By: Denery Noone, Scott Brock-Wilson, and Justin Lynch
In the last installment of the NFL Over/Unders, Denery, Scott, and Lynch look at the NFC South and NFC West.
Atlanta Falcons - Over/Under 8½
Denery: UNDER: They will be better than last year but in Dan Quinn's first year they won't be more than a .500 team.
Scott: UNDER: Their defense was atrocious, and I'm surprised the line is the high after their six win season last year. They got bigger up front on both sides of the ball, but I still don't see how they can reach nine games.
Lynch: Under: One of the worst defensive teams last year. Only won six games as well. .500 is definitely possible, but I would bet they end up less than nine wins.
Carolina Panthers - Over/Under 8½
Denery: OVER: This is the year Cam Newton proves he is elite, carrying that offense despite losing number one receiver Kelvin Benjamin.
Scott: UNDER: Last year the division was absolutely horrible and will improve this year. Obviously their biggest loss was Benjamin on offense and Hardy on defense, and those will definitely make a difference. Newton cannot carry the team to nine wins alone.
Lynch: OVER: Easier schedule, losing Benjamin and Hardy will hurt, but their defense is good enough to rely on, and Newton ain’t too shabby either.
New Orleans Saints - Over/Under 8½
Denery: OVER: But not by much. Bree's will be great statistically but that defense isn't good enough and they do not have enough playmakers to win this division. Expect Ingram to have a good year though.
Scott: OVER: They still have all of the talent on offense even without Graham, as Cooks has the potential for a huge year, and the running game has been upgraded even more with Spiller. Their defense is average, but I see them coming out with the division title.
Lynch: OVER: The Spiller/Ingram along with Cooks and Colston will be better than people think. They still have Drew Brees, also.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Over/Under 6
Denery: OVER: Jameis will have a great year, and they will just barely miss the playoffs In a strong NFC.
Scott: UNDER: Can Winston really make that much of a difference in his first year? They have good weapons on offense and a rising defense, but the answer to my question is no.
Lynch: UNDER: Rookie QB, tough schedule, bad O-line. Jameis might be the future, but don’t count on a big year this season, at least in terms of wins.
Seattle Seahawks - Over/Under 11
Denery: OVER: They are my super bowl favorite right now, they got better with the addition of Jimmy Graham. Look out for the Kam Chancellor holdout, hopefully they are able to resolve that.
Scott: OVER: The Seahawks are just too good on each side of the ball now. Their defense is still one of the best, as their offense continues to get better with Wilson improving and Graham joining the squad.
Lynch: OVER: Probably the Super Bowl favorite. Wilson might be even better with Graham. Defense still on another lever. Also, Cardinals and Niners will be worse.
Arizona Cardinals - Over/Under 8½
Denery: UNDER: Carson Palmer won't return to complete form after his ACL surgery and they will be just under.
Scott: OVER: They were 8-0 with Palmer last year, return almost all of their stars and are in a weaker division with the Niners being terrible.
Lynch: OVER: This was a real tough one for me. They were luckiest team last year by pythagorean wins, but they get Carson Palmer back. In a worse division, nine wins seems likely.
St. Louis Rams - Over/Under 8
Denery: OVER: really like St. Louis to breakout this year. Todd Gurley, Tavon Austin, Nick Foles will have good years.
Scott: PUSH: This will be a surprise to most, but I am not sure that this will be the year for the Rams. Foles is a huge improvement over their collection of awful QBs last year, and the defense is loaded again with one of the top d-lines on the league. They have a flurry average to good players at the skill positions on offense that will be counted on. One of them will need to breakout, so I'll go out on a limb and say that doesn't happen.
Lynch: OVER: Lot of young talent on offense. Studs on the D-Line. QB is no longer Austin Davis. Cardinals and Niners will take steps back.
San Francisco 49ers - Over/Under 7
Denery: UNDER: Kaepernick will have a tough year after the horrible offseason that they had. They lost too much leadership and talent.
Scott: UNDER: BEST BET: The 49ers are in one of the toughest divisions in football, and a division where everyone else is getting better. Unless Kaepernick takes a HUGE leap in his fifth year in the NFL (which would be shocking), there is no way the niners improve. The niners have lost too many pieces, and not just the retirements of Justin Smith, Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, and Anthony Davis, but also the loss of Coach Jim Harbaugh, RB Frank Gore, WR Michael Crabtree, G Mike Iupati, and DE Ray McDonald. The 49ers finished 8-8 last year and that was with all of these instrumental pieces. San Fran is bound to be more than one game worse than last year. The additions of Reggie Bush, Torrey Smith, and former Australian Rugby player, Jarryd Haynes will definitely not be able to propel this team to a 7-9 record. The two divisions the 49ers play are the AFC North and the NFC North. The AFC North had three teams in the playoffs last year that are all better than the 49ers. The NFC North has four teams that will compete with the 49ers, except the Packers because that will not be even close. I expect 4/5 losses from the NFC West, 3 from the AFC North, 2/3 from the NFC North and 1 from the Giants/Falcons. If you take the low end of my predictions for their losses then that leaves the 49ers with 6 wins; the high end would leave them with 4.
Lynch: UNDER: Do you really think this team will win eight games in that division?