Bills down to one unsigned draftee
Fifteen months after winning the Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is attempting to rebound from the most disappointing season of his NFL career. After guiding the Ravens to the championship in February 2013, Flacco threw 22 interceptions last season – 10 more than in any of his previous five seasons – and his 73.1 quarterback rating was the lowest of his career. Even worse, the Ravens went 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the first time since his arrival in Baltimore. ”It was not a good year all around,” Flacco said Thursday after a team offseason practice session.
During his third NFL drugs-related suspension, Tanard Jackson found himself working in a warehouse to support his family – and harboring legitimate doubts as to whether he would play football again. The Washington Redskins have given him another chance – likely his last – to get his act straight. It was a humbling experience.” Jackson, 28, was suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the league’s substance abuse policy in August 2012, only a few months after signing with the Redskins. ”Those negative thoughts creep into your mind when you’ve been out of football for that long,” he said.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson struggled to remain healthy in 2013 and had operations on his finger and knee this offseason. Freese also missed a 46-yarder wide right during team drills while Tavecchio hit a 56-yarder.
(Repeats to widen readership) By Kevin Gray MIAMI, May 28 (Reuters) – Malcolm Glazer, a reclusive self-made billionaire and patriarch of the family that owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Manchester United soccer club, died on Wednesday, the teams said. Glazer, who as a teenager sold watch parts from a suitcase before building a wide-ranging business empire, bought the Buccaneers in 1995 for a then-NFL record of $192 million. He later persevered with the purchase of Manchester United, one of England’s most-storied soccer teams in 2005, a deal that fueled controversy because of its debt-driven financing. After his purchase of the Buccaneers, he led what had traditionally been one of the weakest teams in the National Football League to its first Super Bowl championship in 2003.
For both professional and self-preservational reasons, my last official bet was probably from the 1990s. Oh, I might have bought into a Super Bowl squares thing one year, filled out an NCAA bracket for a few bucks, and yeah, I’ve won at fantasy football.
But those, to me, are different.
Betting on sports is nuts, you guys. I don’t know how you do it. I used to make weekly NFL against-the-spread picks at my old job at Pro Football Weekly, and I was the Andy Dalton of handicapping — one week, I’d go 12-4, the next I’d win two games. Afterward, I’d blame everyone else.
So I implore you: As I make predictions on the Bovada 2014 NFL over-under win totals for each of the 32 teams, take it only in the hey-this-guy-is-an-idiot vein and please do not wager the mortgage money on my picks as if they were gospel. This is not me dispensing gambling advice. But you probably already knew that.
Alas, without further ado, here are the Bovada win totals — along with my guess (lo, not a bet) on what the actual result will be — from highest to lowest:
Denver Broncos Bovada win total: 11.5 My prediction: Under
The schedule is absolutely murderous — the first three opponents combined for 35 wins a year ago, including a Super Bowl, and they have an early bye weeks and other tough games littered throughout. Yes, I know there were improvements in the offseason, and yes, I am aware of Peyton Manning and the offensive potential to actually improve on last season. But five losses would not stun me, and that’s what I came up with: an 11-5 mark. It’s under, but just barely.
Seattle Seahawks Bovada win total: 11 My prediction: Over
Like the Broncos, the Seahawks have a tough opening trio and a Week 4 bye — hardly ideal. But I think the Seahawks can go 3-0 there and, really, head into November undefeated. They play the 49ers twice after Week 13, and the schedule is shockingly backloaded with division games (five of the final six) with a tough one at the Eagles sandwiched in between. But I still think an over is possible, even if I was tempted to cop out with a “push” pick in the brutal NFC West. This is a super talented bunch, and I believe they remain highly motivated to win another title.
New England Patriots Bovada win total: 10.5 My prediction: Over
Everything sets up for a big year again. A soft opening to the schedule, and a middle section that has the Patriots not leaving Foxborough from Oct. 13 to their road game (with a bye beforehand) against the Colts on Nov. 16. Only two non-Sunday games, both early in the season. I know the “Tom Brady is in decline” talk is out there, but he should be more settled in with his receivers and blockers this year. The defense unquestionably is better. And even with the division teams — mostly the Bills and Jets — adding notable pieces, are any of them markedly better? Maybe the Bills, but they’re still not in the Patriots’ class.
San Francisco 49ers Bovada win total: 10.5 My prediction: Over
Few Manchester United fans will ever forgive Malcolm Glazer for his acrimonious buyout of the club that left the 20-time English champions with millions of dollars of debt. As a result, there was no outpouring of grief or flood of tributes from fans in the northern English city of Manchester following Wednesday’s death of the club’s 85-year-old former American owner. Perhaps aware of the supporters’ enduring animosity, there was a low-key response from United – just a 75-word website statement that was in noticeable contrast to the gratitude flowing from the Glazers’ NFL franchise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. United’s Twitter account made no mention of the passing of the man who bought the club for 790 million pounds (then $1.47 billion) in 2005.