NFL Week 11 Picks

Welcome to my NFL Week 11 Picks.  I went 9-5 last week, placing my overall record at 78-68.  How will I do in this week’s slate of games?  Read below and comment with your thoughts.

Teams on Bye: Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers

Note: In the images, the team on the top is the road team, and the team on the bottom is the home team.

Lock of the Week

The Browns will receive a rude awakening against the strong Jaguars defense.  The Jaguars front seven will shut down RB Isaiah Crowell, and the Browns will fail to establish their passing game.  Offensively, QB Blake Bortles and RB Leonard Fournette will keep the Jags going, even without WR Allen Hurns.  Jags win easy.

Upset of the Week (TNF)

Against subpar teams like the Jags, Colts, and Bears, the Steelers don’t bring their A-game.  The Titans will surprise many as Pittsburgh continues their bad run against teams they should beat.  QB Ben Roethlisberger will struggle as he faces unexpected pressure from the strong Titans defensive front.  The Steelers defense won’t fare much better, failing to contain Titans young QB Marcus Mariota and his receiving corps.  Titans pull off the upset.

Sunday’s Games

With WR Mike Evans back, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick should be able to lead the Bucs to victory.  As we’ve seen over the last few weeks, the Dolphins receiving corps will not be able to do its thing with QB Jay Cutler under center.  Their offense can’t do too much without star RB Jay Ajayi.  The young Buccaneers defense will feed on Miami’s struggles.

The Packers may have beaten their division rival Chicago Bears last week, but the Ravens will be a tougher opponent for inexperienced QB Brett Hundley and the Packers offense.  The Ravens defense will flush Hundley out of the pocket and he will struggle to find his receivers.  Expect Ravens QB Joe Flacco to look strong coming off the bye, and his versatile receivers will get open more often than not against the stingy Green Bay secondary.  The well-rested Ravens will be too much for the Packers, even in Green Bay.

Even though both starting QBs are out, and the Texans D is depleted by injuries, this game will be more exciting than one would expect.  QB Drew Stanton and his receiving corps will breeze past a weak Texans secondary.  I also think the Texans offense will put up a big game, even against a strong Arizona secondary.  I expect a strong Texans running game to be the difference in this game.

The Chiefs D will shut down QB Eli Manning, and he will struggle to find the receivers that he’s only had a few weeks to develop a connection with.  The Giants defense will shut down RB Kareem Hunt and the Chiefs run game.  But the Giants will give up big plays to WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce, and that will cost the Giants in this low scoring game.

The Saints offense will dominate in this game, feeding on a Washington defense that has given up 25.8 PPG (7th worst in the NFL).  But it’s the Saints young defense will continue to surprise many as they again do enough to help the Saints win.  The Saints will continue to have a balanced attack, not relying on QB Drew Brees alone. The RB duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram should have big games.  For Washington, QB Kirk Cousins will have a big game, but it won’t be enough to keep up with the Saints.

The Vikings defense will dominate, slowing down RB Todd Gurley and the Rams’ powerful offense.  Meanwhile, the Rams will struggle to cover Minnesota’s versatile group of receivers as QB Case Keenum throws 4 TD.  Rams QB Jared Goff will just be under too much pressure to match Keenum’s stats against Minnesota’s tough front seven, and the Vikings will win.

The Bears will struggle to generate a passing rhythm, but their RB, Jordan Howard, will have a big game.  The Lions D will struggle to slow down Howard, but they will keep QB Mitch Trubisky under a lot of pressure throughout the game.  For the Lions, WR Kenny Golladay and TE Eric Ebron will come up big again, like they did last week against Cleveland.  The Lions will win after the Bears struggle offensively and allow the Lions offense to dominate.

Benching QB Tyrod Taylor for QB Nathan Peterman was a good move for Buffalo.  But it won’t be enough in LA against the Chargers’ electric offense.  In addition, Peterman will have a tough time against the Chargers young defensive front.  DE Joey Bosa and LB Melvin Ingram will flush him out of the pocket.  For LA, the receiving corps will thrive against the Bills strong secondary to lead the Chargers to victory.

The Pats are 12-0 on the road since the start of 2016.  In the high elevation of Mexico City, the Pats should be more prepared than Oakland, since they spent the last week practicing in the similarly high elevation of Colorado Springs.  Expect the Pats TE duo to dominate against the young Raiders secondary, the only secondary without an interception this season.

The Pats secondary will slow down the Raiders wide receivers enough.  QB Tom Brady will have a big game, and the Pats’ four-headed monster at RB will also make an impact as the Patriots outlast the Raiders in an offensive shootout.

The Broncos will win this game as their defense dominates.  The Bengals offense will play some pretty sloppy football against the Denver D, and the Broncos offense won’t do much better.  However, QB Brock Osweiler will have a slightly better game than Bengals QB Andy Dalton.  Osweiler will toss the only TD of the game to WR Emmanuel Sanders, as Bengals WR A.J. Green is shut down against the No Fly Zone.  Broncos win in a defensive battle.

SNF

With the addition of RB Jay Ajayi, expect the Eagles to have a dominant run game, especially with Cowboys LB Sean Lee out.  The Cowboys offense will have a strong game as well, but it won’t be the same without RB Ezekiel Elliott.  Led by their running success and another huge game out of QB Carson Wentz, the Eagles will win in a high scoring Sunday Night divisional showdown.

MNF

The Seahawks defense will slow down Atlanta’s high-powered offense.  The Falcons offense has been very inconsistent this year, unlike last year when WR Julio Jones and QB Matt Ryan led them to be one of the best offenses in the league.  With the help of star TE Jimmy Graham, QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense will begin to get into a rhythm.  But it’s the Seahawks defensive success that will lead Seattle to another big home victory.

That’s all for my Week 11 Picks.  Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

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NFL Week 7 Picks

Here are my NFL Week 7 Picks.  Last week I went 5-9, placing my overall record at 41-50.  How will I do in this week’s slate of games?  Read below and comment with your thoughts.

Teams on Bye: Detroit Lions, Houston Texans

Note: In the images, the team on the top is the road team, and the team on the bottom is the home team.

Lock of the Week

Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi had another 100-yard game last week and he led Miami to victory.  Expect that to happen again against the Jets.  The Jets have allowed the 5th most rush yards per game this year (138.8), and Ajayi should be the next to dominate against them.  I also think Miami QB Jay Cutler will find an offensive rhythm against the young Jets D, as a good run game should set up the play action passing game.  The tough Dolphins front seven will pressure Jets QB Josh McCown and hold the Jets to field goals.  Dolphins win with ease.

 

Upset of the Week

Just because QB Aaron Rodgers is hurt, it doesn’t mean the Packers won’t win any games, especially at home.  I like Packers new QB Brett Hundley and he will get the chance to prove himself in this game.  The Saints will fail to pressure him and he’ll thrive in this game by spreading the ball around to top GB receivers Jordy Nelson and DaVante Adams.  Even without Rodgers, this will still be an offensive shootout as both teams have struggled defensively especially against strong passing offenses.  The Saints will fall short of the 52 they put up last week without the benefit of the home dome.  Packers pull the upset on the not yet frozen tundra.
TNF (Posted to Twitter on Thursday before the game)

I thought Kansas City would come into this game undefeated after winning their first 5 games but the Steelers had their number.  The Raiders will be able to do the same.  Oakland has struggled over the last couple weeks but at full health I expect them to rebound on Thursday Night.

Chiefs corner Marcus Peters will limit Oakland WR Amari Cooper but Raiders WR Michael Crabtree will have a huge game.  Raiders QB Derek Carr, Crabtree, and Raiders TE Jared Cook will dominate against a Chiefs secondary that lost playmaking safety, Eric Berry.  The Chiefs offense will make it close as QB Alex Smith finds a rhythm with his star tight end Travis Kelce but the rest of the offense will continue to look off their game against the tough Raiders D.  Raiders win in a close one.

 

Sunday’s Games


The Rams offense may have had an off week against Seattle last week, but I expect them to rebound this week and find ways to score against the tough Arizona secondary.  Defensively, the Rams will slow down RB Adrian Peterson after his big debut in Arizona.  However, Cardinals QB Carson Palmer and his receivers will find a rhythm and thrive.  But in the end, I have the Rams winning in a close one as London will feel like home for them after playing there many times before.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston was injured in last week’s game but he’s expected to return this week.  I see him returning strong with 2 TDs as Bucs WRs Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson will challenge the Bills secondary and keep breakout star S Micah Hyde without an interception in this game.  Hyde may lead the league in interceptions but he won’t have one this week.  The Bucs defense will shut down the Bills offense that’s without top TE Charles Clay.

The Vikings will find an offensive rhythm in this game even without WR Stefon Diggs.  WR Laquon Treadwell will continue to make an impact in Diggs’ absence and I also expect WR Adam Thielen to keep making plays for Minnesota.  However, they will struggle in the run game without RB Dalvin Cook, especially against the Ravens’ tough run defense.

Even with TE Kyle Rudolph matched up against Baltimore’s star safety Eric Weddle, the Vikings should be successful on offense.  Defensively, the Vikings will do a good job pressuring and shutting down Ravens QB Joe Flacco and give the Vikings offense plenty of opportunities.

The Titans offense will continue to look strong against a young Browns D that is still finding its way.  QB Marcus Mariota will play like he did on Monday Night against the Colts and should have another 300-yard game.  Defensively, I think the Titans will struggle to stop RB Isaiah Crowell and the Browns run game, but without a strong passing offense, the Browns won’t have enough to keep up with the Titans.  Cleveland QB Hogan will struggle and the Browns will fail to challenge the Titans in this game.

The Jaguars run game will dominate against the Colts this week.  The Colts weak defensive front will not be able to stop the Jaguars running game even with RB Leonard Fournette out with an injury.  Fournette was injured late in last week’s game and while his injury was not deemed serious, he has been ruled out for this game.  The Colts, however, will still be without star QB Andrew Luck.  Backup QB Jacoby Brissett will make some plays but the Jaguars versatile defense will limit him enough as Ivory carries the Jags to victory.

The Panthers will dominate offensively in this game as I expect RB Christian McCaffrey to make an impact in both as a runner and as a receiver.  In addition, QB Cam Newton will have a big day against a weak Bears defense.  Expect RBs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to struggle against a tough Carolina defensive front and force Bears QB Mitch Trubisky to carry the Bears offense.  It won’t be enough and the Panthers will win this one on the road.

The Cowboys will have a huge offensive day in San Francisco.  The run game will do especially well against the young 49ers defensive front.  The Cowboys’ dominant o-line will create running lanes for RB Ezekiel Elliott (still active thanks to winning another legal battle) as well as other Cowboys backs.  The 49ers may have some success offensively with rookie C.J. Beathard at QB facing a weak Cowboys secondary but they will be outscored by a large margin.

After seeing what the Steelers did to the Chiefs last week, I’m taking the Steelers.  They proved that they can win a big game against a tough AFC opponent.  Their defense will continue to step it up and they will shut down QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense.  I don’t see this being very high scoring as both defenses slow down their opponent.  In addition, neither Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown nor Bengals star receiver A.J. Green will have good games against these tough defenses.  I have the Steelers winning it at home by a touchdown.  

I think this week could be a turning point in the AFC West.  With this win for LA, the Chargers and Raiders will continue to gain on the Broncos and Chiefs.  By the end of the year, I still think the Raiders will take the division lead in the AFC West, as the Chiefs and Broncos falter down the stretch.  

In this game, the Broncos may limit RB Melvin Gordon but they won’t stop QB Rivers who will find enough time to connect with his receivers despite pressure from the Broncos front seven.  Siemian and the Broncos offense will continue to struggle as they did last week to become the only team to lose to the 1-5 Giants last week.  Even against a subpar Chargers defense, the Broncos will fail to find their offensive rhythm, especially without top WR Emmanuel Sanders.


Seattle has one of the top defenses and with the Giants top 2 WRs out for the season, I’m predicting my first shutout game this year.  The Seahawks defense will hold the depleted Giants offense scoreless.  QB Eli Manning will struggle without his star receivers especially because I see the Seahawks pressing him all day.  The Seattle offense will struggle as it has but will score enough to win in this defensive battle. 


Expect a Sunday Night thriller in this Super Bowl LI rematch.  I think Pats QB Tom Brady will thrive against the Falcons D like he did in the 2nd half of the Super Bowl, especially with star LB Vic Beasley banged up.  However, it won’t be easy for the Pats.  Falcons WR Julio Jones will dominate against a banged-up Pats secondary, and RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will have good days against a struggling Pats defensive front.  But in the end, Brady and the Pats offense will find a way just as they did in the Super Bowl.

This one should be fun to watch.  I expect the Eagles offense to explode for 5 TDs as the Redskins defense looks off their game.  The Redskins offense will also thrive, continuing their momentum from last week.  Washington will come close but the Eagles will come out on top in this Monday Night Football division showdown.  

Please comment with your thoughts.

NFL Week 6 Picks: Contenders and Pretenders

Welcome to my NFL Week 6 Picks.  Last week I went 6-8, placing my overall record at 36-41.  How will I do in this week’s slate of games?  Read below and comment with your thoughts.  This week is when the contenders start to separate themselves from the pretenders.  Who will come out on top?

Teams on Bye: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks

Note: In the images, the team on the top is the road team, and the team on the bottom is the home team.  

Lock of the Week

The Jets have been on a pretty good run but all will come to an end against the Patriots.  I think the Patriots defense will continue to see improvement in this game.  Their secondary will shut down the depleted Jets receiving corps, even without CBs Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe.  Expect the Pats defense to force lots of turnovers as well, giving the potent New England offense more scoring chances.  In addition, I think Pats TE Rob Gronkowski will have a strong return from a leg injury that held him out last week.  He will dominate against the Jets D in this game.  Pats win with ease.

Upset of the Week 

The Lions have had a surprisingly strong start to the season.  I expect that to continue against an aging Saints team.  Lions QB Matthew Stafford will have a huge game as the Saints defense struggles to put pressure on him, giving the strong Lions receivers more time to get open.

Expect the Saints offense to struggle to run the ball effectively against the Lions D, especially after trading away RB Adrian Peterson.  Peterson was not making the biggest impact in New Orleans, but he provided the Saints with options in the run game.  If Saints RB Mark Ingram starts to look off his game, who do they turn to?   Lions pull off the upset.

 

TNF (Posted to Twitter on Thursday before the game)

After last week’s big victory, the Eagles offense is beginning to gain some momentum.  Expect that to continue against the Panthers as they put up 30+ points.  I also think the Eagles receivers will have another huge day against a rebuilding Carolina secondary.  Even though Panthers QB Cam Newton has gotten back in the swing of things, I think Newton will be the next victim of the Eagles defense.  Newton will be hammered in this prime time match-up.

Sunday’s Games

The Falcons are well rested coming off their bye week and their dominant offense should shine in this match-up.  Falcons WR Julio Jones will not be stopped by CB Byron Maxwell and the rest of the Dolphins secondary.  On defense, LB Vic Beasley and the Atlanta pass rush will not allow Jay Cutler to get into a rhythm.  Jay Ajayi could also have another rough day against a tough Atlanta run defense.  Atlanta will win easily at home.

The Ravens will win but it won’t be easy.  After facing two tough defensive fronts in Weeks 4 & 5, Ravens QB Joe Flacco should have an easier time this week against a weak Bears secondary.  I also expect Ravens WR Mike Wallace to lead the Ravens to victory with another 100 yeard game like last week (133-yard).

However, the Bears will also look a little better offensively with rookie QB Mitch Trubisky under center.  In addition, WR Kendall Wright will be targetted more with injured receiver Kevin White out again.   But things won’t be easy against a tough Ravens defense.  It will be close but I have the Ravens holding on in a tight one.

The Texans front seven will be challenged this week after losing defensive stars DE J.J. Watt and LB Whitney Mercilus for the season.  Expect Browns RB Isaiah Crowell to have a strong game.

On offense, the Texans will continue to do well with rising star rookie QB Watson.  They’ve put up a total of 91 points over the last two weeks (45.5 PPG)!  The Browns had the chance to draft Watson and after this game may wish they did.  Texans offense will deliver again at home.

This will be a blowout because other than Niners WR Pierre Garcon, I don’t believe there’s anyone else that could step it up for San Francisco offensively.  Redskins QB Kirk Cousins and his receivers will thrive against the rebuilding Niners secondary.  They will lead the Redskins to an easy win.

Over the last three weeks, the Packers have averaged 32.3 PPG.  Expect their offensive success to continue, even against a tough Vikings defense.  The Vikings secondary will fail to hold back a stacked group of talented Packers receivers.  Packers receivers Nelson, Cobb, and Adams are all at full health this week so expect the Vikes D to have a rough day.  I think the Vikings run game could struggle without starting RB Dalvin Cook.  They’ll also be without WR Stefon Diggs.  Packers win as the Vikings struggle to get into an offensive rhythm.

The Rams have gained some momentum over the last few weeks but it’s never easy to win on the road.  The Jags have been off to a pretty strong start as well and their defense could put a stop to Ram’s run.  They will contain LA’s playmakers, making it tough for QB Jared Goff to play like he has for most of this season.

However, this win won’t be easy for the Jags.  Blake Bortles will be under pressure but I see him having enough success to lead the Jags to a win.  He will have to because I believe the Rams will slow down Jas star running back Leonard Fournette.  In the end, the Rams won’t produce enough offensively and they’ll fall short against the Jags.

As the Bucs defense finally starts to make its way back to full health, I think they’ll lead Tampa Bay to bounce back win after a tough Thursday night loss to the Pats at home.  I expect Cards QB Carson Palmer to take a lot of hits like Tom Brady did last week against an aggressive Bucs defensive front.  I don’t think Palmer has much left in the tank as he has struggled this season to help AZ put points on the board.  However, young Bucs QB Jameis Winston will thrive in this game, rebounding from a rough game last week against the Pats.  His receiving corps will create match-up problems against the strong Arizona secondary as Winston will buy his receivers more time with his elusiveness.  The Bucs will win the game with strong performances on both sides of the ball.

The Chiefs are the only remaining undefeated team and the Steelers have been inconsistent losing 2 of their last 3 games to teams they should have beaten, the Bears and the Jags.  Before I pick the Steelers to win again, they need to play more consistently.

Steelers QB Big Ben and RB Le’Veon Bell will struggle against the tough KC front seven that has shut down some top RBs and QBs during their 5-0 start.  The Steelers will also struggle defensively against speedster WR Tyreek Hill and one of the leagues best TE, Travis Kelce.  Big games from both Hill and Kelce will be just enough for KC to win by a Field Goal.

The Raiders offense should be back to full strength this week with star QB Derek Carr, WR Amari Cooper, and WR Michael Crabtree all healthy.  I think they’ll put up 30+ points against a weak Chargers defense.  The Chargers defense has cost LA many of their games as Chargers have averaged 19.8 PPG but are only 1-4.  The Chargers offensive success will bring them close but the Raiders offense will be too much in this shootout.

SNF

The Giants lost their top three receivers to serious injuries last week.  None of them will play in this game and the Giants will likely struggle offensively especially since RB Paul Perkins will also be out with an injury.  The Broncos arguably have the best defense in the league and will pressure Giants QB, Eli Manning all day.  Denver will pull away with the win even with their own offensive struggles.  The Broncos defense will carry them to a victory in a low scoring Sunday Night game at Mile High.    

MNF

This game will be a thrilling high scoring game that will be much more fun to watch than the Sunday Night defensive battle between the Broncos and Giants.  The Titans offense should score with ease against the struggling Colts defense, scoring 5+ TDs.  But this isn’t going to be a blowout.  Jacoby Brissett has led the Colts offense to win two of their last four games as they have scored over 22 points a game in the last 4.  Brissett will hit his star receiver T.Y. Hilton often as he will have a big game against the Titans secondary.  But in the end, the Titans’ offensive dominance will be too much for the Colts on the road and carry them to victory on Monday Night.  

That’s all for this week.  What do you think will happen this Sunday?  Feel free to comment with your thoughts.  This season has been full of surprises so you should expect more.

NFL Week 4 Picks: Many Close Games This Week

Last week was probably my worst week in picks yet.  I went 5-11, making my overall record just 22-25!  But this week, I have modified my picking method to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  Who will win this week’s slate of games?  Keep reading to find out.

Note: The teams on the top in the images are the road teams, and the teams on the bottom are the home teams.  

Lock of the Week (TNF) – Posted on Twitter before the game on Thursday


The Bears may have beaten the Steelers but that was last week.  It won’t happen two weeks in a row, especially since they’re on the road this week.  Chicago can’t continue to win games if they are completely reliant on their run game.  Their receiving game has struggled without White and Meredith.

With Chicago’s offense one-dimensional, expect the Packers defense to take advantage.  On offense, the Packers Jordy Nelson should have a huge week.  He and the other Packers receivers will overwhelm the Bears secondary.  This will all add up to a big win for the Packers.

Upset of the Week


I don’t know why the Dolphins are the underdogs.  It could be because they lost to the Jets last week in New York.  The Saints haven’t been much better so far which is why the spread is close to even.  The Saints may have shown us something last week in their first win but Carolina was not at full strength with Olsen and Benjamin (who was hurt early on) out.  I think the Dolphins will come away with a narrow victory.

One key factor in this game is Jay Ajayi.  Ajayi rushed for over 100 yards in Week 2’s win over the Chargers.  On the other hand, he was limited to just 16 yards against the Jets.  So far this year when Ajayi does well, the Dolphins win.  The Saints run defense has not done well this season (9th worst in the NFL) so expect Ajayi to dominate, especially at home.  The Saints offense will be tough to defend though especially with stud WR Willie Snead returning from a 3 game suspension.  Does the Miami secondary have what it takes to cover both Snead and Michael Thomas, or will they be too much for the Dolphins?  Thomas or Snead could have a huge game but I think if the Dolphins can get into a rhythm on offense and keep the Saints offense off the field, they will win this game.

Sunday’s Games

The Patriots are gaining some momentum after two big wins where they scored 36 points in each game.  They will come up big again against Carolina.  The Panthers are depleted by injuries right now with offensive stars Greg Olsen on IR and Kelvin Benjamin banged up with a knee problem.  The Panthers will have to depend on two up and coming rookies for offensive plays.  WR Curtis Samuel and RB Christian McCaffrey have helped lead the Panthers to their 2-1 start.  Expect the Patriots to game plan against McCaffrey and to try and bump Samuel at the line to throw off the timing of his routes.  Will they be ready for the unexpected that Belichick usually likes to have ready for rookies?

Cam Newton could be the x-factor for the Carolina offense as the Patriots just faced a QB very similar to Cam in Deshaun Watson.  If Cam can return to his pre-injury form, the Pats defense could be in for a long day.  For the Pats offense, both Gronk and Cooks could have big days against the young Panthers corners.  Even without Thomas Davis, the Panthers run defense could give Gillislee and White problems.  However, the Pats proved last week that a healthy Cooks, Hogan, and Gronk can do a lot to offset an inconsistent run game for the Pats.

This game will be closer than many may believe.  Atlanta’s offense dominated last year.  The offense led by studs WR Julio Jones and RB Devonta Freeman was strong enough to bring them to the brink of a Super Bowl victory.  This year, Atlanta’s offense is still on a roll butBuffalo’s offense has surprised many especially with an upset win against Denver last week to put them at the top of the AFC East for the first time in many years.

Atlanta will win this game but it won’t be easy.  Expect the Bills offense to be as physically and mentally prepared as Atlanta’s.  LeSean McCoy could be dominant with Atlanta’s star LB Vic Beasley out.  Tyrod Taylor has several receiving weapons that could give the Falcons secondary some problems.

But the Bills defense could blow the game for Buffalo.  Buffalo’s young secondary lost their top two corners to trades/free-agency this off-season.  I believe Atlanta’s versatile receivers will have big games and they will carry the Falcons to a big win at home. 

The Jaguars had an impressive win last week in London.  They have been inconsistent so far this season but a match-up against the Jets could have them at 3-1 atop the AFC South.  Can the Jaguars win two in a row and gain some momentum or will they continue as an up and down team?  The Jaguars have a strong young defense and have made big plays on offense and I don’t expect the lowly Jets to have a chance, even at home.

If Blake Bortles plays like he did last week and protects the football, it should be an easy game for the Jags.  I think the Jets secondary will be overmatched and Bortles will lead the Jags in a blowout.

The Ravens were blown out in London last week.  Many expected the Ravens to have one of the top defenses in the league but looked pretty bad last week.  This is the first division matchup between these two teams and both have extra motivation after bad losses last week.  This should be a very competitive game as these two teams have been the top teams in this division for the last several years.

The Ravens receivers will do well this week against a Steelers secondary that has struggled so far.  Safety Eric Weddle and the Ravens front seven will also do a good job containing a strong Steelers offense.  The Steelers should do a good job of pressuring Joe Flacco especially with the Ravens O-line depleted by injuries. Steelers win in a close one.

 

This could be yet another close game this week.  Both these teams are 0-3.  Who will get their first win?  I know it’s hard to believe but I think the Browns get the win here in the battle of the AFC North bottom feeders.  The Bengals some great offensive weapons but they have shown no rhythm.

This will be a low-scoring game as the Bengals defense will find a way to pressure rookieDeShone Kizer.

The Titans have looked better this season and with WR Corey Davis on his way back from an injury expect the offense to be even more dominant.  The Texans may have a good defensive front but their secondary isn’t as good this year.  Expect Delanie Walker and the Titans receivers to have a big game because the Titans offensive line should be able to give Mariotaenough time to make big plays.

The Texans offense is not good enough to give the Titans defense a serious challenge, so the Titans should be able to win this game with ease. 

This game will be high scoring.  The Cowboys will win in an offensive shootout that could potentially be close enough to go to overtime.  The odds have Dallas favored by 8 but the Rams should be able to take advantage of the Dallas secondary.  The Rams have the kind of receiving core that could dominate against the Cowboys especially receiving weapons Sammy Watkins and Derek Carrier. 

However, I still think the Cowboys will win the game.  First of all, the Cowboys offensive line is one of the best in the league and I expect them to give Prescott time to make big throws and also create good running lanes for Elliott.  Cowboys win in overtime.

This is going to be a close one.  WR Kenny Golladay has done well for the Lions and he’s been hard to shut down.  For the Lions to have a chance he will need to have a big game because the Vikings have a really good run defense.

With QB Sam Bradford out, I expect the Vikings to run more especially with Lions star defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah injured.  Vikings RB Dalvin Cook could have a huge game.  I believe the Lions lack a true #1 corner so WR Stefon Diggs could be another factor especially since he has performed well with both Bradford and backup QB Case Keenum.  The Vikings win in a close offensive shootout in front of the home crowd in an exciting division match-up.

Both of these teams have looked good so far this season in arguably the strongest division in the NFL.  This is going to be a very competitive AFC West where I think any of the four teams could win the division.  The Raiders are really good offensively but the Broncos has one of the toughest defenses, especially in Denver’s mile-high air.  The Raiders QB Derek Carr may struggle to connect with top receivers Crabtree and Cooper because Denver’s secondary led by Chris Harris and Aqib Talib will likely be very physical and throw off the timing of their routes.

Trevor Siemian could have a tough game against Khalil Mack and the Oakland defensive front but the Broncos will win a close one at home.


The Eagles have played well this season while the Chargers have struggled.  I think this pattern will continue as the Chargers secondary will struggle against a versatile group of receivers led by new Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery and WR Torrey Smith.

I expect Philip Rivers to struggle against a tough Eagles defense.  Eagles win on the road.

The Giants have started the season 0-3 but this one will be a close one.  I think the Giants offense will continue to improve as they did against the Eagles in a tough last-second loss last week. 

The Giants secondary is a little banged-up so I expect the Buccaneers to throw a lot and Jameis Winston will have a big game with multiple TDs.  The Buccaneers have shown improvement on both sides of the ball and I think they will have the edge at home in an offensive shootout.

The 49ers haven’t won a game this season and don’t expect them to even come close this Sunday versus Arizona.  Sure, they will do a decent job pressuring Carson Palmer who can’t move as well as he used to.  But Arizona will have a balanced attack with speedy running back Chris Johnson having a big game.

A big sleeper in this game is receiver is Cardinals WR J.J. Nelson.  He could have a big game if he’s healthy and put up a performance more like his first 2 games of the season.  Cardinals win easily at home.

SNF

The Seahawks offense has struggled all year but I don’t think the Colts can win this game without Andrew Luck especially in Seattle, home of the 12th man.  The Seattle defense is especially tough at home and inexperienced Jacoby Brissett will likely struggle.  The Colts will need a big game from WR T.Y. Hilton to win but CB Richard Sherman’s physical play may disrupt his routes.

Even if the Seahawks offense doesn’t score a single TD on Sunday, the Colts still won’t be able to win this game on the road without Luck because the Seahawks have one of the best defenses in the league.  I would be shocked if it happened.  Seattle wins in a low-scoring game.

MNF

The Redskins have been alright but there’s no way they’ll beat the Chiefs at home.  The Chiefs are 1 of 2 remaining undefeated teams and expect that to be the same after this game.  The Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt and WR Tyreek Hill have been unstoppable, and TE Travis Kelce has also been a good receiving weapon to KC’s offense.  Alex Smith is having a career year so far and the Chiefs defense has dominated despite losing star S Eric Berry in game 1 this year.

The Redskins’ receivers will challenge the depleted Chiefs secondary.  Redskins WR Jamison Crowder could have a big game and keep it close for this prime-time matchup.  It won’t be easy but the Chiefs will win in an MNF shootout.

NFL Week 3 Picks: More Upsets, Close Games Expected

Welcome to my picks for Week 3 of the NFL season.  Last week I went 8-8, and my total record is now 17-14.  This week is full of great match-ups and those match-ups could make for some close games.  Keep reading for my thoughts on this week’s slate of games.

Note: The teams on the top in the images are the road teams and the teams on the bottom are the home teams.  

Lock Of The Week

The Bears were annihilated by the Bucs last week.  I expect the same thing to happen against the Steelers this week.  Pittsburgh is 2-0 after crushing the Minnesota Vikings and the Cleveland Browns.  The Bears will be the dominant Pittsburgh offense’s next victim.   Chicago doesn’t have the best defense and their offense has been struggling without their top two receivers, Kevin White and Cameron Meredith.

The Steelers have the best running back and the best receiver in the league and Big Ben is at least a Top 10 QB.  I see a blowout, maybe even a shutout in this battle of a Top 5 offense and a Bottom 5 team.  Steelers win this one easily.

Upset Of The Week

Atlanta has done well so far this year but soon enough they might have a rude awakening.  They aren’t going to repeat last season’s Super Bowl appearance as I don’t know how they even were able to get through a very tough set of NFC playoff teams.  The young Lions offense is as good as Atlanta’s offense and they have more depth too.  Kenny Golladay has blossomed into a superstar.

This will be a very high scoring game but in the end I’m calling the upset here.  The Lions will surprise the Falcons for their third win in a row to start the season.  Detroit might not be the best team but they have the tools to get some impressive wins throughout the season, even if they don’t come through every game.

TNF


About 6 months ago, I would’ve called this a snooze-fest that goes to the home team.  But the Rams offense has really improved since acquiring Sammy Watkins and Derek Carrier as well as drafting Cooper Kupp and Gerald Everett.  Todd Gurley is looking as good as he did in his rookie year and Jared Goff has improved a great deal as QB.

The 49ers haven’t caught up to these Rams yet although it may happen soon.  The 49ers still lack the depth they need on offense and their defense doesn’t really match up to LA’s, especially with Aaron Donald back.  I’ve been impressed enough by the Rams that I would say this could be a dominant win.  The way the Rams have been playing, I see them scoring at least 3 times more than the Niners.  

Sunday’s Games

This should be a good match-up.  The Jaguars have been up and down so far getting blown out by the Titans following their big week 1 win in Houston.  The Jags proved that they can compete.  The Ravens have also surprised many so far and maychallenge the Steelers for the AFC North title.  Both the Ravens and Steelers are 2-0.  Baltimore has one of the best defenses in the NFL and that will be tricky for Jacksonville especially without Allen Robinson.

This will be close though.  The Jags defense is improving and you could say the Ravens offense needs work.  But the Ravens have more talent right now offensively and that will be the difference in this game.  I give the edge to the Ravens because the Jags ‘home field advantage’ won’t mean much as this game will be played in London.

The Pats rebounded on Sunday from a tough Week 1 loss to KC.  But the Pats offense took another big hit as Gronkowski hurt his groin in the 3rd quarter of last week’s game.  If he’s truly healthy and “good to go”, the Pats will dominate.  Otherwise, it could come down to the final minutes.  Luckily for the Pats, the Texans don’t have as good an offense as New England’s opponents from the last two weeks so it shouldn’t be as tough for the defense this week.  The Pats young defensive line could have a big day as Houston’s O-line has struggled mightily.  Look for Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia to confuse another rookie QB and force him into making bad decisions.

However, the Texans have one of the league’s top defenses.  Even with Brian Cushing out the Pats could have a tough time producing offensive plays especially without Edelman and a less than 100% Gronk.  Tom Brady will be under a lot of pressureand this front seven knows how to stop the run.  Even though Gronk is expected to play, the Pats could be in some trouble as Marcus Cannon will not play so Brady might not have the time to find his receivers.  Gronk has big financial incentives based on his performance and sure handed Amendola will be back as well so I think Brady and the Pats will find a way to beat the Houston defense especially at home on the newly laid turf.

The Jets will be lucky to win a single game this season and last week the Dolphins proved that they are as good as they were last year with Cutler performing just as well as Tannehill.  Some might even argue that their Defense has improved too.  They should be able to beat the Jets who lack weapons and depth both offensively and defensively.

With the Jets playing at home, I’m expecting a little more out of them than in the last two weeks but the improvement will not be significant enough to beat Jay Cutler and the Miami Dolphins.

The Broncos are coming off a huge home win against the Cowboys and surprised many including me who thought they were nowhere near as good as their Super Bowl team of 2015.  Even on the road the Broncos should be able to beat the Bills.  The Bills may have a strong offense but their defense is not even close to the big D Denver has shown in their first 2 weeks.

I believe the Broncos defense is good enough to hold the Bills offense under 20 points.  Buffalo doesn’t have that kind of D so even if Siemian has an average game, the Broncos should be able to grab the win with the receivers they have.

With Andrew Luck out, it’s clear that the Colts are going to lose at least a few games to begin the season.  Luck has already been ruled out for Week 3.  The Browns are actually a lot better than last year.  RB Isaiah Crowell has been really good and TEDavid Njoku could become a dangerous weapon that teams will have to game plan for.  In addition, the Browns have young rising stars at WR like Rashard Higgins.

Although the Colts have a good offense, it’s not the same without Luck.  Cleveland’s QB Kizer should be back this week butIndy will have to rely upon Brissett under center.  I know it’s hard to imagine the Browns winning on the road but Indy’s key injuries are just too much and I see the Browns winning by a touchdown.

The Lions stunned the Giants in New York on MNF and now the Giants must try and steal a win on the road against a tough division rival to avoid starting the season with 3 straight losses.  On the other hand, the Eagles had a strong Week 1 and nearly upset the Chiefs in Week 2.  The Eagles play the same kind of complementary football that the Lions do and right now I see them as frontrunners in the NFC East for that reason.

The Giants are strong on both sides of the ball as well but this year’s offense has struggled so far this year and the defense hasshown its problems as well.  This will be a hard fought battle but I give Philadelphia the edge at home.

The Buccaneers have looked like the best team in the NFC so far even though they have only played one game.  They have a great all-around team and the Vikings just don’t match up.  Offensively, the Vikings just don’t have the weapons to take on aBucs defense that held the Bears to 7 points.  The Vikings defense is good but they have their toughest match-up yet in the Buccaneers as QB Winston is growing into a legitimate super star.

The Bucs will win this one and continue to look really good in the process.  A 2-0 start should give the Bucs more confidenceto keep improving and become the 12 to 13 win team I project them to be.

Carolina looks like the dominant NFC South team after two weeks.  They did have it easy to start the season but the Saints aren’t going to be that much tougher.  This Saints offense has been pretty good even without Willie Snead but the Carolina D will be too much for them.

Cam Newton could wreak havoc on the Saints D that struggled against another high powered offense last week (the Pats).  The Panthers have a great front seven that should prevent the Saints versatile RB from getting into a rhythm.  Especially at home, the Panthers should win this game but it won’t be easy because these division rivals always find a way to keep their games competitive.  This game could be an shootout based on the fact that both these offenses are stacked.


The Seahawks nearly lost last week to the 49ers.  Leaving the comforts of home for a tough road game in Tennessee may leave the Seahawks at 1-2.

The Titans have a great offense that could challenge the Seattle D, and the Seahawks lack the depth on offense to score much on the Titans mediocre D.  The loss of RB Lynch is proving to be greater than many expected as Seattle’s offense has looked flat and only scored 1 TD so far.  I doubt Seattle will win this game but they could come close as coach Pete Carroll should have his team pumped and ready to avoid starting the season with 3 straight poor performances.

This will be a close game.  But in the end, I have the Chargers winning at home. LA did lose last week to Miami in a close one but I expect them to be ready at home for this tough division rival.  The Chiefs offense has rookie RB Hunt playing better than many expected when Ware went down for the season.  KC is also using return specialist Hill in the offense more and KC has started the season with 2 good win against the Pats and Eagles.  In order the win, the Chargers need their offense to be at full health and in full swing to beat a KC defense that has performed well with a healthy Justin Houston.

The Chargers also need to find a way to stop the Chiefs dangerous deep threat Tyreek Hill.  It won’t be easy but my gut tells me the Chargers find a way to win this big division matchup at home.


Green Bay lost both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to injuries last week.  How are they supposed to win this week?  Well, Nelson does have a 50/50 shot of returning this week and Cobb is listed as day to day.  They’ll also be playing a washed-up Cincinnati offense so their defense may not be challenged as much this week.

The Bengals are also deprived defensively after Vontaze Burfict’s suspension.  With or without their top receivers, the Packers will find a way to win this game.  I think Nelson and Cobb could play and if they do it might be a blowout.  Either way, Packers win.

SNF

The Raiders have looked even better than their 2016 team.  The Redskins did beat the Rams last week but they have struggled at times in their first 2 games.  The lost 2 top WRs to free agency this past year in Garcon and Jackson.  Their defense has not performed as well as in recent years and may need more time to come together. 

The Raiders have looked like one of the best offenses in the league with their top 2 WRs playing like all-pros.  On defense their front seven has been dominant led by another great start by Khalil Mack.  The Raiders should win this game with easeeven on the road.

MNF

The Cardinals looked good after beating the Colts last week and Dallas looked lost against a tough Denver D last week.  Yet the Cowboys are favored by 3 on the road because this team has too much talent to put up 2 straight poor performances.  The Cards might be without David Johnson but Chris Johnson is doing a good job in his place.  Larry Fitzgerald is still an elite WR and even though Palmer’s been struggling, I expect him to play better at home.

Dallas can score but their secondary remains a big question mark.  While I see the Cardinals defense trying to replicate what Denver did to keep Dallas off balance.  This will be a very competitive Monday Night game where I see the Cardinals pulling off an upset at home.

That’s all for my picks this week.  Feel free to comment your thoughts on any of the games.

NFL Week 2 Match-Up Preview

Another week of exciting football is almost here!  But unless you’re a fantasy football fanatic like me, watching NFL RedZone from 1-8 each week, or are a diehard fan of one team that plays at an off time, the one thing you don’t know is which games to watch!  Even if you are a diehard fan or fantasy football fanatic, there will be extra time to watch another game during Football Sunday.  That is the purpose of this article.   Who’s ready to dig in?

Each week, I will go over five of my favorite matchups. I will provide detail about each matchup so you know which game is for you. It’s an extended preview beyond my NFL Picks for my five favorite games.

 Sunday, 9/17/2017, 1:00 PM, CBS

The Jaguars absolutely dominated the Texans last week and the Titans fell short at home against Oakland.  Week 1 showed the Titans aren’t necessarily up there with teams like Pittsburgh, Oakland, and Kansas City, and it also shows that the Jaguars are legit.  Will the Jaguars be a fluke as the Titans show what they can do, or will Jacksonville continue to thrive in the AFC South?

Keys to a Win

Titans

  1. The Titans can’t let the Jaguars defense control them.  They have a very good offense, led by QB Marcus Mariota and RB DeMarco Murray.  But they will continue to struggle if they let defenses contain them.
  2. They also need to take advantage of the fact that the Jags lack depth at receiver.  Allen Robinson is out for the season.  If nobody steps up in his place, the Jags will have an ugly season.

Jaguars

  1. The Jags need someone to step up at receiver.  They have no good tight ends, and right now Allen Hurns looks like their only viable option at receiver.  They need somebody to step up.  Maybe Marqise Lee will?  If he doesn’t, who will?  Dede Westbrook is on IR.
  2. They also need to stop the run.  Tennessee has a great run game.  But if the Jacksonville front seven can get in their heads, they will struggle.

3 Burning Questions

  1. With Dede Westbrook on IR, who will assist Allen Hurns at receiver for the Jaguars?
  2. What is the weak spot of Jacksonville’s D and will the Titans take advantage of it?
  3. The Titans have a lot of good players, but who will play like their superstar this week?

The Jags are running out of options here.  Could Max McCaffrey do big things?  If not, can Marqise Lee be their guy this season?  Hopefully, they can survive until Westbrook returns.  It’s hard to find a weak spot in this improving Jacksonville D, but the Titans should look to take advantage of the Jags d-line.  The Titans have plenty of budding stars on their team, but this week, I think veteran tight end Delanie Walker will be their go-to guy.

Key Injuries

Jaguars

  • Allen Robinson – WR (Knee) – IR
  • Calvin Pryor – SS (Ankle) – Out
  • Jalen Ramsey – CB (Ankle) – Questionable

Titans

  • Johnathan Cyprien – SS (Hamstring) – Out

Bold Prediction: With the receiving game lacking depth, the Jags score 2 rushing TDs as Fournette and Ivory will combine for 250 rushing yards

Leonard Fournette could be the Jags’ biggest weapon this week.  Chris Ivory will also continue to get touches.  I think both of them could be in for big games today.  It’s a pretty good match-up for them, the Titans lack a good front seven aside from defensive tackle Jurrell Casey.

The Pick

jacksonvile-jaguars

  Sunday, 9/17/2017, 1:00 PM EST, FOX

This could be a very good game.  The Eagles looked great after a blowout over the Redskins, and the Chiefs look like one of the best teams in the AFC after pulling an upset over the Pats.  Will Carson Wentz and his offense keep flying, or will the Chiefs bring them back down to earth?

Keys to a Win

Eagles

  1. Carson Wentz can’t let the Chiefs pressure him too much.  The Chiefs defense knows how to rush the passer.  If Wentz can’t overcome a pesky Chiefs defense, the whole Eagles offense could fall apart.
  2. The Eagles can’t allow any 75-yard TDs like the Pats did.  Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill can be very dangerous for defenses.  They are both very fast.  Fast enough that they can speed past the entire defense.

Chiefs

  1. Whatever Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill had going last week will need to continue this week.  The Chiefs may be lacking offensive depth, but they don’t need it as much if Hill and Hunt can supply them with all the offense they need.
  2. With Eric Berry hurt, the Chiefs need to find a new defensive leader.  Justin Houston is a sack machine, but will he thrive in a defensive leadership role?

3 Burning Questions

  1. Will the Chiefs miss Jeremy Maclin after this week?
  2. Who will emerge as Carson Wentz’ favorite target?
  3. Which defense will have the better game?

I think the Chiefs will miss Maclin pretty soon.  I don’t care if Hill and Hunt are superstars, they will burn out eventually.  I think new receiver Alshon Jeffery will have a big week and emerge as Wentz’ favorite target this season.  Lastly, I think the Eagles defense will have the better game.  The Chiefs defense need a new leader.  The Eagles have a dangerous front seven that could really make Kareem Hunt look like a fluke if they do well.

Key Injuries

Eagles

  • Ronald Darby – CB (Ankle) – Out
  • Corey Graham – FS (Hamstring) – Questionable

Chiefs

  • Eric Berry – FS (Achilles) – IR
  • Parker Ehringer – G (Knee) – Doubtful
  • Reggie Ragland – OLB (Knee) – Doubtful
  • Ron Parker – SS (Ankle) – Questionable
  • Kevin Pierre-Louis – OLB (Illness) – Questionable

Bold Prediction: Carson Wentz will throw for 350+ yards, 3 TDs

Wentz really looked like an elite QB last week, and I expect that to continue throughout the season.  I think he will really develop as a QB this season.

The Pick

UPSET ALERT

philadelphia-eagles-logo

  Sunday, 9/17/2017, 1:00 PM EST, CBS

This could actually be a close game.  Both these teams are coming off wins, but they were both against bad teams.  This game will really test if these teams are for real or not.  Who’s the contender in this match-up, or are both teams really pretenders?

Keys to a Win

Bills

  1. The Bills need to take advantage of the Panthers’ biggest weakness: their secondary, but do they have the receivers to do it?
  2. The Bills also need to keep Greg Olsen covered well.  His performance can really decide how the Panthers offense does.

Panthers

  1. The Panthers need to look out for LeSean McCoy.  They have a great front seven so it shouldn’t be too difficult.
  2. They also need Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel to be at their best.  The rookies on this offense could be the difference in who wins this game.

3 Burning Questions

  1. Who will lead the Panthers in receiving this week?  Will anyone have a 100-yard game?
  2. Will LeSean McCoy be able to score a TD against this Panthers defense?
  3. Will the Bills defense cost them the game if they can’t keep the Panthers offense under control?

Greg Olsen is going to have a big week for Carolina, I think he leads in receiving.  On the other hand, I don’t think LeSean McCoy will be able to score on Luke Kuechly and the Panthers front seven.  Lastly, I think there’s a chance the Buffalo offense will be able to save them in this case but it’s very unlikely.

Key Injuries

NONE

Bold Prediction: The Panthers will rush for 250+ yards 

Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey are both great running backs, but they’re not the only ones I see having big rushing games.  Curtis Samuel and Cam Newton can both run the ball so it won’t be as hard as it seems to rush for 250 yards.

The Pick

carolina-panthers-logo

 

 

 Sunday, 9/17/2017, 4:05 PM EST, CBS

The Dolphins will make their debut away from home as they visit the Chargers in LA.  With Tannehill out for the year, the Dolphins are not as sharp as they have been.  In the meantime, the Chargers could be in line to be better this season if they stay healthy.  In the end, these two things could combine to make this a very close game.  Who will come out on top?

Keys to a Win

Dolphins

  1. With Tannehill out, running back Jay Ajayi needs to step it up.  The Chargers defense isn’t that good so it might not be as hard as it usually is this week.
  2. The Dolphins need to rush the passer.  They have a great defense, and stopping Philip Rivers is the key to slowing down the LA offense.

Chargers

  1. The Chargers need to mix up who they throw it to.  They have so many good receivers and they can confuse the Dolphins secondary by doing this.
  2. They also need to contain Jay Ajayi.  Ajayi was a machine at times last season and he might be even more effective with Tannehill out.

3 Burning Questions

  1. Will Jay Cutler make a good connection with DeVante Parker like he did in the preseason?  If this happens, will Jarvis Landry struggle?
  2. Which third-year running back will have a better day, Jay Ajayi or Melvin Gordon?
  3. Do the Chargers have enough depth at receiver without Mike Williams?

I think Cutler will continue to connect with Parker, and Landry will not benefit from this.  In my opinion, Jay Ajayi will have the better day, but this is all about the match-up.  Melvin Gordon is facing one of the better run defenses in the league.  Lastly, between Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry, Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, and Tyrell Williams, I think the Chargers have plenty of receiving options.  Mike Williams will just add to that when he returns.

Key Injuries

Dolphins

  • Rey Maualuga – ILB (Hamstring) – Out
  • Jarvis Landry – WR (Knee) – Questionable

Chargers

  • Jason Verrett – CB (Knee) – Out
  • Mike Williams – WR (Back) – Out
  • Jeremiah Attaochu – DE (Hamstring) – Questionable
  • Dontrelle Inman – WR (Groin) – Questionable

Bold Prediction: Philip Rivers throws for 400 yards and 4 TDs

I think Rivers is set up for success if he takes advantage of the Dolphins’ weak secondary and his great group of receivers and tight ends.

The Pick

San_Diego_Chargers

  Sunday, 9/17/2017, 8:30 PM EST, NBC

Sunday Night Football tonight could very well be the game of the week.  This is a clash of two great offenses that just faced off in the 2016 NFC Championship.  Each of the last two times these teams clashed, the Falcons won.  Will the Falcons make it a streak, or will the Packers give them a rude awakening?

Keys to a Win

Packers

  1. The Packers need to find their run game and avoid being stopped by Vic Beasley and the Falcons front seven.  Hopefully, they’ll still be able to score rushing TDs without Eddie Lacy, James Starks, and Christine Michael.
  2. They also need to pressure Matt Ryan.  Matt Ryan isn’t the same elite QB when he’s pressured well.  With how inconsistent he is, it’s doubtful he’ll win MVP for the second straight year or even come close.

Falcons

  1. Whatever the Falcons had going on offense last year needs to continue.  Last year’s Falcons offense was one of the best in the league.  Will that continue into this season?
  2. The Falcons secondary needs to keep Jordy Nelson and Martellus Bennett covered.  Aaron Rodgers has some great receivers that could score multiple times if they aren’t covered well.

3 Burning Questions

  1. In their first real challenging match-up, will the Falcons offense look better, worse, or the same as they did last season?
  2. Which receiver will make a big impact for the Pack in this game?
  3. How will the Green Bay run game look?

I think the Falcons offense will be about as good as they were last season, not much better, not much worse.  They should be good enough to get them into the playoffs but not as far as they did last season.  I think both Nelson and Bennett will make a big impact for the Packers in this game, especially if the Falcons fail to cover them.  I don’t think the Green Bay run game will look that bad, and I’ll explain why in my bold prediction.

Key Injuries

Packers

  • Jason Spriggs – T (Hamstring) – Out
  • Ahmad Brooks – OLB (Concussion) – Doubtful
  • David Bahktiari – T (Hamstring) – Questionable
  • Kentrell Brice – SS (Quadricep) – Questionable
  • Bryan Bulaga – T (Ankle) – Questionable
  • Mike Daniels – DT (Hip) – Questionable

Falcons

NONE

 

Bold Prediction: Jamaal Williams will break out for 150 yards and a TD

He’s the reason why the Packers run game won’t be all that bad.  I think he’s a very intriguing rookie RB, one of many in the league.  By the end of this game, he will have stolen the starting job instead of Ty Montgomery.

The Pick

atlfalcons

 

 

That’s all for this week.  Comment what your favorite match-up of the week is.  Stay tuned for more NFL and Pats articles, including a recap of today’s Patriots game.

 

NFL Week 2 Picks: Another Crazy Week Ahead

We are one week into the season, and it has already been crazy.  The Jags are legit.  The Patriots lost!  The Bears and Browns nearly won!  However, in the end, I came out with a 9-6 record, better than Pete Prisco of CBS Sports.  Today we will be looking at my picks for week 2.

Note: The teams on the top in the images are the road teams, and the teams on the bottom are the home teams.  

Lock Of The Week

If I told you in 2015 that in a couple years, the Raiders would cream the Jets, you wouldn’t believe me.  The Raiders were terrible a few years back, and the Jets were turning it around with Todd Bowles taking over.  Now, the Jets offense is a complete mess and the Raiders offense is as good as ever.  What Oakland did last week shows that they’ve only gotten better.

The Jets don’t have a chance this week.  In my opinion, this will be one of the multiple blowouts this week.  The Raiders have a powerful offense and a pesky defense. The Jets entire team is falling apart as they have no QB, no receiving weapons, and no secondary.

Upset of the Week


Although the Chiefs looked good last week after schooling the Pats, I think it could be ugly this week.  They’re the kind of team that could suffer from inconsistency week to week.  The Eagles offense has definitely gotten tougher, so they should be a challenge for the Kansas City D that lost standout S Eric Berry.

In addition, Kansas City has even more of a depth problem on offense than they did last year, and that won’t help against a good Eagles defense.  The Chiefs look like the favorites at home but I believe the Eagles will surprise people this year starting with an upset against the Chiefs.
The Other Games

TNF

Both of these teams were equally bad last week.  Tom Savage looked lost and was ultimately replaced by Watson after being sacked 6 times.  The Bengals offense has not scored a point.  But this week I see Cincy winning the battle of two sub-par offenses. Without Brian Cushing and with JJ Watt a little banged up, the Houston D isn’t at full health right now.  While the Bengals defense hung in there only giving up 20 despite being on the field for 34 minutes.

The Texans offense lacks a true NFL starter so I expect Bengals D to confuse the rookie QB in his first NFL start.  Add the Bengals home crowd noise factor in prime time and I give the Bengals a slight edge.  Even though they fell flat against Baltimore, the Ravens are better than I originally predicted but the Texans might actually be worse than I originally predicted as they have already given up on “Tom’s our starter.”

Sunday’s Games

If you’re a Pats fan like me, last week was devastating to watch, especially the 21-0 4th quarter.  However, as many have noted, the Pats needed that embarrassment and better now than later in the season.  The game was a wake-up call and silenced all the talk about a 19-0 season.  As Super Bowl champs, they should expect everyone’s best and that wins will not come easy.  Pats fans take note that the team has won 3 Super Bowls in season’s in which they lost in Week 1 and have not been 0-2 since 2001.

I think this offense will be motivated to prove Pats haters wrong this week and Brady rarely has two bad performances in a row.  Brandin Cooks will also be motivated to show his former team they should not have traded him.  I don’t believe the Pats will lose 2 weeks in a row.  Although they’ve been hit hard by injuries, I think their active players are going into this game both physically and mentally prepared to play like defending champs.


The Panthers held on for a nice win last week and I think it will happen again.  The Bills do have a strong offense this season but the defense is a serious problem that the Panthers will take advantage of.

As for the Panthers D, the front seven is amazing and I don’t think LeSean McCoy will score a single TD.  However, the Panthers still need work on their secondary so the Bills will get some TDs through the air.  In the end, these two teams even out pretty closely.  I think the Panthers will win in OT.


The Browns didn’t win last week but they came close against the Steelers in Cleveland. They are definitely better this year and the Ravens aren’t as good as Pittsburgh.  But I don’t see the Browns winning a road game this season.  The Ravens looked good all-around last week and they should be able to beat Cleveland especially at home.

The Browns offense may be pesky but it’s not a problem at all for the Ravens’ strong defense.  The defense in Cleveland has many holes and lacks depth so I don’t see them having much success against the Ravens.  However, I don’t expect the Browns to go 0-16 but rather be more competitive and possibly win more than last year.  The only real candidate to go 0-16 this year is the Jets and few would argue with me on that, even Jets fans.


The Vikings have a great defense once again this year and their offense is really intriguing despite a lack of depth.  But they are no match for the Pittsburgh Steelers at home.  The Steelers have the Dream Team offense and a defense that at home can wear down almost any team.

The Steelers young secondary has begun to improve and their front seven has been great.  So I don’t expect the Minnesota Vikings to beat the Steelers, especially in Pittsburgh.  Steelers cruise to a win.


The Jags are legit.  I know they lost Allen Robinson but they have a great defense and they have depth on offense.  Look out for sleepers like Dede Westbrook to have a big game.  The Titans looked overmatched losing at home against Oakland last week.

I don’t see the Titans beating this Jaguars team in Jacksonville.   I wouldn’t be surprised if they crushed the Titans just as they did to the Texans.

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Andrew Luck has been ruled out again for Week 2 but I think any QB will be better than Scott Tolzien, even inexperienced Jacoby Brissett.  The Cots have some great receivers but they need a good or at least half decent QB in order to win games for the Colts.  They will have to find someone to fill in while Luck is out.  They need a QB who can utilize the great receivers the Colts have and Jacoby will get the chance this Sunday.

The Cardinals played well last week but the offense looks washed up and losing David Johnson won’t help.  I think the Colts defense should have it easier than last week and with anyone but Scott Tolzien as the starter, the Colts should be able to win this game at home.


Expect this game to be a blowout.  The Buccaneers will open their season in Tampa and they’ll be motivated to play well for their city that was impacted by Hurricane Irma.  The Bears are simply no match for them.

The Bears are thin at WR with the loss of Kevin White last week.  The Bears defense is still a work in progress and it may be viewed that way all season.  The Bucs meanwhile are well-built all around and I expect them to do well this season.  It will all start with an easy win at home.


The Dolphins will be almost as motivated as the Bucs opening their season but they are not playing the Bears.  Although LA might not feel like home for the Chargers, the Dolphins will be far from home and I expect a loud crowd for the Chargers first home game at LA.

The Dolphins will miss Ryan Tannehill and even if the Chargers D isn’t so great.  The Miami defense is pretty good but the Chargers have a great offense this year.  If they stay healthy, they could make things tough for their AFC West division foes. What happened each of the last two years for the Chargers will not be repeated.  Chargers win their first at home in a close one.

This Broncos team just is not as good as the recent Super Bowl winner.  Some might say the Cowboys have dropped off a bit too.  But Dallas still has a strong offense in the post-Tony Romo era as Dak Prescott has been just as good if not better than Romo.  Even though Denver was able to get Brock Osweiler back, their offense has continued to struggle after the retirement of Peyton Manning.

The Broncos defense is almost as good as they were back in 2015 but the Cowboys offense is stacked.  In the end, the Cowboys will grab the win.  I don’t think the Broncos will be able to stop Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott, and the rest of the Cowboys offense.  Dak has so many weapons and will have the time to find them to lead his team to the win.

The Rams clobbered the Colts last week so they come into this game with some momentum.  On the other hand, the Redskins experienced a rude awakening last week as they lost to Philadelphia.  Washington just doesn’t have the same kind of all-around team they had last year.  I believe their offense and defense has dropped off versus last year’s team.  Meanwhile, the Rams definitely improved on offense and their defense is just as good as last year.

One year ago I would have easily picked the Redskins in this match-up.  But the Rams have gotten significantly better and the Redskins are going in the opposite direction.  So I think this year, the Rams are definitely the team to beat in this game.  In the end, LA will come out on top led by great games by Goff, Gurley, and Watkins.

This game is expected to be a blowout like the two others I predicted this week!  This Seahawks defense is just too good for the 49ers struggling offense.  I think the Niners lack the talent on offense and don’t have a single receiver that I would consider Top 50 in the NFL.

The Niners defense isn’t that great either but they’ll at least hold a mediocre Seahawks offense to under 30 points.  The Seahawks have good pieces on their offense but they just need a couple key additions to make the offense as strong as they’ve been in recent years.  However, I still see the Seahawks winning in the end despite some offensive holes.

SNF


This is going to be a great game.  Both these teams are still top tier after facing off in the NFC Championship.  The Falcons have the same great offense and the Packers still have a strong team all-around.  I think this will come down to the final seconds.

In the end, I have the Falcons winning.  The Packers will be under a lot of pressure on Sunday Night in Atlanta.  To add to it, this is Atlanta’s first game in a new stadium.  The Falcons offense will dominate in this game and it will just be too much for Green Bay to keep up with.  This monster offense could be a dangerous weapon for the Falcons and it will carry their less than stellar defense that blew a 25 point lead in the Super Bowl.

MNF


The Giants may have gotten crushed last week but I think they have the offense and the defense to beat the Lions.  The Lions put up 35 points offensively last week but the Giants defense has emerged as one of the better defenses in the league and should be able to hold them below 20 points.

Even without OBJ (who might not play this week), the Giants receivers are still dangerous.  Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard should be able to play well as the top 2 receivers until OBJ comes back.  The Lions lack a strong secondary so even though Marshall struggled last week, he and Shepard should both thrive this week.  The Giants will win because they play even better complementary football than the Lions do, and it took some good complementary football for the Lions to win last week.
So that’s all for my picks this week.  Stay tuned for more football articles coming soon. Feel free to comment with your thoughts on this week’s games.  It’s going to be a crazy week so get ready for it.