A few weeks ago on The MMQB NFL Podcast, Albert Breer, Jenny Vrentas and Conor Orr picked over/under for win totals for the first nine NFL teams to open minicamps. This week, the crew continues with part two.
(Listen to the latest The MMQB NFL Podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Breer: We'll start with the Buffalo Bills. The over-under number for the Buffalo Bills: Seven. You guys going over or under?
Vrentas: Under. That feels like a very generous over under for the bells. I'm shocked it's so high.
Orr: Yeah, I completely agree. I mean, I just don't think Josh Allen's going to get there. I mean the offensive line—they did some work there but not nearly enough. The average age of the running backs is 41. I think that there's a lot of problems.
Vrentas: Forty-one, slip that in there Conor.
Breer: I think that this has to do with their division. I think that's why the number seven. Someone has to finish second in the AFC East, right?
Vrentas: I think the Jets will finish second.
Orr: I agree.
Breer: OK. So I think if you want to look at the other over-under numbers here, we've got the Jets also at seven and the Dolphins are at five. And so what Vegas is telling us here is that you've got the Jets and you've got the Bills and they've got an even shot at finishing second. ... I like a lot of what the Bills are doing, and I think this is an example of Vegas getting it right. I think they'll be right around 7–9. I'll go with you guys, I'll take the under there.
All right, the Dallas Cowboys. So they've got a lot of business to do off the field. They've still got to try to take care of Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott. They've got some guys in the defensive side of the ball whose contracts are coming up. Obviously took care of Demarcus Lawrence but Byron Jones is going into the final year of his rookie deal. Eventually they're going to have to take care of those linebackers. I was surprised, this this seems low to me. What do you guys got?
Vrentas: Same, I agree. I think it's an over as well. I mean they were a 10-6 team last year, and I think they all have the potential to be better this year. The last time I felt like the numbers were very difficult because they were right at what we expected. Yeah. And this week it feels a little bit easier.
Orr: Interesting. I'm going under.
Vrentas: You're going under! OK.
Orr: I'm going under. I'm going 8–8 for Dallas, and my Orr projections for that division—I do have the Giants finishing ahead of Dallas.
Vrentas: What would you say, something like a projectORR screen—do you think that the only thing that I'm talented at in life is making puns with your last name? Because I think there is a strong possibility that's true. I would say I'm pretty good at it.
Orr: I think you're exceptionally talented at a lot of things but that is one of the things you're exceptional at.
Vrentas: Thank you. Thank you. It's nice to feel recognized.
Breer: So I feel like this is a little similar to Buffalo in that so much hinges on the quarterback. I think they've done a lot of things right around the quarterback. So much hinges on what happens with Josh Allen, and with the Cowboys, it sort of feels the same. Like, you look at the roster and there aren't a ton of holes. I think going into last year you would have said OK tight end, receiver, what are they going to do? They acquire Amari Cooper, they've obviously brought Jason Witten back. We'll see how that turns out. I think a lot of this depends on where you think Dak Prescott's going to be in a year. And I really think that the one just sort of underrated storyline here is what Kellen Moore becomes as the offensive coordinator, because there was risk involved in elevating him the way that they did and in taking a guy who was a player just a couple of years ago and making him the play caller. And I think that this was the Cowboys way of trying to balance keeping Jason Garrett. And part of this is Jerry Jones's ego because he views Jason Garrett as sort of his creation. So being able to keep Jason Garrett but then simultaneously try to catch the wave of what's happening in the NFL with offenses in general in an effort to try to get the most out of Dak Prescott.
I'm going to go over here because I think Kellen Moore is going to open some eyes and turn some heads. I think it will be really interesting to see where that offense goes with Kellen Moore in charge because in college he played in one of these offenses at Boise. He's a son of a coach, he's got a lot of these things going where it's like you look at him and OK like maybe this guy could be an offensive innovator and do things that are a little bit different and maybe open the door to get a little bit more Dak Prescott than Scott lent a hand did the last couple of years.
This is another one that seem low to me: The Eagles 9.5. Maybe I think too highly of the Eagles, but this one seemed low to me too. What do you guys think.
Vrentas: I am also going to take the over. You know I think the Eagles have one of the best most complete rosters Young the NFL. I mean a lot of course here hinges on Carson one staying healthy because now they don't have Foles as the zero-dropoff backup. But if you think that Wentz is going to stay healthy, which obviously the Eagles do because they extended him this offseason, then I think you could see that they would easily exceed that win total.
Orr: Yeah, I'm going over too. I reached out to someone who covers the Eagles when I was doing ranking the best running back backfields in the league and I wanted to put the Eagles second in the entire NFL, and I was talked out of that and said that was a little crazy, that I'm a little too high on this group. But I think that they've just got an incredibly deep backfield they still the good offensive line. This is this is a good team.
Breer: I ended up all over the place, guys. So the discussion I had with Joe Douglas about leaving Philly and one of the things he said was it was tough because I knew how good the Eagles are gonna be. And he says the deepest team he's ever been around as a guy who spent all those years with the Ravens, was there when they won the Super Bowl in 2017 and so for him to talk about the roster that way just leapt off the page at me. And so I don't know I just ... I think they're one of these teams that right now is, even with the the quarterback now signed long term, they're still sort of riding that sweet spot where you're able to stock a couple positions that maybe you wouldn't be able to otherwise because you've got a young quarterback. I think that this is a probably a 12-win team if everybody stays healthy. That's a big if of course because the quarterback's part of that if, but if they stay healthy, I think it's probably a 12-win team, NFC champions and a real, a real Super Bowl contender.
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