I wanted to do quick-hitting postmortem reports on every team since I spent so much time this summer breaking down all 32 franchises from a betting perspective for the 2022 season. It’s a good way for me to put a bow on the season that just finished while also getting a leg up on my early research for the 2023 season.
NFC East Reviews
1. Philadelphia Eagles
Record (ATS): 14-3 (8-9)
Season Win Total: Over 9.5
One-possession Record: 7-2 (0-1 postseason)
Postseason Record: 2-1 (2-1 ATS)
Best Record: +1600
NFC Odds: +1100
Division Odds: +130
Playoff Odds: -190
Over/Under record: 10-7
PPG: 28.1 (3rd)
PPG Allowed: 20.2 (8th)
Average Scoring Margin: +7.8 (4th)
Turnover Differential: +8 (3rd)
The Eagles found themselves on the doorstep of their second Lombardi Trophy in six seasons but they couldn’t quite seal the deal in Super Bowl LVII despite Jalen Hurts becoming the first player to post 300+ passing yards, 70+ rushing yards, and 3+ rushing TDs in any NFL game. They squandered a 10-point halftime lead and a controversial defensive holding call on James Bradberry in the final two minutes set up Kansas City’s game-winning field goal with eight seconds left, which prevented Hurts from getting a realistic last chance at a world title. The Eagles still finished with a franchise-best 14 regular season victories and matched the Chiefs for the NFL’s best record (+1600 odds) on their way to an NFC East title (+130) and an NFC championship (+1100). Overall, Philadelphia finished the season with a 16-2 record with Hurts in the lineup — the Eagles were favored every game he started — and an 0-2 mark with Gardner Minshew in the lineup.
Hurts saw his completion percentage (61.3%<66.5%), TD rate (3.7%<4.8%), and YPA (7.3<8.0) spike in his second full season as a starter all while finishing behind only Cam Newton for QB rushing TDs in a season with 13. The Eagles led the NFC in total offense (389.1 YPG) and scoring offense (28.1 PPG) with Hurts orchestrating the show. A.J. Brown reset Philly’s single-season receiving yards record (1496) in his first season with the franchise, besting Mike Quick’s 1409 yards in 1983. Brown’s running mate DeVonta Smith bested Irving Fryar’s single-season WR receptions record (88 in 1996) with 95 catches — Zach Ertz has the team record with 116 catches in 2018. Philadelphia’s defense wasn’t too bad either, easily pacing the league with 70 sacks, which was 15 more than the Chiefs. They finished just two sacks shy of the 1984 Chicago Bears single-season record of 72 sacks in a season. The Eagles held opponents to the fewest passing YPG (179.8) in the regular season before allowing only 124.7 passing YPG in three postseason games. C.J. Gardner-Johnson also finished in a four-way tie for the most INTs with six.
What to look for this off-season
GM Howie Roseman built the league’s best roster and the Eagles fell just short of the Lombardi Trophy. He’ll now be challenged to keep their core group as strong as possible with a number of key players set to hit free agency. Brandon Graham, Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox, Ndamukong Suh, and Linval Joseph are each hitting free agency from Philadelphia’s top-flight defensive line. Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Bradberry, Gardner-Johnson, Miles Sanders, and T.J. Edwards are among their other top players searching for new deals. The Eagles rank in the middle of the pack in cap flexibility, and they at least have a pair of first-round picks — No. 10 (via NO) and 30 — and four picks total inside the top 100 to soften the blow. Roseman will have a number of tough personnel decisions this off-season, but inking Hurts to a long-term contract will be one of his top priorities after Jalen climbed into the second tier of quarterbacks behind only Mahomes and Josh Allen. He’ll be seeking big money like his 2020 QB classmates and fellow second-tier QBs Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. The Eagles have enough moving pieces with their roster, but their coaching ranks have also been picked over following their Super Bowl run. They’ll be replacing both OC Shane Steichen and DC Jonathan Gannon, who landed head-coaching gigs with the Colts and Cardinals, respectively.
2. Dallas Cowboys
- Record (ATS): 12-5 (9-7-1)
- Season Win Total: Over 10
- One-possession Record: 5-2 (0-1 postseason)
- Postseason Record: 1-1 (1-1 ATS)
- Playoff Odds: -225
- Over/Under record: 8-8-1
- PPG: 27.5 (4th)
- PPG Allowed: 20.1 (5th)
- Average Scoring Margin: +7.4 (5th)
- Turnover Differential: +10 (2nd)
Dallas appeared primed for a postseason run after crushing the Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round for its first road playoff win in 23 years, but the Cowboys once again flamed out short of the NFL’s Final Four for the 27th consecutive season. Dak Prescott ended the regular season with INTs in seven straight games, and he finished the season tied with Davis Mills for the most interceptions thrown with 15 (+5000 odds) despite missing five games for a thumb injury early in the season. His turnover issues continued into the postseason with a pair of back-breaking INTs in their seven-point loss to the 49ers, which marked the franchise’s seventh consecutive loss in Divisional Round play. The Cowboys qualified for the postseason (-225 odds) for the second consecutive season for the first time since 2006-07, and they topped their season win total of 10 with a 12-5 record.
OC Kellen Moore took the fall for Dak and HC Mike McCarthy at the end of the season, but Dallas’ issues started when Jerry Jones sold Amari Cooper for pennies on the dollar (a fifth-round pick) and extended Michael Gallup for five seasons despite his ACL injury in January. CeeDee Lamb became the undisputed top target for Prescott, finishing fifth in the league in receptions (107) and sixth in receiving yards (1359) and receiving TDs (9). Tony Pollard also emerged ahead of Ezekiel Elliott, crossing 1000+ rushing yards for the first time with 12 overall TDs in the regular season before suffering a high-ankle injury in the playoffs. Micah Parsons earned first-team All-Pro honors for the second straight season to open his career with 13.5 sacks and a defensive TD.
What to look for this off-season
The Cowboys will look to upgrade the weaponry around Prescott, who took a major step back in 2022 after the franchise actively hurt his receiving corps by trading Cooper away. They’ll need to decide if Dalton Schultz is part of that equation after the Cowboys franchise tagged him last off-season. The Cowboys also need to beef up their pass defense, which took a turn for the worse after Jourdan Lewis (Lisfranc) and Anthony Brown (Achilles) suffered season-ending injuries — Brown is a free agent. The Cowboys drafted studs Lamb and Trevon Diggs in 2020, which means they’re eligible for contract extensions starting this off-season. The Cowboys have a bottom-half-of-the-league cap situation, and they can alleviate the situation by releasing or restructuring Elliott’s contract. Pollard’s situation will also be fascinating to follow after emerging ahead of Zeke for the first time. He enters free agency after needing surgery for his postseason ankle injury.
3. New York Giants
- Record (ATS): 9-7-1 (13-4)
- Season Win Total: Over 7
- One-possession Record: 8-4-1 (1-0 postseason)
- Postseason Record: 1-1 (1-1 ATS)
- Playoff Odds: +230
- Over/Under record: 6-9-2
- PPG: 21.5 (t-15th)
- PPG Allowed: 21.8 (t-17th)
- Average Scoring Margin: -.4 (16th)
- Turnover Differential: +3 (11th)
Former GM Dave Gettleman and HC Joe Judge dug the Giants organization a major hole before they departed after the 2021 season, but it didn’t take long for new GM Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll to get New York back on course. The Giants played above expectations all season long, which is why Brian Daboll found himself honored as the Coach of the Year (+1400) at the conclusion of the season. The Giants sailed past their season win total of seven with a 9-7-1 record and they finished with an NFL-best 13-4 ATS record. New York clinched its first winning record and playoff berth (+230 odds) since 2016 — they lost double-digit games in five straight seasons in 2017-21. They also won their first postseason game since Eli Manning raised the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 2011 season.
Daboll got the most out of a limited roster, including a receiving corps that was led by Darius Slayton, Richie James, and Isaiah Hodgins by the end of the season. Daniel Jones revived his career after the Giants declined his fifth-year rookie extension with career-bests in passer rating (92.5), completion percentage (67.2%), INT rate (1.1%), and rushing production (708/7). Saquon Barkley also had his best season since his rookie campaign in 2018 with 295/1312/10 rushing and 57/338 receiving. Fifth-overall pick Kayvon Thibodeaux finished with just four sacks as a rookie, but he showed signs of being a force for years to come next to stud Dexter Lawrence along their defensive line.
What to look for this off-season
Daboll and Schoen quickly worked their magic in one year to get the Giants back to relevancy, but they still have a lot of work left to get this roster into legitimate title contention. Both Jones and Barkley played the best football of their careers to raise their asking prices entering free agency. New York will decide if they want to lock up Jones and/or Barkley to long-term deals, use the franchise tag on one of them, or let one or both of them walk. The Giants seem likely to keep Jones in some sort of capacity, but Saquon’s situation is more fascinating since Daboll and Schoen seem less inclined to break the bank for a running back. Lawrence has developed into one of the league’s best interior defensive linemen, and New York will look to lock him up to a long-term deal as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. The Giants have the third most cap space entering the off-season, and they’ll help their situation by getting Kenny Golladay’s albatross of a contract off the books. New York needs to load up on WR help this off-season with additional needs in their secondary, offensive line, and linebacker. The Giants have nine draft picks overall, including a pair of third-round picks after getting a pair of picks for 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney.
4. Washington Commanders
- Record (ATS): 8-8-1 (8-8-1)
- Season Win Total: Push 8
- One-possession Record: 5-3-1
- Missed Playoff Odds: -185
- Over/Under record: 5-11-1
- PPG: 18.9 (24th)
- PPG Allowed: 20.2 (7th)
- Average Scoring Margin: -1.3 (21st)
- Turnover Differential: -5 (t-26th)
Washington finished its first under the Commanders branding, but it experienced similar results to previous teams from the Dan Snyder regime. The Commanders missed the playoffs for the second straight season (-185) and finished without a winning record for the sixth straight season. They continue to struggle to find a suitable quarterback since Kirk Cousins left after the 2017 season. The Commanders were the latest team to give Carson Wentz a try, and he once again failed miserably with a 2-5 record while averaging a 6.4 YPA with a 3.3% INT rate. Washington controlled its postseason destiny in the final weeks of the season but dropped three straight games in Weeks 15-17 to fall out of contention before the season finale.
Taylor Heinicke helped the Commanders to get into playoff contention with a 5-3-1 run as the team’s starter, but Ron Rivera curiously went back to Wentz in a must-win game against the Browns in Week 17. Rivera has failed to finish with a winning record in five straight seasons with his last above .500 campaign coming with the 2017 Panthers. The Commanders' offense wasted a defense that finished third in total defense (304.6 YPG) and seventh in scoring defense (20.2 PPG), and Daron Payne finished with the third-most sacks from a defensive tackle with 11.5. Third-round pick Brian Robinson was one of the NFL’s best stories in 2022, finishing with 797/2 rushing in 12 games after being shot twice during an armed robbery.
What to look for this off-season
Washington has been hamstrung by Snyder since he purchased the team before the 1999 season, but there seems to finally be some momentum toward him selling the team after numerous controversies. The team is also headed toward yet another fresh start at quarterback with Wentz eligible to be released at no cost with no guaranteed money left on his contract. The Commanders have struck out going the veteran route at quarterback in recent seasons, but they may not have much of an option sitting at No. 16 overall in the draft. Fifth-round pick Sam Howell showed well in just one start, and they could bring back free-agent Heinicke on a team-friendly deal since he’s likely to have a limited market. The Commanders have a middle-of-the-pack cap situation that will improve with Wentz off the books, and we’ll see if they can keep top free agents like Payne and Wes Schweitzer in the fold. The Commanders have six picks and are expected to get two compensatory selections, including a third-round for losing Brandon Scherff last off-season, and their top need behind quarterback is in the secondary. Washington needs to get 2020 No. 2 overall pick Chase Young back to full health after a mostly lost third season, in which he played just three games after his devastating knee injury in 2021.