The NFL Draft has wrapped up As the stars of the future prepare to enter the league, let’s take a look at how each individual team is positioned for the future. Below are the best bets for team win total over/unders for the 2022 NFL season.
Atlanta Falcons u4.5 Wins (-120)
Having traded away their franchise QB and losing their number one WR to free agency, this already anemic Falcon offense has gone from below average to “rebuild mode” real fast. Unfortunately for Falcons fans, life on the other side of the ball isn’t much better. Atlanta finished the 2021 season with the fewest sacks of any team in the league and are yet to make any significant personnel improvements on the defensive front. Outside of AJ Terrell, they don’t have a single player in their defensive backfield that would be a sure-fire starter on a playoff team.
The real kicker for this Falcons team in 2022, though, is going to be their schedule. The NFC South matches up with the NFC West and AFC North out of division this year. These 2 divisions are arguably the toughest in football, touting some of the best defensive lines in the league. Outside of maybe a matchup against Seattle, the Falcons will lose the battle of the trenches in each one of their non-division games. In division, they’re going to have to take their swings at the Panthers as the Bucs and Saints have proven to be tough matchups between Tampa’s ruthless aerial attack and New Orleans stifling run defense.
Detroit Lions o6.5 Wins (+130)
Maybe it’s just because they beat Green Bay in the last game of the season but it feels like there’s a sense of optimism around this Lions organization that doesn’t usually exist. Amon-Ra St. Brown appears to be a hit at WR and this offensive line has some really solid pieces at both LT and RT. With the number 2 pick, they’ll be able to fortify the weakness of their team in the defensive line. Goff may have his doubters, but he’s capable of winning games. A 7-10 season seems like a reasonable expectation for a guy who was a former No. 1 overall pick and Super Bowl runner-up. Jeff Okudah, the Lions first round selection in 2020, will also be back from injury and could add some versatility to this otherwise below average defensive backfield.
The Lions also get a break by drawing the AFC South and the AFC East for their non divisional matchups. While they aren’t cupcakes, it beats the alternative of the AFC West or AFC North.
Philadelphia Eagles o8.5 Wins (-130)
The Cowboys still feel like the favorite in the NFC East, but this Eagles team is too good in the trenches to write off for 9 wins. According to the<a “nofollow noopener” href=”https://www.lineups.com/nfl/depth-charts/philadelphia-eagles”>Lineups Depth Chart feature, which assigns every player in the NFL a number score from 67-99, the Eagles have the highest rated offensive line in football. This offensive line, which helped guide the Eagles to the number 1 rushing attack in 2021, is now in their second year with Hurts as their QB and Sirianni as their coach. No one has quite figured out this scheme and, while it may not be viable for long-term playoff success, it’s proven to be great at beating up on bad teams in the regular season. Thankfully for Eagles fans, the NFC East is still pretty weak and the Eagles non-division schedule has some forgiving matchups.
It’s also worth noting that, by the same Lineups metric, the Eagles also have the 7th best defensive line in football. Their ceiling may still be a first round exit, but any team that’s this good in the trenches will be in a position to win more games than it feels like they should.
Los Angeles Chargers o10 Wins (-110)
With JC Jackson, Khalil Mack, and a first round draft pick, this Chargers defense is going to look nothing like what we saw in 2021. Their final moments on the field against the Raiders in the heat of week 17 desperation perfectly encapsulates what 2021 was for this team — offensive playmaking offset by an inability to stop the run. Now they not only have two guys in their secondary who can make plays but two edge rushers that can give teams fits when healthy. With Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both on the books for the next couple years, this season feels like the coming out party for a perennial playoff team.
The real hurdle for the Chargers this year, and really anyone in the AFC West, is going to be the division. The Chiefs have been playing it fast and loose in the regular season for a couple years but have largely been able to escape the Chargers and Broncos. If the offseason moves put the Chargers over the Chiefs, it likely puts them over 10 wins.
Los Angeles Rams u10.5 Wins (-135)
10.5 is a very generous number for a Rams team that still struggles mightily against San Francisco in division. Now that Andrew Whitworth is gone, this offensive line has some legitimate holes and it’s hard to imagine Cooper Kupp returning for a similar season in 2022. Jalen Ramsey is great, but this defensive backfield is pretty rough around the edges with real concerns at safety. Their go-for-broke attitude catches up with them in the draft, where they won’t be able to address any of their concerns until the 4th round. With Von Miller and OBJ gone, the Super Bowl hangover looms in Los Angeles. It certainly doesn’t help that they’re going up against the AFC West out of division.
Las Vegas u8 Wins (+110)
Someone has to be the sacrificial lamb of the AFC West and Las Vegas feels like the best bet at present moment. The Davante Adams trade solves some of their problems but still doesn’t account for the fact that they have one of the worst offensive lines in their AFC. This secondary is good, not great, and historically this team matches up horribly with the Chiefs. It’ll be interesting to see how Josh McDaniels plays out in his second stint as a Head Coach. Belichick disciples have a pretty turbulent history and this adds just enough doubt to this team to put them on the chopping block at 8. If you’re taking Vegas here and want to divert some risk, you could also take Denver’s under at 10.5 wins (-160). One of these two teams is going to have a worse season than we’d like to believe, it’s just a matter of who.
Chicago Bears u7 Wins (-120)
Much like the Falcons, the Bears are in a personnel rough spot. They have arguably the worst offensive line in football and no first round draft picks. Outside of Eddie Jackson, their secondary is effectively a collection of backups. Even the defensive line, the one unit that has been a stronghold for this organization through the decades, appears to be falling apart with Khalil Mack heading to the Charger and Akiem Hicks renaming an unsigned free agent. The division, meanwhile, continues to get stronger. The Lions are no longer a cupcake, the Vikings have fortified their defense, and the Packers still have Aaron Rodgers and a legit offensive line.
No matter how good Justin Fields is, it seems improbable that he will be able to impose his will with the second best supporting cast in nearly every game.