NFL Win Total Review, NFL Playoff Preview & Super Bowl Pick

Get ready America. Photo: AP


All the way back in August, I posted previews for every NFL team with an emphasis on the Las Vegas win totals that were posted for each. You can see all the divisions previews here, except for the AFC West, which I posted on Facebook.

Rather than rehash every single team, I decided to look back at several teams I had a lot of confidence in to see what I got right and what I got wrong. I’ve pulled a quote from each teams August write up that I felt best summed up my thought process for predicting their win total.

NFL Las Vegas Win Total Discussion: AFC North

The AFC North enters the 2014 season as one of the most wide open divisions in football. Las Vegas oddsmakers declined to take a stand and inserted the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals all at 8.5 or 9 wins. Cincy won the division last year but failed yet again to win a playoff game, losing at home to San Diego in the Wild Card round. The Ravens are now a full season removed from their Super Bowl win, which they followed up with a disappointing 8-8 season. Pittsburgh has now had two straight 8-8 seasons, doubly disappointing. Cleveland hasn’t finished over .500 since 2007 and had an offseason full of drama that rivaled the 49ers. Can Baltimore or Pittsburgh wrestle the division back from Cincy? Can Andy Dalton take the next step and win a playoff game? Will the Johnny Football circus eat the Browns season alive? Let’s take a look.

NFL Las Vegas Win Total Discussion: NFC West

The best division in football rolls into 2014 as the only division with two teams who have double digits win totals. Not surprising, after three teams posted 10+ wins last year and 4th place St Louis went a very respectable 7-9. Seattle edged out the 49ers by a game to take the division crown, and then the two met in the NFC Championship Game; a slug fest that Seattle would narrowly win. Led by their ferocious defenses, these two teams were clearly the best of the NFL last year as Seattle obliterated Denver in the Super Bowl.

NFL Las Vegas Win Total Discussion: NFC South

Ah, the NFC South. When the NFL envisioned a socialist land of parity, where every team deserves a chance at greatness, this is what they had in mind. Much like every union worker at the Springfield Power Plant is guaranteed an employee of the month award (yep, we got sucked into The Simpsons marathon this weekend on FXX), every team has won the division title over the past seven seasons. There’s also never been a repeat winner of the NFC South; last year the Falcons defended their title by limping to finish line with a 4-12 record. Carolina would take the title, and be joined in the playoffs by New Orleans. Since the Saints won the Super Bowl in January 2010, the NFC South is 3-7 in the playoffs. This year, Vegas sees this bunch as a pretty productive group with the lowest win total among the four teams set at seven. The biggest shake up in the division is definitely in Tampa, where another extremely active year in free agency was paired with the hiring of Lovie Smith as their new coach. The schedule rotation lands on the North, both NFC and AFC. Can Carolina become the first repeat winner of the division? Or does the rotating crown continue? Let’s take a look.  

NFL Las Vegas Win Total Discussion: AFC East

Since the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in 2001, they’ve failed to win the AFC East twice (’02 Jets, ’08 Dolphins). That’s the basic question when you look at the division; can you make a case for another team winning it? The Patriots early Super Bowl run has dried up during this stretch of division dominance. Since their ’04 championship, they’ve made it back to the big game twice, only to lose to the Giants both games.

NFL Las Vegas Win Total Discussion: NFC North

Eight wins was good enough to win the NFC North last season, now Las Vegas went ahead and installed three of the four teams at 8.5 wins or higher. The big story within the division was Aaron Rodgers breaking his collarbone and missing seven games. Somehow, the rest of the division couldn’t take advantage, allowing Rodgers to return week 17 for a miraculous win at Soldier Field. This game sent the Packers to the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record and the Bears home for the winter. The Lions and Vikings enter the season with new coaches, Jim Caldwell and Mike Zimmer respectively. Marc Trestman is in his second year with the Bears, further exhibiting the lack of job security an NFL coach has these days, as the North is another division with short tenured head coaches. If Jim Caldwell is getting another shot, we’re wondering how Mike Singletary doesn’t have another head coaching job. The NFC North draws the AFC East and the NFC South this season.  There’s a lot of skill player talent in this division, can it produce two playoff teams this season? Let’s take a look.

NFL Las Vegas Win Total Discussion: AFC South

Today we tackle what may be the most boring division in all of professional sports, the AFC South. But just because a division is boring, doesn’t mean you can’t make some money. The Colts won the division last season, as Andrew Luck took the next step in what appears to be a very promising career. The AFC South was the only division in the NFL to have three teams with losing records, and Vegas followed suit this year with only the Colts being slotted a win total higher than seven wins. The Texans were the big surprise, winning two games after winning back to back division titles. Two coaches are making debuts with their new teams (Ken Whisenhunt in Tennessee and Bill O’Brien in Houston). The most tenured coach in the division is Chuck Pagano, whose only been at Indy since 2012. The AFC South draws the NFC East and the AFC North, a pretty tame draw in the grand scheme of things.