This year has been a bad year for me football prognostication wise. I blame it on Clinton and Trump. And Obama. I just haven't hit my groove and partly because my schedule got much busier with me starting my own business, but I'll figure it out.
I'm composedly defeated in my one fantasy football league (but part of that is that my points scored against me is by far the highest in the league). My picks against the spread have been poor, and the only thing I've done well is survival football.
So looking to bet, maybe you should fade me!
Denver Broncos (-3) at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are one of the best teams in the league (through three quarters). They are essentially the 2015 New York Giants. The play hard but their lack of depth and talent gets exposed later in games and when the chips are in the middle they an't finish game. I'm terrible at Thursday night games going back three years (even the last two when I was picking games well) so don't take my advice here, but I think the Broncos are superior and should win this game by more than 3. However, the caveat is of course the Broncos will be without their head coach so who knows how prepared they will be tonight.
What happened to the Bengals? Their defense has been middling and their offense putrid. They lost Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to free agency because they didn't want to overpay or them (Jones has been terrific in Detroit), and their run game has also struggled. The big problem for the Bengals, much like the Giants has been not being able to put up points. The Bengals are 10th in yards and 5th in pass yards, but only 25th in points. Tom Brady came out on fire albeit vs the Browns and the combination of Gronkowski, Bennett (how much could he help this year) is one of the league's best assets. Still there is talent here with the Bengals, they should be desperate and nine points is a lot of points.
Baltimore Ravens (+3) at New York Giants
The Giants once again had a big time moment to show something and disappointed. Something is fundamentally wrong with the offense. They can not run the ball on six-and seven-man fronts. They haven't been able to do that for a few years and now teams are forcing them to do it, and they are not having success. The Ravens are a big, physical football team and I feel this matchup is very poor for the Giants. The Giants should be able to keep it close, but a big game vs. a good solid team. The Giants haven't played well in this situation in three years, why should I be optimistic they will now?
The other thing the Giants have to watch out for is burning out JPP, Vernon and Hankins. JPP, Vernon and Hankins are 1, 2, and 8 in the league in snaps played for defensive linemen this year. That's too much. Bromley, OO were both higher picks in the draft and they need to be given some opportunities.
I don't have the answer, but the Giants need to figure out how to get the ball to their best player and Eli Manning needs to play much better. They also are the worst team in the league at sacking the quarterback, a depressing statistic as a Giants fan.
Pick: Ravens win outright
Carolina Panthers (-3) at New Orleans Saints
I know the Panthers record looks tough, but so does their schedule. Broncos, Vikings, Falcons are three of their losses. Those might be the three best teams in the league. The other is to the Buccaneers without Cam Newton. It'll be tough to claw their way back into the playoffs, but this team is not one of the league's worst teams. The Saints are.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5) at Miami Dolphins
I like home underdogs, but this one is tough. The 7.5 crashes the magical 7-point threshold, which makes it tough to lean on the Steelers. The Dolphins can't stop the run or the pass and Tannehill is taking a beating every game and other teams are absolutely dominating the time of possession (24:37 vs 36:41).
Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5) at Chicago Bears
I like the Jaguars to win outright coming off a victory and a bye,
San Francisco 49ers (+8) at Buffalo Bills
When a backup quarterback comes into a game for the first time in a year there's always a spark. I think especially in this case with a quarterback who has been to multiple Super Bowls and has been as talked about as Kap has (negatively). The 49ers will come to play. The Bills will have to withstand their attack and pull it out in the second half, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the 49ers won outright.
Los Angeles Rams (+3.5) at Detroit Lions
I like the Rams to win outright here too as well. Gurley hasn't yet got it going, but he's very talented and the Rams front seven is very talented. I don't think the Lions have enough weapons to take advantage of the Rams defensive talent.
Cleveland Browns (+7) at Tennessee Titans
I like the Titans because they are tough and solid, but I don't think they are seven points better than anyone really. They don't score enough.
Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) at Washington Redskins
I think the Eagles are a little better than the Redskins, and the best thing about this game is that one of these two teams has to lose.
Kansas City Chiefs (pick 'em) at Oakland Raiders
I think the Raiders are a little better than the Chiefs and they are at home.
Atlanta Falcons (+6.5) at Seattle Seahawks
The Falcons started off well last year (not coincidentally because they played all four NFC East teams early) and then faded away. This year they look like a team with more depth. Vic Beasley might have figured some things out last week generating pressure. They can run the ball they can throw the ball and they have Beasley and Freeney rushing from the edge which creates enough pressure. I don't know if they will go into Seattle and beat them straight up, but they should compete.
Dallas Cowboys (+4.5) at Green Bay Packers
The Packers haven't been impressive this year, but I think they match up pretty well with the Cowboys. The Packers really stop the run well and are running the ball fairly well (last weeks' inflated stats vs the Giants don't hurt). The issue with the Packers so far is Aaron Rodgers hasn't yet been Aaron Rodgers. Still, it's tough to go into Green Bay and win. I think the Cowboys will find that out this week when the Packers take away the run and make Dak Prescott beat them by throwing the ball downfield.
Indianapolis Colts (+3) at Houston Texans
Both of these teams are awful. The AFC South is awful. Brock Osweiler needs to play much, much better.
New York Jets (+7.5) at Arizona Cardinals
The Jets have been the most disappointing team in the league. They have talent, but they can't cover anybody. They have some offensive weapons. It's this week or never for the Jets. I think there's enough talent there to compete.
Week 1: 8-7-1