Preseason Report - Part I
By Tony Stoffo
Betting on the NFL preseason is one of the most profitable endeavors you can partake in this football season. The secret to making money in the preseason is the ability to know which coaches are trying to win and which coaches are just going through the motions. That factor in itself will give you a huge edge over the sportsbooks year after year.
Also, I can't say it enough but you also need to be familiar with the history of each team in August. Plus, keeping an eye out on each team's preseason quarterback rotations will also make you turn a nice profit in the preseason. Without further adieu, let's start handicapping!
Preseason has taken on a new look recently
The recently signed collective bargaining agreement means more than stability for the next 10 years. The NFL game is undergoing a change because of the new CBA that will change the quality of play in the preseason.
New rules have modified practice schedules and forced coaches to make changes to their preparation, in these two ways:
Gone are the grueling two-a-day practices that have long been a staple of training camps. In their place, teams are able to have one full contact padded practice per day accompanied by a walkthrough period. Saying this here are some old and new preseason trends we now have to focus on.
Teams like the Steelers and Ravens that have shown a strong tendency towards playing under games in the preseason with their aggressive play have now seen this neutralized with the new training rules.
The oddsmakers have not incorporated this into their posted totals yet for these teams, and have continued to post ultra-low line totals on the Steelers and Ravens – So keep a look out for some value plays on the over this preseason. If I see any spots that stand out I’ll post them in my plays.
Here are some of my old favorite trends for this upcoming preseason.
New England – Let’s start off with one of my top rated preseason plays, and it focuses on coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots – Belichick has never liked to give anything away to his opponents – just look at one of his press conferences to see what I mean – well something shows up in the preseason every year from New England that we can take advantage of. Week 3 of the preseason is when all teams do their dress rehearsal for the season with all starters on both sides of the ball playing into the third quarter. Well again Belichick doesn’t want his regular season Week 1 opponent to get any films to look at so he doesn’t take this game seriously – and it show shows up in the point spread logs as the Patriots over the past five seasons are a perfect 0-5 against the spread in this situation. So mark down Aug. 22 on your calendar as the Patriots pay a visit to Detroit in their dress rehearsal game.
Tampa Bay - Every year I wait for the Buccaneers opening preseason game as no matter who the head coach is Tampa Bay always comes out ready to play as in Game 1. In the last 7 years they are a huge money maker going 6-1 against the spread to start the preseason. This year the Buccaneers open up against the Ravens on Aug. 8 - What really makes this a solid play this year is that we all know how the Super Bowl champions really don't give a damn about preseason games - so keep an eye out on this match-up this year.
Kansas City Chiefs - Kansas City has been one of the best fade teams in the preseason going an incredible 4-21 (16%) against the spread over the past six years. I definitely look for more of the same this year as I look for new head coach Andy Reid to continue the tradition in Kansas City of not giving a dame about these preseason games. Take a close look at the Chiefs first preseason game this year as Reid was 1-7 against the spread in his last eight opening preseason game in Philadelphia. Kansas City opens up this year at New Orleans on Aug. 9.
Atlanta Falcons - One of my favorite preseason plays goes here on the Falcons as in their 'dress rehearsal' game the last eight years the Falcons have gone a perfect 8-0 outscoring their opposition 187-61 not counting the 2011 abnormal preseason. This year’s 'dress rehearsal' game for the Falcons will be on Aug. 24 when they play Tennessee on the road.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Jacksonville has emphasized offense in his opening preseason game as the Jaguars have seen the Over go a perfect 7-0 in their preseason opener since 2006. This year another high-scoring game can be on tap here as the Jaguars with be playing a Dolphins squad coming in off of a short week of preparation as they play in the Hall of Fame game this preseason against the Cowboys on Aug. 5. Just a heads up their new head coach is defensive minded.
Re: Preseason Report
Preseason Report - Part II
By Tony Stoffo
In my first installment, I touched on some great angles that I’ve been following and cashing for plenty of seasons. In this piece, I’ve listed some new developing trends from the last few preseasons.
Baltimore Ravens – The usual letdown from the Super Bowl champs should be apparent this preseason, and add in of what I spoke about above with the training camp rule changes – I can see the Ravens playing higher scoring games this preseason. This trend showed up big time last year with three of the four preseason Baltimore games going Over the posted total.
Buffalo Bills - The Bills have started a money making preseason trend the last three years having seen the Over be the winning side in their last three dress rehearsal games with 38-7, 35-32, and 35-20 finals. This year’s dress rehearsal game is against the Redskins on Aug. 24th. I have to add here that Washington in their last 2 dress rehearsal games have seen a combined 112 points scored - So this play can turn into a preseason double unit play here on the Over.
Carolina Panthers – The Panthers have started a solid trend to look for in their first preseason game – it’s apparent that their coaching staff thru the years has put less emphasis on this first game as Carolina is on a five-year run going 0-5 ATS to start the preseason. This year’s opening game will be against a Bears team on Aug. 9 whom will have a new head coach in Marc Trestman who may be looking to impress with a win in his first career game as head coach.
Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals used to be a team that always played hard in their last preseason game – however maybe it was because they just were playing against a Colts squad back then that just didn’t try in these meaningless preseason games. However in the past three years the Bengals have gone 0-3 against the spread. Something to watch for as once again Cincinnati finishes up with Indianapolis on Aug. 29 as Pagano seems like he wants to win these games.
Dallas Cowboys - We have some history to look back on here as in 2010 the Cowboys played against the Bengals in the Hall of Fame game. The Dallas offense could just manage three field goals and were held out of the end zone. Romo just played part of the first quarter and threw for just 59 yards. So I look for another conservative game plan from the Cowboys here - What really makes me like another lower scoring game in this spot here is that head coach of the Dolphins Joe Philbin came out last year in the Dolphins first preseason game and also used a vanilla offense game plan as Miami could only put up seven points on the scoreboard. This game has Under written all over it.
Plus one last think to mention here is that the last time the Cowboys played in the Hall of Fame game and played five preseason games – they sure didn’t try defensively in their final and fifth preseason game as 52 points were scored. Again something to look for this year as they play a Texans team on Aug. 29 that tends to play higher scoring games in their last preseason game.
Denver Broncos – Since coming over to Denver – John Fox has definitely had the Broncos ready to start the preseason as the result of both of his opening games had the Broncos and the Over being the winning sides - with Denver scoring a combined 55 points and both of these games were on the road. Denver opens up again on the road this year against the 49ers – So the Broncos will be a very live ‘dog in this spot.
However Fox sure hasn’t cared if the Broncos won in their dress rehearsal games as both have been losing efforts against the San Francisco and Seattle. This year’s dress rehearsal game will be on the Aug. 24 against the Rams.
Detroit Lions – The Lions have been a solid play in the preseason as of late going a solid 9-3 over the last three seasons – Plus if we get a closer look Detroit has finished the preseason strong going a perfect 3-0 in Game 4 of the preseason. This season the Lions finish up at Buffalo on Aug. 29th.
Green Bay Packers - Under head coach Mike McCarthy a solid trend has been in effect for years that has seen the Packers incorporate a wide-open game plan over the past six years that has seen the Over go an impressive 16-8 in the preseason. Last year this trend showed a backward trend – which I feel is good for us as I see the oddsmakers lowering these Green Bay totals some this year. You just watch have the Packers come out to start the preseason this year on both sides of the ball.
Houston Texans – The Texans seem to be fitting in nicely with the new CBA restrictions for the preseason as in the last two years the Kubiack lead Texans have gone 6-2 against the spread. Plus they are a perfect 4-0 in their first two preseason games of the year. This year Houston’s first two games will be against Minnesota on Aug. 9, and then against Miami at home on Aug. 17.
Indianapolis Colts – The Colts always never tried in these preseason games going back to when Dungy was the head coach, and were a definite fade candidate every year. However when Chuck Pagano was hired as head coach last season things sure changed – as the Colts went 3-1 against the spread while scoring 114 points in the process – which also saw the Over go 3-1. Something to watch this preseason as I feel the oddsmakers will still be releasing lines based on the Colts prior losing ways in the preseason.
Miami Dolphins – As always when a new head coach is hired we take a step back to see if we can find any preseason trends that we can make some money on. Well with Joe Philbin taking over as the Dolphins coach last season – we sure may have found a strong trend to watch for this preseason – as the Philbin lead Dolphins went a perfect 0-4 both straight up and against the spread last year. Strong watch here especially if the Dolphins start the preseason slow again.
Minnesota Vikings - With Leslie Frazier now settled in as head coach of the Vikings an early preseason trend has developed with the new CBA rules now in effect. Frazier’s style seems to not put much into the first preseason game for the Vikings – however in game #2 it looks like he tries to win this game – as in the past 2 preseason the Vikings are 0-2 in game #1 – while going 2-0 in Game 2. This year the Vikings open up against Houston on Aug. 9th – then head to Buffalo for Game 2.
New York Giants – A solid money-making trend has shown up for the Giants as of late as Tom Coughlin in the past three years has seemed to want to get the Giants last preseason done with in a hurry, which has produced three straight low-scoring games and the undergoing a perfect 3-0. So let’s look for the same result here as Bill Belichick seems very happy to play this kind of game in this scenario when the Giants and Patriots hook up on Aug. 29.
New York Jets – For the other New York team we have another strong trend that can make us some money this preseason – however this one is in the Jets first preseason game of the year – as head coach Rex Ryan has never liked playing this first preseason game, and I feel the new CBA rules have really effected the Jets a lot – as with reduced hitting in workouts it hurts the Jets physical style especially in Game 1 where the Jets under Ryan are a perfect 0-4 against the spread. Look for more of the same here this year as the Jets open up against a Lions team that likes to win their preseason games.
New Orleans Saints – Strong preseason trend we can follow with the Saints as their high-octane offense sure gears up as the preseason progresses. In the past three seasons the Saints have seen the over go a perfect 6-0 in their last 2 preseason games of the year with 51, 57, 60, 41, 51, and 61 points scored. This year the Saints finish up Houston on Aug. 25 and Miami on the Aug. 29.
Oakland Raiders – This Raiders write-up really should be in my favorite preseason trends – however I’ll leave it in this section for now – Oakland no matter who the head coach is always seem to finish the preseason on a down note – as in the past six years they are a perfect 0-6 against the spread in their last preseason game of the year. This year’s finale for the Raiders is on Aug. 29 against the Seahawks. Just to show you how bad the Raiders have been in this scenario lately the Seahawks have outscored them 41-6 the past two years.
Pittsburgh Steelers – In Part I of my report, I talked about how the new CBA preseason rules would affect the physical teams in the league, and the Steelers definitely fit into this mold. The change in style was apparent in last year’s preseason as the usually lower-scoring Pittsburgh games – showed a complete turnaround as the Steelers played three high-scoring games and ended the preseason seeing the Over go 3-1. With the oddsmakers still leaning towards the old trends for the Steelers will give us some solid value plays on the over this preseason.
San Francisco 49ers – With the 49ers just falling short in last year’s Super Bowl we may see a lackluster effort from them this preseason. However with Jim Harbaugh their head coach a repeat of last year’s preseason may be on the horizon where the 49ers went 3-1 both straight up and against the spread. Just watch how San Francisco comes out of the gate this preseason to get a gear on what mindset they have.
Seattle Seahawks - The new rules sure haven’t affected Pete Carroll and the Seahawks – as Seattle over the past two preseasons have gone 7-1 against the spread. Only thing to watch out for this year is that they will be without their sharp defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
St. Louis Rams – The Rams will be a team to watch this preseason as Jeff Fisher always took the preseason seriously when he was with the Titans, and this sure carried over to the Rams in his first season with them as the Rams went 3-1 against the spread last year. Plus I also have to note here is that St Louis saw the Over go 3-1 in their four preseason games a year ago.
Tennessee Titans – Not too much to look at in Mike Munchak’s start of his coaching career in Tennessee – However I did find that the Titans as a underdog under Munchak have gone 3-1 against the spread the past two years.
Washington - Mike Shanahan has always taken these preseason games seriously, and a strong trend has developed since his return with the Redskins, and that is that Washington is a perfect 3-0 in their dress rehearsal game since Shanahan has returned dominating their opponent in all three of these games. Washington’s dress rehearsal game this year is against the Bills on Aug. 24.
Re: Preseason Report
Preseason Report - Part III
By Tony Stoffo
In Part I and II of the Preseason Report, we discussed trends for teams and more importantly, their coaches. As mentioned before, coaching is a key factor in the preseason and you should be aware of this year's head coaching changes. This season we have eight coaching changes coming into the 2013 season.
Here is this year's list:
Arizona - Bruce Arians - was the former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator - Arians filled in for head coach Chuck Pagano while he battled leukemia, and went 9-3 in his absence.
Buffalo - Doug Maronne - Syracuse head coach for the past 4 years - his prior NFL experience was with the New Orleans back in 2008 as the Saints offensive coordinator.
Chicago - Marc Trestman - Former coach of the Montreal Alouettes - NFL experience as an Offensive coordinator for the 49ers and Raiders.
Cleveland - Rob Chudzinski - Offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers - however the offense will be turned over to Norv Turner.
Jacksonville - Gus Bradley - Former defensive coordinator the last four seasons of the league-leading Seahawks defense.
Kansas City - Andy Reid - head coach of the Eagles the last 14 years.
Philadelphia - Chip Kelly - head coach of the Oregon Ducks - offensive genius of the Ducks high octane offense - first NFL coaching job.
San Diego - Mike McCoy - is the former Broncos offensive coordinator for the Broncos and helped lead Denver to the playoffs the past two seasons with two totally different quarterbacks' styles.
Here are each teams Quarterback Rotations for this Preseason (R - Rookie):
Arizona - Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Ryan Lindley, Caleb TerBush (R - Purdue)
Atlanta - Matt Ryan, Dominique Davis, Sean Renfree (R - Duke), Seth Doege (R - Texas Tech)
Baltimore - Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor, Caleb Hanie
Buffalo - Kevin Kolb, EJ Manuel (R - Florida State), Jeff Tuel (R - Washington State)
Carolina - Cam Newton, Derek Anderson, Jimmy Clausen, Colby Cameron (R - La. Tech)
Chicago - Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, Matt Blanchard
Cincinnati - Andy Dalton, John Skelton, Josh Johnson, Zac Robinson
Cleveland - Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell, Brian Hoyer
Dallas - Tony Romo, Kyle Orton, Aaron Corp
Denver - Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, Zac Dysert (R - Miami, OH), Ryan Katz (R - San Diego State)
Detroit - Matthew Stafford, Shaun Hill, Kellen Moore
Green Bay - Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell, B.J. Coleman
Houston - Matt Schaub, T.J. Yates, Stephen McGee, Case Keenum
Indianapolis - Andrew Luck, Matt Hasselbeck, Chandler Harnish
Jacksonville - Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Mike Kafka, Matt Scott (R - Arizona)
Kansas City - Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray (R - Tennessee), Ricky Stanzi
Miami - Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Pat Devlin
Minnesota - Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, James Vandenberg (R - Iowa)
New England - Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Tim Tebow
New Orleans - Drew Brees, Seneca Wallace, Luke McCown, Ryan Griffin (R - Tulane)
New York Giants - Eli Manning, David Carr, Ryan Nassib (R - Syracuse), Curtis Painter
New York Jets - Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith (R - West Virginia), Greg McElroy, Matt Simms
Oakland - Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor, Tyler Wilson (R - Arkansas)
Philadelphia - Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley (Rookie - USC)
Pittsburgh - Ben Roethlisberger, Bruce Gradkowski, John Parker Wilson, Landry Jones (R - Oklahoma)
San Diego - Philip Rivers, Charlie Whitehurst, Brad Sorensen (R - Southern Utah), Mike Hermann (R - RPI)
San Francisco - Colin Kaepernick, Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien, B.J. Daniels (R - South Florida)
Seattle - Russell Wilson, Brady Quinn, Tarvaris Jackson
St. Louis - Sam Bradford, Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis
Tampa Bay - Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon (R - N.C. State), Dan Orlovsky, Adam Weber
Tennessee - Jake Locker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Rusty Smith, Nathan Enderle
Washington - Robert Griffin III (Will not play in preseason), Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman, Pat White
Re: Preseason Report
Strategies on Betting and Beating NFL Preseason
By Teddy Covers
I write a ‘How to beat the NFL Preseason article’ just about every year. But this is no ‘cut and paste’ from previous editions, because my strategies for betting (and beating) preseason football have been altered over the years, in some ways quite dramatically.
I updated this piece from start to finish last year and have updated it again for 2013, focusing on how the betting markets have changed here in the 21st century and the ways savvy bettors can take advantage of those changes.
My goal this week is to debunk some of those aging myths while focusing on strategies that work here in 2013.
Coaches vs. Coordinators
I used to be very concerned with finding and interpreting a head coach’s comments prior to preseason games. In the modern era of largely innocuous ‘coach-speak’, I’m definitely more interested in what the coordinators are saying. That goes doubly when we’re talking about first year coordinators installing new systems.
Neither coordinators nor head coaches are likely to give away tidbits in the regular season. But in the preseason, sometimes they’ll tell you exactly what they’re going to do, allowing you to cash some relatively easy winning bets.
Here are a list of the 13 new offensive coordinators around the NFL for the 2013 season: Harold Goodwin, Arizona; Nathaniel Hackett, Buffalo; Mike Shula, Carolina; Aaron Kromer, Chicago; Norv Turner, Cleveland; Adam Gase, Denver; Pep Hamiton, Indianapolis; Jedd Fisch, Jacksonville; Doug Pederson, Kansas City; Marty Mohrninweg, New York Jets; Greg Olson, Oakland; Pat Schurmer, Philadelphia and Ken Whisenhunt, San Diego.
The Power of the Blitz
Most coaches don’t like to see their star veteran quarterback take big hits in the preseason. I don’t blame them! That simple fact gives teams with aggressive, blitzing defensive schemes a legitimate edge in August.
Teams that blitz early and often tend to have preseason success shutting down opposing offenses. Once again, finding out the coordinator’s gameplan can pay real dividends. And it’s surely worth noting that the Saints are only -3 at home against a Kansas City team breaking in a new coach, new quarterback and new offense this Friday Night.
The Value of ‘3’
NFL bettors are conditioned to think about the pointspread number of + or -3 as being the single most important or ‘key’ number in football betting. That certainly holds true for the regular season, when nearly one out of every seven games finishes with a final margin of three points.
But in August, coaches don’t play for overtime. We saw a prime example of that in Week 1 of the preseason last year. Jacksonville rallied from 17 points down against the Giants, scoring their final TD with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game – making it quite likely that one of the two teams would win by a field goal – Jacksonville head coach Mike Mularkey went for the two point conversion and the win. The Jags made that conversion and won the game by a single point; a great result for line shoppers and a lousy result for the house.
This is not unusual in the slightest. And the lesson here is perfectly clear. The value of pointspreads like 1, 1.5, and 2 increase in August, while the value of the almighty -3 declines rather precipitously. Four games were decided by a single point in Week 1 last year, and that Browns-Lions game was decided by two. We didn’t see a single one of the first 16 preseason games in 2012 finish with a three point final margin. It was a similar story in 2011, without a single three point decision in the first two weeks of preseason action.
Re: Preseason Report
Preseason QB Breakdown
By The SportsBoss
When handicapping NFL Preseason action, I find the #1 aspect to examine is depth & GAME EXPERIENCE at the QB spot. I have found over the years the teams that have the deepest, most experienced QB depth fares well in preseason games. The key here is to locate solid, experienced 2nd and 3rd string QB's, who can likely exploit the 2nd and 3rd defensive units they will be facing.
Favorable (listed in alphabetical order):
ARIZONA: Palmer, Stanton, Lindley. There are many aspects to like about this 3 man QB rotation, most of which is the fact Carson Palmer is the new starter, and will thus likely see more series and plays than normal to get better acclimated to his new coaching staff, teammates and weapons. #2 Drew Stanton, in his 7th NFL season, joined ARI this offseason and has appeared in 12 career games, including extended action in 2010. 3rd stringer Ryan Lindley appeared in 6 games his rookie year, and although he struggled mightily last year with a ratio of 0/7, that in game experience should help when facing 2nd and 3rd stringers from the opponents defense.
BALTIMORE: Flacco, Taylor, Hanie. Flacco, fresh off his new big dollar contract, doesn't figure to see extended preseason action, meaning more snaps for Tyrod Taylor and Caleb Hanie. T2 has seen limited regular season action outside last year's Wk17 matchup @ CIN where he played pretty well considering it was on the road versus a divisional rival that was heading to the playoffs. However, Taylor has played well (for the most part) in the last two preseason's, and is equally as dangerous with his legs as his arm. Caleb Hanie joined the Ravens this offseason from CHI, and has played in 10 regular season games over 6 years including extended action in 2011. The Ravens should have a significant advantage late in preseason games with Taylor's legs, and when Hanie faces 2nd & 3rd string defenders.
CAROLINA: Newton, D. Anderson, Clausen, C. Cameron. Obviously Cam Newton will not see a ton of preseason action, but the Panthers have 3 backups, 2 of which have played in the regular season, which should equal plus QB play late in these preseason games. Anderson enters his 3rd season as the CAR backup, and although he has not played much in the last two years, he started for CLE multiple seasons posting some impressive numbers, especially in 2007. Clausen enters his 4th season in the NFL, all with CAR, and has not played in the regular season since 2010, pre Cam Newton. He did not play well that season, a big reason CAR burned a first round pick on a QB for a 2nd straight season heading into 2011. That being said Clausen has talent, and should at worst offer neutral QB play versus 2nd and 3rd string defenses. Colby Cameron is in his first year after posting great numbers at Louisiana Tech last season.
CINCINNATI: Dalton, J. Johnson, Skelton, Z. Robinson. Like Flacco & Newton above do not expect to see an abundance of Andy Dalton snaps during the preseason as he is fresh off leading CIN to back to back playoff appearances. Josh Johnson, in his 5th season but 2nd with CIN, has appeared in 27 games during his career (all with TB), but has limited passing statistics only attempting 177 in those games. 2009 was the season he played most, before Josh Freeman took over. 3rd stringer Josh Skelton joins CIN this year after three years with ARI where he saw significant, extended action appearing in 20 games and attempting over 600 passes; he may be the most experienced 3rd string QB on any NFL depth chart (outside Rex Grossman), which is typically a massive edge in preseason handicapping. Last on the depth chart is Zac Robinson, who enters his 2nd season and has yet to take a snap. Depending on how much Robinson plays the QB spot could be a HUGE edge for the Bengals this preseason.
CLEVELAND: Weeden, J. Campbell, Hoyer. Although the starter with CLE, whoever that may be, would be ranked among the worst in the NFL, the depth at this spot should be an advantage for the Browns during the preseason. Last year's starter Brandon Weeden played pretty well overall considering he was a rookie and didn't have a ton of weapons around him. I expect Weeden to win the starter's job in 2013, and also see extended snaps this preseason to give him more experience. 2nd stringer Jason Campbell has been a starter in the NFL, playing in 77 games with a career QB Rating of a solid 82.7. 3rd stringer Brian Hoyer enters his 5th season, but just his first year with CLE after stints with NE & ARI. Although he has limited game experience he is widely regarded as one of the better backup QB's in the NFL, and should help boost his stock some facing 2nd and 3rd string defenses. I would not be surprised if in the next year or two Hoyer gets a deal similar to what Flynn landed.
NEW ORLEANS: Brees, Wallace, L. McCown, Griffin. We all know about Drew Brees, and expect HC Sean Payton to play him limited snaps in the preseason. That is precisely why they are currently carrying 4 QBs, and the 2nd stringer is the experienced Seneca Wallace. Wallace has played 9 seasons, with 2 clubs CLE & SEA. His most significant action came in 2008 with SEA, and overall in his career he has played in 62 games and attempted 750+ passes. With a career QB Rating of 81.3, and the ability to beat teams with his legs as well, look for Wallace to be a plus under center. 3rd stringer Luke McCown enters his 10th NFL season with his 5th different team. He has never appeared in more than 5 games in a season, and does not have extensive regular season experience; however, he has played in the NFL for 9 years, and appeared in many preseason games which will help him at least hold his own versus lower string defenses. 4th stringer Ryan Griffin is in his rookie season out of Tulane.
WASHINGTON: Griffin III, Cousins, Grossman, P. White. Don't expect many snaps taken by RGIII this preseason as he returns from his torn ACL suffered in last season's playoff loss to SEA. That being said the Skins are still in relatively good shape at the QB position, with 2nd year guy Kirk Cousins set to be the backup. Cousins filled in admirably for RGIII last season, playing in 3 games and posting a 101.6 QB Rating, obviously very solid. He should continue to flourish in HC Mike Shanahan's QB friendly system. 3rd stringer Rex Grossman enters his 11th season, and has seen extensive NFL action through his career. He was the starter for CHI in 2006, and for WAS in 2011. He did not take any snaps last season, but I feel very confident in his abilities versus 2nd and 3rd string defenders this preseason. Grossman could even be traded if other teams suffer a QB injury. Pat White is the 4th stringer has not completed a pass in the NFL, but has the legs to cause problems versus lower level defenders in 4th quarters during preseason action. There is no guarantee White even sees snaps under center, which if he didn't would only be an advantage to WAS.
Unfavorable (listed in alphabetical order):
ATLANTA: Ryan, D. Davis, Renfree, Doege. To put it bluntly, the Falcons are in a lot of trouble under center when Matt Ryan isn't taking the snaps. 2nd stringer Dominique Davis enters his 2nd season, 3rd stringer Sean Renfree & 4th stringer Seth Doege are rookies, and no QB outside Ryan has taken a snap in the NFL. Look for the ATL offense to really struggle this preseason, especially in Gms1, 2 & 4 when Ryan will not be taking a bulk of the snaps.
DENVER: P. Manning, Osweiler, Dysert, Katz. The Broncos QB depth chart is very similar to that of ATL. Outside MVP candidate Peyton Manning DEN has basically no NFL experience from any of their three backups. Brock Osweiler remains listed as the #2 - he enters his 2nd season and only attempted 4 passes during the 2012 regular season. 3rd stringer Zac Dysert was selected in the 7th round out of Miami, OH and enters his rookie season while 4th stringer Ryan Katz, out of San Diego State, enters his rookie season as well. Look for the Broncos to struggle with QB play once Peyton Manning exits - and also look for Peyton to take less snaps than most starters this preseason.
NY JETS: Sanchez, G. Smith, M. Simms, McElroy. One of the biggest QB controversies heading into the 2013 regular season is that of the NYJ - will Mark Sanchez hang onto his job, or will first round draft pick Geno Smith take over? That question will likely not be answered until early September, but for preseason action look for both to take about the same amount of snaps. Although Sanchez has the experience edge Smith brings more measurables to the table and may be the favorite to win the job - if not when the season starts as it progresses. With Simms and McElroy also in the rotation the entire group is filled with question marks as QB play appears to be a big issue for NYJ not only during the preseason but as the regular season commences.