Indianapolis Colts 2020 Odds & Betting Preview

By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)

When the Colts walked out of Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019, despite falling 31-13 to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs that cold Saturday afternoon, optimism was soaring from Indianapolis, as the Colts started the 2018 season 1-5 before finishing the year at 10-6 and scoring a road playoff victory against their division rival, Houston Texans.

The future from Indy looked bright.  They finally solidified their offensive line thanks to rookie Quenton Nelson.  The defense had young talent galore, led by the eventual defensive rookie of the year Darius Leonard.  And the biggest kicker of all, the Colts had finally found the perfect coach to work with Andrew Luck.

Then the sucker punch came, and Luck decided he had taken enough punishment in his career and that now was the time to retire while he was still a young man.

Andrew Luck’s decision was entirely justified and hard to argue with, but the Colts were left in quite the position, as Luck’s retirement would be announced just weeks before the 2019 season kicked off.

Now 12 months later, the Colts have put their hopes on 38-year old Philip Rivers to take the team back to the top of the AFC South.  By the time we conclude this preview, Rivers may have another seven children.   

Colts 2019 Season Review

After getting the equivalent of the Hans Moleman, when Andrew Luck retired a month before the season, the Colts were left with no other choice than to turn the keys of the offense over to his backup, Jacoby Brissett.

To Brissett’s credit considering he was thrust into duty as the Colts starting quarterback, he played very well out of the gate for Frank Reich.  Brissett led the Colts to a 5-2 start, threw for nearly 1600 yards and had an impressive 14 touchdowns to only three interceptions to start the season. 

After the hot start, Brissett would injure his knee in a 26-24 loss to the Steelers, and while he would only miss one start, Brissett did not look like the same quarterback after the injury.  He struggled mightily, throwing for less than 200 yards in five of his last seven starts, and did not throw a touchdown in his last three games.

The quarterback’s struggles could be traced back to a rash of injuries that just seemed to blanket the team after their aforementioned quick start to the season. 

Brissett would lose his top two WR’s in the passing game when T.Y. Hilton and rookie Parris Campbell would both land on the injured list for a good portion of the season, and after an outstanding 2018 season, TE Eric Ebron would regress once again in 2019, seeing his yardage cut in half and going from 13 touchdowns to just 3.

Following the Colts 5-2 start, Indianapolis would end the season 2-7 and finish the year a game under .500 at 7-9.  The record was not really a surprise considering the circumstances.

There were still several bright spots for Frank Reich’s group to carry into the 2020 NFL Season, however, as the team’s offensive line further gelled and is now the best unit in football.  This allowed for the Colts to have the 7th best rushing attack in the NFL last year, with Marlon Mack’s 1091 yards and 8 touchdowns leading the way.

Defensively, the Colts were very stout against the run, with Pro Bowl linebacker Darius Leonard leading the way once again on the Indy defense, this despite missing three games to injury. 

Elsewhere, Indy was pretty much middle of the pack on the defensive side of the ball, and they simply could not stop teams late, probably in large part to a depleted offense that could not stay on the field themselves.

2019 also provided the likely end of Adam Vinatieri’s career, as the best kicker of all time finally showed signs of being AARP eligible and would struggle all season for the Colts.

Already Fearing 3 AM “You Up?” Texts from Jim Irsay
QB Philip Rivers (Chargers)
DT DeForest Buckner (Trade/49ers)
CB Xavier Rhodes (Vikings)
DT Sheldon Day (49ers)
TE Trey Burton (Bears)

The “Not Sure Any of These Guys are Actually Free-Agent Losses” Losses
TE Eric Ebron (Steelers)
CB Pierre Desir (Jets)
WR Devin Funchess (Packers)* COVID-19 Opt-Out
QB Brian Hoyer (Patriots)
T Joe Haeg (Buccaneers)
DE Margus Hunt (Saints)
WR Chester Rogers (Dolphins)

Colts 2020 Offensive Preview

The Colts enter 2020 hoping that Philip Rivers has enough gas in the tank for one final run at a Super Bowl.  If you watched Rivers play for the Chargers in 2019 however, you may be thinking that’s a pretty ask of the 38-year old sleep-deprived father of 9.

Rivers played, basically, in the same manner, Philip Rivers has played in most of his career.  The fiery competitor who has never been shy about throwing a pass into double coverage racked up 4615 yards passing and 23 touchdowns in 2019, but also threw 20 interceptions and fumbled the ball away another eight times.  The Chargers would lose most of their games by less than a touchdown, and Rivers turnovers were usually the deciding factor.

38-year old quarterbacks don’t play like 38-year old quarterbacks any longer though, as Tom Brady and Drew Brees continue to prove, and if Rivers does have enough left for one more run, the personnel in Indianapolis can only help prolong that career a little bit further.

First of all, Rivers is going to love the Colts’ offensive line as much as he loves sending the kids to day care.  Quenton Nelson is the closest resemblance to a brick wall in the league, with Anthony Castonzo playing left tackle and the vastly underrated Ryan Kelly playing center, the Colts o-line has the nastiest left side in football.

The Colts offensive line helps open up massive holes in the run game for the explosive Marlon Mack, but Mack has yet to play an entire season in his career, and his durability is a question.  To remedy this, the Colts drafted Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor in the second round, giving Indy a potentially scary good tandem at running back.

Outside of AFC South defensive backs, Philip Rivers will also have his share of weapons to throw the ball to in Indianapolis as well, headlined by longtime Colt T.Y. Hilton and second-year Ohio State product Parris Campbell.  Indianapolis also expects to get production out of USC rookie wideout Michael Pittman Jr.

Indy returns Jack Doyle at tight-end and replaced Eric Ebron with former Philly Special touchdown thrower Trey Burton coming to the team in free agency.

Colts 2020 Defensive Preview

On the defensive side of the ball, the Colts got aggressive in patching up their defense that was pretty much bang average in 2019.  As mentioned earlier, the Colts were very stout against the run a year ago, in large part because of their outstanding linebacker Darius Leonard.

In 2020, the Colts run defense could be even better, as the team went out and traded their first-round overall pick to the 49ers for DT DeForest Buckner.  Buckner will pair with former Chiefs edge rusher Justin Houston on the defensive line and should immediately make an impact on a defense that struggled to consistently generate a pass rush a season ago.

In the secondary, the Colts went out and got Xavier Rhodes in free agency.  Rhodes has been nothing like the cornerback he was at the start of his career, however, and when paired with TJ Carrie, there are quite a few questions to be had there.  The Colts secondary is highlighted by their talented young safety Malik Hooker, but this unit as a whole definitely looks to be below average on paper.

Colts 2020 Outlook & Prediction

The Colts may have overachieved a year ago by going 7-9 with Andrew Luck retiring so close to the season.  There is plenty of talent on this roster, especially on the offensive side of the football, but it will likely all come down to how Philip Rivers plays in 2020.

If Rivers reverts back to the same form as he had in 2019, when he was still playing with weapons like Austin Ekeler, Hunter Henry and Keenan Allen, the Colts are going to struggle in a pretty tough division.  But if Rivers can capture that same form as he had in 2018, Indianapolis is a dangerous team in the AFC.

While Rivers having a great season wouldn’t be a surprise in the slightest, we believe the 38-year old quarterback will continue to trend down as his career draws to a close.  Indy has too much talent to be a bad team, so we expect them to hover around the same place they were a season ago at 7-9.

Colts 2020 Projection: 8-8, 2nd Place AFC South

Colts 2020 Betting Preview

The Indianapolis Colts will be one of the most fascinating teams during the 2020 season, as this is a team that is truly a toss-up.  We honestly believe there are much better futures on the board, but with that being said, here are the futures bets we’d lean on the most in relation to the Indianapolis Colts.

  • Colts UNDER 9 Wins — (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    This bet really comes down to what you think Philip Rivers will provide for this Colts team.  As mentioned above, we’re not buying him leading Indy into the playoffs.  Because of this, we also do not see the Colts having a winning season in 2020 and will take the under 9 wins here at nearly even money.  We will also add that because this team is such a toss-up to peg, that we are not overly confident about this play.
  • Indianapolis Colts to Make Playoffs (NO) — (+154) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Continuing the theme and taking the plus money to boot.  With the extra playoff spot, this is admittedly a risky play, but we’re sticking to our guns and fading Philip Rivers this season.  The same qualification about the Colts being such a hard team to predict comes into play with this bet as well. 
  • Jonathan Taylor to Win OROTY — (+800) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Marlon Mack has never played a full 16-game season, and his style of running doesn’t seem like it’s going to change that fact any time soon.  Enter the talented rookie Jonathan Taylor, who could very well wind up closing the season getting the bulk of the carries in Indianapolis.  If we are very wrong about Philip Rivers and this Colts team is in the playoff hunt with Taylor racking up stats, this pick is very much in play.

Las Vegas Raiders 2020 Odds & Betting Preview

By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)

Leave it to the Raiders to finally secure the stadium of their dreams, a nearly $2 billion venue that looks like a giant Roomba, and to move to a city that is welcoming them with open arms, right in the middle of a once-in-a-century global pandemic that will likely leave their stadium fanless in its flagship season. 

If the Raiders didn’t have bad luck, they’d have no luck at all.

So it makes sense that Mark Davis is heading to Las Vegas as a means to turn that luck around. 

The Raiders bid farewell to the state of California with one of the strangest seasons in recent memory, in only a manner that they can.  Now a roster that was once depleted, and then further gutted by coach Jon Gruden just two years ago, suddenly has the look of a potential playoff team in a loaded AFC West division.

The second installment of the “Jon Gruden Experience” has launched to mixed results, but the Raiders are hoping that their permanent residency on the Vegas strip will be met with rave reviews.   

Raiders 2019 Season Review

If you thought the series premiere of the rebooted Jon Gruden coaching experience had its twists and turns between…

  • Trading Khalil Mack to Chicago, only to watch Mack lead the Bears into the playoffs.
  • Trading Amari Cooper to Dallas, only to watch him explode the moment he put on the Cowboys jersey.
  • Hiring Tom Cable to coach the Raiders offensive line, of which Cable’s line was so bad it made Derek Carr cry.
  • Trading for A.J. McCarron to try to ignite a fire in Carr, only to release him a season later.  Trading for Martavis Bryant, only to release him that same year, and the best nugget of them all — signing Nathan Peterman (and leaving him on the Raiders roster even after the move to Vegas!)

How in the world could Gruden and the Raiders top that 16-episode home run of a debut season?

Well they certainly found a way. 

The Raiders would enter 2019 without a stadium to play-in and entertained the idea of playing at the San Francisco Giants ballpark (presumably because they have toilets that actually flush and don’t drain onto the field) before 49ers ownership would balk and force the Raiders back to said septic challenged stadium.

Jon Gruden would bring on GM Mike Mayock, forming the NFL’s first All Color-Commentator GM/Coach tandem, and one of the first moves of the new regime was acquiring the ultra-talented Antonio Brown from Pittsburgh.

Antonio Brown, of course, worked out about as well for the Raiders as the Kardashian family has for Kanye. Brown would not play a single down as a member of the quasi-Las Vegas Raiders and would be released before the season after a rollercoaster of events ranging from frostbite, helmet type and secretly recording conversations with his new coach.

Fortunately for football fans, a lot of this was witnessed on Hard Knocks, and the Raiders appeared to be heading towards the same circus as they did in 2018 where they finished 4-12.

Instead, the 2019 Raiders would prove to be much further along the rebuilding process than many expected.  After some chuckled at the decision to hire Mayock, the Raiders followed up with one of their best draft hauls in team history.

Oakland would get substantial contributions from rookies Josh Jacobs (1150 yards, 7 TD’s), Hunter Renfrow (605 yards, 4 TD’s), and Maxx Crosby (10 sacks, 4 FF), while 4th overall pick Clelin Ferrell would get stronger as the year went on, and Trayvon Mullen was a very solid corner when pressed into duty.  The team is also especially high on safety Johnathan Abram, who missed all but one game in his rookie year with a torn rotator cuff.

The Raiders would start the season slowly, stumbling to a 1-2 record out of the gate, however the outstanding draft class would infuse the team with both talent and energy, and after unearthing Darren Waller as a sleeping giant at tight-end, the team would rattle off five wins in seven games and be in the thick of the AFC Wild Card race.

Injuries would sink the Raiders’ playoff hopes, as the team would end the season winning just one of their remaining six games, including their final game in the Black Hole where they managed to close out the building with a 20-16 loss to Gardner Minshew. 

Came for the Raiders, Will Stay for the Buffets

QB Marcus Mariota (Titans)
RB Devontae Booker (Broncos)
WR Nelson Agholor (Eagles)
TE Jason Witten (Cowboys)
TE Nick O’Leary (Bills)
G Eric Kush (Browns)
DE Carl Nassib (Buccaneers)
DT Maliek Collins (Cowboys)
DT Daniel Ross (Cowboys)
LB Cory Littleton (Rams)
LB Nick Kwiatkoski (Bears)
CB Prince Amukamara (Bears)
S Damarious Randall (Browns)
S Jeff Heath (Cowboys)

Got Tired of Knocking on Wood Every Time His Coach Asked Him

QB Mike Glennon (Jaguars)
RB DeAndre Washington (Chiefs)
DE Benson Mayowa (Seahawks)
LB Tahir Whitehead (Panthers)
CB Daryl Worley (Cowboys)
S Karl Joseph (Browns)

Raiders 2020 Offensive Preview

The Las Vegas Raiders enter 2020 with a lot of speed and a whole lot of athleticism.  It’s what is most commonly referred to as in Raiders circles as “Al Davis’ Happy Place”.

The Raiders would get back to their roots and used their 12th overall pick on the fastest wide receiver in the draft, Alabama’s Henry Ruggs (4.27/40). Ruggs kicked off his Las Vegas Raiders career rocking a bathrobe when he was drafted, making him the absolute PERFECT FIT for this franchise. Al Davis would have traded everything he had to the Bengals to draft Ruggs first-overall, and Mayock got him 12th. Is that a steal? Maybe!

The speedy Ruggs headlines another Mike Mayock class, which also includes 6’3” red zone target Bryan Edwards, and Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden, a ‘swiss-army-knife’ type that played three offensive positions in college.

In addition to the Vegas wide receiving corps, the Raiders have matchup nightmare Darren Waller to deal with at tight end, and the team also added future Hall of Famer Jason Witten in free agency. 

Now that the Raiders have replenished a roster that was barren with talent on the offensive side of the ball, all eyes will go on the team’s franchise quarterback Derek Carr, who now finds himself in the position of needing to return to the Pro Bowl form he showed in 2016 before a broken ankle would end his season.

Carr has never quite rebounded from that injury, and many fear that the years of punishment from shoddy offensive line play and a lack of consistent weapons may have irreparably damaged the psyche of their young quarterback.  If this sounds somewhat familiar to you, it’s because the same thing happened to Derek’s brother, David, in Houston. 

Continuing the ‘deja vu’ theme of the Raiders quarterback room, Gruden’s biggest offensive free-agent acquisition of 2020 came with the signing of former 2nd overall pick and ex-Titans starting QB Marcus Mariota. Mariota is still only 27 years of age, and like Carr is looking to rebound following injury-shortened seasons and spotty performances.

Ironically enough, Mariota enters his new Raiders situation in almost the same manner that Ryan Tannehill entered his situation with the Titans a season ago, before he would take Mariota’s job and send him to Jon Gruden’s waiting arms.

It’s the NFL come full-circle.

Should Carr start the season slowly, the Raiders may not want to wait very long to make a change at quarterback.  Should Carr hold off Mariota, the Raiders will at least have themselves a very dependable backup that could step in.

Raiders 2020 Defensive Preview

Vegas entered the offseason looking to add impact players to a defensive unit that simply could not get teams off the field a season ago.

The Raiders wanted to beef up their linebacking corps, and did just that by signing Cory Littleton away from the Rams, and up-and-coming talent Nick Kwiatkoski away from Chicago.  The Raiders also added DT Maliek Collins to a one-year deal, and veterans Prince Amukamara and Damarious Randall to try to bring more stability to the Las Vegas secondary.

To further help shore up the Raiders secondary, the team would use their second first round pick on corner Damon Arnette.  Arnette figures to compete with 2019 second rounder Trayvon Mullen to start opposite Amukamara. 

The strength of the Las Vegas Raiders defense remains on their defensive line, as Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby will both enter their sophomore seasons with the club.  Veterans Carl Nassib, Johnathan Hankins, and Datone Jones provide plenty of depth for new defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. 

If the young Raiders’ defense can continue their development from strong rookie campaigns, Vegas could have themselves a sneaky good defense in 2020.

Raiders 2020 Outlook & Prediction

Make no doubt about it, the AFC West runs through Kansas City and will for the foreseeable future.  However, the Las Vegas Raiders (we are still getting used to writing that) suddenly find themselves with a roster capable of contending for one of the three wild-card spots in the AFC.

If Gruden finds a quarterback that can run the offense to its full potential, whether that’s Carr, Mariota, or Peterman (LOL), this Raiders team can absolutely find itself playing in the playoffs in their first season in Vegas.

We’re not sure Carr or Mariota are the answer, but the talent on the team will at the least keep them in more games than not.

Raiders 2020 Projection: 8-8, 3rd AFC West

Raiders 2020 Betting Preview

  • Raiders OVER 7 Wins — (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    The AFC West is certainly set up in a way where if Carr or Mariota struggle, the Raiders may be in for a long year.  The Raiders have the 21st ranked schedule in 2020, meaning it does not look especially daunting.  They hit 7 wins a year ago with a less talented roster and tougher schedule, we would be surprised if they don’t get to that number this year.
  • Josh Jacobs OVER 1100.5 Yards Rushing — (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    The Raiders return their entire offensive line from a season ago, and have added Jason Witten into the equation, which can only help the Raiders in the running game.  Jacobs only needed 13 games in his rookie season to top 1100 yards last season, with a full 16 games and a better stable of weapons around him, we see him topping this number once again.
  • Henry Ruggs III to win Offensive Rookie of the Year — (+2000) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Ruggs was the first WR taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, but has the third best odds to win OROTY along with Cowboys rookie WR CeeDee Lamb.  Considering the two quarterbacks, this is a risky play but a 20-to-1 dart throw on the likely Raiders #1 WR is worth the shot. 

New York Jets 2020 Odds & Betting Preview

By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)

The New York Jets were expected to take a big leap in 2019 under offensive guru Adam Gase, in particular, their young quarterback Sam Darnold was expected to take that next step in his development as their franchise quarterback.

Instead, Darnold somehow contracted mono, because the Jets cannot have anything that brings them happiness, and the Jets season was doomed from the start.

In typical Jets fashion though, the team would finish the season as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, going 6-2 in their last 8 games to finish the year 7-9.

Hopes were high that 2020 could be different for the Jets now that Tom Brady had left New England and Sam Darnold would be returning to play under Gase with a better grasp of the offense, and with a clean bill of health.  After all, the team ended the season on a torrid stretch and was going to add more pieces on the offensive side of the ball to aid their young franchise QB.

Then the Jets’ two best players on the defensive side of the ball, and the two players the Jets were going to depend on with their up and coming defense were suddenly gone.  Jamal Adams would have his wish granted and be moved to Seattle for a haul of draft picks and veteran safety Bradley McDougald, and big 2019 Free Agent signing LB C.J. Mosley would opt-out of the 2020 season with COVID-19 related health concerns.

Suddenly the optimism for the new season has waned severely, and the Jets could be on the verge of having another coaching staff purging and the roster changes that come along with it. 

Jets 2019 Season Review

The Jets entered the 2019 offseason looking for a new coach after firing Todd Bowles and all of his staff.  They would settle on hiring Adam Gase and his crazy looking eyes from their division rival Miami Dolphins because what better way to turn around your franchise than by hiring Miami Dolphins cast-offs to be your head coach.

After holding out for the entire 2018 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers let Le’Veon Bell hit free agency and he would sign a big contract with the Jets along with former Ravens LB C.J. Mosley, giving Adam Gase a pair of star signings to build his roster around in his debut season with the team.

The Jets would hire Gregg Williams with his Evil Abed goatee to turn around the Jets defense, and with the AFC wild card race seemingly wide open, the hope was that the team would improve enough to be in the mix to get a winning record and the playoff spot that came along with it.

As mentioned previously, all hell broke loose when Sam Darnold would unexpectedly catch mononucleosis after an opening week loss to the Buffalo Bills.  

The virus would cause Darnold to miss the Monday Night contest against the Browns in Week 2, and then enlarge his spleen to the point he’d have to miss the next three games.

Trevor Siemian would get the start and suffer a gruesome ankle injury that would end his season.  This left the Jets down to their third-string quarterback, and subsequent 0-4 record to start their season.

Darnold would return in Week 6 and play outstanding in a 24-22 win over the Cowboys.  The best game of Darnold’s young career would soon be forgotten a week later however, when Bill Belichick and the Patriots defense left Darnold feeling like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, and the Jets would fall to 1-5 after a 33-0 drubbing.

Two road losses against the Jaguars and Dolphins left the Jets sitting at 1-7, and the rumors of Adam Gase’s seat temperature began to pick up in frequency.  But after those two fateful losses to Jacksonville and Miami, the Jets would manage to change the course of their season and finish strong with a 6-2 record.

Need a Better Agent After They Got Them Deals with the Jets
T George Fant (Seahawks)
C Connor McGovern (Broncos)
G Greg Van Roten (Panthers)
WR Breshad Perriman (Buccaneers)
CB Pierre Desir (Colts)
RB Frank Gore (Bills)
QB Joe Flacco (Broncos)
LB Patrick Onwuasor (Ravens)
S Bradley McDougald (Seahawks/Trade)
WR Chris Hogan (Panthers)

Salvaged Their Football Careers by Leaving this Football Wasteland
S Jamal Adams (Trade/Seattle)
LB C.J. Mosley (COVID-19 Opt-Out)
WR Robby Anderson (Panthers)
T Brandon Shell (Seahawks)
RB Ty Montgomery (Saints)
G Tom Compton (49ers)

Jets 2020 Offensive Preview

Adam Gase enters what could be a make or break season for his head coaching hopes, and the Jets offense once again will depend on young Sam Darnold taking that leap and playing up to his potential that made the Jets draft him 3rd overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Jets goal in the offseason was to help their young quarterback stop seeing Casper when he’s on the football field, and to be able to breathe for longer than the nanosecond of protection the 2019 Jets offensive line would provide for Darnold.

New York gave big money deals to free agent offensive linemen George Fant, Connor McGovern, and Greg Van Roten and selected the 6-7, 364-pound Mekhi Becton to be the teams future at tackle. 

The offensive line will hope to not only provide protection to Sam Darnold, but also free up Le’Veon Bell in the running game so that the highly-paid former All Pro has the ability to bring his gamebreaking talents into this offense.

Bell was a major disappointment in his first season as a Jet, rushing for only 789 yards and 3 touchdowns.  This year, Gase has signed Frank Gore, who was a sophomore at Miami when the Jets won Super Bowl III, to back up the former Steelers superstar tailback.

While Darnold should have a better offensive line in 2020, the Jets did lose their best wide receiver from the past few seasons when Robby Anderson departed for Carolina. 

Gang Green elected to go into the free agent market and plucked away the speedy Breshad Perriman from Tampa Bay to be the teams new #1 wide receiver, and they also drafted former Baylor standout wideout Denzel Mims in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.  The Jets also added free agent wide receiver Chris Hogan, and if Hogan makes the final roster he will have played for every team in the AFC East.

Jets 2020 Defensive Preview

Prior to the start of August 2020, the Jets defense appeared to be on the brink of becoming a potential Top 10 unit in football.

Then the Jets would finally cave into Jamal Adams’ trade demands and ship him off to Seattle for a haul of draft picks and veteran safety Bradley McDougald and one-week later star linebacker C.J. Mosley elected to opt-out of the season due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

And while the haul of draft picks will certainly help the Jets in the future, they don’t help the defense a few weeks removed from the season, and the Jets defense suddenly went from one of the best young units in football to a unit that might need a tourniquet to stop the yards and points that are about to be surrendered.

Gregg Williams defense will now be headlined by another former Raven, this time being that of LB Patrick Onwuasor who joined the team in free agency this offseason. 

2019 first round pick Quinnen Williams looks to give the Jets a much-needed boost on their defensive line, and Bradley McDougald comes over to the Jets after being included by the Seahawks in the compensation for Jamal Adams. 

The aforementioned Jets secondary outside of McDougald is a cast of relative unknowns.  Pierre Desir comes over to the team after a few seasons starting in Indianapolis.  Desir figures to be the teams #1 cornerback in 2020, but struggled in 2019 after getting a nice contract extension from the Colts.

Williams was able to work magic with this Jets defensive group in 2019, but he will need to put forth his best coaching effort yet to keep the Jets defense from ranking in the bottom half of football in 2020.

Jets 2020 Outlook & Prediction

Optimism was starting to emerge from the Meadowlands for the potential of the Jets 2020 season, but then the trade of Jamal Adams and subsequent opting-out from C.J. Mosley suddenly leaves the Jets with a substantial weakness on the defensive side of the football.

While New York finished the 2019 season strong, there are still causes of concern involving the Jets offense and the continuing development of their 3rd overall pick from 2018, Sam Darnold.

The Jets offense will need to find a dependable wide receiver to replace Darnold’s favorite target Robby Anderson, and they will need Le’Veon Bell to tap into his talent reservoir to be the weapon he was for several seasons in Pittsburgh.

Even though the AFC East is wide open this season with the departure of Tom Brady, we think the Jets will find themselves in a position they are all too familiar with — last place in the division and looking for a new head coach.

Jets 2020 Projection: 5-11, 4th place AFC East

Jets 2020 Betting Preview

We happen to fancy the following futures bets for the New York Jets 2020 season.

  • New York Jets UNDER 6.5 Wins — (-134) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    We leaned this way before the Jamal Adams trade.  We love this pick even more now.  The Jets defense is going to be a major pain point for Adam Gase and Gregg Williams in 2020, as Adams and Mosley masked so many of the Jets flaws.  This coupled with the fact that Sam Darnold is working with an infirmary list of wide receivers, and Gang Green is in for a long season.

  • Le’Veon Bell OVER 850.5 yards Rushing — (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    While we fully expect the Jets to struggle to stop teams and score enough points to win consistently, we do believe the Jets improved their offensive line in a big way and that Le’Veon Bell should reap the most benefits from this.  Bell flat out stunk in 2019, and we anticipate that he will bounce back in 2020 with a 1000-yard rushing season.

Cleveland Browns 2020 Odds & Betting Preview

By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)

In recent years, Cleveland sports fans have been able to witness history unfold before them.

LeBron’s block and Kyrie’s dagger to bring ‘The Land’ their first World Championship.

The Chicago Cubs broke their 108-year title drought against their Cleveland Indians in a World Series for the ages.

And in 2019, perhaps the rarest moment of them all, the Cleveland Browns were considered to be a dark horse to make a run at a Super Bowl!

If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that there are many moments in life that make you scratch your head and wonder aloud if you’re still on the same planet as anyone else, because at no moment in time should we ever consider the Cleveland Browns to be Super Bowl contenders. 

If they’re going to win a Super Bowl, it’s going to be like when the Rams came out of nowhere to win one, and even then, it will still take several years to believe it even happened.

And so here we are again, back to square one with the Cleveland Browns. 

The Brownies would once again send an NFL coach and GM to the chopping block, this time removing Freddie Kitchens and John Dorsey from their respective posts, and have turned the keys to the NFL’s closest equivalent to a PT Cruiser over to former Vikings’ offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski.

Stefanski, in typical Browns’ fashion, would land the gig after the Vikings managed to get 147 yards of offense in a 27-10 loss to San Francisco in the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs. Quite the shot in the arm for your new fan base!

But as we enter the 2020 season, stop us if you’ve heard this one before, the Browns do have hope!

Browns 2019 Season Review

Hoo boy, where do we begin?

After a captivating end to the 2018 season, rookie Baker Mayfield appeared to finally give the Browns the franchise quarterback they had been searching for, and the Browns would use a 5-2 finish to the season to become exceptionally aggressive in the trade and free-agent market that offseason.

Cleveland of course pulled off one of the bigger moves of the 2019 offseason when they traded for Odell Beckham Jr., but they didn’t stop there, also bringing on Kareem Hunt, signing Sheldon Richardson away from Minnesota and trading for Olivier Vernon.

On paper, all of these moves looked to be slam dunks.  However, the Browns were doomed from the start when GM John Dorsey would pass on hiring a credible coach to work with this sudden surge of talent in Cleveland, and instead promote interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens to be the team’s head-coach.

Hiring Freddie Kitchens did provide the answer to the riddle of what would happen if you hired a sugared up 12-year old playing Madden 20 and allowed him to do that in real life, but it did not ascend the Browns into contender status.

In fact, the team would actually regress from the season before, where they went 7-8-1, and finish a lowly 6-10 with Baker Mayfield having the second-most turnovers in football behind Jameis Winston, and Myles Garrett trying to turn the Steelers backup quarterback into a pinata.  

The Browns were 2019 offseason champions but showed they still had a long way to go before they could even think about winning a Super Bowl.  Kitchens was fired after one season, Dorsey was let go before that, and the Browns once again were left to hit the reset button, hoping to start a new decade with a new direction.

Willingly Moved to Cleveland, Ohio (We Aren’t Sure Why Either)

TE Austin Hooper (Falcons)
RT Jack Conklin (Titans)
DE Adrian Clayborn (Falcons)
CB Kevin Johnson (Bills)
S Karl Joseph (Raiders)
DT Andrew Billings (Bengals)
QB Case Keenum (Washington)

Getting a Second Chance at Happiness After Leaving Ohio

LB Joe Schobert (Jaguars)
S Eric Murray (Texans)
LB Christian Kirksey (Packers)
S Juston Burris (Panthers)
S Damarious Randall (Raiders)

Browns 2020 Offensive Preview

I’m afraid to write this, but the Browns finally may have gotten it right.

After kicking Freddie Kitchens to the curb, Cleveland elected to hire Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, in large part because the team hopes to follow the trend of running the football and executing your passing game through play-action passing, as opposed to the spread em’ out, air-raid variety that Kitchens tried and whiffed at quite spectacularly.

The immediate beneficiaries of this hire would be that of Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb.  Mayfield should see improvement on his AFC high 21-interceptions, and Chubb should become more of a focal point within the Browns new offensive system. 

Chubb has been outstanding for the Browns at the outset of his career, rushing for nearly 2,500 yards and 16 touchdowns in his first two seasons with the team.  In the new Stefanski offense, he figures to get the bulk of the carries in a loaded Cleveland backfield that also has ex-Kansas City star Kareem Hunt as the backup.

Once again, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry will be the Browns main threats at wide receiver, with the team signing Austin Hooper to a big contract in free agency to provide a big lift at that position.  Earlier in the offseason former first-round pick David Njoku requested a trade but has since rescinded that request per reports, so their tight-end tandem could be one of the best in the league.

The Browns also went to work on improving the weakest unit on the team a season ago, their offensive line.  After Joe Thomas retired, the gap at left-tackle was too much for the Browns to overcome.  That should not be the case in 2020 as the team selected the mammoth Jedrick Wills to play on the left side and signed, arguably the best right tackle in football, Jack Conklin to a massive deal in free agency.

Browns 2020 Defensive Preview

Quietly the Browns have assembled a defense filled with young talent all throughout the roster.

The main attraction on defense is that of professional whack-a-moler slash premier pass-rushing specialist Myles Garrett, who may have committed assault on Mason Rudolph before cashing in with a massive contract extension in the offseason.  

Garrett, outside of the incident with Rudolph, has been well worth the #1 overall pick from three years ago, and he has already racked up 30.5 sacks in just 37 games.  Garrett makes up a potentially dangerous defensive line with fellow veterans Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon.

The deepest group on the Browns defense though is that of their secondary, and the young cornerback tandem of Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams look to improve upon a great start to each of their careers.  Rookie Grant Delpit comes over from the National Champion winning LSU Tigers to start at free safety for the Browns, and former Raiders’ first-round pick Karl Joseph looks to rejuvenate his career as the Browns strong safety.

Cleveland has a young and athletic linebacking corps, but lacks experience at the position and will need someone to fill the shoes of the departed Joe Schobert, who took a big deal from Jacksonville in free agency.  If the Browns are able to find a couple of gems within their young linebacking corps though, this defense has the potential to become one of the leagues best.

Browns 2020 Outlook & Prediction

Here we are again, fighting off every urge to dive head first into the Cleveland Browns 2020 hype wagon.  However, the Browns roster is sincerely one of the better ones in the AFC.  Their biggest questions come once again at coach and quarterback. 

On paper, having a coach like Stefanski calling the show does give the same vibes as other contenders like San Francisco and Seattle where they lean on their running game to open up the passing game, and that offense may be exactly what Baker Mayfield needs to get back on course.

With that being said, it remains to be seen if Baker is ready to play in an offense where he will need to be more disciplined and shelf his desire to be the gun-slinging star he was at Oklahoma.  If he can do that, protect the football and lean on arguably the best RB tandem in the NFL with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, all the pieces are there to get the Browns back into the playoffs for the first time in 17 years.

If they don’t buy in though, and Baker continues to regress, barring Case Keenum saving their season it could be another disappointing year in the Rock and Roll Capitol of the World.

We think Baker improves and the first season of the Stefanski era is a success.  Pop the champagne bottles Browns fans, your playoff drought ends in 2020 (unless COVID-19 ends the season first, which, for the Browns would be quite fitting).

Browns 2020 Projection: 10-6, T-2nd AFC North

Browns 2020 Betting Preview

While Cleveland Browns football can generally be quite depressing to see, these wagers involving them won’t be!  Here are our favorite bets in relation to the Browns.

  • Cleveland Browns OVER 8.5 Wins — (-121) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    That’s right Browns fans, Vegas expects you to have a winning season in 2020! Are the Browns about to pull the football out from underneath us a la Lucy and Charlie Brown? It’s certainly possible, but we agree with oddsmakers on this one and will take the over on their 2020 win total.

  • Cleveland Browns to Make Playoffs (YES) — (+130) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    2020 is off-the-rails crazy, you know this year isn’t ending before something wonky happens involving the Browns. But if you want an actual reason for this, 11 of the Browns 16 games in 2020 come against teams that did not make the playoffs. They do not have an overly difficult schedule, with their toughest road date being their Week 1 opener against Baltimore, a team they beat in Baltimore in 2019. The Browns chances to make the playoffs in a wide-open AFC with an additional playoff spot are better than you may think.

  • Cleveland Browns to Finish in 2nd Place AFC North — (+240) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Not only are we taking the Brownies to finish with a winning record and to end a 17-year playoff drought, but we are also taking them to finish in second place in the AFC North at +240. Is this likely to happen? Probably not, but we’re going to take a shot at the plus-240 value here.

Jacksonville Jaguars 2020 Odds & Betting Preview

By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)

Jacksonville Jaguars 2020 Team Preview

January 21, 2018 may feel like it was an eternity ago as we wrap up the summer of 2020.

In January 2018, the air was crisp as winter had set in.  You could hang out with friends, you could go to a movie, a concert, even a football game. 

And back in 2018?  The Jacksonville Jaguars… were a game away from the Super Bowl!

Blake Bortles .. was a quarter of football away from leading a team to the Super Bowl!

Alas, 2018 B.C. (before COVID-19) was a simpler time.

Now a year and a half later, the Jaguars enter the 2020 season as the consensus short favorite to have the 1st overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

This kind of “rags to riches, back to rags” story doesn’t happen overnight, but for the Jaguars it certainly feels like it did.

One moment the Jaguars defense was calling themselves ‘Sacksonville’ and fielding one of the best groups in the last decade. The next, they are blowing a 4th quarter lead to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, and are never able to recover again the following two seasons after that.

What’s transpired in the 32 games since that fateful defeat has been shocking, to say the least. The Jaguars went from a roster stacked with young talent on both sides of the ball to a team that will have 39 new members in 2020.

It’s the type of roster churning, with a head coach that appears to be the living definition of the phrase “lame duck coach,” that have the Jaguars closer to winning the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes than the division itself.

Jaguars 2019 Season Review

As short-lived as the Jaguars’ status as a Super Bowl contender was, the Nick Foles Jaguars’ era was even shorter.

The 2019 season began with hope that merely swapping Blake Bortles for Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles would be the trick to returning the Jaguars back to their 2017/18 form. 

That hope evaporated roughly 10 minutes into the first quarter of the opening week game against Kansas City, when Foles would suffer a broken collarbone on a touchdown pass to second-year WR D.J. Chark.

The injury would not end Foles season, though it would knock him out of action until Week 11, but Foles never looked like a good fit in the Jaguars offense and struggled mightily even when he was healthy.  The Napoleon Dynamite stunt double would be benched for the lone highlight of the Jaguars 2019 season, rookie QB Gardner Minshew.

The 6th round pick by way of Washington State went 6-6 as a starter last year with a very respectable 21 touchdown passes and just six interceptions in his rookie season.  In several of their wins, he was the difference maker. 

It wasn’t just Minshew’s play on the field that drew the most attention though, as the eccentric quarterback would prove to be one of the most entertaining rookies the league has seen in quite some time.  

“Minshew Mania” came to Duval at the right time, because outside of Minshew’s impressive and unexpected debut campaign, the Jaguars had a lot of other internal issues to contend with in 2019.

That infamous Jaguars defense was a shell of its 2017 self, and would go on to struggle all season, and the team would eventually trade All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey to the Rams after Ramsey demanded to be traded from the team throughout the season.

Jags 2017 4th overall pick RB Leonard Fournette would again struggle mightily behind a paltry Jaguars offensive line that would be unable to open up holes for the former LSU star, but it was the type of performance that became even more magnified considering the Jaguars drafted Fournette over the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

It’s hard to blame Fournette for much of the issues with the Jaguars roster, but this selection paired with the Jags picking up Bortles fifth-year option in 2018 really summarizes the fall from grace for Doug Marrone’s group.

Willingly Moved to Duval County for Reasons Unknown

LB Joe Schobert (Browns)
DL Rodney Gunter (Cardinals)
TE Tyler Eifert (Bengals)
QB Mike Glennon (Raiders)
CB Rashaan Melvin (Lions) COVID-19 opt-out*
DT Al Woods (Seahawks) COVID-19 opt-out*

Wanted the Jaguars as Much as London Does

T Cedric Ogbuehi (Seahawks)
WR Marqise Lee (Patriots) COVID-19 opt-out*
LB Jake Ryan (Ravens)
TE Nick O’Leary (Raiders)
TE Seth Devalve (Panthers)

Jaguars 2020 Offensive Preview

If there’s anything positive to carryover from the 2019 season it’s that the Jaguars appear to at least have their answer at quarterback in the short term with Gardner Minshew.  Even if Minshew should regress a bit and be a low-end starter/high-end back-up, that would still be incredible value for where he was drafted by the team a year ago.

The Jaguars will bring over a lot of the same offense from 2019, with Minshew, Fournette and 2019 breakout player WR D.J. Chark headlining the Duval attack.

The biggest change to come to Jacksonville on the offensive side of the ball will be with the man calling plays.  Former Washington head-coach Jay Gruden joins Marrone’s staff to be the teams new offensive coordinator, leaving one inept franchise for another.  Gruden did have a nice run of success in Cincinnati as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator once upon a time, so the Jags are hopeful he can repeat the feat here.

On the offensive line, Jacksonville intends to return the same group from a season ago, but will need much better play from the left side of their offensive line with Cam Robinson and Andrew Norvell, as each player has underperformed massively in their roles with the Jaguars.  Right tackle Jawaan Taylor has shown promise for becoming a high-quality right tackle, but was a penalty machine in 2019 as he lead all players with 15 penalties called against him.

Gruden’s scheme is less likely to rely so heavily on Fournette, who was on the field for 83% of the Jaguars offensive snaps and had over 330 touches on the year, and more on the arms of Minshew and their young WR corps of D.J. Chark, Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley.

Free agent addition Tyler Eifert will also look to add a missing link from the tight-end position, but Eifert has spent more time on the injured list than in the end zone the past several seasons, so it’s hard to expect a whole lot of production there.

Jaguars 2020 Defensive Preview

We’ve mentioned it a few times already, but the majority of the roster churn on the Jaguars has come on the defensive side of the football, where the 2017/18 Jaguars defense is nothing more than a footnote in history now.

Gone from that Jaguars defense are the likes of Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, Dante Fowler, A.J. Bouye, and Marcell Dareus. 

Jacksonville finished the 2019 season with one of the worst defensive units in football, particularly against the run where they would surrender over 5 yards per carry, good for 31st overall in football.

The Jags are taking apart their defense and trying to rebuild it into another formidable unit to vault them back to the top of the AFC South standings.  In 2019, they used their first-round pick on the highly touted pass rushing specialist Josh Allen, who had a standout rookie season with 10.5 sacks in his debut campaign.

In 2020, Jacksonville went out and got Allen some more help, drafting K’Lavon Chaisson 20th overall to be the pass-rushing edge opposite of him, as the Jaguars defense plans to play more of 3-4 scheme than they have in recent seasons.

In addition to revamping the front 7, Doug Marrone is looking to replenish a secondary that saw their top two corners both get traded in the last year, and used the 9th overall pick on CB C.J. Henderson from the nearby Florida Gators.

Henderson will pair with corner, and former Raiders first-round pick, D.J. Hayden in the Jags secondary, after plans to pair up their rookie with FA addition Rashaan Melvin had to be sidelined after Melvin voluntary opted out of the 2020 season.

While the front seven looks to be in position to be above league average, the Jaguars secondary is in for a potentially long season as there are still a lot of holes outside of their 2020 Top 10 pick.

Then there’s the yet to be resolved offseason drama with their franchise-tagged star defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.  

Ngakoue was visibly frustrated all offseason, taking to social media on more than one occasion to ask the team to trade him if they didn’t want to give him the long-term deal he was seeking.  It remains to be seen if this relationship can be salvaged at all, or if the team will use Ngakoue to fetch more draft compensation for their continuing rebuild. 

If Ngakoue plays and buys-in to what the Jags are selling, the Jacksonville defensive line has a lot of potential.  But if Yannick continues to be a problem inside the locker room and is not productive as he once was, a running theme for the hold overs from the AFC Championship losing squad, look for Jacksonville to try to remedy this issue as quickly as possible.

Jaguars 2020 Outlook & Prediction

It’s pretty apparent upon looking over the Jaguars roster, that this is a team that is not going to compete in too many games this season, and they may be perfectly fine with that as they seem to be approaching their rebuild in the exact same manner as their in-state AFC chums Miami are doing.

If there’s a silver lining to playing the 2020 NFL season in what will likely be fanless venues, the Jags will no longer have to travel to London this year for two home games, which is good not only for the team but for relations between the United States and United Kingdom, as continually sending the Jaguars over to play there is a borderline cause of war.

The Jags are going to be quite bad this year, and Doug Marrone likely won’t survive the season, but there are some really good young pieces here to at least give their fans hope that they’ll be back to their Sacksonville days in no time.

The Trevor Lawrence watch officially begins.

Jaguars 2020 Projection:  3-13, 4th place AFC South

Jaguars 2020 Betting Preview

There aren’t many reasons to watch the Jacksonville Jaguars, but let these futures bets be an excuse to catch a game or two.

  • Jacksonville Jaguars UNDER 4.5 wins — (+103) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Gardner Minshew is about as fun as a sixth-round rookie can get, and we’re still not entirely sure he’s the answer at QB for the Jags, but even ‘Minshew Mania’ won’t be enough to get the Jags to a 5+ win season.  Their schedule is absolutely brutal, with only a handful of truly winnable games.  Shad Khan’s ultimate goal for this franchise is to land a player that will fill the many empty seats in Duval County for years to come — is that player Trevor Lawrence?  We shall wait and see, but in the meantime, plus-money on the Jags being 4-12 or worse is outstanding value.

  • C.J. Henderson to win DROTY — (+3300) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    There aren’t many things to get excited about with the 2020 London Jacksonville Jaguars, but C.J. Henderson is the exception.   This is nothing more than a dart throw on a Top 10 pick with 33-to-1 odds.  Why not?

Arizona Cardinals 2020 Odds & Betting Preview

By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)

The Arizona Cardinals went from punchline to looming threat in the deepest division in football seemingly overnight.

After being ridiculed for everything from hiring a head coach who couldn’t muster a record above .500 in the Big XII, to drafting a 5’10” ex-baseball star 1st overall to be your new starting quarterback after you just selected a quarterback 10th overall the season before that, the Arizona Cardinals appeared to be a franchise off the tracks.

Instead, as they say, hindsight is 20/20, and not only are the Cardinals a team that is poised to be heading in the right direction, after a fleecing of the Texans for arguably the best wide receiver in football DeAndre Hopkins, the Cards could be a team on the verge of contending for a playoff spot.

Cardinals 2019 Season Review

Entering the 2019 season, the Cardinals were coming off of a miserable 3-13 season that catapulted them into the position to get a do-over at the whole selecting a franchise QB in the draft thing, and after a season of using Josh Rosen as the team’s personal crash dummy before shipping him off to rot in Miami, Arizona would tab Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray to be the team’s franchise quarterback.

For Murray, it was a chance to continue to play in a similar offense to what he experienced in college thanks in large part of the Cardinals hiring Kliff Kingsbury. 

For the Cardinals, it was the chance to do the NFL equivalent of the Men In Black memory erase and pretend that their offense wasn’t piloted by Mike McCoy and the quarterback super tandem of Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen.

The offense, and Murray, for the most part, played decently well in 2019, with the expected setbacks that come from having a rookie quarterback and first-year NFL coach.

While David Johnson would struggle mightily due the Cardinals offensive line and just not being a great fit within Kingsbury’s offense, Arizona would get an unexpected lift from a midseason trade for Kenyan Drake.  Drake immediately found success in Kingsbury’s quick-tempo offense, running for 110 yards and a touchdown in his debut against the 49ers and then finishing the season with 363 yards and 7 touchdowns in his final three games.

Larry Fitzgerald would still be productive despite being in the NFL since the AFL/NFL merger and playing with a rookie coach and quarterback, and Chandler Jones would wreak havoc on the defensive side of the ball with 19 sacks.

That about summarizes many of the positives for a team that mustered only a 5-10-1 record in 2019, though it should be noted that Arizona plays in one of the toughest divisions in football, with the 49ers representing the conference in the Super Bowl and the Seahawks coming narrowly close to being in the NFC Championship game themselves. 

The Cardinals were not without their warts in 2019 and did only win five games for a reason, as their defense outside of Chandler Jones was not good, giving up nearly 28 points per game while having a pass defense that ranked 31st in football.

Nonetheless, the defensive woes were slightly more palatable when Cardinal fans could see Kyler Murray’s progression and the potential of Arizona’s offense after ending the season with two wins in three weeks including a road-upset of Seattle.

Will Use 20% of their Signing-Bonus on Air Conditioning

WR DeAndre Hopkins (Texans)
DT Jordan Phillips (Bills)
LB Devon Kennard (Lions)
LB De’Vondre Campbell (Falcons)
T Kelvin Beachum (Jets)
DT Trevon Coley (Colts)

Will Have to Use Daylight Savings Time Again

RB David Johnson (Texans)
WR Pharoh Cooper (Panthers)
DE Rodney Gunter (Jaguars)
DE Zach Kerr (Panthers)

Cardinals 2020 Offensive Preview

Kliff Kingsbury was presumably the first name in Bill O’Brien’s contacts when O’Brien wanted to just give DeAndre Hopkins away for the equivalent of Gamestop store credit.

Not only did the Cardinals acquire a Top 5 wide receiver for next to nothing, but the team also managed to get rid of David Johnson’s rotting corpse and contract for the … trouble (?) of acquiring a great wide receiver for your 23-year old quarterback.

Pretty good start to the offseason.

In addition to Hopkins, the Cardinals would retain Kenyan Drake thanks to the transition tag and will return a running back that added a lot of juice to Arizona’s lineup after the Cardinals surprisingly acquired the speedy threat from Miami.

Larry Fitzgerald will also make his return to the desert after considering retirement, and the soon to be 37-year old receiver will join Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella as Hopkins’ counterparts in the passing game.

The Cardinals offense, while showing promise under Kingbury’s quick-tempo attack, will need better play from their offensive line however if they are to take that next step as a possible playoff team.

Arizona believes it has a steal in the making after drafting Josh Jones out of Houston in the third round, this after Jones was talked about as a possible first-round pick leading up to the draft. 

Cardinals 2020 Defensive Preview

After stopping next to no one unless Chandler Jones sacked the quarterback on that particular drive, Arizona came into the 2020 offseason looking to improve on that side of the football.

The team made major additions at linebacker with the free-agent acquisitions of Devon Kennard and De’Vondre Campbell, and most notably via the draft with the pick of the highly-touted specimen Isaiah Simmons from Clemson.

The Cardinals also chipped in the addition of Jordan Phillips from Buffalo to come play nose tackle, and now they hope to do enough to improve upon some truly dismal defensive numbers in 2019.

The secondary once again will be headlined by long time Cardinal Patrick Peterson and soaring star safety Budda Baker.  Who plays opposite of Peterson will be the primary concern, as the team will hope 2019 2nd round pick Byron Murphy can fill the role, after struggling in his rookie season from time to time.

If Arizona’s defense can improve in 2020, that could be enough to vault them into prime position to finish near .500, which could very well put them in the new expanded 7-seed in the NFC. 

Cardinals 2020 Outlook & Prediction

We are big believers in the Cardinals being a potential playoff team in 2020, as after committing highway robbery of the Houston Texans for DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals are in position with a favorable schedule and the right weapons in the right places to make a move at a playoff spot in the NFC.

If the defense continues to struggle however, or the offensive line doesn’t gel, the Cardinals could still struggle breaking through in what is arguably the best division in football.

We think Kyler Murray will continue to shine, especially with the addition of Hopkins, and the Cardinals will hover around the .500 mark all season before settling there with a potential playoff clinching 8-8 record.

Cardinals 2020 Projection:  8-8, 3rd place NFC West

Cardinals 2020 Betting Preview

We like the following futures bets concerning the Arizona Cardinals in the upcoming 2020 NFL Season.

  • Arizona Cardinals OVER 7 Wins — (-115) at FanDuel Sportsbook
    As mentioned in this projection, a favorable schedule and an infusion of talent await the Arizona Cardinals this season. We’re not quite sure if 8-8 can lock down the 7th playoff spot in the NFC, but it would carry the over on this bet. We love the Cardinals winning at least 8 games in 2020.

  • Arizona Cardinals to Make Playoffs — (+260) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Again, we picture the Cardinals being right around 8 to 9 wins in the 2020 NFL Season, and that would place them right smack in the middle of the playoff race. At +260, this is well worth the wager.

  • DeAndre Hopkins to Lead League in Receiving — (+1800) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Hopkins has topped 1500 yards receiving two times in the last five seasons, with a 1378-yard season thrown in between. This after playing with some very questionable quarterbacks until his fortunes recently changed with Deshaun Watson. Kyler Murray is going to look Hopkins way a lot in 2020, and Kliff Kingsbury is going to call a lot of passing plays to give him a great chance of stat-padding his way to a +1800 futures cash. Worth the shot.

Los Angeles Chargers 2020 Odds & Betting Preview

By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)

The San Diego Los Angeles Chargers are set to embark on a new era for the franchise.

The team will be playing inside a brand-new stadium, with a killer new logo and new uniform, and a brand-new starting quarterback after bidding farewell to Philip Rivers and his small village of children after 15 seasons with the team.

After once again failing to live-up to big time expectations in 2019 in ways only the Chargers can, a roster loaded with talent looks to rebound in a division that includes the Super Bowl champions, while developing a polarizing rookie quarterback for the future. 

That probably explains why HBO selected them for Hard Knocks.

Chargers 2019 Season Review

So, this may sound familiar…

The Chargers entered the 2019 season with Super Bowl dreams fresh off a 2018 season that saw them go toe to toe with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, finish 12-4 and beat Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in the Wild Card Round before running into the Tom Brady buzzsaw.

Naturally, the Chargers can’t have nice things, and they’re reminded by this every single time they get excited and think that things will change.  2019 was no different for the Super Chargers.

First, Melvin Gordon decided he wanted to hold out.  Then the injury bug ravaged the Chargers, causing the likes of superstar safety Derwin James and several other notable players to miss significant time.

And then, Philip Rivers happened. 

After having one of the best seasons of his career in 2018, Rivers threw 20 interceptions in 2019 with 8 fumbles.  His turnovers would prove to be doubly painful considering that nine of the Chargers 11 losses on the season were by seven points or less.

The Chargers would flirt with victory only to blow the game late so often you’d think it was a science.  But their fans would tell you that it’s not science, it’s just what the Chargers do.  

Still, as far as 5-11 teams go, the Chargers have a ton of talent.  They’re not your typical five-win football team, but they are the Chargers, and sometimes that just seems to outweigh anything talent can provide you.

Thrilled to Be Stuck in L.A. Traffic for 3 Hours to Play in Front of No Fans

G Trai Turner (Panthers/Trade)
RT Bryan Bulaga (Packers)
CB Chris Harris Jr. (Broncos)
DT Linval Joseph (Vikings)
LB Nick Vigil (Bengals)
WR Darius Jennings (Titans)

The Chargers Made This Guy the Highest-Paid Tight End in Football for One Moment in Time

TE Hunter Henry (Signed Franchise Tender)

Skipped Town Quicker Than a Member of the Spanos Family

QB Philip Rivers (Colts)
RB Melvin Gordon (Broncos)
S Adrian Phillips (Patriots)
G Michael Schofield (Panthers)
FB Derek Watt (Steelers)
S Jaylen Watkins (Texans)
TE Lance Kendricks (Free Agent)
DT Sylvester Williams (Free Agent)

Chargers 2020 Offensive Preview

On paper, the Chargers appear to have playoff caliber potential all over the offense.  In fact, the lone position they have a major question mark at is at quarterback.

Leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft, speculation swirled around the team’s interest in free-agent quarterback Tom Brady.  If the Chargers were indeed interested and tried to sign Brady, they of course lost out to Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Speculation then swirled around whether or not the Chargers would sign former Panther Cam Newton, or if they’d trade up in the draft for Tua Tagovailoa.

San Di.. er .. Los Angeles did none of those things and instead stood pat where they would draft former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.

There are many skeptics of how Justin Herbert will perform in the NFL, with some critics comparing him to the likes of Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker amongst other infamous draft busts, while there are others that believe Gabbert’s potential has yet to be unlocked and that he can become the next Carson Wentz.

Wherever he falls, the future of the Chargers now rests on his shoulders, and if new starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor is unable to lead the Chargers to victories, the calls to insert the young rookie into the lineup will only grow louder.

Whoever is under center for the Chargers in 2020 will have several weapons to help them out, and a revamped offensive line that received a lot of attention in the offseason.

The Bolts kept the electric Austin Ekeler with a long extension and retained tight end Hunter Henry with the franchise tag.  Henry enters the 2020 season as the highest-paid tight end in football and is going to be one of the reasons that George Kittle sleeps well at night after he gets his ginormous extension later this year.

The former residents of San Diego also feature the vastly underrated wide-receiver Keenan Allen and big target Mike Williams.  The team does seem to have depth issues at WR though, with a lot of unproven guys behind the two at the top.

The Chargers also traded tackle Russell Okung to Carolina in exchange for Trai Turner and then signed former Packer Bryan Bulaga to a three-year deal in free-agency.  This paired with getting Mike Pouncey back after an injury-shortened 2019 season has Anthony Lynn hopeful that the offensive line will be improved.  However, there are still big question marks on the left side of the offensive line, with the left tackle position still to be determined in camp.

Chargers 2020 Defensive Preview

If the Chargers are to get back into the playoff mix in 2020, the Chargers defense will play a huge role in getting there. 

The Chargers secondary is crowded with talent, highlighted by Derwin James, Casey Hayward, and free-agent signing Chris Harris Jr., who joins the Chargers after several seasons playing for the rival Broncos.

Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram return to form one of the best pass-rushing tandems in the league, and the team added former Vikings interior defensive lineman Linval Joseph to anchor their defensive line.  2019 28th overall pick Jerry Tillery looks to also give the team a boost entering his second season with the team.

After trading back into the first round of the NFL Draft, Los Angeles would also solidify their linebacking corps with the selection of Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray.  The Chargers hope that Denzel Perryman returns to the form he played at a few seasons ago, as he has been a very up and down player for the Los Angeles defense.  Murray’s addition should only help that along.

On paper, this defense has about everything you can ask for, but this is a running theme for this Chargers team.

Chargers 2020 Outlook & Prediction

Year in and year out, the Chargers are the most maddening team in football.  A season ago, the team could have just as easily finished 11-5 as they did 5-11, and that seems to summarize the Chargers for as far as I can remember.

That said, this iteration seems to be more “fools gold” than your usual Charger teams, as we have major concerns about who plays quarterback and who protects said quarterback. 

Tyrod Taylor is a steady veteran backup, but his last stint as a starter in Cleveland left a lot to be desired, and Los Angeles with its gaping holes on the left side of the offensive line and consistently inconsistent nature has us thinking this team will play around .500 all season, but never really seriously threaten for a playoff spot. In this division, however, that puts you in last place.

Chargers Projected 2020 Finish: 7-9, 4th AFC West

Chargers 2020 Betting Preview

This is one of the teams in the NFL we are horrified to bet any of our hard-earned money on, as they share a penthouse with the Atlanta Falcons for teams that make you scream horrifying words at your television.  As the 2020 season draws near, we tepidly like the following futures odds involving the Los Angeles Chargers:

  • Los Angeles Chargers UNDER 7.5 Wins — (+118) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Because they’re the Chargers, we would suggest not going crazy with this, but our projections have the Chargers right at seven wins, and this just feels like a 7-8 win team in the making.  We are going with the plus-money here and will hope that the Chargers don’t stumble their way into their trademark meaningless Week 17 win to finish 8-8.

  • Justin Herbert to Win Offensive Rookie of the Year — (+2000) at FanDuel Sportsbook
    There are only three quarterbacks in the NFL that will likely see action as a rookie.  We don’t foresee Herbert winning this, but he’s a quarterback and if the Tyrod Taylor experiment goes sideways quickly, there’s enough talent on the Chargers roster where anything would be possible.

Miami Dolphins 2020 Odds & Betting Preview

By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)

You may think that a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in 20 years and is coming off of a 5-11 season would lack a little bit of optimism for the future.

But when you’re the Miami Dolphins and the man that has single-handedly owned your franchise for the last two decades finally leaves your division to play about four hours away from you, well things start to look up for the better.

For the first time in quite some time, there is reason to hope for better days as a Miami Dolphins fan.

The team was expected to be one of the worst the NFL has ever seen, instead they managed to turn around their season after a miserable start to the year, and capped off the season with a stunning road win in Foxboro that would cost the Patriots a critical first-round bye, and be the beginning of the end of the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick dynasty.

Now with fresh optimism and a young rookie quarterback they coveted since before the 2019 season even began, South Beach may be on the verge of having a successful NFL team again.

Dolphins 2019 Season Review

The Miami Dolphins began the 2019 campaign with everyone fully expecting they would do as little as possible to win games to guarantee themselves the opportunity to draft a franchise quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Before the college football season began, the consensus feeling was that quarterback was Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa.  The Dolphins would wind up landing Tua in the draft, but in a way that no one would have truly expected.

The Dolphins began their rebuilding after watching their hated rival, the New England Patriots, win yet another Super Bowl over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.  Following the conclusion of those four hours no football fan will ever get back, the Dolphins made the quiet hire of Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores.

Then after Bill O’Brien, for some inconceivable reason, decided to do GM things again, the Dolphins suddenly found themselves trading Laremy Tunsil for a king’s ransom to the Texans, and the draft pick stockpiling would begin.  

Just a few weeks into the 2019 season, the Dolphins would also trade safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers for another haul of draft picks including the Steelers 2020 1st round pick.   Before the trade deadline, Miami would trade Kenyan Drake leaving them without a reliable running back on the roster.

Between the purging of the Dolphins roster and how Miami looked out of the gate, an 0-16 season looked like it was a very real possibility.

The Dolphins would begin the 2019 season losing their first four games by a combined total of 163-26.  They did not have their first lead of the season until Week 4.   They started the season 0-7.  They were as sad as a Pitbull Greatest Hits album

Yet magically, the team improved every single week following that miserable four-week period to start the season, and before you would know it Brian Flores had the Dolphins finishing the 2019 season with a 5-4 record, leaving them to end his first season at 5-11.

Finishing the season with five wins in their last nine games also did not harm the team goal of being in a position to secure a franchise quarterback in the draft either.

Thanks to the otherworldly season put together by LSU’s Joe Burrow and a serious hip injury suffered by Tua Tagovailoa late in the season, the Dolphins would still get their coveted future quarterback anyway as Tua would slide all the way to #5 in the draft without the team needing to move any additional assets to secure him.

It was about as impressive as a 5-11 season can get, and why so many believe that Brian Flores may be the first ex-Belichick assistant to be the real deal.

Took Their Talents to South Beach

CB Byron Jones (Cowboys)
G Erick Flowers (Washington)
DE Shaq Lawson (Bills)
DE Emmanuel Ogbah (Chiefs)
RB Jordan Howard (Eagles)
RB Matt Breida (49ers)
LB Kyle Van Noy (Patriots)
WR Chester Rogers (Colts)
TE Adam Shaheen (Trade/Bears)
S Clayton Fejedelem (Bengals)

As Valuable as Marlins Season Tickets

DE Taco Charlton (Chiefs)
DE John Jenkins (Bears)
RB Samaje Perine (Bengals)
LB Charles Harris (Trade/Falcons)
C Evan Boehm (Bills)

Dolphins 2020 Offensive Preview

The 2019 Miami Dolphins’ offense really became the Ryan Fitzpatrick and DeVante Parker show as the second-half the season went on.

To signify how much the Dolphins struggled rushing the football a year ago, their leading rusher in 2019 was none other than 37-year old (and nimble) Ryan Fitzpatrick with 243 yards!

If Ryan Fitzpatrick is leading your team in rushing, it’s a safe bet your team can’t run the football.

So the Dolphins went out and got Fitzpatrick some help at RB by signing Jordan Howard and Matt Breida in free agency.  The team also added Navy swiss-army knife Malcolm Perry in the 7th round, and he could mix into the running back rotation as well.

Miami also addressed its gaping hole at tackle following the Laremy Tunsil trade by drafting OT Austin Jackson with the second of their three first-round picks, and double downed on beefing up the line by adding free-agent Erick Flowers.

Prior to training-camp beginning, it was believed that the Dolphins WR corps would comprise of the ultra-talented Parker along with Allen Hurns, Albert Wilson, and Preston Williams, but Hurns and Wilson have both since opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 health concerns, leaving Miami to turn to ex-Colt Chester Rogers to aid in the passing game.

Preston Williams was putting together a great rookie debut before an ACL injury ended his season early, but the team hopes he will be ready in time for the season opener.

Make no doubt about it though, the team’s most reliable target in the passing game is the aforementioned Parker, who enters 2020 coming off a breakout 1202 yard season with 9 touchdowns.  Miami will once again depend on Parker in the passing game, even more so now with the losses of Hurns and Wilson.

Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki is also coming off his best season ever, with 570 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns.  The third-year tight end will expect to see even more targets in 2020 with new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey dialing up the plays.

And then, of course, there’s the question about Tua Tagovailoa.  In a perfect world, Flores will be able to lean on the veteran Fitzpatrick to guide the team towards a Wild Card push, but if the team stumbles out of the gate it remains to be seen if the team would turn the keys over to the rookie quarterback. 

All indications are that Tua is healthy and ready to go, the only question appears to be when they will think is the right time.  Former first-round pick Josh Rosen is also still on the Dolphins roster, and could be kept around as an emergency QB given the uncertainty around COVID-19.  To start the season though, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the Dolphins guy.

Dolphins 2020 Defensive Preview

The Dolphins entered the offseason with an absurd amount of cap space to spend and a lot of holes to fill on a defense that would surrender the most points in football in 2019.

They got around to writing checks almost immediately.

Miami gave former Cowboys corner Byron Jones the biggest contract in NFL history for a player of his position (five-years, $82.5 million) and followed that up by adding a pair of pass rushers in ex-Bills DE Shaq Lawson (three-years, $30 million) and ex-Chief DE Emmanuel Ogbah (two-years, $15 million).  Flores also brought over ex-Patriot outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

In the draft, the Dolphins used five of their eleven draft choices on defensive players, the most notable being Auburn corner Noah Igbinoghene and Alabama defensive tackle Raekwon Davis.

Suddenly, in just a short period of time, the Dolphins defense has a lot more talent on its depth chart than it did a season ago. 

Dolphins 2020 Outlook & Prediction

The Dolphins have survived the worst of their rebuilding, and now will begin to reap the benefits of gutting the roster and rebuilding through the draft and shrewd free-agent acquisitions.

While the team may have overpaid for the likes of Byron Jones and Shaq Lawson, the defense should be much improved as a result.  If the Dolphins offense can get kickstarted with a rejuvenated running game and more seasoned play-caller, Miami has the potential to surprise a lot of people in 2020.

However, a daunting schedule looms in the distance, and if Ryan Fitzpatrick regresses as he has done before, the Dolphins could see themselves with roughly the same amount of wins as they had a season ago.

We believe Brian Flores is building something good here, and while the Dolphins won’t contend for the division title this year, they’re a lot closer than they’ve been in quite some time.

Dolphins Projected 2020 Finish: 6-10, 3rd AFC East

Dolphins 2020 Betting Preview

As the 2020 season draws near, we like the following futures odds involving the Miami Dolphins:

  • Dolphins UNDER 6.5 wins — (-134) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    While we definitely believe the Dolphins are turning this thing around and will be contending in the AFC East before too long, we don’t see that happening just yet in 2020.  If you look at the Dolphins first six games, there is a very real chance they begin 1-5 out of the gate and would still have dates against Kansas City, Buffalo, and New England waiting for them after their bye.  Finding six other wins on this schedule is very hard.  We’re riding the under here with our favorite play involving the Dolphins
  • Dolphins to Finish in 3rd Place AFC East — (+170) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Without spoiling future previews too much, the Jets are going to be very bad this season on defense and very reliant on a young Sam Darnold without much help.  We just think Miami is the better team here and that the division is likely coming down to Buffalo or New England.  At +170 this is tremendous value on the Fins.
  • DeVante Parker to lead NFL in Receiving Yards — (+3000) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Is it likely? No, not really.  Is it fun to root for if you’re a Dolphin fan? Absolutely!  Who knows, maybe you catch lightning in a bottle on a small bet and have some play money to show for it.  This is our favorite “dart throw” Dolphins futures ticket.

New York Giants 2020 Odds & Betting Preview

By, Faux John Madden (Special to OddsUSA.com)

The New York Football Giants (also known as the only reason Tom Brady doesn’t have 8 Super Bowl rings right now) enter the 2020 season with tempered hopes that they could improve upon their last three seasons that have seen the Giants go a combined 12-36 since 2017.

It’s a low bar to be cleared for sure.

It’s also a new era for the Giants.

For the third time in five years, the Giants are pressing the reset button on the franchise, which considering the run of success the franchise had under Tom Coughlin, is a bit alarming to the Giants faithful.

Giants faithful should rest easier at night though, knowing there’s no better way for a professional football team to reset than by entrusting a 69-year old general manager that still believes in building a roster like it’s 1990 and not 2020.

Nonetheless, the Giants embark on the 2020 season with their third head coach since 2017, the latest being former Bill Belichick disciple Joe Judge, and the first full season without Eli Manning as their starting quarterback since 2005.

The Giants enter this new decade after the 2010’s featured the best and worst of both worlds for the franchise.  After winning Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 over the aforementioned Tom Brady led Patriots, the Giants have only had one winning season since.  They have not won the NFC East since 2011, and all indications are that that’s not likely to change in the near future. 

For the Giants to return to respectability and Super Bowl contendership, they are going to rely heavily on the young duo of quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley.

To date, the Giants have handled Barkley’s immense skillset in a manner that would make the Lions blush with how they handled Barry Sanders.  The offensive line remains a pain point for the Giants, as despite the solid play from new starting guard Kevin Zeitler, the tackle combination of Nate Solder and Mike Remmers proved to be on a different level of bad, and Barkley’s performance suffered greatly as a result.

This doesn’t even mention how the Giants would also ship off their most popular player to football purgatory when they traded Odell Beckham to Cleveland when the 2019 offseason opened up or how the Giants defense was still at the bottom of every statistical category despite using two of their three first-round picks on defensive players and acquiring former Top 10 pick Leonard Williams from their MetLife Stadium roommates, the New York Jets. 

What else would you expect out of the Giants franchise lately?

Giants 2019 Season Review

We touched upon some of the Giants 2019 woes already, but the Giants 2019 season was not one that many Giants fans will look back upon fondly.

The Giants season started like the previous 57 Giants seasons before them — with a visit to Jerryworld in Dallas.

Eli Manning would do Eli Manning things, and the Giants would start the season 0-2 with a pair of losses to the Cowboys and Bills.  The 0-2 start was apparently enough to signal to coach Pat Shurmur that the season was over, and rookie Daniel Jones was inserted for Eli, marking the second time that Eli was benched in his career, the first coming back in 2017 when Ben McAdoo and his slicked back hair with enough oil in it to fuel a small country benched Eli for Geno Smith.

Jones would go on to win his first two starts, a Jameis Winston meltdown led victory over Tampa and a win over hapless Washington placed the Giants at 2-2 and suddenly had their fans whispering that ‘Danny Dimes’ was about to take the Giants on a run.

What actually happened though is those two wins were a complete mirage and the Giants would go on to lose, an all-time franchise high, nine straight games before winning a couple of meaningless games at the end of the season to completely screw their chances at drafting Chase Young, and the Giants finished 2019 in third-place! With an um, 4-12 record.

But hey, they can only go up from here right?!

Dave Gettleman Approved Football Guys that Signed Here
CB James Bradberry (Panthers)
LB Blake Martinez (Packers)
TE Levine Toilolo (49ers)
LB Kyler Fackrell (Packers)
OT Cam Fleming (Cowboys)
S Nate Ebner (Patriots)
QB Colt McCoy (Washington)
RB Dion Lewis (Titans)
CB Ross Cockrell (Panthers)

Really?  They Franchised Him?
DT Leonard Williams (Tender signed)

No Longer Dave Gettleman Approved Football Guys
S Antoine Bethea (N/A, Free Agent)
LB Alec Ogletree (N/A, Free Agent)
OT Mike Remmers (Broncos)
S Michael Thomas (Texans)
WR Cody Latimer (Washington)
CB Antonio Hamilton (Chiefs)

Giants 2020 Offensive Preview

The Giants hope the 2020 season leaves their fans clapping loudly, whether that’s from home watching on TV or if something drastically changes, in person at MetLife Stadium.

How do they hope you clap for the team?

Probably like new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett claps for his players.

For this to happen, the Giants will need Daniel Jones to take the next step in his first full year as the starting quarterback for the Giants.

Jones, to his credit, played pretty well in his rookie season given the circumstances.  However, he did lead the league in fumbles with 18, and that is obviously a statistic that the Giants will need him to improve upon.

As mentioned previously, the offense really lives and dies with what Saquon Barkley is able to give them.  Barkley is one of the most dynamic weapons in the game and can kill you on the ground or in the passing game, and for the Giants to have any chance at success in 2020 he has to be the focal point each and every week.

Daniel Jones will also have a decent stable of veteran weapons in the passing game, with Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard both returning to the team after missing time a season ago (Tate with a suspension and Shepard with injuries).

Tight-end Evan Engram also returns from injury, and if he’s able to stay on the field he gives Jones a big target to open up the middle of the field.

Once again, the Giants will look for their offensive line to provide more stability for their offense, something that hasn’t been the case during their recent struggles over the past three seasons.

Gone in 2020 are both offensive tackles from a season ago, as Mike Remmers departed for Denver in free agency and 2018 free-agent bust Nate Solder elected to opt-out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus, as he has a newborn child that had a battle with cancer and Solder himself is a cancer survivor as well.

As a result of the offensive line struggles, the Giants used the 2020 NFL Draft to select the very large Andrew Thomas out of Georgia to play right tackle.  Thomas, a 1st team All-American, stands at 6-5, 315 but somehow plays even bigger than that. 

And while ideally, you’re selecting a franchise left tackle in the top five, Thomas will bring much-needed consistency to the right side of the Giants line and hopefully start to open up the running game more for their best player in Saquon Barkley.

If the line can gel and provide some room for Saquon to work, the Giants offense should be a respectable middle-of-the-league unit.  If the line struggles again though, the Giants are in position to have a very long season.

Giants 2020 Defensive Preview

The Giants entered the 2020 offseason with roughly $60 million of cap room to play with, and they spent the bulk of it trying to shore up a pass rush that struggled to create consistent pressure all season and secondary that got lit up thanks to said struggles in getting to the passer.

Their pass rush of course would have been greatly aided by Chase Young in the draft, but the Giants were overeager to send Pat Shurmur out the right way, and ended the season with wins over Miami and Washington.

Because of those wins, the Giants slipped from 2nd in the draft to 4th, and were unable to address their pass rush woes via the draft.

Instead, Dave Gettleman looked to the Green Bay Packers to replenish some of the defense, and brought on 3-4 pass rushing specialist Kyler Fackrell to the team alongside his former teammate Blake Martinez to man the middle of the Giants defense.

Not to be outdone by division rival Washington with their Carolina Panther transplants, Gettleman also tapped into his own Panther pipeline by signing ex-Panther DB’s James Bradberry and Ross Cockrell to contracts.

Bradberry and Cockrell will be extra important, as the team is losing 2019 rookie DeAndre Baker following an off-field armed robbery incident that could end with Baker serving jail time.

Collectively, the Giants defensive unit is very young, with every starter being 26 years of age or younger.   That bodes well for the future, but they may still struggle mightily on this side of the ball until the experience catches up to the skillset.

Giants 2020 Outlook & Prediction

It’s been a long time since we saw Mario Manningham make one of the toughest grabs in Super Bowl history to bring the Giants their fourth Lombardi trophy.  Since that point, the Giants are a putrid 42-70 overall with only one winning season (2016, 11-5).  The Giants are unlikely to break this trend in 2020, but if Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley can continue to grow together and the Giants defense begins to gel, we can see this Giants team being a team you don’t want to see in the second half of the season.

Giants 2020 Projection: 5-11, 3rd NFC East

Giants 2020 Betting Preview

We like the following futures wagers involving the New York Football Giants:

  • Giants UNDER 6 wins — (+103) at DraftKings Sportsbook
    Upon looking at the schedule, we see the Giants right at this projected number.  We feel pretty safe about the Giants not finishing 7-9 or better, and while this may end right at 6-10, we think the plus money on the under is the move here.
  • Giants to Finish 3rd Place NFC East — (+118) DraftKings Sportsbook
    In the division finishing position market, the Giants finishing in 3rd place in the NFC East has the shortest odds for the team.  We fully agree with the oddsmakers here, as while the division is a toss-up between the Eagles and Cowboys, we believe the Giants are better than Washington and will finish in 3rd as a result.
  • Saquon Barkley UNDER 1200.5 yards rushing — (-110) DraftKings Sportsbook
    We love Saquon Barkley as a player, but the first-half of the Giants schedule is absolutely brutal for a young offense trying to piece a new system together on the fly.  Saquon would need to average 75 yards rushing per game this season to top 1200 yards rushing, we think he comes just short and hovers around 1100 yards on the year.