How the First Three Weeks Compare to 2019 Preseason Win Total Projections

The first three weeks of the 2019 NFL season have led to some surprising results. The 2019 preseason win total projections released by online sportsbooks, which you can view at , basically set out how the standings are expected to look at season’s end. 

Through three weeks, several teams have taken huge steps to exceeding their preseason expectations, while several others have taken equally big steps in the other direction.

Buffalo Bills ↑↑↑

  • Preseason projection: 7.5 wins
  • Record: 3-0
  • Must go 4-9 to hit the over

The skinny: the Bills have looked good, especially on defense, but also taken advantage of a soft schedule. Their first three opponents (Jets, Giants, Bengals) are a combined 1-8. A Week 4 battle with the 3-0 New England Patriots will be telling. 

Denver Broncos ↓↓↓

  • Preseason projection: 7.0 wins
  • Record: 0-3
  • Must go 8-5 to hit the over

The skinny: the Broncos don’t deserve to be winless. They stunk in Week 1 in Oakland, but were arguably the better team in Week 2 versus the Bears, losing on a last-second field goal (16-14). They also moved the ball more effectively than Green Bay in Week 3, but were undone by turnovers. A three-week stretch against the Jaguars, Chargers, and Titans could see the Broncos revive their season.

Detroit Lions ↑↑↑

  • Preseason projection: 6.5 wins
  • Record: 2-0-1
  • Must go 5-8 to hit the over

The skinny: the Lions are very lucky to be undefeated. They coughed up a 24-6 lead in their Week 1 tie with lowly Arizona. They benefitted from multiple Charger miscues in their Week 2 comeback versus LA. And they got to face the Eagles in Week 3 while Philadelphia was missing DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Timmy Jernigan, and others. The high-flying Chiefs come to the Motor City in Week 4, so don’t get attached to the zero in the loss column. 

New York Jets ↓↓↓

  • Preseason projection: 7.5 wins
  • Record: 0-3
  • Must go 8-5 to hit the over

The Jets played one very good half of football this season when their team was fully healthy. Since jumping out to a 16-0 lead on Buffalo in Week 1, they have been outscored 70-17, lost Sam Darnold until about Week 6 due to mono, and seen several other key players go down to injury (Quinnen Williams, CJ Mosley, Jordan Jenkins). There’s not much let-up in the schedule in the immediate future, with the Eagles, Cowboys, and Patriots on tap. An 0-6 start is looking likely. 

Pittsburgh Steelers ↓↓↓

  • Preseason projection: 9.5 wins
  • Record: 0-3
  • Must go 10-3 to hit the over

The skinny: the narrative around the Steelers right now is about Ben Roethlisberger suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. But that’s not the only reason they’re 3-0. Roethlisberger played the first 1.5 games, and they still didn’t look great. The defense has been feast/famine, looking like a shutdown unit for a few drives, and then giving up huge plays in the passing game. The offense with Mason Rudolph at the helm isn’t potent enough to win shootouts. Expect them to get off the mat in Week 4, though, with a home date against the Bengals on Monday Night Football.

San Francisco 49ers ↑↑↑

  • Preseason projection: 8.0 wins
  • Record: 3-0
  • Must go 6-7 to hit the over: 

The skinny: with road wins over the Buccaneers (31-17) and Bengals (41-17), plus a home victory over the Steelers (24-20) already in the bank, the 49ers could be here to stay. The offense has been far from perfect, with Jimmy Garoppolo looking more mistake-prone than we’ve ever seen him (5 TD, 4 INT, 2 FUM). But the defense has clearly taken huge strides and no. 2-overall pick Joey Bosa is living up to the hype. The D has already forced 7 takeaways; it had 7 all of last season.


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