Gridiron Great Top 11
The NFL Preseason is officially over and cutdowns will begin in earnest to start the week. Here’s a dive into our Gridiron Great 11 as the season draws near.
Gridiron Great Top 11 (Preseason Week 1)
#11. New York Jets (+1100/+1600) - Rodgers took the field against the Giants and the Jets' offense clicked instantly against the Giants. The tools are there if the Jets can avoid the injury bug. Last Week’s Rank: 11th
#10. Detroit Lions (+1100/+2200) - The Lions will be put to the test immediately this year to open the season against the Chiefs in the kickoff to the season. A competitive showing will have expectations high but a blowout loss could immediately raise questions. Last Week’s Rank: 10th
#9. Jacksonville Jaguars (+1400/+3500) - The Jags offense could be better than we even suspected after watching new WR Calvin Ridley work. In a very weak AFC South, the Jags could end up with over 11 wins this year. Last Week’s Rank: 9th
#8. LA Chargers (+1300/+2500) - QB Herbert could emerge as a legitimate MVP candidate this season with more weapons at his disposal entering his fourth season in the league. The Chargers are the only legitimate threat to the Chiefs' run of division titles in the AFC West. Last Week’s Rank: 8th
#7. Dallas Cowboys (+600/+1400) - Dallas added Trey Lance this week to deepen the QB position but, make no mistake, the season hinges on the performance of Dak Prescott. They have the defense but need the consistency on offense to upend the Eagles. Last Week’s Rank: 6th
#6. Baltimore Ravens (+1000/+1800) - The Ravens will likely be battling the Bengals for the division this season. Can Jackson be more of a passer than a runner this year in order to stay healthy? He certainly has the depth at wide receiver. Last Week’s Rank: 7th
#5. SF 49ers (+400/+1000) - The 49ers did not waste any time in preventing Lance from becoming a distraction by dealing the former first-round pick to Dallas. It is now Purdy’s show and he will be under the gun from the outset with arguably the league’s most talented roster around him. Last Week’s Rank: 5th
#4. Cincinnati Bengals (+550/+1100) - The Bengals should have Burrow ready to go for the opener. For the second straight year, Burrow starts the season recovering from injury. Like last season, he could start slowly before peaking late. Last Week’s Rank: 4th
#3. Buffalo Bills (+450/+900) - The Bills will be challenged this season in a talented AFC East. They may win fewer games but it may prepare them for a playoff run better than in years past. Last Week’s Rank: 3rd
#2. Philadelphia Eagles (+250/+650) - The Eagles and Cowboys should again battle for division supremacy with the two best defenses in the division and the two most complete teams. The Eagles open with a tough test on the road against New England. Last Week’s Rank: 2nd
#1. Kansas City Chiefs (+350/+600) - The Chiefs are still very much the class of the NFL heading into 2023. They open the defense of their title against the Lions at home, a week from Thursday. The Chiefs offense will put up points. It will be interesting to see how the Chiefs’ defense performs against a Lions team that can be explosive. Last Week’s Rank: 1st
Top-Five Potential Win Over/Under Sleepers
#1. Carolina Panthers Under 7.5 (-115) - A rookie quarterback with a new coaching staff does not bode well for a ton of wins. This number seems way too high to me, even in a weak NFC South Division.
#2. Dallas Cowboys Over 10.5 (+115) - Dallas has as good a defense as there is in football and has playmakers all over the roster. This number looks light for a team that I think will win the NFC East this season.
#3. Pittsburgh Steelers Under 8.5 (+120) - With apologies to Steeler Nation, I think this team is destined for last place in a very crowded AFC North. QB Hackett looked solid in the final preseason game but he doesn’t strike me as a top-tier QB in a division loaded with them.
#4. Baltimore Ravens Over 10.5. (+100) - Obviously we are banking on Jackson’s health but this team has all the tools and the best group of skilled players they’ve had under Harbaugh. With Burrow still recovering, the Ravens could jump out to a good-sized lead in the division and pull away.
#5. Chicago Bears Over 7.5 (-130) - While not the most tantalizing odds, this win total is woefully low to me. The Bears could end up winning the NFC North Division title this season. They will easily surpass 7.5 wins.
*All odds courtesy of Draftkings.com
By Mark Ruelle