did a wonderful job at Penn State during a horribly difficult time. The trade for Ryan Mallett was a good move as well, since they certainly aren’t set at the quarterback position. Houston was the most disappointing team in the NFL last year, but that was last year. This is the NFL, where we see teams go from cellar dwellers to playoff teams the next season on a regular basis. Houston’s defense is scary good with Watt, Clowney, Cushing, and Joseph. All of these guys are elite, and this defense is going to dominate. With a great running game and a couple of very good receivers, whoever wins the Texans quarterback job is going to have all the weapons around them necessary to succeed. Don’t forget that Houston also plays in the weakest division in the NFL.
4. Cleveland Browns under 6.5- The buzz around “Johnny Football” has bumped up the Cleveland Browns win total a little bit too much. Manziel isn’t going to make a big difference for this weak Browns offense in year one, and it remains to be seen if his game will translate well to the NFL or not. Josh Gordon’s suspension is going to hurt this team in a big way, since he was their only real weapon on the outside. Whoever starts at quarterback is going to have a tough time getting the job done with a poor running game and no weapons on the outside. The defense is solid, but they won’t be good enough to get them past six wins in a tough division.
5. Oakland Raiders under 5- The Oakland Raiders seem to have no plan for the direction of their franchise. This is a team that is stuck in neutral, and I don’t see any way they come out of their slump this season. Oakland plays a pretty tough schedule for a team that did so poorly last year, and the Raiders are counting on a bunch of players who have had injury issues their entire career. The defense looks like it should be even worse this year, and that isn’t going to get it done when the Raiders play in a division with Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers.