Analyzing win total, playoff odds for NFC East

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss why 10.5 wins for the Eagles feels low, if it’s more likely for the NFC East to have three playoff teams or only one, who has the toughest Week 1 draw and more.

Video Transcript

- So the Cowboys, the Eagles, Giants, Commanders, all in the NFC East. Let's take a look at the projected win totals, the over/unders for betting purposes provided by BetMGM. To no surprise, the Eagles have 10.5, Cowboys next at 9.5, Giants, 8.5, Commanders, 7.5 I think don't the Eagles seem low at 10.5?

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- Yeah.

- Doesn't that seem low?

- I mean, it does to me. I'm a little surprised at that.

- Is there any reason to think they're going to fall off?

- Not at all. I mean, the only thing you could maybe say is their schedule is going to be different. But still, for them and their football team, their schedule is very favorable. So yes. I mean, we looked at it the other day. I remember when we were going it's one of those again where you can look at it and go I clearly could see them being 8 and 2, right? By their week 10 bye, or 7 and 2, whatever.

I don't think it's a crazy thought. It's a little harder, certainly. I guess they're playing the Super Bowl hangover type of thing, which could be a real thing here with them, especially when you know were the better team and you blew a 10-point halftime lead, that is one there you do worry about it carrying over.

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- It's hard to come back from.

- Right.

- I mean, look at the 49ers the year after they blew the 10-point lead with 7 minutes left.

- Exactly.

- Now injuries were an issue.

- Contributed.

- We do this every year. We spend seven months talking about what is possibly to be. The one thing we know is injuries are going to happen. They're going to change everything. We're going to revise our analysis on the fly for so many teams based upon when injuries happen, who gets the short end of the injury stick, and that could change everything for the Eagles this year without question. But if they stay healthy-- and you're right, you have to overcome that disappointment.

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- Yeah.

- How do you go back to 0 and 0? When you're going to be the team that everyone's gunning for in the NFC, it's the Eagles and the 49ers who stand out above everyone else, it's going to be a challenge. I still think 10.5 is low.

- I do too. I think 10.5 is low. And, again, I don't know. Do they go 15 and 2 or 14 and 3? I don't know about that, but I would just be absolutely shocked if they weren't one of the top two or three teams in the NFC. Now, like, the rest of the division I think is some real valuable conversation.

- Well, what do you think about your Giants at 8.5" A lot of Giants fans at that event last night kind of accepting or bracing for a back slide this year.

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- Yeah. Well, I think last year like everything fell the right way for the Giants, you know? And I don't mean that by luck. It's just the schedule. They got hot. They played the right way. But did we ever look at their team and go, ooh, wow, they're super talented across the board and they're going to be dominant? No. We always were like, hey, Daniel Jones is playing good, and Wink Martindale's really creative on defense, and Brian Daboll is just doing all the right things on the offensive side of the ball, and they kind of just outlast you in the game and hang around and hang around, and you make a mistake and they win. It's hard to do that.

And then, of course, we know their schedule is harder this year with a little bit more primetime games, and a little bit more of a bull's eye on their back to be-- I'm one that sits here and certainly goes I'm not sure the Giants go back to the playoffs. They would be one of those teams that I would mark as were in the playoffs last year, but are out this year, and the new half comes in this year.

- They play all the teams of the AFC East and all the teams of the NFC West. That is a sneaky component-- we've talked about this-- to the schedule formula. Half of your games almost are based on this where it clicks, and it clicks this year on to to the AFC East, NFC West. Not exactly an easy draw. Now, half of the NFC West I think right now is down. The other half is up.

- Right.

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- But you also throw in that one extra game, that 17th game. That's how we have a Super Bowl rematch. It lands on a little mini rotation of where you landed in your division with a team from another division, and it lands on the West this year. So the Chiefs and the Eagles play. And it can be that one game here and one game there that makes the difference.

- It could be. And we're kind of hitting on it last night, right? Where, I mean, again, I'm not-- I don't look as the Giants as a juggernaut. I still look at them as a team that's ascending on an upward trajectory, and still fixing and getting their team exactly where they want it. But what's crazy is the point Jason Garrett brought up last night. Are there five great teams in the NFC? And it's like no.

- It's Eagles, 49ers, and TBD.

- Yeah. I would put the Cowboys in, at least, the upper group of the conference. I mean, certainly, I think they're clearly a three. Don't know if you want to call them great or whatever. I think there's a lot of talent on their roster. I can say they're good, for sure. But then, yeah, after that, you started to get in conversation, you go yeah, how good are some of these other teams?

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Seattle I think is a team that you just brought up that's kind of on the cusp there of maybe injecting themselves into the conversation. But then after that, you get into, OK, wait, Detroit's kind of there, and we see some teams that got some potential, but I don't think we're ready to put them there yet.

- Yeah. I mean, the Lions are the darlings of the NFC this year, but they haven't done anything. They're carrying that extra baggage. They're going to be a measuring stick game when they've nothing and not even been to the playoffs, haven't won a playoff game in 31 years. I would be irritated if I was a Lions fan that why are you putting all this on us?

- Yeah.

- Give us a chance to at least get to the playoffs before you start targeting us as an A game where you're going to bring everything you have to try to beat us. Like, it just doesn't seem right. Like, we would have laughed a year ago at the prospect of the Lions being the team that opens the season against anyone.

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- Yeah.

- Like, no way.

- No. I know.

- Like, there is that shine now with that franchise, and we'll see if they continue.

- It's jarring. It's jarring just the NFC in general. Like, your Vikings team, who I think everybody expects to come back a little more to reality, right? Tampa Bay, I mean, they were in the playoffs. They were 8 and 9 and they weren't even that good really. I mean, come on. They weren't even 8 and 9 good. They just were lucky and they were in the worst-- one of the worst divisions in football, and that helped them to be 8 and 9, right? I mean, they got absolutely throttled by a 5-seed at home in the playoffs. It's just crazy when you unpack the NFC to see who and where this other team or threats are going to come from.

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- You know I'm always pessimistic about the Vikings, but let's look at it from a different perspective for a change.

- OK, wow. What is going on with you? What did you drink last night? Holy crap.

- They had that-- did you have one of the old-fashions?

- I did.

- They had an old-fashion bar.

- I did. Whoa!

- Man, that's all alcohol.

[LAUGHTER]

- Thank you.

- That is. I mean, and it's a lot in that drink. Like man, I had one and I'm still kind of feeling it. Maybe I had two. I can't remember.

- [LAUGHTER]

- OK, the Vikings offense is going to be as good as it was last year.

- I would expect that.

- Possibly better.

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- Maybe.

- Talking to Kevin O'Connell last week, 26-minute conversation, you can find it at the NFL on NBC YouTube page. Reason to think they're going to be even better with Cousins. Same guy in his ear.

- He's buying the Kool-Aid, everybody.

- No, I'm not. I'm saying-- I'm taking a break from my pessimistic nature just to say there's a case to be made that the Vikings are going to be a threat this year.

- Yeah.

- And one of the ingredients in it is everybody's like, ah, they're going to suck.

- Right.

- That's good. You'd rather that than, oh, they're going to be so good because then you have that chip on your shoulder, and you don't get complacent. The defense, it can't be any worse than it was last year.

- It won't be worse.

- And I know all those guys are gone, but it doesn't matter. The defense stunk.

- Yeah.

- So it can't be any worse. Brian Flores is there. You were talking about Flores last night and how great he's going to be.

- Yeah.

- And the perfect counter to the Kevin O'Connell personality. We talked about that yesterday.

- Yeah.

- Look, I know they won a lot of close tough games last year that easily could have gone the other way, and there was a certain magic to it all, and maybe they'll win fewer games, but maybe they'll be better.

- I could see that.

- Maybe they'll be able to get to the Divisional round and get their asses kicked.

- Right. I can see them having a worse record, but a better team. That happens every now and then. We'll see, but still, it's crazy.

- OK, question, NFC East.

- Yeah.

- Last year, they sent three teams to the playoffs.

- Yeah.

- Is it more likely they'll send three or one this year?

- Hm. I think if you made me choose that, I would probably be the one that would say I'd go with one, but I don't think three is crazy here. I mean, I don't. You look at the state of the North. That's kind of up for grabs. The NFC South we know is not that great. And the one thing with the NFC East, we know Philly, OK. I think Dallas is one of the three best teams in the NFC in general.

And then the Giants, I'm a little reluctant, but the other one is Washington, who we know has talent there, and it's just what can they be with Sam Howell? They improved the O-line. They got really damn good receivers. They got them running back. The defense we know is legit. So they'd be another team to where I don't think three in the NFC East is crazy again, but if you made me bet, I'd probably still go one.

- Yeah. I think it's one instead of three, and more likely it would be two.

- Yeah. Exactly.

- Pete does these, so the obvious answer isn't the one we get to pick. So thanks for nothing, Pete. Who's got the tougher week 1 draw, the Eagles at the Patriots or the Cowboys at the Giants.

- Mmm. I would say Philly at New England.

- Yeah. They got seven months to get ready for you.

- Yes.

- Tommy's going to be there, we think, that right unless he's playing for another team.

- Right. I mean, we expect him there. Billy O'Brien, the new offense, right? We know their defense is really good. I would expect that the Belichik's and Jared Mayo got some answers for the things Philly does on that side of the ball. Philly coming off, yes, it's your first game. You got to go up to New England. It's not easy playing up there, right? New England pissed off that they didn't get to the playoffs and they're trying to change things around. I would go that. I mean, neither one's easy, but I'll say Philly.

- And they know they need to get their wins where they can.

- Exactly.

- And Bill Belichick a little hot seat maybe?

- Yeah. First time they're dealing with some of that talk, for sure.

- OK, all of the teams in the NFC East, who is the most likely to start 0 and 2? Eagles have Patriots, Cardinals. Cowboys have Giants, Jets. Giants have Cowboys, Cardinals. And the Commanders have Cardinals-- that can't be right. That can't be right. It can't be Cardinals. Cardinals can't be playing the Eagles, the Giants, and the Commanders, Pete. Yeah, Pete. Pete. Unless there's another Arizona team I'm not aware of, unless Flagstaff has gotten a team.

- Pete, Pete--

- I don't think--

- The Cardinals are playing three games in two weeks.

- And I should have known this. The Eagles have the Patriots and the Vikings.

- Yes.

- The Eagles have the Patriots and the Vikings on the short week. The Commanders have the Cardinals and the Broncos.

- Well, Pete is such a, like-- first off, let's get-- Pete's such a millennial I guess, but he's got more of, like, the new age. He's like one of these guys that's like he's looking up the news, he's producing the show, he's on social media, and he's putting things in the document all at the same time if I know Pete, right? That's what he does. He's a multitasker to the utmost.

But now getting back to the schedule question. If I had to pick one team to be 0 and 2 there, I think I'd go with Dallas. I mean, I just don't see Philly losing two games. The Giants with Arizona on the schedule, you know, that makes me think, OK, they can win one of the two, right? Washington I do think it's better than Arizona or Denver. I expect them to win one or two. Dallas going up to the New York Giants and then having to play the New York Jets, who we know are super talented, that'd be the team I'd pick.

- I think the fact that both the Giants and the Commanders have the Cardinals takes them out of the equation.

- Right.

- You've got the Eagles and you got the Cowboys. And I agree with you. I think it's the Cowboys. The idea of the Eagles losing two games in five days, Sunday, Thursday, that's incomprehensible, but crazier things have happened.

- No doubt.

- And if they get knocked wobbly by the Patriots--

- That could be an effect. Right.

- And you got Brian Flores, who's got that Patriot DNA and sees what Bill Belichick did, turn around a game plan quickly, or refine the game plan they have ready to go because they know that they've got the Eagles week 2, so they're going to get ready for both of their games. I think they got Tampa Bay to open, and then the Eagles. So they can spend a little extra time on the Eagles because who knows what Tampa Bay is going to be. I don't know.

- You like him. You like him very much, Kirk Cousins. He's my quarterback.

- It's the aftermath of the old-fashions last night.

- Kevin O'Connell got him. He's bought in over here. Guy has an interview. It's go Vikings. They're going to be better. Here we go.

- No, no. I would like it for my son because he gets so caught up in it. I can't wait for this season. It's like just, you can.

- Yeah.

- You can. Because I can definitely wait for not getting the text of I hate this. I can't do this anymore. I need a different team.

- Ah. Yeah.

- He goes through that every year. I need a different team. I need a different team.

- Right.

- It's like it doesn't matter what team you follow, at some point they're going to pull your heart out and stomp on it.

- Yeah.

- I mean, you're not going to win a Super Bowl every single year. You're going to have to deal with disappointment.

- Right.

- Sometimes you have to deal with it for 50 years or longer. 60 years.

- I hope it keeps going, baby. I don't want you to win one while we're working together. I want this to come to the very end. I want us to be old men, and we're still sitting here and going, oh, hope I see the Vikings before I die get to the Super Bowl.

- I really don't want my son to have to watch the Super Bowl from the cemetery with his phone propped up on top of my stone.

- They finally did it, Dad. You'd be so proud.

- The stone that has the never-ending loop of Aaron Rodgers solar-powered, guys like Mike Florio, don't waste your time reading crap like that.

- [LAUGHTER]

- He could just, I guess, wire his phone and he could broadcast, he could mirror it. I mean, who the hell knows. By that time, you just blink your eyes and the game comes up 3D in front of you as a hologram.

- Maybe.

- Regardless, I want to be able to go to the Super Bowl after I'm dead and gone. I would like to be able to go to the Super Bowl with him. I'd like to be able to sit with him at the Super Bowl and watch them lose.

- Wow.

- That's what I really--

- There you go. He's back. Damn, he's back. It took a little while. He was very positive on a Tuesday.