NFL PicksDue to the sports betting NFL lockout, free agency for the 2011 offseason, has gone by quicker than ever. As a result, many teams were left scrambling, as they no longer had the luxury of playing hard ball with their players, since other teams in desperate need for star players were around to sweep them up. While some teams appear to be improved for the upcoming NFL betting lines season, others seem to be far off from contention. Today we will be looking at the teams that are most improved due to free agency.

Comparable to the 2008 New York Yankees after missing the playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles recognized their main area of weakness and rebuilt through free agency this offseason. The Eagles defense was average at best in 2010 and in order to compete for an NFL Super Bowl title, the Eagles needed some serious upgrades. Similar to the 2008 Yankees, who brought in pitchers CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, to be their workhorses, the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles shocked the rest of the league by landing free agents, Nnamdi Asomugha and Jason Babin.

On paper, the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles are arguably the favorite to win the Super Bowl coming out of the NFC, ahead of last season’s Super Bowl winner, the Green Bay Packers. While the defense has improved greatly, Philadelphia returns essentially the same offense as last season. In theory, if Michael Vick can stay healthy, the Eagles can thank free agency for a Super Bowl ring.

Another team that made a few big and bold moves was the Houston Texans. Last year’s worst defensive team, will no longer have the smack down laid on them by the rest of the league. The Texans shocked everyone, by signing former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Jonathan Joseph. As we mentioned earlier, because of the lockout, teams could no longer play hard ball with their free agents. For Joseph, leaving Cincinnati and joining a young Houston Texans squad will be providing him with an excellent opportunity to play a more important role.

Aside from bringing in underrated cornerback Jonathan Joseph, the Houston Texans biggest offseason acquisition actually came from the coaching ranks. Earlier this year, before the NFL lockout, the Texans were able to hire former Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Wade Philips as the team’s new defensive coordinator. Throughout his career, Philips has been able to turn mediocrity into stardom, as he turned a horrific San Diego Chargers defense into one of the best in the league. In theory, with an improved defense, the Texans should be able to finally make the playoffs, and perhaps the Super Bowl.

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