By: Denery Noone, Scott Brock-Wilson, and Justin Lynch
Denery, Scott, and Lynch look at the over/under for team wins and make their predictions. Part 1 includes the AFC East and the AFC North.
Note: All over/unders from Bovada.com
New England Patriots - Over/Under 10.5
Denery: OVER BEST BET: Now that the Patriots have gotten their hero, Tom Brady, back, I predict that at the very least the Patriots go 12-4. Ultimately, however, I think they go 14-2. The only question mark on the team is the secondary after losing Revis and Browner, but I think that Malcolm Butler’s emergence along with a strong pass rush will help out that secondary.
Scott: OVER: The Patriots may have lost a lot this offseason but not even close to enough to finish with under 10 wins. New England has won 10 games or over every year since 2002, no way that changes now. Expect the same from Brady and Belichick.
Lynch: OVER: BEST BET: I don’t see a scenario the Pats don’t win 11 games. In the last 14 years they’ve finished under 11 wins just three times. But you all know about how good Brady and Belichick have been. Let’s focus on their offseason. They lost key veteran Vince Wilfork, young runners Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, and top corners Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. Not to mention they also lost slot corner Kyle Arrington and did little to replace any of these guys. This might end up hurting the Pats in the postseason, but the Pats are getting to 11 wins. You know it. I know it. The Pats played the 10th toughest schedule in terms of win percentage last season and this year that drops to 22. If you go by pythagorean wins, the Pats are playing the 26th toughest schedule in 2015. The AFC East is better, but still no match for the Pats who almost assuredly will get to 11 wins.
Miami Dolphins - Over/Under 9
Denery: PUSH: This is a close one for me as well but I think that the Dolphins will have a tough time in a stronger AFC. They did get Suh to go with Cameron Wake and Ryan Tannehill is getting better, but I do not think he is quite there yet. The Dolphins will miss the playoffs once again unless Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and DeVante Parker can have unprecedented seasons.
Scott: OVER: This is a close one for me, but when you look at all of the skill players on offense and the studs on defense, it is hard to bet against them. Tannehill may take a big leap this year. Their WR core is deep with Landry, Stills, Jennings and Parker, and Miller could be set up to improve as well. Their Defense is anchored by the D-line with Suh, Wake and Vernon.
Lynch: OVER: Tannehill’s improving and he has new weapons. Suh is big addition in the middle. Moderately easier schedule, 10 wins is more likely than eight.
Buffalo Bills - Over/Under 8½
Denery: OVER: I think that Buffalo will come in second in the division and I think that Tyrod Taylor will have a breakout season, along with that strong defense and emerging running game with newly-acquired Lesean Mccoy.
Scott: UNDER: The Bills have all of the pieces of a great team, except for quarterback. Good WR’s in Watkins, Woods, and Harvin, along with McCoy at RB and a #1 defense may be able to make up for it, but I see Buffalo winning 8 games this year.
Lynch: UNDER: The Bills aren’t going to have a winning record with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, right? Right?!?!?!
New York Jets - Over/Under 7½
Denery: UNDER: Although they have a very good defense with Revis and Cromartie returning, they do not have enough offensive firepower to compete in the AFC East.
Scott: UNDER: Their defense will be one of the tops in the league, and Fitzpatrick is a game manager who won’t win you or lose you any games. I don't know how he will be able to handle it without being able to hand it off to Arian Foster every time. He is in trouble.
Lynch: OVER: I have zero confidence in this. Fitzpatrick lead the Texans to most of their nine wins last year. He has more talent around him on both sides of the ball this year, and Geno will be back at some point. Also, much easier schedule for them.
Baltimore Ravens - Over/Under 9
Denery: OVER: I like Flacco to have a very good season and lead this team to playoffs. He will have Forsett to carry the run game and Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman to carry the receiving game.
Scott: PUSH: I am worried about this one because the Ravens did have a 10-6 record last year. But, that was with an easier schedule and the emergence of Forsett, and I am not convinced he can continue to consistently put up those numbers.
Lynch: PUSH: Tougher schedule, tough division, some offseason losses that will take time to adjust to. Flacco inconsistent in regular season, 10 wins is pushing it a little, but 8 seems low.
Cincinnati Bengals - Over/Under 8½
Denery: OVER: I think the Bengals will probably make the playoffs but I still think they are frauds. They won’t win a playoff game under Marvin Lewis.
Scott: UNDER: The Bengals did not do much to improve this offseason; therefore, this may be the year that Dalton does not make the playoffs. Jeremy Hill might have a monster season, but I’m not convinced he will do enough to carry them to 9 wins.
Lynch: UNDER: Brutal schedule, were one of the luckiest teams last year by pythagorean wins, just average defensively.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Over/Under 8½
Denery: OVER: I like the Steelers to compete for the division title and seriously compete in the AFC playoffs. Them and the Ravens are the two teams that can compete with the Patriots.
Scott: OVER: Now, they have to get past their first 4 games with Bell being out for two and Bryant out for four. Once those two are back, they have one of, if not the best offensive in the NFL with Roethlisberger, Bell, Brown, Bryant, and Wheaton. I expect them to turn it on in the second half of the season.
Lynch: OVER: 11 wins last year, core group coming back featuring Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Big Ben, huge schedule swing in the wrong direction, but should be okay for nine wins, despite iffy defense.
Cleveland Browns - Over/Under 6½
Denery: Under: I think that Browns will have a tough start coming out of the gate with McCown, but when they make the switch to Manziel will have more success. However, it will be too late.
Scott: UNDER: The Browns won seven games last year, but failed to resolve their QB issue by adding another stop-gap guy in Josh McCown. There defense will be elite but not enough when going up against their division and the NFC West.
Lynch: UNDER: Good offseason for the Browns, but too shaky at QB and (I know I’m getting repetitive with this division) schedule is going to be a serious issue.
Rest of AFC and NFC coming soon!