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NFL News and Notes April 16, 2021

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Win Totals Posted in Vegas

Even though the NFL Draft is still two weeks away and the schedule hasn’t been released, oddsmakers have posted their first list of betting win totals for the first-ever 17-game regular season. It’s not surprising at all that the two Super Bowl teams, Kansas City and Tampa Bay, have the highest totals. 

The Chiefs have opened at 12 wins for the 2021 season after winning 14 last year and losing in the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers opened at an NFC-best 11.5 after winning 11 regular season games in 2020 en route to the title. 

In the AFC, the Chiefs are followed by the Baltimore Ravens at 11 wins and the Buffalo Bills at 10.5. Both were playoff teams in 2020, with Buffalo winning the AFC East.

Last year’s No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers are behind the Bucs at 11 wins, with the Los Angeles Rams at 10.5. The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are both at 10 wins as the NFC West sets up for a fun battle in 2021. 

While opponents are known for the 2021 season, including home and away games, the NFL has not released a schedule. The draft, set for April 29 - May 1, will impact rosters as well. 

The lowest win totals are the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans, who are both at five. The New York Jets are at six, and the Cincinnati Bengals at 6.5.

All four teams in the NFC West are posted at .500 or better, with the Arizona Cardinals rounding out the division at eight wins. Going by the posted win totals, the division winners for 2021 would be Kansas City, Baltimore, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, the Los Angeles Rams, and Dallas. 

In the AFC, Vegas odds list Tennessee (9.5), Pittsburgh (nine), Miami (nine), New England (nine), Pittsburgh (nine), and the L.A. Chargers (nine) as winning teams competing for three wild card spots. 

In the NFC, only the 49ers (10), Seahawks (10), New Orleans (9.5), and Minnesota (8.5) are projected to have winning seasons as non-division winners. 

Falcons Sign Patterson

The Atlanta Falcons, who are projected to go 7-10 on the above win totals list, made a special teams move on Thursday night. They signed former Chicago Bears and four-time Pro Bowl all-purpose player Cordarrelle Patterson.

Patterson led the NFL in return yardage in 2020 and has eight career kick return touchdowns. In 127 games over eight seasons, he has caught 216 passes and rushed 167 times, totaling 18 touchdowns and more than 3,000 yards. 

Patterson played for the Bears in 2020 and has stops in New England and Oakland after getting drafted in the first round by Minnesota in 2013. He is the only player in the last 40 years to average more than 29 yards per kick return for his career, second-most all-time behind Gale Sayers (30.6).

Patterson had a career-high 232 rushing yards in 2020 with a 3.6 average and one touchdown. He has caught just 50 passes in a season just once, in 2016 his last year with the Vikings. He had a career-high 469 receiving yards and four scores as a rookie in 2013. 

To make room for Patterson, the Falcons cut running back Ito Smith, who tallied 689 rushing yards in three seasons with the club. 
 

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