2018-2019 NFL Regular Season

I’ll try to place teams in various tiers at some point, but for now I just want to give a few general thoughts about the upcoming season.

1. Nothing else matters if the OL sucks. That applies to Seattle, but, no, I’m not only talking about them. When I read about the excitement of the upcoming season, primarily the impact that new players and coaches can have for teams, lurking under that is the hard reality that none of this matters if the team’s OL stinks. For the league, overall, too many teams have mediocre or even terrible OLs, will lead to a bad season–at least from my vantage point.

2. Will there be any great defenses? There really hasn’t been a defense at the same level as the 2013 Seahawks or the 2015 Broncos. That’s not a fair standard, but feel like the defenses haven’t been as good as 2013 Panthers or Harbaugh’s best Niner defenses, either. The Vikings have been a very good defense, but not quite dominant. Same with the 2017 Jaguars. (In my view, the latter gives up way too many explosive plays, particularly in crucial moments.) Both are close to being dominant, so it could definitely happen in 2018. I love great defense, so I hope so.

One point about this. The presence or absence of this type of defense will say a lot about which teams can and will win it all. Once you have a 2-3 good teams with dominant defenses, that will significantly reduce the chances of a number of good teams from winning it all. That’s how important this question is.

10 thoughts on “2018-2019 NFL Regular Season

  1. This is a list of odds for players (or should I just say QBs) to win the MVP in the upcoming season:
    Rodgers 13/2
    Brady 7/1
    Wentz 19/2
    Brees 15/1
    Wilson 15/1
    And then fours QBs at 20/1 – Garoppolo, Newton, Ryan, and Watson.

    The top non-QBs are Gurley and Bell at 40/1.

    Note there is big fall off from Wentz to Brees and Wilson.

  2. Those odds for Garoppolo and Watson aren’t good enough for my money. I would need Gurley odds. The bookmakers are taking advantage of silly fans with too-high expectations. As that Deadspin piece reminds us, the Texans were 3-4 with Watson starting.

  3. Mitchell,

    My first thought was like you, how can those two guys be so high? But the MVP award has more to do with how the team does than how the player does. In most cases they go hand-in-hand, but not always. I know you had Seattle’s win total pretty high, but I will be surprised if they are a playoff team, especially if Earl leaves. That means I would rather put my money on Watson and Garoppolo over Wilson, despite my having doubts over the first two. Yes I have slightly more confidence that the Niners (who won like 5? games with Garoppolo as QB) will make the playoffs over the Hawks.

    But overall I agree with you those odds are too low for me as well. I would rather put my money on Cousins and Goff who both were both at 22/1 (or somewhere around there).

  4. I pretty much agree with everything Don said in his last post (and things I disagree with would be too slight to argue over). Basically, a QB that puts up good numbers and plays on a team that wins a lot will be in the best position to win the MVP. You could argue Wilson was an MVP last year, but because of what I described (which is the standard that is used), Wilson didn’t have much of a chance. If Watson can come close to repeating his performance, and the Texan defense is really good, you can see them winning a lot of games. In that scenario, Watson would be a serious contender.

  5. I retract everything I said if Reid is going to agree with it. No, but I may have to retract that I would take Goff over Watson and Garappolo. If a Ram would have won the MVP last year it would have been Gurley not Goff, so I probably would pick Watson and Garappolo over Goff.

  6. No, but I may have to retract that I would take Goff over Watson and Garappolo. If a Ram would have won the MVP last year it would have been Gurley not Goff, so I probably would pick Watson and Garappolo over Goff.

    I actually agree with this, too. If the Rams have a great season, Goff could win the MVP, but having Gurley also lessens the chances a bit.

    I wish I could argue more vigorously against Don’s comment about the Seahawks, but I really can’t. I think Seahawks getting into the playoffs depends heavily on the Rams and NIners not living up to expectations. Their chances likely depend quite a bit on other NFC teams not living up to expectations as well. (Baldwin is out several weeks. They’re hoping he’ll be ready by regular season. If they don’t have him, they’re screwed.)

  7. This is really a reply to Reid’s original post. I’m guessing you can only reply to comments and not original posts?

    I was listening to The Ringer NFL podcasts, and one of their points was that teams are even more cognizant of getting a franchise QB than ever before. I don’t know if that’s necessarily true, but if it is, should a team’s strategy now be to concentrate on building a good o-line and defense and win that way? Would that be a way to try and win by “going against the flow” and make moves against what most (if not all) of the other teams are doing?

    1. This is really a reply to Reid’s original post. I’m guessing you can only reply to comments and not original posts?

      I think you can respond to original posts, too.

      I don’t know if that’s necessarily true, but if it is, should a team’s strategy now be to concentrate on building a good o-line and defense and win that way? Would that be a way to try and win by “going against the flow” and make moves against what most (if not all) of the other teams are doing?

      The problem with this approach, in my view, is that OL and defenses are not easy to build and sustain. The other thing is that your defense if going to have to be close to great to give your team a chance to win the Super Bowl. Sustaining that type of defense seems really difficult. By the way, I think the Steelers have been a team that has employed this strategy–and they were wandering the desert for most of the 80s and 90s because of this.

      The one idea I’ve mentioned before is to try to install a college style offense, utilizing a running QB. You’d need at least two QBs to do this, and you could probably get both for relatively cheap. But I still think you need a really good defense.

      What I said earlier about a great defense bums me out a little. It’s not really a sustainable path. On the other hand, if you have a good ball control offense, the defense doesn’t need to be great.

      Having a really good QB gives your team a chance to be competitive for a very long time. One problem with this, if you decided to have a more pass-oriented offense, is that winning a Super Bowl will be difficult if there are opponents that have a great defense and ball control offense.

      1. But the hit a QB makes on a team’s salary cap, you literally could get three to four great (pro bowl type) o-linemen and defensive players.

        I agree with one thing though, getting a great QB is easier to sustain greatness barring injury over having like 6-7 great players.

        1. But the hit a QB makes on a team’s salary cap, you literally could get three to four great (pro bowl type) o-linemen and defensive players.

          Are you sure? That doesn’t sound right? Maybe two great O-linemen and one great defensive player (especially not on the DL). I guess it depends on how great these players are. What’s the optimal situation in this scenario–in terms of position? Maybe one great O-lineman, a great edge rusher, and maybe a great DT? Let’s say you get Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack, and Travis Frederick, or you could Aaron Rodgers.

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