The start of the 2019 NFL season is coming this weekend, and there is optimism all around the NFL. Well except, maybe in South Florida for the Dolphins. In any event, it’s always interesting to see what Vegas thinks about how many games a pro team will win, or not, in their upcoming year. And not surprisingly, all three state NFL teams have low expectations.
Still, as the Jaguars proved two years ago, when they came out of nowhere to win 10 games, the AFC South and then two playoff games, projections in August and early September can be wrong.
With that in mind, here’s a look at what are friends in Vegas are listing as the win totals for the Buccaneers, Dolphins and Jaguars with some analysis on whether to go under or over that total.
First on the Bucs with new coach Bruce Arians and a “must deliver year” for QB Jameis Winston. Their U/O total is 6.5 wins and Vegas Insider thinks that is low:
We like this Buccaneer team more than most. We think a .500 record is a definite possibility so we like OVER 6.5 wins here. This team won only 5 games last year but outgained their opponents by 32 YPG so they were better than their record. We like the hire of Bruce Arians as head coach for the Bucs. He has a 49-30 lifetime record as a head man and had the Cards winning 10, 11, and 13 games in 3 of his 5 seasons there…..
We’re not big Jameis Winston fans, but he has lots of weapons to work with and we look for TB to put up more than 24 PPG this season with a top notch offensive mind (Arians) now in control of the franchise. Tampa’s pass defense was poor last year allowing opposing QB’s to hit 72% of their passes, worst in the league. Arians feels they’ve filled in the holes nicely back that and expects a solid secondary…. All that being said, we think this team can get to 7 or 8 wins this year with Arians at the helm.
In Miami, we have well documented that new coach Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier have done a “veteran purge,” especially if they are making significant money. So now, with the roster stripped and a QB debate between veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and newly acquired Josh Rosen, there is almost no expectation of winning in South Florida. Still Vegas has the win total at five and Veagas insider likes that “over,” too,
How bad have the Fins been the last 2 seasons? Their combined point differential for 2017 and 2018 was an embarrassing -226! That includes -112 last year and -114 in 2017. Even with that, Miami won 6 and 7 games the last 2 seasons. Now their win total is set just at 5. We feel 5 wins is probably the floor for this Dolphin team and more likely they get to 6-10. The oft-injured Tannehill is gone at QB and Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen form a decent duo at that position. While many consider this a step down at QB, we’re not so sure. Fitzpatrick has had a higher QBR than Tannehill in 4 of the last 5 seasons and Rosen has a chance to be very good in our opinion.
That should help a defense that was put in some bad situations last year with an offense that couldn’t score (17 points or less in 6 of their last 8 games). The AFC East, beyond the Patriots, is not a tough division. If Miami can at least split with the Bills and Jets, they are already nearly halfway to this win total. The Fins have won less than 5 games only twice since 1970 with the most recent being in 2007. While adjusting to a new coach is never ideal, we think they find a way to get to 6 wins in 2018.
And finally, in Jacksonville, the Jags have a new QB (Nick Foles), a new playcaller that’s familiar with the QB (John DeFillipo, who was with him in Philly) and a rejuvenated (it appears) Leonard Fournette. So what does Vegas Insider think of their eight win projection?,
Last year they were able to muster only 5 wins in a disappointing season. Their point differential went from +149 in 2017 to -71 last year. They averaged just 15 PPG last year and sent long time QB Blake Bortles packing. The new starter is Nick Foles who played in a total of 12 games the last 2 seasons with Philly and picked up a Super Bowl win 2 years ago. If RB Leonard Fournette can somehow stay healthy (missed 8 games last season) the offense has to improve.
The defense has been very good over the last 3 seasons. They finished in the top 5 last year in both YPG and YPP allowed. They have been a top 6 defense (total defense) in each of the last 3 seasons.
Their schedule is weak this season. They don’t face a single non AFC South team away from home that ended last year with a winning record. Outside of their division, they play only 3 teams that made the playoffs last year…. We have them tabbed for 8-8 this season which falls directly on this number. However if we had to make a selection, we feel 9-7 is more likely than 7-9 so we’ll lean to the OVER.
So, at least Vegas Insider believes that all three Florida pro teams will exceed the total this year.
Now comes the hard part, actually playing hard-well and getting it done on Sundays.
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.
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