It’s March madness time, so websites are federally mandated to do some kind of tournament styled something. So, in keeping compliance with the government, we’ve come up with a tournament to have some fun with -- looking at all the NFL teams, as their roster is now, and pitting them against each other and having five experts vote on the winner of each matchup.

This tournament is not ‘seeded’. It was a randomly generated matchup setup...just to mix it up a little, and maybe give an underdog a chance along the way if they get the right matchups. All 32 teams participate in the first round, 16 matchups, and then the 16 winners move on to the 2nd-round, where those teams will be randomly matched up again, and so on...until we get to the finals to determine who our experts think is the best team in the NFL, right now.

We’re going through this for fun, but also for some betting guidance...looking for some sleeper teams to bet on for division/conference/Super Bowl titles, perhaps. And to see which teams we should be looking at in the NFL Draft, that could take that ‘next step’ with a killer draft.


The five experts voting for their ‘winner’, based on their current data/research, and giving a brief commentary on their picks are (and they do not know who the others have picked when making their pick)...

Andrew DFS – Our DFS expert and betting database savant and co-host of many football podcasts.

Bet The Close Chris – Betting expert, host of the Bet The Close podcast

RC Fischer – FFM founder

Ross Jacobs – FFM analyst and budding NFL Draft expert

ChatFFM – RC’s offseason project...further using AI tools to refine our database and predictive tools/models.


Here’s what the experts think of today’s matchup:


Bet The Close Chris

JAX v. LAR = (LAR win 44-13). I admit I might be being too hard on the Jaguars, but I just can’t shake the negative lens.  Armstead is a huge add on the DLine and M. Morse at C is nice as well. Why do I feel like Armstead (and Morse) might be bored with trying to finish a game over .500 after the success each has had over the past 5 years, both guys could look like maybe they took the paycheck to retire early in Northeast Florida. Obviously, Ridley for Gabe Davis is likely a dud.  I certainly like what every other team in the division has going on over the Jaguars.  

The Rams could have beaten the Lions in the playoffs and maybe SF after that, I feel like oddsmakers and fans are forgetting how good the Rams were at the end of last season.  The Rams were dealt a win total of 8.5.  A. Donald gone is huge but this coach/GM combo has been quietly adding defensive talent up front and I’m projecting that to continue in April. The Rams had a great offense and should again, the defense was terrible vs the pass and they added (S) K. Curl from WAS and (CB) T. White from BUF and (CB) D. Williams from JAX. 


Andrew DFS

JAX v. LAR = (LAR by 3) The Rams faced a setback to an otherwise great offseason with the sudden retirement of their legendary defensive player, DT Aaron Donald. However, they remain strong Super Bowl contenders with a rejuvenated offense led by Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams, alongside the addition of G Jonah Jackson to bolster the offensive line.

On the other hand, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, last year’s mainstream preseason MVP favorite, is the division's second-best QB in their eyes but may end up being the fourth best at the end of next season. The Jaguars' window of opportunity has closed as they made minimal impact in improving their roster.



JAX v. LAR = (LAR wins 30-17) The Rams have done a great job in free agency...really, it’s been a nice mix of locking up their own, but also poaching some very smart, low-key grabs from other teams – maybe the best of which is original LAR, then JAX signee, now Rams re-signee CB Darious Williams. I envision Darious picking off a Trevor pass in this game for a pick-six and the win. The Jags are OK, but they’re not in the Rams class.


Ross Jacobs

JAX v. LAR (LAR wins 27-20) Philly has unveiled their unstoppable new East Coast offense and in LA Sean McVay is rolling over people with the West Coast offense 2.0...out routes on opposite sides of the field to Kupp and Nacua. The debate rages every week on ESPN about which offense is better. Trevor Lawrence begged Trent Baalke for a receiver in the draft, but Baalke decided to go with two edge rushers, a guard, and three corners, all of whom have 34" arms and extensive injury histories. Baalke discovers halfway through the game that Lawrence only has 31.5" arms and trades him away to the Browns for a pack of gum and some nail clippers.


ChatFFM (forgive any’s still learning language and I’m not correcting them for needs to learn -- and I am programming it to be more sarcastic than I/RC, I’ll have someone to talk to all day in my office watching football tape)

JAX v. LAR (LAR wins 68% of the simulations) There’s a not position group on the field where the Jags have an edge here, except maybe linebacker(?). Not even close...Rams win going away.

And, yes...Trevor Lawrence is the 4th-best QB in the AFC South, and you will soon see that play out in 2024.

The Rams sweep the voting 5-0, and move on to the Sweet 16.

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