Betting the Super Bowl Over Under 2020 - Doc's Sports

Tales from the Gun Show: Independence Day Edition

Hello there internet! I know you've all missed me. I just worked the FABULOUS Baton Rouge gun show right here in the heart of cajun country, and have I got stories.
Do you want to hear stories about dealers selling $350 SCCY 9mm pistols? Or Magtech 9mm for $550/thousand? Or how I sold 14 guns in one day for a new PB on saturday? Or how I set my gross sales for a gun show weekend PB?
No. You don't want to hear that.
You clicked on this thread for the stories. And stories you are going to get!
My loadout was epic. Glocks, HK's, Sigs, Colt 6920's, Springfield Hellcats, you name it I had it in stock. And priced accordingly. I set everything up the night before and I had even more stuff to bring in Saturday morning.
The PA crackled and announced all guns should be tied and ready to go and at 9AM the masses came in looking for deals. And in some cases, they found some.
I had one guy saunter over looking for an S&W M&P 15-22. I only had two left in stock and not enough space on the tables for them. He says he'll take one sight unseen, I do his paperwork and get his money and tell him to show up at the show tomorrow and I'll have it ready for him to pickup. He's got his ID and everything together and it's smooth sailing. $500 in hundreds and he's on his way. I run him through the computer and I've got an instant approval. Woo.
My login screen warns me that background checks are taking 24 hours.
I had a feeling this would happen. I velcroed a small dry erase board to the wall just above my table that states: ALL BACKGROUND CHECKS ARE TAKING ________ MINUTES to be updated as the day gets weirder. I wipe off the minutes part and write "24 HOURS" in red dry erase marker.
I can hear the crowd behind me gasp and go "24 hours? I need a gun NOW!" in their heads and the pro salesman inside my noggin cracks a smile, leans back in the eames chair and puts his feet up on the ottoman. I have just implanted the most powerful driver of sales ever: fear.
Boy howdy, did it work.
The next hour is epic. I write ALL my Gen 5 Glock 19's up at $850. I am sold out by 11AM. Everything is flying off the table. Shield 9mm's, Stripped lowers, EZ shields, $300 Ruger LCP's, $700 Glock 43's.
What's the best $850 gun? An HK VP9, Glock 19 or Kel Tec Sub 2000? Fuck if I know. I sold one of each of them at that price.
It is nonstop asses and elbows and cash coming in left and right. I cannot count the money and run 4473's fast enough.
Noon flies by and I'm unable to touch my roast beef sandwich. I'm wearing gloves and a mask. This fucking mask SUCKS. It STINKS. It's brand new and it smells god-awful like someone used it to wipe their ass before packaging it and selling it in the store.
I don't shake anyones hand but I do count the money. The first lull hits at 1345. I ask my numismatist neighbor to watch the table as I go to the bathroom and wash my hands several times. I scarf down my sandwich fast and by 3PM things have calmed down. Crazy day. People asking me over and over for Taurus junk, Glock 43X's, Glock 48's, Glock 19 Gen 5's etc.
1: Hey do you have a Glock Generation 17?
FC: I will be dead in the cold cold ground before Glock ships a generation 17
1: Oh I meant a Glock 17
FC: right here
1: Are you seriously asking $850 for a Glock 17?
FC: Not asking. Getting.
I gesture to the person filling out a 4473 who has just asked me to write up a Glock 17 Generation 5 MOS for $850 and he nods with affirmation that that is in fact the price.
It is explained to this guy that there is not a single dealer in the ENTIRE GUN SHOW that has ANY glock pistols for sale from the 17 buyer since he's gotten here. I am the only one with inventory left. I debate hiking my prices another $50 but decide not to.
Some more folks saunter up
1: Do you have a ruger RS 9?
FC: ruger does not make an RS 9
1: Sure they do! It's called the service 9 now
FC: Can you google a photo for me?
1: I only use duckduckgo
FC: Fine, show me what an RS 9 looks like and let me see
(15 minutes of furious duckduckgoing ensues with no results)
FC: Are you sure it's an RS9?
1: I'm positive!
FC: Are you sure it couldn't be something else?
1: It's an RS9! I'm sure of it!
FC: Look at this
(FC shows image of Ruger SR9)
1: That's it!
FC: See how it says SR9?
1: Yeah, service 9 right?
FC: No, SR9 is SR9.
1: Then who makes the service 9?
FC: I don't think that's a thing.
1: Sure it is!
(More fuckfuckgo ensues, and it is abundantly clear that RS9 = SR9 = Service 9 = Security 9)
I have an old lady and her husband walk up and she picks up a Glock 19. Asks me if I take trades. I say sure.
1: It's a ruger revolver.
FC: What model?
1: Ruger
FC: No, what model? You're saying hey, I own a ford.
1: Oh okay. It's a Ruger 38. It shoots 38.
FC: I need a little more than that. What kind is it.
1: Oh I see. It's a revolver.
FC: Your statement is like "hey, I need an oil filter. I have a ford car" - ford makes lots of cars, ruger makes lots of guns.
1: What would a model sound like?
FC: SP101, GP100, Single 6, 22/45, SR22, LC9
1: Oh I have no idea what it is
FC: Bring it in and I'll take a look. But I only trade when I can make money.
Wrote a Sig 1911 up for $1000 as my last sale of the day. I head home, I am beat.
My neighbors took advantage of the fireworks store and their buy one get 9 free special and have enough mortars and bottle rockets to simulate Falliujah, circa 2004. They're shooting fireworks well past 1AM. Fuck me to tears.
Day 2
I wake up late and get to the show late. I kick off the show 15 minutes late and I have a guy trying to buy a Glock 19 from me. His ID does not have his current address and does not match up with the 4473. He asks if it will be a problem. I say it's no problem just get me something with your current address on it before the firearm releases.
1: But the dealer on the other side of the hall had NO PROBLEM taking this ID!
FC: I've made a living on my attention to detail. The federal regulation book says you need current ID.
1: Never mind! Gimme my ID back!
He snatches the clipboard and rips his ID from the board and walks away in a huff. His girl tries to apologize. I roll my eyes. Not my circus, not my elephants.
The morning starts off slow, I'm sleepy but it's not a total snoozefest. A very nice lady came by and picked up a PWS Mod 2 without argument on the price,
I wrote up another couple guns before lunch. One person has the WORST HANDWRITING ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET. I mean, it's bad. I emailed my brother who works as a pharmacist and said "hey, can you read this?" and he said "It looks like it says 492 milligrams of penicilin? what am I reading?"
Yeah.
The rest of the show goes on, I write up a few more glocks and I deliver everything that I wrote yesterday once the background checks come back. Everyone is super nice and polite. One lady stops by and she cannot decide between the Glock 17 Gen 5 MOS and the Sig P238. She asks if she can get a deal on both.
I look up at her and her life partner and this is the precise moment I was waiting for all weekend.
You see gentle readers... some guys like to go get drunk and party. Others like to hang glide or skydive. They like that adrenaline rush. Me? I like the deals. I love to make deals. Nobody makes deals like this America. Nobody. Not China. Not Crooked Hillary. Not Lyin Ted Cruz. Believe me, these deals are going to make America great again. You will be sick and tired of the deals that I make. Unprecedented deals.
I gesture for her to come in a little closer and put on my best sotto voice.
FC: I don't normally do this, but just for you.......if you take both guns. I'll throw in one of these. I don't normally do this.
FC reaches under the table and pulls out a mega pack of Charmin Ultra Strong TP and places it on top of the PD trade in Glock 17's and 21's.
I slap the top of the package triumphantly.
FC: You two can have all the Chipotle you want with this bad boy!
1 looks at me with the "you cannot be serious" face
2 looks at me with the "you know this isn't a bad deal" face
1: Is this a joke?
FC: Nope! I'll write both of em up right now, you get the guns AND the TP!
1: This is......I don't even know what to think. Lisa?
2: That's Charmin.
1: Are you seriously considering this?
2: Everybody poops! Make the deal!
1 pulls out the Amex. I write up both the guns. They leave happy with their guns and TP. I'm sure it all fits in the back of the subaru outback.
I write up a few more items and near the end of the show, three guys show up. One is on the phone talking rapidly in a foreign language. He waves me over.
1: The police trade Glock 17's. This all you have?
FC: The three on the table is all I got.
1: I’ll take three of these Glock 17’s. Make me a deal.
FC: $2100 cash on all three.
  1. CASH?
FC: Cash out the door.
1: Deal
(I hand over clipboard)
1, 2 and 3 begin talking in machine gun Romanian. 1 has taken a seat and 3 is filling out the paperwork. I say what the fuck. 3 keeps filling out the form. I rip it off the clipboard, Hand it to 1 and tell him to fill it out. He completes the form.
1: I only want one now
FC: you just said you wanted three
2: yeah If you’re not going to work a deal on three he only wants to buy one
Me: who is he?
1: I’m buying
Me: no, who’s the gun for?
2: it’s for his father
1: It's for me
FC: What?
1: it’s for me
2: It's for his father!
FC: then why isn’t your father here?
The looks on their faces tell me everything. They are shitty poker players. The phone and the machinegun romanian, he was a straw doing a buy on behalf of another party. I call shenannigans.
FC: These aren't for you are they?
1: They're for me!
2: They're for his father! come on! His father wants him to have a gun for him too
3: let’s get out of here we can take our money elsewhere gimme my id
Me: it’s not your ID, it’s 1’s ID. Who's ID is this?
3 tears the clipboard out of my hand, takes his ID off the board and I don’t speak Romanian but these guys are now pissed at me
Total people I’ve ticked off today: 4
I didn't choose this life. So now I've got a totally complete 4473 that I need to fill out for three PD trade Glock 17's. I look down at the address. It's three hours away.
It's in ATF Jane's district. You all remember ATF Jane?
Jane puts bad people in jail and likes Shake Shack. We get along SPLENDIDLY. In fact, I consulted her on the firearms/stalking/restraining order article I wrote about Megan and her Ex. She's a super professional federal law enforcement superstar in my book.
Well, time to make a call. I get her VM and leave her a message as I pack up everything and count my cash. 21 guns for the weekend. $13k in sales for one gun show at coronagunrun margins make me one happy boy.
My investments in the collapse of society are now paying dividends in spades!
I'm driving home and ATF Jane returns my call. I tell her the story about the Rumanian gypsy straw purchase ring I had to shutdown.
ATF: You have got to be shitting me
FC: Nope. The guys literally ran their mouth and made me shut it down.
ATF: What a bunch of idiots.
FC: Yeah, they were buying from a few dealers judging by their bags and their haul. I think there might be an investigation warranted.
ATF: Thanks for the tip! Let me know if I can help you out in any way!
I look down at my watch, it's 645PM and I'm too tired to cook tonight. I pull the F350 into the Olive Garden parking lot, head in for dinner and the place is PACKED.There's a few people in the bar but not too many, everyone wants tables. I can see other salesmen on their laptops so I know the wifi is up. This is a good sign. I take out my laptop and write this out in the bar from a high top as I feast on breadsticks and chicken gnocchi soup.
My phone rings halfway into my second bowl of creamy chicken gnocchi goodness.
FC: Go for Will
1: hey man, I saw your post on armslist
FC: Okay, how can I help you?
1: I need a gun. You got a glock fawty?
FC: What model? 22, 23, 27, 35 or what?
1: aw man you got more than one?
FC: I have four to five hundred guns for sale at any given moment. What are you looking for?
1: aw hell yeah! lemme tell you what i need! I need some dracos, mini dracos. got any?
FC: no, sorry. I just did the gun show this weekend and I sold out of a lot of stuff.
1: What about an AR pistol? You got any of those?
FC: I got one Sig 516 pistol left in stock
1: will that shoot 223 AND 556?
FC: Sure, chamber is cut wide enough
1: yeah that'll work. When can we meet? I got CASH. Straight cash yo!
FC: Why don't you come down tomorrow, I'll get your cash and do your paperwork. Three day wait if you don't have a concealed.
1: WHAT DO YOU MEAN PAPERWORK?
FC: You gotta do paperwork, is that a problem?
1: I'm looking for a STRAIGHT CASH DEAL man I don't want to do no paperwork, I want to just cash and carry same day!
FC: You want to make one trip and pickup?
1: Yeah man!
FC: Okay no problem, just give me your credit card and when your wait clears come in and pick everything up.
1: Yo I'm three hours away! Why you gotta make me do paperwork?
FC: What's the problem here? You don't trust me?
1: I don't trust you! I want to just give you cash to not do paperwork. Like I'll give you $1000 extra so I can get everything without a wait.
(Note: I'm having this conversation ON THE PHONE IN THE BAR of the Olive Garden with all the other diners in earshot. This is where it gets good.)
FC: Let me get this right. You want to pay me $1000 extra just so you don't want to have to do a waiting period and paperwork?
1: yeah! thats right!
FC: Why's that worth that much more to you?
1: I got a felony so I can't do no paperwork
FC: So it sounds like you got a felony and you got cash to spend and you want a no paperwork deal on a bunch of guns.
1: that's right! So can you help me?
FC: Where you at?
1: I'm outside Mobile, about three hours away
FC: Okay here's what I'm gonna do. I probably can't help you, but here's what I'm gonna do. Whats the best number for you? I got a buddy of mine from high school who works with guys like you all the time. I'm going to give him a call and give him your number and if he wants to meet up with you, he's gonna set that up - you're talking to him from now on and not me. Got it?
1: yeah man that would be great! have him call me or text me here's my digits (he gives me number and I write it down on a cocktail napkin)
FC: Okay I'll pass it along - no promises
1: thanks nigga!
I hang up the phone. I take a deep breath and smile.
So, I told you that story to tell you another story. Back when I was in high school, I was a real hellraiser. One of the guys that I went to Central High with went LE. He started as a sleepy road cop and promoted to narcotics detective. His claim to fame is busting a bigtime celebrity with drugs and basically made his career on that arrest. Since he was USELESS for undercover work after that he decided to go to the feds. He then spent about 5 years working with the state department and DSS doing all sorts of secret squirrel shit across the globe while paying DC rent for a capitol hill apartment he was never at. That got old. So he put in for a transfer. This is about 5 years ago back in 2015.
He decided to go to ATF and be major league doorkicker. He goes to transfer and they need a DEEP background check. Like someone that's known him for 10+ years from hometown. He's low on contacts from home and he facebook messages me. He asks me if I can call back the background investigator and do an interview. I say sure, no problem. I am the ONLY person that's still in the same town from high school and everyone else is dead/in jail/would not make a good person to contact.
The guy calls me, comes by my office and interviews me, asks me about my friend, I told him all the embarrassing stories from high school including the time he lost a bet, had to wear a dress and smear ranch dressing all over his face while holding a sign that said "NOT MILK! and we took polaroids. Yeah. Anyways, despite all that he gets the approval and the shiny ATF badge. He's now kicking down doors in an undisclosed location in a major gun/drug trafficking corridor of the US and up to his eyeballs in arrests.
The reason I told you this story? He went to police academy in mobile, was a road cop outside mobile and a narcotics detective outside mobile. He did is MPA and doctorate there. He still has lots of friends in southern law enforcement.
I pick up the phone and call him. No answer, VM.
FC: Hey Eddie, you still have friends at the Mobile County Sheriffs Department? I've got some low hanging fruit for them to pick.
The entire bar has heard the dialogue and the following voicemail message and cracks up laughing. I'm offered 2 beers (I show them my AA chip, thanks but no thanks) and I get a bunch of attaboys from the salesmen.
So, I call back ATF Jane. ATF Jane has some colleagues in Mobile that she can call and I CC Eddie on the chain.
Today, I didn't even have to use my AK.
I got to say it was a good day.
Brb. Lasanga.
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Will the Minnesota Vikings win OVER/UNDER 8.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

The 2019 season had mitigated success for the Vikings. They secured the #6 seed in the NFC before pulling a huge upset win in overtime in New Orleans. The offense completely stalled the following week in San Francisco, though.

The franchise has not gone through a losing season in five years. Head coach Mike Zimmer has really done a good job.

Can the team take a forward leap and make it further into the playoffs? The team has not made it to the Super Bowl since 1976.

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Kirk Cousins has received more criticism than praise since signing a huge contract with the Vikings a couple of years ago. Yet, the team posted an 18-13-1 record and Cousins has thrown 56 TD passes versus 16 interceptions. His completion rate has been excellent over those two years: 69.7% (among the best of his career).

The reprimand concerned more the lack of playoff wins than the level of play itself. He cleared a hurdle by leading his team to a big playoff upset in New Orleans last season, thanks to a 4-year TD pass to Kyle Rudolph in overtime.

However, he followed it up with a horrific performance in San Francisco. Don’t be misled by his 21-of-29 passes completed during the game. Minnesota flirted with the postseason record for fewest first downs in a game; they only got 7 and totaled 147 yards of offense.

Still, based on PFF grades, 2019 was Cousins’ best career season. He ranked as the #6 QB in the league with an 84.1 mark.

Sean Mannion will once again back up Cousins. He’s clearly not the best #2 quarterback in the league. Cousins has been extremely durable throughout his career, and the Vikes hope it stays that way.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

In my 2019 NFC North preview, I mentioned how I believed Dalvin Cook was one of the most underrated players in the league. He had only rushed for 354 and 615 yards in his first two seasons, but he had passed my eye test. I knew that, barring injuries, he would breakout as one of the top backs in the league.

He did enjoy a nice 2020 season with 1,135 rushing yards and 519 receiving yards, while racking up 13 touchdowns.

Two things raise some concerns about him, though. First, his lengthy injury history. He seems to get nicked up often.

Secondly, his play tailed off quite a bit towards the end of the season. During the first eight games of the season, he rushed 156 times for 823 yards, which was good for a lofty 5.3 average. However, over his final six meetings (including the playoffs) he carried the ball 84 times for 256 yards, a meager 3.0 average.

After being selected in the 3rd round of the draft out of Boise State, Alexander Mattison showed promise in his first year as a pro. He had 100 rushing attempts for 462 yards, a nice 4.6 yards-per-carry average. It will be interesting to see if he can carry the load if Cook goes down.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

The Vikings had one of the most talented WR duo in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. They caught 113 and 102 passes, respectively, during the 2018 season. Those figures regressed to 30 and 63 last year. Thielen only played 10 games, but he was still on pace for just 48 receptions.

What was the problem? In 2018, Minnesota had the 6th-highest number of passing attempts. In 2019, that rank dropped to 30th !

That being said, the team traded Diggs to Buffalo. He expressed frustration with Cousins and they didn’t seem to be on the same page.

In order to compensate for that loss, GM Rick Spielman signed Tajae Sharpe, formerly of the Titans. He will fight for the #2 role opposite Thielen. The former fifth-rounder posted decent numbers in his first three years in the league. He used to be a starter, but his playing time got cut after Tennessee drafted A.J. Brown and signed Adam Humphries. Sharpe seems to be destined to be a #2 or #3 receiver in the NFL.

The team also has high hopes for first-round rookie Justin Jefferson. He was very productive at LSU and he ranked second in 15+ yard receptions over the last two seasons (only Jerry Jeudy beat him). He wasn’t spectacular as an outside target, but he had a monster season playing in the slot last year. He’s great with contested catches and has a good shot to become an immediate starter.

Bisi Johnson took advantage of Chad Beebe’s injury to grab the number three role last year. The 7th round rookie posted a 31-294-3 stat line, which was “okay”, but he seems like a long shot to become a true starter.

The team finally pulled the plug on the failed Laquon Treadwell experiment. He’s been nothing short of a disappointment since being the #23 overall pick in the 2016 draft. He signed a contract with the Falcons in the offseason.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

The Kyle Rudolph – Irv Smith combo is very solid.

Both guys played all 16 games with Rudolph recording slightly better numbers. He hauled in 39 passes for 367 yards and 6 TDs, while Smith’s numbers were 36-311-2.

Rudolph made some highlight reel catches, his most important one being the game-winning TD catch in overtime in New Orleans. Smith is expected to expand his role in the offense with one year of experience under his belt and Diggs off the team. He showed very nice potential despite the Vikings relying very often on the running game.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

This unit allowed the sixth-fewest sacks in the league, but that wasn’t necessarily a great accomplishment given the offense ran the ball so often.

Overall, this is an average, or slightly above-average, offensive line. Here is a rundown of each starter’s PFF rankings:

Bradbury and O’Neill were the youngest guys as first- and second-year players. It’s worth noting that O’Neill definitely improved the quality of his play from year one to year two.

Riley Reiff was a candidate for release considering his big contract, which is not in sync with his on-field performance. He’s clearly not among the top left tackles in the league.

After an atrocious 2018 season, Pat Elflein did better last year. He is in his mid-twenties and should remain an adequate starter (albeit, not a great one).

Josh Kline was let go by the Vikings, possibly because of cap reasons and the fact he was now on the wrong side of 30. Still, this is a bit of a surprising move given the team’s lack of depth.

2019 fourth-round pick Dru Samia or career journeyman Dakota Dozier will be fighting for Kline’s spot.

The Vikings selected a late riser in the second round of this year’s draft: Ezra Cleveland. He played over 95% of the snaps in three years with Boise State. He is mobile and very athletic. He seems like Riley Reiff’s heir apparent (who seems likely to be released next offseason).

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

The starting lineup remains fairly intact with 9-of-11 starters returning.

The QB, RB and TE positions should provide similar production in 2020.

The WR position took a hit with the loss of Stefon Diggs, a very dangerous playmaker. He was among the best in contested catches. Acquiring a borderline starter like Tajae Sharpe won’t be enough to replace him. Let’s hope rookie Justin Jefferson can have an impact right away.

On the offensive line, Bradbury and O’Neill may take a leap given their young age. However, Josh Kline leaving the team is hardly good news.

Accordingly, I expect Minnesota’s offense to fall a little bit.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski left the team to take over as Cleveland’s head coach, but the system will remain the same under new OC Gary Kubiak. The latter oversaw the offense from the coaches box last year, so the transition shouldn’t be too difficult.

Last year, the Vikings offense scored the eight-most points in the league, and I predict this year’s ranking to lie between the 10th and 16th spot.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

The best interior defender for the Vikings was clearly Linval Joseph. Unfortunately, the cash-strapped Vikings had to release him.

A few days later, Minnesota signed Michael Pierce. The former Raven performed at a very similar level as Joseph, but he is four years younger. The run-stuffing nose tackle’s acquisition has to be viewed as a bit of a positive for the Vikings defense.

The other guys seeing time on the interior of the defensive line aren’t very good. Both Shamar Stephen and Jaleel Johnson finished way below-average according to the PFF grading system.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

The Vikings had one of the most fearsome DE duo with Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen. They racked up 14.5 and 8 sacks, respectively.

Casual fans probably know who Danielle Hunter is. But they don’t realize how good he is; he doesn’t get enough credit, possibly due to playing in a smaller market.

If you look at the numbers, he’s been a beast. Did you know he became the youngest player in NFL history to reach the 50-sack mark? He picked up 14.5 sacks in each of the past two years, and he has averaged 10.9 over his five-year career. The former LSU player was a steal in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft!

Everson Griffen is getting older at 32 years old. At the time of writing, he has yet to sign with a team. He is very likely to find a suitor, but all signs point towards him leaving Minnesota. That will leave a void for sure.

Griffen has averaged 8.8 sacks during the last eight seasons. He has spent his entire 10-year career with the Vikings and has missed very few games. He’s a true warrior.

So, who will take Griffen’s spot? Stephen Weatherly was a key reserve for the team last year, but he left for Carolina. Is Ifeadi Odenigbo ready to pick up the slack? He came out of nowhere to record seven sacks last year!

After being chosen in the 7th round of the 2017 draft, Odenigbo barely played any snaps in his first two seasons. I seriously doubt he can be the long-term answer and I believe last year’s seven sacks were an outlier.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Eric Kendricks had one of the most improbable seasons last year. His PFF marks had varied between 59 and 69 since entering the league five years ago. Then, he earned a jaw-dropping 90.1 grade in 2019, which put him as the second-best linebacker in the entire league. He didn’t do much as a pass rusher, but he was great defending the run and covering people.

Anthony Barr had a subpar year and finished as a below-average LB according to ProFootballFocus. He’s been a steady producer, but his grades have been all over the place during his six-year career. He received his second-lowest mark in 2019.

Eric Wilson has been a reserve player since joining the league in 2017. He’ll likely have a similar role in the upcoming season. He did show adequate skills last year.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Wow, a lot of shuffling has taken place with Minnesota’s secondary during the offseason.

Both 2019 starters, Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes, are gone to other teams. And their primary slot corner, Mackensie Alexander, also signed with another squad. Ouch.

Waynes never played at the level of a #11 overall pick, but he yielded steady play during his five-year stint with the Vikings. His PFF grades have been very consistent year-over-year, and he repeatedly finished slightly above-average among all CBs. He’s the guy the team will miss the most.

Let’s face the reality: Xavier Rhodes was one of the worst corners in the league last year. His play took a big hit in 2018, and things got even worse in 2019. He really needed a chance of scenery; perhaps joining the Colts will rejuvenate his career.

As for Mackensie Alexander, I feel like the team should have tried harder to keep him. His first two seasons were difficult after getting drafted in the 2nd round out of Clemson, but his last couple of years were much more promising. He could have rendered some valuable services to a team that had just lost its two starters.

The door is now wide open for 2018 first-rounder Mike Hughes. The jury is still out on whether he can assume a starting role in the NFL, but I guess we’ll find out very soon.

The Vikings decided to address the glaring hole at the position by selecting Jeff Gladney with the 31st overall pick in this year’s draft. Gladney is a sound tackler and a good blitzer too.

He was a four-year starter out of TCU, where he was one of just two players with at least 15 passes defended in each of the past two years. However, he has a lengthy injury history.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Harrison Smith is a perennial All-Pro safety. He’s been racking up tackles and interceptions throughout his eight-year tenure in the NFL. Averaging close to 3 picks per season over such a long span is impressive.

Talk about defying the odds. Anthony Harris went undrafted five years ago. Fast-forward to today, and he’s received 89.0 and 91.1 grades from PFF the last two seasons. He finished as the top safety in the NFL out of 87 qualifiers.

In other words, the Vikings may have the best safety duo in the NFL. The only bad news is they lost depth when both Andrew Sendejo and Jayron Kearse left via free agency.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Replacing Linval Joseph with Michael Pierce is a small gain for this Vikings defense, in my opinion. That’s about it for the good news for this unit.

Stud pass rusher Everson Griffen seems destined to leave the team, and one of their main backups, Stephen Weatherly signed with the Panthers.

At linebacker, I don’t mean to be a party pooper, but Kendricks is very unlikely to match his 2019 performance. He had been an average LB for four years; I doubt the switch suddenly went on and that he will keep being a top 5 linebacker in the NFL.

Last year’s top three CBs are gone, as well as two backups at the safety position. As of now, the team hasn’t signed any free agent to replace them. This is not a surprise, considering the bad cap situation the team is in. They drafted a few guys, including Jeff Gladney late in the first round, but their impact remains to be seen.

Many new faces on defense, plus a drop in talent invariably equals a big downgrade. The team allowed the fifth-fewest points in the league last year; they’ll be lucky if they finish above-average in 2020.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Big downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Minnesota Vikings are expected to win 8.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

I'll answer this question via two different methods.

4.1 Professor MJ's Prediction

I won't go into the mathematical details, but here is a summary of my own personal pick (based on my analysis above and my estimated spreads for the Vikings' 16 games):

OVER 8.5 WINS

UNDER 8.5 WINS

Tip: Bet OVER 8.5 wins

4.2 Based on BetOnline's Point Spreads

Here is the methodology I used here:

Here are the results:

OVER 8.5 WINS

UNDER 8.5 WINS

Tip: Bet OVER 8.5 wins

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Vikings’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

Tomorrow I'll preview the Dallas Cowboys!

Professor MJ
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I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part Two

I hope you all have taken full advantage of the past 48 hours or so to regain some sense of normalcy after our adventures through Part 1 of Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot! Without further ado, Part Two:
I resume my journey through the truly incomprehensible mind of Kelly Bensimon with a chapter entitled, "Thursday: Tricks of My Trade." Now that we've learned about the basic building blocks of hotness, Kelly promises to share even more hard-earned advice to help us really kick things up a notch. And, as she reassures us:
I'm actually glad for the mistakes I've made because anyone who doesn't make mistakes doesn't learn, and if you don't learn, you're boring!
And if you're boring, you're not HOT! I think I'm starting to get the hang of this!
One of Kelly's most important life lessons came at her first horse show, when she made an unbelievably devastating misstep: "I decided to have an egg on a bagel from the food-service van." What kind of unimaginable ripple effects did this poor decision set off? I continue on to learn that Kelly "did all right in the competition." And…that's literally the whole story. Kelly legitimately refers to this as "one of my biggest lessons," as it taught her "to never eat more than I normally would." If life-changing breakthroughs were this easily sparked in my own life, I can't even begin to imagine how self-actualized I would be at this point.
At this point in my reading, I have reached the book's first insert, which contains about a dozen glossy color photos from various phases of Kelly's life. Unfortunately, I am far too preoccupied by this picture, in which a carefree, wind-swept Kelly clenches her infant daughter under one arm with all the grace of an NFL wide receiver, to pay the rest of the spread much mind.
We continue on as Kelly introduces new dimensions to the basic tips she's previously introduced. For example, you may have had some vague idea that water was important, but Kelly -- always there to help us learn and improve -- digs into the specifics to make sure we're up to date on the HOTtest tricks of the trade:
Staying hydrated is important no matter what you're doing, so I always try to drink eight glasses or about a liter of water a day. Soda isn't water. Coffee isn't water. Water is water. Drink throughout the day; don't try to get it all down at once. You wouldn't drown an orchid, so don't drown yourself.
I am putting in my formal request for a Public Service Announcement in this format, but using the last line of that passage. Also, Kelly clearly does not know how poorly I tend to my houseplants.
The next page informs us that, "hot isn't just caliente; it's also spicy and sultry." Kelly promptly launches into yet another list of miscellaneous grocery items, this time focused specifically on "red-hot foods." Except it includes entries like "popcorn with sugar and cinnamon," and "Mike and Ike candy," so I'm not convinced Kelly didn't just lose track of the thread entirely by the time we got a few items in. However, this does seem like an appropriate time to introduce this picture, from the book's second photo insert, which clearly depicts the sleep paralysis demon that has haunted my dreams for the past several nights. We're also treated to this chapter's first "hot button issue" panel, in which Kelly pulls back the curtain on the shadowy, pro-salt cabal trying to control us all with their anti-sodium legislative agenda:
We keep reading about how bad sodium is for our health, but if you eat fresh foods that you prepare yourself, you can determine and control the amount of salt you want to use. I, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, am perfectly capable of deciding how much salt I want to put on my food. I don't need anyone else to salt my food for me. I know that the amount of salt I choose to sprinkle on my food is not going to hurt me.
I read on to find a two-page spread in which Kelly expounds, in rhapsodic praise to rival that of Song of Solomon, upon her ardor for her beloved dehydrator -- "I though I was in love with coffee, but now I think my dehydrator is my truest love." Most of the passage is taken up by an unstructured list of the various things Kelly has attempted to dehydrate ("cucumber," "mangoes," "avocado") but she does manage to squeeze in a few infomercial-ready lines -- "Really, you should buy one; I promise you won't be sorry."
Since repetition is the key to reinforcing new concepts, I appreciate that Kelly's next list (of "a few more lean tricks I've learned along the way") repeats a note she originally relayed to us just a few pages ago:
Drink water throughout the day (not all at one sitting).
She's also been thoughtful enough to provide a list of resources for us to use as we soldier on along the perilous journey to HOT. After all, as Kelly says, "I don’t expect you to carry this book wherever you go -- as much as I would love that." As someone who has never before ventured into the wild world of cyberspace, I really appreciated Kelly introducing me to so many fun, useful websites that I might want to check out! In case you, too, just haven't figured out how to navigate this whole Internet thing, I've included a few examples below:
www.amazon.com
One-stop shopping for just about any book, periodical, or product you might want to read or buy in order to get HOT.

www.espn.com
Everything you need to know to stay up to date on any sport.

www.webmd.com
Useful, up-to-date, trustworthy information on medical and health issues.

www.yummly.com
Claims to have "every recipe in the world"
Can't wait to check these out later! That Amazon one sounds super cool!
I'm reminded quickly just how inelegant the transitions in this book are as we move directly from that list into the following:
I suggest that you take a picture of yourself every day…Some days when you're feeling your fattest, you may be surprised to see that you really look great.
Okay, so fat is NOT HOT. Except being comfortable in your body is HOT. And trying to be skinny is NOT HOT. But being skinny is HOT. Thank goodness I still have a few more chapters to go -- I clearly still have a ways to go before I truly understand the logic of HOTness. As it stands, I must admit that I'm a bit baffled.
Of course, returning to the previous bit of advice, Kelly doesn't actually have to worry about taking her own pictures like us plebeians -- "Having been photographed so often has provided me with a permanent retrospective catalogue of my life." The chapter closes with these words of wisdom:
The best kind of vanity is being vain about what you put in your body.
Friday's chapter promises to introduce us to the world of "Hot Couture," and I am excited to see what tips and tricks Kelly has managed to accrue over her lifetime in the cutthroat world of modeling . But first, we abruptly transition to a story about Kelly meeting Madonna shortly after both women had given birth. Kelly had "gained a healthy fifty pounds," which I am led to believe, from the context of the anecdote, is NOT HOT. Madonna, on the other hand, was "flat-stomached" and therefore "HOT and cool." Of course, Kelly reassures us hurriedly that she lost all the weight within the following six weeks and was "actually thinner than I'd been prepregnancy." I am at an utter loss as to what the point of this story could possibly be, but -- blessedly -- Kelly is gracious enough to explain:
So what's the lesson here? That Madonna had personal trainers and chefs to whip her back into shape, and I didn't -- and still don’t. I shouldn't have been comparing myself to her in the first place. My advice to you is: don’t compare yourself to anyone else, only to your own personal best.
This is a perfect example of something Kelly does throughout this book, which is to present a completely reasonable piece of advice (don’t compare yourself to others), but couched within such a bizarre and logically disorganized narrative that by the time I reach the ultimate moral of the story, my brain feels like it's been run through a series of meat grinders, and I'm reduced to just nodding along in bemused acceptance.
We get a "Kelly's Cardinal Rule" reminding us to "let your body be what your body is and be happy with what you've got." I'm starting to wonder if there is some sort of Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde thing going on behind the scenes here, in which two versions of Kelly are frantically grappling over control of the book's body-positivity dial. I'm literally don't even have to flip the page to see Kelly commiserating with us that "we all have days or occasions when we feel fat" and quipping about her "go-to fat outfit." But also:
Stop praying for what you don't have and be grateful for what you've got.
This amount of cognitive dissonance is truly proof that Kelly contains multitudes. Or has recently acquired some sort of debilitating short-term amnesia. Nevertheless, we continue:
But whatever your shape, show it off. Don’t try to hide it. Hiding is not hot.
Kelly next walks us through figuring out which "season" we are, based on the wisdom extolled in "Color Me Beautiful, the groundbreaking book that was so wildly successful in the early 80s." It's no surprise to me that Kelly, who earlier encouraged us to make our lives easier by using our PDAs, finds this to be an exciting new trend to share. Also, in case you weren't aware, "hair color is also important. You can lighten it or darken it or cover the gray." Lighten it or darken it? The boundaries of my mental universe are truly expanding.
Some more fashion tidbits:
Scarves are hippie chic, cool, and always HOT.

If you're narrow, show off how narrow you are with a monochromatic palette.

Ankles are the new cleavage!
Narrow ankles only, I presume. Kelly's selfless, giving nature is highlighted yet again in the following passage, in which she explains:
All these celebrities have stylists who pull the clothes, accessories, and shoes that make them look the way they do. They charge a lot of money for what they do, so why not get some free advice based on my experience.
And what, pray tell, is this coveted advice that Kelly is so lovingly sharing with her readers, free of charge?
  1. Save sweatpants for the gym.
  2. Save PJs for the bedroom.
  3. Dress as if you were the boss.
  4. Remember what Carrie Bradshaw says: "Nothing is casual anymore, even when it says so on the invitation."
  5. Manolo Blahniks are a girl's best friend.
Okay, so far be it from me to complain about the quality of free advice. But. Out of the five pearls of wisdom that make up the "KKBStyle Rules," two of them are rudimentary instructions to wear somewhat-situationally-appropriate clothing, and the other three are the kind of cute sayings that you would find on a piece of poorly bedazzled wall art in the clearance aisle of your local TJMaxx. I'm not impressed.
Kelly next tells us how important it is to eat well and exercise, even "when you're premenstrual or having your period." That way, as she continues on, "you'll feel better because your endorphins will be flowing while your body is sloughing off unwanted endometrium and mucus." To be fair, Unwanted Endometrium does sound like a sick band name.
Thankfully, the mental image of Kelly's mucus slough is promptly booted from my mind by a careening diatribe about the color red (HOT!):
I even painted my nails red the minute I started writing this book. I wanted to see my short red nails tapping away on my Macbook Pro. Almost every red dress is smokin' HOT, and I've never met a guy who doesn't think a woman in a red dress isn't hot. He's a liar if he denies it.
To repeat, Kelly says she's "never met a guy who doesn’t think a woman in a red dress isn't hot." Poor dear got a bit carried away with her negatives, but I'm sure she'll redeem herself in no time:
When I was sitting in the front row of a Marc Jacobs fashion show a few years ago, I wore a full, red short skirt, a tight red sweater, and red open-toed shoes. One of the editors from The New York Times was sitting across from me, and as we were waiting for the show to begin I kept crossing and recrossing my legs to make him laugh.
Sure, Kelly. To make him laugh. I can only assume she must have written some kind of hilariously clever joke on the gusset of her underwear to have had this editor so tickled pink red.
It was a long wait and after a while some guy I didn't know who was at the other end of the row, leapt towards me and screamed that he was obsessed with my feet. How crazy is it that red open-toed shoes and red toenails could create such a reaction. Red is HOT, even stalker HOT. Yikes!
I'm not clear where "stalker HOT" fits into this whole complex web, but it's reassuring to know that a wise soul like Kelly has such a nuanced appreciation of all of the different ways to be hot. She also gives us some "HOT tips for heating up your image." Like,
Put on a pair of jeans and a white tee shirt.

Put your hair in a ponytail.

Put on a pair of hoop earrings.
And also
Wear your jeans a size smaller instead of a size larger.
For some reason not entirely clear to me at this moment, wearing jeans in your actual size does not seem to be an option.
The chapter continues with a reminder to "remember what's on top of your head!"
There's nothing hotter than a HOT head of hair (unless it's a hunky bald guy).
Kelly follows up by offering a list of what she calls "HOT healthy options." Based on the preceding paragraph, you might assume that these tips would have something to do with haircare and hair styling. However, you would be wrong. Instead, we're instructed to:
Enjoy as much watermelon as you like.

Pack a picnic lunch of dehydrated fruit, chamomile iced tea, and mini pizzas made with corn tortillas, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Eat your picnic in the park.

Come up with something fun you want to try and do it!
Personally, it seems like a bit of a cop-out to make one of the items on your list of fun things to do "make up your own fun thing to do." But who knows? Maybe cop-outs are HOT!
Before my faith in our fearless leader starts to waver, however, I read on through the end of the chapter, and my surety is promptly restored:
Besides my hair and my legs, the one thing people always ask me about the way I look is how I keep my teeth so white. And yes, that's also a matter of genetics. I'm blessed with the whitest teeth on the planet, and, no, I've never had them professionally bleached.
The weekend begins as I turn the page to the penultimate chapter -- "Saturday: Heat Up Your HOT Image with Healthy Options Today." Saturdays, as Kelly tells us, are for fun activities. For example:
If you're in the mall, go to different stores and figure out which looks will make you HOT. Ask other shoppers for advice.
Also:
Parks are great for people-watching. Who looks fit and healthy?
I sincerely hope that any and all of my friends would give me a stern talking-to if I informed them that my weekend plans consisted of going to a park and…pointing out people I think aren't healthy enough?
Kelly then warns us against overindulging on late-night snacks or alcoholic beverages, lest we wake up Sunday feeling "bloating, sluggish, and with deep regrets." Presumably, Kelly then proceeded to rail a massive line of cocaine and hammer out the following frenetic spiel:
You're not going to get fat from having a few drinks a week. You will get fat if your routine is to drink, eat late, and then lie around watching television the next day, eating and making bad food choices. Going out is fun, but when you sacrifice the next day, it's never fun enough. Don't have regrets; enjoy every day. This is a life plan, and yesterday isn't coming back ever again.
The chapter comes to a close with a reminder to "wrap up every day with a great big bow and be ready for your next adventure. But before we close out our week of HOT, we're provided with what I anticipate will be an incredibly useful reference material for us all, the "KKBfit HOT Quiz." If you'd like to take the quiz yourself, you can find it here. However, I'm not entirely sure I would classify it as a "quiz," since it seems to be mostly a set of questions followed by Kelly's feedback on various possible responses. For example:
  1. How Kelly Green are you?
I had a Kelly Green Juice -- Wasn't it yummy?
I had a smoothie from the health food store with a splash of spinach -- Great choice!
I had kale chips, spinach, and quinoa for dinner last night -- I bet you woke up feeling great this morning!
Other?
I presume that the lack of response after the "Other?" choice is supposed to represent Kelly staring at me in deranged disappointment for a few painfully protracted seconds. Some questions, like the one above, don't seem to have any wrong answers at all. In contrast, other questions have clear wrong answers, which Kelly wastes no time in making apparent:
  1. Are you getting enough protein? How many days did you eat chicken, fish, or meat for at least one meal?
I had a grilled chicken salad for dinner on three different days -- That's good, but I wish you'd get a little more adventurous in your choices.

  1. How KKBfit are you?
Haven't had a meal since last night, but I'm going to skip breakfast and go on a run. I won't eat anything until lunch. -- Sorry, but starving your body is not KKBfit.

  1. Are you drinking enough?
I drink when I'm exercising but that's about it -- Not good enough! Try harder next week.
The quiz ends, leaving me entirely unsure of whether or not I've actually made any forward progress towards my HOTness goals, but the next page does promise help for those who "still need more inspiration." Here, it seems that Kelly has compiled a loose assortment of quotes, most of which (I have a sneaking suspicion) were found by searching the keyword "hot" on BrainyQuote.com. Also, this masterpiece from Kelly's ex-husband, noted fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon:
HOT--
It is not about the look,
It is not only about the charm,
It is the perfect combination:
Sweet and tough,
Sexy and reserved,
Fragile and powerful,
And definitely smart.
-- Gilles Bensimon
Move over, Rupi Kaur! I hope with every fiber of my being that Gilles Bensimon has published his collected poetry in some kind of volume that I could purchase, read, and have, I'm sure, nothing but positive things to say about. After about a dozen similar quotations, Kelly continues:
Now, as you get ready for Sunday Funday, take a few minutes to think about how you define HOT. Has your definition changed or evolved since you started reading this book? If so, I'm doing my job.
In all honesty, my definition of HOT has definitely been…affected by this experience. So we'll call that a win! Kelly tells us a few stories about times when her friends and family members have come to her for guidance on how to be hot. She explains:
I'm not the food police, but I've made myself the Sven-arbiter (as opposed to Svengali) of what's HOT and what's not.
Case in point:
It's just not hot to belong to the clean plate club.
The chapter closes with a list titled "Why Don't You," which I believe is supposed to be a list of fun activities we can try during a Sunday Funday. Or possibly a list of terrible life hacks for stoned college freshmen:
Use an electric teapot as a clothing steamer.

Make grilled cheese sandwiches or press wraps using a hot clothes iron.
There are very few things sadder to me that imagining someone taking Kelly up on this last bit of advice as a fun way to liven up what must be the most preternaturally boring existence possible. If your idea of fun is white bread and Kraft Singles getting slowly warmed over on your clothing iron, I can only imagine the fit of hysterics that you'd be thrown into by a passable Minions meme.
And that brings us to the end of the week. But not -- lucky you! -- to the end of this book. Au contraire -- the remaining 100 pages or so of I Can Make You Hot! feature dozens of unique recipes from the culinary mind of none other than the indomitable Kelly Bensimon herself. In her intro, however, she makes it clear that
No one on earth would ever call me a chef.
Of course not, Kelly -- they'd call you a cook. Otherwise, it's creepy.
This portion of the book begins, reasonably enough, with Breakfasts. These include such thoughtfully named delicacies as "My Favorite Cereal" and "My Favorite Pancakes." The recipe for the latter begins with the following introduction:
I'm not the greatest pancake maker, and I probably never will be. But what I am very good at is thinking of unusual things and doing them.
Frankly, I can't argue with that. As she continues:
When in pancake doubt, have fun, add fruit, and see if pancakes can be a vehicle for creating great memories for your family.
Next time I'm in pancake doubt, I'll know just what to do! We move right along into the Soups and Salads section, and are promptly introduced to Kelly's "Jimmy Achoo's Chicken Soup." Which is apparently a play on Jimmy Choo and also described by Kelly as "filled with veggie exploitation," which sounds terrifying. Of the next recipe, "Rich and Skinny Cauliflower Soup with Kale Chips," Kelly reflects:
I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Internet. I wish I could tell you exactly where, but I can't.
The recipe calls for kale chips, which Kelly goes out of her way to inform us can be purchased "at health food stores and many well-stocked supermarkets." We also get a few general "HOT salad tips" that can be applied to many of the recipes throughout this book, such as
There are so many different types of lettuces available today! Try different ones to see which you like best
and
When you order a salad in a restaurant, ask for the dressing on the side. You're a grown-up and you should get to decide how much you want to use.
With that under our belts, the grown-ups among us move on to "Meat, Chicken, and Fish." In her recipe for "Grilled Rib Eye with Herbes de Provence", Kelly tells us about meeting the famous chef who inspired this dish:
When I met Eric, who was still in his thirties at the time, he still had dark hair. I was caught off guard because I thought all chefs were older, had gray hair, and smelled like garlic.
So perhaps Bethenny should have taken it as a compliment? Kelly continues,
He's since invited me many times to go into his kitchen and cook with him, but my fear of losing a finger by being overzealous has prohibited me from accepting.
It's unclear to me exactly what this means or why Kelly would even be particularly worried about this possibility. Does she have habit of excitedly snatching vegetables out from other people's knives? Does Eric have a reputation for slicing anyone who dares to get in his way? Before I make any headway with this particular mystery, we're introduced to the next recipe, the "Pencil-Thin Skirt Steak." As we learn, "Everyone looks slim in a pencil skirt, so it's only fitting that skirt steak is one of the leanest cuts of beef you can buy." We get a recipe for "Sultry Roast Chicken" in which Kelly shares with us that "in fact, chicken without ginger doesn't taste like chicken to me anymore." This would be more believable if we weren't, a mere two pages later, introduced to a notably ginger-free recipe for "Second-Chance Chicken." As Kelly explains,
I hate the idea of leftovers. To me, eating leftovers means you're too lazy to start over, and I've never wanted my girls to think that we weren't starting fresh.
In the introduction to the recipe for "Bad Girl Wings," Kelly gives us yet another poignant insight into her life as a mother:
These chicken wings are Sea's favorite. I'm sure she loves them because she knows I love wings (she's a cutie like that).
It would obviously be ludicrous to assume that Sea actually enjoys chicken wings authentically. Much more likely that she just loves them because Kelly does. HOT! In a segment labeled "hasta la vista taco bell," Kelly recounts a traumatic experience in which she "discovered that my favorite food choices [at Taco Bell] added up to 580 calories." To me, this seems like a perfectly reasonable amount of calories for one daily meal out of three, but according to Kelly, I am embarrassingly off the mark. Rather, she sighs, "I guess that means my Taco Bell days are over -- unless I decide to chance [sic] Sunday Funday into Fatso Food Day." Not HOT.
Kelly tells us about the creative process behind the development of the next recipe, "Spicy Sultry Shrimp and Mango Stir-Fry" (which, for the record, is the second recipe to have the word "sultry" in its title).
This was one of the first dishes I made when I started to cook -- as a science experiment. My "method" was to think of foods I loved and which ones I thought would go well together.
Fascinating! Think of ingredients you like and combine them into a dish that you will then likely also like! The next recipe, for "Kelly's Kalamari," features the following introduction:
I still love fried calamari, but it doesn't love me. Whenever I eat it, it goes right to my stomach and makes a little pooch -- eww!
As a reminder, this is the same Kelly Bensimon who told us that loving our bodies is HOT and dieting is die + t. But also, eww!
We trek along into the next portion of the recipe book, succinctly titled "Pizza, Pasta, Potatoes, Grains, Vegetables, and Sides." We get a recipe for "Pizzzzzzzza!," which instructs the reader to obtain pizza dough, pizza sauce, mozzerella cheese, salt and pepper. Spread out the dough, add sauce and cheese, and cook! This is yet another time I'm glad Kelly told us early on in this book to take detailed notes -- these kinds of nuanced culinary creations can only come from the mind of a true master.
The same kind of true master who would, as we soon learn, conceive of this particular travesty -- "Pink Pizza." Imagine with me, for a moment, that a dear friend invites you over to their house for dinner. I'm making pizza! they implore you. Come over -- we'll hang out, have a couple beers, catch up on old times! Excited for a chance to relive the glory days, you eagerly accept, only to be met -- upon your arrival -- with this abomination. I thought you said we were having pizza? you sputter nervously. This is pizza, your friend intones, as their eyes slowly fade to black and their hands reach out to wrap themselves around your throat.
Kelly goes on to share a recipe for an "Asian-flavored noodle dish" that she has christened (and it truly pains me to type this), "Me Love You Springtime Noodles." Somewhere, the last ember of hope for humanity quietly fizzles out.
The following recipe, for "Pasta with Oddkavodka Sauce" begins with a warning:
When you make this (especially for children) just be sure you cook off the alcohol so that you aren't serving vodka to minors or have to assign a designated driver for your guests.
This seems like reasonable and conscientious advice. Until I read on and learn that the recipe calls for 1/8 cup vodka, and makes four servings. If your guests need a designated driver after consuming a half-tablespoon of vodka each, I would strongly encourage them to seek medical advice forthwith.
I am reminded once again how different Kelly's and my worlds are with the following exclamation:
Try using quinoa in this recipe instead of the rice -- I call that having your cake and eating it too!
Oh, to live a life in which your most selfish indulgence was quinoa. I suppose this should have prepared me for a few pages later, when Kelly remarks:
Both hummus and guacamole make great toppings for steak or fish. They're my version of béarnaise sauce.
I love hummus. Hummus is great. But there is no possible existing parallel universe in which hummus and béarnaise sauce are interchangeable. One of the final recipes in this section is cryptically titled "Have an Impromptu Pepper Party" and instructs the reader to scoop out the insides of a bell pepper and stuff it with "whatever ingredients suit your fancy." Again, I feel like this fails to meet the definition of an actual recipe, per se, but it is supposedly "quick, fun, and satisfying."
We're nearing the book's end (for real this time) with a section on "Breads and Desserts." This includes an inspirational passage in which Kelly shares a personal anecdote:
On Season 4 of the Real Housewives of New York City, I made a mixed fruit pie for my kids with what was left over in the fruit bowl…Don't be afraid to try new things, make mistakes, and have fun doing it.
I can only hope to someday be brave enough and fearless enough to make a mixed fruit pie.
Blessedly, the final section , titled "Beverages", looks like it might have exactly what I need in the aftermath of finishing this book. The "GIN-Ginger Beertail," for example, which "was originally made with gin, but I don't like serving gin drinks because I think it makes people mean." We also get a recipe for something called "Babylove," which (thankfully) seems unrelated to another of my favorite reality TV cesspools.
It only seems appropriate to share the final recipe of I Can Make You Hot! with all of you. I will definitely be downing approximately seven of these tonight, and I hope some of you will be joining me in spirit. Cheers:
Gummi Bear Martini
If you don't have a paper umbrella handy, Gummi Bears are a great way to put more fun in your drink.
Makes 1 Drink
2 parts orange, grape, or other-flavored vodka
1 part Triple Sec
1 part white grape juice
Splash of cranberry juice
Gummi Bears, as many as you like
Combine the vodka, Triple Sec, grape juice, and cranberry juice in a tall glass. Add ice and fill the glass with Gummi Bears.
ETA: I am so disappointed in myself for forgetting to include that Kelly has a ceviche recipe that instructs you to marinate raw fish in lemon juice for exactly two minutes before serving. In the interest of food safety, perhaps it was for the best that this nugget momentarily slipped my mind, but sharing this information with you all is the burden I have been cursed to bear. 🙏🏼
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Will the Arizona Cardinals win OVER/UNDER 7 games? 2020 season predictions by University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

From 2013 to 2015, the Cardinals won at least 10 games in each of those seasons. They followed up with a couple of years where they finished close to a .500 record. Things got even worse in the past two seasons, during which the franchise compiled an 8-23-1 record.
Now in year #2 of head coach Kliff Kingsbury and QB Kyler Murray, it’s time for Arizona to make a leap forward.

2. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Arizona Cardinals are expected to win 7 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?
Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:
Here are the results (excluding simulated seasons where they won exactly 7 games, in which case the bet ties):

Estimated prob. Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 7 wins 53.1% 10Bet -110 +1.4%
UNDER 7 wins 46.9% William Hill +110 -1.5%

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

3. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Kyler Murray had a very successful rookie campaign as Arizona’s new franchise quarterback.
Despite a suspect surrounding cast, he posted very respectable numbers with 3,722 passing yards, 20 TDs and 12 interceptions. He was also dangerous as a runner, as shown by his 544 rushing yards.
Murray was the victim of 48 sacks, but he was hard to catch. Indeed, he finished in 2nd place in terms of average time from snap-to-sack among all QBs in the NFL.
Now with one full year of experience under his belt, you can expect Murray to take a nice leap and improve his game even more in 2020.
Brett Hundley will once again back up Murray this season. The Cards must hope they won’t need him because he has never shown he could lead a team to success. The former Packer is clearly no more than a #2 QB in this league.

3.2 Running Backs (RBs)

The Cards got a nice bargain last year by trading a sixth-round pick in exchange for Kenyan Drake. He was nothing short of spectacular in his eight appearances in the desert by racking up 643 rushing yards over eight games. He also scored eight touchdowns during that short period.
During the offseason, the Cards re-signed him to a one-year, $8.5 million contract. The team also traded David Johnson to Houston, which clearly puts Drake as the starter.
Chase Edmonds will be the main backup runner. He showed some flashes with a nice 5.1 yards per rush average. The third-year pro is good insurance in case Drake gets hurt.

3.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Kyler Murray probably popped a bottle of champagne when he heard about the acquisition of stud wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Texans.
Losing David Johnson in the trade isn’t that big of a deal for the Cards, who already had good depth at the running back position. However, acquiring a big-time WR like Hopkins is HUGE!
Hopkins has played either 15 or 16 games in each of his first seven years in the NFL. He has averaged 1,229 receiving yards and 7.7 TDs during that time span.
He consistently ranks among the top receivers year in and year out. In 2019, he finished with an 87.8 grade from PFF, which had him ranked as the 5th best WR.
Unbelievable: Larry Fitzgerald is coming back for a 17th season! He did better than expected last season by catching 75 passes and finishing 53rd out of 122 qualified wide receivers in the league based on PFF.
Fitzgerald claimed he loved the culture under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury and he wants to help the team both as a player and as a mentor for the younger guys.
Christian Kirk, a former second-round pick in the 2018 draft, had an okay year. His 62.5 grade by PFF had him ranked as the #91 WR (out of 122). With Hopkins drawing a lot of attention from opposing defenses, Kirk must make a leap in 2020. It remains to be seen if he can do it or not.
Arizona lost some depth at the position after seeing Damiere Byrd leave for New England, while Pharoh Cooper signed with Carolina. It’s not a huge blow to the team, but worth mentioning.

3.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

A young QB like Kyler Murray would certainly welcome some help at the tight end position, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
The top target last year was Charles Clay. He only caught 18 passes and is now a free agent.
All signs point toward Maxx Williams assuming the number one role. You’ll be surprised to hear he ranked as the 7th best tight end in the league according to PFF. His nice 79.1 grade was obtained via outstanding run and pass blocking.
In summary, the team is pretty thin at this position.

3.5 Offensive Line (OL)

One of the team’s biggest weaknesses in 2019 was certainly its offensive line. They allowed the 5th highest number of sacks a year ago, despite Murray being a mobile quarterback.
The only guy who finished above average based on PFF rankings was Justin Pugh (22nd out of 81 among guards). The other four starters were either average or quite bad.
The bad news? The team has not addressed the position in free agency. They did select Josh Jones in the third round of this year’s draft, though. He has a high chance of becoming the team’s starting right guard right away, despite many experts calling him a developmental project who needs work.
I can’t believe D.J. Humphries is going to be the third-highest paid left tackle in the league after signing a hefty contract this offseason. His paycheck is clearly not in line with his production on the field. In five years, he has played 43 games and missed 37 due to numerous injuries. He finally played through a full 16-game season last year, but he PFF gave him the 47th-best grade out of 81 tackles.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

Overall, I expect a nice progression from this unit. Kyler Murray is clearly more likely to improve than to regress based on his young age. The running back position is set. The receiving corps got a gigantic boost with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins.
The tight end and offensive line positions remain problematic. However, if you compare with last year, it can’t get much worse. Building the line should be one of the top priorities for Arizona in the upcoming years.
Final call (2020 vs 2019):
Big downgrade-Moderate downgrade-Small downgrade-Stable-Small upgrade-Moderate upgrade-Big upgrade

4. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

4.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

This was not a position of strength for Arizona last year. Out of 114 DLs, here’s the final PFF ranking of the four guys who got the most playing time: Corey Peters 65th, Rodney Gunter 61st, Zach Kerr 42nd and Jonathan Bullard 94th. Ouch.
Now, Gunter and Kerr are both gone. Meanwhile, the team acquired Jordan Phillips from the Bills. He probably won’t be a savior as he finished in 104th place.

4.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

Chandler Jones had an exceptional years with 19 sacks! Only Shaquil Barrett from the Bucs recorded more sacks.
Outside of Jones, Terrell Suggs played 13 games before being released by the Cards. He still managed to record 5.5 sacks.
Cassius Marsh played 38% of the defensive snaps and finished 70th out of 107 edge defenders. He signed with the Jaguars during the offseason.
In order to compensate for those losses, Arizona signed Devon Kennard, formerly of the Detroit Lions. He played 82% of the snaps in Detroit and finished 44th (out of 107) at the position. He obtained 7 sacks last year (7 more the year before).

4.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Jordan Hicks was a tackling machine with 150; only Bobby Wagner (Seattle) and Blake Martinez (Green Bay) had more in 2019.
However, Hicks didn’t grade particularly well. He finished 43rd out of 89 linebackers.
Haason Reddick and Joe Walker both finished in the bottom: 86th and 79th. Walker left for San Francisco, which is not a big loss.
Arizona signed De’Vondre Campbell who played 89% of the snaps with the Falcons. Can he improve the linebacker play in 2020? I doubt it. His poor 50.1 grade gave him the 70th rank. Here are his grades the previous three seasons: 57.4, 69.1 and 55.7. He is a durable guy, but far from a great player.
DC Vance Joseph declared #8 overall pick Isaiah Simmons would primarily play at linebacker. Simmons was super versatile in college, playing many positions. He will provide good coverage against TEs and pass-catching RBs, while also defending the run efficiently. He clearly has Pro Bowl talent.

4.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Patrick Peterson is clearly the leader of this group. He was having a decent season, and was brilliant in the final few games. He finished as the number 39 cornerback out of 112 guys. He missed the first six games of the season because of a suspension.
There is not much depth behind Peterson, though. Byron Murphy played 98% of the snaps, but finished with an awful 48.8 grade. The 2019 second-round pick will need to elevate his game A LOT this season.

4.5 Safeties (S)

Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson provide an adequate duo of safeties. These two guys are still young and we can expect some improvement in 2020. They finished last year as #28 and #57 out of 87 qualified safeties. Baker accumulated 147 tackles, 4th in the NFL.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

No major changes for this unit. Given they’ve allowed the 5th highest number of points last year, that’s not good news.
The lone position where the Cards have improved this offseason is linebacker because of the acquisition of Isaiah Simmons via the draft and De’Vondre Campbell as a free agent from Atlanta.
Or perhaps the couple of young safeties can take a leap? Maybe, maybe not. It may be wishful thinking.
To summarize, the team added Jordan Phillips, Devon Kennard, Isaiah Simmons and De’Vondre Campbell. They lost Rodney Gunter, Zach Kerr, Terrell Suggs, Cassius Marsh and Joe Walker. To me, those changes offset. Perhaps it will turn out to be a small upgrade.
Final call (2020 vs 2019):
Big downgrade-Moderate downgrade-Small downgrade-Stable-Small upgrade-Moderate upgrade-Big upgrade
Thanks for reading!
Professor MJ
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Will the Tennessee Titans win OVER/UNDER 8.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

Tennessee’s season completely turned around once they benched quarterback Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill.

After a 2-4 start, the Titans won seven of their final 10 games to sneak into the playoffs as the 6th seed in the AFC. Fun fact: it was the fourth straight season that the Titans finished with a 9-7 record!

In the playoffs, they knocked off the defending Super Bowl champions New England Patriots, as well as the top seed in the conference, the Baltimore Ravens. Derrick Henry ran like a mad man in those games, becoming the first player in NFL history to rack up at least 175 rushing yards in two games in the same postseason.

In the AFC Conference Championship Game, Tennessee grabbed a 17-7 lead in the second quarter, but couldn’t hold off the Chiefs any longer in a 35-to-24 defeat.

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Ryan Tannehill was clearly one of the best Cinderella stories in 2019. After taking over as the starting QB over Marcus Mariota, he led the league in QB rating.

He crushed his previous career-high in completion percentage with as astounding 70.3%; his personal best was 66.4% in 2014.

During his first six years in Miami, he posted a 123:75 TD:INT mark. That equates to a 1.64 ratio. In 2019, he threw 22 TD passes versus 6 interceptions, which amounts to a 3.7 ratio. As you can see, once again he obliterated his past numbers.

The team thinks he can keep playing at that level after handing him a hefty contract. I do believe he’ll do a good job in 2020, but not at the 2019 levels, obviously.

As of now, the backup QB is Logan Woodside since Mariota signed with the Raiders. Woodside was drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 draft out of Toledo. During preseason games, he completed 46-of-76 passes (a 60.5% completion rate) for 539 yards with 4 TDs and no interception. It’s hard to tell what he can bring to the table.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

Derrick Henry was a true beast last year. He won the rushing title with 1,540 rushing yards and 16 TDs on the ground (he added two more as a receiver). His 5.1 yards-per-carry average is mind-boggling considering the high volume.

He didn’t slow down in the playoffs. After rushing for 182 yards in New England, he single-handedly destroyed the Ravens with 195 rushing yards. He was quieter in K.C. by accumulating 69 yards on the ground.

Few people remember how he finished the previous year on a high note as well. In the final four meetings of the 2018 season, he averaged 146 rushing yards and 1.75 rushing TDs per contest. Obviously, he followed up with a season to remember.

Henry’s numbers have steadily increased every single year since he joined the league in 2016. Now 26 years old, defensive coordinators must be getting up at night to game plan against him.

Dion Lewis was a nice change-of-pace back, even though he didn’t have a great year. At least he had NFL experience, which is not the case of the remaining potential backup backs. Both Dalyn Dawkins and David Fluellen are undrafted guys who have combined for 19 rushing attempts in the league.

Tennessee filled a need by drafting Darrynton Evans in last April’s draft. The third-rounder complements Henry’s skillset well, as Evans can spell him on passing third-down situations (a role that used to be played by Dion Lewis). Also, he isn’t great running inside the tackles due to his small size, but he is more of a change-of-pace runner who has home-run hitting capacities.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Rookie A.J. Brown was hyped as a big-play guy, and he did not disappoint. He didn’t catch that many balls, but when he did he made the most of it.

The Mississippi product led all receivers that caught at least 50 passes with a jaw-dropping 20.2 yards-per-catch average. He scored 8 TDs, while also topping the 1,000 receiving-yard mark (he had 1,051).

Will former #5 overall pick Corey Davis live up to his draft status? It seems unlikely after watching his first three years as a pro. He raised hopes by posting a 65-891-4 receiving line in 2018, but he regressed to 43-601-2 last year. Talent and youth play on his side, though. He may not be a true No. 1 wideout, but he can clearly do the job as a number two or three receiver.

Adam Humphries is an efficient, yet not explosive player. He is good to pick up key first downs. He caught more than 70% of his targets in his final two years in Tampa, and he reached that goal once again in his first season in Tennessee.

Was he worth a four-year deal worth $36 million? Probably not, but having him as your slot receiver is a bonus. His numbers were down last year, but he will be a useful tool as a 27-year old this year.

Tajae Sharpe also made a nice contribution last year with 25 receptions, 329 yards and 4 TDs. He was a nice luxury to have on your roster, but he signed with the Vikings during the offseason.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

Jonnu Smith and Delanie Walker received the most playing time at tight end.

Walker did a decent job, but father time seems to have caught up to him. After being very durable for 11 years, he stayed healthy for just one game in 2018 and seven games last year. Accordingly, the team cut ties with him as he was going to enter his age-36 campaign.

Walker’s absence gave more room for Jonnu Smith to shine. The 2017 third-rounder has seen his numbers increase every year. His 35-439-3 receiving line is nothing to write home about. He could make a jump in 2020, but don’t expect huge steps.

Anthony Firkser will be back with the squad. He doesn’t have the size and speed to become a great TE, but he does a fine job for a guy that was never drafted.

MyCole Pruitt will be the #3 TE. He has never caught more than 10 passes in any of his five years in the NFL. Enough said.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

Ben Jones has done a great job at the pivot throughout his entire eight-year career. He raised his game to a higher level last year by finishing at the second-best center in the NFL according to PFF grades. He’s been an awesome pickup when acquired from the Texas a few years ago.

Right tackle Jack Conklin broke the bank in Cleveland, which left a glaring hole in Tennessee. He was a very solid player, and Dennis Kelly or Isaiah Wilson will try to fill his shoes.

Kelly has received his two best PFF grades of his seven-year career in 2018 and 2019, which is a good sign. However, he doesn’t play at the same level as Conklin.

The organization figures to have a better chance at replacing Conklin adequately with Isaiah Wilson, who was taken late in the first round of this year’s draft. This guy weighted close to 400 pounds coming out of high school! He is a mauler.

The rookie needs work for both his footwork and technique, which led to uneven play in college. He has exceptional physical traits and high potential, but may not be great right from the start.

At left tackle, Taylor Lewan is a cornerstone of this offensive line. He’s been good his whole career, never receiving a PFF mark below 76.4, which is remarkable!

Rodger Saffold is the starting left guard for the Titans. He ranked as the sixth-best guard in the NFL last year; needless to say he’s been a valuable piece of the puzzle for this franchise.

The weakest link is Nate Davis at right guard. The third-round rookie struggled big-time last year.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

The Titans did not make a single free agent acquisition on offense.

They lost some depth with the departures of RB Dion Lewis and WR Tajae Sharpe. The team hopes 3rd round pick Darrynton Evans can spell Henry appropriately.

The backup QB will also be weaker due to Mariota leaving for Vegas. And despite his advanced age, Delanie Walker was a decent TE, although he only appeared in seven games last year.

The biggest loss occurred on the offensive line. Seeing Jack Conklin go to the Jets hurts the team. Rookie Isaiah Wilson will do his best to hold the fort, but he is unlikely to play at the same level as Conklin in his first year as a pro.

Finally, how could we expect better production out of Ryan Tannehill in 2020 as opposed to his 2019 heroics?

In conclusion, I am tagging the Titans offense with a moderate downgrade in comparison to 2019.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Moderate downgrade

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

Jurrell Casey is a strong run stuffer, while also averaging 5.7 sacks per year over a nine-year period. He was traded to Denver for cap reasons, which will hurt Tennessee’s interior of the line a lot.

With Casey gone, the team will hand a much heavier workload to Jeffery Simmons. After missing the first seven games due to a knee injury, he showed fairly good promise as a #19 overall pick from the 2019 draft. His sophomore year will be critical.

The team will also rely on DaQuan Jones to step up his game. He is an above-average DL, whose main strength is defending the run. He only has seven sacks in six years.

The Titans lost some depth as Austin Johnson went to the Giants.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

Harold Landry played twice as many snaps in his sophomore year as his rookie season, and he doubled his sack total (going from 4.5 to 9 to lead the team in that category). He graded as the 62nd-best edge defender in the league out of 107 players. He has the potential to take a leap.

The team hopes to improve its pass rush by adding Vic Beasley, formerly of the Falcons. His numbers are a bit puzzling. He led the league with 15.5 sacks in his second season back in 2016. Since then, he has posted 5, 5 and 8 sacks.

Those are not bad numbers, but they are clearly below expectations coming from a fellow that was the 8th overall selection in the 2015 draft. Also, he is a liability in run defense. In other words, he’s been more name than game recently.

Kamalei Correa racked up five sacks despite playing 39% of the snaps. He had just 3.5 sacks over his first three years as a pro. He’s not a game breaker.

Reggie Gilbert is a role player. The undrafted guy has 4.5 sacks in three years is no more than depth.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans are the leaders of this group. Based on draft status, Evans is supposed to be the superior player, but that wasn’t the case at all last year.

Evans received poor marks from PFF with a 47.6 grade; he obtained spot #74 out of 89 LBs. He struggled a lot in coverage and wasn’t that great rushing the passer. He does a fine job defending the run though.

As for Brown, his 68.8 PFF grade allowed him to finish as the 20th-best linebacker in the league. His sack total went from 6 in 2018 down to just one a year ago. The former fifth-rounder will try to bring that number back up this season.

Wesley Woodyard’s career is clearly on the decline. He lost his starting job, his PFF grades are falling, he’s 34 years old and he is now a free agent after the Titans failed to re-sign him.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Adoree’ Jackson is the team’s number 1 CB. He was the 18th overall pick from the 2017 draft. Even though he has only two career interceptions, he is still a fairly solid coverage guy. He constantly ranks among the upper tier.

Logan Ryan played almost all defensive snaps last year and he filled the scoresheet more than ever in his seven-year career. He had career-highs in tackles (113), sacks (4.5) and forced fumbles (4). He also picked off four passes, his second-best performance.

Yet, he graded as an average corner by taking the 62nd rank out of 112 CBs because of ordinary run defense and coverage skills. The Titans couldn’t meet his salary demands, so he left via free agency.

Malcolm Butler finished once again in the middle of the pack among all NFL cornerbacks last year. The Super Bowl XLIX hero has seen his PFF grades decrease in each of the past three seasons, but he still manages to intercept 2-4 passes every year. He missed seven games last year with a broken wrist.

LeShaun Sims played 30% of the snaps, while producing poor play on the field. He’s never been a good corner, but he still found a new home in Cincinnati when the Bengals signed him in March.

The Titans took Kristian Fulton late in the 2nd round this year. Many reports suggest he’ll be an average NFL starter. He is best in man coverage due to his physicality. He lost the entire 2017 season when he was caught trying to tamper with a PED test sample, where he submitted a friend’s urine.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Kevin Byard is one of the league’s highest paid safety and he deserves it. He has 17 interceptions over the last three years. In those seasons, his PFF rankings were 4th, 3rd and 10th among close to 90 qualifiers.

Byard turned out to be a huge bargain as a former third-round pick out of Middle Tennessee State. Now 27 years old, there is no reason to believe his play will deteriorate in 2020.

Kenny Vaccaro is well known among fans, even though his play is not great. He probably gets recognition due to his former first-round status, but his best PFF grade was 66.7 back in 2013. Just to give you an idea, such a mark would have yielded him the #48 spot out of 87 safeties last year. And that was his best season.

Amani Hooker played 30% of the snaps last year as a rookie. The Titans had actually traded up to secure his rights during the 2019 draft. He did a decent job, but the jury is still out about the fourth-rounder’s future.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

The Titans allowed the 12th-fewest points in the league last year. Should be expect better or worse play in 2020?

Jurrell Casey’s presence will be missed in a big way on the interior of the line. Also, not getting CB Logan Ryan back is hardly good news. Overall, he was an above-average corner who was constantly on the field and has been very durable in his career.

The only good addition is Vic Beasley. I feel like he’s overrated since his sack numbers are lower than what most people think and due to poor run defense, but he still has valuable pass rushing abilities.

Based on this information, I anticipate a small downgrade from this unit.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Titans are expected to win 8.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results:

Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 8.5 WINS 50.9% FanDuel -110 -2.8%
UNDER 8.5 WINS 49.1% Pinnacle +129 +12.4%

Tip: Bet UNDER 8.5 wins
Return On Investment (ROI): +12.4%
Rank: 22nd-highest ROI out of 32 teams
Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): +104

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Titans’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

I hope you found this article informative, I've got every NFL team covered so check out my other posts! Have a nice day!

Professor MJ
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Will the New Orleans Saints win OVER/UNDER 10.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
  1. Introduction
The Saints secured the #2 seed in last year’s playoffs following a great 13-3 season, despite Drew Brees missing five games.
Unfortunately, for the third straight season, the Saints were eliminated in dramatic fashion. After suffering through the “Minneapolis Miracle” in 2018 and the non-call on a critical blatant interference penalty against the Rams in 2019, the Saints lost a 26-20 overtime thriller at home against the Vikings. Once again, officials were questioned when the replay showed Kyle Rudolph possibly pushed P.J. Williams on the game-winning touchdown.
Bad luck just continues to stick to this franchise. Will it be THE year where they shake it all off?

  1. Regular Season Wins
According to sportsbooks, the New Orleans Saints are expected to win 10.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?
Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:
Here are the results

Estimated probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 10.5 Wins 52% Fan Duel +100 +4.0%
UNDER 10.5 Wins 48% William Hill -110 -8.4%
Tip: Bet OVER 10.5 wins
Return On Investment (ROI): +4.0%
Rank: 30th-highest ROI out of 32 teams
Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): -108
Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

3. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown
QUARTERBACKS (QB)
Drew Brees is simply unbelievable on the field, and a wonderful human being. He donated $5 million to deliver meals to needy people in the Louisiana state. A great gesture from him and his wife.
Will he ever slow down or what? He is now 41 years old, but his numbers have kept impressing. He has completed at least 70% of his passes in each of his past four seasons, which is jaw-dropping! He led the league in that category last year.
His TD-to-INT ratio has also improved of late. Over the past two years, he has thrown 59 TD passes versus just 9 picks.
Backup QB Teddy Bridgewater left for Carolina during the offseason. Who can blame him? He deserved a chance to be a starter in this league once again. He’s joining a much weaker team, though. He did a very good job when Brees went down to a thumb injury.
For a moment, the backup QB became Taysom Hill, who has been the jack-of-all-trades in this offense. He can throw, he can run, he can catch.
However, it’s unclear who gets the #2 role following the signing of Jameis Winston, also known as “The Turnover Machine.”
Winston threw for 5,109 yards last year, which turned out to be the 8th-most in league history. However, the 30 interceptions (!!!) and five lost fumbles put a big blemish on his 2019 season. A 60.7% completion rate wasn’t all that great, either. He has great weapons to work with, including stud receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
Playing for the Saints could end up being the best thing that has ever happened to Winston. He will get great tips from Drew Brees who, unlike Winston, doesn’t turn the ball over often. The former Buc has a great arm and he is in his mid-twenties; not all hope is lost for the former #1 overall pick out of Florida State.

RUNNING BACKS (RB)
Alvin Kamara’s numbers have been incredibly steady since entering the league in 2017. He has rushed for 728, 883 and 797 yards during that time frame, while catching exactly 81 balls (!!!) in each of these three seasons. His TD output was his lowest of his career though, as he only scored six total touchdowns in 2019.
It is worth noting, though, that he battled through injuries last year. He had more trouble breaking tackles down the stretch. He will be back at 100% when the 2020 season begins.
Latavius Murray is nice luxury as a backup running back. He picked up almost as many rushing yards as Kamara, while posting a nice 4.4 yards-per-carry average. This figure has never been lower than 3.9 in any of his six years in the NFL, which is remarkable.
Kamara missed two games last year; in those games, Murray racked up 150 and 157 total yards with a couple of touchdowns in each of those contests. The Saints will be in good hands if Kamara gets hurt.

WIDE RECEIVERS (WR)
Michael Thomas broke Marvin Harrison’s single-season record for receptions by catching 149 balls. He caught a minimum of four passes in all games and cleared the 100-receiving yard mark on 10 occasions.
Thomas was truly dominant. What’s even more incredible is he caught 149-of-185, which amounts to a mind-boggling 80.5% catch rate (an unbelievable percentage given the high volume).
With Thomas and Kamara catching so many passes, that didn’t leave many targets to the other receivers. Ted Ginn’s play seemed to drop off quite a bit, as he caught 30-of-56 balls thrown his way. He has his second-worst PFF grade over his 13-year career. At 35 years old, you have to wonder whether he has some gas left in the tank or not. I don’t believe he can rebound in 2020.
Meanwhile, Tre’Quan Smith was a disappointment last year. He did catch 5 TD passes for the second straight year after being selected in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft, but catching 18 passes for 234 yards won’t be anyone very excited.
As if the team needed more playmakers, they went on to get Emmanuel Sanders who started the year in Denver before getting traded to San Francisco.
Sanders suffered a brutal Achilles injury in 2018, but that did not prevent him from having a very nice 2019 season. He totaled 66 receptions for 869 yards and 5 TDs. He’s a nice get considering Ginn is getting older and Smith has yet to pan out.

TIGHT ENDS (TE)
Jared Cook is another aging player who has done surprisingly well. He hauled in 43 passes for 705 yards, which was not that close from being career-highs. However, his 9 TD receptions and his 16.4 yards-per-catch average were his career best. He started the season slowly, but seemed to develop a great chemistry with Drew Brees down the stretch.
Josh Hill is not much of a receiver, but he does the job as a blocker. He’s been with the team for seven years and 2019 was his best season in terms of receptions (25) and receiving yards (226). He is not a threat to take away Cook’s number one role.
The team traded four picks in order to select Adam Trautman out of Dayton in the third round of this year’s draft. His receiving production increased in each of his four years in college; it culminated with a 70-916-14 receiving line in 11 starts. Wow, 14 TDs in 11 games?!?
The only question surrounding Trautman is: can he handle a much higher level of competition than what he faced with Dayton? He could become a starter in 2021, considering Jared Cook’s age.

OFFENSIVE LINE (OL)
This is an exceptional group and all players are returning for the 2020 season, which does not bode well for opposing defenses.
Center Erik McCoy was picked in the second round of the draft last year and he competed with Nick Easton and Cameron Tom during training camp. McCoy won the job and finished as the number 4 center out of 37 guys, based on PFF ratings. I think it’s fair to say it was a great season for him.
Left tackle Terron Armstead made it to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year. He has received good marks in each of his seven seasons with the Saints. Drew Brees can rest easy with his blindside being protected by Armstead.
At right tackle the Saints have Ryan Ramczyk. PFF made him the #1 tackle in the entire league with a 90.9 grade last year. He has improved in each of his three seasons and has started all games but one.
At guard, New Orleans has Larry Warford and Andrus Peat. Warford was the 8th-best guard in the NFL according to ProFootballFocus ratings, while Peat was the only guy to struggle on this offensive line. Indeed, he finished at spot #70.
We observe a weird tendency regarding Peat. His PFF grades in his first three seasons were 68.0, 71.5 and 68.3, which is decent. Then, his marks took a huge dip in 2018: an abysmal 39.8. He followed it up with a 48.5 grade last year. The team doesn’t seem too concern about his level of play since they re-signed him to a lucrative five-year, $57.5 million contract.
Taking center Cesar Ruiz in the first round last April was a bit surprising. New Orleans already has a great center with McCoy. Head coach Sean Payton already claimed that right guard Larry Warford will have to compete for his job with either Ruiz or McCoy. Even though Warford played well last year, he is entering the final year of his contract.
For your information, Ruiz did not allow a single sack as a junior with Michigan last year. He also does a good job run blocking.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE
My opinion won’t be popular, but I do see a downgrade here. Sure, returning pretty much the entire 2019 lineup is great, but I’m wary of a few things.
First, the age factor. Brees is 41 years old and your body gets hurt more easily when you reach your forties. You can’t deny he has a higher likelihood of getting injured this season. If that happens, losing Teddy Bridgewater is going to hurt the offense, although Winston might pick up the slack if he can cut down on the turnovers.
Jared Cook, Emmanuel Sanders and Ted Ginn are also getting up there in age. Also, how in the world could you expect Michael Thomas to play at a higher level than last year? He is much more likely to regress than to improve upon his 2019 performance.
Finally, the offensive line did not suffer many injuries last season, except Andrus Peat who missed six games, but he was the weakest link on the line anyway. I don’t wish them bad luck, but one of their top four guys could easily get hurt, due to the physical nature of the game.
The Saints scored the third-highest number of points last year, and I’ll cautiously put them in the #5 to #8 spot.
Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small Downgrade


4. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (DL)
Signing a contract extension with David Onyemata was a priority for the organization. They did just that during the offseason. The team clearly likes him, despite a mediocre 55.3 PFF grade last year (he finished as the number 97 DL out of 114 qualifiers).
Sheldon Rankins is a former first-round pick who had a breakout 2018 campaign, which included a career-high 8 sacks. He was much quieter last year.
Rankins tore his Achilles’ in early 2019, and landed on injured reserve in December 2019 after coming close to tearing the other one. That’s a major question mark since such injuries are always tricky for football players.
Malcom Brown played close to 50% of the snaps last year. After spending four years in New England as a former first-rounder, he had a decent first year in New Orleans. He’s more effective defending the run than he is rushing the passer (he has recorded just two sacks in the past two years).
Shy Tuttle is more of a rotational player. His rookie season as an undrafted free agent exceeded expectations and he clearly deserves a shot to be back this year.

DEFENSIVE ENDS (DE) / EDGE (ED)
The Saints have a fantastic duo with Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport, two former 1st round picks.
Jordan set a career-high with 15.5 sacks last year, after posting 12 and 13 sacks the previous two seasons. He’s an incredibly tough guy; can you believe he hasn’t missed a single game throughout his nine-year professional career? That’s phenomenal!
Davenport took a nice forward leap in his sophomore year. His PFF grade went up from 69.7 to 84.1. According to this grading system, Davenport was the 18th-best edge defender out of 107 guys.
Trey Hendrickson provides good depth for the Saints. He has shown improvement in each of his first three years in the league. He sacked opposing QBs on 4.5 occasions last year, after racking up just two in his first two years. The 25-year old is primed for another leap in 2020.
After a promising rookie season, Mario Edwards has been released a couple of times. He works as a rotational pass-rusher; he played 28% of the snaps last year. He’s been bothered by neck and hip injuries throughout his first five years in the league.

LINEBACKERS (LB)
Demario Davis was exceptional in all facets of the game last year. He played so well that he earned the #1 spot out of 89 LBs based on the PFF grading system.
He seems unlikely to repeat his 2019 performance, though. His PFF marks never exceeded 63 during his first five years. They went up to 73.7 and 75.1 in 2017 and 2018 before exploding to an astounding 90.4 last year. Entering his age-31 campaign, I find it hard to believe he could duplicate his success.
A.J. Klein’s career has been a roller-coaster ride. He’s had up-and-down years. Most recently, he had horrible 2016, 2017 and 2019 seasons, but above-average years in 2015 and 2018. He signed with Buffalo, so the Saints won’t need to deal with his inconsistencies anymore.
Is Kiko Alonso ready to embrace a bigger role in this defense? The answer is unclear. He played fairly well last year after two straight dreadful seasons in Miami, but his health is an issue. He tore his ACL during the playoff loss to the Vikings. That required the third ACL surgery of his career, which leaves some doubt about whether his quickness will be affected or not.
Considering the lack of depth at the position, drafting Zack Baun in the third round made sense. The former Badger has a high chance of starting right away. He collected 19.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks as a senior. He’s a bit undersized for the position, which means he could potentially struggle against the run but he’s a fierce pass rusher. Many mock drafts had him going in Round 2, so it seems like a good value pick that also fits a need.

CORNERBACKS (CB)
Eli Apple was let go during the offseason. He’s been nothing short of a disappointment since being selected as the No. 10 overall pick in 2016. He’s fine against the run, but his covering skills have been below standard.
Strangely enough, Marshon Lattimore’s PFF grades have decreased every year: 86.1 as a rookie first-round pick in 2017, 78.5 in his sophomore season and 65.6 last year. Granted, a hamstring injury limited him in 2019.
Lattimore picked off 5 passes in his rookie season, then just three over the past two years. He does have the potential to make it back among the best corners in the league.
P.J. Williams was primarily used as a slot corner last year, and things didn’t go so well. Just like Lattimore, his PFF grades have dipped every year. He finished as the 100th-bets CB out of 112 players.

SAFETIES (S)
Marcus Williams enjoyed a very successful rookie season before being the victim of the sophomore slump. However, he came back super strong last year. PFF ranked him as the third-best safety in the league, only behind Minnesota’s Anthony Harris and Denver’s Justin Simmons. He has a knack for big plays, as shown by his 10 career interceptions, one TD and two forced fumbles.
New Orleans lost its other starting safety, Vonn Bell, in the free agency market. His coverage skills were below-average, but he was one of the best in the business defending the run.
The team figures to replace him with Malcolm Jenkins, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles. He is seven years older than Bell, but he’s a proven veteran.
After five rocky seasons with the Saints during the 2009-2013 period, Jenkins had six consecutive good seasons in Philly. Now back with the team that drafted him 11 years ago, Saints fans are crossing their fingers he can keep up his nice level of play. Last year, Jenkins was the 32nd-best safety in the NFL based on PFF rankings.
I just don’t understand the length of Jenkins’ deal: a four-year deal with a 32-year old guy? Really?
The Saints traded up during the 2019 draft to secure the rights to Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in the 4th round. He showed promise in his rookie season with very decent grades, especially against the run. He played 51% of the snaps and picked up his first interception and forced fumble of his career.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE
The Saints allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards in the league last year. That seems unlikely to happen again in 2020. Rankins’ health concerns me. I don’t believe Onyemata is that good. And Demario Davis’ play is extremely likely to regress after an unexpected phenomenal 2019 season.
As for the pass defense, I expect similar production as last year. Plugging Malcolm Jenkins instead of Vonn Bell at safety seems like an upgrade to me. However, losing Eli Apple is hardly good news. He was “okay” last season, but he had potential and he still needs to be replaced. Hopefully, plan B is not P.J. Williams because he does not appear to be the answer.
New Orleans finished 13th in points allowed last year. I expect a small drop, perhaps to a spot ranging between 15 and 19.
Final call (2020 vs 2019) : Small downgrade
submitted by David-MJ to sportsbook [link] [comments]

Will the New York Giants win OVER/UNDER 6.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

Giants fans had hopes of making a playoff push after rookie QB Daniel Jones won his first two NFL games to bring back the team to a 2-2 record. However, the team underwent a nine-game losing skid, while seeing many good players go down to injuries.

The team fired head coach Pat Shurmur, and the new leader will be Joe Judge, a member of the Patriots coaching staff for eight years.

There is optimism around this franchise with young budding stars on offense. After six losing seasons over the past seven years, can the Giants finally turn the corner?

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Taking Daniel Jones as the #6 overall pick in the 2019 draft was a bit of a head-scratcher. No one is laughing at the Giants’ pick anymore.

Jones was brilliant during preseason games by going 29-of-34 for 416 passing yards, 2 TDs and no picks. The team still gave Eli Manning the starting nod, but that didn’t last very long. Prior to Week #3, head coach Pat Shurmur announced the Daniel Jones era was about to begin.

His first NFL game was one to remember. He threw 2 TD passes and rushed for a couple more in a wild 32-31 win in Tampa (thanks to a missed 34-yard chip shot field goal by Matt Gay).

Jones went on to throw 24 touchdown passes by completing 284-of-459 passes, a subpar 61.9% completion rate. His main issue was turning the ball over too often: he was picked off on 12 occasions, while fumbling 18 times.

Jones still showed a lot of upside. As a comparison, many considered Kyler Murray’s rookie season as a nice success. Both Murray and Jones threw 12 interceptions, but Jones racked up 4 additional TD passes with three fewer games played.

Eli Manning retired after an illustrious career, so the team signed free agent Colt McCoy, formerly of the Redskins. Every time I’ve seen him play, he’s been pretty bad as a passer. He can do some damage with his legs once in a while, but that’s about it. He has 29 career TD passes versus 27 interceptions over 10 years. Draw your own conclusions.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

Saquon Barkley’s numbers were down from his rookie season, even accounting for the fact that he missed three games due to an ankle injury. His yards-per-carry average dropped from 5.0 to 4.6, which was still pretty good. He was also targeted a lot fewer in the passing game.

I’m not worried about him. He is super talented and he will benefit from having a QB that has now more experience in this league. Defenses won’t be able to stack the line because they’ll know that Daniel Jones can be dangerous. Barkley is one of the best in the business at his position.

Newly acquired Dion Lewis is the favorite to win the #2 role. He had his best year by far in 2017 with the Pats by rushing for 896 yards and reaching the end zone on nine occasions. His next-best season? 517 rushing yards the following year in Tennessee, but his 3.3 yards-per-carry average was really bad. He is more of a third-down back who can catch passes out of the backfield.

Last year, Wayne Gallman seemed to be Barkley’s main backup. However, the coaching staff didn’t seem to trust him very much. Gallman even ended up being a healthy scratch for a few games.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Sterling Shepard received the highest marks from PFF among Giants receivers, but one thing causes some concern about the 27-year old pass catcher: concussions. He suffered many of them during the 2019 season.

Hopefully he can be healthy in the upcoming season because he’s been very good. If you project his 10-game 2019 season into a full 16-game year, his stat line would have been 91-922-5. He has been a consistent producer in each of his first four years in the NFL.

Golden Tate missed 5 games last season (4 due to a suspension and 1 because of a concussion). He had missed just two contests in the previous eight seasons!

Much like Shepard, Tate has always been a consistent player. His “worst” season between 2014 and 2018 was 74 receptions for 795 yards and 4 TDs. He will be 32 years old when the season opens, but he seems to have gas left in the tank, as shown by the fact that he was on pace for a 983-yard season last year.

The team leader in receiving yards turned out to be a surprise: fifth-round rookie Darius Slayton. He caught 48 passes for 740 yards, while hauling in 8 TD passes. You can’t expect much more out of a fifth-rounder, especially playing with a rookie QB!

Slayton had three games with a couple of scores. All of them occurred on the road, which shows his great character. With Shepard and Tate with a clean bill of health, I’m not sure he can match his 2019 performance, so I’d be cautious if I were a fantasy owner.

Cody Latimer was thrown into action following the numerous injuries to the Giants receiving corps. He did a decent job, but he is now off to Washington.

Losing Latimer won’t hurt very much. Having a trio composed of Shepard-Tate-Slayton is nice.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

Evan Engram is certainly an upcoming tight end in the NFL. His main problem has been staying on the field. He missed one game in 2017, then five in 2018 and eight more last year. That’s worrisome.

He underwent a surgery that requires a lengthy rehab. He is likely to miss many offseason activities.

Prior to last year’s injury, he was on pace for his best season. If you project his numbers to a full 16-game year, he would have caught 88 passes for 934 yards and 6 TDs. Only Travis Kelce and Darren Waller caught more than 88 passes as tight ends last year.

Rhett Ellison was mainly used as a blocking TE. He missed a few months with a concussion and decided it was time to hang up his cleats.

In order to fill the void left by Ellison, the team signed Levine Toilolo. He only caught two passes with the Niners last year and he doesn’t offer much in the passing game. He is expected to be the primary blocking tight end in this offense.

Kaden Smith was drafted by San Francisco last year, then released and claimed off waivers by the Giants in September. He ended up getting quite a bit of playing time following Engram’s injury. Over the final six games, he averaged 5 receptions for 45 yards. He remains unlikely to be involved very much as long as Engram is healthy since he is limited in terms of talent.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

The team needed to upgrade this position in order to make it to the next level. Other than Kevin Zeitler, all other 2019 starters were either average, or below-average.

Zeitler had been one of the best guars in the league throughout his first seven seasons in the NFL. His 8th year, which happened to be his first in a Giants uniform, was no different. He was graded as the number 7 guard in the entire league by the PFF rating system.

The team’s other guard, Will Hernandez, saw his PFF grade drop from 66.7 to 58.4 after being chosen in the second round of the 2018 draft. He finished as the 53rd guard out of 81 players.

At center, the team relied on Jon Halapio. He played pretty poorly and tore his Achilles’ in the season finale. The team has yet to re-sign him as they plan to check on his rehab during the summer. If he doesn’t come back, Spencer Pulley is the favorite to get the job, but he’s no better.

Nate Solder protects Daniel Jones’ blindside. He is now 32 years old and is coming off a year where he received his lowest PFF grade over his 9-year career. That’s a source of concern for sure.

Finally, we are rounding off the offensive line with right tackle Mike Remmers. He was borderline starting material and he did an adequate job last year. However, he left for the Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs.

Andrew Thomas was taken with the fourth overall pick last April. He is a lock to get a starting job right away. He played RT as a freshman with Georgia, before moving to LT in the next two years. Will he play RT with the Giants, or will they use him at LT while moving Solder to RT? No matter what, he’s very likely to be an upgrade for this unit.

The intriguing part is whether third-round rookie Matt Peart can crack the starting lineup or not. He played his first two seasons as a LT with UConn before sliding to the RT spot in his final two years. The word on Peart is he has the physical traits required to succeed, but he lacks aggressiveness and strength at the moment. He should compete with Nate Solder in training camp.

The team signed Cameron Fleming, who has been primarily a backup during his six-year career with the Patriots and Cowboys.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

Will the 2020 Giants offense be better than the 2019 version?

The first thing that comes to mind is how much this unit suffered from the injury bug last year. Barkley, Tate, Shepard and Engram all missed time due injuries (or suspension). That alone is more likely to diminish than to increase, so this should help the production.

I see more upside with this offense. Daniel Jones now has one year of experience under the belt. Dion Lewis provides better depth than Wayne Gallman or Buck Allen. The receiving corps is more likely to be healthy.

The lone question mark concerns the offensive line. They weren’t so good last year. They didn’t address the position in free agency, so all hopes are in Andrew Thomas’ hands (and possibly to a much lesser degree, their 3rd round pick Matt Peart).

My final conclusion is a moderate upgrade over 2019. The team had the 18th-most points scored last year, and it might go up to the 10th-14th spot.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Moderate upgrade

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

This is an underrated group. They don’t have big names, but they have been pretty effective. Indeed, all four main guys finished among the top 36 DLs out of 114 qualifiers, based on PFF rankings!

Leonard Williams was traded from the Jets to the Giants last year. He received his lowest PFF mark of his five-year career, but he was still way above-average. He is now looking at a massive contract extension.

Dexter Lawrence was the 17th overall pick in last year’s draft. He was good in all aspects of the game and finished as the 20th-best DL in the NFL. A great start to his career!

Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J Hill are two more young guys who have performed at a high level thus far in their respective NFL careers. Both played roughly 50% of the snaps and they finished as the number 16 and 20 interior defenders based on PFF ratings.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

Markus Golden led the team with 10 sacks. That was great, but he is now asking for $10 million per year, which the cash-strapped Giants cannot afford. For this reason, he is unlikely to re-sign with the team, unfortunately.

The team found a cheaper option with Kyler Fackrell, who is coming over from Green Bay. He clearly had a down year with just one sack, one year after posting 10.5! His run defense is also very suspect.

After being selected in third round of the 2018 draft out of Georgia, Lorenzo Carter posted 4 sacks and 41 tackles in his rookie season. He slightly increased those numbers in his sophomore year with 45 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He is an above-average, yet unspectacular, edge defender in this league.

Rookie Oshane Ximines also recorded 4.5 sacks, but his PFF grade was much lower than Carter’s. Indeed, he wasn’t nearly as good against the run, nor in pass coverage.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Alec Ogletree is more name than game. Most fans know him, but he never obtained a PFF mark above 63.3. His skills defending the run are simply not good. His two seasons with the Giants have been disappointing and he won’t be back with the team in 2020.

New York signed last year’s second leading tackler, Blake Martinez. He has spent his first four years with the Packers and racked up at least 144 tackles in each of his past three years.

Don’t be misled too much by the numbers, though. He’s not that great. He does the job, but he’s from being a top-20 linebacker.

After two mediocre seasons and failing to crack San Francisco’s lineup during the 2019 training camp, David Mayo was an unlikely candidate to become a good LB. He had just 51 tackles in four years. Yet, he surprised many with 82 tackles and two sacks, earning surprisingly high marks from PFF. Still, I wouldn’t hold my breath about him matching his 2019 performance.

Deone Bucannon has been a major bust as a former first-round pick in the 2014 draft. He started the year with the Bucs before being released, and then signed by the Giants. He played nine games with the team. He’s unlikely to make a big impact.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Last year’s starters were rookie DeAndre Baker and Janoris Jenkins.

Baker was picked towards the end of the first round in last year’s draft. Coming out of Georgia, he struggled mightily in coverage. PFF graded him as the number 105 CB out of 112 qualifiers. He must clearly up his game in 2020.

Jenkins was much more solid year on the field, but off-the-field incidents led to his release late in the season. He openly complained about not being used to cover top wideouts, but the icing on the cake was an inappropriate Twitter exchange with a fan.

The Giants made somewhat of a splash by acquiring one of the top available corners on the market, James Bradberry. He instantly becomes their starting corner opposite of Baker. He has picked up eight interceptions in his first four seasons in the league.

PFF is not very high on Bradberry, though. He obtained the #68 spot out of 112 CBs last year, and has never received very high marks throughout his career. Don’t expect him to be the savior.

The team’s depth is great at the position: Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine and Grant Haley aren’t good enough to start in the NFL.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Antoine Bethea played 99.6% of the defensive snaps last year. The team was not satisfied with his play and released him in the offseason. According to PFF, he wasn’t horrible since he ended the year as the #40 safety out of 87 guys.

The other starter was Jabrill Peppers. The former first-round pick has done an “okay” job thus far in his career. He has one interception in each of his first three seasons.

With a glaring hole at the position, the Giants picked up Xavier McKinney early in the second round in this year’s draft. He was very productive with the Crimson Tide while playing from different spots on defense (from the slot, as a safety, or in the box). He has great instincts, but he could improve as a tackler.

Julian Love picked up the slack when Peppers down to an injury last year. He was a 2019 fourth-rounder out of Notre Dame and he also did respectable work.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Markus Golden is gone; in comes Kyler Fackrell. That’s a net loss for the Giants. I also believe the team was better off with Janoris Jenkins at CB than newly acquired James Bradberry. Also, getting rid of Antoine Bethea may not be a positive for the team when focusing on the 2020 season, although rookie Xavier McKinney could successfully fill his shoes.

Granted, the team upgraded the linebacking corps by replacing Alec Ogletree with Blake Martinez.

As of late February, the team had the lowest cap dollars devoted to the defensive side of the ball. You can’t expect great results under such circumstances.

The team allowed the third-highest number of points last year, so there is not much room for going down further. Still, to me the talent level dropped a little bit overall in comparison to 2019.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the New York Giants are expected to win 6.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

I'll answer this question via two different methods.

4.1 Professor MJ's Prediction

I won't go into the mathematical details, but here is a summary of my own personal pick (based on my analysis above and my estimated spreads for the Giants' 16 games):

Estimated Probability Best Odds ROI
OVER 6.5 WINS 24% +130 (Pinnacle) -44.8%
UNDER 6.5 WINS 76% -118 (Sports Interaction) +40.4%
Tip: Bet UNDER 6.5 wins

4.2 Based on BetOnline's Point Spreads

Here is the methodology I used here:

Here are the results:

Estimated Probability Best Odds ROI
OVER 6.5 WINS 35.4% +130 (Pinnacle) -18.6%
UNDER 6.5 WINS 64.6% -118 (Sports Interaction) +19.3%
Tip: Bet UNDER 6.5 wins

In summary, both analyses recommend betting the UNDER. I do like this play quite a bit, personally. I believe their offense should be exciting to watch, but their defense is atrocious.

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Giants’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

TOMORROW: The 2020 preview for the San Francisco 49ers (the team whose ROI is the 14th-highest in the NFL)!

Professor MJ
submitted by David-MJ to sportsbook [link] [comments]

Don't Glum, Sugar Plum, We got some HEAT

Don't Glum, Sugar Plum, We got some HEAT

#H12 Terminal Plum Dunks
WEIDIAN FIND, GREAT QUALITY BATCH!!!
This Pair costed roughly $45 USD before shipping. To keep the cost low, I had Ytaopal ship without a box, and I ordered a few items to get me to 3KG to ensure the best bang for my buck. . .
- ( shipping was roughly $48 for 2 shoes and 4 pairs of laces which was my entire order)
**CLICK THE LINK** > IN HAND PHOTOS< **CLICK THE LINK**
W2C: > Direct Link to PLUMS
H12 Terminal Link > Direct Link to H12 Terminal Seller Page (Colin)
I do not have a WeChat verified so I do no communicating with the sellers directly what so ever, all purchases I make are through my Lovely Ytaopal Agent.
The price is so cheap compared to the middle men who charge $135 shipped because you will have to QC your pairs as they are straight from this factory (my assumption), returning pairs costs about $3 if you want to be refunded or want them to switch out because of flaws, The pictures on his Weidian Catalog are what you get, I have ordered 4 Pairs from H12 Terminal now, they are posted on my IG - MrRepTester.. Follow me!!!
Click Here to see what Ytaopal QC pictures look like
I purchased this pair to skateboard in, so I was not picky about anything specifically. When I received them, each shoe was individually bubble wrapped because I had asked them to dispose of the Box so they took extra precaution! such nice folks... (these arrived in 11 days after paying for the shipping cost with EMS.) China to Canada. The shoes arrived at my Ytaopal Warehosue in under 2 days, mans is with the shits..
THOUGHTS ON THE SHOES:
Material Quality is insane, I've never felt such buttery material..
Skated for about an hour and a half, doing kickflips, varials, board slides, and other dope shit, shoes a held up nicely, soles have nice grip, and comfort is wayyyy better than Vans for skating.
Shoes feel nice, and look hella spicy..
100% satisfied with my purchase, I would rate these a 9/10 because the NIK E flaw but the left shoe is good and the right is a little flawed, just barely not a 10/10.
This batch had minor flaws, somewhat fixable:
- Loose Threads (can cut them or singe super easily)
- Glue Marks, most can be rubbed off, but around the sole you can see where they went with the glue pen all the way around, not terrible but noticeable in hand if pushing the material in.
- sole transition from white to red is minorly wavey, I'de say within retail range..
- NIK E flaw, all batches floating around seem to have the NIK E flaw, but the more I look at it, its not that bad.. see for yourself..
- this quality is being sold by flightkickz and kickwho for Literally TRIPLE the price I purchased these at, but they hand pick their pairs so maybe they look for no glue stains and clean up the loose threads..
PROS of Shopping this way:
-You cut out the middle man
- You can get more pairs for less money
- You don't have to worry about flaws being hidden in pictures because Ytaopal is not the seller and does not make money off the shoes, so they send pictures how it is, and you can request additional photos at any time.
- You can send the shoes back for like $3 if they are not the quality you expected, you are not bullied into feeling bad about anything and you can tip ytaopal if you feel bad and they will treat you like a king :)
- You will be more educated on how much certain shoes cost before prices get super jacked up by middlemen.
- You can shop a few different batches of the same shoes Weidian and aren't forced to one batch because of the seller. Colin for example carries a few different batches from budget welfare batches to good h12, og, GET, ect..
CONS of shopping this way:
- You have to preload money onto your account in order to purchase things
- You do not know the actual shipping cost until the items are weighed , they have a shipping calculator which is correct for EMS if you put the Items Value at 110 ¥, but with covid and everything some shipping companies changed their prices dramatically.. ems seems pretty good though.
-If you save the shoe boxes, the chances of them to arrive not looking like they were used for bowling is very slim... you can ask them to do extra wrapping but it may not make a difference unless you know what works.
-The shoes you are ordering are essentially randomly picked, and not looked at with a close eye.
-If you do not know much about the shoes you are buying, or have not looked into authentic quality before hand, or don't care to research on your own before purchasing then a middleman is your best bet and this route is not for you. Most Middlemen hand pick shoes with better features and less flaws.
-if you need the shoes in a fast manner, this is not for you because it takes extra time for the shoes to arrive at Ytaopals warehouse> for them to upload pictures> for you to acknowledge the pictures> ask for more pictures> or return the shoes. this all takes time, you will also have to select the items to put into a package, and wait for them to package them and give you a shipping quote.
Thoughts on my recommended sellers catalog:
-This is my 4th pair of shoes from H12 Terminal on Weidian which I found out about through a deep dive on reddit
-I am very happy with the quality I have received and have not RL'd one pair for flaws yet
- 35% return rate which is huge for a Weidian seller considering most people only buy from Weidian when people share wtc links.
- HUGE inventory, more shoes and brands then you would ever imagine to find in one shop.
- Basic shoes also that you can find at footlocker, champs, finishline, ect can be found here for really cheap!!! sometimes shoes are from $15 to $100 depending on what it is.
-Seller is quick on shipping the shoes to your warehouse, and gives you the correct batch you ordered.. (he has many batches of the same shoes at different prices) .
-
submitted by mrReptester to UAsneakerreviews [link] [comments]

PLUM DUNKS $45

PLUM DUNKS $45

2020 Nike Dunk Lows in the \"PLUM\" colorway
WEIDIAN FIND GREAT, QUALITY BATCH!!!
This Pair costed roughly $45 USD before shipping. To keep the cost low, I had Ytaopal ship without a box, and I ordered a few items to get me to 3KG to ensure the best bang for my buck. . .
- ( shipping was roughly $48 for 2 shoes and 4 pairs of laces which was my entire order)

**CLICK THE LINK** > IN HAND PHOTOS< **CLICK THE LINK**

W2C: > Direct Link to PLUMS
H12 Terminal Link > Direct Link to H12 Terminal Seller Page (Colin)
I do not have a WeChat verified so I do no communicating with the sellers directly what so ever, all purchases I make are through my Lovely Ytaopal Agent.
The price is so cheap compared to the middle men who charge $135 shipped because you will have to QC your pairs as they are straight from this factory (my assumption), returning pairs costs about $3 if you want to be refunded or want them to switch out because of flaws, The pictures on his Weidian Catalog are what you get, I have ordered 4 Pairs from H12 Terminal now, they are posted on my IG - MrRepTester.. Follow me!!!

Click Here to see what Ytaopal QC pictures look like
I purchased this pair to skateboard in, so I was not picky about anything specifically. When I received them, each shoe was individually bubble wrapped because I had asked them to dispose of the Box so they took extra precaution! such nice folks... (these arrived in 11 days after paying for the shipping cost with EMS.) China to Canada. The shoes arrived at my Ytaopal Warehosue in under 2 days, mans is with the shits..

THOUGHTS ON THE SHOES:
Material Quality is insane, I've never felt such buttery material..
Skated for about an hour and a half, doing kickflips, varials, board slides, and other dope shit, shoes a held up nicely, soles have nice grip, and comfort is wayyyy better than Vans for skating.
Shoes feel nice, and look hella spicy..
100% satisfied with my purchase, I would rate these a 9/10 because the NIK E flaw but the left shoe is good and the right is a little flawed, just barely not a 10/10.
This batch had minor flaws, somewhat fixable:
- Loose Threads (can cut them or singe super easily)
- Glue Marks, most can be rubbed off, but around the sole you can see where they went with the glue pen all the way around, not terrible but noticeable in hand if pushing the material in.
- sole transition from white to red is minorly wavey, I'de say within retail range..
- NIK E flaw, all batches floating around seem to have the NIK E flaw, but the more I look at it, its not that bad.. see for yourself..
- this quality is being sold by flightkickz and kickwho for Literally TRIPLE the price I purchased these at, but they hand pick their pairs so maybe they look for no glue stains and clean up the loose threads..

PROS of Shopping this way:
-You cut out the middle man
- You can get more pairs for less money
- You don't have to worry about flaws being hidden in pictures because Ytaopal is not the seller and does not make money off the shoes, so they send pictures how it is, and you can request additional photos at any time.
- You can send the shoes back for like $3 if they are not the quality you expected, you are not bullied into feeling bad about anything and you can tip ytaopal if you feel bad and they will treat you like a king :)
- You will be more educated on how much certain shoes cost before prices get super jacked up by middlemen.
- You can shop a few different batches of the same shoes Weidian and aren't forced to one batch because of the seller. Colin for example carries a few different batches from budget welfare batches to good h12, og, GET, ect..
CONS of shopping this way:
- You have to preload money onto your account in order to purchase things
- You do not know the actual shipping cost until the items are weighed , they have a shipping calculator which is correct for EMS if you put the Items Value at 110 ¥, but with covid and everything some shipping companies changed their prices dramatically.. ems seems pretty good though.
-If you save the shoe boxes, the chances of them to arrive not looking like they were used for bowling is very slim... you can ask them to do extra wrapping but it may not make a difference unless you know what works.
-The shoes you are ordering are essentially randomly picked, and not looked at with a close eye.
-If you do not know much about the shoes you are buying, or have not looked into authentic quality before hand, or don't care to research on your own before purchasing then a middleman is your best bet and this route is not for you. Most Middlemen hand pick shoes with better features and less flaws.
-if you need the shoes in a fast manner, this is not for you because it takes extra time for the shoes to arrive at Ytaopals warehouse> for them to upload pictures> for you to acknowledge the pictures> ask for more pictures> or return the shoes. this all takes time, you will also have to select the items to put into a package, and wait for them to package them and give you a shipping quote.

Thoughts on my recommended sellers catalog:
-This is my 4th pair of shoes from H12 Terminal on Weidian which I found out about through a deep dive on reddit
-I am very happy with the quality I have received and have not RL'd one pair for flaws yet
- 35% return rate which is huge for a Weidian seller considering most people only buy from Weidian when people share wtc links.
- HUGE inventory, more shoes and brands then you would ever imagine to find in one shop.
- Basic shoes also that you can find at footlocker, champs, finishline, ect can be found here for really cheap!!! sometimes shoes are from $15 to $100 depending on what it is.
-Seller is quick on shipping the shoes to your warehouse, and gives you the correct batch you ordered.. (he has many batches of the same shoes at different prices) .
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