Tony Romo and the Cowboys should reach double-digit wins in 2010.
Don’t be surprised if Pete Carroll is sleepless in Seattle.
Carroll returns to the NFL after leading the good life of endless talent at USC to coach a Seahawks team that took a swan dive off the cliff of relevancy in 2008, and two years later still haven’t resurfaced.
It’s hard to imagine Seattle is going to bounce back this season. Yet the oddsmakers are apparently buying into Carroll’s collegiate mystique, posting a win total of seven and on top of that, making the ‘over’ a betting favorite.
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That’s too good to pass up and grabbing the ‘under’ seven wins and getting plus 125 in the bargain makes this a must-play future.
This is basically the same Seattle team that finished with just 280 points in 2009 — the franchise’s fewest since 1993. Meanwhile, the defense has not performed up to the investment the Seahawks made in terms of draft picks and free agents.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who turns 35 in September, has one year left on his contract and a history on injuries. Yet with a lot of quarterbacks on the offseason market, Seattle opted for Charlie Whitehurst, the San Diego Chargers No. 3 QB who has never attempted a regular-season pass.
The West is arguably the weakest division in the NFC, but the Seahawks shape up as the worst team in the conference. That’s right, worse than Detroit and Tampa Bay.
Conversely, the Atlanta Falcons are in one of the tougher divisions in the NFC. But considering they have averaged 10 wins over the last two seasons, there’s no reason to believe they can’t reach double-digits again.
Don’t be surprised if the New Orleans Saints take a step back with their first-place schedule, leaving the penthouse vacant for the Falcons.
The 2009 season was derailed when Michael Turner and Matt Ryan battled injuries. Atlanta averaged 25.3 points in eight games with a healthy Turner and 20.1 in eight games without the elusive running back.
Ryan suffered through a sophomore slump and battled through some rough spots but he finished strong and should emerge as one of the NFL’s elite quarterback in his third season in Georgia.
The Falcons offseason was rather quiet, but the addition of free-agent cornerback Dunta Robinson is going to help the defense immensely.
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Atlanta has all the pieces in place to battle Dallas and Minnesota for superiority in the NFC and if Ryan and Turner steer clear of the trainer’s room, the Falcons could win 12 games and easily eclipse the posted win total of nine.
Dallas ranks at the head of the class in the NFC and at the risk of being called a chalk-eating weasel, betting ‘over’ 9.5 wins looks like one of the better futures on the board.
Despite the regular-season success, the Cowboys continually came up short in recent seasons. But this could be the year they finally break through.
No team in league history has hosted a Super Bowl in their home stadium, and if there’s one man who can dream big like this, it’s Jerry Jones.
A few factors appear to be going in their favor, including a roster that lost few standout players in the offseason.
Dallas is the NFC team with the fewest holes. Quarterback Tony Romo turned 30 this year and is hitting his prime. He has finally discovered the difference between being a reckless gunslinger and cautious tactician.