AFC East Notebook
August 1, 2014
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New England Patriots
2013 Record: 12-4
Postseason: Lost 26-16 to Denver in AFC Conference Championship
Off YPG: 384 (7th)
Def YPG: 373 (26th)
Points scored: 444 (3rd)
Points allowed: 338 (10th)
2014 Total Win Analysis: LVH Total Win Opening Line - 10.5
Hard not to look to the OVER 10.5 wins here with the Patriots. Only once in the 13 years they've had Tom Brady as the starting QB have the Patriots not reached double digit wins. The one time they did not reach at least 10 wins was back in 2002 when they finished the year 9-7. Since 2002, Brady & Company have won 14, 14, 10, 12, 16, 11, 10, 14, 13, 12 and 12 regular season games. We don't see any reason that changes this year. They should easily win the fairly weak AFC East again in 2014. The Pats have remarkably won 34 of their last 43 division games dominating their AFC East counterparts (Jets, Bills, and Fins). They have a fairly tough draw in non AFC East games facing the NFC North and AFC West. However, we have them currently favored in at least 13 games this year. They definitely need to shore up their rush defense (30th in the NFL) to be a serious contender, but with their potent offense and weak division, we have to take them OVER 10.5 wins.
-- 2013 ATS-O/U Record: 8-8, 9-7
-- Patriots & Jets have gone OVER the total 8 of the last 9 times they've faced each other. The two teams have topped 50 points in 5 of those 9 games and they've averaged 49.5 points during that stretch.
-- The OVER has cashed in at a rate of 33-15-1 the last 49 times the Patriots have been tabbed a home favorite.
-- Not a bad idea to take New England after a SU loss. The Pats are 36-6 SU and 30-12 ATS when coming off a loss.
-- Patriots have mopped up on the AFC East with a 40-27-1 ATS record in division play since 2003. That's the 3rd best ATS division record during that time behind only Pittsburgh & Green Bay.
-- New England has not been a play on team in the playoffs as of late. They are just 9-14 ATS in the NFL post-season since 2003.
Player & Team Notes
-- Since taking over as the starting QB early in the 2001 season, the Patriots are 148-43 in regular season games with Tom Brady under center.
-- Brady was only 16th in the NFL in QB Rating last year behind such names at Sam Bradford, Alex Smith, & Josh McCown.
-- New England is 34-9 SU their last 43 division games (Buffalo, NYJ, and Miami).
-- Pats opened as a 3.5 point favorite @ Miami in Week 1. The Fins (-2.5) beat New England 24-20 at home in last year.
-- The Patriots rush defense (30th in the NFL) gave up 100 or more yards to 13 of their 16 regular season opponents last year topped by Denver's whopping 280 rushing yards on November 24th.
-- New England has put up 20 or more points in 55 of their last 62 games (regular season & post-season included).
-- Patriots have been in the top 4 in the NFL in turnover margin for the last 4 seasons. They have had a + turnover margin for the last 8 years.
New York Jets
2013 Record: 8-8
Postseason: No playoffs
Off YPG: 318 (26th)
Def YPG: 335 (11th)
Points scored: 290 (29th)
Points allowed: 387 (19th)
2014 Total Win Analysis: LVH Total Win Opening Line - 7
We think the Jets will have a hard time topping 7 wins so we lean UNDER here. Despite finishing with 8 wins last season, we think the flyboys were overrated. They were -97 in point differential and were outgained by 17 YPG. Those aren't the numbers of a team that finished at .500. They are playing into a very tough schedule this season (9th toughest SOS) facing the NFC North & AFC West. They won most of their tight contests a year ago going 5-1 in games decided by a TD or less. On the flip side, when they lost, they lost big most of the time with 7 of their 8 losses coming by at least 10 points. That tells us this team was very close to having 5 or 6 wins rather than 8. QB Geno Smith struggled last year (25 turnovers and only 55% completions) and while we expect him to get better, we peg him as turnover prone again and average at best this year. The defense is decent but the offense is one of the worst in the NFL. We don't see the Jets getting back to 8-8 or better this season.
-- 2013 ATS-O/U Record: 9-6-1, 9-7
-- Jets & Patriots have gone OVER the total 8 of the last 9 times they've faced each other. The two teams have topped 50 points in 5 of those 9 games and they've averaged 49.5 points during that stretch.
-- Jets have been tabbed an underdog in 24 of their last 25 meetings with New England. Flyboys have won 7 of those games outright as a dog (lost 17 of them outright).
-- Jets are 19-5-2 ATS @ Miami dating back to 1988.
-- Jets are just 17-25-1 ATS the game following a SU loss.
-- NYJ are 13-5 ATS as a double digit dog dating back to 1992 - 4-0 ATS in that role the last 2 seasons.
Player & Team Notes
-- Jets added Michael Vick to the mix at QB in the off-season.
-- NY also added WR Eric Decker from Denver to try and give their QB, whoever it might be, some more weapons on the outside.
-- QB Geno Smith had the worst passer rating last season (66.5) of any eligible QB in the NFL (at least 224 attempts).
-- Smith also ranked 35th in pass completion percentage (55%) ahead of only Case Keenum and Brandon Weeden (at least 224 pass attempts).
-- Jets leading receiver last year, Jeremy Kerley, had just 43 receptions. To put that in perspective, 23 NFL teams had at least THREE players on their team that caught more than 43 passes - including 3 teams that had FIVE players catch more than 43 balls.
-- NYJ finished 6th in the NFL in rushing last year at 135 YPG. They added Titan RB Chris Johnson in the off-season in hopes to put a game breaker in the backfield. Johnson is coming off knee surgery and didn't participate in mini camps but should be full go by fall camp.
2013 Record: 6-10
Postseason: No playoffs
Off YPG: 338 (20th)
Def YPG: 333 (10th)
Points scored: 21.1 (22nd)
Points allowed: 24.2 (20th)
2014 Total Win Analysis: LVH Total Win Opening Line - 6.5
We'd have to lean towards the OVER here. Last year the Bills suffered a midseason injury to rookie QB EJ Manuel. Despite playing in his first year, Manuel led Buffalo to a 2-2 record in his first four games with 5 TD and just 3 INT. Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel played in Manuel's place and combined for just 5 TD and 6 INT in seven games (2-5 record). Along with Manuel in his 2nd season, there's a lot to like about Buffalo this year. RB's Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are both back after leading the way for an offense that averaged 144 rush yards per game, good for 2nd in the league. Defensively the Bills have one of the top defensive lines and pass-defenses. They ranked 2nd in the NFL in sacks and 2nd in interceptions. They drafted arguably the top playmaker in the draft at No. 4 overall in wide receiver Sammy Watkins. They plan on running a more up-tempo offense and with dual threat Manuel under center getting the ball to Watkins & Spiller; they have the right pieces to make it work. Buffalo has the 14th toughest schedule in the NFL for 2014. Most of their non-division road games are manageable as Denver is the only road game against a playoff team from last year. They get Green Bay, Kansas City, and San Diego at home.
-- 2013 ATS-O/U Record: 8-8, 10-6
-- Ranked dead last in the NFL with a 12-19-1 ATS (38.7%) mark on the road since 2010
-- Just 24-32-2 ATS (42.9%) as an underdog since 2009 - ranked 29th in the NFL over that span
-- Best in the NFL with a 36-25-1 ATS record (59%) as a favorite since 2003
-- Home cooking: 5-1 last year as a home underdog and 6-2 ATS overall at home
-- The Bills are just 7-17-1 ATS vs. New England since 2000; 4-9-1 ATS at home and 3-8 ATS at NE
-- Buffalo is 2-7 SU & 3-6 ATS the last nine games against the New York Jets
-- Unlike the poor trends against NY Jets & New England, Buffalo is a solid 13-7 ATS the last 20 games against Miami Dolphins
Player & Team Notes
-- Ranked 2nd in the NFL in sacks last year with three players recording double digit totals (Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, and Kyle Williams)
-- Only Super Bowl Champion Seattle had more interceptions than Buffalo last year (Seattle had 28 while Buffalo had 23)
-- Expect Buffalo to continue to split carries with Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller. Neither topped 1,000 yards but Buffalo still had the 2nd best rush offense in the NFL with 144.2 rush yards per game
-- Rookie QB EJ Manuel had at least one touchdown pass in all but one game that he started last year (not counting the Cleveland game that he was injured in) but Buffalo still ranked 30th in touchdown passes
-- Rookie LB Kiko Alonso is the best playmaker on the defensive side of the ball and unfortunately, he's out for the season due to an ACL injury.
-- Hired former Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator
-- Traded leading receiver Stevie Johnson to the 49ers
2013 Record: 8-8
Postseason: No playoffs
Off YPG: 313 (27th)
Def YPG: 361 (21st)
Points scored: 19.8 PPG (26th)
Points allowed: 20.9 PPG (8th)
2014 Total Win Analysis: LVH Total Win Opening Line - 8
The Dolphins had a season of ups and downs in 2013. They started 3-0 and then lost six of eight. They then won three in a row to get to 8-6 in prime position for a playoff berth before dropping the final two games against Buffalo and N.Y. Jets by a combined score of 7-39, narrowly missing out on a Wild Card spot. They expect to be better on both sides of the ball after finishing just 27th on offense and 26th on defense. Second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill saw solid growth in his production last year with 3,913 yards (60.4 percent) with 24 TD. He'll have to work on limiting his turnovers as he had 17 INT last year. A good portion of blame can go to his offensive line, a unit that gave him sporadic protection a year ago and allowed him to be sacked an NFL-high 58 times last year. After the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito hazing scandal last year, Miami had to let both linemen go. They signed OT Branden Albert from Kansas City and drafted OT Jawuan James and OT Billy Turner to shore up interior offensive line issues. Miami has the 12th hardest strength of schedule rating heading into 2014 and it doesn't shape up well. Divisionally they get New England twice while New York and Buffalo figure to me much improved from last year. They face the NFC North this season and also have tough matchups against Baltimore, San Diego, and Denver. The Dolphins might be better that 2013 on paper, but how much better? Against that schedule it'll be difficult for Miami to exceed eight wins. We're leaning towards the UNDER on this one.
-- 2013 ATS-O/U Record: 9-7, 7-8-1
-- Miami is 13-6-2 ATS the last 21 home games (61.9%)
-- That includes a 5-1-1 ATS mark the last two years as a home 'dog (83.3%)
-- Miami rank 4th best in the NFL since 2010 with a 23-16-1 ATS record in non-division games
-- The Dolphins are 2nd best in the NFL since 2008 as a road underdog with a 24-14-1 ATS mark
-- Despite being generally solid at home, Miami is just 2-12-2 ATS at home vs. division-rival the Jets since 1998
-- They are also a poor 7-13 ATS the last 20 games vs. division-rival Buffalo
Player & Team Notes
-- Ranked 26th in the NFL with just 90 rush yards per game and 27th with just 8 rushing touchdowns.
-- Signed Knowshon Moreno to compete for starting RB job. Moreno, who rushed for 1,038 yards with Denver last year, also caught 60 passes for 548 yards
-- They ranked 20th against the pass last season, but they only allowed 17 passing touchdowns (3rd). They also intercepted 18 passes (10th) and had 42 sacks (11th)
-- Fired General Manager Jeff Ireland and named Dennis Hickey general manager (formerly part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers front office)
-- Fired offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. Named former Philadelphia QB Coach Bill Lazor as his replacement
-- Signed Cortland Finnegan from St. Louis to compete for the no. 2 cornerback job opposite Brent Grimes
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